Feeling shame

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    Dear Jane,

    I am very glad your son rang you. And that he didn’t ask for anything, but just to talk to you. That indeed is a breakthrough and a very promising development!

    As Brandy said, by being a stable and trustful person in his life, while at the same time protecting your boundaries, you might have an effect on him in the long run. He might turn around.

    It seems his partner isn’t a good influence on him, since she’s not allowing him to meet with you. Although interestingly, she encouraged him to call you… I guess you were right not to want to meet with him in secret. He needs to decide what he wants and clarify things with himself. I do hope he starts coming around, little by little, with your compassionate support from afar.


    Dear Jane:

    I will retell what you shared in May 2019 regarding.. a particular person. The italicized are your words (I adjusted the pronouns, from 1st to 3rd, and other minor adjustments). Where I wanted to include exact quotes, I added those, plus my comments. Later, I will do the same with what you shared in March 2021.

    May 2020: you shared that a particular person’s presence in your life caused you constant pain , that he asserted a very strong emotional blackmail over you, and you felt punished by him for years. You then revealed that the particular person is your son and you expressed how horrible it has been to stand by and watch (him) crash, to see him mess up so often.. over and over again. You mentioned a tremendous guilt about how you have messed up as a parent, and anger at people who so often raise their finger against you, suggesting that you are guilty for your son’s failings, that his failings are your fault, that you were/ are a negligent and an incompetent parent.

    You proceeded to suggest that the people blaming you are wrong because your only relationship failing is with your son, and otherwise, you maintain healthy relationships with your other child, with your grandchildren, your siblings, nieces and nephews and with your friends and their children.

    “Just this one I have failed in and am judged by”.

    You proceeded to say that you treated both your children the same, and that it was wrong for you to do so, suggesting, as I understand it,  that your son required a special treatment because something wasn’t right about him.

    You continued: “I can now see where I did not understand my son’s weaknesses and help him to work through it”- suggesting, as I understand it, that what your son was missing was strength, having been born weak, and that you should have attended to his weakness.

    “I veer between thinking it is all my fault, to believing it is now his fault”.

    You feel estranged from your son, that the closeness you once shared with your son is no longer possible. When he lived with you, he wasn’t the easiest person to live with, suggesting you very much prefer that he doesn’t live with you again.

    You wish this particular person was not your son, but a stranger: “I would really like to dispense with the whole mother/son dynamic and just become a person talking to another person with out all that other parent/ child stuff in the way”, and you are “prepared to completely cut those strings if need be- there is nothing more I can do”.

    In your current thread, March 2021, you referred to that particular person, your son, as a toxic person, and to the nature of your relationship with him, you wrote: “we are estranged.. he hadn’t contacted me at all and I’m fine with that”.

    About him: “He causes chaos for his partner, his sister, for myself and now for his child”.

    “He knows he is loved”-  in all your writings so far, I did not detect any loving sentiment in you for your son. “he is loved”- by whom?

    In your post yesterday, you wrote: “my son rang me today. He said his partner made him ring because it is Mother’s day here… He could only ring me today because she had gone out to see her mum with the baby”- if his partner/ girlfriend suggested to him that he should ring you, why did he feel the need to keep his ringing to you a secret, do it in her absence?

    “He said we could meet up separately without his partner knowing but I said I won’t do that because it is dishonest”- how can it possibly be dishonest of you to meet your son without his abusive partner (“the abuse and bullying I get from his partner)?

    My final thoughts at this point: you mentioned nothing positive about your son, expressed no appreciation of him, no affection for him, and you expressed a desire to be estranged from him. I think that it is better- for his emotional well-being- that you indeed end all contact with him. I imagine that he is able to perceive what I am able to perceive, having read your posts thoroughly: that you perceive him as a toxic person, that you see only the negative about him, that you feel no appreciation or affection for him, that you have singled him out as the one and only family member with whom you don’t get along, clearly sending him the message that there is something wrong with him.

    For a boy, for a man at any age, the mother is a very important figure. It is better for a man to not see his mother at all, than to see her ongoing and severe disapproval of him. He can not heal from what troubles him when he is exposed to such negative messages from his mother, when he knows, that for his mother he is a… punishment.

    I think that this is the right thing for you to do- for his sake, and for your sake.



    How are you, Jane?


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