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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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My son is an only child. His Dad met a woman 6 months after

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My son is an only child. His Dad met a woman 6 months after we broke up then emigrated a year later and cut our son from their lives as she wanted it. I raised my son giving him a good life. At 14 we moved as he had been mugged twice involving knife yhreat.He then started taking drugs and became just awful. Swearing and being so foul you can't imagine. That lasted 18 months where he would abuse me verbally and trash our home every day. We have no close family so he felt he could I guess. He found God and things got great. He is now 20 years old and has fallen in love. We are back to verbal rudeness and aggression and I bearly hear from him. He has given up religion completely and has offended me by chatting one minute and when I returned to converse 2 yes 2 minutes later they were having sex in my home. Blatent disreguard for decency and repect gone. She screams at him and family members frequently. I can't believe we are back to him hating me!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I'm assuming he is not living with you at this time? Do you have a specific question you would like to ask, that I can answer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, he doesn't live with me as he is now at university, 2nd year. He and I would have chatted about lots of aspects of uni life in frequent calls. Now it's 3 min once a week, when I call him. I'm looking for information to help understand this behavior change and how to react to his coldness or rudeness.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Your son is obviously, unsettled in his life i.e., he may be having substance abuse problems, or things are going poorly with a girlfriend; he may not be happy at school. The way lots of kids deal with these situations is to externalize blame onto parents, and others around them. This helps them escape responsibility for their own behavior (everyone else is hassling them or irritates them with questions, indirect expectations etc.) The anger and hostility are ways for him to create a wall between you because he really doesn't want you to know that things are bad (he is embarrassed), and he acts 'as if' others are responsible for his problems. So this anger stuff and emotional distance is his best way of coping----it almost certainly has nothing to do with you, how you have treated him, anything you've done wrong, etc. You haven't done anything 'wrong'. But you are simply on the receiving end of his dysfunctional coping behaviors right now.

You should continue to contact him as you normally would, continue to show interest, and not complain or object to abbreviated phone calls. You should call him on his rudeness however. He can be cold and aloof, but tell him that certain remarks or criticisms are "unkind and uncalled for". when they occur. Then, drop it and move on to the next topic of conversation. Your son is immature emotionally and hasn't learned mature, adult ways of coping with emotional hardship, disappointment etc. If he complains about problems, tell him to perhaps talk to someone at the university counseling center---it is free. Tell him, "Maybe it would help to bounce your thoughts and ideas off someone who doesn't know you at all and who can be honest and objective, and still give you complete confidentiality in what you tell them". Right now, just being consistent with him is all-important. Don't take things personally---it isn't about you, it is about his emotional immaturity and lack of coping skills for dealing with stress, disappointment, frustration. He will likely improve somewhat as he gets older and has more life-learning opportunities. But he will 'revert' back to old coping approaches when he is under considerable stress, is feeling quite depressed, etc.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
I see you read my last post. Any follow up response or comments? Questions? If not, please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the page. Thanks.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
Dr. Michael and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Very insightful and great advice. I have real concerns with how I deal with his lack of contact. I've saw him twice in the last 7 months. The first lasted 30 min after I travelled 12 hours by coach and ferry to drop off some thing at uni for him. He expected me to walk 20 min with him and four large cases and a sprained ankle injury, to his flat while he barked abuse at me such as I'm lazy and fat and the journey was not iring as I has just sat on my ass. I had travelled from 3am. The second was 36 hours at xmas. I was left alone with no tv or music even, while banned from the kitchen Dinner at 630pm. It was the worst day of my life. His girl was outragously rude to me to my face and was screaming at him. They talked non stop about her terrible lazy flatmate( they bully him). Anyway I said I was leaving a day early as I had aXXXXXahead and was thrown out while he screamed I was horrible, no one likes me and even my best friend thinks I'm horrible and rude. Not a word of truth. This was all for her benefit. How do you deal with this. I cannot go back there and I don't think he will come home. I don't want to lose my son. We had got on so well the 3 1/2 years before this relationship. He doesn't take any drugs and doesn't drink very much both of which nearly killed his future. I believe this girl is the new drug.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
You say you don't want to lose your son but your last post shows he treats you in an absolutely terrible, disrespectful manner. I think what you are actually saying is that you want is a son who treats you with reasonable kindness and respect. This is perfectly normal, rational and reasonable to want this. However, at present, your son, in his current state of mind can't provide you with the kind treatment and respect a mother deserves. He acts as if you are an imposition in his life, it would seem!! He treats you in a way that is nearly unforgivable---at least it would be in the eyes of most people. I don't think there is anything you can do to change his behavior or cause him to think differently about your relationship as long as his current life situation is, as it is-----he is with this woman and she would seem to support or incubate his terrible attitude toward you.

Your son may be 'lost' to you for a time but there are very often life situations that change and with these changes, people change most, when their circumstances change. Here is the advice I offered in my first post to you and I'll repeat it here:

"You should continue to contact him as you normally would, continue to show interest, and not complain or object to abbreviated phone calls. You should call him on his rudeness however. He can be cold and aloof, but tell him that certain remarks or criticisms are "unkind and uncalled for". when they occur. Then, drop it and move on to the next topic of conversation. Your son is immature emotionally and hasn't learned mature, adult ways of coping with emotional hardship, disappointment etc. If he complains about problems, tell him to perhaps talk to someone at the university counseling center---it is free. Tell him, "Maybe it would help to bounce your thoughts and ideas off someone who doesn't know you at all and who can be honest and objective, and still give you complete confidentiality in what you tell them". Right now, just being consistent with him is all-important. Don't take things personally---it isn't about you, it is about his emotional immaturity and lack of coping skills for dealing with stress, disappointment, frustration. He will likely improve somewhat as he gets older and has more life-learning opportunities. But he will 'revert' back to old coping approaches when he is under considerable stress, is feeling quite depressed, etc."

Best wishes to you.

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