Therapy *triggers

Healing light

Registrant
In therapy recently we've been working through some stuff that I believe impacts on my parenting

Quick run down : my father was an abusive intoxicated man who worked alot and died when I was still a child
I was abused by my paternal family

Blessed with 3 sons myself
There upbringing is completely different from mine and I'm thankful for that
But sometimes I'm totally out of my depth but more so with parenting a teenager like what the heck lol

It's a mine field, there's conversations you never in a million years thought you'd have, iv raised my son's telling them they can talk to me about anything but iv not experienced some of the things they have, I didn't get chance to, and I'm wondering how do I guide them through that, it's like a blindfolded tour guide

And I have my inner teenager demanding my attention, so much unprocessed stuff

Iv dealt with other times when my children have reached certain ages but this is by far the hardest for me
Have never felt so out of my depth, kids basically parenting hisself I'm just over here freaking out and I have two more

I really don't want to mess up.

My teenage years my abuser F had a lot of control in my life
I spent alot of time with him and , he gave me cigarettes, alcohol, drugs like cannabis and diazapan.
He raped me regularly and I understood what he was doing more the older I got
Being sexualised at a young age though I was really confused

I would run away as often as possible and F would look for me and whoever he dragged along with him but my family never reported me missing to police Id go for days upto a few weeks my grandfather would say he will come back if he's hungry or cold I mean he was right but
I felt like my family didn't care like F told me they didn't said he were the one that did he really isolated me emotionally

It was when I was 15 that people started talking about my marriage, and which girls were also going to be coming of age, I just had to become accustom to the idea that's what was happening I would be married
I was just turned 17 when I got married

I was 17 married confused about my sexuality not comfortable in my own skin with a string of Unhealthy coping mechanisms and people were talking about us having a child, starting a family. Including my wife

My teenager is going through a completely different journey I want to be there for him, we've always had a great relationship. I find myself being over protective or elusive evading certain topics of conversation. I feel like I'm doing what my grandfather did letting him crack on with it in some ways as well

Anyone else that's parented teenagers, how do I be present?
How did you approach the teenage years?
What would be your main piece of advice?

I'm intending on working on processing my stuff but that will take time
I just want to raise kids that don't need therapy because of me

Cheers for the space to write

Peace HL
 
I do not have kid but i have worked with youth through group support programs specifically for LGBQ youth and i also did one on one mentoring to youth that had nothing to do with there sexuality. The one one one was troubled youth. The closest experience i have is mentoring a kid from the time he was 11 until he was 17 and i guess you could say i still do as we still talk and he is now 24 with his own family.

He was raised in a family with a single mom and two older sisters so he had no real male role model as unfortunately his father took his own like when he he was 9. I do want to add i was very nervous about being a mentor as i am gay and i had not really dealt with my past abuse.

The one thing i would say is be there to for him which it sounds like you are. I dont know your sons age but i talked to Matthew (kid i mentored) about all aspects of life, puberty, sexuality, depression, sharing feelings and concerns. I did share some of my own past When i was a a kid and things i think woudl have benefited me growing up. His family knew i was gay from the initial interview so that was never an issue and i had a partner whom they got to know over time.

As far as sharing your past with him thats a step that only you can decide really how and when. If you are in therapy I assume he know that if not maybe he should so that he knows it is ok to use therapy or ask to see a therapist just in case maybe he might be dealing with things even the normal stresses of being a teenager. I will say my biggest wish was that i had been able to ask my parents to see someone for help or if they would have brought it up to me or made me go. Communication is key even on the hard stuff is what I found with Matthew. Was not easy for us as i was a stranger but over time it became better. I talked to him a lot about how things are at school, friends, i would ask so any new girlfriends or boyfriends we would laugh but i wanted to make sure he knew it was ok shoudl he be interred in guys. His mom and sisters were also gay friendly so i knew he never felt it would have been an issue if he had been gay.

Depression was a big worry about him just due to the past and the fact his family was also very poor so that added to stress in his life at school. I think an important part that helped him was making sure he knew people were there for him and he is just as good as anyone else. I struggled in school as a teenager due to depression and he struggled also. I did share this about myself and why i was depressed and how i know now if i had shared i was having issues it woudl have made my life easier in many way and may have made a difference later on in life and how i would not want him to make that mistake like i did. I am not saying to share what happened to you as that is a big step and one that i think you and your wife would need to agree on. I made sure his mom knew about things that were discussed if they were like big. But i also respected his privacy when he shared things that he wanted kept between us. However he knew if i felt his mother shoudl know i would talk to her but it was for his benefit.

I have learned over the last several years my father had been physically and mentally abused however to this day i just know that and nothing else as to what occured and now i think that is why we were never super close, if that is why he said things to me growing up that hurt me yet i honesty do nto think he understood it did. I never had that emotional opennes with my parents and I believe that has a negative impact on a child. Sorry to ramble on. I think it is great you are wanting to make sure you have that with your kids to the point you are asking how to make sure you have it. Sounds like you are already there in many ways.
 

Healing light

Registrant
I do not have kid but i have worked with youth through group support programs specifically for LGBQ youth and i also did one on one mentoring to youth that had nothing to do with there sexuality. The one one one was troubled youth. The closest experience i have is mentoring a kid from the time he was 11 until he was 17 and i guess you could say i still do as we still talk and he is now 24 with his own family.

He was raised in a family with a single mom and two older sisters so he had no real male role model as unfortunately his father took his own like when he he was 9. I do want to add i was very nervous about being a mentor as i am gay and i had not really dealt with my past abuse.

The one thing i would say is be there to for him which it sounds like you are. I dont know your sons age but i talked to Matthew (kid i mentored) about all aspects of life, puberty, sexuality, depression, sharing feelings and concerns. I did share some of my own past When i was a a kid and things i think woudl have benefited me growing up. His family knew i was gay from the initial interview so that was never an issue and i had a partner whom they got to know over time.

As far as sharing your past with him thats a step that only you can decide really how and when. If you are in therapy I assume he know that if not maybe he should so that he knows it is ok to use therapy or ask to see a therapist just in case maybe he might be dealing with things even the normal stresses of being a teenager. I will say my biggest wish was that i had been able to ask my parents to see someone for help or if they would have brought it up to me or made me go. Communication is key even on the hard stuff is what I found with Matthew. Was not easy for us as i was a stranger but over time it became better. I talked to him a lot about how things are at school, friends, i would ask so any new girlfriends or boyfriends we would laugh but i wanted to make sure he knew it was ok shoudl he be interred in guys. His mom and sisters were also gay friendly so i knew he never felt it would have been an issue if he had been gay.

Depression was a big worry about him just due to the past and the fact his family was also very poor so that added to stress in his life at school. I think an important part that helped him was making sure he knew people were there for him and he is just as good as anyone else. I struggled in school as a teenager due to depression and he struggled also. I did share this about myself and why i was depressed and how i know now if i had shared i was having issues it woudl have made my life easier in many way and may have made a difference later on in life and how i would not want him to make that mistake like i did. I am not saying to share what happened to you as that is a big step and one that i think you and your wife would need to agree on. I made sure his mom knew about things that were discussed if they were like big. But i also respected his privacy when he shared things that he wanted kept between us. However he knew if i felt his mother shoudl know i would talk to her but it was for his benefit.

I have learned over the last several years my father had been physically and mentally abused however to this day i just know that and nothing else as to what occured and now i think that is why we were never super close, if that is why he said things to me growing up that hurt me yet i honesty do nto think he understood it did. I never had that emotional opennes with my parents and I believe that has a negative impact on a child. Sorry to ramble on. I think it is great you are wanting to make sure you have that with your kids to the point you are asking how to make sure you have it. Sounds like you are already there in many ways.
I really appreciate your post and you sharing thank you

My eldest knows I go to therapy and talk about my childhood . We have talked about mental health.
My partner she thinks be age appropriate but open about everything, she's an open minded person and approaches parenting with realism

I'm not straight and I chose not to label my sexuality and my partner she would like to be open about that with all of our children she thinks it would be better especially are youngest no big reveal, normalise that sexuality isn't a taboo subject, normalise loving who you love and being who you feel you are

I was raised Catholic, no talks about puberty, sex other than don't do it before marriage and you ain't nothing but straight or you go to hell


So when I have talked to my son about these topics I'm kinda awkward not sure if I'm saying enough or too much, as I have nothing to go on
He's really open with me and I wish I could be the same and not so awkward because I don't want to put distance between us

Thanks again for your reply

Peace HL
 

HenryD

Registrant
@Healing light - I raised two sons and we all survived, so I  know the challenges you're facing.

The first bit of advice I'll offer is to quote your own words, "Iv raised my son's telling them they can talk to me about anything..."

Yup. You've got it. That's the secret! Always be there when they come looking for you. Just remember each one is different, and they will let you know when they need or want you.

Be present, be available and, above all, be honest. Never don't be afraid to tell them when you don't know an answer.

Similarly, you must also give them the opportunity to not have you there and constantly hovering over them. That implies fear and lack of trust. (A real tough thing to avoid!)

Finally, HL, we dads have to accept the fact that we will never get the balance perfectly right. No dad ever does! However, as long as your boys know your ultimate intention is to help them grow up with feelings of confidence, independence and self-worth, you will definitely be a successful dad.

Feel free to PM if you ever need to chat.

Best.

Henry
 

Healing light

Registrant
However, as long as your boys know your ultimate intention is to help them grow up with feelings of confidence, independence and self-worth, you will definitely be a successful dad.

Feel free to PM if you ever need to chat.

Best.

Henry
Thanks Henry really appreciate your post

Thats definitely my ultimate intention

And thank you, it helps to have other dads/guardians to talk to

Peace HL
 

Rodwj

New Registrant
Just be there and fight to be present mentally. Over protective what is over protective in this crazy world. Be there! For your kids that’s the best parenting.
 
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