Feeling bad....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by toughlovin, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi all,

    I am sitting here feeling sad and bad about my sons behavior to others. I just got an email from his ex-girlfriend mother who I am friends with. She just found out yet something else my son did in the past that was hurtful to her daughter. Her daughter also just found out so the wound is very fresh for her and so naturally for her mom. Mom is angry at my son and I don't blame her at all for that. He did some very hurtful things. Yet he is still my son and it is hard to hear them. I have the feeling that her anger is extending towards me although I know she knows I have done my best and this is not my fault. But I am feeling like she may just not want to be friends anymore. I emailed her back and said that thought made me want to cry... and haven't heard back. I just feel sad that my sons behavior is affecting my friendship with this woman whom I like... and darn it my son has hurt so many people. Including of course us!!!! Just makes me sad.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *hugs* hon. Give her some time to digest it and be angry at him so she can separate those feelings from your friendship.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Give her some time to work through her feelings, as you said they're pretty raw right now, and she has a right to be both hurt and angry. Odds are as she processes it she will put the blame in the correct place, which is not with you.
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I know how hard this is. I've been there with my difficult child and, even though you KNOW you have no control, it's still hard to see your child hurt others. The other posters are right. Give your friend some time. She's a mom, too, and I think she'll understand - in time - that this is also hard on you.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do agree this woman may need some time, but I had a slightly different reaction. After some time, I think I might want to gently tell my friend that while I'm feeling very sorry that my difficult child's actions caused her daughter pain, and that in fact, knowing he causes pain to others causes ME pain, I hope that she understands that this is between them, and unfortunately I have no control over the situation.

    I guess I have a problem with the woman telling you about it in the first place. I'm not sure I would do the same, if the situation were reversed. If she tells you for information purposes, tha's one thing, but if she tells you in order to make you feel badly over what your son has done, or because she expects you to get involved, that's another thing.

    Regardless, it is incredibly painful, this knowledge that your difficult child causes pain and suffering to other people through their actions (or inaction). I'm so sorry.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others but especially CVA. I actually havent had many people come to me and accost me about Cory's doings. Only twice that I can think of. The first time wasnt even really a tattling episode, it was more of a call to let us know he had done something really bad including stealing some earrings from a cousin of Tony's. That was very upsetting to both families. It didnt cause an uproar for anyone but Cory's relationship with them.

    The other time...and that is more recent...was when a neighbor accused Cory of breaking into her house and it wasnt true, but her grown kids attacked my, my home, attacked Cory, Mandy and Tony with bottles and a knife. Cory actually took the knife from them and cut one of the grown girls because she almost cut him! A bottle was broken over Tony's head! Then the mother of all these hoodlems had the gall to chase me all around the local grocery store screaming at me...I finally had it and screamed back. LOL.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. Just to clarify this woman and I have been friends and have been through a lot together. We have both worried about both kids and she has really cared for my son. We have traded information through the years for both of our sakes and peace of mind or lack of it. I think we actually have had an unusual friendship in this way one she has been very supportive of me as I have hurt and worried over him. So her note to me I think was more of the same, only this time she wasn't as forgiving of him... and reality is her daughter is off in college and so she is in a bit of that college vacuum. I just felt so sad for all he has put them through and wondered whether her anger somehow extended to me. I got another email from her today saying we will always be friends, we have been through so much together. So I am somewhat reassured. Her initial email to me was not reaming me out or nasty at all, it just made me so sad. Thank you all though... it is helpful not to feel so alone in all this stuff.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow yet another similarity. While I was not friends with difficult child's ex boyfriend's mother we did talk and communicate things to each other about their behavior. I first met her when I went to her home to try to find difficult child who ran away. Since then we talked frequently, she would call me when she picked her son up from a drug house and let me know difficult child was there and so on. I called her to inform her that her son was driving up to college to see difficult child three times a week and spending the whole weekend sleeping in her dorm and eating off her (our) dining card. Some of the conversations were difficult because her son was introducing difficult child to a lot of druggies and helped hide her from us. We also found out recently that he took her to planned parenthood when they thought she was pregnant. I had told his mother they were having unprotected sex but evidently she had no more control over him than I did over difficult child. I liked the mom fine but really disliked her son, who hurt difficult child a lot.

    So from my perspective I understand why she emailed you because I did much the same thing and you were both sharing information to help your kids just like we were. It is sad that our difficult child's cause so much hurt to so many people. At rehab we learned that when they are using they do so many things that they would never do otherwise and this is why the fourth step in AA is so important, to take a moral inventory and then confess it and eventually make amends. If he is serious in his recovery, hopefully he will include this incident in his steps.

  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Yeah I totally get where she told me and in fact I appreciated getting the information. The hard part was hearing about her anger at my son which I also get but was hard to hear. I think in fact this happened as part of his process of taking some kind of moral inventory and making amends.... I just think he missed the part about not confessing if it would cause harm to the other person...or he thought she already knew what he told her. I don't really know. What I was really glad to hear was that he was talking to her and admitting the ways that he hurt her. That was good and I think in fact she felt good about it until the part came that she didn't know. Anyway my hope is that he is doing the work and that eventually he will get to the point where he can admit to us the ways in which he has hurt us which of course like all of us, has been many.

    His exgf mom and I became friends through the kids knowing each other. We did not know each other before they knew each other. My son was doing really well when they first met. He was newly back from the TBS he had been at and was sober and is the best I had ever seen him. Her family loved him..... for the first 9 months or so and then things got really bad.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, if this was part of his moral inventory and amends he missed the part about unless it would bring harm. It will be interesting to find out when you go for your family conference what his motive was. And if he is making amends yours should be coming very soon or I would be suspect. Do you have any communication with his counselor where you could ask what is happening in his treatment?

  11. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I come at this topic from a somewhat different vantage point: I'm the uncle of a difficult child, not a parent. I can tell you that when a difficult child grossly wrongs someone close to you--steals, brutalizes verbally or physically, assaults, what have you--they will expect you to do something about it, to enact some sort of consequence that acknowledges what difficult child did and punishes him for it. If you don't do that--if you simply hit "reset" and hope things will just change organically via the fresh start you've provided for the difficult child, the wronged friend/family member is going to become angry at *you* as well as the difficult child. People--especially family members--want your child to get better, but they also want to see some kind of justice enacted--an appropriate consequence of some kind, for instance. If you don't do this, and especially if you simply proceed as if the difficult child's act against family member or friend never happened, you're going to end up with some friends/neighbors/family members very angry at you, even though difficult child committed the wrong, not you.

    My difficult child nephew's mother (i.e., my sister) simply hit "reset" over and over and over again, even giving him his ample weekly allowance mere hours after his gross misbehaviors (rages, vile name-calling and rants, assaults, menacing, theft, etc) toward me and others, and it finally became so toxic that it simply destroyed my relationship with her. I understand, I really do, a parent's whopping love for a child and willingness to forgive, hit "reset," etc, but you've got to deliver some consequences/justice too, especially when the difficult child wrongs others, or you'll gradually lose friends, neighbors, and even family members. Never-ending denial and enabling simply angers and alienates family and community members.
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree with what you say... in this case we did deliver various consequences to our son. This mom and I went through a lot together and she knew consequences we imposed. Now he is in rehab out of state and in his process of recovery he called his ex-girlfriend to express how he had hurt her and I think to make amends.... in the process he revealed some things she did not know and was upset by them. I hear about this from her mom and so really I am not involved in this part of the process and it would be crazy for me to impose consequences on stuff that happened between them a couple of years ago.

    Since i wrote originally I did hear from the mom and she and I are ok... we are still friends. I really cant do any more for my son or consequences for his actions. He has gotten major major consequences himself from the court and is now having to deal with them so really the ball is out of my court. And really there is not much you can impose on a 19 year old child who is not living with you. You can clearly decide not to enable them.... and I thnk just hitting reset is a form of enabling them. I am pretty committed at this point to not enabling him.