Growing into Me with Bipolar

I have failed with my son.  He became interested in a particular church (some say cult) and I thought I was being smart and open-minded to allow him to stretch his wings and be independent.  I thought it would be a harmless foray from which he would soon emerge, with another church interest, or just another interest altogether.  You see, his father, (my ex), and I are not religious, and raised our kids to think independently for themselves, rather than just allow someone to tell them how to think.  So you’ll understand when I became quite alarmed when he decided to allow the church to think for him.

Not just that, but he refuses to accept facts about the world–eg it is extremely difficult to move out of a ghetto because there are no or few social or family resources that give a person the ability to move into another socio-economic status.  Basically, if you have nothing, its hard to go anywhere else.  And if you stay where there is nothing, chances are you will not move out anytime soon.  That point he absolutely refused to accept.  I tried to go over it again and again, that it is not a choice to live in a ghetto–it is just very hard to get out of.  No one chooses to live in a ghetto, or to stay there.   He said he refused to believe that some people don’t have the opportunity to get out, that all people had equal opportunity to do so, and just failed.  But to me, the key here was that the truth of the situation is that many people never do get that chance, and they are stuck there.  He just simply refused to believe that some people may not get that chance.  He said all people get the same chance to get out and he would never believe me that chance is not distributed equally to everyone, because the church says god give everyone a chance.  I ended up telling him that I raised him to think independently by NOT sticking his head in the sand and blocking out information about the world and allowing himself to become an ostrich who only accepts what the church tells him.  I was very upset, near tears.  And he was none too happy with me either.

I have failed because he is choosing to block out valid information about the nature of the world we live in.  I have failed because he is turning to an (extremely cult-like) church to have it think for him about the nature of our world.  I have failed because I neither supported him (meaning to provide love while also not arguing with him), nor did I succeed in coaxing or encouraging him to be more open-minded and not deny information just because it isn’t spoon-fed to him by the church.  So, I have failed in all ways as a mother to make him independent, one who thinks for himself.   And I have failed also in providing him with unconditional love and respect (even tho he is being close-minded).

I am still so frustrated and upset with him!  But I am now also so disappointed with myself.  I failed to be the kind of mother I wanted to be, the kind of mother I wished I’d had.  I have lost my son, and I am losing my self-respect as a mother.  I have failed at the only job I ever had, the only job that really matters.  I am worthless now.   I hope I don’t fail with my daughter too.  I feel like I want him to leave, to move out, to get out of my face, because he won’t accept reality, and because I know I can’t make him see reason.  It really angers me that he is being so close-minded.  I wish I could send him to his dads to live for the next year–but then I would have to move to a smaller place since I would lose child support for him, and that would make me break my lease and I just can’t afford all that.  But I still wonder if it might come to that.



Comments on: "My Failure (Most Recent, That Is)…" (9)

  1. Ouch, I hurt for you…that is such a scary thing, to watch your son getting sucked into this thing! Having been through a different kind of hell with my own son, I would say that if there is any way of taking the geographic solution–i.e., get him far, far away from there–it would be worth some different kinds of pain to save him from the I-bet-I-know-whos. You would have to make sure they didn’t have a branch there too, though, because they’re all over the globe, literally. It’s not fair to yourself to call yourself a failure, though, because your son is old enough to make his own decisions, even if they are bad ones. He has free will and he can exercise it even if you don’t agree. Plus which, the you-know-whos are absolutely hypnotic in their draw to susceptible people, which include especially the young, good breeding stock (excuse my venom, I have good reason for it). So please, cut yourself some slack. You have been trying really hard, doing your best to protect your son. I know how heart-wrenching it is to watch your child walking into a really bad place. I’ve had to do that a lot, and I know how helpless it feels. But you are NOT a failure. You are a mom doing her best to take care of her almost-grown child.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks laura. i appreciate your very kind words. i just don’t feel like i deserve much kindness about now is all. i just don’t get how he can say ‘i don’t like that bit of reality, i’m just going to pretend it isn’t true’. how does anyone say that with a straight face? so, either he is the problem for failing to look at the reality in front of him, or i am, for producing someone that would fail to see what is right in front of his eyes. either way, it still comes back to me.

      if he must be an ostrich, i wish that the time would come for him to hurry up and leave already, so its not my problem anymore, so i wouldn’t feel i needed to fix it and make him see the reality in front of him.

      i think im just going to give up on it. just let him do as he pleases and ill just keep the house running and the food made. he’ll just be like a roommate, or boarder. then at least we won’t fight, and he can do what he wants and i won’t care. i have never had a bad relationship with him before, not ever. and i hate that he is so far out of touch now, that i am unhappy with him because of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The most important thing is to keep loving him. If you will keep loving him even though you hate his behaviors and decisions, he will come back to you. If you shut him out of your life, then you really will lose him. And isn’t losing him what you’re really afraid of?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Laura, you are very right. I don’t want to lose him, so I can’t shut him out. Thank you so much for bringing me back to the real point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sending blessings for strength and clear vision. It ain’t easy. It hurts to see your child make terrible decisions. I have to think about a butterfly: if you close your hand on it, it will die. But if you open your hand, there’s a good chance it will come back and light on that open hand. It’s a terrifically hard thing to do. Sending love–

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I get it, and it’s always a rub when our independently-minded children grow up and experiment in a direction we don’t want for ourselves… and they are no longer tucked beneath our protective wing (as they now make their independent choices we don’t like. lol… ) I sat in an evangelical church the first weekend of reuniting with my son and his family. Little did any of us know a speaker from a remote location would appear on the giant tv screens to roar over the abomination of same-sex relationships, politics, and how to detect the enemies of mankind. Rather stressful, that first go round… just ask my WIFE. 🙂

    Life’s large. Diversity can come home to visit in surprising ways. Wish you the best on this. Tough to run with, isn’t it?

    Heart to heart– I truly carry you in my thoughts, sending glitter vibes infused with cheer. ~m

    Liked by 2 people

    • thank you so much! I especially like the glitter vibes with cheer 🙂 And you make a good point, that diversity can be in surprising forms. As Laura said above, I don’t want to quit loving him or shut him out, so i guess i need to ‘run with diversity’ as you say.

      thank you for helping me put this in a different perspective, and also for understanding my upset as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh hun, I’m so sorry… But I just want to tell you it doesn’t seem to me like this has anything to do with your parenting skills, but much more to what your son is like inside. This thing about his thoughts on getting out of ghettos, though not very reasonable, sound much more related to right-wing movements than anything. Though not a good thing on itself, I’m trying to say that maybe your son has found a place where people have a way of thinking different than the one he’s always known. He’s still veeery young, and a lot of things can happen, don’t think everything’s lost already!!

    Hope you feel better soon! xoxoxo


    • thanks! and yes, the thinking and behavior are definitely related to right wing thinking/movements (that is the Church he has become involved with in the last 6 months–some call this particular Church a cult) and i thought i taught him better than this. i thought i taught him to use his own brain instead of being a sheep and following another blindly. but you are probably right–things may change many times over in the future.


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