My Son Hates Me for What I Did

Question: Dear Luise: My adult son, who is 32, has caused me so much pain and grief in the past few months that I am not sure what to do next. He has sole custody of his 8 year old daughter, he has no job and has been in and out of trouble for several years now always when he is drinking. He is totally out of control when he drinks. He spent 6 months in jail in last year for being drunk and spitting on a police officer. He has lived with my mother for the past 7 years because I won’t take him in and she always babies him and rescues him. I tried to force him to grow up but she always enabled him to be irresponsible. Sorry I am pointing fingers, now. Anyway in spite of his behavior my children and I were always close until the last 2 or three years. My daughter and I still are and she is a very sweet responsible adult. nothing like her brother. Well my son recently started acting very weird. I suspected bipolar or drugs. He was screaming and cussing at everyone telling all of us how stupid we were and how smart he was. He caused my mother to have to leave her home due to his verbal abuse. He was staying up all night talking 100 miles an hour saying his brain was going really fast. He was roaming around in the woods at night telling us he had taught himself martial arts and was a expert swordsman. He told my husband he was eating rotten food to strengthen his immune system. My daughter called me one day crying saying her brother was standing in the drive one day when she went to my mom’s and she asked what he was doing and he said “training”. He was just standing there saying “I’m not giving into the man I am not giving into the man”. Anyway, the whole family tried to get him to go for an evaluation from a mental health professional and he told us he was fine the rest of the world was crazy. So I took drastic action. He was really frightening all of us. To protect my granddaughter. I called a friend of his that is deputy sheriff to try and take him in for treatment. He tried to but couldn’t do anything because he had not threatened to take his own life or someone else’s. He said that was the only way he could take him for treatment. My granddaughter was with my sister when all this was happening. I had her pick her up from school. Between all of us we had her for about a week before we let him have her back, and only after his behavior was normal again. My husband finally went and picked him up and made him go to a mental health outpatient clinic for help and he goes weekly now, but would not have gone had he not been forced to, knowing child services would of taken his daughter and he would of probably ended up back in jail or worse. He has quit drinking. We feared he was not just drinking but was doing some kind of drugs. He seems quite normal, now, but he hates my guts for calling the sheriff on him and forcing him to get help. He called me yesterday and asked me to bring him by some stuff from the store. He also has no drivers license at the moment. I ams happy to help him anyway I can. Just before I left I asked if my granddaughter could spend the night this weekend. He glared at me with all the hate anyone could have and said “don’t ever send the sheriff out here again. The last time she stayed with you, you sent him out here.” I asked him why he had called me since he apparently hated my presence and he said he needed stuff. I told him I was leaving and was going to stay away from him since he hated me and that I was sorry. I was his mother and I loved him and cared what happened to him and my granddaughter. I am not going around him again. I was abused by my ex-husband and I refuse to take anymore abuse from someone I love and care for and make sacrifices for and, even to this day, would give my life for to save his. I do not intend to even speak to him. He called my cell phone about an hour after I had left the house and I would not answer and I didn’t call him back either. My husband is still helping him till he can get a job and stand on his own two feet, and my mother is moving to an apartment in town and we are getting him into a place of his own. We do feel like he is ill. He has to be if it wasn’t drugs. My husband told him he had to be off of all drugs and alcohol or we would take my granddaughter from him legally, yet he likes my husband. He is the only one he will let take him to his counselor appointments and seems to have a good relationship with him, at the moment. If I had threatened to take my granddaughter he would really hate me but he took it from my husband. I love him. I always will he is my son. I raised my kids by myself for nine years. We had wonderful times together. We backpacked together and always took at least a couple of their friends along. We were so close and now this has ripped us apart. I still think I did the right thing to call the sheriff and set everything in motions. I would do it again even if he does hate me. What do you think? Should I have just ignored the situation? Was I wrong? And am I wrong to choose to stay away from him and not talk to him? My heart is broken. Ann

Answer: Dear Ann: I didn’t condense your question because my answer is going to be pretty short.

You did the right thing and I think you know that. What you don’t like are the consequences. So often, people write me that they “have no choice”. We always have a choice…we just often don’t like the consequences. You are the exception…you did what had to be done, courageously, and it worked. Things are much better because of you. Your son, however, needs someone to blame and you’re it.

I suggest you keep your distance and let others deal with him and continue to support and direct him. You’ve let him know that you love him. If he ever recovers enough to love you back, you’ll be there for him and your granddaughter in a heartbeat. He knows that. Everyone knows that. In the meantime, focus elsewhere…no matter how hard it is to do that and make room in your life to let your broken heart heal. Blessings, Luise

16 Responses to My Son Hates Me for What I Did

  1. Donna July 12, 2007 at 3:30 pm #

    Dear Ann,
    I just read your letter and I know exactly what you’re going through. My forty year old son, in and out of trouble for years, came back into my life after three years of estrangement. Our relationship had been stormy for many years, he hated me for never knowing his real father (a long story). I forgave him this last time even after many abusive phone calls and situations. I always forgave him. Anyway, this last time he came back he was in trouble again, and my husband and I helped him with money and a place to live. We literally rescued him from a drug hell hole. He swore he was going to clean up his act and be different. He even apologized for the first time to me for acting the way he had in the past. Unfortunately,it didn’t take long, and we suspected drug and alcohol abuse was still his priority. After three months of no job and hanging around with all the same people we got him away from, my husband told him he had to leave the little trailer he provided for him. No job, no free place. Desperate for money, he stole thousands of dollars from my husband and spent it all on methamphetimine. He was picked up in California with my husbands truck he stole. He’s been in two jails since then, for DUI and drug paraphenalia. He too, frightened the rest of the family. The story is much longer, what I want you to know is, I did not, for the first time, bail him out. I would not answer his calls from jail, and let him sit it out. I wrote him and assured him of my love, but it was time for him to face up to what he was doing to himself and his family. I don’t know either if he is mentally ill or it’s the drugs. He is in pain I know, and at this moment is homeless and destitute. My husband won’t forgive him and has banned him from our properties. Am I doing the right thing? I don’t know, I know I could demand to let him come home. I love him so much, and I do forgive him even the bad things he’s done recently. But, I believe my enabling, my guilt, has only made it worse in the past, and he has to face reality soon, before it’s too late. My heart is broken too. Every day I see his sweet face as a child, and pray to God to keep him safe and whisper in his ear what he must do. In the meantime, I wait and try to get on with my life. I too, have a beautiful daughter with a family beside him, that loves me and needs me. All the best to you Ann, and me. Donna

    Answer: Dear Donna: The time comes when you need to get that it is his life. Parenting stops. Forty is not twenty. Love doesn’t stop, though. It is never too late, in some context and yet it may already be too late, in another. You gave this man life and you raised him through childnood, not perfectly but to the best of your ability. He has made a lot of choices, rememeber, that you aren’t responsible for. Wish him well in your heart, pray for him and turn away toward the life you were given and the marriage you are in. Blessings, Luise

  2. Becky August 7, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    Dear Louise,

    My son is 20 years old and about 3 years ago he decided he didn’t want to follow the rules at our home and moved in with his girlfriend and her parents. We got into a huge arguement and didn’t speak for a while. A few months after he left he started speaking to me and would stop by when my husband wasn’t home (step-dad). They haven’t spoken to eacher in the 3 years he has been gone. My son takes one college class a week and doesn’t work nor has a drivers license. His girlfriends parents do everything for him as they do for their daughter. They are enablers.

    Last week my son wanted to move back home and I told him we would have to sit down and talk about it. I also told him I loved him very much and would always be there for him. When I mentioned he would have to get a job and a license, he was very angery and said forget it he would find somewhere else to live. When I tried to talk to him about it he said he doesn’t need me anymore. He can be so nasty and hurtful to me and I just can’t figure it out. He was such a sweet little boy. I don’t know where I went wrong. He is a very angery young man. I told him I would leave him alone and he told me to have a good life. He broke my heart. I love him so much and don’t know how to help. It’s so hard to get through to him. My mother went through this with my brother and they haven’t talked in years. He is now 36 and has 2 beautiful kids she never gets to see. I pray this doesn’t happen to me. Do you think I should leave him alone to work this out alone? The more I try to help the meaner he gets.

  3. Luise August 23, 2007 at 9:26 pm #

    Answer: Dear Becky: He was a sweet little boy but that’s not what you are dealing with now. He’s getting meaner and meaner. How much of this abuse can you take? How long can you stick by him? Only you can answer that, don’t you see? Blood ties mean “anthing goes” to some people and to others there is a place where a line is drawn. I think I would seek counseling if I were faced with this. You need an advocate and a clear head. Blessings, Luise

  4. G. April 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    I have three children whom I raised by myself when their father, 17 years older than me, decided he had to get on with his life and a new women. They,two boys and a girl, are grown,are married the girl and oldest boy not with their spouses, have children and are emotionally and verbally abusive to me. We are estranged because I wouldn’t go along with their mean behviour and various partners. Got on with my own life no matter how much it hurt and let the healing begin. Should they come around after been given two or more chances?? I will run as I do NOT trust them!! And why would I want the abuse again??? Anyone else feel the same way? G.

    • Luise April 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

      Dear G. If you the read this posts on this thread you will find that there are others who have opted for peace and have ended the abuse. Good for you. Blessings, Luise

    • Luise April 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

      I like that phrase…”Let the healing begin.” And I think you’re right that somewhere/sometime a line may have to drawn that says “enough.” Blessings, Luise

  5. J. October 3, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    My son is 25. We let him, wife and baby move into our trailer in the backyard about 4 years ago. They had another baby. They are divorced now and have split custody. I do not agree with some things he is doing, living in my backyard. Yes, he is 25, but I am his mom, and this is my home. He makes the payment on the trailer, but that is about it, none for electricity, or when he has his kids, I let them come in and eat as a family, those little children need all the love they can get. I love my grandchildren to pieces. I had enough of the disrespect towards me and told him it is time for him to move the trailer to another place. Only because of my grandkids can he keep the trailer, at least I know they will have a familiar place to stay. Right now, he hates me and I don’t know when he will speak to me again. But I can’t take what is going on in my backyard. And I feel I am the one in the wrong, I will be punished, for I will very much miss him and my grandkids so close when he has them. I have to trust God, to open his eyes to what he is doing, the current relationship he is in, she does drugs, and I am afraid he is too. He needs a wake up call, but I don’t want to continue to see him screw up his life, if this is the life he chooses, he needs to move away from me and live his life. This is breaking my heart, for what will happen to my grand kids, they are 2 and 4, Please, God, intervene in these lives. He feels there is nothing he does that is right to me. I want to believe in him so much, but time after time after time, this goes on. Why can’t our children just grow up, be responsible, work, take care of their children, not get into relationships that take them down the wrong path? Did I really teach him this was the right kind of lifestyle? No, he chooses this on his own. But, I feel it’s my fault to a point, there must have been something I didn’t get him to see. J.

    • Luise October 5, 2009 at 8:52 am #

      Dear J.: We just can’t take responsibility for everything our grown children do. We give them our best and then it’s up to them. Please come over to my web-Forum: There is a lot of understanding and support available there. Blessings, Luise

  6. J, October 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Well, my son moved out sunday, and he took the trailer with him. We are letting him have the trailer, as long as he makes the payments, only because he has the grandkids for half the week, and at the moment that will be a familiar place for them. I listened to Charles Stanley this week, talking about Confronting Conflict. Forgiveness, prayer, seeking to do what the right response would be. I feel so much better today, I have cried much the past few days, but he must become a man away from me, living in my backyard isn’t helping him. I will worry about my grandkids and if they are being taken care of, always. I had my turn, with him, now it is his turn, to take care of his kids. My yard is lonlier, but I will survive. There is much to life and I can go on. I did tell him, I am sorry I hope someday you can forgive me. I don’t want to harbor any more anger towards him, he is my son. I want my heart to heal, to live my life with my husband, and to hopefully one day see a responsible, wonderful dad to my grandkids. J.

  7. T. October 15, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Dear Luise, Thanks for your support with things that we have problems with. ‘Til I read some of the things people wrote to you asking,I didn’t know how I was going to cope with my problem, I’m sure I will make but it hurts when you care and love your children and grand children so much. T.

  8. C. June 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    I really need some help for my son who is 24yrs old lives with his dad he is out of control he has become very abusive now he is cuting himself. I am worried about my grandaughter who is only 3yrs old. My ex husband is trying very hard to protect her but he does not know what to do. How can i get the law involved? I know my son does drugs and i think he has a mental problem. Please help. c.

  9. A. June 11, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    I have just had a major break up with my youngest Son and my heart is breaking – he has spoken to me like I am something under his shoe – he shouted abuse , foul language, and has slammed the door in my face when I tried to calmly speak to him – he doesn’t want to see me or speak to me – I am in bits – he has always been very close with me but the things he said to me seem to have irreversably damaged our relationship – I love him very very much and I have had a pain in my heart since we fell out – He is 27 – he has no current partner- he runs a pub and I know it is hard work – I have been paying his cell phone bill for six months to help out but told him I couldn’t manage this months as it was triple the norm – He went ballistic and called me selfish amongst other things- then I got angry and told him I would cancel the contract and that was when all hell broke loose, I just can’t believe the reaction I got from him – I went to see him the day after and wanted to calm things down but he just about restrained himself from physical abuse and threw me out of his pub – why has this become my fault – all I have done is try to help and I have bought him stuff for his new pub and helped him move in and cleaned for him – I just don’t get it – it’s nothing to do with the money – it’s the total disrespect he seems to have for me – I am a nervous wreck and cannot sleep because of this – I have other stuff going on with my elderly Mum who is ill and I cannot cope with this upset.
    I found this site by chance and I realise I am not on my own – it has made me feel a little better – we all just want peace of mind. A.

    • Luise June 16, 2010 at 7:20 am #

      You might find comfort in visiting my Web-forum: I created it for those of us who face serious issues with our adult children. Blessings, Luise

  10. R. June 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    My son is 26 years old and has been unable to hold a job or stay out of juvenile trouble since he was a juvenile. His father and he did not have a good relationship and his father died when he was 16. I have since remarried and have moved on but my son stays in the past, blaming me, expecting my help with money and shelter because he “has no one else.” He is also a drug and alcohol abuser who has been in and out of treatment programs galore. This is also my fault. My home is very small, just enough room for my husband and I, however I have given him refuge a few times for a few days not to mention motel money and shelter money and so on. off and on for eight years. The last time after he was released from jail sitting out fines he couldn’t pay, I allowed him to stay three days at my small mobile home-gave him $250 dollars and told him this was all I could do. Two days later he calls and says he has a job and needs a place to stay until he gets his first check. I said no. He was supposed to use the money I gave him to find shelter, at either a shelter or halfway house. I do not have room or money. I have not heard from him since. I think this is pretty mean and hurtful. I can not continue to bail him out forever. R.

    • Luise June 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

      I’m so sorry you deserve a lot better. There are those who are into blame. It’s a way of life and protects them from the reality of their own irresponsibility. Hold firm, even if it means going on without him. Blessings, Luise

  11. L. April 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I feel so bad for these Moms. Until now I thought I was alone. Before I left my abusive drunk exhusband he said he would turn my kids now 26 and 20 against me. He did, I don’t understand how children can hate thier Mother. L.

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