A boundary win

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    It seems like I always post a negative experience.
    And this is something small, but I put it in the positive category and that doesn't happen as much as I would like, so I thought I would share.

    Our Difficult Child came over and was crummy to us. This, after a crummy Christmas experience.

    She stormed out of the house. I was exhausted and my husband felt sickly. Good grief.

    AND she had the audacity to blame it all on me. WTH? She texted my husband and said something like "When will you accept that me and mom just don't get along?" I felt like we were back in the teenage days and she is pushing thirty.

    Husband texted back "You were rude and inappropriate. I feel sickly. This is totally unacceptable. Due to your inappropriate behaviors, do not text or contact us until after 5 p.m. tomorrow. We absolutely do not wish to hear from you in any way."

    The next day she called my husband around Noon. We don't even want to hear her ring tone. (If it continued, believe me we would have blocked her). He did NOT answer the call. Instead, my husband texted her and said "Since you did not follow my request of not texting/contact us until after 5 p.m. today, it is now extended until after 5 p.m. tomorrow. Do not contact us in any way, shape or form until after 5 p.m. tomorrow"
    We figured we would keep doing this until she got the message, but also block our phones.

    The following day, she called about 7 p.m. very nice and totally appropriate.

    Today, we promised to take care of something for her place (this was promised a long time ago and we said we would do it in January) and my husband called and took her to the store to get this thing for her place and he said she was surprisingly appropriate. Afterwards, she texted me to thank me for the item purchased for her place.

    We also informed her of a few other boundaries and she accepted them without question. Husband and I are discussing this. It seems she might react to this type of thing. Not overly harsh, but immediate, appropriate and without exception. Requests, pleading, discussion etc. doesn't work. Immediate logical consequences without discussion/exception works. I suppose we knew this but sometimes we mistake her for a healthy adult..one that you can simply talk to. Often not the case.

    It's a little thing, but it felt good.
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  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    That is absolutely tremendous and a huge step forward. Kudos!
  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Nice job, Nomad and Mr. Nomad! Drama - free and effective is a home run!
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  4. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    This is great; I wish husband and I had tried the same tactic 15 or 20 years ago. Good for you.

    Sounds promising for all your futures...
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

  6. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Excellent work, Mr. Nomad and Nomad!
  7. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

  8. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    I think y'all did wonderfully! Give yourselves credit fir taking back your power!
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Progress not perfection, well done. This is not easy stuff we deal with. That is one for the positive category for sure.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    This is actually a post from a year ago.
    HOWEVER, it totally works.

    We started to implement it the other day and it scares the heck out of her.
    She came extremely close to crossing a boundary. She especially does this with the phone. My husband was working. He said "You are calling too often. It is inappropriate and interfering with my work.
    You may NOT call before 3 pm today. If you call prior to 3 pm, I will block you until 3 pm tomorrow. Do you understand? She said "yes.""
    And she did not call until WELL after three that day.
    It truly bothers her to be blocked AND she knows full well, we absolutely, positively will do it.
    AND I think by making it REAL and make it reasonable. For example, we wont say "we will block you for a week, etc." Just 24 hours. If she calls within that time frame, we will block her for another 24 hours and so forth. We tell her she can text if it is a true medical emergency, but if it is not a true medical emergency, and she texts for something silly, she will be blocked for 24 hours.

    This Christmas (2017) she was definitely weird, but definitely BETTER! OMG! Thank goodness. Might have been the best one we have had yet. Little to no arguing, etc. WE decided that we certainly will NOT sweat the small stuff. So, if she says two whoppers, a shake and left over spaghetti is a "normal," breakfast, we would just smile and not respond at all. We all agreed that at least for xmas time, we would not argue, debate, question etc. (especially the little things) Christmas Eve she flew off the handle for a brief moment (screaming at) our son and said something like "Mom f...n likes you best" and then gave some crazy, silly, out of space reason why. Normally, he would of yelled back, but he was following our guidelines and didn't say much and it passed. Yes, difficult and unfair, etc. But, he let it go. Fortunately, she didn't continue So, like, I said definitely "weird," but definitely better. For the most part, she was pleasant. We have learned, that Christmas is some sort of sore spot with her, so we absolutely have to let SOME things go around this time (the week of and surrounding xmas). We might have to work on some boundaries in this department at other times. But, around Christmas...willing to be more lenient for this small window of time. Oddly, I think she is making some efforts. Christmas has always been a very peculiar time for our Difficult Child. Just grateful for the improvement.

    HOWEVER, with reference to that phone thing ....omg....those boundaries totally work and I highly recommend them! This boundary seems to have set off improvements in all areas. Boundaries are key and I recommend them highly.
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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I just read this even though it was a couple weeks old. I read it at just the right time. My son called from jail yesterday and was nasty on the phone dropping the f bomb repeatedly and i had been telling him and following through that i will hang up. As he swears he is asking me to do things for him to get him out and when i tell him i will hang up he threatens that he will take care of that when he gets out. Today i had my husband answer and tell him i didnt want to talk to him because of the language and threats. I then worried i should have talked. He just doesnt get it that you cant treat people that way and ask them to help you.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Good for you for hanging up. You partially did the right thing there. What you didn't do, and must do, is report the threat to you to the prison authorities. That is called making terroristic threats and it is a felony. He will, at the very least, lose his phone privileges, as he should. If he receives additional punishment, even better.

    He'll learn much more from harsh consequences from his jailers, than he will from you, whom he doesn't take seriously.
  13. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    You are probably right but he hasn't carried through and he is not allowed at my house. If he fails to respect that he will be arrested.