You guys told me-- D C always come back--Please advise

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Text on my cell about an hour ago: I love you, Mom

    The area code is from the area where he currently resides.This will sound like a 7th grade girl's note, and I apologize for that, but husband and I need input.

    I have not responded. I am tempted to text, I love you too, but there is no money. I am also tempted to block this #.

    Do I just sit tight and ignore the text?

    Background: We have heard nothing from 33yo Difficult Child for over a year, except an extremely hateful text here and there.

    husband and I guess his long time girlfriend has kicked him out.

    We also guess he may show up on our doorstep in the next few days. we have no control over Difficult Child, but how do WE respond???? We do not want him back in our lives right now; he has been too hateful for too long. We are 99.99% Difficult Child has not made positive changes in his life.

    All advice from you wise warriors is appreciated.


    Thanks,
    SS
     
  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I would text back the "I love you too" but would hesitate to add the "there is no money" just so you dont start your end of the conversation off confrontational. I would stick to my guns on no money and you cant stay here though. If he remains civil in his texts, fine but if he starts to get hateful or demanding warn him that you will block the number if it continues.
     
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  3. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Sorry, meant to mention that IF he shows up on the doorstep inform him politely but firmly that he cant stay there. If he asks why, because of past behavior.
     
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I agree with Jabber, reply "I love you too" and that's all. Don't go into "there's no money".

    I love my son dearly but do not want him in my life. When I do communicate with him I keep it very simple and very brief. I have learned to not jump to any assumptions about what he might ask or be thinking. I stand firm in my resolve that IF he were to ask for money I would simply tell him no and not offer any explanation. When we try to explain "why" we can't do something for them it shows to them we feel guilty. If my son were to ask why I would simply say "I don't have any money for you".

    I know how your stomach must be in a knot getting that text but remember, it's just a text. You are not obligated to do anything for him if you don't want to.
    For me, if my Difficult Child were to show up on my doorstep I would not open the door, I would go out through the garage and I would have my phone ready to dial 911. I would ask my son what are you doing here and take it from there. I would stand firm that he is not coming in the house and I would not give him any money. I don't like that scenario but I know that's what I would have to do as I do not trust him. I will do what I have to do in order to stay safe.

    Most of all don't let your emotions get the best of you.

    ((HUGS)) to you!!!!
     
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree "Less is more." I'd also wait an hour or so before I texted back. If t here is an ulterior motive, you will find out after the text and I'd just answer any/all requests with, "You're a smart man and I'm sure you will figure it out. Got to go." Put the phone in a drawer.
    Change your locks if you haven't. Don't let him in if he could hurt you or vandalize your house or steal from you.

    Hugs. I'm so sorry.
     
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  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS, those jabs to the heart are difficult, I'm sorry you were impacted by your sons behaviors once again.

    I think Jabber and Tanya are right, a simple 'I love you too' is appropriate. And, then enforce your boundaries. As you well know, there is a grand likelihood that this is the beginning of another manipulation, and for the most part, past behavior dictates future behavior, so sharpen your tools, get your responses ready if he indeed does show up.

    He has made his bed with you, I do remember all of the nastiness he and his girlfriend brought to your door. If he apologized or in any way showed remorse, it might be a tiny opening, but the "I love you Mom" is a line most of us have heard........right before a huge manipulation begins.

    Arm yourself with what you will say and do if and when he does show up or begin a new tactic.........to my memory he has not shown any reason for you to trust him at all, so don't.

    In the meantime, go on with your life, he is not a part of it........if/when he shows up, trust yourselves to do the appropriate thing to protect yourselves. It may be a good time to hit the road tomorrow and go have lunch in a distant town........get out of Dodge and go enjoy yourselves.......whatever is going to happen is going to happen whether you worry about it or not.......stay right here in the present moment.....he's ruined enough of your moments.....don't let him take any more......

    Sending you big hugs SS. I know how creepy this all does get sometimes.........
     
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  7. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    It hadn't really hit me till just now that even just his initial text is a manipulation. Seriously, who starts a conversation like this? Hi, long time no talk, how is everybody, just to name a few are normal openers but "I love you Mom" is most definitely meant to tug at the heart strings.
     
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  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    and, this is exactly why husband and I are frozen. Thank you, all of you, for your advice. I read it to husband and we have talked about this all evening.

    I want to tell Difficult Child we love him. We do love him. But, he has sent such hateful emails/texts to us and our family. husband and I keep going back to.....IF Difficult Child has changed, he would most likely spell out what he is doing, that he does not want money, that he is okay, that he just wants to share that he loves us.

    Darn, a recent text to husband was to tell him that Difficult Child searches the paper every day for his dad's obit.

    This is scary stuff.

    After a decade+ of abuse, why does I love you, Mom mean anything?

    Most certainly, I would love to believe it does mean something. But, we have so many years of experience. I still have not texted him back that I love him, too. I DO love him.

    But....wow....husband and I have scorch scars.

    Thanks again, because we are certainly processing all of them.
     
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just read your last post SS, and if it doesn't feel good to you to text him back, then don't. Sometimes, doing nothing is exactly the right thing to do. You know what's gone down, we are only peripheral to it.......I forgot about that awful text about his Dad's obit, your husband, the man you love, his father.....that is pretty reprehensible.......I might wait on any response........if he is hanging on a response from you.......well, let him wait. You do have scars, and he has no right to open them up. You and your husband do exactly what feels right to you SS. Maybe sleep on it.

    It is scary stuff. I'm sorry for it.
     
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  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Knowing what I know now, I would be doing everything I knew to detach from my own emotions. There is truly no way you can know what this text means.

    It feels like drowning, in a way.

    You have to be cold. If he changes, if anything has changed, you will only know that over time.

    I think nothing has changed, and that he is setting you up and warning you at the same time.

    Isn't it a horrible reflection of what we go through with our kids that you could receive a text implying your child watches for your obituary and not post about it, but boy, get one that says "I love you", and we are mystified and afraid.

    And every one of us gets this, deep in our guts.

    We get it.

    I agree with Tanya. Don't play games with him, and don't fool yourselves into believing him.

    Like you tell us Seeking, stay close to the site, now.

    Cedar
     
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Dad's obit? He's looking for an inheritance? What a scary, mean thing to say.

    RE is a wise warrior.
     
  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Hi Seeking...I've missed you!

    You've gotten good advice here. At a MINIMUM wait a day or two or a week to respond. If there is real change or this is a real attempt to reach out, a single one line text won't be the end of it, he'll try again.

    We know that Difficult Child's like the "PING" of immediate feedback. Nothing healthy in engaging in that. So wait a bit.

    Listen to your spirit animal (hahah, that isn't really my thing but I kind of like it here). She is snorting and stamping in alarm, all her hair and fur standing on end. Move slowly. As RE and COM would say...doing nothing is often the best choice.

    If you really don't want him in your life...don't respond at all.

    If I were you...I would delete it to keep from perseverating over it, and see if more follows.

    But that is me. I am big on deleting troublesome texts. I am also big on denial, so those things may go hand in hand.

    Whatever is happening is OK. You will know how to handle yourselves. Relationships are long..there is no such thing as ruining them or missing an opportunity in a single moment. If he has changed and is reaching out, there will be more. If he is being manipulative, you have created space and strength and will recognize it and protect yourself.

    We are always here for you.

    Hugs to you and husband.

    Echo
     
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  13. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Darn, i texted back an I love you just before heading to bed and before waking up to more wise words from you. Your words definitely buck me up.

    husband and I will not go back there again. There is no money for D C and he absolutely cannot step foot inside our door. He does not have keys to the house. During his years of disrespecting us, we had the locks changed at least twice (and I am thinking three times).

    husband and I agree with you that he is trying to establish some kind of relationship in a very short amount of time, thinking he is laying groundwork for getting $$. I believe you are right, that waiting to text back a few days would have been smarter. And, our guts told us not to respond. But, then my fears that he might harm himself started perculating. I sent that text more to assuage my guilt should he do something drastic. I firmly believe D C is incapable of loving and does not care if his parents say they love him or not.

    With your help and with all the things husband and I have learned from experience, we will get through this. You most likely will be hearing from me a lot in the next few weeks. Though retired, i work two days a week. husband told me he wants to go to work with me today. :laugh:

    Thanks again. It is priceless to have you in my corner.

    And, if Difficult Child texts again, I won't respond, at least for a long while. I know I wouldn't answer a phone call.
    Unless Difficult Child ever changes, husband and my lives are much, much, much sweeter without him.

    SS
     
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  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi SS, glad you are here. I so understand being hooked by any type of communication from them after a long period of silence. We relax into the blessed silence and then...here they are again. Ugh. What to do? The feelings and the adrenaline are urgent which makes us itchy to engage.

    I so understand. Learning to wait is a hard hard thing. I agree with all that not projecting any assumptions at all onto his words. Past history pushes into your mind but who knows? Proceed cautiously.

    The good news is he is alive. We are always so glad to know that and at times, that is all I wanted or needed to know. Now you know that. I am glad he said I love you. Take it at face value for what it says and means. It is good to know he loves you.

    Now relax into this if you can. Who knows what might happen next? There is always hope for change.

    Proceed slowly and cautiously. Let time be your friend not just his.

    Warm hugs. We are here for you.
     
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  15. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Ugh...it's crazy-making how a simple "I love you" has to make us scramble.

    I agree with everyone above. You DO love him, AND life is much sweeter without him in it. I think we all understand that paradox.

    You told him the first part, and that's all there is right now. Love from a distance. If he is seeking more from you, you will know soon enough and can make it clear that more is not an option.

    I agree with Jabber, to me it sounds like msnipulation and also maybe some attempt at splitting between you and your husband, given the obituary nastiness. But it is (very remotely) possible that he had a moment of clarity and regret. At this point it is way, WAY too early to say. Time and consistent change will tell.

    I'm so sorry, SS.
     
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  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    SS,

    it is OK that you texted back. Many of us would have done the same. Who knows where our mommy hearts lead us.

    Let your husband go to work with you. HOld him tight. Open up that tool box again...exercise, have a romantic dinner (and sex! yay!) with husband, read a book, light some candles. LIght a white one for your son, too, as Cedar sometimes does.

    It will all be OK

    Echo
     
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  17. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is exactly the kind of stuff that blows my mind and bruises my soul. Who could possibly explain this in a world other than this site? We ARE warriors...
     
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  18. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    A few days have passed and husband and I are calmer. I did post about the obit text, but that was a ways back.

    husband received a text from Difficult Child that said, Love you, Dad. Leaving soon.

    At first, husband and I were thinking the worst (as in, leaving for another world??). Now, we think, another state? another country? who knows.

    husband texted back, We love you. Only you can fix your problems.

    Difficult Child texted back, I know. I need to fix some bad habits.

    Nothing since..

    tomorrow I may be back on begging for input. Right now, at this moment, husband and I are fine. Concerned & wondering, but fine.

    Thanks.
     
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Glad you are feeling better about things. Just keep doing your best to stay in the present moment.
    We're here if you need us.
    :hugs:
     
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think that was a perfect response, Seeking. It is healthy, non-commital, and steady state. It can be a go-to response in every situation. If anything is ever going to save any of us, it is going to be love. We are not distancing ourselves from our kids, we are protecting ourselves from their illnesses or addictions or personalities or personal choices.

    We do love them, or none of us would be here.

    So I like that you said that.

    Unless we have made the decision to go strictly no contact, and unless that feels right over time, "I love you" is an excellent thing to say. I have been reading about healing trauma this morning. Each parent here has been repeatedly traumatized. We need to heal, too. Our focus has been so exclusively on our children. We assume we are strong enough. We focus on getting through our situations with our children and are retraumatized as we make our ways through any interaction with them and we ignore that trauma to ourselves. In my reading this morning, I came across this very good thing:

    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm

    There are many suggestions for finding our feet and our ability to self-cherish and to believe in ourselves again, in this link. One of them: To speak or text to our child ~ or even, simply to remember for our own sakes, the day our child was born. The way it felt to hold them, the way it felt finally to see their faces, to see the family characteristics, and to remember the wonder of everything having to do with that first time we saw them. Those kinds of memories would be an excellent thing to say to our children. They may not hear us at first. That is okay. We will have spoken the words and changed the dynamic. Whether they hear us that day or whether they hear us ten years from now, we will have named them and armed them and loved them where they are as is our right and obligation. If we can let go of outcome, if we can just continue to do the right thing whether their response is rabid hatred ~ like when your son tells you he has been watching the obits ~ who cares what he wishes or watches. That does not change you.

    Trauma recovery has to do with reclaiming the legitimacy of our own vision, of our own self concepts.

    I will say it again, because it resonates so strongly with me regarding healing: We are not distancing ourselves from our kids, or from others we love who have hurt us. We are protecting ourselves from their actions and choices.

    But that doesn't mean they get to change who we are.

    Detachment parenting teaches the skills we need to protect ourselves. It is a hard thing. But loving them is not a hard thing, even if we have to go back to the day they were born to figure out how do it. They have been busy telling us who they think they are, and who they think we are. It is time for us to remember who we know they are ~ and who we know we are, too.

    So maybe, "I love you. I remember when I first held you in my arms and your father was there and we welcomed you into this world." Or whatever the words are that will change the emotional dynamic, here. It is true that we cannot control what they do or how they think. But we don't need to buy into it, nor should we. Love can mean not giving money or support for a badly chosen lifestyle. Love can mean total detachment. At the heart of it, every one of us burns with love for our kids.

    We get to say that any time we want to and every chance we get.

    What they do with what we know is up to them.

    So I like that you told him you love him very, very much. I am going to begin thinking and speaking in these ways with everyone in my life. I am so tired of them victimizing me with their languaging.

    I am going to say what I want.

    And that is "I love you and I remember when...." And if they want to think about my obit...well, that is up to them.

    Cedar
     
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