Yesterday night I had my second (in my life) full blown panic attack.

at least this time I knew what the pounding heart, uncontrolled rapid breathing, tearing sobs and overwhelming panic WAS. And it passed. It does pass.

This morning I am wrung out.

I feel that every single thing I have every done that was less than perfect is being totted up by some malevolent deity, and a perfect retribution being delivered. Exactly as much “wrong” as I have done is being visited on me. Not the “worst” thing (as I am a parent, I am sure you can imagine what that might be) but something pretty tough.

The flaw in this fanciful, slightly self indulgent and narcissistic view point, is that the person suffering the most is not I, but my angry, confused, anxious, insecure second son. And I know he has done nothing to deserve the suffering caused to him.

My ex husband,( who I shall in future refer to as Wormtail, (thanks JK Rowling, and Timothy Spall) has taken a young mans’ frustration and anger, and essentially capitalised on his adolescent feelings by telling him, at (as far as I can see) every opportunity, that I am complicit in abuse; that I am negligent and cruel, and that, in consequence, I deserve to be shouted at, disrespected and hated.

Son #2 is physically mature, he is the tallest in the house, and well built. Emotionally he is immature, and easily the most fragile of my sons. He has a poor self image, and a completely external locus of Control.

A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything.

he is thus extremely vulnerable to a malevolent, manipulative man who hates me. Drip drip drip goes Wormtail. Stir up the teenage angst: take a nugget of truth, chuck in a dollop of exaggeration, a sprinkle of lies, and a big dose of complete fantasy … hey presto you have an angry, disturbed, anxious 14 year old who feels isolated, alienated and totally adrift in a sea of complex emotions he has no clue how to rationalise or manage.

But, in addition let’s see what Wormtail can do to disrupt my friendships. Ah, I know. When I contact him to demand (again) that he STOPS talking to son#2 about me (after all his choice is to see his kids for about 4 hours in a week, you would think he had other things to do / talk about) … he tells me that my friend J has “told him” things about me and my ex partner. If I didn’t know Wormtail, and know how he operates, I might believe that – driving a wedge between me and my dear friends and depriving me of a powerful form of support. But I do know Wormtail, and I believe – no I KNOW – my friend did not say such things.

I will not break. I must, somehow, stop this systematic emotionally destructive using of Son2. I must. I have spoken to his school, I am seeking support. Son1 and 3 are able to look with compassion on their brother and try to make him feel included.

367 days. Thank God for sobriety, for I could not have dealt with this when drinking.


  1. Sad you are living through this stuff but you are clearly staying strong and focused so good for you on that front. Never would have seen it till I lived it but it -is- easier to deal with awful life-stuff as a sober person. Good thoughts and hugs…and congratulations on the first year ! šŸ™‚


  2. I refer to hubby’s ex as Wombat. I like the Wormtail name. Wombat does that poisonous drip thing to my hubby’s kids. It defies rational thinking that people prefer to make their children feel things, think about things, that children shouldn’t have to, are totally avoidable. His kids are emotionally stunted because of her games. I feel sorry for them and just try to love them best I can when I see them. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It must be so hard to watch your 14 year old in such pain. Stay strong, being the better person will be something he remembers….eventually. Hugs.


  3. Lily this is a very powerful post. What is happening is awful but you sound so strong and determined. It is good that you can see what Wormtail is up to and that you are not prepared to stand for it. As for his trying to undermine your friendships – WTF. It is good that you have spoken to school and his brothers are being kind. Your boys have a truly amazing Mum. Hugs Tori xxx

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  4. It’s good to hear you’re staying strong through this and have a good understanding of what’s needed for your son. Your unconditional love will prevail and he will come to realise where his love and support is. 14 is such a hard age at the best of times x

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