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I think I'm discarding my son

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I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Spaced » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:32 pm

He's 20, came to live with me a few years ago after spending most of his life with his mother since we split up. He's exhibiting irresponsible and self-destructive attitudes and behaviour that's cost him a couple of jobs and landed him in hospital a couple of times. Basically he smokes too much weed, hates the idea of working for a living, doesn't take work seriously, and has a kind of "meh, so what" attitude to most things. He thinks life should be about doing what you want instead of maintaining a healthy balance between work and play.

I've tried, along with his mother, to get him on a path that's not going to lead him to homelessness or a generally crappy life. I want him to be fully and responsibly independent. But you know how there's that one guy in your peer group who never has any money and becomes a loser/stoner type while everyone else moves on upwards? If he doesn't change he's going to be that guy. And it hurts to say that, because I know he's a good person. I'm already seeing it start to happen.

All this may change as he gets older. But my issue right now is that I feel like I've stopped caring about him. He's lied one too many times, and his behaviour and attitudes to life exasperate me. It's like my brain has decided, "You know what, fck this sh1t". Tonight when he left to go visit a friend I watched him leave and honestly I felt like I couldn't give a sh1t if he doesn't come back. I looked at him tonight and I felt nothing, absolutely nothing.

I don't want this to happen but I don't know what to do about it. For any nons out there, discarding isn't a deliberate act, it's something that happens in the mind and there's no control over it, it just happens. Like maybe one day you'll put on your favourite music and after a couple of seconds you turn it off because for some reason you just can't listen to it anymore. When I've discarded people before it's permanent. I don't want this to happen with my son.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Akuma » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:08 am

First I dont think this is devaluation, as you seem ambivalent. Devaluation is a splitting thing and I dont see this in your writing at all. What I see seems pretty neurotic (aka normal) to me and I think happens to a lot of people who have some resignation grow in them over time.
But I also dont see the problem. You dont need to feel something for someone else to be helpful to them. I am regularly buying food for my grandmother for example, its a 60min walk and I do it eventhough I dont feel anything for her, at least consciously. I just think its the right thing to do as the others that should be doing it often are not.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Evade » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:27 pm

Wow. I didn't know discarding was a thing...

A similar thing happened to me and my younger brother, but the dynamic was obviously different. I did discard him, I hate to say. It went on for about eight years. Then he turned himself around, now we're really close, way closer than I ever thought we'd be, have been for over ten years. I hate that I did it, though. So, for me at least, it's not always permanent.

I also agree with Akuma. It shouldn't stop you trying to help your son. My mother-in-law lives with us, can't stand her, feel nothing for her, but I still help her a lot, kinda have to, out of duty, but I enjoy doing it too mostly.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Psycho Delica » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:58 am

What has your relationship been like with your son up until now? Has it generally been a close loving relationship, or has it been strained all along? Why did he move out from his mothers to live with you?

I don't want to point the finger or anything, but a child's upbringing, home life and role models play a very big role in how the child is programmed and can influence the paths they go down. He may go down this path initially, but at 20 still being so young and with his whole life still ahead of him he has still a lot of time to also turn things around. This though wont happen probably if he is being treated with contempt from his parents.

A lot of young guys at his age go through this partying phase, but a lot of them are also battling some sort of mental health issue like depression and anxiety just to mention a couple common ones.

You say he is a good person, well then there is something going on with him to cause the negative behaviors.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby BadShrimp » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:44 pm

I fully support you discarding your son. Once he is homeless, he will learn what landed him there.

I know too many parents with 30 year-old kids who still live at home. As a result, the parents have basically created a 30 year-old baby unwilling to work, or contribute anything to the household.

By allowing your son to live with you, you are enabling and supporting his behavior.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Philonoe » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:03 am

Hi Spaced,

Your post moved me much. Maybe because it's very simple and honest. Maybe because it resonates with own life.

Relations between fathers and son are a mystery for me (i'm a woman). I imagine that being despised by his father is extremely difficult for a man.
I don't know what is worse. Having to go through that experience or no seeing them at all.
I suppose it depends on how things are said.

But you know how there's that one guy in your peer group who never has any money and becomes a loser/stoner type while everyone else moves on upwards? If he doesn't change he's going to be that guy. And it hurts to say that, because I know he's a good person. I'm already seeing it start to happen.

Well, i read that he's a nice guy (like other posters).
The world has changed. It's not easy to become independent. It seems to me that society is changing and it can be more strategic to have people around and help each other then invest all energy in a job that one can lost at any moment :|



I don't know what advice to give. Maybe the best is to be deeply honest with oneself - which you seem to be.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby Spaced » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:26 pm

Thanks for your replies. I imagine some might be thinking that I'm exhibiting typical narcissistic behaviours towards him, making him feel bad etc, but I have been careful not to say things that would destroy his self-confidence or give him the impression that I don't care anymore. Obviously it's possible that I'm subconsciously giving these signals away - I am self-aware about my narcissism but that doesn't mean I'm in complete control of it.

My relationship with him has always been very good. His mother is definitely borderline, and it's because of a decline in their relationship that he came to live with me. He always preferred staying at mine because things were so stress-free between us. Everything was great with him until he started smoking weed (while still at his mother's), I think he did it to numb himself from the $#%^ he got from his mother. I definitely think he needs therapy to unpick that that part of his life, but at the moment he doesn't feel like it would be helpful.

I don't want to make him homeless, as I don't see the point in it. If he has a weed habit and unresolved issues then being made homeless will almost certainly send him on a downward spiral.

My issue is that I'm a control freak and having difficulty accepting that I can't control my son's life and put him on a better path than the one he's on at the moment. I like everything to be done my way, and when I can't make that happen it frustrates me a lot. Children often rebel against their parents, but due to my personality disorder I react to that much more personally and see it as a challenge to my personal authority instead of a natural thing between parent and child.
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Re: I think I'm discarding my son

Postby realityhere » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:59 pm

Your son is only 20, at that experimental stage in his life but not yet mature enough to see what his escapism creates. Try to see his positive qualities and encourage whatever talents or interests he has or develops. He likely felt unappreciated at his mother's home.

Can you do some dad-son things like a woodshop project, tinkering with a car engine, hiking, camping, a morning run, etc to get him out of the house and off his weed fog? It may mean a lot to him that you include him in some things in your life, such activity may start a gentle conversation to understand the direction he's going and possibly jog his mind to do something productive for a change. Just don't force it, make it an invitation to join you and leave it up to him. You can't make his decisions for him and I understand it's a real challenge for you with the disorder you have to resist exerting control. Are there other ways to relate to your son without your expectations of him for success and independence?
AWAY from mod duties, please contact another moderator.
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