Feeling like most disloyal mom ever

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Ache's sick leave continues and he is at home and his girlfriend visited last weekend. They have been together couple years now and it has always been long distance relationship and still is. She is a great young woman and I absolutely love her. She is also very good to Ache and I can't imagine how Ache would survive if she left him.

    And I basically told her to cut her losses and run.

    I was having sauna with her, and our conversation turned quite intimate and profound like it often happens in sauna. It is just something in sitting naked right next to other naked person in dimly lit hot room, not having to look at them while talking and very slow natural flow of the conversation, which you can easily slow down even more, if you want more time to think before saying something and being so relaxed that always seems to take conversations to other level. But anyway we were talking about life and dreams and goals and she started to talk about her relationship to Ache.

    She loves him a lot, can't imagine loving someone else the same way, but she also understands that Ache is troubled. That he may never turn out to be a man, that could be a true life partner to her. I quite straightforwardly told her, that while right now relationship with Ache is not hindering her or keeping her back and while she may not find another guy that would feel as extraordinary to her than Ache, though that is unlikely too, when she is ready to move on, take a next step in her life, Ache may never turn out to be a guy she needs next to her. That while loving someone is a great thing, it is not enough and not something you can build your life on alone.

    I couldn't say anything else. It is bad enough what may happen to my boy, but taking down other extraordinary kid with him is not something I could stomach. But still. He is my son and if or when girlfriend leaves him, all heck will break loose.

    I'm sick in my stomach on what I said and even more so, that it really is how I see things now. It is very hard to accept that my extraordinary boy seems to be so damaged, so disabled, that he is not good enough any more to other extraordinary young people even in his mother's eyes.
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I am sure you did not tell her anything that she didn't already know. Maybe saying it out loud made it more real for you. I do hope things improve and maybe their is a chance that relationship works out. KSM
  3. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I don't think you should feel guilty about sharing your true feelings with a young lady you care about. She most likely won't listen to you anyway; she's still in a long-distance relationship with him. She's young and is going to think that love will conquer everything, no matter what the older generation says.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What is said in the sauna stays in the sauna. It's a chance for impressions, not for literalism. And I think she's smart enough to know that. What you really told her is that you won't hold it against her if she chooses to walk. I'm pretty sure she will NOT take it as suggesting directly that she do so.
  5. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Maybe he will become a great husband and probably father later just like mine after 2 failed marriages and 2 abandoned children.
    You see I am with the theory that a very large portion of adult men do not become men until they find their life mate. Yes it sound cheesy but my family is like that we are basically self centered boys until we find the person we love. Of course its my experience but seriously all my brothers and me where like that until we found someone who changed us. What are the chances.
    This is without speaking about my father.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm sure she will do her own decisions on her own time and not do anything just because I said so. I'm sure whatever I say have no bearing to her decisions. I don't feel bad because I would think that conversation has much to do if she breaks up with him or not.

    I do feel bad, because even I do not see my son capable to become what he could had been any more.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Suzir, Ache and his girlfriend are both young. The likelihood of this relationship being a permanent one, is small, by definition. The girlfriend seems very ambitious. Ache may appeal to her because of his limitations not in spite of them. She may not want anybody serious right now, because she puts first creating her own life story as an independent woman.

    There is no man alive that I have met (I am old now, maybe it has changed) that will allow a woman to determine the map of their lives. (Like a woman would allow with a man.) She may not want to settle down for a long time.

    You said what you needed to, to feel integrity with yourself. It was a good thing to say for both of you. You have given her permission not so much to cut him loose, but to know she could and decide she does not want to, which is very liberating. That kind of permission to oneself, is sometimes what allows somebody to stay.

    She will not reach her goals I think for a long time. She sounds that ambitious and with great potential. There is room for both of them to change.
    Which is part of his appeal, a great part of it I think. I think she knows what she needs and wants. Independent of anybody saying anything.
    You know, A dad, I agree with you, on the basis of my own experience.

    First, I was ambitious. I never did marry.

    When I was already in late middle age I met a man who married young and had 9 children with his wife!!! At the time I met him he had been separated for 6 years, without any contact with his family, who were in his home country. He was about 54. I was slightly older.

    I believe *as does his family, and he, that I was his first real love. Why? I am not sure.

    Sometimes I think there was nothing special about me, that made him love me. He loved me because life had broken him. And he needed to love as never before. I was the lucky recipient.

    So many things have changed for both of us in this relationship, so late in life. He stopped drinking alcohol, he has moderated his temper, his arrogance. He is grown in humility, trust and tolerance of intimacy. From a patriarchal culture, he humbles himself to his adult children, in a good way. He turns the cheek. He calls his daughter every night whether she answers or not. His self-esteem now seems to be tied to his care of others, not for what he achieves. I respect him.

    I did not change him. But I let him know what I would not accept.

    Who understands love? And why one love works and another does not. And how one love grows and with it the lovers, while another dies, or confines them.
    Looking back, I have a whole different idea of what it is to love somebody, and what it is somebody has to show me, for me to love them, than I could ever have imagined.

    There are many people who do not require their equal or better in achievement or in assets. They want a good and moral person, who loves them, and who responds to their love. That simple. I never knew it, but that is what I waited for. I never knew that was what I needed.

    Maybe there will be time for both of these young people to respond to each other's love, not to compare assets and potential, like a business deal. Maybe the struggles that Ache may face will bring them closer. Maybe this young woman has facets that respond in her.

    Maybe Ache will have a richer life with a woman than he would have had before these struggles. Maybe he will grow in ways that are unanticipated. Nobody knows.

    If the girlfriend is seeking a high power and high status person, Ache's trajectory in life, how it might not be what could have been, may not suit her. If she is seeking to love and to be loved by a good man, maybe their love will endure.

    If she is very, very ambitious she may decide that her career, her achievements are the important thing, and she does not need a mate who exactly mirrors her. Nobody knows. Their stories, hers, his, and theirs together, is yet to be written. You said the exactly right thing. You were real. It does not mean you were right.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    She is ambitious and they are young. While I really like her I never have considered it likely they would marry. I mean in my culture it is common to start family in thirties rather than twenties and most do not do it with the same person they were together in early twenties. I think I'm almost only one of my group of friends who is still with the person I was with in my early twenties and definitely only one who hurried and had kids then.

    I guess it is not so much this particular girlfriend, while I really like her, that I grieve, but that my son seems to be falling off the wagon when it comes to kids like her.

    Cops, I'm sure that some ways part of attraction between Ache and girlfriend has been that they are in different places in life and do not compete. Considering that both are extremely competitive I'm sure it is a relief to not have to compete with each other. And I think Ache has been smart on sharing his issues with girlfriend. Though she did complain Ache keeps certain distance when it comes to sharing his struggles, I honestly think that has kept them going till now and gives them some possibility to carry on. He hasn't lied about them, but is just giving her bones of it instead of sharing the whole devastation. No desperate calls or messages middle of the night, no suicidal ideation in his corresponding with her etc. Because of that deepness of crisis do surprise her, but at least she is not stuck in to the worry and being a caregiver from the distance.

    I guess mostly my sadness is about having to get used to very different set of expectations with Ache than what I have hoped for and been used to.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My quote machine is not working: "my son seems to be falling off the wagon when it comes to kids like her."

    You are talking here about your sadness about Ache's losing ground with his peer group, and your own sense of loss in terms of what you thought his future life would be.

    And having to readjust your expectations. And how hard that is.

    Wow. Do I relate to this. Today I was thinking about getting old. I mean, decrepit old, where somebody has to take care of you. And I was hoping that M, who is 7 years younger than I, would still be around. Because while my son would take care of me, he would probably exploit me too, without knowing it. He would dominate my house. He would create chaos.

    I had always longed to be with my son as I aged. Now I can barely be around him. There are so many losses. Losses about who and what I would be as a mother. Loss of self-esteem, my own.

    I think the losses are greater for me, than for my son. Dreams of grandchildren. I saw little girl dresses at Costco today and at the thrift store a mom had a cart full of little girl clothes. I felt bereft.

    I do not know how to make this better for you (even though you did not ask me too) because I do not know how to make it better for myself. Except to be grateful that my son is alive, that we have some kind of relationship and he is incrementally better; I am grateful that I have the potential to live fully, whether he does or not.

    I try to remember that each of us has our own G-d-given life. Dreams were never promised. We can always get new ones.

    I admire Ache how he has protected the girlfriend (and himself as he is with her) from the more ragged parts of his illness, while telling her the truth.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Saying things aloud that we've been acknowledging deep inside is a cathartic and profound thing. Thinking it to yourself, and even saying it to a spouse is so different than saying it out loud to someone else. It's a harsh reality, and it may not even happen, but it looks like you are accepting things as they may be.
  11. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi Suzir

    If she leaves him because his mother told her to, then frankly their relationship isn't that strong is it?

    Most young people tend to do the exact opposite of what parents advise.

    If it made you feel better to speak your mind then that was a positive thing.

    Whatever direction their relationship travels in and wherever it ends up, I very much doubt if it will be because of anything you have said or done.

    I remember my first husband's mother and my own mother trying to advise me against marrying him. Of course I married him anyway and it took me 20 years to escape. With hidsight I shouldn't have married him, but I would never have listened to my mother or mother-in-law and done what they suggested at the time!
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Nlj, I'm really sure that anything I say doesn't have any bearing to Ache's girlfriend's decisions. Let's just say that she is not a type of girl who would let others decide for her.

    My sadness is more about having to ad it it to myself. Like Calamity Jane said, it really is a different thing to just think of something or even say it to hubby, or say something in frustration of anger, than to say something to an outsider in calm conversation after giving it some thought. It makes it all so very real. While I of course do not know what future holds to my son, I can't keep telling myself that this is a phase, something he needs to battle trough, something that will be a thing of the past in some point.

    It will very soon be six years from incident that onset his PTSD. It is over quarter of his life. He has been diagnosed and treated for it four years this summer. At this point it is a chronic disease.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But he hasn't hit that pivot point for so many kids - and especially guys - somewhere around the 25 mark. When their brains finally start to mature a bit, and they turn into... real people. (ok, not ALL of them, but ...)
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  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is disloyal to speak truth. What you said was from your heart, a kindness, from one caring human being to another. You said what you did, with good intentions.

    It is a long hard road for us, dealing with the reality of our d cs afflictions.
    There is always hope, the end of the story has not been written.

    Hugs for your hurting heart, and prayers for your sons recovery.

  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Suzir, I do not know about the incident. Perhaps you did not talk about it, certainly it was before my time.

    There are so many newer effective therapies for PTSD, for trauma. The name they are given in general is "somatic therapies" of which EMDR is the most known, but there are others. If you google something like somatic treatment of trauma you will find some links.

    I am reading a book now called Walking Your Blues Away which is written by a man who primarily is popular TV/Radio personality here in the States, who is also a psychologist type person. Hartmann is his name. Which makes this interesting to me is that he does a survey of the more than century old study of somatic therapies for trauma, which luminaries such as Freud pursued, and abandoned. He discusses the fact that since primordial times, humans and their antecedents, have had an inborn mechanism to "walk off" the legacy of trauma.

    What I am saying here is that you will likely not find this outlook among mainstream practitioners. Your son might find this perspective appealing.
    Yes. Or a little bit later, like 27 or 28.

    I will speak of myself here. I had a fairly class-based set of expectations for my son, that I did not acknowledge even to myself.

    While no parent that I know would say, yeah-yeah, a life spent devoted to marijuana while homeless!!! I must find ways to think about and accept a more generous and flexible way of assessing our lives as successful or not.

    I am grateful to you, Suzir, that you have opened up the dialog

  16. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how much maturity on itself will help. Ache actually is doing quite well on most issues he used to be, that seemed to be more about immaturity. Biggest issues right now are so clearly mental health issues that I do not have much hope that maturity on itself would help; not for depression, dissociation and things like that. Maybe he will mature to be less obnoxious, but currently mental illness seems to be a main issue here.

    Of course, people get sick and it will change the course of their lives. My son is not unique in that. But he is unique to me and the sorrow of the path missed is hard to take. Because whatever the silver lining, I mean Ache may learn something he would never had learned if he hadn't had these issues, it is just a silver lining. Ache's path is very difficult and hurtful and it is very difficult for me as a mother watch how this seemingly easier, less hurtful and more rewarding path I expected for him, get farther and farther away from his grasp.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hugs. I know... and the worst part is that there is so little that we can do that has any impact now - if there ever was. Mental illness is :censored2:
  18. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I remember being 18 years and in the throes of first love when my boyfriend's mother sat down with me and begged me to leave right then and there and never look back. She promised to tell her son that it was she who forced me to leave and that I didn't want to but did it for him. At the time, we were in the lobby of a psychiatric hospital, where he had just been admitted for what turned out to be a first bipolar episode. I didn't listen to her and stayed with him for another 6 plus years. In the hindsight of 30 plus years, I wish I had listened to the heartfelt advice that grieving mother was giving me. While she was losing her own child, she was trying to save the future of someone else's child. I managed to have a pretty good outcome but I still have trust issues that have impacted my current marriage.

    Like your son's girlfriend, I was also an ambitious young woman. The end of my 7 year relationship with that man finally came when I graduated from law school and was able to compete with him professionally. Although he was more experienced than I, being 8 years older, I am a quick learner and advanced quickly and he became jealous and unstable when I got a promotion that put me in an equivalent position to him, although at a different company. He picked a fight from which it was impossible to back down and that was the end. I left and sent friends over to get my belongings.

    I don't know what will happen to Ache and his girlfriend but you should never feel badly for caring enough about this girl to be honest with her. I held good feelings towards my ex's mom for the rest of her life. In fact, he actually called me when she was dying and I went to see her at the hospital; it was 13 years after that conversation and I was pregnant with my second child.