Question: Dear Luise: When my son was a senior in high school he became involved with a very controlling girl, whose parents were “youth leaders” of a non-denominational church. His personality started to change for the worse. He became very disrespectful towards our family and seemed like he was looking for fights. My husband finally gave him a choice, you either respect our household rules and your mother and me or you need to go. He was 18 at this time. So he left and the church family “hid” him out for 3 weeks and I was unable to get in touch with him. My parents and sister became involved at this point. Our son was telling everyone we “threw” him out and my parents and sister believed him. He “froze” us out of his high school graduation and lives with my sister 2 miles down the road from me. We bent over backwards trying to mend the situation, only to be undermined by my parents and my son’s girlfriend’s parents. We were told we were abusive parents and were interfering with God’s will for our son to be involved with this girl. We have come to find out that while our son was living at home these youth leaders took a lot of liberties with our son. Such as taking him to a seminar on how to live a satisfying married life; when our son was a senior in high school. I struggle daily with the depression of this situation. My son and I were always very close until the “girl” and this “church.” My husband and I sacrificed for 18 years for him. Always putting him first. I put my life on hold for him for 18 yrs, so that I was always available to him. My husband and him were always going on hunting/fishing trips together. I just can’t believe what has happened and I am finding it harder to go on. This time in my life is extremely difficult, because we are preparing our daughter for college. She is a junior this year and our last one. After losing my son the way I did, I feel like I am losing my daughter too. I used to feel so confident as a mother, but not any more. I struggle daily with second guessing myself as a mother. I also struggle with the hate and anger towards my own mother, father and sister, who supported a wayward teen. They told him we were never good parents and he did not need us. They even bought him a new car. Everything we were told to do when he was being rebellious was undone by them. I never knew how low people could go. I am tired of the struggle daily and feeling as if I will never be happy again or feel whole again. Any encouraging words would be helpful to me as I feel about as low as any human being right now and this has been going on for over 2 years. I just miss my son as does his father and sister. I want my family whole again. G.
Answer: Dear G.: There is no way I know of to right this situation, which is unquestionable all wrong. Your son was young and easily influenced and your family is being hugely unfair, to my way of thinking. All you can do is to wait for him to come to his senses. Not an easy or even a certain approach.
Kids growing up and leaving…as your daughter soon will, is not actually “losing” them, as you know. Focus on your daughter and support her in her steps toward maturity; part of that is being a role model for her where maturity is concerned. Better days are coming and you deserve the best. Blessings, Luise