"I know more than you think I do"

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Whiteheron

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"I know more than you think I do"
« on: April 11, 2019, 03:36:01 PM »
Went for a walk with DS15 the other night. We were talking about teenage years, hormones, siblings. He said something along the lines of "I hope my sister doesn't get too much worse, she'll be impossible to handle!" I let him know that his sister wasn't that bad, compared to other siblings I've known about (and my sisters and I were worse). He said "yeah, but it all has to do with our upbringing."  :blink:

I asked him what he meant by that, and let him know that I wasn't trying to be mean with the question, I was interested in his perspective. He responded with "it's all because of the manipulation, mom." I said nothing. He continued and said "it started with dad manipulating me, then you, then DD and ever since then it's made her paranoid and really touchy about things." I can't remember what I said in reply, but he said "I know more than you think I do."

So...is it appropriate for me to bring up/get some books about what's possibly going on with his dad? I'm not sure if he's ready to hear it from me, but maybe I can steer him towards a book or two? Idk. I go back and forth. DS seems to think that since his dad is mentally ill, that means he is too - all this comes from his dad - stbx needs DS to be just like him, mental illness and all. So I worry - I'm leaning towards not bringing anything up to him...letting him come to his own conclusions and then he can come to me with questions if he has any. DS is very perceptive, and I'm sure deep down he knows his dad is more than bipolar. I don't want to do more harm by bringing up anything else.

DS has also started having panic attacks again, a day or two before his dad's weekends. This leads me to believe something else is going on - either something DS can't put his finger on, or something he's keeping to himself. I just don't know and DS won't talk to anyone about it. I think he's repressing things again.

What have you told your teens to help them?
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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coyote

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 04:56:06 PM »
Is there a possibility of DS going to counseling?
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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11JB68

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 06:05:33 PM »
This is such a tricky one.
I know for myself, I didn't feel comfortable broaching the subject with my DS until he was 20 and in college. Basically an 'adult'. I then felt he was old enough/mature enough to understand. My biggest concern was always that I didn't want to 1) confuse him 2) feel like I was doing the 'parental alienation' thing...
Also - h is undiagnosed. AND I have NOT addressed my 'amateur diagnosis' with uPDh.
So I knew I was putting DS in a position of 'keeping a secret'.
I really debated with myself whether it was okay to discuss it with DS at all.
I finally decided that if I were him, I would want someone to discuss it with me...
And I trust his maturity etc.
I paused a lot. Asked him occasionally (and at the beginning) if he wanted me to continue or stop talking, etc.
Similarly, my uPDh has a need to project his issues onto our DS. One thing I addressed in our discussion was that I do NOT see him as 'just like his dad'. In fact, I told him that I feel  he got the best parts of both of us, and hardly any of the negative traits.
I handled it much the same way I've handled sensitive topics as he was growing up (sex, drugs etc) - tried to provide enough info - but not TOO much. Let him tell me how much was enough.

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Whiteheron

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 09:15:33 PM »
coyote - DS is in T. He doesn't open up as much as he used to, ever since his dad tried to use his L to force the T to hand over her therapy notes. I had to get my L involved, and the judge put an indefinite hold on the release of the session notes. DS's T told him what his dad had tried to do. Ever since then, DS has been worried his dad will know what he discusses in his T sessions.

I plan on calling his T tomorrow to let her know what's going on with the panic attacks. I'm not sure if I'm going to bring up the manipulation topic.


Thanks 11JB68. I try to do something similar when it comes to sensitive topics. I know DS would appreciate the validation, but I don't want him to feel I'm trying to alienate him from his dad. I should probably wait until after the divorce is final to open any topics of discussion. DS and I have discussed, at length, stbx's diagnosed mental illness. But this was before I filed. I keep emphasizing to DS that he is not his dad and that just because his dad has 'issues' doesn't mean he will as well. He's also discussed this with his T a while back.

But, of course, he receives a different message from his dad...in stbx's mind they are one in the same with "many shared traits." I may wait until DS is a bit older, or when I feel he's doing better. I just don't know.



You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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athene1399

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 11:07:19 PM »
WH,

This must be stressful for you. I think the best thing is to just validate DS's feelings. It sounded like he acknowledge that you were also manipulated, so maybe just talk about how that felt. You don't have to talk about your ex at all if you feel uncomfortable doing that (or don't know how to talk about it/what is appropriate to say). Maybe just discuss how it feels to be manipulated and what you do/have done to stay balanced. 

uBPD BM used to say how alike her and SD were with medical issues. Most of that was put to rest after SO and I started taking SD to the doctor. BM couldn't lie about SD's "medical" conditions if we heard the truth from the doctor. Has T said anything about your son having some sort of mental illness? Maybe the T can back you that DS does not have dad's mental illness. At least to DS if he is afraid of the possibility.

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Whiteheron

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 01:43:34 PM »
Thanks, athene.

DS's T has told him several times that he's not mentally ill. DS doesn't quite believe her. I told him that he's been seen by so many people (primary doc, T, psych evaluator), that if he truly was mentally ill, someone would have noticed. I've also told him that mentally ill people usually have no idea they have an issue. That's certainly true of his dad - he thinks he can't possibly have a mental illness because, after all, he's so successful. He seems to be playing along with the meds (I have no idea if stbx is still in T), at least until the divorce is final. Then I would suspect he'll slowly wean himself off. Since, you know, the problem is and always has been...me.

It's hard for DS. Those seeds are being planted by someone who is supposed to love and care for him and have his best interests at heart.  :(
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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athene1399

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Re: "I know more than you think I do"
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 05:03:01 PM »
It's a tough place for DS. He loves his dad and doesn't want him to be delusional. We run into the same thing with SD. Anything that proves BM is lying or delusional, SD pretends it doesn't exist. I think she just doesn't know what to "do" with the correct/disproving information. Like she isn't completely ready to come to terms that BM has issues. Maybe it's the same thing with DS. The T tells him he doesn't have a disorder, but dad says he does... so what does that mean? Maybe he can't say he doesn't have a disorder because if that is true then his dad is lying/delusional/etc. I don't know how to help him with that. But maybe that's what's going on.