Oops, I did it again, I texted pain...and it hurt

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Signorina, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    difficult child is 20 today. At midnight (time of birth) I texted him : "20 years ago, I was holding you in my arms for the first time and I knew I would love you forever. Happy birthday, may all your wishes come true"

    13 hours later, I got a "thanks, mom"

    and LIKE AN IDIOT - I texted back " You're welcome, I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I am sad I am not with you. I wish things were different"

    and IGNORED

    and now, I am a mess. again.

    When will I learn? Why am I chasing him?
     
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Signorina. I don't have an adult difficult child - perhaps one day I will - and perhaps I don't have the "right" to say this... but I did just want to say that your post touched me. I understand that you felt you should not have texted your son and that you are hurt because he barely responded. But I think your unconditional mother's love is a beautiful thing and it dignifies you, even if for the moment there is not the response it deserves. I hope one day there will be... people can change so much with wisdom, maturity and the experiences of life. You gave your son a fitting present of love on his birthday and I feel you should not be ashamed of that.
    Just an outsider's view...
     
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Must be especially hard on your son's birthday to feel the loss of what you dreamed for him at this point in his life. Thinking of you today. You are a lovely example of motherhood.
     
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig, don't beat yourself up. I think we all would have sent a text or email on our estranged difficult child's birthday. It would probably been better if you had stopped after the first exchange but now you know for the next time.

    {{{Hugs}}}

    ~Kathy
     
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My oldest easy child son and I were always tight as ticks. Due to complex curcumstances and his territorial wife we lost our close bond. When we are alone together is is "amost" as it used to be. His birthday is in April. Every April I call and sing HB to him (it's a God awful family tradition because I have a terrible voice, lol). Almost every year he sends an email that says something like "Thanks Mom. You are the only one who remembers my birthday and it means alot to me...ha ha...even your "birdie boice". Love" EVERY single year I want to call or remail back. I so desperately just want to have the free flow of conversation and jokes and sharing. Some day you may get that back. I totally understand your feelings. It's been close to twenty years and I totally understand. Just don't want you to think that you're nuts, lol. It's hard. Hugs. DDD
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Like DDD I too understand and I dont think you were a bit wrong in what you did. Also dont feel like he is deliberately shutting you out with that text. The fact that he texted back means he does still care. Believe me. If he wanted nothing at all to do with you, he wouldnt have even responded with the thanks. He is 20. He is in the ME stage of life.
     
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sig,

    I actually think you did absolutely the right thing, even though it hurts like H****.. When we first kicked our son out of the house my first reaction was to kind of wait until he contacted me. My therapist said no, that will create a matter of pride for him and he won't call you no matter what. Knowing my son and our tendancy to get into power struggles I knew she was right. So she told me to stay in contact with him, even if he didn't respond. Not to over do it, but to send him a text every few days or so...... and I did that. I did not hear from him for a week until he got arrested..... but what it did do is keep us somewhat in touch and so he called us when he needed something.

    True he has taken total advantage of our love and caring, conned us to no end etc. Yet in the process he has also gotten help at times for his substance abuse, he knows we love him and are there for him, and our relationship is better than it was. Don't get me wrong we don't have a great relationship and I don't think we will for a while but I do feel at least the door is open.

    And we have gotten stronger and have made it clear we will no longer be conned and are careful in what we will help with... that part has been a process. But there is not a power struggle going on between us at this point.

    So I think you sending the first message, was a natural thing to do on his birthday.... and it would have been kind of a hurtful statement not to somehow wish him Happy Birthday. WIth your second message you opened the door further for more contact, if he so chooses. How clearly he is not ready for that and that is his choice.... but you have left the door open and I think that is a good thing.

    I would not text him again for awhile..... but at some point it might be good to text him "I am thinking about you" or "Remember when"... something not asking him for anything nor offering him anything.. Just something to keep that door open a crack.

    I think if you continue to stay silent, he will not feel like he can contact you. He is young man, trying to separate and prove something, and he does not want to have to let you know how much he misses or needs you.

    So in the case the "don't dial pain" I think means, letting go of the expectation of a response... but doesnt mean you shouldnt text him now and then.

    I have found in my text convos with my son... and we have had some good ones... I am willing to text as long as he is willing to text... so he is always the one to stop responding. I have gotten ok with that most of the time..... and it gives me a clue as to how he is doing.

    Hugs.... I know so well how hard this is.

    TL
     
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sig,

    I actually think you did absolutely the right thing, even though it hurts like H****.. When we first kicked our son out of the house my first reaction was to kind of wait until he contacted me. My therapist said no, that will create a matter of pride for him and he won't call you no matter what. Knowing my son and our tendancy to get into power struggles I knew she was right. So she told me to stay in contact with him, even if he didn't respond. Not to over do it, but to send him a text every few days or so...... and I did that. I did not hear from him for a week until he got arrested..... but what it did do is keep us somewhat in touch and so he called us when he needed something.

    True he has taken total advantage of our love and caring, conned us to no end etc. Yet in the process he has also gotten help at times for his substance abuse, he knows we love him and are there for him, and our relationship is better than it was. Don't get me wrong we don't have a great relationship and I don't think we will for a while but I do feel at least the door is open.

    And we have gotten stronger and have made it clear we will no longer be conned and are careful in what we will help with... that part has been a process. But there is not a power struggle going on between us at this point.

    So I think you sending the first message, was a natural thing to do on his birthday.... and it would have been kind of a hurtful statement not to somehow wish him Happy Birthday. WIth your second message you opened the door further for more contact, if he so chooses. How clearly he is not ready for that and that is his choice.... but you have left the door open and I think that is a good thing.

    I would not text him again for awhile..... but at some point it might be good to text him "I am thinking about you" or "Remember when"... something not asking him for anything nor offering him anything.. Just something to keep that door open a crack.

    I think if you continue to stay silent, he will not feel like he can contact you. He is young man, trying to separate and prove something, and he does not want to have to let you know how much he misses or needs you.

    So in the case the "don't dial pain" I think means, letting go of the expectation of a response... but doesnt mean you shouldnt text him now and then.

    I have found in my text convos with my son... and we have had some good ones... I am willing to text as long as he is willing to text... so he is always the one to stop responding. I have gotten ok with that most of the time..... and it gives me a clue as to how he is doing.

    Hugs.... I know so well how hard this is.

    TL
     
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey Sig, I don't think you did anything wrong, I don't think you're an "idiot" at all, and I don't think you're chasing him. I think you're a MOM. You love your son, You let him know how important he is to you, you texted back your truth about the situation, and he didn't respond. I think the only way for you to feel better about that is to let go of your expectation of how you want it to turn out and accept the way it did turnout. I think you did a loving thing, a gesture which he got, believe me, but when you're 20 years old, even if you're a easy child, as a friend of mine told me, "they're terminally cool" and act out of that coolness. My guess is his lack of response had nothing to do with you, he got it, thought, cool Mom, and went on with his day. They are just self centered, even in the best of circumstances.

    For me, the way to not feel that big disappointment is to let go of my expectations about the way I think it should be. Perhaps because I am SO OLD, I have fallen into the acceptance part of life a tad easier, been at it long enough that's for sure. But, it's true, to the degree I have expectations, is the exact degree of the size of the disappointment. There is an Native American process called the Four Fold Way which is a conflict resolution process which is ......*show up, *pay attention, *tell the truth and *let go of the outcome. When I am able to do those 4 things, for me the letting go of the outcome being the most challenging, I can usually handle the conflict well. In any case, it's a good tool.

    I believe you are simply doing what any loving Mom would do on a child's birthday. The snag was expecting him to do what you thought he should do. If you let go of that, you can feel good about his saying, thanks Mom. From my outsiders view, he got your love and your birthday wishes. Feel good about that and let go of the rest.
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You always have such wise and comforting words for me and I wish I could comfort you on this day of your son's birth. You did what I would have done too. You just can't stop those materal feelings especially on their birthday when all the memories of their birth come flooding back. I probably would have stopped after the first text, but you want so desperately some acknowledgement that he wishes things were different too. I think his not responding is actually a good thing because he wasn't ready to agree with you and at the same time he did not say anything that closed the door. I would rather hear nothing fro my difficult child than the hurtful things she says that can't be taken back.

    Give that kite string some more slack Sig, you pulled it in a little because you longed to have him back on this special day, but it's time to let it out again. Today is just a day, it will be over soon and the sadness that came with this day will be in the past. I try to remember that when I have expectations of a special day or holiday that doesn't turn out the way I hoped. I will try to remember that in the coming weeks with Easter and Mother's Day when we always spent the day together and this year she will be absent.

    His absence is no reflection on what a great mother and person you are. You have two other sons who know that. For now you and I have to embrace that.

    Nancy
     
  11. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Sig -

    He's 20 and at that age even easy child aren't especially expressive. He acknowledged your first text, though maybe not as effusively as you wanted. He may have felt that no response was needed to the second. You are certainly not an idiot to acknowledge his importance to you.

    When I called my son on his 21st birthday, he said "uh, yeah, I have no recollection."
     
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was thinking more about your post and remembered the year that difficult child and I were not talking on her birthday. I felt so much anger at her but couldn't let her birthday pass so I sent an email (this was back before texting was big). She didn't respond.

    A year or so later, she brought up that I had not even bothered to reach out to her on her birthday. I said that I had sent an email and even still had it in my sent folder if she wanted to see it. She said that she hadn't seen it at the time but was glad to know that I had thought of her on her birthday.

    So I think your difficult child will remember that you sent the text on his birthday. I would not send any more texts, though, for a while. I like what Nancy said:

    ~Kathy
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think that the first text was sufficient. I think it is also a bad idea for a parent to show too much desperation. It gives our kids way too much power and in my opinion they respect us less. But you didn't do anything wrong. He is the one being the jerk, not you.
     
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sig, the others have already said what I would have... your first text was absolutely bang on the money, and you were right to send it. He even answered!

    Like always, it's so hard as a Mom to know... when to stop. (I'm just starting to learn... part of having teens, they tell me)
     
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I imagine over the years that there were probably many times that my dad sent me cards on my birthday and I most likely never called him on my birthday to thank him. This was back when I didnt have a phone in my house. Oh eventually within the month I would call him and thank him for the card but I can pretty well guarantee it wasnt on my birthday. I was too consumed with being a 20 something young mom of little kids going to school and pulling my hair out on a daily basis.
     
  16. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Sig,
    If it took 13 hours to get a brief "thanks, mom" to your first text, which was touching and heartfelt by the way, then don't be alarmed that you haven't heard anything after the 2nd text. There could be a variety of reasons why he didn't respond the 2nd time.

    1. he could be mortified and ashamed of his foolishness, and this Birthday text reminded him of these feelings he's buried and he's not ready to confront the magnitude of the losses his behavior has caused;
    2. he knows if he answers that the dialogue will continue, and if he's not ready to make any changes, continued conversation is only going to lead to more arguments and end in futility anyway;
    3. he's still angry at you for what he considers your "controlling" behavior and he's resisting facing his role in this whole nightmare;
    4. he may not believe you're genuine...that you're setting him up to feel guilty;
    5. his girlfriend reads his texts and he doesn't want to be nagged by her for repairing his relationship with you;

    We could all speculate on and on, but only your son can truly answer for his lack of response. In the meantime, don't beat yourself up for taking the high road. I think also that his conscience must be functioning, because he did send your other son a card and gift on his birthday, which means he's still feeling connected to his family.
     
  17. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I am sorry I am late to this as it was my b-day yesterday as well. You did the right thing. His response is his response. You have to do what makes you feel good. It hurt worse yesterday because it was his birthday and you are his mom and you want so badly to have a relationship. I wish I words of conmfort for you but nothing can stop the ache of a broken mommy heart. A big hug to you!
     
  18. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I would have done exactly the same - and still do even when it is not difficult child's birthday! LOL

    (((HUGS))) You are a great mom!
     
  19. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Sig,

    You simply showed love. Unfortunately, you got hurt in return.

    I've done that a thousand times myself. This may sound weird but sometimes I text myself instead of texting difficult child. Or I write it out. It isn't the same but I don't run the risk of him being ugly to me.

    HUGS
     
  20. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Sig: I am sending a big HUG to you. You really are a great mom.
     
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