Feeling low today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I've been struggling a lot lately (depression?). Our DS is still being toxic and verbally abusive from long distance. Every once in a while, not often at all, I will get an apologetic text from him, but within 24 hours or less, he reverts back to his namecalling, abusive speech. It's like the old Josh I once knew pops up out of the abyss every once in a while, only to disappear again. He still refuses to come and stay with us or even see us. My husband and I are convinced we will never see him again.

    In the meantime, our youngest son will be moving next month to Washington state. All the way across the country from us.
    I feel like I am losing both my children. And yes, I know it's not like I'll never see our youngest again, but with work responsibilities on our end and on his end and financial limitations, seeing him will be few and far between.

    I feel like I've been "gipped" if that makes any sense at all. I worked so hard to give our kids a loving, comfortable, peaceful home, with everything that could give them the best start in life. And what do I have to show for it? I have a mentally ill son who calls me every filthy name in the book and who refuses to see me. I have another son who is moving off and whom I don't know when I will see again. It's like life has played a cruel joke on me.
    I am so tired. Everything seems pointless and meaningless right now. I'm going through the motions, still doing what I "normally" do, but inside I just want to quit. If I could go back 30 years and do things differently, I don't know that I would have kids. I don't think it's worth it.

    I have to say that this is the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my 58 years. I marvel at how optimistic I was when I was young. I was so naïve--thinking that if you just do the "right" things, everything turns out the way it should. But life doesn't always have happy endings, even when you have done the "right" things. I am holding on by my faith but it is so very hard.
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  2. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Dear Beta, Your younger son is doing what he is suppose to do, spreading his wings. I believe he will move back closer to home after he matures a bit and finds out that family is everything. The oldest and troubled one may get tired of holding so much hate that he may come to his senses. There is maturing that happens at 30 for most people.
    I know how hard it is to pour so much time and energy into your family and watch all that love and work dissolve. I know how we are suppose to find own life and own path yet long to be connected to our children. I understand that no matter what I do and how I do it the longing to be connected and loved by my children overrides everything. I have known men and women that can go about their lives and not think or miss their children, I do not know how that is done.

    I think listening to your oldest son go off and on with you is harder than if he was just off. I went through that with my daughter, it was as if she threw me a bone and then just to harm me again and again. I decided that no connection was better than the off/on crap I was getting plus the abuse and belligerence.
    These troubled kids are a lot more resourceful than we give them credit for. They know where to go for food and shelter. No matter who is on the receiving end of them, they will not tolerate them very long, forcing them to grow and mature just a bit more. I think some of these adult children get tired and weary of their own lives.
    Beta, Just writing your feeling out, knowing others have walked that path and others pray for you and send you good will. Like Recovering enabler wrote in one of her posts to me, 'We are circling our wagons around you. When she wrote that I broke down and cried. Now just picture all of us on this support group circling our wagons around you to help protect and keep you safe.
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  3. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Thank you Newstart. Knowing what I've read about your situation, I appreciate your writing me back. It helps not to feel alone, and I've been feeling very alone recently. I am thinking that the on again/off again with Josh is harmful. I think I hesitate to cut off contact because doing so feels like cutting off part of myself, which I think is just the consequence of being a mom. But he is very harmful to me, and I know this. I need to think carefully about this.
    I just struggle with my younger son's move, even more so because we have already lost the oldest one, at least apart from a miracle in his life.
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    In this day, family simply is not what it once was. Many many parents see their kids all move far away. I know many people, as we own a business, and it seems the norm that kids move away and that the parents have to build lives of their own. This is the world today. God loans us our kids until they are eighteen. Then they have roots to grow (that we gave them) and wings to fly. And fly they do.

    And it is more "normal" now for kids to disown their parents. I hear stories like that and have one child who has disowned us. My husband and I have decided to go on with life. We get support from Al Anon and our therapy and we ARE lucky enough to have supportive family close by. But I think we are the exception.

    With the family unit not as close geographically and sometimes emotionally as other generations, we can fall apart or enjoy life. it is a choice. I have spoken to parents who grieve forever and those who travel, socialize, go on and have fun and see the kids when they can. We are definitely planning to have fun.

    My heart hurts for you. Do you have a spouse? Can you plan to date and get romantic again? We did that and it was FUN! We plan to travel. We bowl. We entertain. We still work.

    I send prayers and hope you can find ways to be happy even though you are not near your kids. Our kids get busy with their peers and Dad and Mom are not as much fun as same age peers. It's not personal. It is nothing against you. Or anyone.

    It does, at some time, become our responsibility to make our own happiness. Again, I site Al Anon and a good therapist as the reason we were able to become positive because at one point we were so low that we almost divorced. But we reached out for help and we are doing well now most days. Getting outside help in my opinion is priceless. Do it!!

    I pray happiness for you. Hugs!!
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  5. JMom

    JMom Active Member

    sorry that you are struggling. Is there something that you use to enjoy? Perhaps pick up an old hobby or do something with a friend? It must be very hurtful to contemplate leaving Josh. Is it a all or nothing situation?

    Could you put boundaries on the conversations with him? Maybe hang up, block texts when he is being abusive an unblock when you want to hear from him?

    I feel your hurt and want you to know it doesn't always have to be a line in the sand. You may not be ready and that is ok.

    Something I have tried is to send a kind message telling him I am thinking about him and love him and then immediately block him. You can love him and protect yourself at the same time. I am praying for your spirits to get a lift. I'm in my little wagon!

  6. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I totally understand, Beta. I have posted some violent rhetoric from my once kind Difficult Child. It is a roller coaster. My Difficult Child behaviors could be mental illness and brain damage from alcohol and adderall misuse. They are not the same people and that's difficult to accept, but what else can we do but set boundaries that protect us from their toxic behavior.

    My son and his wife moved across country about 18 years ago. I feel like the time we have together now is quality compared to the quantity when they lived close by.

    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."

    Carl Jung

    In healing, Blindesided
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  7. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Beta, please don't feel alone. I relate so much to your situation. When you said if you could go back in time and change your mind about having kids, I felt like you were putting voice to my thoughts.

    I understand that dark feeling inside - as if nothing can ever be truly right, as if life can never truly be enjoyed again. Some days I feel like that (in fact I was right where you are on Sunday, but today is a better day - so far.) I always relate to your posts. Like you, I always thought that if I loved my kids and gave them a good and stable home, they would turn out fine. It's been such a rude awakening to find out this isn't necessarily so.

    I'm so sad for you - for us all - but please don't feel alone. We are in this together.
  8. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Also Beta, I just ordered a new book, and I'm not sure if it's one you've read already - When Your Adult child Breaks Your Heart. I'll let you know if it's helpful.
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Beta,
    I am sorry you are having a hard day. I have sure had my share of them and felt the same as you at times. Definitely not the future I perceived when raising my children. Sometimes, I have taken a mental health day off from work, just to process the sadness.
    I have seen you come such a long way in dealing with the shock and hardship of Josh’s illness.
    This is a new challenge, having your younger son move away.
    Prayers for God to comfort you and lift you up from your sorrows.
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  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Hi i certainly know how you feel . i have been there many times. I also use the hang up if abusive and then block for awhile. Both my younger sons moved away partially at least to get away from their brother. Hang in there.
  11. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Beta, I feel your pain. I'm so sorry you're having a rough time of it. I have up and down days, and sometimes I am very sad about how things have been around our house for so long. This past summer was very difficult at our home. My son was home from college, our grandbaby lives with us, and our daughter (baby's mom) was making life miserable. I still feel like I got gipped out of time with my college son, sadly. I don't want our home life to be remembered like this. He made a comment to me about it that also tugged at my heart.

    Anyway, I get that feeling of wanting to quit some days. I would be sad, too, to see the younger one leave. I hope you're able to travel to see him (and him you), and your time is quality, like Blindsided noted. I think it's OK to grieve some about it, though. I'm sure it's terribly difficult.
  12. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Yes, I agree, family isn't what it once was. Families used to pull together and help one another. Now it seems that they are pulled apart and often far away from each other. My husband and I have lived away from family for almost 30 years and we regret it. This spring, we are returning to our home, and I am looking forward to it very much.

    I do try to frame this move of our younger son in a positive light---he is "spreading his wings" and I am grateful that he is confident enough to do that. I would not want him to feel stymied and in a rut in his life. That would break my heart. He has said that he is open to moving back to where we will be, in a couple of years, so we will see. I hope that he will realize how important family is and not make the same mistake we did.

    To those of you who asked about hobbies and suggested focusing on building my own life--I totally agree. Actually, I do have quite a few hobbies that I enjoy--exercising, teaching fitness classes, reading, decorating, and cooking, just to name a few! :) And it does help to have those things.

    It's funny you mentioned this JMom, because I have done exactly this a few times. It's kind of like throwing a "love bomb" and then ducking out of the way of the "hate bomb" you know will follow! Right now, he has gone completely silent, which is good for us, but I find myself worrying at times if he's okay. My husband and I joke sometimes, when he is verbally ranting, "Well, at least we know he's alive and not in jail." Dark humor, I guess, but sometimes you have to laugh.
    Thank you New Leaf, sometimes I feel like I've made some progress, but it's often "one step forward, two steps back" as I'm sure you know.
    MissLulu, I actually have this book! I found it to be helpful in that it was comforting to know that we aren't the only ones dealing with dysfunctional, often selfish, adult children. It seems to be a very common occurrence nowadays and there's a lot of parents out there, grieving and feeling like "what happened to the sweet boy/girl we once had?" I would like to hear your opinion once you've read the book. I'm so glad you've found this site.

    Thank you all for your kind words. I'm feeling a little better today. We will be riding over to see our youngest in a couple of weeks, just to see him before he goes, and I know there will be some hard moments, but I will try to keep the right perspective on it. If I have to, I will save money here and there until I have enough to either fly him home or us fly there!!
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I wonder Beta, if your younger son just needs to get away from the pain his brother has caused. My well children have expressed to me that they didn’t realize that their lives were not normal with the revolving door of drama with my two, when they were in and out of our home. We were so focused on trying to help them, the grief they were causing as well as raising our younger two and grands. I am trying not to allow the sorrow of my waywards lives overtake conversations with the younger ones. They are clearly over it. I often take cues from them because they have been able to disentangle and move on with their own lives.
    Good to know you will be closer to your family come spring. Also good to know that you are taking steps to shield yourself from the text backlash. No one deserves to be berated with hateful words. Blocking is a smart plan. Way to take a stand towards shielding yourself from an impending barrage. It is unacceptable nonsense!
    Upward and onward!
  14. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Hmmm...it could very well be, although, if that's the case, I doubt he is even aware that this might be part of his motivation. From our conversations, he is sad about his brother but seems to be able to move past it and get on with his life. My husband and I try not to bring up the topic with him often at all, and for a long time, we shielded him from the worst of what was going on, until we realized that he himself had received some of the type of text messages we have been getting.
    Thank you for the hugs! Back at you!