Catching up with gfg32

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Nothing since Tuesday AM when husband and I made a pact to not open any emails from gfg32. This morning, there was an email, which i deleted. When I told husband about it, he said, Maybe you better read it (explaining later that he felt this way because this is the weekend exgf is moving back home).

    Stupid me opened it and read it to husband. You never answered my question. Why did you stay I could not stay at your house when I have not stayed there since 2002? Then more about how exgf cannot stand us because of what we have done.

    Kicker? My best friend died three years ago of ovarian cancer. Horrible and gfg32 knew that---if his antisocial self could know. When gfg32 was let out of jail (ten years ago) for breaking a restraining order numerous times, he called me, desperate and alone. Major enabler me(thinking this poor, poor scared kid) called my friend. She drove 1.5 hrs to get him. Gave him a bedroom, some of her husband's clothes, etc.) Every day or so i would call her. One day, and it was a kick to my gut, she tells me that they are sending gfg32 on his way. He had used her phone to contact the exgf with the restraining order and had accessed porn on my friend's computer. Sad thing, was i shocked? nooooooo. MAJORLY sick to my stomach, but not shocked.

    He ended the short email with:
    And your atheist friend, J (she was not a devout Christian, but certainly no atheist) shared with me that you exhibited these behaviors as a younger person. This is the woman who took him in. How dare he, but i know it is yet another tactic to draw me in. Not gonna work.

    Earlier today, i cut and pasted and emailed to my mom MWM's post to another member about the shut down ATM machine. It SO expresses our experience. My mom begged me to forward it to gfg32. I won't because he is not ready for dialogue. No therapy on the horizon, just blame. It may be a very long time, if ever, before i send him anything. Perhaps he is deescalating. probably most husband and i can hope for right now.

    A vent. Thanks.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and sorry you gave in to temptation and opened the e-mail (sigh). Don't let it hurt you. He is not a nice man and he is saying whatever he can to go for your jugular. He is using a cruel tactic that my son has also used. He is also not taking one bit of responsibility for his own behavior and is trying to make you think that "everyone" thinks that it's you, not him. Baloney, by the way, but a common tactic. I mean, you can't check it out.

    Sadly, seems like your son always had antisocial traits, just like mine did. I don't think having a dialogue about his behavior will ever help the two of you understand one another. More likely, he will be nice as long as you give him what he wants from you, but will turn like the cold, cold winter wind as soon as you don't. Have had experience with this type of person myself. The fact that three women have had restraining orders out on him indicate severe behavioral issues from his 20's, if not before. I think the best way to deal with young men like ours is to keep the conversation simple (not deep) and talk about benign topics like the weather. You and I are not going to get what we want from the conversations and, I really don't like to throw my pessimism onto you so don't pay attention to it if it bothers you, but I don't think that our young men are going to change anytime soon. In my case, 36 is actually a middle aged man and the older they stay mean, the more likely it is that t hey will not get any help and change their ways or see themselves the way they really are.

    Your son's girlfriend is probably also a piece of work or she wouldn't put up with him. Every day I hope my son, who is dating again, never finds anyone who wants to be with him. He is not made for relationships of that sort (and isn't good with relationships, period).

    Next time hubby tells you to open up an e-mail, set as boundary and tell him that he can open it if he likes, but he may not read it to you. Trust me, silence is golden :)

    Gentle hugs and wishing you a peaceful, serene Sunday.
  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I DID IT! Email waiting from gfg32 with subject line Ohh Now I Get it.

    It got DELETED and trash bin emptied.

    You guys were 100% correct. I feel much better than I would have after reading it! The detachment for me is the part I have had the most trouble with. Deep down, I think I mostly wanted gfg32 to change because of it. It takes some of us longer than others to get it. (put me in the slow group)

    The healing and regaining our lives and happiness for husband and me is moving to the forefront now. And, at this moment, it feels a little empowering. (much more empowering than reading that email, lol)
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  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I know that scared feeling, too. I am sorry for your pain, and angry that your difficult child used his knowledge of your deepest friendship to hurt you, to betray you, so he could undermine your strength and faith, so he could weaken and bend you to his will.

    Why do they do these things to us?!?

    It almost seems that our difficult children are consciously trying to destroy us. I understand the belief system that tells us that if we are weakened, we will give them what they want. But when I see the depth of the damage to us, the lengths they will go to, to hurt us...I don't know. I sometimes wonder what it really is, that is happening, here.

    It's the strangest thing, that you should post in this way, today.

    I was listening to a speaker yesterday evening. He was one of seven kids. There were all kinds of problems in the family. Against all the odds (for instance, he failed kindergarten and continued not to do well in school, dad not working steadily, health issues) he grew up and created a thriving business. As, altogether separately, did a younger brother.

    He had nothing but praise for his mother and his father. Nothing but deepest love and joy in his siblings and extended family.
    Recently, he retired, and moved to be near his parents. Not to take care of them, and not because he needs anything from them. He moved to be near them so he can see as much of them as he can before their time here is over.

    The situation he described is so different than my own, so different than any of our situations, here. Over the years of abuse, we become so used to the hurtful, shockingly inappropriate things our difficult children do that we forget how our lives were meant to be, how our lives still can be. When we are treated this way long enough, we forget what it is to be loved and respected and cherished.

    We carry the burden of that secret pain, that secret shame, into other aspects of our lives, and our own worlds become so much darker.

    Of course we wonder where we went wrong, how we can help them, what is the right thing to do. But what is it that is really happening to all of us? Time and again, we hear the stories, all so similar, though the kids are from wildly dissimilar backgrounds. So often, there is that thread of viciousness, real viciousness, not just anger but real, destructive viciousness, leveled at the parents....

    I am seeing so much of my own story in yours this morning, Seeking Strength.

    Midwest Mom has thread here which contains information on personality disorders and, through her experience as an adoptive mother, on genetics.

    I found it very helpful. I think it is on Back in the Saddle's thread.

    Holding you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers, Strength.
    And holding all of our difficult children there, too.

    Faith does matter. But holding faith with someone or something does not mean we let the dark parts destroy us. It does not mean we need to remain vulnerable to the kind of pain that has nothing to teach us.

    Here is something strengthening, something that I love. Maybe, it will even bring joy. I would like that, for you.

    "We begin to look at things and people with more care, hearing words and music not heard, before. And a realization dawns that a personal daystar has begun to shine, giving us its light."

    Maria Harris
    Dance of the Spirit

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With a heading like that, lol, you had a real big clue that it was going to be a "you are so terrible to me" e-mail. I'm proud of you for being able to delete it. It was just another attempt to spin why you are the bad guy...nothing that is worth reading.

    Everyone takes a different path. When 36 is being mean to me, I truly would rather he not call me. I often let him go to voicemail, which he never uses. I have deleted his texts without reading them too when he is in a bad mood.

    With He-Who-Left-Family-For-Good I was able to beg him and his wife to meet me at his church to talk things over. I won't bore you with the details of how far I went to demean myself just so that they would see me at all and I admit I used the church because I didn't think he'd say no to mediating church people, and he didn't. When I first saw him, I felt all the love I had felt the first time he had run off th e airplane, dressed in his Hong Kong outfit, when he hugged me and ca lled me "Daddy." (We adopted him from Hong Kong. He was six when he came a nd adorable).

    By the time I left the meeting with my grown up son and his wife I felt...numb. I hugged him, but it didn't feel right. I felt I had to so I did, then got out of there quickly. Very good word is the word numb. I was very numb at the cruelty I had brought upon myself. He had a long list of rules I MUST obey in order to have the high honor of seeing him. And that would only be sometimes and either at his church or in a restaurant in which we all pay for our own meals. He wrote down such HORRIBLE, INSULTING rules that I gained extreme clarity as to who he really is and it calmed me. I have never missed him since that day. I realize I had never even known he had such a mean heart and that he did it once and, even if I followed his insane rules, I would be happier without him in my life since he was on a major power trip knowing just how much he could hurt me. I think he wanted to see if he could make me jump and do cartwheels if he snapped his fingers. And if I wouldn't, he had no intention of ever seeing me again. And that was fine with me because I haven't.

    He messaged me once on Facebook within the past three years and it was just because something on MY Facebook, which mentioned him, made him angry. I thought about deleting it, but was too curious not to look (damn!!!!). After I read the short, nasty blurb, I wrote back, "You have chosen not to include me in your life therefore I am not obligated to please you." And that was our last contact.

    I would rather not see him/hear from him/talk to him at all. I am not a masochist. While 36 is sometimes pleasant and I know he loves me, I don't feel that He-Who-Left cares about me at all. I'm not going to spend my time any more wondering about him, considering. What is the point of asking to be hurt???
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Congratulations! Empowered is GOOD! I am very happy for you SS, this is a big step! And, truly, I know what you have to go through to get there, I do. But, like me, our kids are over 30 and it's time to let go.

    My daughter is in jail today. I don't want to get involved in any of it. Tomorrow I may feel differently, but for today, the only time I am in right now, all is okay, all is good, I am feeling empowered too.

    We are all moving along this odd terrain, finding our way out.............pretty bumpy most of the time, but right now, in spite of all the unknown factors of what is going on with our kids, it's a smooth ride............that's how if feels to me. I just am not getting on that ride again. We can make that choice. And we did.
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I am so happy for you that you found the strength to double delete. It ain't easy, I know! Partly we are curious, partly we think that maybe this time there will be redemption, or at least some understandable explanation for this incredibly in comprehensible morass, and partly because WHAT IF WE MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT?

    I was at a class once where they said that anything of value will withstand three "no's". My most effective boss used to say he just refused to acknowledge pretty much anything anyone brought up the first time, figuring if it had any meaning or value it would come round again. Sometimes I go through my clogged email inbox and delete EVERYTHING. And you know what? It pretty much works! Important stuff bubbles up again, in a better way, in a better place in time.

    He will stop sending you the same old same old if he stops getting any satisfaction from it. It will taper down. Pretty soon it will be silent, then you'll get a blast in a month. If he actually finds some kindness and goodness in himself he will find a way to let you know.

    For now...block and double delete! Turn your face to to the sun, and to husband. Be proud of the woman that you've taken a lot of beating down by difficult child, and by the voices in your own head (not the crazy ones, LOL, the ones we all share).

    I am happy for your strength today.


    Oh, and I wanted to say...I totally get this. LIke so many of life's most important messages, detachment is like an onion with endless rings and layers. You learn one, peel that debris away, and voila!!! more to follow! Maybe even stronger smelling than previous (or sweeter smelling, depending on your onion)...but yes, I am very guilty of cherishing the hope that my detachment would make difficult child change.
    Sadly it doesn't work that way. We can only change ourselves.
    I have a quote from one of Child's posts.I printed it out and it is both on my desk and in my purse. It says "the only thing you can do is to work on YOU, to look at your suffering over him and try with an open heart to find the places in yourself which are still expecting or needing him to show up in a different way than he have to look at those and let those go"
    Another peel of the onion. Another layer of detachment. Working on ourselves.

    Good luck on the path!
  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    That has absolutely been it. What if i miss something important? And, in every email I have opened, guess what--it wasn't in those. I like the thought that gfg32 WILL find a way to contact us if something good or kind surfaces. and, i know NOT to wait on that day.

    My mom received an email from gfg32 yesterday that said, You haven't answered my last few emails. Are you guys okay? She said she will not respond, fearing he just wants to re-open the dialogue, so he can ask for $$.

    Last night I received an email from my mom that said, I wish I had spent money on M and D (my other two children) instead of spending so much on trying to help gfg32. They are my sweet grandchildren. I haven't told her, but my daughter mentioned that when she was younger. Why does grandma do so much for gfg32 when he is so mean?

    One time, my mom co-signed with him on a car. I think he (maybe) made one payment. About a year later, he totaled it (purposely, we think) and was furious when the pay off went to the bank and not him. He was convinced that would be his money. He was way old enough to know better.
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can set your email to block emails from particular people. We have our accounts blocked from our difficult child. That way I am not tempted to open it and I cannot get hurt by anything she says.

    We have our phones blocked, our text messages blocked, and our emails blocked. The only way she can get around that is to use someone else's phone to call us but we just don't answer if we don't know the number. I deliberately have never had a Facebook account so that is not a way for her to reach us either.

    It's the only thing we can do right now. Any contact is toxic. All she does is blame, blame, blame, and demand, demand, demand.

  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Kathy, if you use gmail, please help me. i have not found how to block on that, just filter. I did block his # on cell and will not answer unknown #'s. Like you, i know it would be toxic blaming. At this point, my guess is gfg32 would start sad, end mean.