Bad Mother


I talked to The Entitled Brat, I mean my son, today.

It came out that what he wants is A Real Mother, one that he can visit and smell cookies baking as he steps onto the welcoming front porch.  A place where he could always find me, from which I would never move.

He doesn’t want his mother to be a nomad, forever wandering about in her camper enjoying Nature, meeting other interesting nomads-by-choice, writing and photographing and living the rest of her life doing what makes her happy.


He wants his mother to do what makes HIM happy.

And he’s willing to make life unpleasant for his mother, should she make the mistake of taking up an invitation to spend a holiday with him (and get thrown out, because her presence irks him).

He does not regret throwing me out at Thanksgiving.  The opposite: “he needed his space.”

Lovely readers, I have done everything in my power to help this 30 year old child have a happy life.

He doesn’t see it that way.

What he sees is that I moved him around too much, and holds that against me.

We did move three times. And for someone on the Autistic Spectrum that can be traumatic.  His father moved once, across town, when he was a child, and still can’t get over it.

You know, there are only so many times I can apologize for the way my life has gone and the way it has affected him.  And then, On The Spectrum (which he fiercely denies) or not, he’s got to take the reins and determine his own destiny.

Even if he does have…

A bad mother

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  1. no, never never think that, never believe that. you are not.

    • I was being sarcastic….

      That’s HIS shtick. I myself am shocked that he actually emerged from my womb, yet the only thing we have in common is our love of duck, bud, and oh yeah, he has half of my chromosomes.

      • well he sounds a lot like my 17 yr old daughter at the moment. im planting seeds and gently helping nature along til she quits being a butt….i hear i may be in for a long while.

        im sorry your son is being a butt right now and acting so selfish. maybe kids never do see their parents as more than just their parents, in stead of as people with the same problems as everyone else, them included.

        i hope my daughter eventually ‘gets it’, and your son too.

  2. Oh My…Laura! Let’s hope the 30 year old grows up and has different thoughts as he ages. And he’s sorry he put you through all his former nasty years! There’s still time! Elizabeth (aka Chryssa)

    • Thank you Chryssa…there’s a Hebrew word that is really a concept, that marries up repentance with enlightenment. It is achieved through deeply regretting the wrong, making amends to the wronged person, and vowing to never do that thing again. It also means “returning to ones original perfect self.” Oh yeah. The word. T’shuvah. Anyway, for his own sake I hope he does T’shuvah, because he will have a miserable life otherwise. Imagine trying to do marriage or be a parent with absent values and absent heart!

      • Too bad we can’t shove him to do T’shuvah.

        • Well, I’ve sure tried. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it had to come from a sense of deep despair, when the person realizes their life is shit and they can’t live this way any more. Like what happens to a future recovering alcoholic. My son happens to be addicted to anger. I don’t know why. He’s been angry since he emerged. Maybe he didn’t want to be born. He was three weeks late.

          • Sounds like your son lacks insight and empathy. As long as he cannot take responsibility for his effect on others, he is incapable of remorse.

            • Absolutely! And I can’t figure out whether this is an ASD related issue, or a personality disorder. Autism is autism, after all. But could there be an overlay of NPD? What do you think?

              • Really can’t diagnose someone this way. Have no idea. Perhaps he’s incredibly immature. We all need to work through the anger we have toward our parents. Love isn’t easy.

  3. Oh Laura, I am so sorry to hear of your troubles with your son. Life is just so difficult sometimes, hoping things get better for you. Love and hugs.

    • Thank you, havivi. I have resolved, in oceans of tears, that I have done all that I can possibly do here, and it’s time to move on and enjoy my life. There’s so much to explore!!! I just have to wait out this latest weather debacle and as soon as it clears out, head West!!! I just have to decide which want: tornadoes or ice storms. That’s I-10 vs I-40. So you can see where my mind has got to, for this moment anyway.

      • Well I hope you have grand adventures and see beautiful nature. Hmmm tough choice: tornadoes or ice storms 😄 And if you pass near Louisville, let me know. We’ll get together😊 Hoping for the best with you and your son. You never know, after some reflection, he may change the way he sees things. In the meantime, time for fun!

  4. I can identify with you. Not quite the same way- I don’t move but I’ve been criticized and called eccentric and all sorts of “good things.” I’m just not the typical woman who focuses on wearing jewels and driving a fancy car or putting on airs. I love nature and animals more than people I’ve met.

  5. I totally agree with you

  6. My son turned out to be just like his dad (who I divorced over 30 years ago). Yeah, they’re just like two peas in a pod — and I’m a purple jelly bean. 🙂

  7. I just had another “bout” with my thirty-three (twelve-year-old.) The only thing I can figure is that your son must have inherited his daddys’ narcissist behavior….”it’s all about him.” I say give him his own space…tell him to get the Hell out of your life until he grows up and can treat you with the respect you deserve.

    • Good advice. It saddens me to no end, as I know it must for you too, to have tried to make this oppositional child enjoy doing things with me. But he’s never been happy, he blames it on me, and somehow he missed the message he supposedly leaned in his wilderness therapy and his therapeutic boarding school: “My happiness is not dependent on the acts of others. I am the agent of my own happiness.” And, “Love other people for who they are. Don’t expect them to be who they aren’t.” And, “Your parents are people too. They have their good points and bad, just like anybody else. Don’t put up with abuse, but don’t judge them harshly just for being human and making mistakes.”

      He’s too old, as yours is, to be sitting in judgment and demanding that I become a Stepford Wife (remember that movie? If you haven’t seen it, do so immediately. You’ll get a big kick out of it!)

      • I’ve seen it. I have found that my children don’t judge me for who I am but rather, they judge me for not being who they want me to be…or who I used to be.
        And…the blame game. I am sick to death of the fucking blame game….it’s never directed toward the person it should be directed toward..because they FEAR the real culprit and it’s so much easier to blame the recipient of the abusive narcissistic sociopaths. If your son hasn’t changed (or grown up) by now, I doubt he ever will. Sigh.

        • Children want a stable home with two parents who get along. They want Dad to have a good job and come home and teach then to run the riding mower in the one acre back yard while Mom makes spaghetti and meatballs. They want Mom to take them and their friends to soccer practice in her Volvo station wagon, in her white slacks. They want, they want, they want…But unfortunately (or fortunately!) life is not like that. Even if it looks like that on the outside, it’s still not like that. Then kids grow up to be adults, and if they are still whining that they didn’t get the life they wanted, then they are just missing the life that could be theirs, that is right in front of them. What a tragedy, really.

          • That’s what my children thought they had…minus the “dad” who actually came home. They thought that was normal. Then, when they found out who and what their daddy really was…the only way they could cope was to blame “MOM.” They were too afraid of Loser…so I was the natural choice. Sometimes, it kind of sucks to be a mom….

  8. After a while one gets to the point of realizing that no matter what you do you can’t please the one who only wants to be ‘happy’. There are a lot more satisfying things in life that the pursuit of happiness.

  9. I don’t mean to be rude, but it seems as if he is taking the role of an “ideal mother” or an “ideal situation” for granted. You have done your best and it is okay to do things that make you happy. I respect you a great deal for I understand your journey thus far and it shows you to be a strong woman, and it isn’t fair to see someone who doesn’t recognise it and undermine it.

    On Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 8:35 AM, Bipolar For Life wrote:

    > Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA posted: ” So. I talked to The Entitled Brat, I > mean my son, today. It came out that what he wants is A Real Mother, one > that he can visit and smell cookies baking as he steps onto the welcoming > front porch. A place where he could always find me, from which I wo” >

  10. I haven’t read the other comments, but I just want reinforce that you are *not* a bad mother. Sounds like your son wants a fairy tale or Leave it to Beaver mother and they just don’t exist. I mean, I had a fabulous, loving, warm, smart, etc mother, but she wasn’t perfect. Yes, many mothers do have a permanent home and bake cookies, but that does not a mother make. You have every right to live your life the way you want to at this point in your life, especially. He needs to do some growing up, for sure. Perhaps with your absence from his life he will eventually come to miss and appreciate you. Just keep loving him and give him that space. I’m pretty darn sure you’ve always done the best you could with what you had and were at the time as he grew up. No one has a right to ask more, especially now. Love, Peace and Blessings

  11. “Love other people for who they are. Don’t expect them to be who they aren’t.”

    That works both ways, doesn’t it? I quit trying to change my son or use my own expectations for what a son should be. He is who he is, and I was a small part of that, as were all the other people he’s known. And I am who I am, so if anyone doesn’t like it, that’s just too bad. 🙂

  12. Nancy Williams

     /  January 21, 2016

    Hi Laura, I am learning, through my own research, that kids often enjoy hating their parents and that, when I put my mind to it, I can have a great life without them.

  13. thinking of you. I don’t think you are a “bad Mother” at all. Your son is just being a fink. I think in time he will realize what he is missing and come back to you. Maybe not in open arms but with one arm. The other I will break 🙂

  14. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  January 22, 2016

    If it weren’t for all the bad patenting in this world, we’d all be perfectly balanced, rich, happy and living in la-la land!
    Ha ha ha!

    • Sonofabitch, I think you’re right! I think he’s in la-la land already, to tell you the truth. And when he lands, I’m not going to be there to catch his sorry ass this time.

  15. So sorry. I hope one day he’ll come to understanding of how hard it is to be a parent

  16. Tempted to type F*CK him. He’s being an ass. You are you, not June Cleaver. Who the fuck wants to be home making cookies? You’re an MD!

    • No, I’m no June Lockhart, by any stretch! I do bake cookies on occasion, but they’re “special” (wink, wink). I have, in effect, said “fuck him.” I have a line in the sand of my soul, and when someone crosses that line, they’re gone. I have a very long fuse, and I love very deeply, so it takes a lot for a person to cross that line. But he has crossed it, and when I think of him now it is with little emotion, mainly compassion that he is so lost.

  17. Bad mother my arse. Sometimes moving house is necessary. It could have been many more times – I know of people whose childhoods were spent moving every two or three years because their dads were in the armed forces, or worked on the railways, or anything that resulted in a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

    I’m sorry that your son is acting like such a spoilt brat and I hope something gives him a kick up the arse to make him realise just how lucky he has been.

  1. because who doesn’t want to be versatile? | Riddle from the Middle

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