I’m a 56-year-old mother of two adult sons. I’m also proud to say that they come from the same father, to whom I have been married for 34 years. I am not sure if this is the right place for me to be, because my kids are well out of their teens, but I don’t know where else to go.
1. Our children are 31 and almost 33 (they were born - biological males, i.e. sons - in consecutive years, 19 months apart). The younger adult makes me laugh (when he’s not making me pull my hair out) at a lot of the things he says and does. The elder child has given me nothing to laugh about for a decade; that child only ever makes me cry - mainly unintentionally, but not always.
2. Parenting kids is always stressful but, when my children were younger, I could keep my stress about them under control because we had a bond that, at the time, I thought was reciprocal and unbreakable. Back in the good old days I got creative as a way of managing all kinds of undesirable feelings, but life has gotten in the way and I am a shell of the person I once was. So, basically, I have no coping skills other than to become either homicidally angry or suicidally depressed. I’ve used everything in my bag of tricks and it’s now empty.
3. I found my way here, today, because I don’t know where else to turn. My parents are deceased, my in-laws are not people who have ever made me feel comfortable, or welcome... I just happen to have married their son and popped out their only grandchildren, who they have doted on. My distress is caused by my gender-fluid, elder child. But it’s not his identity that is upsetting to me; I love them with all my heart and soul, regardless of identity, providing that they are a good person. They moved across the country at the beginning of 2011, and left being a tall, handsome, sweet, gentle young man. They met a woman.
At that time, “he” was concerned about being shallow because this woman was “overweight” (his tactful way of saying “obese”) and that she had mental health issues. These were things that I put into perspective for him because, A.) I was obese for a long time (couldn’t shift the baby-weight) and, B.) I had developed mental ill-health due to workplace bullying and associated cruel and unusual treatment. As long as he loved her for who she was, because they had a lot in common, and was ready and able to commit to him, I was happy that he had found love.
However, it wasn’t long before alarm bells were going off in my head. This woman did not want to have one iota to do with her (then) boyfriend’s parents, sibling, family or friends. It didn’t take long before the only time we could talk to our child was when she had left him at home, on his own and, even then, if she rang while he was talking to us, he would have to hang up on us and give her his full attention. Okay, that happens when you’re in a new relationship, and it’s to be expected. But here we are, at the tail end of 2019, and nothing has changed.
I have been the nastiest to my elder child than anyone else in the world, last year. It wasn’t something I planned, nor wanted to do. I cannot excuse my behaviour, only provide some kind of explanation as to why it happened, and that is because the person who used to be my son was taken over by a narcissist and she turned him into her “flying monkey”. Over the six years previous to that, he had been extremely cold and mean to me; he may as well not have been my own flesh and blood for the things he said to me, proving his loyalty to his woman.
Again, if my child’s gender identity choice has been arrived at on their own, I would have no concern at all. However, I do not believe that this is a choice of his own. It is my belief that this is the last step in a plan to totally dehumanise “my son” in a bid for ultimate control. As it is, he has “chores” to do, every day, has had the lion’s share of the work to do (in and out of the home), has treated his partner like royalty, and is getting physically and mentally ill from being over-burdened for so long without respite.
The worst thing of all is that I really don’t know what the hell is going on in their lives because I have been shut out of it. I can only assume what is going on because I know how narcissists work... I used to take a lot of them to prison, for a living. I have no way of telling if my child’s identity crisis is their own or one thrust upon them by a controlling spouse. My gut keeps telling me that the “wife” (although she’s always been the one who wears the metaphorical pants in the household) likes to sleep around so, in order to have theesomes with her “husband” and not have my child angry at her for being unfaithful, I can’t help but feel that she has manipulated him into questioning his very being... which he (and I do mean HE) is doing.
Once upon a time, my son could talk to me about anything. Now, he hardly talks to me at all and, when he does (and I’m not trying to be insulting or offensive to anyone with my choice of pronouns, I am referring to the person I gave birth to and raised for 24 years before he disappeared and started treating me like something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe) it’s never for very long and it’s always about very superficial topics.
The upshot is that I am terrified for my adult-child’s safety, physical, mental and spiritual (not religious) in the truest sense of those words.
It’s taken me up until earlier this year to truly back off and leave my elder child to their own devices; let’s face it, it’s been made clear that none of the family are welcome to be a part of the happy couple’s lives, but their in-laws are highly (and favourably) featured in the couple’s lives, despite living a third of a world away.
I am so very deeply hurt. How can I try to adapt to my child’s decision if they are a virtual stranger to everyone they left behind? How can a mother, in all good conscience, not want to be at least a small part in her adult children’s lives?
4. I’m sorry to say that I have no hints or tips for parents with kids entering their teen years. It seems that I thought I had done all the right things. As teenagers, our kids weren’t out roaming the streets at all hours, they weren’t in trouble with the law. They may not have been the best students, but they sure aren’t stupid. And, at that time, money was tight so we couldn’t lavish our kids with gifts and holidays, but they sure knew that they were loved, lived in a stable and peaceful home, which is - in my opinion - more important than being showered with lots of material items.
I have no idea if anyone reading this will have any hints and tips for me on how best to deal with my very ugly situation, but all I can do is put it out there and hope the answer comes to me, one way or another.
5. I don’t think the question about the weekends is relevant to me, in the present day, as our kids left home quite some time ago.
I sincerely apologise for my lengthy introduction and, should you have managed to make it to this point, I congratulate you, and applaud you, for your show of support. I truly don’t know what to do. My daughter-in-law seems to be almost finished separating MY SON from his family, but she hasn’t completely extinguished the embers of my baby’s true self.
I ask you to send as much positive energy our way so that open and honest communication can begin and that the truth of EVERYTHING can come out. I have no doubt that once everyone has come completely clean about our issues (including me) we will be able to work things out... for better or for worse, so we can all move on with our lives and try to all find our own joy, whatever that may be. All I know is that I can’t keep living like this for much longer.
❤️❤️❤️ xxxoooxxx ❤️❤️❤️
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