Posted by: frogstale | September 27, 2013

Life Lessons

I debated with myself how and what to tell Charlie’s father about his three am escapade.

People with a personality disorder are predictably unpredictable.

I could get a critical blaming response, as I have done so often in the past, passively-aggressively implying ‘it is your fault, you aren’t a good mother, he wouldn’t have done that with me.’

Alternatively, he could think it is one big joke and be proud of his son for taking after him.  After all James, as well as having a personality disorder, acted as if he was a sex addict during our marriage.  Maybe he will think Charlie is just a ‘chip off the old block’ and encourage him.

Or maybe surprise me and give me some support.   It has never happened before, but there is always a first time.

That is one of the things I mourn about the break up of my marriage with the children’s father, that I can no longer share raising them with him or get his support, because he is not capable of giving it.

Two days and five versions later, I decide on a very very short factual email that does not invite comment nor response.

A couple of nights ago Charlie was brought home by the police at 3am.  They found him walking in the netball fields with a girl.  He had sneaked his Iphone into his bedroom and used it to make arrangements to meet her when they were still texting each other at 3am. 

As a consequence for this behaviour I have grounded him and taken away his Iphone and it wont be returned.  His Ipad is confiscated for the moment.  

I am proud of this email, it took me a while to draft and I resisted the urge to say  ‘I told you so’.

What did the unpredictable do this time?

What do you want me to do ? 

Have you spoken to him about this sort of thing ?

He needs to know he Dosnt have to hide this ! 

It’s normal but not at 3 am !! 

I am relatively shocked, but pleased that this time his father appears willing to support me.

I give him the benefit of the doubt (again) and took his offer of support at face value.

I am handling this as a very serious matter.  It is a serious breach of my trust and involved lying and doing something he knew was wrong.  He is well aware of my values and morals and that he gets into far more trouble for lying than for admitting to doing something wrong or making a mistake.

I have given him a lot of freedom, much more than Dylan at the same age, but he has misused it. That freedom will now be wound right back until he shows he is mature and responsible enough have some of it returned. He also has to earn back my trust.

I don’t know any of the new friends he is hanging out with.  He knows that decisions and choices made about the type of friends he has at this age can have serious effects on his future ie get in with the wrong crowd and you end up behaving like them so I will be making sure I meet his new friends from now on.

Charlie continues to have low self esteem and I have to continually emphasised  that I am doing these things because I love and care about  him and want him to learn to make responsible choices because all his choices have consequences.  He is a good boy but he needs to stop and think before he does things.

I would appreciate your support and back up in how I am dealing with this and if this sort of behaviour continues I will consider professional help of some sort.  This needs to be nipped in the bud before he is older and his bad choices have far more serious consequences.

I haven’t heard back.  His support did not extend to saying any of this to Charlie, who just got a quick call saying what he did wasn’t so bad and that he would have received a much worst punishment if he had been doing something really bad, like dealing drugs.  At least that is what Charlie tells me that his dad said to him.

I am not surprised I didn’t hear back.  After I sent the email I realised that I was asking him to support me in teaching his son lessons that he never learned himself, as a child or an adult.

Our whole marriage was a sham.  He cheated and lied to me for 20 years.  He never learned that the bad choices he made had the most serious of consequences.  You can’t get much more serious than fathering twins while still married, having to pay child support for 18 years for children you will never see, losing your wife of 21 years and never living with your children full time again.

He hasn’t learned that the way he has treated me since I left him created the conflict and problems in our co-parenting relationship.  He hasn’t realised that the consequences of treating me badly, making unreasonable demands and expecting total flexibility without giving me any in return, have impacted on the way I interact with him and caused the children to suffer.

I really can’t expect someone who hasn’t learned his own lessons in life to be able to teach them to his son.

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