Setting Boundaries...


Well-Known Member
Hi all,

It's been a week since I've talked to my younger son.
See...a week ago he told me he may just go and jump off a bridge. I told him I loved him and to take care. He called me the next day from a unknown number and I told him that I would not speak to him for a week as he needed to think about the things that he says to his mother!

Since that time...I have gotten 3 texts from him and he has called me numerous times. I did not respond to any of these attempts to talk to me until this morning. His last text was last night around 9pm. He said, "Goodbye you shameful world."

I texted him a short while ago and told him...
"If your last text was designed to scare me or upset me then it may be ANOTHER week before I talk to you! Stop it or get some help!"

I am concerned yet angry. I am still angry about my oldest son's treatment of me due to his new found religious beliefs...shunning me, casting me out because I have mental illness, go to the casino, smoke cigs. My mother went to his daughters 5th birthday this past Sunday. They even had a Holy Bible birthday cake! I'll tell you in my opinion oldest son and his wife and her family ALL live in fear. This is not the relationship I have with the God of my understanding.

In any event...I feel it necessary to put the brakes on both of my son's behavior towards me. I am attempting to put up boundaries. Being last on the totum pole, sacrificing for all in the name of being a "good mom", has not served me well.

I hope at some point I will earn a little respect from my son's.

ps...I think younger son is still homeless yet still has a job somehow someway.


Well-Known Member
As a born again Christian, and I know I am a newborn, but it really bothers me when people twist religion and do not honestly understand and practice Jesus' teachings. Jesus loves EVERYONE. He does not shun anyone, belittle anyone or make them feel bad about themselves. Jesus would call your son a hypocrite. I think your son is going to have a big wake up call one day...

And I think how you are handling youngest is the right thing to do. He is desperately trying to get a reaction from you. He needs to focus that energy elsewhere - in ways that will enrich his life instead of sitting and wallowing.


Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member

I've recently come to realize something that might be useful to you, too.

We may NEVER get the respect we deserve from our DCs for all the sacrifices we've made for their benefit. We would probably do it all over again, if necessary. It's probably best not to dwell on what "should be" and just deal with "what is."

I have to challenge myself every day to absorb it, accept it, and like you, set boundaries that may keep us in the world of sanity, if there is such a thing!

You're doing great. I admire you. You're "growing a pair" as my husband would say!


Roll With It
I am proud of you! Your youngest has manipulated your emotions shamelessly for a very long time. You are setting healthy boundaries and both of you need this! As for your oldest, it seems to me that the only way he is able to understand a higher power is if that higher power is an authority to be afraid of. It has seemed to me to be the only way he could understand authority, so that is how he understands his religion. Just my perspective, but putting boundaries in place for him is also a good thing. He is the son who NEEDS you to set them so that he can see that you value yourself and won't tolerate his nonsense, and he may respond better to you demanding respect than to you offering love. It is just how he sees 'authority' and 'elders'.

I could see my daughter asking for a Bible cake at age 5 or 6, so it may be his daughter's idea for a cake. Or it may be what they allowed her to have. I do know that kids raised with an overly strict, authoritarian based religion often rebel very strongly in their teens, so they may have quite a time when their daughter is older. Every single girl in my high school who was raised in a super strict religious family ended up with at least one child before marriage, and 3/4ths of them had their first child before they were out of high school. I realized this my senior year working on the yearbook - every single girl who got preg in high school was from a family that made them swear to be abstinent until marriage and their only social activities were church related, and the only boys they were allowed to spend time with were from their churches. I have always found this interesting, because they were not all from the same church or even the same brand of religion. There were at least 7 different churches that these girls went to. I am NOT saying that the church was the cause, just that it was an interesting fact in my high school.


Well-Known Member
We have the same rights as our children. We do not have to have a relationship with anyone who is disrespectful, hurtful, dishonest, and downright nasty. It does not matter how they are/not related to us. Live your life. Find your truth and your joy. They are welcome to theirs.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi LMS. Someone posted an article once that basically said that unconditional love does not mean unconditional access. I really liked that. You can love your child but still refuse to let them mistreat you by limiting access.

Set strong boundaries and tell you sons (yes, both of them are not treating you well just in different ways) that you will refuse them access to you until they show you that they will show you the respect you deserve. Then let the boundaries down just a little at a time if they treat you well. Eventually they can earn back full access but it should on your terms. You could start by saying that you will only talk with them on the phone once a week and will hang up if they are in any way rude or disrespectful to you.

That is what I am doing with my daughter. Every time that I think she is doing well and think about reinstating limited contact she says something crazy to husband and then I realize that it is not time yet.




I like the way you stand up to the manipulating text messages. Him being your son does not mean you have to subject yourself to this treatment. Take care.


one day at a time
LMS, it sounds like you handled it great! I know there is a cost to you, but you are setting good strong boundaries. These suicide threats are son pulled it multiple times and I called the police on him multiple times, and made it clear I would do it every single time he threatened it.

Finally, that stopped. Deep inside, I was terrified he would actually do it, but intellectually I never believed he wanted to kill himself.

He just wanted me to react.

Hang in there. We teach people how to treat us. You are teaching them to treat you well or not at all. I applaud you. We are here for you.


Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies and hugs.
I have been fairly depressed lately and have been avoiding people.
I will post more when I feel better.

okie girl

Well-Known Member
LMS....I know just how you feel. My son has threatened to shoot his self and is very disrespectful to me. Right now I am doing the same as you, setting boundaries. I have blocked his number and stopped reading his text. He is currently homeless. I guess he is living in his truck. I can't change him but I can stand up for myself and change how I react to him. So sorry you are going through this. Hugs.
I'm sorry both difficult child's are still acting the way they are. I am proud of you for not running to save young difficult child when he kept trying to manipulate. I remember years ago when you would have run to him the first call. You have come a long way.

Older difficult child has a very twisted view of god. Sad if that really is his religion telling him to do these things. Boy do he and his wife have a big wake up call coming. A bible cake? Wow... way over the top.

Sounds like I need to come drag you out of the new house ;)


Well-Known Member
So sorry you're going through depression LMS. There's nothing more sad than when our children are lost and hurting and making awful choices and we have no control. May I just give you hope and pray for your peace. Letting it go and "for me" praying was the best thing I ever did. God heard my prayers and answered them abundantly. Take good care of yourself and know that this isn't your fault. Big hugs!