First time on here .... Eeeekkk

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by UKMummy, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    So happy to have found this wonderful forum. I've always searched and educated myself through my struggles, so have googled a lot! I have never found anything else that has moved me like this place. So many of you have written my thoughts down. I have a feeling you will understand. How amazing is that.
    My Difficult Child is my middle child, male, 21yo. Always difficult even in a highchair but I couldn't of loved him more. He left the family home at 16 after being violent with his sister. We had been subjected to years of abuse, threats, stealing etc prior to this. He started smoking weed at 14. His father moved to another country when he was 6. I raised him and his siblings on my own and he wanted for nothing. I have great relationships with my other children.
    He has broken my heart so many times. I will never feel whole while he is not happy but my life is good and I am in a wonderful supportive relationship.
    He has never taken responsibility, blames me for his unsatisfactory life and is really jealous of my relationship with his siblings.
    He is currently living with a family member in the same town as me but I hear they are running out of goodwill. He works part time.
    I struggle daily with guilt. Sometimes it feels more than I can bear. Others I'm Ok. Everyday it's there. We've been through estrangement. We are currently seeing each other but it's always about him telling me how bad his life is. He has told me that he cannot bear to see me happy.
    I will no longer give him money. He has never paid back a penny that I have 'lent' to him. I have learnt to say no. I had to. I hate that. I want to be able to help my children but he has taken that from me. He would take ever penny I have if I let him.
    Where I am right now after years of endless drama is this. He cannot live with me. He will not get help for his drug use or mental health. He scares me.
    I'd like some thoughts on how people have dealt with the guilt and also managing his jealousy of his siblings. He makes me feel I have to chose. He makes me feel that I always chose them. I feel so torn all of the time. I love them all but I like the others.
    Also, When he moans about his life I always give sound advice, he hates it. He hates that I give him the information he needs to help himself. He wants me to give him money. How do I help him take responsibility ? Have any of you found that a particular thing you have said to your Difficult Child has hit home ?
    Thank you for your time x
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello there UKMummy, welcome to the forum. Sorry for your need to be here and your hurting heart.
    Pot seems to be a factor in a lot of posts here. It is for my d c's as well. Problems just seemed to escalate from there.

    I could have written much of this concerning my two. I am sorry for the heartache of it.

    I understand this not feeling whole, our d c's have a way of creating this empty spot, but you know what? I think they instinctively know this, and feed off of it...and we worry about them and their happiness. This is a very unbalanced relationship to have with anyone, including our own children.

    UGH. This is the resume' for our d c's. Describes my two. You know what? Too, bad for them. These are consequences for the choices they have made.

    UKM, please reread this second part. He cannot bear to see you happy? What kind of kid, tells his mom this, with his hand out, wanting you to support him most of the time?
    You do not have anything to feel guilty about. Our kids, bitterly complain about their lives, their upbringing, wanting us to feel badly and guilty, because it keeps us in their game. They are smart, they know just how to manipulate us, and guilt is the biggest factor. Do not fall for this.

    Good, do not give him money. He will only use it for drugs.

    You are in a strong position with this mindset. I feel the same with my two, they will not live at home again. They do not look at me the way I feel about my mom, I love her. My d c's try to take advantage of us, they feel entitled, because they are our children. Loving kindness is NOT reciprocated. I have come to see the imbalance and unfairness of this. We are not rugs to be tread upon by ANYBODY, much more so, by our own adult children.

    Guilt...I have been there... But you know what? Nobody is a perfect parent, we all make mistakes. Guilt is not good. Do not deal with it, get rid of it. It doesn't belong to you. Your son is making bad choices, it is on him, not you. Choose? Choose between people who treat you with respect, and somone who doesn't. There is no choice of your doing, it is his choice to be disrespectful. He is making the choices, not you. You choose to stand up for yourself, your right to be treated decently, period.

    no money. You do not need to give him advice either, he knows right from wrong. Take a step back, and let him figure it out. He won't listen to you, anyway.

    Nothing hits home with anyone who does not respect you. That is the key. We cannot help someone who will not help themselves. Especially if they despise us, what we say, but at the same time hold their hands out constantly for help- ie - MONEY. They are saying "Don't tell me what to do, just give me money." Well, that is not life.

    Many here, find that once we step back, set boundaries, stop feeling guilty, our d c's are forced to deal with their own choices and subsequent consequences. We will not be around to rescue our kids forever, the sooner they learn to take responsibility for their paths, the better.
    You have already detached by not having your son live with you. Me too, with my two. Now to work on detaching emotionally. We can still love them, but not be so twisted up emotionally with their choices and complaints. The PE forum has a good article on detachment it is good to read over and again. I am working on it, still. It is hard, being a mom, and dealing with all of this. I am glad you found us, keep posting, it really helps. You are not alone, there are many here going through a similar journey. Take good care, and be kind to yourself.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is true, and it also is true of anyone who is a drug addict. Addicts are sick and only thinking about their next high and no money from you is a huge trigger for them because it means they can't get the drugs that easily. I don't think most of the druggies mean what they say when they are in the throes of their addiction. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt though.
  4. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi UK,

    wanting you to know I am reading along and agree with the feedback above.

    My Difficult Child is 34. At 21yo, he was much, much like your son and I felt much like you do.

    When my Difficult Child was 21, I had no idea the situation would be very much the same 10 years later. I figured change was just around the corner. He would grow up and realize being mean was not the way to live his life.

    Silly me.

    It was not until I found this forum, when Difficult Child was 32, that I finally got the nerve to step back, stop the $$, stop trying to advise him, etc. The first 6 months were horrific as he sent hateful texts and emails. and I felt guilt. (husband never felt near the guilt I did). The next 6 months eased up a little. Now, two years down the road, husband and my lives are so much better.

    We seldom hear from our Difficult Child. When we do, it is not nearly as bad as it was for the 15 years prior. It is not rosy and sweet, but he seems to have caught on that we will not listen to his blaming us or anybody else for anything in his life.

    To be honest, we do not see any improvement in Difficult Child's life. He remains a manipulator and user, anything to avoid paying his own way. But, we see great improvement in the quality of our lives.

    Please stay with us. This forum helped husband and me immeasurably when we starting disengaging. It was huge for us. Who disengages from their offspring. It felt wrong, not natural, not okay, at first.

    This forum still helps, especially with the little blips along the road.

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  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Welcome UK. Glad you found us. This is a tough journey we are all on. I could relate to all of your post. My son is 24 and he also started smoking pot very young and went on from there.

    One thing I learned from Alanon which I now believe is that you didn't cause it, you can't cure it and you can't control it. We all make mistakes as parents but at this point he is an adult and his choices are are not forcing him to live the way he is, behave the way he does or use drugs. We can't change the past we can only go forward with the future... It is time to let go of the guilt. My guess is you really don't have anything to feel guilty about..... But it is hard not to go back and think if only I had..... Well who knows how things would have turned out if we had taken another path? One thing I have realized is some other paths may have led to even worse situations... We just don't know.

    The stand we have taken with our son is that we will help him help himself but we will not help him continue to use drugs. My son seems to finally be getting to a place where he truly wants help for himself. He has been in and out of treatment for years... But finally now he seems to want it for himself. At least that is my hope.

    You are being smart not giving him money or letting him live with you. And he will say whatever he thinks will get him what he wants. Stay strong and keep posting.
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  6. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    Thank you,so much for your posts. I couldn't sleep, so I got up with a coffee and read these. The relief of knowing you all get it is so good for me. I have wonderful friends, many who have known me for many years and have known my son from birth. Nobody tells me I am doing anything wrong BUT I FEEL some judgement. Especially from my sister who he lives with.
    I am going to work on the guilt. It needs to go. I don't know what to say to my son. I can't carry on listening to his 'woe is me' stories, only for him to tell me he doesn't want my advice. Maybe a 'you'll figure it out' conversation would be better. He has this way of muting me that no one else has. Master manipulator. He's had a lot of practise.
    I have booked a holiday for the summer with my 2 other children. Eldest is paying for herself. 16 yo I'm paying for obviously. As soon as I booked it the anxiety starts. How am I going to tell him? Shall I invite him even though he does not get on at all with his siblings. He would have to pay for himself and that is never going to happen! He will be so angry and jealous. But I want to go away with my family. Daughter is graduating form a top uni and youngest is finishing school. We have such a good time together and he is not there. My daughter says she is glad he left at 16 because it gave the rest of us a chance to have a happy home and normal relationships. It's true and that's so sad. Not that he sees it like that. He was kicked out. I'm the worst mother in the world and he life is bad beach use of me. I KNOW that's not true and now it's time to start believing it.
    I need to message him and I dread it. I have to steel myself for every contact.
    Thank you guys - have a peaceful day.
  7. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Don't tell him. It's not his business what you and his siblings do together. Most definitely DONT invite him. From what I've read, your best case scenario if he goes with is that he makes everyone very uncomfortable. Worst case scenario??? I think you have a pretty good idea what that is. Don't put your other children through that.

    He is an adult and must live with the consequences of his choices and one of those consequences is that he isn't always going to be invited to family functions.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Good Morning UK Mummy and welcome.

    It sounds like you have already made a lot of progress, and you have determined a lot of things about your relationship with him already. Kudos to you for your progress. It's a journey. It's so good when we know that they can't live with us in our homes anymore. It's good for us, and it's good for them. And it's still hard.

    You can't help him take responsibility. He already knows, as others have said, the difference between right and wrong. He just doesn't want to do it. When they are in the throes of drug use, all bets are off. In fact, it's like trying to talk to a wall. You are wasting your breath. Don't put any energy anymore giving advice to him. It's hard to do, because we keep thinking that just the right words will break through. It's not going to happen. THEY ALREADY KNOW.

    Many people on this forum talk about guilt. I think it is common, as parents, especially mothers of sons (the toughest combination), for us to examine what we did, what we said, what we could have said and done, and somehow, someway, think that their drug use and failure to launch is our fault, even if we have other children who have well-launched from the same household and virtually the same upbringing. People are different, that's for sure, but when you step away from the situation and look at it objectively, you know that you did nothing to bring this about, allow it or cause it.

    Also, look at what you wrote, "he makes me feel..." He can't make you feel anything. Your feelings are your own and they are real.

    But a real core truth I learned in Al-Anon is this: Feelings aren't facts. I had to think about that one for a long time, because I am a tried-and-true "feelings" person, but this is bedrock truth. We feel something and those emotions are real, but they may not at all be based on any truth or facts. So...what to do? Stay with our feelings, feel them, but do not act on them, and let them go, in a few hours or a day or two. Let them come, and then let them go. But don't act on them.

    This is so very true. Meditate on this. This is real and true and something to hang on to.

    Again, no more advice. No more information. When I just couldn't stand it, the fact that there became truly nothing to say to my son except, Hi, how are you? I'm sure you will figure it all out. I love you. sometimes I would collect and give him information about community services for homeless people, transportation, food pantries, clothing pantries, etc. I would give it to him, primarily for myself, because another thing I learned is that people on the street are very well aware of what's available to them. They know more than we can imagine about where to go for shelter, food, showers, clothing, etc.

    Keep working on yourself and moving toward more progress. The goal is accepting people, our difficult children, for exactly who they are and the circumstances they are in. They have put themselves there by their own decisions and choices. And when they decide to change and do better, we will know it and it will be crystal clear. Until then, there is little to nothing that we can do or should do.

    Learning to accept other people is hard. The pathway to this acceptance is loving detachment. There are many books, programs, etc., out there to help you. If you haven't yet gone to Al-Anon, I recommend it highly. It has changed my life and I work the program still, even as my son has been doing so much better for more than 18 months. Al-Anon gives me peace, and teaches me about letting go of all people, places and things. It is a marvelous way to live life and I am a much happier person today than I ever was before all of this.

    We're glad you're here and we so understand the burden and the struggle. We're here for you.
  9. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you !!!!
    You know when someone says something that you already know but when you see it you really know it.
    He ALREADY knows !!! AND Im wasting my breath !!
    No more listening to the doom and gloom. I will always be here for him and I love him so much but enough is enough.
    When I next have contact I'm going to explain that I can no longer listen to the negativity. I don't think I'll hear from him for a while but I'm ready for that.
    I haven't had any support from a specific group but finding this forum has made me realise that it would be a good idea.
    Thank you
  10. Hi UK, something that might help you to feel less guilty is to cut back on contact with him. If he's not in your face trying to blame you for his problems, it's easier to focus on other things. If you're having a bad evening and he calls, maybe choose not to answer the phone just then and call back another day. Or if he starts texting hateful messages, then delete his texts without reading them. Enjoy your time with your other children and don't even mention anything to him about the trip. He has chosen this lifestyle. His complaints are just manipulation to get to you feel bad and then give him money. He's trying to push the responsibility for his choices off on you. There is nothing for you to feel guilty about. No one deserves to be treated badly. You deserve to enjoy your life without all the drama and stress.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi UK, I'm glad you found us here. Welcome!!

    I have been there too and I can tell you that it is very freeing to let go of what others think. What others think does not matter, they are not the ones who lived through what we have therefore they cannot understand or comprehend it. If they want to pass judgment on us there is nothing we can do to stop them, however we can choose how to respond to it. I choose to let it roll off of me. I survived my son's chaos and negativity and don't need anymore. People are always going think what they think but we don't have to let it affect us in a bad way.

    Been there done that, have the T-Shirt. I stopped giving my son any advice a long time ago. It does no good to offer advice to our difficult children when they don't want it. The only thing I can suggest to you is when your son starts on woe is me rant, cut him off, tell him "some ones at the door, gotta run" or "I'm running late, gotta go" what ever works for you to end the conversation.

    You do not need to tell your son about your trip at all. I'm sure he does not tell you everything he does. I made the mistake of telling my son once that me and hubby were going on a trip and he went off on me telling me how horrible I was to go off and have fun while he rotted in jail. Yes, he tried to lay the guilt on me and for a while it worked but then I realized I deserve to go on a vacation and enjoy my life. Just because our d-cs lives are a mess does not mean we have to mirror that. Take the trip with your girls and have a great time. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Don't give your son that kind of power over your emotions.

    Smart girl you got there.

    YES, you start believing in yourself. This is the day you take your life back.

    I'm glad you are here with us now, you are not alone.

    ((HUGS)) to you...............................
  12. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    Thank you all for your kind words. You bring me to tears with your understanding and it means so much.
    My son actually messaged me yesterday to say he wouldn't be in contact for a while. It was a very kind message, unselfish, explaining that contact made him so jealous of me and my relationship with his siblings that he needed to step back and sort his life out.
    Whilst so sad that this is where we were at, I was so proud of him but also relieved that I won't be his punch bag for a while.
    Later I did receive some very negative messages but I ignored them and that is what I will continue to do. Will always be here for him and he knows that I love him. I truly hope he finds some peace, quits the weed and lives the life he was meant to.
    Thank you - the comfort you all give is precious.
  13. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    I'm sorry you have to be here, UKMummy, but I'm so glad you found this place. When I first came (found) these forums I was blown away. I was sorry I didn't find this years ago.

    Your son, my son, many of our sons are so alike.

    I wanted to speak to the guilt- because Lord knows I get it- my son is extremely jealous of my daughter and of my relationship with my daughter. I tried (and failed) to justify things to him then I realized I don't have to justify anything to him. When he asks me for money and I tell him no, he will ALWAYS say "well, if **sister** asked you, you'd do it, but you treat me different, I guess I'm just a nobody to you and Miss Perfect is all you care about".

    That used to hurt me. Because I tried really hard (and thought I did a really good job of it) to ensure that my kids were treated equally and didn't feel one was the favorite over the other (I recall hearing many years ago that if your kids each think the OTHER is the favorite, then you are doing good- because you are being equal- it's when they ALL know who the 'favorite' is that it is obvious).

    I enjoy the company of my daughter- I do not enjoy the company of my son. He created that - not me. I tried. I really did. I tried to be equal- and would help him with things when I didn't want to and knew I shouldn't- because I wanted to be "fair". But he always took my kindness for weakness.

    It also hurt my daughter- because she would sometimes get mad at me for helping him- because look how he talks to you! Look at all the things he has done to you!

    It's a fine line.

    Big Hugs!
  14. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Learning to accept other people is hard. The pathway to this acceptance is loving detachment.[/QUOTE]

    Wow COM. Thank you . I sure needed to be reminded of this today. Our difficult children put themselves in their circumstances because of exactly who they are as unique individuals. Not that their way is for me to judge either good or bad for them. Just different for who they are, and I'm realizing that the person who is my Difficult Child son is unfortunately (?) not a good fit for a happy relationship with the people we are. I hope he's finding a happier way with others. Thank you for your clarity.

    UKMummy, we do get it. We understand. You are not alone. You are in a safe place. All the wisdom and guidance expressed here by others is the truth of our situations. Take care and keep coming back for reinforcement. I come to this forum to breathe and know I am going to be alright.
    Mahalo ka kou.