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Dearly Loved Son Whose Emotions Made Him Mentally Ill

by Sally
(Manchester, England)

I have just reached a break point in my relationship with my 35 yr old son. For the first time he has hit me, his mother, not just once but repeatedly.

It happened once he heard he was about to be sectioned for a 4th time in just over 2 years. I was alone with him in a hospital room and his fear and pain and anger could not be held in any longer, is how I see it.

So I have a lot of sympathy - he hadn't eaten, drank or slept for at least 3 days. But he blamed us for his 1st admission, also caused by him not looking after himself, and he carries deep resentment from that. The next 2 admissions we were not involved in.

This time he had come to live with us whilst we were away as he was thrown out of his last place and had our keys and we said in emergency he could go there. It has lasted 11 months, mostly better than we expected. His current decline was caused by hearing he had lost his job of 10 years as he has not worked for 12 months.

He has had several diagnoses, schizophrenia, personality disorder or anxiety - no agreement from doctors. For what it's worth we believe it is extreme anxiety from undealt with emotions, leading to a shutdown of all decision making ability, and extremely low self-esteem, coupled with blaming us for the decisions we are then forced to make.

Just recently there have been some chinks in his inability to speak of, or even know, his own emotions and he was seeming to trust us a little more. He tends to take what he wants from us and leave what he doesn't - so all the advice is ignored, but the meals and trips and film watching etc. is accepted!

Violence for me is a game changer. Our family has no experience of it - we were not perfect parents and he may have lacked on an intimacy level, but we were not abusive, we love all 4 children and he was well cared for and we have really put ourselves out for him in the last 11 months.

I am healing from the sudden attack - a fist to the same spot on the side of my head, until I was rescued by a nurse. I forgave him immediately, but now he cannot live with us again. He is admitted to hospital so won't be out for at least a month, and I hope maybe 2. Here in England drugs are the first line of treatment, and he has never got to the 2nd - psychological services. I believe he would respond best to art therapy or possibly equine, but he hasn't been willing to acknowledge any problem really.

We can easily say he does not return, but still have all his belongings. We are not willing to pay for their storage, and may be going abroad ourselves anyway next year. I have no idea whether we will be strong enough to give an ultimatum - pay for the storage or they go to the skip! I would like to be able to say that. He has benefits, obtained by his Dad so is comfortable at present.

I hope this violent outburst will be the shock to encourage him to get help and lose his fear of speaking of his feelings. Then, when some work has been done, we hope to resume a loving relationship.

Thank you for your wisdom of the need to break free as parents. We need to do this!

Blessings to all who are writing with such desperate situations, Sally.

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