10-24-2023 04:31 PM - edited 10-24-2023 04:33 PM
10-24-2023 10:34 PM
Hi @hopelessparent welcome to the forums. I'm really sorry to hear that your home has become such a distressing place that you need to escape to your holiday home just to get some respite. It is understandable that you are feeling resentful and very hurt. It sounds like there is a lot of tension in the house and it is causing you to question everything, including your relationship with him. Sometimes, extreme stress can create intense friction, both with the other and within ourselves, and cause us to be filled with doubt. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to find resolution, and I commend you for taking the initiative to seek counselling support.
We do have a free coaching service for parents that you could look into, which you can find here. I know that you have said nothing feels like it is working, but sometimes a fresh perspective on a situation can help. I also wanted to ask you about other supports - do you have anyone in your family or friends with whom you can discuss the situation? I'm curious as well about what your household looks like. Is it just you and your son? Are there other family members in the house who are impacted by this?
Another important factor is your own mental wellbeing and self-care. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our concern for our loved ones that we can forget that we deserve to nurture our own mental health too. Do you have many opportunities to engage in the things you love doing? We have some info and ideas about self-care that you can read about here.
Some other resources you might find helpful:
You can also always get in touch with 1800respect if things do escalate, or if you're worried about the potential of violence or abuse. They're a very kind and compassionate bunch, and can talk you through options for further support. We also have a list of family services available to help with concerns around safety, housing, or conflict.
You deserve peace and deserve to feel safe and settled in your own home. I am glad you found us, and hope you continue to share and connect on the forums as long as you need to. Let us know if there's any other ways we can support you through this challenging time.
2 weeks ago
Thanks so much for the information - I have been working my way through some of those.
My own mental health has suffered and it's definitely a reminder that I need to also take better care of myself.
My son's behaviour is affecting everyone in the house, to varying degrees. My husband and I have fought about him and obviously, this then flows on negatively to contribute to tension within the house.
He lashes out (mostly directed at me) when we remind him not to have his phone in his room overnight, then he lashes out if we don't say anything about him having his phone in his room. No matter if it is my husband or me that says something, I seem to cop the wrath. It makes me feel like giving up, I feel like if I parent I cop it, if I don't parent I cop it.
He has finished Yr 12 and we have just returned from a couple of weeks away, where he didn't participate in anything we did. He was on his phone the whole time. We tried to ignore this as much as we could and not let it ruin the holiday for the rest of the family, but inside it was distressing to see him so lacking in particiaption of life.
2 weeks ago
Hi @hopelessparent thank you for the update, and I'm glad that the information has been helpful for you. It is apparent that his behaviour is having a huge impact on the whole family, so it's no wonder that your own mental health is impacted. Do you have much by way of support for yourself? Could be something worth chatting to your GP about, with the possibility of getting a referral to see a psych so you can get some support and have a space to be able to talk about and work through the ways this has been weighing on you.
It also sounds incredibly challenging to be the one bearing the brunt of it when your son lashes out, it is normal to feel hurt and confused by this. I can understand why this situation has created tension in your relationship with your husband as well. There's a great organisation called Relationships Australia that could be worth looking into; they provide both couples and family counselling, and have a myriad of resources on their website that you could trawl through too.
I can understand how disappointing, perhaps even hurtful it would have been to have been trying to enjoy some time away as a family, only to have your son completely disengaged from the moment. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand why young people become so engrossed in their phones, especially when on holiday where, surely the excitement of breaking away from the usual routine would be enough to pull someone away from their tech! We've also got some articles about technology and teenagers, as well as how to help your teenager take a break from technology.
Despite all that is happening for you, I think it's worth noting that you are showing a lot of resilience, as well as compassion for your family, and insight into your own needs. Taking the time to talk about it is something to be commended, and I hope you continue to reach out as often as you need to.
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