difficult child manipulations?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by janebrain, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi All,
    some of you saw my postings on General this past weekend regarding next door neighbor difficult child and her claims of abuse and the stress on me and my difficult child 2 because of her reminding us of my difficult child 1. Well, on Monday night my difficult child 1 called.

    She said she wanted to come home for a one week visit. She lives in Seattle, is 6 months pregnant, and just had her last day on her job (exotic dancer). She said her boyfriend and my easy child son would be going out fishing (they work on a commercial fishing boat) and she doesn't like to be alone so she thought this would be a good time to come visit.

    Okay, I was not thrilled because of my past experiences with her in my home but figured a week was doable and I would like to see her and maybe it would be fun, etc. But I was feeling uneasy over the whole thing. She said she would call the next day to let me know the details--she would be buying the tickets and would let me know the plans.

    She called me yesterday to say she had decided to take the bus rather than fly because they couldn't get any affordable tickets without using the internet and charging it to a credit card. I asked how much it was to take the bus and she said $212.00. I asked if that was round trip and she asked boyfriend who said it was one way.

    Well, the alarms were really going off for me so I said I would have to call her back later. I talked with husband and we agreed that there must be a problem. I know her lease runs out this month so maybe she hasn't got a place to live while the guys fish? Anyway, I do know that she cannot come here with a one way ticket. She said boyfriend would send her a plane ticket "later." Yeah, like 6 months later? The baby is due in November.

    So, I called her back and said, "I know you have a problem but we can't help you with the solution." She sounded confused so I spelled it out. She cannot come here and stay. She said, "it's only for a week." I don't remember what I said but let her know I didn't believe that was the real plan. She said, "okay, I won't come at all then, goodbye" and hung up. My husband says now we have to get ready for round two because he figures they will concoct some other story to try to get us to help them.

    I hate this--I hate not being able to trust her and being suspicious and not being able to just let her come for a week. I wish she would be upfront about what is going on but she never is. She presents us with a picture of her life that is all fine and good until she has a problem.

    My husband says it is just the same old thing and I think he's right. He says, "boyfriend knocked her up, let him take responsibility." If you knew my nerdy husband you would be shocked to hear those words come out of his mouth. He is absolutely right though. I think boyfriend sees us as the solution to their problems and for some reason he thinks we can't learn from our past mistakes of giving them assistance.

    Okay, gotta go but thanks for listening!

  2. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I don't really have any advice, but experience has taught me that our gut reaction to our difficult child's is usually right on. I hate that they do this to US. That good honorable parents are put in a position to have to question themselves and their child. Always makes me nervous and I hate that feeling. I think that is where PTSD comes in. I'm sorry for you and hope you trust your "gut".
  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Thank you, MT3, it is so nice to have people who understand! I told my husband that he will have to keep reminding me why I am not letting her come to visit. I start feeling sorry for her or doubt will creep in--I'll think, "what if she really does just want to visit us because she misses us" and I'm such a mean mom that I won't let her. I have to remind myself of my past experiences with her and some of them are not so long ago--just a few months ago, where I found out she was lying about her whole life really.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am sorry - This has got to be incredibly hard for you! Hang in there and following your feelings. For many of our kids, they need to be cut off of all support in order to tap into their own ability to get by.
  5. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Sadly, I do understand perfectly. You never have to feel alone, that's for sure.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Another one who understands the guilt, the pain, the doubt. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, odds are it's a duck. A one-way ticket with the return to be purchased at some unknown point smells like a duck to me. It stinks!

    I'm sorry she's putting you through this, especially with a baby involved. I can only imagine your pain.

    For whatever it is worth, here's another one who thinks you're doing the right thing regardless of how much it hurts you to do this.
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have not been through a similar situation (yet! give it time...) but I think you did the right thing. I also feel bad because I know that it was hard for you to do.

    Her showing up and then overstaying her welcome would be pretty rough on easy child, I think.

    Hugs now and any time you need them.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Throw my vote into the "you did the right thing" pile.
    Those warning bells go off for a reason, and it usually doesn't pay to ignore them.

    We want so badly with our difficult children to believe that THIS time, things will be different. This time they're not lying or manipulating us, or trying to pull the wool over our eyes. I think our wanting to believe in them so badly is more about grieving our dead dreams for our kids than the likelihood that this time will be different.

    As I said to my difficult child a few weeks ago, "I can never believe a word you say unless I have independent proof of it from another source. It doesn't even matter that you're telling the truth this time. With your track record, I will always assume you're lying, if all I have to go on is your word."

    {{{Hugs}}} Jane, I know it hurts.

  9. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Yep, I think they were playing the "baby" card.......trying to get to your home, then I'm sure problems would arise with travel while pregnant.......then after giving birth.....hoping you will fall totally for childcare and just take over for the baby's sake.......You called it correctly.......doesn't make it easier to swallow though........thinking of you and sending any spare strength I have..........
  10. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I have difficult child and easy child that's pregnant right now. Sigh.
    I'm in the "you did the right thing" pile too.
    I'm starting to think that no matter how you raise them, how hard you work at it, their culture takes over.
  11. Genny

    Genny Worlds Best Nana

    Nobody plans a short "visit" with a one-way ticket.

    You did good...just keep reminding yourself of that!
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Her boyfriend sounds like my husband. Well, how husband used to be until I wised up.

    If it was a one way ticket, she wasn't just planning to visit. Might have been one thing if she'd said "Can I stay just til we find a new place" but she had to be sneaky about it.

    I know how you feel. Stepgfg is that way.:mad: Yep. I'd be ready for round 2. And husband is right, boyfriend can take the responsibility.

  13. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    You guys are the greatest, your support means so much to me! I haven't heard from difficult child, not sure if that is good or not. One of my co-workers said, "she wouldn't just show up, would she?" Well, she might. My husband thinks the probability is not high but wouldn't count it out. He said the thing with difficult child is that you can never seem to figure out what she will do--she always surprises you. He said he hopes if he worries about enough scenarios that they won't happen!:)

    I do know if she does just get on that bus and comes home that we cannot let her stay with us. I promised difficult child 2/easy child that she would never live with us again and I meant it. I have to put difficult child 2/easy child first now, after putting her sister first for so many years because of her mental health issues.

    So, I'm not sure what I should do if she does show up but I can't let her stay with us.

    I'll let you know any updates I may have and thanks again!

  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've had several conversations with my Oldest lately where I found myself questioning every single thing she told me. It's really hard to be only half listening, and thinking "she's lying, I know she is, this can't possibly be true." And of course I found out later, that I was right. I agree that you need to trust your gut. YES, you did the right thing. Absolutely.
  15. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I definitely think that the "visit" was a pretext too. You and husband were wise to ask questions.

    There's a high probability that my wife and I will be having to deal with this kind of thing too at some point, I believe. Like you, we've made a firm decision that difficult child will not live with us again. But there's a gray area with in-home visits. I think you all did just right to dig beneath the surface assurance that it was just a week. It is a shame that you have to be on your guard like that, when with a easy child you needn't give it a second thought.

    And why do difficult children keep thinking that their subterfuges will work? It's all of a piece with repeatedly failing to learn from experience, I guess. We do, but they don't. In the past I don't know how many times difficult child tried to feed us a story that was so full of inconsistencies and illogic that it crumbled under the least scrutiny and ended with her screaming "Why don't you trust me?"
  16. Kolleen

    Kolleen Guest

    Just remember the phrase from a song from "Annie." I'Tourette's Syndrome a hard-knock life. IT's that way because of THEIR continued behaviors. We'd be happy to give them shelter, second & millionth chances if they didn't abuse every opportunity.

    Get yourself a cute little trinket box. Put all your guilt, second thoughts, worries, & tears in that box. Close it. Then forget about them. I have to put all my fears about "Launching" sonnyboy in Sept. out of my mind. If I think about them I won't be able to do it. They are boxed up in my brain and I keep telling my friends.............. don't say anything about what might happen to him when I kick him out.

    Have your contingency plan in place if she shows up. I agree with Herewegoagain.............. Why don't they learn new behavior patterns, and Trinityroyal......... don't believe that this time it will be different.
    It never is.

    Remember they are the Masters of Manipulation - They will figure ways out to take care of themslves!

    I have to come up with 'slogans' to keep me going. My latest... instead of having a mental lapse, I like: we are having 'mental laps' with them. Same ole...... same ole....... same ole........
    Same ole...... same ole....... same ole........
    Same ole...... same ole....... same ole........
    Same ole...... same ole....... same ole........

    Stay strong - Let's Out Smart the little dickens!!! :laugh: