Overwhelmed with dysfunction...just venting

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by BackintheSaddle, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Hello All-I have been a 'member' for over a month-- it started with my son attacking me (bipolar, no drugs/etoh), 19 yo....police came, he went to live with my parents who then turned on me, so to speak-- believe all his lies...both of them are in early (mother) to middle (dad) stage dementia so it's a holy hell of dysfunction 5 miles away...my son is working and going to community college but refusing to speak to me because last week, I refused to keep paying for his bills-- 'if I support him and want him to succeed, I should be willing to paying those bills'...I got an ugly, just mean email from my father today wanting to know what 'my intentions' are about paying for his college. For the first time, I responded to an email to give him an answer. I shouldn't have-- i should have just let it go, detached, etc. It caused quite a stir with my husband and then difficult child chiming in, lots of drama with the end result being that I doubt we'll talk to my parents ever again and it'll be a long time before we talk to my son (if ever). He is in such a toxic place-- they are negative, attacking people (dad a dry drunk, mom the bearer of genes that makes my son nuts-- and me on anti-depressants) who have selective memory, just like he does. He tells them ANYTHING and they believe the whole thing. I know what precipitated this whole event was that my son asked my father to help him pay for his bills because I won't anymore. So, I got out 'codependents no more' again today and reread some of it. I wonder if I'll ever get out of the trap of just trying to convince difficult child ONE MORE TIME that something is wrong with HIM and it's not all me. He's not on medications and holding it together for my parents (not that they'd notice) so far, so now they all are convinced (in that 'house of cards', as my husband calls it) that I've been wrong all along and all the issues are because of me. It's so hard not to get sucked into wondering if they could be right. No need to reply-- I just needed to vent to someone who'd understand...today this feels like more than I can take
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    BITS, I know you said no need to reply, however, I want you to know I read your post and that I am sorry this has gone down this way today. It's difficult enough to deal with our difficult child's, but to deal with 'old' parent difficult child's as well, geez, my heart goes out to you.

    Well, my first thought to your pondering 'will I ever get out of this trap of trying to convince him one more time that it is him and not me'.................is that today, you may have reached that point and gotten out of that trap. Whatever you said, it was likely the truth and any difficult child worth his salt is going to deny truth and put up a stink about it..........so the three of them acted out against you...........wow. It sounded to me as if you made it clear that you are done paying, financially and with your well being, for your son. The end of our 'paying' can be brutally dramatic, as it sounds like it was..................but an end is an end and tomorrow in the light of day, there may be more feelings, more stuff to deal with, but you've made some pretty big strides in the detachment process and unfortunately, there is often intensity as we let go............

    I am sorry BITS, it had to have been a bad day. Your parents and your difficult child are not right, they are wrong, they are operating out of the difficult child handbook which states emphatically, "never take responsibility for your actions when you can blame it all on someone else." Don't buy it, step out of the FOG, see it clearly, you stopped enabling your son and your son is angry that his ride is over and your parents seem to want to take on difficult child without the actual cost of that. Too bad. You're now out. Let them stew in their difficult child soup and let it go. They seem to deserve each other in their dysfunction..............you do not deserve that, you deserve peace. I think you may be a lot closer to detachment then you think you are................stay the course, you are on the right track and sometimes when on the right track, you can still experience some bumps as you get back on the main road.

    Sending you warm thoughts and big hugs.............
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You had the right idea the first time. Don't answer. Anything.

    Your parents are not in a good mindset anyway, if they both have dementia. You don't need to justify yourself. You know he can go to college on grants, don't you? But he won't. He needs help more than college and HE has to be the one to do it.

    Don't fall into the trap. He has no business having bipolar and being unmedicated and he is a danger to you and your parents. You can't control your parents, but you can control YOU. Endless talks about difficult children usually goes nowhere and just makes things worse. You are 53. Dad and Mom should NOT control your decisions anymore. You are probably more clearheaded than b oth of them and, at any rate, you are well into adulthood.

    The best thing you can do for your son is to let him fall...I know it's hard, but if he keeps assaulting people he disagrees with, jail will become his new college. He needs to get treatment, not go to college at this stage in his life. College can wait. Bipolar, unmedicated, just gets worse. But he is the only one who can fix that. I wouldn't talk to him about that either. It won't matter. You'll just go around in circles. He already heard you and he's not listening.

    I would continue to withhold the money. He crossed a boundary that no child should ever cross. He needs psychiatric care, and you can't make him get it.

    Detach, detach, detach.

  4. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    what are you doing up so late? ;-)
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree with Recovering and MWM.

    In reality, though the designated issue was money, the actual issue was power. It was your power as a parent that your own parents (innocently) undermined by taking difficult child in.

    Though I hear your pain and confusion?

    What you have accomplished by defining your position to yourself and then, stating that set of facts to your parents is exactly what needed to happen, next.

    Speaking our truth is never comfortable.

    But you did it.

    You did the right thing.

    It doesn't feel happy or pleasant to have taken this stand. But the truth is, this is a terrible, painful situation. There is no happy solution, here.

    I am proud of you for standing up.

    This is what had to happen next. You handled it well. It hurts, but that's okay. You will be fine.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What was I doing up so late? LOL. Sometimes I wake up at weird hours and instead of going right back to sleep, I read or check the internet and I'm addicted to this board...lol.

    In all seriousness, I thought you could use some validation so I tried to help.
  7. Childofmine

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

    I am sorry you had the day you did yesterday. Today is a new day and you can make it better.

    Get busy and get about your own life.

    And so...it's all your fault huh? If that has a shred of truth, then their lives should start to get better fast, right? Since you are out of the picture.

    In point of fact, we spend a lot of time, energy, money, blood, sweat and tears trying to prop other people up.

    Doing things for them they should be doing for themselves.

    That is never helpful.

    Hang onto that and focus on the full time job you already have---yourself.

    You deserve a break today and you can get it right here with us.

    Hang on and detach. Just for today.

    It may get worse before it gets better but there is no other way to give us all back our own lives than to detach from people who need to be responsible for themselves.

    Lots of hugs and warmth from someone who gets what you are dealing with.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I love that!

    BITS, you are so close....the incredibly unreasonable behavior and accusations of your parents and difficult child are starting to lift the fog for you.l..even you (read "us) in your (our) guilty, loving, fixing mode can sometimes finally see that THE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ACTING CRAZY. YOur parents are acting up because they are starting to see they are stuck with difficult child...he doesn't look so helpless and right anymore now that he is demanding money from them instead of you. That relationship is going to come to an end. Or not....it doesn't matter, because you can't control it, only the three in the toxic dance can. Three is enough in the dance. Move away.

    I understand the need to convince them you are right, to GET THEM TO SEE THINGS YOUR WAY. It is SO compelling. IN business (I'm not a business woman but I was dragged into some B school courses at one stage of my life) they call it the Myth of the Great Argument. That when you have right on your side (and you do) we tend to believe that if we can only state it clearly enough everyone will fall in line. Wrong. Wrong in business, wrong in life, and really really wrong with difficult children. Take a deep breath and let it go. It is not for you to convince them. It is for you to know that YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING and let it go.

    Blessings on your head, today, BITS. Hang in there.

    PS, I love this one too! If you have been ruining their lives, well then, hurray, that is over if you step aside!


  9. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Hello All-- thanks so much for such great responses!...THEY are the crazy ones!...not surprisingly, I didn't sleep so good last night and I got up and read the note from EA and sent her this one below privately (I was teasing you, MWM, I hope you know that-- we were both up in the wee hours!)...should I send a straightforward email to my not 100% father to tell him how he's being manipulated (see below)?...I still haven't sent it and can't decide-- it does that math for him in terms of how much money my difficult child has and how he's using him for all he can get--

    ...I got up to write my father an email to educate him on how he's being manipulated right now...I'd bet money that how that email got started is my difficult child asked my father to pay his bills because his mean old mother (me) won't anymore and, if difficult child doesn't have help, he'll have to quit school...he's great at using that poor pitiful me kind of tactic to get what he wants...he can pay that bill but I bet he's convinced my father that he can't so my father is mad at me for 'putting' him in that position, even though it was his choice to allow difficult child live with him...I haven't sent the email yet..can't decide if it's worth more drama since it could very easily backfire on me-- that my father tells difficult child about the email and boy, will he be mad then (and what is he capable of doing to me?---I am afraid of him, to be frank)...those people with only easy child kids are so blessed, I hope they realize it!
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    If you send anything, send your Dad something about how much you love him, and that you regret him having been drawn into this.

    In reality? This business of the money is a private matter between you and difficult child. It is difficult child who made it public, who has tried to shame you into buckling to his weird, power over mentality.

    He struck his own mother. No matter how he justifies whatever he justifies, he is wrong.

    He further victimized his grandparents, forcing them to choose sides without intending to, by showing up at their door.

    difficult child is wrong.

    As Echolette noted, that we are right is not what matters to anyone else. Each of us believes what he needs to, to justify his own position.

  11. Childofmine

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

    They have a right to spend their money however they want to spend it, and so do you. Even if it makes no sense to anybody else.

    So you said you are done with the money. That is your right.

    They can decide what they will do, but what YOU do is really none of their business.

    And what THEY do is really none of your business.

    Isn't that great? I love that. I remember the first time I heard in Al-Anon: Mind your own business.

    I pooh-poohed that big-time. What, a silly playground shout-out, that would have any relevance in this very serious business of addiction and alcoholism with my precious SON? Of course, he was my business----he is MY SON.

    Guess what? Those four words hold great, great wisdom. It's taken me years to get it, but I get it now.

    And I love it. Now, what I am trying to learn is how to DO IT.

    Say less instead of more, to everybody. Let time take its time.
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  12. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Yes, I suppose how to DO IT is what keeps this website so active!!! not an easy process for any of us...and sometimes it's shocking how similar our life's journeys are...shocking and sad but at least we can figure this puzzle out together!