Son 40 this year and I've just got the courage to change

Katkins

New Member
Hi everyone, I've been reading your posts from a couple of years ago but they so ring true and it's so good to know I'm not alone.
My son's father went missing when my boy was nearly nine. We were no longer a couple but the father was seeing his son fairly regularly. Anyhow the trauma of his father going missing and the years we lived without any closure were hard. I made huge efforts to keep in touch with the paternal side of the family who lived a few hours away.

My son left school at 15 with no qualifications and started mooching around the house stealing from me to buy cannabis. He refused to learn to drive or do any training or seek employment. This escalated to harder drugs as he got older and he made more desperate measures to get money. Selling my bike or anything he could get hold off.
He sometimes locked me in the house and demanded I give him money. He assaulted me on numerous occasions and I dreaded his key in the door. It was domestic abuse and I should have had the courage to involve the police but I kept thinking he would grow out of these bad habits.

Eventually he met a woman and moved in with her. It was in the days when social security gave people more money the more kids you had. They had four children they couldn't feed, house or cloth without extended family support IE: me.
The couple were always fighting and the children were on the Child Protection Register because of their arguments which often turned nasty (she was worse than he).

Then they finally split up and my son became homeless. He was living in a squat not far from me and I was feeding him, giving him money so he could take his children out and basically enabling him to just not face up to reality and to have peter pan syndrome.

Fool that I am I came in to some money and bought a place for him to live in as a tenant with a proper two year tenancy agreement to cover myself so not such a fool. Thank goodness I did have that tenancy agreement because instead of making use of the opportunity to have a home for him and his kids he just partied on. Spent every penny he got on drugs and booze and then demanded I buy him clothes and food.
Like a sap I did as well. I was so guilt ridden because I felt I hadn't been a good enough parent to him and basically screwed him up.

When the two year tenancy was up I sat him down with him ( he only agreed to me doing this because he wanted money) I drew a diagram of the co-dependency loop we were both on and explained that I was giving him a twelve month tenancy and that if he didn't seek the professional help he needed I would evict him.

Guess what he did? Yes absolutely nothing. So to save my sanity and marriage I evicted him in August last year. The house was a rubbish dump. His children never saw the inside of the house and in fact he gave up on them a long time ago as it was interfering with his drug and alcohol use. The house was infested with mice and while I was cleaning up ( it cost a lot to have all the toxic waste removed) several of the neighbors in the street called to tell me they are pleased he has gone.
Since then he has had nothing to do with me and although this hurts if I'm honest, even though I worry about him I'm also pleased to have my life back. Not having to deal with his constant and on-going demands, dramas and crisis's have freed me up.
I still feel guilt and carry lots of regrets but I am free. I cannot tell you how good that is after all these years.
Thank you for your posts fellow parents of difficult children it has given me strength to know it wasn't me it was him.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Katkins, I am sorry about your story. Your story is mine, even buying the house which worked out for us the same as yours. In fact my daughter and her useless husband would fight outside and the police were called often. I cleaned the house. They never did. This, on top of me and my husband owning a business and working long hours. I'm sure a lot of their neighbors danced after we evicted them. They were noisy when they fought. Their yard was always a mess even though we tried to maintain it.


My daughter doesn't talk to us either since we cut off the Bank of Dad and Mom. I don't miss her. She gets me so upset that I started having health problems related to stress. Am calmer now. She is living in an old motorhome with her husband way on the other side of the country. It helps me when she is far away.

I never dreamed it would come to this.

Prayers and hugs.
 

Katkins

New Member
Hi BusynMember thank you for your reply. For decades I blamed myself and my bad parenting but having read so many experiences and now yours I know it cannot be just my parenting.
I was 18 when I had him and although I don't think I was a very good parent it's a whole lot easier to except this mess knowing other's have been through similar, they cannot all be bad parents.
I'm sorry for your loss but glad you are having a better life and health from your daughters rejection.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Dear Katkins, I'm glad you're posting. I really think it helps.

At 40, I don't think your son can blame your parenting. He is a fully grown adult and you are not responsible for his actions.

I think all of us grapple with the "where did I go wrong?" question. I have agonised over this and yes, I'm sure I made some mistakes, but overall my son has led a very privileged existence. He has always had two loving parents, a good education, an extended family who love him, secure and comfortable housing, and access to good medical care - which is far more than a lot of other children have. On top of all of this, he was fortunate enough to have a range of enriching experiences, including vacations, access to sporting, musical and leisure activities, birthday parties etc etc etc. We coached his soccer team, went to all his plays and concerts, liaised with his teachers on a regular basis, provided tutors when he needed them, gave him boundaries, limited his screen time, and made sure we knew his friends and where he was. We ate together at the dinner table as a family every night. In short we tried our very best, as I think most parents do.

None of this has made any difference whatsoever.

You are absolutely right. What has happened with your son is not your fault. He is who he is.
 
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Miss Lulu :"I think all of us grapple with the "where did I go wrong?" question. I have agonised over this and yes, I'm sure I made some mistakes, but overall my son has led a very privileged existence. He has always had two loving parents, a good education, an extended family who love him, secure and comfortable housing, and access to good medical care - which is far more than a lot of other children have. On top of all of this, he was fortunate enough to have a range of enriching experiences, including vacations, access to sporting, musical and leisure activities, birthday parties etc etc etc. We coached his soccer team, went to all his plays and concerts, liaised with his teachers on a regular basis, provided tutors when he needed them, gave him boundaries, limited his screen time, and made sure we knew his friends and where he was. We ate together at the dinner table as a family every night. In short we tried our very best, as I think most parents do."

So true, same here! This makes me feel a little better - I think we could have done a little better with the boundaries though!
 

Jabberwockey

Well-Known Member
I still feel guilt and carry lots of regrets but I am free. I cannot tell you how good that is after all these years.
Remember that feeling. You are no different that the majority of parents on this planet. Yes, we've all made mistakes but we tried our best. No one is perfect. At some point in their teens, our parenting matters less and less. Choice. That's what it all boils down to. Choice. Your son has made his, let him live with the consequences of it and stop punishing yourself for faults as a parent, both real and imagined. No one is perfect. I've seen plenty of people who came from a decent family environment who imploded their lives and just as many with terrible backgrounds who turned out just fine. Choice. It'll make you or break you.
 

Miracle

New Member
I think all of us grapple with the "where did I go wrong?" question. I have agonised over this and yes, I'm sure I made some mistakes, but overall my son has led a very privileged existence. He has always had two loving parents, a good education, an extended family who love him, secure and comfortable housing, and access to good medical care - which is far more than a lot of other children have. On top of all of this, he was fortunate enough to have a range of enriching experiences, including vacations, access to sporting, musical and leisure activities, birthday parties etc etc etc. We coached his soccer team, went to all his plays and concerts, liaised with his teachers on a regular basis, provided tutors when he needed them, gave him boundaries, limited his screen time, and made sure we knew his friends and where he was. We ate together at the dinner table as a family every night. In short we tried our very best, as I think most parents do.
We did all of this, as well. We weren’t perfect by any means, but my goodness, we sure did try hard. And I am pretty baffled as to how we ended up here...
 
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