I'm 66. My son just turned 40. I took him away from an abusive first marriage when he was two. We were lucky, because I met and fell in love with a man who fell in love with both me and my son. We married when my son was three. I became a stay-at-home wife and a full-time mother. We devoted our lives to making my son (the only child we would ever have) happy. Wanting him always to feel important, we'd let him pick where we'd vacation. We gave him our beautiful car (two years old) to make sure he'd be in a reliable vehicle. We bought a new car for ourselves. One school day, son washed his car and, without asking, took our brand new car to school; because it was raining, and he didn't want HIS car to get dirty and wet. He smashed our new car to smithereens.
Then, after our car was repaired, he skidded on wet grass and drove his car into the building where he worked. Then he ran off. My husband (his loving stepfather) paid the costs out of pocket due to just having to claim the accident with our car on our insurance.
Due to the fact that son absolutely refused to take on any chores all the while he was growing up, there were loud arguments about his attitude. Finally we stopped asking him, realizing it would just lead to more fighting.
I'd clean his room, only to find he trashed it.............again.
When the college years came, he became even mouthier, telling us he didn't have to take "this f-ing ****." He chose an expensive college, and we paid for it. We couldn't figure out what it was he felt he was "taking".......besides our love and generosity, which certainly didn't appear to him something for which to be grateful and respectful.
He'd take off on a Friday night, not telling us where he'd be and not show up until the following Monday, causing us to be frantic with worry. When we approached him about it, he refused to discuss it. Refusing to discuss anything has been the pattern. He hates confrontation and refuses to deal with it. We're supposed to pretend it didn't happen, put it in the past and leave it there.............without solutions.
He finally met the girl he'd marry. Wanting to give them a better honeymoon than they could afford, we surprised them with a week in San Francisco (we live on the east coast), plus gave them $1,000 in spending money. THAT was their SHOWER gift. The wedding gift we gave them made the $1,000 shower gift pale in comparison. No, we're not wealthy...........just lead with our hearts even if it hurts our wallets.
They bought a house and wanted to borrow $1,500. We agreed, with the promise they'd pay it back. Son made small payments for a couple of months and then proceeded to continue buying himself extravagant luxuries and not making any attempt to pay any more of the money back. I approached him about it. He decided that, since his new home had central AC, and he had a wall unit AC in mint condition, he'd give us the AC to pay off the remainder of his loan, since we needed one. We didn't feel it was a fair exchange, but we accepted it.
Son started eliminating certain holidays that had always been tradition with our family. Telling him how hurt I was didn't serve to change his mind. Yet when I tried to change a family tradition I didn't care for, he "reprimanded" me in a way that let me know things would be worse if we didn't respect what HE wanted.
He and his wife decided they wanted no children. They became heavily involved in sports. The few visits we get were obviously obligatory on their part, which made us feel like we were walking on egg shells. When they did visit, they took over the remote, called their friends on the phone or busied themselves with their sports equipment rather than sit and visit with us. If we dared to say anything about it, son claimed we're always looking for an argument.
Son and his wife just turned 40. We threw a big party which ultimately ended up costing us $2,500. They sent us an obligatory thank-you note and a floral arrangement to say thank you.
This past Mother's Day he asked what I'd like to do. I got about two hours of the day I requested before we found ourselves being left to walk 25 steps behind them, as they perused all the shops that interested THEM and ended up eating in a restaurant of THEIR choice. No, they didn't pay for our dinner.
Son called the Thursday before Father's Day to ask "dad" what he'd like to do. Dad requested a small trip but told son he realized that son also has a father-in-law to consider, so son should get back to him about the plans. Friday son calls to ask questions about a problem he was having........mentions nothing about Father's Day. Saturday dad calls to ask what's going on with the plans..........leaves a message, son and his wife are not home. By Sunday morning (Father's Day), we still had heard nothing so decided to get dressed and just do our own thing. Phone rings and daughter-in-law says "Dad called yesterday and left a message, so I'm returning his call." Not a word about Father's Day. By that time we had enough, so my husband and I laced into them about being thoughtless. Things got louder and louder until son finally said, "Do you want to argue or do you want to go?!?!" At that point, my husband said he wouldn't be able to put himself in the mood to enjoy any kind of day with them. Everyone hung up.
We've not seen son or his wife since May (Mother's Day). There's been no communication. We know this is son's way of ending any relationship we had.
I cannot call him, because my logic (which I usually cast aside because my love for him takes over) tells me I'll just be enabling him to carry on with the emotional abuse he causes us. If I don't call him, I realize I've lost my only child. So I sit as piece-by-piece I die a little each day, swollen-eyed from crying.
How can he recall the past and come up with anything resembling a bad upbringing? My husband and I went without so many things. We sacrificed ourselves in order never to sacrifice HIM. I've prayed, but my prayers seem to go unanswered. So, here I sit mourning a son who's still alive but has gone out of our lives as surely as if his life had been taken. How is it possible to have given so much of yourself to a person and yet have failed so miserably? I'm so very, very sad.
wow iam very sorry for the way you've been treated. But u should realize that its not you to blame. If you believe that you did the best you could then thats all there is to it. And remeember that family is not the only form of socialization a person gets. There are many secondary peer groups that shape a person through their life time and the person being socialized chooses the best percpective of the world for them. What i really think is that hes just spoiled, with love and money and is very selfish probably from being an only child. He has taken what u gave him for granted, but i think that the universe will balance itself out and you jsut gotta be patient.
Thank you for your response. There still has been no communication. I continue to mourn, and I'm sure he's too busy having fun to give me or my husband a second thought. As for patience, I've come to the conclusion that a situation like this can destroy a mother whose whole life has been dedicated to making sure her son never had to question how much he was loved and wanted. My husband and I thought we were demonstrating that we did things for him because that's what you do for those you love. You GIVE all the love and help you can. But that doesn't seem to be what son learned at all. Instead of learning the traits of giving and loving from us, he appears to have focused on the RECEIVING part. I honestly always believed that it's okay to give a child "stuff," as long as you nurture that child with an abundance of love and understanding, also. We've ALWAYS been there for him, through thick and thin. How he can cast aside the two people who loved him most in the world and did the most for him is something I'll never understand. My husband loved him and did more for him than many biological fathers do. He didn't HAVE to take on this responsibility, but he did because of his love for both my son and me. I can't begin to tell you how hurt he is.
I hope you're right about the universe balancing itself out. I hope I live to see it.
It seems the better you are to the kids, the worse they treat you. The worse you treat them, the better they are to you.
Gotta have God in the picture. Can't please everyone, have to do what is right. That is so hard as parents because we want to please our kids and give them so much, but that is not good for them. As these examples prove.
I just had another thought, you can not have a relationship with someone, just because you want to. They have to want to as well. Until he comes to this point, try to find some kind of outlet to help ease the pain.
I am so sorry you are having to have this kind of pain. But you will come out stronger....if you believe.
Thank you, peggy. My son has always been my heart, no matter how old he gets. I have no idea what fills in the void once your heart is trampled on by your own flesh and blood.