The next morning I decided I would go on as normal and got up to get ready for work. He approached me to ask me a question and I just turned and said “I’m upset, I’m angry and I need you to leave me alone for a while. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t email, don’t Facebook me, just leave me alone.” I have never used the silent treatment on any of my children. I’m a big one for talking it out but this kid was a closed book in the past and I didn’t have the emotional strength to go down the road of never ending arguments again. I was emotionally spent.
“I didn’t have the emotional strength to go down the road of never ending arguments again. I was emotionally spent.”
This stand-off continued for a couple of days. I went about my normal duties, work, shopping, cleaning – all the stuff that comes with being a mum, but I didn’t speak to him.
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After four days of not speaking I called him to the dining room table and said: “Don’t speak, just listen. I am your mum but I am also a person. What you have done has hurt me more than you will ever know. I have tried to be the best mum I can be, but for you it isn’t enough. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know how to fix it. I haven’t spoken to you because I have nothing nice to say to you, I don’t like you, I don’t like what you’ve done to our family. I am hurt, I am frustrated, I am confused. I need time to figure myself out before I can do anything else, I need you to still stay away from me. When I am hurt I retreat, I need to process my thoughts and feelings and figure it out for myself, that’s who I am and that’s how I deal with things.”
“For the first time in his life I wanted him to realise I’m not just mum, I’m a person who has feelings.”
I never mentioned: “Look at all the things we do for you, look at what you have, look how hard we work, to give you nice things.” For the first time in his life I wanted him to realise I’m not just mum, I’m a person who has feelings.
After another couple of tense days I again called him down to the table to talk. This time I asked him to tell me what he thought. He looked at me and said he had thought about what had happened and he had decided that he would go back to school, he acknowledged he had made some poor choices and that he would try harder in the future to make better ones. My response was pretty simple. “I hope so mate, but it’s up to you, I can’t do it for you.” That was it.