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    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 13th Apr 19, 9:58 PM
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    Son In Abusive Relationship
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 19, 9:58 PM
    Son In Abusive Relationship 13th Apr 19 at 9:58 PM
    I have a 22 year old son with ASD in what I think is an abusive relationship. it ring bells with me as I was too until just a few years ago. So in a lot of ways, I bear responsibility for making him vulnerable to this kind of thing.

    She's hit him twice. Constantly talks to him like a child, tell him he is a child. She is very very manipulative, turns things she's messed up into his fault. He was going to leave her last weekend and of course she pleaded with him to stay. He did, saying he didn't want to hurt her.

    He is a student (was living in student accommodation last year, in another university). She 'encouraged' him to leave the course and university to start again at a university where she lives. But he might have left anyway, of course. Last year he hadn't hit his overdraft. This year he is overdrawn to the limit of his account. He is paying (through the student loan) for student accommodation (with an unlockable door, he says the university accommodation won't repair it). But he actually lives with her and her parents, pays for food (they will only eat organic so its quite a lot of money), gives them a lot of money,etc etc. Its like he's their personal money mountain, I'm quite horrified by this. Gf has a thing about how hard done by she is and how she 'ought' to have things they can't afford, saying she will get depressed/harm herself as there is no point to her life. They all have mental health problems. None of them have or will seek any help with this. I can't say too much as I've already said enough for this to be identifiable. But they are significant. There is a lot of stress and chaos in the house. But his gf won't leave. They may help her keep stable somehow (she has stabbed at least one bf in the past). Their whole lives seem to be justifications for maintaining their status quo, regardless of the illogic they show. One rule for them, another for everyone else (like I was abusive for shouting at him but they can do it).

    She often doesn't let him text or call me. When he does, she reads it. She has texted and emailed me at times as if she is him but after the first time I was aware of this.

    She says I am abusive because I didn't seperate cleanly from my younger son's father quickly enough (in all fairness she does have a point, I see that) but she uses this to limit his contact with me, saying she is protecting him. She has also said if he see's me, he is risking bringing abuse into their house (like its infectious, seriously, she has said this). I promise you, I have learned my lesson and do my best to be supportive to him in a healthy way. I have gotten a lot stronger in the last year, some from experience and some from counselling.

    He is now a bit surer of his thoughts, not accusing me of being abusive anymore, but while he see's logically that he is in an abusive relationship, he can't apply that to his actual situation. He defends her constantly whilst at the same time being angry for what she's said and done. He is very unsure he is right when he feels what she does is wrong. I remember this well in myself.

    He has come to stay this weekend. He was allowed to bring his PC, but no more than the clothes he is wearing. Not the first time there have been restrictions, if he is allowed to come at all. We have had to meet in the town where he lives in secret. He has to phone his father secretly, who has a brain tumour and won't be around forever (he's not responding to chemotherapy anymore) which, I am sorry, is unforgiveable to me. Its difficult to know what to say to that one except try and be calm and support my son in his wish to keep in contact with his father. I have heard some disgusting intimations from her when he says he wants to stay here overnight. I'm not allowed to wash his clothes because her mother is allergic to scents (I will find a non scented home made concoction tonight). Apparently any scented clothes from when I have washed them before have been thrown out. As has food I have given him when he had no money and no food.

    He spends all his money on her. He runs out very shortly after getting it. He was managing his money well last year. Well as well as any young person lol.

    He did have a social worker but he won't go near them again. I have to be honest, they weren't overly helpful even before this relationship happened. In fact they closed the case even after I expressed my concerns. I have contacted them recently. They can do nothing.

    How can I best help him? He is, in my mind a vulnerable adult. He can't bear loud noises of any kind. Quite often he has both his gf and her mum shouting at him. I've had phone calls from him very distressed. Last weekend when he packed his clothes and said he was leaving, but decided to stay he said he would leave the moment anyone shouted at him. Happened today. He didn't. How familar this story is to me. There isn't obvious physical harm, there is emotional abuse but I suspect my son wouldn't be able to recall things consistently.., so there'd be no help from caring services/police. Been there, done it myself. I know what they are like when you are trying to get help. I haven't yet managed to get him to speak to the Men's Advice Line.

    I know how long it took me to see what I was living in, how long it took me to mentally break free of the chains, is there any way at all I can help him to see things as they are?
    Last edited by deannatrois; 13-04-2019 at 11:00 PM.
Page 2
    • elsien
    • By elsien 14th Apr 19, 5:25 PM
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    Does he have a university friend who would go with him?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 14th Apr 19, 10:22 PM
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    No, he made friends at first but he says his gf said they were suspect so they fell by the wayside. Yep, I know, fairly predictable.

    He's dealing with some difficult texts etc but its actually helping him to see how wrong the attitude is.., strengthening his resolve. I knew he just needed a place where he could think, at the right time. It could all very easily still go backwards but only time will tell. I'm supporting him the best way I know how, just explaining where things are being said that are non helpful if you have a relationship. Mind you, he is being very on the ball right now, its not needing much explaining.

    Just hoping he can still retrieve his stuff. Will start sorting that out tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for your help and understanding. I'm his support and you are mine lol.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 14-04-2019 at 10:42 PM.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 15th Apr 19, 10:08 AM
    • 4,352 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    Deanna, it's worth contacting the university to alert them to his situation. Partly as preparation for any Mitigating Circumstances paperwork in case his studies suffer, and partly to see what help they can provide. Ask for the Senior Tutor, or there might be a specific Welfare Officer (we are trialling a full-time Wellbeing Officer, which has been successful so far).
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • marisco
    • By marisco 15th Apr 19, 1:16 PM
    • 3,980 Posts
    • 17,973 Thanks
    From what you have written op it definitely sounds as if your son is in an abusive relationship. Don't be afraid to speak your mind to him about it. Only he can eventually wake up and smell the coffee and walk away from it. We all can only take so much and then something snaps and we grow a back bone and call enough on a toxic connection. Been there and done it myself after waiting far too long for things to change. As and when this happens for him give him all the support that you can and make sure that he is aware that it is at the time you walk away that you are at most risk. It is also when the abuser will pretend to change and make all manner of insincere promises. A leopard never does change its spots though.
    The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own, no apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 15th Apr 19, 7:43 PM
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    I think he was getting to that place in the last few weeks, why he was copying texts to me. Now he says he can see she has no empathy whatsoever. I've said this is not about him, its about her i.e. he isn't lacking in something that has made this happen.

    He is planning to get his stuff in a couple of days. Not sure exactly how this is going to happen but can't see a way to get anyone to go with him but the police and he won't entertain taking the police in there still. I've made it clear that if the worst happens, its just things. We can replace things.

    Have also phoned MIND about counselling for him and given him the number. But feel its important he does the arranging.

    I am trying very hard to support him but not emasculate him any further.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 15-04-2019 at 7:57 PM.
    • greenspark
    • By greenspark 17th Apr 19, 4:10 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Deanna, it's worth contacting the university to alert them to his situation. Partly as preparation for any Mitigating Circumstances paperwork in case his studies suffer, and partly to see what help they can provide. Ask for the Senior Tutor, or there might be a specific Welfare Officer (we are trialling a full-time Wellbeing Officer, which has been successful so far).
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly

    I'd echo this - he might not feel it's a priority at the moment, but worth checking out his uni's mitigating/extenuating circumstances procedures - they vary from uni to uni but may mean he could have extra goes at assessments without his marks being capped or similar, if his situation has affected his ability to complete assessments. N.B. they usually have specific forms/timescales/procedures, so worth looking into well before assessments are due, and as Out, Vile Jelly suggests, evidence of contact with student welfare officers etc could support this.

    Other possible university sources of pastoral or practical support and advice on his situation with his gf could include their disability advice office and Student Union. His uni website should have a section on student support and wellbeing (could be tucked away on the student intranet rather than the public website), and his uni's Student Union will probably have its own separate website outlining what they can offer to students.

    Hope things will work out for him.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 22nd Apr 19, 9:19 PM
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    • 8,383 Thanks
    He says that he's been doing well on assessments (60%) but I will be going into more detail this week.

    He's managed to get some clothes, enough to be going on with for now and some electronic equipment.

    Obviously a bit emotionally up and down. He's still talking to gf and she's still asking if he's washing and dressing and making him out to be incapable generally, which he sees is rather demoralising. Its quite sad really, she's so defensive, she can't permit herself to see that she's done anything wrong although of course, that must come from an extremely low self esteem in itself. I wish I could help her as well, but apparenlty she's scared to death of me. Goodness knows why. I'm hoping over time the phone calls will reduce.

    I haven't managed to get him to talk to anyone about counselling. Will try that as well this week.

    I think he's coping with a very difficult situation better than expected.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 22-04-2019 at 9:23 PM.
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