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Problems with adult son

(17 Posts)
Mrsgranny Sun 26-Sep-21 13:17:35

My son has mental health problems and due to this I’ve always made allowances for his behaviour to my own detriment. I allowed him to rant and rave at me for hours on the phone ‘to let him get it out of his system’ and save others from having to put up with it. But this was really just enabling him. Three years ago he turned a normal conversation with my husband into an argument and threatened his dad, he left and has refused to speak to him since. At first I kept contact with him in the hope I could pave the way back but my son has disowned the whole family, doesn’t want anything to do with us. The only contact has been with a nephew and my sister. My nephew has been really good and has kept in touch with him, and I have passed birthday and Christmas cards/presents through him, all unacknowledged. He has now managed to fall out with my nephew, who has had the patience of a saint, and also managed to upset and fall out with my sister. Neither of them will now have anything more to do with him. It’s his birthday next week and after all this time I had decided it was time to stop sending him anything, as I don’t know his address, he’s deliberately kept this from me and I don’t want to put my nephew or sister in an awkward position of have any repercussions and I am also scared that if I text him, I’ll open a can of worms. Having said all that, he’s my son and I love him, it’s torturing me that he will be on his own with nothing from his family on his birthday. I just don’t know what to do. My husband thinks I should leave well alone as he won’t forgive him for what he’s done, especially to me and the fact that he’s almost torn me and my husband apart.

Hithere Sun 26-Sep-21 14:01:32

What kind of treatment is he getting for his mental health issue?

That is key.
Unless you have guardianship over him as he is unable to make his own decisions, there is nothing you can do but protect yourself.

sodapop Sun 26-Sep-21 14:13:25

Sadly I have to agree with Hithere sometimes there is just nothing you can do. I hope your son can get some help Mrsgranny

rafichagran Sun 26-Sep-21 14:20:02

Nothing you can do. He does need help, but as you posted,he will not engage with you.
I am sorry you are going through this, but much as you love your son he is alienating everyone.

BlueBelle Sun 26-Sep-21 14:33:32

I come from a different angle than the previous posters and I wouldn’t give up on my child even if they never want to see me or have any interaction I just couldn’t do it especially if I knew it was caused by a mental health problem which the man can’t help
I would still send a card presumably your sister knows where he is can’t she give you the address
Failing that I would buy a birthday and Christmas card each year and put them in a box to be left to him when you die at least he ll know you always were thinking of him and loving him

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 26-Sep-21 14:39:42

Have you thought about sending an e-card to his phone on his birthday?

Mrsgranny Sun 26-Sep-21 14:39:43

Unfortunately, he was on medication but stopped taking about 4 years ago. He refuses any medical intervention, I managed to get him to a psychiatrist years ago but that ended badly after he told her she wasn’t qualified enough to speak to him. That then became my fault. After a recent incident with the police he was sectioned for a week, he was released after they had assessed him and found him to be ok, I think he was allocated a social worker but if he refuses medical help as an adult there’s nothing that can be done.

Mrsgranny Sun 26-Sep-21 14:57:53

Thank you all, it’s helpful to hear your views. I can’t ask my sister as she’s already been warned off giving me information and I don’t want to put her in a difficult position. The e-card is something I will think about, tbh I’ve realised that whilst a big part of me wants him back in my life, it’s the old son I’m clinging to and the son he’s become, that one I’m scared of bringing back. I will continue to buy him cards and presents for now and hold on to them for the future. With your input my head is giving me the answers but my heart just won’t listen . Thank you again.

Hithere Sun 26-Sep-21 15:42:19


What you can do is deal with your guilty feelings mentioned in the original post.

No need to be tortured for things that are of your control

BlueBelle Sun 26-Sep-21 15:44:14

Good luck Mrsgranny maybe one day he will have to get mental health help and get on medication and remember his mum none of us really know what it’s like to have a major problem that is not seen by others I hope you find peace in your situation

DiscoDancer1975 Sun 26-Sep-21 15:52:14

How old is he? Does he live and manage perfectly well by himself?

I think you have to decide which is actually more beneficial for you. Carrying on as you are, seeing him, and having to deal with all the fall outs, which could potentially prolong everything. Or simply backing right off, for your own sanity and those around you.

I can appreciate how hard it must be, but am inclined to think, if possible, you need to give him space to think. He may then accept more medical help, and get the ball rolling to a recovery.

basicallygrace12 Sun 26-Sep-21 16:41:32

I understand where you are coming from.
My 2nd son also has MH issues, he has cut me out but still in contact with his dad, my ex, and his sister. I don't know what to do about his upcoming birthday or christmas either. I do know where he lives but like your son everything is always my fault and he refuses to except any help as professionals don't understand him!!
Its hard isn't it, because you still have a mothers love and feel the need to protect and nurture but they hurt and hurt you, with their words. I try to tell myself it isn't him, its his MH, but its harder to disassociate when he can be so vicious in what he says. I want him to know i love him, yet cannot take all he throws at me.
For me it is a judgement which i will get hammered with in future, and i think that , for me, means i must send cards/gifts so he can't ever accuse me of forgetting/abandoning him.

Neen Sun 26-Sep-21 16:43:59

Very difficult indeed but I would say some healthy boundaries need to be in place , as your own self care is paramount. ( In case if contact ).
I like the idea of cards written as you would and maybe even a letter ( in a box ) and everytime he enters your head, add a little to a journal for him one day ( in the box ) and when you think the time is right give him the box.
Mental health just is and being a friend or loved one to a sufferer is the hardest job, it's like going to AA yourself but it's your loved one who is the addict ( so to speak ).
Pray. I believe in the power of prayer. Miracles happen every day.
That said we all have a duty of care and if you think he's neglecting himself or a risk to himself or others, the police would do a welfare check. But I guess if all is well it could alienate you further.
Good luck.

Nonogran Sun 26-Sep-21 16:56:24

Your husband is wise. Try to stay away. He’s entitled to go No Contact if he wants to.

User7777 Sun 26-Sep-21 17:15:33

I wouldn't give up on my kids either. But if the MH issues are severe, they really cant cope with things very well. I wondered if he had a social worker, for making sure he has all benefits he needs. I assume hes not in a stressful job. You could have six kids, and one might grow up to blame you and Lin for everything. It's not your fault, so never feel it is. Taking the flak on the phone, wont stop him verbally attacking others. I would hasten to add that if hes not taking meds for some time, then this pathway is going against him. Some meds can have a beneficial effect to sort out his issues. Sadly, he may well end up with more sectioning for longer periods. Heres a hug for you ( )

User7777 Sun 26-Sep-21 17:16:24

Lin meant him. Husband... sorry

Mrsgranny Mon 27-Sep-21 14:37:11

Thank you for sharing your story basicallygrace12, I share your grief and whilst my heart goes out to you too and I don’t want anyone to suffer what I’m going through, having someone in a similar situation does help in knowing I’m not alone, I sincerely hope your situation improves. We try so hard and believe we are good mums but doubts of not being good enough and guilt wear us down. To everyone here I will say that my son is 36, he is very capable and has looked after himself and has been “coping fine and seems happy enough”for the last 3 years, I am informed by my sister. I can’t thank you all enough for the advice and support you have given me here at a time when I was really starting to crumble. You’ve asked questions that have prompted me and provided answers, you have given advice and comments that has given me perspective, it’s a tough situation and the magic wand I’m looking for does not exist but I now have some clarity and you have been a massive help. Thank you x