10-09-2019 03:41 AM
10-09-2019 11:45 AM
Hi @gameofthrones and welcome to ReachOut Parents!
Thank you for making your first post here and letting us know what has been happening in your family. No parent likes to see their children hurting, and I am sure so many parents can relate to feeling angry with people who upset, hurt or take advantage of their children or family as a whole. Such a tough feeling to hold
It sounds like both you and your daughter did a lot to support her ex-boyfriend, and it is understandable to question what was real and what was not when it came to his behaviour. It sounds like he was became a part of your family during the time he was with your daughter. It is common for families to also feel that loss, betrayal or pain when they are connected to their child's relationship, for example as you mentioned he at your house living with your family a lot of the time, and there for big life transitions like finishing school and starting uni.
It sounds like his behaviour after the break up has been quite a shock for you both, and very upsetting. While I am not sure what happened, I am hearing the pain it has brought your family. You've mentioned your daughter is focusing on her health and studies, does she have friends to support her too? This is a big adjustment for you too, and I am sure a devastating blow to find out who the ex-boyfriend truly was. How are you coping with this news? Do you have a support network too?
10-09-2019 08:52 PM
10-11-2019 11:10 AM
Hi @gameofthrones and thank you for getting back to us.
It is great to hear your daughter has taken steps towards making new friendships. In the wake of a break up re-building is really important and putting that time into herself and people that add value to her life is a really important step!
That is completely understandable to not want to talk about this with people you rely on for other things. What has happened with the boyfriend sounds more complicated than we know, and it sounds like both you and your daughter are still coming to terms with what has happened. We are here to be a listening ear too, where it is anonymous and safe
It can be a really natural step to want to do something to show the impact someone has had on our lives, or stand up for the ones we love to the people that have hurt them. It sounds like you have done some reflection on reaching out to the ex-boyfriend, and finding some closure. Even writing the words down and not sending them may help to process and get out the angry and frustration you are feeling.
I am hearing the anger you are feeling, is your daughter also working through feelings of anger?
08-26-2020 02:17 PM
09-16-2020 07:32 AM
Hi @gameofthrones :
Thank you for sharing your feelings here. I have been searching for anyone who shared the same emotions I share about my daughters ex-BF. It's a huge relief to know that I'm not alone in these feelings. Like you, I have a good support system of husband, friends and family, but I feel like I'm more of a burden to them with this issue. So I try not to mention how I feel any longer to them. But, I can't stop feeling a disappointment and a bit of rage with my daughter's ex.
My daughter/our background: My daughter was 12 years old when she met her ex (who was 13 at the time). She wasn't allowed to date (she had to wait until high school), but as all kids do, she started "dating" him. When I found out, I set ground rules; grades must stay the same (she's an honours student with high marks), she must continue swim practice (she swims for a club) and above all, I must have access to her cell at all times with no deleted messages, etc. She agreed.
Initially, my daughter took this as more of a "practice" BF, as he has strict parents and was going out of the country as his parents were going on a year long sabbatical. Most of their relationship was via text and Skype. Issues started coming up within the 1 week of knowing each other, as within 3 days he told her that he loved her. My daughter responded by telling him that he barely knew her to love her and that he shouldn't say that. At first he agreed, but within a day continued the "love bombing." My daughter told me that she felt bad, so she replied back with an "I love you too." Addition to the "love bombing," the BF would tell my daughter how awful his home life was and how his stepmother told him that she wished that he was dead, etc. My daughter brought this to me, as she wasn't sure if he was telling her the truth or just complaining about his stepmother. Since everything seemed benign to me (typical teen issues), I told her to listen to him and assume that what he says about his home life is real and try to talk to him about seeking counseling, etc. As months passed, the BF opened up more and more about his issues; severe social anxiety, no relationship with his father and a horrible relationship with his stepmother, Mom passed away and the only family he felt he had was his grandmother and aunt and cousins, who his father and stepmother disliked. He also told my daughter that he prayed for her, that she was his soulmate and was completely in love with her.
For winter break the ex-BF came home for the week and stayed with his grandmother. They finally got to see each other face-to-face. Again, I took all this as benign, because my daughter kept to the agreement regarding her grades, swim and access to her cell. They kissed for the first time and by then, they both were deeply attracted and in love with each other. I got to meet his grandmother and aunt, and they told me about how much they already loved my daughter, because they saw the change in the ex-BF. He was genuinely happy and smiling and laughing. They told me that for the first time he was truly happy. He is the "quiet and shy" grandchild who sits in the corner and rarely speaks or makes a sound. They told me that he had a difficult childhood, about his Mom and Dad's relationship which was not good and about his stepmother. They also told me that his parents would not allow him to go and hang out and probably don't know that he has a girlfriend (or any girlfriends in the past, which were not serious and short relationships). They asked if I was willing to allow Julia to date him and support their relationship. After meeting the boy and having dinner with him and seeing how soft spoken, kind and gentle he was any worry I had went away. Add to that, I was so affected by his grandmother and aunt, that I agreed. Again, thinking that this was all benign.
After meeting face-to-face the ex-BF "turned up" the love bombs and questioned my daughter a few times about fears that he had that she was cheating on him. She was not and told him so and he let it go. He then started to be a little more "controlling," wanting her to "look good" for him, even if they weren't physically able to be with each other. He told her that he wanted to tattoo her name on his arm or chest, which my daughter replied by telling him to wait until they were adults to do that. He also told her that he wished that he could place a sign on her back that said that she was "Property of ..." When she brought these conversations to my attention, I became concern, as these were significant "red flags." I told my daughter and she agreed that these were red flags, but that she didn't think it was that big of a deal. Little by little he stopped calling my daughter, "pretty or beautiful" and started to see her as "hot." This change alarmed my daughter, because everything prior to this point (in her eyes) was very loving and caring and gentle. Given that she loved him and cared about him, she let it slide, but told me that it bothered her. I advised to let him know that she didn't like how he was "complimenting" her and to talk about the "property" statement and tattoos with him. She said that she would. I'm not sure if she ever did.
The ex-BF parents started to become suspicious, and started to monitor his phone usage. As his parents started to get tighter with his cell, he started to complain more to my daughter about his home life and how she was all that kept him going and hoping. Hearing this, my daughter promised to never let him go and that she would be patiently by his side until he could talk with his dad about giving him more freedom and letting him come home early.
The ex-BF planned to stay with his grandmother for Spring Break, which would give him freedom to spend the entire break with my daughter. He was so excited about this, that he asked my daughter if she could stay the week with him at his grandmothers. They would be able to spend the days at the beach, just the two of them. When my daughter asked if 2 of their mutual friends could go, he was not happy about the idea, but agreed that the friends could hang out for half the day only and the rest of the week would be the two of them. My daughter told me about his idea and I was shocked. At first I couldn't say a word and then said that this would not be acceptable. I told her that I would be more than happy to drop her off to hang out all day and late into the evening the entire week, but that she could not spend the night. She told her ex-BF who wanted to reassure me that he is responsible and good with boundaries. My daughter then told him that I would not agree, but the compromise option would be just as good. He agreed. Both of them looked forward to the week hanging out. Unfortunately, his dad did not agree and the week did not happen. While my daughter was disappointed, she was patiently waiting for him to speak with his dad. The ex-BF approached his dad, but ultimately was too scared to speak with him. During this time the ex-BF would speak with my husband and I and ask how we were doing, etc. He also called me "Mom," which shocked me, given his anxiety, etc.
After this let down, the ex-BF became more and more sad, depressed, and angry with this parents. He started to tell my daughter that he wanted to live with his grandmother and that staying with his parents was destroying his mental health and that she was the only hope he had in his life. It was around this time that I started to see a change in my daughter. While she maintained her grades and allowed me to look at her cell, she started to move around her swim practice to make herself available to him. As his parents started to take away his cell time, she tried more and more to make herself available to him, and stopped going out with friends and to swim practice to make sure that she did not miss his text or video calls. His grandmother and aunt were aware of what was going on and begged my daughter to not abandon him and that once they had him living with them, everything would be fine. I intervened at this time to ask her how long she was going to suffer silently by his side. She advised that she vowed never to abandon him, and said that she was going to hold on. She was concerned about his mental health and told me that as she was much stronger than him emotionally, she could carry the stress for him. I reasoned with her that this was not a good situation, but she stayed fast with her idea to stay by his side.
After his parents took away the ex-BF cell for 2 weeks, my daughter was no longer sleeping and was having physical issues (missed period) due to stress. Apparently during this 2 week period, his dad looked through his cell and saw all the texts and videos between my daughter and his son. His dad demanded that the ex-BF give him full access to his IG, etc. and that not until he had full access would his son get his cell back. The ex-BF allowed his dad access and after thoroughly looking through his cell, gave it back to him. Once the ex-BF got his cell back, he was cold and distant with my daughter and abruptly broke up with her stating that he fell out of love with her. She was convinced that there was another girl, but it was confirmed that there wasn't. He just simply fell out of love. He said that he fell madly and deeply in love with her, but that he didn't think things through. He also said that till you get married, one person is never the person you'll be with for the rest of your life.
My daughter was devastated! His grandmother, aunt, and cousins and I cried and were confused. Just 48 hrs prior to the break up, he was telling his grandmother that he couldn't wait to be home to be with my daughter. To this day, we still don't know what happened. My daughter did not leave the conversation with grace. She was angry and let the ex-BF know that. After she "yelled" texted at him, she got her composure back and apologized for her out burst. This happened 3 times the night of the break up and ended when she told him that she wished that she never met him. He was cold and did not understand why she was so mad, but when he heard those words, he fought back and told her that she wanted to fight, but that he wasn't going to do that. He then told her that she was fragile and toxic and that he never wanted to see or speak with her again. She apologized and said that she was just so hurt and that they should end it on a good note. They then said good bye.
A few days post break up, my daughter had a dream that he hurt himself and reached out to him to apologize for how she reacted to the break up and to let him know that she would always be there for him to talk, etc. He responded with "k (and the thumbs up emoji)" and then blocked her from all his social media, etc. They have not had contact since. I ended my communication with his aunt and grandmother (who texted me throughout the 8 month relationship) apologizing for my daughter's lack of grace during the break up and that I hoped nothing but the best for all them and for the ex-BF.
This was 6 months ago, right before the Covid Stay Home order. The first 2 months were horrible. Luckily her best friend stayed by her side the entire time. My daughter started to get better and was starting to move on (no longer sudden burst of tears and sadness) when in May 2 friends of his reached out to my daughter; 1 asking if she was mad at him, which my daughter replied no and told her what happened (condensed version) and that friend told her that he has been sad since the break up and that he can't believe that he lost what he thought was his everything, The other friend just wanted to reconnect with her and told her that he still talks about her, and that his friend always reminds him to stop talking about my daughter as they broke up. Then his aunt contacted her during Mother's Day to pass on a message of Happy Mother's Day to me. My daughter thanked her for the text and forwarded it to me. I responded that it was kind that they reached out to me and that I hoped that she and her mother (his grandmother) were ok and that he was home soon. His aunt proceeded to tell me that the ex-BF home situation had worsened and that they were seriously talking about pursuing custody to protect him. I told them that while our kids are no longer together, I would help them, as they didn't know what to do, etc. I contacted an attorney and relayed the info I received to them, so that they were prepared to move forward. His aunt proceeded to tell me and my daughter that the ex-BF loved my daughter and that it was the stress with his parents, being away from home, etc. that caused him to make a bad decision and break up with her. My daughter was speaking with his friend and relayed this info to her and the friend abruptly told my daughter that his aunt was wrong and that he hates my daughter and doesn't care about her. This set my daughter back to square one again.
I reached out to his aunt to tell her what we learned and that it appears that her info is incorrect and essentially asked her to stop contacting us, although we would help with anything related to their custody battle. His aunt texted me to let me know that she spoke with the ex-BF and that he told a completely different story and that he never told anyone that he hated my daughter. A week after this, my daughter was shown a text her mutual friend received that was from her ex-BF stating that I was trying to "kill" him and blame him and his friend for my daughter's set back. He said that he had to protect his friend and that none of his friends should be friends with my daughter because she is petty, a poser, arrogant, etc. So, we caught him in a lie. There were more lies after this, as the ex-BF tried to get friends to hate my daughter, which did not work .
He is back now and recently my daughter was told that he told a friend that my daughter told him to "kill himself." This is a lie, as my daughter never said or texted anything like this. One of his friends turned against my daughter, but the other friends fought back and said that my daughter would never say that and that she is not anything he's accusing her off and that he lost a good person.
My daughter has been in therapy since the stay home order lifted in May and now understands the detriment of red flags, etc. She has had a wonderful Summer with her "pod" of friends (some of who are his friends who like her). This new allegation has been reported to her school, in the event that anything should happen and we need a paper trail of events.
Sorry this turned into a very long message. When I started writing, I couldn't stop. It feels like every time my daughter moves forward, something related to her ex-BF pulls her back in. She is less and less triggered by him and just wants to be free to move on with her life without more gossip and lies.
I feel crazy at times, as I can't understand everything that has happened. It feels like insanity. Even through this all, if he showed up at my door the first thing I would ask is if he's ok. I'm still a Mom and I still feel for this child. I wish I didn't. I wish I could just dislike him and not care what happens to him. It's like I still think that there is a wounded child there and that if he needs help, we should rise above and help. But, he has presented a serious allegation, which can be detrimental to my daughter. I just wish I would stop being triggered by any mention of him, etc. It's insanity.
09-16-2020 02:24 PM
Hey there @Canada1970
I'm glad you've found our forum and were able to share what's been going on for you here. You said that when you started writing you couldn't stop - that happens sometimes, did you find it therapeutic at all to write it all down?
Sounds like a bit of a rollercoaster for your family, that is great to hear your daughter is getting some support, how is she feeling about therapy? The allegation must be quite scary for her, she is lucky she has you in her corner.
I think it's really understandable that you still care about your daughters ex-boyfriend, you clearly care about others and you built some nice relationships with other people in his family. This sounds like it's been really stressful for you and I'm wondering if you've got any supports for yourself? What has helped you get through this?
Its so lovely your daughter has had a good summer with her friends and that she is getting less and less triggered by everything going on, I'm sure how you've supported her through everything has allowed her feel more confident to handle things and move on
10-14-2020 04:50 AM
Thanks for the response and my apologies that I am only now responding.
Most definitely the forum and writing so very much helped to get the feelings in focus.
My daughter is doing much better, definitely thanks to therapy. She is able to see things much clearer than before. She doesn't hate her ex. She never hated her ex. She only felt betrayed, used, let down, etc. I am worried that she's too afraid to put her heart out there again. She seems so quick to find flaws or faults with the nicest of boys, which is a concern that I have. I'm afraid that this "fear" or avoidance could become long term and leave her feel very lonely inside.
So far, no new allegations have come up. This is a blessing. But we are still facing the fact that they will see each other next school year. That could be a "rewounding" moment. Luckily she'll stay in therapy to deal with that moment.
Covid has magnified the feeling of isolation, "singleness," that there is literally no one out there. My daughter always tells me that, which I am watching to see if it's rooted in the sheer distance from normal everyday life or not.
We saw her ex 2 weeks ago (he didn't see us) when I was doing school pickup. It was strange. I seriously did not think it was her ex. He seemed "smaller" and younger. Not the radiant beautiful boy he was when they dated. His aura felt small, if that makes sense. I still worry about the boy, he's been through alot in his 14 years of life. But, he isn't my child to be concerned with. He has a family. And, the "ball" is in his court, as far as my daughter's attempt to reach out to him.
I think that we're just moving forward regardless. I don't feel like we have much choice, really. Therapy for both of us and time with friends and family have been a blessing. I'm hoping that alot of this emotion is being affected by Covid, the USA elections, etc. It's a scary time and to go literally from one emotion "wave" to another and another is taking a toll.
Thank you again for this forum! For a place to be open and honest, scars exposed without judgment. I appreciate it!
10-14-2020 01:11 PM
Thanks for getting back to us, it's great to hear from you again
That is wonderful that you and your daughter are finding therapy helpful and that you're spending time with family and friends. Also great to hear no new allegations have come up, are you feeling as though things have settled quite a bit?
It must be a very intense time with covid and the upcoming election, you said its taking its toll, i'm sorry to hear that. Does it help to talk to other people in your life about it?