Empty Nest = Escalated Drama?! A Long Vent ...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CrazyinVA, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My week since becoming an empty nester:

    1. Friday, father of Youngest’s baby demands that she bring their son to him for visitation (his very FIRST visitation weekend, since an order was finally put in place), because he has no money for gas. He says if she doesn’t , she’s “denying” him visitation with his child. Note this is his very first visitation weekend. She stands strong and he miraculously finds a way to pick Aidan up from daycare.

    2. Received a call Saturday night from Youngest’s downstairs neighbor, telling me she and her friend had locked themselves out on the balcony. I was an hour and a half away at a wedding, couldn’t do a thing. The neighbor was very nice, called maintenance to rescue them.

    3. Sunday, father of Youngest’s baby decides that he will bring Aidan back at 3, instead of the originally scheduled 7, causing Youngest to cancel all her plans (no, I will not babysit). He says if she is not home at 3 he will sit with Aidan in a hot car until she gets home. She tries to compromise and be home at 4, then his mother calls her screaming that she’s neglecting her son.

    4. Received a call Sunday from Oldest, crying and despondent and insinuating she might end it all because she was so depressed, couldn’t find a job, felt unloved, yada yada yada. I (have the nerve to) suggest this is a pattern with her, every couple of years she spirals downward and wants to admit herself, gets help then drops medications and therapy after just a few weeks. I remind her she has a diagnosed mental illness, and until she accepts that and gets permanent help, this cycle will continue. She gets angry. I never say anything nice about her, I only tell her how she screws up all the time. yada yada yada. She hangs up with a dramatic, “I’m done with this family, goodbye.” (how many times have I heard that?!) An hour later she calls, in an angry mood this time, demanding that I clean off the extra computer so she can have to draft her resume. I tell her I’ll try to get to it (I did promise her this awhile back), but remind her she can go to the library and do that, too.

    5. Every night this week, the father has called Youngest threatening to come over and bring his stuff to move in with her. He hasn’t shown up, but she is pretty scared. I think she’s almost ready to file for a protective order.

    6. Oldest called again saying all her belongings are gone, the belongings she left at a friend’s house a good six weeks ago and never went back to get (note that she says nothing about our conversation Sunday, this is very typical.. it's like it never happened). She has stuff with her in her new place, but not everything. She calls again the next morning saying their house has been burglarized. Luckily, nothing of value of hers is gone, except her wallet.. which contained her social security card. Note that they leave their door unlocked often .. so I don’t have my sympathy. Also note that I need to remember not to buy things for Oldest as gifts, since she doesn’t take care of her things and many of the gifts I chose for her over the years are gone with the wind.

    7. Oldest called again (3rd or 4th mood this week) to say she might have found a job. Note she’s said this to me several times in the past few weeks, once even asked me for money until her first waitressing shift (note that she never got this “sure thing” job, after all). I didn’t give her money. She's downright giddy this time. Ahhhh mood swings.

    8. Baby’s father called Youngest last night to say that if she wants her child support (his very FIRST payment, since an order was put in place), she has to come get it, because he isn’t wasting the gas to bring it to her. He continues to harass her all night about getting back together, leaving creepy messages like “we WILL be together again.. we WILL be a family… I’m taking back CONTROL of you …”

    Yes, she says she is finally going to court on Monday, and file to (re)settle all issues. I think the protective order is the most important, and pray she follows through with that. Note she chose to receive payments directly from him, because Child Support Enforcement is so backed up it may take several months before they get around to taking it out of his paycheck and getting it to her.

    So goes my first week as an empty nester.. and it’s not even been a full week yet. The good news is, I hear this drama over the phone, and not live in my own apartment. The bad news is, there is still drama. And I get sucked into it, just by listening.

    None of these things are my problem. I understand wanting to vent to your mom.. and in Youngest’s case she actually has been taking my advice lately (I had so many similar issues with her dad, although he was nowhere near as crazy as the baby’s father), but this is wearing me out. Truly, I wonder if they are (subconsciously? purposely?) escalating the drama.. at least the reports to me... BECAUSE I am finally on my own. Blech.

    I’m looking forward to the weekend and some social activities for ME. I may just turn off the dang cellphone, too. And, in two weeks, I head to the Outer Banks of NC for a week with my friends. NO kids. YAAAY.

    Thanks for reading my vent.
  2. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh Crazy.... :( :)

    We found when our difficult child was gone physically .... he was not really gone... :crazy1:

    The Chaos Continues.....


    Enjoy your weekend and do shut off the cell phone.... it will be waiting for you when you get back. :( I can guarantee that! :crazy1:

  3. dirobb

    dirobb I am a CD addict

    start counting down the days to NC. Sounds like a relaxing time. Leave the phone. Enjoy yourself with-o drama.
  4. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    "Empty? Nest"......I'd be thinking about unplugging the phone......getting a new number or a cheap pay as you go.....with a new number........funny thing was all of these "emergencies" could have been handled by others and most were. Amazing what gets done when you just "withdraw".......Looking forward to week two.........
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It occurs to me that they each call me about every single thing ... well, oldest does, and now youngest is starting. I don't need to know, do I?!
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Good for you for remaining so unmoved by their cries for help!

    I would be tempted to change my number or add a line so whenever your old one rings, you can choose to ignore it altogether - and do not hook up a machine, so they can't even leave messages! I'm on a mean streak though. lol

    The outer banks sounds like a wonderful getaway - and with FRIENDS, no family, even better!

    My easy child calls me every day. EVERY DAY. She called me the other night crying because the thunder and lightening storm was her first in her new apt - she was scared and the lights were flickering. She called me crying the other day because her kitchen was infested with flies and she was grossed out and her landlord won't do anything. I threatened to call the landlord - she stopped crying and said, "Mom, I think I can handle this." and hung up! Hahaha.

    Have fun next week!
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JoG.. are you sure your difficult child doesn't live in the same complex?! One of Youngest's calls yesterday was about flies in her apartment!! I told her to go to Target and get a $1.00 flyswatter. :)

    I used to have special ringtones on my cell for the kids' calls, I need to do that again (lost those ringtones when I got a new phone). I think that would be enough, I don't want to change the number. Now if I can only refrain from picking something like Ozzy's "Crazy Train" as the ringtone ;-)

    I leave for OBX on June 28th.. counting down ...
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'd be counting the days too, Crazy. Turn off the phone!!! :)

  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Tell youngest that ex ought to be making his child support payment via the child support enforcement agency, not directly to her. And next time I'd advise her that if she doesn't want to have to change her plans when deadbeat Dad has the baby then to NOT answer the phone til time for the baby to be returned. I have a feeling the early returns are going to be habitual.

    My nest isn't empty yet. But I discovered with easy child that I spoke/saw her more often once she moved out than during her entire teen years at home. :rofl:

    Unplug the phone and take the weekend off.

  10. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


  11. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Crazy: "Truly, I wonder if they are (subconsciously? purposely?) escalating the drama.. at least the reports to me... BECAUSE I am finally on my own. Blech."

    I can answer that one -- YES!

    Re youngest and baby-dad support payments -- someone ought to tell them about the postal service -- but I'm sure there'd be a reason why he can't mail a check or money order. Ultimately youngest will have to go through the c.s. enforcement route.

    Practice your detachment (remember that list that's been posted here from time to time? You know, things to say when they call to plead for a bail out -- "That's too bad, I'm sure you will be able to figure something out" -- "No." -- "What do you plan to do about it?" -- "No." -- etc.)

    Daisy is right about the early returns becoming habitual, as will the other shenanigans with visitation and child support. I agree she needs that protective order. Visitation should be supervised too. But, it is up to youngest to follow through -- when she calls to complain you could maybe ask if she is following up, as a gentle reminder that it is her responsibility.

    I think you will find that the empty nest brings some serenity in the coming months. Enjoy your trip, and don't forget to "forget" your phone!
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I have a "quirky" ringtone that my cousin sent me. It says "um Hi dis is your friend calling you...he say helloooooooo. hiiiiiiiiiiii. ring ring ...ring ring. wat u doing? i'm calling you but you're not answering your phone. why? you busy? why aren't you answering your phone? what you doing? "

    It just goes on and on from there and finishes up with something about liking horses and going to play with my horse now. I could forward it to you if you want.