Life circles

Little did I know as I was writing about my oldest son’s health issues bringing him home, that I was about to get a call from the high school my youngest son attends. 

I’m still in the throes of grief and processing, so I hope only merciful eyes are reading.  My youngest son sees himself as a victim, and has been making a steady series of very bad choices, the kind that lead to lasting consequences,  based on self-pity, resentment, and entitlement.  Does this kind of thinking sound familiar? 

I have tried to talk with him many times.  Tried to show him I love him, yet maintain boundaries.  There have been a series of warnings, along with tears, quiet pleading, second, third, fourth chances, and boundaries enacted and held on our part.  I said, “Son, if we want to blame someone else or some circumstance for making a bad choice, Life will never stop giving us those excuses.  Please know that as you make your choices, over time your choices make you.

Late yesterday afternoon, he mocked, blamed, and blew off any communication about what he recently did, or the serious consequences that are headed his way from the school, and that he has to appear in court.  He turned eighteen, so I’m not sure he truly realizes how much more serious it is.  The bare bones requirements to live here were flouted, so we said he needed to leave.

I stayed firm holding to the boundaries, telling him he needed to choose, when finally I said he needed to pack his things, and that I wished he was making a different choice.  I bawled and crumbled after he left. 

I think I’ve written that I have another son who was in a bad accident (hit by a car on his bike), and who sustained a traumatic brain injury.  There have been many tears and rough roads with him, but just recently he’s begun to finally accept what it means to be impacted by a TBI, and try to take better care of himself and move forward.  After my youngest son took off with nothing but a backpack, I was in the kitchen, blindly moving things around and trying to figure out dinner.  He asked me if I knew what the weather was supposed to be like the next day, and I replied, “Tomorrow will be walking weather.  Rain or shine, I’ll take a walk.”  He said, “Why not go on a walk with me now?”  I looked at the fading light out the window, felt zero energy to walk, and said, “Sure.” 

As we walked, he told me that while he expected me to feel many things with his brother leaving, the one thing that I should not feel is guilt.

How is that possible?  All my mistakes, every weakness, everything… is like a crushing grief right now.  I can only picture the little boy that was raised in a dysfunctional marriage and life.  Raised by me.  A little boy whose mother was clinically depressed on meds when he needed a healthy mother to be there for him.  A sad,  tired, anxious, faded to shadow mother.  Could it be that had I been a reasonably normal healthy happy’ish mother that this could still be happening?  Sure. 

Yes, I feel guilt and accountability.   I’m trying to remind myself that the last handful of years as I’ve gained awareness, I’ve fought and crawled to be healthier and stronger.  Where I am is heartache and wanting to make good choices in the here and now.  In the midst of pain, still choose what’s good and right and do it no matter what.  I know that Life can be messy and painful without asking for it, but it must be possible to have pain and heartache without drama and bad choices.  It must be possible.

There is a part of me that would really like to not blog about this at all.  I want to protect my son’s privacy and my own.  I want to hide in pain.  I also often wonder if there is someone out there, in the early days or early years of this insanity, that might read this and gain clarity and courage.  I’m blogging for her.

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6 Responses to Life circles

  1. I understand your impulse to feel guilty but I think that guilt is not particularly useful in this situation. If feeling guilty leads one to change behaviors or conditions over which one has control so that the particular problem is less likely to recur, that’s one thing. But who knows why your youngest son ended up doing what he has done? I know it’s awful to see him do things he shouldn’t and to suffer as a result, but that still doesn’t make it your fault.


  2. Married...but Lonely says:

    I’m so sorry, MLIP….My 14ish son, also the youngest, is really starting to show his temper…lady week he got mad and threw the T.V. Remote against the door, smashing it to pieces!
    And then today, he got mad because he had to load the dishwasher, and took the top rack, and slammed it back and forth a few times….and he broke it.
    It’s a brand new dishwasher, top of the line. 😦
    He had a $50.00 gift card from last year that he’s been saving…for a new video game….I now own it. After the remote control incident, I took it, and told him I’m going to use it to buy a new remote, and he’ll get whatever’s left….well, after today’s incident, he’s getting nothing back! Plus he’s doing dishes all weekend.
    His temper scares me…and I will be talking to his therapist about it in our session next week.

    Has your son been in counseling? Do you know why he has the “poor me” attitude? Is it because of his dads PA behavior? Lots of questions I know…sorry!

    I like how your other son got you out of the house for a walk…that was so sweet of him…a kind young man. How has your Pa husband handled this? Is he any support at all?

    And yes, please don’t feel guilty…we are doing the best we can, in an extremely difficult situation. :/

    I’m praying for you and your son, hoping he will come home, and make things right.


    • Married...but Lonely says:

      *last week


      • chosetobehappy says:

        Married: teenagers are angry young people to begin with, good thing that you take him to the therapist, mine was very angry as well as a teen, he’s better now, some will outgrow it and giving him consequences for his actions instead of using his words hopefully will serve to show him that he cannot and should not get away with breaking things and being violent. He needs to learn to “say” what’s wrong not “act” what’s wrong. Good luck to you and don’t give up.


  3. Enough Already says:

    I am so very sorry for the painful times you’re enduring and for your children. That must be a terribly difficult thing to do and I can only imagine the range of feelings you’re going through. All I can say is that my prayers go out to you, and thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, us. You are like a guiding light, leading me out of this darkness and away from him*.


  4. chosetobehappy says:

    Geez, it’s coming at you from all sides. You know, as mothers, we can only raise our children to the best of our abilities with the bagage that comes from our own childhood along with the status of our relationship with our spouses (or lack there of) as well as any outside support that comes our way and in the environment that we live in. Our kids are not going to be perfect, they are born with their own little personality from the minute of conception, and they may blame us for this and that, but if you do your very best, than you should tell yourself that you did just that, your best. All mothers feel guilty about something at some point, and it’s human nature to err, we are unfortunately not born perfect, God knows this and He forgives and loves us anyway. Just the fact that one of your kids is speaking to you about you not feeling guilty should be enough to let you know, that you must have done something right otherwise they would all be againts you, and believe me there are extremely rotten parents out there dear, and by the way you write, I know you are not one of those. Give yourself a break, time heals all things.


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