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Im a single father to an 8 year old boy. My son was removed from her care when he was five by social services due to her neglect and drug/drinking. Her other son, my sons half brother was 14 at the time. Both boys were placed with there dad's. So my son with me and his half brother with his dad. We are on holiday at the moment abroad. I can't stop thinking that I'm a pathetic man. She abandoned my son but continues to see her other son. This is probably because her other sons father is a low level drug dealer. I don't know if she was persuaded to abandon my son. But she makes no effort to ring him and has cancelled contacts, and made him cry. I'm ruining my sons first holiday because I keep crying too much and thinking that it's all my fault. If hadn't have been with her then I wouldn't have brought him into this world without a mother. She chose to raise a low level drug dealers child but abandoned mine. He's with me all the time and I can't get this thought out of my head. It's crippling me. I have been, or thought I was ok for most of this 3 years. I stopped Prozac in march and hoped I'd be ok. I hae counselling coming on the 11th. But I'm just too sad. I don't know what to do

Topic starter Posted : 04/10/2023 1:32 pm
Illustrious Member


Am sorry to hear this. Have a read of this, useful advice:

Posted : 04/10/2023 4:57 pm
stamina9008 reacted
Trusted Member Registered

@Bill337 always provides sound guidance and signposting.

I would add that it is clearly a distressing time for you and your son, who will I'm sure be feeling a sense of abandonment. Ultimately, life is about the choices we make. It's not about what we can do but what we will do that makes the difference.

Taking drugs and drinking heavily is obviously not making positive life choices and will cloud anyone's judgment, as you have found with your ex-partner.

What your son needs is reassurance that you love him and that you are doing what you can to create positive experiences for him (well, for both of you). These experiences don't necessarily have to cost anything, you just need to be consistent. 

The message re. his mum should always be supportive and that the door is always ajar for him to see her. However, if there's an immediate wellbeing concern, such contact may need to take place in a neutral location. You could always encourage his mum to write to him and speak to him on the phone. Just keep a note of what you are doing (including copies of emails/letters) in a diary should the matter ever come to court.

Perhaps, you can write to you ex on a monthly or quarterly basis to let her know how your son is doing at school, etc. This just keeps the line of communication open and makes any transition with contact in the future easier (based on familiarity). It just needs to be factual not emotional.

Ultimately, your son will make his own mind up. There's every chance he may even take some of his frustrations re. his mum out on you when he gets older, but that's all part and parcel of him learning to deal with his emotions and trying to reason with his thoughts. It does calm down.

So, to summarise, just focus on doing the right things for the child and connecting them with positive experiences and people. Consistency and having clear boundaries are key.

Posted : 05/10/2023 4:24 am
stamina9008 reacted
Estimable Member Registered

Hello stamina9008,

Thank you for taking the time to share so openly about your feelings and struggles at this time.

I'm sorry to read that you are currently so upset and sad, it's good that you are recognising your feelings, but I feel it is now important that you take the time to begin the healing process and to look after you, so you can carry on being the best Dad and role model to your son that you possibly can be. Well done for beginning to attend counselling - I hope this works well for you and that you are able to articulate how the situation has and is making you feel, and that you realise that the purpose of counselling is not to judge, but to listen and to enable you to be able to move forward in a way that is good for you. 

Currently you are having to be many things all at once for your son, but looking after you is also important. I would encourage you to always try to remain as neutral as possible if your son ever talks about his Mum with you, it reads like he is aware of the situation and may have feelings of abandonment from his Mum, so as the post above states, giving your son reassurance and telling him he is loved will help him to feel secure.

You yourself are not responsible for your ex partners actions, and as your son grows and matures, he too will understand this. But right now at the age of eight, he needs his Dad to be there to encourage, praise, laugh with, make memories with, love unconditionally and offer security through boundaries and reassurance. 

You have got this far! Give yourself some praise and credit - he's fed, cared for, you've taken him on holiday. Well done for this.

Being sad is ok, I would suggest that you have been through a grieving process - life hasn't quite turned out how you envisaged it with your family unit, so seek help - which you are - and enjoy building the relationship with your son, which he will really appreciate so much when he looks back when he's older. Take one day at a time, spend some quality 1-1 time with your son each day and perhaps make either digital records or scrapbooks etc, so that if he is able to see his Mum one day, he can show her what he has done. 

I wish you both well, and hope that over time and with some help, you are able to feel more settled and confident in your abilities as a Dad, and secure in who you are too.

Kind Regards,

Parent Support Team

Posted : 05/10/2023 1:04 pm
stamina9008 reacted
Trusted Member Registered


Thanks clarinet. I am communicating with the mother again. She has not seen her son in 18 months. I have arranged for her to meet him in a shopping centre where he used to meet her informally and unsupervised. He should be familiar with the location, in fact i know he still is and remembers the cookie shop there where she used to get him a cookie. Im adamant she will be there. Im just wondering whether its even right to let her back in his life. For one, she probably doesnt deserve it. She lost custody just over three years ago and has not gone to court for visitation, she said this is because it looked like too much paperwork. She is not educated, and that might be partly an excuse. But three years is a long time and i cant accept her excuse. When we moved up to Scotland 18 months ago it was just after the social service 12 month supervision order ended and she was ringing me up with her druggy mates and being abusive. She was also ringing the school and ringing the social services, saying that ive de-registered my son from school, which i had good reason to do so, bullying and no support. She knew where we lived and i didnt want that for the rest of his life, living on eggshells. So we went up to Scotland, and my dad had prostate cancer. Then while up there i thought that maybe he needs to see his mum. So we came down here, i gave her 24 hours notice, she said she'd be there in a Mcdonalds, but didnt show. We travelled 450 miles to view a flat and she only needed to walk 10 minutes up the road. She said she was ill and tired and my son cried for ages. Now im trying again, this time ive given her 2 weeks notice and have been chatting to her for that time. Im pretty certain she will show. I think this is because she did this same thing before, safe location etc and was fairly regular with it. She has been sending me voice recordings on whatsapp screaming that she did not abandon her two boys, she says she F'd up and shes paying for it. Personally i dont think she cares that much, but how do i know. I just dont know. But im doing this for my son. He does want to see her, but hes not urgently keen. I wont be telling him of the upcoming potential meetup, just in case she doesnt show. Its caused me great anxiety dealing with my abuser so that my son can see his mother. But, maybe it will improve my own resilience. Im also getting therapy and just started meds. I also have an appointment with the GP to discuss trauma counselling for my son. Do you think i should even give her a chance?


Topic starter Posted : 05/10/2023 9:27 pm
Active Member

Hi stamina9008,

I think you are doing an amazing job keeping things together, providing for your son and filling in the gap where in an ideal world, his mother would be in his life more regularly. Firstly, I just want to say that I think its very commendable that on top of all the stress you have, you are still making the effort to facilitate a relationship with his mother. Your son is clearly your top priority despite all the ongoing hardship and that takes some real commitment. (Just don't forget to look after yourself as well!)

I can't say what is right or wrong regarding allowing her back into his life, I doubt there is a clear cut right or wrong answer. This is not professional advice or anything like that so please take it with a pinch of salt, but if it was me, I think I'd take your son to the location and not mention anything at all. Be at the location at the agreed time, kill some time there (cookies sound good?) until she does or doesn't turn up, if she turns up - great, if not, I would try not to mention it to your son. I don't know if that's feasible or even a good idea, but I think its what I would do in the same situation. 

If she does turn up, I assume you will be staying with them the whole time? I'd imagine you'll get a gut feeling from the meet up about whether or not any future meet-ups should happen or not. 

It sounds like you are taking the right course of action to improve your own mental health - which is great. This must be really debilitating but I hope that one day you will be able to look back and take pride in all that you have done for your son, personally, I think you deserve a medal.

Best of luck. 

Posted : 06/10/2023 6:09 am
stamina9008 reacted
New Member Registered

It's really sad to hear your story. don't be scared you have come this far. Everything is gonna be all right. I hope you will do well.

Posted : 12/10/2023 7:33 am
Estimable Member Registered

@stamina9008 Hello again, apologies for my late replay, I guess you may have met up with your sons Mum by now? I echo the other persons post - it has to be your decision about if you met with her again and allowed your son to see her. I hope you managed to do what you thought was the best, and that you were at peace with your decision. You read that you are passionate about your sons welfare and I am sure your final decision will reflect this. 

All the best.

Posted : 24/10/2023 10:59 am

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