An actual phone call from my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    When I got home last night after a brutal day at work, I went about my routine, one of which is to plug my phone in to charge. I hadn't looked at my phone until then, mainly because where I work, we are not allowed to have our phones on. When I plugged it in, the screen lit up showing that I had a voice mail.
    I looked at the call log and saw that it came from the state where my son is. There was a wave of uneasiness that came over me. I dialed into my voicemail and listened. It was my son. The greeting was said with confidence and alertness that to be quite honest, was refreshing. He wanted to let me know that he had a phone and asked me to call him. He said he loved me.
    I sat there for a moment taking it in. It was a pleasant surprise. Usually his voice is drained and heavy with the attitude of come join my pity party.
    I had another wave of uneasiness come over me at the thought of actually calling him back and having an actual conversation. I did not want to. I then stopped because I remembered "I have boundaries and I am in control of my life" I remembered that I have an army of warrior parents who have been and continue to be there for me.
    I reminded myself that I had nothing to fear in having a conversation with my son as long as I hold true to my boundaries.
    I am strong and will not get sucked into the vortex of chaos.:twister2:

    I took my phone out to the living room and let my husband listen to the voicemail. I then dialed my son's number and put it on speaker so husband and I both could talk to him. It rang and rang and then went to one of those automated messages that the caller was either unavailable or out of service area. There was no option to leave a voice mail for him.

    Copa, I read this yesterday and it stuck with me. It truly helped me when I heard his voicemail. I love the visual of it. I do not have to insert myself into HIS story. Thank you Copa!!

    Leafy, this is exactly how I was feeling, that feeling of shifting from dread to it's okay.

    I don't know what the future holds for my son. I enjoyed hearing his voice and the confidence in it. I am realistic enough to know that this could turn sour at any given moment. I know that when I do have a conversation with my son I will offer no advice nor will I ask many questions. I will listen and when I've had enough, I will tell him I love him and that I wish him well.

    Thank you all you wonderful warrior parents who have helped me.
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  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    It is so good to feel good for a change and not dread talking to, hearing from or seeing our adult children.

    I always felt and feel better when I put my husband on the line too - on speaker. He is my shield and he keeps me from feeling as vulnerable.

    Who knows?? Maybe he's getting it!!!

    Good news and I hope you have a great weekend!
  3. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    First, I just wanted to apologize in case it pops up- I accidentally hit funny on the rating

    I hope that perhaps your son is at a turning point in his life and succeeding. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    Please keep us updated.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well. I lament acting like I ever know anything.
    Today was moderately hard. My son's mail comes here. Since he never pays bills, and does ridiculously irresponsible and unthinking things, like calls ambulances to take him to the doctor ($6000 bill)...when he was in my town 10 minutes away from my house, it feels dreadful when these unpaid bills arrive to my home. Like a slap in the face.

    So I had had a tough afternoon. A social security employee told me that my son likely could receive my full social security payment, after my death...and then retracted it...because my son had declared in his SSDI application that his disability had begun when he was 24, instead of earlier, which he knows is the case. And because he did not involve me, I could not give him or get him good counsel. This cannot be reversed. So I felt slapped down by this. Because I struggle to find a way to make peace with my inability to help him tangibly after I die. I mean, give me a break. How completely irrational this sounds.

    When I got home, there were the bills. So I called my son. J. Please change your address. I am sick of your bills coming here. Click. He hangs up on me. He had last called a few days ago. Can I come home? I text him: Please change your address. And don't call or text me, until you begin to act like a socialized human being. Was the gist of it.

    I cannot follow my own advise. Imagine. Searching for ways to control his life and protect him, after I am dead. I cannot think of something more futile and pathetic.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am glad you received a voicemail like this. I hope your son is turning a corner Tanya.

    You do have an army of warrior parents standing beside you. Each and every one knowing how this feels.

    I think this shift is so important on every level not only for us, but for our adult kids. Removing ourselves from their consequences frees them to take responsibility, frees us from the anxiety of being tangled up in an outcome we have no control over.
    This is a good rule to follow. In my experience, the questions and advice have been counterproductive. Less is more. Hopefully our adult kids will learn to grab their own lives back, as we do ours.
    You are going to be alright Tanya! Thank you for all you have shared, your loving support through these years has been a Godsend!
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Husband and I just had an actual conversation with our son. I did not spontaneously combust!!;)

    I have not actually talked with my son for 2 years.

    We called him and put it on speaker so we both could talk to him. He did most of the talking. He sounded good. He is working and only gets $5 a day, the other money he earns goes to pay his rent at the halfway house. He has 5 more months to go.
    He is attending AA meetings and got the Big Book. He said he was glad he got arrested and he finally realizes he has a problem with alcohol. He said he was sick and tired of living the life he had been living. He said he now knows all the bad things that have happened to him have happened because of drinking. He said all the things that I had hoped to hear. We ended the conversation telling him that he sounded good and that we love him.

    Yes, he said all the things I want to hear. I've been here before. I feel happy but I am also very guarded. Tick Tock, Tick Tock, only time will tell.

    This is a place where I have to really be careful and make sure to stay on my guard and keep my boundaries firmly in place. I do hope that he has finally realized he needs to make some serious changes but I will not hold my breath :confused: I know how easily things could change.

    Copa, I see nothing pathetic about this. You love your son and want him to be safe and there is nothing pathetic about that. Don't be too hard on yourself.

    This is such a wonderful feeling.
  7. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Tanya, what great news and what a wonderful feeling. To hear his voice and have a real conversation after two years ... I can't imagine what that must feel like.

    It's wise to stay guarded, but it sounds like there is reason for hope. Prison was the turning point for N. It's been five years now, and while there have been some bumps in the road he has not gone back to the place he was before prison and court-mandated rehab. He has given me a beautiful grandson, now turning three, a brilliant and loving stepgrandson, and a daughter-in-law whom I love with all my heart. Their lives are not at all easy - they are far away from me and money is a constant struggle - but they are both working hard and making it work. Sometimes when they are telling us what we want to hear they also mean it.

    Sending hugs and prayers that this will be your son's turning point also. I'm so glad you had that conversation. Keep your boundaries in place, but let yourself feel happy, too!
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  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Wow. Crossong every body part for you.
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    How beautiful to read and savor every word of your post. You are like a flower who has opened to sun/son.

    I need to remember the sun and it's light is the illumination in my great love and yearning.. It is not tied to any worldly result or contingency. And therefore I can make it safe, keep it safe.

    I am basking in this light too Tanya. So is your son. Nothing really can take away this moment. Really. I believe that. At least for this moment. This gives me hope. Thank you,
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  10. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    I’m so happy to hear that the conversation went well. I’m hoping he continues to work hard on his new path. It’s never easy to change, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everyone. That he continues to stay strong and keep the faith that he can do this.