I am struggling with issues dealing with my mom and son. My son moved out when he was a teen, he didn’t want to follow the rules at home and was physically abusive to me. He went to live with my mom…he has never been able to do anything wrong in her eyes….she has expected me to be financially responsible but not have a say in anything. His behavior has not changed in the 6 years since he has moved…if I am not helping him, I am a (insert any derogatory expletive here) you name it…he swears at me and tells me I am a horrible parent. My mother and I constantly argue over this, and it has gotten worse. She has him lie to me, evens swears at me in front of him….she totally enables him and deems me the bad parent stating that I abandoned him. I am at a loss here. I am in my 40’s, I don’t drink or do drugs yet I am treated as a horrible person for wanting what is best for my son. I am heartbroken that she really feels like I have treated him poorly and that he thinks I am horrible….I hope you can help me somehow…..I only have my 2 girls.
My heart aches for you. However, while the feelings and emotions of your mother and son are important and valid to them … they do NOT constitute your feelings and emotions … and it is critical for you to differentiate the two….and NOT belittle or deny your reality….which is quite different from theirs. Dysfunctional people (and relationships) need to hang on to dysfunctional responses and habits. You must break that habit. You must STOP.
You need to STOP and look at the big picture.
No matter what your son or mother says/does … you are in control of your thoughts and responses. And the fact is, if you are setting HEALTHY boundaries you will not be in agreement with them. Period. Deal with this. Is it important for you to be in agreement with them? Or, to do what is right? Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom you need to be the person He wants you to be.
You have two girls … cherish and love them and show them what love and forgiveness (and not enabling) looks like.
Stand strong and believe in yourself and in what God is doing in your life.
Stop beating yourself up. Get off the gerbil wheel of insanity and find SANITY in this situation.
I am interested in a support group Re: enabling adult children. We live in AllentownBethlehem,Pa.
If anyone has info it would be appreciated. Mary
Thanks so much for your interest in a SANITY Support group. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to track where groups are currently meeting around the country. However, we have developed a companion study guide and a leader guide for the Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children book, perhaps you could pray about starting a group in your community? It’s very easy, we give you all the tools needed. Look under the SANITY Support menu bar on our website for more information on SANITY Support materials. http://www.settingboundariesbooks.com
God bless you.
I have an adult son who will be 30 this month. He has MANY times, drained me, emotionally, physically and definitely financially. A year ago, I wound up with custody of his son due to his drug use, and the drug use of the child’s mother. He had been living with me, off and on, and had been out on the streets for about 8 months. After months of begging (and even sleeping in a broken down car on my property for nights at a time when it was freezing outside) he was finally able to convince me that he was ready to make a change. I’ve struggled for so long with the compassion that we must have as Christians balanced against knowing that I could not change him, that only God could do so. I told him many times that I could NOT help him, that I had to allow God to work in him and in his life. So….he suddenly found God, and genuinely seemed to be making a change. However, 4 months have now passed and things are starting to disappear from my house again, including video games that belonged to his son. It breaks my heart for his son, and honestly for me as well, because his child is old enough to figure out where things have gone. He has not worked a full week since he’s been here, however, the last couple of weeks, he’s barely moved off the couch. I gave him a list of things he could do this week so that he and I could both feel better about the fact that he was here and not working. Basically, none of those things have been done. I’m tired – just so very tired. Right this minute he’s gone – having caught a ride with someone yesterday and hasn’t come back yet. I sometimes wish I could just move so that he doesn’t even know where I live. He doesn’t berate me for being a bad parent when I put my foot down – but it eats me alive when I start thinking about being compassionate to other people and not being able to show compassion to him. Help!
Pam, can you contact me ASAP via Allison@AllisonBottke.com ?
I don’t even know where to start but here it goes. I have 4 children. A son who is 29 and he left home at 18 when he joined the Air Force. What happened with him I could write a book so for now he’s not my primary focus. I have 3 daughters aged 27, 25 and 23. They all still live at home for free. The 25 year old also has 2 children who are 4 and 5 and they live with us too. Not to mention two cats. One belongs to the 25 year old and one belongs to the 23 year old. My husband is the only one working. He is 50 and I am 48. We have both sacrificed everything for our children. Although I have always gone without for them, much more so than my husband. I gave up my life for these ungrateful and disrespectful children. They are adults now but they have always treated me like shit. They live in our house which we rent because we’ve never been able to afford a home of our own. I live in my room and they have full reign of the house. They don’t keep it clean ( quite honestly it’s a pigsty), they don’t clean up after themselves, their children or their cats. They have damaged and ruined everything we own. They have damaged the rental we live in which will cost us 1000s to repair and replace. Our house is like a halfway house because they are always having friends over, some they barely know, some are acquaintances of friends and they don’t ask permission because they feel because they are adults they can do whatever they want. I’ve been really putting my foot down lately ( 6-8 months) and they think I’m a bitch, being unreasonable, and treating them like children. I started watching “world’s strictest parents” about 8 months ago and that has taught me so much. But I want them out but don’t want to drive them away, make them hate me more than they already do and I don’t want them to never want anything to do with me and I want my grandchildren to be a part of my life and vice versa. I could go on but that is the gist of it. I need help( advice and some type of support group) because my husband won’t back me up and I’m losing it. Thanks for listening! Kelly