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I might have to cut my 15 year old son out of my life and I don't know...

March 20, 2023

I don't want to be here to bleed all over everyone. But I really don't know who I can talk to about this.

I have one child. When he was just 9, his mother and I were at the end of a 16 year relationship and a 10 year marriage.

I will not bore you with divorce details. To sum up, she (legally) kidnapped him and took him away. I had to fight for 50/50 custody and it bankrupted me but I won in court.

His mother (a very intelligent and mentally ill woman) has been working him for years to make me the villain and herself a Madonna figure. I stopped trying to defend myself because it was causing him intense stress. To illustrate the point, she sat him down and had him read all the text messages between her and I from just after she kidnapped him and I was a wreck. She taunted me in those texts with his custody and how I was going to pay her forever, but I am sure those texts were conveniently deleted from her phone when he read them.

I let him think I was the bad guy if he needed to. I wouldn't defend myself. He is the last person in the world who should be required to make a judgement about which of his parents was the most holy in their divorce. That is fucked up.

But he has been getting abusive. If anyone but my son had stuck his finger in my face while screaming at me, I would have broken their arm and planted their face in the dirt. I just endured. I know my younger brothers were total dicks to my Mom during my parents divorce even though she didn't earn it. She is a good women and her son's apologized later and asked forgiveness. I have tried to follow her example.

But he is 15 now. He is obsessed with my politics. I am pretty much a Centrist with a leftist social/sexual bend and a right wing fiscal/accountability bend. And I am going to tell you that I am bisexual because it pertains to the story.

Despite my history, apparently I am a transphobe because I believe than any adult should be allowed to do anything they want with their bodies, but allowing 12 year olds to have SRS is too radical.

He is SO furious that I was informed by screaming that I am alt right. He has been on this obsession for well over a year now. Nothing I do or say is acceptable.

I reminded him that most bisexual men who have had long term personal and intimate relationships in their past with transgendered individuals would be more likely to be hung by the alt right than recruited by them. I was accused of using the 'black friend' defense.

I am repeatedly told I am a 'shitty parent'. He seals himself in his room for my visitation weeks and treats me with disdain. Yes, I know, the obvious apparent answer is that he wants to transition. But I have had the conversation with him several times now and let him know that if he is having thoughts that he is not male I wont judge and I will get him into counseling with professionals, even if that means he goes full SRS. He says no. I tell him I will love him either way and he still says no.

I am not a pushover and I have exercised a lot of patience for many years. But this is getting worse and worse. I may be at the point I tell him that unless I get a sincere apology from him, he can remain with his mother full time.

Maybe the last thing I ever get to teach him is how a decent man finally draws a line when all other options are exhausted.

I really wish I could cry about his. It hurts worse than even my divorce did. It hurts worse than when my dad kicked the shit out of me as a kid. It hurts more than I can ever recall hurting.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

UPDATE 3/23: I have been contacted by ex to get his insurance info for his new counselor. That means my son has agreed to counseling. That is good news. I might eventually be able to reach him through a professional.

I have put my foot down and told her not until I know who the counselor is and have a chance to vette them. The last counselor I did not vette properly (you are in terror with your kid's acute issue) and my son paid for it.

He isn't threatening self harm in any way. He has never had any symptoms of anything like that. A day or two delay will not harm him and rushing this can be a minefield. His problem is a rage spiral and both he and I will survive a day or two delay.

I will not delay the vetting, but I will have a chance to double check credentials and get a quick conversation with the good counselor. I can do that in a day or so when I have the name and contact info.

I really appreciate your guy's support. I am a Gen Xer and I don't know the protocol to express my thanks to men who support me with kind words and good advice because I never learned it. But thank you.

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Post Information
Title I might have to cut my 15 year old son out of my life and I don't know...
Author kiadragon
Upvotes 39
Comments 15
Date March 20, 2023 4:25 AM UTC (8 months ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
Archive Link
Original Link

[–]Damsa_draws_stuff 16 points17 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

That is a situation with no good outcome. I've seen something like that go down with a friends relative, messy divorce, crazy mom and all that. She accused him of hitting her and sexually abusing the children, so he almost ended up convinced and in jail. All the while, she filled the kids with all sorts of lies and made them lie in court. I mean, he wasn't exactly father of the year, but nobody deserves that. He specifically pretty much gave up, as he's started a new relationship with another woman even before they were divorced and is pretty much trying to start over.

I don't know if it helps, but it's an example.

As for you, I'd like you to just keep one thing In the equation, and that's the fact that your kid is still a kid. He's 15, and kids in teens usually think they're the hottest shit around. He will probably turn around at some point and It will be good to have somewhere to turn to for him. However, there's still the chance that it will all just be unbearable if it does even come to the turn-around point. Nobody here can probably give you good advice, but we're all here to show that you ain't alone.

[–]kiadragon[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thanks man

[–]AskingToFeminists 15 points16 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I'm sorry you had to go through that.

I'm afraid that your son has fallen for something that is akin to a cult.

A lot of modern "left wing" politics behaves in ways very similar to cults. It pains me to say it, as I'm deeply left wing at heart, and this is destroying the left's ability to win anything in my home country.

As such, reason might not be the best tool to reach him. And it might be better to just not talk about those topics with him.

I would suggest you try to keep a relationship with him. You seem to really want it, and it might be good for him too. But maybe you need to establish clear boundaries for that relationship.

Assure him that you love him no matter what, that you really want to have him in your life and always have. That he is welcome to talk to you about anything, but that it might be better that you avoid certain subjects, and rhat if he insist on breaching those subjects, you are willing to engage but on certain condition : no getting emotional, no name calling, presumption that just like him, you are coming from a place of compassion, love and care, and both of you are wanting what's best. [Or whatever boundaries you feel are appropriate] And that if he can't adhere to that, then you will have to end the conversation, as you find it more important to keep having him in your life than having pointless arguments over politics that really has very little impact in your lives.

I might recommend trying to understand the sources of those beliefs he has, so that you may be able to better understand what's going on in his head, and be able to welcome him should he change a bit his mind.

I could recommend looking into "Street Epistemology", which is kind if a way of having hard conversations in way that tend to avoid raising emotions and defences too high, but is hard to master, and harder even to use with family.

It might be good if you can find some activity he enjoys and that you think you could try to enjoy too, that you could do together and bond over, and which stays away from politics if possible.

Best of luck if you try to find a way to maintain contact.

If you really have to cut ties, try to do it in a ways that let him know that should he want to come back to you, he's always welcome.

[–]kiadragon[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for that wise advice. It's based and valid.

But I was greeted by a text this morning with him calling me a nazi. I think the time of hard lessons is here. My response is that I do not want to see him again until I receive an apology.

I know that might be our last conversation.

[–]AskingToFeminists 4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I'm sorry things turned out that way. I wish you the best, I hope your son will one day soon realise how wrong he was and reach out to you.

In the mean time, stay strong, keep up hope, and don't hesitate to come back here if you feel the need.

[–]kiadragon[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you

[–]throwaway112112312 21 points22 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Even regular 15 year old kids are difficult, and your son was in the middle of a really messy divorce. It'll take time for him to get out of it and turn into a stabilized adult. You have to be patient about it and play the long game.

The thing is though right now you need some professional help about your son. He has clearly some troubles, you have your own problems as well. You need to consult a specialist about how to approach him. This is not something you can fix by yourself alone, don't take any drastic actions before consulting a professional. They'll guide you and give counsel about what to do.

[–]kiadragon[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

He has been in therapy for extended periods of time. For years.

This isn't the middle of the divorce. It ended five years ago.

[–]Equivocator5000 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Your son is still “in the middle” of that divorce, even if it’s concluded legally.

[–]Jason_Dean2047 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I'm really sorry you have to go through this shit I can't help you or offer advice I'm just a 17 year old idiot who grew up too quickly but I will say that I'm proud of you as a man you keep your shit together under pressure and a wonderful representative of manhood and what it means to be strong keep it up king

[–]kiadragon[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you, dude. And we are all idiots. We just try to improve on that state as we learn.

[–]redyrytnow 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

He is a teenager. I think you have revealed to much of your life to him when he wasnt ready for it. Only thing you can do is tell him you love him - will always be there for him and tell him you make mistakes and will always make mistakes. But one thing - you will always be aware is that your son is a part of you and he matters to you. Maybe a time alone with you two doing something you havent done before would help. Sorry it is so hard. Eventually he will realize that the anger is a waste of time and hate between mother and father has nothing to do with him. You will support him whatever he desides to do.

[–]kiadragon[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you. The advice to try something new with him is solid.

Unfortunately, on my custody weeks (every other week), the extent of our interaction is limited to the car drive to school and back and forth to his moms.

He seals himself in his room. I give him his privacy (I was 15 once). But if I tell him I want to spend more time with him he detonates in anger because I am 'bothering him all the time'. I am told that asking to have at least a meal together is 'triggering'.

[–]Crunch-Potato 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

The topics discussed are unlikely relevant at all, kid has all kinds of anger up his ass and he needs some sort of lightning rod.
And you got set up to be that lightning rod.

You do need to put your foot down and establish that shit won't fly, but by stopping it in it's tracks not entering a shouting match, because that just plays into the anger more.
One part of this will be the gray rock method, where you simply do not acknowledge peoples abuse, as if it doesn't exist. This makes the abuse game real boring.

Also on the side of apologies, it's understandable that you want him to apologize, but that kid is not yet capable of that. Even if you squeeze the words out of him, there will be no meaning or understanding behind it.

[–]kiadragon[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well, apparently he has agreed to counseling as of this morning. I might be able to reach him through his therapist eventually.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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