Please respond - Mother in Guatemala

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by runawaybunny, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Guest

    <span style="color: #000099">Hi everyone, I am posting this message on behalf of the author. She is going to review the responses to her message here and then register for her own membership:</span>

    I do not know if it is too late to search for help. I have a 21 year old son and we´ve got to a point that is unbearable.

    We live in Guatemala. Since he was a baby he showed signs of being gifted and talented. He started talking at the age of four months, and at the end of his first year he was able to walk, run , draw faces with eyes and eyebrows and speak…, Speak like a four-year old boy. He played soccer and understood its rules since he was two year and a half. We we sent him tu nursery, the teachers were astonished at his capacities in almost all areas (he was two-years old). In addition he was very sociable and happy.

    We live in Guatemala and had (at that time) balance in our economy and I was still married. I`m a victim of a terrible assault when I was sixteen when I was raped and treated with extreme violence by a group of armed men. I developed a mistreated and neglected by my family group PTSD, that I could started to care about with medical assitance almost 10 years later when my son was two years old. I still suffer from it.

    When he was six, he developed a fear of abandonement with me, and I couldn´t leave him for a half hour, he was in rage and panic. This was just in our house, because at school he did well, but did not show his skills as in the beginning. Gradually he started failing at school and becoming more and more aggressive. The abandonement behaviours ended when I divorced. But he became aggressive and started to fail even more at school. At this moment he was 10. He was popular, still, pertained to the soccer team in his school, but could not face failure, if he couldn´t or his team couldn´t win, he was not able to cope with it and started having trouble with his couch and friends.

    When he developed the abandonement fear or fobia, (at six) we took him to a Psychologist who treated him for almost two years and there was no change. He stopped the behaviors (crying everytime I left home, etc.) when we divorced, or my ex husband leaved home.

    At the age of eleven, he was asked to repeat the course because of his low development in math. We went to the best Psychiatrist in our country and he was evaluated in many areas. They found that he had an IQ of 127, 137 in the verbal area and 121 in the manipulative area. This showed that he was talented. They couldn´t find real signs of ADD, but they found he was extremely anxious and angry and had defiant behaviors and poor self-esteem.

    He was treated with therapy for few months, but refused to go. They recommended us to change him to another school. But it was not a good advise. He started to fail in all the subjects and was asked to leave this school forever because of his defiant behaviour and being a negative leader.

    We placed him in a schools supposed to help troubled teens. They had structure from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The first two years worked, at least in school he was trying. At home he became outrageously defiant, verbally aggressive and intolerant towards me (mother). He went crazy when I started a new relationship. He called me names, tried to hit me, etc.

    He went to live with my sister (we live in the same place, just a house in the middle) because he said he couldn´t bear being near me because I was a total faillure as a mother.

    I think I cried every day, since he has been 12-years old, because of his aggressive behaviours. I tried establishing limits, asking for respect, trying to validate his emotions, but nothing helped.

    The school change its program to a regular one, so I decided he finished highschool homeschooling, because he was about to fail his third academic year.

    He finished highschool and now is at what we call “University” in our country, but I believe he is just faking “doing” something, I think that he will drop soon.

    He was passionate about rock and had a band, obsessed about it all day long for a year and then dropped it.

    Now he is obssed with his girlfriend, who went to Paris for a year, and he is obsessed in going there to visit her and is every day asking me for the money that in this moment I do not have. He has no other conversation, no other idea in his mind. He just asks for money, if I do not give him money for his cell phone (he has been spending over a thousand dollars in calls to Europe) he attacks me verbally or tries to destroy parts of our property.

    Two years ago, I moved with my fiancée. He stayed home. We lived in a group of family houses, my sister, brother and mother they all live there. He did not wanted to come with me I did not want him to come with me either, because the aggressiveness is unbearable and I found some peace in my new home. Though, everybody makes me feel like I abandoned him. I go to see him every day, pay for his food, his transportation, his home, everything. He never calls me to see how I am doing. He just asks for money. The only thing is that we do not sleep in the same house. But still I feel terribly guilty and this is how he manipulates me.

    My fiancée has tried to get near him, but cannot stand that he treats me so horribly and told me that if this continues he does not want him near. People that work with me tell me that they have never seen a son treat a mother like he does.

    He calls me about 20 times a day asking for the money to this trip. He just started college, he has no job, no responsibilities, we are still paying for his car. I do not have the money right now, but I am afraid he will damage himself if he does not go to this trip. I believe he has developed fear of abandonement with the girlfriend.

    I feel guilty, because me and my partner are traveling to Europe, as every year (this is paid by my fiancée). My ex husband is trying as hard to give him everything he needs financially, but he is recovering from a long-term depression because he lost a 12-year relationship with his last girlfriend and he is a depressive person and just lately found the right medication for him.

    I do not know what to do. I made an appointment with a Psychiatrist, but my son refuses to go, because he believes that this money must be invested in his trip.

    I feel there is no way out here. I would appreciate your help from the bottom of my soul.
     
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi and welcome,

    Your quote is what I am going to use to give my advice. Your biggest problem is to NOT do ANYTHING that you can't do anything about.

    You are enabling your son. You need to stop. Stop paying for his food and rent and car (and PHONE!! $1,000 for phone calls, why in the world are you paying that?). He is a big boy. Let him do it.

    If he wants to go on a trip to Paris, let HIM earn the money to go. If he cannot make enough money to go, well, then I guess he does not go. It is not up to you to send your son to Europe because he wants to. He is treating you poorly because you are allowing him to treat you poorly. Put a stop to his cash flow. If you keep doing for him, he will NEVER learn to do for himself.

    DO NOT pay for his trip.

    It is tough to stop doing something that you have been doing all along, but once you make a decision to do it, you will see that it is a simple solution to your problem.

    Again, welcome to the board. Hugs and prayers your way.
     
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Your son is treating you the same as many of the children on this board have treated there mother/parents. This is probably the last thing you want to hear or expect us to tell you, but you have to detatch from him and give him nothing. You have to learn to do for yourself and allow him to do for himself. He is old enough and capable of getting a job and moving on with his own life, but chooses to do nothing and destroy yours.

    The best thing for both of you would be for you and your fiance to move on and be happy and stop doing anything for him. He doesn't treat you with any kind of respect, so he deserves none from you. The only way he will learn to take care of himself is when you stop taking care of him. He will hate you for it at first, though it doesn't sound like he could possibly treat you any worse then he does now. Someday when he learns to be responsible he may come back and thank you for it.

    You have to remember, you haven't done this to him. You have offered for him to get help and he refuses. You need to get a list of places he could go live, for example group homes, not sure what is available there, homeless shelters?? Tell him you are through supporting him and that he needs to get a job and support himself. If he refuses all of this, that is his choice.

    There will be others along to give you help and support who have been through similar situations and most will probably tell you the same thing.

    It's time for you to become strong and take over your life.

    Welcome to our family. It's a wonderful place to be :smile:
     
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I go to see him every day, pay for his food, his transportation, his home, everything. He never calls me to see how I am doing. He just asks for money. The only thing is that we do not sleep in the same house. But still I feel terribly guilty and this is how he manipulates me.
    </div></div>

    He is 21 years old!!! It is time for this to stop. He is manipulating you and playing on your guilt.

    Tell him that he is old enough to pay for his own expenses and that you will no longer be treated like this. He will fly into a rage but you need to simply walk away. He will only stop treating you this way when you make it clear that you will simply not tolerate it any longer.

    I know that this advice probably hurts to hear but many of us on the PE forum have been through this. My husband and I got to the point where we had to tell our difficult child that she had to leave. We made the mistake to let her come back once but then found pot in her room and made her leave for good.

    It was hard but it was the best thing that we could have done. She is living on her own, working, planning to go back to school (which I will believe when I see it), but most importantly, treating us with respect and rebuilding her relationship with us.

    It is time to be strong. It will get easier with time. Keep posting to let us know how it goes.

    ~Kathy
     
  5. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member



    He went to live with my sister (we live in the same place, just a house in the middle) because he said he couldn´t bear being near me because I was a total faillure as a mother.

    *****************

    You are not a failure ~ not as a mother, a woman, or a human being. You are a survivor. Your love for your son, your grief at his situation, is plain in every word you wrote.

    ******************

    I think I cried every day, since he has been 12-years old,

    ******************

    he is obsessed in going there to visit her and is every day asking me for the money that in this moment I do not have. He has no other conversation, no other idea in his mind. He just asks for money, if I do not give him money for his cell phone (he has been spending over a thousand dollars in calls to Europe) he attacks me verbally or tries to destroy parts of our property.

    ********************

    I think you need to tell your son that he was raised better than to behave in this way. Because you have been through so much yourself, and because your son is choosing to behave as he does, you may feel that you must have done something wrong as a mother.

    This is not true.

    Your love for your son, and your grief at his situation, shines through every word of your posting.

    ********************
    Two years ago, I moved with my fiancée.

    Though, everybody makes me feel like I abandoned him. I go to see him every day, pay for his food, his transportation, his home, everything. He never calls me to see how I am doing. He just asks for money. The only thing is that we do not sleep in the same house. But still I feel terribly guilty and this is how he manipulates me.

    ****************************

    You will become stronger, now that you have found the site. The hardest thing in the world, for any of us, is to believe that it is the child who is responsible for his actions. If we acknowledge that the child is choosing to do as he does ~ and will continue to do so, whatever we do ~ it breaks our secret hearts. We don't want to see our children in pain. We will bend over backwards to rationalize how all of it is really our fault. When this was still happening to me, it was because, somewhere in my heart, I believed that if I had caused my son to do what he was doing to himself, then if only I could figure out what it was I did, I could fix it. I could help him, I could take the pain away, and he would be the wonderful boy he was, once.

    What I learned here on the site is that the only way I could truly help my son was to allow him to bear the consequences of his choices ~ and that meant no more blaming anyone or anything else for anything.

    You loved your son, and you provided for his welfare and education. HE is the one not meeting his obligations.

    ********************

    He calls me about 20 times a day asking for the money to this trip. He just started college, he has no job, no responsibilities, we are still paying for his car. I do not have the money right now, but I am afraid he will damage himself if he does not go to this trip. I believe he has developed fear of abandonement with the girlfriend.

    [/quote]

    In our Parent Emeritus archives there is a posting which lists things we may say when our children call and abuse us over the phone.

    Part of what you will need to do now is to work on letting go of
    your fear for your son's safety and even, your concern for his pain. These are lessons your son needs to learn. It will be very hard to do this ~ but you have all of us, now. We have been where you are. With the support of all of us here on the site, you will begin to feel less alone, less uncertain.

    I am so sorry this is happening to you, or to any of us.

    We have all had to learn to nurture ourselves through our interactions with our children, as they are so often toxic to us.

    I am pleased that you have joined us.

    You will find much strength and experience from the parents here.

    I agree that you should not give the son money or pay for his cell phone.

    Know that we wish you and your family well.

    Barbara

     
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    When I first came here, I pretty much got the same responses you did -- detach and stop. It was not exactly the right answer for me. It may not be the right answer for you. However, you can detach from parts of his behavior and make him responsible for those parts.

    He is going to college, so make certain things provisional on continuing in college and getting satisfactory grades. You and your ex can decide what you feel you should pay for and what he should be responsible for. I don't know if his school has a dorm but maybe it is time for him to go back to one rather than be in a house or apartment. Find ways to cut down on his personal expenses or at least put him on a realistic budget and, yes, that means once he's spent his money for the month he is not bailed out -- not for any reason.

    Get a block on his cell phone so he can only call certain numbers and most definitely cannot make long distance calls. If you can't do this because your cellular company won't let you, then it is time to cancel his phone. Give him a monthly phone card and say once it is used up, it is used up.

    You don't owe him a trip anywhere. Your fiance doesn't owe him a trip anywhere. If your fiance chooses to take you to Europe or anywhere else for that matter, that is his business. Your fiance has earned his money and has the right to spend it as he sees fit. You have the right to enjoy the fruits of your fiance's labor. Your son does not. He's not a young child who needs you to provide the basics. He's a young man on the verge of total adulthood. If he really wants to go that badly, he can find a job and save his money to go. There are cheap tickets. There are other ways than mommy and daddy paying his way. Don't let him manipulate you. As painful as it is, tell him no and mean it.

    It sounds like he has been manipulating you for a long, long time. He has been using your love and guilt to get what he wants when he wants and how he wants. He has been dictating what will happen in your home for far too long. It is time for you to tell him it is time to grow up and start becoming a man. This is not easy and I'm sure will create some major battles and a lot of pain before he actually even tries to grow up but if you give him no choice and stand firm, he may just surprise you and do quite well at proving himself.

    You had a traumatic past. Your son did not. He may not have had a perfect childhood but it sounds like he had a pretty good one. You probably have not been a perfect mother, but you certainly have been a good and loving mother. You have given him love, shelter, therapy when needed, jumped through more hoops on his behalf than many mothers would. When he decided you were unbearable, you even let him leave your home and live with your sister. You've accepted more abuse from your son than any person deserves.

    So, think about the advice given from all of us. Ultimately, do what is right for you. As cruel as this sounds, do not factor your son's needs into your decision. If total detachment is right for you, go for it. If limiting how much you give your son is the right thing for you, then do that. The important thing is that you cannot continue the way you are. You've seen it does not work so it is time to try something different.

    I wish you the best in your quest. It is not easy to decide what is right. It is even harder to lay aside the guilt of any and all mistakes made in helping your child grow up but you have to. It may help you to get some therapy for yourself. Take care and I hope we see you back here soon.
     
  7. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Welcome to our board.

    The other's have given you good advice.

    The only person you can control is yourself.

    You could have been talking about a number of our son's here in your post. I have a very similar acting son that had to be asked to leave our home because of the way he treated the rest of our family and his refusal to abide by our house rules.

    I am sorry for your pain. It helps to post here and work thru it.

    Sending you welcome ((hugs))

    Traci
     
  8. Jen

    Jen New Member

    I agree with all the other posters. I finally told my son that he has to stop crying the victim, and start being responsible for himself.
    Your son doesnt want to see a doctor like our kids because they dont seee that there is a problem, and really for them there isnt one, they are getting want they want basically. Detach, and let him see how worse it can really be.
    As for your family we have all been there to, until they then try to get involved and get their eyes open when our difficult child's start treating them the same way.

    Jen
     
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    good response meowbunny!

    I agree.
     
  10. Asilana

    Asilana New Member

    I am the mother from Guatemala. It is difficult for me to express clearly the emotions that have arised by reading your posts. I thank runnawaybunny for posting my story. I´ve been praying for 24-hour days in a row, because did not know what to do.

    I am quite shocked, but I know you are telling me the truth. I never expected to understand that guilting myself isn`t the best way out. I´ve heard from my family of origin (sister, my mother, brother, etc:ç.) so many times what a faillure of a mother I was I just believed it. But, I know, I love my son and if i really love him, I have to let him go, I have to build a limit, for him, for me, because I deseve to be happy once in my life.

    Thank you so much, I do not have words. I feel like some angels heard my prayer and answered me.

    It is going to be tough. Really tough. Because he will get mad, crazy, and possibly out of control. But now I know that you been through this and some of the children started a new life from this breaking point.

    For the first time in years I felt some hope. I lose my hope easily.

    Thank you again and I feel honored to be sharing this with all of you. May God bless you and your families and I hope I can be of help to you in the future.

    Love,

    asilana
     
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Asilana,

    There is a prayer we use around this board pretty often. It helps us when we are trying to detatch from our kids.

    God, grant us the serenity
    to accept the things we cannot change
    the courage to change the things we can
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Amen.


    I've had to say it over & over some days. The thing to remember is that the only thing that any one person has control over is their reaction. We cannot control our children. We do the best we can with them as they grow (and parenting a challenging child is not for the faint of heart, do not let anyone tell you that you are a bad mother) and then we give them wings to leave the nest. We hope that they do so with the morals and values that we showed them. If they do not, all we can do is pray.

    Welcome to our family, you will have much support here.
     
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    First, what a beautiful name you have.

    I honestly had tears reading your reply. Many of our families are good at blaming us for our children's problems. That doesn't make it so. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone!!! Even God couldn't convince Adam and Eve to leave the fruit of knowledge alone. So, the best any of us can do is learn from our mistakes and, hopefully, not make that mistake again. Of course, we'll make new ones but that's one of the joys of being human.

    I have no doubt your son will be an unbearable monster when you put your foot down. You have to prepare yourself and make some plans about what you will do for his possible behavior. You've said he's destroyed your property in the past when he couldn't get his way. What will you do if he gets violent either to you or your property? Is calling the police an option? Is calling a family member that can truly stop him possible? Make those plans ahead of time.

    There is hope. It may not seem like it at times but our kids do grow and change. One day, your son may even thank you for forcing him to grow up. It won't be today or tomorrow and probably not in the near future, but one day it may just happen.
     
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Asilana,

    I'm so glad you set up your membership and posted directly. It's nice to have you join the family.

    I'd like to encourage you to do a profile signature. It will save you a lot of repetition as you post again and it helps us remember your story. Take a look at what the rest of us have in ours for guidance.

    Welcome!

    Suz
     
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Asilana!

    I thought I responded to this post before and I just came back to see if you had registered - but I do not see my post.

    Well, I am glad you decided to register!

    I agree with the others that it is time to detach from your son's life. He needs to have some responsibilities or he will never make the mistakes he needs to make in order to learn.
    I know very well the dedication to your son and putting aside your own needs for many years. It is not healthy for anyone, but I am guilty as well. You deserve to be happy!

    Enjoy your trip!
     
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