continued issues with son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jodiehooks, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Does anyone on here know of any sample letters that I could use to write to my son? I believe it is time I told him while he is clean how his addictions and lifelong behavior has looked to his family. He really needs to hear how awful we have all felt, because it seems to me that he thinks that all he has to do is say he is sorry and things should just go back to him being back in our good standing, and him getting all the benefits of having a mother, and dad without acknowledging what needs to change for us to want to have a relationship with him. Any ideas or any sample letters would be appreciated.
  2. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    have tried that one myself. Sorry to say it didn't seem to do anything but get him angry to where he said that i was just making him feel worse and didn't i think he knew all that etc, etc. and i can't let things go blah blah... yup turned it back on me. Im sorry but i feel that if they truly want to change, they will come to that revelation on their own and want to make amends themselves. I guess its the difference between being clean of drugs/alchohol and being sober.they are not the same thing, but a completely different mindset. Maybe others can help with that one. hugs to you
  3. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    jetsam: good point, I didn't consider that although that is what he is doing now, turning things back on us, accusing us of thinking he is a piece of crap, etc. etc. by telling him that he has issues to resolve. I guess I will rethink that one. But is is hard to keep wanting to even talk to him when he only responds well if he thinks everyone is ok with everything he does. What a mess!! I can't in good conscious keep treating him as though he has done nothing wrong. I need to let him know how bad it was for me. And that I don't approve of him turning accusations upon me that are intended to hurt.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jodie, I think you might consider writing how your son's actions impacted you, for YOU. Send it to him, but remove any expectation you have about what the outcome might be, write it for you to be clear about how his actions have impacted you and so you can then let it go. Sometimes those kinds of letters can be cathartic and help us to accept what is and let go.

    It's kind of like the 4th step in the 12 step movement, where you make amends, where you do a "searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself." Whether your son chooses to hear you or not is up to him......but the putting it together part would be for you. It's usually for the addict to do the 4th step, however, I've done similar kinds of things in therapy which were for ME to put it all down and for ME to heal from it. Do it for YOU Jodie, not for your son. You can't control what he will do with it, but in the meantime, it may serve to help you to let go.

    In the letter you could map out what you are willing to do and all that you are not willing to do, starting to set some real boundaries and this would serve as his notice of your intent as well.

    Here is some info on the 4th step with some guidelines, perhaps it will give you a place to start......
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  5. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    jodi, recovering is right. I have on several occasions after that initial letter to my son to write other letters to him...i just never gave them to him because i didn't see where it would do anything good, It did however make me feel much better at the time. Yes, cathartic is a great way to put it. I kept the letters, they are tucked away. maybe to give him someday, or maybe for me to pull out and reread to gain strength from when i was a good feeling putting it on paper, validating how i felt. We get so wrapped up in THEM, that was for ME.
  6. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    I understand what you are saying. I did feel a need to tell him for my own reasons how I felt and of course he did not receive that information well. He accused his family of saying he was a piece of crap and other stuff, as though he had nothing to do with creating the hard feelings or as though what ever he does is just ok, we should not have a problem no matter how mean he has been.
  7. RN0441

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

    I know my therapist told me when I talk to son, don't say HE did this or HE did that. Instead say I FEEL, or I THINK, etc. You get the point.

    I have blocked my son on my phone and social media AGAIN after an incident last week - for MY sanity.

    I sent my son an email this week that I love him and I pray that God will help guide him to be the man that I know he can be.

    His response?? "I worked 9 hours yesterday and I don't need you making me feel bad. Why don't you call or text like a normal person"

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jodie, your son's response is a typical one around here. He may or may not get to a point where he can actually hear how much his actions harmed others......but regardless of his ability to own the truth, the truth is that he has done incredible harm to you and to your family. Because he won't own that, doesn't make it any less true.

    I have written many letters to my daughter and as long as I gave up any expectation that she would hear me, they all served to help me to heal. As Jetsam mentioned, you might decide not to send it to him, or you might send it, that's up to you.

    Don't allow your son to dictate to you what he is willing to hear......too bad.......we all have to take responsibility for our actions, that is being a grown up adult.
  9. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    RN, sounds like exactly something my son would say! lol. I laugh, because if i didn't ,the pain of what they do would make me cry. we can laugh or cry...I choose to laugh for I have already cried WAY to much. HUGS
  10. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    I have stopped trying to discuss things with my son. He cuts me off, stomps off like a child or is rude and disrespectful. so I resort to texts often. I can say my piece, without fear of being interrupted (or losing my train of thought I'm getting older lol that happens more frequently.) He can read the text or not, it just feels good getting it off my mind and off my heart and putting it out there.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I have sent letters to my son while in jail telling him how his actions have affected me, he would follow up with a collect phone call and blast me. He would tell me how I shouldn't kick him when he's down and to quit throwing his past in his face.

    So typical of my son to strap on his defenses. My son has never truly owned up to all the chaos he put us through, let alone his own actions that landed him in jail.

    From my own experience, I would be very cautious about sending that letter. I know now that I sent the letter to my son for ME not him. I wanted him to understand how his actions have affected me. The problem is, he doesn't want to know and he doesn't care.

    ((HUGS)) to you..................
  12. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    We had to write these letters when son was in treatment...

    Son eventually told us he carried his father's with him for strength...I don't know what it said, but it's a cherished possession. Mine was filled with resentment and bitterness....

    He had to read then out loud....powerful. even if yours doesn't....I believe it's a good release for you...and truth for them.

    I looked for a template
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  13. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    Same thing for me. I said no to my daughter. She wanted me to sign for an apartment in another state. Then I told her that I'm 71 and I'm tired and I didn't want the stress of wondering if she would stay in CO. I'd worried enough. And something about how her decisions for the past 9 years have affected my life. I'd never said anything like that to her before. I'd just gut up and do what I felt I had to do to help her. No matter what it meant for my life, my peace, or my marriage. Well, her response was "right on mom". I also too her that she is an innovative woman and I'm sure she'll find housing. Haven't heard from her since. About 6 weeks. I asked to speak to my granddaughters. No response. (Texting). Sent birthday gifts. No response. Her birthday is coming up. I thought I'd send a card. No money. But I'm not sure about that. She blames me for everything. Said I'm malicious and like to see her suffer. It's actually peaceful now, but I do miss my granddaughters. A friend in the mental health field said she's really not capable of caring. But she comes across as so " together". I guess it's an act.
  14. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Mamacat, mof and Tanya: This really helps and I am glad to hear from all of you. I do get into a gut wrenching feeling when he or my daughter responds like this. I will say my daughter who was homeless this past summer, no longer does this. She just isolates herself and I have no idea if she is ok or not. But with the son, he has a way of attacking people when he feels hurt or like he deserves something and you are not co operating. I called him on that in my response to his question, and I am sure he was offended at the suggestion that he uses peoples guilt to turn it on them and make them give what he wants. Perhaps he is unaware of doing this (I doubt it, I think he knows this is his way to get what he wants), or perhaps it is like you all say, this is a typical response. I do feel better and am back on track now. Thanks to all of you.
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  15. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    Just received "stop walking on eggshells." I think it's going to be very helpful. Opinions, please.......should I send a birthday card? I can't iimagine not acknowledging her birthday. It was traditional for me to call her at the time she was born, as my mother did for me. I don't want her to take it as I'm weakening because I'm NOT!
  16. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    what is walking on eggshells? I think I would send one, its up to her how she feels about it. You can do what your heart feels its right to do. I think the same way, on my kids birthdays I at least try to talk to them.
  17. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I haven't read the book, but I would say, if you want to send a card, send it. If you want to call at a specific time, do it. You can set boundaries where you want them. I think even if I withdrew from most contact, I would still reach out to my Difficult Child and let her know I still care and think about her, but not be drawn in to giving money or those boundaries you refuse to cross.

  18. RN0441

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

    I think you should send the card. If you want to do it, DO it. These little things we stress over don't really matter much in the big picture.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The book is good. I would buy it.

    Send a non sappy card and simply sign Love Mom to avoid further drama and abuse by writing words you'd like to say. She will turn it on you. If she sends you a message not to send card especially with abuse attached to it, just don't fuel the fire by responding.

    I don't think they read our letters except to make us seem mean to them, the (cough) victim, him or her. They miss our message. Gone boy said my letters prove I am crazy and archive them in his computer. No idea why but I dont think letters work for most victom kids.

    They don't care how they affect us sadly. And tje dont accept responsibility.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  20. RN0441

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

    This statement really resignated with me. I do not understand either how my son doesn't acknowledge all the pain and expense he has caused us and all the bad memories he has created. I can't unsee or unfeel the things he has done to not only us as his parents, but his older brothers that lived with us and worked trying to get ahead a little bit after college. Stealing their money, their cars etc. I think that is why its SO important to go through the twelve steps. Of course, he wants NOTHING to do with that. I am happy to hear that some Difficult Child on this forum DO eventually acknowledge and apologize for all of it and I'm getting to the point where this is mandatory for me. I will not accept sweeping anything more under the rug. I have so much anger.