If You Love Something, Set It Free

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Albatross, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member


    Recently I have made a careful decision to love my missing child as the sweet little boy I raised. I will always love that child and I let him go as I let all my kids go. I did not attempt to stop them and they come back, except for Gone Boy.

    I never had him, as an adult. I don't know him as an adult. Not much. What I do know is not somebody I raised...a man so different from the child...so I love the child but not the man who is not in my life at all and who has broken my heart.

    Your post says it all. I never had him.

    Soon I am going to change my will so he has been on my mind more than usual.

    I don't have this almost forty year old man and he no longer has me.

    Creepy, but profound and true. Thank you.
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  3. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    I'm so sorry SWOT. I feel more sorry for you son because I wonder if he truly is happy. I think of the movie Color Purple. Harpo got married to Sophia (Oprah) and she controlled that man- made him so miserable. I think a man will only be controlled for so long before he breaks. I feel sorry for him because he knows not the love you have for him, the child you remember. So for now, Sweet Lady, love him from afar, as you remember him.
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  4. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    This is how I feel - I love the child I raised and miss that girl dearly. She was funny and sarcastic and witty, willing to be utterly ridiculous, self-confident, and social. I do not know the woman she has become, the woman her disorder and drugs has turned her into, the woman who only wants me for money, manipulation, or meanness. I tell myself the girl is still in there...just buried very deep.
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Iron Butterfly. You are very kind.

    Walrus, I get it. I am so puzzled that this sweet boy has turned into somebody who rejected everyone who loved him.

    Parts of life seem really hard to understand...I feel for you too, walrus. I'm sorry.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I do this too, you guys. With daughter, I can touch that child she was. I can see her as a child and recognize her in the adult she has become. But with son, the change in him is so extreme that it almost seems he cannot possibly be that little boy, or that sweetly vulnerable adolescent boy, I remember at all.

    I think the difference is that, while daughter did use drugs, drugs were not the initial problem. The drug use began to help her cope with something that was already there. For son, the problem was the drug use. More drugs, and more kinds of drugs, and for a longer time. I think that is what happened to that little boy I raised.

    I agree that we can love them as we did when they were little kids. It isn't going to make any difference to the child who refuses to see us whether we love the thought of them now or the thought of them as children, but to find the love we held for them as children helps us very much.

    Thank you, Albie. I got the biggest charge out of this!


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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Gone boy has changed that much too. Maybe he just held in anger of six years in an orphanage for a long time because he was an awesome boy and teen and I love that person.

    The man with the stern faced wife who met me at his church for reconciliation services was not that boy in any way. The one who gave me a long, abusive list of conditions to meet in order to be in 'our" life was stone cold. It was a mean list, meant to be just that. He held his head up with confidence, in front of this church volunteer, as he explained each condition. He was proud to be mean. He knew it was mean. Not a doubt. I just listened, the truth sinking in that he was a different person. I did not cry. I did not feel like crying. Instead, I thought, "wow. I get it now." It was surreal, like I was outside of my body, listening to the frozen words of a stranger. And I was.

    This was when I realized that the boy he had been was dead and this emotionless man had taken his place. I left the church knowing that it was over. I didn't cry. I felt a sense of relief. I threw the mean list in the trash, then drove back to Princesses house to continue that loving visit.

    The other kids didn't find out about this church meeting for years. And they never saw the list since it was long thrown out.

    Princess had told me that Gone Boy was like a robot. She was the closest to him. But I didn't see that robot until that day.

    Frankly...it chilled me. I have not seen anything like that before or since. His past had definitely damaged him. He could put on a good act, but inside he was truly bereft of emotion, just as Princess had told me. That must have been how he had coped with orphanage life for six years. I am so sorry he had to live there for so long. It took much away from him.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is how my son feels too, SWOT. The things he believes are snake mean. He acts with such conviction that they must be true, for him. I too find myself in that place where everything goes silent. Like I cannot put the pieces of how I feel about him together with how he feels about me.

    I feel ashamed, that he could feel about me this way.

    How awful it must have been for you to stay there when your son spoke those words to you in public. You must love him very much.

    The church he belongs to is a wicked, hate filled thing.

    I have that feeling where my son is concerned, too. Whatever relationship I believed we would have, somehow, we have this one, instead. I don't mean somehow like I have no clue there was anything wrong. I mean somehow in the sense that my son seems determined to feel as he feels.

    He believes himself to be correct.

    It's shocking, to think about it. Like something priceless has been stolen, and I've just discovered the emptiness.

    And of course, something has.

    I am sorry, SWOT.

    That you had to read such a thing. Wouldn't you think a Christian church would have required a kinder stance from a son to his mother? I've read that cults are like that, regarding family. They do it to isolate the members, the better to control them. But how awful, for the families.

    Really, the more we look into these incidents, the more awful and hateful they show themselves to be.

    I am glad you threw the list away.

    You should have burned it.

    Maybe, you could burn such a list in effigy now, and light a white candle for yourself. That was cold, and unbelievably cruel, what your son and his stiff-faced wife did, SWOT. I am thinking about lighting white candles for myself, too, regarding everything that has happened with my children, and to me. I would do it over a period of seven mornings.

    This is a very good way to see our sons, SWOT.

    And ourselves.

    Thank you.

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  9. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    The list was about himself. It is how he sees himself. It is who HE is. We project who we are onto others. Those people who are kind and loving have hard time wrapping their mind around how people can be mean and cruel. Mean people believe everyone are like them.
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  10. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I am sorry, SWOT and Cedar. How tremendously painful, to have the penny drop like that.

    SWOT, seriously...

    What's up with that church?!?

    I think that even though these difficult children may never realize it, they were pretty darn lucky to have had such great support. SWOT, I think GoneBoy would likely have been unable to connect with ANYONE, EVER, without your support. At least he has a (stern-faced) wife and a church support group. In his own way he is happy and connected.

    I sure wish he didn't have to be so *MEAN* about it. I agree with Pasa; this is more about him than you.

    But good grief...what's up with that church?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, albatross. To be honest it was not so awful. I was giving it one last try and if this didn't work, I was going to have closure. At least. I had no expectations and was not nervous or overly emotional. When I saw him, he is so handsome...big hugged him but he was stiff. I didn't even try to hug his wife but smiled and said hello.

    The church had nothing to do with it and had no idea what he was going to say. This was just a part of a huge church that will mediate between families trying to reconcile. She was a nice lady that probably did not expect the venom either.

    The venom was delivered by this man with an easy smile (would have been worse if he had spoken with an icy voice.) His comfort with his words were chilling. Clearly, he did not feel I was worthy of respect of a real mother and I doubt he ever thought of me as such.

    Gone boys values money and status and always did. There are many parents here whom he would have respected and never shunned. Cop a, he would have loved you with your traveling and high level jobs and high education. He would have enjoyed jabber and Lil. He did not respect a child oriented, creative stay at home mom without a college degree and a father with an iffy job who did not spend much money and majored in political science. He hung out at the hooked of friends who had high level career parents. He was ashamed of our small home. This was before ex got money.

    Back to church. His wife bawled and dabbled her eyes but said little as gone boy explained why I blew it with him. I nodded and told myself I felt nothing...why was I not devastated?

    I guess it was that I already had grieved for about five years by then. Plus his allegations and wife's two cents were too out there, even comical, to take seriously.

    Example: wife, while crying, blurted that the parent should pray the bills, not the child. This beyond puzzled me. Did she honestly believe he paid the bills for us? Did she mean when he was a child? Did she mean at that time? It was absurd.the never paid my bills. Honestly I don't know what he was telling her, but it was too bizarre to upset me. I was not given a chance to say,"um, when did this ever happen? It didn't."

    Another bizarre thing on this list was that I could only see him in two places. One place was his church. The other was in a restaurant "and we pay for our own meals." Apparently, I made him pay for so many things that he had to clarify that he would not even pay for a cup of coffee for me. I didn't care about him paying for a meal. Two things were clear.

    1. I was not fit to be in his home or alone with them and...

    2. If I wanted to see them I had to act like I didn't matter at all and put up with humiliating rules.

    This made more sense when wife said, "I am afraid of you."

    Apparently this was based on letters I wrote when this first happened and in following years. They were not violent in any way. Did this man, supposedly my son, not firmly tell his wife that I was not dangerous? That I never touched him in anger? That nobody but her was afraid of me? He allowed her to think that about me.

    There was more on the list but that is all I remember. Oh, yeah. I couldn't call too often and when I did call him I had to state my reason for calling him or he would not respond.

    Once I left, I knew we were done. My biggest reason for risking this unpleasantly was to maybe get to be my grandson

    Even the little guy wasn't worth that abuse. I did get to see photos on his Facebook and I stole one and posted it on my FB. Once. My son contacted me about boundaries and wrote "don't you think most people would consider that crazy?" Um, no, not other shunned mothers, but that's beside the point. He let me be his FB friend probably do I could see the pictures of his kids, but I eventually found that harder than not seeing the pictures at all. After all, they were going to remain strangers. This was no stepping stone to bring in their lives and I knew it.

    I unfriended him. No explanation to him. I decided to just let him think I'm crazy, but that was the reason. It was futile and by then, my feelings for this man were like a stranger. Ten years had passed. Yeah, woulda been nice to know the younger kids, but we're they even really my grandsons by now? Was their father even my son?

    He is not. Legally,that is all. We owe each other nothing anymore. I don't want anything anymore. He doesn't want anything from me which is good as he will get nothing ever again. I love him as a child, no longer.

    It is good to be in this place.

    I tell people the truth. I have four kids and two grandchildren. I never bring him up to people I meet. It is done on both our parts now. He can not hurt me anymore no matter what he does or says.

    I do not hate him or wish him ill. I wish him well, as I do every stranger.

    Good vent for me even if nobody hung in there...lol. And I am truly no longer grieving or sad...I have more blessings and love than a person deserves. He doesn't need me and I don't need him anymore. I am glad we made some childhood memories. That is all
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lots of typos in my above post. I am sorry. I hope it is understandable to readers.

    Regarding the FB pictures of the boys, which was written with so many typos, I decided that Gone Boy was letting me see pictures of his boys like a person throws a bone to a dog. But I was never going to he allowed to meet those boys so finally I unfriended gone boy as it hurt more to see pictures of the boys I'd never know than to not see the pictures at all.

    I consider gone boy, as an adult, to be a stranger, no longer my son. So his boys are not my grandsons either. I can love with all of this now. This is defining telly in large part due to the loved ones in my life who will never leave...my dear husband, my two daughters and my two sons (and, of course, the precious grandbabies.)

    It is noteworthy that even my ex thinks gone boy is being a jerk.
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    You can add me to that list, and I don't even know Gone Boy :speechless:. I am sorry that he can be so cruel, and so smug about it. I do believe what Pasa said, and I do wonder what about *HIMSELF* he is saying in the things he says to you.

    I am very happy you have found peace and some resolution, SWOT. That is the main thing.
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  14. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I agree with Albatross - what up with that church? I get that they didn't do it or know what he was going to do, but as "mediators," you would think that part of what they would do is try to diffuse the anger, set aside arguments, and "mediate" a peaceful reconciliation. If that was not possible, then not allow him to use that as a public whipping post and end the "mediation." JMO

    I totally get the whole FB thing. My husband has a child that does the same to him. I have mentioned this child but not here on PE. Totally alienated from my husband from early childhood by her mother, she "allows" my husband on her FB so he can see pics of a grandchild he is rarely and barely allowed to know. He may message her ten times and get one short, abrupt answer. She only wants to see him on "her" terms and when it is convenient for her. I hate it but he continues to hang onto the thread of hope that she will see the manipulation that was done to her. I doubt it. Her mother has committed a very serious crime that she had been hiding for years and will likely go to prison for it. She stays blindly, defensively, and firmly by her side. In my mind, if that doesn't release her from her mother's control and let her see her for what she is, then they are too enmeshed for her to ever have a normal, healthy relationship with her dad. If it were me, I would do as you did SWOT and just unfriend her. It would be too painful to see pictures and hear snippets of a life I was not allowed to fully be part of or welcomed into.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and support I always get here. I can't talk about this to most people. I don't want to. And I don't have it in the forefront of my mind anymore. When I actually do write about it, like here, I am relieved it is over. I don't need that hate in my life, although I am sure he thinks it is not hate. Or cruelty.

    Albatross, this mediator was probably as flustered as me. She wanted to help. I had talked to her in advance. I am glad she didn't stop if. I wanted to get to know the man who had grown from the child. Nothing helped me get over his shun like seeing the real him.

    I am glad it happened the way it did. He was so vile that it was hard to feel like he was the child I raised or somebody I still wanted in my family.

    His shun included all his siblings too and his father for some time.

    Clearly he has attachment issues. I doubt he is properly attached to his wife and kids either. I know he will expect a lot from those kids...and they'd better embrace his idea of Christianity.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT, I could barely read the posts about goneboy, and did not read all. What I did read made me sick. What comes to mind is two things, one about M, and one about me.

    What you describe is not that uncommon. People can be self-serving and cruel. On my block a husband left his wife and two little kids last year--for a young woman in her office. My sister left husband #2 for some guy, and accused him (falsely) of child abuse so she could have an advantage with custody. Didn't care if she wrecked his career (law) or not. M's niece uses her mother almost my age for full-time childcare, as a cook and house cleaner.

    People can be very, very mean. Most of them do not have the reasons that Goneboy has which is a devastating loss of culture, family, country, language. SWOT, goneboy lost everything. While you and I and everybody who knows the story and is more or less normal knows goneboy landed in a wonderful family and home...with his limitations he did not have the personal resources to integrate his real life story, his deficits and his aspirations.

    SWOT you get inpatient with me sometimes when I write this way, but I do not believe I did either. I believe I left the orbit of my family because I could not do it either--I could not become what I needed to become to fulfill my destiny, and stay close to my birth family.

    We saw how much I loved my mother. I lied to myself, SWOT. Almost all of my life.

    Now, M is shunned by many of his kids. Really. I know you think highly of him. As do I. It has to do with his separation from his wife, and actually something to do with the years they were together.

    M is tough and very, very hard-working. It was easy for his wife to turn the kids against him. (It enrages me because M, too, is an extremely good and loving, honorable and responsible man.) How his kids cannot recognize that 80 percent of what is good and strong about them--is because of their father.

    My point here is that the right thing does not happen. (If it does, it is a blessing.) You know this. It does not take away the pain. But it should. You have found peace, I know this.
    But, SWOT, like Cedar expresses, I feel there is still some sense of shame. Banish that. This is 500 hundred percent about goneboy. Not because he has some fearsome diagnosis, although he might.

    But because he is acting morally suspect. To hurt people for no reason--especially parents who opened their hearts--is a vicious and despicable act. I never, ever did one thing to either of my parents-to deliberately hurt or humiliate them.

    I just wanted to live my life away from them. Uh oh.
    M's wife put so many conditions on his behavior, should he return, that he never did return. They were rules kind of like goneboy's and designed to degrade him, humiliate him-, dis-empower him and advantage her. Stupid, stupid woman. Lucky me.

    How could he have accepted this status? He would not. I do not think she ever believed that he would turn to another woman. He did. Lucky me.

    He had continued to support the family, but the wife told all of the kids he sent nothing. (Every dollar of money sent, can be verified.) But she had constructed a web of lies. And because there had been some kernel of truth to some things--M is bossy. M used to have a drinking problem--she was able to construct a false story. Just like goneboy. What was white, turned black. What was red. Turned blue.

    He was damned. No person should accept these terms. He did not. You did not. Because the purpose of the conditions is to dehumanize and/or to advance a corrupt position of the other person.

    He calls Mexico every single night. Three quarters of the time his daughter doesn't answer. He is doing whatever he can to get control of his story. He may, he may not. I respect him for trying.
    Don't kid yourself.

    First of all, I identify very much as a working class person, even though I am not. Those are my roots. I never left them. He would have been ashamed of me. *But he might have liked my sister. (That would have been a mistake on his part, because she would have thrown him out on his ear. She has no loyalty at all. Or bottom line.) What a pair they would have made....
    That is because he does not have self-respect. Everything is a veneer for him.

    SWOT. Forgive me for being blunt. He judged you because he does not understand what it is to have a heart. Who was it in the Wizard of Heart who has no heart?

    How can you feel if you have no heart, SWOT? If I had been his mother, he would have rejected me just as quickly as anybody else. It had nothing to do with stuff, really, or jobs or status or anything else except heart. He was missing a heart.

    Unfortunately, I think some of M's kids are the same way. Despite the fact that M has as big a heart and as much decency as I have ever seen in a man. Not one of them has attachment disorder or any other serious malady that I can detect from only hearing about them. (I have met not one.)

    People choose, SWOT. They choose to be good. Or they choose something else. It is about values and character. I really do believe that we decide so very much of it. Goneboy chose. It had not a thing in the world to do with you and your family.
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cop a, your post made me cry in a good way. You have such an incredible way of nailing things down. Thank you again. I feel like I keep telling you this, but you get it completely.

    I am devastated for M. He does not deserve that treatment from his children. He is a good man and they should feel honored to call him their father.

    And, although I don't like to admit it, yes, there are too many cruel people out there and most do not have gone boys reasons.

    Cop a, I get his reasons but I still can't excuse his behavior. We loved him to pieces and he lacked for nothing. I tried everything, even groveling and taking all the blame, like I did with my mother. It didn't work for my mother. I don't know why I thought it would work for him. I can no longer do this. For anyone.

    If somebody doesn't want me in their life, I will grant the request. I am all groveled out (sigh). Thanks again.
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  18. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    SWOT- It's very possible son has Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

    A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you're not given the special favors or admiration you believe you deserve. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

    It doesn't excuse his coldness, his list of supposed wrongs and most of all, his lack of respect and gratitude for you. YOU saved him from that orphanage. I too was in an orphanage, albeit, about 6 months but not 6 years. In my little time there, I was so scared, insecure, just wanted my sister, who was 3 years older, but housed in another cottage on the grounds of orphanage. It effected me, being there, growing up. I had grandparents who gave up their golden years to adopt and raise us.

    YOU were the bigger person, meeting to attempt reconciliation. No parent would have accepted his terms and conditions. I can't help but feel it was a set up to fail on his end. He didn't really want to reconcile, deep down. He wanted to hold onto his perceived hurts and demands.