Surely he’s not your son – he’s adopted – that means he’s your son by love and behaviour, but genetically, you have no idea – right? My first husband was an armed robber – He beat me, sodomised me and brutalised me for 5 years. I had a son by him, whom I adored. I left my husband with my son, aged 2 years old. I moved from London to Australia. Endless problems at school and at home followed on. I was a single mum, working, so I admit, I carried the guilt of this for years, but finally at age 14 he was diagnosed with ADD. He wouldn’t take the medication and the school wouldn’t help him, so eventually he was expelled, followed by expulsion from 2 further schools. He started drug dealing, and just as the police were on his tail, he was attacked and severely beaten by rival dealers – I put him straight on a plane to his father in London, hoping to save him from continued contact with the dealers. He has continued to use drugs, and now lives in Thailand. His father no longer speaks to him. I try, but he is non compliant. A social worker once told me that it was me that needed help – not him. If she had been in the room, I would have knocked her out!! My thinking now is that I never could have helped him – his genes were going to make him this way – there was only ever a limited amount of influence I could have had. I felt guilty for years. Now I am dying, aged 46, from a medication reaction. I am trying desperately to contact him to see him for one last time, but he won’t speak to me. I feel for you. You need some sort of event to force you to consider, is his behaviour your responsibility, or anything you can impact. If not, then, how do you move forward?