Feeling like I've failed my son :((11 Posts)
Looking for some advice if you don't mind - bit long, sorry.
My son is 19 and lives with me. I don't have a partner or any other children. I get on well with my Ex - my son's dad who is remarried and has other children.
My son has, throughout his life had everything he wants, a solid education, a girlfriend, studying for A levels and looking forward to university. Then he got friendly with a group of people who pretty much smoked canabbis all day every day.
Two years on, he scraped through his A levels, has lost his girlfriend (I found out recently it was due to the canabbis) and he decided not to go to uni. He's now floating, getting up mid afternoon, going out with his mates, I come home from work and he's not in, he says he'll be home for dinner, he turns up about 2 in the morning, leaves his dinner, grabs snacks from the fridge and goes to bed. And so the cycle continues the next day. I hardly ever see him and when I do he appears spaced out and slurs his words. Having checked his facebook which he left logged on, I can see he's pretty much doing what his friends do every day. He has no interest in looking for a job even though I've helped him with his CV and tried to find jobs for him to apply for - he's not interested. All he seems to want from me is money.
I spoke to his Dad and said I needed some help to help my son. We decided we'd talk to him and he was given the option of staying living with me, but would need to seek help for his canabbis problem, drop his friends so it stops the temptation and actively look for a job. Or he could go and live with his Dad for a while, change of scene, away from his friends, and his Dad would try and help him find a job. If he chose neither of these options, we told him he would need to leave home completely. We both made it clear how much we loved him and wanted to help.
He admitted everything about the canabbis, and after some thought decided he'd move in with his Dad for a while to remove himself from the friend situation for a while. A fresh start. He left this morning.
I know this is the most sensible option for my boy and I feel, very mature on his part. So why am I sitting here this evening, my heart feels like its breaking, in floods of tears feeling like I've failed my son? I love him more than anything and right now just want him home. But I know he'll just go back to his old ways.......so my question is could I have done/be doing any more to help him? Have I just pushed him away and made him think i don't care or want him? Any advice would be gratefully received thx
You haven't failed him!! You've done the best thing you possibly could for him, you've put his needs first like a wonderful mum, you sound lovely and your son will know one day what an amazing mum you are for doing this for him!
Oh you poor thing. Here have .
Now - you have done THE BEST THING for your son. Seriously. Your ds is so lucky to have both his parents behind him (although he doesn't know it atm). To make a break from the familiar surroundings will be hard for all of you, but he will thank you one day.
You've NOT pushed him away - you have given him the chance to get his life back. He was given the options, and he chose the best one. You haven't failed him at all.
I suspect its been a really tough time, and now he's moved out, you have an empty house. Don't worry. He'll be back. Just give him support and some headspace to get his act together.
I don't have any words of wisdom I'm afraid (DC primary school age), but having read your post I had to reply to say that it sounds like you have done the most loving, selfless thing for your son under the circumstances.
It sounds like a really difficult and sad situation, sending you unmumsnetty hugs.
You sound like a lovely mum op - hopefully he will make a good fresh start now.
You have made the most selfless act possible, you have put his needs above your own. That makes you a success, not a failure. I wish there was a hankie icon, bit have a hug instead xx
You'll be surprised what a good thing this will be for both of you. Seriously, I did the same thing for different reasons, and it was definitely the best thing.
When they're little we solve all their problems and fix everything for them and try to make sure they're happy. As they get older and make their own choices, we can't do that for them any more, and they need to take responsibility for their own actions and what happens as a result. It's really hard being a parent of a child who's making bad choices, because you can't stop them. You love them and want them to be happy, as you always have done; but you have to come to terms with the fact that you can't 'fix it' for them any more - they have to do it themselves. It feels like a bereavement, I think - and I'd guess that's why you're feeling like you do.
You haven't failed him at all. It just feels like it because you've done as much as you can (and probably more), and now it's up to him...
Fwiw, I think your son is lucky. I have spent most of the last year desperate to get my son away, for exactly the same reasons... But his father is useless and he has had no other options... It has been a dreadful time. I think getting your son away is very definitely a good idea, even though it hurts.
You have made a very tough decision (for you) but one with entirely your son's best interests at heart. I hope I would be strong enough to do the same.
I hope it works for him and you. Come and tell us.
You haven't failed him, you've raised a son who has been able to take responsibility for himself, and able to work with his parents to make a positive choice to start to get himself out of a v difficult situation. I find that impressive.
You haven't failed him at all you have done the best for your son by giving him clear options and being clear that you will always be there for him. It's great that you are still able to talk with your x and parent him together good luck
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