Been Away For A While-An Update and Hopefully A Breakthrough

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scott_G, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Last year things were getting a bit better following having to give my wife an ultimatum that either she stop enabling or I would leave, and then our son finally moving to Miami and putting about 1000 miles between us. I felt that the distance would do everyone some good, but especially us. I think there is finally a breakthrough after all these years. Not with my son, he is still a screw up, but with my wife. As of this past weekend I think she is finally coming around to seeing things for what they really are and is truly ready to detach-in fact we have gone no contact with our son.
    Things were going okay for a while until one day over the winter I had found out that my wife had sent a few hundred dollars Western Union to our son because supposedly he had purchased a car from one of those shady car dealerships that advertise “no credit no problem” and they took the first car payment out of his bank account right away leaving him no money for food or gas for the week. Of course, in typical enabling fashion my wife jumps right to his rescue and wires him the money. And of course he never paid us back even though he said he would. Needless to say that this caused some grief with our relationship because I have told my wife many times already that she is not to give him any money for any reason and that at 33 years old he should not need mommy to fix his problems. So when his birthday came around in July I told her that absolutely under no circumstances was he to get anything other than a card. She did oblige. Of course he actually had the nerve to call around the time of his birthday and ask if he could have $200 because it was his birthday. I told him that the loan was forgiven for the money his mother wired to him that he never paid back and he hung up on me. That was the last we heard from him until last week. By coincidence, we are remodeling our den and my wife was cleaning it out when she found some used heroin needles that had probably been left there by my son maybe two years ago. Finding these needles brought back a lot of anger for my wife. Then out of the blue dear son calls her up and tells her that he quit his job and is coming back to this state to live with a friend of his who is about an hour and a half away from us. Of course my wife, still upset after finding the needles, engages him in an argument. He starts in with all this crap about how he doesn’t want to work and it’s difficult for him because he’s depressed (that’s his latest scam, he claims to suffer from depression and we are terrible people because we won’t help him) and he can’t get up in the morning to go to work. The argument got heated and then my wife hung up the phone. Then the flood gates opened up and the venom came pouring out. He went right to Facebook and trashed us for all the world to see. He said we were horrible parents who were selfish and heartless. He blamed us for causing his depression because he wasn’t perfect and we rejected him. He blamed us basically for all his problems in life. The twistedly funny part though is that many of the things he blamed us for were things that happened since he was 18. That’s right; he’s blaming his parents for his adult problems. How pathetic can one be? For instance he said that we made him feel unwelcome because he wasn’t allowed at our house unless everything was perfect with him. In fact, how far from the truth can you get? While he was married for nearly 10 years, MONTHS would go by and we would not hear from him at all. Despite the fact the he and his wife lived across town for crying out loud, we barely saw him outside of the holidays. No, the truth is that the only time he had any interest in interacting with us was when things started to go south with his marriage (of course we are terrible people for not being there for him when he was going through the break up). We only hear from him when he needs something and the only reason he was banned from our house is because he was shooting up here and we would simply not tolerate it. Of course we are terrible people for not doing enough to help him try to get clean( despite the fact that his former employer would have paid for him to get clean). I think this was the last straw for my wife. After his Facebook public trashing of us, my wife texted him with the simple message: “We need space.” She then blocked him on Facebook, our house phone, and both of our cell phones. He has no way to contact us. I figured that now was a good time to have “the talk” again with my wife. At this point I want to take a moment to thank the members here for all of the tools I have picked up. In the past I would have been extremely angry over all of the hateful words my son used, but after reading this forum I was able to see his actions for what they really were-manipulations. His outburst is nothing more than the behavior of a desperate person who has realized that this time they are not going to get what they want. He is turning up the heat and taking it public in an attempt to get us to cave in and give him what he wants. The blaming of his parents for adult problems by public shaming is really grasping at straws. I am not angry or hurt at all by his words. I explained this to my wife and I think she is getting it. She is also more receptive so I told her about some of the great tools I found here. For instance, I told her that if/when she decides to have contact with him, DO NOT under any circumstances engage him, and the best way to do that is to literally have a script for your side of the conversation. No is a complete sentence-you do not need to justify yourself to him. Don’t give advice-especially unsolicited. He is an adult and he should not need to be told what he should or shouldn’t do with his life. If he tells you he wants to be a pot farmer on the moon just nod your head and wish him the best of luck. If he has a problem, tell him that he is a smart capable man and that you are confident that he will find a solution to his problems, and if he gets disrespectful the conversation is over. My wife is finally on the same page, although it took nearly 20 years for her to get to this point.
    Where things go from here, only time will tell, but I can tell you that I for one am done playing this game. He’s been a screw up since the age of 15. He alone chose the path he is on. He chose to smoke pot and drink and hang out with losers at age 15. He chose to skip school until they finally expelled him. He chose to hang around with the kind of losers who commit crimes and then ended up in juvenile hall at 17 when his (well behaved) peers were doing things like getting drivers licenses, getting jobs, going to prom, and applying to college. He chose to snort that first line of heroin. When his drug use affected his performance at work, he chose getting fired over getting help. He chose to let his mortgage go into foreclosure, in fact when I tried to help him hang on to his house longer so he wouldn't end up homeless, he ignored everything I told him that he needed to do. He knew he was losing the house, yet he chose to shoot all his money up his arm instead of saving for a new place. All of these were his choices, so pardon my French, but cry me a :censored2:ing river. I for one am done wasting my time on someone who at age 33 not only still blames his parents for his failures, but thinks we should still be supporting him. I hate to say this, but I have given up on him. If he were somebody else’s kid, I would probably be using the word “loser” to describe him. It is clear form his attitude today that he has no desire to change, and that’s fine with me, but I refuse to stand by and take the blame for his poor choices, and in no way will I ever again support or enable him living a lifestyle I don’t approve of. That’s on him. I am going to live my life and either he is going to turn his life around on his own, or he won’t. I just don’t have the energy to care either way anymore.
    • Agree x 2
    • Like x 1
    • Winner x 1
    • Friendly x 1
    • Optimistic x 1
    • List
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Scott,

    Glad you are back.

    I think your post got lost in the shuffle.

    Wow, your wife has really had a breakthrough! Good for her, and you!

    That Facebook trashing; that has happened to a lot of us.

    It's another one of the difficult child tools to hurt us, or get us to give them what they want. Pure manipulation. I'm glad your wife sees this now!

    Stay with us, we appreciate having a man's perspective.

  3. Childofmine

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

    Scott thank you for your post. It will help a lot of other people who visit this forum. I am so very glad that you and your wife are moving forward together. It's bad enough to lose your son to this evil called addiction...but to lose your wife as well would be a triple loss.

    Having said that, I am sorry that you have had to endure this for the past 16 years. I hope you and your wife can create a new and joyful life for the two of you.

    You have a lot of wisdom and experience to share. Thank you for being a part of this forum.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back Scott, very good to "see" you!

    Wow, a lot has transpired since you were here last. I am so happy to hear you and your wife are on the same page, bless her, it can be so hard on us fortuitous to find the needle, the last straw for her it seems. Yup, the FB trashing of us parents is in the 'difficult child handbook on how to act badly when you don't get your way.' Many of us have been there. Pretty ugly stuff to read from our own kids, but it sounds like it all blended together for you and your wife to form a united front. That is good. He is 33, he is a man, it is time to "man up" for him. And, for you and your wife? Go have fun, enjoy your lives. Cherish all your peaceful moments.........sending you and your wife good thoughts and warm wishes for peace and a whole lot of joy too!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Finding heroin is a huge red flag that he is not just dabbling in pot. He could be a heroin addict.

    I t hink you are doing the only thing that is safe for you and your wife right now and am glad to see she finally gets the message.

    I would advise her, if she talks to him, to keep her comments sort. "Yes." "No. "Really!" "Oh." "Wow." No explaining. Useless to explain to a desperate drug addict who needs money for a fix and will say he is starving or freezing or anything to get it. The more anyone talks to an addicted person, the more fodder we give that person for ambushing us. They use our good sense and loving advice against us. They hear what th ey want to hear.

    I hope one day he changes, but that has to be his decision. Meanwhile, I'm glad for you and your wife to finally be on the same page.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed very much (yes enjoyed) reading of your journey and your wife's and now the two of you together. It is a triumph. I, too, endured the pain of being trashed as a parent. I lost many years feeling pain and anger, that my beloved child who I love above all else, would betray me. How stupid I was.

    I too am learning the lessons you have so ably noted. And they are working for me, too. I am seeing subtle changes in my son and in our communication. My son is working, and living in a stable and healthy situation. He has become peripheral in my life, more suited to the adult that he is. Not as a central character. As it should be. I love him the same. But he is the center of his own life and I my SO and I in ours. I not only see the difference, I feel it.

    I do have hope for my son. Because I see how quickly he responded when I changed. When I got out of his way. And no longer accepted responsibility for his part as well as my own. He stepped up. I believe no matter how old are our adult kids, they can change. Because they have to. At some point your son will realize that if he does not help himself, nobody else will. He will have to decide, himself, his own life story. That is what changes, I think. They come to feel the power and the responsibility in themselves.

    Thank you very much for writing it all out for us. I benefited. Thank you.