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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2011-01-18

Kids visiting dad

So my kids were with their dad for Christmas(Pretoria) before coming to visit me for a few days too(Cape Town).

The day after my 14 year old came back from his visit, he was extremely subdued. The next day he came to me in tears because he wants to go back and live with his dad. He even wrote up a list of pro''s and con''s to help him make the decision. Unfortunately there were many cons on my side of the list. I don''t own a car. I don''t get a maid twice a week. He doesn''t have any friends here in Cape Town - he has lots of friends in Pretoria. The school I sent him to here in Cape Town is mostly black. His school in Pretoria is mostly white. I''ve tried so hard to try and shave his racist corners off, but his father is an old-school racist who still believes that a ''boy'' should call him ''baas''.

Since xhusband has legal custody, I couldn''t say much. I did tell my son that if it''s better for him to stay with his dad, then he should stay with his dad because I only want what''s best for him. I didn''t want to make him feel guilty for his choice, so I kept a straight, happy face when he boarded the plane last week.

Since then though, I''ve devolved into a lonely depressed blob. Sitting at work today, but all I want to do is cry. Right now I can''t even commit suicide, because my son will blame himself and I can''t do that to him.

Sheesh - I was fine until I saw my psychiatrist last Wednesday. He broke down some walls I created to protect myself. No walls means I actually have to work through the difficult emotions that were hiding behind the walls. And right now it''s just too much.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Shame, one can understand his list, but it sounds so materialist. I wonder whether his dad or someone else may have encouraged him to draw it up ? Of course it would be unfortunate if his father were to encourage him to form racist attitudes ; but with cultural differences, to be one of the very few white kids in an otherwise black class ( or one of the few black kids in a mainly white class ) can surely feel awkward.
You're right not to make him feel guilty for making this choice - and he may change his mind some time in the future.
I hope you told your psychiatrist about this whole issue ; he might have decided to postpone the wall breaking until a bit later if he knew there were other major problems very current at the time.
Make sure he knows now just how despairing and vulnerable you feel, so he cal help you to deal with this

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-01-18

Shame, one can understand his list, but it sounds so materialist. I wonder whether his dad or someone else may have encouraged him to draw it up ? Of course it would be unfortunate if his father were to encourage him to form racist attitudes ; but with cultural differences, to be one of the very few white kids in an otherwise black class ( or one of the few black kids in a mainly white class ) can surely feel awkward.
You're right not to make him feel guilty for making this choice - and he may change his mind some time in the future.
I hope you told your psychiatrist about this whole issue ; he might have decided to postpone the wall breaking until a bit later if he knew there were other major problems very current at the time.
Make sure he knows now just how despairing and vulnerable you feel, so he cal help you to deal with this

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