Can’t He Just Be The Person He Was?

Question: Dear Luise: I am very depressed. My son, who will be 20 at the end of this month, graduated from high school and has been throwing his life away ever since. He does not have a job, he does not eat well, does not come home other than 1 or 2 days a week, has a total new group of friends (not good ones), dates a girl who is only 17 and has dropped out of school and is very disrespectful to me and his 12 year old brother. I hate when he comes home. It is so peaceful when he is not there. I feel guilty because I have told him not to come around until he gets a job or enrolls in college and gets his life together. I just want the person who he was when he lived with us and the relationship that we once had. A.

Answer: Dear A.: Your son isn’t the person he was. It s so hard to face that we can’t go back. I just put my husband into a nursing home and it feels like divorce. I want to go back to how it was and have him be the person he was but I can’t and he can’t. It is very difficult to have it be how it is. He is 98 years old and he is never coming home.

In your situation, all you can do is have it be how it is where your son is concerned. He did well in childhood but he is not interested at this time in adulthood. If you allow, it, he will blame you for this because it is so handy to use blame to explain away the lack of responsibility.

You are being realistic when you say you don’t want him around. He is committed to being offensive right now and to using you if and when he finds it convenient. You have to make you own choices here. I would close the door and change the locks. You gave him a great start. If he doesn’t appreciate it…that’s about him not you.

I would let him know I love him and always will and I would flatly refuse to underwrite his behavior. It doesn’t serve either of you and you deserve a lot better than what you are getting. I wouldn’t wait for him to decide to be kind, I’d face the fact that I gave him my best and be I’d be kind to myself. Blessings, Luise

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