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CRISIS IN HIGH SCHOOL
September 22, 1999
1:59 am
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BoT
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I have a 17 year old son, that's a Senior this year. The positive, is that he's a wonderful kid, very mellow and laid back, never been in any trouble, doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs, makes good grades, has perfect attendence, he's respectful to all the teachers and he's a computer whiz.
The negative is, he has no social life, no close buddies, no interest in girls, and he likes to make 'bizarre' comments to get a 'shocking' reaction out of people. He talks to himself, he dresses in all black and almost fits the visual profile of the those kids that did the killings at Columbine High School. He talks maucho but he's very shy and would never physically hurt anyone. He has a vivid, fantasizing imagination. my heartache is that he was overheard being part of a conversation with another student about how kool it would be to 'Blow up the school.' Someone turned him into the Principals office. He would never do anything like that, but he says these kind of things. He's the least most violent child I know. I know he's making these comments to get attention, but he just doesn't realize just how serious his comments are. He has plans to go to college and get a degree in Computer Science. Well, he may as well kiss off any hopes for a scholorship if the school reacts seriously to his comments. I can't blame the school for being cautious either. I would turn someone in too, if I heard them talking that way. It's not acceptable what he did, but is it 'normal' for some teen-agers to just talk this bizzare stuff?
A Heartbroken Mom

September 22, 1999
8:47 pm
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Anonymous
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It is sad that you are hurting from this but perhaps it is a blessing in disguise (as all lifes challenges are) For a child to say such a thing, means that there is either fire where there is smoke or he is trying to get attention.
From what you say, it sounds like the latter. It is a sad day when a 17 yr old boy in the bloom of his youth has no outside activities, friends or life other than school and computers. This really is not a balanced existance and you have a right to be concerned.
Ok, so he has your attention and that of the schools, now it is time for him to perhaps see the school counsellor to find out what is really going on with him or for YOU to form a closer bond with your son. Why pick either/or how about both.
It is important to be close to your teen, sometimes children behave perfectly (good grades, no trouble) as a form of control when he or she is feeling "out of control" Please take this time as a sign to get to know your son better and perhaps you can see the school counsellor with him and find out if there is some stuff your child needs some attention with.
Blessings

September 23, 1999
8:40 am
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Hello Tears,

Thank you so much for your keen insight on my situation. As for getting to know and bond with my son, this I have already done. My son and I are very very close. We have very deep conversations about all subjects. Part of his 'cries for help' are due to the fact he feels that he can do nothing to please his dad. My husband loves our son but he doesn't know how to show it. He is extremely verbally abusive around both of his. He firmly believes that HIS home is HIS castle. If he wants to talk with a foul mouth, whether my friends or my sons friend are here, he screams and cusses without any reguard to us or our feelings. I've have gone to counseling as has my son in the past years. But my husband flat refuses to go. He not only does not believe in outside help but puts us down when we seek it. This is so hard to deal with. My husband has been actively involved with my son when he when he was in the Boy Scouts (I was the Den Leader) and when my son was in the Marching Band. But he gets involved more for his OWN glory then for the support of our son. My husband is an only-child and was brought in a strict Catholic home with his mother, and a verbally abusive father that had only an 8th grade education. I've asked him numeorus times why he can't show me the same respect and hold his temper and bad language like he can when he is around his mother. His response is "Because you aren't my mother!" Yet he will yell at our son because he doesn't show me any respect when he says a bad word. I tell my husband, "how can he learn respect if he doesn't see it?" Then he gets mad at me because I am sticking up for our son and going against him. I get accused of that frequently. I will admit, after many years of building a resentment towards my husband, I do have a tendency to bad-mouth him to our son. I have been and always will be opinionated. I do have a hard time accepting things the way they are and that I can't change them. This is why I have sought counseling for myself.
Today we have a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal and School Superintendent. I am almost sure our son will be suspended for a few days. He is such a good kid, and I hate to see this happen. But I agree, it's probably a learning experience that our son will never forget. He did tell me that he takes full responsibility for his actions and he is truly sorry that this has caused so much turmoil.
And I believe him.

September 23, 1999
10:50 am
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hazza
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hi bot,
i think your problem is in the dynamics of your relationship with your husband more that your son,
i really recommend that you go to our co.dependency 2 group. many of the issues you talk about are covered there.
also ,when i was at school i had bright red hair and frequenty cuased trouble! but look at me now, i'm lovely!!!!, your son is a teenager, they become strange creatures for a few years then usually grow up, i did, if you have a close relationship with him like you do thenyou will know if there are ever any real problems there, apart from the usual teenage things that he does
Take care
Hazza

September 23, 1999
11:18 am
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Anonymous
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I gree with Hazzas wise words. You sound like you have some codependency issues and your son is expressing anger, whether you like to believe it or not. He has made a threat that has caused concern for the authorities and this is a wake up call not just for your son but for you also. god works in mysterious ways, I dont want to offend but when our children have problems they are usually expressing what the adult members in the family are refusing to see or denying. It is rarely them alone, they are usually the target of the counselling, but in all truth, if you want to truly put the interests of your child first, you need to look at your family dynamics and the fact that verbal abuse is extremely damaging to your self esteem, life and soul. Please join us and let us know how it went with your meeting. god bless

September 23, 1999
3:13 pm
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Tears and Hazza,

Thanks you both so much for your concern and advice. You are both absolutely right about the relationship between my husband and I and how it has had an effect on our son. We were told when P. was only 5 years old that it was C. and I that needed counseling more than the child. C. stated right then and there..."Forget it,I will not air my dirty laundry out to a complete stranger. We will handle our problems at home." And he walked out of the room. Well, today at our conference, he had a rude awakening when the Assistant Principal read the input of all of P. teachers and a couple of his classmates. C. mouth fell open and I just sobbed. They had every intention of 'expelling' P. from the school. But because WE appeared genuinely concerned and made a commitment to seek professional counseling both at the school with his peers and off campus, they decided to just put him on probation. They truly felt that P. was not a threat but rather was seeking 'any kind' of attention no matter what lengths he was going to, to get it. Yes, even C. had to admit we all needed to support each other and he would be willing to get counseling as a family. I am wroking on that very thng as soon as I finish here.
Hazza - you mentioned your codependancy 2 group. Where do I join you? This website is totally new to me.
Again, may thanks for hearing me out. Today went better than I imagined. So I can't drop the ball now as too much is at stake.
God Bless You Both

September 23, 1999
4:29 pm
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everblue
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Hi BoT,

You could be my mother. The man you describe as your husband is EXACTLY my father. Now at the age of 24 after being away from home for 6 years I am only finally realizing the awful, far-reaching effects of having a verbally abusive father who cannot show his love, and who takes out his anger on his family. I never acted out when I was younger, and my pent up anger and resentment, and inability to understand him have all resurfaced as depression. My mother is still with him, and still making excuses for him... "that's just the way he is," and "he's your father and he loves you, you just have to put up with it," etc. It's putting an incredible strain on my relationship with my mother, which was never close to begin with. You are lucky you and your son are close. Please be careful to keep it that way. You may have to understand that some time in the future your son will chose not to have a relationship with his father. Please support him as much as you can in that. Neither of my parents believe in counseling, and what I hear now from them is that I am weak, can't take a joke, need to grow up, etc. I was a straight A honors student but similar to your son in that I spent high school alone and in a fantasy world of my own. Please do all you can to show your son that his father's perceptions and actions are wrong, and to get him the help he needs. Don't take out your worry on the school, we all wish that the teachers at Columbine had warnings and could have prevented deaths. Anything like that must be taken seriously. Continue to love your son, but don't be blind to the lengths a sad and lonely life can drive a teenager when everyday stresses are combined with hormonal swings and extreme social pressure. Good luck.

September 24, 1999
1:36 am
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Dear everblue,

Thank you for your confidence and input. I have made an appointment already for my son and he sees a Doctor tomorrow. He has no problems in counseling. And this time I'm not going to let them brush him off into a group session like before. This time, his feelings are a bit more serious. P. and I had a conversation today when he got home from school, and I am really 'shocked' with his thinking. I have no idea on how to respond to his beliefs and his feelings. I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him...no response. I asked if he was happy, sad, angry and he said he didn't feel anything. I'm at a loss. And I know that I am doing the right thing. I love this young man more than life itself. Maybe too much.
Again, thanks for your support and for sharing your personal experience too. It really meant a lot.
God Bless You. You truly sound like a warm, caring, and loving human being. That gives me faith that my son will overcome this confusion and painful part of his teen years.

September 24, 1999
12:09 pm
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Dear Bot
What a great mom you are. YOu need to understand that you also need to get your own counselling. You show codependent qualities and have been accepting verbal abuse for years. This is so damaging to your mind, body and soul. YOu need to develop your own identity, seperate from that of your sons and your husbands.
Your son is numb, this is normal when we are traumatised or carrying so many repressed emotions, including anger. Once he starts to talk and MOST IMPORTANTLY sees a big change in you, he will also heal. I guarantee it. It is important that you take in this last statement because your healing will be a catalyst for the whole family. Whether or not your husband chooses to work on himself is HIS decision, NOT yours. Please do not dwell on him any further, think of your own healing and be supportive to your son and keep the lines of communication open.
Blessings

September 24, 1999
5:29 pm
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Hello Tears, Hazza and everblue,

We just returned from the doctor appointment and he gave us some encouragement. He is going to report to the school that he does not feel that P. is any danger.
He feels that because P. is not accepted by his peers,because he is so excentric and intelligent, he will just say things to 'shock' them. He highly recommends P. get into group therepy with kids close to his own age and also for him to get a minimum wage job. This will help him to develop his social skills. I am still concerned because on the way home from the appt.,P. was telling me that he has been talking to aquaintances about 'WICCA'. I am familiar with Wicca being involved in witchcraft but I really don't much about it only that I'm not comfortable with it at this time. But I promised P. I wouldn't pass judgement until I have looked into it further. As for me getting counceling, I have had it in the past and will have it again. My husband agreed that he would attend sessions also. In fact, our first family session will be just P. and his father because I have a commitment out of town at that time. But I think that will be perfect, just the 2 of them. It's been needed for years.
Thank you all so much for your support and a shoulder. You all have given me some very good advice.
God Bless You all

September 24, 1999
6:13 pm
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Bot. From what you said, I sense that your husband is also in need of much help and support. I base this statement on your words "I asked if he was happy, sad, angry and he said he didn't feel anything."

Often, because he is cast in the role of the villian, the abusive husband's needs are disregarded as unworthy of consideration. You have not done that and I commend you for it. You obviously know that even wild animals often respond to love.(No comparison with your husband intended 🙂 )

Your husband's denial of his feelings is most probably an attempt to avoid the pain of feeling unlovable. Such feelings of being unlovabe probably come from your husband's childhood experiences. Your husband is probably repeating the behaviour of his own father.

You are the key to saving this family from disintegration and to saving your son from repeating the mistakes of his father later on. You seem to have the ability to provide the guidance and love that both your husband and son both desperately need; even though your husband may find it so difficult to accept at the moment. This is not to imply that you don't need support also. I hope your therapist does this for you.

May you find the strength to continue on the excellent path that you are following now; may you continue meet the heavy load of supporting two very important people in your life.

September 24, 1999
8:45 pm
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I believe it was Bots SON who had trouble identifying his feelings.
Bot, it is most important that you as a codependent have probably helped and supported your husband and son for years without tending to your own needs much. It is time for you to place the majority of your energy into bringing YOU to a place where you have a healthy self esteem, are happy and confident and have developed your OWN identity, seperate from that of your spouse and son.
It is up to your spouse to do the necessary work he needs to do to be a healthy husband and father.
Blessings

September 29, 1999
1:47 pm
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daizy
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I feel for you and hope that your family can work it out. First I should say that my husbands fatehr "D" was also verbally abusive and at times he was physicaly abusive (only towards his son). By the time he reached high school he was getting into trouble and also failing in school. He never had a problem making friends - rather opposite of your son. However after high school his more damaging behavior started - he was acting out towards his fathers abuse, yet in the same he was becoming his father - this is something you need to look out for in your son. My husband also started taking his anger out on his mother - if one looked deeper into it they would have seen that he was doing this because he felt she was week, or why did she not put a stop to the abuse..so on and so forth. I also want to tell you that my husband did confront his father not too long ago and no good came from that, he refused counseling saying he did not have a problem, he denied any abuse ever took place and he also made him feel week - as though he was acting childish and bringing up these matters to get attetion. So after 29 years of marriage, he filed for divorce and now he no longer speaks with his son.
So BoT, all I ask is that you look deeper into your sons problems and fears - they go much deeper than just a bomb threat. I also believe he is crying out for help and wants you to see the pain he is in. The verbal abuse your son has taken is probably the biggest reason your son doesn't have a social life - he probably believes he is worthless. I don't know how much you looked over this web site and the information, but did you read that it takes 20 posative comments to revearse 1 negative comment. So if you start adding up all the times he was cut down...and then add up the times he heard posative things...you will see how much hurt he has felt all this time. Also having a father never show his love, can be the worst feeling a child ever has. I hope your husband will wake up and see reality and the damage done to you, your son as well as himself. Also please be honest and open with your counselor, your problems will continue if you keep making excuses for him.
Take care and wishing you and especialy your son all the best.

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