Adult Son Who Has Custody Of His Daughter And Lives With Me
My 20 year old son, who lives with me and is dependent upon me has anger issues that range from disrespect, feeling every comment is a personal attack on him, and at times goes into a rage for what he considers criticism.
He just started his first job a few months ago, & has issues with thinking everything someone says is criticism. He can be quite verbally abusive towards me and other family members. At times, he even goes into a rage. His personality is that of a 16 year old, rather than a 20-year old.
He has a daughter who is 8 months, whose mother abandoned her to the care of my son. He does a good job taking care of his little one, and has found a job in fast food to help in her support and support of the household. However, he does not seem to get over the fact that the relationship with the girl is over and she does not want to have a relationship with him any more.
When she calls to check on the baby, he sometimes get his hopes up of them getting back together. The anger issue my son is having started when he was about 16, most likely because I was in a stage of feeling that he needed to be less dependent upon me, and was generally not paying attention to his emotional needs; feeling that he should be more mature, like not having to be constantly prompted to get up to go to school.
I was going through a divorce, and we moved in with a close relative, but I was hardly there at night time. He would have some issues of disrespect then; but seems lately the anger and disrespect has escalated.
We have been in our own place for about a year. I thought that us moving into a better neighborhood, and not having to deal with relatives would calm him; however, now his anger is directed more towards me than ever. He feels everyone is against him, he disrespects his sisters (they are fully independent) feels as if we owe him, and he shows no gratitude.
He is angry at his daughter's mother for not being there for the child, etc. He has had two rage episodes in the past year (1) smashing out a car window. (2) throwing stuff, clothes etc. down the steps and knocking over the sofa. Now, I can barely stand to live with him, due to his verbal abuse and not knowing what to say or not say.
However, I know he can't take care of his child on his own financially. He takes it personal if I give advice on fixing her formula or strapping her in the car seat properly. He's had anger management counseling for fighting with his siblings; it seemed to work for a while, but now he's going back to his mood swings again. He'll get really angry, then a few minutes later he's smiling like all is ok. Seems he's stuck at 16.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Bea, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell that you're having a very hard time, and that you want to do the right thing to help your son and his daughter.
I have received many stories like this, and as a result have written a FAQ response, which you will find on this page. That response, however, does not address the issue of your granddaughter, and I know that complicates the situation for you, since you feel that your son is not capable of providing for his daughter.
There is no way that I can know for certain the right thing for you, Bea. I will tell you that based on my experience, this situation will only get worse as long as your son lives with you and is dependent on you. His self esteem and self image are threatened (whether he knows it or not) by his dependence on you, and he (inappropriately) blames you for this.
You're not doing your son or his daughter any favors by continuing to support them. You may just have to trust (and hope and pray) that he will be responsible and take care of her. As it is, while you are certainly providing monetarily, you're contributing (with the best of intentions) to an increasingly unhealthy environment for all three of you.
Read the page I linked above, and other parents' stories who have been through this.
I know you'll make a good decision for yourself and all concerned, Bea.
My very best to you,
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