Allow your son find out the truth on his own
Dear Annie: As a child, I endured horrible physical and verbal abuse by my parents. As an adult, I found myself in an abusive relationship with a man. He lied to me about having a vasectomy and intentionally got me pregnant to keep me in his life “forever.”
I was pregnant and destitute with nowhere to turn, so I made the biggest mistake of my life. I contacted my parents. They fed me and made sure I had everything I needed for my son. Over the years, I allowed my son to have a limited relationship with them, and I monitored it closely. I thought I was protecting my son by not telling him all of the horrible things my parents and his father did to me.
Now my son is 18 and has a very negative opinion of me. He moved in with my parents. It turns out that my parents and his father have done nothing but bad-mouth me in every way to my son for years. They must make stuff up about me, because I have never given them any reason to say bad about me. I have spent my life helping others. I also have been in counseling since I became pregnant, making sure I don’t continue the cycle of abuse.
My parents and my son’s father have destroyed the relationship between my son and me. Because they spoil him rotten, he believes everything they say. He treats me not based on how I’ve treated him but based only on how my parents and his father talk about me. I am devastated to have lost my son to them. I have tried telling him the truth about them, but it is too late. I have tried counseling with my son, as well. The therapist did not realize the scope of the abuse, so counseling failed. Now my son won’t go to counseling anymore. I feel that I am still being abused, and I am completely hopeless.
Is there any way at all to get my son back? — Hopeless in NY
Dear Hopeless: I’m sorry for your separation from your son. Because he is 18, there is no legal course you can take here. Time is the only thing that can give your son back to you. Focus on your own well-being, physically and mentally. Be the healthiest you that you can be. As he matures more, he should be able to see for himself that Grandma and Grandpa aren’t telling the whole story.