Being a parent means putting your feelings and what is going on in your life aside at times and focusing on the child’s needs. I never understood just how much it can effect a child when they are expecting another person to care about out them until I sent my son to therapy a year or so ago. The sessions truly opened my eyes to the pain he was in and made me more sensitive to the times I knew he was disappointed about something. After his therapy ended everything seemed to be going well with him managing his feelings and it slowly fell back into the old patterns of him getting disappointed or hurt and him taking his anger from that and pushing it onto me. This was one of the first things I learned from his therapy sessions, I will always feel the brunt of his emotions because I have been the stable person in his life.
Let us fast forward to our current situation…
It was the week prior to spring break and his father had yet to call him and ask for him during this time. It was clear he was upset about it and he decided to ask my friend if there was anything going on that he could do with him, since his father didn’t ask him to do anything. My friend got busy and by the time he would have responded my son was already at his father’s for the weekend. My son had gotten his father to allow him to stay till Tuesday, when he returned home Tuesday night he sent another text to my friend to see what he was doing the rest of the week. I didn’t think another thing about any of this until Wednesday night when he started a conversation with me about the text. My son asked me why when he cares about someone the person doesn’t care about him. I told him that this was not true, people do care about him and he mentioned my friend, not returning the text message from Tuesday night. I immediately told him that he did care about him and he replied with “That is surprising”. Why would that be so surprising? He has such poor self-esteem and has become so sensitive. He got extremely emotional as the conversation went on, comparing him and others to his father. Again I found myself amazed what the lack of love from one person can ruin you emotionally. Not everyone was his father and spending your life comparing people to him at ever little turn is not healthy.
By him putting all his eggs into one basket in hopes that the person will give him the emotional support, love and caring he seeks is not a good plan and this is what he did. He could have texted other people in his life to see what they were doing but he just chose this one friend. If he would have laid his baskets out and spread his eggs around then his chance of disappointment would have lessened.
I have to admit I wondered, did he just forget to text him back? Did he not get the text? Though I decided to let it play out and see where everything fell the next day. Maybe he would wake up feeling better and be able to move forward. Plus, I take being where you say you will be, doing something you say you will do and not ‘forgetting’ my child very seriously. So serious that if I find out you brushed him off, forgot him in some manner or didn’t follow through with what you said you would do… I get angry and will avoid you at all costs. This is actually my issues I have developed over the years of watching my son look out the window in hopes his father would show up only to be disappointed, yet again. So seeing how it played out was my way of hoping I wouldn’t find out that it was anything but a complete misunderstanding.
On Thursday, I was getting into my car to go to work when I seen my son running out of the front door in his pajamas. I opened the car door and he said he heard my car door shut and he wanted to give me a hug, a kiss and tell me he loved me before I went to work. I was pleasantly surprised as this was not the ‘norm’ at all. He seemed to be in a better mood when I returned home from work. Later in the even I was texting and he found out it was the same friend who he had texted. This started his emotions going again. This time it was the feelings of being ignored. He went on about him being invisible and how he will go back to having me ask if people want to do things so he doesn’t have to be ignored or told no. I talked to him some more about his feelings and how he will feel ignored or disappointed throughout his life. Now at this point I am feeling pretty down myself, I wish I could manage his feelings for him so that he wouldn’t be so hard on himself.
While I was getting ready for bed I decided I had to ask my friend if he received the text message from my son, I knew I needed to solve this for him or we would be spending our days repeating these emotions. So I asked and he did not receive the text message that my son sent. I immediately went down to tell my son that he hadn’t received the text. He then, out of says, “I want to tell him I love him”. I have to admit, I probably had the most shocked look on my face at that moment. I froze into place and started to have the most painful muscle cramps in my stomach. The statement came out of left field, I probably should have been better prepared. He walked off and I was still frozen in place, totally shocked and I immediately texted my sister. I could not believe he said that. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful that he feels he has a relationship warranting him expressing those words. I think my sick feelings in my stomach came from a deep part of me that immediately sees hurt, pain and disappointment. Not that my friend would do any of those things intentionally, it is just that, look how an unanswered text message went when we just ‘cared’. Now add in the strong emotion of ‘love’ and then have an unanswered text message… I just don’t see my son handing it well. I really think he means those words, he has always talked about my friend like he was the coolest kid on the block. He may have said it at that point because it was his way of saying he was sorry for thinking he was ignoring him and that he didn’t care. I’m not sure but I do know I am still shocked that he said it.
My son doesn’t talk about his feelings and when you try to with him, his answer is ‘he doesn’t feel the way you think he does’, ‘he is fine’, ‘never thought that’, it is like talking to a brick wall until these moments when something happens and he lets all his emotions he has been bottling up pour out. I want to place him in a bubble and be all he needs emotionally for the rest of his life. I want to shield him from the pain of relationships, I want to heal him of this emotional war he has going on in his mind. I am essentially helpless and it makes me sick to my stomach.
Side Note: Things happen all the time in life and you will feel disappointment. I want to tell my son that it happens to me, actually at this current moment I am typing. I asked my sister to call me this morning on her way to work because I really needed to speak to her and work through some feelings I have on the above situations. Well she never called, I’ve stopped waiting because I know she is already at work. These things happen, he needs to be strong enough to deal with them.