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No support from my son/single Mum

NinjaNinja Mandurah W.A.Member Posts: 21
edited April 2018 in Newly diagnosed
So I will be starting my chemo on 28th April and today I had my first little minor moment, of OMG it really is going too be happening. I have been extremely strong and positive since I was diagnosed back on the 15th February, however today I got bit teary...
My son is nearly 20 yrs of age and I have been raising him on my own since he was 12 yrs of age. I am both his Mum and Dad. ( his father abandoned us and has never come back). His best mate knows of my breast cancer but not many of his other mates. He dosnt talk too me about how he feels about my cancer. He is a fifo worker and does a 2/1 shift. He is going through his own private stuff but shows no support too me. When I ask him too do some things for me, its yeh will do it later and then bang a mate will call and say I need a hand and off he goes.
I hate that we fight but feel like whatever I ask him too do is like a burden too him and then he wonders why I get angry when he says whats wrong and then I tell him why and response is oh for god sake stop nagging..
Has anyone else gone through this with their son's.
He has been like this since he was 16yrs of age but I thought maybe he would be a bit more supportive and would step up a bit, especially as he nearly 20yrs of age


  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,014
    edited April 2018
    Mine is the same. BC version 1, he was 13 so somewhat excused. BC version 2, he was 24 and no help at all. I was also a single mum, maybe I was too resilient? Too tough? Too busy? Who knows. The thing that shits me is he (also a FIFO) called in to see my mother and begged off staying with her because he needed to come home and help me. What? 
    I rang him the other day, 'Please come and help me get some wood in for winter.' Nup. Going bike riding.
    Look, he doesn't ask for much (probably justjas well as I  don't have anything left) and he isn't rude or abusive. He's just 24 and not available. So it goes.
  • NinjaNinja Mandurah W.A.Member Posts: 21
    @Zoffiel Makes you feel so unloved and not important too them. He did this the night before I went in for my op and didn't see him until two weeks later. Its all about them, so upsets me.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,014
    Try not to let it get to you. You can't make people care, and it's up to them to express themselves if they do. They probably do care, let's hope they aren't stone cold. Hard to tell sometimes.
  • NinjaNinja Mandurah W.A.Member Posts: 21
    Yes at the moment its all about him. thanks for the chat
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,930
    edited April 2018
    My son is 18 and not dissimilar. He reacted to my diagnosis but since then, he's pretty much been in his own world. Except... When it comes to the crunch, he rises to the occasion. But it does have to be a crunch.

    Regularly during chemotherapy I was unable to do anything other than lie in bed. With my absence from the coalface he rose to the occasion more than a few times.

    Is there someone who could have a chat with your son? A respected elder, a kind friend? Someone who can tell him to pull his finger out?!

    He might be paralysed with fear and uncertainty, afraid of doing something 'wrong'. Much like babies not being 'real' for some dads until they're born, maybe your son won't get it until you're not there/you're not doing things for him/your hair falls out/you're in bed all day.

    Feeling unloved by those you love the most is very hard, I get it. My mother rings and asks after everyone in the house but me. It's odd! Sending you big hugs. K xox
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,637
    This rings a few bells with my 16 yo son (15 at my diagnosis).  He came to me early on and said that he was sorry if it seemed he wasn't getting emotional or that he didn't care, but he just knew I would be okay.  That faltered a bit when it turned out that the first op didn't get everything but while he's been helfpul when needed, other time he reverts to grunts.  I do think that the males, through culture or genetics, are mostly into avoidance and self-need.  At 16, I can still make the rules to some extent to get help - sometimes it's done willingly, sometimes not so.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,008
    Damn!  It almost sounds like he needs a good clip around the ears??   How big is he??

    I had a brother living with me 40 years back who was all tied up with his own life & taking me & my home unit very much for granted.  I was working - he wasn't - yet he never did any housework or contributed to the kitty - he even opened my mail!!  I ended up not cooking for him, not cleaning his room, not making his bed, not doing his laundry - just so he realised exactly what I was doing 'on his behalf' .... I upped his rent from a donation to a reasonable amount & made him accountable for his long distance phone calls (which back then cost a FORTUNE!)  Not long after he left & found his own place!  LOL

    Save your energies for your chemo ..... you're gonna need it, methinks!  

    Take care & all the best for your first treatment  xx  BIG Hugs coming your way xx  
  • HITHIT Perth WAMember Posts: 261
    Hi Ninja,  My 33 yr old son is very supportive, but then he has his own serious health issues so he gets it.  I suppose what I am trying to say is that maybe be thankful that he is still able to get out and live his life free of the weight that sits on our shoulders.  From reading everyone's posts and from experience it doesn't seem to be age as much as life experiences that make them like they are.  Until someone goes through a major health crisis, they don't get it. Hope your treatment goes well. Pam
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,219

    We all roll differently with the stress of a loved one being unwell, some certainly not as we hope!  There was a post put up by @SoldierCrab recently - a free holiday in WA - Otis foundation offers for us all however the WA site says WA residents only


    Perhaps look into this for yourself and or to see if your son wants to join you.  I did one here in Vic with my hubby, only need to worry about getting there and your food

    Maybe that's what you both need a little holiday without pressure and just let him talk if he wants to

    Just a thought!

    Take care
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,378
    Men in general don't show emotion well. I had 3 sons who outwardly showed nothing. I only  knew of their fears by friends, when drunk...or in my youngest son...factitious illness to not go to school in case something happened...I don't actually think he was consciously aware of that. Young men are really clever at burying fears...sticking heads in sand and pretending it's all okay. It doesn't mean they aren't fearful of what might happen to you. Young men have high suicide rates because of deep emotions that they don't have the skill to deal with...and after the event...most people would say...I never knew they were even depressed.

    So...don't think he doesn't love you. Don't think by keeping busy and distracted doesn't mean he doesn't care. His personal life experience is limited, he probably has limited understanding of living with a life threatening illness or even chronic disease. It hurts yes. But just take his "carrying on as normal" as a son who is strong and resilient and doing what he needs to, to cope.

    Kath.  X 
  • NinjaNinja Mandurah W.A.Member Posts: 21
    Thank you everyone for you comments and support.

    My son actually opened up too me the other night and told me what is actually going on in his life and mind. I felt privileged that he opened up too me and know have more of a understanding of what is going on in his head.

    I did ask him how he felt about my cancer and he basically said  " it is what it is" and we left it at that.

    My sister who also went through breast cancer four years ago, basically had the same non support from not only her husband but her three sons.

    As she explained, my son lost his father and now he is probably scared that he is going too loose me. I have great support from my family and friends and you ladies on here. 

    Oh yes he did do the stuff that I asked him too do before he flew out.

    Now just too get through the next two weeks before I start chemo..


  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,008
    edited April 2018
    How GREAT that your boy opened up to you - and terrific that he did the bits you'd asked of him!   No need to clip him around the ears now!   ;)   

    Boys (and men) can be  tricky to read sometimes.  My better half has the start of dementia & still has no idea why we were up at Port Macquarie where I was having my rads every day .... I think he is telling people I went to play ukulele!   LOL  Matter of fact, he injured himself up there & I ended up caring for HIM the whole time, making sure he took his pain meds every 4hrs for the whole 4 weeks!  :(  It really was a PAIN!!  But I can laugh about it now ..... 

    Enjoy your time leading up to Chemo ..... do what you enjoy doing - be it resting, reading, swimming, biking ... whatever!  The busier you keep yourself, the better!  I hope your reactions to it aren't drastic.

    Take care
  • tigerbethtigerbeth MelbourneMember Posts: 534
    @ Ninja So glad you were able to resolve this part of your pain ! I have 3 sons & a hubby who i'm betting will be hard to read .But to give one his due ,youngest(27) gives me a hug when he walks past me & asks if I'm ok . 
    Just starting out so hope the others take his lead it means so much.
    good luck with treatment ,hugs xx
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,930
    @Ninja Oh that is so good to hear! A wonderful starting point which will hopefully lead to him giving you the support you deserve. What have you got planned between now and chemo? Something to keep you busy and distracted? Or something mellow and calming?
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