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Thank you for your questions. I have a few questions before answering your inquiries. How would you describe your relationship with your son?
This is the thing that is suddenly most distressing to me. He doesn't know how to argue. He doesn't want to listen. This is a lifelong way of his, and I generally just let him spout off. I bought a house a few years ago that we both lived in and it is a big problem now as neither of us is working enough to pay the mortgage. In the last few years he assumed a lot of responsibility for the house, and I know he feels I don't appreciate what he's done. I have told him that I appreciate him and have told him not to feel guilty about what is happening to us. I don't blame him at all. But, he recently accused me of not taking his advice for the things I need to do to get a job. I haven't done as much as I should, because I've been bogged down with paperwork trying to get a mortgage modification. It looks like after all I've done, I will lose the house. I put $44,000 down when I bought it to get the payments lower. It was supposed to be for my retirement. Now, I will never be able to retire. Still, I don't blame my son. He does blame me. He made many accusations, I yelled at him, he says I swore at him, (I don't know if I did swear). I got defensive. Later, I went to see him. He verbally attacked me again. That time, I was prepared, and just let him vent. I didn't yell, didn't swear, but I did cry. I never heard my son accuse me like this before. I am devastated. I called a few days later and left a simple message, for him to call me when he could. It's now been a week. I still cry whenever I think about this.
As for government help with my mortgage, that is what I have been dealing with. Actually, people appealing for mortgage modifications are doing so through their lender (mine is a subsidiary of Lehman Bros. and my lawyer says my lender is "evil." I am forced to deal with an un-principled corporation. I have submitted probably 300 pages of documents now. I am having a hard time deciding whether I should give up the house (probably they will foreclose in the next month), and spend all my time looking for a job, or try again submitting more documents, which takes a lot of time to prepare and distracts me, lowers my mood, so that I can't be effective and confident for job search.
As for my son. I can write a letter. He thinks you need to think positively (The Secret) and everything will come your way. So, when I am realistic about my options, he says I shouldn't think like that. If I lose the house, he will blame me. I spent the last year studying the mortgage modification process, spent hours talking to my lender to see what could be done. The main thing is my income. (really I need retraining) I slightly increased my income, and finally was in a position to apply (realistically) for the modification. Suddenly, I lost that job. I am devastated on so many fronts. And I believe hard work is as important as positive thinking. But, as in a card game, someone has to lose. Now, it is the turn of millions of homeowners to lose their houses, not because they are not thinking positively, not because of not working hard, but due to greed of banks and lending institutions. This is not my fault. My son believes it is. I feel very disrespected, and he was not a piece of cake to raise, and I helped him later occasionally.
I am hopeful. Also apprehensive. I don't like to be accused unfairly, not allowed to respond, disrespected, abused, especially by my son. He never did this to me before. I am afraid that something not good is behind this that he's not telling me about. I'm afraid he is in some trouble. He has this belief system I mentioned. I don't believe it. It is almost like he is superstitious. If I say I am worried about my other son (Akiem) not exercising, not eating well, hypertension, the son I am concerned about- Caleb, says I shouldn't mention that worry, since it can "manifest."
There is another element to this I didn't mention. Caleb is coupled for 5 years with a woman who doesn't seem to approve of my style (somewhat old hippie, casual). She is very cosmopolitan jet-setter. She is very jealous. She has provoked many arguements with him in the past about his supposed other women. Since I recently observed my son closely when she was off on vacation, I think he is not playing around. Since I have been around more, his girlfriend has interfered with my relationship with my granddaughter (not her daughter). She seems jealous of my relationship with my granddaughter. His girlfriend indicated she didn't care if I came to Caleb's birthday dinner out. Now, I am wondering if she is jealous of my relationship with my son, and manipulating him in some way.
I don't see anything that would warrant police intervention.
Thank you for writing. I can't really tell anyone about this, except 2 women friends via email. They are worried about me, but don't know what to do. I will start the letter.
Another thought occurs to me. My son doesn't always read his email. If I leave a letter ofr mail one to him, his girlfriend will be nosey I am sure.
She seems threatened, yes. I have never been anything but supportive, friendly, with her. Now that I have experienced her subtly pushing me aside (I assure you, I am not insinuating myself inappropriately, though she has been very intrusive in my affairs). I have been feeling that my son and she are trying to be a parent to me, treating me like a child.
Here is my letter so far:
Dear Caleb,I am concerned that you haven’t called me. I am concerned about you. I’m also concerned about our relationship. I have never felt so far away from you. I don’t remember swearing AT you. I am sure I raised my voice on the phone. I am truly sorry. Nobody ever deserves to be yelled at, as you say I did to you. Now that I have a car, I am better able to visit places personally to apply for work as you said I should. You are right about this, I appreciate you telling me to do this. I don’t need you to yell at me about this. It is not helpful to me to be accused of not looking for work. It is true, I have not focussed on work, due to the several applications I’ve made now for the mortgage modification. To tell you the truth, I am now not in a good frame of mind to ace an interview. I am feeling really defeated, incompetent, all washed up. To do well in an interview I need my family to support me, to encourage me, help me network.
Yes, thank you. What about the new dynamic of me being treated like a child? While my sons were growing up, I tried to treat them in a way like adults, even when they were very young. I incrementally gave them responsibilities they were able to handle. I always tried to use the carrot, rather than stick. In short I gave them a lot of respect. I am shocked by how I am now being treated.
OK. Thank you. One last question. Can I trust St.John's Wort? I am dealing with more things I didn't mention. All of it is conspiring to get me down. I can't afford a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist. Is St.John's Wort safe, effective?
I think I may be able to patch things up to an extent with my son. I hope so. I am afraid that the way his girlfriend is, the dynamic between us, her jealousy, what I am thinking now is that I must resign myself to accepting less of a relationship with them. I can't fix the problem she has with me, as my son can't fix the problem she has with him. It is a big disappointment, since I moved to Atlanta to be closer to them. Now that I am here, I am beginning to see the problems between them, and it is spilling into my relationship with my son and granddaughter. I don't like Atlanta. I haven't seen my granddaughter for over a month, before the blow up with my son. If after a few more months like this, if I lose the house, there is no point in my being in this place where I don't feel at home in any way. Maybe I will move to a more comfortable location for me. I am always trying to bend to everyone else. I will try the federally qualified health clinic. I have asked a lot of people, and never heard of this. Thank you and your help is worth more than $22, but I really can't afford that!
Thanks Brad, It did help to correspond. Marcia