Family Relations/My son

Advertisement


Question
First off, Merry Christmas. Thanks for answering a difficult question like this over the holidays.
I have a strained relationship with my son Mike. He was born out of wedlock in 1984. His Mon was on welfare-still is, and had two children before him, and three after, all to different fathers I dont think any had a lasting relationship with their kids. I did attempt to, and for about five years after his mom and I split-she met another 'dad', i kept in contact, offered to babysit, even brought Xmas presents. This all went unacknowledged. I continued in this way until I met my present wife. She was uncomfortable with this, so I stuck to trying to stay in contact with my son, Mike. This was difficult as through the 90's they move a lot and changed phone numbers. The only times Mike contacted me was when he needed money, or was in trouble with the law. He did not finish high school, and was in juvenile corrections on a few occasions. I always visited when they contacted me. Once he was on a murder rap  but was let off. Whew.
For most of the 2000's I was involved with being a good husband and Dad to my two new kids. I rarely heard from Mike. On the odd occasion I bumped into his mom or older sibling by chance, and asked them about Mike they said he had gone through several girlfriends, had five or more kids, and was hard to get hold of even for them. I felt better as this was just his way. Maybe three times since 1010 I have been able to meet up with him for lunch, and 'loaned him' money which he never repaid. He never tried to maintain contact. Just recently, I got on Facebook. I know its way late, but it never did interest me. However, my union now uses it to communicate with the members, so I HAVE to be on. I friended a few people, one of which was Mike. He has contacted me by messenger three times since then. They all start out OK, then deteriorate. The last time we set a date for lunch. I brought his two step sons who were very eager to meet him, but he stood us up. They were really disappointed. It really breaks my heart. I dont think I am at fault, but could use a third opinion-besides my wife. Here is an example of our most recent conversation today-Boxing Day. Kind of ruined the day for me. After you read it, and probably reread the letter, let me know your thoughts. BTW, I am a bus driver, and am used the way urban youth talk and act, drug addicts, getting assaulted, etc, so I have a thick skin. But deep down I am very sensitive, and blood is thicker than water. I also had no Dad as a child and was very poor, so in many ways I am like him. Thanks again!

From Facebook messenger, 8:13

Merry Christmas dad.

Me: Hey Mr Mike! You are a hard man to get hold of! Merry Xmas to you too son, hows it goin? We need to catch up in person, but this time dont stand me up! I have a week off in January...

Mike:What's your number I will call you

9:43pm-I leave the computer to do other things, then come back to this...

Mike: That's what I fugured
But hey asshole it's all good. (Is he mad I didnt give him my number right away? He has it already.

Me: Why do you have to be like this and start cussing me out?  You did this last time too. I work ten hour shifts with odd days off, do you think I can come running at your beck and call? BTW I have to work at 5 am tomorrow so good night.
Mike:Hey asshole
Slow your role
Put your shit in my shoes just once
You ain't shit
I work longer and harder than you to provide for all my kids
My family
You ain't shit
You ain't bought shit for no one and I'm tired of the excuses
Ya know a couple of my kids other half is poor as fuck but ya know they still do something
I'm done with you bud
You act like it's hard chasing down kids. Fuck u got more than you. And yep sometimes I got to go out of my way dealing with shit but you know I always hook them up
Me: Fine. You were done with me years ago anyway, that why you never called. You probably are just looking for money anyway. And by the way, if you think like talking like a rapper makes you look cool to your Dad, it doesnt. Call me when you finally man up.

Mike:Just have your fucken happy carefree fucken life
Fuck you
And there bud is why I hate you. The reason you just said I want money
I ain't want shit
But that is what really makes me hate you
One year I was really down and out and I needed money so I asked. Felt like shit to do so
And you bring that up hey
I'm your fucken son your fucken son you asshole
Fuck you
Your a Shitty father
Oh wait your not totally. My siblings are doing OK.
Fuck you
And you know what it was Xmas when I asked.
Just wanted a Lil extra for your grandkids
Rent ain't cheap. Being a down ass father and providing any chance I get hurts the wallet
ME: Are you drunk or smokin meth?
Mike: Wow dad. I don't smoke meth or don't act gangster. I'm 31 years old with kids.
Me: Then act your age not your shoe size.
Mike:It's Shitty the way you feel
Yeah well you started it. Go back and read what you said, but hury because I am blocking you. Then I did.

Answer
Okay so a mistake was made in 1984 and there are consequence to that. These are the consequences of not only a choice you made but also choices that the mom made. Fast forward to present day. At some point your "son" most likely views himself as a victim. He most likely also views people doing well especially family members as jerks or people that owe him something. I think your focus now should be mostly on your grandchildren. They have no choice in this dysfunctional family dynamic. Thus the more normalcy and stability you can bring to it the better. If your son does contact you again I wouldn't bring up the past. You will not win any arguments nor will you be able to convince him that his choices are the things that continue to lead him to bad consequences. He will always bring up your past. He is stuck and probably will stay stuck. Your grandkids are a different matter. You say you are like him, but you seem to have pulled your head out. He needs to do that as well and you won't be the one to help him do it unfortunately.

Doc David  

Family Relations

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dr. David Simonsen

Expertise

I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.

Experience

I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.

Organizations
AAMFT; AACC; WAMFT

Education/Credentials
M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.