Ask Amy: Teenager who went to live with grandparents wonders how to reconnect with mom

Dear Amy: I am a 16 year old boy. I have lived with my grandparents for the last six years.

I used to live with my parents, but gradually I started spending more time at my grandparents’ house.

This eventually developed into spending whole weeks with my grandparents and later bringing my things there. I have two older siblings.

I now believe that I basically ran away from home and I’m not happy with that decision I made when I was only 10 years old.

It’s hard to tell if my relationship with my mother was abusive as she never broke any laws; Still, I never felt comfortable with her, and my father exhausted himself at work every day and didn’t come home until very late at night.

My mother and father are now divorced and live in separate houses. My mother has a new boyfriend. She seems happier and more stable than with three children. Now I regret even more that I ran away.

I will not move back in with my mom or dad because my grandparents made me feel like I belonged, certainly more than my mom ever did.

I forgive my mother but I don’t know how to talk to her about our past or our future because when I try to talk about our past she denies everything and breaks off the conversation.

So I’m asking you, Amy, how am I supposed to talk to my mom about the past and try to rebuild our strained relationship for the future?

– The runaway

Dear runaway, I would like to congratulate your courage in finding a safe way to leave your household so that you can live in a more stable and healthy environment. It doesn’t look like running away to me – not at all! – but more like the behavior of a survivor who, at just 10 years old, has figured out how to secure a better life at home.

The fact that your parents let you move into your grandparents’ house should show you that they also believed you were doing the right thing.

You are such a responsible teenager and yet, like many survivors, you are trying to rebuild something you didn’t break. You have done nothing wrong. Your mother will continue to deny her role in your story (she is protective).

You are the strong one here – but understand that every human being craves loving acceptance; Many children are denied this by abusive or neglectful parents. If you want to spend time with your mom, only you can decide if hanging out is a good idea for you right now.

You don’t mention trying to discuss this with your grandparents. i think you should They know you, they know your family, and I think they would probably appreciate the opportunity to talk to you and comfort you. Your school counselor should also be able to put you in touch with someone to talk to about this very important aspect of your life.

I recommend the graphic novel Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction (2018, Graphix) by author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka.

This memoir chronicles the author’s challenging childhood as he lived with his grandparents and dealt with some issues that might be similar to yours. Like you, the author started putting things together as a teenager. He found creative ways to express his pain and confusion.

Dear Amy, I’ve been contacted a few times lately by friends who wanted to “take me out” for lunch.

I never initiated these invitations.

I have a small fixed income, so I don’t eat out very often.

Apparently, to them, “take me to lunch” means I buy my own lunch.

Now twice, with two separate friends, they have asked for separate checks and I had to pay.

Her thoughts?

– crawling

Dear scrambling: I’m with you! If someone wants to “take you out” for lunch, they invite you to lunch – and they should pick up the bill.

Dear Amy, my heart beats for the 32-year-old, who is in “early retirement” as she moved into a senior living community with her parents.

If this person is looking for social interactions, they could try Meetup. I needed to rebuild my social circle after the divorce and it was a reliable source for making friends.

– Restored

Dear Restored, Meetup.com is a great way to connect with others and seek new experiences and adventures.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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