Wasted lives?

I once worked with a woman who was depressed, drank some to medicate herself against the pain she was feeling but had stopped drinking and was now facing why she was depressed and turned to drinking.  She was told to go to AA, which she did, they told her to go to Al-anon and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics).  These organizations helped for a while but had stopped working and she was still depressed.  She realized she was in a loveless marriage and after several separations,  her husband decided that divorce was the answer.  He had found someone else.  One of her son’s had recently started acting out and getting in trouble in school and no one seemed to know why all of a sudden.  He had struggled in school with learning disabilities but had not been a  behavior problem before.  He began staying at his fathers house more often and she wondered if that was the problem but did not want to stop the interaction because he was 12 almost 13 years old.  Boys need their father more at that age, then they do their mothers.  He was also fighting with his younger brother which was new because they were inseparable.  It had gotten so bad that the younger brother came to live with her permanently after having his 2 front teeth knocked out during a “play fight” at their fathers house.  Her husband was also telling his girlfriends that she was a drunk, slept with anyone who would sleep with her and was a bad mother.  He had asked her to stop going to ACOA meetings so he could go.  All of a sudden she had the plague in the small town they lived in and he was the local hero.  The son that was acting out in school and at his fathers house but did not act out at her house for a long while.  One day he did, by refusing to listen to her when she said he could not go into town.  Her son began to yell and scream about how bad she was, how horrible a mother she was, not unlike those thing she new were being said by the people in town about her.  He was getting the information at school.  Nothing she could do about that.  She stood her ground and refused to let him go into town.  He began to throw things and she restrained him and told her daughter to call the police.  She asked for him to be charged with disorderly conduct and the District Attorney charged him with Assault.  It seemed that the help he was getting at school for his learning disabilities had morphed into his being a behavior problem.  She wondered where her son had gone, it would not be the last time.  He continued to get into trouble, counseling had not worked whether it was family or individual counseling.  He husband had remarried and had little to do with their children because his new wife did not want them.  Her son had been in and out of jail several times.  During one of these times he wrote her that he had been molested by 3 men.  These men were his fathers friends.  They  molested him while his father allowed them to take him and spend time with them.  To do father and son things.  Because his real father did not want to do them.  She cried for the wasted life, she wondered what he would have been if these men had not molested him and if she had pick a better father for him.  These men had gotten him drunk and or high and then molested him.  She heard and felt the rage within him.  He begged her not to say anything.  She told her ex-husband, he wondered if he was gay.  She sat in astonishment at the response and the lack of responsibility he took in getting their son this far.  Her son continued to drink and to keep in contact with her.  They had long ago lost contact with their father except on holidays and birthday’s.  She watched her son waste his life.  He was angry, could not hold a job, promiscuity and all of the typical symptoms of someone who had been molested as a child.  It was there to see if you knew what to look for, he was not talking about it, he was still getting into trouble and had turned into someone who drank and did not care about anyone but himself.  She did not recognize her son.  She missed her boy and wondered where he had gone.  When he was sober she saw glimpses of him and thought there was hope.  Mostly he drank and got himself into trouble with the anger he felt.  He would always come to her when he felt out of control and she would set the limit.  One day after several lies that he seemed to believe about her came to a head, he began to steal from her more than usual.  She again set a limit and told him she would call the police if he took one more thing from her.  He attempted to do just that and when she tried to stop him, he pushed her twice in an attempt to take what he wanted.  He was arrested for harassment and had a PFA placed on him.  This was the first time he had laid a hand on her in violence.  It would be the last.

She has moved on with her life and she is doing better.  He is still running from the molestation’s.  Boy’s, men are not permitted,  in this country,  to talk about being molested.  We do them a disservice.  They are somehow seen as weak and should have somehow known better.  They are children, someone was supposed to be watching and did not.  The mother is still healing from what her son has gone through and the impact it has had on her watching his decline. She is still hoping that he finds the help he needs before he kills himself or someone else with drink and anger.  A lot of people failed this child beginning with his father, the mental health system in the small town and the juvenile justice system, all who did not recognize the symptoms of molestation.  They should have and failed.  The shame is theirs also.  They need to be aware and get these children the help they need early.  It is now up to her son to get himself help.  He is a grown man and is still stuck emotionally at 12 or 13 years old.  He will need to be brave to face this trauma.  He will need to stop drinking in order to do it.  His mother recognizes there is nothing she can do for her son and she will not watch him ruin his life any longer.  She uses this video to help her relax and give away what she has no control over.  Here is the link to the video’s    Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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