Every (rare) Family Gathering.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DazedandConfused, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Son always has to say something inappropriate (I hate the overuse of this word, but it fits here).

    Without fail, he blurts something to the entire table. It's either my private business or, like this time, cursing at the table.

    What is wrong with him???

    After once again going on a tangent about having to work Xmas day, he starts in about his anger and the anger of others and then drops the F-bomb while sitting next to his young cousin.

    I say, "Really, Son?? Here?"

    He abruptly says he done eating and leaves to go home. Home is my house because he still lives under my roof. Which, by the way, is another story.

    About 15 minutes later, I hear my phone chime. A text from him. "Never mind, I don't want your X-mas present of tickets of my favorite team's game. You can sell them. " I simply" respond, "ok"

    Then, he begins to lay a guilt trip on me. Blah, blah, "I'll just die and go with God and you'll lever have to deal with me again." Also, "You don't listen right." Then, about why he left. "I was about to ruin your whole new year but got up like a mature adult and left the scene."

    OMG! Just say you're sorry for the f-bomb. Geez.

    Then, when I got home there was more:

    "You don't care about anybody but yourself" To which I informed him that, "If that were true, you wouldn't be living here, Pal."

    "She's heard worse!" Highly unlikely considering my very conservative sister in law.

    Thankfully, husband has taken him to work. He normally rides the bus because he doesn't have his driver's license because he's terrified to drive. Which he will not admit. Oh, I'm also a bad mother because I won't drive him" all the way" to work in another town like his Dad. See, I'll drive him to the bus stop in town so he has to transfer one less time.

    I couldn't resist to retort: "You have my sincere condolences for having a mother who would neglect her ADULT son in such an egregious manner. Perhaps I should be reported to the authorities?"

    I just want to wrap my hands around his skinny little neck!
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  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    They feel so hard done by and yet what they do to us! They are lucky to have us enhanced in any way fashionable with them.

    With my parents when you acted out you got a boot in the but out the back door and that was that. Not that I b live that was h Kodak in any fashion. Many of my siblings are pretty messed up but where does the answer lie? I sure don’t know.

    Big hugs to you.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Priceless, whines like a child, has the nerve to tell you don't listen right, then makes a claim that he's a mature adult. You can't make this stuff up.

    I think this response was perfect!

    I'm sorry you and your family had to endure such disrespect.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We tolerate more crapola from them as an adult...more baby behavior...than we tolerated when they whined and threw tantrums at two years old.

    What's wrong with this picture?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is never fun when our children actively try to embarrass us around our relatives. Maybe you need to start putting his behavior on him. Tell the relatives that you have done all you can to teach him good manners and behavior, but he just refuses to behave well. If they have a problem with his manners or behavior, they need to speak directly to him as he is an adult. I know my parents were not thrilled when I told them this about my daughter. She lived with me, but she was an adult and was responsible for her own behavior. I would let her know that her grandmother wanted to speak with her, but that was all I would do about the matter. You don't have to feel embarrassment because he behaved badly. You taught him better, he chose to behave badly. That is on him, not you.My daughter is usually well behaved but whatever she had done, she didn't do it again after Grandma explained that it was not a good thing to do. If she had done it again, I would not have been the one that heard about it. If I did hear about it, I would have told them it was not my problem. Mostly because it wasn't. I didn't do it.

    It is hard when you first start to think like this, but after a while it actually becomes natural. You stop owning everything, and that is a good thing. You cannot control your son, no matter what you do, say, tolerate or buy for him. I don't care how afraid or sensitive he is. He has to own his own actions, and he is the only one in control of his behavior and choices. HE needs to be the one to reap the consequences, not you. If you feel bad and he does not, he is not reaping any consequences. The only one with consequences is you.

    I hope your new year gets better. Maybe your family gatherings in 2018 should not include your son. He clearly doesn't want to be there. so don't even mention it to him. Just don't include him at all. When he asks why he wasn't invited, tell him that you knew his poor behavior would embarrass him and upset everyone else, so you just went without him. Act like it is no big deal. When he plays the "you just don't want me around, you don't love me" card, brush it off like nonsense. Tell him not to be silly, you just wanted to spare him the embarrassment of not being able to control himself. When he is better able to control himself, he will be welcome to join the family at gatherings." Not that YOU will love him, that HE will be welcome. The focus is on him, on HIS control of his behavior, on HIS embarrassment. None of it is on you being embarrassed or you not wanting him there. Mostly because it isn't about you, though you are embarrassed for him because he doesn't have the sense right now to be embarrassed for himself.

    With this, the more matter of fact you are as you put the emphasis on HIM and not you, the more effective it will be. With his tantrums, if you address them, be matter of fact and keep your emotions low. Don't yell or respond with a lot of drama. He is high emotion and he wants a high emotion response. There is a school of thought that says you can get sort of hooked on the adrenaline of the conflama (conflict + drama, don't you think it expresses what they want perfectly?). Then when you don't have it, you want to make it. You create a crisis or throw a tantrum just to get that adrenaline rush. That is where a lot of the high emotion comes from. The less emotion you give in response, the less adrenaline the person will get. Over a period of time, they will adjust to having less adrenaline around you, and stop looking to you for adrenaline. I know it worked with Wiz.

    He wanted the adrenaline from high emotion. For quite a long time, he could get me angry enough to yell. That meant he got his adrenaline. Finally I learned about this school of thought. The adrenaline triggers the flight or fight response and keeps other thought processes from happening. So real problem solving cannot occur when you are yelling or having an angry outburst. The more I learned to control my anger, and to not give Wiz that high emotion response, the less adrenaline he got. The more he was adjusting to lower levels of adrenaline. Finally he wasn't able to get what he thought he needed from me or from his father.

    He started to respond more to us without the conflama. He was still a problem, and still violent, be we had fewer of the outburst overall. We went from 2-3 outbursts a day to maybe 2-3 a week with a serious one every 2 weeks. That was a huge improvement. I don't think your son is where Wiz was, and I think responding to him without giving him the high emotion he wants will confuse him and eventually help stop some of his outbursts. The more matter of fact you are when he goes off on his tirades, or even the more you ignore them or hang up on them, the fewer you eventually will have.

    I say eventually because the difficult child always ramps up first. When you change how you handle something, they ramp up what they are doing to try to get you to go back to giving them what they want. Surely if they are just awful enough, persistent enough, they will get what they want. If you continue in your new calmness, in ignoring him or walking away, maybe even quietly reducing the amount of whatever privileges he gets (buy less of his snack foods, or give him fewer rides because you are 'busy', whatever) due to his ramping up, he will figure it out. He will adjust to the idea that this isn't giving him what he wants and he will reduce the behavior. If this is going to work. Tantrums and whining and ranting at you are usually to get your attention and make you do what he wants, so if they result in getting less of your attention, and less conflama, the chances are high that he will stop the tantrums etc...

    Regarding his Christmas present, I hope you intend to sell the tickets. Or at least use them if you or your husband or another family member would like them. He is an adult and his words should be taken seriously. He wants to be treated like a mature adult, and you should do this. This means that you should sell the tickets or use them yourself. If you sell them, he does not get the money. Use it for something you want, or blow it on a fancy meal or something that pleases you. NOT something for him!!! He pretty much told you it wasn't good enough for him, and was truly rude and ungrateful about it. As an adult, he needs to learn that if you say something, people will take you at your word, even family. Don't let him throw it up to you in the future. The minute he brings it up to hold it against you, end the conversation. Just hang up or walk away or tell him to leave. If he won't leave, turn on the tv or pick up a book or do anything to ignore him. I have a particular "ear worm" song that I used to use when Wiz or my brother wouldn't go away and wouldn't let me leave but I was done talking to them. It would work like a charm, and it stuck with them for the rest of the day usually. It stuck with me sometimes too, but it was worth it.
  6. RN0441

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


    I'm sorry that you had to go through this. Your son does not sound like he is being very nice to you and that has to hurt.

    It sounds like he is feeling awfully sorry for himself doesn't it?

    I just wanted to offer my support. I know it would make me VERY angry though.
  7. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I agree with not responding to the drama. Tired mama
  8. RedCedar

    RedCedar New Member

    EXCELLENT. I'll try to remember those, should I ever need them...
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Thank you EVERYONE for your support and replies. I'm truly grateful. Been a member of this community over 13 years. I don't like that I still need it on occasion, but so darn glad it's here!

    The status of Son and I is distant and not speaking for the most part. I'm a tough old bird (I can't believe I just referred to myself by the same term we used to call my Grandma, but it fits.), but I do feel wounded by his words and actions. I'm not returning to our "normal" until he apologies for his words and behavior towards me. He did apologize to my brother the next day regarding his language. According to him, my brother said it was no big deal. Not sure if that's true, and I would have preferred my brother hold him more accountable, but I don't have the control there. I don't see him often and I don't think he realizes what a jerk Son is towards me at times.

    So, he approached me yesterday when he got home from work and started a random conversation. I informed him I until he made things right with me, I really have no interest in small talk or friendly conversation. He acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. I offered to remind him, he got huffy and warbled on about "Not living in the past" and walked out of the room.
    I left early for work this morning before he got up. So, I haven't seen him since.

    The day of his comment, when we got home, he went on about "Being on my own a long time." We were shocked. husband quipped, "It would be hilarious, if it wasn't so damn insulting." He has a decent job, and has kept it over a year. A job that I saw advertised and forwarded him the flyer. Then, his grandmother shuttling him back and forth for interviews and background checks.

    husband and I had a sit-down. I'm tired of being the enforcer and overall "bad guy" while he stays on the sidelines. Not that he hasn't had doses of Son's words and behavior. However, in my presence, I'm not having it. No one talks to MY husband that way and doesn't get a response from me. husband then says, "He needs to leave." "Ok" I say, but YOU'RE going to do it. You can put him out." "I'm also tired of you making nice with him, going to dinner, having a beer, when he's a Grade AAA jerk to me. I'm your wife. You have my back. Stand up for YOUR WIFE." So, we'll see. I know I was loud and clear. husband is out of town working for a few weeks. I'm, frankly, just not ready to put him out. Should I? Yeah, probably. I'm not there. Why? Because of my weak mommy heart. I know it and won't deny it. Could that change in the future? Sure.

    Again, thank you for your support!
  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member


    Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. I read it carefully.

    Everyone in my family understands what I have been through with my children and the very bumpy and treacherous path I have had to walk. They do not believe Son's behavior is a reflection on me. However, perhaps it is time for me to pull back from "mothering" him. At least, when it comes to family gatherings. Which are rare for many reasons. He has been threatened, and one time, excluded from a gathering because of his behavior by my mother.

    You are right about the reactions and not getting pulled into his nonsense. I've been very calm, yet very direct, with him since the gathering. I'm not sweeping what he said to me under the rug. Not happening.

    The tickets? I'm not sure what I am going to do with them. He was so excited. I spent some time searching to get him great seats that weren't too expensive. He was grateful and expressed such.He is capable of being kind. However, he was so angry when I called him out over his language, he wanted lash out and hurt me. It worked. He hurt me. He also taught me a lesson. No more thoughtful and relatively expensive gifts for him anymore. From now on, it's 20 bucks and a card. Already, there's no rides to the bus stop in town by me and his grandmother. So, if he wakes up late, don't call us for a ride.

    This is a individual that, like so many of our kids, is his own worst enemy. The opportunities he has missed because of his nonsense ; it boggles my mind at times.
  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    So sorry for your troubles i understand putting up with disrespect from our difficult children and only recently has my husband stepped in . it makes a lot of difference. I hope yours does the same. I applaud you for not putting up with it. Tired mama
  12. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh if I had a dollar for every time my son used this line!!
    It never ceases to amaze me how when we the parents bring up things they have done in the past they don't want to hear it or discuss it and yet they have no problem trying to drag us down memory lane when it suits them.

    I hope you are having a good day in spite of the drama and chaos from your son.
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  13. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I agree Tanya. The reason they use is that here life was so bad; usually fabricated and that drama lama all day long about it.

    We bring up something that they did 2 weeks ago and it’s “don’t live in the past”.