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Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I have a terrible dilemma that is getting worse from day to day. I hope you can help me as I’m too old and tired to put up with this on my own. So, I will make this as short and as concise as I can.


My husband of sixty-two years passed away almost three ago, one of the earlier of the earliest cases of Covid. After his passing my three children insisted that I couldn’t go back to my house and live alone even though I was quite capable to do so. So, it was agreed, against my objections, that my eldest son, because he too lives alone, would come to live with me until the Covid scare passed and then he would go back to his own home.

At first, it was nice having his company because I had to admit it would have been quite lonely by myself for about a few months. We chatted during the day and played board games at night and so the time passed. However, about one year later, things began to change. My son became short-tempered quite often and I backed down so as not to argue with him, but it hurt me deeply to be spoken to like I was a two-year-old child with no understanding of things. After a while he took on the role of my over-seer, telling me what I could and couldn’t do while conducting his own business. I also made the grand mistake of handing over the keys to the family car and the control of my checking and savings accounts, since he also took over the payments for the house and other expenses, and I would have to ask him to take me to doctor’s visits and money for whatever I needed to buy for me personally. This has been ongoing till today and I can’t take it anymore. He has become a dictatorial jailer in my prison without walls.

Many times I have tried to call my daughter who lives in Chicago, to see it I could go live with her, or my youngest son who is a doctor in Florida. My daughter finally came by three days ago and told me she would take me home with her, when my son walked in and completely lost it. He started yelling that I wasn’t going anywhere and that my daughter had no right to make those decision for me. There was a terrible fight ad my daughter left crying, but not before she told him she was going to the police because he was keeping me a prisoner. And this is where it is right now. She told me that she would stay by her friend and that when she leaves I will be going with her. She called my youngest son to come and be a buffer for when this happens and he is on his way here.

Please tell me what to do, or how to go about living through this horrible situation. I am afraid my oldest son will have a heart attack if the police come and I leave with my daughter or that they will arrest him for holding me captive. I am so afraid this will end badly for all of us. Please tell me what to do!


Dear Friend,

How terribly sad and frightened you must be to be in the middle of this family turmoil. I will try to offer several pathways you might consider taking that will possibly offer some solid and workable solutions, but they will require outside help. So let’s see what we can do in the event that any one of your fears plays out. Firstly, I need to know from you if you feel safe to be alone in the house with your eldest son and to quietly discuss how you feel because he probably does not see how his irrational behavior towards you is impacting your health and wellbeing, as well as the discord it’s bringing to his relationship with his siblings. If you are not comfortable with having this discussion or feel unsafe in any way to be with him, get someone else to stay with you or wait until he leaves the house and call your daughter to come get you as soon as he leaves. Call your daughter and tell her to bring someone else with her if you feel he might return in short order and cause trouble. Make no mistake, your situation cannot be taken lightly and you must take precautions so as not to put yourself in danger.

Your son sounds like he has gone through or is in the process of going through some kind of mental breakdown that feeds on his being able to control and manipulate you. He may interpret this control as the reason for his existence and what gives him purpose in being. If that is the case, all the more reason for you to leave. He is in great need of mental medical assistance and may pose a danger to anyone in his proximity that tries to challenge him. A police presence to escort you out may not be unreasonable if you anticipate problems. So, let’s go through this once more and see what you want to do. If you feel safe and unafraid to speak to your son without fear that he will become unreasonable and violent, try to get a friend/neighbor to be in the house with you when you talk to him about leaving with your daughter and tell him it will be for a short time. If, however, you are afraid for your safety, call the police immediately and have your daughter standing by to take you with her straight away!

Either way, your son sounds like he has slipped into a world of his own making where only the two of you exist and anyone who wishes to upset his plans for a perfect life will be exposed to his displeasure. Please take seriously the need for your safety as a top priority and don’t listen to your “Mothers Heart” that bleeds for your son but overlooks her own wellbeing and safety in the process. Your son needs help and you are not the one who can help him. So please help yourself and keep safe. Again, have the police station number on auto-dial and the moment you feel fear, please call them immediately! Please keep in touch and let me know how you are and where you are. I care!


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