When your child wants to have their own life and abandons you

After two hours sleep, I turned on the computer – sometimes known as my lifeline – to find an article in SAS that related to the cause of my sleeplessness. Coincidence? I don’t know, but I do know that my lack of sleep was due to the fact that for the first time in my life last night, I felt old and completely alone.  

April 25th was an emotional day for me. Anzac Day had affected me like that since the first time I realised what Anzac Day was, so this was no surprise. Then it was announced the Bali Nine had been given their 72 hours notice. I am a staunch believer that 10 years in that hell hole was enough and if they needed to be executed it should have been done way back when they were first sentenced. I see this as inhumane.

The clincher came however when I received a message from my youngest child. I had posted on Facebook about the bad treatment I had received from an employment agency after I had applied for a job through them. My son’s girlfriend had landed a similar job at same business, but through a different agency. This was something I didn’t know until a few days ago. It really had nothing to do with me or what I had posted. However, my son decided to have a few words to say to me because I was “having a go” at his girlfriend. The post is still up and no-one can see where I did that as it didn’t happen. 

It was my son’s idea to come to live here, closer to him. He thought I would be happier, would love this location and it would enable me to see him more. He made it clear he would be there for me. This has not happened. After leaving my friends and my job behind, the job I was supposed to start here fell through and my son and his friends were so very supportive. I was told that’s what they were here for. I was not worried about who would take care of my little dog if I finally got in to have my hip surgery, or who would give me a hand while I was recuperating. My son mowed my lawns at his insistence and visited with his flat mate regularly for dinner. Then it stopped! My son had a new girlfriend.

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After a few weeks, I met her. She seemed nice, was quiet, but obviously doted on my son. I liked her and the fact that she had a small child was a bonus for me, as I don’t see my grandchildren. I looked forward to spending time with them. I didn’t ask much. I was grateful that my son mowed the lawns as I couldn’t and for any little things he did for me, but that stopped, his visiting stopped, his contacting me stopped. He lives two blocks away. I visited a couple of times but he never answered the door. 

Then when he sent me this accusing message last night, I decided enough was enough. I told him how ridiculous that was and then asked him why he had changed? This was the child I had been closer to all his life, than I had been to anyone, including two other children. He told me he was sick of it, sick of feeling bad because I have problems. Apart from the fact I don’t have a job, I only have a couple of health problems, which he knows about, but can only help in a minimal way, which by the way, I hadn’t asked for help. Any help he had ever given me was his idea. He tore strips off me. Apparently he wanted me to leave him alone so he could lead his own life. This was from someone who spent a total of maybe one hour a month with me and that was usually mowing the grass.

I suddenly realised…I am getting older, I don’t have a superannuation amount I can rely on, I am terrified of being put into a nursing home and terrified of being forgotten. I won’t even have anyone to take care of my dog when and if I have my operation. Most of all, I realised that my loving son had changed right under my nose. He was so cold in his messages, so uncaring and so selfish. I felt and feel abandoned. Did I abandon him when he needed me growing up? Did I stop helping him when he grew into a young man and needed help on various occasions? It is bad enough that the ageing population seem to have a use by date in this country where the government is concerned, but for your own children to think that There are 10080 minutes in a week. Is it wrong to want 30 of those spent with your child? Is 30 minutes stopping your child from having their own life? What has become of the child I reared to be honest, respectful and loving? He has disappeared.