Dear Dr. Hedda – My Son is Breaking My Heart.

Posted on Dec 15 2013 - 9:54pm by Dr Hedda Mae

Dear Dr Hedda,

I have a problem. Actually I’ve had this problem for 32
years. It’s my son. He s breaking my heart. It started at birth. He was
a difficult child,he never napped. I took him to every doctor I could
find. They all said either he would out grow this or not. They told me
not to worry. By the time he was three he was yelling and screaming
almost all the time. Back to the doctors. They,all four of them, that
he may have an impulse disorder or maybe A DVD. They offered little
help. One doctor wanted him on medications. We tried that,it just added
anger and destruction to his already long list of scary and destructive
behaviors. When he was seven I thought maybe music would give him
something challenging to do. His first piano teacher told me he had a
natural gift. I was so happy. He played for hours every day. Then I
started getting reports from school of his biting and kicking other
kids. It was many many meeting before I got them to let him stay. As
the years went on the only thing that kept him. In public schools was
that he was a brilliant student. After high school he graduated from
college with a degree in music. His drinking started to increase to the
point of several DUIs and he lost his drivers license. Then he decided
to go to law school and passed the Bar on his first try. And then a new
problem surfaced. He made two very serious suicide. The second attempt
was jumping off a second story balcony. He almost died but that did not
stop his drinking. He is drunk now all the time. He refuses any
treatment. He tells me he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. This is
killing me,he is my one and only child and I love more than anything.
He is very bright and a gifted piano player. What can I do.He is a man
not a child anymore. He refuses help and the last time I brought it up
he hit me,hard, and smashed the window of my car. What should I do,what
can I do. Sometimes he scares me with threatened violence. Please help
I don’t want to lose my baby boy.

Signed scared.

Dear Scared:

This is extremely serious. He needs intense professional care
in a long term locked facility. You can get him admitted against his
will. He is legally a danger to self and others. There is no quick fix.
First he needs to be Xeroxed and then he needs long term treatment that
may include medications. There is good reason to rethink he will fight
you tooth and nail. He will say things that are painful to hear. He
WILL BLAME YOU FOR EVERYTHING, Call you horrible names, that you really
don’t love him and that you have no right to do this. Remember,you do
have the right and responsibility to keep him alive and get him help.
You are a caring parent don’t listen to his anger remember his head is
clouded with alcohol. If you do. nothing you may lose him. What ever
intervention you chose just do it very soon. He has already made two
self destructive acts and his drinking is out of control. Get all the
help you can for him and you need all the help you can get for
yourself. Remember what you said at the start of your letter “this is
killing me”.

About the Author

Dr Hedda Mae is a psychotherapist based in Oregon. She has been in private practice in both the clinical and private sectors and has spent many years as a national lecturer on subjects such as family dynamics, childhood and adult personality disorders and multicultural psychiatry. She can be reached at -

Leave A Response