I say NO and cave when it comes to my 19 year old son

by Cynthia Bendict
(North Vancouver, BC Canada)

I completely relate to what Felicia wrote about her 20 year old son and felt some relief to see a similar experience except my son isn't as functioning as her son. My son spent time in youth detention and then 10 months in adult prison after an attempted robbery.

I as well was a single mom raising a boy who I felt very badly for because he didn't have a father in his life and tried everything I could to make him feel better. It never worked and the hole I tried to fill has gotten bigger as he's gotten older.

When he went to adult prison I was devastated. I felt 90% responsible because if I had been a better parent he wouldn't be in this situation even though he did the crime. I visited him every month and brought him money. I saved more in a bank account for him because I wanted him to have something when he came out. I cried and prayed lots and asked for guidance in helping him find his path.

I had offers from friends to help him get a job, free tutoring to bring up his math grades among other helpful things. I was excited and nervous about his release and his coming to live with me again. I also enjoyed my 10 months without him and was apprehensive about his return.

To shorten the story, after he had been with me one week he got in trouble with my landlady and she wanted him out of the building for good. I managed to get her to allow him to stay until he found another place or a shelter but he didn't even look for a place. My mom and I did the leg work because I couldn't bring myself to tell him to leave without a place to go. I have always done these kinds of things for him because I thought it was my responsibility as a parent.

I feel that I have created this 'monster' and only I can make it right. Since he's been out I have less money, less food, less peace of mind and he has no interest in finding work or doing anything other than smoking pot, eating, sleeping and playing video games.

I'm grateful to have the opportunity to put this is writing. Thank you.

Cynthia

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