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How to let it go? I can't get him off my mind.

I asked a question this weekend about if I did the right thing or not with my 21 year old son - you all agreed that I did. Later he called and said that he didn't pick up the things I'd put outside - implying that someone stole his stuff because I'd left it on the driveway - then it dawned on me that this 'phantom thief' apparently stole my son hamper full of dirty laundry BUT left the brand new, leather, reclining video chair. Another of my ex husband's famous games " get the last punch, leave them wondering and feeling guilty". But I didn't fall for it.

Ever since Saturday I can't shake this horrible feeling. I know I did the right thing, it was time to put my foot down and stop the using and abuse. What's got me though is knowing that my son , right now, is thinking that he's been victimized - help me figure out how to just let it go. I know I didn't victimize him - but knowing that he's feeling wounded is tearing at me


Asked by PaceMyself at 3:44 PM on Jul. 13, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 5 (75 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • This is the hardest part of being a parent, knowing what you did was in their best interest, but it still hurting you because they feel you were "mean" or whatever. It doesn't get any easier when they are adult children. You just have to know you did the right thing and be strong and don't go back and try to make it better for him. Stay strong mama!

    Answer by robinann5 at 4:58 PM on Jul. 13, 2009

  • It is hard. I've had to use the tough love approach myself. To punish me my son cut off all contact with us for 17 months. He left the state and was who knows where. It tore me up. It is hard knowing you made the right decision and living with the awful feeling of not knowing if they are okay.
    Starting around the teen years our children KNOW what buttons to push. They are master manipulators and can twist a story to make them look like the innocent. Don't let it tear you up to the point of giving in. If you do..he wins and you lose BIG time. You know you love him with all your heart. It isn't like you cut off contact with him. Refusing to enable a person to use and abuse you is far different than not loving them.
    You can get through this. I know how hard the first weeks can be.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 3:51 PM on Jul. 13, 2009

  • Are you wanting your son to know it wasn't a random theft? Maybe have him go to a police station and report your suspicions? idk...maybe they can get a search warrant so he can see if your ex has his stuff?

    I didn't see your original post, so forgive me if I don't get it.

    Answer by timelessglass at 3:54 PM on Jul. 13, 2009

  • He doesn't feel victimized, He is trying to make you feel guilty. Don't fall for it. You told him to pick up his stuff where you put them and if he didn't then it is his fault.

    I just went thru the same thing. My son is also 21. I think this is a age group thing. He nomadded around with some friends for about 6 months now he has a job and a nice apartment and calls me from time to time to tell me HE LOVES me and that he is doing fine.

    Yours will be fine too.

    Don't give in too easily. Now after a while if you know for a FACT that he has been trying to do his best and still has a hard way to go, you may want to help him out. But make sure he is willing to follow the rules YOU make up, not him.

    Tough love is not just tough on the child, it can really be hard on the parent too.

    Much Love

    Answer by Necie11 at 4:11 PM on Jul. 13, 2009

  • All I have to say is that the momma bird knows when to kick the babies out of the nest. We humans seem to want to hang on and protect them, but there is a time when we to need to know when to cut the strings and say I love you but it 's time for you to go. Stay strong mom, it will be harder the next time if there is a next time. THINK ABOUT IT Good Luck Mom and stay STRONG

    Answer by homealone_10 at 8:15 PM on Jul. 13, 2009

  • Your doing the right thing. Keep up with it. Backing down would only tell him that he can keep doing things to you without respect. Not to sound mean but it would be a wise thing to get into some counseling. When a parent/child relationship has gone south a counselor can help with the roller coaster of feeling and keep you on track to helping your son in the long run.

    Answer by nikimullins at 3:38 AM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • He should have been making plans and aiming toward leaving home long before now. He is responsible for his own things not you. If they are gone then he'll get new ones. If he's lying (or someone is telling him lies about the stuff not being there when it should have been) then he should have made better arrangements. No guilt. When he is standing tall on his own you will look back at this and be proud that he left the nest, had a small fall but took flight and did well. Just give it time. He's a big boy. He will be fine.

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:48 PM on Jul. 14, 2009