new phaze with son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just when I think my 29 year old son, who was such a good child but hasn't spoken to us for a year, has peaked, I get even more scared. Very briefly, for those who don't know, S. was the perfect child. We adopted him at six from Hong Kong. OK, well, it wasn't ALL good. He seemed very detached for a kid, but he always did the right thing, was uber-well behaved, has a genius level IQ and is now close to being a millionaire/able to retire. He dumped us two years ago when he met a woman of Chinese origin (and became VERY into his ethnicity) and became fanatical Christian. This is way beyond being a Christian. This is almost cultish and it scares me. I think that in his mind anyone who isn't as fanatical as him and his wife (whom I hate, by the way--and, no, I never told him that) are heathens and should not be associated with. He has dumped his sister whom he was always very close to, and his younger siblings, who adored him, and me. He DOES see his father sparadically. It is kind of spooky that he is ALWAYS with his wife, but they have been joined at the hip since he met her. There is something weird and scary about her, but I can't put my finger on it, and he's been weird and scary too lately. The new development:
    I've written a few letters to him, and, although I tell him I can deal with his rejection (no, I don't put it that way), I always tell him to please see his father. His father, my ex, always favored him, and is 61 years old and not in great health. He never HAS been in good health and I don't want S. to regret anything nor do I want my ex, who I'm good friends with, to have to go through the same pain I feel. I'm healthy and can handle it. He can't. So far S. at least sees him father on holidays. S. is taking his father out for Father's Day. However, he is taking him to The XXX in Chicago. Ex will just blow it off. I'm sure he can go there and not get brainwashed. Then they're having lunch and he'll come home to be with his other two grown kids. What's freaking me out is that S. is actually so fanatical that he'd embrace The XXX. I looked at their website and it scared me. Rules of Conduct? Discipline? "Don't cohort with nonbelievers?" What the h***? He thinks EVERYONE is a nonbeliever unless they are fanatical, like him, and few people are. This place claims to take the Bible literally. I'm truly afraid this young man has been brainwashed. He says he is a Christian, but rejects his family...? Is it because we aren't the same religion as him? Can anyone shed light on this? I get the chills thinking about this, because I remember people talking about The XXX, even Christians, and not in a good way. Do I have any chance of a relationship with this son if we aren't the same degree of Christianity as he is? Even for my son I can't pretend to be that way--I don't even think it's a healthy way to worship. We are Christians, but not devout, and...well, can anybody shed light? I thank God I have four kids who seem to love me and want to be around me, but this still bothers me. I wonder how much of it is that he wasn't adopted until he was almost six. He seems to think his personality was formed before we got him, so we had nothing to do with his development...I hate this. Thanks :smile:
     
  2. KFld

    KFld New Member

    :smile:

    That is scarey!!

    You definitley can't conform to his religious beliefs to have a relationship with him. That would be rediculous. I don't think there is anything you can do at this point, except to pray that someday he realizes what he has done to the family and people who have raised him, and comes around to who he used to be.

    I guess you can look at this as there are worse things he could be doing, drugs, drinking, etc. but still, that doesn't explain to you why or how this all happened.

    It's nice to hear you have such a good and respectful relationship with your ex, to the point that you put his relationship with your son before anything. Not many divorces end that way.
     
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    <span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>Midwest Mom,
    Your son seems to focus in one direction and loses sight of all else around him. This causes him to be driven and very literal, so he could make his million because of the focus, but now he has chosen his wife (and heritage) and religion to focus on. That means that all else will fall by the wayside. I would imagine that he has few friends, even within the church if he is so literal. The church will probably be elated with his skills and interest so I pray there are not greedy people in charge. I have heard of XXX, but not really familiar with other aspects of this church...

    When and if a crisis arises he will undoubtedly turn to his wife's family, but if they are unable to provide help I think he will turn to his first family, you. Until that time you will just have to wait silently. Just let him know you are there. I know this is difficult for you because you ought to be able to share the good times with him, but right now his focus is elsewhere....I wouldn't push because I don't think your son can handle it. He must focus on a few things to be effective and he knows at this point that you don't need him.

    This is all just my 2 cents, so take it for what you paid for it. I think unfortunately you will just have to wait in the wings until he matures or something tragic happens in his life and he can't cope with wife's domination or loses focus....
    The good and bad of being driven?????

    Sending thoughts of stength your way....</span>

    :faint:
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys. Actually S. has always have tons of friends and still does. I believe that most of them now are with his church...of course. He has always been a bit eccentric. If not for his social skills (ability to make friends and charm people) I would wonder if he has Aspergers, but he's just too good at figuring out what people are all about for that. He does get focused--you're right. S. and his wife are not the needy types, either financially or emotionally and I doubt they'll turn to either family for any sort of support, but I hope one day we can have a relationship again. With his religion, I'm not so sure we can because we don't, for example, condemn people who get divorced (he thinks this is WRONG). Heck, sex before marriage is a lethal sin to him. I do believe he was a virgin when he married, as was his wife, who was 31 at the time. He abhors anyone who lives together without being married. Heck, if you swear or accidentally say "Oh God" you get the dirties look! He has a lot of extreme views that I will never have and can never pretend to have even for my son. I have four other kids to think about and they'll think I've blown a gasket if I pretend to share his beliefs. And I'm not a phony, so I couldn't pull it off. I guess I'll have to focus on the other four kids, and detach from this one, even if I think he is being brainwashed. At his age, I can't do anything.
     
  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi MM,
    my brother joined a religious cult when he was in college and cut off contact with our family--he was told he should hate his parents (except he was allowed to call to ask for money). My parents had to sort of write him off, so to speak, there was nothing they could do. My mom said she just had to figure she didn't have a son anymore. Well, after a few years he mellowed some and began contacting my parents--the cult moved out of the U.S. and he has lived in South America for about 25 yrs and has about 10 kids. Now he comes to the U.S. to try to raise money for the group and he always sees my mom. They have a pretty nice relationship now.

    I also have a sister-in-law who was involved with the XXX for awhile when she was in her early 20's (before I knew her). She also mellowed out and left the church. I do think it is "cultish" in nature.

    I don't know of anything you can do except be there for him if he wants you in his life. You certainly don't need to change your own beliefs or conform in any way to his. Hopefully he will mellow out with time.

    Hugs,
    Jane
     
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That sounds very precarious. I think it makes it even more difficult when his wife is the one who brought him into the cult. I think it is probably a good thing that your ex is being invited, and that he is willing to go. If your son has some sort of contact with family, maybe he will be able to reach out someday.
     
  7. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    I have never heard of the XXX, but one of Melissa's friends just graduated from the XXX in Chicago. I know they had strict rules there like no boys were allowed in the girls' dorms and no girls in the boys' dorms. They were not allowed to go to the movies, but Melissa's friend watched movies when she came home on breaks. She also said you are not supposed to say "Oh God" or "Oh my God" because that is using God's name casually--you should only use His name if you are praying to Him (it was some kind of explanation like that).

    Like I said I don't know anything about the XXX, but I do know from my own Christian church, that "nonbeliever" simply means someone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God (and I would think that's what most Christians believe). But we were never told at our church to not talk to or hang out with "nonbelievers." That is absurd.

    Anyway, I am sorry your son has cut off your relationship with him. And no, you cannot fake that you have taken on the religion of this church. I guess all you can do is pray and wait to see if he comes around. I'm sure it is very disheartening for you.

    Hugs,
    Sue
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. Hey, we have been in the Catholic and Lutheran Church, but to my son those aren't christian churches...lol. Unlike the kid who came home and broke the rules, Scott and difficult child wife NEVER break the rules. they don't even own a television, as it is evil. They don't believe in giving presents. My son used to be very generous with his younger siblings, but now they are lucky to get a computerized birthday card from him. He usually doesn't even acknowledge them. I got no acknowledgement for mothers day until three days later w hen I got a strange card from his wife only. It said "Celebrate" on the front and was blank inside (definitely not a Mothers Day Card). She wrote a short message thanking me for the wonderful man that my son is. If you knew her, you'd realize that was a nasty dig. She signed her name without "love" or including my son's name. What a Christian, huh? I'm wondering if the church tells the members only to date people of their own race. It wouldn't shock me if this cultish church was also racist. Scott was obviously raised in a multi-racial family, but, for a while, he would only date Chinese women. Asian wasn't enough. They had to be Chinese. I guess I'll step back. I really can't condone what he is doing and, although the door is always open, I don't know how I'd deal with them if he chose to see me. I often slip up and say "Oh, my God" and I watch movies and my daughter (his sister) is living with her boyfriend of four years, and I don't find it a lethal sin. We speak different languages. Extreme Christians make me feel they are judging everything I do...I don't understand them. I'm comfortable in regular, mainstream churches, not these extreme places. They weird me out. I admit my son weirds me out. His wife gives me a strange feeling. She smiles in your face, but you get the sense that she has great disdain for you...hard to explain. I've only seen her three times. She definitely had a big role in pulling him away. She wanted him all to herself.
     
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Please don't blast me as I've never heard of this church.

    But I haven't read anything that leads me to believe it is cultish. Strict maybe. But I grew up with this stuff. So I guess it doesn't seem as Out There to me. Actually, I've seen worse. And there are even stricter ones around here. (dress/hair code ect)

    If you have a link MWM I'd like to see about this one. I've been out of the organized religion loop for about 25 yrs, and it doesn't sound the least bit familiar. (I might change my mind after visiting the site)

    I'll insert here that while I don't knock organized religion, it just isn't at all for me.

    But my Mom's church would probably curl your hair and give you nitemares. :surprise: She was telling me not long ago that members were strongly encouraged NOT to buy or get services from anyone not assoc with the church. Need a plumber, find one in the church. That sort of thing. And it just gets worse from there.

    My Mom is fanatical, always has been when her mental stability isn't there. Once she evens out again it sort of disapates til the next episode. It doesn't vanish, just eases up. I could tell when I spoke to her the other day that dealing with my stepdad's death is about to plunge her into another episode. *sigh* It's how she attempts to "cope" with her mental illness. (although I don't think she realizes it)

    What I find odd is that they don't seem to anxious to recruit new members. I mean, how are you supposed to "save" the heathens if you can't assoc with them?? Maybe with ex going to the church he can get a glimpse of the inside and provide more info on the situation.

    I know it hurts the way he's treating you. (and it's pretty non christian by the way) But I'd try not to take it personally. As for the whole Chinese thing, I think he's desperate to feel connected with his roots, culture, and thinks wife has all the answers and validates him. (not a good thing)

    Hopefully his interest will begin to wain soon. Usually unless they have the personality for it, this sort of super enthusiastic church stuff grows old after a while.

    (((hugs)))
     
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I don't know if this is any comfort, but I did some research and found this:


    So, while it is strict and Calvinistic, it does not sound like a cult that cuts children off from their parents. Hopefully, as your son ages, he will become a little more reasonable and a lot less judgmental. I'm sorry for your pain.



     
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Just thought I'd remind folks of the "House Rules".

    We do NOT name names because the potential liability is too great. I think I was able to edit out all of the references to this particular sect but please review and edit your posts in case I missed any.

    Sorry meowbunny- most of the content of your reply was deleted. If you can PM MWM with those links, I'm sure she will appreciate it.

    Just to be on the safe side, I am going to suggest that further discussion specifically about XXX go to PM or email.

    Thanks!

    Suz
     
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    MM, I am familiar with this type of Christianity and in fact attend a church with similar doctrine. I firmly believe what is happening here with your son is beyond the bounds of the church and Biblical principles. This religion most assuredly would discourage premarital sex and swearing, but honestly in a world that's sexually out of control I don't see a problem with that in itself.

    This church has no taboos on holidays or cards, TV, doesn't encourage ignoring their family, being associated with nonbelievers (although they wouldn't condone marriage to a nonbeliever) or to date or not date people of any racial background. If your son has made these choices they are HIS choices alone and/or choices he's made to be more closely aligned with his SO. You can blame the church (and you probably will) but there are alway people who will take religion or anything else they are involved with to the extreme and beyond and your son appears to be one of them. No doubt if it was my son who'd dumped his mother and family I'd be mightily upset too but I suspect your son might have followed this woman into whatever she happened to be involved with.
     
  13. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I would continue to love him, but remind him that even Christ embraced all sinners, regardless of race creed or religion. he hung out with them all. your son is not being Christlike by isolating people.
    hugs for your continued hurt.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. I definitely think my son is taking the absolute most extreme view and, for him, it has become cultish. That doesn't mean everyone there is, but there is certainly a lot of judging for things that regular people, including those who consider themselves Christians, do all the time. I know there is nothing I can do. I don't blame the church because my son chose it, but, in my opinion only, this type of fanatism isn't good and worries me. I can't help it, being Mom. I know religion can help one through the trials of life, but, for him, he has no life outside of his wife and his church and his church friends. When you are with him, he and his wife hear us talking and give each other conspirtal little smiles that are truly eerie to me. I hope he strikes a happy medium one day. I never think being a fanatic is good, no matter what a person is fanatic about because you become blind to all views but your own. Thanks again. Suz, I understand about editing out the name.
     
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    MM, I have a father with an obsessive type personality. When he was a younger man his obsessions would typically be on various projects (building stuff, raising horses, etc.). At one point in his life those obsessions branched out and also hit on things like religions (several, and always that of the woman he was dating) and political causes. I've lost track of the various political causes but they include things like Y2K and terrorism, and his current one is immigration. Later he was diagnosed with cancer and his theme for that year was how he whipped it and he never passed up a chance to elaborate on it when he was on the phone or saw me in person.

    My brother and I both finally blocked his email because of all the junk he would forward (and wouldn't quit with polite requests). Once my brother got so disgusted that he took all the junk he'd mailed in a week (about 30) and forwarded them back to him, knowing that he didn't have broadband and it would take an age to download. Even that only stopped him for a short time period.

    Most of the time his fanaticism has been merely a huge pain to be around--honestly most of his issues have basis in legitimate concerns but he *always* takes them so far to the extreme that no one can stand it except for his kindred spirits. I think his fanaticism must fill a real void in his life, both socially and in giving him a sense of purpose. For instance, in the year leading up to Y2K he was meeting regularly with a group to prepare for the collapse of the world as we know it. Once (that I know of) it did go beyond and got him into legal trouble in the form of a restraining order against a government official he wouldn't quit writing to in what must have been in a threatening manner.

    I've never really thought of it but I'd guess that fanaticism of most kinds-even that which brings around positive changes--can't be easy for families to deal with. Can you imagine what the mothers of the founders of our nation would have been posting? "Egads--you can't imagine what my Georgie just did! My son the political zealot..."

    Hang in there, he'll likely tone down. If it wouldn't have been this woman and this particular issue, it probably would have been something else.
     
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, SRL. He was obsessive about computers as a teen. He could build them and taught himself I dont' know how many computer languages and is making a mother in law in the computer industry now. We called him "Bill Gates" :smile: He invents programs too. However, that amused us. This SCARES us. I'm afraid he'll get so sucked in, he'll never get out. If so, he'll think we're all forever heathens because we watch TV, swear sometimes, had sex before marriage, I got divorced, etc. etc. etc. His wife is not the reason, but she is a catalyst. However, all we can do is wait and see. Thanks for your long, thoughtful post. It made me think and gave me some hope.
     
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