Question: Dear Luise: I have a 19 year-old son that moved out of my home 4 years ago and is now living with his dad, (my ex). My ex is enjoying the fact that now my son wants nothing to do with me. My ex has always hated me and has, I’m sure, contributed toward my son’s feelings about me. I tried to be a good mother. I was single and tried to give him the best. Sure I made mistakes, I’m human. For 4 yrs now my son wants nothing to do with me. Last year I didn’t hear from him for 6 months and this year it’s going on 7 months. I might hear from him time to time, but when I don’t let him treat me like that, he takes off from my life and blames me and says I freak out. He doesn’t want to deal with any negativity at all. He appears to have no feelings for me. I raised him alone since he was 2 and we did have a close relationship. He’s acting like a stranger, now. I’m not contacting or begging him. He’s broken my heart and I can’t handle it anymore. It’s been 2 yrs now and not even a birthday card. He won’t say what his problem is with me and that’s driving me nuts because after he moved out, he shut the door on me completely. What does a person do? Sit back and think that I might never have a relationship with him? My ex is enjoying this immensely, especially now that I’m paying child support until he’s 21. I’m thinking of going to court for emancipation because my son works full-time and used to brag about the money he made. I’m sick of being used by both my son and my ex. Any advice here, I would appreciate. I love my son and I miss him but I had been diagnosed before with depression and I shut off to everyone before. I don’t want that happening to me again. My son is really hurting me emotionally and physically and he doesn’t even care. C.
Dear C.: I don’t see how you can change much at this time. Your son and “ex” have created a situation that you simply can’t fight with any hope of winning. He is old enough to be on his own and make his own mistakes; he doesn’t need all this help from his Dad. However, that’s the way it is…for now.
Know that it might change. Kids do grow up and they do outgrow being used by others. Time is the only thing that can intervene.
What is needed now is for you to go on without your son and build a life for yourself. Make new friends, try new hobbies and join new clubs or a church near you. Follow up on whatever interests you. Your life didn’t begin when your son was born and it isn’t over because he left. You are a valuable, worthwhile person in you own right. Blessings, Luise