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Why can't SK have his own opinion/want/desire

ICanMakeIt's picture

Have any of you dealt with  SK that is a good kid in general but manipulated so badly(In my opinion) they genuinely don't know where their own thoughts start and their BM's stop? Or have no thoughts of their own? And if they do dare have a thought or curiousity about something the one parent (in our case HCBM) can strike it down so quickly and completely they don't put up any sort of defense or backbone even if they were adamant about it with the other parent? Worse yet, revise history to the point you think you dreamed a scenario when in fact you know it was said/happened. 

This is a useless fight, I'm just going around in circles in my head. I know I can't make the SK see it or change it and the few times I've gently tried to logically go through a scenario point by point with SK it's painfully obvious SK has no idea its a problem and/or is incapable of dealing with it and sticking to their own desires. 

An example would be what to be when they grow up. Kid was interested in talking to recruiter. BM said absolutely not. SK is back for Summer and DH planned to go with him to recruiter to just talk and now NOPE it's not even a considereation because mom said no. And mom has chosen SK's life path and signed up for classes for that trade and hooked up with a friend that owns a business in that trade. (Great for launching but not anywhere near this kids interest or passion or etc.) 

DH feels helpless, I feel some sort of combination of pissed off/sad and annoyed. I'm tend to be logical. If I show you A,B C why can't you get to D? DH completely gets why the kid can't have a backbone with BM, he barely escaped her hold himself. (dramatic I know but the stories he tells ...ugh).

I feel for this kid. This is where I wish I were disengaged and could turn off the care.



Gimlet's picture

BM convinced OSS that he isn't nearsighted.  He is.  The eye exam proved it, but he won't get glasses.  He is nothing more than an extension of her.

I don't see him much anymore, but I have so many examples of this.  They are so enmeshed and it's sad, because he's never going to be a full, actual person with his own thoughts and feelings.

AlwaysHope's picture

So sorry to hear.  I have 3 adult SK's enmeshed with my DH. It's 4 bodies with 1 mind (head).  They are all fighting not to return to the therapist, it is a horrible codependency. 

nengooseus's picture

My SS10 is so blinded by BM's BS that he says he doesn't like shrimp (something we know he loved before BM poisoned him against it.  I've seen the kid eat a pound or more in one sitting!).  We had shrimp for dinner one night.  He liked it, but he was clearly troubled by the fact that he liked it.  He went upstairs and vomited.  

In our case, BM's love for skids is contingent upon their compliance with her whims and preferences.  They get shut out or criticized if they express their own opinions.  

When they are with us, we try hard to get them to try new things, to pick things on their own (clothes, foods, etc.), and we talk about the need to have their own opinions in hopes that when they're older and have the chance, they will be prepared to do it.  We've also had to focus on skids' critical thinking skills, generally.  She's definitely *not* teaching them how to be adults, and with SD being 15 1/2, she needs to learn!

advice.only2's picture

It's hard, but you really have to just turn if off and ultimately the kid will find his own path in life...or he should hopefully unless he can't untangle and un-mesh from his mommy.

ICanMakeIt's picture

What do the parents that do this to their kids gain from this? I really would love to know the logic behind the madness.

nengooseus's picture

As another poster put it, these parents see their children as extensions of themselves--they can't consider them as independent humans.  This is typical of parents with Cluster B personality disorders (Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, or Histrionic).

ESMOD's picture

My DH's Ex used to get my younger SD all hyped up about ridiculous career paths... lol.

IDK.. I think kids want to please their parents.  So.. they go along with a lot of stuff/

Simpleton21's picture

LOL, I agree on these kids wanting to please their parents (usually if the parent is HC).  My son doesn't seem to care about pleasing me! He is all about his independence and own thoughts!  I'm glad that he will stand up for himself though.

My SD is a total BM pleaser.

advice.only2's picture

It's a power and control thing. Most GUBM's thrive on not only wielding the power but controlling the children over the ex partner. For them this is all a game they are playing and they are playing to win at all costs.

ICanMakeIt's picture

I can totally see the control angle esp knowing BM. But what does winning look like to her? Two kids that turn 18 and are up her butt not living their best life possible? The PAS is not to the point (yet and hopefully never) that they don't love dad. They just don't value him as an equal parental figure. His opinions,advice, etc. 

advice.only2's picture

Once the children lose their income value she won't care anymore and they will be free to be daddy's BFF, in fact she will encourage them to now go live with daddy! This usually backfires and the kids end up firmly dependent and enmeshed with the GUBM.

Gimlet's picture


ICanMakeIt's picture

Thank you for the information and sharing your story - If you find the article I would really love to read it. 

I wish you well with the YSS situation - I can't imagine how much work and patience it is taking. You are doing her job for her and way better than she ever could. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, this is my SS20. He can't think for himself and BM runs his life. He's completely enmeshed with her but has no idea that he is, he doesn't see it. 

Simpleton21's picture

This is also my SD13.  Everytime she opens her mouth I'm sure she is just repeating something BM said.  Also BM puts her in every sport under the sun and I can tell SD doesn't enjoy any of them but doesn't want to let BM down or argue with BM....instead she fakes injuries constantly...which BM also feeds into and overly exaggerates.  It is control, power, manipulation, and just sick really.  Hard to watch but I have mostly just disengaged from it all. 

ldvilen's picture

“Have any of you dealt with SK that is a good kid in general but manipulated so badly (In my opinion) they genuinely don't know where their own thoughts start and their BM's stop?”  Cripes!  I’d say that is probably about 90% of all SKs out there, and for 50% or so, that will follow into adulthood.

Lifer33's picture

Ss10 cant hold a single thought or make a single decision for himself. It really annoys dh. Hey son do you want to do? (something nice) you can see his brains ticking that he'd love to but hold up I best ask my mum. 

Ispofacto's picture

Our BM, Satan, is 100% about money.  In fact GBM knew how much money DH made before she found out his first name.  Satan chose DH when she saw his parents' BMW the day he moved into their apartment complex.  Her plan was to get pregnant, so Killjoy's nickname could just as easily be Paycheck.

She knew she was a bad parent and was always afraid of losing custody of Paycheck.  So any indication Killjoy gave of liking or being interested in anyone besides BM or her flying monkeys were met with smothering rage.



strugglingSM's picture

First rule of HC / enmeshed BMs is to convince both the child and the world, that their thoughts and feelings are one in the same. 

In our case, one SS will always be excited to do things, until BM convinces him that he doesn't like them. We will always hear from BM first, "SS doesn't want to do that" and then we'll later hear from SS that he doesn't want to do it. The biggest one was skiing. BM didn't want to pay and also wanted to control DH's time, so she kept telling DH "SS doesn't even like skiing! He only goes because you make him!" This was after this SS kept asking "when are we going skiing again?" Now that BM is assured that she will not have to pay, SS now demands that we buy him a season pass and allow him to take his ski equipment home so BM can take him skiing (neither of which will ever happen). 

This SS is also constantly serving as BM's mouthpiece and telling DH things he must do...things he must pay for...things he must be responsible for...telling him that he must go to counseling with BM...that he must return all of BM's texts...and on and on and on. 

Now that SS is a teen, I'm so dying to say to him, "if you ever want a girlfriend, you need to stop being so tied to your mother, because no woman will ever be okay with your mother calling all the shots in your life!" 

Gimlet's picture

Your BM makes me stabby because it feels so familiar.

I very much doubt that OSS will ever have a girlfriend.  She would either have to be insane or ridiculously centered and strong, and I don't see that kind of girl going for him.