Where Does My Son’s Hatred Come From

Question: My son of 36 has for the last (at least) 18 years held some kind of grudge against me. He is always accusing me of being needy and only thinking of “me, me, me”, as he puts it. He is not married but does have a girlfriend who I know he is not entirely happy with. I divorced from his abusive father 15 years ago and I enjoy a good relationship with my other two children. Two years ago I gave him a home when he wanted to take a MSC. degree at the local University and I never asked for a penny and even bought him a laptop. He stayed with me for a year and in that time especially when he had a drink he would tear into me again. He says he doesn’t respect me and in his last email from Australia he says he will contact me when he feels like it not when I want him to. I never ask anything from him except for the odd phone call etc. I have had enough of his abuse and his bullying. I am thinking of just walking away from this horrible relationship, which is causing me so much pain. I work full time as a nurse and also care for my 88 year-old Mum who lives with me. I don’t consider myself to be a selfish person. Any advice, I am desperate. H.

Answer: Dear H. Your situation is one that has been discussed often on my site. Please go to the category “Parenting Development” and read the three posts there and the dozens of comments. Then, post a comment there if you wish.

This is far more common than most people realize…and for both the broken- hearted mom and the disillusioned son, it can be terrible. It’s something I have experienced personally and have written about, as well.

You can’t change the way your son thinks and acts…and there is even less chance that you will ever understand it.

What is next is to rescue yourself, so you can do well at work and at home in the jobs you have taken on. To do that, two things have to happen: you have to let it go and then you have to “hold your son able” to move through it at his own pace, if and when he decides to. It has very little to do with you. Blessings, Luise

One Response to Where Does My Son’s Hatred Come From

  1. E. December 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    He had called me to ream me out about something and he said: “I know you’ve had terrible things in your life but I am not responsible for it or you.” What does that mean? I think in his defense that he has been an emotional support for me all his life. He has a keen sense of what one should and should not do and when to do it. He’s just smart in those ways. I guess I’m horribly hurt that the support, emotional though it may be, has been removed from me. Do you understand what I mean? I hope so.

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