01-08-2018 08:38 PM - last edited on 01-18-2018 04:12 PM by Danielle-RO
So I got a message from my ex-husband today. And tomorrow I am meeting my son. He is 14 and I haven't seen him since he was 2. With it being so close to Christmas and with his birthday being just passed that should I have something for him when I see him? I was thinking maybe writing a letter to give to him? I'm just very nervous and don't know what to expect. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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01-08-2018 09:05 PM - edited 01-08-2018 09:06 PM
Hey @Ariesgal2017 thank you so much for jumping on the forums and sharing this story.
Tomorrow is definitely a significant day for you, I think it's really good you are thinking about a gift or letter. A letter could be pretty amazing, but definitely up to you and your comfort level. It's totally okay to be nervous, it's even okay to let him and your ex-husband know you're a little nervous, young adults are really onto it - he might be nervous too!
How are you feeling at the moment? I will tag some other members as well to gain some further insight
01-08-2018 09:42 PM - edited 01-08-2018 11:00 PM
Hi @Ariesgal2017, and welcome to the forum! Wow, what big news for you!! I can imagine how nervous you must be, and it's lovely you're thinking what about what to do when you meet your son.
I do love your idea of writing him a letter. You can say all that you want to him, that you might not have time or opportunity to do tomorrow. That's something very personal that he can keep to read over whenever he wants.
My daughter met her father for the first time a couple of years ago. She was 14 as well. It didn't go so well, but I'm hoping that by sharing his mistakes it might be of help to you. My daughter needed time to take things slowly and he couldn't be patient. He expected her to call him dad the first time they met, but she'd never had him as a dad, so would only call him by his name.
He wanted to talk over the phone every day which was too much for her, as he was still really not known to her. He became annoyed with us both, which was his biggest failing as far as buidling a relationship with her.
I think patience and taking the time to connect with your son on his terms is something to keep in mind. I think to go in without expectations would've helped my ex as well.
Before my daughter met her dad, she was excited, nervous and didn't know what to expect, just like you, so I'm imagining your son will be feeling that way too. Take your time, connect with humour and be yourself is a good strategy I think.
I'm excited for you, I'm nervous for you and I'm hopeful for you!! I so hope it goes well for you all tomorrow.
P.S. I've just seen @Breez-RO's post, and absolutely agree - totally okay to put your cards on the table and let your ex husband and your son know how you're feeling. Could be the ice-breaker conversation starter.
01-08-2018 10:05 PM
I am sorry how anxious you are feeling at the moment @Ariesgal2017. It is 100% understandable to feel anxious. Remember, you don't have to go over everything right at this moment. If he asks, tell him you would like to speak to him again about this. Maybe with the support of your ex husband, side by side, if it's possible? A counsellor can really help you through how to manage that conversation.
Right now if you're feeling anxious, Lifeline are a good organisation to chat too - their number is 13 11 14.
Remember anything worth doing isn't easy, I am so proud you are going ahead with this. Take this moment by moment
01-08-2018 10:58 PM
I'm sorry to hear how nervous you are too @Ariesgal2017. I agree that it's not a conversation you need to have tomorrow and you can say to him that it is something you want to talk over with him but another day. Getting support around that conversation as @Breez-RO suggested would be amazing.
I picked up from your use of 'mom' that you're in America. Lifeline is a 24/7 support chat line in Australia, but I've located a US number for a 24 hour crisis centre to contact instead - 1800 273 TALK (8255).
A massive congratulations on your sobriety. I'm a recovering addict myself and really, you're amazing. I can imagine tomorrow's meeting would bring up a whole myriad of emotions for you, so please call the number for support if you need it.
01-09-2018 01:15 PM
Thankyou for sharing what is a huge day in your life! Im not sure if you have already met up with him due to the time difference here in Australia.
What I would say is - just be yourself. Be proud of how far you have come. Show the emotions you feel...the sense of loss and also sense of hope for the future.
Not sure if you decided on a letter but I think that's beautiful and maybe a photo you may have from when he was a baby if you still have?
Look forward to hearing how the reunion was...
01-09-2018 09:14 PM