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Who has a son and it hurts?

(31 Posts)
Campanula Mon 18-Oct-21 15:00:41

My son was 51 the other day. He was always a difficult child. In his teens he was totally out of control and to deal with it solo was horrendous. He and his sister are 8 years apart ( lost 3 babies) . Two siblings couldn’t be farther apart, daughter happy person a joy to be with while he is sullen and continually picking at everything and putting me down wherever possible. I’ve tried and tried with him but to no avail. He’s 6 years sober after alcohol problems and me and his sister were there for him every step of the way, but his behaviour towards me breaks my heart. His birthday dinner which I paid for was a complete train wreck . It hurts.

Smileless2012 Mon 18-Oct-21 15:09:14

I'm so sorry Campanula. I wonder if you should pull back a bit.

6 years sober is one hell of an achievement so now my be the time to let him stand on his own two feet. Be there of course, but minimise your contact with him which will in turn, minimise the opportunities he has to pick at you and put you down.

It's unacceptable Campanula you have to look after yourself, even if that means seeing less of him for a while.

I have a son and it hurts. He estranged us almost 9 years ago and took away our only GC. I miss the lovely man he was, love him just as much as I ever did, but know our lives are happier and healthier without him.

Please, look after yourself and don't accept the unacceptable even if it is coming from your own sonflowers.

tanith Mon 18-Oct-21 15:10:27

I have a son and it hurts because he lives abroad and I don't get to share his life and it makes me very sad. I'm sorry your son has been so difficult and spoils your relationship. Be glad that your daughter is loving and kind. Maybe he is disappointed with his life and that makes him bitter its very sad.

Shelflife Mon 18-Oct-21 15:37:11

Campanula , I am sad to read your story and I know how much you are hurting. You have had a difficult time bringing up a troublesome child/ teenager - and alone too! You have a loving daughter - enjoy her. Your son has been sober for 6 years , that is a tremendous achievement! So much credit due there. However, it does not give him the right to treat you with disdain , you have tried hard to build a sound relationship with him and he has not responded in an appropriate manner. I am not qualified to advise but I do urge you to take great care of yourself. Perhaps step back a little and give yourself some space. Thank goodness you have a daughter to ease this very painful situation. I sincerely hope things improve for you , but please begin to put yourself first !!!

Redhead56 Mon 18-Oct-21 16:13:38

He has been supported by you and his sister in the past. He is a grown man there is no excuse for bad behaviour. I would back off there is only so much you can do concentrate on yourself for a change.

Campanula Mon 18-Oct-21 16:33:43

You are all so fantastic, but it’s so hard to change the habits of a lifetime.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 18-Oct-21 16:34:16

I was so sorry to read your story Campanula. I have no wise words to offer but I wanted to say I am so sorry you have lost three babies and that your son behaves like this towards you but I am so glad you have a lovely and loving daughter. Sadly, those we love most have the capacity to hurt us most, whether they mean to or not. Sending you a hug.💐

Smileless2012 Mon 18-Oct-21 16:36:25

Yes it is hard Campanula but just do it a little at at time, then he'll get used to it and so will you.

bridie54 Mon 18-Oct-21 16:47:08

Hugs and love to you Campanula. I loved an alcoholic once. It’s difficult.
But can only echo what everyone here seems to be saying, pull back from your son but be there for him if he approaches you amicably, look after yourself, and appreciate your lovely daughter.
My son is on the other side of the world with his own family including my 2 dear GC . No estrangement, just miles apart and no prospect of a visit in the near future.

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 18-Oct-21 16:52:32

Yes, just focus on the good things, so your daughter. Leave your son to his own devices. It changes nothing if you constantly try to make a difference. It’s not like it’s out of character.

Look after yourself, and leave him space to think. He’s not a child. He’s done well with his addiction, hopefully other good things will follow.

mumofmadboys Mon 18-Oct-21 18:41:34

I'm sorry things are hard for you Campanula. Have you tried saying an 'I' statement ? Such as 'I feel sad and close to tears when I am treated rudely'. If he is rude cut short the time you spend with him so he knows his behaviour has consequences. By making an I statement it cuts out being accusatory or saying 'You have done this, that or the other'. Tiny steps and hopefully his behaviour will improve.

Aldom Mon 18-Oct-21 18:46:45

mumofmadboys, such wise advice, as always.

VioletSky Mon 18-Oct-21 18:57:31

Campanula have you asked him why he acts like that? Has he done any counselling? You could offer joint counselling and talk this through with a third party to help guide the conversation?

You sound like you aren't ready to stop trying to make things better but accepting bad behaviour doesn't do that either. So he needs to understand that either you work together to make this right or you aren't available as an emotional punching bag.

rosie1959 Mon 18-Oct-21 19:03:12

You mention your son is 6 years sober did he have outside support with this because untreated alcoholism can leave someone with a very uncomfortable life.
It is totally unacceptable for him to treat you badly.

Campanula Mon 18-Oct-21 19:16:38

My son went into rehab and had counselling

VioletSky Mon 18-Oct-21 19:18:23

Campanula what has he said about that or why he treats you this way?

rosie1959 Mon 18-Oct-21 19:31:02


My son went into rehab and had counselling

Does he still continue with that now or was it just for a short time
I am not being nosy but as an alcoholic in recovery myself I know what untreated alcoholism can be like
Although I have been sober near on 20 years I still use the support of my AA group . Just stopping drinking without dealing with your alcoholism can be hard Stopping drinking is the easy bit dealing with life sober is the hard bit

User7777 Mon 18-Oct-21 19:44:22

Mines turned up again. I forgive and tell them I love them and like them. Then the chat begins, what do I think of

A. Pandemic
B. Climate stuff. Environment
C. Micro beads in stuff.
D. Politician being killed
If I answer it then turns in verbal abuse.
So, sat in bed now. Am tired of it all. I am having a Carers Assessment so, as that is what i am, sort of. Multiple health issues and no peace for me. If he could, he would get back into my womb. At least i am aware of it

User7777 Mon 18-Oct-21 19:45:02

So means soon

Neen Mon 18-Oct-21 19:51:59

Healthy boundaries are difficult to put in place and harder to stick to.
You've had a painful journey as a loved with alcohol addiction is tough.
If he's doing the steps and attending AA , he's doing what he can and maybe now found his calling yet.
It's time for self care now, short sentences like,

I love you but I'm hurting right now .
I am putting some self care and healthy boundaries in place for the first time and I know you'd want to respect that.
In my own home please don't talk to me like that, I can see your hurting but it's unacceptable.

Then build your own life with hobbies and spa days etc
Pick your battles and you don't have to attend most battles
Good luck

Neen Mon 18-Oct-21 19:53:02

Not found his calling yet I meant

Rannkirkpatrick Tue 19-Oct-21 20:27:18

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OnwardandUpward Thu 18-Nov-21 22:55:54

I am so sorry Campanula . It's painful, I know. I too had a difficult teenager with MH problems who has grown sullen and doesn't accept treatment for the MH problems, is paranoid , takes drugs and has cut everybody off in our family. Everything is "everybody's fault but his" You don't deserve sullen and picking at everything. It's great your son is sober and that you stood by him. He does sound miserable to be picking at things, but it's not an excuse.

I'm so sorry to hear how your son talked to you User7777 and I can also identify with it. When my ES used to talk to us it consisted of conspiracy theories, politics, government, NHS rants. He would say we were wrong about everything and it became a no win, one way conversation. He eventually used the covid jab (I think it was an excuse) to cut us off completely.

I realised today that every time I met one of his girlfriends I always liked them and they liked me, but he would grow irate and demand I was horrible to them, which I would refuse to do. I forgot about this behaviour when he lived away from home for a while, but when he was married he moved in for a while with his wife. I was horrified to see his controlling behaviour but hadn't looked at the bigger picture til now.

She did tell me he was controlling her and she wanted to talk, but he wasn't letting her. I knew she was telling the truth because it happened with two of his previous girlfriends. I don't even know if this is a normal thing to get annoyed if your wife/g/f and mother get on, because I've googled it and can't find the answers?!

Yes, I have a son and it hurts. A lot. flowers to all others who do.

agnurse Fri 19-Nov-21 00:48:09


Sadly, there is such a thing as a "dry drunk" - someone who is exhibiting the same toxic behaviours as they did when they were drinking, even if they are not currently drinking.

You may like to consider looking into Al-Anon. This is an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous, but it's intended for people who are affected by someone else's drinking.

heath480 Fri 19-Nov-21 01:18:18

I am an Alcoholic in recovery,coming up to 19years now,it sounds as if your son is still suffering with the ISM of Alcoholism,I,SELF,ME.We are not easy people to deal with.I attend AA,that has never lessened for me.I find it vital to keep me well balanced.I have a great relationship with my children,but it took a long time.

@agnurse,the term “dry drunk”is not helpful and not used nowadays.