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Trying to cope with a long term estrangement

(31 Posts)
Still Mon 08-May-23 18:41:57

I have been estranged from my eldest son for the last 7 years. 3 years ago he restarted contact with my husband and I was hopeful that this might help with my own relationship with my son.
Today my son and 2.5 year old grandson phoned my husband to tell him about a trip out I sat quietly by but knew I couldn't say hello or that sounds exciting, it was heartbreaking to know my son was just there but out of reach.
I often try to rationalise these experiences by saying 'i have a 42 yr old son with a mental health condition, he has 2 sons who adore him, a house and a job'. but today it just didn't work.

Cheeseplantmad Mon 08-May-23 18:49:34

Is your husband your sons father ?

VioletSky Mon 08-May-23 18:53:00

Sorry to hear this

What mental health condition is your son diagnosed with?

Still Mon 08-May-23 19:09:17

Yes, my son is our eldest child. I have an older stepson and a younger son and daughter.

Still Mon 08-May-23 19:12:37

My son's mental health condition was diagnosed as manic depression years ago but was updated to BPD.

VioletSky Mon 08-May-23 20:37:10

Has he stated anything he needs to heal the relationship?

Still Mon 08-May-23 20:44:38

No contact as I am the person who is responsible for his mental illness.

Hithere Mon 08-May-23 20:47:25

Dup thread

Smileless2012 Mon 08-May-23 20:47:55

I'm so very sorry that you are in this situation Still.

If you understandably find it too difficult to be in the same room when your H's talking to your son and GS, it might be an idea to make yourself scarce.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for more than 10 years, and I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be to hear your H talking to them when you're unable to do so flowers.

Allsorts Mon 08-May-23 21:09:46

It must be unbearable Still, I am long termed estranged from my d, sometimes it’s hard to carry on. You could see the pain of estrangement in Charles face, because no matter how much you have others in your life, that grown up child is never far away in your mind. You have done nothing wrong, it’s his mental illness, sure it’s responsible for lots of estrangement.

VioletSky Tue 09-May-23 07:16:03


No contact as I am the person who is responsible for his mental illness.

That must be incredibly hard for you

Do you agree that there was something in his childhood that triggered his illness?

Would he agree to attend some sort of joint therapy with you?

Still Tue 09-May-23 12:31:13

All 3 of my children have different personalities and unfortunately my eldest son did'nt gain the best set of genes to develop resilience and cope with life. I also didn't listen enough to his needs - working, other kids, general busy life.

VioletSky Tue 09-May-23 18:39:28

I hope you get a chance to put that right with him one day

Allsorts Fri 26-May-23 13:44:13

You cannot spend the rest of whatever is left of your life trying to make up for past mistakes, what happens if you were not here? So many people get different problems one way and another, there just comes a time when you and you alone have to deal with it. You cannot make up or repair what’s gone, just apologise and carry on, you can’t wear a hair shirt forever.

Hetty58 Fri 26-May-23 13:57:09

No - you are not 'the person who is responsible for his mental illness'. That's just ridiculous. There may be an inborn tendency, traumatic events in childhood (or as an adult) and perhaps a lack of the right care at the right time. The most you could ever be is partly responsible, that's all.

If you have apologised and hope to move on, it's up to your son to seek the help necessary. Your job as a mother is over and he's an adult.

Smileless2012 Fri 26-May-23 19:36:36

A good post Hetty and where is his father in all of this Still? Why is it your fault and why does his father have no responsibility?

Still Sat 27-May-23 16:32:01

Thanks Hetty, yes when I am in a logical frame of mind I say a mantra which usually works but sometimes I have a slip up where it just gets to me.

SparklyGrandma Sat 27-May-23 18:31:47

So sorry Still that you are going through this. I have a son in his 40’s, married, who blames a wide swathe of people for his ‘awful’ life…
His father who had been allowed in small bouts to have contact with the family, finally lost his temper 2 years ago and told my son what he thought of his behaviour and that he never wants to see him again.
My exDH had even offered our son a large amount of money to resume contact with me to no avail.

I think some people just enjoy being cruel, some sadly get a kick out of it.

Allsorts Fri 02-Jun-23 05:52:00

To say is there something thing in his life that triggered Manic Depression, puts all the blame on parenting. It is a serious mental health condition. Most is parents do their best but no ones perfect no matter how many self help, blame books they read.
Sparkling feel for you, even if your son had received money to resume contact with you, it couldn't work. You haven't done anything to deserve the way you have been treated, it's cruel, in his twisted mind he thinks he's right, it's easy to have a soft target to project all life's ills on and that stops him taking responsibility. Look after yourself first and foremost, it's not helping you or him you feeling responsible, you're not. Only he can decide which way he wants to be. Leave him to it.

Smileless2012 Fri 02-Jun-23 08:46:00

To say is there something in his life that triggered Manic Depression, puts all the blame on parenting yes it does Allsorts and where both parents have been in their life, why put all of the blame and responsibility on the mother?

Wyllow3 Fri 02-Jun-23 09:17:46

One of the biggest features of BPD is to divide the world into goodies and baddies

- and the need to blame, which is a way of not facing up and being able to take responsibility for his inner troubles and difficulties.

Therapy can help BPD to a certain extent but only if and when the person admits they are functioning that way and want to change.

You have been assigned a role and it's simply not your fault.

My marriage split because of a PD and I know the ins and outs of the blaming and idealising mix oh all so well. Also, what's underlying the blame - he could not face up to what was deep inside.

Never say never tho - it is good he has contact with DH, tho of course its partly a deliberate "rubbing the blame in". But it is a condition where people often really cannot help themselves and Not Your Fault.

Daisymae Fri 02-Jun-23 10:03:58

Following it's logical conclusion, your parents are responsible for your behaviour and so it goes on. We're all the product of our environment and putting all blame in one person is way too simplistic. The only thing we can do is to acknowledge our mistakes and get on with life as best we can. Maybe things will change, maybe not but as he's speaking with his dad perhaps that's a good sign.

Wyllow3 Fri 02-Jun-23 10:39:50

Its generally accepted (but by different degrees) that we are a mixture of "nature and nurture".

I can see some of the problems I have do relate to how my parents were, but I can also look at how they were brought up which partly made them ow they are.

And me and first EX, DS's Dad, often discuss how this or that we could have done better, impact on DS now.

But if its done in the spirit of understanding not blaming then it is a very different matter, and forgiveness and acceptance can enter.

Smileless2012 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:35:44

Bit if its done in the spirit of understanding not blaming then it is a very different matter, and forgiveness and acceptance can enter indeed Wyllow.

Still Fri 02-Jun-23 11:47:16

Not sure if anyone feels the same but I had a thought the other day. In those seven years my son hasn't spoken to me, how strange it would be to actually meet him again face to face. Not in a horrible way but the changes that have happened to him and me in those intervening years.