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My children have never seen me being abused in anyway, nor have they ever been abused.  However, that has not stopped my 13-year-old son from being very verbally abusive to me and his sister, mostly to me. I am at a loss, ENALAPRIL results. My own flesh and blood, saying horrible hurtful things to me, raging at me, ABUSING ME VERBALLY…and I don’t know what to do, BUY ENALAPRIL OVER THE COUNTER. I want to take him in my arms and hold him till he is done, instead I cower in my room, afraid, sometimes in tears and so very sad. My greatest fear is that, ENALAPRIL blogs, while he has never seen someone being abused as I was, he will repeat history, becoming an abusive adult. As of now, he has never raised a hand to me and while I know that currently I am stronger than him, eventually, I will not be, ENALAPRIL mg. I stand 5’8 in my bare feet, he, at almost 14, stands 5’7 and he is not done growing.  I have taken his skateboard away, which causes him to become more violent, Order ENALAPRIL from mexican pharmacy, punching walls and screaming horrible abusive things at me. BUY ENALAPRIL OVER THE COUNTER, I ground him and he rages in his room. I stop speaking to him for days and he will harass me.


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Is it too late.

***

Lea blogs at From the whispers of her soul....

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Comments

34 comments
KYouell
KYouell

I know I'm REALLY late to the party, but I'm looking at this in a different light that what I've seen other people comment, so I thought I'd throw this out.

I'm positive that if asked my mom would say that I have always been verbally abusive. I mean since I was a very small kid. At the very least she would say that I think she's dumb (I've heard her say that). I can remember when I was 2-3 years old thinking that ALL adults were dumb. Every single person that asked me if I wanted a little sister or a little brother was an idiot that couldn't see there were 2 more options -- and of course I wanted a big brother! A year later, when my little brother was probably starting to walk, I refused to watch the moon walk on tv because it was just another instance of stupid adults getting all excited over someone walking. I never thought that she was any stupider than all the other grown-ups, but I'm sure her self-centeredness saw it as me just thingking she was stupid.

My point is that it's not always teenagitis and it's not always something that happened in *your* life. It might just be a long-time build up of things that he experienced -- which of course in his case includes the way he heard/saw you treated, etc. I'm no therapist or expert, I just saw something that resonated with me & thought it might help the next late-comer reading along.

I hope everything is MUCH better for you, now that it's 13 months since this was posted.

Tessa
Tessa

Thank you for sharing this - and the update on your son. It has prompted me to send my friend a link to your story, as I know full well she's been abused and that her son verbally abuses and controls her. I have tried to help, but I don't know how. I want her to know she's not the only one out there, that she's not alone - and maybe the comments can help. Thank you for having the courage to post this.

April
April

Although your son never saw you get abused, he knew you were being abused. He was old enough to hear it and old enough to know what the bruises were on your body. It is not too late for him. Do not cower away. You need to be strong for him, set boundaries, and do not allow him to act that way. I know it's easier said than done and I know it's gong to take a lot of work, but you can do it. You don't want your daughter to one day be submitting a story to this site because she's been abused by her brother. I will pray for you. Be strong. You can do this! Break the cycle.

Bee
Bee

The honesty with yourself is important. You can alter the present by admitting the imbalances, the current anger, the violence and confusion. You've done that. Now, seek solutions to the problem. How you act around your son, what you reveal of your fear, of his father, of the past, of your childhood, of what you expect him to be?

Has he witnessed your fear throughout his childhood, your startled jumps, your shrinking acquiescence to his rage or demands, as you try to forget and move on but never quite deal? Did you ever really gain that belief in yourself, in your power and strength? 'Cause it's there Lea. You are not a punching bag, or a door mat.

You are a proud mother, a woman who broke away from a long history of uncontrolled anger and misplaced blame, and you will control your children, until they must learn to control themselves. Teach them you don't shy from asking for help, show them by seeking help. Teach them you don't shy from the consequences of your past, and they must experience their own consequences. Teach them to be responsible for their actions, and make the most of this life you've worked SO HARD to give them.

Here's my comparison of an experience, so you see the options. Your son is an individual, different from my example, but perhaps you can see in all the murky mess the hope and belief in one another we maintained:

One of my younger sister's chose a different way than I to deal with our childhood history, mother's depression and blame towards her past for her ever present unhappiness, constantly looking to her children to rant of her childhood, past failed marriages and the most current one that dismally ended in death which increased her disbelief in relationships, mistrust of men, disappointment in men and loved ones who abandoned her, spiraling downward from a physically and emotionally abusive past, never admitting to herself the need to move onward and heal, to own her past, learn from it, and keep moving, leaning on us constantly to raise my other little sisters, to provide for the family, and prove to mom we weren't like her past family or past men, we were constant, we were loving, we were supportive but at the same time we resented in are later teen years the burden she guilted onto us so regularly.

Love wasn't free, wasn't a gift, wasn't equally shared and valued. Starting at age 12, my sister got angry, volatile, always blaming others for her mistakes, seeking love and intimacy from the wrong "friends," desperate for love and acceptance and for someone to just be in control of her life, for she could not be, beating and threatening her family, ripping apart the house, threatened with abandonment, truly suffering at the manipulation of others but truths hiding in years of lies, lying to therapists' mandated by the court, believed as the victim solely and never as a child who lashes out from disparity and pain and manic depression, 1000 watt smile blinding all counselors, attending Eckerd's reform camp for "troubled teens" and graduating under a false dedication to heal and take control of her own life. She did not own her mistakes then, she did not own her pain then, she didn't know who she was and she truly believed some events happening that did not and victimized herself over and over. Everyone else gave up, as she seemed the bad seed of the family. But just one sister became her world, her rock, she knew love, she knew compassion, she knew honesty and the expectation of honesty in return, of hard work, of dedicated reform everyday.

Eleven years later since graduating Eckerd's Camp, she still works everyday to master her anger, to feel compassion and love first, to not lash out, to not hate, to understand humanity and to love herself and trust in the love of those closest to her. It's a daily recovery, a daily reform. For any that have experienced violence.

Your son may fool the therapists, may lie, may cheat the system, may fall through the cracks, may tell himself and others it's all your fault, may fall down repeatedly, Lea, but YOU will always love him, and he must always know this. You may not like all his actions, but you love him, no matter what. For all the treatment or consequences thrown at him, none of it will seem worth mastering and surviving if he does not know someone is at the other end, accepting and loving and knowing there is a light inside him worth delving through the darkness.

Lillian
Lillian

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you and yours are able to work through this and come out okay.

Screwed Up Texan
Screwed Up Texan

Thank you for sharing. Prayers and thoughts to your family.

Meg
Meg

I second what Kay said about Milton Hershey School. My cousins were house parents there. It's a good program. It may be a good fit for your son. You may want to look into it.

Prayers to you.

Kay
Kay

It's not too late. It's never too late.
He may say he won't talk in therapy, but you need to try - not only for him, but for YOU and your daughters. It's possible that he saw or heard more than you thought when he was younger... or it's possible that he's just an angry teenager. A professional opinion will help you.
I'm not sure if you're still in Vegas or not, but I do know that on the East Coast (Hershey, PA) there is the Milton Hershey School - military style, free of charge, for boys with behavioral issues. We get ads on the radio for it occasionally, and I just heard one this morning.
Just know that you're doing the best you can - and speaking out here, especially the last part, was a huge step in the right direction.
I wish you and your family the best.

A.
A.

My dad acts the way your son does because of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, and my brother started acting the same way when he hit 12 or 13. My mother has overcome a lot in her life, but the hardest thing she had to do was put a stop to my brother's abuse. You are his mother. It is your job to be firm and confident and stop it. You ground him, take away his skateboard, but then hide and cry and be silent. Do you think he doesn't know?

When you stop him - stop him. It's final. You take it away and he can scream and punch things and say whatever he likes, but it's gone and he will only continue to lose the privileges that you provide him. Perhaps there is a male role model in his life, or one that you can introduce to him - it's more important than I had originally thought.

My brother is 16 now and rarely has any sort of violent outbursts. Lots of it is due to my stepdad showing him what it means to be a good man, but the only person who can stop an outburst is my mom, because he knows that she will do whatever it takes to keep him safe and happy, even if that means making him furious.

Mothers cannot stand aside or back down when faced with violence and abuse from their children. They can only love them, and in doing so, force them to face the consequences of their actions so they may learn from them.

Kate
Kate

I thank you for your bravery in sharing your story, especially the truth that your son is struggling now. That took an incredible amount of courage.

Others with more wisdom have given advice, so I won't add to that. I only wanted to say thanks for sharing your story and for showing others that getting out of the cycle IS possible!

Emily R
Emily R

Obviously, I don't know how things are with your son, but I do know that teenaged boys can be pretty awful to their parents and end up perfectly fine adults. You definitely need to get some help in the family, but all is certainly not lost.

Nina
Nina

Firstly, I'm sorry for all the suffering you've experienced and secondly there is nothing to be ashamed of. Not then, not now. You have not failed. You've done courageous and remarkable things. You did and are doing your best.

Finally, I'm going to offer some resources and advice bearing in mind that it's just guesswork based on my experience of other families who have experienced similar things, and that if you want to read it you should take what fits for your family and discard the rest.

In my experience of working with mothers who have experienced domestic violence, 90% of the time the children know even when their mothers believe they don't. Children can pick up an awful lot and for young men in particular there is an element of aggression later - either vehemently trying to protect the mother or raging against her.

I'm a family therapist. I'm trained to look at patterns, so as I'm reading your story I'm thinking about the ways in which the pattern in your life has played out. From your story, for several generations there has been much anger and violence in your family. Both you and your son have plenty of things to be angry about and your son may have plenty of things to be confused about. At 14 he is growing into himself as an individual and forming an idea of what it is to be separate and a man, and likely thinking about the men he has known and what this means for who he is and who he will be. Likely you and your son have different parameters. You are seeing the ways in which he is abusive (shouting, being hurtful, punching walls) while he may be in tune with the ways in which he is restrained (hitting walls not you, shouting not hitting).

Harriet Goldhor Lerner has some good books about family patterns and family dynamics, as well as some of the ways in which patterns are broken, or re-made and change comes into families. There are other good books out there about raising boys, and Peter Jakob and Haim Omer's work with Nonviolent Resistance can offer constructive way forward in dealing with aggressive behaviour with adolescents.

I wonder if there are men in his community (e.g. teachers?) whom he admires and who could help be a mentor of a kind to him?

Either way, whether he talks or not going to a therapist sounds like a good idea. I wish you all the luck in the world.

SimplyLeen
SimplyLeen

Lots of great support and advice in here already. Not sure I can offer anything different. I certainly agree with those suggesting that you reach out to find some assistance. Is there a local women's shelter than can perhaps point you in the right direction for some support groups?

I would guess that your children don't have the tools they need to express their negative emotions in a positive fashion. Therapy can be that process that teaches them how to express those emotions without causing harm to you in the process.

In the meantime, don't forget the strength you have that DOES reside within you. The strength you used to leave the abusive relationship. It's still there. It may be just a small flame right now, but with a little oxygen and firewood, you can turn that flicker into a bonfire!

Kori
Kori

You say that him going somewhere else is not an option, but why not? Are you really willing to allow him to continue to treat you this way? Because while it isn't your fault, you are the only one at this point in his life who can give him a different chance. Sometimes you have to send them somewhere else so that they can get help and learn differently. I don't know where you live or what kinds of options are available, but I promise you that if you look hard enough you will find help. You can either do the work now and hope that he becomes teachable, through counseling or whatever means you find, or you can sit back and let it happen. And if you do nothing, he will grow up to abuse his girlfriends, his wife.

It sucks; it isn't your fault. I can't reiterate it enough, that you are not the cause of this. You have been through hell and are coming out the other side, but whether your kids witnessed it or not, they knew. They know.

flutter
flutter

I am just so sorry you have had to deal with all of this.

Another Suburban Mom
Another Suburban Mom

My heart simply breaks for you. I do not know why your son acts as he does. I wish I had an answer.

Speak to the school. They have resources that you may not be able to locate. They will want to help you and him.

I can only send you love and prayers.

Krista's Mom (Barbi)
Krista's Mom (Barbi)

No matter what type of abuse any of us has gone through (or never gone through), each of our situations are so different and yet exactly alike. You are not alone, this is not your fault, you do not deserve it and you have certainly not CAUSED your son to act this way. He is acting out for reasons only he may (or may not) know. It may be medical, it may be "teenagitis", it may be him testing you - we don't know, but those comments above have so many viable suggestions. Listen to them, take them to heart and heed them - you should seek assistance in dealing with this - you can't do it alone. Even if your son never says one word - he will hear you telling the story to someone who is objective and he will hear what they have to say about it. I'm not saying that will be the solution, but as all of us who have been abused feel, we try to handle it ourselves, keep it a secret from the rest of the world so that they won't make judgments. Please, for your sake, your son's sake and for the sake of your other children - stand tall, be firm and I wish you success.

Shelli
Shelli

My son is also verbally abusive to me...and so is my daughter. They are 19 and 17. They saw how their father treated me, as well as their step-father. I feel like it is my fault for having my kids witness the situations they did, but I wasn't in any state of mind to stand up for myself. We have done counseling and mediation to no avail...the kids just act like smart-asses and make me look like the enemy. I too am at a loss.

Debbie in Memphis
Debbie in Memphis

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your strength and courage are amazing. You have to do whatever you can to help yourself and your children. I hope you can get into therapy. Sending love and prayers for you and your family.

Lauren
Lauren

Re: your son. You and he and your other children need to be in therapy. You say they never saw nor heard you being abused but there's no way they didn't know it happened. They knew, and they know.

It's not your fault. When you get raging, pissy, livid angry, what do you do? You don't hit. Abusers can't channel their feelings. If it were a situational thing we'd all be abusive. It's that they can't cope.

It's not your fault.

laprimera
laprimera

I offer you my prayers and well-wishes. May you continue to have strength. And that you are able to help your son now. Seek local social services. Keep trying and don't give up. My heart goes out to you.

Aunt Becky
Aunt Becky

I'm so sorry for what you have been through. I have no advice, but all the compassion in the world. Sending you love and light.

Vicky
Vicky

No, It's not to late to get your son help. Take him to therapy, each of you go alone and then together. I agree 100% with what Mojo said.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Jett
Jett

Your son may well be a product of his history, but I wouldn't discount the fact that this might be a chemistry issue, and not solely a personality one.

Do you have access to decent healthcare? If so, then contact your provider, who can refer you out to a professional that is able to evaluate your son and provide information on various avenues for your child's care and well-being.

If not, then e-mail me; I used to work in social services and was also a foster parent for several years.....I can maybe give you some tips on how and where to look in your community for the help that your boy needs, and you too.

Don't you believe the lie in your head that is telling you you're alone. Don't.

Mojo
Mojo

Lea, you've come through too much, overcome too much, grown too much to cave in now. And as those above me have pointed out, it's never too late, and there is help. You know this. In that heart of hearts where you know things, you know that this child is not evil.

What alarms me is hearing you say "I must be to blame, I must have failed." You haven't failed him, you've given him a chance at a life. A life you didn't have the chance for yourself. Adolescent boys will invariably challenge for leadership of the "pack". (Probably adolescent girls too for that matter, but I only have experience with boys.) Never mind their history, heredity, upbringing, it's just what they do. There's no "fault", or "failure" in it.

In fact the only way you can fail him is to give up. Take him to counseling. Take all of you to counseling. And if he refuses to speak, let him refuse. That won't last long. Not once the conversation starts without him. A parent child relationship can't be a democracy. It can and should allow the child some input into the decisions, but ultimately they don't get to make the call. they don't have the capacity for it, and as a friend of mine says, "I"m legally bound to keep you alive and well until you're 18. So no skydiving until then."

I know this is exhausting, especially when you're carrying the whole load. And it's easy for me to sit here with two grown sons and advise you. I don't get it, I don't understand, I don't know what it's like to be a single mom with an out-of-control teenager. I can hear all of that resonating in the background, and it's 100% correct. I don't know what it's like. But I do know that you need help. Help from people qualified to give it.

I wish the battle was finally over for you, that this story wouldn't require a separate peace with your son. But it is what it is. And I marvel at the guts it took to tell it. To expose yourself to the chance that the people here would confirm your worst fear, that you've "let him down" that you "failed", that this is "your fault". Intellectually, I imagine you knew that wouldn't happen, but instinctively you probably felt that way. That's also not your fault... it comes form year after endless year of conditioning, of being taught that you're stupid, worthless, clumsy, choose-your-adjective.

But you're none of those things they told you. You are strong and courageous and unbreakable. You have been beaten, but never defeated. Broken, bent, bruised and battered, you.are.still.standing. And you will overcome this too.

Take the comments people leave you here and write them down in a book. A notebook, a diary, something small that you can keep with you. And when you feel like you can't make it to the top of one more mountain, take it out and read a few of them. And remember.

You are not alone.
And you don't have to live this way.

SP
SP

Oh Lea. I am so, so sorry for everything that has happened to you.

I send you tremendous strength in dealing with your son, and all the peace the world has to offer.

I wish these words were enough. I'm sorry.

Freedom First
Freedom First

Oh Lea, my heart breaks for you. Even if your son never witnessed the abuse, do not make the mistake of believing he was oblivious to it. Children absorb far, far more of their surroundings than we give them credit for, because we learn to tune out so much. I would strongly suggest getting some sort of counseling for him. Try telling him that it is normal for him to feel anger and frustration at his age, his hormones are raging and life seems very confusing no matter what the situation to a 14-year-old. But stress to him that allowing his frustration to make others miserable also is not acceptable, and that he needs to talk it out with someone who can give him some answers. I well remember that stage of my childhood, the feeling that there had to be something wrong with everyone else because how else could I be so miserable? Explain that just because he can't help it doesn't excuse him from the responsibility of controlling it.

Best wishes with all of this.

Sharon
Sharon

You said it yourself: help is out there. Although you are no longer a victim of abuse from above, you still need help with your son. Focus yourself on finding it. Unfortunately, even if he didn't witness it happening to you, he may still be profoundly affected by it. Please get him help so that you can live in peace, but also so that he will be able to break the cycle. You have the power to prevent another woman, another child, from being hurt.

Good luck to you.

Danielle-lee
Danielle-lee

You are a brave woman, someone all women can look to for strength & help. I am so very glad you got out, that you left, that you went far away.
As for your son, it is NEVER too late. He is young, but you have the control in the situation, as long as you 'act' like you do. Find affordable counseling (maybe through a domestic violence shelter or outreach?) for both of you; it will be the therapist's job to get him talking, and I guarantee he will, eventually. He *wants* to talk (he might not know it yet, but he does).
Good luck to you honey.

Candy
Candy

It seems to me that both you and your son need some counseling. Your son might be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, after listening through closed doors to the abuse you suffered. And the fact that you're letting him do this to you seems to me like you are allowing yourself to be abused all over again. There must be affordable counseling somewhere for you both. I hope you'll consider it.

A Friendly Smile
A Friendly Smile

Babe it is NEVER too late for ANYONE. If I were there I'd hug you and hold your hand and remind you to breathe but as I am not all I can do is remind you that you are stronger and smarter than you think and tougher than you believe. I think it's amazing that you have shared this all and I encourage you to keep doing it!

karen
karen

I'm sorry you've endured so much pain and abuse in your life. Remember that you are stronger than you think you are though and the decisions you've made have proven that. Please don't blame yourself for your son's behaviour. You are a loving and caring mother. You have done nothing wrong. I'm sure with a little help you and your son will be able to work through this together. He's being resistant and defiant because he can. Keep showing him love - you've got that part right on the money. For you though, hold your ground with him. You are the parent. You deserve to be shown respect and be loved in return. Best to you...

MK
MK

Lea, this is such a sad, but triumphant story - for you and your past. For your son, I really don't want to spew advice I'm not qualified to give - but I can just say - love him. I'll say a prayer for you and him.

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