1 month into detaching...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Drowninginthis, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Drowninginthis

    Drowninginthis New Member

    Recap...after 7 years of verbal abuse from my grown son (adopted at 16) who I have done all that I can for, I decided he can no longer be in my life because he just can't/won't stop.

    Its been about 5 weeks since I have spoken/seen him. I have spoken to his girlfriend re: him, but keep that minimal as I can. Poor girl. Mind you, we are 8 hours away from him wintering in Fl and will be going back in 4 weeks. I feel the anxiety as I type that. I gave him a loan in Nov. for a car ..because he killed the last one we gave him and he lost his job in Sept. I only did it because he said he had a job waiting for him, but they needed him to have a car. That never happened, but he did get a car. Duped again!! Shame on me!!

    I have taken steps towards my detaching. I mailed him an invoice of what he owes me + interest as we have discussed. I have indicated in the letter I will be taking his taxes as part of repay and send me w2's.

    He also has a few of our larger items that I want back and will pick up without him being there. Eliminating all hooks he has into me. I was going to write him a letter about not being able to see him, but decided not to engage because that just brings me back in. He will figure it out and after the things he said to me at Xmas, there is no doubt why. He still is unemployed/ not really looking for job. Has girlfriend who works part time supporting him and bills.

    I know returning home will bring more issues between my husband and I as he can't deal with conflict, enables, and pretends these things don't happen. I will be telling him I don't want my son at the house and he can go have lunch with him if he wants which will give him conflict and he will try to talk me down. I am NOT backing down nor am I giving my son 1 cent.

    I am repeating this...I am NOT backing down
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  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Drowning, welcome back, it has been almost a month since your last post. I am sorry things are the same ole same ole. You sound strong and determined to stay afloat, and have a well thought out plan.
    This is smart. If your son is like my two, anything I say, write or do will be used against me in their lopsided court of law(lessness).
    Pleading the fifth, is usually the best way to go.
    No sense giving any ammo.

    This is where it can get difficult, when our dear husbands are not on the same page. I think you have come up with a workable solution, to have your husband meet son on neutral ground. I hope all works out well, and you are able to stay the course.
    Bless your hearts, adopting at 16. I am sorry things turned out this way for you and your son.
    There is always hope for change, you are doing the best thing by putting your foot down and giving him his wings. Hopefully, he will use them to fly in the right direction.

    You are doing a good job, you got your head above water, and you are stopping yourself from sinking with the chaos and drama of it. These four weeks that you have before going home to all of this will be a good time to build up your toolbox. Keep posting, share your thoughts and knowledge with others. It really helps me to do this. As I read others stories and post, I am reaffirming in my mind, the course that I am on. Thank you for sharing, Drowning. You do not seem to be drowning at all, I think you are doing rather well.
    Keep swimming against that current!

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  3. Drowninginthis

    Drowninginthis New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement New Leaf. I would like to think that someday the insanity will stop, but If it never comes to be, I did all I could for him and I will just move on with my life. I give him over to God
  4. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hi Drowning
    It sounds like you have come a long way in recognizing the need for and taking action towards detachment. It also unfortunately looks clear that your son has not made progress during that time. So many of us here are in the same boat (and often feel drowning also.)
    At this site, you know you are not alone in this process and your resolve has an impact on the rest of us who are also struggling to come to terms with difficult children. It is not easy.
    Everyday that I visit this site, whether or not I post anything, i always learn something and add another little building strong to strengthen my clarity, understanding, peace, thankfulness, etc. This is a safe place.

    You are planning to have clear boundaries and rules of engagement with your son, and are setting the groundwork for that now. That is wise. Hang in there.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Drowning, you have taken the first essential steps. To make sure you are safe, your property is safe, and that you have taken charge of your interactions with your son. I think it is wise to not interfere with your husband's desire for contact but also to insist that said contact occurs away from you and away from your home.

    I believe that in time your son may respond positively to your boundaries by respecting them (if you steadily enforce them and keep them very clear) and eventually, seeking you out as a positive influence. Which is our only real responsibility to an adult child. Who after all is an adult, equal to ourselves; with the right to govern his own life and to experience the consequences of his choices.

    It is this I did not get until very recently, because I sought to protect my son, to no avail. I caused myself a great deal of damage, and did not help him one bit.

    They try to confound the boundaries between us, and we help them until we reach the point of no return, as have you. This is the point when a true and good relationship becomes possible between two adults, the one the parent, the other, the adult child. But only if we adhere to our convictions and maintain clearly our boundaries.

    It is not necessary to renounce all contact, if we choose not to. It is necessary to protect ourselves, to respect ourselves and to insist that they do the same. In this we have full control. It is terribly difficult.

    I am glad you found us. Keep posting. Take care.

  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Thanks for the update, drowning. I think you are making tremendous progress. Often, once they are gone, we start feeling our feelings and they take us back to them.

    You are still standing strong right now. What progress that is!

    I remember being at the point when I wrote him lots of things...and then finally...when I stopped doing that. It's okay either way. Sometimes it is cathartic for us to spill it all out...to THEM...on paper. We can take another step forward after. But also, like you said, it engages us again with them and we have to hear it all again. And you know what? They already know all that we are going to say. We've said it a million times already.

    Hang in there the best you can. If you stumble, that's okay. This is not some perfection contest. We are real live hurting people doing the best we can every day. We love. That is what makes this so very hard.

    I finally realized I can love from a distance and I can love silently. That never stopped.

    Keep going! Keep growing and changing, and along the way, you will find a New You, and you will love this New You.

    Having physical proximity to them makes it really hard all over again. Getting away physically is such a relief and a great break. It will be harder when you are "back there". No doubt.

    Let us know how you are doing and what we can do to help. Warm hugs this morning.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Drowning,

    First, I'm jealous you have been wintering in FL. ;) I live in the upper Midwest and while it's been a mild winter, it's still winter.

    About the car, I was having deja vu. husband and I purchased a $4000 car for our son, we wrote up a loan agreement that he agreed to and signed. We knocked off $1000 just to be nice and he was to pay us $100 a month, well you can guess how that turned out.
    I knew going into it that I may never see the money and had already accepted the fact that I would most likely be out the money.
    He ended up giving the car to his landlord for back rent. :mad:
    Live and learn.
    I think it's great that you sent him an invoice detailing what he owes you. I too sent my son a breakdown a couple of times.
    I just don't want you to get your hopes up in getting your money back but I do think it's important to make them aware of what they owe.

    Oh the distance of miles between us and our d_cs offers so much peace. I'm sorry for the anxiety you are feeling as you prepare to go home. I think you have a really good grasp on what needs to happen in order to detach from your son.
    I can also relate to the issues between you and your husband. I too went through some rough patches with my husband.
    My husband was always more willing to continue to give where I was DONE! Our son's drama and chaos was consuming our lives. There was nothing else and it was driving a wedge between us. Something we started to do was to take long drives on the weekends, just head out and explore. We only had one rule, no discussing Difficult Child. This helped us to reconnect. My husband did finally start to see and understand how our son's chaos was having a negative effect on me.

    It might be helpful to have your husband read the article on detachment.

    Stand firm and stick to what is right for you.

    We are here for you!!

    I hope you have a safe trip back home.

  8. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I joined here couple of months ago and I read the detachment document on this forum. A light-bulb went off. I knew what I was doing wrong, where I needed to correct how I handled son. I don't engage in his drama stories, albeit, they are not as frequent as they have been over the last 6 months since he moved down south and got away from his crack-whore girlfriend. I am not stressed like I was- just keeping conversations, light and simple, caring but not caring too much.

    Had issues with Hubby and I with how to handle son- he was more firm, stop enabling him, etc. I was the one who had to fix son, help son, offer solutions, give him money, etc. It caused some friction with hubby and I. But he was right all along. We are now on same page.

    I think its great that you offered hubby to meet outside your home. Have hubby read detachment document here.

    Have you thought about giving son x amount of time to get a job or you will take the car back and sell it? Just a thought for some motivation. Get a job or lose the car.

    Hang in there- and proud of you on working on "detachment". Stay the course, it is worth it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. You are goodhearted,but adopting a sixteen year old...he was nearly an adult and probably lost his ability to bond in a family way long before you met him. I adopted several kids. The infant adoptins were great. The older ones were not.You obviously tried your very best to help him but he wont or cant take those steps. I wouldnt bother writing to him as I found they see what they want in letters and twist words to use them against us.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  10. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Let me ask is there a way to enforce that he pays you back legally? Also about the thing you left at him can you prove its yours?
    You see things like this can get really ugly if not done with huge care very complicated.