Discussion Topic

estranged son

Posted on 07/15/10, 11:47 am
i've been estranged from my 25 year old son for almost a year now. no christmas card, call or nothing, no birthday and so on like loads of others have already experienced. now today i get a call saying 'guess who', like nothing has gone on, no bad feeling??? He still owes me my nest egg and hasn't referred to paying it back, was a loan for 4 weeks originally and I trusted him implicitly. how stupid was I? Anyway get a call today to say i've run out of credit on phone, can you call me back. never ends does it. so i do, and he's half way to where i live, asking about good B&B's. Doesn't know if he'll make it down, but see how it goes, got friend with him, female. got 3 days. didn't ask how i was, but sounded quite amused and relaxed. which i find confusing. so what if he actually turns up? what are my protocols how do i ensure we evolve to a better undertstanding rather than remembering all the horrid things he's said and done. infact i have little time to see him anyway, and as he didn't ask he knows not my arrangements. work all day tomorow, night out tomorrow, already booked and won't give it up. then the next day we are busy all day. and thats the day he says he's got to go back. Should i have sounded happy to hear from him? Should i have laid ground rules? Should I have said don't bother till you pay me back? Should i wait to see if he's going to explain face to face? What if he doesn't? What do i say to raise issue? infront of friend? yikes, i'm having meltdown. Parenthood is totally overrated. If i'd know all the effort and love that goes in would result in someone acting like they hate you when you've bent over backwards inside out to help support and be agood mom, then leave you forever and lose contact, i truly would have found something better to do with my life. Its daily punishment. Any ideas folks?
Showing 1 - 10 of 14 Replies
  • Reply #1 07/15/10  12:21pm
    If your ES is like my 24 year old ES, he is altering his mind by partying or is controlled by someone he is hanging with. It is as if time stands still with him where we are concerned or that we are just occasional friends he looks up when he is around.

    I would remind him of the money he owes you and ask his plan for repayment since you really need the money yourself. I have been telling my son on each holiday that I have knocked off a set amount of what he owes me as his gift.

    I assume his reference to good B & B's was a hint to get you to let him and his "friend" stay with you. My son meets people on the street and expects me to welcome every starnger he meets to my home. I have seen too many people come and go in his life to bother.

    Sounds like the typical "all about me " attitude. If he just turns up , give him the time you have but do not rearrange anything, unless YOU want to spend more time with him. I would tell him you have a busy life , would like to see more of him, but would need more notice to clear your schedule. If you do not set some boundaries with him, he will think this behavior is acceptable. If he gets put off by your words, so be it. He is still in his self centered phase. You have to try to live your life as if he is just an acquaintance too until the time comes that he matures. If he does. I know first hand how tough this is. Good luck!!

  • Reply #2 07/15/10  12:44pm
    thanks so much, i wouldn't have to stay after last time, and yes, have made his friends welcome in the past. i get palpitations just thinking about meeting up with him and his total awareness or act, that nothing has happened. anyway, c what turns out but i cant really trust him anymore and feel unbothered to see him. on the other hand if i a like that i'll never get my nestegg back? so do i act more friendly than i feel to try and get some payback. even if he does if on a monthly basis? or do i give up and just make myself disinterested in his life. how can he not contact me and then just phone and be half way here?
  • Reply #3 07/15/10  2:04pm
    Molly, that's a tough one! There are 2 issues, one getting the money back and two, seeing if there's any relationship you can have with your son. Who knows if he will even show up? So don't get your hopes or your anxiety up. If he comes through for a visit, I would probably meet him halfway by dropping an optional activity to makie time for him. If it's been a year, he might have changed. The female friend might be a tempering influence. If he immediately acts badly, tell him you'd like a relationship but can't have one until he acts respectfully and stick to your guns. Even if he seems improved, don't count on any money being returned. He may just be coming to see how much more he can soak out of you, so don't give in. If he doesn't show, have you considered involving a lawyer to get your money back? Good luck in whatever way you handle it, and let us know.
  • Reply #4 07/15/10  4:30pm
    Boy I really hear the panic in your voice, molly33. And I definitely understand! My son is estranged for 3+ years, and sometimes I wonder whether I'm more afraid that I'll never hear from him again or what the heck I'll do and say if he shows up out of the blue some day - which I'm sure he'll do exactly as yours is doing. I wish I had some advice for you, but I have exactly the same fears and questions that you have. I'll be watching for the advice of others, and waiting to hear how it turns out for you. Good luck, and hang in there!
  • Reply #5 07/17/10  10:13am
    I understand exactly what you're feeling. I"m in Yoga therapy right now, and learning to get myself into a stronger place. I know it's helping when I reached out to my 26 year old son (email) after no communication for 2 years, and he snapped back with "look I need my space, I will contact you when I'm ready to resume communication. " I just replied with an "I love you" This is after all the blame and hurtful words that have been written and said over this time.

    Taking care of you...... is the best thing you can do for your heart......
  • Reply #6 07/17/10  10:51am
    Christopher26 . . . . I totally agree!
  • Reply #7 07/17/10  1:01pm
    Well, if it were me, I certainly wouldn't rearrange my time for him...............and if he actually shows up, you have every right to ask him about the money. I hate it when parents, grandparents, friends, etc. never stand up for what is right in their lives, for fear of making things worse with their kids or grandkids. Who cares? Is that not what "tough love" is all about? That is what is wrong with my ED right now, no one stands up to her and she ends up getting what she wants. I will not "pet" anyone to get along with them, nor will I allow anyone to continue to hurt me and walk on me. If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything................Being a parent is the hardest job out there! You are damned if you do and damned if you don't a lot of times, but you ALWAYSQ
  • Reply #8 07/17/10  1:04pm
    my computer had a brain infarct! Anyway, as I was saying...........but you ALWAYS need to go with what your heart of hearts is telling you to do as a parent, and sometimes that is to bring out what our kids call the bitch. I am sorry, but how would they feel if we treated them the way they are treating us? Would they take it as well as we have? I think NOT! Hang in there, dear, with tough love and it will pay off in the end..................:)
  • Reply #9 07/18/10  1:38pm
    well we did meet up for 10 mins on Friday. My son and his friend, girl, after a phone call and couple of texts, turned up at my place of work. a small local shop. i was busy at the time with a client so suggested that they wait in the shop. It was too noisy to talk in shop so i led them thru to kitchen, where my son was very nice to me, gave me hug etc., hello, and told me about their journey, plans, etc., then he said, and he'd put it into text, i got something for you. One's mind jumps madly to a carrier bag with my dosh in, but you know thats sheer madness. It was some letters my Dad, now departed from this world, wrote to me about 20 years ago, leading up to when he passed away. Anyway it was great to get those back. They wanted to get back on the road, he'd driven aobout 250 miles to see me, so i felt flattered ina way, also friend wanted to see the coastline local to me. And i couldn't hang about and chat anyway, so as they stood up to leave, i said, well as you haven't mentioned it, I have to, what are your plans to pay me back. He has promised to do so, his new job pays much better and hopes to pay back before/at Xmas. I said well you understand this wasn't our original agreement, should have been a 4 week loan. And a few excuses were made and i replied, i do understand all that has gone on with you, but this is serious for me and I really need that money back. If its easier im happy that you pay me back monthly. But I do need it back and, son, I trust you implicitly with this. He responded, absolutely and thank you for all you've done, and of course i'll pay you back, never had any other intention. So now i'm waiting again, i do feel better, less strung up and angry about this situation. I also asked him not to leave me in the dark and keep in touch with what is going on. To be honest you wouldn't have believed anything was amiss if you'd witnessed the meeting. He has got some front, or total lack of awareness of actually what he has done. So fingers crossed, i can only be positiive. Thank you for all your replies, this really helped me to feel more confident and less worried. I think the way it happened was a blessing from above, short and sweet, neither of us able to hang about. It condensed all the issues into the main one for me at least. And meant i didn't have the dilemma of letting them into my home, which i just felt i had no welcome for my own son????? But it happened in a very neutral place. I have wondered if my son said what he did and was pretty nice because he had his friend there? Time will tell won't it. And my last thoughts on this was how difficult it was for me not to go under his 'spell', he is so charming and engaging one has to pinch oneself mentally to keep uppermost all the trouble and strife he's caused. But i had my words ready and your messages in my mind and it helped to reinforce me to be strong assertive.
  • Reply #10 07/18/10  4:10pm
    I am happy for you. And like you, cautious. We are all with you, feeling your feeling, fears, and at the same time unsure. When I was reading your message I saw my son standing in front of me and it was him and me in your story.... and I felt just like you were feeling. Is that strange? I guess, because I am hoping for a face to face, and it was easy to put myself in your shoes.


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Do you have adult children, who have blamed you for everything wrong in their childhood, lost contact either through addiction, divorce, or in laws? No phone calls for birthdays, Mother's day, just no communication. How do you cope with the emptiness, the painful loss of not having your children in your life? *WARNING*: Read this note about privacy: http://www.dailystrength.org/people/548/journal/1802327