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My son hates me - do I make him visit?

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My son hates me - do I make him visit?


My son hates me - do I make him visit?

I had to move to a different state for health reasons and had to leave my 13 year old son to move in with his dad full time (vs 50/50.) His dad had been turning my son against me for years, and I had to do repair with my son every transition (he'd normalize and then we'd be a regular mom and son) and now every trip. Over covid there was a 10 month period when we didn't see each other, and towards the end, my son officially broke ties with me and blocked me on his phone because he didn't want to go on the next visit to me. I brought him to visit for 6 weeks over the summer and it was awful. He said he didn't need me in his life anymore so I wasn't his mom anymore. He agreed to family counseling (?) which helped temporarily for a day or two each time. The therapist agreed that his reasons for being mad at me were not his own, but he seems to need them to "survive" in his dad's home. I'm supposed to keep bringing him back 3-4 times each year. He's 15 now. I want to see him, I want every chance to work things out, but am I being ridiculous, dragging him here against his will? Could I be doing real harm to our relationship to make him so unhappy? On the other hand, I'm trying to move back. He has said he'll accept me back if I move back. It might be a year or more until I can afford it. But if I don't keep up my custody schedule now, won't that hurt me in court if I try to get 50/50 back when I return to where he lives?
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Re: My son hates me - do I make him visit?

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Thank you for sharing this with us @cinnamonspice 


It sounds like what you are going through is very difficult at the moment and we're glad that you can talk about it here. I am sorry to hear about the hardships in your relationship with your son. It's a complicated position for you to be in right now, considering your location, financial situation, and the court. 


I was wondering if you could seek legal advice about the custody schedule. I've seen that you're from the US and I want to let you know that there are legal aid offices throughout the States. Legal aid offices are not-for-profit agencies that provide free legal help to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. They can help with family law, such as child custody. Legal aid lawyers have the same qualifications as other lawyers.  Everything you say to your lawyer is confidential, which means that it is not shared with anyone outside of the legal aid office. You can find out more here.

I also want to check in and make sure that you are also supporting yourself during this difficult time. Do you have any supports for yourself? (e.g. friends, other family or professional support). If you would like other supports, I would recommend calling one of these helplines for mental health help.


There are many members of our community that have been through similar experiences. You are not alone and we're glad that you're here.