My apparent role in life...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by blackgnat, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Just heard from CD, who is still in Colorado, but living with a friend in exchange for doing household chores. Is in the mountains, nice place, bed, roof over his head,good food, TV IN HIS ROOM, completely comfortable surroundings. Gets taken on trips and evenings out with the friend and his dad, etc. Goes back and forth with doing well and staying clean, then gets bored and starts drinking.

    Prior to this, he was staying in an apartment for a couple of weeks with an older guy-I believe in exchange for sexual favours-or rather, the older guy THOUGHT he was in a relship with CD, but he was only using him for a place to stay. (CD is bisexual). This friend offered him the spare room and said "You don't have to have sex with someone just so you can have a place to live". This friend is a nice kid, but CD thinks he is lonely, but good hearted. There's nothing sexual about their relship-they are just friends.

    A couple of days ago I had a great call with him. Wanted to look for work, turn everything around.

    This morning, I get a hungover call. For the love of God, ma, take me with you back to Illinois (I've been staying in Vegas for 4 months, but am taking a road trip back to IL, the long way home, exploring a little bit of AZ, NM, etc) He had been drinking and had been discovered doing so, by his friend, who is willing to support him still. I refuse to take him, telling him there's nothing for him there. Tell him it's going to start getting cold in a couple of months. He says there's a Daybreak program out there. I say there's one in Portland-he'd expressed a strong desire to go there many times, as it's supposed to have plentiful resources for the homeless.

    Him: "So, you just don't want me around. You don't really give a sh*t what happens, as long as you don't have to deal with me?".
    Me: "I don't have the financial or emotional resources to deal with your addiction."
    Him: "But, YOU'RE MY MOTHER".
    Me:"Yes and you are almost 28".
    Him: "So, I'm running out of options, but you don't care. I guess this is goodbye".
    And hangs up on me.

    Now my whole day is colored in a bad way. I think the most upsetting part is that he made the effort to call purely to try and manipulate me. Like my life is not my own and I should just be around when he needs me. I've spent 10+ years trying to "fix" him. He has had INNUMERABLE opportunities to turn things around, but the only thing he is implying will save him is ME.

    So I just need some tools to be able to shelve this conversation into the "Mind Effing" section. He thinks so LITTLE of me that he would actually attempt this guilt trip. I can't let it ruin my day or my month or anything-I have lived SO much for him and his shenanigans that I don't even know who I am anymore and am trying to discover that. Instead of getting MAD, I'm just sad. This kid put me in the ICU for 5 days. Why am I not getting mad?
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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Blackgnat: Sorry to hear that your son is doing this to you.

    I'm at work but wanted to offer my support. You'll find a lot of support/good reading in the addiction forum here. It really sounds like that is the root of all of his problems.

    I'm sure you love him and you're a good mother. He has to live his own life. If you take him in, you will be enabling him as you know.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hey BG, it's been a while, I am glad you posted, but sorry for your need to. I think we go through a kaleidoscope of emotions processing all of this. These are our beloveds after all and their choices are heart and gut wrenching. Then there is that manipulation factor that just twists the knife in further.
    My latest mantra is that our d cs will do what they want to do, regardless of what "help" we give or do not give. OMG, BG, can you even imagine going through the 10 year thing all over again? I can't, I WON'T!!!!!!
    After reading this I thought, we should have a thread on responses, well there probably is one......yes there is but a new one......
    So here goes

    "But, You're my mother"

    Yes I am and I love you, I won't be around forever, learn to be self sufficient.
    I love you, but I matter, too.
    You can do this thing called life, and so MUST I.
    Life is short and I am going to live it the best I can, you should do the same.
    I love you very much dear (CLICK=hang up FIRST)
    Oh, its you, I am kind of fuzzy, just woke up and I had this awesome dream that you were doing well, living your life to the can you know! You have so much potential. (CLICK=hang up first)

    Be sad if you must BG, try not to bury those emotions, face them head on.
    Then turn on some favorite music, go to a movie, a walk, do something for YOU.
    I think words and thoughts and also emotions have power. These d cs squeeze and squeeze and squeeze us with this, this STUFF, till we are raw and disoriented and dammit, they KNOW exactly what they are doing to us. It's just crazy making. They want us to stew in the cauldron of their lifestyles so that we are just empty shells, limp, overcooked vegetables without a care for ourselves, ready to lay our lives down so that they can continue as is.
    As is.
    As is, is their CHOICE, not ours.
    I am mad for you. I want to scream from the mountain "LIFE IS LIKE THIS FOR YOU BECAUSE THIS IS HOW YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE!"
    You did your best job with your boy, as I did with my two. They make these choices and when the consequences smack them upside the head, they want us to feel them too. UGH.
    Not happening.
    No, no, no, no, NO!
    Their choices, their consequences!
    We do not own their consequences!
    Okay, rant over!!!!
    We all MATTER!
    Off to work
    Big, big
    (((MORE HUGS)))
  4. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Welcome back, BG. I have wondered how you are doing. Your road trip sounds wonderful! A dream trip. So many beautiful spots in that part of the country.

    As far as the phone call, I ditto what Leafy said. She said it WAY better than I could have.

    Something COM pointed out when I posted about something similar with my Difficult Child really helped. She reminded me that the addict is in control when we get these kinds of calls. It is not personal. Sadly, they don't think little or lots of us. They don't think of us AT ALL when the addict is driving the bus.

    BG, I think you handled that call like a CHAMP. Really marvelous! I am very impressed.

    Second, I DID get mad when I read your post, because it is almost identical to the messages I got last week. Certainly the theme is identical.

    If I posted the messages I received, I'm fairly certain you would be mad on my behalf, just like I am mad on your behalf.

    These little pishers! How dare they talk to their own mothers like that?!?

    Yet when *I* got my son's messages, it left me completely bereft because apparently I am evil, I shouldn't be able to sleep at night (well...that part is true; I am NOT able to sleep at night), I am a "yuppy" who cares only about what the neighbors think of my imperfect son, I see him as a "freak show" and let him go through this for my own entertainment, etc.

    I am all of these things and worse when I won't give him what he wants.

    When I give him what he wants, apparently I am a pretty good mom.


    Shout it, sister! Amen!
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  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Since we have all been trying to get our hands on the Difficult Child handbook and have been unable to find a copy, maybe we can cobble a copy together from all of our experiences.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi BG, great to hear from you!!

    I think your response to him was perfect. It was honest and to the point.
    Him saying he's running out of options and that you don't care are pure manipulation - nothing more nothing less. When our d_c's get desperate they will lay on the guilt.

    Yes, he did call to try and manipulate you. It's such a common cycle with so many d_c's. They find someone who they can stay with and things go well for a while, they put on a facade but can only keep it up for so long and then the "real" person comes out and they say or do something that will burn that bridge. When that happens they call mommy wanting her to fix everything. I have no doubt that before long he will find someone else that will be willing to help him out.

    You have been mad long enough. Being sad is ok, but don't stay sad for to long.
    What is really good here is that you are trying to rediscover who you are. That is just AWESOME!! I am so proud of you. You have come a long way.

    Really good to hear from you. Hang in there BG. You are doing great!
  7. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    As always, thanks for the huge support and empathy! I know I'm a bit slow with my replies, but everything can change on a dime with that one. I noticed I was calling him CD instead of Difficult Child! Well, I've called him worse, haha.

    He is pretty much at the end of his rope (maybe that's the wrong expression) so we've put in calls to his case worker, in the hopes she will really come through. I know he slept rough last night, so he's probably drinking again. The dance continues...I feel guilty at anticipating my road trip with joy-I know I shouldn't do this, but it's like having a pebble in the bottom of your shoe. You can walk around with it, but you know it's there and it hurts.

    Alb, I totally agree with you about the book! People without DCs have NO clue what we go through! I'm not sure they'd believe half of the stories...

    He did call again later and was in a better mood, having just negotiated getting ANOTHER Colorado ID from the DMV. But he also told me he had $3.20 to last him until Tuesday, so he wouldn't be eating. Hmm. It took me everything I had not to offer money, but I didn't. Because I've been down THAT road many times. Of course, I was beating myself up=what kind of mother doesn't offer resources to feed her child? One who knows that the money wouldn't be spent on food anyway...

    Hang in, everyone! I will continue to lurk and soak up all your words of wisdom!
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  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I call BS on your son. There if more free food than any other pantries, shelters with free meals. ALL he needs to do is ask where to go.

    The food thing is a prime way they get us to send money which then goes for drugs and booze. Gift cards for food are sold for money and again used for drugs. Don't fall for it. There is always somewhere to get food. Some of them just don't want to have to walk there.

    Heck, for $3.00, he can buy peanut butter and bread and it would last a while. Not home cooked? He could have thought of that before breaking your house rules.

    Your son won't starve. Many drugs kill the apetite and the addicts often barely eat anyway. My daughter was a stick on meth and since we didn't know she used dangerous drugs she lived at home and was able to eat home cooked meals. But she didn't eat.

    You in my opinion are doing right for yourself and your son. He knows how to get food. And the only way to motivate them to quit is toake it too hard for them to keep up their lifestyle.

    Stand strong. Pray. Read "Love My Sons" beautiful thread in the Substance Abuse forum. Her son had been a mess too. But he turned it around. It can happen.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm glad you stood firm and did not give him any money. @SomewhereOutThere is spot on when she says food is readily available.
    Your son is not a small child who is hungry, he is a grown man who continues to make poor choices and can't handle the consequences of those poor choices.
    Remember, he is no longer your responsibility. As for that pebble in your shoe, it's okay to remove it.

    You are really doing great BG. You have come a long way................
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  10. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    My son always would pull some big stunt every time I went on a trip for pleasure - which was not very often. I think through the years this behavior somewhat squelched my excitement and I have this low-level fear of him messing up some of my joy so why have any to begin with. Perhaps it is the illusion that life and everyone in it will somehow be okay that I miss the most. There were literally days I wish I could get in the car and never return - but then somehow I would miss the chaos and either allow more in or find someone else that creates it.
  11. Childofmine

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

    BG, so glad to hear from you...just catching up here.

    I'm also so glad that you didn't react to his manipulation. That's all it is and nothing more. Like others have said, this is not about you at all.

    He is "making the rounds." When one resource falls through...they start at the top of the list again...and that is usually Mom.

    Think of yourself as on a short list titled: People to Call When Things Go Bad. Instead of the list titled: Let Me Take Care of Myself.

    Think of yourself being able to simply say: Honey, I'm sorry I can't help, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. I love you.

    That will make him mad as heck, but only because you aren't doing what he wants. Then he goes to the next name on the list.

    In time, if he is lucky, the list dissolves. Completely. And then...he has to tackle that other list: Let Me Take Care of Myself.

    Here's hoping that happens sooner rather than later. Hang in there BG, we're here for you.
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  12. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    I know you all are here and it's GOLDEN! I would be in SO much despair if I didn't have my warriors to lift me up...

    I just wonder if i'm completely frickin SLOW at this! I get strong, then weak, ad infinitum. I'm realising that the less I hear from him, the weaker I get. Does that make sense?

    When he's up my arse (apologies to anyone who is offended-I think it's an English expression and I'm a Brit, living in the USA for 31 years) I find it SO much easier to be strong, cynical, practical, less vulnerable to his bullshit, etc....But when he doesn't contact me for a while, I am putty in his hands. In that I'll think," Aww, shucks, he hasn't hit me up for anything in MONTHS, what's the harm in sending him $ 20? I spend more than that in a week on some nice wine/cake/steak/etc..."

    I get that I'm being manipulated. But truly, if it's not every week or month, I sometimes don't even care. Am I a total effwit? Can anyone relate?
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    It makes perfect sense to me. I do the same thing. When I told therapist one of my goals is to start being more consistent in being able to say no, he said, "You're his mother. Sons and mothers have a special bond, so we have a lot to work on."

    He probably could have phrased that better about "a lot to work on." But at least it tells me we are not alone.
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  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I dont think its s good idea, but I put up with stuff and do things that are not good ideas for my son because I love him so much. So we are mothers doing what mothers do. And we aren't perfect because our kids matter so much to us.

    Does everything we do or not do have to be perfect? Sometimes we HAVE to do things for them that make US feel good. And that isn't wrong.

    You are a good person. Hugs for your hurting heart.
  15. Childofmine

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

    Remember we are going against everything that is instinctive and cultural and that is deep in our bones and hearts and souls. That is why this is the hardest thing in the world to start doing, and we have to work hard, I mean work hard every single day, to learn how to do this. We will fall back and that is normal.

    Grace and mercy. Grace and mercy. We need it for ourselves first.