Silly me thinking I would get a thank you.......

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Several weeks back my difficult child contacted me about needing a copy of his birth certificate because he needs to get an ID. I was so not happy about the request as over the years I have given him several copies. A few years ago I gave him the last copy I had and told him so, that he needed to take care of it, put it in a safe place, you know what a responsible person would do. Anyway, after complaining to husband about it, he helped me to see that it would be a good thing to do as everyone needs a form of ID.

    I had to send away for it as I don't live in that state anymore. It was not cheap either.

    I sent difficult child a message on FB letting him know that I had received it and asked him where I could mail it to. He gave me the address of a friend. I sent it certified requiring a signature. I tracked it online so I would know when it got there. Once I had confirmation that it was delivered I thought for sure that difficult child would send a message letting me know he had received it and a thank you, I mean he was so desperate to get a copy.
    I waited a week because I didn't know how long it would take his friend to get it to him.
    I got nothing so I sent him a message saying "Have not heard from you whether or not you received the birth certificate. I checked the tracking number online and it shows it was delivered"
    A day later I received "ya I got it. sorry i spaced telling you"Just gives me a warm fuzzy all over!!:916wildone:

    Hope he doesn't lose this one as I will never get him another copy.

    I will now resume living my life.:bigsmile:
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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I found when I stopped my expectations of thanks or birthday calls or mothers day calls (and a card...omg...never...that requires getting out and BUYING one so I gave that one up YEARS ago)... it was much better to have no expectations.

    Well, he got it. You did what you did and he did what he, and most difficult children here do. They don't feel gratitude. Puzzling and sad for us all. So sorry and know how it feels.
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I feel the same way. I remember one year on my birthday the cops came to our house to put an electronic ankle monitor on my difficult child. Yes, I don't expect much when it comes to birthdays or mothers day.o_O
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, what a MAGNIFICANT birthday present THAT was.

    I tell can't make this stuff up.

    While that never happened to my son, if I ever mention it's somebody's birthday or was, he says, "Huh? Oh, well, you know i"m not good at remembering birthdays and stuff like that." And then he wonders why his siblings don't like him (and they don't, and it's for more than that. They have all heard his mouth at me and a few have seen him get close to assaulting me).

    The gift that keeps on giving.
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  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I have gotten exactly one card from my son ever, that his dad didn't buy. It was when he was dating a girl...she bought the card.
  6. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Not true! Granted, the ones you received before were the ones he made in elementary school.
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  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I think that it is very telling about our difficult children mindset. It SCREAMS who and what they really are. We are NOTHING to them.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Only when they want something from us do we appear on their radar.
  9. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Not true. We are their banker, chauffer, cook, maid, etc... So yeah, like Tanya said. Only when they need something do we appear on their radar.
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  10. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I feel you all. I'm caring for our difficult child's son and have spent YEARS supporting both of them. Not once have I gotten a thank you. Very disheartening. I gave up expecting any appreciation from her a long time ago. If they could only realize how a little bit goes a loooong way!
  11. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    difficult child lives 8 miles from me. I haven't seen him since before Christmas. He does call because he wants to return a gift...but that's it. No "how are you, Mom" no nothing like that. He used to take me to lunch from my work, but hasn't done that in months. Trying HARD to detach here. He really doesn't care...about anyone nor anything. Incredible that I could have raised such an uncaring person....(still hurts like the dickens..)
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Ours actually has tried once or twice. (Granted, it's usually a prelude to wanting something...but it's better than nothing.) He'll say something like, "So, how are you guys? What's new?" The problem is how to answer. How are we? We're exhausted and stressed out over him. What's new? Well, nothing other than his latest drama. We go to work, we go home, we barely talk about anything other than him. We watch TV, we go to bed. Rinse and repeat. So there really isn't anything to talk about. :(
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Different perspective here... and this isn't intended for the parents of older difficult children (the 30+ group that has been like this forever).

    At 18, or 22... you have no idea what is actually on their plate. Are they self-absorbed? definitely. But maybe for good reason. MAYBE. As in, sometimes.

    I don't get any appreciation out of difficult child these days. He is dealing with so many serious issues, including figuring out who he really is and where he is going in life. His thoughts don't go beyond his own tiny world.

    But... my GFGbro was like that. I keep telling myself... difficult child is just a teenager. Give him another 10 years and see what he becomes. GFGbro became capable of being human, of caring about the rest of us, of showing some appreciation, etc. But not until he was 27 or so...

    I've changed my expectations. I draw the line on respect... don't treat me with disrespect and expect me to be on your page. But gratitude? that can come later. I just want to see difficult child move forward. And the gratitude that comes later doesn't need to be for the things we are doing now. I'll settle for difficult child getting to the place where he really has a life, and can have an attitude of gratitude for the things that happen from that point on.
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  14. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I think when they are in their mid teens to mid twenties they are so wrapped up in themselves they don't think about it. I know I didn't. Actually I am still horrible about birthdays. I can never remember what month my dads is. LOL Its an M month does that count. I know the day though.

    I have to say that I am a bad adult in that I am horrible about remembering to call people and talk to them. In fact after reading this I just remembered that I got a voicemail from my grandmother over a week ago and forgot to call her back. We probably only speak once or twice a year and we were very close when I was young. I am just awful about that stuff. Plus since I spend all day on the phone I can't stand to be on it at night.
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Growing up my mom taught me and my sisters to write thank you notes when someone gave us a gift and I still do that to this day. I taught my son the same thing.

    I totally get that people forget birthdays and such but when someone specifically asks for a favor a thank you would be nice.

    I have to remind myself sometimes "you're dealing with a difficult child" silly!!!
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hear you Tanya. I think there is a distinction between teenage and young adult unconsciousness which can improve as they get older and their brains mature........ and our kids who are in their 30's and 40's. No excuses really work once they are over a certain age.

    I found in my dealings with my difficult child daughter that as I insisted on being treated with appreciation and did not put up with any more of her shenanigans, she actually changed. To the degree that I insisted on better behavior, she rose to the occasion each and every time. I don't think that always happens, but it did happen with me. It was as if I had trained her to not see me, respect me and appreciate me by allowing that behavior......I can see that I did that, and when I stopped doing that, she stopped acting badly. As I said, I don't think that is the case with all of our difficult child's, some will never change regardless of how much we insist on better behavior.

    For me boundaries around negative behavior which doesn't respect or honor me was something I had to learn to do. I didn't know that when I was raising my daughter and as a result, I allowed her to continue with behaviors that were disrespectful to me. Once I learned to change that, everything changed. Not only with her, but with everyone. I had to build those boundaries around myself and once they were built, I became protected against any behavior at all that was not in alignment with honoring myself. It is a miracle how much that changed my own life. And, in regard to my daughter, who is still a huge difficult child, however, now she appreciates me, sees me, is present and engaged around me..........and it seems, then goes right back to her difficult child ways in the world. But........the relationship she and I have has improved dramatically.
  17. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Tanya -- I feel for you! And, I confess, I'd forgotten about how our difficult child does same with cards, calls, presents, (or the lack thereof).

    I don't get cards, calls, presents, either. husband once gave difficult child $20 to give me a b-day present and difficult child instead treated he and his buddies to McDonalds with it. When difficult child was in rehab the first time (age 16) it was over Christmas and they had all of the teens go through a line to pick out presents. difficult child gave me a blanket (which I still have and like). But I'm quite certain that only came because someone placed it in front of him. When we did a renewal of our wedding vows (our 20th), difficult child didn't call, didn't show, etc. That one hurt. And, of course, this year we heard nothing over the holidays.

    It used to hurt me to the bone.....for many years. And then I reached a point where it hurt more to care about it than to not care about it (which was a very strange transition, indeed....and yet, on another plane, so necessary and natural).

    "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blosson." --- Anais Nin

    difficult child did give me one present. It's a very small (maybe 3" high?) plastic statue of Michigan J. Frog (from Warner Bro's cartoons). He knows I love Michigan J. Frog. That little statue sits on my bathroom sink so I see it every day. I keep it as a reminder for me that there's a human being in there somewhere inside our difficult child. Lest I grow cold about him or let his ugly behaviors devour me. Sometimes, it's the only gratitude I have for him. So............I'll take it.

    Tanya --- Oh, we also had the same problem with ID cards and wallets (and cell phones). I just looked to see that your difficult child is now 33. Has he ever been able to figure these kinds of things out for himself? I mean...........does he have the cognitive ability?

    by the way, Tanya ---- I sure enjoy your posts. Very insightful, high-spirited (in a good way!) and humorous. I appreciate your "take" on life. :)
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    So very true, that point when it hurts more to care than not.

    Oh yes, my difficult child is quite bright, has an IQ of 140. He is more than capable but would rather focus his energies on partying and having a good time. He has such amazing abilities and talents, if he would only apply common sense.

    Thank you for your sweet comment. I truly enjoy this site.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HLM, this is one of my all time favorite quotes! The truth of it hits me between the eyes every single time. Staying tight in a bud can end up being the name of the game when our kids go off the rails.........and recognizing that the blossoming, the change, is LESS painful, takes a truckload of courage and a good amount of time........but thankfully, we can blossom.

    You're very good at that Tanya, I so admire that. Resuming our own lives is a precious acknowledgement of our own growth out of the suffering. You've done a really good job of it.
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh RE, thank you so much for the sweet comment and afirmation. :smile: