Functional Mothers

Yesterday I spoke about a man who’s mother was a non-functional alcoholic and the consequences that this man dealt with as a result of being raised by a mother such as this.  Today I would like to talk about the wife he married and his children.  As a result of not knowing what he was looking for in a wife, he looked for someone who would take care of him and had a nurturing nature.  A mother.  This boy was very close to his mother, defended her to others and loved her, he did this even though he was never truly mothered.   He married a woman who had been mothering her youngest sibling since she was 9 years old.  She would mother him.  She, however was looking for someone who would love her, be her partner and take care of her.  He asked her to quit her job after they were married and she thought she had finally had her prayers answered.  He could not hold down a job, he went from job to job and would quit one without having another in place.  They had their utilities shut off and she would spend days in a trailer with a baby trying to keep warm, while he was either looking for work or doing construction.  When her father gave them money for a down payment on a house, he spent it on a truck for his construction business.  His construction business did not work out and he again was going from job to job, they had to move in with his parents. Finally he found a job as a firefighter/EMT.  He did well and then went to the police academy.  He was never home and his wife, now with two children and pregnant with a third was tired of being alone.  She did not get married to be alone and raise children alone.  She did, she had no choice.  After a while she began to drink to shut out the loneliness.  They would argue and the fighting would get loud and he would promise that he would spend more time at home.  He did not keep his promises and she began to drink more.  He would be gone sometimes for days, leaving her alone with the responsibility of three small children.  She had finally had enough and began to go to AA, Alanon and ACOA.  She was beginning to understand what was happening in her life and it was the beginning of the end of their marriage.  She tried to talk with him but he would not accept responsibility for any of it, placing all of the blame on her.  He had found another woman and he wanted a divorce.  They got a divorce and when the children were with him they would be allowed to run all over the neighborhood and he did not know where they were.  He could spend time with he new girlfriend and did not care.  His children began to get into trouble.  Both older children were molested by 4 of his friends.  He didn’t know this was happening.  The youngest child chose to stay with his mother and was spared being molested.  He did not take any responsibility for anything that happened to his children while he was suppose to be watching them.  No one ever watched him and he turned out alright, right?  Their grades began to fall and they were in trouble in school and in the community.  He blamed his now ex-wife, even though, they did not get into trouble when they were with her.  Only when they were with him.  He married again and left the state they were living in and left his children with his ex-wife to finish raising.  Their oldest had long since left and his second born continued to get into trouble.  Both older children were exhibiting traits of being molested and of borderline personality disorder.  It was getting worse and he walked away from the responsibility.  He was not drinking but was exhibiting signs of addiction.  His focus was not on his children where it should have been, but on his relationship with other women, spending money he did not have and sex.  His children were not a priority.  The example that was set for him as a child.

He is now invested in his children to varying degrees.  They have lovingly let him back in their lives.  He is trying to be a good father.  There were a lot of changes he had to make in order for that to come about.  Part of it was his second wife dying and allowing him to focus on his children.  The rest of it was his willingness to finally connect with his children, instead of following his addictions.  He had to be willing to let go of the old and replace it with the new in order for this to work. 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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