M hasn't really changed much

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    His thinking is still so distracted and negative. He has called a few times since before we went on vacation regarding his difficulties with his room mate. He wants to talk to me to get advice about how to talk to his room mate about specific topics.

    The difficulty is that the topics aren't relevant or helpful to him. It's becoming more clear to me how it is that he and Z got into the disagreement. M has muscular dystrophy like I do. There are many physical things that we just don't do well. We also tend to have limp faces, and look a bit sad. So, when we're angry or sad, it is magnified tenfold.

    One of the things that first got M interested in Z was that Z encouraged M to swim and go to the gym and try to stay fit. Z is an athletic type. M told me that he is upset with Z because Z talks about how much he enjoys working out and exercising, and M says it makes him feel inferior. He expects Z to not discuss it, and is angry that Z does so. Of course, being young men it came to one of them being more physically able and the other being more angry. In my mind, M has no business dictating what Z can enjoy or whether Z can share that. M has things he is good at that Z can't do. It's what makes us all special. He wants me to tell him how to get Z to stop talking about the gym and soccer and games and stuff. I explained my thoughts, but don't know if it makes sense to him. I told him he needs to see a positive outcome and think about how he can make that happen. "I just can't think that way. I don't see things like that at all." This much I know...

    M has a tax refund coming. He moved and put a change of address in. He hasn't received the check which was processed on 3/17 yet. The IRS tells him that he needs to wait until 4/14 to ask them to research it. He wants to know what he should do to get Z to give him the check. To me there's every reason to think that the check has not been sent or forwarded yet, and he should not say anything to Z. He doesn't necessarily need the check until rent is due, so why pick a fight?

    M wants to know how he should start a conversation with Z. He's really invested in getting Z to discuss how things went wrong and mutual apologies. I think it's important that he have a place to stay in. After all, M was ready to move out the same day they moved in together. I told him to start with "Hi" or "How are you doing?" He says he can't do that because Z's girlfriend doesn't like him. Apparently Z has been staying most of his time with the girlfriend anyway, so he could actually hope that Z will move out, to my mind. M wants to know what he should do if Z apologizes and wants to be friends again. I told him to accept the apology and leave it at that. He doesn't have to be friends, but he doesn't have to tell Z that he doesn't want to be friends. M really wants to tell Z that they can't be friends again. I told him that he wasn't going to get anything good out of that. He can say "I miss our friendship" without saying "we're going to be great friends again."

    He wants to know how he can tell Z that he is going to move out if Z gets angry or yells at him. If M doesn't antagonize him, maybe he won't get angry. For that matter, M should do whatever it takes to keep Z from getting angry, because he doesn't have anyplace else to go.

    Everything he says is predicated on anger and acting out or running away. He's asking for my advice because he knows that what I will say will come out logically and without anger, but he wants to hold onto the anger. It pains me to know how confused his thinking is and how muddled in anger and sadness it is. I would really like to see him seeing a therapist, and more so I would like to see him back on medications. The very little time that he was on anti-depressants was the only time that I really remember him thinking positively and clearly. husband was that way before he got on medications, and I have asked him to talk to M about seeing the school therapist and asking for a referral. So far, though, husband has chosen to not do this. I can see that I probably need to force the issue and have them set a lunch date to discuss it. I know that M feels that my need for medication is a weakness, and everyone assumes that husband is just easy going. In reality husband when off of his medications is nearly incapacitated by a desire to withdraw from everything around him. It's a very pleasing personality until you need them to invest in the relationship and they just want to run away...

    So, I've been a bit pensive lately. I know that this is not my problem, and it's difficult when he is asking me for advice all of the time. His brain is just not wired to think in terms of making things work. It's stressful and draining.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like he's trying to work out all possible scenarios he can think of , but doing so to the point of obsessing over it. I do the scenario thing myself, helps keep me from being taken off guard. But I've learned over the years when I'm beginning to obsess and to just let it go and play itself out. It wasn't an easy lesson to learn either.

    Also sounds like he's having some social issues maybe. Where he's not getting the "you just sometimes do certain things to just manage to get along". Nichole has problems in this area too. Heck, even easy child does, although I'm seeing where age and experience is already beginning to mellow her.

    Hopefully some of what you said to him will sink in.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds like he is catastrophising to the worst extent and it is all based upon anger and other peoples reactions to scenarios, never his own actions. I do think you are right about the need for a therapist but how to get that done is a whole big issue. I hope he can grow to see how he can handle things in a more level headed way so he can be happier.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I talked to husband again about having lunch with him to talk about what we need from him if we are going to continue to help. ie: Moving forward rather than looking back, planning; see a therapist and take medications if that is what the therapist feels is needed.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Witz, I just wanted to pop in and tell you that I think your assessment and advice are spot-on. I hope M can take a deep breath and work with you on his next steps.

  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Working with- husband sounds good...like that you are formulating a plan and one that includes having M work on himself including therapy, etc.
    Spoke with- the president of NAMI yesterday and she did mention that those who enjoy the most success take their medications and go to therapy regularly. It can't be stressed enough. It can be encouraged, but in the end (unless they are hospitalized) it is the individual who has to make this final choice.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. Nomad, I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment regarding medications and therapy. I'd like husband to find a carrot to dangle in front of him to get him to participate in medications and therapy, but we can't tie it to paying for it because then it affects his financial aid. Plus he's too old and he's been off of our insurance for 5 years already anyway. Maybe we'd pay for it but not be "legally responsible" to pay for it, if that makes sense. That and some groceries or something... Sigh...
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hey Witz,

    How was the vacation? - Then what did you get me? :tongue: (really?) lol.

    So M thinks that Z stole or has hidden his check in an attempt to keep M at the apartment longer? Did I understand that correctly? Then he tells you he can't stand the way that Z goes on and on about his physical accomplishments when in fact in the beginning M enjoyed Z's company and companionship FOR the workouts? Hmm (taps finger) This sounds like maybe in the beginning all things were new and revolved around M and he enjoyed the attention and now? They are not.

    I suspect a twinge of difficult child jealousy more than I do hatred. From time to time Dude would get like this with his "associates". He tells me he has no friends. They are buddy-buddy, inseperable for a time I think he will have the one good friend and then wham! Just like you describe with M. The seething, picking, almost tattle-talesque not really hatred but more like he lost his best friend to the new kid in the neighborhood, or the new wore off syndrome. Then three weeks later after bending my virginal ears to the ground? Here comes the dirty so & so and they are like peas and carrots. (sorry I'm on a Forrest Gump thing with Ouixa in the house)

    Medication and therapy? Oh absolutely you are so dead on it's incredible. You're also correct in believing that it will be easier to push a car up-hill with 4 flats than to get them to agree to doing what would ultimately help them the easiest for the long run. In the mean time? I guess you could suggest he try some exercises for his anger. Maybe suggest he journal or type a journal. There are simple exercises that even MS people can do with tensing up every single muscle in your body - by sitting in a chair, and holding on to the bottom of the chair and pretend like you are trying to pull the seat of the chair off the legs while tensing up every muscle as tight as you can in your body for 1 minute. EVERY single muscle. If you hold it for 1 minute then release? Then repeate and relase? Do this three times in a row? I promise you can not keep anger in your body. It's physically impossible. It leaves you limp. The other thing you could suggest is that he get/find a NEW work out buddy. I wouldn't have a problem pointing him to anyone that could help him look up on line his tax problems - again just to be sure he understood correctly since he may have been so angry he missunderstood. Know what I mean?? Just double check. I would also suggest he maybe make a list of all of the things he likes and dislikes about Z - asking him to be honest and then close the tablet...hide it and then wait 2 days and go back and re-read what he wrote. If in his review his bad attributes still outweigh the good? Then M will know he really needs to move and can make plans from there. No sense in staying with a guy you really find that bad. If he finds that he really has more good points than bad - tell M it may have been that M was just having an off week, and maybe it wasn't all Z's fault. (share the ride)

    I'm not really sure you could do more than that except for the midnight burlap bag over the head....and wisk him off to Bora Bora...oh Wait - RATS....those are MY notes...sorry. :tongue:

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the ideas, Star. Sadly, we don't have MS. We have MD. It's not at all the same. When we try to build our affected muscles we permanently destroy them. We don't ever recover anything the way that people with MS can from time to time in their lives. Since the muscles affected are very specific, you can't really just exercise one part of your body, because the affected muscles run throughout out bodies alongside unaffected muscles. There is no treatment and no cure for our MD, and the best we can do is to stay stretched to keep our muscles from in essence hardening. The resistance type exercise you mentioned would be brutally painful and damaging for us.

    I'm not at all interested in getting that involved in his stuff. Just the phone conversations that I have been having with him make me miserable. I am usually able to talk sense into him, but I grind my teeth for days and feel like I need to escape. Five years of no meaningful contact with him spoiled me. I'm no way going to suggest diaries or lists or any other therapeutic process for him. He's 23 years old and he needs to figure this stuff out for himself. If he needs the help of a professional, so be it, but there is no way I'm going to try to fill those shoes. It sets us both up for failure, and me for blame.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I don't know why I wrote MS, I know very well you have MD. I just didn't know all the ramifications of how it feels other than I think you're very brave to face what you do every day and can't imagine a day in your life. Courageous comes to mind when I think of you. I remember when the doctor suspected I had the turn to stone disease. I read up a little and then had to stop. I just kept thinking - how will I deal. Then throw not one but two difficult child's on top of that an a family like yours? Yeah - courageous.

    I'm doing my level best to take notes you know. Stay away, don't get involved. I've spent the last three nights not sleeping, grinding my teeth, upset and just in rage for what I felt was no apparent reason. Then I read your post reply and I think I know why - it's them. More reason to detach and not get involved. (long exhale). What you don't understand when you're younger - once you live through it becomes very apparent as a parent. I'm not cold - I'm trying to survive.

    Sending you hugs -
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    No harm, no foul, Starbie. I do try to make sure to take the opportunity to educate people about MD when I get a chance, so this was my chance this month. Most people are unaware of how it affects people, and that there are so many different types of MD.

    I don't want you to think that I am cold-blooded about M and his problems, because I'm not. But I'm in touch with myself enough and the problems I had when I was his age to understand that nothing I can do can change him. It took me far too long to break away from his negativity to be at all comfortable jumping back into that madness!