I am an idiot. Why, why, why do I harbor hope that this will get any better? I had posted that the prison visit with difficult child 1 didn't go well. I sent him a letter and then left to go out of town on a retreat. (it was wonderful) Now I am back and within days am in the full throes of emotional turmoil of my screwed up family life. While I was away my husband visited difficult child 1 in prison on his birthday. My son refused to see him. It is a 4 hr. drive round trip. My husband was heartbroken but said it was the right thing to do so difficult child 1 knew that someone wanted to be with him on his birthday. So difficult child 1 calls last night. He read the letter and liked my honesty. He thanked me for the birthday card. He has court this week. Small talk. Then he starts his bizarre talk about how his father emotionally froze him out as a child (untrue!) and is the Emperor (say WHAT?) and how he is on the brink of just walking away from all of us because WE are screwed up but he will try to give us another chance. Conversations with him are almost like a barrage of machine gun fire of perceived misdeeds against him. He is so mean, deliberate and so imperious in his delivery of these insults. It is very hard to hear him/understand him on the prison phone and I ask if he can write to us. I am hoping if he writes perhaps his thinking would be more ordered and I could understand what he is saying. He says he doesn't want to spend the money in the commissary on the paper, pen and stamps. Prices are inflated and the pens don't work. I fund the commissary account so it's not on his dime and I am thinking he has plenty of time. But no. He is obviously still very ill. The medicine they are giving him is not helping enough. Then at the end of the conversation he says, oh yeah, can you put $50 in my commissary account? Dazed and confused I say, "Yes, but with your court date this week let's hold off until we know if you will be released or transferred." I know that "yes" was not the answer I wanted to give and I wanted to buy some time. He agrees. Conversation over. This is a familiar pattern with my difficult child's. Wear me down, confound and confuse me and then go in for the kill....ask for $$$$$. Today I am livid. So the phone rings and it's him from prison again. His court date has been delayed so he tells me not to come to court. He says, now can you fund my account? I ask him flat out if that's the only reason he calls. Each time he has called he has asked for money. First je doesn't understand and says, "No, I called so you don't make an unwarranted trip". Then, he gets my gist and says "you people" are sick and have problems and are the reason I am in jail. Incredulous I say...wait, you are blaming us for being in jail? And he says yes. It is our attachment issues that put him there. Delusional. He is "trying to make his brain healthy and if I have to be a SOB to do it I will cut off all contact with you people". He also adds that he hates his father and never wants to see or speak with him again but will try with me and only me to keep a relationship. I said, "I find that problematic," and he says don't send the money, I'd rather starve and hangs up. Again, I am immobilized by my emotions. When I was away I felt good. I came home and thought "that did me some good. I feel calmer". And within days I know the difference between here and there. I was lighter there. I popped out of bed and started my day with no hesitation or reservation or demands or expectations. Here each day the preponderance of problems, obligations and expectations hits me the moment I open my eyes and just the very act of putting my feet on the floor and moving feels like a monumental effort. I know that arguing with a bipolar difficult child 1 is like arguing with a drunk, but I could no longer assuage his anger with my fake passivity. It doesn't work. He is still angry and his perception is still skewed and tamping down my feelings again and again leaves me depleted and depressed. In the last 12 hours I just got a big reality check. But I'd rather that than to keep swallowing my feelings and being emotionally frozen. Man, I am mad!