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Relationships - Teens & Young Adults
Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Relationships - Teens & Young Adults
My daughter just turned 17 yrs. old - she has been traumatized by a relationship with a very controlling/abusive boy - she end up having an abortion! She is so so sad about it - can't talk without the tears flowing down her face... very painful to see her... She feels shame and guilty for being involved for so long and causing herself/and us her parents - so much pain. She is moving on but has moments of being agitated and the boy goes to the same school, which makes all that much rather. She is in therapy - it's been helpful - and I am wanting to ask is there anything else in addition to the therapy? ... that can be helpful? I am thinking of a group support or hypnotherapy or Gestalt therapy - some other type of support using her body - creating a vehicle for her to express this trauma and release it! I fear that she can't -really- move on - is there any other suggestions???? Thank you! helpful mother
I celebrate that your daughter had the strength and courage to get out at such a young age. So many of us have been caught by abusive people and found ourselves lying, covering up, isolating ourselves because of it, and yes, hurting other people. It is part of being trapped in that abuse. But she has freed herself! She has learned what a bad relationship looks like. Good for her! If she was in front of me I would cheer and applaud and celebrate for her.
I'm so sorry she went through this, but I hope you are championing her success. We all make mistakes; we all get taken in sometimes by bad people. We don't all correct our mistakes so early. I was stuck in my relationship for 14 years. I'm 46 now, and still living with the consequences of all that abuse and shame. It took many years of therapy to recover (I even had PTSD symptoms years later), and I know I'll never be completely okay. But time, patience and love heal much. Your daughter will be fine, and she has learned so much already. wish I could give her a hug
Hi, I typically don't bring other people's issues to broad day light. However this time someone hit a raw nerve. My son got his girlfriend pregnant and had a baby girl, they are 21 now the kid is turning one this month. They don't live with me so I don't know what goes on; one thing I know for sure is that from day one, my son's girlfriend has been using their daughter in a mean way, as tool to manipulate my son. For example: Since the kid was born, I've only seen her about seven times, that's less than once a month and that is no exaggeration. She told everyone on my family side to stay away, yet she invited the whole family, they even took pictures of the new born and posted all over the net, including Facebook.
I am a photographer, so by nature I took a few photos whenever I did get a chance. My son took a cute photo of her with a magazine I found to a real charmer. I received a message from her mom asking me to remove the photo, and funny she has a photo of the kid on her profile. My response to her was, "No, you remove the photo from your profileC"". Under any other circumstance I would have done it without a question, but after visiting everyone in her profile and seen how they all display photos of my GRAND DAUGHTER, I decide to proceed in such fashion.
She is crafty, disrespectful and rude towards me. And since I know the way she works, I know she does not want me at the little girl's party, because deep inside she's embarrassed of my heritage. In other words, she does not want her family to come in contact with me or any of my relatives, because she has expressed we're a "low class". I've expressed my intentions of not attending my daughter's celebration based on the fact that she is the host, it's held in her neighborhood and at her expense. Your thoughts are deeply appreciated. Sad Grandpa
Now that we've stopped you from fixating on the girl, let's talk about your *son* for a minute.
Why isn't your son, who is the father of this child, bringing the child around to visit you? You are his parents and this is his child!
It is your son's responsibility to forge a relationship with your grand-daughter and not her biological mother.
If there is a problem with your son seeing his child, I suggest you get a family law attorney immediately. It will be expensive - but so what?
If your son is living with his girlfriend and not visiting with you and the child, you have a more serious problem. I would suggest in this case talking to someone you trust about your despair of knowing your grand-daughter, like a minister or counselor. It will help you handle you feelings of disappointment.
You cannot change the past. And due to the informal nature of your son's relationship (no marriage), you were not able to forge a relationship with the girlfriend's parents or other family to support your case for seeing your grand-daughter. It is up to your son. Seek legal help if his rights are not being enforced. Good Luck
But, your son's girl friend is, and always will be, the gatekeeper to your grandchild, so the question is, what can you do/not do, to establish a relationship with the child?
Your decision to not to attend a celebration ''based on the fact that she is the host, it's held in her neighborhood and at her expense'' is a mistake. GO! Put on a smile and pretend that everything's fine. Do not engage in any negative actions, no matter how much bait they throw at you, and she and her family will. Turn a blind eye and deaf ear to her hostility.
This is the only way to have a continuing relationship with your grand daughter. anon
If you can stomach it, you might even post a note on your facebook page complimenting the mom on the beautiful photos she took of darling child. Remember, Machiavelli said to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Keep your end goal in mind. Wishing you strength in your resolve. Sam
Next, your son is the parent you need to be dealing with as far as visitation goes. He should have a say as to where and when you see your grandchild. If he doesnt have legal custody, he has no say. If they are married, I'm sorry for you. He married a bxxxh with a mom who is one too.
Oh my brother? It took 2 years and 1000s of dollars to get 50% custody of his son. Jenny
What do you do when your young adult son and his longtime girlfriend break up, and you really liked the girlfriend and had established a friendship with her? My son and his GF broke up a couple months ago. I have sons but not any daughters, so I really enjoyed having this young woman in my life, and in some ways felt like a mentor. Now my son has told me he doesn't want me to talk to her. I can understand why he doesn't, and he IS my child, so I want to be on his side, but ... I really like her! She is suggesting lunch dates, and sending me messages on facebook. Do I just cut it off with her? What should I tell her? Is the occasional email OK? Stay friends on Facebook? I haven't had this experience before and would really appreciate hearing others' advice! confused mom
So I would say, write a friendly e-mail to the young woman and say that you have treasured the opportunity to get to know her and you wish her all the best, but you have to attend to your son's needs, and so you prefer to set aside your contact for the time being. And then I would see whether you could find some other outlet for your daughter longings, so that you don't mix into your son's business too much. For example, do you have any nieces in the area you could take under your wing? Or perhaps you could tutor or teach a class or do something else that would bring you into contact with young women? Some day you will have a daughter-in-law to love, I imagine, and that could bring you joy, but now might be a time also to reflect on how to develop that relationship successfully. mother of an only son
We have a tendency as mothers to give up on our own needs for our kids. I can tell you I have chosen to remain friends with my daughter's ex, despite her anger at him. He is a kind person, and has been a part of our lives for 17 years. I'm just discreet about what I share with either of them. Rosalinda
I would try to gently probe some information from your boy. If the break-up was mutual, then maybe he's just worried that the two of you will sit there over lunch and discuss him. If the break-up was messy, then perhaps he has a good reason for not wanting you to continue seeing his ex. All in all, though, it sounds like you and the ex formed your own, separate, rewarding friendship, and it would be sad to not continue it. Perhaps you might reassure your son that you will not talk about him, analyze him, or whatever with the ex.
Another way of looking at this: Suppose you broke up with a man who had befriended your son; would it be all right if your son continued being friends with him? Under what circumstances would it not be all right?
(You don't say how old your son is, but up until about 25, and sometimes beyond, adult and young-adult children can imagine that they have more claims on your personal life than they really have a right to. They need to get over this fantasy.) Melanie
I have two teen girls, would have loved to have had a son, and part of me would like my girls to have boyfriends that I can get to know. But I stop myself from encouraging that in any way. judith
The dad in me says: absolutely, support your son and do not have a relationship with his ex. The fact that you want a relationship with his ex-girlfriend is 100 percent about you, not about him. And right now your son needs you to be there for him, not for yourself. You don't need this young woman as a friend. And he specifically asked you not to continue a relationship with her. I would suggest you write a very kind, heartfelt letter to his ex saying that you appreciate that she wants to keep a relationship going, but you're in a really hard place and need to not make things harder for your son. You never know what the future holds, etc...but for now, it wouldn't be appropriate to continue to hang out with her. It is likely that she is ambivalent about the relationship ending, and is, in some way, acting out by trying to keep this kind of contact with you right now. Again, as a dad, I would say please don't make this about your needs and wishes...support your son and his wishes--they are not unreasonable. Concerned Dad
I have a friendship with members of my ex-husband's family. I was married for over 25 years; his family was my family. That did not end with our divorce; I did not divorce his mother, his sisters, his brothers-in-law. Of course, not all his family want to be my friend (it's hard for his mother, who blames me for the divorce). But the sisters and I and one of the brothers-in-law are quite close to this day. My daugher sees this and has learned that family is fluid, not rigid in its definitions.
Friendships are hard enough to find these days, particularly inter- generational ones. We are so enriched by them all; I say go for it, Mom! All of your lives--including that of your son--will be made richer by it. Linda
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