Clarification talk with difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    First I called my ex and talked to him then I called my son and confronted him about all his kill talk, both suicide and other. He broke down crying and said he didn't even know how to shoot a gun, but that if he had one and lost the case, he would most likely turn it on himself because then he lost everything. I told him that he has made me afraid of him and the self-pitying crying turned to anger. "How can you even think I meant it?"

    I asked about his ex.

    "I wish she'd die every day. She has ruined my life on purpose. But I'm not going to do anything to her. Just myself maybe and not until I know."

    The talk went on this way for about an hour, with him getting more and more agitated and telling me that he needed help but had no extra money for therapy right now. I didn't know what to say to that. He doesn't have money left and my husband and I always spend all we have and barely make it. I'd probably pay for him to go to therapy if I could, but it's not possible. He claims he makes too much to qualify for services at his country clinic...that they don't take into consideration any of his massive expenses. I sort of believe him. He's so unhappy, I think he'd see anyone if he could. would also have to be somebody who would see him in the evenings and weekends and the county place isn't open then. He has already missed tons of work due to court and his boss is very unhappy.

    Ok, then came the bad part (like the first part wasn't bad). He asked me not to tell anyone what he said. I told him that if he ever says it again I'm going to call somebody. He said who. I said I didn't know. That set off a wild rant of how I think he's capable of this and that and a slew of swearing and how I'm a useless parent. Ended up hanging up on him, but I feel a little better.

    After I got off I called ex back. I was surprised that HE is as stressed as I am and he talked about how he's not going to get an ulcer over this, but that it's taking a toll. I can't handle it anymore. I'm going to be a bad mom, I guess, because this adult kid is off the rails and I can't help him. He even said, "If I had anyone else to talk to I would because you are not helpful."

    Honestly, I wanted to scream, as I've been trying so hard to support him. I know he has nobody else and love his son to pieces, but I stayed on long enough to remind him that even if he didn't see his son as much as he liked, he needed to be a good role model for him and couldn't do anything to himself or anyone else. He did say "I know" in a soft voice.

    The deposition is terrifying him. I don't want to live through it with him. Maybe I'll just put him on every three days. If he weren't mentally ill and if Scott hadn't left, I may not be talking to him at all. He says horrible things when he is under stress. He has never been under this much stress. It isn't pretty.

    Anyhow...thanks for listening.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Serenity prayer time and re read the "phrases to detach."

    I know it's incredibly hard. I just opened my journal and I am copying and pasting the 10 Commandments for parenting your adult child. I realize your son is not asking for money to be self destructive - but I also don't want you to feel bad because you don't have money to give him. And while his "death talk" may seem rational to him, or he may want to turn it on you for actually believing his words (I mean really? He talks about suicidal tendencies or wishing ex dead and then gets mad at YOU for listening to him and believing the words from his mouth???) it's not "your fault" for having and holding higher standards.

    Stay strong, dear friend

    If you're enabling your adult child, Allison Bottke's "ten commandments" could help you break that negative pattern.
    1. You shall take care of your own spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and financial health.
    2. You shall remember to express love and attention to your spouse and other family members and friends in addition to your troubled adult child.
    3. You shall not accept excuses.
    4. You shall understand that a clear definition of right and wrong is imperative for a disciplined society. There is no room for gray. Don't make excuses for what you believe.
    5. You shall make fact-based judgments without excuse, and feel okay doing so.
    6. You shall uphold standards of behavior that protect your morals, values and integrity.
    7. You shall give your adult child unconditional love and support without meddling and without money.
    8. You shall listen to music and read books that will focus your mind on your HP.
    9. You shall celebrate life and love as often as possible, even in times of trouble.
    10. You shall consistently practice the six steps to SANITY:
    S = Stop enabling, stop blaming yourself, and stop the flow of money
    A = Assemble a support group
    N = Nip excuses in the bud
    I = Implement boundaries
    T = Trust your instincts
    Y = Yield everything to God.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    MWM you are doing everything you can. You were upfront with him and let him know your concerns. I think you made an excellent decision.
  4. accmama

    accmama Guest

    I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the stress and worry you must be feeling.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thanks you all, my confidantes and beloved friends.

    Sig, I have printed out those wonderful commandments and posted them behind my desk on the wall so I can just turn around and read them when times get tough. I wish they had a CODA group here. They don't so I am stuck with Al-Anon or Narc-Anon and feel a bit like an outsider. My son's issues are not primarily fueled by substance abuse. CODA is for all people who feel we can fix our dysfunctional loved ones, which of course we can not do.

    I know this and I still can not 100% let him be alone. It was easier to make decisions regarding my daughter when she used drugs. I think it is because we did not know the true extent of her drug use and because, in spite of her drug behavior, did not threaten to kill herself except for the time she pulled a knife on herself and then, because I could SEE her doing it, when I called for help, I got help. She was never as "off the wall" as 35. Heck, I've never seen 35 this fragile. I am really afraid of suicide here and yet, because he spoke scary words, am also afraid to be with him. That ends any possibility of my being there for the trial. I just can't take that risk. There are others who need me too...I can't take a chance that the trial going against him will send him into a frenzied whatever!!!! So ex is going, but I am not.

    I have come to the point where I am encouraging him to forget about the custody battle and take care of himself because he won't be able to take care of anyone if he doesn't. I have started telling him to go to ER. I will continue to do so. If he hangs up, he hangs up. He needs help more than anything right now and, in his state of mind, he needs it ASAP. That will be my mom's best advice to him. No more talking about the custody case. He needs to get his head straight first.

    I am trying to answer other threads. Please forgive me if I am a bit too mentally tired to help as much as I usually try to do.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    One of the few things that you SHOULD do now is to look up the phone number for the police in his area. Put it into your cell phone or write it on your phone list. Given that he is speaking of suicide and homicide, if he says anything about it, you will be able to have the number handy to call. It will allow you to follow through and it will give you a sense of knowing what to do.

    The rule is that if they say they want to kill themselves, or that they are going to, you call the cops in his area. Ask for a welfare check because he is telling you he wants to/is going to hurt/kill himself/ex/whomever.

    They will go visit him. If this upsets his custody battle, that is HIS CHOICE. You told him you would call someone and you MUST or he will hold this threat over your head every time he has a problem. Even if you never call, having the number and knowing you CAN call with-o having to search for the number during the panic and urgency of a crisis will give you some sense of control over the situation.

    It does often work. Even drunk my gfgbro stopped talking about suicide years ago because I called hte sheriff in his area and told htme he was drunk, at a remote place, and called me to tell me goodbye forever. He did NOT like having the cops come, esp as they already knew him and how paranoid and over-armed he gets when drinking. They go in with guns drawn when you live out in the boonies in the state he was in. esp as the people near him are borderline militia types. He HATED me for it, but he never again called with the threat of suicide. He knew I would not joke around and would not just give sympathy.

    I am sorry he is miserable, but he seems determined to just blame you and take it out on you or whomever is around rather than to even attempt to try anything you suggest. NOtHNG you suggest other than giving him lots of cash will be what he wants. Do NOT feel bad because you have no $$ to help him. He is a fully grown adult iwth a child and in my opinion he needs to put more effort into trying to pull his head out rather than to just blame everyone else. He seems to be getting a good deal out of being able to blame everything on you and/or his dad, and that is just wrong. Who does he think his child will blame everything on? Given his instability emotionally, your grandson has got to be in a ton of turmoil and distress. in my opinion your son needs to figure out how to grow up and find a way to provide the calm and stability that his child needs. He seems to focus only on himself and that is NOT someone who needs custody of a child. It isn't fair to the child. Sadly, it sounds like your grandson has two parents more focused on themselves and their wants rather than on what is best for him.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Susie, he doesn't blame me, except for being "stupid" for not knowing what he wants me to I don't feel guilty about not having money for him. I'm GLAD! He would lie to me to get me to feel sorry for him and get money. He has done this to my ex. I'd rather not have him come to me only for money. His newest ploy is telling ex he was diagnosed with an ulcer and ex feels so sorry for him that he is now going to pay for his psychology bills. It's not true, of course. Son has IBS. But I'm not getting involved in that mess. I warned ex a long time ago not to give him any extra money and he won't is now on ex to figure out that he is being played. He doesn't want to see it, even though he gets as upset as I do over 35. Ex is feeling guilt galore over 35's alleged ulcer. Really, I give up giving advice to anyone in this. Nobody listens anyway. I am trying to detach. If I tell ex flat out and he gets angry at 35 and withdraws his financial support for psychological help, I'm going to make myself a target for 35s wrath and I selfishly don't want it. Ex should ask for proof of the ulcer.

    Since he knows I will now call somebody if he mentions suicide, he probably won't. But if he does, yes, I will call 9-1-1. Thanks for the post :)