Any Help Appreciated

penbyrdJune 24, 2008

Our son is 25. He is our only son. He has not spoken to us in almost 3 years. He does not want us to know his address or phone number and had turned his email completely over to his girlfriend. My husband and I were very close to our son, Michael. Tension began when he met his girlfriend during his freshman year of college. She, Danielle was his best friend from high school's girlfriend. The best friend, Brandon, was Michael's roommate during his first year of college. Brandon broke up with Danielle after he started drinking and going out with many girls during his freshman year of college. After the breakup she went after our son Michael aggressively. She is a very controlling person and he seems to listen and do whatever she asks/demands of him. She was always unkind to us, but Michael was kind to us and called frequently and came home every holiday during his undergraduate years of college. He even asked us for advice about Danielle and other aspects of his life. We listened and encourage him to make his own decisions. We never spoke ill of her, even when he was angry with her. She did not allow him to have any friends and even though he did not like that and many of her other rules,in the end, he did as she wanted. They have now been together for 7 years with 2 years of separation while he was in grad school on complete scholarship with stipend and she was in another state in pharmacy school.

We were very kind to Danielle in spite of her behavior towards us. We paid for our son's undergraduate degree including all living expenses much of which went to dates, gifts, etc. to Danielle. We treated them to dinners, vacations, etc. We even bought him a new car for his undergraduate graduation.

Once he started grad school, she wanted to break up with him and he called us crying and very upset asking for advice and telling us many bad things about Danielle. Two months later at Christmas she took him back and he cut all ties with us. The only contact we have had is her emails and calls which are very unkind. He has been silent.

After almost 3 years of her cruelty and accusations of things we did wrong to Michael as parents,. we finally blocked his email address as he never answered and per her, he didn't read our emails. We tried to write only kind things, per your book, although there were times when we did respond out of anger as she was so cruel in her phone calls and emails. We know our son's writing style and know that these responses were written by her. One time she called and demanded we get him his personal belongings. When we tried to deliver them to him, he yelled out his apartment door "Hey you get out of here" as if we were strangers and then called the police on us. We left his things with the police as he refused to speak with us. That was the last address we knew.

Her father, Larry has taken our son as his son and refuses to assist us in making things right or giving us any information about our son. Michael has an 84 year old grandmother who he was close to, but also has had no contact with her. She accepts it and has just cut him out of her will. We have left him in our will as we love him and he is our only son. Larry has 2 adult daughters, was married to Danielle's mother until Danielle was 2 and says she was a crazy woman. He never remarried and says he speaks with Danielle and Michael about 3 times a day.

Danielle says. I, Michael's mother am crazy and that Michael's father is manipulative. We have never been given a reason for the silence from Michael. Danielle and Larry have said terrible untrue things about us for the past 3 years. Danielle said Michael is angry because he wasn't breast fed and we didn't send him to a private high school. He never said these things to us and we always asked his opinion about things and listened to him openly thus our shock at this estrangement.

Michael was somewhat socially immature. He spent 2 years in kindergarten per his teacher's advice. We never made a big deal of this. Danielle was his first and only girlfriend. He was an introvert. Per Larry, Danielle, a pharmacist and our son Michael a computer scientist are making over $200,000 a year yet Danielle continually sent us emails stating that we owed Michael money after his grandfather's death. This money is 100% under control of my mother and I have no say in what she does with it. I actually think I have been taken out of her will as she blames me for Michael's estrangement.

I know you say in your book to write kind things once a week or so. Our only means of contact was/is email and Danielle was the only one responding and reading our emails. With every email we sent, Danielle responded with a cruel, dramatic response which upset us and made me cry for days. My therapist thought it best to stop contact as I was getting very depressed.

We have no way to contact Michael directly and every time we make any contact it seems as though she uses us to stir up more drama and cruelty. We are hoping maybe without us, she may have to find another source for her drama. She seems to thrive on drama and we were thinking she might now take it out on Michael or Larry.

We wrote a kind last email stating that we had to block all email and calls from Danielle and Larry as the cruelty and threats were to much for us to handle. In this email, we did tell Michael, he was always loved and our door was always opened, but doubt any of the good things we have written have been passed on to him. We think if he and Danielle break up he may contact us, but aren't sure as we really don't know what happened and why we were his allies in October 2005 and by December 2005 we were the his enemies.

Danielle has said that Michael didn't go to his grad school graduation as he was "terrified" we would be there. We did not go as we were not invited. Danielle has said he is "terrified" that my husband will take out credit in his name as they have the same first and last name. She said he has put a watch on his credit report in case my husband tries to do this. This is crazy as we have only given to him financially his entire life and do not want or need his assistance financially. We have never did anything to ever hurt so why is he suddenly "terrified" of us. We wonder if she has done some terrible things in our name without us knowing to make us look bad in his eyes. What would suddenly make us "terrifying"?

If he marries Danielle, it appears we will never see him again. We will never know if we have grandchildren. Danielle has said that they will marry and that we will never see our son again. She also said we will never know or meet any of their children (our possible future grandchildren).

What is the next step? Do we give up on him completely? How will we know if they break up and if this is the reason he is silent? Does he believe we are really as terrible and "terrifying" as Danielle and Larry have said? Is there a way to know if Danielle has done something to make him think we are awful? How can we get the truth to him or if he ever cares to know the truth? We do know she influences him, but also know he could find a way to contact us on his own, but chooses not to.

As you know this is so painful. My husband is having an easier time moving on. I cry every day, but am trying to move forward and realize stopping the cruelty will help. We just want to know if were are proceeding correctly since it is apparent we are currently not wanted in their lives. Do we just have to wait and see if he ever reaches out. What do I do when his grandmother is sick or dies? Once wrote and email when she was hospitalized for a possible stroke and was told via a voicemail from Danielle to only make contact if someone is dead!

We are so hurt, words can begin to explain the pain.

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I am so sorry for your situation.
My husband and I are living through nearly the same situation- an intorverted son with a first time girlfriend. We have been cut off for 2 years now. At his graduation 2 years ago, he chased us home after we moved his things to his new apt. He had met this girl who has made up stories, alienated us and has created a rift that we cannot change.

The only difference is that your son's gf is a pharmacist and works- the girl in our son's life does not work and has been draining him financially. Be thankful that the girl is at least on the same educational and employment plane as your son. The girl in our case never went beyond 8th grade and may or may not have a GED. She pretends to take college internet classes and does not work at all. My son's charge card is her playtoy and she is running him broke.

I also have an elderly mother who was very good to our son- he has ignored her despite her beiong 83. In our case, she paid his entire education, bought him a car, gave him $12K a year and what did he do when he met the girl??
He called me, asked how much my mother was worth and asked when he was going to inherit the 1/2 of her estate! The girl was on the line and wanted to know this. The girl then had the nerve to e mail me to dispute whether my mom's house had an attached tennis court or not!!!!!!!! I was appalled. My mother is ignored 24/7/365 but her money is of interest. That was disgusting to all of us! 12 years of Catholic education and he shows no respect! He was written out of my mother's will shortly after that as my mother is also very hurt and disgusted also.

We also were nice to the girl and all she did was make up stories. I tried to e mail, instant message and send the girl cards and gifts on her birthday and holidays. In return, we were treated like garbage.

My husband is heartbroken but puts on a stoic face and says he does not care. He has started to take anti depressants for the first time in his life. Mine are not working that well as I still find myself a very depressed bitter person. This is consuming my life!

It is tearing me apart and I always think that if I died tomorrow, I would die a broken woman as I devoted my life to my son and was a good mother. I cannot bear seeing young men with their parents happy and smiling as that is something I do not have and it makes me wonder why my only child would do this to us! I cannot bear the thought of never seeing him again yet I am not sure I want to see him which also makes me crazy. We have not seen him for over a year. Holidays are especially hard as he ignores us and does not come back home. He simply seems not to care.

Only difference is that I get flowers on my birthday, Mothers Day and gift cards on Christmas. Otherwise I am on the do not call list. I sent 2 emails thanking him for the Mothers Day flowers and got no reply. I suspect she has deleted my messages to falsely accuse me of not being grateful.

My son has an MBA and a very good job- he had a bright future until he met this girl. He applied for a marriage license in February- we are not sure if he has married or not. We were not invited in any case.

He is now selling the house he bought last year- we do not not know where he is moving or why. She wanted him to quit his very good job to move to the town where her 2 sisters who have babies live- so that she won't be "bored" while my son is at work. As her sisters who are both teenagers are not married and need babysitting when they go out looking for guys- she will become the babysitter while my son busts his rear to give her and her sisters credit card to run up. One sister recently had a second baby so that there ae 3 babies to watch while they tramp around looking to continue the family tradition of having kids out of wedlock and not working.

He has been selling the stocks my father left to him and it is heartbreaking as he is losing his future security for someone who does not care about him at all. She is only interested in his money- she has as so much told him to his face and her father has told us the same thing. She does not even act like she likes him when they are together, She was looking for men on the net 6 months after he brought her a $10000 ring. The girl is making a fool of my son who is of all things a financial analyst.

I wish I had some answers for you. I posted this to let you know you are not alone. I often feel like I am the only mother in the world with a son who has abandoned me. You are not alone!

I have reached the point of wondering if I even want to speak with my son again which perplexes me. I do not know who he is or why he is doing these things. My husband who was a superb father has told me that he has no ida who he is and really would not know what to say to him if he called. That is sad indeed as we were a close and loving family. We did everything we could for our son.

On Mothers Day I saw a show with NBA athletes praising and thanking their mothers. One actually said he called his mom every day as he appreciated what she did for him so much. I had to turn off the tv as I was crying and got so depressed.

There is no answer- I wish I had one.

Please know that you are not alone and that this board is here to support you. Please do not get discouraged by posters who are going to post and say that you did something wrong- you were somehow nasty to the girl or sent out some nasty vibes. Some have accused me of speaking about money to much in this situation and contrasting our social status to that of the girlfriend. In our case- money is one of the main sources of this problem. The girl is after my son's credit card and money. My son foolishly told her that he was going to inhgerit 1/2 of my mom's very substantial estate. He told her about our family realty business and how my parents had amassed a lot of money that he was going to inherit. I know he did as she asked me how many units my unit the business owned, how much my mother's house was worth and what other assets she had. Can you imagine!!!!!??

She does not want to work and wants his money. She found his brokerage statement and started to demand that she be treated like a princess while she does nothing all day. At least your son's gf works and is not draining his finances. In both cases the girls seem to have a power over the guys that is amazing. I think it has to do with sex- this is the first girl who would move in with my son after knowing him for one week. She is loose morally and using sex to get what she wants. She fears us being in touch with our son as she fears we will try to get him to see the light- and then her gravy train will end.

It is YOUR SON and not you that is the problem here. Do not beat yourself up!

Good luck and stay strong!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Your son's GF wouldn't know anything of his childhood, unless he had been complaining to her.
You say you were so close with your son; yet apparently, there are some issues there.
Your son is an adult.
She knew nothing of his childhood, except what he told her.
And it seems he went in the opposite direction, as well; as you said he told you awful things about his fiance.
Just from reading your post, it sounds like your son is using his fiance (or wife) to break away from you.
Instead of confronting you directly with his complaints, he carried tales to his GF, and she reacted as his "protector."
This wouldn't be the first time a young man has used a GF or wife to break away from his parents - it doesn't make it right, but it does happen.
He needs her as a lightening rod, apparently; to take the heat.
He told you tales about her, and now he has told her things about you and your husband that he resented.
He needs to grow up and be a man and address you, instead of hiding behind his woman.

If I were you, I would write him a letter and have it sent certified, or Fed-Exed, or - whatever way that he, PERSONALLY, will have to sign for it - not his GF.
You need to make contact with him, without going through his GF, and you need to tell him that you want to talk and/or listen to him.
Tell him you love him, but that he needs to step up and be a man, and let you know what his complaints and resentments are, instead of hiding behind her.
Said tactfully, of course, not in an accusing manner.
Does he know he can come to you and talk things over?
Make it plain to him that you want to know what the problems are, and why he refuses to see you.
He should be able to say what he thinks without being fearful of repercussions - you say your mother may have cut you out of her will? It sounds like he also is coming from some control issues.
Good luck and I hope you get to see him again.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:44AM
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I am so sorry for what your going through. My kids are young and I can not imagine them growing up and cutting off contact with me.

I have a friend on the other end of a situation like yours. Her in-laws were very controlling of her husband. All of his days off work were filled with plans his parents made. His brother was constantly stopping by their house. His parents did not like my friend and gave her the cold shoulder. It put a lot of strain on the marriage. (which by the way was done secretly at a courthouse because he knew his parents would not approve! She was upset he would not tell them about it prior to the wedding, but he was afraid of what they would say)

My friend and her husband moved out of state. His parents were making him feel guilty constantly and pressuring him to move back.

The whole situation is a mess. My friend is at the point where she thinks he should stand up to his parents and tell them how he feels. He is non confrontational and likes to avoid conflict. One may see her as controlling, but the real situation is the fact that her husband avoids the issues and hides from them.

It sounds like your son is similar to him. Not saying your like his parents, but it seems he is avoiding you instead of talking about his feelings. Maybe he can't stand up for himself and discuss things that bother him? Maybe his girlfriend is controlling?

Either way, you need to try to talk to him and ask him why he is so upset with you and let him know you want a relationship. I love sirens idea of a certified letter so he has to sign it. Do you know where he works? Maybe sending the letter there would be a good idea because he could read it without her around.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:48AM
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We sent multiple emails telling him that we love him and understand he is an adult now and understand that this means a different type of relationship. We have written that our door is always open and that we are willing to answer any questions he has about his childhood without defending or denying... just listening. We have apologized for whatever we have done to cause the estrangement. He won't tell us and remains silent. We have asked what we could do to make things right. He does not respond, we ony get nasty, cruel, threatening emails from his girlfriend who says he never even reads the emails. Her emails are filled with cruelty, threats and accusations and state there is no hope and we will never see our son again and that there is nothing we can do about it.

As far as trying to get him alone, he lives out of state and we do not know where he works or lives. We do not have his phone number. The only contact information we had was his email which she controlled and her phone number which she rarely answered or if she did it was just to say cruel things. We recently blocked his email and decided per Dr. Coleman to avoid contact for a year as our son was not reading our messages and the girlfriend friends responses were so painful and dramatic.

We were accused of stalking when we tried to talk to her father about helping us understand the situation. She threatened restraining orders if we ever contacted her father again. Her father who invited us into his home, was of no help and basically told us we were terrible parents and that he was there for our son. He also said our son did not want any contact with us ever again. He also told us that he spoke to them about 3 times a day.

We want to be the peacemakers and try to move forward and do the right thing, but have no options except being put down as being lousy parents which I know in my heart we were not, but am willing to understand and accept that our son has a different perception of his childhood, yet he has refused to tell us what we did so wrong and won't give us the opportunity to apologize and acknowledge his pain.

I appreciate the suggestions, but any contact we make does not get to him and he for whatever reason has chosen not to have contat with us and chooses to keep his contact inforamtion confidential.

This is painful, but there seems to be nothing we can do for the time being, but pray for them and try to get on with our own lives. This, of course is made difficult, when you see other adult children with their parents on Mother's Day, Birthdays, etc...

I never wanted to be the evil mother, I tried to be nice, but was never even give a chance. He spoke to us lovingly one day and 2 months later he was "terrified" of us, his parents, per the girlfriend. We were never even given the opportunity to listen, be kind or do the right thing.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 2:13PM
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this is rather starnge. at least he had to tell what is the reason. my best friend and her husband are estranged from his parents. but he told them directly that unless they are nice to his wife and treat her kindly, he does not want them around. they treated his wife bad and he did not tolerate that. they did not change, so he refused to see them. but your son told you nothing? i find breatsfeeding and private school story ridiculous and fake. it cannot be true reason. i hope you can get it out of him what is the true reason.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 3:03PM
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" Her father who invited us into his home, was of no help and basically told us we were terrible parents and that he was there for our son. He also said our son did not want any contact with us ever again. He also told us that he spoke to them about 3 times a day."

This is what I do not understand: what sort of tales is your son telling?
He evidently has told his GF - and now, her father - that you were awful parents.
Something must have gone on, for him to be saying this.

If he refuses to let you know where he lives, or his phone number, as you say....there isn't much you can do, I'm afraid.
You could hire a private detective to find out his address and such, but to tell you the truth - I wouldn't do it because it sounds like he isn't going to speak to you, even if you located him.
I just don't understand why you have no clue what your son is talking about when he goes and tells people about his horrible childhood.

In any event, your best shot would be to stay in contact with the girl's father. Even if he won't give you any information now, perhaps you could befriend him, and explain how this is hurting you - if you are lucky, he will try to talk your son into contacting you.
Truthfully, it sounds like your son is very hurt and upset about something. I can't think of any other reason he would do this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you will just have to wait and stay in touch with the GF's father. Maybe one day your son will have a change of heart.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 3:29PM
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My friend has a daughter who hasn't talked to her mom since January, they are ptetty much estranged. Yesterday he told me that daughter's fiancee adviced her to cut relationship wiht her mother completely because it is just too stressful to try to mend a relationship. I think she will listen his advice. what kind of person would advice his fiancee to cut relationship with her mother? mother is not abusive, she might not be perfect and there were misunderstandings. but i don't understand how severe could it be to cut it completely.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Finedreams, not to make excuses, but the fiance is probably in "protective" mode. When you're engaged, and you see your fiance hurting from a problem relationship; most likely you're going to advise to just cut want to "solve" problems.
I think he would have probably advised that, no matter who the problematic relationship is with. He sees his fiance hurting, and it bothers him; so he advised her to cut ties.....
She's an adult - regardless of what her fiance advises; it's still her decision.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 6:22PM
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It is a very strange unexplainable situation which makes it so painful. We love our son very much and treated him fully like an adult once he went away to college. He typically called us once a week, but don't think once he was with his girlfriend or told her he was calling us. We didn't realize this until after the estrangement. SHe send us an email stating "It is not like you ever spoke to him anyway" He called often and came home for most holidays by his own choice. We never pressured him, he would ask for us to get the ticket and always seemed happy to be home.

Even when this girl dated our son's best friend, she had no other friends. All through college she had no friends. We invited her and her father and sister to dinners, vacations, family celebrations, etc. The father said he and his other daughter were never invited to these events. We invited them by asking her or our son, but guess they never forwarded the info. She would attend, but kept to herself, talked to mostly our son and afterwards complained about the other people. For example, we went to Sea World with a group of extended family who tried to be extra kind to her as she was our sons first girlfriend. She was cold to everyone and then complained about each person afterwards (ie she didn't like my cousin because he was a smoker even though he never smoked in front of her, she didn't like my aunt because she ate the last chocholate muffin...there were plenty of muffins left and my aunt would have happily given her this muffin if she wanted it, but she waited until after she ate it, then complained for hours to everyone about how rude my 65 year old aunt was!

I would buy Danielle gifts for her birthday and other holidays. I always asked my son what she wanted. He said she loved Godiva chocolates so this is what I generally got. She would say thank you, but I found out after the estrangement from her that she was angry that I bought her these gifts and that she always threw them away. Her father's explanation was "well you know how girls can be about gifts?" I told him no I didn't understand, I was just being thoughful, if I knew she hated the chocholate, why did my son not tell me. Why would I buy a gift if I knew someone hated it especially when my son said it was her favorite.

During Grad school our son had planned to go to the University of Utah so we sold our condo. Then at the last minute he was offered a full scholarship for grad school to do research in Reno, NV. He had to find a place to stay at the last minute and he told us he wanted to get a place with a roommate or two because he didn't want to be alone as his girlfirned was going to pharmacy school in another state for two years. He also wanted to save money. She kept telling him get a more expensive apartment alone so he could fly her up to visit on holidays. My husband asked to speak to our son to tell him not to let anyone ---us or her--- to pressure him and to make the decision that he was most comfortable with. She yelled at both my husband and I that anything we said to our son we would say in front of her. OUr son sat back and let her yell. We went out of our way to be kind, but no matter what we did, she would find a reason to get upset and create drama.

Once would ask my son, why she was upset with us so frequently and he could say don't worry about it. He would say he didn't like that about her. He said she was always rude to waiters and felt she was superior to most people. He said he didn't like that about her, but didn't want to talk about it any further so I dropped it since he said he loved her and was happy.

His first summer home from college, several of his friends from high school, who had gone to other colleges in different states, came to visit and wanted to have a guys summer. Michael said he was excited , but Danielle wanted him to give up his friends. He told me this made him angry and that he was considering breaking up with her. I told him that he would need to weigh the decision and do what he felt was best. He said he was going to hang out with his friends and break up with her. Two days later, he "broke up" with his friends. She was his only friend in college that I know of. He has not kept in touch with anyone from his past.

She is a very smart and pretty girl and all I can figure out is that she wants him 100% to herself. That is why we stopped taking her emails/phonecalls as they were always mean and threatening and he reamined silent. It is like he just didn't want to deal with the drama she would create. The funny thing is that she would write dramatic emails accusing us of awful things. No matter how we responded, she would think of more things to accuse of us. I was starting to feel like the worst person on earth.

It almost seems as though she gave him an ultimatum once he no longer needed us financially. We paid his expenses(and some of hers) for undergrad and he was under full scholarship with a living stipend for grad school. During his undergrad, she would frequently call and say Michael needed more money. We would wait until he called as he called often just to talk. We would ask, do you need more money, Danielle called and asked, he would say no. We would say if he ever needed more money to let us know as we were in a good place financially and had planned to pay for his Bachelor's Degree since he was little if he chose to go to college. As I said we were close and he talked to us about many things including his feelings and relationship with Danielle. We tried to never speak ill of her even when he was mad knowing they may get back together. We engcouraged him to make his own decisions. He seemed his usual kind, happy self when we saw him or spoke to him. Like I said one minute he loved and trusted us and 2 months later he was, per Danielle, "terrified of us" and never wanted to see us again.

Keeping in touch with her father is not an option as she has threatened a restraining order if we contact him and he has taken our son as his own and is not willing to help or pass along information. He is a loner like his daughter, he never remarried and seems to have no friends. He lives alone. He has a younger daughter that is in college in our city, but she lives with her boyfriend and Danielle said her sister has estranged herself from the father unless she needs him for financial help. Danielle never talked kindly of her sister.

Danielle and Larry have told us that they are suprised what a smart, good guy Michael is because we were/are such terrible parents/people. Danielle said our son is a genetic anomaly, but after spending a few more years with her, he will be where he should be...normal. I guess we made hime abnormal due to our terrible parenting. I always thought he was normal and we were normal. The friends and family I spoke with said they were always jealous of what a great relationship Michael and us had! He would tell us when he was upset, happy, if something was bothering him. We would listen. As I said it makes no sense. Larry and Danielle seem abnormal to me.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Penbyrd, since you're so upset (and I don't blame you!), I read your post carefully to try to ferret out what on earth could be behind all this. I'm going to ask you some questions, if I may; maybe some of this will jog your memory or help you try to figure out what is happening!

The first thing I want to ask you about is this (I will quote):

"We love our son very much and treated him fully like an adult once he went away to college. He typically called us once a week, but don't think once he was with his girlfriend or told her he was calling us."

"SHe send us an email stating "It is not like you ever spoke to him anyway" He called often and came home for most holidays by his own choice. We never pressured him, he would ask for us to get the ticket and always seemed happy to be home."

Is it possible your son interpreted your not calling him at college, as not caring?
You said you "treated him like an adult." Perhaps he felt like you didn't care about him any more, once he had left for college....? Is that possible?
I don't know; I'm asking....I'm trying to help you figure out what is going on.
Please don't take offense at my questions.
But with the comment from Danielle about "it's not like you ever spoke to him anyway," it sounds like he'd been complaining to her about some coldness from your end.

"During his undergrad, she would frequently call and say Michael needed more money. We would wait until he called as he called often just to talk. We would ask, do you need more money, Danielle called and asked, he would say no. We would say if he ever needed more money to let us know as we were in a good place financially and had planned to pay for his Bachelor's Degree since he was little if he chose to go to college."

Could it be possible that he was angry that you didn't send him money when Danielle let you know he needed it?
Perhaps he didn't understand why you didn't get in touch with him, immediately, when Danielle called and told you he was running short.
I would wonder about that myself.
Maybe he felt like you were making him "beg" for the money, by not addressing it when Danielle brought it to your attention.
I don't know; I'm asking if this could be what's on his mind.....

"Danielle and Larry have told us that they are suprised what a smart, good guy Michael is because we were/are such terrible parents/people. Danielle said our son is a genetic anomaly, but after spending a few more years with her, he will be where he should be...normal."

What on earth? Where would they get this idea, if not from your son?

Really, it sounds to me like your son has been sitting on some hostility for a while.

It's too bad that you can't get in touch with him. I can see how devastated that you are and I hope you hear from him very soon.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 7:29PM
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I do not take offense and appreciate your help, thoughts, ideas.

We did call him at college, but generally when we called he was busy and did not want to talk. It also seemed he didn't want to talk when she was around. Most of the time when we called it went to voice mail so we would leave a voice mail. Sometimes he called back fairly timely, other times he didn't. It is not like we never called. As a mother, I would have loved to call daily, but was trying to give him space. It is not easy reading minds so I did ask him and he said he preferred to call us unless it was urgent so that is what we did. We always called on birthdays, holidays when he didn't come home or call us first.

He may have felt like were didn't care, but at this point I will never know. I know we did care and really love and miss him. Dr. Coleman says parents and children have different perceptions of the same situations so that is a possibility. He just didn't seem to want to talk or answer when we called, but was a lot more talkative and open when he called us.

Danielle's emails give me more of an impression that we were too controlling, but I also get the impression that any contact with him was controlling in her opinion. As I said before she said I was crazy like her mother, who left her at age 2 and my husband was manipulative. When I asked no further explanation was given. As you said our son definately must have some hostility, he just never exhibited it to us. We though things were fine between our son and us, but knew she didn't like us. We did the best we could with this situation and would love the opportunity to apologize if something we did was perceived differently than intended.

I am sure it may have upset her and him, if he asked her to ask us for more money, but since she was not our child we already felt like we were paying plenty towards her college expenses. We paid the majority of her housing costs and we know Michael used the money we sent to buy her gifts, take her on dates etc. He told us about it and we told him it was fine as we could afford it and planned to pay for his undergraduate degree. I guess since she was so unkind and mean to us and so controlling of him from the beginning, we didn't really know how serious things were. At least in my opinion, back then, he just met her and it didn't seem as though it was going to be a long term realtionship. This was the way Michael talked in the beginning. We paid the bills and gave him an agreed amount of money each month. In addition we gave him a credit card for times when he was short or for emergencies. We didn't keep track of how or what he spent his money on. I figured with the credit card he could always use it if he needed something extra. My husband and I also felt that we were being more than generous and that he may have to learn to budget and eat in the dining hall more often than taking her to fancy restaurants. We figured he could do more expensive things once he was working.

Her father paid nothing that we know of and she used student loans for all her education. She once emailed that we should have given the profits we made from the condo we sold to Michael and that Michael should have gotten money when my father died. Maybe he was angry about the money. We used the condo profits to buy him a new car and my mother chose to keep all my dad's money which is her choice not mine. I also got nothing. I emailed this info to Danielle, but don't know if Michael knows this. We are by no means wealthy. We had to work hard to be able to save enough to pay for his undergraduate, a gift we felt would give him a good start in life if that is what he wanted. Prior to the estrangement, we were always able to talk with Michael about money so we didn't see a problem at the time. As all parents do, before he left for college we weighed not spoiling him verses giving and hoped we made the right choices. It appears perhaps we didn't as we obviously did something really wrong.

As far as him feeling abnormal and being a genetic anomaly, this strikes me as a strange thing to say about someone you love. My son is very much like me and very much like my husband in many ways. They may choose not to admit that he did get both good and bad traits from us, but this is a fact that is true whether he wants to believe it or not. Neither my husband or I have been referred to as abnormal except by Danielle and her father, but like you said he is obviously hostile about something.

The fact is until he speaks to us we will never really know the truth. We really tried to be the best parents we knew how and unfortuanately can not redo whatever it is we did so wrong. If we knew, we would do what ever we could to fix it. Talking to him directly is not an option and going through Danielle just makes things worse.

I so appreciate any input.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:10PM
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"She once emailed that we should have given the profits we made from the condo we sold to Michael and that Michael should have gotten money when my father died. Maybe he was angry about the money."

It seems like, from what you are saying, it comes down to a money issue.
Perhaps any lingering questions your son had were discussed with Danielle - instead of with you - and she used the opportunity to create drama and mystery where there was none. It sounds like she may be jealous of all you have done for your son.
It's a shame that your son has discussed these things with her, instead of coming to you so you can settle his mind and answer questions.
What he's doing is not fair; not by a long shot.
I see a young man who is hesitant to speak what's on his mind, paired with a dramatic young woman who paints a dramatic conspiracy of some sort, and makes a mountain out of a molehill.
Your son needs to stand up, be a man, and come to YOU if he has any questions and/or resentments; instead, he is content to let Danielle do his talking.
Sounds like he might be missing a backbone.
I hope he realizes that he needs to talk this out with YOU, instead of talking behind your back to his GF.
And her comment about him being a genetic anomaly is just flat-out weird!

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:30PM
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It sure is difficult to know that the child you have raised has turned against you for whatever reason. If my son has no backbone and fallen for a controlling girl, how did I contribute to this. I spent the majority of my adult life trying to be a good mother only to realize that I have raised a selfish child who cares nothing about his family or anyone from his past. This makes me so sad and makes me feel as though all those years of trying to do the right thing, to raise a good person who contributes to society were wasted. It is so difficult to realize that I will never get to enjoy him as an adult, never get to have a DIL or grandchildren. I would love to know what he thinks and feels as I could do never be so unkin to to my family and friends and have a real hard time comprehending it. I thought a person's heart was big enough for all kinds of love not limited to one person, one realtionship. It just feels so empty and sad!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:15PM
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If my son has no backbone and fallen for a controlling girl, how did I contribute to this. I spent the majority of my adult life trying to be a good mother only to realize that I have raised a selfish child who cares nothing about his family or anyone from his past.

Why blame yourself? It's very possible you had nothing to do with his attraction to Danielle.
I wouldn't give up completely - and please don't feel like your life as a mother was wasted! Sometimes, people go through phases. It could be that, being a young adult, on his own, created a lot of anxiety in him, and he didn't confide in you because he was ashamed.....and so when he met a controlling girl, he was attracted to her because she seemed so certain about things. Maybe she has a maternal side to her that makes him feel safe.
Who knows?
He is wrong to do this, but it may be just a phase.
However he turns out in the end, don't feel like your work as a mother was wasted! You did the best you could and that's all anyone can ask for....I hope one day, he calls you and clears the air.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Thank you for your input. I am working on forgiveness. Some days are easier than others. I recently had surgery and not being able to let my only son know has made me more vunerable. I do know I wasn't the perfect mother, but it does take "two to tango". I can not fix this alone, he must be willing to meet me/us part way. All I can do is work on being a better person so if he does come around, I will not be sad or angry and will be the Mom be knows/loves and hopefully remembers.

As hard is this is it, it has causes me to do a lot of soul searching. I imageine as most people say on this forum "we will have good days and bad days" I will always love him unconditionally and try to remember the good memories. I just simple can't image he how he can watch TV, a movie, see other families and remember the good times also.

Thanks again for you input and most importantly listening. I started a new subject: Money and adult child estrangement. I had an epiphancy based on your input and a book I was reading today. I hope it helps others to take a look at and admit their true feelings--perhaps a start at forgiveness and making ourselves better people. Which might be helpful if our children ever chose to end the estrangement.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:52PM
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" I am working on forgiveness. Some days are easier than others. I recently had surgery and not being able to let my only son know has made me more vunerable. I do know I wasn't the perfect mother, but it does take "two to tango". I can not fix this alone, he must be willing to meet me/us part way. All I can do is work on being a better person so if he does come around, I will not be sad or angry and will be the Mom be knows/loves and hopefully remembers."

You have a wonderful attitude! You're doing the right thing.
I feel like your son, for whatever reason, was afraid or unable to face you and articulate his resentments.
He is hiding behind his GF.
He is very young and hopefully, thinking about all of this, even if he doesn't articulate anything.
I feel like there is a good chance you will hear from him...I hope so, for your sake.
I know you must be very sad, but remember the sweet things and I believe those memories and the love you have for your son will carry you through, until you finally hear from him.
Good luck

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:32PM
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"He called me, asked how much my mother was worth and asked when he was going to inherit the 1/2 of her estate! The girl was on the line and wanted to know this. The girl then had the nerve to e mail me to dispute whether my mom's house had an attached tennis court or not!!!!!!!! I was appalled. My mother is ignored 24/7/365 but her money is of interest. That was disgusting to all of us! 12 years of Catholic education and he shows no respect! He was written out of my mother's will shortly after that as my mother is also very hurt and disgusted also."

Lostmama, how did your mother find out about this phone call and email? Did you carry tales to her? If so, do you not hold yourself partially responsible for the pain she felt when you told her your son's only interest in her was financial?

However, true that may be, how did it improve an old woman's last years to know this? Would it not have been kinder to explain your son's neglect simply by saying he's so busy these days that even you don't hear from him much either? How much have you burdened her with your heartache over your son? How much of your 'tattling' was to relieve yourself and gain an ally against your son at your mother's expense, and how much of it was for her own benefit.

Frankly, I cannot see how any of it would benefit her. To me it would have been more charitable to shield her from your child's callousness.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 7:24PM
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phoggie you really think that if the grandmother had left him money that we would have appreciated her any more?....sounds like his only attachment was to her money. Whatever she did with it, I'll bet it was more appreciated than what this grandson would have been. Why do they think that they DESERVE good old granny's money if they treat her so badly. It was HER money to do with as she pleased.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:00PM
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Both those girls sounds like class A bi&ches, and I would bet that really is just what it boils down to...

But, I have a friend who doesn't talk to his mom. The father abused him and the mother did close to nothing about it. I'm not talking hard core sexual abuse, no, more along the lines of emotional abuse. Funny, my friend talks to his father (his abuser) but not not his mother (who I take it he's even madder at for not protecting him).

After spending some time studying controlling and abusive relationship, I have learned that a lot of people that attach themselves to an abuser have been abused themselves. They subconciously go searching for the same type of relationships they grew up with. I don't want to say that your child was abused or controlled as a child, but often, the mother's especially don't see that abuse is going on. They are so used to the behavior from the families they grew up in they don't know it's not right. Yes, history and the abuse keeps repeating itself. Sometimes the mothers even are the abusers. The labeling, name calling (you idiot, can't you do anything right) maybe even favortism takes on a controlling and abusive setting that may seem normal to everyone in the family, but generally is far from loving.

There's something going on with your son. His introverted nature and the fact that he never had a girlfriend says something about him and his life before meeting this witch. Could there be more to the story?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:29PM
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phoggie, I do not know if the money would make the son appreciate his grandmother more or not. No matter, though, she'd be dead and it wouldn't matter either way.

However, her daughter could have spared the grandmother the knowledge that her grandson did not care about her. It served no purpose (except perhaps to put more money into the daughter's pocket and to give the daughter a 'commiseration partner'). Do you think cutting the grandson out of her will gave the grandmother much satisfaction? Money means very little at the end of your life, provided you have enough to take care of yourself. But relationships matter, people matter, they matter so much more than money. We want desperately to know we were loved and our loving efforts will live after us.

I think it was cruel of lostmama to pass on to her 83 year old mother that her beloved grandson did not care and was waiting for her to die. And for what purpose? The grandmother was not happier for the knowledge, and changing her will did not salve her sore heart. It would have been kinder let the grandmother keep her illusions. What harm would there have been in that? Nobody needs a burden like that at the very end of their lives.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:58PM
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None of us know what type of discussion took place between lostmoma and her mother. I know our son speaks to no one from his past, family or friends. When I am asked, I try to be kind, but evasive as I really don't know and have heard nothing from him in almost 3 years. Even though I don't tell others especially my 84 year old mother the details that I do know, she has chosen to cut him from her will. She told me, if he can't have the respect to call , write, visit, etc. then he deserves nothing. I tried to say that he was busy and wasn't in contact with anyone as to not make her feel it was personal, but I believe she knew the truths in her heart without me saying a word.

People that don't really know me or my husband are fine with our evasive answers, but the people who really love us, sense our pain whether we say it or not. I tried for months to hide my sadness of the estrangement from my bestfriend, but she knew from the beginning how sad and hurt I was.

I am not saying that we should burden others especially those in their later years with our problems, but we also can't shut them out. They are not stupid and have experienced many losses and hurts through their lives, they can see through us if they know us well. They sense that things are not as they should be and also don't want to be shut out.

If we are used to sharing with our mothers and fathers, they know just by looking in our eyes when what we are saying is not true or only a partial truth. They may be old, but they are not stupid either.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:42AM
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My mother and I are very close. We live across the street from each other. We see each other daily- if not several times a day. We run a business together. She talks to me constantly and I to her. She asks me advice and I her. This is the way we run our lives. She literally has no one else and I have only my husband. I can look at her face and she at mine and see if she is troubled or in pain.

Prior to my son's change of heart- he was the love and light of my mother's life. She beamed with joy over talking about him- he is after all her only grandchild.

When the problems started, I really tried to keep it to myself. I was in a state of shock and despression. When I returned home from graduation 2 days early- and she saw me and aasked why- what was I supposed to say?? She asked why I was home 2 days early. I told her that he told us to go home as he asked us to leave. What else was I to say? I am very honest with my mother and she with me.

I then tried to say nothing for some time- but my sense of shock and depression were so great that I actually walked around like a cyborg. I tried to avoid people not to be asked about what the problem was. I was in a state of grieving over the situation. One day, a neighbor stopped me and asked what was arong with me as he had seen me walking for weeks looking so sad that he was worried about me. This is a neighbor I have little contact with. My friends sensed something was wrong also- people who are close to you know when something is wrong- my mother the prime person.

I did not say anything to my mother about it- tried to shield her from the situation. When my husband became seriously ill and was in the hopsital for 2 weeks in my mother asked when my son was coming out. My mother helped care for my pets and watched my house as I sat in the hospital but the logical question was where my son was. I finally had to tell her that he had not been in touch for months and that when I called to tell him about the hopsitalization he made no offer to come out. He sent nbo cards, flowers, did not call and seemed not to care. I coul dnot make my son apperar for my mtoher's sake- she told me she was personally hurt at the disrepect he was showing for a ftaher who loved him with all his heart. Those were HER words and not mine. She is not stupid- my son sealed his fate with his actions.

When the holidays came- 2 Thanksgivings and 2 Christmases and there was no call, no card, no visit or contact- what was my mother to think??? She is not stupid- she holds an advanced degree and runs a business- she is not senile or too simple minded to see what is happening. She wrote him a letter and asked him to call her- as she missed talking to him and wanted to know when he was coming here. He never answered.

What exactly was she to think???

She finally asked me what was happening and I told her.

When he came here in May 2007, he was here 3 days and never made a move to see my mother. As she lives across the street she was heartbroken. When she called him over and spoke to him he was cold and said little to her. My mother was devastated.

Those who are chosing to criticize me here do not understand the closeness I have with my mother- I can look out the window and see her and vice versa. We are out together whether on business or shopping trips all the time. She knows me like a book and I her.

In December of 2006, after he had started to pull all the ignoring, she was going to send him $12000 as she did every year. She asked me if I thought it was wise. I said no- but that if she wanted to buy him savings bonds or a tax free bond and keep it for him. As he did not have the courtesy to call or contact her- why should she send him anything??? She bought savings bonds to give him at a later time. After a year went by with no contact- she told me that she was changing her will as he was ungrateful and inconsiderate and that my late father would not want the will to remain as it was. It was her choice not mine. I did not say it she did. She reacted to HIS BEHAVIOR toward her. I did not have to fabricate stories his blatant lack of contact and caring sealed the deal. I cannot act like I am joyful and happy when my only son ignores me. Stories about him being too busy would not cut it- a 2 minutes phone call on a holiday or birthday are not too much to ask.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 8:33AM
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