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Son unhappy with me

(25 Posts)
elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 15:20:51

This is going to be a long one sorry.
I have four children; DS age 32, 30, 23 and DD age 16. I also lost a DD when she was 1, in 1994. DS1 has a DC age 1, DS2 has DC age 6. My first 3 were from my first marriage, younger two have different dads.
My second son is once again very unhappy with me, this has been a pattern for many years. As a teenager we had a fraught relationship; we did have arguments and he would storm out, not coming home, doing whatever he wanted, pretty standard stuff really but his older brother didn’t behave like this which has led to my second son (who I will call G) saying I favourited his brother (who I will call D). This has been repeated hundreds of times over the years. It is simply not true, though I will say that I have found D easier to get on with, though I love all my DC the same.
When I divorced my first H, he became less and less involved in the boys lives; we had separated by the time we lost my daughter, indeed he had only seen her twice before she died at 18 months. A year later I met my second husband, we married fairly quickly and he was a wonderful stepdad to them for years, though not a good H as time went on. We had my youngest son (P who is now 23). However we split up in 2002 (due to his verbal and physical abuse of me) which is where the issues with G really started.
I then had my youngest DD (E who is 16) from a short lived relationship; since then I have had no meaningful relationships. I know this may seem a lot of men being involved in my children’s lives but that’s not really the case.
Between the ages of 13 and when he moved in with my now DIL, at age 22, myself and G had a somewhat difficult relationship sometimes, but also there were some great times. My second H had been the father to all three boys and never differentiated between step or bio.
G as I say left home at 22; there were some arguments after where he was upset that eldest DS was still at home, he thought he should be leaving hone too. He married in 2014 and my first DHC was born in 2015. Immediately there were further problems; he wanted to know EXACTLY what my first daughter had died from (it was a heart condition) and when I became quite upset and asked that my mum explain it fully to him, he refused, saying I must tell him as ‘she was dead and his DC was here, and I must tell him in case it affected DC’. I was absolutely wanting to explain it but naturally it had been a very traumatic time and it’s not something you get over. In the end I did explain it to him as I wanted to put his mind at ease. However it was the start of more berating of me, he said I favoured his siblings, I was a horrible mother ‘to him’, I didn’t ring him enough, why wasn’t I close to him (to be honest, I have over the years thought we were close, sometimes we argued but I didn’t think it was anything abnormal though I accept that he feels differently), I don’t spend enough money on DGC, I put youngest 2 first (DD naturally at 16 is at home, youngest son at uni). It really has been a barrage of abuse about my shortcomings for the last five years.
My mum passed away in November; she had been very ill for a number of years and for the last year of her life me and my sister had cared for her (as well as us both working part time and having DC at home). It had been difficult as mum was immobile for the last six months of her life and vey dependent on us so it did take over my life somewhat but I did want to care for her.
This past Friday G hurt his back again; this has happened several times before. I spoke to him (and DGC) and said I hope he felt better soon, would see him shortly for a park visit (he lives 15 mins away). Then yesterday DGC FaceTimed me and DIL told me G had visited A&E as he was in pain and been given painkillers and diazepam. I said I hope he feels better soon, however my mistake was that I didn’t ring him myself. I had been working and to be honest I did actually forget to and I also didn’t tell his siblings that he’d visited hospital.
It started off with a group chat to his siblings where he said they could ‘f.. off’ as they’d not rung to ask how he was, why didn’t they know, what sort of mother doesn’t tell her other kids about his visit to hospital. Bearing in mind, oldest DS works full time, lives with his partner and child, there would be no reason why I would tell him unless I was actually ringing him that night.
I held my hands up to the fact I had not told the younger 2 who are at home with me (P back from uni). But to be honest; I didn’t think, he’d had this with his back before and both P and I had been at work. My DD was very upset with her brothers vitriol to the group chat and other DS’s weren’t happy with him.
G had began drinking (on top of diazepam). He does drink sometimes to excess and can be unpleasant. He then started texting me telling me I didn’t care about him, his PIL were more like parents to him, I didn’t care and I never had. I apologised for not telling his siblings and for not ringing him. He then rang all
Three of his siblings but none of them answered their phones though eldest DS did have a long text convo with him. Eldest DS rang me this morning, worried how I was. G said to him he had been depressed for years, and he should ‘ask mum’ why. I really don’t know.
He has suffered from depression and had a course of AD about four years ago, and I really have tried to support him, both in my time, finances, talking. But the abuse from him has become awful; last night he tried to ring me ten times but I didn’t answer as I don’t want to speak to someone who’s drunk and abusive. Today he has just sent me a text saying ‘f...ing woe is you mum, it should I say Emma’ (my name).
I don’t know what to do, I feel worn down and worn out by it. I haven’t ever made a difference with any of my children, though I can see to G that his youngest two siblings get ‘more’ financially as I’m better off now. He doesn’t have a relationship with either his bio or step dad. And now his two brothers are angry with how he speaks to and about me.
I don’t know what to do. He has now said I can’t see my DGC and as lovely as my DIL she can’t go against that, and I wouldn’t want to put her in that position. I think he would benefit from some sort of therapy but when I have very tentatively mentioned it in the past he said his problems stem from me.
Maybe they do I don’t know. But my other DC aren’t like this. I feel like I’ve failed as a parent, I’ve been in tears in and off since last night, and I’m so anxious that I can’t repair this or make it better for him. My sister has said today that he is 30, and just because he is my child I shouldn’t put up with abuse from another adult.

Blinko Tue 30-Mar-21 15:30:01

From what you say, it seems you are trying hard to accommodate and support a difficult AC. He appears to blame you for everything he doesn't like in his life. He's 30 and an adult. So most aspects of his unsatisfactory life are going to be down to him, not you.

Me, I'd take a step back and don't beat yourself up over this. He clearly has issues and resorts to the blame game especially when drunk.

As your other kid have turned out ok, it could be that none of this is your fault, you are just the whipping boy. Try to be kind to yourself and supportive to him as long as it's appreciated.

You can't continue to put up with this.

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Mar-21 15:40:45

elgreen your sister is right. Your son is emotionally abusing you and the failure to do otherwise is his failure as a son, and not your failure as a mother.

To say you can't see your DGC is cruel and spiteful, guaranteed to cause you pain which is why he's doing it.

Being estranged by our youngest son and as a result from our only GC, I know only too well how awful this is for you.

It's a shame that he's suffering from depression and as he's aware that he is, it's up to him to get the help he needs. It also sounds as if he could do with some help with regard to his drinking.

You did the right thing not answering the 'phone last night and for the time being at least, don't read his text messages, delete them as soon as they are sent.

Don't contact him, if he 'phones and you can tell that he's drunk hang up. If and when he 'phones you when he's sober, tell him he needs to get himself sorted out and that you will not communicate with him if he's abusive.

It's just too convenient for an AC to put all of the blame on their parent(s) when the choices they've made for themselves have gone wrong and/or if for whatever reason there are aspects of their lives that have got out of control.

You can assure him that you love him, are here for him and will help him anyway that you can but you're not and will not be his emotional punch bag.

Take hold of your courage in both hands elgreen and find strength and support in your other children and your sister who are very aware of his appalling treatment if you.

I'm so very sorry about your GC but there's nothing you can do about that I'm afraid so you must do what you can, which is too distance and protect yourself from his abuse

The only way to stop this catalogue of abuse and win the game is to stop playing.

flowers.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 16:17:03

"Immediately there were further problems; he wanted to know EXACTLY what my first daughter had died from (it was a heart condition) and when I became quite upset and asked that my mum explain it fully to him, he refused, saying I must tell him as ‘she was dead and his DC was here, and I must tell him in case it affected DC’. I was absolutely wanting to explain it but naturally it had been a very traumatic time and it’s not something you get over. In the end I did explain it to him as I wanted to put his mind at ease."

This jumped to me. Team son here

His infant was sick and this information was very important

I am very sorry for your loss, however the priority was to help your son, not to put your pain first.

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 16:21:07

Sorry, I mixed up your facts., the infant was not sick.

However, this information was important.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 16:46:09

Hithere, yes the information could have been important, however my DGC wasn’t ill and if for a moment I thought not telling him AT THAT TIME would affect my DGC I would have.
However my mum was going to impart the same information I would have, and more than likely without being upset. But I take on board your point, thank you.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 16:47:45

My son did know and had always known the circumstances behind my DD’s passing, it wasn’t a secret, my other children were all tested for the condition and thankfully didn’t have it.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 16:49:19

Thank you all for your words and I’m very sorry that anyone else may be going through something similar. I love my son very much, and if breaks my heart that he feels that’s not the case.

Sheepandcattle Tue 30-Mar-21 17:16:10

I’m so sorry that you have having such a difficult, unhappy relationship with your son - it must be so upsetting for you. Would it help to write him a letter, telling him how much you love him, apologising for any unintentional feelings he has that he was loved less than his siblings, but that, as you are only human, you could only do your best? You could finish off by saying that however much you love him, you won’t allow him to continue to verbally abuse you as it’s damaging to you both but that you’d love to continue to work at improving your relationship. And then take a big step back and leave the ball in his court.

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 30-Mar-21 17:36:46

Firstly, can I just say how sorry I am that you lost your daughter. What a horrible time it must have been, and understand fully, that that would have affected anything you’ve done since 💐
I can see how you would find yourself in this position now, and am glad to hear you seem to have the support of your family.
I can also see how it may have affected your difficult son, perhaps differently, and it’s so sad. However, you can’t keep going round like this in a perpetual circle. I think you need to be firm, take a step right back, and not engage with him until he can behave reasonably. It sounds like he has a good wife behind him.
Let things cool off, even if it’s for the umpteenth time, but this time , stay firm.
I wish you all the best💐

Hithere Tue 30-Mar-21 18:22:35

Your son already thinks he is the least favourite for a decade whether it is true or not.
That is his reality and what he feels.
You disagreeing does not erase that fact.

Now add to the fact that he needed this information from you and he got redirected to his gm, I can see how his side. He may have felt you did not support him.

"He then started texting me telling me I didn’t care about him, his PIL were more like parents to him, I didn’t care and I never had"
So this is a common issue during this whole thread. He asks for your info and you send him to your mother.

How was your second husband not good to you? How much of that did your children witness?

There is so much to unpack here...

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 19:46:48

Hithere

Your son already thinks he is the least favourite for a decade whether it is true or not.
That is his reality and what he feels.
You disagreeing does not erase that fact.

Now add to the fact that he needed this information from you and he got redirected to his gm, I can see how his side. He may have felt you did not support him.

"He then started texting me telling me I didn’t care about him, his PIL were more like parents to him, I didn’t care and I never had"
So this is a common issue during this whole thread. He asks for your info and you send him to your mother.

How was your second husband not good to you? How much of that did your children witness?

There is so much to unpack here...

Thank you for your point of view, I appreciate it which is why I posted to get some others perspectives.
Yes you are perhaps right that I shouldn’t have asked him to speak to my mum; I really felt I would become very upset and wouldn’t explain it properly, which is was happened. Though I would like to say, not making excuses, that the issue of the heart condition came up when my DIL was pregnant, it was just that my son wanted the exact details on how I had found her and the post mortem. But I do take onboard that I ought to have spoken to him without involving my mum.
I think you may have misread about me directing him to my mum; that happened once, he said his wife’s parents were more like his parents not his grandma.
My second husband was financially, emotionally and physically abusive to me. The physical abusive happened twice, over a weekend and then I left taking the three boys. The other abuse was more insidious. The second time he attacked me it was my eldest son who saw him too a bookcase downstairs at me but the other two were in their room and will have heard it.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 19:54:14

Thanks to pp for your posts, it had helped to be able to write it down. I will always be there for him and I love him very much. I really wish we didn’t have such a difficult relationship; for a very long time I have been so careful with everything I say so not to rub him up the wrong way. I’ve realised that he just doesn’t like me as a person, I’m sure he does love me as I’m his mum. I feel very drained tonight, I have been upset all day. I haven’t heard from him but he has texted my oldest son telling him he doesn’t want anything more to do with him because he’d said he shouldn’t be abusive to me. So now I feel like I have gone between them.

JaneJudge Tue 30-Mar-21 20:02:45

It sounds like he needs to see a therapist tbh. Was he in hospital for mental health reasons?

He wasn't very old when your daughter died? is this all trauma related? sad

I realise you have suffered trauma too flowers

Smileless2012 Tue 30-Mar-21 20:10:54

No you haven't gone between them elgreen please don't think that.

His brother has said something he doesn't like and unfortunately, rather than listen to what's being said and examining his own behaviour, he refuses to acknowledge that there may be some truth in it and refused to have contact.

It's understandable that you find it difficult to talk about the death of your D and as a father himself it's a pity that he was unable to show some understanding.

I hope you'll be able to take a step back and take some time to digest the recent development regarding your GC that he says he will not allow you to see.

No one deserves to be treated in this way, not even by their own AC regardless of any problems he may have. If there are things he needs to discuss from the past, he should do so in a non abusive manner.

His behaviour helps no one, including himself.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 20:28:10

JaneJudge

It sounds like he needs to see a therapist tbh. Was he in hospital for mental health reasons?

He wasn't very old when your daughter died? is this all trauma related? sad

I realise you have suffered trauma too flowers

No he had gone to the hospital about back pain. He was three when his sister died and his brother was five. It could indeed be trauma related, but he won’t accept help properly. He was on AD but was advised not to drink with them and he says they made him feel unwell. This is as an adult though not when he lived with me.

Sparkling Tue 30-Mar-21 20:35:43

I do not think you should have referred him to his grandmother to answer questions about his sister. You needed to be honest with him although it hurts you, he suffers from anxiety and needed an answer, he also needs professional help. It seems there are no boundaries in place although he is 30. Treat him as an adult and do not be disrespected and meet any accusations about you preferring his siblings with a quick response, “ sorry you feel that but it’s simply not true and I can’t continuously keep repeating the same thing”, finish the conversation. When a question is asked give him the truth and let that be the end of it.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 20:43:21

Sparkling

I do not think you should have referred him to his grandmother to answer questions about his sister. You needed to be honest with him although it hurts you, he suffers from anxiety and needed an answer, he also needs professional help. It seems there are no boundaries in place although he is 30. Treat him as an adult and do not be disrespected and meet any accusations about you preferring his siblings with a quick response, “ sorry you feel that but it’s simply not true and I can’t continuously keep repeating the same thing”, finish the conversation. When a question is asked give him the truth and let that be the end of it.

Yes you are probably right, however I didn’t feel that he actually needed answers because it had been discussed before GC was born. I did say to him I was sorry that it took me a while to explain it all on that day, he obviously felt like there was more to it, but there wasn’t. He knew it all he just wanted me to say it all again. I do understand the anxiety though about it of course as I struggled with it when I had my two younger ones.
Perhaps I have found it hard to put up those boundaries, I’ve always felt on the back foot trying to please him and not upset him.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 20:46:40

Thank you Smileless I think I do need to step back. It’s been very hard trying to please him over the years. Upon speaking to my sister again earlier she said that I wouldn’t (these days) put up with abuse from a partner so I shouldn’t from an adult son. I don’t know, I must have gone wrong somewhere, my other sons don’t feel the same way.

JaneJudge Tue 30-Mar-21 20:53:26

You haven't gone wrong anywhere, you have all been through such pain and trauma, it is ok to accept you can't cope with that. Your son needs to seek some sort of therapy though, he can't keep taking it out on you.

Shinamae Tue 30-Mar-21 20:57:58

I have two friends at the moment who are going through the same sort of thing with their sons. In both of those cases the sons are drinking and using drugs and as I am a recovering alcoholic I have advised my friends to step away because the people they answer the phone to when they have had mind altering substances are not their sons,they have been taken over by drugs and alcohol and will get no sense from them just abuse...(by the way these friends asked for my advice I did not force it on them)

M0nica Tue 30-Mar-21 22:05:54

Blaming your parents is the standard ploy for all disaffected children, whatever the cause of the disaffection. It is particularly popular with children who are the authors of their own problems: drink, drugs, not getting a job. Of course there are times when problems like this can be caused by family or social circumstances, but not often among those who loudly blame anyone but themselves for their circumstances.

They use it because they know it will work. Their parent will get upset and distressed and they have them over a barrel for anything they want. Your son also seems to have learnt form his stepfather how to verbally and psychologically abuse you and I do wonder whether he does the same thing in his own family.

As everyone has said step away. You parented as best you could and your other children are validation that you were not a bad parent. Simply, you are, again being emotionally abused by a close family member. You had the courage to walk away once. Do it again

Just tell him that you treated all your children equally. You are sorry he cannot see it that way, but there is nothing you can do about it and just agree to differ. No matter how much you worry and fret, whatever you do will never satisfy him anyway.

So put the phone down on abusive calls, walk away from abusive conversations and refuse to justify your behaviour to him.

elgreen Tue 30-Mar-21 22:47:15

Thank you all for your kind words, I am looking afresh at how I can move forward, hopefully I can repair some of my relationship with my DS. I have, for the first time really, opened up to my sister properly about this, and she is being supportive though I don’t want to burden her.

Sparkling Tue 30-Mar-21 23:25:38

Elgreen, I know first hand how difficult it is keeping your sanity with some one that suffers with anxiety. It's a fine line between enabling them and understanding their mental traumas, everything gets blown out of all proportion for those that suffer, it's just as hard for that person that takes the brunt, but if possible if you can be calm and consistant and look after yourself, some times these boundries result in a period of distancing, but you can't be at the mercy of every whim as no one will be happy. Your sister, if she understands and you get on, sounds ideal. I wish you all the best as no one knows how draining it all is. Look after yourself as if you were looking after someone else and put yourself first once in a while.💐

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 31-Mar-21 10:36:38

Nice to see your update elgreen. It’s all very well going over and over what you did/ didn’t do in the past. It’s gone, it’s done. The trick now is to learn from it, so it wasn’t all in vain. Start afresh, but give yourself time to get stronger. It’s never too late, and I think your son really wants this to be right, otherwise he’d have gone out of your life years ago, probably when his daughter was born. Take care, and all the best💐