Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Son Blames Me!

My son Josh, who recently got a DUI, finally contacted me last Thursday and I picked him up at his friends house (they took his license when he was arrested). I was so excited to hear from him! We went and got lunch then he came back to the house. We hung out and talked, he seemed more like his old self. He walked across the street to the grocery store with me, had dinner with the family and even the little kids said, "Wow, Josh talked alot!" Which is unusual, because he never talks to any of's like pulling teeth just to have a conversation.

Today he said he was coming over for dinner, I got really excited again. While I was cooking I asked him if he wanted me to go to court with him on May 28th? He said, "NO, you've babied me my whole life and I'm 19 now and having to learn everything because you never taught me!" I said, "What are you talking about? I taught you how to do your own laundry, showed you how important it is to never give up and always finish what you start. We went and opened a bank account, I tried to teach you how to save, write checks, balance your checkbook, helped you find and purchase a car, showed you how to put gas in it. Taught you right from wrong, and ALWAYS punished you when you made bad choices". He just repeated how much I babied him and now he is having to learn the hard way!

I can tell you right now this statement is coming from his father, (the same guy who has NEVER been a part of his life until he was 18, never paid child support until he turned 16 and then it was whatever he felt like paying, after I spent a week and a half begging for the money). My son spent years crying himself to sleep, while I comforted him because his dad wanted nothing to do with him.

I felt like crying right in the's so hard when you have busted your butt your whole life to make sure that you were raising your kids right and making sure they never did without and then to be blamed for all their problems...while the person who really has caused the mess, (his father) is now the wonderful parent! My son had no BIG problems until he moved in with his alcoholic father who bought it for him and his friends and then partied with them. He let him do whatever he wanted and was a party buddy, NOT A FATHER.

So the minute he is in trouble...IT'S MY FAULT! Wow, it's I am the bad one for loving, caring, guiding and disciplining him. It hurts and I hope someday he will realize how much I sacrificed to give him a good, stable, and loving upbringing...I need to go and cry now, thanks for listening, needed to get it all out.


Janae said...

Aunt Lis,

For what it's worth and in all sincerity, I've always considered you to be one of the greatest moms I know. I think you've done a fabulous job with their boys, and Josh needs to take responsibility for his own mistakes. No one should have to tell him at this age, "Don't drink and drive."

You are a good person, strong, a disciplinarian, and a fabulous support to those boys. He's a young, stupid kid, but that's not your fault.

Love you.

Janae said...

*those, not their.

LisaPetrarcaBlog said...

Thank you Nae Nae, that really means alot! I love you!

Mom said...

There are two things you need to consider.

First, he needs to blame somebody. At this point, he is not ready or willing to accept responsibility for his own choices so he needs to find someone that is responsible. Because you are the parent that raised him, and because this coveted relationship with his father is so fragile, then it must be your fault that he makes bad choices. (in his mind - not mine)It isn't really a personal insult, though it feel like it is.

Second, the novelty of the "dad" will wear off. I can not guarantee how long this will take, but your son will eventually see that his father has not changed and you were right all along. Resist the urge to remind him that his father was never around when he was growing up. He already knows this. He absolutely has to try to build that relationship for his own closure.

I can say this with great authority. My mother was never around when I was growing up. I reached out to her when my first child was born. It took some time, but I've come to understand her and I know that our relationship will never be that of a parent and a child. Your son will realize this, too. It took me a few years to fully understand. My father resented me for trying to build that relationship and because of that, at least in part, my relationship with him has fully deteriorated. There were other issues that were far more serious, but his constantly ridiculing my mother and me for trying to have her in my life, I got to where I didn't want to be around him.

The best thing you can do is keep your relationship with him seperate from his relationship with his father. Just don't get involved if it's possible.

By the way, the drinking at 19 - pretty normal with or without the dad buying it for him. Perhaps this little lesson will have taught him something valuable.

The best we can do is the best we can do. When our children become adults, they have to choose their own path and make their own mistakes. It is very difficult to sit back and watch your adult child make these crucial mistakes, yet there really is nothing you can do except be there to love and support him when it comes crashing down.

StacyB said...

Don't feel guilty for writing this blog because it's all true.
I agree with Janae; you have done a fabulous job raising those boys as a single mother for many years of their lives. I couldn't have done even half as well as you have under your circumstances. Jay, too, admires the job you have done in raising our nephews.
You should be proud of yourself.
I love you,

Tj and Amy said...

I third that you are the most wonderful mom! You did a great job. As i look back at things and now being a mom I go through all the times when i was making bad decisions and I blamed them on dad because he was too stict, he gave us no freedom to breathe and make decisions on our own, but now that i am a mom i can understand why he did the things he did I do think at times it was a little much, but when it comes down to it, everyone makes their own decisions you didn't make josh drink and then drive, You have given him all the tools to make the right decisions and it is up to him now to use them, and decide what is most important in his life! I love you and one day he will realize you were the good parent.