How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Paige Your Own Question
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Paige is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son has not talked to me or had anything to do with me for

This answer was rated:

My son has not talked to me or had anything to do with me for 17 months. I am a widow And raised him alone. He iapparently is upset with me because he needed money and I told him I could not help him any more. He did this tom me 9 years ago and I gave him money at thgat time but he was still not nice to me. He is 44 years old ,has a degree and is a computer programmer. I have tried to get him to talk to me, have written letters, sent e-mails and left voicemails, all with no response. I am so heartbroken , as he is my only child. I hope you can help
Hi there, maybe I can help. SO the fight is over money that he wants from you and you told him no? Has he acted like this before? He just avoids your contact with him? Are there other reasons he might be mad at you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI, Dr. no I do not think there is any other reason ,however Itold the sociual worker that he wrote me a nasty letter 9 years ago when he did same thing and stated thing I did when he was a kid , all of the things he stated I felt were trivial. Yes, the last time he did this , it was 9 months he avoided me. This time it is 17 months.The social worker says she feels he never bonded with me as I worked all the time and she feels he will never come back to me ,so I am through with her as I am 70, and do not need this negativity.

SO there is more to it then the money. Have you guys talked out the issues he presented with? You might think they are trivial but this is something that is bothering him. When he did reconnect with you after the last time, how did that go? What was the conversation like?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When we got back together the last time , neither of us mentioned those things from the nasty letter. I did not want to mention them as he has a quick temper, and I did not know hoe he would react, also when he reconciled with me he wrote another letter and said he was sorry about the bad letter, where one of things he said was he was no longer my son.Also he said he loved me but I should have been there for him when he needed money. I had told him then I did not have extra money.I know one thing for sure he is VERY IMMATURE! yet I still love him

I think it's time to discuss these issues. Ignoring them is only going to prolong the problem. If you can't address it with him one-on-one then maybe an intermediary needs to intervene to help with the discussion. What do you think of this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not know, as he had not mentioned those issues after we got back together last time and for 9 years he was wonderful to me. He always needs money when he gets fired. Iam getting the impression that all of this is my fault. He loves my brother, the only family member he really likes and m,y bro called him about 1 year ago and did not mention he knew he was mad at me and my son just said he had not talked tome for a while and needed to call me. I don' know if somone intervening could make situation worse. Do you not htink he seems immature?

Oh I definitely think he is immature. Instead of direct and honest communication, he gives the silent treatment. Two things can happen in order to stop this ridiculous behavior. One, you can ignore him too and wait for him to begin talking to you. Or two, you can let him know that these things need to be talked about if there is any chance of having a decent relationship. In either case, if contact is to resume then it's time to be honest. No more playing games.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I need to mention one thing in the nasty letter that I guess was not trivial, was that I had put him in a psychiatric hospital for adolescents , on advice of a social worker. He was doing terrible things, one was he and another boy started a fire at school due to smoking cigs, in 7th grade, He also broke a neighbor' s picture window. The other things he mentioned were trivia. One was I always complained I was fat, another was that my mother made shirts for him til the age of 10, and kids made fun. He was in that hospital 2 weeks and I took him out. I am wondering if you are going to respond to my last part. Some neighbors came to my door that is why I delayed in responding.

Well, that gives some clarity. He obviously has some emotional and behavioral problems. Not sure if he is diagnosed with a mental illness, but it definitely would explain his behavior. I still think a true honest conversation needs to take place. But the only difference would be that if he has a mental illness, then expecting him to reciprocate or change his behavior may be limited.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a question, first what do you mean be reciprocate? I know the word's meaning, but reciprocate in what way? Also, other counselors have told me if he came back before, it is likely he would come back again. Also, that bad behavior was at the ages of 12 and 13. Iwas told he has an IQ of 145. My mother and stepfather spoiled him materially and I believe that is why he demands money from me, which again is very immature. He always got money from them and they died 10 years ago and now he asks me for it. Can you give me any good advice? Also, when he was in the mental hospital,the psychiatrist never told me he had a mental illness and he had many tests and consultations.

I mean that you might communicate well, stay calm, want to talk; and he won't reciprocate the same way. That is what immaturity and mental illness will do. SO, the only advice I can give you, that is in your control, is to initiate a serious conversation with him to lay everything out on the table. Let him know how you feel and what his concerns are and why he acts in ways that are not healthy. THis is the best you can do in this situation. Whether or not he meets you half way is out of your control.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

First let me say you are bypassing my concerns. I said I was never told he had a mental illness and no matter how good you are in your profession I do not believe you are able to diagnose him sight unseen. Now how can I initiate a serious conversation when he will not talk to me?

I am not diagnosing him. All I am saying is that if his behavior is out of the norm for people his age then you have to consider a mental illness is in play. Like I said before, you only have control over your actions. You can reach out to him to talk but there is no guarantee that he will talk. If he will not meet you somewhere and talk then you have to wait. If he decides to resume communication with you in the future then the serious conversation takes place before anything. Part of that conversation, I hope, is to let him know how you feel and that the way he acts is not healthy in this relationship. If he won't talk then you wait. You can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

again you bypass things. the serious trouble he got into he was a very YOUNG KID! hE was raised with no father and as I mentioned my parents spoiled him. I know of nine people, 6 mothers and 3 fathers whose kids did same thing by not talking to them, some 3 or 4 years and some more. All of these chidren were in their 20's, 30; and 40's so by your standards there are a lot of mentally ill people in this world. I am probably mentally ill also, as I will tell rude employees in store or restaurants off. in a heartbeat and also ask to see managers of these rude people.and also why would the psychiatrist not have told me of a diagnosis? You als bypassed that one.

I am going to opt out and let someone else help you.
Hello. Maybe I can offer an opinion on this. One thing stands out to me when reading through this question thread. You said he had written you a letter 9 years ago saying nasty things that you did when he was younger that he felt you treated as trivial. I believe this is the source of his feelings towards you and whether or not you feel whatever these things are were trivial, they are obviously very serious things to him which has shaped his opinion of you to this day.
Regardless of any of those things which cannot be changed now, I agree with the other counselor in saying that at this point what are your options? You cannot force him to talk to you or to do anything at all. What can you control right now, today? You say you have written him letters and tried to talk to him, but did not say what you said to him in these letters. If you have not done so in your past communication, I would make another attempt at writing him or emailing him or however you feel he will open and read what you wrote. Lay it all out on the table as the other counselor said. You should ask him questions and not blame him nor defend yourself in any way. Tell him that you want to know from him what you can do in order to reconnect with him. Ask him questions about what you can do for him. Don't use any excuses for anything you feel is not you fault. Explain how much he means to you and how much pain your separation is causing you and you want to at least talk to him and have some closure as to his actions.
If he chooses not to respond to you, there is nothing at all you can do but wait. I know you feel helpless and like you need someone to tell you the magic key to get him to call you tomorrow, but that is not possible. You only have control over your own actions. After you do everything you can and you feel that you did everything you can deep inside, that is all you can do. I know that isn't the positive sure fire answer that you are looking for, but it is the truth of the situation. I do wish you luck in getting him to open up to you. You are both going to have some difficult conversations ahead if he does choose to participate because you are going to have to hash out the past at some point and not sweep it under the rug. Validate his feelings, listen to him and don't blow off anything that he feels strongly about. His point of view is different than yours and even if you feel he shouldn't be as upset as he is about certain things, he obviously is and you can't change that.
Let down your guard and put away any pride you have about the past and do whatever you can to get him to respond. Don't give up unless you feel your efforts are in vein. Write him every week if you feel you need to. Other than that, you have to wait it out and hope that he understands the value of your relationship.

I might also ask you, you said you were seeing a social worker who was not helping and you did not agree with the other expert here either. What help exactly are you looking for? Why do you feel the social worker is not helping you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI Dr, I already mentioned the thing that irritated me about the other Dr. is that he implied that my son was mentally ill. You can see what I said to him about that. The social worker feels my son did not bond with me, but I bonded with him and that is reason for his actions. Maybe I am stupid, but I thought seeing a social worker would help me feel better, but I am not and seeing her costs me money. As I said she waNTS to contact him but I am not sure it is a good idea.Every counselor I have seen gives me different idea as to reason for his behavior. Please advise. I just noticed my response to your first post is not showing here. In it I told you what I say in my letters and e-mails. I only tell him I love him and miss him and not chastise or say anything negative. I tell him life is short and he knows I have serious health issues and I want us to get along.

Ok. Your son obviously has some issues with maturity but without talking with him, it is impossible to diagnose someone. The reason why you are getting different answers as to what to do is because trying to anticipate a person's actions without meeting them or having any communication is a guessing game. There is no certain step by step approach anyone can give you to do which will guarantee his return.
As I said in my first response, if you have tried your best and done everything you can to get him to talk with you, what else can you do at this point? I feel that you are looking for an answer that does not exist. I know you feel a bit helpless in that he won't respond to you and you need for him to, but even 1000 Doctors, Social Workers or counselors cannot make him respond to you. That is in his control and his only. If you think about all of your options, what do you come up with? What answer are you looking for? Of course everyone wants to help you and the experts who have talked with you in the past have offered their best advice based on experience, however none of them can make him talk to you. As far as insight as to WHY he is doing this, I feel that for whatever reason, he feels entitled to more than you give him and I would guess he was spoiled along the way in some way. He wants you to beg for him to come back, he probably takes pleasure in it and is playing a very immature game with you. His reasons for what he is doing is going to be the second step to all of this and the more difficult part to deal with. You need to get him to talk to you first to even get to that point where you can both deal with those problems. Again, it all comes down to the part of this that you can control and what you can't. He has a great deal of control in this situation and he is enjoying it. At some point after you have exhausted your letters to him, I would sit and wait. He came back wot you before, something has to give to make him understand just what you said, life is short and he should reach out to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI Dr. I thought you gave up on me too, upon reading your response, I see you said you guess he was spoiled along the way, I said that in my post, spoiled by my parents. I have one more question, the first time he avoided me, 9 years ago, he asked for money, ($3,000.00) and I told him I did not have my inheritance yet and he did not believe me/. a few days later he called me an d told me off, then about a week later, he wrote the nasty letter. this second time, he asked for money, I told him the inheritance money is gone and I guess he did not believe, he sounded peeved and hung up and I did not know that would be last communication with him. What do you make of these things? one more thing, my mother always said, "the only thing you need to worry about is indifference" and now my son is indifferent, the other time he was angry.I have an idea ofc something I can do, I wouild like your opinion on it. I will have to use another piost as I don't think there will be enough room here.

I don't believe anyone is giving up on you, I think that you are not liking the answers you receive because there is no one that is able to tell you what you can do to make him talk to you and that is what you are looking for.
I don't think anyone can help you until you realize that there is nothing more that can be done other than what you are doing and have done.
He obviously is interested in getting money from you is what I make of that. Of course that is the obvious answer here. He attaches money to mean that you care or don't care about him. You cannot convince him otherwise, only he can realize that on his own.
While you can worry about indifference, worry doesn't solve the issue.
I look forward to your idea of what you are going to do.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK obviously missed one of my points that the first time he avoided me he told me off verbally and then wrote a nasty letter and this last time he just stopped talking and avoided me, so I did not know he was avoiding til time went on, like 2 months then I wrote first letter and no response. I never said I was "worrying" I was just quoting my mother. The point being first was anger and second time indifference.
I was just wondering why he changed his modus operandi. now my idea of what to do, since I know he has always been jealous of things I do for nieces and nephews, I was thinking maybe I could put in letter that I want my niece LInda to take charge ofthings for me if I should become incapacitated, also sinc he is a computer programmer I could tell him I pay a neighbor, who is in computers to help with computer problems. What do you think?

I think you can do that for your own needs, but I do not think it will make him talk to you because he wants to be the one to take care of those things. it depends on your goal. I think personally that if he does have your power of attorney and he is legally able to make decisions for you, based on on his behavior that you should consider changing this anyway. I know that your goal is to get him to communicate with you and have some level of a relationship back and I do not believe that this plan of action will make those things happen to your satisfaction.
As far as changing his modus operandi, people don't always do predictable things. He may feel that he was not happy in how he handled things in the past and maybe he didn't get his point across properly or hurt you bad enough of whatever his motive was, so he wanted to change his game.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

First of all, since I feel he hates me, but I know he gets jealous, since, one time 2 or 3 years ago, he was out of work but did not ask for money, and I called him and first thing I said was "how's your cat"? and he got very upset at first and said that he was my son, and to hell with the cat. But he was not angry with me after that. until last years money episode.No one has any power of attorney right now. Also, I forgot to mention for the last 9 years before the episode now, he was VERY good to me and bought me nice gifts. Tell me honestly if you are a mother and how would you feel if your child did this to you? I am not suicidal but I really have nothing to live for. I am 70 and I really have no one now, but I know that no one cares. Trust me Dr. I am not stupid, I have a B.S. in Nursing and worked 42 years in my profession. I know enough if he were in charge of my affairs to take that away and give it to someone else would really anger him more.I will simply tell him in a letter that since he will not speak to me I will put my niece in charge of funeral.
I love animals so would leave any monies to pet charity. But I would not mention money. Please respond

I think that based on everything you have said, it is a good idea for you to tell him that you are putting your niece in charge, but I also think you should actually do it. Regardless of how he has been in the past with you, this is how he has chosen to treat you now. I am a mother and I understand how terrible it must feel to have a child act like this. I did not imply in any way that you were stupid in any way, I know from experience that parents do want the best for their children and sometimes children can take advantage and act in inappropriate ways. Sometimes it is difficult to have more than a parents perspective into these matters and sometimes the answers aren't always positive or the ones we want to hear.
I don't think that no one cares, you have a family and although nothing of their relationship with you has been mentioned, it was implied that at the very least you and your niece have a decent relationship. I love that you would give your monies to pet charity! I too am an animal lover and have many myself. Write your letter, tell him of your intentions and see if that at the very least opens dialog, even if it is angry at first. If he does respond, I might suggest that you take your time in responding to him.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr., forgive me ,I did not mean that youhad implied I was stupid, I know right now, i am way too sensitive. I am happy to hear you are also an animal lover, if it weren;t for mine I would be totally depressed. I have 4 cats, 1 dog and a horse! one thing for sure, and you also know they love you unconditionally! Now thanks to you I feel much better and I will take your advice. What kind of pets do you have? Iknow you were right , that there is no magic key for my problem, how wonderful it would be if there were! Judy

I have 5 horses, 3 goats, 2 dogs and 2 cats! My husband and daughter and I live in a 200 year old farm house and love the life and love having our daughter growing up around the animals. I feel it is very important for a child's development.
I hope that you have success in your relationship with your son. I would like to keep in touch and find out how things work out in each step of the way.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr. this will be the last one now, .Wow! you have 5 horses! I grew up on a farm and we also had goats, my mom milked them and I did not like the milk, although it is good for you!Yes, I woul like to keep in touch with you also, my e-mail address is : [email protected]. How old is your daughter? and I agree animals are good for children as I also grew up with them. my horse is quarter-horse, age 12, gelding named Shane.i would love to hear about your pets, also.Thank you for all your help and sorry I was such a grump.

I cannot email you directly. This website blocks out your email. You can contact me through the site.
All of my horses are rescues. I have always shown since I was little doing hunter/jumper but learned about Natural Horsemanship at an early age and that all of what I learned was wrong! I then started riding bareback and with no bits, rope halters only and doing tons of ground work more than riding and it changed my life. (and theirs)
I will be happy to teach my 2 year old daughter how to properly care for and treat horses from the beginning and not do what a lot of the mainstream does. I have a mini, a paint, a rescued PMU mare and her baby who is now 8 years old. I rescued her from Canada in 1994 as a pregnant retired PMU horse and her colt was born 3 months later and I still have him as I believe in pet care for life. I have never sold or given any animal away that I have ever had since I was a kid. I also have an OTTB mare who won over half a million dollars running in Florida and was a Breeders Cup nominated mare. She had breeding problems, therefore was worth nothing to her then owners and I got a call from a trainer friend of mine who said the owners were going to put a bullet in her head later that afternoon. Within an hour I was driving to Ocala to pick her up and she lives a nice, easy, retirement along with the rest of my guys.
You were not a grump! You wanted answers and it is difficult with typing to get the right points across sometimes, where face to face you have a lot to go on. It is very easy to misinterpret emails and letters more than having an in person conversation, so it is certainly more of a challenge.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. again, what do i have to do to contact you through the site? I definitely want to keep in contact with you! You are quite an accomplished equestrienne! How wonderful that you have rescues! They sound really great. Ijust recently learned to longe my horse. You are a very sweet person!

Thank you!! You can come back to this thread or when you go to the main site you can type in my name. If you still can't find where that is, just ask a general question and in the title of the question, put Dr Paige and I will be the only one to get to it. I think it is wonderful that you are out there spending time with your horse ! I hope when I am 71, I will be able to do the same ! :)
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Paige and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Related Relationship Questions