Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nessie, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    So it is nearly a month since my son moved out and I still can't seem to feel better. The house is a much nicer place to be but every time I think I am doing ok I'm suddenly crying, I am starting to think things will never be good for me again and I really hate feeling so sorry for myself.

    We live in a house with an unseen divide and I do not know how to break this down. There is me and my eldest daughter (18) who really do adore my son and seem to allow him to get away with basically treating us like rubbish, and then there is my husband and youngest daughter (16) who are unwilling to tolerate him. Although I understand their attitude the person it is mostly hurting is me.

    I see him every week when he collects ss cheque and I take him to do groceries, usually give him money to pay rent etc. I dread it, not because I don't want to see him but because I feel I have to be secretive and am unable to speak about it to husband and youngest. I would love to think that he doesn't manipulate me but I know he does and that just further breaks my heart. Although I know he has Done some awful things
    I also cannot accept that he might not be a good person. I know some will say I shouldn't give him money but if I don't he may end up homeless and I really do not want him home, and that makes me feel like the worse parent ever.

    He tells me he is unwell but refuses to accept that drugs and alcohol are making everything worse, he seems to adore this awful lifestyle. I do feel ashamed he has chosen to live like this and I cannot help feel responsible as I am his mum. I'm scared all of the time about how this will end even though I do accept that I have no control over it. Every day I become more and more aware of how damaging this has been to my family and I start to question if we can survive this. Even when I'm not crying I feel like I am pretending to get on with my life. Does this ever stop?
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Nessie, I am so sorry for what you are dealing with. I'm glad you reached out to us.

    What you are feeling is normal but it will pass. Life can and should be good for you. You are grieving right now. Grief is not just for when someone dies, it's also for when a relationship dies. That's what happens when our adult difficult children cause so much chaos and drama, it kills the relationship we once had with them. The sweet little boys and girls we once knew are gone. What we have now are adult children who refuse to take responsibility for their lives in a productive way. Most often they choose drugs and alcohol over their families.
    Allow yourself to grieve.

    You are a loving mother. I know this by what you have posted and the fact that you are here looking for help.
    Here's the thing about giving money, you can only do what you are comfortable with. That being said I do caution you that giving money does not really help them, it enables them. There comes a point when enough is enough. The timing is unique to each one of us. Trust me, my husband and I have spent ten of thousands of dollars trying to "help" our son. All the money we spent did nothing to help him. He didn't want our help but he didn't mind us continuing to enable him.
    Something for you to think about, there will come a time when you will not be around to "help" your son. There will come a time he will have to figure it out on his own. It's much better for him if he's allowed to start that process now rather than later. It's okay for our children to struggle, they grow and learn from it.

    This is typical. You cannot change him. You cannot make him see the damage he is doing to his life. What you can do is change how you respond. I strongly suggest you reach out to Al-Anon. They can help you to equip yourself with some good coping skills.

    Again, this is a normal feeling but know that you have nothing to be ashamed about. We will never know the reason some of our children choose to go down a destructive path. Many times they will blame us saying we were horrible parents but that is them using us as a scapegoat. As a parent, you love your child, you feed them, clothe them, give them the security of a good home, you teach them right from wrong, you send them to school, you comfort them when they are hurt, you do all you can for them. The day comes when they start to make decisions for themselves whether good or bad. Those decisions are on them and only them.

    Yes Nessie, you can and should survive this. Do not allow your son to destroy your family. I only have one child, my son. My husband and I used to have some serious arguments about our son. We were allowing our sons chaos to control everything. There was a wedge between us because we didn't always agree on how to deal with our son. We started to take drives on the weekend. Just get in the car and go. Our only rule was that we could not discuss our son. It allowed us time to be together and re-connect. My son is 35 now and his life is still full of chaos. My husband and I let him go and now we have each other.
    We love our son very much but we have learned that no matter how much we love him or how much money we throw at him, it's never enough to save him. The only thing that will save my son, your son and any other adult difficult children in themselves. Until they decide that they want their life to change.

    As I said, my son is 35 and has recently gone back to jail. I think my son will always be a difficult adult child but I no longer allow him to have power over my emotions.
    Nessie, you have a life, you have a husband and other children that need you.
    Detaching from our difficult children does not mean that we don't love them it just means that we will no longer enable them or allow them to manipulate us into "helping" them.

    This is not an easy journey to be on but I can tell you that you can come out the other side of it. You can live a good and happy life.

    I'm glad you found us here. I hope you will keep sharing.

    ((HUGS)) to you............................
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  3. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    Thank you Tanya your words are both kind and help full.
    I expect this will go on for some time so my only option is to learn how to manage and accept my reality. You are 100% correct when you say it is grief as I meander my way through those stages.

    He messaged me before, he has asked to come around tomorrow as it is Mother's Day here in the U.K. (I'm in Guernsey). At first I felt pleased, then worried about how I would tell husband and youngest. I want to see him but am scared it will cause more drama. It's just exhausting.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just a thought. I dont know anything about how to get healthcare in the UK, buf if you can do it, in my opinion family counseling could save your family. Otherwise you really have two families. And a marriage with secrets is not much of a marriage. You are allowing your son to disrupt the relationships with people you love who have probably treated you a lot better than Son has and does. If you dont get on the same page, even though you may not be 100% comfortable with what you and husband decide to do, it could save your family.

    Your son is a man behaving badly and you are probably thinking of that cute little ten year old boy that once adored you. But he is a man now...tall, muscles, deep voice, facial hair...and you are a mother/friend now, not a doting mommy who can kiss it and make him better.

    Your husband is your mate, confidante and beloved (hopefully) and he will be there for you for the rest of your life. Your son wont. He isnt going to be there for you. To me, it is wonderful to nurture a marriage over childish, destructive grown children and their deliberate struggles. Your other children in my opinion should not have a part in how you and husband decide to deal or not deal with Son.

    I personally feel your husband has the better viewpoint. But others may agree with you. You cant have it both ways. And your husband in my opinion should know what you are doing which is why I suggested family counseling. If Son wont go too, leave him out of it.

    Hugs and take care of YOU! You need to nurture yourself and your marriage in my opinion.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I would proceed with extreme caution here. I suppose I feel that way because I have been dealing with my son for over 20 years. I would like to think your son is sincere in wanting to see you for mothers day but there is a part of me that thinks he may be setting you up so he can ask for money.

    I guess on this I would use the food analogy, when in doubt throw it out. If something gives you pause, where you struggle with whether or not you should do something, your gut instinct is telling you no.
    I know you love your son. I love my son too but I know that if ever I need help my son would not be there for me but husband will.

    @SomewhereOutThere gave you some really good advice.

    I know this is hard but you are much stronger than you realize. I remember times when I didn't think I would be able to survive all that my son put me through. I did survive and I'm much stronger for it.
    When you feel your strength failing, think of us here, we are surrounding you with all our strength.