Today is difficult child's birthday

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Today is difficult child's 17th birthday. I saw him last week and offered to take him out for dinner on Sunday (yesterday) for his birthday (with his Dad and sister as well). He said he wasn't working but he might have plans and he'd get back to me. Of course he never did and then when I texted him yesterday he ignored me. I called him this morning and left a message and texted him "Happy birthday." No response.

    My mom spoke to him this afternoon to wish him a happy birthday. He said he hasn't been able to text me back because it's very hard for him to text and walk at the same time. Really? Whatever. His dad texted him and he responded to his dad.

    He is just 3 weeks in to a new semester at school and has already skipped half of his classes. Guess this semester is going the same way the last one did - nowhere. But those are his choices to make.

    I'm really angry about him ignoring me like this and treating me the way he does. He was rude to my mom today too. I saw him about 2 weeks ago and he was quite pleasant - told me I was a pretty good mom, blah, blah. Then last week he mentions that he needs $475 for Arts Camp. He didn't outright ask me for it but I knew he wanted me to give him the money - maybe as a birthday present. He also lied to me about blowing the money we gave him in November for rent. He has burned through all but $300 of the money and that'll likely be gone in the next few weeks.

    Anyway, I told him that it is difficult starting out on your own and that sometimes you can't always afford to do the things you want to do. I wasn't about to give him any money. I told him I'd buy him a new pair of jeans for his birthday. I think he played me by saying those nice things to me in order to butter me up for the money. Makes me incredibly angry.

    The last few weeks I've been very sad. I think his birthday approaching was part of it. It's been very difficult letting go and realizing how much is out of my control.

    The stress is literally making me sick. I'm having panic attacks in my sleep and sometimes during the day, heart palpitations, scares the heck out of me. At least I think they are panic attacks. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to see about running some tests to rule out heart problems just to be safe. I'm also going through other health stuff and i don't think he cares at all what effect this has on me or anyone else. Up until today I've been very say - today I'm just downright angry at the way he treats me - like I'm disposable unless he wants something. Ugh! (Sorry for rambling)
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    Sending u hugs! Please try to take care of yourself. I know its hard. Our difficult children can be so frustrating and hard to deal with. Hugs Rabbit
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think our difficult child's birthdays bring up a lot of emotional stuff............the what if's, the losses, the hopes and dreams that don't get realized, dashed expectations/disappointments. It seems the feelings surface for many of us at birthday time. I can relate to all your feelings, of course, my difficult child is old enough to be your difficult child's parent, but, motherhood holds no age barriers for worrying about them, or anger at them or sorrow for them.

    Yes, so much is out of our control. I think it's a tad easier when we still believe we can "do something" impact change, keep trying to do anything to effect change. Once we realize we can't, I think all those feelings of helplessness, sorrow, fear, anger, all of it, surfaces. I think it's good you're going to the Dr. to be checked out. I hope you have a good support system in place, therapy, counseling, someone to talk to, a way to express your feelings, a place to get them out, a safe place which you feel comforted in. This is one difficult landscape you find yourself on, we just can't protect them from themselves. Sigh. I know. Hang in there, you always do the appropriate thing with your son, take care of yourself now, including being angry at him, that's appropriate too. (((HUGS))))
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry things are being so difficult for you emotionally. And that he is still being a PITA.

    In some ways I'm in awe how independent and strong-willed he is. If he could just put all that to better use. Maybe maturity will help. But that of course comes so painstakingly slowly... My easy child is just few months younger than him and he is still such a child. Even being a easy child (and very much so even with some typical teen here and there) I just can't see him surviving so independently your difficult child is doing.

    But of course his resourcefulness doesn't make it easier for you to watch him use that gift to tangle his life worse and worse. But do keep in mind that those gifts come very handy for him, when he decides to turn it another direction. And I think you have every reason to be hope he will do that one day.

    Hugs for you and happy birthday to your boy despite everything!
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I under the hurt and feeling disposable, that is exactly how I am treated by my 34yo difficult child. I am ignored on all holidays, BUT, he makes sure he contacts me on HIS birthday and Christmas.

    After his lies and conns last year I told him the money I gave him for bus tickets was his birthday present and I stuck to it. He showed his butt, threatening suicide and nasty language, when I didn't give him money in November, He had already borrowed money in October and said he would pay me back (as usual) and I told him he had to pay me back. Well, I didn't hear from him until he wanted money again.

    I'm really trired of the lies and I am not sure where he is BUT I can always buy a card and post the number on FB so he can cash it. I just don't think so!

    My difficult child actually went NC with me and then dropped me on FB after I didn't send him money for Christmas. I am very hurt and dissappointed in my son, in my opinion he is perfectly happy to be an irresponsible screw up for the rest of him life. Perfectly content to have blue spiked hair and attend every concert possible.

    I felt like my job was to be my son's 'cheering section' and I'm burned out. Please do something for yourself on his birthday and think of something positive you have in your life.

    It is really hard around holidays.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Somehow I think most of us envision a loving relationship with our adult and almost adult kids. I am still shocked that my grown easy child son is "polite" but completely devoid of the spontaneous loving spirit he used to have. I'm sorry that you are in the midst of this yucky transition. I'm crossing my fingers that the future is a pleasant surprise. Hugs DDD
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Ages 16-18 were horrible years for us to endure with our difficult child son. I, too, know the physical effects of all this stress and the impotence to change things we feel compelled to really, really want and need to change about our kid's behavior. I recall one thing our psychiatrist said when I expressed my hurt at how difficult child seemed to be particularly manipulative and cruel to me. psychiatrist said that difficult child displayed indifference and rudeness to me because his shame was magnified in my presence. He felt so guilty that he would push me away with his behavior to assuage his conscience. It may have been a good explanation, but it sure didn't make me feel any better.
    Things got better for us, but only because difficult child wanted more out of life and was willing to take tentative steps, gradually claiming responsibility for his choices.
    I know this is so hard, birthdays and holidays can be the worst. Just stand firm - we are all here for you.
  8. gsingjane

    gsingjane New Member

    Yes, absolutely echo what the others have said. Holidays and birthdays are incredibly hard. We haven't celebrated a birthday with difficult child since he left home in 2008, and he only lives a couple of hours away (in the city to which my husband commutes every day for work). Every Christmas, every Easter was dominated by his promising to come home, his postponing, his refusing, his not showing up, my crying and deep sorrow... finally I decided that I was done with expecting him to come home and I was especially done with letting him control the holidays for our entire family. I still miss him, he still doesn't show up, but it's more in line with an expectation now, rather than his behavior dominating the entire day.

    I also feel that our difficult children' demands for money are, for the most part, completely unrelated to what they actually need. My difficult child takes money to spend it on things like $40 pizza! It's almost like he takes it just to show he can. If he can manipulate money out of us, that's a win for him.

    I am practicing detachment every day. Our difficult child also has had every advantage and every new start we (or the universe!) could provide for him... he even had the new start of receiving an organ transplant, that's the biggest new beginning anyone can have! But his path is to squander his opportunities and make nothing of them, and blame everyone else for his sad and terrible life. He had the chance to make a giant course correction; even his transplant surgeon sat down with him and told him flat-out, and he ignored it. That's his road, and to us it feels, now, as if it always will be. As "Scent of Cedar" said in another post, though, this isn't how we raised him and this isn't what we taught him to do. You didn't teach your difficult child to live this way, either.

    I am sorry if I am rambling but your post really caught my heart. I hope you are feeling better and that you can find one thing that makes you happy today.
  9. Thanks everyone for your kind words. It really helps me to come here where everyone understands. It's kind of like that old tv show "Cheers". Just feels like home.

    We went to our support group on Monday night and they said I should send the following text messages to difficult child....

    "Your dad and I pay your cell phone bill so that we can keep in touch with you. We would like to hear from you. If we don't hear from you then we don't feel like there is any reason for us to continue to pay your bill."


    "I have been getting emails from your math teacher. He is concerned about your attendance and your current grade of 2%. I don't like receiving these telephone calls so I'm asking you to take care of your business."

    Once he got the first email he miraculously replied in under a minute. LOL. Lies of course about not having his phone on him most of the day and then the battery was dead, blah blah. Said he'll take care of the math thing and he did go to math class yesterday - skipped English and Drama but went to math.

    I went to the doctor yesterday and my test results came back okay. She is going to send me for a 24 hour heart monitor test to rule out any problems with my heart but she figures the palpitations are just stress. I think so too but I want to rule out anything serious.

    Thanks again everyone - support is so important for all of us.