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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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my son has anxiety when he speaks to me on the phone. Years

Resolved Question:

my son has anxiety when he speaks to me on the phone. Years ago their was an enmeshment issue between us when the marriage was bad. I am fortunate enough he tells me, so his acknowledgement may lead him toward healing one day.
We haven't been enmeshed for many years, but will he ever be able to speak to me again without anxiety???
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dee! Is it alright if I answer? As before I am fine with you getting an answer from another expert if you want. No problem at all.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for picking up my question. I checked before I wrote this question to see if you are online, and it showed you were offline. Being that you are here, I would be happy if you answered my question. I am so sad because he told me again today his anxiety level rose while on the phone with me. I told him sometimes as parents, we make big mistakes and don't realize the long term effect on our kids. Shorty after, he said, can I call you back? Either he had another call or couldn't deal with even addressing it. Thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Or maybe both, as he had a quick call to make to the college student aid office.
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Sorry Dee. I got caught up. I am working on your answer.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
take your time Kate, no rush.
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Dee. Sorry about that.

It is very possible for your son to eventually be able to talk to you without anxiety. At this point, he may just be used to how things were between you and still be associating memories and experiencing emotions about it when he talks with you. He needs time to realize that you have changed and that the past will not be repeated. And he is young as well. While it may not appear to affect the situation, he may not realize how people can change and that with time, you will be there for him in the way he needs you to be. He just needs time to see that.

What might help is to try to bond with him by having some fun conversations. Before you talk to him again, try to find something you think he would enjoy like a joke or short story about something funny that happened to you. Or talk to him about his favorite thing to do, favorite food or what he finds most fun about being with his friends. Something along those lines. If he starts to associate laughter and lighthearted conversations with you, then he may relax easier. Also, you may already do this, but keep the lines of communication open for him and reassure him that you are willing to talk about anything he needs to discuss. And try keeping the conversations about him without bringing up what he is feeling. Sometimes talking about the issues helps a lot other times it helps the relationship heal if you focus on other things to talk about, particularly if you have already discussed the topic before.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Kate, suggestions well taken. Good day to you.
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome Dee. I think there is a lot of hope that your relationship will eventually be very close. You are trying with him and you care. That helps so much to repair the relationship.

Take care,


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