Wondering how to detach?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    For the people wondering about how to detach more from your adult kids, here is the latest response from my mother about my situation. She has it down pat.

    Oh- and although she doesn't want either of us there and she never visited difficult child in Department of Juvenile Justice and she hasn't seen him in about 2+ years, she asked me to tell difficult child "she can't wait to see him again" the next time I talk to him. My mother is all about giving a false sense of caring and being there if needed.

    Now, if I called her a month from now and said difficult child and I were sleeping in the car, she would call CPS and/or someone in the family to take difficult child. Never mind that I was NOT a moocher on her or a difficult child in the sense of what we all deal with on this board. I had asked her a couple of months ago (before filing BR), to let me stay there temporarily and look for a job and I could help her with these projects on her house and pay her some (out of the money I ended up using for BR), and she said no. This was after spending weeks telling me difficult child and I should come there. Then, I almost begged and let her know it was a little more desparate situation and she basicly said "sorry- she has her own problems". So, instead of using the money I had left to go there and look for any kind of work and get an apt., then filing for BR once I started getting paychecks, I went ahead and did it in order to buy me more time in this house so I wouldn't be sleeping in the car.

    She better never try to get me on that law where adult kids have to take care of their parents. LOL!

    If anyone has any ideas how I should respond to her email, please let me know. Oh- I was being somewhat facetious (sp) about detaching and this being a suggestion about this method. Personally, I think it's preferable to be honest about the whole thing rather than give a false sense that you are there for a person then make up excuses about why you can't help.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  2. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Well, how about, "Mom, I'm glad you were able to get all those problems fixed. Sounds like you've had a terrible time! I'm sure difficult child would love to hear from you. His e-mail address is......"

  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Here you go!

    "Mom! It was great hearing from you! I'm sorry I haven't gotten to your e-mail, but I've been a little busy what with all the publicity and all. Whoever said that "you've gotta be in it to win it" wasn't joking!


    That'll mess with her BIG TIME!

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    LOL! That even messed with me!!

    difficult child is in detention so has no access to email. And I monitor their communication some when he can have it because I know she tends to tell him how much she'd love to see him and can't wait, but then always has an excuse of why she can't or it's not a good time. difficult child is not an idiot- not wise maybe but not an idiot. He doesn't know this part but really, her excuse this summer has been that she was trying to sell her house and no one could be there when the realtor came thru to show it to potential buyers. Even after I assured her that I understood (I've been thru that myself) and I would make sure difficult child, the dogs, and I left in ample time for a showing, she just said it wasn't a good time and she was happy to hear that I understood but she was already committed to having the house on the market by the end of May. FWIW, it isn't on the market yet. And it isn't just her fears about difficult child- he's been in detention since May so if I had come there for a few weeks this summer just to have a place to sleep while job hunting so I didn't have to pay for a hotel room, difficult child would not have been with me.

    And it still kills me that this is the same woman who will call saying she absolutely has to know what's going on with difficult child because she's in a panic over how much she loves him and will HAVE to make phone calls if I don't tell her and "I should remember, she has grandparent's rights". I tried to make it clear to her that grandparent's rights meant she had a right to communicate with him and visit him, not control my life or how I raised him and she is the one who said she couldn't make it for over a year to visit him so I am not quite sure what she thought she was owed or could accomplish.
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    K===I have a toxic mother. I have pretty much detached from her life. I call her once a week. I see her maybe once a month, and she lives less than a mile from me. I just can't take her koi. No one on earth has problems as big as her problems. She asks for my advice about financial matters---and then does the opposite. She thinks she is brilliant but is gullible beyond belief and is constantly falling for some new get rich scheme or easy way to make a buck---I have been her parent since I was about 12. You do not have to communicate with her at all. Why would you? I would not respond. I would not send her a forwarding address when you know where you're going. Use a cell phone to call when you do. Keep communication to a minimum. My mother knows very little about my life---only what I want her to know---and it makes it easier on me.
  6. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    My response would be:

    Hi mom. Thanks for your email. It seems that things have been crazy hectic for you between the trim around the thermostat, having to call for someone to fix your garage door, and having to wait for a computer repair. We're glad that you finally managed to find time to drop us a line. It's always nice to hear from you when you have a few spare moments.

    We definitely relate to being busy on our end. Between trying to find a new job in this economic meltdown amongst so many people going through the same thing, and delaying the loss of my home I have loved and paid so much into over the years, and trying to find a new place that is suitable for difficult child, and selling off all our stuff to afford the move, and worrying about where to send the dogs if I can't find a landlord willing to let me keep them and .... (insert more stuff until you are done). Well, between all that activity, I'm worried we might have seen negligent in staying in touch with you lately. It was kind of nice to get your message and to be able to realize that you too have been swamped with so much on your plate so probably haven't had the time to notice we've been busy too.

    I do hope you don't have to worry about calling any more repair men etc. I imagine the stress must be high with all your stuff breaking down.

    I will certainly pass along to difficult child that you hope to see him soon. I hadn't realized until now that its been more than 2 years since you two had a visit. We'll have to hope that another 2 years don't pass. That would be a crying shame.

    We may be out of touch for a while as we're going through some pretty big transitions right now, as you know. So much is up in the air. About the only certainty that difficult child and I have right now is that we have each others backs, we're in this together and are there for each other as we try to rebuild an entirely new life from the ashes of our old ones. If only I'd lost it all (job, home, life as I know it) from my own doing, instead of this wretched economic depression. Then I could kick myself instead of just being one of the millions that are struggling to survive.

    Given that we've got alot to get done and sorted, we may be in touch only sporatically for the coming months. Rest assured you're in our thoughts and we truly hope to be kept in touch about your welfare as well.

    I do hope you get all that trim painting finished. Nothing worse than trim that sticks out or isn't completed!

    Speak to you when we have a chance mom. Thank you for taking time to get in touch. We appreciated your little message and your expressions of concerns for our well being.

    xo Klmo
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Word it nicely (use her tactic back) but don't reveal your own actions/needs movements beyond what she already knows. Also use this to minute her own inability to help you despite earlier offers. A sort of "Good to hear from you, Mom, it seems we've all been going through difficult times.
    I was sorry you were unable to let me come and stay after all, especially after you seemed so excited at the idea when you proposed it [give dates]. Of course I understand how difficult it could have been, with the need to show the house and all. Have you been able to put it on the market yet? Maybe if I had been able to stay with you, I could have helped you reach your own deadline after all.

    I am so glad you said you can't wait to see difficult child - he will be so glad, he was beginning to wonder if your life was just too hectic to fit in time for him; time can go by so fast, and already two years have flown by! Let me know when you want to see him, so we can put some plans in place to help. He will have grown out of all recognition when you see him!"

    You get the idea...

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I like these ideas! I think I'll compose an email to her tonight after doing today's list of stuff and visiting difficult child.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Have you told her that you are not keen on her less than honest/less than genuine approach with you?
    Not sure it would help though.
    It sounds somewhat fear based.
    Maybe she just doesn't trust herself. Perhaps she has had great sorrows in her past and is detaching in a rather extreme way.
    No matter, your request for honesty is reasonable.
    If she were to say, for example, that at this time in her life she likes her peace and quiet and could have you and difficult child over for dinner or might visit you, but is not interested in visiting difficult child due to his behaviors....you would understand this. But to say something, and mean something else, makes a person feel devalued.
    I would tell her she is free to be honest with you, that you wont judge her and in fact, that honesty would strength your relationship. If this doesn't work...perhaps consider limiting your time with her....do the 'cordial' thing right back at her.
    Give her a chance....don't try to force her to do things she doesn't want to do. But asking for a lttle more honesty seems fair. If it doesn't work out...I wouldn't be overly concerned about it. Think about any relationships you have that are healthy/close/genuine and step up your energy/time with those people.
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My instinct after reading it was NOT to respond at all. But that's me, it's how I deal with my toxic brother. Responding only fuels the fire and leads to a "who gets the last word" sort of email chain, and it's SO not worth it for me.

    If it were me, I'd be the one detaching from HER ... accept I couldn't count on her, figure something else out, and move on. Easier said than done, though, I know.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Love Marg's letter....
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I liked Marg's letter too- kind of taking some of the others' responses and putting it across a little differently. Crazy, I have to respond at some point, although I didn't do it yet, because she will end up calling legal people if I don't "keep her informed" about difficult child. She is not a typical mother- not even a typical difficult child mother. If I laid out all I remember from my childhood, well let's just say that the only person that has even believed it was my therapist from my early 20's. My mother takes dysfunction to a whole new level. LOL! That doesn't mean I hate her or can't see some good things about her, but she is a very warped person.

    I am so thankful I can finally access a SW or therapist thru VA who even tho probably won't still be using same techniques as military did 25 years ago, they will probably be familiar with what was used and can understand what I am saying. Plus, they can get whatever records might exist anywhere from the MH treatment while I was in the military. And knowing that they won't let this local jurisdiction dictate their diagnosis or treatment....it's just such a load off my mind! There's still more weight on my shoulders, but this avenue is the only thing that has given me hope in a long time. Otherwise, I just don't know what I would do.

    And when they (at VA) told me that I am not alone and they understand because tons of vets who have been out and doing fine for years are barely making it thru the door before doing something drastic because they have lost everything and are depressed, etc, it made me feel so much better. I guess everyone needs to feel understood, not faultless, just understood and feel like someone cares. Of course you ladies here do a great job of that, but I definitely need someone in person too, at this point.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010