36...really have to do mindfulness tonight

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is what it is and he is what he is.
    He self-sabotages his life constantly.
    Tonight he calls me up distraught asking for my mommy skills help, which I'm happy to give out. I thought he'd be talking about bath time or bed time or something, but it turned out to be more complex.

    Grandson is starting to act out.

    Back story, as far as I know: About a month ago, difficult child found drawn pictures of Grandson's mother in his backpack with his writing "I Love Mommy" on the drawings. Lots of them. There was no drawing there about loving daddy so that upset difficult child (difficult child gets competitive with his ex) difficult child asked Grandson to draw some for him too and said he'd hang them up. I am not sure what tone of voice difficult child used to his son, but he is usually nice to him. I have no reason to think he yelled at him. Of course I wasn't there.

    As far as this incident goes, I'm sure there was more to it than that between himself and his crazed difficult child ex. Both of them are entirely incapable of behaving normally. I mean, I would never have said anything about the mommy pictures if I had been in his shoes. I'm sure he also said, "How come you only have pictures of mommy?" Grandson also knows that difficult child hates his stepfather and I believe Grandson likes him.I'm not sure. I just think so by a few things difficult child has told me. Grandson is exceptionally bright and perceptive for his age and he obviously knows there is bad will between difficult child, his mother and the stepfather and he tries to please everyone. The saga continues to another day that happened at his mother's house.

    Anyhow, apparently Grandson drew a picture of his mother, stepfather and himself in a picture and when he showed it to this mother, he then broke down hysterical, begging his mother not to tell his daddy he drew the picture. Now since his ex is crazy too, I don't know if this is the whole story, but it is what she told difficult child and difficult child says he believes it.

    So...I guess for the last month, Grandson has been acting kind of afraid of difficult child and tonight everything is starting to make him cry. difficult child says he is not sick; he is positive. He sent his son to his room so he could calm down and play and usually his son would come out of his room eventually, but he didn't.

    Well, frankly, I don't know what's going on and I don't even know my grandson. I know neighbor kids much more than Grandson. I am in no position to make any sort of assessment and I don't trust either his ex's story or difficult children perception. Plus it's late.

    I am worried about the entire situation because I still have PTSD thinking about how difficult child behaved during that horrible custody battle and how I had to teach myself quickly how to detach from him in those days. I have to do it again tonight. So I posted here so I could calm myself on here and maybe somebody will look at my vent...lol. I have no idea why this is something I have to fight so vigorously or why it has the capacity to overtake me, but it does. I think I'd rather not analyze it.

    1/It is what it is. Whatever is going on with this stranger of a grandson, I had nothing to do with it, I wasn't there, I don't know the story, I will never know the story, and since I don't know my grandson and he doesn't know me (due in no small part to my difficult child keeping him from me when he was still close by), I have to let go of this entirely. It makes absolutely no sense for me to become emotionally engaged with a situation I don't even understand. I couldn't help my son even if I wanted to and even if I did know my grandson because I am in Wisconsin and he is in Missouri and I really don't know what is wrong. Whatever it is, it is. (That made me feel tons better)

    2/I can't control anyone but me. I can choose to get upset over a situation that has nothing to do with me or I can let go and let God and hope He watches over my Missouri family. Surely He understands, while I do not.

    3/Obviously whatever good came out of the custody battle, without going into detail, difficult child is screwing it up and it's his problem, not mine. I think I will go back to reading the good book I was reading before he called me after I say a prayer.

    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change (in this case, I don't even understand it)
    The Courage to change the things I can (I can only change my reaction to my son's well-known drama and self-sabatage and dysfunctional way of life.
    And the Wisdom to know the difference. (The only thing I can change is my own emotions so I'm going back to that book right now and snuggling with my dogs and maybe hub too if he doesn't go to sleep later than I fall asleep...lol).

    I am going to choose peace. If he calls back, I am turning off my phone. I am going to give myself the rest of the night and all day tomorrow (my day off) not to hear more about this newest drama.

    Thanks for listening.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  2. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Hugs. I feel a groundswell of wanting to help. How do i help a person who has helped me so much?

    As a teacher of 32 years, I can say that it is normal for a kid to draw pictures of his non-custodial parent. They mourn that loss. They don't comprehend "crazy" or all the drama. They just know that was their mom or dad and they miss him/her. Perfectly normal and i don't think your son should be hurt....but, of course, most parents would be.

    I hope the wise folks respond soon. I am very sorry you had this laid at your feet.

    and, i will re-read your post again about what happened. Perhaps, I missed something. Divorce is tough on young kids---no way around it. They miss parents who abused them.

    But, yes, there is nothing you can do to fix this. Sleep well. Tomorrow is a new day.

    More hugs.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh MWM, I can surely understand why your heart would have a bump or two when you are hearing stories about your little grandson.............and I applaud you for taking out your arsenal of tools and talking yourself down off the ledge. Good job.

    So, I'm hoping you're snuggling with your husband, your dogs and that book. Sometimes choosing peace is a moment to moment experience. You done good!
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Oh dear.
    I'm sorry. Your responses as written (that you can't control this) are right on.
    If it were me (and we know how to take that sort of advice) I would suggest to him that he drop all talk of pictures and that he set his son up with a couple of visits with a child psychiatrist or even just the school psychiatrist so he can talk things out in a comfortable environment. I'm a big fan of a few appointments with a shrink. That would be my "can you help me with parenting skills" advice to my son and grandson if I had one. And then I wouldn't engage anymore.
    But if you choose to block your phone and keep your distance, I've totally got your back!

  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    How are you feeling this morning, MWM? I am so sorry this is happening to 36 and his son...but I am so impressed with the nature of your response! We could see the uncertainty, the rejection of the old patterns, the choice to use those hard-won, life and sanity-saving tools we fight so hard to learn. I hope you were able to get back into the book you were reading. I hope you did cuddle with husband, and that you slept well.

    Brene Brown writes that every one of us, child or adult, is hard-wired to cope with conflict. In a way, it could be considered a good and healthy thing that the little boy is able to display his emotions, and that the boy's parents are willing to hear his pain. I don't remember whether this is a shared custody situation, or whether the change to shared custody has been recent...but it seems like that is what I remember.

    That there was a recent change in the nature of the child's living arrangements.

    It makes sense that the child would feel disloyal to the mother and step father as he develops trust and love for the real father. If all the parents can keep a sense of calm, it seems to me that the child will come through this time of adjustment really well ~ especially given that it seems all the adults love the child and encourage open communication.

    That seems to me to be the most important thing. That the child feels safe enough to be open about his confusion during this time of adjustment.

    What do you think, MWM?

  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    MWM, like you said, who knows what is really going on and what the real back story is.

    Your heart went out to your grandson who you don't even know, but you are connected to him anyway. I think that is a good and beautiful thing.

    And it sounds like you are worried that difficult child is again mishandling something...and that something is an innocent child.

    Of course that is upsetting. You are human and you care and that is an upsetting phone call.

    Not the least of which is that you can't do a single thing about any of it, like you said.

    Can you send grandson letters, notes and pictures of your family? Would it be possible to have a mail correspondence with him or would that be a bad idea to even try? I see some redemption here, in this phone call, and could that be it?

    I can't imagine my difficult child having children. Ugh. I can't imagine the additional work I would/will have to do if that ever occurs.

    I hope husband wasn't asleep (lol!). Hugs and kudos to you. You're the best. You help me so much all the time.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi all. Thank you so very much for your concern.

    I did actually do pretty well with things after I wrote it down here. I could have gone either way and decided not to let this make me crack because, as I often repeat, I have no control of this, only God does. I have no idea what is going on with my grandson and difficult child and his goofy ex. I think it would be more comforting if his ex were sane and normal, but she's not...there is nothing I can do about the entire situation. Maybe Grandson is belatedly acting out over the divorce...ex ran off with another man, introduced grandson to him right away, and took my son to court and Grandson has been to a court ordered therapist. He is terrified of the therapist. Not sure why. But my son can't really take him to anyone else because the judge ordered that they use this court appointed counselor. Grandson is very verbal and will, without a doubt, tell his mother if my son takes him to somebody else then my son could be in contempt of court. The whole mess is just that...a mess.

    Grandson used to be such a happy go lucky kid, at least on the surface, and now he is crying all the time...and son gets angry if I don't have the magic answers and you all know how he gets when he is angry at me....he starts yelling and swearing and worse (threatening me) and I get off the phone. I wonder if Grandson's genes caught up with him. I hope not. Not much good in our genetic pool!! In Grandson's case, both sides of his genepool are horrendous with mental illness and personality disorders all over the place. I think ex is borderline and I know my son has some narcissistic and antisocial traits plus anxiety out the yang and depression.

    Today I woke up feeling good and am going to concentrate on my serenity. I am going to do some meditation, work out, and do the things I have to do since it is my day off. I am going to spend time talking to those in my world who are happy and send out good vibes, like my pregnant daughter and Jumper and this is Sonic's first day of his REAL job in the community!!!! That makes my heart sing! I have a three day weekend of work so I will be pretty busy.

    I have to keep repeating the Serenity Prayer, which is the wisest prayer I have ever seen regarding situations like ours.

    I do have to say though I am flabbergasted at how difficult child can screw up his own life. Things were going very smoothly for a few months and he decided to accept some money from current girlfriend (a whole new story on it's own) and go to his lawyer to see if he could get his ex to stop doing certain things. Instead, he opened up a can of worms. When he told me he was going back to his lawyer I wanted to jump in and tell him to leave things be, but I just listened. Telling him would not have done any good.

    Now his life is drama plus again, but I'm not going to sign up for a part in this play of his.

    Thank you all. You are all very, very helpful. RE and Scent and so many others (everyone who posted at least) if you only knew how much you offer...you are all so smart and so awesome. I love you all :)
  8. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    How about a picture of the dogs? You could even write a note like it was one of the dogs talking to him. Sounds crazy but kids love animals and goofy stuff like this.

    Sorry you are going through all this, MWM.