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I Am Tired

I am a forty-seven year old mother of a twenty year old male. I suffer from manic depression but have been asymptomatic for over eleven years. I have worked the same high profile job in mental health for the past eleven years and have tried very hard to move on with my life. My separation from my son’s dad was very traumatic for everyone and although I was the primary caretaker from birth to seven years of age, when I felt myself getting sick, I wanted to avoid causing my son the pain and anguish of having two parents who could not agree upon the time of day if their lives depended on it. I also did not want to do harm to my son and also wanted to focus on getting better. I sincerely felt that without the cooperation of the other parent, trying to maintain a relationship with my son would only cause everyone, most importantly my son other pain and anguish.  I did not see my son for over two years during which time I went to therapy, focused on what I felt was needed to be a good parent. 

From 1997 to about two years ago my ex was the custodial parent. I saw my son every other weekend, paid his tuition in private school, and generally tried to be the best parent that I could under very difficult circumstances. About two years ago, my son for reasons not necessarily related to wanted to have more of a relationship with me but having mostly to do with anger at his father for remarrying, decided that he wanted to live with me. Since that time, my son has failed to thrive and is very angry and abusive toward me.

I have never asked for a free ride regarding my illness and the consequences it had for my son and his father. My son is free to feel what he wants to feel, however, I can no longer take the verbal abuse. I cannot make up for the years that I was out of his life but I feel that if we are ever going to have a healthy relationship, we need to go to counseling or he can go to counseling on his own and I will continue to see my own therapist.

As a mother, I cannot explain the feelings that I had over loving my son so much that I would rather him be happy and stable in one place rather than torn between two places. My sense is that he is with me by default and would rather be with his dad but cannot think of a graceful way to make an exit. I have told him that I love him but that he is twenty years old and free to do whatever he wants to do. It’s hard living with someone who does not really want to be with you. In closing, I feel stuck and very unhappy allowing others to control my life in very negative ways. If anyone has gone through a similar struggle, please provide some insight. I want to be free of all the madness.

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