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13 Mar 2003

Dear Doc/ Lady Life

Hello! My first question is for Doc, if you remember I wrote to you about a week or so back, wth regards to being treated poorly like a"slave" by my ex to be and that I was angry etc all the time and taking it out on the kids. I took your advice and went to a therapist, which has helped, my next session is today, however I need to ask some more advice.
My eldest son is 8 and a half and in grade 3, he and his dad were always close, more like friends, as my husabnd would only play with him and really do any of the other things to bring him up, so they were more like pals, the divorce I know has affected Darian , although I do know that he is very happy to be here and in his new school, his out look seems to be much happier and brighter, but since saying all this, I went to his school yesterday for a parents evening to look at work etc.
It seems that the divorce and moving away from his dad has been harder on him than I realised, he has not really been good at school and I have worried laot about his work, but it seems that his spelling is getting worse, and he is writing in creastive/theme writing sessions about our divorce, I was stunned to see this and it made me unhappy, he mentiones that "his dad lives alone" and that we "me, my mom and my little brother" live alone, and that "my mom is unhappy and sad about the divorce".
He has even mentioned that he gets scared when I shout. What I am to do, I know that writing about it, as this is the first sign since we left, which is 4 months now, is good and that he need to express himself, do you thinks I need to worry too much? or should I rather get him to see someone? do you think it to drastic a step for him see someone? The only reason that I ask is that I would not like for him to brood over this, without me knowing.
On the outside he seems to be very happy, and I have made a point of always asking how he is feeling, I have explained to him what happened between his dad and myself, as I would not like to lie to him, and then in later years it gets back to him, he is a very sensitive child, and since moving here I have really seen a remarked difference in his attitude, more happy, fun loving and out going, he loves school and has many new and good friend, but it seems that he would rather like to go to school to play and have a good time with friends and cricket and rugby, than be interesetd in doing well at school. Whereas he would in the past take time with work and tasks, he now seems to rush and not concentrate with it.
Do I need to worry too much?
Since I have been to the therapist, my anger has become better and I am really coping well. I know that I am partyly to blame, with regards to shouting, but he will not understand my frustration.

Dear Lady life

Thank you for your kind words, with regards to my mail, since writing the letter to Doc, I have been to see a therapist, and things have really been a bit better, I don't seem to shout as much, which in itself is a great thing, I have been writing down , sort of like a letter, to my ex to be about how angry and sad I am, and in actual fact what he did to me and my self esteem. I thought I was independent, but was really not, as I was always under his spell, he seemed to manipulate me without me actaully realising it.
I have also been trying to do at least one thing for "me" each and every day, no matter how small.
Walking, do some excersice on the health walker, glass of champagne, going to beach - even with the kids, but actaully tanning and reading my book, it really has helped, and I need it to mend myself, as I have been really empty for along time and now I am filling me up.
I go to the therapist today again and I will keep going until I am better. he kids have also been better off, as I don't shout as much - which also helps my stress, but as above I have to sort out my eldest now. I have also made a decision to make some extra special time with the boys, reading stories or singing songs etc, no matter how short, but at least some quality time.
I want to thank you for your kind words and support and what really amases me is that their are people out there who are willing to give a good sound piece of advise and I have really learnt by and I appreciate it.
Thanks and God Bless.

Answer 358 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lou,
Firstly I'm sure we're all delighted to hear that you are managing things better, and feeling more at peace --- that you're setting aside time and opportunities within your days both to let yourself feel rewarded and do something pleasurable, and to enjoy some quality time with the kids. Well done ! Also, you've surely made a wise step by starting to see a therapist, with whom you will be able to work through any and all issues that arise. I'm pleased that our advice and support has begun to help.
As for D, this sounds like a pretty normal response for a sensitive and intelligent child. In these writing exercises, they get the chance to express themselves, and he makes good use of the opportunity. He probably is happier in many ways. But he's bright enough, as you are, to recognize that in any situation, there are good and bad aspects. That dad's not pushing mom around and making her so angry will feel good to him ; that dad's not around to play with him, is less good. A child also tends to see things within his own scheme of understanding the world, in the light of his personal experience. So, as being left to live all on his own would seem sad if it happened to him, he may worry that it is as lonely and frightening for his dad, as it would be for him. His dad can help to relieve this anxiety by assuring D that he's doing fine on his own ; or could exaggerate it, for his own purposes --- sadly, some divorcing parents feel justified in using the kids as weapons against their former partner. Your policy of being frank and open with the children helps to protect them against this, to a useful extent.
That he's not doing as well at school as he used to, is a bit more worrying ; and that he may be a bit more hurried and slapdash about his school-work. It's actuall not a "drasc" step to take him to see someone for a few sessions, any more than it would be "drastic" to put some Dettol on, if he stumbled and grazd his knee. The school may know of some psychologists who specially work with children in relation to school-work problems ; or your own therapist may be able to se him, or advise someone who'd be suitable. it may only need one or two sessions, to better assess how he's handling things, and to help him find an even better way of coping with the situation.
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