MInor Annoyance (Comparatively Speaking).....Still.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Experiencing a minor annoyance right now. Still, having a hard time shaking it. It'll pass, but.....

    difficult child won't answer a single attempt we've tried with him in almost 2 months. We backed off altogether. Last night we were at a ballgame with a group of friends and difficult child's birth sister (whom we like and remain friendly with -- she was our foster daughter for a while) texted me... "Have you heard from him? I haven't and I'm worried about him." Told her I'd write her back after the ballgame. I did. Told her how we've only seen him once since his last jail time (last May) and it didn't go well.

    Recent Background: difficult child is refusing court-ordered rehab, fines, etc. Several things have happened since then. Most notably 2 ER visits (which, since he's under our insurance, we have paid the bills). After a phone call, discovered that we are not ultimately financially liable for these bills -- he is, as he's over 18). If he made ANY attempt at responsibility, we wouldn't mind paying. But he does NOT attempt and we DO begin to mind. So we told him we were not paying, it's his responsibility, and he's not going to be on our insurance any more after January 1, 2015. Lastly, we received an urgent call from the local Public Health Dept looking for him, stating it was very important he call them back ASAP. I relayed the message to him. No clue if he ever called them back. I know the main reasons the Public Health Dept calls people. Whichever the case, probably not great news. And, of course, he won't confirm or deny. In fact, he won't reply to anything at all from us.

    As I'm new, just wanted to put my "spiel" out there for reference and context.

    So........back to the original "annoyance" commentary....

    In, short, we've intermittently tried to contact him for 2 months with no response. She writes him and 10-min later gets a response.

    Yes, I know we're the "bad guys" (in difficult child's eyes) because we say, "NO" to a lot. We tell it like it is and call him on the "gaslighting" (love that term.......thanks for introducing me to it, MWM!). But he can "gaslight" with the best of them. He can convince almost anyone of almost anything.....until one actually checks out his story.

    But here's what annoys me....... So few ever CHECK OUT HIS STORY. Really? Admittedly, due to our experience with him, we are skeptical of pretty much everything he says -- about anything, until we check it out. Years of practice.

    But I find myself highly annoyed that others buy his story so quickly. I am also highly annoyed that he answers others and not us.

    I know, I know....... anyone can get "taken in" and they are VERY good at manipulations. Such charmers. Look at those sweet eyes. What about that smile? Did you hear how he complimented me? Poor boy, no one's ever given him a chance. He's just trying to do everything he can to make things right and no one will ever give him a chance. Sigh....

    Sometimes I just want to hurl.

    Now, as I said, this is a minor thing comparatively (to all the other events I could share here -- which, obviously, so many of you have experienced same, so you know).

    But, still....... No matter how logical, sensible, etc, I am, every now and then the tiniest little thing can still find its way in. This is small and the best thing to do is to just disconnect from it.

    But (and I cannot state this gratefully enough)......I am so thankful to have a place to vent it!

    Maaaan, what a long post about such a small transaction. Geez...... What a major pile of manure we've all had to slog through over the years with "gaslighting".

    Yup....... I'm annoyed at "gaslighting" and I'm annoyed even more if I'm the only one who sees it.

    Okey doke. Thanks for the vent!
  2. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    PS -- Just wrote this maybe 20 min ago and had a little epiphany. I think I was looking at this all bassackward. I was feeling it an annoyance that he isn't replying to us. Yeah, that can be hurtful for anyone -- let alone a parent. However, I have to remind myself that when he's "checked out", it's actually a blessing to not hear from him. Sad, but true. During these periods, "....The lights are on, but he's not home..." (to quasi-quote Robert Palmer).

    Just like I recently wrote........ "When it's a bad time, let's try some other time later." Good words to say to myself, not just to difficult child.

    Boy, a little (or long) "vent" is sure helpful sometimes!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know how you can get him to text you back in a nano-second! Text, "I have some money for you."

    Yep. He is punishing you for cutting off the money. He is not the first difficult child to do that. They only want us when we are willing to let them tell us what we better do. They don't call us to see how WE are doing. They call when they need something. Or, I guess in this day and age, text.

    Don't text him anymore. That gives him the power of knowing he can upset you and maybe he can manipulate you into doing what he wants. difficult children often do check out unless money is waved in their faces. Sadly, often it comes down to this being all they want from us, not a real relationship. Some do it because they are on drugs, but some are just sort of antisocial or narcissistic. Or both. It is really hard to have a normal relationship with the latter, even if they are also using drugs and clean up.
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  4. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hahaaa! Thanks, MWM, you make me laugh with the $$ comment! True that! Yes, it's a combo for our difficult child -- drugs (hard drugs) and Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). And you are so right.......VERY hard to have a real relationship. We have seen it diminish over the years and it's gotten particular barren this year.

    Ironically, we remain very close with our grandson (his 3.5 yo son -- such a light in all of our lives!) and we are very close to his ex-girlfriend (who has moved on with healthy independence and remains quite wonderful to us) and her family. The contrast in how our "in laws" treat us and how he treats us is stark.

    Nah....difficult child's not focusing on anything but the next 20-min and his next "fix".

    Thanks for the laugh, MWM! True that! :)
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I have a relative who was a narcissist with some anti social personality tendencies. No one but his immediately family ever picked up on it. He was a master at getting folks to feel sorry for him. Everyone, believed his crazy stories about how mean his family was to him. The reality was that HE was cruel, unfair and violent to everyone in his family. Responsibility and especially accountability were NOT his strong suits. So, he particularly despised anyone who expected those things from him. Sound familiar?

    Double check about the insurance thing. Our difficult child (also adopted. diagnosis'd bipolar) is still on our plan. I've heard conflicting reports about the ultimate financial responsibility when they are on your plan. difficult child is on our plan still because she is considered disabled. It's on my agenda to double check this myself.

    PS who pays for the cell phone? We pay for our daughters and one rule we have is she must be polite to us and always respond within a reasonable amount of time or we cancel it. I have cancelled it for a week a few times. It was terrible. She is not likely to make these mistakes again.
  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Nomad -- Sounds entirely too familiar! Same "gaslighting", different zip code.

    We did double-check on the insurance thing (with both our insurance and the hospital). Both concurred that after age 18 we are only the responsible party IF WE SIGN PAPERWORK stating such at EACH hospital visit. We have not done that. Up until now, we just always assumed we were the responsible party. We have good private insurance (we're fortunate), so the co-pays are reasonable (compared to other plans). But, they do add up over time. Insurance is the only financial tie we still have to him.

    What age is your difficult child? Is your difficult child "officially" listed as disabled (like with Dept of daughter or some equivalent) and receiving benefits from them? Ours is not. He is not on any state programs. Although, frankly, he should be and probably will be at some point -- hospitalization and/or incarceration will bring it eventually. He is just adamantly refusing all of that. He'd rather have his freedom and be homeless (or hooked up with gangs, as is periodically the case). He definitely needs a case manager and, sooner or later, I'm certain he will have one.

    Our difficult child diagnosis's are Atypical Bipolar, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder (that's the brutal one), and Polysubstance Abuse (meth & heroin are the biggies, but all drugs are good to him).

    Thanks for the heads-up on checking and double-checking insurance liabilities. I think we're ok, but, hey, never hurts to triple check!
  7. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    MWM & Nomad -- Your combo of posts led me to notice something else I missed. Our difficult child answered his sister after she invited him over for dinner. Something's in it for him.......free food! I'm a little s-l-o-w sometimes, but I eventually get there! LOL!