Saturday, April 25, 2009

Second Son

I have a son that won't talk. I mean, he talks, but not about anything but surface stuff. He has few opinions, few friends, and only goes to school and work. Occasionally, he'll meet up with a guy he used to work with and have a beer, but that's it.

I know it's his personality to be quiet, an introvert. I understand that. I've seen him angry, but never standing up for himself. However, thinking back, I can only think of one time that he actually broke down and said what was on his mind.

It was Christmas time, and all three kids were here visiting. First son, whom we've had struggles with, was sharing that he felt worthless, ashamed of the trouble he's put us through. The whole family, except second son, was trying to tell him how much we loved him and believed that he could pull himself together to lead a good and rewarding life. There were tears, and love, and hope that it was a sign of new beginnings.

At the end of the evening, first son, daughter, and Hubby drove Grammie home. While they were gone, second son broke down. "Why is it always about him?" "He's screwed up so many times, and still everyone falls all over him." "What about me?"

Isn't that the way it happens all too often. Even inappropriate behavior gets the attention, good or bad, and the kid that is doing what he's supposed to be doing gets so much less attention because everyone is so wrung out after dealing with the kid causing so much trouble.

All I could do is tell him how sorry I am, and try to explain to him how much I love him, and he's right, it is not fair. It was the first time since he's been an adult that he's let me hold him.

We've spent quite a bit of time in therapy as a family. We should have had this all figured out years ago. There seems to be so much anger. Does it go back to divorce? Maybe. Probably? I'm still not sure. Nobody's talking. It's the elephant in the room.

I can't get either son to open up and talk about it. So here's what I'm thinking. After spending time writing on One Minute Writer and Pictures, Poetry, and Prose, I see how a picture can pull words out of me that I didn't know were in there. I thought I would try to get all three kids to join me in our own storytelling. I don't know that any of them will want to take any great amount of time doing it, but maybe the one minute aspect will open them up to it. Wish me luck!

11 comments:

tricia said...

Raising children is so so hard, but sometimes dealing with them as adults can be even harder. My heart goes out to you. At least you have a chance of working it out. My son threw away that chance over 20 years ago. Death is not the worst way to lose a child.

Scriptor Senex said...

Only just catching up on my blog visiting. Otherwise I would have wished you luck earlier. Do let us know how you get on.
Love
SS

reanaclaire said...

i hv 3 kids.. all in their teens.. yes, bringing them up is not an easy task..each have their own characteristics .. i m also learning to be a mother and i hope they will help me to become a mum they find comforting... i cannot please them all the time, vice versa but it takes all of us to walk the journey together...

pollyollie said...

I have very young children so I have not been where you are, but I can empathize. I am sure that a day will come when your days will be filled with great conversations. Here's hoping!

Dan Felstead said...

Shabbygirl...
I just visited here after a while and I read your post...a post I could have written only I just have one son. It is so hard to know what the right thing to do all the time is, and sometimes there just isn't an answer. I think it is a kid's tendency to blame the parent or parents for his/her problems. I just think that is typical when they go through that phase. You were damned if you do and damned if you don't in the story you told. Hopefully someday, with some time elapsed between now and then...you will be able to look back and be thankful that it got resolved. Best of luck to you and the kids.

Dan

Deb said...

I have five grown sons, and none of them open up much. I think it's a male thing. Though if I were to push, they'd be a little more forthcoming.

It's hard to know when to leave them alone, isn't it?

The6ofusinca said...

I wish you all the best on this family journey. Your a wonderful mom and you are connecting with your children in ways most moms wouldn't know how. Please keep us posted on the outcome and you are all in my prayers.
Jen

Chelle said...

thank you once again for your sweet encouragement to me...it is a comfort to know that you remember life being hard back when yours were my age. And to know we will get through them and have better days soon. And I pray for your family that you find a way to get to their hearts and that they feel safe enough to open up more to you. Your mother heart is so beautiful.

It's Time to Live said...

I was once that second son. I finally saw what 'I' was doing and moved on. Religion, and photography are what help keep me there. I have added a link to an old radio clip that I listen to sometimes as well.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8448018326921957619#

Rebecca said...

Good luck...I have an introverted daughter and no divorce to deal with. That is hard enough!

Rebecca said...

:) Just noticed this was from 2009. Hope it worked out.