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How do i deal with a troubled son

(28 Posts)
britgran Thu 20-Jul-17 18:32:37

How is it we can have two children bought up in exactly the same way, disciplined the same and loved the same, yet one grows up and causes no issues and the other causes so much heartache. My youngest son left his first wife , DD and two SC, it caused a stack of problems with myself and my DH and much distress to us all.....our son remarried and has two beautiful little girls , I resented his new wife ( the reason he left his first wife ) but we have put that behind us and now get on......My son suffers from Bulimia which has caused all sorts of mental health issues , we have tried to help him and he's very open about it but insists he is in control, our DiL has told me today he wants them to break up..... tbh I'm sick to death of him and his problems and I swear if he leaves her and those two babies I will disown him, I'm so upset and angry, how do you help someone who won't admit he needs help

phoenix Thu 20-Jul-17 18:37:51

I really don't know the answer to that one, britgran they are supposedly "adults", so you can't make them admit there is a problem, or seek advice, but just wanted to let you know that I read your post.

Sending every good wish.

judypark Thu 20-Jul-17 19:06:16

So many questions. Firstly you cannot help an adult who refuses to admit that there is a problem. It does sound that as you new DIL has confided in you that he wants them to break up that she trusts you and is seeking your support and guidance. How does she feel about the potential break up of their marriage?
More importantly, your lovely granddaughters will need your love and stability if they do part. I think that your DIL recognises this.
How is your sons bulimia impacting on the family?

Luckygirl Thu 20-Jul-17 19:53:31

Stick with them all - those DGC need some stability in their lives and that might be you.

You cannot change your son - all of us are a mixture of nature and nurture. I am sure that you did your best as a Mum, as we all do, and you cannot predict where problems will arise. They have their own personalities.

You cannot make your son get the help he needs - so frustrating. flowers

britgran Thu 20-Jul-17 20:31:22

The problem with Bulimia judypark is its basically a mental illness, he's had it for over 20 years and in fact he is an Anorexic Bulimic, he starves, binge eats and vomits, he used to be the funniest person ever, over the years he has changed dramatically, he can be moody and rude and so disrespectful, he tells the most stupid lies, every now and again the old him surfaces and he's a pleasure to be around , my husband and other son thinks I use the eating disorder to make excuses for him, but I know if he'd only get counselling it would help him and his wife no end......she doesn't want them to part and loves him but his moodiness is driving her mad

Oriel Thu 20-Jul-17 21:27:15

Very sorry to hear of your son's illness. It does sound as if he needs treatment. Is there no way that he could be persuaded to see his doctor. To be honest I don't think counselling will be of any use in this situation - he will need serious psychiatric intervention to treat his illness.

Welshwife Thu 20-Jul-17 22:31:57

There is a programme on BBC Wales on Monday at 8-30 - maybe on all BBC channels. It is called - Nigel Owens - Bulimin and me. He is a Welsh MP.
I know nothing about this illness but it may give you an insight and possible way to help your son and his family. I hope he finds a way to get help.

nannynoo Thu 20-Jul-17 23:18:23

WOW Britgran sad I ask myself similar questions all the time and even question if it is MY fault sad

Yet then why would I have one daughter who is married , settled , works as a teacher , has some lovely friends , interacts with other couples and her life is filled with baby showers and baking and 'Mum' things to do with my lovely 5 year old Granddaughter and has no mental health issues / me have any worries or concerns whatsoever!??

And the other ...

Expelled from school , dropped out at 15 after tons of truanting , always mixing with the wrong crowd , left home early as she could not abide any rules whatsoever , in trouble with the law , doing overloads of alcohol and drugs , arrested and charged with drink driving and failing to give a breath sample TWICE , on TAG TWICE for criminal damage and assaulting a police officer ( while being a Mother to my Grandson ) has a variety of mental health issues including depression , acute panic attacks and bulimia as well! confused sad

You ask her how she is and she says she is fine and does not need any help , she self medicates with cannabis which of course I feel makes her mental health worse and she currently has a dodgy boyfriend who seems out for himself mainly

I am raising my Grandson and have been for 2 years but she is fighting to get him back now but nothing inward has actually changed imo , just the external stuff like getting a flat and a job BUT I always have my worries and concerns about her ( especially if my Grandson is returned ) so I do not know what the future holds ... She nearly DIED from blood loss from a torn esophagus due to violent vomiting after poisoning herself with alcohol and then not giving time for the operation on her throat to heal before drinking excessively again

She has hepatitis , liver damage and a stomach ulcer all at the age of 31 but says she has cracked her alcoholism etc now , is doing fine , does not need any help or counselling and is ''100% definitely getting her son back!'' whereas I am having kittens over it and trying to give my Grandson a stable life while he deals with all the emotions surrounding the love he still has for his Mum and then recently starting to trust her again and Lord what is it going to do to him if / when she fails him again? sad

Me / us as Grandparents picking up the pieces again , as usual angry xxx

Welshwife Thu 20-Jul-17 23:43:26

Just realised that Nigel Owens is the rugby referee - he looks a bit like an MP we have!
I do hope this situation is sorted - I have been thinking about you having this problem. X X

Swanny Thu 20-Jul-17 23:48:15

britgran and nannynoo - big (((hugs))) It is NOT your fault. We give birth to our children and nurture them forever - how they interpret that is up to them. IMO it is impossible to work out what makes a child different to their sibling brought up in the same way, but it happens. All we can do is continue to love and support them as much as possible, while protecting their most important assets, our grandchildren. Try not to take sides, be there for (all) the vulnerable and express your frustrations wherever you feel safe, eg here. We may not have specific answers but many of us understand your frustrations x

gillybob Fri 21-Jul-17 00:01:29

I totally agree with Luckygirl you need to stick with them all britgran for the sake of the little children . Your son is obviously troubled and in need of help,and support, likewise your DDiL . Don't put yourself in the position where you have to choose. We can't live our children's lives for them we just have to be there to offer help and support when they need it.

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 02:14:46

The real problem I have is although I feel for my daughter with all her problems / difficulties she can get support with some of her mental health problems while my Grandson is with her but if actively drinking or taking drugs then NO

The bulimia is a part of her own personal struggle which does not impact on my Grandsons care ( I comfort / stress eat and hate to admit I am a smoker too ) but certain things do not impact on the lone care of the child/ren ie if britgrans son had his kids for the weekend if they did split up then his person struggle with bulimia should not impact on the care of his children

With drink or drugs that is NOT the case so in some ways I do ''have to take sides'' in order to protect my Grandson and it is a difficult situation as if I have evidence my daughter is still drinking I have to share the info with the authorities and then when my daughter finds out I have 'grassed her up' there is absolute hell to pay from her including threats and verbal abuse etc so very early in I did 'have to choose' a 'side' and as my Grandson is a child and she is an adult HE comes first and foremost and if my daughter actually accessed any help I would support her in that decision but she won't get any help ( as she does not need it apparently ) so it puts me on the 'opposite side' against my daughter unfortunately as she is fighting to get my GRANDSON BACK AND I AM FIGHTING FOR HIM TO REMAIN WITH ME AS I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT HER CARE OF HIM IF HE WAS RETURNED IN THE NEAR FUTURE as he could be at risk of harm and I do not want him harmed at all tbh xx

So I had to 'pick / take a side' sadsad x

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 02:25:46

I even lost the relationship with my sister over this as she was totally focusing on 'her poor Neice' ( and still is ) and not even MENTIONING her poor Niece's SON who was in FOSTER CARE at the time and she never ever asked how HE was doing and was ONLY concerned with how my daughter was coping and she felt I was being too tough on my daughter for doing everything in my power to protect my Grandson but she just could not see it I was a rotten cow lol who was not 'supporting' my daughter but I could and still cannot support what she is doing ie still drinking and lying about it as I cannot lie to the authorities or cover my daughter's arse as in doing so I would not be protecting my Grandsons erm cheeky bottom! lol

It's awkward but if I listened to my sister my Grandson would not be with me right now and would have been adopted oh but as long as I don't do or say anything to upset my daughter and always cover HER back wink it does not work like that with child protection but my sister wanted me to keep the relationship with my daughter intact and give in to everything she wanted I understand that and want to keep it intact myself as well but unfortunately with something like alcoholism or drug addiction with kids in the middle of it means you have to take a 'side' like I said or the authorities certainly will not trust you to protect the child no matter what or who it is with the addiction or whatever is potentially putting the child at risk!

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 02:38:13

Thing is if my sister listened to my daughter when she said ''don't tell the social worker this'' or ''don't tell the social worker that'' ( as I suspect she def would do as she says to her to keep the relationship 'sweet' etc ) then the authorities would definitely not place the child in her care and he would be adopted but never mind as long as the relationship with my daughter remains sweet / intact confused confused

Not that I want to lose my daughter because I don't and I hate being 'the enemy' on the 'opposing side' BUT I need my genuine daughter back who does not lie , cover up , pretend , deceive , act and try and pull the wool over everyone's eyes around her and on most people it works! wink lol

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 02:49:47

At the end of the day how can I support my daughter if she herself is not seeking or wanting that support and is not being honest about things and is not reaching out for help from anyone because 'she does not need it' sad

She needs professional help to sort herself out and needs to ask for / reach out for and access that help in the first place and I have to concentrate on little man as my hands are FULL as it is wink lol x

radicalnan Fri 21-Jul-17 10:31:24

How I feel your pain. I have a son who is drug dependant and it breaks my heart to see him throw his life away.

It is no one's fault, not even theirs, it is the way of modern life sadly.

Keep doing your best for them, that way at least you are the best person you can be.

I shall watch that documentary thanks for the advance notice on that, mental illness is rife, the state of the world and the harm it causes some sensitive people, so sad.

AsarahG Fri 21-Jul-17 10:46:51

So sorry for your worries. I do wonder if your son has an underlying issue that he will not admit to. It sounds as if he is not happy in his skin doing what is expected of him. I don't think people cause problems just to be a nuisance and I wonder if he had problems as a child you knew nothing about - bullying or other things. We can't know what is in our children's heads, much as we would like to. He needs to find some help that suits him. Just a thought.

Bbnan Fri 21-Jul-17 12:40:21

Britgran and thoughts are with you.
My youngest son has caused so much trouble due to drink and drugs in the last 10 years I could write a is like an ever ending circle with a large car crash at the end only to be repeated....we have spent our savings to no avail..we are now on pensions so we can fund no more...last week I asked for house keys back as he is abusing our home ....I never thought we would abondon him but we have to.....he has an older brother and I never had a days is a huge relief....he blames anyone and everyone....will not seek any help...thankfully no go involved...we as parents can only go so's sad to think your twilight years end like this...take good care of yourselves

sarahellenwhitney Fri 21-Jul-17 12:42:38

britgran So sorry to hear of your DS problems.
It is a mental health problem which causes bulimia not the other way round.Suffers of anorexia and bulimia have issues with control of their lives and food is their only way of control.You are not in any way to blame for how your son is and to say you will disown him is the worst thing you can say or do. There is help for you to handle this problem and your first port of call is to see your GP who will not only help you but advise on how you can help your DS. Don't give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

devongirl Fri 21-Jul-17 13:08:47

I agree with sarahellenwhitney having just read through the poet, bulimia is caused by the mental health issues, not the other way around. It is very difficult and I really sympathise, I have a daughter who struggles with mental health issues and she doesn't want support from anyone except me; sometimes it's so tempting to say fgs get a grip, but of course I can't sometimes it feels overwhelming to think how long this may go on for - I'm hoping she'll fall for a lovely man and he will take over!

Funnygran Fri 21-Jul-17 13:35:15

I do sympathise having the same sort of situation at home. Middle child has alcohol problems which we thought he had beaten but hasn't. His older and younger siblings live normal lives with partners, children and jobs. He denies the scale of the problem to us, his ex and his children which is causing stress to all concerned. DH wants to throw him out, I worry about him ending up on the streets. He was the perfect child until he hit adolescence!

NannaM Fri 21-Jul-17 14:09:30

Britgran and nannynoo - dealing with addictive behaviours in a beloved child is so confusing. I felt and still feel anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt....the whole spectrum. As other posters have said, it's the young children that need a circle of loving, caring people to help them through the confusion of having a mentally ill, substance abusive parent. You can't change your childs lifestyle choices, but you can be there for their children. Because of drugs, my DD lost custody of my DGD who is being raised by her father. I walk a fine line between him and my DD as she struggles to maintain sobriety and go through the court system to get back into her daughters life. Families Anonymous and AlAnon have helped me tremendously. Look after yourselves. You are a rock to those DGC. They need you. Blessings.

Caroline64 Fri 21-Jul-17 17:46:20

Lots of useful and supportive comments above. In answer to your question - it is because we are all different! It is the luck of the draw when it comes to genetic combinations and not in anyone's power (unless you have believe that we are all made by God...) As a parent one has a duty to do one's best. But that doesn't mean that you should feel responsible for the actions of an adult - that is neither logical nor useful. Do you best and above all be kind rather than condemnatory and set a powerful example to your GCs too!

britgran Sat 22-Jul-17 12:59:33

Thank you for all your lovely and supportive comments I do feel for you Nannymoo....there's not much I don't know about Anorexia/Bulimia I have spoken to a mental health team and family counselling, my sensible Mum/Grandparent head tells me I need to support him and his family, the head that is a woman tells me he's a nasty piece of work, my 2 1/2 year old GD is so upset today cause daddy is shouting at mummy, he will not have it that he is in the wrong it's always somebody else, he is such an angry man I do love him unconditionally but I don't like him. My GC are my everything and I cannot bear for them to be suffering because of him. I know what he's doing, he wants to be alone and have no responsibilities so he is fighting with his wife hoping she'll leave him so he can blame her, she loves him and wants to help him but will only take so much before she does give up on him, oh the joys of parenthood we should be enjoying our retirement, instead of worrying about a grown man and wondering what to do next sad

Grannyknot Sat 22-Jul-17 13:25:54

britgran and others, sending a big hug. flowers