Gfg32 update --Should I send him an email?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Another update...I have not responded to gfg32's emails and they have slowed down considerably. He still emails my 84 (85?) year old mom - the person who has helped him the most financially through the years.

    From the input I share with her (mostly found on this forum), she has stopped reading many of the emails he sends. She emailed just a bit ago that she has two emails from gfg32 sitting in her inbox. The subject line of one of them : Well, What do you want me to do? Kill myself? She said she will probably read it and thinks she should send him money so he can get hotel room for another week.

    What does it look like/sound like to you? Should I email him a suicide prevention hotline #? A list of resources in his area? He surely knows about suicide hotlines and the resources, and email from me of any kind will certainly unleash anewed hatefulness from him. But, I want him to know I do care. On the other hand, i don't want to honor games just because he wants motel room $$. I think it is a game, but could never live with myself if it was not and contact from me might have helped. (Keeping in mind, he has been very hateful to husband and me over the last few months...)

    It seems odd that going to a shelter would provoke the idea of taking your life, but I guess it's more than that....a series of bad choices over the last year or so. (Lots of bad choices over many years, actually, but he had seemingly put things together for awhile a couple years ago).

    You guys predicted he might threaten suicide. As I told my mom, it doesn't sound like a threat (guess I'll know more if/when she reads the email) and that he is just trying to shake her to her core...and get money for the hotel room...until he asks again next week. He didn't email this to his dad or me. Seems if he was really that desperate, he might.

    I don't know. Seems like every time the dust settles just a tiny bit, boom! Every time i think I might be getting a handle on this, turns out I really don't.

    As is being discussed in the thread about assuming too much, the suicide fear is the scariest. And, I totally agree we cannot stop them, but do husband and I "do" anything at this point? I am rambling again...Gfg32 has never tried this before. ever.
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Strength, I wanted you to know one of us had read your post.

    Our difficult children do threaten suicide, Strength. When that is the threat we respond to, then that will be the threat used to keep us in line in future, the threat that will be used to keep us giving and giving in.

    What is the positive thing your son must do before you will consider reinvesting in him?

    Any communication should restate what it is HE needs to do.

    Your son has the power here, Strength. He is blackmailing you into believing you hold all the power. Your request of him was clear and simple: stop using drugs/alcohol/spice whatever it is that is destroying you. I love you too much to help you destroy yourself, and I will never do it, again. It was my responsibility to stop you, to require that you undergo treatment, last time and the time before that. I am not going to change my mind. I want you strong. I want you independent. I want you to become the man I raised you to be. I am not giving you a penny to support a drug habit that is destroying you. I love you too much to watch you destroy yourself.

    How could you do this to me, and to your father!

    He is the one choosing not to buckle. He is blackmailing you with his own death.

    He is blackmailing you.

    What does your son need to do before you will help him?


    Find work?

    At the least, keep a civil tongue in his head?

    None of us knows what the outcome will be, Strength. We hope, we believe, we try to do the right thing as we see it. What we have tried in the past has not worked. Our children have gone skidding down some rabbit hole we never even dreamed existed for our kids.

    I don't know another way to help them but to stop helping them.

    A drug addicted child is one of the worst things that can happen to a parent.

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you, Strength.

  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Scent! My mom did not forward his email, but she did just now let me know that the email continued....or prostitute myself or go back to jail? That does not sound like a threat to me.

    Before that, I had Googled antisocial behavior disorder suicide. That was scary--they are in a high-risk group.

    I think i will email him again --along the lines of what you just suggested.

    Thanks so much.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It will help to post as you go through it, Strength.

    Whatever you decide to do, we will be right here for you.

    I know this is so hard, so scary. I know that angry, trapped feeling, the guilt for the parents no matter what happens. (Unless their child does come clean about the real nature of the problem he or she is coping with. Once that happens, once we know what the problem really is, we can take correct and appropriate action. Drug use is such a subtle thing in so many ways. We did not realize the extent of our son's addiction until his girlfriend brought him to us to confess because she was leaving him ~ over his drug use. Even at that time, when we should have held a hard line, husband just couldn't do it. He drove three hours one way twice weekly to bring food, pay fines, attend court dates.

    It didn't work.

    I think our son was in his mid-twenties at that time.

    husband and I were not on the same page. I had been here on the site and learned the true nature of the problem. husband just knew he could help, could turn things around for his only son.

    I don't know whether treatment would have worked for our son. I do know that was our one shot at getting him to agree to it.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, you have to do what you have to do. I don't know what I would do. I think 32 sounds a lot like 36 and although I do freak when he mentions suicide, I know I can't stop him. I think 32 may be trying to up the ante (suicide is our ultimate fear) to get Grandma to send him money again. Seems like 32 is closest to those who giveth the most.

    The few young adults and teens I've known through the years with my own children who did commit suicide and did not threaten suicide nor tell anyone they were going to do so. They shocked everyone when it happened because nobody was prepared. Seriously suicidal people don't tell everyone about their plans as a rule. Actual symptoms of a possibly suicidal person is somebody who has been obviously depressed who is suddenly more upbeat and starts to give his stuff away (big red flag).

    The last child who sadly killed himself in our community was troubled, but was allegedly doing better. His girlfriend had gone out with him the night before and said he was in a good mood. He said nothing to her about being unhappy at all. The next day he took his father's gun and shot himself in the mouth with it, leaving no note and many shocked and saddened people. His father was a cop and they had done everything to make his life good. I think he was 19. The one before that had posted some poetry on FB...a bit dark, but nothing really that over-the-top. He had been in a little trouble and had lived with his grandparents for a while and had just come back home again. His mom found him hanging in his closet dead. Again, no warning and no note. Jumper cried for weeks. She had been with him a few weeks before that and he had not acted sad or spoken of killing himself.

    Many difficult children use this scary tactic as manipulation when nothing else works. It is the ultimate selfish threat; one meant to scare us out of our minds. And it does.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well SS it sounds as if you emailing him and offering him resources is what your heart requires you do........... and that is what is important to do. I have made those kind of choices along the way too, sometimes we have to just go with our gut instinct.

    Have you ever vehemently refused his demands to this degree before? They do tend to up that ante to the max with whatever they think will work.

    You DO have a handle on it SS, you've gotten a lot stronger and you and husband have done an excellent job of creating a united front, of putting your needs and wants back on the table and of learning some new and difficult detachment tools. Our difficult child's just keep improving their tactics in trying to keep us hostages to their demands........but you've gotten a lot better at recognizing those too. Remember this is not a linear process, it goes sideways a lot.........but we do keep moving along and learning and growing..........and you are doing all of that.

    It's hard SS, it's really hard. And, you know what? You are always doing your very best and that is all any of us can ask of ourselves.

    Sending you hugs and warm thoughts for peace of mind and comfort to find you and husband.........
  7. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, and yes, husband and I, still wavering, ARE stronger. I appreciate that affirmation. Way better than when I first found you guys!

    In Codependent No More, I had just read a section on holding off on reacting. A few hours later, that is exactly what I did. Of course, i rationalized it by thinking...Hey, posting on the board is helping me NOT react...and there is a bit of truth in that.

    husband and I have never paid bail, and there have been a few other things....this does feel like the worst place gfg32 has ever been. Incarceration was bad, felt like rock bottom, but he was taken care of. The mention of suicide (tho now it does not sound like a threat) will continue to be our biggest fear.

    My mom forwarded me the email response she sent him. It was long and preachy. She said she would not send $$ until he changed his thinking.. she mentioned that he has belittled her, been caustic, etc. She talked about God and the government. She is staunchly conservative; gfg32 is liberal. Gfg32 replied to her and including me..."(My first name), can you believe this? I haven't seen anything like this since Carrie."

    I started to respond; thankfully, husband stopped me. You do NOT want to play into his hands, etc.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    SS, the subject line on your difficult child's email to his grandmother sounded like the worst things he could think of to write.
    Outrageous things. Things that would really hurt you if he did them so....make me not do them by giving me what I want.

    I want to write him difficult child, we want you to have a life, get a job, start taking care of yourself and get the help you need to do it. That's what we want you to do. Will you, difficult child? Because once we see and believe that you are very serious about doing those things, not the things you wrote to us, then there is another chance for us to be a real part of your life and do what families do, which is support and encourage each other----and yes, maybe even help in measured doses----someone who is doing most of the heavy lifting on his life himself. That is what I want to tell him, SS.

    Like I told my son a couple of weeks ago---standing in the parking lot of the day shelter----if you continue to threaten suicide I will call the police every single time, and there will be no discussion about it except that.

    And there might come a day when we will be willing to help you---that will be after lots and lots of time has passed, and we see and we believe and we are convinced that you are sincere, you are not using drugs, you are taking responsibility and you are doing the hard work, consistently over time. And don't ask me how much time---it will be weeks and months and maybe even years---and we will decide how much time and how much we need to see.

    And you are completely on your own, your dirty bloody clothes, your next meal, where you lay your head at night, your RX, whatever it is about your life, it is up to you. You and nobody else.

    I was mad, SS. I was fed up. I wasn't yelling, but I was talking very directly and I told him not to interrupt me. I was talking fast, and the words were just flowing out of me. I was done.

    I had gotten to the point when I finally realized I had to spell it out because being nice and being subtle and not stating my truth was just resulting in more and more ramped up behavior.

    So I stood there, and it hurt me to say those things, and later I retraced my words and my tone and I didn't know how harsh I sounded and I worried about that a bit, but then SS, I had to let it go. And now, with a couple of weeks behind me, having said all of that, things are different.

    Be careful what you wish for---you just might get it. I wished for distance and space and no harassment and him doing whatever he is going to do without involving me every minute of every day, and SS, that is happening. I hear from him via FB message every three to five or six days and he writes short sentences and his tone is different and he isn't asking me for things.

    I don't know where he eats, where he sleeps, where he is and what he is doing. And I am not asking, SS, because the evidence is that something is different. And different is good, at least for me. I can only pray to God that somehow, someway, something is happening differently for him and maybe that will be good or at least better than it has been. Maybe.

    Because I know, SS, I know that nothing else I have done up until now has helped him. He is no better off than he was four years ago---in fact he is worse. I can't change anything else so I HAVE to change myself and what I do. That is all I can change. I am letting him go more and more, and SS it is hard, but I am okay and I am doing it.

    One day at a time. I can only do this one day at a time and I can change my mind at any time, SS. It's too hard to do it any other way, but it is getting a bit easier. Today, I only need or want to know that he is just alive. That is enough for me, and then I can move on with my life. That is so different, SS. I used to HAVE to know so much more or I would go nuts.

    Oh, that we would be able to stop reacting to the things they come up with, SS. And that in doing that, we are creating a new space, a new place and some time for them to claim their own lives and make them better. That is my hope for all of us in dealing with our precious difficult child adult children.
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    So sorry you and your mom are going through this. I am just sharing my experience in case it is helpful. My difficult child has made the "ultimate threat" several times, and I always take it seriously, even when he does not. My brother committed the "ultimate" without ever voicing his intentions, so I am very sensitive about this issue. When myGFG makes any sort of suicidal threat, I always tell him I am going to call 911, so he knows that if he makes the threat he will be talking to the police.

    My vote was to shoot your difficult child an email reiterating what you need in order to start rebuilding a relationship just so he knew he was on your radar, but after reading his "Carrie" response I think if it were me (which it is not, and you are the only one who knows him), I would not respond, as I too believe it is playing into his hands and encouraging him to go thru your mom to get a rise out of you. Again, I don't offer this as any kind of indication what you should do, just my take on what I've read.
  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Phone call from my mom this morning and she forwarded one of the emails she received last night from gfg32. He is asking her for $200, saying he cannot find work in his state, but the day labor firm he uses tells him things are much better in NW Washington. (This guy has a college degree). The email was on the nicer side. I reminded mom about fast food joints. I am certain he CAN find a job.

    His weekly rental at the hotel is up tomorrow and he said he will get $150 (girlfriend's money paid that) deposit back and use that toward the trip as well. He told her that girlfriend is trying to reach my mom by phone.

    I feel badly that mom is getting this. But, I have let her know, "Look, husband and I stopped responding and we are not getting asked for money."

    She printed the email for my dad (who has had nothing to do with gfg32 for years and gets very mad when my mom sends $$ to gfg32) and now my dad thinks they should send him the money. He said, "You know he is always going to be a problem, but I think we should do this."

    When i told my husband about it, he does not think gfg32 is really planning to take a bus to WA at all....and will hit her up for more money once the $200 is gone.

    When i suggest staying in a shelter, Mom brought up his laptop and Nexus pad...she thinks he is afraid of those things being stolen. She doesn't seem to think the shelter is a good option. :ambivalence:

    I'll be interested to see where gfg32 is this time next week.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hi, Strength

    I am glad you posted. Know you and your family are in my thoughts. Your difficult child is so much like mine....

    I miss my son today.

    You aren't going to believe this, Strength? But there is no work in the state my son lives in, either. When he lived in the state we lived in? There was a peculiar labor surfeit there, too.

    Do you remember the Chevy Chase movie Christmas Vacation? The cousin who hasn't worked for seven years because he is holding out for a management position? I thought that was so funny...until it turned out to be my son.

    Okay, so that's where all the jobs went, then. Given that difficult child has a degree, has he applied? Does he have interviews waiting? It is so helpful to make a list for ourselves of the way things would have to look for our difficult children before we send money.

    An interview would be one of those things. Rumors of how good things are going to be tomorrow if you just give me money today...not so good.

    What are the circumstances under which you would not resent helping your difficult child son? Recovering Enabler told me once that this is how we know whether we are helping or enabling. There will be a sense of resentment, of frustration and hopelessness when we are enabling.

    Helping will feel so real, so good.

    Enabling will feel bad. Try not to do it ~ at least, not with any dreams attached. We have been giving difficult child daughter between $20 and $50 weekly since last summer. (Not now, because she has her tax return money.) husband said he did not want his daughter penniless on the streets. He could not do that. The money was a small thing, to allow husband to face himself in the mirror in the morning. We all reach a place where we have done what we can to make it possible for us to live with ourselves and with what has happened to our kids. That place will look different for each of us. It is vitally important though that we not fall into the dream along with our difficult children.

    I don't feel anything one way or another about this. Why did he mention it? So you would believe he has money already and just needs a little more to make the new start in the state where all the work is? Aren't all kinds of drugs legal in Washington state, too?

    girlfriend will get the money from grandma. They are both banking on that. girlfriend has a degree. That does not make her immune to addiction or enabling behaviors. girlfriend may be lying about her family involvement.

    Something is not right about that situation. I thought girlfriend was leaving difficult child?

    That is husband's response. It is easier. He doesn't need to think about it anymore. We are tens of thousands of dollars into that "easier" response.

    I agree. And the reason the money is gone will be so believable....

    He still has his laptop and Nexus pad?

    Then there really is no reason at all that he should not have applied for work in the state where all the jobs are, or in the state he is in, now. Same for girlfriend. And yet, neither has a job or an interview.

    What would you and your husband have done (or grandma and grandpa) with two weeks paid motel room and then, nothing.

    You would have found work.

    You might still need help, but you would be working.

    You would be waiting to hear on interviews.

    You would be trying so hard.

    Please think about what your son will have to do before you send him another penny.

    Job ~ any kind of job. Telemarketing, cab driver, grocery stocker, WalMart, McDonald's. He would be telling you already if he had applied and been rejected. He has not applied. That is not a good sign.

    There were going to be hard times coming if you stood up to your son, Strength. There were going to be hard times coming if you buckled and let him move back into your home. There were going to be hard times coming no matter what.

    It is the situation that is bad, not you, and not your son.

    It is going to hurt, you are going to question yourselves, whatever decision you make.

    We are here, Strength. Whatever you decide, however it works or does not work out, we are right here.


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  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I am sorry your mom and dad are having to deal with this but I am very GLAD that it's not you and husband.

    You can't stop them from doing whatever they are going to do for their grandson. At some point, they will have given $200 and another $200 and another $200 and they will have to stop. Maybe your dad will again stand up and say No More and this time both of them will be able to stick to it. It just delays the inevitable. When my ex-husband was still doing and doing and doing, I had compassion for him. I remember when I was that way. It is really, really hard to stop when you love someone. But eventually, many people do because they are just completely worn out from it all and jaded from the never-changing nature of it.

    When is enough enough?

    I think it would be really hard for my parents if my son were directly contacting them for money. I am very glad he has not done that. That way, they have not had to make a decision about yes or no. I have kept them informed about things along the way and my thought process. They have been very supportive but it would be different, at least harder, with direct contact.

    My son still has his very old apple laptop but the cord frayed out so he can't even charge the battery. He has hocked it several times but always somehow managed to get it back out of the pawn shop. My ex-husband got it out a couple of times!

    He now has no technology at all.

    SS, I hope that sooner comes sooner rather than later for difficult child and girlfriend and they have to stand on their own, but I get the process. It takes as long as it takes, and that's okay.

    Hugs to you today.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cynical one here. If he has a Laptop and Nexxus pad, he should sell them to pay for the hotel. I'm serious too. Here we have a homeless man walking around with a Laptop and a Nexus pad. Pretty novel. I don't even have those two things and I have a home. Hmmmmmmmmm....Know what I mean??

    You can't stop Granma and Grandpa from enabling him, and I really would not angst over it. You can not make their decisions for them. If the future is like the past, they will learn. He is selfish to be asking retirees to pay anything for him.

    I'll bet he could get a job as a cashier at a gas station or flipping burgers or even a Newspaper Route if he wanted to work. The point seems to be that he wants other people to pay for the crazy things he does, like traveling with no job, no plan and no money.

    I get angry at my ex too for handing out big wads of money to 36. 36 has a really well paying job and while I have no problem with ex helping him out, he always tells 36 he has to pay him back and guess how much 36 has paid him back? Never. But can I do anything about it? Nope. If ex wants to dish out $40K for his custody battle and get nothing back and now help him close on his new house and get not a dime back for his efforts, why is that any of my business. 36 will say to me, "Dad always tells me I have to pay him back, but I can't. It's never going to happen."

    I don't tell ex what he says because it is between them.

    Your 32 is using them because the kitty has run dry at your house and I feel badly that he is taking advantage of elderly people, but they are elderly...not stupid. They are doing what they want to do. You can't really do anything to change that. Sadly, he will keep using them for as long as they allow it.

    Disclaimer: Anything I post is my own personal opinion only and is not to be used as fact by anybody here :) Ok;)
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  14. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    My thoughts, exactly. I do know he has the Nexus --not certain about a laptop. husband is very leery that there is a speck of truth to this new plan. (WHAT?, gfg32 might lie?!?!)

    In two weeks my mom will receive another SOS. I warned her and she seems to agree.

    She forwarded an email from gfg32 that said, This is the best day I have had in awhile. Because blood relatives finally show they care. She has sent him other $$ in the last month.

    Some moments I am sad because I fear gfg32 and husband and i will never, ever have any kind of decent relationship. Other times, I am fine with that, knowing there can be NO decent relationship as long as he harbors such resentment and basic dislike for us. Somebody on this board pointed out weeks ago that gfg32 is heavily invested in his revision of his growing up years, to justify his anger, and I know this to be true. I can see that never changing.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    difficult child equates caring with money. Not just yours. Most of ours. Not our love, support, and warm memories. Money.

    Anyway, it's up to you, but here is a thought. Do you really like your mom forwarding you 32s e-mails? If it were me, I would ask her not to read them to me nor forward them to me. You don't HAVE to know what he is saying. That's really your own decision. I wouldn't want to read that sort of stuff. However, as we have been talking about here, I am not you. I just brought it as something maybe you might want to think about, then, of course, do what you want.

    I also do know how you feel about the decent relationship bit. There are times that I have to fight remembering that Scott was so vile to me and his siblings. He went so far overboard that I know it can't completely mend. My sadness over it happens less and less now, but it is there at times. I just try not to dwell on it because dwelling on it doesn't change anything and I do have three wonderful other kids and one who I have a decent relationship with, at least over the phone, about half the time. Consider that once your difficult child knows you aren't going to be his meal ticket, you may never have the relationship you dreamed of when he was born, but your relationship could improve once he accepts your new role in his life and his new status as an adult in yours. Things with 36 have gotten a lot better between us, minus the months of his nightmarish custody battle. You can't know what will happen later on. No relationship should be based upon how much one person can get from the other. 36 really doesn't like his father, but he's nice to his face because he's a huge money machine for 36. If he wasn't, I don't even know if 36 would want to talk to him.

    Have a peaceful night :)
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  16. Ss, I am sorry you are going through this with your son. In addition, I second what mwm said about not reading the emails but If hearing about how he is doing is important to you, keeping that line of communication open i guess is a good thing.
  17. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Well--heck. GFG32 wasn't wanting money to go to NW Washington!! I misread mom's info (there must have been a typo, lol). It is the NW part of THIS state - the part of the state girlfriend is in. The state husband and I live in. arrrrrghhhhh

    Somebody asked if they are still "together" or not. Honestly, I can't tell anymore.

    So, gfg32 will take a bus to her area and who knows what will happen then? Whether girlfriend wants him there or not? How her perfect loving family (who has helped her so much when bad husband and I won't help gfg32) will be accepting or rally around to get him out of there?

    His thinking is so skewed. I can see him heading down there, just knowing he can make it work - even if (ex?)girlfriend is saying, NOOOOO, Do NOT come here. ....and that he may end up back in this town.

    One day at a time. One day at a time.

    So far, it's been about two months of nothing changing with gfg32. He will be 33 next month, so i hope you recognize the name change when it happens. :dispirited:
  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    SS, I am sorry that this is going and going and going right now.

    I believe there is ALWAYS hope. I believe my Higher Power, which I call God, can work miracles.

    I believe he is standing right there beside your son, gently waiting, for him to be ready to turn, and walk in a new direction. He will be there for as long as it takes.

    Even if your son never has that spiritual awakening, which is what I believe it truly takes (for all of us), He will still be standing there. Even if my son never has one.

    We all have to realize we can't do this---any of this in life---alone. We have to rely on something greater than ourselves.

    There is always a chance that people can and will change.

    Hugs and prayers for you and your family today. It's so hard to do what you (and we) are doing. We are here for you.