And he's out......

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, May 19, 2014.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    difficult child is out of jail. Somehow he managed to get his charges dismissed. I was notified by vinelink that he was released and then I checked the court docket database and it says all charges dismissed. He's back on the streets with that girl he's been with. According to Facebook they are going to dedicate their lives to the Morman church. difficult child posted things saying "f" his family and we better never ask anything of him when he makes it big someday. I'm in shock they released him. My dad said they had a recording of him admitting his crimes. I'm honestly speechless. I'm glad he hasn't tried to call me and to be honest if he does I'm not going to answer. Not for a long while. I wish him the best, pray constantly for his safety and always love him but I need a break from his drama.

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  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    That is strange, JKF. And I am sure it is unsettling to you right now. This up and down stuff over a short few days is really hard.

    Be kind to yourself right now, JKF.

    I'm sorry he is posting on FB these types of mean things, but it does let you know his mindset. For me, sometimes, that is all I need to know. He's alive, and he's still in the same mode.

    Okay, then I'm keeping my distance.

    Sadly and unfortunately, if he's doing these types of things and now feeling like he can do it and get away with it, it will probably happen again.

    Take care of YOU, JKF. One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. You are okay right this minute, right now. Relish that. Do something good and nice and positive right now.

    We are here for you. Hugs and blessings and prayers for all of you, including your difficult child.
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  3. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Ditto with me.

    I'm sorry it is all so crazy right now..both your difficult child and the courts! His words mean nothing..he is bouncing from thing to thing. Try to just be OK with knowing he is alive. These things play out more slowly than one would think. That means you have time to work on yourself, build your strenth, your reserves, your capacity for peace and for love.

    We are all right here with you.

  4. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Good luck JFK. Stay strong. Childofmine, thank you for expressing how I feel. Mine is about to be homeless again (I have a restraining order so he can't contact me) and I am devastated. You said it perfectly, every so often I need to know his mindset and that he is alive so I have at times, gotten him to the therapist I see, but it has been quite some time since he has gone. Last time, he was AWFUL and so like he has always been, so in some strange way, I felt better knowing how he feels and that he is the same. I wish he were different but I need to know if I should try and help him and by seeing his attitude with her, I saw he was not ready to accept help.
    Not any easier though, trying to cope. Peg
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    He tried to call but I didn't answer. Then he texted me saying "not sure if you know but I was arrested Friday and released today. The judge agreed with me that I did nothing wrong and dismissed my charges". He then went on to tell me that he's working with the missionaries at the church and they're trying to help him find a place to live but if they can't he'll go to the shelter. I did respond but all I said was "Ok hope it works out for you. Stay safe. Love you". He tried to call again but I'm not ready to talk. I don't want to hear his bs about how he did nothing wrong and even the judge agrees. It truly sickens me. He's my child and I love him but he has no remorse for any of his actions and no empathy towards any of the people he hurts with those actions. I can't and won't condone it and I don't want to hear the smugness in his voice when he tries to manipulate me and convince me that he's a perfect angel. Uggggh!!!!

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  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for your merry-go-round with difficult child and his lack of empathy or understanding that he did do something wrong...he must be a good talker if the judge agreed.

    One thing 95% of our difficult children seem to have in common seems to be a really eerie lack of empathy. That is probably what gets them into so much trouble and allows them to keep heaping on the abuse without feeling guilt; in fact often feeling as if THEY are the victims of those they abused.

    I'm convinced that this lack of empathy toward others is why talking and talking to them and trying to teach them how to live a less comp0licated, saner lifestyle doesn't resonate with them. They simply do not get it nor do they care. They seem to have this missing link...I'm pretty sure some of you know what I's very hard to deal with. Reasoning with them does no good...their word is no good...I don't even know if they listen.

    Again, very, very sorry, but glad you are handling it well. Treat yourself to something you really love to do...or to eat :)
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    You are moving forward, JKF, I see it in your posts. This is a very hard time right now but it will get better. Try to stay clear in your head about what YOU want to do.

    Hugs and prayers for you and for your difficult child.
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I believe this is a positive step for you JKF. You've realized that you have this new boundary and you are exercising it. As COM and others have said, limiting our exposure to our difficult child's turns out to be one of our major tools to heal and feel better.

    For me, the reality that my daughter resides in is so diametrically opposed to my values and my sense of honor and what is right and wrong, that being in her sphere of influence is harmful to me. It took me a long time to see this, but in fact, I would venture to say, it's toxic to me. I had to make a very difficult choice to stay clear of that energy, for my own good. Without empathy or the recognition of the consequences of ones behavior or the ability to rationally think things through, I end up feeling as if I am being held hostage in a bizarre alternate universe where none of my ideals and values matter. That may be mental illness as in my daughter's case, or it might be substance abuse, but if the person is unwilling to seek help or to change, then I am compelled to remove myself for my own well being.

    Once we recognize that all of our efforts to change our difficult child's, to help them, to make it better for them, to bring them over to our way of thinking, fail.........that door closes and now we're left with just the reality of who they are and how that impacts us. The way I see it now is that my difficult child cannot live in my reality and I cannot live in hers. Neither one of us can make that transition. We live in different worlds.

    What's left to do then is to accept that.

    You're moving through all the same steps many one of us here have............sometimes one minute at a time. But, you've moving. These are hard realizations, but necessary ones if we are to live in any kind of peace again.

    I've observed you for a long time do all the right and loving things for your difficult child, as we all must do........... and then you've moved to the next step. You gave him an enormous opportunity, once again, to live with his grandfather, have his own apartment and a job. He made the choices that ended that opportunity and in the process he hurt people. At some point, as with my daughter and other difficult child's, their actions ultimately catch up with them and then consequences are forced on them. It is inevitable. They can always change and your difficult child is young, however, it is important for you to stay the course and continue detaching, because now it's about you and how you respond. It is not about difficult child.

    Use all the tools you have in your arsenal, limit your responses as you've been doing and make sure you take very good care of you every single day, all the time. Take the focus off of him and put it on yourself now. We're here for you as you go through this transition. You're doing a good job, as always. Hang in there...............hugs...........
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  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    After all I have seen with courts, I am not surprised. I do have to say I got a chuckle out of the mormon church though. Years back when my ex was running from child support, he joined the mormon church and they hid him for quite a while. Everyone was convinced I was this evil woman who was trying to get him in
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Yes that is me and my difficult child. I feel like when I am with him or talking to him and he is "on" I am in the eye of a tornado. Everything is whirling and moving fast and I can't keep up and I don't understand any of it and I start feeling sick inside. I even can feel dizzy and nauseated. It is a visceral response.

    Yes. It is surreal. It is crazy-making. I feel a very strong instinct to get away from it as fast as I can. I feel like I am in danger. It's a fight or flight feeling.

    That is what I am doing now. But because I love him so much, I circle back after a period of time. I test the water, carefully. If the water is warm, I stick my toe in, and then start to move into the water a little bit. I must be careful here, though. Because nothing has changed, I can slip on the slippery bottom and go under. That happened last time when I extended the 10 minutes a week into an additional afternoon and then more phone calls. This is very slippery business, and if I'm not careful, I can go under and start to drown. When I finally come up for air, I get a little smarter for next time.

    We must grieve it, work through it, recognize it, detach, and then finally accept. Sometimes we have to do it over and over again. Thanks be to God that we have breaks in the action---like jail---that allow us to catch our breath and gear up again.

    This is the only pathway to peace. I am reminded of my aunt who I wrote about a few days ago, who is 75 and her difficult child is 42 (I think) and they are still dancing the sick dance. There was another new person who wrote here who is older as well dealing with her son who is in his 50s. These are important lessons for me to hear and see and bear witness to.

    I do not want that for my life. I am working so that is not my life.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes. Just lately, I've begun to understand that the person holding me hostage is me. Maybe because if I let myself see what was really happening, I would have to compromise pretty much every value I think I hold to respond appropriately to it...I never let myself understand that the difficult child meant to take the actions he or she took. I have to (we have to) stop pretending the difficult children in our lives didn't mean to do whatever it is they did this time. We all make mistakes, have bad days, say things we don't mean. But the difficult children in our lives act out routinely. Patterns are created. If you watch for it? You will see that the difficult children in your life intentionally push every one of your buttons in sequence; that they routinely elicit from you exactly the reaction they intended to get.

    Every time.

    They do mean it.

    They meant it the last time, and the time before that, too.

    "...a bizarre alternate universe where none of my ideals and values matter."

    That is exactly what it feels like to love a difficult child. I am stepping up regarding my family of origin, too. The thing is, it doesn't matter whether the difficult child is a child, a parent, a sister, a friend, or a husband or wife. There are always the craziest, most unanticipated bad things crashing in out of left field. There are always hurtful consequences hanging out in the ether somewhere. We refuse to allow the ax to fall (or to grab it and take after the difficult child ourselves) because our primary value, superceding even our own health and happiness, is to help everything be the best it can be.

    I think this is especially true for those of us whose families of origin are dysfunctional. Somewhere along the way, we decided it was going to be different for us. We decided that whatever it took, we were not going to abandon or mistreat or whatever the issue was, as we were growing up.

    We have to stop believing the difficult children in our lives do not mean to do what they do because we would not do those same things.

    They mean it.

    We need to hear that.

    When they tell us who they are, we need to hear what they say.

    A key piece here is that we need to relearn valuing ourselves. Over time, the guilt and frustration take their toll on us. We begin routinely to put our interests aside for the sake of the difficult child child, husband, wife, mother, friend. That becomes our pattern, that kind of guilty self-devaluing. That is why it is an important piece of our own recovery to take care of ourselves, to begin doing things for our own health and happiness.

    Recovering is correct in telling us to begin with ourselves, to begin with making a commitment to cherish and care for and be kind to, ourselves.

    My pattern is to beat myself up for that, to try harder to understand what happened, to try harder to find something different in future. Here again, cherishing and taking care of ourselves is the first concrete step we need to take so we can learn to revalue ourselves and stop beating ourselves up by focusing, over and over again, on things we cannot control or even, change very much.

    We have become sick ourselves, over the years spent trying to shepherd our difficult child kids, friends, or family members to some kind of safety, to some kind of sanity.

    It is important to recognize that changing our own pattern of response is going to be hard. It is going to feel really uncomfortable. Our efforts to take good care of ourselves will leave us feeling guilty, at first. If we expect those feelings, we will not find ourselves trying to "make up for" the times we were "unkind".

    That is a big piece for me. I make a correct response. Then, I feel like I have been so hard-hearted and mean spirited that I backtrack.

    So, we just have to be aware that those feelings are right and good and a normal part of the change process. We know now that those old patterns did not help. From all that we post here, we can be pretty certain that these new ways of looking at things will be helpful. At the farthest edge, we can know for sure that the old patterns weren't working and that we are at least creating change, that we are opening a space for something new to happen.

    It isn't an easy thing to do.

    Whoever the difficult children in our lives are, now that we know better, it is no longer about the difficult child.

    Every single day. Celebrate every smallest step toward learning to cherish the gift of your own life.

    That's what we're talking about, here.

    To the good things everyone else has said, I would add that removing the consequences of their actions does not help any of the difficult children in our lives learn to be and do better. Even a 42 year old difficult child can take responsibility for and create his or her own life.

    After our lives fell apart, I went back to school. I graduated cum laude. Though I had already lived one whole life, experienced one whole identity, the world, a whole, different world, was mine for the taking.

    I was 42.

    The younger the difficult child is when he or she is made to confront the consequences of his or her actions, the better the chances are for them to come out of this independent and strong.

    My kids are (or have been, until recently) BOTH dependent on husband and I in ways adults should not be dependent on their parents. Somewhere along the line, the nature of our interactions slipped over the line, slipped into a weird kind of hatred...but though we resented it, we kept paying, kept trying, kept having them home to live, kept trying to get back on their feet. Somewhere along the course of those years, we had lost so much respect for our own children that we began excusing angry outbursts, nasty conversations, money gambled or drugged away, because the need to save the difficult child from the cold, or from hunger or homelessness was not something we could turn away from. Based on my experience, I believe that while any one of us could find ourselves in a place where we needed help, if we are loving and helping someone who repeatedly needs help...then the best help we can give them, the best (and maybe the only) way to help them become the strong and independent, truly human beings they have the capacity to be is to change whatever it is we have been doing that hasn't worked.

    If it isn't working, then it is the wrong thing to do, however responsible we feel for where they find themselves, and however badly we want things to be okay.

    It is very hard to do what needs to be done about any of the difficult children in our lives and feel good about ourselves. It is hard to stand by, hard to "let" them take the consequences of their actions and choices. And there again, Recovering's contention that we need to begin by relearning how to cherish ourselves and our own lives is so important.

    We have been twisted a little, by our interactions with the difficult children in our lives, into people who can't celebrate our own lives, any more. There is always that underlying sadness, that nagging worry that we call waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    That stupid telephone, ringing late in the night and you just know something bad happened.

    You just know it.

    We are always braced for that phone call.

    COM posted once about learning to view our situations by seeing them as both the cloud (what we see) and the silver lining hidden away inside the cloud. That's the future. For us to come back into some kind of balance in our lives, whatever is going on with our difficult child friends or relatives, if we can learn to see it like that cloud with its hidden silver lining, if we can learn to hold that imagery in our minds, then we can do what we need to do for our difficult children.

    Let go.

    No one knows the future. If the difficult children in our lives continue living the difficult child life, that bad things will happen is more likely. But none of us has a guarantee, not about anything. It is right and good that we should cherish and enjoy the gift of our own lives.

    Being alive, being right here in this moment, that's an incredible thing.

    Even when the days are really cloudy.

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  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I think this is the most important thing I read today. I'm going to rest on this.
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  13. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear you are setting those boundaries. Maybe the Mormon church will help him out. They aren't all Warren Jeffries. LOL Most of them are normal law abiding citizens. I know cause I'm married to a nonpracticing one and he has adopted family that we are very close with who are Mormon.
  14. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    All of your replies, encouragement and words of wisdom are really helping me stay strong. He's been texting me quite a bit today. Hinting a lot at his misery to see how far he can reel me in. I've stayed 100% neutral although there were a few times I almost butted in and suggested he go to the shelter or call the social worker. Then I stopped myself. He knows his options and if he wants help he knows what to do. If he chooses instead to sleep on the streets that's his call. Not mine. So yeah - progress on my part. I "sat on my lips" (as Cedar once told me to imagine myself doing) and it worked. Now if only I could stop checking his Facebook page and reading his miserable statuses. "52 degrees and raining - FML" or "Being homeless sucks" and I'm not even going to go into the ones where he curses his family and declares to the world how we've abandoned him and caused him to be in this situation. Yeah - I'm not going to look at the page anymore tonight. That's my goal for tonight - no looking at the page and no taking any calls. Tomorrow I'll set new goals. Step by step, day by day.

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  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just checking in to see whether there was anything new, JKF.

    difficult child daughter told me, when we were trying so hard to get her home and off the streets, that she was having an adventure. In some way I can't describe, that helped me to face it ~ the whole thing, I mean. The homelessness, the viciousness, the begging and drinking and drugging. She wanted zero responsibility.

    That she was still in there making choices helped me see her less as a helpless victim of circumstance.

    But there is no way to describe the horror I felt, or the regret.

    During the worst of times, I would light a candle for my child. A white candle. I would say a prayer or cry or whatever it was I needed to do. Sometimes, that was to hate them for what they were doing to me and to themselves and to all of us. At the end of it, I would envision the candle, a light against the darkness, maybe, oh, maybe...showing my difficult child the way home.

    It helped me.

    Neither difficult child had a thought for me as I went through what I did, for their sakes.

    It gets to be about survival, JKF.

    But I know what this feels like. Know that I am holding a special thought for you and for your difficult child too, tonight.

    No one should go through what we go through when we have a child on the streets.

  16. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    JKF. when my son was homeless (has been homeless four different times for a period of time so far), one day he texted me 262 times. They were all dots....... and question marks....because I had set a boundary that I was not going to answer him---having already said what I had to say and telling him that---for 48 hours.

    This is what they do, JKF. It is crazy-making. I could not block my son's texts so I had to see them, which was hard, but I didn't have to respond.

    Also, I wrote down what my responses would be so I didn't get engaged in a back and forth that went nowhere.

    These are on my best days, JKF.

    Other days, I would fall right into the trap. One time he told me his cord broke and he couldn't charge his computer and he had 23% left on his battery. And I bit. I caved in.

    That's okay too JKF. We do the best we can.

    Peace is our goal. Whatever brings us peace in the midst of THEIR chaos (not ours) is what we should work toward.

    Hugs and prayers to you.
  17. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Cedar, I remember you sharing this with me in the dark days of winter this year. It was really helpful. Thank you.

  18. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Well - nothing "new" so to speak. I followed through with my goal of not checking the page anymore last night but I've checked it a few times today. Apparently he had somewhere to stay last night. Today, however, he's posting things saying "Guess I'm gonna sleep outside for the next week or whenever" and "Guess I'm stupid enough to still hope things can get better... Whatever. I was born alone, I shall face my problems alone. I'm a man, I don't need anyone else... "F" 'family' they hate me... n I have nothing out here... what's left?" Apparently the girl has left him once again and he's alone on the streets.

    He tried to call me twice but I didn't answer. I may answer selective texts but I don't want to talk. I'm just purely exhausted from his constant drama. I'm having a bad day today with all of this. It's all weighing very heavily on me today.
  19. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi JKF
    I don't have any more advice to add, I just wanted you to know that I have been where you are and I understand how you are feeling and I wanted to send you lots of hugs. You seem to be finding strength in how you are responding (or not responding) to your son. It can be very hard to find the strength to do this. RE's advice to look after yourself and cherish yourself is really important. I've been trying to do that, and I often fail, but I'm persevering. x
  20. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hugs and prayers JKF...