met him for lunch


Well-Known Member
No parents are perfect. All make mistakes, often bad one. Just divorcing, as I did, damages any childs security.

But most adults, almost all coming from an imperfect place, are good, productive people. Child Abuse is sadly rampant.

Anyone read the book 'A Child Called It" by David Pelzer? Read it!! Abused physically and emotionally, starved, his mother stabbed him and made him drink bleach, foster care with many nightmares. That was Daves childhood. His father never helped him. His brothers joined in the abuse.

At eighteen he joined the military. He never broke the law. He helps foster kids now. Yes, he had problems which he discusses in his books, but he did not ever get an apology and nobody protected him yet he never did the degree of stuff our priveledged difficult adults did and do.

An inborn personality also determines if we can handle our parent's mistakes. They all make mistakes. And DNA also determines how we chose and ARE ABLE to deal with our imperfect childhoods. As adults WE choose.

I dont really buy that because we did A then.B will happen to our grown adults. People in similar situations do not grow up all to do the same things.

I had abuse. Plenty. I had a sensitive but fighting nature. I wanted to do better than I was told I was. If my family had apologized for scapegoating me it would have made me so happy at one time but they turned it on me. I was the bad infant, the bad child, the bad adult etc. The bad seed for the entire sick family.

So I moved on without them.

Certainly it affected my self esteem for a long time and my ferling of worth but I jumped into counseling and improved on every level without an apology. Heck, i received just the opposite, that it was my fault. But I did not decide that becauseIi had a bad family card I would break the law, have crazy sex with anyone, use drugs or forever choose men that abused me. I WOULD not self sabatage.

I am just one person. David Pelzer is lightyears above me and he is one person. But the point is, our adults are choosing to live rotten lives and it is not because of us. None of you had challenging parents? Most all of us had some trauma to face.

Copa I cant blame you for your sons choices. He was lucky to have your unconditional love and good guidance about being an adult. In his own head and DNA he decided not to take your advice. You didnt cause it.

I reject the old fashion psycology of cause and effect. Psychiatry is an inexact science with a lot of theories that change faster than the latest cell phone choices. Its not like math, which can be proven. The truth is, David Pelzer, per psychology, should have been a gangbanger or serious criminal. He never was. He is not alone. He was a severely abused child and is a good man who refuses to even spank his child. He learned from his abuse.

And many adults who had so much love repudiate that love as adults and become criminals. DNA. I think this matters more than what we do to them while parenting. Maybe we gave birth to a child with a bad person in high school then dumped him and married a gem. The child still has 50 percent of this discarded boyfriend's DNA in his system. Always. It affects how he reacts to everything, his level of resilience and his mental stability.

I think we need to remember that within these imperfect, unprovable psychiatric theories one plus one can equal three or ten. There is no exact way of predicting how a human being will react to his or her life experiences. That in my opinion is necause of the nature nurture thing. Its not mostly in my opinion about nurture. It is but it is also nature big time.

I raised five kids although one did not come until six and that time lapse mattered. All are very different. I have a dreamy emotional pastry chef and a no nonsence corrections officer and the sweetest, kindest autie son on earth. I have a brash, confrontational biological son who carries my genes and is far more like my family of origin than the rest of them. My FOO including me can be stubborn, hardheaded, anxious and confrontational. He is my most difficult adult on some levels. Yet he is smart as a whip and does support himself and is anti drug.

I do believe in DNA.

Until psychiatry is provable, we dont know why our adults are as they are. And why five adults raised in the same home with the same parents can be so different.

We dont know. It is pointless to blame ourselves or laud ourselves for what our adults accomlish. They deserve the blame/credit. They did it, not us.
We are seperate people and we decide who we want to be within the gifts and limitations of the cards we are given.

I think we are all souls that chose our life lessons but wont go there on this forum :) i have another one for my deep spiritual beliefs ;)

Anyhow, dont be so hard on yourselves. Those of us with more than one child can verify that one plus one doesnt equal two in child rearing.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Love that SWOT. My husband just found his bio family thru the Ancestry stuff and we are seeing this DNA vs nurture thing playing out in real life. My daughter wanted to know her heritage as she kind of has an 'ethnic' look and so does her father (my son and I are very typical fair haired Germans). It has answered so many questions and is thus far in my life, the most inspiring, educational experience I have ever been thru. It is not for this forum, but I will say that DNA is much stronger than I had ever imagined.

And yes, my daughter's boyfriend has been abused and abandoned and he is just that more determined to lift himself up. And he wants to do this without bringing anyone that participated in that abuse down, although he does keep his distance because they are still criminals/addicts. He loves our home and our family. He says he feels safe. He even reached out to my son for friendship, and my son went nuts a few months ago accusing him of stealing from him, violent threats there too. About a month later, my son found whatever it was he thought was stolen and apologized but the damage had been done.

Thank you Tired, I will also block my son for most of the day. We also have the online banking thing and it is too easy. I also told him at lunch that I could place and pay for a grocery pick up, but that is all I'm willing to do to help. Sometimes the technology can help in helping remotely. Of course, he hasn't taken me up on that, have a feeling all of his 'I'm starving and you don't care' bit is a ploy for drug money. Well, it's more than a feeling.

Thank you all!

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm going to chime in on being responsible regardless of our childhood.

As many of you know, my bio-father sexually abused me as a child. Once my mother found out about it she divorced him. My bio-father swore in court that it would never happen again and he was granted visitation. My mother sent me to my bio-fathers for court ordered visitation and the abuse continued. It did finally come to an end and I was no longer to be alone with him, all visits were supervised.

Did I have issues from this? Yes but I never blamed my mother and I never took on the role of a victim.

My bio-father was sick in the head plain and simple. What he did was wrong but I made a choice to not live in a victim role. I made a choice to live the best life I could regardless of my childhood. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but I have owned up to them. I never transferred blame to my mother or bio-father.

There are many stories of people who have suffered the most horrible childhoods and go on to be responsible, respectful people. There are also many stories of people who have had wonderful, love filled childhoods who go on to be difficult adult children.

For me, bottom line, life is filled with choices that we as individuals are faced with every day. We all know right from wrong. Even a 2 year old knows that lying is wrong but they will do it anyway. We all come to an age of awareness. We all have the capacity to change the direction of our lives by the choices we make.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I do believe in DNA.

I agree. My son is just like his bio-dad but he has free will to make changes. I have my bio-fathers DNA but did not turn into a child molester. DNA can play a role but again, we all have free will to choose how we live as adults. Some, like my son enjoy living the lifestyle he has chosen - his choice.


Well-Known Member
Exactly Tanya. We all have our demons. In the absence of child abuse, I believe most are given to us thru our DNA. Whether they are nature/nurture, we still have the choice in how we live.
I see a glimpse of my daughter's demons every now and then, and then I see the process of her working thru and making choices. She is only 18. I do not take the blame or the credit for the outcome, but I am so joyful that I can witness this without the terror that my son brings about. I do sometimes long for a parallel life in which both of my children had been so 'easy'.


Well-Known Member
I agree. If we are aware that our DNA or experiences could ruin our lives but dont let them, we can have great lives.. Just because my dad could be cold and mean and my mom was abusive in no way did I have to pick a man that was bad or abuse anyone. I didnt have to punish myself by using drugs, sleeping with every man I met, getting drunk or hurting others by dating married men or stealing money from innocent people.

I dont have much tolerance for those that blame horrid deeds on others. I dont buy into it. We can and do choose our paths.

Tanya, you are truly a great example to everyone.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I am reading through all of this and some of it really hits home. My son has always resented that my husband was not the breadwinner and i wonder to some extent how much of that is my fault. I know that for years it made me angry not because i was the breadwinner but because my husband quit anytime things got a little tough. All 3 sons ask me why i didn't divorce him. My middle son dealt with it best when he said i love him i don't respect him. My two youngest are succesful and independent. I have moved past it mostly but oldest Difficult Child has not. Yet still i take the brunt of his behavior. It is kind of like when i was about 8 and my brother was angry because my mom made him take me to the store with him. He complained and yelled at me all the way. But when the neighborhood bully tried to mess with me he put a stop to it in no uncertain terms. Then kept on berating me himself. He (Difficult Child) complains about his dad all the time and how i should have kicked him out. I have tried to explain my feelings to no avail . Then he curses at me and calls me names and threatens. Much worse than anything my husband would do. My husband rarely even raises his voice. He has however defended me from Difficult Child when he threatens. I have to wonder if because of his mental illness he is unable to let go of it like his brothers did. I have spent most of his life trying to get him (Difficult Child) th accept help he would not until recently since legal problems and me trying to detach. I don't know which of those had the most impact but think probably legal issues.So it comes back to they have to want the help and we can not control that. Did i make mistakes YES do I feel horribleYES but should i keep beating myself up. I have asked forgiveness from God and need to forgive myself. It is easy to look back and say i should have done this or that but at the time i did not have the insites i have now.


Well-Known Member
So all three of your sons lived through the entire same experience. And trust me kids go through worse than their parents not madly in love with each other. At least you provide for them. So what if the kids ask you to divorce their father? This happens. Two of them did not let it ruin their lives.

Maybe third son is more of his father than like you. I really dont see anything in your home that would, in of itself, cause an adult to become a criminal. Sorry, but some adults grew up with two parents who didnt work and violence and not all of them decided to act out. Also not everyone in the vast mental health population mistreats their family and refuses treatment.

The theme I see from being here for over ten years is that these wayward adults are into guilting us so they bring up everything about their parents that may cause guilt, even if it is no big deal. Or a medium big deal that people deal with all the time. But they ramp up everything to major levels, probably to cause guilt in the parent who then may throw them money that they can use for drugs, housing, and even cars and other big toys.

The fact is most adults do fine in spite of imperfect parents. There is something about THESE adults. It is not about us. They are so alike and most have perfectly normal siblings, so it couldnt have been that bad.

These in my opinion are adults that want us to be Mommy and The Bank forever and know how to manipulate and guilt us. Many also finally grow up. And suddenly you stop hearing all those old complaints.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I have moved past it mostly but oldest Difficult Child has not. Yet still i take the brunt of his behavior.
His feelings about your husband are his to own. If he has issues with your husband then he should be telling him, not you. Again, our difficult adult children are really good at misplaced anger.
Your son is holding onto bitterness that has nothing to do with him.
There's a saying: "Holding onto anger and bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die"

He (Difficult Child) complains about his dad all the time and how i should have kicked him out. I have tried to explain my feelings to no avail . Then he curses at me and calls me names and threatens.
My suggestion to you is this, stop trying to explain your feelings to him. You do not owe him any kind of explanation. You made a choice to stay with your husband and that is none of your son's business. Again, if he has an issue with your husband then he needs to tell him, not you.
When your son brings it up, you could simply say, "that's too bad you feel that way" if he keeps at it, repeat the same line. When you've had enough, simply tell him "this is not open for discussion anymore"
One thing I have learned is to never offer explanations to my son. You see, it's trap they use to pull us down the rabbit hole. It's a manipulation tactic that plays with our emotions.

need to forgive myself
Yes, you need to forgive yourself. You are human.

Snow White

On the Mad Tea Party Ride
Bluebell - This thread has covered so many issues. We seem to be at the mercy of our children's twisted view of everything.

They blame us.
We blame ourselves.
They use us.
They manipulate us.
They frighten us.
We set limits. Poorly, at first.
They push. They gaslight us. They disrespect us.
Thank you I didn't know how to reply without defending my marriage or my mothering. Son has never been a protector or had any real empathy, he is an opportunist and manipulator.
I can't add anything else to these, other than "They use our weaknesses against us." Your son will continue to use any negativity he can find on your husband. Mine does the same. I have learned never to tell her anything that can be used against me. I know she'll make stuff up (horrible things that could ruin a person's career) about anyone in our family. Don't give in and don't defend. It will just go in a circular argument. Your son has chosen the path he is on right now. He is an adult making adult choices, which result in adult consequences. When you make a mistake, he isn't there to 'fix it' for you. We all make mistakes but most of use are mature enough to 'own them'.

You needed the lunch meeting more than your son did. He's still ready to battle with you for control. Walk away. Spend your time with your family - do things that make you happy.

Hugs to you.


Well-Known Member
Yes mcdonna, I wanted to see him. I wanted to see that he was ok physically. Of course I could have done that from across the room, but this worked too. It was selfish and I didn't have any expectations from him. I wasn't quite prepared for that rant, but wasn't completely devastated either. husband was supportive of the meeting but worried I would come home with his list of demands. I don't know, if this is what he has to tell himself to stay off my porch then maybe it's part of the process. Can't change it, can't control it.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
He's still ready to battle with you for control.
YES!! This is what our difficult adult children try to do. I have been on that crazy merry go round with my son too many times! I sometimes think nothing would please my son more than to be able to control me.