anxiety over difficult child picking up his stuff

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Elsieshaye, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Since last night, I've been having a lot of anxiety symptoms over my son and his father coming up on Sunday to pick up the rest of difficult child's belongings. (Recap: kicked him out almost a month ago, and he's been living with his father 300 miles away for about 3 weeks now. Before that, he hadn't spoken to his father or responded to his emails in about 6 months. They don't get along well, and are extremely similar people. Not in good ways. The ex is verbally abusive and physically intimidating, although he never actually hit me. He prefers to loom and invade space, avoiding anything that he could actually get in legal trouble for.)

    My goal is to arrange things so that they spend the least amount of time in my apartment (and, if I can avoid the ex coming in at all, that's what I'd prefer). I have about an hour and a half of work to do to make that happen, which I'll get done tomorrow. They haven't shared with me when they're thinking of coming, and the ex is completely random - they could show up at 10 am after getting on the road at 5, or they could mozey on in at 4 pm, or anything in between - so the friends who were going to hang around with me had to cancel, because I really couldn't give them a good window.

    Right now, I just feel like throwing up or hiding under my desk. Don't know which one I'm dreading more - difficult child or the ex. difficult child has been acting exactly like the ex lately (down to phrases, facial expressions and mannerisms), which really makes me not want to be around him at all.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I think you need to make to clear to them that they *have* to give you a narrow window of time in which they'll be there, or it's a no-go. I know it's tough to pin down when driving from out of town, but I think a 2 hour window isn't unreasonable. Maybe you could even give them the timeframe.. "I'll be here between 2 and 4, so I'll see you then." Let them arrange their schedule around YOU, not the other way around. I think the ex is playing old ex-control games with you (if he's anything like my ex), by making you wait on him and bend to his schedule... don't let him! If they're not there when you said you'd be there, that's their fault. Yeah I know you don't want to deal with the drama.. but I think you need to not be a doormat either, ya know? I hate HATE when people try to make me "hostage" by not committing to timeframes (even my cable company will give me a 2 hour window now!) Huge pet peeve of mine.

    So, I say give them your window of availability, get your friend(s) to be there during that time period, and then head somewhere else if they don't get there in time.. they'll have to reschedule.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Crazy. I would call them and say that something has come up and you have a period of time you will be available to meet with them. Give them the time frame. If they dont answer, leave it on the voice mail and text it. But keep trying to reach him. When you can give him the time...stick to it even if you have to move your car! Go to the mall, see a movie, go get lunch or dinner. Be unavailable. If his stuff is clothes and anything that can be left on a porch, consider that.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Or if you are not comfortable with being quite as firm, tell them something has come up and you have committments for the day but you can come home when you know they will be there.... so they should call you when they get close.... I don't know if your friends could work with you on a short notice basis though.... You can always ask the police be there to help keep the peace, although I can see why you might not want to do that.

  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sorry this has to be such a challenge for you. I cant imagine having that kind of threat hanging over me. Do you have a neighbor who you can trust enough to at least call 911 if they hear inappropriate noises? I hope they will just follow what you say and do it the easy way. I like the idea of setting time boundaries, after all you are not a motel or storage facility, you have a life. Time they start to realize it.

    Sending caring thoughts......buddy
  6. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I called difficult child to see if I could narrow down the window, and apparently they didn't get any money from the relative they were going to mooch off of, so they aren't coming. difficult child said "and you'd BETTER NOT throw away my stuff!" I said "telling me what I'd better or better not do is ill-advised," and he absolutely went off on me. He demanded an apology for kicking him out, and criticized me for being "all happy" when I called him. It was seriously a face full of angry crazy.

    So I hung up on him, and have been researching how much it'll cost me to box up his **** and mail it to him. I need to get it out of the house one way or another, so I'm waiting on UPS to call me back.

    So. Done.
  7. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Tough, I talked to the police when my friend had to cancel. Because there is nothing like a restraining order or any prior court involvement, they won't come just to supervise, and told me to call "if something happens."
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Weird... Here, many times you can ask for a peace officer to be present. If they have someone available, all is well.

    Box up the stuff and send it COD.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why doesn't that surprise me?! Seems like the more of a stink a difficult child (including a GFGex) makes about something, the more likely it is to fall through, anyway. Good for you on calling UPS. If nothing else, you can box it up so it's easier for him to pick up when he's ready.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think sending it via UPS is a really good idea. I really hope that works out... if UPS is too expensive, check the regular post office. I really like our little post office and often send packages that way.

  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'd just send it, regardless of cost. Sounds like them coming to pick it up causes too much anxiety.

    If it were me, after what difficult child said to you, I'd be tossing it into the trash and he could just deal with it. But that is me. I don't "do" disrespect at all. Period.

  12. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Hound Dog, it's tempting, and I know it's within my rights to do it that way, but for my difficult child that would be the nuclear option. Eventually, I would like to have a relationship with him, and getting rid of his stuff would push some huge buttons with him that I'm not willing to push. That single event would become the defining problem in our relationship, for him, and obscure everything else. If I send him his stuff, I don't burn that bridge, but I still keep him at arm's length by taking away every excuse to need to contact me.
  13. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    I should know better than to read anything DS sends me now, but of course I did. I feel like throwing up - his version of what happened and mine are so completely different that it's hard to believe we were both there for the same events.

    "Ma I was gonna tell you this, when I came up for my things. but since you sent them down already, i'm emailing you instead. I don't think you understand the degree at which you hurt me. Hustling for food was the easy part, but the feelings of abandonment were the hardest with which to deal. I know you told the resident manager that you felt your life was in danger because of me. I know that she banned me from the property. I heard this not from her, not from you, but NeighborName in the complex. they seemed to think that I was physical. And as far as I know, ma, you were the only one that ever raised a fist in our relationship. I now know why the lil things you did disgusted me. My gut was telling me that the real issue was our relationship, not dad and mine's. I can't find the words to describe what I think of you now. They only one's that come to mind are selfish, coward, and manipulative. I was in your life to boost your self-esteem. I was your lil' trophy of who the perfect mother is. this explains why you would always worry about whether or not you were doing a good job. And when I told you that you were, I was lying. But not with Malintent. You're my ma, and said you were out of loyalty. I don't think you understand how much I trusted you despite you not having my back when I was 11, when I was 14, when i was in school. You disregarded a sacred virtue, ma. You took my loyalty and you kicked out the apartment with me, you're own blood. you neglected. I'm trying to reconcile my anger. Dad seems to think your "ill." I'm hesitant to believe that. I think you have a lot you have to figure out right now, just as I do. But I'm not ready to think you ill. I'm also not ready to forgive you ma. BUt I do want an apology. I want a gesture that you actually care, that you're not the selfish coward, I've seen in these past dark months. I was testy when you called the other day, because I felt disrespected, that you called me with such glee, with now apology, no curiosity in to how I'm feeling, how I'm holding up. I felt disrespected that you jumped straight into moving logistics. Ma, I need to know if those 17 hours of labor meant something to you or if I'm just another brick in the wall for you, disposable when i don't serve your needs. If you could give me that, I'd much appreciate it."

    There were two occasions in the last two years where I did "raise a fist" to difficult child - literally, that's what I did. I didn't hit him, but I did brandish my fist in anger and take a step towards him. And, once I slammed my hand down on his laptop (I had asked him if I could use it, and while I was we ended up having an argument about something). He knows I feel really horrible about losing my temper like that, because I always worked hard to keep myself reined in, no matter how much he was raging. Really, I feel completely done with him, and I am so glad that they didn't come up here. I have zero interest in ever speaking to him again. Part of me knows that I will miss him at some point, but right now he sounds and acts so much like his father that I want to write him off. I know I won't feel that way forever, and I understand that from his perspective he is very angry and wants to hurt me as much as he feels hurt. I also know that his father is feeding his rage for his own reasons. (The "she's sick" thing is a recurring theme with him - any time I said no to him or set a boundary, it was evidence that I'm "sick".)

    Right after that, there was also another email where he was asking me politely to send him a hardcopy of our new insurance cards, written in an almost poetic way. I wonder if he was high when he wrote it? The entitlement and surreal quality of dealing with difficult child makes my head spin. And, of course, I'm now second-guessing myself and feeling like a monster.
  14. Cheerwyn

    Cheerwyn New Member

    Holy projection, Batman! Textbook projection, guilt and manipulation.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Interesting that he mentions that you called him with "glee" in your voice. How dare you be happy! Seriously, he will probably escalate this stuff as time goes on and you stick to your reasonable boundaries of being safe and secure in your own home.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree, manipulation. If it helps, write him a reply. But *don't* send it. Write down all the reasons he can't live with you any longer. Then sit on it for a day or two. Look at it again after that, and if you feel the need, edit it to just the basics and then send it. It may not make a difference at all (in fact, I guarantee it probably won't), but it might make you feel better to have put your own feelings out there. It'll also give you a chance to tell him you love him, but that you can't live with him. If that's what you want to say, that is. If you don't want to deal with it at all, then just the act of writing down your own feelings in a "mock" reply may help you immensely.

    Hang in there. The weeks and months after I kicked Oldest out were when she was at her most volatile with me, and the accusations and guilt-trips were flying, but it did get better with time. Just take care of you.
  16. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thank you, both. I'm much less freaked out now. Intellectually, I know what to expect from him, but it still feels like a sucker-punch.
  17. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My h got a "happy birthday" email from his brother last week that is a duplicate of the message you received from your difficult child. Words & circumstances are different of course-but the tone & sentiment are identical.

    My brother in law is an addict. 45 years old now and has nothing to show for his time here on earth. He's the braggart, baloney type-Joe Isuzsu- nothing is ever his fault and he had all the answers. He is smarter, better looking and more advanced than anybody else on the planet (snort) but life & everyone he knows has screwed him over. Totally not his fault. Never held a job for more than 3 months because he is always smarter than his boss so his boss fires him or because someone else at work is out to get him.

    My brother in law should have sent my h an email of 2 sentences - Happy birthday! I wish you joy in the year ahead.

    Your difficult child should have sent you an email of 2 sentences "Dear Mom, Thank you for sending my things. I appreciate your thoughtfulness"

    If we've learned anything from brother in law it's that He is addicted to himself as well. My BILs communications alway center upon himself and are designed to elicit pity or apology. Either or-he feeds his narcissism by writing them and hopes to elicit more narcisstic feed by the response they generate. I don't know that your difficult child is narcisstic too- but he is defibitrky trying to provoke you into a response.

    Like the sign at the zoo: "Don't feed the beast. ". He hurt you on purpose because it made him feel better about himself. Don't feed the beast. Let it lie

    Many many many {{{hugs}}}
  18. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Please forgive my typos. Can't edit on the mobile version and our Internet is down. I have no idea how iPhone came up w "defibitrky" when I meant to type "definitely!!"
  19. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Signorina, hahahahaha! I'm not sure what language "defibitrky" might be, or why autocorrect picked it, but I'm envisioning defibrillator-turkey hybrids and giggling. Thank you, iPhone!
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I'm not sure - but I think that's a rip off of an MnM rap song.