ALL THIS - IT's at the least half my faul..I cannot see it any other way-I have tried

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dollphyn, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. dollphyn

    dollphyn New Member

    This is only directed to myself and only myself...I have read so many of your stories on here but we ourselves only know the crannies of the details on our lives. I have thought and thought about this and here is my conclusion on 'mine" - All this, the problem I am having with my son, is at the least, half my fault...yes he is 28 years old and he was not working, almost burnt the house down, disrespectful, stole from me and others in my home, wrecked my car , came home drunk...but you know what, this is partly me to blame..I raised him to be spoiled..I am the one when he got into a pickle I bailed him was me that drove 50 miles to get him these new shoes that came out and you could not find them anywhere around was me me me!! So now he is a grown human being and a result of what I have done. I just cannot help thinking this way either. I taught him to be an Azz...and then when he grows up into an azz I kick him out of the house..something just don't seem right about this! I should have never had kids...I just have just stuck with my critters...I feel like I have made the biggest mistake with him and if only I had taught him there were always consequences, good and bad, and a better work ethic....I don't know anything except I just suck!
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    dollphyn, many of us spoil our kids and most don't turn out to be difficult child's. He is an adult now and responsible for his own actions. I don't buy the fact that you made him like this. Did you start out trying to make him an A**. Of course not. You did what you did at the time because that's what you thought was best. All of us could have done things differently with our difficult child's. We did the best we could with what we knew at the time. Perhaps I should have been less strict with my difficult child. Yes I spoiled her too but I also made her responsible for her actions at an early age and held her accountable. She still turned out to be a difficult child.

    Having said that we can't change what we don't acknowledge so now that you know you may have spolied him you can stop and make him accountable. It's time he become a man. Don't be so hard on yourself. Accept that fact that you aren't perfect, none of us are perfect.

  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh, Dollphyn. I know you are hurting SO badly right now. We've all been there, wondering what we did to mess up our kid(s) so much, going over all the mistakes we made, all the times we did this or didn't do that, the "what ifs" and "if onlys." I certainly can pinpoint some things I did that were dead wrong with my kids and probably pointed them in the wrong direction. I have so many regrets, you just wouldn't believe it. Things I won't admit to anyone except myself, and maybe my therapist. But you know what? There's no way of knowing whether or not doing things differently would have resulted in a different outcome. There is NO way to know that. And rehashing over all of it, and heaping the guilt onto ourselves, doesn't help. I'm here to tell you after years of rehashing it myself, that it's pointless, and hanging onto that guilt will only cause you more pain than you're in now. Because in the end, what matters is what you do today, in this moment. You can't change the past, you can't control the future. You can only control what you do *now.* You have to let the past go, right or wrong. Grieve for what wasn't, and what isn't, but then move forward, don't let yourself dwell on things you can't change. There's a reason so many of us use the Serenity Prayer as a mantra:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Even if you're not a religious person, there is peace to be found in saying that over and over to yourself.

    Gentle hugs to you. Please forgive yourself. You deserve that.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry you are hurting. I agree with Nancy's post. Even if there is some truth to what you say, not all adult children who had indulgent (or overindulgent) parents grow up to be difficult children. There are probably other things going on as well. It's okay that you have realized that you may have had some SMALL role in SOME of this. The most important thing is that you realize that you can not enable your adult child. This doesn't help him one bit and more than likely is very damaging. He is 28 years old and it is time that he realizes (and he should have done this on his own, really) that he has to be a responsible and respectful human being. No way in the world should you accept otherwise. You set a good example when you don't. Do not live in the past. What is done is done. Move forward and hold your head up high as you do. If possible and appropriate and if you have the opporunity, you might gently and briefly tell him that you wish you had did things differently teaching him more responsibility when he was younger. But that you love him and know in your heart that he is going to be fine. You are doing what needs to be done for both of your sakes. Then, with as little emotion as possible, move forward and let the past go. If this pain gets the best of you, don't hesitate to seek the advice of a therapist. This stuff is very, very difficult. Sounds like you are stronger than you think. Hang in there.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 25, 2011
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member


    I so agree with whats been stated above...None of us is perfect and we only have NOW to work with.

    You know dollphyn...
    I tried to do things differently than how I was raised. What I wanted most was a family.
    My mom raised me alone (didn't meet my dad til I was 17).
    No brothers or sisters.
    My mom moved me 10 times around the country before I was in the 9th grade.

    So what did I do...Had 3 children. Have been married to the same man for 25yrs. Have lived mostly in the same area for the past 20 yrs. Gave my children siblings.
    Helped them with homework projects etc...whereas my mom gave me very very little support.
    I was a stay at home mom as opposed to the career mom that mine was.

    Yes, we spoiled...were there consequences too. You bet, lol, my mom used to say that all my children were going to remember about their childhood was what the "corners" of our house looked like. As I sent them to the corner for time out frequently...mostly the difficult child's.

    But that's the thing...I ended up with 2 difficult child's anyway. And they have seen a good life. Lots of family dinners, family game nights, vacations, lots of sports activities, various kinds of lessons, including art, piano, etc.

    What can we do now. That is a really good thought for me as well today as I am struggling to find answers too.
    But I know beating myself up...won't solve a thing.

    I hope you are able to reconsile this within yourself. You did the VERY best you could and you knew how, and like me, you may have even gone against the grain of how you were order to make a difference in your children's lives. Trying to do everything either differently or get positive results by all that you believed in.

    Raising a difficult child is not for the faint of it's been said.
    I am sending you strength and a prayer that you find peace in all the things that you DID do well and with all the love you DID provide.

    These difficult child's constantly try to make it about someone/something else...but this is no one's fault but their own. I don't believe that many of our difficult child's have any vaild true really good reasons for their horrible behavior.

    This is not your fault...promise.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I do hear what you are saying. I am not a therapist or doctor for mental health but I do know when everything looks so negative it tends to be some depression mixed in..which by the way you have a right to! I think we all can take responsibility for our part in events in life. It is ok to think we could have done better in some ways. But with a balanced perspective. You were doing the best you could do at the time. There are billions of spoiled kids in the world. They do not all grow up to be rude to their parents and to have these kinds of mental health problems. Once we are adults, providing we are not mentally delayed or so mentally ill that we are detached from reality, we have to take responsibility for ourselves. Just MHO! I am so sorry you are hurting. All is not lost. Keep on working on your own health and be a role model for him. You are worth it! Please check in more often so we can share with you. You are not alone in your feelings or experiences.
    my love and prayers are with you, Dee (aka buddy)
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    By accepting the blame for your son's discredit him.

    You give him no credit for being able to think for himself.

    And surely, somewhere all the way, he must have said "No" to you and "I don't wanna". Nobody raises an automaton that does everything we say and follows our every example.

    You two have simply gotten into a dysfunctional habit.

    Now - you need to break that pattern.

    No blame here....just time for a change.


    Good luck!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    doll, my daughter Jumper is the most spoiled on the planet. She says "jump" and hub says "how high." She gets everything she asks for and we go out of our way too to find things for her that they don't have around here...and often spend more thatn we can afford.
    Sonic is also spoiled. He has a PS3, a Wee, an XBox and every handheld system you can imagine and a ton of games and DVDs.
    Both kids are respectful toward us, ok if we do have to say "no", non-criminal, and just kind human beings who would do anything for anybody. Your son is your son because in my opinion he got some bad genes and probably some bad friends and maybe he also uses drugs,w hich retards emotional growth.
    You did not cause it and should not bring him back into your house until he can be a decent human being, spoiled or not spoiled. JMO
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Dollphyn-you can't reason with a difficult child. You can't discuss things with them or set limits-because they turn the discission to blaming you.

    So us reasonable, loving, caring mothers try to reason with ourselves --go around and around in circles and find reasons to blame ourselves. Why? Because we care & we want to fix things. And since difficult children refuse fixing-we turn our efforts to and blame ourselves.

    I was an entitled, indulged, spoiled rotten teenager. I was given a sports car at 17 (totaled by my boyfriend at 19), my parents regularly issued punishments that I charmed my way out of, I was a prolific spender using my "for emergencies only" Amex to fund emergency mall shopping sprees when I was down. A solid C- student, I attended a $$$ college because they accepted me & my relieved parents were thrilled to pay the bill. Even today, I could call my mom and tell her I fell in love with a dress out of my price range and she would offer to buy it for me. (but I don't)

    Regardless, I never missed a curfew, came home altered in any way, was never verbally nor physically disrespectful to my parents and I grew up. (college graduate ON THE DEANS LIST, married at 23, bought a house, worked in the same job for 23 years+) And while I know my mom would move heaven and earth for me-I would never ask unless it was a true emergency.

    I have raised my 3 boys-- been the same "mom" to each of them - yet their temperments/behaviors are very different. 2 of them are very mellow and well behaved. So obviously mothers are not the magic ingredient that turn kids into difficult child

    Don't buy into the self blame. Your difficult child is deflecting blame because he can't handle the truth and accept responsibility for his own failures.

    STOP being so hard on yourself-- stay busy & do something fun. Get lost in movies on demand or hgtv for a few hours.

    You want fault? Here : As a wonderful mother who loves her son unconditionally - you unwittingly enabled him to hold your love against you. That's nothing to feel guilty about. But you're not unwitting anymore. Stay strong dear friend. {{{hugs}}}
    Lasted edited by : Oct 25, 2011
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Aww, sweetie. ((hugs))

    Tells me you're one heck of a mom to take on half the blame, if not all the blame, for your son's behavior.

    And yeah, ok, so you spoiled him as a kid. Yup. That probably wasn't a good idea, and no it didn't prepare him that life was not going to just hand him stuff.

    BUT (love those buts by the way lol ) He is an Adult. He's been an adult for 10 yrs. A decade, for Pete's sake. He alone is responsible for his own decisions.

    Now, my Mom severely abused and neglected me as a child. So by your reasoning, if I as an adult chose to abuse and neglect my children, I'd have good reason to do so......and not only that, my Mom would carry at least (if not all) of the blame.

    However, as an adult........actually as a very young teen........I made the conscious decision not to either abuse or neglect my children. And throughout my adult life have made uncountable decisions to uphold that one.

    Now why would I do that if my Mom taught me to abuse and neglect by her parenting of me? Well, there are other influences in our lives just as important as our parents where we learn valuable life lessons. Extended family, school, work, friends, interacting in society at large. And while my mother was abusing and neglecting me at home.......I saw that most people didn't treat their children that way, and those people I watched and learned from on how to parent my own kids.

    Your son had the same outside of the home feedback over the "spoiling" issue, trust me. Now what he decided to do with that feedback was totally up to him.

    Not to mention the fact that I've known more than my fair share of kids who were rotten spoiled and yet turned out just fine as adults.

    Hindsight is 20/20. We do the best with what we know how to do at the time. It's not an excuse, it's just a simple statement of the truth. Now you're trying to learn more so that you can do better, and that is always a good thing. We all grow and learn as we age, learning never stops.

    And as DF said, we also as human beings tend to get ourselves into habitual behavior patterns. Most of the time this is a good thing, but sometimes it causes us to shoot ourselves in the foot. That you recognize what behavior was not the best approach with your difficult child, is a huge first step to changing that behavior because habits are hard to break.

    I also used to think that my active parenting days were over once my kids hit adulthood. Wow. That couldn't have been further from the truth. However it's more of a guidance role now than discipline and I speak up rarely and only when I think it's really a necessary thing to do. I will also say that even though I didn't spoil my kids, I was too poor for it to ever be an issue, as an adult they found out rather quickly there were things mom suddenly stopped doing for them or helping them with......a rather long list as it was basically everything. And even for easy child to some degree, it was a bit of a shock....even kids have to adjust to their new roles.

    So. Now you realize that difficult child needs to face the consequences of his behavior in order to learn those important life lessons. Yup. A very good thing, for both you and difficult child. And from here forward you should practice your detachment skills in order to let difficult child face the consequences on his own for the choices he makes. But what you should not do, and what is not good for you to do, is to take on the guilt, the blame of the choices he makes as an adult. He has his own mind, and as an adult he has to take responsibility for his own actions.

    You are not a bad parent. You are not to blame. None of us here are perfect or know everything. That you are here seeking new ways of learning to help your difficult child speaks volumes all by itself. Kids don't come with an instruction manual.

  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I completely, 100% disagree with your assessment of yourself. So there! LOL!

    I just went back and read your other post where you introduced yourself. Sorry, but that guy (at 28 he is not a kid) needed you to kick him out.

    Sometimes, the hardest parenting moves are exactly what our kids need. And I think that is just the case here.

    Even if I agree with you that you spoiled him rotten and made him what he is today (I don't, but let's pretend)...then even in that scenario, the best solution is for him to not live under your roof. So - just accept you just made the best decision for all involved. Period.

    Good job!!!
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dollphynn, I know that I too feel that I should take some responsibility for how my kid's were raised. I was an undiagnosed bipolar mother for most of my children's lives. They also got my genes and those genes ran down my maternal side. I was not the best parent to my kids and I know it. However if I am going to take part of the responsibility for the bad things that they do, I get to take part of the responsibility when they do something good.

    I have three boys. One is an Aspie that was never diagnosed because I failed to even notice it when he was young. That was on me. I wish I had that to do over but he is making great strides now. I have a middle son who is ADHD but has made pretty good decisions. He went into the Marines as a Military Policeman, did his 4 years, came out and got a job with the sheriff's department as an animal control officer and he is also a deputy sheriff. He loves his job and has been doing it since 2007. He bought a townhouse in 2008 and is pretty happy. My youngest is more of a problem but he is trying.

    We can only do what we can do. When we find out we have done something we need to stop, we stop. I had to throw out my youngest because it was best for him and me. When I did that he grew up and became so much better. He likes himself so much more. He feels like a man instead of a teen. When young men live at home they feel like teens and they really dont like that.

    I do have one who still lives at home and he is 30 so it may sound odd that I say this but he is the aspie one. He isnt violent or disrespectful to us. I do have a few issues with him but not many. He is planning on moving out soon...probably in the next 6 months or so. In the mean time he does help out with things. In fact he just bought me a new phone. Billy really isnt a problem.
  13. BellJar

    BellJar New Member

    Hi Dollphyn,

    I am brand new here and at the beginning of my journey so I don't have a lot of advice to give but I had to stop by and offer you a big cyber hug. Your son spiralling out of control is NOT your fault. If every single spoiled kid on this planet started fires and stole we'd all be standing in charred smoking ruins right now, wondering where our wallets went. Could you have done some things better? Sure, probably. Welcome to the club! If you could see us all, and you asked us which one of us never made mistakes as a parent, no one's hand would be up. There is something else going on, something you did not do and something that you cannot fix. And everybody else is exactly right. He is an adult now and he has to take responsibility, and the avoidance of that is clearly something he did NOT learn from you.


    Hang in there, and be kind to yourself.
  14. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add that like Janet I have mental illness in my genes. I have Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism runs amok on both sides of the family tree. husband and I both sought help for ourselves. We have shown our difficult child sons what it means to look outside themselves for better answers too. We have shown them Rehab, EGBS, Hospitalizations, medications, AA, various types of educational settings church etc.

    I do not blame myself anymore like I used to...The list of those who could be blamed in my family tree is too long.

    All we can do is our best. Sounds like you are doing that dollphyn...You are being braver than I am at this point as I cannot bring myself to put my young difficult child back out into the streets again at this time.

    It is so painfully hard to "do" the right thing and know just exactly what to do with our difficult child's.
    But I don't believe that your son's behavior is your fault.

    With care,
  15. dollphyn

    dollphyn New Member

    Thank you all very much! I know in my brain that each and every one of you are right..and bless your hearts, each one on a heck of a ride with your own problems and your own mountains to climb...just that my heart tells me different, and I guess in time I will get pass this feeling...I know what I have done is all I had left to do for my son..I am trying to think of it that way...that it is something I have done to help him..probably the last thing. I was, and still am to a degree, in a slump this morning and woke up thinking what if I had not woke up? What if I had died in my sleep or what if this is my last day on earth? I want to leave here without my son hearing my last I sit down and typed out a 2 page letter to him...if I die before I ever reconcile with him, I want that letter to be handed to him..I do not want to leave this earth without my last attempt for him to understand why I did what I did..I know he being an adult should know, but the sad thing is I really don't think he does...but maybe one day it will hit him up side the head, who knows..untill then I think I am going to go about my business, take care of my mother the best I can, and my husband, who has been brushed aside so many times in the past years so my son can get the attention. I need to pull up carpet in two more rooms in my house(one of these days we're getting some wood flooring).I need to paint the entire inside of the house and get some new ceiling fans and new doors hung...but right now, at this minute, I'm gonna go bake a chocolate pie!! Bless you all..bless your hearts..and bless your families...may peace find each and everyone of you!
  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    Oh hugs... I know those of feelings of self blame, they are awful and really don't help anyone. Please find and go to an alanon meeting, hopefully a parents one. The first meeting I went to I came home and had the best night sleep I had had in a while. At the time my son was either in jail or had just gone to rehab. Why did I sleep better that night? Because I had sat in a room with a bunch of wonderful people who all had kids who were addicts. I could see they were really nice people and their kids problems were not their fault.... which meant, wait a minute maybe my difficult children problems are not all my fault either!!!! So take heart in the fact that many on this board are in a similar situation as you, have had Occupational Therapist (OT) kick our difficult children out of the house and we are nice people too!!!

    I have gotten to a place most of the time where although I have regrets, and wished I had done some things differently, I know that I absolutely did the best I could. And as they say in alanon "You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, and you can't control it". That is so so true. Your son is an adult now and it really truly is up to him.

    Sure you could have done some things differently but so could we all. Do you really think if you hadn't driven that 50 miles for that pair of shoes that he would have ended up differently? No he wouldn't have. Who knows you might be saying now "If only I had gotten him that pair of shoes"....

    So try to stop 2nd guessing yourself because really it does no good. It is time to learn to live in the here and now and move on from here. Do what is right now. It is not too late to hold him accountable and to stop spoiling him. He is not too old to learn...

    Hang in there.

  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with your last post. Write him the letter. That is a great thing to do. Most likely he will come around long before it is needed but good to have just in case. Email me a piece of that pie!
  18. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Hon, my parents alternated spoiling me rotten with beating me black and blue (I'm sure the first involved some guilt over the second). What I did with that was to become a straight-A student, responsible mom and employee and build a solid life, including taking care of both of my parents during their final illnesses. Everything is choices. We respond to what happens to us in life based on who we are as a person, not based on what our parents did or did not do. I think you've wanted the best for him, and are even now trying to figure out a way to make that happen. Beating yourself up will not magically fix the bad choices he makes, and as a PP said, devalues him. His choices are ALL HIS, good and bad, and he gets both the blame and the credit (as soon as he does something credit-worthy).
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    way to go
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Here here to E. Hayes post! Bravo! Like she and others have said, no matter what happened to us and/or your son when we were kids, when we become adults at 18 (for the most part) and 21 FOR SURE, all bets are OFF. Time to move on plain and simple. When I said to tell him at some point (briefly) that you wish you did things differently, I want to make sure you realize that this is for your benefit and only do this if you feel it would help you and if you can find the right time to do it and you can do it appropriately and simply. DON'T let him wallow in or use such a thing. You only did what you thought was best...having every best intention. And now you are doing what you KNOW is best. He is an adult and his lifestyle is not good for him, for you or for society. He does have a CHOICE. I love this quote "It's choice not chance that determines our destiny." He is making choices to blame everyone in the world, including a parent who cares for him. Good for you for moving forward with what you need to do. You set a good example by doing this and you will feel better and better/strong and stronger each day.