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My story

Started by Boudica, November 03, 2014, 07:50:48 am

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My eldest son has all the classic traits of a narcissist. He is also a sexual predator and misogynist.  His hatred of me began to surface when he was ten years old.  Having grown up in an abusive home with a father that had the exact same personality, his cruelty and sneering disregard was (sadly) normal. Coupled to the guilt I felt over his having been molested at a daycare when he was a toddler, it overwhelmed my judgment.  I was not as proactive as I should have been and it took me many years to realize the depth of the abnormal behavior since much of his predatory activities was kept secret from me.  But, in all honesty, I probably wouldn't have believed it.  I mean, the red flags were there, I just always rationalized them away.

He was horribly abusive to his brother and sister.  (I would discover five years ago that he sexually abused his sister and, I suspect - his younger brother.)  We tried everything as he grew up, even considered sending him away to a military-style school to protect the other two from his rages.  But in the end, I couldn't do that.  He was my son and I loved him.  I thought with enough love, and talking and teaching we could get through it.  After all, I had not only survived abuse (mental, sexual, physical and emotional), but I had actively worked to overcome it.  I can see now that it was pure arrogance on my part.

So, I struggled to raise this violent, a-social child in an atmosphere of unconditional love. I held him responsible for the things I knew he did and tried to teach him to be straightforward, honest, compassionate and accountable.  It was like pouring kerosene on a bonfire. The more I tried to understand and teach him empathy, fairness, coping skills and love, the deeper his hatred of me went.  By the time he was 19, his father and I were struggling on the brink of divorce due to the stress in the family manifesting in extra marital affairs and his disrespect and disgust of me when through the roof.  He blamed his father's infidelity on me and held me accountable for my own.

A little over four years ago, people began warning me of the horrible, violent things he would say about me, but by that time, I had come to accept his hatred and began putting up boundaries.  My marriage was stronger and better than it had been to start with.   I no longer tolerated the majority of his verbal abuse and hyper-critical treatment, but I was still locked in "mom" mode.  Whenever he needed something, I dropped everything and ran. (A blatant attempt to address the lack of mothering I received as a child.)  After his divorce (for chronic infidelity) I did everything he asked for him and his children.
Two years ago, my best friend of twenty years, a single mother who closer to me than anyone, came and warned me that he had attempted to get her drunk and seduce her. She has known him since he was ten years old.  She knew he had sexually molested his sister for over six years (a fact he does not know that I am aware of now) and that he had a long record of sexually exploiting and abusing women.  She also told me of the horrible things he had said about me and how much he wanted to hurt me. It was all he talked about.

Well, last year, almost to the day, she came and confessed that she slept with him.  She said she deliberately went out to find him and have sex with him because he was attractive and she was lonely.  She was in a bad place having lost one of her children to death and her husband to another woman and felt that by sleeping with him she would affirm her desirability.
It destroyed our family.  She wasn't just my best friend.  She was also my husband's dearest friend.  She was the auntie to my children.  Auntie to my grandchildren.  When my son found out his father and I knew he went volcanic.  He blamed me.  He sent me horrible messages filled with hate and blame for everything I had done to him as a child.  He blamed me for the person he was and the things he had done.   He has completely cut off myself and my husband.   We are not allowed near him or his children because "I was not going to have the chance to taint them the way I had him."

When this came out, my husband, who has a stress-triggered illness, was stunned by what our friend had confessed.  After that people started coming forward and he finally found out what kind of man our son really was.  He was devastated to hear about the long list of young women that my son had exploited and abused.  He was nearly destroyed when he found out about our daughter's abuse.  He has been very ill for over a year now and cannot seem to get a handle on his symptoms.
Within two months of this my daughter's marriage fell apart.  She had married an excessively controlling man (a watered-down version of her brother) and after five years she could take no more.  She left him to become a single mother with three children.  She has not confronted her brother about the abuse and still has infrequent contact with him, but she is going to counseling to begin the process of addressing it.  We are fully supporting her in this.
Two months after that my other son, who had married a mentally-ill, violently controlling young woman (reflection of his brother in many ways) from an even worse childhood than I had experienced, discovered that not only had his wife slept with his brother (more than one sexual contact over a span of years), she was also having affairs with her co-workers. They split up but are attempting to rebuild their family.  However, during his time away from home, he moved into an apartment next door to his brother who managed to convince him that all his marriage problems were my fault. It was not hard for him to do because this young woman has worked overtime to force everyone but her, their children and my husband out of my son's life.  Her dislike of me was instantaneous and deep, though she adores my husband and thinks it is reciprocated.  She even sat down with me once to let me know she did not approve of the fact that I felt free to hug my son or ruffle his hair when I walked past.  She called my affection unnatural and inappropriate.  In alignment with his brother, she has convinced him that the reasons she cheated on him and lied to him were basically my fault.  When he went back to his wife, he came to see me and said that I was no longer allowed at his home, at family functions or around his wife because my "negativity" was destroying his marriage.   

Now, the only children we have contact with are our daughter and her children.  My husband is struggling with his illness, his pain, his confusion, and I - I really don't know...  My deepest fear has always been abandonment.  It was one of the greatest weapons my parents used against me.  Some days I feel okay.  Some days I just want to die.  Suicide is out of the question, however.  I've seen what it does to those left behind and I will not willingly be the cause of my husband's further heartbreak.

So, I am struggling to understand, take responsibility for my part and release the guilt that doesn't belong.  I am trying to accept the mistakes I feel I made and let go of the whole thing.  We are working towards building a life that does not include our sons and their children.

I apologize for the abruptness of this.  And the length.  I had to force it out.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to go be violently unwell.


B - I hope writing that helped. My love goes out to you. We are an extended family, of sorts.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Boudica, Hope you are all right. And hope sharing this terribly devastating story might release some of your pain, and send it way up yonder into the galaxies, where it will never return again.

Have you heard these quotes before?

The way people treat you, is a statement about who they are as a human being; it is not a statement about you. Stop spending time and thoughts with those who suck the happiness out of you; go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated.

To me, those are the answers in a nut shell. I know -- easier said than done -- but all you need to do is take that first baby step to a new life; YOUR life.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne


Thank you both for your kindness.  Writing this was an experience.  As a writer, words are very powerful to me.  Trying to put it into a readable format made it even more real.  It forced me to put things into perspective again.  My head understands the type of man my son is, but my heart struggles with the love I still have for him.   It's strange because I love a person that doesn't exist yet I cannot seem to stop.  I am grateful that he is not in my life, but there is still a part of me that aches because of it. I just can't find it in my heart to hate him, even after all the horrid things he has done.

As for my other son, dealing with the events surrounding his brother seems to have laid the ground work in this situation.  I am going to respect his demands.  And, sadly, I am somewhat relieved.  Because watching how this young woman has dismantled and destroyed him and how she is passing along her mania and mental illness as "normal" to their children, hurts too much to bear anymore.  There is literally nothing I can do.

I guess at this point, I want my head to stop spinning.  I want my heart to stop hurting.  I want to let go of it all and sink into a life in which my husband and I are not longer bleeding all over the place.  And I want to find some way to stop feeling so guilty every time he cries for the loss of his grandchildren.  Since they have both cited me as the reason they have left, I can't help but feel that I cost my husband his family.


B - I don't think most of us ever come anywhere near hating out adult children or even wanting to. We don't like who and what they have become because we know they had a lot to say about that. You are taking the first steps toward healing. You matter. You have completed your parenting and beyond your hopes and expectations...and the abuse that came in their place, is freedome. You did your best. We all did. There are a lot of other contributing factors that don't involve us so guilt isn't logical. What does make sense, is creating a full life...since it a gift we still have the opportunity to enjoy. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama