I need counsel. Last night my son came home and told us that he had exploded and busted a whole in the dry wall of the house he is helping us remodel. M responded calmly, I got mad. I told him: You are responsible to control your impulses. If you feel you cannot you are responsible to go get treatment, anger management or take medication to help you do so. You cannot stay with me if you will not or cannot control your anger. And if you do not make a plan to do so, you have to leave. I was scared and upset and went to his room a second and third time to continue being upset. M told me to get a grip and stop going in there to criticize him. My son told me kindly. Mom. Please go back to your room and calm down. I don't want to fight with you. Coincidentally my son had an appointment to go today to the big metro 3 hours north of us to see the psychiatrist/analyst he used to see as a child. This was his 2nd month in a row to do so. I got a call an hour ago from the doctor who said my son was quite upset about having exploded yesterday and feared I would throw him out of the house. He said my son said he felt suicidal and not stable and the doctor brought him to the crisis unit. He was not 5150'd as far as I know. A bit later my son called and sounded good: he was really pleased at how the session had gone with Dr. B, sounded strong, and was loving and understanding to me. He was talking at length with the crisis people and felt he made connections that would really work for him. He said he was trying to work something out for extended treatment at the facility, perhaps on an outpatient basis, and might or might not be home tomorrow night. So tonight after M found out where my son was and what happened said this: You are partly to blame. You act aggressively to him. You have to change. You have just as much as a problem as he does. You have to change yourself. If you are too stressed because of work, quit. Well. I did not get mad at M but I felt poor me, why can't he just have empathy for me and see I am over my head. I don't criticize him about his kids. About the mistakes he made as a parent. I try to protect him. (And I told him something like that.) It did not go over so good. Let me tell you that. He said: Your primary responsibility is your son. If you have to quit work so that you can support him to change, you have to do it. Or change. Learn to speak to him with more patience. Don't raise your voice. Support him, don't criticize him. Imagine how I feel. You see. My son covers for me (and this may even be part of the problem.) He knows the things about me (some of them) that underlie why my temperament is the way it is. First, I was born 3 months early, which predisposed me to a certain sensitivity and reactivity that will never go away. Second, I had ongoing trauma as a child which I do not want to disclose but you can pretty much fill in the blanks: ___,___ and ___. If I was going to get better, I would have. But I have pushed myself in every conceivable way to change. I am somebody who is maxed out her potential. I am really the sow's ear that cannot go further. Am I getting my point across? The only thing I can do is make different choices. I can try to make life easier on me. My psyche is like a balloon. I can hold only so much stress. Since my mother was ill and died, it seems like I can deal with very much less. These are personal attributes that will not go away. I have spent a lifetime trying to change. I cannot develop more than I have--in terms of endurance. What I can do is prioritize what I do. That is to say, I can quit work or work less. Or, hypothetically, I can turn my son away. I do not want to. M does not want me too. I think M thinks it is my fault. Yes. I am greatly distressed about my son, because of the part I played. I do not want to traumatize my son. But I have a lot of compassion for me, too. And M pushes me to do more than I can tolerate, to accept more responsibility that I feel I can stand. I want to do it too--but I am pushed beyond my limits. I cannot stand the stress. Honestly, I am more worried about me. I am feeling very much a failure and a bad mother. There is no way I want to push my son away. There is no way I will do that. I cannot and I will not. But then...what? Where do I fit in this picture? I see no way out for me. There are parts of the job I like...but there is enough money that I do not have to do it. I can retire. Or there are other ways to make money. Easier ones. I can establish a private practice. But I am not ready to push myself to do this either. I am not ready. I want to replace the money I misspent in the 2 and a half years since my mother died. M's position is this: Why? It is your money to misspend in any way you want. Well. I guess I am too much like my mother. I feel bad the money is gone. But at what cost? It is like one, I do not want to throw in the towel at work. I will feel like a quitter and a failure. I did not sign a contract. But I told them and promised myself 6 months. It may have been a mistake. There is also the possibility of asking for fewer days, but I do not think that would be the solution. I really do not want to do this. It is either plow through or quit in shame. Neither a great option. I am having trouble defining this as a win. Because it feels like a loss. It feels like lose-lose. And I feel like a failure. I feel better having written this out. Thank you.