My Son’s Hatred is Killing Me

Question: Dear Luise: My Son truly hates me. I don’t think it will ever change. I am devastated and cannot function. I don’t know how often this may happen to families, but this is killing me…literally. My son is wonderful, talented and the joy of my life. He was a very difficult teenager–but never a bad kid.  He just had alligator mouth, laziness and was spoiled. He also was quite troubled. His father left and ignored him for another family. My new husband didn’t do well with him. My son was a short lived, male anorexic after spending a summer with this dad out of state and discovering that his anorexic stepsisters had everyone’s attention. Then he met his girlfriend–now wife. She was Goth and a cutter. He became Goth and cutter. This happy boy with friends on the swim team, tennis lessons, sleepovers and laughing all the time was wearing black and lying.  She comes from a family of criminals…literally. We had our problems but eventually I took her in as my own and paid all their bills for 6 years so they could get cars and save up for a house. They were married 3 years ago.  She because psychotic at the wedding. I cried. It literally was a Jerry Springer wedding. I am a lawyer. My husband is a doctor. My son has a great job. Everyone loves him. I live one mile from him. He never calls. He never visits. He ignores my calls and when he absolutely has to speak to me his voice is filled with hate. I can’t work right now because I am recovering for a triple bypass, renal and liver failure and I am very decompensated. I am afraid I will die and my son will not be speaking to me. I get no Mother’s Day’s cards or visits or for my birthday. No holidays. I do not think I can take this anymore. If he were a bad kid, I could move on.  But I love him and he knows I love him. I’ve apologized for things I haven’t even done.  What do I do? T.

Answer: Dear T. One thing you can do is to go over to my web-Forum and share your story ASAP. Just copy and paste it. The URL is:   You’ll find wonderful people there who will offer understanding, support and perspective.

All we can do is our best. When adult children make choices that take them down dark paths, we can only continue to love them from a distance. To try to make any sense out of it is not only futile, it takes energy that you simply don’t have. And to accept any responsibility for it is lethal and totally unrealistic.

There comes a time when the damage that is being done has to be stopped. You can’t forget it of course but you can refuse to be subjected to any more of it. Your attention needs to go to healing and to knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, can take away your love for your son and your memories of his love for you. Blessings, Luise

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