Wedding Woes

Have you considered therapy?

Dear Prudence,

My 17-year-old son and I do not have a relationship. I am considering kicking him out in a few months when he turns 18, although I’m not sure yet if I’ll actually do it. He yells and curses at me constantly, doesn’t clean up after himself, does whatever he wants without regards to others, has been expelled from school due to fighting, and recently has been caught shoplifting. For my part, I have also done wrong. I was a harsh parent. I yelled a lot when he was growing up, and I believed in corporal punishment and perfection. At this point, it is what it is. I wish we could start over but this is our sad, sad life…

I never talk about my child to others. My coworker has no children and I love to talk to her. She is the only coworker who doesn’t bring up children in conversations. I always assumed she was child-free by choice. Well, yesterday, she confided in me that she’s infertile. She wants children so badly it breaks her heart. She told me she always enjoyed talking to me because I never bring up kids, but she wanted to tell me about it as we’ve become closer, from just coworkers to friends. She even said she knows I’m a good mom because I’m a good person (ha! If only). I want to scream. I want to tell her she is so lucky. I want to tell her to stop being sad, not having kids is the best thing that could’ve happened to her. I want to tell her I am a horrible mom who created a horrible kid. I am actually in disbelief that she is sad about this. But obviously my thoughts are horrible. How do I support my friend?

—Horrible Mom

Re: Have you considered therapy?

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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Without getting into details you can tell your coworker that you and your son are deeply struggling.  She does not feel lucky so do not tell her that she is.  (Infertility is actually pretty freaking "unlucky" or better word, unfair.)  And then immediately after saying that to her, find you and your son therapy- together as well as separately.  
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    The coworker is the least of your problems. 

    You were/are an abusive parent and now that the natural outcomes of those parenting choices are coming out in your don you’re throwing up your hands, kicking him out, and wishing he didn’t exist rather than actually acknowledging you caused all of this. Get into therapy now for yourself, and with your son if he’ll go with you. Pay for him to go alone as well. 

    Deal with your own shit before getting involved with someone else’s. 
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    You don't seem to be taking charge of how your actions can be contributing to the situations with your child.   So....maybe you need to think way more about your kid and family therapy rather than some coworker relationship.  That you even phrase this about how your coworker thinks of you vs. the situation with your own kid makes me think that you have no idea about what you're doing. 
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    To answer the LW's question, they should keep not bringing up or talking about children with this coworker.  That is what helped bring them close to begin with.  The coworker even said how much they appreciate that.

    But I don't think that is really the question they are looking for an answer to.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    downtondivadowntondiva member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 7
    First off - and I say this as a childfree by choice person - please do not ever, EVER tell someone who is struggling with infertility that they are lucky not to have kids. There are few things you could say in that situation that would be worse. If your coworker brings the topic up with you again, be a sympathetic listener and do not express any of the feelings you mentioned in your letter. 

    That aside, therapy for you and your son, separately and probably together, is essential. You need to own up to your poor, abusive choices as a parent, and he needs help moving forward from the issues you contributed to and to determine if he can do that with you still being an active part of his life. No amount of advice from Prudie can make any of that happen.
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