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Son left unexpectedly

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  • #428726
    anita
    Participant

    Dear SadSoul:

    “‘too close for comfort, in his mind?‘, ‘I wonder if he felt that you needed his closeness too much..‘… too much without knowing someone’s situation, on top of they’re in despair. Perhaps a few less cold hard facts?…

    “To hear cold hard truths is needed at some point in one’s journey. It’s very difficult to know what the cold hard truths might be on an online forum with limited information. I imagine most people are reaching out for hope, and perhaps after they’ve found some, they are more able to deal with black and white advice where they may have gone wrong.”-

    – You are absolutely correct, I will elaborate: (1) I remember that when I typed what you quoted right above on March 11 (I italicized it here), I was aware that I had limited information and that I may be (as I am inclined to do) projecting my mother into you (and my child self into your son), but I thought that placing a ? and writing “I wonder” in the above, took care of the projection, as in I am stating not this or that, I am only asking, I am only wandering.

    I should have taken a step back and contemplated the big picture of possibilities before responding to you (the research I did on March 15 showed me possibilities of a bigger picture), instead of focusing on a corner of a picture because my projection led me there, seeing nothing but that corner.

    (2) In my reply to you I lacked empathy for you. I delivered possible cold facts.. with a cold heart (not empathetic). I was not aware enough that there is a real person on the other side of the screen, a hurting person (who may be very, very different from my mother!). I responded with a bias, not with objectivity.

    (3) People need hope first.. analysis second, or third. I want to keep this in mind.

    Thank you very much for your honest and empathetic feedback, I am humbled. I would like to try again and reply to your original post (and to the rest of what you shared about your situation in the following posts) using what you taught me (1-3 above). Will it be okay with you?

    anita

    #428733
    Tommy
    Participant

    In responding to people who have tough problems, it isn’t always easy to find the right words. And not knowing all the details, a person can say things that hurt. Doesn’t matter if it is the truth or not. The pain is real.

    I don’t know if one has to go thru this pain in order to process the events which caused this problem. All I think one can do is be here to listen and make suggestions to try to help. Sometimes mistakes are made. Only thing that can be done is to try to move forward.

    There doesn’t seem to have harsh words spoken. So, there is a good chance that given some time, the gap between mother and son will close. Children do grow up and move away. That is just life. Hopefully they will stay in touch.

    #428735
    SadSoul
    Participant

    If I was your mother, Anita, I’d be so dam proud of how you just responded to me.

    Yes please, go again.

    #428736
    SadSoul
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I hope eventually things right themselves, Tommy. Thank you for your ideas.</p>

    #428739
    anita
    Participant

    * This morning, when I read the first sentence of your 2-sentence post, I knew that I was reading something I never read or heard before. No one ever said anything like this to me. There was almost a tear in my eye, a tear that came out of a lifetime of mother-absence. The thought that came to my mind when I read this was: if only I had a mother, as in a person who is for me, not against me. Thank you, SadSoul.

    And now, I will go again, thank you for the opportunity. One more thing before I start: I have a difficulty with the usual expressions of empathy or sympathy, as in saying, I am sorry for your pain, I don’t like to come across soft, affectionate, so I do tend to come across analytical/ factual/ academic-like… cold. I’ll try to be authentic and warm. Let’s see if it works out.

    Dear SadSoul:

    the love and respect between us was strong“- I think that this is the big loss, right here. Before, love and respect surrounded you, and now, there is the absence of what was. I am taking a moment to feel how I think it feels or may feel for you.. an emptiness, a deep sadness, a sad soul.

    I have gone over everything I can think of to try and understand why he left and I can’t think of anything… I can’t imagine everything being big enough to make him cut me out of his life“- chances are that I will not be able to understand why he left, being that I know so little and that surely, I am not more intelligent than you. But I am going to try to understand because it’s in my nature to try and understand, like a detective looking for clues for why people do what they do.

    I did my best to accommodate every one of my children’s needs, and I was meeting this son’s needs with everything I possibly could. I wasn’t too close, or too controlling, I watched and listened to him and loved him with my words and actions… We had a lovely relationship, then it suddenly soured and he left“- I believe this to be true. I don’t think that he left because you didn’t love him or because you loved him wrong.

    he’d become quite involved in a new friendship that took up a lot of his time, and he’d been a bit remote those last few weeks… his only friend coming from a troubled family with lots of police involvement… My son had problems with being bullied at school, and became very anxious to the point of throwing up a lot and avoiding school… the other student cornered him the next day and body slammed him and broke his wrist…There are other reasons why he left but there’s no point rehashing them, they’re around his father trying to alienate him from me and my son wanting to do things he knew I wouldn’t approve of – illegal things… This generation live their lives through the internet.. It’s a whole new way of life. It’s a totally different world“- the reason, or main reason he left is right here in this quote.

    Internet life for young people is way more interesting than real-life: it is action filled, computer games and all. It’s so easy to be a soldier in wars, shooting and bombing and all that with simple, easy movements of the fingers or hands, while sitting or half-way lying down comfortably in one’s room. It’s so easy to be a hero or whatever one wants to be.. powerful. In all that internet action, a loving, close relationship with one’s mother may feel boring, lackluster.

    His new friend and his friend’s family life, doing illegal things, lots of police involvement, that was new excitement for him, a different kind life in-real-life.

    Your son was bullied in school and was very anxious for a long time, avoiding school, being homeschooled, close with you. My guess is that his way to feel unafraid, courageous, powerful is to cross over from being a good boy, a mommy’s boy, to living on the edge perhaps, being a rebel, an outlaw (I may be carried away with my thinking here).

    his new friend had lots of chaos in his family life“- chaos that was exciting for your son, I think.

    I thought it was normal teenage boy stuff, and that he was starting his journey to manhood and separating himself from his mother“- normal teenage boy stuff on top of his extra need to feel strong, powerful.. no longer weak and afraid. Seems to me that he sacrificed the relationship with you not because it was a bad or a lacking relationship, but because the context of the relationship with you did not allow him to feel powerful, as in doing and getting away with doing illegal things” (“my son wanting to do things he knew I wouldn’t approve of – illegal things“).

    I had asked him not to be rude to me a few times and he would tell me he was joking or find a way to blame me. I did get a bit cross his last night here at being spoken to really rudely“- reads like he was trying to give the relationship with you a new context, one where he’d be a bad boy (not the good/ mommy’s boy that he used to be).

    Will he ever want to know me again? I have gone over everything I can think of to try and understand why he left… I can’t imagine everything being big enough to make him cut me out of his life“- I am guessing that his leading motivation at this time is not to get to know you again, or to get to better know his father or friend, but to feel strong, and he chooses the contexts where he can feel strong.

    Imagine that if you allowed him to be rude to you and to do illegal things in your home.. he would have stayed with you. He needed a changed relationship with you. (Not that I think that you should have allowed him to be rude and do illegal things).

    Now what? If only there was a way to create the context that he needs in a relationship with you, a context that will allow him to feel strong, powerful but without the rudeness and illegal things.

    I am closing this reply with hoping that it is okay with you. What I brought up here is my non-biased, honest understanding of the situation based on the limited information you provided. This post is free from my previous inaccurate projections.

    I hope that you will soon feel better. Maybe the principle behind The Serenity Prayer will help to replace your sad soul with a serene soul: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

    anita

     

    #428746
    SadSoul
    Participant

    Heya Anita
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I don’t have enough time to reply at length, but I think you’re onto something there, so many loose ends tie up with the strong / strength.</p>
    I’m sorry you didn’t have a soft place with your mother. I share your need to research and understand things. I appreciate your honesty within yourself to acknowledge your angle was negative, brought on by personal experiences. Life is hard, harder when we’ve had a bad childhood, but here you are being a wonderful human in spite of it.

    Gotta rush but thank you.

    #428749
    anita
    Participant

    Heya Sadsoul:

    Reading your post made my day, thank you!!!  How kind of you to take the time even though you were busy to send me this message!

    And you are welcome. I hope to be reading from you when you have the time to post at more in length, looking forward to it.

    anita

    #428759
    SadSoul
    Participant

    Made it back. You’re day is easily made! 🌻

    About a year before he left he got really involved with going to the gym with his father. His father goes in spurts so he became unreliable picking him up a few months into it. My son was so addicted to all things gym related though. To begin with he followed his father’s advice then when it wasn’t working he went online and researched. He researched steroids, absolutely obsessed, and constantly educated me about what he’d learnt – always with a negative attitude towards taking them. Also how to eat and all that.

    He was really unhappy with his physical development too so I ended up taking him to the doctors for evaluation. To be honest, I only took him because his father was doing his usual accuse me of abuse and neglect because I hadn’t taken him. The doctor did tests and xrays and said he was a little delayed in puberty so to come back in six months. It runs in the family to be a little later. He was really upset about not taking immediate action.

    He became more obsessed with maturing faster and getting bigger and stronger. He said one day he wanted to get big and strong so no one could ever hurt us.

    I’ve heard he is taking steroids since moving. He would have known I wouldn’t approve – I wondered if he was doing drugs or something in the last month because his behaviour was so out of character, the things you look for in kids that are taking drugs.

    He also became totally engrossed in his online life the last six or so months. He bought his phone and I felt I didn’t have the right to limit him on it because of that. I’ve heard he plays games online all the time at his father’s. His father sits in front of the computer getting rolling drunk every night so he’s a great role model.

    I feel like I’m repeating everything you said. Reading your post was like a light switched on.

    Regarding his friend, although the friend said there was police etc, he was lying. There wasn’t police attendance to their house or any of the other things he said about his family. He was a really troubled kid, although I didn’t know at the time, and my son adored him. Even when the truth came out my son defended him and continued to think the world of him.

    Anyway, I think you’ve nailed a lot of the reasons why.

    And I miss him so much. I’ve started to process it a bit the last week. Enough to wonder who’s in there now, is he still the beautiful kid who told me ‘I love you my girl’ all the time, who apologised for talking so much and I always reassured him I loved listening even if I didn’t understand everything he talked about, who hopped in bed with me each night for a goodnight cuddle, laughs, and a catch up before he went off to his room. I wonder if that kid is still somewhere inside just taking a break while he works out who he wants to be in life.

    Things were not perfect all the time but they were pretty darn good on the whole. Not the last month though.

    Thank you for checking in. Have a very lovely day today and I hope the sun shines for you. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a good time of growing up with your mother.

    #428769
    anita
    Participant

    Dear SadSoul:

    You are welcome and thank you for your empathy and for giving me a 2nd chance!

    He said one day he wanted to get big and strong so no one could ever hurt us… is he still the beautiful kid who told me ‘I love you my girl’ all the time… who hopped in bed with me each night for a goodnight cuddle, laughs, and a catch up before he went off to his room“-

    – there was an established “us” in his mind and heart, you and him affectionately together, and together against outside enemies (“so no one could ever hurt us“). He wanted to get strong for the two of you.

    My son was so addicted to all things gym related though… He researched steroids, absolutely obsessed… He was really unhappy with his physical development… he was a little delayed in puberty… He became more obsessed with maturing faster and getting bigger and stronger“-

    – somewhere along his getting physically strong campaign, he emotionally and physically moved away from “us“. Maybe his father, maybe his friend, or people in the gym or online shamed him, a teenager/ young man, for his affectionate closeness with his mother, made him feel ashamed and weak for it, so he figured that to become stronger and to get societal approval as a man,  he must move out and stay away from his mother.

    Regarding his friend… my son adored him. Even when the truth came out my son defended him and continued to think the world of him“- oh, I misunderstood: his friend lied about the police being called to his home. Do you know what it was/ is about this friend that your son adores?

    “I’ve heard he is taking steroids since moving… I’ve heard he plays games online all the time at his father’s“- reads unhealthy and not a productive use of his time.

    And I miss him so much. I’ve started to process it a bit the last week. Enough to wonder who’s in there now, is he still the beautiful kid… I wonder if that kid is still somewhere inside just taking a break while he works out who he wants to be in life“-

    – in a way, I am thinking, you are not alone: every loving mother loses her little boy and his child-like loving expressions, and a new relationship needs to be established, one between a mother and her adult son. Society encourages this shift and shames men who don’t accomplish it. The young boy who hopped in bed with his mother for a cuddle is not (and should not) do so as a teenager or a young man. So, there is a loss right there, precious memories that are forever locked in the past.

    I hope that it is only a break in the relationship with you, and that he’ll be back to you a man, according to how he learns to define a man. When he is back, you will still see the kid inside him shining through, when he smiles at you and.. when he forgets to hide the fact that a significant part of him is still, and will always be, a boy wo loves his mom.

    anita

    #428784
    SadSoul
    Participant

    It’s very difficult to do quotes on my phone so I’ll do off the top of my heads instead.

    The shaming for loving your mother: I’m not giving his father full responsibility for this one, but he shamed him for saying I love you to me when he picked him up, so my son stopped saying that as part of his goodbye when he was about 7. My son discouraged any contact from me while at his father’s because of how his father carried on. But his father was totally okay to text and ring him when he was at home with me, it got really thick and fast that last year, and the less than good part of me was picky about that although I didn’t voice it.

    Although he struggled with lots to do with his father, he still wanted his love and approval. Little things like he lowered his voice when he was around him from 5 or 6 years old. It made me sad he couldn’t use his higher pitched little boy’s voice with his father.

    I regret being understanding and shielding my son from his father’s true nature. Yeah, I know, if I’d said it in the cold light of day we’d be facing other probably worse scenarios. His father never gave a shortage of awful things I could have used to create a wedge between them, but I didn’t, because I know what it’s like to be a child in that situation. Because I thought children need to love and respect, and be loved and respected, by both parents, even when they’re separated.

    I don’t know what the attraction to the friend was. I think there’s a strong possibility it was love. And the first friend to come along after he needed to join the world again. And this kid had a lovely way about him. I thought he was a great kid so I can imagine how much more appealing he was to my son. Tall, handsome, softly spoken, intelligent, funny, he seamed to be too good. He pursued my son in the friendship, wanted his company, was always at the other end of the phone. So much so sometimes my son would sometimes say I needed him for something. That was the only bit that was a small concern for me, but I barely even acknowledged it. I think that’s the kind of friendship I’d want minus the lies that we didn’t know were lies.

    Society and it’s expectations: society needs to stop being a jerk. I read a fair bit on the rights of passage for males, and how they have to find modern ways to achieve this now, because we don’t go hunting and slaying any more. I wonder if these younger generations are even more handicapped because they don’t often even get outside in the world – yes they travel to school etc, but lots of them don’t get on a bike or climb walls or do naughty cheeky things that earlier generations did. They sit at keyboards calling their parents, families, friends, teachers awful things because the meanest things get the most likes, and the advice from their online audience validates them and encourages them to cut off. Advice from thoughtless immature children who have no idea whether they have the full truth, advice aimed more at online popularity than concern for its intended, advice from children who don’t think about the consequences of cutting people out of your life. Often the things they’re talking about are fair, like cleaning your room, or not helping yourself to the other half of the pasta bake that’s for dinner that night, but they think these sorts of things are abuse. They have totally different ideas about how they fit into their families and the world. From my point of view they appear very selfish and with no active participation towards their existence – they don’t have chores or responsibilities, just living a life about them. It looks a bit like their rights of passage into adulthood are more emotional than physical – girls included.

    Totally off topic, I put my coffee on the stove, boiled the kettle to top it up, poured and it’s kinda cold. Forgot to actually boil the kettle, so I decided to drink it cold to reply 😂 I’m getting old 😂

    Have a lovely evening / morning / middle of your day! Thank you for posting. You’re giving me so much insight, but also human contact, and not saying anything along the lines of I should be over this by now. I have limited social resources and employers who never had children. Their advice and expectations are… Interesting… But in the beginning they were all I had and I am blessed to have had them. Just not sure their advice was good…

    #428787
    anita
    Participant

    Dear SadSoul:

    His father never gave a shortage of awful things I could have used to create a wedge between them, but I didn’t, because.. I thought children need to love and respect, and be loved and respected, by both parents, even when they’re separated“- that’s admirable, on your part. You did right by your son. It is a shame that his father didn’t, shaming his son’s soft feelings for his mother and otherwise being the alienating parent.

    I want to read and respond when I am better focused tomorrow morning (it is Tues late afternoon here).

    anita

    #428796
    SadSoul
    Participant

    That’s me, always trying to do the right thing, always ending up in a huge emotional hurt mess. Doing the right thing is partly a spin-off from a deeply religious childhood. But mainly because I know how devastating it is to have the wrong thing done by you and it is my sincerest goal to not cause anyone pain by doing wrong by them. Even more so my children who are the most valuable people in the world to me.

    Thank you for being interested. I’m a bit down about it at the moment. At least there’s been some happyish moments in this week so I am capable of moving past how much I’ve sunk from this. It’s been really good for me reading your thoughts. I’m assuming your a bit younger than me also, which would add value to your thoughts, ideas, and advice, as you understand more about younger people than I do – I’m a fossil 😂

    #428812
    anita
    Participant

    Dear SadSoul:

    I regret being understanding and shielding my son from his father’s true nature“- reading this sentence a 2nd time, I guess that it wasn’t a good idea to shield him from his father’s true nature. To alienate the other parent (I learned this from the research I did on page 1 of your thread) means to exaggerate or lie about negative aspects of the other parent. But to show the other parent’s true nature can be very helpful to the child.

    Society needs to stop being a jerk. I read a fair bit on the rights of passage for males, and how they have to find modern ways to achieve this now, because we don’t go hunting and slaying any more. I wonder if these younger generations are even more handicapped because… They sit at keyboards calling their parents, families, friends, teachers awful things because the meanest things get the most likes… they don’t have chores or responsibilities..“- very interesting, I didn’t know about the “like” culture that includes calling (previously) authority figures all kinds of names. And I agree about young people being emotionally handicapped because of modern life.

    Thank you for posting. You’re giving me so much insight, but also human contact, and not saying anything along the lines of I should be over this by now“- you are welcome, and thank you for the insight you are giving me, and for the contact with you!

    That’s me, always trying to do the right thing, always ending up in a huge emotional hurt mess“- does this sentiment have anything to do with that one sentence you shared in regard to your mother, that she never approved of anything you did, something like that (I tried to locate this sentence but didn’t find it)?

    It’s been really good for me reading your thoughts. I’m assuming your a bit younger than me also, which would add value to your thoughts, ideas, and advice, as you understand more about younger people than I do – I’m a fossil“- if you are a fossil then I am a fossil too. I don’t think that I am younger than you…!

    anita

     

    #428847
    SadSoul
    Participant

    reading this sentence a 2nd time, I guess that it wasn’t a good idea to shield him from his father’s true nature. To alienate the other parent (I learned this from the research I did on page 1 of your thread) means to exaggerate or lie about negative aspects of the other parent. But to show the other parent’s true nature can be very helpful to the child.

    The meaner part of me wishes I hadn’t.  The meaner part of me wishes I’d used some of his tactics against him, or at the very least, instead of calling his nastiness different to how we are, I wish I’d called it out as it is.  Too late now.

    very interesting, I didn’t know about the “like” culture that includes calling (previously) authority figures all kinds of names. And I agree about young people being emotionally handicapped because of modern life.

    My kids leave their socials signed in on my phone and computer.  I saw one of the things, where some person was having a hard time, and someone else responded ‘why don’t you just go k*ll yourself.’  They got hundreds of likes and replies with laughing faces.  That’s the worst one I saw but it’s full of them saying things they think are sharp and witty, only they’re mean and deadly.  Another was a kid bagging their mother out because she got upset they took food.  So many people jumping on calling the mother names, abusive, saying there’s a reason for that kid to cut the mother out of its life.  All I could think is of was that there was a time in our lives where we were really poor, I worked really long hours, and I had a pasta bake in the fridge for dinner the next night.  One of my kids took it the next afternoon and ate it all.  I was so hurt and I reacted angrily and cried.  To this day he makes a big deal over it saying I got angry about him eating food.  I doubt the majority of people are getting angry at them eating food, they’re hurting because they haven’t got anything left to give.  I had no money till payday, not much time to throw something together, and not enough to throw together, and I was exhausted.  I’d told my kids it was for dinner the next night and not to touch it so there was no excuse.  Anyway, I felt sorry for that mother that the whole world was judging her and she quite possibly didn’t deserve it.

    you are welcome, and thank you for the insight you are giving me, and for the contact with you!

    I hope today is / was a good day for you.

    does this sentiment have anything to do with that one sentence you shared in regard to your mother, that she never approved of anything you did, something like that (I tried to locate this sentence but didn’t find it)?

    I am not sure.  I didn’t grow up with her.  My father had custody of us but we grew up in other homes as he never seemed to have a point in his life where he was able to have us until I was a teenager.

    if you are a fossil then I am a fossil too. I don’t think that I am younger than you…!

    I just recently kicked a huge number and I don’t feel it even in the slightest.

    #428857
    anita
    Participant

    Dear SadSoul:

    I saw one of the things, where some person was having a hard time, and someone else responded ‘why don’t you just go k*ll yourself.’  They got hundreds of likes and replies with laughing faces… Another was a kid bagging their mother out because she got upset they took food.  So many people jumping on calling the mother names, abusive, saying there’s a reason for that kid to cut the mother out of its life.  All I could think is of was that there was a time in our lives where we were really poor… I felt sorry for that mother that the whole world was judging her and she quite possibly didn’t deserve it“- I now understand what you were referring to earlier. The American Psychological Association, apa. org, has a page on cyberbullying (defined as online bullying among children and teenagers, involving name calling, threats, sharing private or embarrassing photos, or excluding others). It says that 1 in 4 teenager has been a victim of cyberbullying, and 1 in 6- a perpetrator. In the 2nd example you gave, a kid’s mother was targeted. It’s a shame: a good mother job is difficult enough without the “help” of cyberbullies.

    I didn’t grow up with her.  My father had custody of us but we grew up in other homes as he never seemed to have a point in his life where he was able to have us until I was a teenager“- I wonder if any of the other homes was a good home for you and your siblings. I hope so, at least one. I wonder how little girl SadSoul felt… how she still feels within you.  I wish that you had one solid home from the start, just as I wish I did.

    I just recently kicked a huge number and I don’t feel it even in the slightest“- if you don’t feel old, you are not old, says I. About looking old, the way I go about it is the same way I go about the stove top that’s so difficult (for me) to keep clean: I don’t turn on the light right above the stove, so I don’t see the dirt. Similarly, I don’t look in the mirror (well, rarely and not at length, plus my eye sight is compromised and I don’t wear glasses). Works for me, ha… ha. (funny for you?)

    anita

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