Both Phyllis and her husband Hank experience inner conflict because their thirty-year-old son has not yet become economically independent.
Their son still lives with them, does not work, goes out drinking and dancing every night, and comes home between 4 and 5 in the morning just before his parents get up to go to work. Every time they talk to him about this problem, he agrees to do something about it, but never does. When they pressure him more intensely, he plays the victim - - "Since you do not love me or care about me, Iíll leave and stay with my friends or on the streets." Sometimes he shouts and demands that he be given one of the familyís two apartments, just like his friendsí families have done.
He considers this to be their responsibility, that they owe him this apartment because he is their son. In general, his perception is that he has rights but no responsibilities.
He is not, however, totally to blame. His parents and the surrounding society have programmed him in this way. His parents, having passed through difficult times, didn't want their children to go without anything. They did not want them to have to work during their childhood or university years. Allowing the children to work before graduating from university would have been a "sign of economic weakness and shame" for the family. Now they have created a monster that refuses to work and wants to be taken care of.
Another of their mistakes is that they did everything for their son. They created a reality for him in which others solved his problems. This programmed him to doubt his ability to cope with life by himself. These doubts have made him afraid of working because he might fail. He prefers to engage in activities in which he feels successful and capable, and that means maintaining his "social life".
He too rejects himself for his inability to get his life together. He hates that he is dependent on his parents, and thus never expresses gratitude for all they have given him. He considers all they have given him to be, in reality, his curse.
His parents, of course, feel deeply abused and used. They have given all their lives to offer him this economic comfort and he is wasting it. He is not only ungrateful, but also hostile and abusive. They feel hurt, depressed and angry.
Phyllis can not express her anger and plays the role of the victim, often becoming ill and blaming her son for her health problems. Hank can express his anger and his disgust, something his son ignores. He also occasionally gets into a counter intimidator role. The two men shout at each other until Phyllis gets between them, crying and begging them to stop.
This situation is taking its toll on the coupleís relationship. They frequently fight about what they should do. Both of them have a part that believes they should stop supporting him and ask him to find an apartment, yet they also have a part that fears this very much because he is their child, and if something happens to him - - if he takes drugs or commits suicide, is harmed in any way - - they will never be able to forgive themselves.
Even though they each have both parts in them, Hank expresses the part that says, "We are not helping him by letting him stay. We must stop supporting him." Phyllis expresses their common fears. It appears that they are fighting with each other, but they are really fighting with parts of themselves.
They are all unhappy.
What do Phyllis and Hank need to learn to get free from this nightmare?
What does their son need to learn to get on with his life?
Phyllis and Hank:
Could they need to learn some of the following lessons:
That their child is an immortal soul in the process of evolution and is capable of surviving by himself? To accept and love him as he is with these weaknesses?
To be more firm with him and not help out financially since he is able to take care of himself?
To become his friend and help him understand what is blocking him?
To confirm his abilities, which means to also stop worrying about him?
To free themselves from fears about what others will think about them if their child does not succeed?
To free themselves from the fear of what will happen if they stop helping their child (what others will think, whether he will make it not, whether he will stop loving them.)?
To realize that their child contains divine power, that he is actually Godís child not theirs, and to leave his protection to God?
To ask the child to help them to discover what is the best thing for them to do at this point?
To overcome their own fears about survival and safety?
To overcome their own need for affirmation from society as measured by their relative success?
To let their child know that they love him unconditionally whether he succeeds or not?
To place their child in Godís all-powerful hands?
That life is giving them and their child exactly what they need for the next steps in their growth process?
To have faith in the divine plan and what it brings moment by moment?
Could he need to learn some of the following lessons:
That he is capable of coping with the world and succeeding professionally and economically?
That creating something is often more enjoyable and fulfilling than just playing around?
That his parents do not owe him anything and that it is his turn to produce and offer?
That he is the sole creator of his reality and that only he can create the life he wants to live?
To accept himself as he is and let go of what others think about him?
To get free from his parentsí programmings about money, success and what society thinks?
To become more responsible and caring toward his parents?
To do to others as he would like them to do to him? To express his love to his parents?
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Robert E. Najemy, author of 25 books and life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Become a life coach.
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