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Physically Attacked by 25 yr.old Son

Started by Mom of 1, August 19, 2016, 12:57:32 pm

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Mom of 1

August 19, 2016, 12:57:32 pm Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 06:38:16 pm by luise.volta
I have not posted here before, however I have read the many wise women who offer suggestions & comfort. I told my son it was foolish of him regarding a decision he made; obviously without thinking that put my husband & I in a financial lurch to help him. He swore at me and called me horrible names. He has been disrespectful on occasions before, & while voicing our preference he not do so, it would just end in retreat to cooling off. Being upset enough from putting us in a difficult financial position, when he said this , I told him to never talk that way to me or his Father again, & tried to slap his face. He surprised me by physically raising his hand to block me & grabbed me, calling me terrible curse names; & threw me across the room! I was enraged & said how dare you! Ok, foolishly, I tried to slap him again. He then threw me against a wall twice, grabbed my arms & put me on my knees, threatening me! My husband was just coming in the house & we kicked him out permanently. I am in disbelief that this ever happened, & my heart is broke. We have not ever been abusive to him in any way throughout his life. In this moment, it has changed all of our lives & cannot ever be undone. He has a job, is going to school, & most likely went to stay with his girlfriend. He has unbelievably tried to justify himself in a later conversation with his father, making things up to make himself the victim! I am so hurt. We don't want him to live here anymore, but are wondering what to do (nothing for some time, I think) eventually to salvage a relationship with him somehow for the rest of our lives. Forgiveness on our part is cautious, but we believe will come. We are just concerned that this horrible incident could sever any decent type of a relationship with him for the future. We are still in disbelief, hurt, & angry even. I know this is serious, but did not want police involved. Hoping somehow to come to terms all around. Besides the shocker of it, does anyone have anything to say besides therapy, or police? He is not on drugs, but takes many supplements for body building. He is very strong. I appreciate all of you. Thank you.


Welcome, M. We ask all new members to go to out Home Page and under Read Me First, to read the post placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website. I modified your post because we allow no strong language here...and any abbreviations we can figure out are also deemed strong language. (You will find other sites where this is not true, if that is the way you choose to express yourself.)

I had some really serious issues with my oldest son and know how painful it is to take a stand. What I did, was to do my best to look honestly at how I contributed to the conflict because I could change that. I couldn't change his attitudes.

You got into a financial issue. My guess is no one forced you to do that. You, as the true adult, made a financial choice that hasn't worked out and you are responsible for doing that in spite of how your son has further complicated it. In the physical fight, my take is you are the one that got physical, not once but twice. Again, no matter how he reacted, you stated it and you kept it going.

My suggestion is that you let go of disapproving of his behavior which was totally unacceptable...and focus on your own. At present you are criticizing him for what you did yourself. I see it as a time for both of you to cool off. I would contact him and apologize for having financial dealings with him and let him know you won't do that again. At the same time I would apologize for trying to slap him and let him now that was not adult behavior and made things worse.
He isn't lily-white in any of it...but he needs a role model to help him learn...not an out of control adult.

This is just my take. Others here made approach your post differently. If you have read our site previously, you know that's how it works here. Mutual respect, sharing and caring...and our own personal take is what WWU is about.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Mom of 1

Yes, Thank you for the edit. Sorry. And Touche. I should not have tried to slap his face, however it had happened before that he had spoke to us in that manner. It was just at a breaking point. At 25 years old & being told it wasn't acceptable to speak to us in that manner before; he still does it occasionally. Would like suggestions on how to better address it, as well as to get him to stop it permanently. You know, it's a stress when today's kids are taking longer to fly the nest. Also, my husband said to me he never should become physical with a woman, no matter what she says, especially his mother. I agree. We don't know how to make him understand the importance of this. Of course we are concerned about his relationships now & in the future because of what he did by becoming physical. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. And Luise, how old is the son you had some difficulties with today, if you don't mind my asking? And his behavior towards you today? Always hoping. For all parents. Thank you.


My son died in his sleep at 52 (12 years ago) of a Sleep Apnea stroke. We had established a walking on egg shells relationship that was very difficult for both of us. He blamed me for everything bad that ever happened to him.

My view if that if we hit someone...whatever they do is our fault, not theirs. We can't expect respect. I also don't feel we can change what another person says or does...all we can do is change our reaction to it. As I have mentioned, others here have other approaches and you may get more feed-back. I hope so. I know you are having a hard time. Hugs...

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome, Mom. I'm sorry you are dealing with this heartbreaking situation. I agree with Luise that you cannot change your son. Having expectations regarding any other person's behavior will likely lead to more heartache and pain for you. This is difficult to go through, but I believe it to be true.  :(

You mentioned your son was a bodybuilder. If he is taking steroid-type supplements to build strength, it could be affecting his emotional state. I don't think it would be wise to even ask him if he's taking anything, it's completely his business, I only bring it up to make the point that you need to be careful and not put pressure on him for your own safety and peace.

A line has been crossed, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will never again have a relationship with your DS. Give it time. The hardest thing you'll have to do now is back off, IMO. I think the financial issue should be shelved for now. I hope it isn't too burdensome for you.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I'm sorry you are having these issues, but I have to agree with Luise.  You admitted you tried twice to slap him.  You attacked first so he has every right to defend himself in my mind.  Yes, a man shouldn't hit a woman, but that doesn't give a woman a free pass to be physical with them either.  I see many, many times a day where it is the female that is the aggressor in my line of work, and people think the man should know better.  I know this sounds harsh of me, but that is totally unfair to put anyone in the position of having to defend themselves from physical contact.

I think the cooling off period for both of you is what is needed.  And I agree with Pen that steroids will do a number on someone and I wouldn't put myself back in a same room with him for now.  You've said your peace, the ball is in his court if he wants to continue the relationship in a civil manner.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Green Thumb

I am sorry to hear your pain, Mom of 1. What we get on this forum is some honest truth and support. And that is what is most valuable, having someone point out where we might have gone wrong ourselves so we can fix our own shortcomings. Everyone has them and if we don't own our own stuff, we can't fix our relationship situations.

I have to agree with the others on taking ownership for your own part in this fiasco. It is not helpful to enable our children in any way. They need to learn self management, coping skills, and independence. They do not need mom and dad financing their endeavors at age 25. Whatever financial "help" you gave this man, turned out badly and now is the time to learn the lesson of never again. The problem could be you, it could be him, but no more financial support. I am sorry, this sound very harsh. Its not good for you, its not good for him. (BTW, we just got suckered into purchasing a $1500 car for one son who has a personality disorder and mental illness and it turned into a fiasco, with many arguments and anger! Some times you just gotta not do it and take the heat and their anger. Enabling always backfires.)

Dr Phil says we teach people how to treat us. So what have you taught him about how to treat you? Are you dignified and expect respect and are you respectful to other people? You asked how to avoid the escalation of arguments. It begins with our own self control. If you can't control yourself, you are modeling this aggression and disrespect to others.

First we have to decide what is our trigger. Sit down with a piece of paper and do some soul searching. What is it that makes you get angry. For me, it is being disrespected when I feel less than. I hear some of this in your post. I have learned to walk away or shut up totally when I feel myself losing my cool -- have had lots of practice with my family and I do get angry, so I know how hard this is!

Second, vow to step back from this trigger and detach emotionally when the argument starts. Do not allow yourself to get angry or engage. Walk outside, go to the bathroom, whatever it takes to break the cycle. Understand that you don't have the right to control his behavior, lifestyle, money management, anything. He won't  love you more when you entangle yourself by financing his needs or projects, which will only bring continued heartache and conflict. He needs to make his own mistakes and be on his own.

Third, it takes two to make an argument, you don't have to engage or defend yourself or even get angry. We only control ourselves, we never can control other people.