difficult child's pity party

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by AmericanGirl, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I need techniques, ideas, whatever to help me deal with difficult child's pity party.

    It goes like this:

    difficult child: I'm tired of always being broke.
    Me: I'm sorry
    difficult child: I just don't have any money for anything.
    Me: Haven't you gotten any responses from your job applications?
    difficult child: No and I applied everywhere. (Omitting long story about walking uphill both ways in the snow to apply at WalMart three times even though he knows I know you apply online.)
    Me: Again, I'm sorry

    Then five minutes later...

    difficult child: I get my license back in 11 days.
    Me: If you pay $275.
    difficult child: I just don't see why you can't help me out. I just told you I cannot get a job and I have tried everything.
    Me: Did you talk to Mr. "Down the Street with a Lawn Business?"
    difficult child: (More stories about applying over and over.)
    Me: difficult child, you didn't get these problems overnight and they won't be solved overnight. No one forced you to drink and drive.

    (This, of course, was followed by nonsense on difficult child's part, including the 'fact' that he will unlikely be able to arise in time for his 11:00 class as I won't give him the "sleep medication" (really bipolar medications but he doesn't know that) that he now wants after throwing a fit and refusing to return to see the psy.}

    When I dropped him off, he slammed my car door. I returned the favor by lowering my window in the dorm parking lot and yelling, "difficult child, don't slam my door." I know that was wrong as he is now mad at me instead of being mad at himself.

    I get the drift that the closer difficult child gets to receiving consequences, the uglier he is going to be.

    I have no intention of allowing him to drive that car, even if they hand his license back to him (which may happen if the DUI arrest is thrown out at trial on Feb 28th.) I don't trust him.

    Any ideas welcomed. Thanks in advance!
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You need to practice the phrases to detach. Our therapist insisted that we come up with a memorized script for when we sat down to talk with difficult child prior ro him coming home for Thanksgiving. I agonized over it on the PE board and was happy when the angels there provided this list of phrases to detach. I copied them down from the PE board back in October and may have added one or two of my own...and then I wrote down what I projected difficult child would say when we finally did talk things out.

    (The funny thing is that it was my preparation for our talk in November --Yet it was LAST WEEK when difficult child said EVERYTHING on my "projected" list. SIGH)

    I'm projecting my difficult child will continue to say things such as:
    "I am an adult why do I have a curfew (need to tell you where I am etc)?"
    "Other parents are fine with their kids drinking and smoking, you're the ones with the problem"
    Pot is legal in many places and will be legal here soon!
    "Most people (or you did) party in college and they are FINE"
    "If you let me do what I want, none of this would have happened"
    "I had to lie to you because you wouldn't have wanted me to do it"
    "You refuse to compromise" (ha, as if - we've compromised so much that we are dizzy)
    "It's your fault because (you are too controlling, you breathe oxygen, your eyes are brown, you care too much, you care too little, you don't live in the real world, you are fake, this family is dysfunctional, you took me to FL instead of Aspen etc)

    Phrases to use that acknowledge but do not engage:

    This is your fault: why can't you (be like other parents?) (let me live my own life)

    "I know you feel that we're not your ideal parents. (resist to insert we know how you feel) . How do you think you should cope with that?

    Pot will be legal (is legal elsewhere)

    That is an interesting theory, I'll be happy to reconsider my point of view when the laws change"

    general phrases to detach:

    "I'm so sorry this has happened again, but I am sure you will work it out. We are not going to send you any more money."

    "Well, I'm sure you'll work it out."

    "That sounds like an interesting idea."

    "Good for you, honey!"

    "How are you handling that?"

    "How does he/she feel?"

    "I'll need to talk to your dad/guru/dog about that."

    "I don't have an answer right now. I'll do some research."

    "Sorry, I'm on my way out the door right now and can't talk!"

    "I need some time to think about that. I'll get back to you."

    "That must make you feel good."

    "That must make you feel bad."

    "How does that make you feel?"

    "What's your opinion?"

    "I'm so sorry, honey."
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here are some more from the PE archives:

    "I'm sorry to hear that."

    "So, what are you going to do?"

    "You're a smart boy; I'm sure you'll figure something out."

    'What do you think you should do about that?'

    'I'm sorry for you.'

    'What do you think you could do to not be in this situation next time?'


    'I have no response for that.'

    And my favorite:

    'Can't hear well, poor cell phone signal. It's cutting out.' (click as I hang up)
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a good friend who has a big time difficult child. She now lives in another state far away but my friend says every time she calls, she and her husband get on extension phones and to whatever she says they respond "so what are you going to do about that?"

    I feel like when I read your posts it's me in your story because I've been through so many of the same things down to having difficult child get out of the car and slam the door so hard I thought it was going to fall off, and then yelling something out at her that I'm sorry for after.

  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Sig...Kathy...Thank you so much!

    I knew I'd get great ideas here. I'm going to text these to myself so I can pretend to need to check my phone and review as needed.

    difficult child is going to give it his very best shot to wear me down. I'm not giving in but I'd like to handle this appropriately.

    The funniest part was when difficult child said I didn't understand what it felt like to be this broke. He got to listen to a story about when I was 18 and my period started. I had no supplies and was forced to hunt down change and walk about a mile to the store, hoping I had enough money, all the while worried I might have an accident. (Sorry if anyone is offended.)

    Figured he might get embarrassed and shut up but not my little difficult child....he kept going.
  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Hmmm Nancy, you made me wonder if I can turn the child locks on in the front seat. He'd have to wait until I opened the door for him. No possibility of slamming doors.


    I like the idea of repeating a phrase over and over though....he'd likely be enraged by the third response.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL I did that and told her I wasn't going to have her break my car door.

  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    AG-I poured my heart out to difficult child 2 weeks ago. Told him personal stories of how much I wanted to be a stay at home mom and that we could NEVER find the money to pay off financial decisions we had made way before we had kids and that we never did find the money. I related some of the true heartbreaks of my life from my own college years - things I never say outloud - things I HATE to even remember - and he lapped it all up like a kitten. Until he threw it back in my face - you just can't trust these kids with your heart. Not now, not maybe ever. My difficult child is lacking completely in empathy and humility. Like amputated limbs - they are amputated traits. Just not there. Hard not to take it personally but you are not alone.
  9. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Sig, I hate you understand...Know what I mean??

    They twist everything. difficult child knows I put myself through school and saved for a long time to buy this house. My parents didn't give me anything after I left home at 18.

    difficult child wants my decades of hard work to be used for his addiction and laziness.

    You do the crime, you write the check <---- my new motto.
  10. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Alabama Girl,

    I'm so glad that you have asked this question, because I can really use these responses too. Yesterday my difficult child stole $100 out of my purse, and now today he has the nerve to ask me for money. He told me that he used all of the $100 to pay back debts that he owed, and now he is begging me to just give him $10 tonight. I am furious that he stole from me, and I have refused to give him any money at all. He has spent the last several hours badgering, begging, and pleading with me to give him money. I am trying hard not to engage him, and I just keep telling him that I am not giving him any money. I know that difficult child thinks that he can wear me down if he just keeps asking me over and over. I am going to try to remember this list so that I can use these phrases with my son.

    Good luck with your difficult child, and stay strong!
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have no idea how many pots boiling over I had when Cory called me or how many times I thought I heard the cops coming to my door...lol. Both those things got him off the phone.

    I have finally convinced Cory that NO is a complete sentence that isnt going to change with me. And that Maybe, I have to think on it really does mean that I will take his question under consideration if and only if he doesnt badger me to death. If badgering ensues, the answer is a quick no. If he actually gives me time to think he has a shot on me weighing my options and most of the time I will say yes if it is something I think is appropriate. Things such as...will you guys watch the baby today or tonight so we can go out. If you demand...heck no. If you ask nicely, sure.
  12. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Sending out additional "strength" to say what needs to be said to your difficult child. I know what you mean about them trying to wear us down...They have us all figured out don't they! sigh.
    Have to try something new...You are wise to look for new answers, new ways to deal with son's pressure on you.

    Way To Go mom!
  13. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Thanks everyone. It was better today. I felt more prepared to deal with whatever he threw my way.

    I realize as the consequences begin to really come down on him (with two court dates looming in Feb. and two months since he has had a car), that he is directing his anger at me. While I can intellectually understand that, I do not have to accept it. His anger needs to stay with him, where it belongs.

    It is just sad. I know he has alienated a lot of people. I think he is lonely. That won't help the addiction...or the chance of recovery.

    But, I didn't cause it, I didn't create it and I cannot cure it.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Why mess with the child locks? Just stop giving him rides for a while until he can demonstrate he can be more responsible. Other than to a doctor/psychiatrist, he wouldn't be in my car again until he earned it. Totally logical and natural consequence. "I'm sorry. I can't give you a ride. Cars are really expensive and you almost broke the door. I am sure you will find a way to the store/friend/whatever.

    I am sorry it is so difficult. You are right, you didn't cause it or create it and only he can cure it. But you CAN protect yourself and your property.