a mother's deep concerns
Friday March 07, 2008
I am writing to you because 14 years ago you contributed to change my life a lot when I discovered your books.
I was pregnant and I realized that with my child, I knew only what I didn't want to do, that is: what my parents had done with me. But I didn't know what to do, how to show him my love, how to take care of him..... And I knew that I couldn't expect anything from my son's father. So I started to read books, looking for information, I had a little help from my pediatrician, and I looked inside my love for my child every time I was lost. Today, 13 years later, I can say that, although I have made many mistakes, my son is happy with me, he trusts me, he shares things with me, we laugh together... I believe he knows that I am there for him, that I admire him and recognize him for what he is, that I accept him and encourage him in what he wants to do, that I try to guide him according to the values of a human life. Values that are mine, yes, that I live according to them, but also are values of a "better world".
Now my son is 13 years old. And I have the feeling that he needs to be "saved" from his "father". I say " father " because this person is absent physically and sentimentally as "father". He is absent physically although he is there in the house. He never showed any interest in the child's interests, in school (only when A., my son, gets awards his "father" comes to school!), in doing something with him, sports...., vacations... NOTHING. Many-many times I proposed to this "father" things to do, I spoke so many times of much he is missing as well, because A. is a wonderful child, very intelligent, very joyous, very energetic... NOTHING. And since his idea about raising a child was that it is necessary to beat a child, that the child should be afraid of the father..... and since I knew of the extremely negative way he himself was brought up with all this, I, in a way, felt that I had to "protect" my son from this "father". ALL what this man does is of bad influence, from his drinking to watching DVDs all the time, to going out for dinner almost every evening, to his "strange" friends here in Italy... ALL! But above all: his LACK OF INVOLVEMENT! NEVER PROPOSED SOMETHING FOR A WEEKEND..... GO FOR BIKING, A WALK, .... NOTHING!!! Just sitting there watching DVDs, Internet, .....
He and I are separated, I asked for a divorce 7 years ago, which he finally accepted. A. and I were living in Paris where I was lecturing and doing research at the University. A year and half ago I had to move to India for my research and, after discussing it with my son, I asked his "father" to take care of A. here in Italy where there is a good American school (he started school in the US at 2 years old and continues in Europe). A. also was asking to be more with him. Finally he accepted. When I came to visit two months later I found the child completely abandoned. There was a housekeeper cooking very bad food, the house was dirty as were A.' clothes, very cheap clothes, although his "father" spends fortunes on his dressing.... This man was away for 2 weeks per month and even when he was here, he would be with A. only to take him to some dinners with his friends, or sometimes to drive him to school always late, so that A. would get detention!!!!
There is so much to say but I cannot continue here.
My concern with A. is that since last year, he has "closed" to himself, he spends all his time in his room, watching DVD or playing games on the computer, things that he NEVER did before. He is very aggressive with his "father" and with me, in the sense that he answers back always yelling and some times with bad expressions.
I did talk with him several times about the situation at home, I have always been honest with him. I have expressed my sadness for his "father"'s attitude and I have told him that it is understandable that he is frustrated. And that he should express it to his father and always feel comfortable even to be angry with the situation and discuss it with others, but to not offend verbally. At school, he started very badly last year, and later he improved. This year, he started at top, and then went down, not doing homework and failing all his semester tests.
A. started a Montessori school at two and continued until two years ago in more or less same system. He has always been very happy working in doing research, projects, alone or with other kids. A. is very strong, since he was a child he gave me the impression that "he knows what he wants and how to get it"! But???? Where is all going now???
I do not want my son to have the same problems with me or with his father. I don't want him to become weak and lost, depressed like his father.
I am afraid for my son. I do not know any more what to do. I was planning to go away with him at the end of this school year, but he insisted to go back to the same school and I understand it and respect it because he has been around many schools with our traveling. But the situation at home is unbearable. WE LIVE IN SILENCE!!!! AND HATRED.
As I said, I had my own problems as a child, feeling rejected and abandoned by a mother who was never close to me, and a father who was not able to go against her will. Unprotected against my uncles' "touching"... I went through several therapies since I was 17 and finally in New York, 7 years ago, I had the chance to meet a wonderful therapist who helped me a lot.
I would appreciate it enormously if you would give me some guidance.
I would like to take the opportunity as well to express my deep appreciation for your work and for the help and light it brought to human beings.
With warmest regards, Z. P.
AM: Have you already asked yourself why you left your son with his father and went far away to make your research although you knew his father already very well? It is very tragic and happens unfortunately very often that we repeat absolutely unconsciously what happened to us in our past as long as we never had the chance to work on our repressed emotions and the story of our childhood. We can have the best intentions, yet the repressed story hidden in our body lets us make decisions that we never ever would have wanted to make if we knew, emotionally knew, what has happened to us when we were very small and at the mercy of our totally unconscious parents.