Situation with gfg32 has gone "beserkier"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Quick recap: gfg32 lives with girlfriend 1500 miles away and she gets restraining order. (Three girlfriend's in last ten years, third restraining order from each). He gets $$ from a friend and takes bus back here, unsettling hateful drama with us, he gets a friend's dad to pay his airfare back up there). Exgf is texting and calling, filling me in on unsavory details--he hasn't worked in a year, etc. (Etc. part is even worse). She finds out he is flying back up there and texts, I am soooooo stressed...don't know what to do. I reply, Don't meet him at the airport. There are probably other options.

    He asks my mom for airfare BACK down here. She Western Unions $250 with contingencies that he start going to church, turn to God, etc. He (an unbeliever) agrees. Yesterday, he and she exchange a volley of emails. He wants to be loved unconditionally, will not meet her demands (duh!), and will not return the $250.

    Today, she forwards at least six emails from gfg32. His ex(?)girlfriend's parents are giving him $250, on the condition that he have nothing further to do with his mentally ill family. The girlfriend is aghast that i would suggest she not meet him at the airport. He thinks he may change his last name. His dad and I are dead to him, he says....and he did WU the money back to his grandma.

    My mom is 83. I have shared wisdom from this board, and she seemed to be comforted by it. One of the LONG emails she forwarded to me was telling gfg32 how perhaps, his family failed him, he should forgive. It is his parent's role to instruct him way into adulthood and included some story in the bible where some guy died because he did not want to interfere in the lives of his adult children (seemingly, for the benefit of husband and me).

    I advised her twice to stop feeding gfg32 . Think she has stopped now (maybe) because last email she received from gfg32 told her to STOP contacting him.

    husband and I had some peace building this last week after a very emotional start, with moments of doubt, OK....but mostly much better each day. This has provided new angst, trouble sleeping last night.

    My mom means well, but never understands why her lectures, rich with biblical examples, do not work. I ALWAYS welcomed my parents' wisdom, she repeats. While husband and I do not think she has done long term harm, it is frustrating.

    I have left much out (and you must to keep it to just long and not a novel).
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you seem to be doing well. I'm sorry your mother doesn't get it and I can only imagine what your son is involved in.

    in my opinion it is up to your mother what she does. You have told her that he doesn't respond to the bible, but she won't believe it. Actually, he sounds a bit sociopath (in my opinion) and I don't think he will respond to anyone's words. He is too old for you to teach him anything...he has discarded your good parental upbringing probably due to an inherent personality flaw that is not your fault or his just not being a nice person or both. It happens. The nicest people sometimes find their kids are not what they expected. None of this is your fault.

    I always sort of smile, even though it's not funny, when a difficult child of any age tries to use emotional blackmail to get us to do what they want us to do or to make us feel guilty for not continuing to support them while they are adults. It is a tactic almost all of our adult children have used to try to break us.

    It sounds as if your son may be an abusive man if three girlfriend's have put out restraining orders on him. The ugly truth, which is so hard to absorb for all of us, is that most of our adult difficult children are just plain not nice people. We raised them to be nice, but they're not. They range from mildly entitled to downright mean to dangerous. If they were not our kids, we would have nothing to do with them. Sometimes we don't, even though they are our kids because they just plain are too awful to be around.

    I hope you and your husband can detach from his drama again and remember t hat you are not going to change your 80 plus year old mom. I would not try to influence her. She may learn on her own that he doesn't help. If not, there is nothing you can do to stop her. Continue to try to stay calm. None of this has anything to do with you. It is between your son and your mother. You may tell your mother you would prefer she not forward e-mails from Son to you. That you need to regroup and regain your strength. If she starts up that he is your son, tell her he is a middle aged man now and needs to take care of himself.

    Have a peaceful night.
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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, MW Mom. You nail it for us every.single.time.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I am sorry for your poor mom, fighting forces she can't begin to understand. I"m sorry for girlfriend and her family (although, I would be careful about believing anything your son reports..this is HIM reporting what he says they said, right?) I'm sorry for you and your husband. difficult child is causing a maelstrom of conflict, flying emails and distress. They are good at that. We were flying emails here today too, about our difficult child.
    Thing have done it all right. He is out there doing what he does. The girlfriend already knows who he is, that is why she got the restraining order...she is just caught up in drama. Or she is a little crazy herself. Or he is lying about what she says. Or all of the above or none.
    You have a house to yourself, with husband, and no financial drain. You did so well! Hold that thought. YOu can lay your head down tonight and go to sleep without worrying. He is finding his way with all the drama that goes along..he tried to have you part of the drama but it didn't work, so he has moved on to others. Your mom...well when have moms ever listened to daughters? right? Let her do what she does too.
    You can ask her not to forward emails, but I doubt it will work. I usually just delete stuff like that without reading. I never regret it. Anything important will come through again.
    Hugs to you and husband. Keep working on that peace you deserve.
  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Hugs to you, too.

    Very wise words--which i will print off for husband. Thank you from the bottom of my weary (sad & angry) heart. I read your every post and hope to bring you just part of the solace you give me, and many others.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It sometimes seems that difficult child kids keep coming back until they have destroyed anything that is left of us. Just that they do what they do to us over the years destroys our belief in ourselves as parents and sometimes, even as people.
    Like the grandma in your family, we just don't get it...but somehow, we can't make ourselves turn away or turn them away.

    Working, working, working until we get this stupid detachment stuff just so we can survive what the difficult children are up to takes so much time and effort. Between the police swooping in, the reprobates hanging around, and the court dates, our reputations in the neighborhood where the kids grew up are shot. Our marriages suffer, our finances are a very different thing than they should be and every extended family member thinks they could have fixed the difficult child.

    Good Lord, what's left?!?

    I don't even know if what I feel for my children is love, hate, or just plain amazed fear, anymore ~ except of course I must love them, because they are my children.

    Our son has done this to us, too. Pretty much the second he stopped using drugs long enough to have two cents to rub together, he used it to visit us and then, made the circle tour, telling every family member about how his life was our fault.


    He actually had the gall to blow up at me about all the things we hadn't done for him (talk about believing your own line of b.s.), and about what crummy parents we were and had been. Foolish Cedar, instead of just shutting up and taking it, I reminded him about the first girlfriend, who forced him to come to us and confess to the drug use because she was leaving him over that very thing. At which point, difficult child son blew up and stormed out of the house with his wife and my grandchildren.

    Leaving me and husband with a four layer carrot cake and a pan of lasagna.

    With which we had to celebrate husband's birthday that very night, all by ourselves.

    You can imagine.

    See what I mean?

    Every single thing, every smallest pleasure, destroyed.

    I swear, it gets to the point that keeping our marriages intact in the face of all this is almost triumph enough. husband and I seem to have evolved that kind of protectiveness over one another, when something bad happens with one of the kids.

    I tell you, it is unremitting. There was a thread some time back about holidays, and whether difficult child kids go out of their ways to destroy them, or whether that happens by accident. We never did reach a conclusion about the reason why, but all of us had had holidays and special family events destroyed, seemingly on purpose, by our difficult children.


    Though difficult child kids seem to have no trouble analyzing every smallest detail of their childhoods and their dysfunctional parents' psyches (probably from all that therapy we've paid for), they seem to have zero insight when it comes to understanding their own motivations.

    All of which is my roundabout way of telling you that I get what you are going through, and I am so mad and angry and sorry this is happening to you. It seems I have been able to get in touch with a little anger regarding the male half of my own set of difficult children, too.


    I think this might be what they call a win/win situation.


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  7. Childofmine

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

    SS, I am sorry you are in turmoil again. Sometimes you just have to wonder if it will EVER stop.

    Last night, we went out to happy hour like we usually do on Friday nights with a group of people. Driving home, we drove right past the 8-story jail where my son is.

    I didn't feel anything.

    I have driven past that jail so many times (it's on a major thoroughfare about 2 miles from my house)---I have cried, I have clenched up, I have gotten sick to my stomach, etc. He has been there so many times over the past four years.

    Like Cedar said, what DO we feel anymore after all of this? I do still love him. Otherwise, I would not be so vulnerable to him.

    But I also have lots of other emotions, like we all do. Underneath it is love, otherwise, I would be indifferent. I am not indifferent but I am detached. At least for today. Learning what detaching with love really means, one day at a time. Still not sure what it means, but I think I am doing it, somewhat (lol).

    SS, last night I exchanged emails with my family about my difficult child as well. My nephew texted me to say my mom was wondering what happened Thursday in court. So I called, and they were out. I emailed them the outcome of the court, and then I also offered my thoughts and my approach. Reading it back to myself, it sounds harsh. Especially, I'm sure, to people who have not had to practice recovery from enabling.

    The thing is, my family has been very supportive of the boundaries I have established. So far. They love their grandson, nephew, brother very much. They are horrified and distraught over the decisions he has made over the past four years. We have talked about it a lot---sometimes that is ALL we have talked about for weeks and months. I have done a lot to stop that as I don't want my thoughts, life, conversation and relationships to all be consumed by this one subject.

    Writing things down here and other places helps me manage my thoughts.

    I don't know if they will be able to withstand the pressure IF I am able to completely stop helping my son. He is very likely to turn that tremendous force and will on to them---my other son (his brother), my parents, my sister and her husband, etc.

    And you know what?

    I can't control that either. I know that will be hard for me to withstand, because they will be so hurt by him and he will continue his path of destruction, enabled by them. Not good for either of them.

    But...and this is fundamental. We just can't control other people. We have to remember that means ANYBODY, not just our difficult children. It is so humbling and so frustrating to finally start to see the totality of what that really, really means.

    We can't control our difficult children, who are so obviously self-destructing in living technicolor on a big screen for all to see. That is what most of us are working hard on.

    But, We can't control our well-meaning relatives who love this person so much, and maybe THEY can get through to him, yada, yada, yada, so they're going to buy plane tickets or send emails back and forth or quote bible verses. One time my dad, who is now nearly 82 years old, took my difficult child to the library (my dad's favorite place) and sat him down for two hours to talk about hard work, responsibility, etc, etc. My dad loves quotes and threw a lot of quotes at my son, so I heard. You can imagine my son's response.

    We can't control the thoughts of the communities where we live, where social media and online postings leave nothing to the imagination. I just learned over the past couple of months that there is an app that tells all of the warrants outstanding. I have friends who monitor those apps (I guess they don't have anything better to do). There is a lot of gossip. I have had to realize that more people than I ever imagined know a lot about all of the things my son has done. Some people who I used to be really good friends with LOVE to find out every little juicy piece of info about my son. And of course, others, who also know, are very compassionate and loving and supportive.

    I am reminded of this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

    We just all change so much as we live through this sometimes unbearable journey. Our eyes are opened in ways we could never imagined.

    And it hurts a lot. SS, I am so sorry that your sweet little mother is being hurt and caught up in your difficult child's drama. That her ways---Bible verses---which I happen to believe hold tremendous wisdom myself---don't change him. She just doesn't know the depth of the disease. She doesn't understand.

    But she has a right to do what she wants to do. She is an adult. If she wants to spend her time and money this way, she can.

    We have to learn how to stand by and allow this. To once again: stay out of the way of things that are really, really none of our business.

    And none of our business = decisions other adults make.

    But it hurts a lot.

    I am moving, myself, toward the decision point of breaking off all communication with my difficult child for a while. I cried about that realization yesterday. I sat in my car and cried for about 5 minutes at the sadness of just the idea of it. I have resisted this act for so long, and I am still resisting it. I am not there yet. But I see it coming.

    Because I am just spent with it all. I am bone-tired weary to my core of it all. And I value my own life to the point that I don't want to spend time, energy, money, hurt, etc., on more and more "stuff", i.e., drama, roundabout behavior/thinking/actions, all of the stuff goes nowhere just downward more and more.

    If this is his choice. Then so be it. I am working on grasping that.

    I will say I am definitely not there yet and my SO says I will never be really, really there because I am a mother. He says it's DNA and you can't totally get rid of DNA.

    To which I said: Well, right now a "vague sadness" sounds pretty appealing. If I could---get to that state---that would be attractive to me, right now.

    Oh, who knows?????

    SS I hurt for you. I hurt for all of us, having to endure this all day after day after day.

    Is this what God intended? Where is the end of this? Is there supposed to be an end?

    Breaking it down for now: What will I do TODAY? How can I make TODAY the best it can be? TODAY is all we have.

    The future will come soon enough, and we can't control that either.

    Cheery words for a gloomy, gray Saturday morning (lol!).

    Blessings, peace and prayers for you all today. I am grateful for each of you who posts your truth on this board.
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  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS good morning.

    MWM, Echo, Cedar and COM have offered remarkable insights and support................made more remarkable because our adult kids are all so amazingly similar in behavior and our despair over their actions runs deep and feels never-ending. I am so sorry. Sorry for all of the pain, all of the suffering, all of the hurts and profound disappointments. We all share those hurts and those disappointments...........

    Just want you to know I'm riding along on your journey.

    And, COM, just for the record, I don't agree with your SO about the DNA. Deep into my utter misery about my daughter's choices, I would have felt that way too, but there is an end, it does stop, it can be risen above...........not to say that is a cake walk, far from it, but if I can move through this to a place of having let, the Queen of enabling, the biggest mush head around, the sentimental long suffering fool, the rescuer extraordinaire......... you can too..............I always say this, that it is without a doubt, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do..........and my life has had it's share of pain and suffering like everyone else, so saying it's the hardest thing is not said lightly............BUT, one can walk out of this difficult child world and back into peace and acceptance.

    The thing that makes this so unbearably difficult is that these are our children, our most beloved, precious relationships, with all our dreams tied into them, all our hopes, all of our expectations..............and we are asked in this process to let them go. Geez. It's why I always strongly urge folks to get as much support as take very good care, to put the focus back onto ourselves.............because we have to learn what feels impossible, we have to learn to be okay in the midst of a hurricane of self destruction our kids call their lives........

    For me that required a serious step into a deeper zone, a glimpse of life from a perspective of the spirit, of taking a step back and realizing there was more at play here then simply my difficult child and I began addressing this as a spiritual journey of learning to have peace of mind in the middle of a war...........while guns are blasting, can one feel peace? Can we let go of our fears for them? Can we stop being angry? Will the resentment and sense of profound loss ever go away?

    Getting continual and unrelenting support and looking at this as a spiritual journey was what saved me and lifted me out of the depth of the pain. I really don't believe we can do this alone, I think it has to be addressed on two fronts, the first, making sure we are surrounded by people who will support the changes, for me that was a lot of professional folks, trained in codependency issues and helping parents learn to let go. However, more important then that was addressing this as the biggest "lesson" of my life..........learning to be able to have peace of mind when my only child is literally at risk and often in misery by her own hand. My goal was not to save her because I did know I couldn't do that, my goal was to find peace of mind and acceptance with the reality I was facing.

    I believe the final frontier is acceptance, I think detachment is the learning phase and if we get through that, acceptance is next. That is the point at which life begins to feel okay again. And, for me to get to that place required me to stay centered in the belief that we all have lessons, this letting go and stopping enabling was my lesson..........a biggie for me, one which has impacted my entire life in ways that robbed me of my true self. On the other hand, I then had to come to grips with the fact that my daughter also has her own lessons and not only can I not control that, I don't even know what they I had to let her go into her fate............without find her way. In the hands of a power far greater then me. Once my firm grasp began to let go and essentially, let God, the relentless pain subsided.

    I don't know if I am explaining this much of this is in realms outside of our usual way of looking at is elusive and other-worldly to's beyond me and my difficult feels like the stages of dying where you have to face the ultimate loss, the real end game and if you are aware and conscious during that process, I imagine learning acceptance of that is pretty remarkable..........impermanence.........uncertainty.........for me this stuff with my daughter took me to the edge of what I thought I could actually bear............and yet, here I am, I lived through it and I am okay. I think I am as in awe of that as anyone. I don't know how to instruct another in how to do that other then support, self focus and addressing it as a spiritual journey of learning how to live in uncertainty, how to live without controlling, how to embrace impermanence, how to deal with a sort of death...........the death of what we perceived parenting to be about, our expectations, how our kids turned out.............. it's a big death. The recognition of my own sheer profound powerlessness, my complete lack of control..............and then my learning to trust the allow it to unfold without my interference............

    Well, I don't know if that makes attempt at offering comfort may fall short because words kind of get in the way of the real essence of what I'm trying to say here..................perhaps the best thing I can say is that it does get easier, that vague sadness you speak of can be conjured up but in many ways, even that will go away...........there is an end to the suffering..............stay centered in as sacred a place as you can find...........willing to show up in each moment, new............stay strongly rooted in the NOW. And, really, God bless us all.
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  9. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    The thoughts you have shared since I posted the update last night are all so wonderful. Yes, yes, yes. This collective wisdom/experience is just so darn empowering when you are going through crap!!

    The first time gfg32 had a restraining order on him, I came home after work to get ready for daughter's high school graduation. There is difficult child (about 20 at the time), obviously drunk. He was ranting and raving and he was going to put a restraining order on HER (girlfriend). So, he hopped on his bike and took off for the police station. He ended up in jail for public intox...his first incarceration. All of us were numb and a momentous occasion for our daughter was marred. Immediately after the ceremony, my parents went to the jail to visit gfg32---they could not get in, of course. I remember begging difficult child, Don't do this. It's your sister's graduation! That may have made it all the more enticing.

    His sister referred to him last week as the "stupid idiot". I didn't get on to her, lol.

    I too believe in the powerful Word. gfg32 was raised in the church, and was a believer, as far as I know, until college years. My mom has a bible verse for everything - she is a nice, generous person(!) but I don't think the verses are ever used to illustrate something SHE has done wrong. Honestly, I don't think she believes in mental illness, personality disorders, etc. She knows it is all spiritual weakness or something like that. So, i couldn't reason with her if I could reason with her, haha.

    The one email she sent gfg32 about parents of adults. oh my goodness. I may post that in the board later just so you can was fully intended as a lecture for husband and me - NOT to walk away. God will judge us if we do. And, you are all 100% correct, I cannot change her thinking. But, she will never give up on trying to change our thinking.

    I like the win/win thing.

    (and husband and I are starting to believe the ex(?)girlfriend might be a little crazy. Probably explains why she has been with gfg32 so many years. Yeah, I woke up mad....but happy. :mad:

    Thanks again for more printable material which helps husband as well.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I would like to see the Bible verse.

    Is it the one about the prodigal son?

  11. Childofmine

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

    RE...i am going to print out your entire post because I am learning from everything you said.

    Yes guns are blasting, sometimes they are silent for a day or a month, then blasting again. My job is to find peace in the middle of the war zone and also during the fragile cease-fires when he is in jail, "somewhere" like rehab, occupied for a time, not for me, but I can regain my strength during those times. Peace. Strangely, I never knew it before I was on this journey, even when things were "normal". Then, I spent lots of time worrying, fretting, path to peace there.

    So this is maybe my only path to peace or that which I have inherited or taken on, whatever the reason. This is my path and the one I will have so again...acceptance of that.

    I so agree that this is my spiritual journey, mine alone, and that my precious difficult child has his own as well. I see in my mind's eye the image of him, walking away down a forest path, his back to me, with God in His human form, yes the old bearded man with a long flowing white road, a bit taller, straighter, stronger than my son, his arm around his shoulders, talking softly to him, and they are both walking away from me.

    This is my comforting, mental image of my son's very necessary and I hope, ultimately, good for him, spiritual journey.

    Maybe the comparative ugliness is within me, not outside me, with dramatic, loud, noisy actions like his---jail, arrests, homelessness, but mine is this: arrogance, control, pride, requirements and expectations. Isn't that just as ugly, just as corrupting, just as bitter? I think it is. I so so see myself in sync with him, not the same thing of course, much different but perhaps the same amount of work to do. That full time job that will take me the rest of my life and beyond to complete, leaving me no time, no time to worry and meddle in someone else's life---if only I can DO it, I can stay the course.

    Yes, detachment, acceptance, then more detachment, more acceptance...going deeper and further.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am growing in this, I feel it.
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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    One of the emails my mom sent to difficult child 32: (I deleted our names)

    As long as they live, God demands that (husband) and (me, the mom) try to instill in you their ADULT CHILD, God's commands, and God's blessings, and try to take care of you in spiritual ways.. There are many warnings and examples in the Bible of parents who failed to continue in these duties after their children are grown. One example is of Eli, who didn't want to bother interfering in the life style of his grown sons. Eli knew he was neglecting his duties of government-ship. He was a priest. Scriptures explain that God was disgusted with him for not admonishing his two grown sons and let Eli fall over backward and break his neck.Angels
    were not allowed to protect Eli from the fall, and his fatal injury.

    There are many other examples. Parents should not abandon their duty, as long as they live.

    If we do not 'bear good fruit' in our life, God can at any moment decide we do not need to live. After telling the Jews that they are meant to be branches of his tree, and that gentiles (those who are not Jews, but "hunger and thirst after His righteousness"
    are 'GRAFTED' ONTO THE VINE", and become members of God's Chosen People, His Elect", become a member of the Jewish nation of people, JESUS KILLED THE UNFRUITFUL VINE, a miracle of quick death, before the disciples eyes, to demonstrate
    the meaning of those words.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, condemnation of you is not subtle.........we detach from our difficult child's and also from the opinions of others about our detachment from our difficult child's.

    The dance that your mother and your difficult child do together is, as they say, "none of your business."

    May the force be with you.............
  14. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Recovering, Your comment prompted me to find another email she sent gfg32. I only read the first paragraph or so of each last night and emailed my mom, "You think gfg32 wil read this? I know I won't, lol"....and i deleted her forwarded emails. This morning, she emailed that she hopes I will read them because I would find them interesting. She also said gfg32 will read every word of her emails, if for no other reason than looking for evidence to show girlfriend's family that his family is nuts. (best rationale ever, right?)

    This afternoon, after digging the two emails out of the trashbin, is when i read them in entirety ....but I did already know they were more aimed at husband and me than gfg32. And gfg32 emailed her back that all she needed to know is that girlfriend "finds (my, the mom--he referred to me by my first name in the email) behavior disgusting. Trusting of course, that my mom would pass along that little tidbit....which she, of course, promptly did.

    Someone on CD advised me to delete the emails without even opening. Looks like I better do that for a few days. Anyway, here is another one from my mom, sent last night. She is verbose!

    It is common in our area of the world, to think that a person who gets into legal problems has been poorly instructed by his parents. That is the usual quick conclusive thought process...people move through. So we begin new thought processes....what can we do to remedy whatever we failed to do in caring for and teaching our child.

    Surely God will help us find the right answers we wait for.

    So as parents and grandparents we know that people who know something about a problem in a family, will have questions or doubts about how a family GOVERNS THEIR OWN SMALL FAMILY UNIT.

    The FAMILY GOVERNMENT, the training process we go through in a nucleus family,is our training for the future government in the World to Come, when Jesus returns to rule the world, after Armageddon...when his Kingship of His Kingdom will be
    established as prophesised.

    So, we want to prove worthy. We want to to be obedient to the laws given us for instructing, nurturing, and properly caring for our children, and our parents, our small 'government' in our present lifetime course of training government by God's Laws.
    We want no one to be left out.

    It is the beautiful path we are commanded to follow, so we will be counted worthy of being a citizen in the future Kingdom on earth, which will be permanent. We want every individual in our family, all our grandfathers, grandmothers, all our uncles, aunts, cousins, those living and those passed on to be citizens of that great and God ruled government of the future on earth. Even our beloved pets, and our friends, and in fact
    the whole of humanity. We pray for that. We work toward that. The Peaceable Kingdom.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Delete the emails. It is all about blame. The only person to blame for difficult child is difficult child. He's 32 for Goodness sakes, far beyond the time of needing parenting. But, he has an ally in your mom and they will collude against you. Stay away from toxic energy, delete............. then celebrate that you are not part of that team.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Wow. Your mom is being crazy judgemental. Listen, if your difficult child had lived in those biblical times, he would have been smote down a long time ago. And had she (your mom) lived in those times...well she wouldn't have been allowed to read or quote the scriptures.

    None of that matters though. What matters is that you delete those emails right away, don't read them again, dont let them wiggle into you and make you feel diminished. She hasn't lived and breathed it like you have. She just doesn't know, can't know.


    I started a thread a while back about cutting off communication with my difficult child. The general theme was "you should do what you feel comfortable with" and "you probably don't need to go that far".

    But I did need to go that far. I did cut off all communications, and even asked my sister not to tell me if she talked to him. I refused all his calls. I ignored his one attempt to reach me on faceback. I had to do it. Like you....I was just bone-tired weary to my core.

    And you know what? I feel a little better now. Its been six weeks. I figured I'd give myself to June 1 before I dealt with any of it again, even my thinking and feelings about it. I gave myself permission to ignore him for that long. And it is OK. In fact, when I thik about talking to him, my body rises up against me in mute protest...I can feel myself tense, my stomach churn, my blood pressure go up. So I am not ready.

    I need to work through to some peace in my mind. I can't do that with contact with him. I am having a hard enough time without him interfering with the process of getting to peace.

    I am quite sure I'm doing the right thing.

    Tomorrow is his birthday, as I posted in another thread.

    I won't talk to him then either.

    I just. need. a. break.

    It isn't about him, its about me. And its time.

    So I support whatever you decide to do, and I support you whether you stick to it or not. Whether you take a break for an hour or a year or not at all. You will feel your way to what is right.

  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is a sick game. Don't play. Delete the e-mails. Don't read any of them. Like most overly religious people (not normally religious, but overly), she is using the Bible selectively to guilt you. You do not have to be a parent forever. Is SHE paying YOUR bills? Is she housing you, bailing you out of jail, taking care of you? She wouldn't, would she.

    I didn't think so.

    Hugs and peace :)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "Trusting that girlfriend will find mom's behavior disgusting...." Though we don't often address it here, the truth is that those with difficult children over thirty suffer in a different realm, altogether. We have survived the missing, the loving, the criminal activity, the betrayals of self and other. We have incorporated the shock, the horror and the pain of what is lost. I hope those whose difficult children are younger never come to understand what I am talking about.

    But there is a difference.

    In any event, we have gone on, put our lives back together as best we are able.

    Like me, we come back here when some extraordinary thing happens, and we learn there are levels of pain and betrayal and confusion even we never suspected.

    It seems that, once you have managed to go on, the behaviors of the difficult child escalate. There are very few therapists who actively commiserate with an over-thirty difficult child in blaming his parents. If you refuse to accept blame, and because the difficult child no longer has an ally in blaming you for who he has chosen and worked so hard to become, the difficult child savagely blames you to anyone else who will listen. Coldly targeting the parent or other caregivers, the attacks are more personal, more targeted, the effort tailored to destroy reputations and self concept and peace. Hearsay evidence is brought in from other people in the difficult child's life to condemn us, to freeze us in place, as is being done with the girlfriend in your case. My difficult child son did the same. It was a shocking thing for difficult child to realize that his concept of his childhood (and I do think he believed it?) fell apart upon actually having the girlfriend meet us.

    Have you met your difficult child's girlfriend? We came so close to turning difficult child son around with the most beautiful girlfriend ever. After meeting us, she was actually able to help difficult child see in a different way. It was this girlfriend who brought difficult child to us to confess his drug use and to ask for help, after she decided to leave him.

    There is another thread here about detachment and distance. It was too painful a thread for response. I would have come into the very things I am going to write about, here.

    I don't understand why these things happen. I only know they do. They happened to me. They are happening to you. They happen to each of us, here on the site, who have adult difficult child kids. Those parents who rebel, who somehow manage to retain a healthy core reality in spite of what has happened to their kids, to their families, maintain a kind of separation from those children they love. One of the posters here, Scott G and another, Recovering Enabler, write of learning to see our children clearly, and of not judging them or their behaviors.

    Midwest Mom is another.

    Dammit Janet is leaving home with her husband to find peace, and the freedom to live her own life with the man she has loved all her life.

    This, as I understand it, is detachment. It is easier when the grown child is far away. But it is mandatory to learn and to remember these skills, because the children, despite what they say about how they feel about us, continue to come determinedly back, as though something were unfinished.

    In seeing clearly, or as clearly as we are able, we take correct action toward our children, our extended families, and ourselves. In learning not to judge our children for the people they have grown into, there is peace, for us. We no longer agonize over what happened, where we went wrong, how we can help.

    We simply, as Recovering Enabler instructs us, let go.

    For those parents, less fortunate than we are, who cannot maintain that core self, that core belief that we are not responsible for the choices our adult children continue to make, it seems to me that the victimization continues. It may be subtle, but it is there. I visited a mansion, once. The mother was elderly, the father was passed on. The adult son and his pet pig lived in and had the run of the mansion. The pig was actually delightful. It was innocent of the part it played in the shaming and destruction of the mother. The difficult child son, who did not work, who sent out that same kind of feeling so many adult difficult children send out...I don't know what else to say about that. He was there because he had nowhere to go and nothing to his name. His mother had taken him in once the father passed away.

    In all her life, the mother had been so fortunate. The challenge had been this one son. At the time I visited the mansion, both were waiting for her to die. This happened years before I would understand the underlying dynamic. I don't know why I am telling this story, now. To underline the truth that this may be the outcome for each of us who does not require herself to see with clarity, to set boundaries about how we allow ourselves to love our difficult child children.

    I think that is why I am telling this story.

    I sound like such a know it all, all the time. I apologize. We are all just here, sharing what we think we know. But I see a pathology in the grandmother's handling of this painful devastation of your life as slyly harmful, and as harm filled, as my own mother's response when our daughter's situation became family knowledge.

    I am sorry your mother is using this tragic and so personal devastation to hurt you.

    That is the other thing that happens, when we have difficult child kids we just cannot turn around. Persons we normally would not have coffee with offer advice (generally, sanctimoniously)...and we are afraid not to consider it; we are afraid that might be the thing we missed.

    The grandmother is very wrong to buy her way into Heaven on the back of your difficult child's pain. My mother was very wrong to purchase that hit of self esteem at my expense and on the back of my then 14 year old daughter.

    But she did.

    It was a triumph for her.

    I had been a very good mother.

    And then? All at once...I wasn't.

    And my mother finds vindication in that to this day.

    I have learned to trace a kind of mental illness through my family line. It was not open enough to require psychiatric assessment and so, there were no diagnoses made. But it is there. It is there in my mother. It is there, in my poor daughter. It may be there in me, and it may be that I cannot see it.

    That may have something to do with why the grandmothers need to find some way to slice us open when the opportunity presents itself.

    I haven't been very helpful, here. I have no solution, no comfort to offer. It is insult added to deep injury.

    There is some comfort in seeing it, in knowing what it is.

    This dynamic may not be true for your family.

    Your only choice is to survive it. It is an added burden. Maybe part of it is that the pain of our children's situations somehow freed us from the dominance of our mothers? Hurting us through our children may be one way to recover that power?

    I don't know why they do such things.

    You do know I am sending you strength; you do know all of us here are your companions on a journey so dark we can't see a darn thing for sure.

  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar, that story about the old woman in the mansion is absolutely chilling..........I had a visceral reaction to that story. Geez. What is it about that story that intrigues you?

    I am so sorry about the actions your mother and SS's mother have taken regarding your kids. It is such a monstrous betrayal to have our own mothers do that. Judgment is so hurtful and has such power to take us to our knees, in particular when it's our mother or our child.

    In reading those Brene Brown books about shame it cleared up so much for me. A shamed personality does harm to those it sees as authentic...........through judgment, criticism, whatever it takes to throw their own unseen and unacknowledged shame onto another. Reading that made so much sense to me about the harm that was done to me by others, others I chose to be in relationship with, who usually out of their awareness did damage to my vulnerable self............... when I least expected it, it would come roaring out like a sword and go straight for my weakest point. Once I came to know that, it was like a huge broom that swept all the hurts away, cleaned it out and the light of clarity began to shine.............I won't enter in to those connections anymore............that was definitely my "mother wound" which I was working out with other women for a long time.

    It sounds like your heart is hurting Cedar and I am very sorry about that...............perhaps starting a new thread about what is presently up for you...............we are here for you............whatever is going always, sending you warm, caring thoughts and gentle hugs.............
  20. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    You wonderful humans, hurting in your own lives, who reach out and give such comfort to others. It is nothing short of unbelievable. I will NEVER be able to come close to expressing our gratitude.

    Absolutely, why believe anything gfg32 says?? husband and I should have figured out by now to assume whatever he says is a lie, unless proven otherwise. He told my mom that he was returning her $250, via Western Union, because girlfriend's family gave him $250, on the contingency that he return her money and cut all ties with his mentally unstable family. My mom goes to a WU station today and guess what is NOT waiting on her? Surprise, surprise (tho I believed it would be----I have a long way yet to go).

    We have spent a fair amount of time with gfg32's girlfriend...and liked a lot about her. She is 7 years younger, has a Masters degree in social work, paid off her student loans in two years, cooks (even has lots of spices in her kitchen---good sign, we thought). She is quite pretty, about 50 lbs. overweight. I have about 30 to lose so i dismissed The other day somebody on this board suggested I put on a Victoria Secrets # and it made me a healthy way.

    A couple weeks ago, when the slow explosion started, she was calling and texting, wanting advice, what to do? He had stolen her debit card twice, had not worked but a few days in the last year, etc. She finds out he is flying back to their town and calls and texts me, frantic. I advise her not to meet him at the airport. Calls and texts stopped. I think she threw me under the bus, but cannot know and it really does not matter.

    husband and i know gfg32 will appear again and we want a relationship when he gets on the right track. We do not want to hear from him for quite awhile.

    and, yes my mom....darn, it'd take a book to catch everybody up on her...but you seem to have picked up the gist quite ably.

    Thanks! Every single person writes something that makes me go, YESSSSS. Cedar, your last post brought tears ....husband and my journey with an over 30 difficult child...right there!