Hi, This may be a long post as I’ll start at the beginning about my estranged son.
I have two sons, the eldest I am close to, the youngest I have been estranged from since 2001.
There is a five year age gap between my sons and they are totally different in character. My youngest was always closer to his father I would say and we had some problems with him growing up, lying, not washing properly, disgustingly dirty bedroom over and over again and occasionally stealing the odd bit of change here and there. I had nothing like that with my oldest son. When my youngest was 9 his father was diagnosed with aggressive cancer that eventually claimed his life when my youngest was 15 and my eldest 20.
Both boys were devastated as was I, but I did my best to keep the family together and my boys close. The two boys had never had a particularly close relationship, the eldest I would describe as a stronger character with my youngest being a lot more passive but it seemed on the surface that they were closer due to the tragedy we had faced. While my eldest went on to higher education my youngest left school as soon as possible at 16 and got a job. He always had a lot of girlfriends and as he started work he started going out and socialising with older people which lead to drinking. He would come home at all hours blind drunk and wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say to guide him and we had a hard few years. I met a new man who is now my husband when my youngest was 17 and surprisingly it was my oldest who was the coldest towards him and his family. He has 4 sons and a daughter with whom he is very close. We have 9 grandchildren from them and are a very close family. My youngest was happy for me and said he just wanted me to be happy.
I was so proud of him as I know he stood up to his brother and also my first husbands family to say that I deserved to be happy and things eventually calmed down. Around this time my son turned 18 and met an older woman of 23 who he seemed keen on. I was never that keen on her and thought she messed him about a bit and I know she cheated on him with an ex but he said he loved her so I accepted that. My eldest and his partner got along with her very well and became friends independently of my youngest. She then announced she was pregnant and my son was delighted. He was 19 when his son was born and unfortunately they split shortly after with her going back to the boyfriend she had cheated on my son with.
He was devastated but seemed to be coping well and was absolutely enamoured with his son and fought to share custody. They were so close like watching two buddies playing together and it was lovely to see. Things went on like this for years until my grandson turned 5 and my son was starting to look unwell. His ex had married her boyfriend and was still very close to my oldest son and his wife and they would tell me that my son was breaking plans at the last minute and acting somewhat erratically. He wasn’t seeing his son as often and I found out he had also lost his job, the same job he had kept since leaving school.
Going to his flat, which looking back nobody ever did, he always visited us and had done for months I looked through the window and it was like a rubbish dump. Spirits bottles and beer cans, just revolting. My son was nowhere in sight and then I get the call from my bank saying my account had been almost drained. I knew almost straight away. My son had gotten access to my account and stole around £5500 from me. He had lost his job 6 months before and had told nobody. I was furious and heartbroken at the same time and phoned the police. I spoke briefly to my son who said that he was sorry, wouldn’t say why he did it and that he deserved to go to prison, something that at the time I was willing to let happen.
His ex began custody proceedings against him. She won and my son was not allowed to see his son pending evaluation by medical professionals.
Before he was formally interviewed by police, my father stepped in and gave me the money back so my son didn’t have to face police action. He then invited him to live with him to try and straighten him out. I couldn’t have him live with me as my husband wouldn’t allow it and was furious with him.
My eldest son decided there and then he was finished with him and would never speak to him again.
I spoke with my father from time to time to see how he was doing and he my son had been diagnosed with mental health issues and alcoholism which he having treatment for but desperately missing his son. I managed to build a very close relationship with my grandsons mother through my eldest son so would see my grandson regularly and it was heart breaking as he idolised his father.
My father tried to get my son on his feet and was told if he could get a place to live and stay on medication, visit therapists etc he could fight for his son so he eventually got another apartment and went for round two of custody proceedings. During the proceedings it was uncovered that he had taken money from my fathers bank account without his permission to secure and furnish his apartment. My father was devastated but refused to press charges. The court was notified of what my son had done and it was case closed and that was the final break, the whole family disowned him.
You have to understand that I found out about the theft from me and how far off the rails my son was in February, by the end of May he had been disowned. In four months all that lot came out and my son as I knew him was gone.
It was very hard but my husband, eldest son and extended family didn’t even want his name mentioned. It caused a rift between me and my father who was so upset and worried for my son.
For the next few years, I would see my son in passing on the odd occasion. We didn’t speak and he looked like he was on something. He wrote to my father apologising and saying he was too ashamed to see him face to face so gave no address or phone number on his letter for return contact.
He phoned me once in 2002 and said he was sorry, cried like a baby down the phone and said he was trying to get better and asked me to tell his son he was sorry and how much he loved him. I told him at the time that sorry wasn’t enough to undo what he had done and he could never make it right as I was sort hurt by him. I would never see him any other way than a liar and a thief who had almost killed his grandfather with his deception. So that was that. I was still so angry and wish I hadn’t said that too him. He then kind of disappeared and nobody heard a word about him. Although it was hard it was easier that he was never mentioned and although I longed to know if he was ok, I supressed it, replaying the hurt I had felt at what he had put me through.
In 2010 my father died and left a letter of forgiveness and love for my son that he has never seen. I thought he would somehow make contact if he found out about his grandfather but he didn’t.
It was only once I became computer literate and got properly connected to the internet a few years ago that curiosity got the better of me and I searched for my son. There was so much about him online. He has a really excellent job that he started in 2004 and holds to this day as well as being a mentor and volunteer at rehab and homeless centres. His picture is all over the web not only for his work but also in press articles about the charities he helps at and he looks a healthy, handsome lad that I remember.
I also found him on facebook and that he was married, since 2004 with three beautiful children, grandchildren that I never knew existed. The relationship I built with my sons ex and grandson broke down years ago so I haven’t had any contact with my grandson for years but I can see from facebook that they are back in contact.
My oldest son is resolute, as is my husband that my son is dead to them but I wouldn’t stop thinking of what might have been so just before Christmas last year I sent him a message on facebook. I know he read it as there was the little tick but he hasn’t replied. I also sent one to my grandson who also hasn’t replied.
I sent two more messages, the last saying if I didn’t hear from him I would leave him alone but was ready to try and build bridges and reconcile but again heard nothing back. Perhaps I left it too long, but I thought I would at least get a reply.
Very very long post but I needed to get it off my chest and wondered if I should try again or maybe contact his wife on facebook? I know I have made mistakes but the enormity of seeing a stranger that I knew really well with a completely different life that I knew nothing of spanning almost 20 years was like a gut punch and all the what ifs are consuming me.
I really don’t have anyone else to talk too about this as my husband doesn’t like speaking of it and after all these years, it’s like another lifetime. I have wanted to post before but have been terrified of being judged but here goes.
I wish I could have been a better mother and wish I could get that across to my son.
MRSH74 Thu 04-Mar-21 12:08:27
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