Feeling sad and anxious today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I don't even know where to begin. I've been trying to set and keep boundaries with Josh. Sometimes I do well. Today, not so well.
    He called my husband last night at 11:30 pm, using someone else's phone because we had him blocked. He just called to rant, and that's what he did until he hung up 15 minutes later.

    Today, I texted him and called him. Reiterated the ground rules about verbal abuse and profanity and how any contact with us requires respect. In one of his text message responses, he said something about how he thought he might have kicked in the door of where he was living last night and something about a burglary charge. I immediately picked up the phone and called. We went round and round, and he finally said he thought he got mad and kicked the door and "someone was investigating" . I couldn't get much more than that. So he's on the street. I begged him and begged him to "take a break" from Denver and just come here with us, just to have a place to live, food, and the ability to save some money. I mean I literally begged him. He wants money for a down payment and first month's rent. I told him we can't do that; that we can only offer him a place to stay. More abuse, more refusal from him.

    I go back and forth between anger, anxiety and fear, and hopeless grief. I'm at work right now, trying to hold it together, trying to do my job, and at the same time, I feel like I'm falling apart inside. At moments, I hate him. In fact, in our conversation, he said, "I wish you had left me alone 29 years ago," and I said, "I wish we had too." I never thought I would say that out loud to him, but I did I' afraid. I feel so overwhelmed with all these emotions right now. I wish this would either end or that I would.
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Beta, it's okay. Remember to just breathe, slow deep breaths in and out.

    The important thing to remember is you are moving forward. You have set some boundaries and that is great. It takes time to settle into remembering and standing firm in the boundaries we set.

    Josh continues to reach out because he know he can still evoke emotions out of you and I would bet money that he's hoping you will cave in and give him what he wants.

    Good for you for standing your ground. You offered him what you feel you can and that is a place to come to and stay for a while. He countered your offer with his own, money to put down on an apt. You could have caved in but you didn't! You stood strong and that is a victory for you.

    Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. We have all been right where you are. It's a horrible place to be but this is where we have the power and control. We each have to decide for ourselves when enough is enough and we will no longer allow our emotions to be held hostage by our adult children.

    Hang in there Beta!! You are so much stronger than you are giving yourself credit for.
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  3. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Beta, First of all I hear so much love in your post. I have been where you are. It is so hard. I cried at least 3 times a day... I must tell you that the best and only thing that worked with my very wayward daughter was to silence myself to her. I completely cut contact for 3 months. My wayward daughter could smell me like a predator, when I was weak or just wanting the best for her. She used and abused me like a predator and had total disrespect for me. I figured I could erase myself from her life to see how that would feel. She did not think I could do it since I was such a weak person to be used over and over again like an old dish rag. I was that old dish rag for many years... Not anymore..And like a predator she can smell that I have gained strength. As I detached I pictured her as a predator sucking the ever living life out of me. To save my life, my dignity and self esteem, I had to cut ties. Hardest thing I had to ever do but it needed to be done..I was in extreme agony when I did it but it was less agonizing than the constant crap dished out from her. On an abuse scale from 1-10 my daughter was a 25. I was a bereaved parent, grieving the loss of my only son and she thought it was the best time to harm me hard. Follow your own heart, do only what you can. One of the reasons I put up with so much is that I was very afraid she would die. Our relationship was a living death, and I looked the possibility straight in the face... Yes while we are estranged she could die, or I could die but somehow the abuse had to end and she was not going to so I stepped away.. Abuse to me felt like a death, actually worse than a death because she was alive and choosing to harm in such an evil way. It is horrible. Make it end, sever the relationship with abuse, cut ties, tell him to F off. Take a deep breathe and know you did all you could. Love him from afar, pray for his well being. Do not let him continue to damage you, your health is important.
  4. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Thank you Tanya for the kind words. I sure don't feel like I'm moving forward, but I definitely feel like I'm being emotionally held hostage.
    New Start, I'm so sorry about how you're daughter treated you and the pain you have and are suffering. Your love for her is very clear in your words.

    I have sent several more text messages today, still continuing to beg him to leave Denver and just come and stay, even for just the summer. He is on the brink of disaster, and I told him that. I am so afraid that he will end up being arrested and sent to jail. He is very flippant about that, thinks it's no big deal. He continues to refuse and continues to heap abuse on me/us as parents--how we've let him down, that we're sh***y people, that if something happens its our fault because we didn't "do something" (i.e. give him money) when he needed it, etc.

    At this point, I don't know that I even want to have any relationship with him or any contact. He has destroyed our relationship pretty much. It's only because I remember him before he developed Bipolar traits that I keep reaching out. Part of me wants to give up and just completely detach and only pray for him; part of me keeps trying to reach him. At times, I feel like I'm at my breaking point.

    I called our EAP program today, to see what type of help they could offer as far as counseling. Turns out the only thing they offer is free telephone counseling from an assigned counselor. Nevertheless, I've made an appointment for July 10. Maybe it will help; maybe not, but I'm going to give it a try. My husband is struggling just as much as I am and I don't want to burden him with my feelings. I have one friend with whom I can really be honest but she lives in my former state and we aren't able to talk frequently. I can't confide too much with people in our church. I just need someone to give me some counsel about what to do, about what is right, etc. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. It always helps to put this down in print, especially because I know that the people reading it know perfectly well what I'm talking about.
  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    It sounds like he got evicted because he damaged the door and is trying to blame his actions on you. Tell him you're not a travel agent for guilt trips. You were nice enough to offer to let him come home. That is all you can do.
  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I appreciate what you said in that "we remember them before...." I truly think that's what I clinged to and kept hoping that the next thing I did for them is what would make the difference in turning their lives around. But I did this over and over again, paying security deposits, rent, buying used vehicles, paying for food...the list goes on. All I've done is post-pone the inevidabal in that my sons are going to have to take care of themselves or NOT but I have to leave it up to them. It's just becomes physically, mentally and emotionally impossible.

    Always good to refresh my mind with the following:

    What is detachment?
    Detachment is the:
    * Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
    * Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
    * Giving another person "the space" to be herself.
    * Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
    * Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
    * Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
    * Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
    * Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
    * Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
    * Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
    * Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
    * Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    First of all, in my world, this is normal. I adopted my son 29 years ago, and he has hurled this at me repeatedly. It's like a knife. And like you I feel no defense against it. My heart is being cut out from me. I might as well be dead. But none of this is TRUE. It is a wake up call, but it's not TRUE. It's a wake up call because it is a call to EMERGENCY PROTECTION OF SELF. FIVE ALARMS.
    You were sucked into the vortex of the storm that he is right now. Any one of us would have been swept in, as well. The late night phone call. When we are disoriented and defenseless due to sleep. The abusive rant. Designed to make you punch drunk. The fear, did he actually commit a crime, and how vulnerable is he to arrest? The fear for him due to his living conditions. His extreme need; that he is living as a human being should not. And he blames you....​

    You have no control. There is no place to hide. He does not listen to rational explanation. He does not hear or accept a boundary. He will not accept help, that is not on terms that he dictates. This is an impossible situation.

    Anybody. The Pope. President Obama. Queen Elizabeth. Steve Jobs. Albert Einstein. Anybody would feel as you do. Had they been exposed to the same thing.

    How you feel is a natural consequence of what he, in his craziness exposed you to.

    As I see it, the only thing you can do is to pull back more. The one error you made was to text and to call him to reiterate the boundaries. Would you do that to a rattlesnake? To a lion? When people are in rages, unreachable, psychotic, they will not hear limits or rationales. They just can't. The emotion, the distortion must recede to be able to hear you. I understand why you did it, why I do it. Because we are trying to get a handle on our own distress through them. We can't. The only way to assuage our distress is through what we can do where we have control. In ourselves and our environment.
    As far as jail goes, I don't see how this would be so bad. He would most likely be put on psychotropic medication to treat his mood instability and possibly psychosis. If he's using drugs, he will have less access. Oftentimes, jail and prison help these guys stabilize so they can change.

    But really, what in the world can you do? Except to make sure that he cannot touch you until he is safe, so that you can be too. You have done every single thing in the world anybody could think of to impress upon him your willingness and ability to help him in ways that would help. You cannot be at the beck and call of his illness. That would be irresponsible and not loving.

    He has rejected every single effort on your part. The boundaries you put into effect were reasonable and necessary. They were not the problem. It was that he breached the boundary at a time you were vulnerable.

    I think the important thing now is even stronger boundaries. Maybe the phone needs to not be picked up during the night. Maybe there needs to be an agreement between you and your husband to keep you out of it. Maybe the phone number needs to be changed. I don't know. But you need to be protected. You are being abused. And that's got to stop. You can't take it. It's enough.

    Right now you are a wreck because you are collateral damage. But you can be and should be protected. Right now your son is not the issue. He is operating on his own steam and he will come to a halt. Whether he is arrested, or 5150'd, (picked up for danger to self or others) something will happen where he runs into authorities. Which is how it should be. Mothers cannot stop this kind of behavior. This is beyond mothers. They only get consumed or destroyed in situations such as this.

    You are doing the right thing. You are a loving, good mother. You are doing the only thing a good and loving mother can do in a situation like we find ourselves. By pulling back so you are not destroyed you are doing what your son needs you to do. You are very strong. You are not alone.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  8. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    If he came home how would that help any of you? It will make you feel less guilty until he busts your door or does drugs or wont work or makes you and others who live with you and yourself sick. We didnt want Kay home so we bought her a small house which she lost and then a mobile home which she destroyed and lost and then.helped her and her husband rent places but they never paid their share and got evicted all the time. Now they are on their own.in a crappy neighborhood and a crappy apartment in a bad area. But they cant come to us anymore. We are done. No more money left. It breaks our hearts but she has not gotten one bit better and she has contributed to my husband and me being ill.

    Would it work for Josh to live with you? Has it eber worked ?
  9. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Oh. Sorry but I forgot. We dont let anyone call us while we sleep. We turn off our phones. In an emergency we tell everyone to call 911 as the paramedics can help them and we can't and we need to sleep. We both have illnesses that stress makes worse. We can not save Kay or anyone. Kay used to call us if she couldnt sleep even at 2am, terrifying us out of sleep. Just to abuse us and we listened!

    Right now our phones are off all the time due to our niece Page. You can read our story here about her.

    Husband and I are leaving town Sunday. I cant wait for the peace that is where we are going. The phones will stay off.

    Maybe you can turn off your phone at night. Take charge of your phone calls maybe. If he is abusive, end the communication. You deserve peace and quiet and respect. Everybody does. Would you put up with your son's treatment of you if he were not your son? Your son is a man. He needs to treat you with respect in my opinion or you dont need to listen.

    Think about it all. We finally did. Our decisions are very hard but fussing over Kay didnt encourage her to do better in life. I wish we had done less. She is so spoiled. I think she expected us to support her forever. I dont blame her. We caused that mindset.
  10. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Whew! Once again, I come here and there is wisdom, insight, and care when I need it so badly. I have read and re-read each of your responses and will need to again in the coming days. I've printed off the "what is detachment" page...again. Wow, I did none of those things. Copa, you are right...I was trying to assuage my fear and distress by trying to reason with him. Everything you mentioned is exactly what I have been feeling. I have thought about his going to jail with the same thoughts as you, but the only thing that scares me about jail is the potential for physical/sexual abuse from others. We have reminded him in the past about these types of things happening. At any rate, you are right--there is absolutely, positively, NOTHING I can do.
    And yes, we will not be answering the phone anymore at night. Thank you all again.
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  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Beta:

    I miss you when you are not here. Why not stay here with us for a little while, and share your burden with us and let us carry it with you, while you rest?

    As far as fear that he might be sexually or physically abused while incarcerated, that could happen. I'm afraid to drive on freeways because I could crash. I won't go on escalators because I could fall. There is risk in the world. I am NOT trivializing risk. But do we really control it? Especially, for our kids....

    State prisons and jails do not like it when prisoners are beaten or sexually violated. They get in huge trouble. Often they have to pay big lawsuits. Prisons I have been in work hard to protect their inmates from assault, for self-interest.

    Yes. Bad things can happen everywhere. He is at risk now running around labile and possibly psychotic. I would prefer, the risk of containment. Personally.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  12. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Hi Beta- I too have been where you are now and it SUCKS. I could barely function because of all of the anxiety, fear, anger, depression I was experiencing. For me, it was good to take a break from communicating with my daughter when things were that intense. This served several purposes. First and most important, it gave me space to focus on me rather than focusing on my mess of a daughter. Without contact with her I didn't know what was going on so I couldn't waste my energy worrying about whatever dumb stuff she was doing. It also gave both of us a break from each other. It was like a reset so that when we did speak again those issues were in the past so we weren't immediately rehashing them again. Space also provided me the time to look at the situation objectively. That was so important in being able to set and maintain boundaries. When I wasn't deep in the problems I could look at things and think about what I would advise someone else to do in the same situation. It really gave me perspective. Also, even when my daughter and I have been at worst with each other there is a bond between us. When we spend some time apart we miss each other and are happy to talk again after a break. Remember, a break in communication doesn't mean you will never speak to each other again. It's just some time off. I never think it's a bad thing. Sending you peace.
  13. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Copa--thank you for the invitation to share this burden. I do come to the site fairly regularly but I don't always post. I guess I "lurk behind the scenes" :) . Honestly, I don't feel like I have enough wisdom or experience to share with others, but I always go away with some.
    I am feeling somewhat better today. My husband and I went out for dinner and ice cream last night, and it was good to just enjoy one another. He had already processed some of his own feelings and was doing okay, saying he "was over it" by yesterday morning. I wake up usually three or four times each night (mid-life sleeping pattern I guess), and I never fail to think of Josh and to pray for him. Knowing he was possibly on the street during the night was troubling, but I made myself push those thoughts and mental images away. I can't dwell on that stuff; it's too hard and painful to contemplate. Today I have moments of peace here and there. I know that we have done EVERYTHING we can to help him and there's just nothing else to do but to keep praying and trusting that God is big enough to do what needs to be done. I've told God--"Do whatever you have to do in his life to bring him to Yourself and to bring healing to him."
    In the meantime, I will also try to focus on keeping healthy boundaries by not allowing myself to dwell on "those thoughts," the ones all of us here are tempted to indulge in regarding our troubled kids. I have blocked his number for a time. It's amazing how much calmer you feel when you know you're phone isn't going to ring or buzz with a text message from your child. You can actually relax and think about other things.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The way I see it is that I develop wisdom by posting. Just like working out develops muscle. We define and strengthen ourselves as we post to others.
  15. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am right there with you. Waiting for some advice. One thing I have learned is we only have control over our choices. I had to stop giving in to my daughters manipulation for money, because she was literally taking every penny I made and I refused to get into my retirement account. That escalated the behavior towards me.

    You have given your son a choice. It's up to him if he takes it.

    I didn't set boundaries and stick to them early on. Maybe if I had, my daughter would be better today. I don't know if the temptation to enable ever goes away for mothers, but if I have learned anything, it only hurts everyone involved. My therapist once said, every time you do for your daughter, you send a message that she is not capable of doing it. Hope that helps.