Communication Skills/Wayward son


I lived with the mother of my oldest son until 1988, when she kicked me out and took up with a series of other men and a few more babies. I always tried to stay in contact with my son but it was tough as they moved a lot. Her phone number kept changing, and the only contact was once every couple of years when she called asking for money. As a teen, he was in and out of corrections facilities. In 1988 I got married and started a new family. I worked two jobs for years to buy a house and have a good life. I still tried to contact Mike, but the only contact was once every couple of years when he wanted money. In the last few years he has had a five kids from different Mom's. I would love to meet my Grandchildren. I was able to set something up a few years ago, but he showed up drunk and beligerent so I stopped trying. Recently-I know its late, I got on Facebook and friended him. The plan was to go for supper soon . I just got a very abusive message from him on Facebook. He says he has had a hard life and I was 'never their for him'. He called me a lot of names and it hurt. In the few short meeting we had as adults, I never had time to tell him my young life was hard too-harder than his. I was an orphan and lived in foster homes, lost contact with my siblings who I recently reconnected with on facebook, only to have two die recently from cancer. I had a colonoscopy myself three years ago. Anyway, sorry for being so long winded, but it really hurts. I just unfriended him from Facebook, and now I dont want anything to do with him. Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Bud - Reading your (familiar) story, I feel sad for all of you, Your story is a classic example of the toxic [psychological wounds + unawareness] cycle passing down the generations. To understand this, read these:  //  //

I suspect you and your ex (and your ancestors) are "Grown Wounded Children" (GWC) who have unintentionally passed on the psychological legacy you got as very young kids. It's likely your son and any siblings are passing on this legacy to their respective kids.

To better understand your past and current family situation and heal your psychological injuries over time, I respectfully suggest you and your partner read and discuss this ad-free online "lesson."

As you better understand this silent wounding cycle, send your son the links above to provide the chance to guard his kids against inheriting what you seniors did.

It would probably be helpful if all you adults studied and applied lesson 3, which is about grieving the major losses you all have experienced:

  If  any of you want to discuss any of this info, I'm glad to do that:

With gr6eat compassion, Pete (a fellow GWC)

Communication Skills

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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