Adult son blames mom for everything wrong

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, December 26, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: I have two sons in their 50s. My older son is kind, attentive and loving. The younger one, “Scott,” is problematic. Both my boys were raised the same, although when they were in their early teens, I divorced their alcoholic father. At that point, I had to work three jobs to keep them fed and sheltered.
Scott constantly returns to the past and accuses me of never having time for him. He no longer speaks to me, which happens often and can last for long periods. His wrath is directed solely at me, and he accuses me of turning the rest of the family against him. He’s negative and controlling, and the truth is, no one wants to be around him. In addition to posting hurtful things on social media, he now refers to me as the “ice maiden.”
A close family member advised me to look up the definition of narcissism, and I was shocked to see the description of this disorder fits Scott perfectly. What I have read and researched about narcissism says “stay away” and only counseling will help. He refuses, saying it would be “too hurtful.” Have I lost a son? Is this something I created? – MOM OF A MONSTER

DEAR MOM: Please stop blaming yourself. If you have researched narcissism, you should already know that you didn’t cause Scott’s problem. Whether the estrangement is permanent, only time will tell. In the meantime, protect yourself by no longer trying to engage with him, and block his hurtful social media posts. You can’t fix what’s wrong with your son, and he won’t try to fix himself because he’s enjoying being the injured party.
DEAR ABBY: I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to my DNA results, I will have a double mastectomy sometime in the next few months after I finish chemo. I want to celebrate that it was caught early by throwing a “Ta-ta to the Tatas” party complete with crazy wigs, a boob cake and a round of slippery nipple cocktails, a week or so before my surgery.
One of my friends thinks the idea is tacky and she’s firmly against it. Abby, she can’t even say the word “cancer” aloud; she has to whisper it. Am I wrong? IS it tacky to want to affirm life and flout both fear and death with over-the-top, tacky humor? This kind of humor is how I deal with serious problems. If I can mock the problem, I lessen its power. For me, it’s like celebrating Dia de Los Muertos, but in this case, it’s my breasts that I’m losing, not my life. What do you think? – PARTY MOOD IN MONTANA

DEAR PARTY MOOD: I think you are a brave and strong woman, clearly much more so than your friend. You are dealing with a serious challenge in the healthiest way possible – by facing it head-on. You deserve to be supported by your friends in the months to come, but the woman you have written about is not one of them. She isn’t emotionally strong enough to accompany you on this journey. Don’t blame her, but DO disinvite her. Bottoms up!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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