so he emailed me

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Elsieshaye, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Background: Kicked my 18 y/o son out of the house in October due to substance abuse and increasing aggression. Cut his phone off (and cancelled my own phone) when he left me increasingly angry and unhinged voice mails and texts, including calling me a "f***ing c***" because I didn't pack his belongings the way he thought I should when I spent nearly $400 to ship all his stuff down to him at his father's house. . I haven't responded to any of his subsequent attempts at communication because they were more of same.

    But today, I got this, which while not as apologetic as I would like, and completely ignores his own behavior, is at least civil:

    His email: "Mom I wish you'd call me. We should talk its been three months and I haven't heard a word from you. And Ironically, I miss you. I think it might have to with the nine months preceding labor. But nonetheless, I miss you."

    My response: "I don't have your new phone number. I miss you too, but I don't miss being ranted and cursed at, or trying to talk to you when you are high or drunk. Which is the primary reason you haven't heard from me. The sarcasm, contempt, demands and name calling of your last several attempts at communicating are unacceptable. If you feel like you can stay sober and civil when you talk to me, then I am willing to give you a call. But if not, I'd prefer to just trade emails for a while. Let me know. Mom."

    How he responds to that will determine how I proceed. I suspect what's going on is that living with his father and being broke all the time has palled, and he's looking either to move back in or get a handout. Or both. Honestly, I'm still pretty ok not talking to him, because I still don't trust him to be sober/drug free and not to treat me poorly and be a jerk, and I just don't have the stomach for it anymore. Three months isn't long enough for real change, and I don't hear anything in what he wrote to give me a lot of hope. But at least he was reasonably polite, if whiny, and I figured I should at least respond. My stomach is in knots. I hope I'm wrong about what's going on, but I'm not really holding my breath.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Good for you. WTH is that remark..... about the nine months before labor? Is he saying you did something to him to make him a jerk? Sorry, not very compassionate toward your difficult child, I know you love him and he has problems, but that was a low blow.
  3. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    He does this weird poetic / metaphoric speaking thing. Primarily when he's high lately, but it's a longstanding pattern with him. (Maybe getting high is also the same longstanding pattern. Who knows.) I assume he was high when he wrote me, but he'd speak like that anyway, so it's not really proof. I interpreted it as a reminder that I carried him for 9 months, so I somehow owe him warm fuzzy feelings. It's an attempt to tug at heartstrings, I think. I didn't like the "ironically, I miss you" bit much either. Ironically, I guess, because he feels victimized by mean old me. I don't have a whole lot of compassion for him either right now, honestly. I love him, but right now it's a theoretical, "because he's my kid" kind of love rather than a love I can actually feel, Know what I mean??
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, even I have moments like that.... I feel deep love, but my basic instinct at times is just self preservation emotionally. I know our situations are very different and so am not trying to compare, really, I can't imagine your pain and since you first posted, I think you have done amazing things. I bet most of us can relate a little bit though to what is HUGE for you (and many can totally relate).... we sometimes really dont like our difficult child's.

    I took the ironically thing to mean he thought it would be so good to go with dad and not be with you but now... he realizes he misses you. But that is more of a non difficult child way to interpret it. Your way is most likely the right interpretation!
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think your response to his email was perfect. Great boundaries. It'll be interesting to see how he responds.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I agree. Your response was perfect.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm....very interesting. Glad you are able to keep practicing Detachment 101. Hugs. DDD
  8. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks, Everyone. The validation really helps! If/when he responds, I'll post it.
  9. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Oh, FFS!! His response just came in:

    "mom i never talked to you when i was drunk or high."

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Seriously???!!!!

    So, really, what the heck am I supposed to do with that? It's a total non-answer (besides being completely untrue). I guess I should have made one of my boundaries "no re-writing reality or gaslighting" as well as the other stuff I wrote. Good grief. I feel like saying "you're clearly not really ready to talk to me. let's try this again in another 3-6 months." Or maybe 3-6 years.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Goodness. The evil mom in me would me tempted to respond with- something along the lines of "well, it's very disappointing to learn that your unacceptable behaviors during our past conversations cannot be explained by an altered level of sobriety and that you were just intentionally being as hateful as possible." Sigh....

    I think your initial response was outstanding, and I think your proposed response is reasonable as well. You get to define the relationship and what you will/won't tolerate.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deflection, pure and simple. He didn't touch the subject of his inappropriate behavior towards you. He can't get away with denying that, so he figures he'll try to deny the stuff you can't "prove." I'd let it go, you won't ever get him to admit he was drunk/high, unless he sobers up. Don't get sucked into that argument.

    I think I'd sit on it for a day or two and see if he writes you again. At the very least, sit on it overnight. Sleep on it.
  12. AHF

    AHF Member

    Maybe I'm just being a softie here. But I think the "9 months preceding labor" refers to a bond her feels with you, that primal mother-son bond. Boys are rotten at expressing themselves emotionally. And I think I would lay off any further challenges to his good faith. You're just going to get into a did-you-or-didn't-you scenario re whether he talked to you when he was drunk or high. You've expressed your reservations. At this point I would welcome the contact with him and see what his next step is.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH Elsie! You must just wanna pull your hair out. Oh well, nothing has changed, you expected that anyway so just stick to your plan... an non answer??? maybe a non-response? But from what you all say, this is denial
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    And actually, I re read it and I think I took it out of context from the Ironically I miss you part.... I was thinking he may have been saying that all of his problems were from that time (the nine months)... but yes, it could have been that he as saying he missed her due to that time, and that is as Elsie said, kind of a weird poetic way to be nice....

    Sorry I jumped to that conclusion. I read it too fast.
  15. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks, Everyone. I think what I was struggling with is the idea that I'm not yet ready to resume contact, but I don't want to slam the door in his face and lock it, Know what I mean?? Thanks for the reminder that I get to decide what I will and won't accept. Here's the thing: while I recognize that his communication to me, in difficult child-ese, was not bad as such, it isn't enough for me. It's just not. So, I'm just going to let things sit the way they are for now. When he contacts me again, if it's reasonably civil, I'll respond in kind. If it's not civil, or it's a non-response like today's little gem, I won't respond at all. (Part of me wants to be sarcastic, but I'm a bit too raw, and right now what I intend as sarcasm might come out as outright b!tchiness, which I think would be counterproductive.) This is clearly going to be a long process, and my job will be to stay approachable without letting him use me or treat me poorly. *sigh*
  16. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Agree with the others: great response. It's up to him now. Sometimes a half apology is all they can muster...even though they might truly be trying to make ammends. IT's what he does next that counts.
  17. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think it's great that he misses you and great that he wrote to say it. I think your response was perfect.

    And I would drop it for now. Tone is easily misinterpreted in an email. Maybe he was being snarky. Maybe he was trying to save face and is still in denial about his drug use. Maybe he doesn't want you to think the worst of him. Who knows?

    If you don't HEAR from him, I wouldn't be adverse to sending him an email in a few weeks or a month. Just a simple, "hi how are you, haven't heard from you in x, hope things are well. Things are well here, I've been busy at work, weather is lousy and I am looking forward to spring. (etc) Love mom"

    Set limits (which you did beautifully in your initial response!) but keep the lines of communication open.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 12, 2012
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Your response was perfect. I am struggling with how you are to even think of his "I was never drunk/high" statement with-o laughing hysterically. WHile that is fine when you are not around him, when you ARE around him and it pops into your head, hysterical laughter probably won't accomplish anything productive or positive. Well, other than giving you a good belly laugh, that is.

    the whole "ironically I miss you" part I could see Wiz saying. In OUR relationship it would mean "I know I pushed you away as hard and violently as I could and I clung to the indulgence of gma instead and now I really miss you and isn't that odd and I sure deserve to have you not jump and run to come spend time and $$ on and with me. I wish I hadn't been such a tushie-head to you.

    The "9 mos preceding labor" would mean that I have this need to have you in my life and I don't understand it and it probably comes from then and not from the years you did everything you could for me and your life revolved around me cause that means nothing.

    But that would be what it meant to Wiz and I.

    In your situation? It is trying to open the door and prime the well to spout money and whatever else he wants. Wiz does't try that because we don't ahve money to give him and he knows that he lives with the best source of $$ he iwll ever have.

    I wonder what he would say to a response like slsh suggested. does he actually think that saying he wasn't drunk/high means that the responses were better? Wow. Talk about delusional thinking!

    You are handling this very well. It is just fine to have the love be a more theoretical kind of thing than an actual feeling. In fact, in my opinion that is a totally rational response to his behavior toward you.
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So truel

    "Son, if you were not high when you said and did what you said and did, well.... then we really have a bigger problem to deal with."

    I am NOT saying to say this to difficult child .... Just is what I was thinking and agree with the others who are saying that. He wouldn't probably see the logic in that ..... yet...

    There is always hope, but this time... it is on YOUR time table.
  20. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I thinkyour plan to let it sit and only respnd to positive contacts is a good one. If he is still denying his poor behavior toward you then trying to "talk things out" is futile. Also, responding sarcastically might just esculate things back into contempt. Let it go, just keep hitting the ball back into his court.