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Topic: Hello

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. Caterpilar
    Caterpilar avatar
    1 posts
    23 September 2020

    I'm a mother seeking advice on ways to understand, support and help my youngest son, aged 21, who has anxiety and depression. The difficulties are that he is a CLAM, and won't open up to my husband and me; he is creative and very clever and studying at Uni but his degree's face to face hours are not demanding and he doesn't have to exert himself to get by; by nature he is STUBBORN and a bit lazy (I'm not making that up, stubbornness runs in the family and I'm a bit lazy myself and have to fight it).

    He is also stuck in the logbook of his parents' faults and things which we did (he won't tell us what they are). I'm not being down on him, most kids have a logbook like this, in fact I did, but I know that it's not a source of happiness.

    His mental health is firstly genetic and secondly situational.

    I just find it very hard to be friendly and affectionate when he's being a selfish 21 year old male, especially when he flips in the red herring of he's not feeling well.

    I know it's harder for him to do stuff but there is an element of just normal poor attitude.

    He also appears to think we are just providers of beer and wifi.

    He has a gaming addiction, and recently has been spending more time on this. He would easily spend at least 5 hours a day gaming. I realize this is also a form of socialising but it's also an escape mechanism.

    He has a girlfriend but he doesn't socialise with friends and finds family gatherings hard. They are bigger and noisier than normal, with 10 adults and 10 grandchildren 9 and under.

    Sense my frustration? I need someone to acknowledge that it's hard for family members in a situation like this.

  2. uncut_gems
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    23 September 2020 in reply to Caterpilar

    Hi Caterpilar,

    Welcome to the forums. I'm so sorry to hear that you're a bit at your wit's end with your son; you sound like such a loving and caring mum. I'm not a parent and I'm afraid I don't have too much practical advice other than to offer my perspective as a young man similar in age to your son, with my own regrets about stress testing the limits of my support network.

    I too have used the "not feeling well" line to excuse or justify inappropriate behavior before or after the fact. I understand that it's tricky because you want to be there for him and be attentive to his needs, but I don't think you're wrong to call it a bit of a "red herring" at times.

    You sound like such a good mum and are so attentive to your son's needs. You remind me of my own mum, and for what it's worth as someone now a bit older than your son I've really started in the past few years to appreciate all that she's done for me and see more clearly some of my behaviors as a younger person that were hurtful, unproductive, and doubtless frustrating for her. They were a mixture of my real mental health struggles, and also my own stubbornness– both, not one or the other.

    Do you feel like you and your son have the kind of relationship where you can have an honest, loving conversation about where he is in life and where his next/first adventure might take him? I know you said he won't open up, but perhaps in the right setting, or to the right person he might?



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