Question: My son is abusive and loving. Back and forth…back and forth. He’s almost 17 and determined to live with his alcoholic father, who he treats the same way he treats me. In the middle of a battle I lost it and told him to move out and get it over with. Now I’m sorry. There are a lot of reasons it won’t work because he has asthma and his dad doesn’t care. That’s always been the case when he stayed with him. No medication and no medical care. Now my anger has made me the bad guy for sure and I have lost child support on top of that and have been left destitute. I don’t think I can reverse all of this and I am overwhelmed by the fall-out. I have been a good mom and good to his friends. I just finally fell apart from his lies and accusations and the deep, deep hurt he continually inflicted on me. When he left, I saw him look toward me and just barely wave, and it was so sad. That lost look in his eyes. Of course I was crying then, as I am now. I feel horrible. He says he’s doing this to “teach me a lesson”. I was trying to do “tough love” to teach him a lesson and no one is learning anything. I am miserable because he is my world. He knows that and has the usual “get a life” comeback when I say it. Please tell me your thoughts on this. I am a mess. E.
Answer: Dear E. There are kids who expect us to have no limits and to be able to take anything they dish out for as long as they choose to keep doing that. Some of us have thicker skins than others. And many parents, teachers and counselors question a teenager’s right to be constantly and openly abusive. I’m not sure who is right…if anyone. In all probability, each situation is unique.
I’m sorry that you lost it. It doesn’t sound like you can reverse it unless your son decides to come back on his own…which he may do. It looks like he may have been playing you and your “ex” against each other. No kid should have that kind of power, but it happens. Blessings, Luise