The latest update. Long...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CrazyinVA, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Things have come to a head, and I feel I need to steel myself for some of the "toughest love" I've ever had to dish out. You all have given me many strengthening words in the past week, and I'd like to share here what happened, because I think some of you can relate to the GFGness of it.

    Youngest was back in the hospital Saturday, after being discharged Friday. Suspected another kidney stone, and another bad Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The doctor recommended her admission. I stayed with the grandson most of the day Saturday, while her boyfriend was at the ER with her and getting her admitted. This was not a problem for me.

    There was a heated phone call between the boyfriend and me, where I told him to step up to the plate. He had been planning to go visit his family in Florida for Thanksgiving, and leave his sick, pregnant, girlfriend... NOT COOL.. I told him I would NOT put my Thanksgiving weekend plans on hold to take care of Youngest so that he could go away. He whined about his responsibilites as the "breadwinner" and not being able to miss work (didn't miss a single day while she was in the hospital last week) and how he hadn't seen his family since last Christmas, and I said, "welcome to adulthood. You don't get to see your out of town parents as often when you have your own family. I certainly didn't." He thinks that his sole job in this is to work and earn money to "put food on the table." Gah. I reminded him that right now they're living off of her foodstamps, he's not putting food on the table anyway (why not be literal?!) I also told him that as far as I could tell, he'd done NOTHING to help in the past week, because everyone else had stepped in. He said, if "people are there to help, why shouldn't I go to work?" Point. Missed.

    Anyway. Fast forward to that evening and the following:

    Youngest called me at 10:30 pm: "I have to leave the hospital. I can't stay here. I'm going to have a seizure."[translation: she's so upset she'll have one]

    I say, "whaat? Why would you leave if you're going to have a seizure? Don't you need to be there if you have a seizure? What are you talking about?"

    "I have to go! You don't understand! Are you going to pick me up or not?"

    "What?! No, I'm not going to pick you up.. tell me what's going on ... "

    "They're calling the doctor, and I'm leaving. If you won't pick me up, I'll find someone else!" CLICK.

    I am beyond.. something. Angry? Upset? Confused? I decide to go to bed and turn my phone off. Except, I can't bering myself to turn the phone off. So of course, it rings again.

    "Are you coming to get me or NOT?"

    "What's going on? I can't answer that until I know what's going on."

    "It's none of your... just come get me! Are you coming? They've already given me discharge papers... I can't do this (sob) ... are you coming?!"

    "What is going on? Tell me why you're leaving? I'm worried your medications are making you irrational..." [Ambien + pain medications = severe emotional otubreaks, at least in Oldest)

    "OK, mom. You're just a piece of S*** mom, everyone says so, even our pastor. I can't believe you won't come get me."


    I am stunned, what the heck just happened?! What is WRONG with her? I'm having flashbacks to New Years Eve 2005 when Oldest pulled a similar stunt, calling me from the hospital while screaming at the nurses to discharge her AMA. I didn't go that time.

    The phone rings again. I answer (yeah, glutton for punishment).

    Sobbing. "Mom, please come get me."

    I ask again WHY she is leaving ... she says,

    "I can't stay here. I'm so worried about Grandson, and I can't sleep and I'm getting twitches, and they aren't doing anything for me here they can't do at home, just giving me IV fluids.. I dont' want to be here. I want to go. Dr. E said I could go, I talked to him. "

    I said, "don't you think it would have been nice if you'd told me all this in your FIRST phone call instead of DEMANDING I come get you?"

    "I'm sorry. I'm just so upset. Will you come get me?"

    "Fine. Have them take you to the front door of the hospital, I'm not coming in.. I'm in my pajamas and in bed, I need to get dressed."

    "I'm sorry, I didn't know you were asleep."

    "I"ve been asleep for 3 hours" (a half-truth.. I just just woken up after 3 hours of sleeping on the couch .. and was on my way to bed).

    So, I picked her up. The hospital is 5 minutes from my house, or quite honestly, I might not have. I probably should have not have.

    It turns out that her boyfriend went to work last night.. and left Aidan in the care of a neighbor. That set her off, partly.

    I picked her up, but couldn't stop crying at the ... absurdity, cruelty, unfreakingbelievable selfishness of it all. Mad at myself for picking her up anyway, and mad at her for treating me so badly. Youngest kept saying, "don't cry mom. I'm sorry." I told her I was incredibly hurt... she said, "I'm hurt too." I said, "well this isn't about you." She huffed.

    I can honestly say I felt my heart breaking in that moment. I do not deserve to be treated that way, period. How dare she call me a piece of **** mom. It hit me that this will not change, ever, unless I stop it. Period. No more hoping/waiting for appreciation. It's not coming. I mean, I knew that, but in that moment.. those words ringing in my ears.. it was just clearer than ever before. I've let it go on far too long.

    The walls need to go up.. and it will get worse before it gets better, I know. I have to find a way to let go of what other people might think of me when I refuse to help her, people that don't know the entire situation. I don't want to cut things off completely, for my grandson's sake .. but I need to figure out the lines, and just become a complete b**** at times.

    So, that's that. Thanks for reading, again.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  2. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    You do not deserve to be treated so badly and I'm sorry that difficult child manipulated you into picking her up, after calling you names. I undertand that tunnel vision thinking (that she had to get out of there NOW), as my difficult child has done that too, in desperation. I hope you are able to find that "fine line" and hold up to those boundaries. I still have trouble with that one, so if you find the secret, please let me know.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Crazy, I'm so sorry. It was easier for me, I think. When Rob was ungrateful like that, he was UNGRATEFUL all the time----no coming to me later with apologies----so it was easier for me to get fed up and stay fed up.

    Somehow you need to find the resolve to NOT answer the phone after one of these conversations so that she can feel the full effect of her words. What would help you? Any ideas?

  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I'm sorry you had such a hurtful situation. You did not deserve what your difficult child was dishing out. If you can resolve ahead of time to cut off communication when it becomes abusive - name calling, yelling, threats, whatever it might be - and make yourself unavailable, it would send a strong message. I have found that talk does nothing in these situations; action is the only thing that gets through. I spent years trying to explain to my difficult child that he shouldn't say certain things to me and he ignored me; the day I stopped the car and made him get out and walk home when he called me a bad name, he took me seriously.

    If phone calls are one of the ways your difficult child draws you in and upsets you, perhaps you could try rehearsing your response - something along the lines of 'I'm hearing abuse. We'll talk another time, when you can be civil.' Click. Unplug the phone/turn off the cell phone.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry. You are in a very bad position right now. I think what you said to the boyfriend was dead on. What a jerk. I dont know how you are going to find that strength with the girls but I think you just found your line in the sand.
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thought I replied to this last night, but it didn't stick.

    I think the only thing to do is "practice." I don't have to answer each time she calls. I can hang up the phone when the abusive language starts. I think keeping those words, as painful as they are, in my head will also help, for the short-term, at least, when similar situations come up.

    Right now, she is being overly nice to me. Part of me feels like I'm simply waiting for the "next time," and that hoovers. I feel like I need to be ready when it comes, and that's putting me on edge, not wanting to be blindsided ... must get past that.

    I made an appointment with an old therapist, who knows both me and Youngest from back in Youngest's high school crisis days. Told her I needed a "tune-up," and she was happy to oblige.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    CinVa, I'm glad to hear that you're seeing your therapist for a "tune-up". I love that term, by the way, as it really sums it up.

    I think that having canned responses prepared ahead of time will help tremendously. That way, you're not on the spot when your difficult child calls you and drops you in it. The nasty name calling is totally unacceptable at any time and deserves to be met with a wall of silence.

    As for the other stuff, it seems that your Oldest is Passing the Panic. My difficult child and Step-D both do this, and I've dealt with others who do as well. They're riled up and panicking about something, and they phone you in a dither, wanting to pass the panic on to you. Once you have it, they no longer have to deal with it and can relax. If you refuse to pick it up, then they have to deal with it and find a solution independently.

    I have a client who's like that. I recently got a frantic phone call from her at home at 7:30 am. I just said, "Mrs. B, if you continue to yell at me, I will hang up the phone and not take your calls anymore." She calmed down, but if she had yelled one more time I would have hung up. Same line works on my children. I wonder if it would also work with your daughter.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Crazy, I just posted this link to a newbie but it's good for all of us to be reminded now and then.

    Like I said on the thread in 2006, I wrote a list of noncommittal responses and kept them by the phone....for years. It really helped(s).

  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was just looking at that the other day, Suz. I think I need to print it out and highlight parts :p
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I tend to get caught up in thinking I need to jump at everything Cory wants me to do. I dont want to displease him. How stupid is that? I have to remind myself all the time that I am not his doormat nor am I a lap dog who is here to do his bidding. I dont have to go running at his every call. I have the right to say no. I am getting better. I didnt go get him sunday so he could come play online He does know that if he ever cussed me out to try to sway me it would not work anymore. Now he tries pleas. That is working less and less. I found where I lost my backbone.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    That senerio could have been Nichole and I while she was pregnant. Actually, it brought on a lot of memories that I'd tucked away determined to forget. lol:faint:

    I can see both good and bad in this senerio. (this is what I have to do with Nichole sometimes)

    Good is that she was worried about grandson and about the neighbor watching him. I'm guessing she doesn't know/trust neighbor enough for such trust and was reacting as a protective mother. Albeit under medications, so might have been over reacting.

    She did talk with doctor before leaving.

    She did apologize. (so many difficult children would never think to do so)

    Now I'll start off as saying I'd have probably handled the phone call the way you did, and have done so many times with Nichole in the past. I also would go and get her. Although being me, I'd have had to talk it thru to help her find better ways of handling the situation either when I'd picked her up or later.

    Now. I'm getting that you don't know of all that is going on here? So I'm guessing difficult child hasn't filled in the details that led up to this.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate just a tad. Obviously boyfriend decided that work was more important than leaving their child with someone she trusts. She's in the hospital, hurting, sick, probably already worried to death over the situation. Plus on pain medications ect......which can alter your responses even NOT mixed with other medications. She panics -- could also be due to medications/illness/pain---calls you.......and the rest we know.

    Ok. She definately handled it lousy. And she hurt the very person she wanted/needed to help her. When Nichole does this I take the time to point it out to her because she didn't always realize that is what she was doing until forced to look at her behavior. Nichole had to work really hard to stop such behavior.

    As a person with chronic renal failure and waaaayyyy too many kidney issues of my own......I can tell you when you're sick with it and in major infection/stones.....what comes out of your mouth is often not reasonable to any other human being. No I'm not defending her....just sort of, I dunno, I read that and thought to myself of the times that being in that much pain and that sick I'd reacted similarly. One incident with my own mother came immediately to mind and I'll be honest and say I was downright vicious with her. What she'd done to cause my reaction was wrong, but I had went way over the top in my response to it.

    Like I said, I'm not defending the way she treated you at all. Just saying other factors other than simple gfgdom probably had a part in it.

    With Nichole we as an entire family had to ban together and refuse to do anything for her unless she could treat us respectfully. That was a very hard lesson for her to learn, and a very painful one. Because she really didn't see the behavior until we banned together and started pointing it out to her. And it's a behavior I haven't seen in a while. (thank goodness)

    I know difficult child chose to get pregnant. And I know you don't agree with that decision. And I understand that. But she is pregnant regardless, ill, with a boyfriend that keeps dropping the ball, is over stressed, hormonal...... Just might help you to not take her lashing out so personally if you can keep those things in mind.

    She needs to drink water and lots of it. Make sure she cleans that area well after sex. No bubble baths. Wipe front to back. And get doctor to finding out what her stones are made of so she can avoid those foods in her diet to reduce the chances of creating future stones. Each stone and infection is causing damage to her kidneys, damage that can't be undone.

    Your posts remind me why I keep praying Nichole holds off on getting pregnant in the near future.

  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, it didn't take long for the **** to hit the fan again. I was a dinner with a friend tonight, and Youngest called my cell phone. I didn't answer. I then received 4 texts in a row:

    "I was gonna ask u for help I'm really sick"
    "But I'm sure ur out and about"
    "Sad I can't call my mom and ever just ask for some help."
    And that's not bein selfish that's normal."

    Now, for all she knew I could have been in the bathroom, or taking out the trash. I wasn't going to put up with it again. So, I sent a quick text back:

    "when you are able to communicate without insults & assumptions I'll be more apt to help. Turning off my phone and will be free in about an hour keep me posted."

    Then, I turned it off and did my best to enjoy dinner with my friend. I knew the onslaught was coming, and I was right. When I turned it back on, there were 5 more texts waiting for me:

    'You are selfish I won't be there for thanksgiving nor do I think I'll be at your birthday"
    "Threatening to turn off your phone bc I called your bluff and said I was hurt"
    "U have some real thinking to do ab family values I showed my neighbor who's a mom what I sent and what you sent back and she said"
    "It's unbelievable..and for a pastor to say u are treatin me horrible and living a selfish life is bad"
    "I shoulda never startd talkin w you again I'm finished until u change.. glad ur phones off I'm sure ull be embarrassed I'm txtin u"

    Sigh. I debated a long time how/what/if to reply. Talked it over with my friend a bit. Finally, I sent this:

    "as long as you keep saying hateful & hurtful insults I will not engage in conversation with you. Call when you can be respectful. Love you."

    Of course she texted back:

    "Your loss and I think you need to take a look at the big picture"
    "there's a diff by the way truth and disrespect."

    I thought I sent one last text telling her to call when she was ready to be civil, and that I wouldn't keep texting.. but it's not in my "sent" so it must not have gone through. Maybe just as well. I've not heard another word from her.

    I'm trying very hard not to call her. I want to say," this would have turned out so differently had you simply left a voice mail or text asking me to call you back. How do you know I wasn't in the bathroom?" Of course, it would help it I really *was* in the bathroom and out to dinner.. because it would have made my point more clearly... but, there's nothing wrong with my being out to dinner, anyway.

    I am concerned about just how sick she is, but on the other hand, she certainly was able to summon up the energy to send nasty text messages, wasn't she?

    This is SO HARD. Do I try to communicate again tonight? Tomorrow? Do I wait it out? Nothing seems like a good option.. except I know I can't put up with it any longer.

    God help me.
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    When she ignores your request and her abuse increases with each and every text, I say TURN YOUR PHONE OFF FOR AT LEAST A DAY.

    Do NOT write her back. Enjoy your friend.

    I think your responses were very good....remember that every text (or cluster of texts) does not require a response.

    I know that her illness complicates this. But regardless, her attitude and behavior are simply intolerable.

  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I broke down and left her a voice mail, saying pretty much what I wanted to say above. I don't expect to hear back from her, she doesn't get over these things quickly. I will try to turn off my phone.. but I'm find that very difficult. I want to believe she'll call back and be sorry.. but.. it's highly unlikely. I most definitely will not contact her again tonight. I'll think about tomorrow, tomorrow.

    I really hope this doesn't ruin my Thanksgiving.. but I suppose I'll live.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Crazy you did the right thing and said the right things. It still hurts. It hurts because you shouldn't have to remind your own kid that you've cared for since birth to treat you with kindness and respect, most especially when she needs/wants something.

    But the kid has got to learn. And this is the only way she can. You're not asking for anything unreasonable. This is childish temper tantrum behavior because she can't get what she wants the moment she wants it, nor can you read her mind. She has got to see the real world doesn't work this way.

    Still stinks to the max though.

    Lasted edited by : Nov 24, 2009
  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    This is classic borderline manipulation. She could have a cold and make it out to be something way worse simply because you didn't answer right away. You have no way of knowing how sick she really is, but the doctor did release her from the hospital. If she's that sick, she can call an ambulance. Or get her "wonderful" neighbor to give her a ride. I'm assuming this is the same neighbor that she was worried about watching her son?

    She's using her health to manipulate you. She's using other people who don't know the whole situation to back her up and make you the bad guy.

    You can't buy into this. Reality is going to have to be forced onto her. There are consequences for actions.

    My money says she'll call you again within a week...when she needs something else.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    OK, first off...

    Good for you!

    Next. I hate the text message garbage. And what kind of a Pastor tells her that? I'm with Suz, turn off the phone if you can't resist picking it up. Maybe block her texts? Is there a way to block texts and not calls? The thing with the texts is, they think that they are being soooo clever and that because you can't yell at them right this second it's not going to hurt anyone as much. Sadly, the texts are on your phone forever.

    Just keep telling yourself "this isn't about difficult child". This is about you being treated with the respect and dignity that you deserve. She has neighbors and boyfriend's and Pastors all waiting at her beck and call. She's not going to die if you don't answer her snotty text.

    {{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}
  18. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    And in her world, it IS "normal" behavior and will continue to be until YOU change. She will not change until you change how you respond (or don't) respond to her.

    Easier said than done, I know. Yet, that IS how it will be done.

    Shutting the phone off the first time will be extremely diiffcult, but you and she will survive. She plays you like a piano with the whole "pastor" business. I highly doubt it is true. Daughter used to try that with me "all my friend's Moms think you're a horrible Mother" (yeah, like I care...well, maybe a twinge but then I let it go) ****.

    Sending you strengthing hugs to resist her manipulation.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If she was well enough to run to her neighbor to show off your awful texts, she wasnt real sick!

    Ignore her awhile.
  20. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all. Last night was really tough. This morning, I feel slightly better, but the tears are just beneath the surface. I'm glad we'll probably close early at work today.

    I do think that the references to the pastor are manipulative and exaggerated. He saw her in the hospital last week, and she gave him her spiel, and called me to say he thought I was selfish, mixed up friends with family, was probably afraid to die alone, yada yada yada. I suspect that in his attempts to make her feel better, he said some things that she blew wildly out of context. We've known this man for years, he knows all the history. He and I do disagree on things and I do think that he can be judgmental, particularly for a pastor, but I also think that given both sides of a situation, he is a reasonable man. Last week I suggested we meet with him together, she didn't respond. When we're speaking again, I'll suggest it again.

    A friend pointed out to me that her behavior last night is exactly what her ex-boyfriend (very abusive, physically, verbally, emotinoally) used to do to her back when they were together, the barrage of text messages and phonecalls when he didn't get his way. Very interesting.

    It's going to be very difficult for me not to reach out, especially because of Thanksgiving (I have a turkey and tons of food to cook.. don't even know now if they're coming over?!) I'm also a "fixer" .. I can't stand to let "the sun go down on anger" etc... I want things to be smoothed over quickly, or to at least open up a dialogue quickly. The trick is to not let that dialogue be at my expense. I will probably send a voice mail, email, something tonight to invite to Thanksgiving again... because that feels right to me... but will also steel myself for the possibility that they won't be here. The good news is, I have two different Thanksgiving feasts I can attend so I won't be alone.. friends that have opened their homes to people without family in town. Of course, Oldest may come over still, we'll see, unless she decides to join the "we hate mom" bandwagon for now.

    I will say this re the texts: the only positive is that I have documentation of the abusive, manipulative behavior. I typed them up from my phone inbox .. which is how I pasted them here (and in my online journal) Someone else wrote about this recently .. in the heat of the moment when words are spoken, it's too easy to forget what was said, with texts/emails, I 'll never forget. Not in order to dwell on the words and actions, mind you, but to go back and remind myself of (1) what NOT to tolerate or, (2) how far things have come when they *do* get better. That perspective has helped me in the past. This is why I journal, also, it's documentation of everything that has happened to me and my children since 2002. A heck of a story, really.

    Thanks, again. I may be here more often than I've been in the past, because your words of wisdom really do help keep me strong in this. I'm so glad you're here, even if it also makes me sad that your understanding has come through your own pain and epxerience.