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adult son tells of years of abuse

Started by kaylark, September 25, 2017, 09:48:18 pm

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Three nights ago my adult son told me about years of mental abuse by his father. We divorced 25 years ago. We divorced because he was physically abusive towards me. There were no signs of physical abuse towards the kids. My daughter stopped seeing her dad at age 12 but her younger brother continued. The dad had one evening per week visitation.
His dad spent years telling my son that I had tried to kill him, the dad. There are stories about my drugging him with my mother's help and then laughing as he lay on the floor struggling for life. There are stories about attacking him with an ax. Stories about cyanide. It goes on.
My son has struggled with depression for years. I have made multiple attempts to get  him into therapy and spent thousands of dollars on therapists. Throughout his childhood I made multiple attempts to find out what was bothering him. He never told me or any therapist.
Now it has all come pouring out. He is filled with hate for me. He feels I should have known and saved him. At the same time he still cannot figure out the truth. He feels his childhood was taken from him. There is no rationality to his accusations. His thinking is confused and emotionally raw.
I am devastated. I called my health provider to find a therapist, one for me, one for my son, again. There is a 3 week waiting list. I am lost. Any advice is welcome.


Hi K and welcome to WWU!  We ask that all new member visit our "Open Me First" page and read our forum agreement.  There is nothing wrong with your post but we are a monitored website and we want you to be sure that we are a good fit for your needs.

Many of the women here have had their children blame them for everything wrong in their lives and they will, I am sure, offer better suggestions than I have to offer.  My DS shut me out of his life and the injustice of that consumed me.  It became the only thing I talked about, thought about and worried about.  It almost ruined my marriage and it definitely affected my relationships with friends and coworkers.  After all who wants to talk with a woman who only whines about her DS?  Finally I realized that although I could not change the way my DS felt I could change how I reacted to it.  I deserve to have a happy life, right?  I started focusing on the things that made me happy.  Every time I thought about my DS I actively wrenched my thoughts back to things that I enjoy.  I now call thoughts of that bad relationship "the abyss" because they suck me into a life of pain and darkness.  I still visit the abyss from time to time but I no longer live there.

So for now I think you need to think about things that make you happy and stop trying to make sense out of the situation.  You cannot change it and if you let it invade your life it will make your life worse, not better.  It is a tough thing to do but you can change your focus and what you focus on expands.  Good luck!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

not like the movies

Hello Kaylark. During the 3 week waiting period read as much as you can here. I don't often post but I do often read.
Your situation is more common than you might realize. That was a discovery I made many years ago. So many reasons and different life situations and experiences that produce this condition. I had to invest less in the "why" and more in how to survive the pain and craziness. It's often unexplainable. Here I am years later after the first round of a devastating knockout. I am surving and much happier than I ever envisioned. After a year of numbness and confusion trying to make sense of it, I moved to making sense of my life after parenting. When my daughter cycles around to another episode of devaluing me, I am no longer immobilized by the pain and hurt. I chose to believe my own story of my parenting years. Was I perfect? Nope. But I was a pretty darn good mother. I did my best and my best looked completely different in my rear view mirror than my daughter's. I had an ex that slandered me and tried to plant insecurity in the children. For some unknown reason it took hold in one. It is very damaging. I have greater boundaries today and I decide how much damage I will allow to continue. Keep reading here and know you are not alone.
When you pick up a stick you get both ends!


Hi Kaylark,
Welcome to WWU.  I'm sorry for what you've been through.  I don't have anything to add to the above posts, which were wise and encouraging.  But I do want to second the suggestion of reading other posts.  I know that I spent a few months when I first landed here on the forum, soaking up all the wisdom in the archives.  Although few posters had experienced a situation similar to  mine, the ideas for navigating the minefield and arriving on the other side of the darkness were remarkably similar.  I wrote down some of the most meaningful quotes and referred to them when I needed some encouragement or redirection.  It was comforting to know that I wasn't alone.  Neither are you. Wishing you well!


Kate 123: After discussing your response with Luise, it has been removed in the hopes that you will choose to rewrite it in a gentler vein. Our Forum Agreement requires that we pass on being judgmental and further states: "We offer each other our 'first person' experience, not advice."  You have many wonderful insights to offer, please try to offer them from the first person in the future.   Thanks.

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


K, welcome. I'm so sorry you are going through this very painful situation, but I'm glad you are here. As the others have said, keep reading and posting. (((hugs)))
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb