I just got the following comment on my ever-popular form letter post which sparked my interest enough to respond:
My son and I have had an on and off thing for years. I found your blog
and read through most of your posts and it has really opened my eyes to
the other side of the issue. Seems that most of you really want to
totally end your relationships with your parents...and most of us want
to figure out how to keep you in our lives. So I am asking for help....I
love my son and truly miss having him in my life...but should I stop
trying to make amends and just try to live my life without him... Is
trying the wrong thing to be doing? - Bern
Bern, chances are really good that if you've had an "on and off thing" with your son "for years," then it's very likely that there is no one-step approach to fixing the core issues in your relationship with him that have likely caused his (permanent) absence from your life. Having said that, I think you have grossly misinterpreted the point of my blog if your key assessment of it leads you to believe that ACoNs "want to totally end [their] relationships with [their] parents." I have never, in my several years of blogging, come across a blog written by an ACoN who fits your description. And precisely what that assessment leads me to believe is that you have spent little to no time trying to figure out your part in what is most likely a very unhealthy relationship.
It's funny that you paint yourself as the good guy and, in one sweeping judgment, shove an entire group of people into the opposite category. It's almost as though you think that children owe their parents for something. Or that adults who choose to end relationships with their parents are evil. Or that the party in the estrangement who is most invested in keeping the relationship is somehow better. Or that "keeping a son or daughter" in your life forever makes you the morally responsible party.
When you say "most of you" I have to assume that either you haven't read all of my
blog as you claimed (and which my most recent stats do not back up)
thus leading you to group myself in with the ACoNs with whom I converse, OR you read it and saw only what you wanted to see: the validation of your own anger and accusations. FYI, the fact that I question whether you've actually read through my entire blog or the blogs of the people on which you place your value judgements is pretty much enough for me to assume the exact opposite of your claim.
Is trying the wrong thing to do? That all depends on what it is you're attempting to accomplish. For example, what in the hell does it mean to "try to make amends" to a person you've described as having been partially absent from your life for years? In all likelihood, you've never had a decent relationship with your son, and therefore "making amends" could only result in the return to the status quo, which sounded pretty shitty to begin with and I don't even have the details. And do you even know what "making amends" means? Because when I use that phrase, it's usually in regards to problems that I feel responsible for - and in your little bitty paragraph above, I don't see too much of that going on.
I'm also wondering if you're actually, like literally, going to die now that your son is (permanently?) gone from your life. Because if you have to "try" to live your life without him in it, then that sort of means that, if you don't succeed in that endeavor, then you might die. But you know, I'mma go ahead and call bullshit on that. Maybe it feels like you're going to die, but that's just the co-dependence talking.
Also, your use of my blog's title in your mini-expo is so nicely ironic. It about sums up exactly what you don't see. Which is, I don't know...reality? The truth? Your son?
You asked for my help - this is what I've got for you: Leave your son the hell alone until or unless you've figured your own shit out. Fix yourself and your own damn problems and then maybe you'll have a shot in hell of having a relationship with him.