Austin**•.¸♥¸.•**not-Texas, Texas, USA
May 28
♪♫ ♥ Diva ♥ ♪♫♥
Mom, partner, listener, healer of wounds large and small, dog-petter, writer, pie baker, star shooter, wine appreciator, hungry muse, part-time pirate and pole dancer.


NOVEMBER 28, 2009 1:36AM

What will it matter?

Rate: 51 Flag


I watched you walk away. Then I bolted into the store. I grabbed a shopping cart and I pretended all was fine. I blinked furiously to clear my tears. 


No, you will not stop me from the simple task of buying toilet paper. You will not.


I push the cart even as I feel my heart trying to push out of my chest. I feel the press of tears and I squeeze my eyes shut. I will not give in.  I ask for roast beef. I breathe in heavily, greedily, as I wait for the butcher to finish. I give him a smile worthy of Miss America. But I want to collapse in his arms, confess my sins, and ask, am I a bad mother?


Cheese slices are tossed into my cart. Oh yes, toilet paper. We need toilet paper.  I wander the aisles. I am aware that I am pretending to be okay. Why pretend? What will it matter if I fall to the floor sobbing, clasping my stomach as though I am keeping myself together? What will it matter? What will it matter??




Ten minutes earlier:


“I want you to leave your backpack in the car.”


“I will not have you steal when you are with me.”


The silence is broken as we drive to the store by his declaration that I am responsible for all the bad things that happen between us. 


“Just give me money.”


“You treat me like this and you think I should just hand over money to you?”


I get out of the car. He curses. Moves out of the car.




I turn to him.

“Give me the money.”  He closes in on me. Stares at me with malevolence. I do not recognize this boy-man. Hate flares in his eyes. In a nano-second, I run through various scenarios in which I give him money, I don’t and he assaults me, I don’t and he runs away, I do and he grabs it cursing...


“Seriously? This is how you want it play out?” I stare at him. “The least you can do is say please.” I turn away.  As I turn, he grabs my arm. It is not hard enough to hurt but it is hard enough that I cannot easily pull away. I feel a shiver of fear.  I pull out a twenty from my purse.


“Please,” he snarls.


He snatches the bill.


“Touch me like that again and I will report you.” I throw these words at him.


He snarls and walks away, cursing at me.




we hv to help him. do you talk abt god? i have lrnd we mst tlk evn if he does not want to hear it.


god? are you serious? he won’t put his dishes away, how is god going to help?


u mst try harder. we cannot lose him.


What I do not say to these texts from his father: Fuck you. Fuck you for not being there when they needed you. When I needed you. Fuck you for thinking that your loneliness gives you license to tell me what to do. Fuck you.



And, in the meantime, where is my boy? When did I lose him? And, is he lost forever?


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This is my sad bump into the night.
I am so sorry. How old is he? I went through some rough, rough times with my daughter. (I was a single Mom) My ex had no interest in helping. All I can say is that today is not necessarily an indication of tomorrow. Things change and people change. I hope they get better for you. Hang in there.
Oh I want to sit with you, hold your hand and then cry with you. Cry where your safe and not alone and scared. I have cried those tears and I understand AND it is NOT your fault anymore than it is mine. We don't know why and maybe never will. I wish I could hold you while you cry and tell you it will all be alright. I am so sorry. When my son was heading towards jail time yet again he woke up, he went into rehab and God willing he is on his way to Happy ever after. His choice. I pray your son chooses right. You both are in my prayers...
This is a very powerful piece of writing.

I'm sorry this is happening. Better days ahead.
Know that you are doing everything that you can. KNOW it.

And also, please know that a number of us reading this were complete assholes when we were that age, and that most kids outgrow it. Be tough. He needs you to be tough.

Love to you.
No one is lost forever. Show him how a MAN acts.
Rated for power.
No, he isn't.....the mother child bond is not easily're in my prayers...xox
This is awful. This needs help now, not later.
the ranting boomer--he is 17. everything changed once he had a traumatic brain injury. He is no longer him. I see glimpses.

LL2-- I would gladly sit and cry with you. Somehow that feels peaceful.

littlewillie--crap, real just is what is is. crap.

emma--thank you. i continue to hope for better.

ginny--i agree with you. however, my son's personality changed with his brain injury. I have no way of knowing day to day if he will be here...

Rutilus Extraho-somewhere within him is a great person. I await him.
Robin--thank you. I need that.

Zuma--there doesn't seem to be a moment when I am not working on this.
I am so sorry. I hope writing this helped YOU resolve something in the midst of the chaos. Thanks for the insight, although you must be very overwhelmed.
I have nothing to offer beyond an open ear and an open heart.
I know this doesn't help right now but I've been where you are and now my son is married, has a job and a son of his own. It has been a hard road and still is sometimes but, please, don't do as I did and take the blame on yourself because it's hard to think clearly when you feel guilty. See all that gray hair on my head. That's how it got there.
New strength has to be found every day and somehow it's always there.
Hugs and shared tears...
I'm so sorry, dear. That sounds like an awful day.... just awful.

I may be wrong, but I am going with a little hope here.... that even with a TBI, that a brain still changes, still develops new patterns...

I don't mean to patronize your sadness and your worry and fear, I really don't. I just think and hope that there is still a newness to come for him, and for you.

With love on this November morning.
I'm so sorry I missed this last night.I don't have answers to everything, but I know this, the first thing you do is stop this violent behavior he threatening you with. You stop it with any means possible. This is unacceptable, and if you have to call the police, do not hesitate, period. Respect is last thing you'll lose before you lose him. You have to deal with "now". The past, which I know is a bitch, is irrelevant at this time. If he should hurt you, not only your life, but his will never be the same. You cannot live in fear in your own house. What you do after this, counselling, kicking him out (which "is" an option, I'm sorry), will all depend on how you handle the immediate problem. I am no therapist, far from it, but I've raised two boys and when they hit this "the world hates me" period, you have to be the strong one, because his is all an act. He's still a boy trying to act like a man, and it doesn't look like his Father is going to "man up" and help you. This breaks my heart, and I hope you and him can make up. But at the fist sign of violence, call the police, but your and his own good!
One good day. I wish you one good day. I wish you hope.
It will matter because you are his mother and you are always there. And we are here to listen.
This feels scarily familiar. I'm so sorry. The struggle with our son, now 23, is ongoing. Seventeen is that tricky age where criminally he could be considered an adult, and then you are cut off unless he lets you in. That was our experience. Yet, the violence and intimidation are just that... physical and emotional abuse. Drawing boundaries for yourself is important. This far and no farther. I know how grey those lines get, and how compromise is the thing that buys a moment's peace, or so it seems. Please take care of you.
Sad and difficult. And the idea that *you* have to try harder. Sigh. A thousand hugs from this corner.
I'm so sorry. I'll keep you both in my prayers, your son that he finds his way and you that you'll survive his journey. Please take good care of yourself.
I want to say more than I am sorry, because I am dealing with my own lost son. It is not your fault any more than my son's problem is mine. At least I have a good relationship with his father.

Take care dear.
Heartbreaking. I don't have kids, so I certainly won't overstep here. I'll only offer to remember to take care of yourself as well. Hang in there!
This gave me chills...
oh, sweet, i just got up late and read this and i have to go, don't have time to write something that makes sense. but i'll be back. and i'll be thinking of you all morning. damn. i'm so, so sorry.
You are stronger than you know. You will find the strength for him and God willing he will find his way through his anger. This is a very scary time seek support.
I will pray for you and him.
Keep writing about it too. Your voice is powerful and clear.
((mypsyche)) So very sorry - what a sad and frustrating situation. Can only say be kind to yourself, protect yourself, and know that you are not alone. And keep writing - it is an act of hope. Prayers for you and your son.
maybe it's time to take TBI out of the equation and just let go. I don't know . . . fuck.
Tink--{{hugs}} back to you

Aim--writing does help. the response helps too. thank you.

Life--thanks for the reminder that this too shall pass

wakingupslowly--I hold hope that this is just brain stuff working its way to better connections. It just really sucks when he gets 'better' and then becomes *this*

scanner--you are right on so many levels but mostly I feel your care, thank you.

scupper--when it comes I will write about that too :)

O'Really--thank you for getting it
C.K. Dexter Haven--familiar is so sad. for both of us. thanks for the caring reminders.

Frank--am going to immerse myself in those hugs

HighLonesome--thank you, I'm trying

Buffy--lost sons are soooo painful, aren't they?

Julie--appreciate your kind words

Alexis-- me too :(

femme forte--no need to make sense, thanks for thinking of me

ladyfarmerjed--I have support in the 'real world' and soak up what I can get here as well. Thank you for your kind words.

JK--keep sending love as it's needed to get thru each day

dustbowldiva--writing may keep me sane (one can hope, right?)

skeletnwmn--I wish I knew what was what. His TBI complicates everything but doesn't excuse anything. I wish I had an answer... FUCK
I am so sorry you are going through this nightmare. Just as you can't take all the credit for great things about your son, you also can't take the blame for the stuff that's going on. Your love will get through to him someday, but take care of yourself here. Set boundaries and limits and stick with them. Hugs to you.
oh you poor thing. I've been down this road. it's a really scary place because there's no way to know if you've lost him. time will tell. in the meantime, I think you have to pick your battles. I wouldn't be giving him any money over and above an allowance, if it's age appropriate. is he old enough to be working and earning his own money? fuck the ex. he knows diddlysquat. if he wants to play benevolent daddy, then let him play it in his life, his house. you have to follow your instincts in these matters.

if it's drugs and or alcohol, are there any programs that are kidspecific in your area? are you involved with toughlove or any of the 12 step programs for parents and families. find a peer group of parents dealing with similar issues. I suggest this because there is power in numbers. and support. you need support now.
You know I've been where you are. Take care of yourself. Remember to put your air mask on and then help your child with his. I hug you.
Oh mp, I can only hope it passes. My best thoughts to you.
This is such raw stuff to experience with your child. No words can say what you need in order to deal with this phase in your's and your son's life. Teens are always a challenge at some point and to have a brain injury added to that just compounds and complicates your daily life and communication. I am so sorry that you are being hurt by what is going on and I can only say that the teen years with my daughters were often challenging, hurtful, frustrating and a test to a parent's will and strength. They made it through and it does get betterin time. Boundaries are so important and some tough love, otherwise, the demands on you will keep coming and will be expected. Easy for other's to offer advice and all together different when you are the one managing through, day by day. Love, prayers and humor will help along the way.
I am so, so sorry. Reading your post was achingly familiar and felt like a stab in the heart. Your boy is still in there. Don't give up looking for him. I'm going to PM you.
I'm so sorry. God, I know how much this hurts.
Rated for gut-wrenching honesty.
I am so, so sorry. Reading your post was achingly familiar and felt like a stab in the heart. Your boy is still in there. Don't give up looking for him. I'm going to PM you.
I'm so sorry. God, I know how much this hurts.
Rated for gut-wrenching honesty.
Reading through these comments, I see much love coming your way. I wish I had answers, but can offer only good thoughts and prayers for you both. Hang in there . . . be good to yourself. (((mypsyche)))
Oh my! I wish I had some advice. My family is broken but my son (16 now) stayed with me, and is completely respectful to myself and others. I DO realize how lucky I am in this regard.
I hope writing this gives some relief.....
No, it's NOT your fault. i know how hard it is. Hang in there and take all the Hugs you can get. Hopefully....this too will pass! Peace to you & your son
When your narrative described his ability to get money from you by force an element of fear entered into the story. As others have advised here; there needs to be firm boundaries. At seventeen he is not a child.
this hit me right in the gut.

I know.
Wow, got a serious lack of communication going on here. You lost him a while back, it's the revelation of that happening now. Keep talking.
Oh my -- we really do need to get that drink.... It is so heartbreaking, isn't it. There is never a right answer or action. You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. Neither action brings our desired result.

Hang in there. At least he talks to you -- mine sits in sullen silence as if we are responsible for his poor choices. Sullen silence that punishes...

And yes -- I'm sure YOU are the strong one, the forgiving one. The men don't get it. They are too busy massaging their own egos about why their son didn't turn out how they thought they should.... poor them. Meanwhile we continue to clean up the messes, hand out the twenties....

Definitely Martinis -- soon!
I am sorry. But, you'll be surprised how fast things get better and youngsters realize their mistakes. That said, I enjoyed this read much.
Well done. Rated.
the words "sorry you are going through this" are inadequet, but what come to mind. Take care of yourself.
I don't blame you for being angry with his father. You clearly needed his help, his support, another set of arms and hands and eyes; and your son, his love through those things. I'm not saying the clouds would have parted and the sun shone through...but it would have helped both of you.
But you're there for him and loving him. He needs you.
Wishing you strength.
Thank you all for commenting. I am moving my professional office this weekend and am caught up in that, so please excuse me for not having time to comment individually. I will say that coming back here periodically and seeing messages of support has really, truly been helpful. My son did not come home last night, is still out, and who knows what he is doing to himself... But I remain here, still standing, and waiting for the boy I love to re-appear. Thank you all.
The pain our children cause us is directly related to how much we love them. I'm so sorry for your pain but it will always matter because you are a good mother and hopefully your son will see through his own pain to realize what he has in you.
Oh my. This is scary. So much pent up emotion gushing forth. I feel for you. Truly. Maybe a light will shine in the end. Keep us apprised.
Damn, that is a tough one. If it's any help, my sister went through this stage with my nephew. It's mostly over now, but I thought I might have to thrash him a time or two. I don't have any answers. Wish I did.
Oh how it hurts it hurts. I can only send love.
I've spent the last few hours reading and crying. For the first time since October 1, 2006 I feel that I have finally met someone who KNOWS. I am so sorry for what you are going through, but at the same time, I am selfishly happy that you have chosen to pour your guts out so that I have some comfort in knowing that I am not crazy.

To answer your question: It will matter because when push comes to shove, you're the one constant in your son's life.

I say this as I wonder what the rest of today will bring. . . last night brought my brain-injured 18-year-old son staggering into the kitchen at 12:30 a.m. and screaming at the top of his lungs that he was "not f*cking drunk!" He drove away at 5:15 a.m., and I haven't seen him since.

"His TBI complicates everything but doesn't excuse anything." This is true -- but what can a Mom of a brain-injured teen really do to set limits? We sent our son away for 7 months to a behavior modification program. . . it was wonderful, and he made such terrific progress. . . until he came home. A common problem with brain injured people is that they can't transfer learning between environments. Kick him out of the house? Call the police? I don't see a positive outcome for either of these options. However, my deepest fear is that I will reach the point where they are the only options.

Tomorrow is a new day. We continue to seek answers, try to love the new strangers in our lives, and mourn the sons who are gone to us forever.

I feel your pain, and I am sorry. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing.