Question: Dear Luise: I have been reading these Moms’ stories and can’t believe how much pain their children are causing them. My three children (19, 18, 16) hate me as well. I went to the police to get a restraining order against my husband and the police decided to arrest him. My son was so angry, he made up a story and told the police I threatened to kill him, and they threw me in jail. My ex is a compulsive liar and has convinced them that I am the worst person alive — they chose to live with him, even though he has been emotionally abusing them all their lives and I am the one who has done everything for them and protected them. I can’t help but feel responsible for their actions. After all, I am the one who raised them. I MUST have been a terrible mother to raise three such hateful children. It has been a year since they decided to live with their father, who today came home with crocodile tears and told them I was harassing him with emails. My son emailed and threatened to call the police and have me arrested. I have lived for my children for the past 19 years and I suffer from severe chronic depression. I don’t know how I am going to survive. S.
Answer: Dear S.: Let them go. There has been a lot of influence in their lives besides yours. Two of them are legal adults and one is close. Start looking at who you are and what you are beyond your parenting. You were whole before they were born and you can be again. Back off, create distance and move on. It isn’t easy at first but you can do it. You deserve a lot better than what you are getting. Give it to yourself. Blessings, Luise