Not a good Christmas

I was diagnosis with Parkinson’s over 11 years ago. I had two sons now grown up . My husband left me well over 20 years ago, my elder son was very difficult and he was the cause of the marriage breakdown. Ex is a methodist minister and he left me to bring the boys
Up alone, never seeing them and only ever paying an absolute minimum in maintenance when he was forced to. My elder son who will be 40 now moved away and i have not seen him for a very long time ,my younger son is a doctor and i worked my socks off to put him through grammar school and University. Like most men having a conversation with him can be like pulling teeth, he has always been like this.
Recently I found a baby budgie and decided to keep her for the company really, i am 67 now and have lived alone since my divorce. I have never had a bird before so i am learning as i go along. My younger son M. Has just been home for three days , i haven’t seen him since summer, and i was so excited . However he does not like this baby bird -who of course was obsessed with him. I tried to keep her in her cage and to keep her quiet but my son was visibly unhappy so i got more and more stressed. I have just spoken to my friend who said it was my fault and i should have done this or that hindsight is wonderful is it not.
So i feel a total failure , i miss my son so much and have had to apologise for the bird. But i am dreadfully upset too. I worked hard to support him and put my own life to one side , as all mothers do,
Now i feel that it is a choice between bird and son - who rings me just once a week and whom i see a couple of times a year and yet he only lives an hours drive away and he is a bachelor.
I feel really upset i want to see more of him , i dont have any family as they believed that for a clergyman to divorce me it must have been my fault - it wasnt - so they remained friends with him and cut me out completely. Christmas is therefore a difficult time for me . I need my son whether he likes it or not. I just dont know what to do. Ive had to cope with this parkinsons on my own
Sorry if this sounds jumbled

Hello Starlet, what a very sad post you have written. Obviously I can’t and wouldn’t comment on the relationship with your sons. However, if the budgie is giving you the company you obviously are enjoying and need and your contact with your son is very minimal, then I would keep your budgie. If it bothers him so much (though I can’t see why, unless he has an allergy to its feathers) then maybe you could just keep it in another room when he does visit. I really hope both your sons will be there for you when you need them most… Sending you my best wishes and a virtual hug. P.s. it’s my husband who has PD. Take care. Jean


Thank you Jean. I am quite disappointed in my younger sons attitude, he does not have an allergy he just objects to her flying around, which she obviously likes to do being a bird. She picked up on his attitude towards her, as they do and months of training just went out of the window. She is not even a year old yet, and is a rescue bird, she is quite difficult i admit, but she will calm down as she gets older. She is definitely not being parted with! He never asks how i am, never tells me what he is doing - buying a house apparently - so i am not giving up on this little creature in my care in exchange for very little.
The relationship with elder son is very complex and i wont be receiving any support from him ever.
My doctor son really ought to be doing more for me i do know that , but he has to want to.
Thank you for taking the trouble to reply, i am grateful for somebody elses input xx

Im sorry to read your xmas was not good. As a mum of grown up children i feel your pain! But you must look after yourself first. If the budgie gives you comfort , the psycological boost from this is very important to your well being, especially as you seem to be managing your condition on your own. Children often dont ‘see’ how their parents are struggling, or dont want to see it. I dont have PD, my husband does, his children rarely ask about his day to day life and have little idea how restricted his life is at times. I think its a generational thing these day. But i hope youcan continue to cope on your own, get as much outside help as you can, and just give your sons the facts when they need to know. Its your life now, they are adults and you need to prioritise yourself. Take care x

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Hello and thank you. My elder son lives a very complicated life.which i dont want to go into ,he is not the person i brought up sadly
My doctor son surprises me though to be honest. I know you shouldn’t expect anything back but i thought that he would maybe help me a little now and then. The last time i saw him before Christmas was in july and I’d love to see more of him. Yes i do invite him. He doesn’t realise how life is for me. For example i had to remind him twice on Christmas day that i can no longer walk very far, and that in order to walk along the coast a little we would now have to drive there. I suffer greatly with fatigue
Yes, i live alone with no help and i am not giving up on my little rescue bird in exchange for not very much

I know i shouldn’t be in this situation but i am .

Thank you very much and a happy new year to you

Hello Starlet
When I first read your post I too thought how sad and of course it is on the surface but when I thought about it I couldn’t help but think you are selling yourself massively short and you certainly have no need to feel you are a failure.
Your family may say the divorce was your fault and cut you adrift but you can’t stop them thinking or saying what they will. The important thing is that you know the truth and you are entitled to say your piece if you find yourself in such a situation. The other point that I would make, and I would stress it is only my view, it is very simplistic to say it’s all your fault because he is a clergyman and they demonstrated a child-like response by cutting you out. It doesn’t strike me as very christian to be so judgemental and your own response knowing the truth but choosing to hold your counsel and not bad mouth them is the response of a person who is able to see things are not black and white and is able to rise above the pettiness they have shown. It is a strong person that can do that not a weak one and certainly not a failure.
I can understand how you feel that your sons in a number of ways have ended up making you feel a failure and your friend who said it was your fault, probably confirmed it in your head. Again I say to you that your actions speak to me of a strong person, not a weak one. You brought your sons up on your own, you worked hard to put your doctor son through his training to reach his potential and you have coped for a long time on your own with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. You can bring children into the world and do your best by them but once adult they are responsible for their own decisions and actions which do not necessarily tally with your view on family life. I am guessing here and forgive me if I’m wrong, but I suspect that you have been led to believe you are a failure and weak person so that you now believe it and I think your doctor son treats you as if you are. I have no wish to criticise a man I’ve never met but if he cannot tolerate a small, bird for the short time he sees you, that a pretty pathetic response, particularly as you made efforts to keep the budgie out of his way.
You are stronger than you give yourself credit for and if a baby budgie brings a little joy into your life and some company then good luck to you. I know it feels like a choice between the bird and your son but if you give up the bird your son isn’t going to suddenly turn into someone you can lean on, he didn’t do it before you got yourself the budgie I think it unlikely he will change if you find it a new home.
I think you are feeling very lost and your self esteem and self confidence has been wrecked over the years by all sorts of people. Getting the budgie is something you did for you, a need you recognised in yourself and, if you let it, a first step to regaining some confidence and self belief and building a life for yourself. I don’t believe it is for you to choose between your son and the bird. Rather it is for your son a grown man and in a profession where you would hope for some compassion and understanding, to see what the budgie gives you. He doesn’t have to love it and maybe you could keep it out of his way, but he is an adult and should be able to accept your decision, that the budgie is important to you and at the very least tolerate it whilst he is with you. I know it sounds hard and probably quite scary to you but I really believe you have to stand your ground on this and once more see yourself as that person who brought your sons up alone, who worked hard to put your son through his training and who has been coping alone with Parkinson’s and who has recognised and addressed a need for some company and done something about it. These are actions of strength, and you have achieved all that despite the words of others. Now is the time to say this is what I want and what I’m going to do.
I hope you understand what I’m saying and that I’m not saying anything you don’t really know on your heart of hearts, it’s time to live your life is it not?
Good luck and let us know how you are getting on


Oh my gosh, you have read me too well.
My mother died 7 years ago at Christmas and nobody told me until father sent me an email much later, she was a terrible mother and i always strived to be the opposite. I felt nothing at her death because she never once said anythng nice to me so i learned to hide away so that people would not notice me. I was terribly shy. 5 years ago i got in touch with dad who is 92 now and we have a reasonably relationship even though we now live too far apart and both not able to travel that far . We speak on the phone ,and i spoke to him about M. like you he said he was being totally unreasonable, he has been home once this year other than this weekend and Lucy lives here permanently. I dont like mentioning what i did to enable my sons dreams, M especially should know that he would not have got to a consultant without me earning the money to pay for it, taking him abroad , buying his car, all the thngs families do. I gave him a very nice life. Then i got cancer and parkinsons and left work. I have never asked him for anything , i suppose i should be grateful that he remembers to ring me once a week now. Lol
My friend can be very toxic but yes, when your confidence is low it reinforces previous beliefs . I am aware of it and challenge her but always after giving it some thought
And as for the church, they are hypocrites as far as i am concerned . Ex especially claims all the credit for sons success
Yes you are right. I do keep quiet because i see no need to be nasty back . I know the truth. If people cannot be bothered to ask for my side its not my fault
I like living alone, yes i could do with a bit of help and so on .and someone to go out with sometimes . I have plenty to keep me occupied, i have a dance lesson every week, i belong to a womens social group and i still manage to run my sewing blog. I grow orchids and bonsai trees and have just gained a diploma in Counselling.
I have never been owned by a bird before - she is a feisty little thing - but she needed a home and i hand reared her. Nobody , not even son , is going to make me part with her
I could talk with you for hours. Im going to read your wise words again. Xxx

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I have never once criticised his father to him, but i know he badmouths me so i suspect M has been told a lot of untruths, as my Dad was. I tried to make a complaint to the methodist C but whilst he was allowed support i was not allowed anyone to speak for me so i lost the case with no appeal That makes me furious because i wont be the only person treated badly by its ministers

Hia Starlet, sorry to read your Christmas has not been an enjoyable one. I can see and hope you have taken a lot away from the replies from Jean1, Jandc and Tot. Reading between the lines here and from what you have shared I too think you are selling yourself short here. It takes a very determined, strong minded, having self belief to have lived, accomplished what you have done. I would offer an analogy here, hope this makes sense, you say your little budgie is a fiesty little thing, maybe she came to you for a reason, maybe notch up a gear on balancing your scales - giving and receiving, continue to enjoy your weekly dance lessons and your social group, alongside running your sewing blog, your green fingers and congratulations in gaining a diploma. Not all awards come with a certificate and maybe remind yourself of that. Maybe it’s time to take your slice of the cake first before sharing it (I really hope this makes sense!) I will leave you with this I have come across and hope that as the old year leaves that 2023 will be a positive one for you, take care :smile:

New Year’s Reflections

Looking back on the months gone by,
As a new year starts and an old one ends,
We contemplate what brought us joy,
And we think of our loved ones and our friends.

Recalling all the happy times,
Remembering how they enriched our lives,
We reflect upon who really counts,
As the fresh and bright new year arrives.

By Joanna Fuchs


Good afternoon and thank you for responding. I have done a lot of thinking and i have to say i agree with you.
I am actually proud of myself , sure retirement is not quite as planned but i do have lots of time to do what i want.and i am content, have a lovely home and good friends.
One thing i am going to do is to try to get the money together to purchase a fold- up scooter so that i can enjoy being outdoors more in the summer. Son is househunting for a 500k property -,considering how i brought him up and what his profession is i am quite surprised (or not) that he doesnt just get me one. If it were me then anything needed would be there instantly.
I am no longer looking for excuses for him. He SHOULD contact me more, he should visist more than twice a year. And if he objects to my tiny little feathered friend who is an absolute darling then thats his problem not mine. I will bring the subject up eventually but right now i am busy ordering my Wiltshire farm food meals … thank you to all of you. I do appreciate all these opinions which are making me think more positively about myself

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It was lovely to read that the replies you have received to your post have helped to give you a different perspective on your complex sutuation. I hope the baby budgie continues to give you much pleasure and trust you will have a happy new year and a renewed zest for life in 2023. The forum is always open if you need.
Best wishes

Thank you.
Really i ought not to be put in this position but for some reason i am, and its heartbreaking.
My feathered friend at least is delighted to see me even if i leave the room for a minute. I have always had animals but never a bird and she gives me pleasure and fun. I couldn’t have any other type of pet as i live in an apartment
Ex hubby is very bitter and never lets go of a grudge so i guess some of that reaches my son and he does not really know me .

So, all this is food for thought. I wish people would help others without hesitation, and i hope that i take a lesson from this and start to put myself first.

Thank you everyone and a happy new year to us all xxx

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So lovely that you feel so much more positive after looking at yourself through other’s eyes. Your son is an adult and his shortcomings are his problem. You worked hard to give him all he needed to be successful and he can’t expect anymore from you but love. Enjoy your little bird’s company and I hope 2023 is happy and peaceful x

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Thank you. I was terribly upset when i first posted. I still feel sad but a lot more accepting.
I remember one boxing day when son was spending the day with Rev Dad. The village where he lives was flooded badly, no electric, people injured etc restaurant’s closed and so Rev and Doc could not go out for lunch as planned. Rev had no food in as he always eats out and what did the pair of them do? Did they join the community and help? No, the Reverand and the Doctor just sat and drank every bottle of alcohol they could find and both were blind drunk.
I was furious, i would have helped out, in fact it was their DUTY to help and the pair just got drunk. THAT is what i am up against so i know that my needs are never even considered

Happy new-year to you and your family and thank you xxxxxx