My son used to be a sweet little empath.


New Member
My story is complicated, and very painful to tell, so I'd really appreciate it if you weren't cruel.

Primarily I'm disappointed with myself. When people swept in, during my major, vegetative depression, saying they knew what was best for my children, I believed them. I couldn't take care of them, but they still needed taking care of. It is unfortunate that I have no inherent supports who could have done this, so relied on an agency. This agency was staffed by idiots, but I had fewer rights in family court than a criminal, since I could not prove I'd been permanently cured, and no psychiatrist could morally claim this was the case. It was indeed very difficult to get happy when they'd taken the point and purpose of me away, and construed the understandable struggles of a low income single parent in an utterly evil light. There is more to this story that doesn't bear typing here, but includes the fact that I myself was made a ward of the state at the age of thirteen, and the same child welfare agency used information from those files to "prove" my unsuitability as a parent. (It occurs to me that if I'd committed a criminal offense I could have my record expunged after four years, but will have to pay for being an abused child for the rest of my life).

The Children's Aid Society kept my son for nine years, adopted his sister to strangers, then dropped him in my lap a damaged teenager three years ago. I had no ramp up apart from strained two hour visits twice a month, just an instant jerk I barely knew leaving his pubes in the soap. I wanted to believe his return, however financially and domestically inconvenient, was a miracle, but as my mental health deteriorated in time with his tireless campaigns against my self-confidence, I wondered if maybe tainted miracles were all I was ever going to get.

I am on a permanent disability. I don't get enough to rent an apartment big enough for two people. I don't qualify for benefits to cover his expenses, because I don't have custody. I've gone hungry, sold everything that wasn't a necessity, so this ungrateful brat can surf the internet in his underwear, tear down my personality, and boss me around. He has a lot of opinions about what I should do with my life for someone who doesn't bathe, and they usually start with "why don't you just..." I keep telling him if it were that easy, I'd have a different life. I'm not a moron, just ill. Yes it has occurred to me that, someday, when brushing my teeth is not an event so overwhelming I cry, I could get a job, publish a book, become the prime minister, all that.

Our last apartment was a disaster. We could not open the windows without getting diesel exhaust in our living space, because the bus idled outside them. I had chronic headaches, even with the windows closed, and was chronically sick. We lived above the pizza shop, so it was often a hundred degrees in our apartment. There were other, numerous difficulties that pretty much come standard with low income housing. When my neighbour physically assaulted me, I decided to move rather than wait a year for the housing tribunal to evict her. I could not find a place in our price range that wasn't worse that had a separate bedroom and living area, so asked my son, who always says he'd rather not live with me, just has no financial choice, if he'd want to be roommates with my friend, so I could take a dignified bachelor, and we could both get a break from each other. He agreed this was a sound plan.

Despite having been beaten down by unflagging assaults on everything from my appearance to my romantic prospects to my joblessness to my weight to how I wash the dishes, comb my hair, stand, sit, breathe, I miss the little bastard. In addition, my friend does not set housekeeping as a priority, and his place is a damp basement where my son sleeps in the living room, and has no privacy. I feel guilty living in my clean, tidy, little shoe-box sized place while he dwells in a musty cave. He doesn't mind, and indeed it seems that as long as there are video games he'd be as content in political prison, but still. A mother feels an urge to shelter, and I have failed in no uncertain terms.

Every day I ask him if he's handed out resumes. He's handed out two since he stopped going to high school in June of 2016. I handed out several on the sly for him, because seriously. He can't still be in that chair thirty years from now. He has followed up on none of the appointments I've set up for him to get his life rolling, and pretty soon these social services aren't going to give him any more tries. I feel that if I don't hold his hand nothing will get done, including the groceries, which he has the audacious, arrogant nerve to order when I visit like I'm the damn courier. When I lug them back on foot he has the ungodly gall to complain that I brought spinach, not field greens, even though when I ask what he wants he gives me no clue or list, just a shrug and a "whatever." In secret, to myself, I refer to him as Prince Poop.

When I leave my friend's after my check-ins, I will say goodbye, and my son will ignore me. When I ask him to acknowledge that I'm leaving, because it is still pretty devastating to me that we're not living together, and it really hurts me in the womb to sleep under a different roof, he'll be rude, saying (literally) "yeah, I get it, :censored2: off already." He wastes no opportunity, no matter how small, to remind me I'm meaningless to him apart from the errands I run, the material things I provide, and the social connection which houses him for my sake not his own.

There is a residential program I am trying to get him into. The housing is dignified, the days are jammed full of life skills training, job training, cooking classes, and he will not have the option of being a full time permanent internet troll while there. This program receives awards, has it's own print shop, there's family counseling: it's everything he needs, and everything I need to not have my waking moments filled up with anxiety as to his future. The waiting list is long, and he's lucky to be on it, a fact he doesn't appreciate, because he doesn't appreciate anything. I sent him an email instructing him to NOT botch the interview by correcting the syntax on the questionnaire, etc, which as an arrogant little you-know-what is absolutely his style. He can't be with people without correcting them, and alienated three alternative schools with this brand of antagonism before finally dropping out. I feel like if he ever (I mean ever) left the house long enough to interact with people, he'd realize no one behaves like him, that is like a teenage dictator who knows more about guns than where the grocery store is, and doesn't admit that's concerning.

The point of this very long, and very scattered story is I don't like my son, can't help my son, he won't help himself, when people try to help him he dismisses them, offends them, alienates them, and I have BIG, HUGE, CONSTANT, very physical (like a helicopter landing in my chest) fear that the world is going to spit him out and :censored2: on him now I am financially unable to give him a roof. It was a roof under which he was free, due to my guilt over what the system did to him, and a corresponding inability to deny him anything, to develop only the mean, small parts of his personality, but at least I knew he was clean, fed, and dry.

I also miss wondering when I'll see the seven year old who used to wipe the tears off my face again. It's like I need to grieve, because I don't think I'm ever getting him back. He will NOT talk about how it was to watch his sister walk out of his life. I feel she is why he eschews all emotion, including empathy, and I really hope the family counselor doesn't fall for his manipulation tactics, because last time and at the last place he was able to convince them it was all in my head. Very, very cruel, and very, very unfair.

If my son were my partner, I would leave him for this kind of psychological and emotional abuse.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Your post has stolen my heart and I want to give you a huge virtual hug.

Mental illness is simply that a mental illless and you are correct you are better treated by modern society if you were a criminal.

Love the memory of your son but do not allow him to take you down!

Your last words were the best. You would not accept this behavior from a spouse so do not take it from your son.

Do take care of yourself. H what's resources and supports. If he chooses not to use them that is his choice and not your fault.


Active Member
I'm sorry that the same system that failed you as a child has failed you again.

On another note, you have an interesting, creative writing style. I bet you could publish a book.


Roll With It
I cannot fathom why anyone here would be cruel to you. We have ALL struggled with difficult children and we all wish we could have done something different. Much of what may have gone wrong for you seems to have been completely out of your control. You cannot control getting a mental illness any more than you can control having a stranger sneeze on you and give you the flu. You can try to prevent it and keep your spirits up, do what you can, but genetics and many other things factor in that weigh very heavily.

Add in that this Children's Aid Society seems to have demonized you for years, then they plopped a very difficult child back in your lap without giving you ANY resources to help you with him? Oh, heck no that isn't your fault!! In fact, why do you have him and not have custody? Who has custody and why are they not paying you child support? NO I am not joking. If he was living with you and you were supporting him and feeding and clothing him, then whomever had custody should have been giving you child support.

Whatever happened while he was in the custody of Children's Aid messed him up and now they don't want to deal with him. They dumped him with you so unceremoniously because they simply could not find anywhere else for him to live. They know you love him, so they took advantage of you. They will continue it as long as you let it. I think you are in the UK, but here in the US the Children's Services have done similar at times.

LEt yourself off of the hook. This was not your fault. You couldn't have stopped them without money for incredibly powerful lawyers and possibly not even with them. As for your son, you may or may not be able to do much for him.

Stop catering to him. Who cares what he thinks you should be doing? What is he doing with HIS life? Why doesn't HE go out and do something? Why not insist he clean up and go get food with you? He won't go? He only gets food he does not life. Doesn't like the food from this shop? He better be clean and dressed when you show up next week, hmm?

The concept is "Do to Get". In order to Get, your son must Do. If he wants to get what he wants, he must do what you want. Don't yell, don't get upset, don't fuss, just don't EVER give in. Out stubborn him. Don't say what you will not do, and don't ever ever give in. Let little things go, and pick only those battles you must fight. It is hard to parent teens, and jumping in from scratch without having that foundation from raising them up to that point sounds incredibly difficult. So it is going to take some strategizing and picking which battles matter and which are not worth fighting over.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


I agree with the others. I do not believe you mentioned how old your son or if he is an adult but there is no way you should let him treat you with disrespect.

Stop beating yourself up. You have done, and are doing the best you can. Like the rest of us here that have difficult children. Some adult, some not but we are all in different phases of "difficult".

You obviously are very intelligent and articulate based on your writing. Hang in there and be good to YOURSELF. Find some happiness in something that pleases you.

You have suffered enough and life is too damned short!



Active Member
It sounds like you are there for him now and honestly there is nothing you or anyone can do about yesterday....

Guilt is a horrible feeling that makes us do things we wouldn't think twice about doing if we were not wracked with it. Let yourself off the hook for your illness. You can feel sad about what happened to your kids, but guilt does not help the situation, as it wasn't your fault.

I think you are doing more than anyone could expect.


Active Member
I know what it is like to be judged by professionals. Right now, I am crying from the latest round, and then I read this. OMG.

I know what it is like to live w an impossible son.

Sending hugs. I am glad you are here.


Active Member
By the way - you said your son was a sweet little empath.

Ok - since my son was 13.5, he has been a nightmare. A year of him terrorizing me and the girls, finally I had him arrested, he lives w his dad and they grow weed together, stays in residentials, etc. My strained relationship w him, my other daughters' mental health struggles. (All of this popped up in their early teens, I can think of many reasons, one being brain wiring, stresses, whatever.)
Now he is 18, still at dad's, still smoking round the clock, but he really seems to be understanding his mental illness.
He is seeing a therapist. We talk, we connect. He feels bad for having bullied my daughter, and contributing to her anxiety.
My son was always very sweet, very thoughtful. He had a diagnosis of conduct disorder, but always scored very high on higher level thinking, which doesn't fit.
My point, and my head hurts from crying so much last night from being judged by a professional who doesn't know me or my daughter, so I kind of rambling.

The person your son is, the sweet boy, still there. You just may not see him for awhile.

Can you get yourself to NAMI? They really are great.


Active Member
I'm sorry you are going through this. It's amazing what mothers will take from our children all in the name of love, hope, and guilt. One day, after we've had enough, we realize we are being abused by these people. Depression makes us go into self preservation mode where we might shut down rather than stand up for ourselves. My daughter is on the loose at 19 with no respect for herself or anyone who truly cares it seems. At one point things were like a hellish nightmare when she was coming home from school every day in a rage. Then cutting school and finally quitting school and my husband and I were both so mentally fatigued we couldn't establish any consequenses but by now she wasn't even coming home anyway. She made her bed. It's sad but parents are abused by their teen and adult children all the time and it's hush hush in our society because we are supposed to be the ones who mold these individials. So we are guilt ridden and embarrassed that we might have not been able to cope and before too long we have created a monster. I believe genetics and peers have a lot more influence than we think. One book I enjoyed is When Parents Hurt by Joshua Coleman. It is about parents who are anused by their kids snd the reluctance in our society to acknowledge it because of the stigma.
Your writing is beautifully honest and profound and resonates on a deep level and I agree with what has been said by another person here - you could write a book. Best wishes for you and your son. Somehow things can get better.