Trying hard to not answer the phone

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Alaska, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    Tomorrow is my son’s 26th Birthday. He hadn’t called for a few days, but he has called 4 times today and he actually left a message. He said that his older brother promised he would hang out with him tomorrow but he won’t answer his phone, he does not remember his little brothers phone number and he has not talked to his Dad in weeks and he just wanted to know if I remembered that tomorrow is his birthday…. He is the one that I told you all about last week that keeps calling because he is now at the homeless shelter. His older brother, also my son age 32, is a meth head and has been flopping where-ever for years. He is a journey plumber but refuses or can’t hold a job. He recently posted some horrible stuff to me on my face book because I have recently cut him off too. He could usually count on me for about 100 bucks a month or so. But he started threaten to go talk to my husband’s family because he feels like they have money and the he is entitled to it somehow so I blocked his number and then had to block Facebook from him. I am always looking over my shoulder because I don’t trust him. My youngest child is 22, he is resourceful but unfortunately I am still one of his resources, he does work, plays organized sports and he is the less of 3 evils, I have decided that I have to cut all 3 of them off and now so I will not be answering his calls for a long time either. So bottom line, I have 3 sons that all have about the same problem and they all believe I owe them. I actually was married to their father until 4 years ago, we did not even divorce until the youngest graduated high school! But they played me against their father, which was easy because their father is a pot head that could always find a good reason not to work, usually using the kids needing parenting as an excuse. I have been in the military for the last 28 years to support them all. I have found a great man who has some pretty great kids, the 2 left at home are 9 and 10. My grown kids seem jealous and resentful that I have turned my attention to them. They make me feel guilty every minute of the day. I have to be honest, I helped create this mess because I just gave them money so they would go away. The middle son has called 4 times since I started typing this and also called my old office and begged someone there to give him my number. I don’t know what to do. I am finding it very hard to enjoy my life at all.
     
  2. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Alaska- first of all, thank you serving our country. My Middle son and my daughter both served in Iraqi Freedom.

    Yeah kids are pretty good at emotional manipulation. But don't buy into it. YOU owe them nothing- they are adults. YOU gave them shelter, food, clothing, financial support to get out in the world on their own. They start throwing this at you- tell them it's time to put their big boy panties on and get on with their life. What they are doing is emotional bullying. Been down that road. I refuse to allow to eat the crap on a spoon they try to serve me. YOU didn't create this mess, they are adults, you gave them some financial assistance to get out on their own. We all have done that.

    YOU need to start living for you young Lady. Detach, read the detachment document here. It is very inspiring. I read it and it propelled me to such a good place. I no longer am able to be made to feel guilty about any and all decisions I made with Difficult Child. I made those decisions at the time that I thought was best.

    I would text him his brothers phone number and I would text him happy birthday. That's it. I wouldn't answer the phone calls for a while. I once did 6 months of tough love with Difficult Child. It was hard but got easier as time went by. I was able to recharge my batteries, my mental and emotional health got better. I was so tired and just felt so used up. Years later, Difficult Child told me, Mom that was the best thing you did for me, stop taking my calls. It made me grow up. Well, he did grow up for a while, then fell into a bad crowd and slid. But he is at a good place now, years later.

    Time to start living for you. YOU did your job as a parent. YOU don't owe them anything.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Alaska, can you change your phone number? Make sure none of your sons have keys that fit your locks.

    I assume your step kids are good to you. It makes sense to want to be around nice people.

    Don't feel guilty.
     
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is sweet.

    Somewhere in there are the boys you raised. Let us pray they find a way to be good men the three of them, but a mother cannot help them now. They are men. They need to find their own way.

    I agree with the others. Do whatever it takes to establish firm boundaries. Then, once you feel like you have regained control, little by little you can loosen up based upon your terms.

    For each son, you need to decide what you can take and what you cannot take. How much, when, etc. In my case it began with no disrespect, no conspiracy theories. And then it went from there: You have to work full time, no marijuana at all, pay rent, study, etc. My son is living with me now. It is hard to believe it but once I took control, he started shaping up.

    Do not feel guilty. Nobody was a perfect mother. We did the best we can. But most of all, we do not help them by letting them walk over us. And surely we do not help ourselves. Your sons need to see you strong, enjoying your life, setting limits with them. If you let them walk all over you--they will never learn to take on challenges and to rule themselves.

    Take care.
     
  5. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    Thanks guys. I just feel like there is no way he can make it and that he will die for sure. But I know if I try to help he will never try to help himself. He never has. It is so heartbreaking
     
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You may know this, or not. Right or wrong I kicked my son out when he was 23--who is mentally ill, had a brain injury, and has a chronic illness which requires treatment. Subsequently, he was hospitalized for suicidality multiple times, and was homeless in 4 different counties.

    I have no doubt I did the right thing. I should have done it sooner, in fact.

    Might he die? Yes. But that is always the case with a child, impaired or not. The surest way he can get strong, is to face his life. Especially, if he has serious challenges, because that is the only way he can live to his full potential.

    Once he hits bottom, and decides he wants to conform and to succeed, you can allow him back into your life on what ever terms you decide. Or not. But if he is not doing anything for himself--working, studying, seeking treatment, taking responsibility--I do not see what your choices are.

    If you keep him near you, without conditions, you as if condone his lack of motivation and unproductive and/or dangerous choices.
     
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  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We CANNOT write the end of the story. That is THEIRS to write, and theirs alone.
    It took me a long time to "get" this. Hubby is still trying to wrap his head around it.
    As long as we try to control the story... they don't GET to grow up. And they NEED to grow up.
    The story belongs to them. THEY write the ending.

    I had to move from a "push" mode to a "pull" mode... instead of me pushing advice and care, my kids had to start pulling it out of me when THEY felt it was needed.
    I had to move from talking, to listening; from having the answers to giving them questions to think about.
    I had to get over the idea that their world revolves around ME. Because, really, once they hit school age, it doesn't - ever again - revolve around Mom.

    And yes, it's really hard when we know that the ending of the story could be the ending we don't want. But we can't prevent it, really. We can only help if THEY want help.
     
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  8. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    Good point. No he does not try at all ever. Last time he was at the shelter a few years ago. He talked me into buying him a giant bag of Tobacco and Rolling papers so that he could sell cigarettes to the other homeless population. I was stupid and that almost got him stabbed to death. Now he has no phone or anything and he is calling me from the shelters phone. I am not going to answer it. His message sounded like a 10 year old.... When he was living with his father his brother use to guilt me into send groceries to him. And I would. So so stupid
     
  9. karisma

    karisma Member

    I used to feel the same way about my son dying for sure. Actually, when he was 7, his play therapist told me I need to consider him terminally ill and that she would be surprised if he made it to his 18th birthday. I've spent 20 years totally obsessed with this fear. But he made it 8 years past his 18th so.... Who knows? Its amazing how long some of these kind of mentally ill homeless people make it. I see middle aged people like this all the time on the train. I want to keep hope but I also accept that he will die before me.
     
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    God bless you and thank you for your service!

    Your kids would find something else to hold against you even if you weren't with this new guy and his kids.
    You have stopped the gravy train, you closed the ATM of mom. That is what they are angry about, they will just use this new guys kids as an excuse to try and make you feel guilty. DO NOT allow them to have control over your emotions. You have done nothing to feel guilty about.

    Been there, done that, have the T-Shirt as well as many others here. We crossed the line from "helping" to enabling. My husband and I bought a house for our son to live in just so we didn't have to have him live with us. Just because we crossed the line from helping to enabling does not absolve our d-c's from taking responsibility for their own lives. The important thing is you realize it's not in their best interest or yours to continue.

    If it were me, I would send him a text wishing him a Happy Birthday and that you love him. Short and sweet.
    I prefer to communicate with my son via PM on Facebook or text. It allows me to keep my emotions in check, it allows me time to really think about my responses to him.
    If he continues to call and call, again, I would send him a text telling him that if he continues that you will block his number.

    Hang in there Alaska.
     
  11. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    Well I did post Happy Birthday on his Facebook page. Not sure he will ever see it because he no longer has a phone. But if he ever gets back there I guess it will be there. His dad was paying for his cell service and I guess after he cut him off my son was just using it to communicate thru Internet. But he ended up taking a bunch of pills at a party and getting kicked out and picked up by the cops so he does not have that any longer... I have one but if I give it to him that is the same as saying he can contact me which is the same as saying I will continue to support him. This really is like a death and is really hard. Especially today. He was such a cute little boy
     
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