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Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I have a problem with my 47 year son. he has been to the Gulf

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I have a problem with my 47 year son. he has been to the Gulf war and I know that can lead to problems and he is ADHD and possibly asbergers. He runs hot and cold with me and his family. He doesn't seem to be able to control his temper and has no respect for me or his young family. Although he is trying very hard with his family, he sometimes has little patience with me and treats me with contempt and is verbally abusive. I don't know what I can do except confront but I know it will only be confrontational if I bring the problem face to face. Please help me as I am ready to cut him off which I know I cannot do but it is extremely stressful.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this sad, frustrating and overwhelming situation.

Customer:

thank you can you help me?

Customer:

I am still awating you reply

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I wanted to say that this is a tough situation, since your son is already a mature adult with an independent life and the issues you report do require profesisoanl support through psychological treatment, otherwise it would be unrealistic to expect he woudl get significantly better, since he need to start and commit to his rehabilitation process

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The last thing that could help a person in his shoes is to be allowed to be abusive against other people, specially those close to him, that is for sure not healthy, then a direct way you could help him is by setting healthy and clear boundaries and limits

Customer:

This is extremely difficult as most of the time he is normal and intelligent plus very intelligent so therefore understanding, he is never physically abusive only verbally. As his mother, I find his outbursts rather disconcerting to say the least.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then these strengths he has, from his intelligence from his normal behaviors, should be the very core from where he needs to work on himself, a with adequate family and professional support in order to address the serious disorders he suffer, to end every form of verbal and emotional abuse, in order to take good care of himself and of his family.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No form of abuse should be tolerated to it would enable further abuse and with it further dysfunction and distortions in his behaviors and relationships.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Joining a support group for codependency could be very helpful for you to improve these necessary skills to support him while taking good care of yourself.

Customer:

I understand what you are saying but what can I do about it as we live in a country town without much support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If there is no local professional support available, then you would have to consider professional mental health services online

Customer:

can you give me a site that I can log on to?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

There are different websites offering from individual to family counseling online via confidential interfaces. Again, he would need direct face-to-face treatment but if that is not available right now and he cannot physically have access to it, at least he would start his process this other way until you could get something better locally.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Mentaline.com

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

is one of these websites

Customer:

thankyou so much. I don't think this will help as with most people who have this problem he does not see it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I understand and agree with you, and that's why the best way you could support him is by getting support yourself to learn how to better cope with these challenges and promote his insight and willingness to change, and individual counseling could be ideal source of support for that, an online counseling could work as good as face to face support. Please consider it.

Customer:

I guess I should just give him the Aretha Franklin CD called RESPECT, it just happened to be on TV as we speak!!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He needs positive modeling, good boundaries in his relationships, to be assertively confronted when abusive and motivated to look for support.

Customer:

Thankyou so much for your advice and I do take this whole thing seriously but I must admit I have to take his problem with a little sense of humour or else I would be most depressed.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, I do support you, your first priority here is to take good care of yourself, since it is from there that you could support him as much as possible. You cannot control his rehabilitation process, but you can and need to take full control of how well you take care of your life, and by doing so you would be helping him too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please take gentle care.

Customer:

what do I do? Do I refuse to speak to him for a week or two or do I confront him with the problem of his disrespecting me as his mother?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do never suggest anybody to tolerate any form of abuse at all. The assertive, healthy and supportive approach is to assertively confront any abusive behavior right when it happens, setting and keeping a clear boundary, then taking conistent action for him to know you are being serious

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

and would not tolerate any further abuse, even when willing to support him, since support should never mean exposing ourselves to be abused, neglected, manipulated or controlled at all

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he does not respect your boundaries, please take consistent action and limit communication for him to reflect on his actions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This would be the only way for you to support him, and if every person close to him does approach him this way, then he would have concrete help to stop himself and consider changing with adequate support.

Customer:

I knew this would be your answer and of course this is the right way although when it is over the phone and not face to face I find that I cannot reply to his disrespect as I am simply stunned by his reaction. Face to face is better for me but this can lead to a verbal fight. You are right in what you say about boundaries but this would hurt him and confuse him. He loves me and I love him and this is what is so hard, when I do confront him, he really is taken aback. I must be brave enough to tell him how his actions affect me.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You bet! Your conflict happens because you truly love and care about him, but when situations like these happens, if you as a mother do not set boundaries, and respect yourself not allowing his abuse you would end codependently enabling further distortions, dysfunctions in his life and more abuse too, which would go against your very real intentions, you see?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please look online for coda.org and read about codependency, also join an online support group is there is none locally, that would help a lot.

Customer:

Thankyou so much Rafael, you have reinforce my decision to confront him when I finally let him talk to me. Boundaries sounds such a great word, it just takes courage on my part. Thankyou once again as just typing out these words help so much. Regards, Robin.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX trusting me this much. Please take good care and keep in touch.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Bye for now

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