Question: Dear Luise: My adult son is an alcoholic in jail. At 17 he went to livewith his father in another state.When he visited I noticed he was smoking & he seemed to hate women.He said one day that “women are gross.” I was shocked as he had never spoken this way Each time I saw him he was more angry. About 5 years ago I started to be accused by him of “calling him names every day, and abusing him.” His father has told me that my son tells him this each time he is drunk. My ex believes this to be true, because I do have a temper when pushed (like anyone) and my son was a difficult child. However name calling every day and abuse. My son called yesterday from jail and was very nice.His birthday is today & I got a call from him. Thinking he just wanted to talk and have me wish him happy birthday I was happy to hear from him. He told me he had just called his father who told him he was selling my son’s TV/Computer. I told him that his father is just going through some issues right now. I told my son how his father told me a week ago that my son had told him again how I abused him daily. My son took that as an opportunity to tell me that I did. He told me I “messed him up” and it’s my fault that he “has problems.” I said “here we go” and my son said, “Lady I know your personality, we know the truth, you abused me everyday.” I wrote my son an email (he won’t get it till his 30 days in jail are over), and copied my ex on the email. I told my son that if I did all these horrible things that he should consider filing charges of “Child abuse” against me. I am done with my son, and do not want anything to do with my ex husband. He is remarried and stillverbally abusing me any chance he gets. Now ex is turning his back on our daughter too. He is angry at the world and hateful of me. I know he “taught” my son to hate me. Please help I can’t take this anymore. I deserve to be happy. I gave up everything for my kids. K.
Answer: Dear K.: We all gave up everything for our kids. That’s what motherhood is…setting our lives aside and putting our children ahead of us. When they become adults it is no longer appropriate to continue the dynamic of putting them first. It’s time to get your life back. You do deserve to be happy.
One thing that never works is discussing your son with your “ex” and your “ex” with your son. It’s called triangulation…and is the “he said/she said stuff” that invites misquoting and misinterpretation.
You did your best. Please remember that you were whole before you became a parent and you can be whole again.
Blame is the classic way to deny responsibility. Your son is making choices he wants to blame others for. It’s his life and he may eventually face the consequences of his choices (or he may not) but that is about him, not you. All that happens when you show a lack self respect and accept abusive treatment from him is invite more abuse.
If you are interested in working your way through some of this in a supportive community, please come over to my Web-forum. It is for women dealing with issues with adult children and extended families. It’s a place to share experiences and feelings…to be heard and understood. www.WiseWomenUnite.com. Blessings, Luise