gig visiting today - advice?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Stress Bunny, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    JT is visiting today. I expect he wants to tell us about his engagement (girlfriend of 2 wks and 4th relationship in last 6 mos). He will also likely brag about himself as much as possible.

    Any words of wisdom?

    I don't know how to have any sort of decent relationship with him given his current attitude and lifestyle. I really don't like anything about him.

    I also don't want him to succeed in upsetting me, which he loves to do.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have no words of wisdom. I struggle with this in my relationship with my son. I offer you many gentle hugs, My heart felt prayers, and my extra set of industrial strength armor.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Smile and wave my and wave! Lol

    I just try to nod at the appropriate times and ignore the rest.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I write down a list of responses, like:




    Sounds interesting (fun, tiring, expensive, etc)

    You could be right.

    I hope that works out.

    Whatever is best.

    Then, keep the visit short.

    Hang in there today!

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Let it go. Don't engage. He can brag and be offensive, but you can decide how you take it.

    When my dad has one of his bouts and wants to rub my face into it (he ha Borderline (BPD), so yeah, at times very self centred and narcissistic and likes to get a raise from me) I try to take an attitude that matches his behaviour. If he wants to behave like a toddler, I respond like to toddler. No one (in their right mind) starts an argument with a toddler middle of temper tantrum (and think it would help any.) Being calm and not engaging works much better. They may be legal and chronological adults but if they behave like toddlers, or kids in the top of their puberty, trying to annoy and provoke you, you are not obliged to treat or relate to them like adults acting like adults.

    For me that works, if I'm in the strong footing. When stressed, I sometimes let myself get provoked even when I should know better. That never ends well. You can not win an argument with person with personality disorder or other person with similar challenging behaviours by getting involved in their level. Never. Same as you never win with a toddler by throwing similar nonsense tantrum they are throwing.

    Look at his behaviours and see them as what they are, either very infantile ways to trying to make themselves look or feel better or to take enjoyment from attempt to make you react in his level. You are not obliged to give him either.

    It can be very, very difficult to not let him provoke you, but it is worth the try. When it works, it works beautifully. Of course, when it doesn't work, you very easily find yourself in the argument that will go nowhere and will only hurt you. For me it is easier with my dad, or my difficult child when he is in that mood, than it id with someone I don't know that well. With adult strangers you kind of expect some kind of sanity from the other (and especially people with personality disorders are often very good at hiding what they are first, especially if you don't actually meet them but talk on the phone or in internet) and tend to put some faith onto what they say and it takes some time to notice the red flags. With someone you actually know to have those challenging behaviours, it is easier to keep that in mind and not get provoked. But you really have to see those behaviours as what they are and not take them at face value.
  6. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    Well he came and went. Things were pretty low key but he dropped some hints that he wanted to talk about his upcoming wedding. For example he asked if I knew of any good shops where his fiance could find her wedding dress.

    How do I respond to this wedding situation?
  7. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Pasajas' extra set of industrial srength armor sounds like a good plan.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wait it out. It will likely blow over or get even crazier. If it does, you can choose not To get involved. If it stabilizes and they stay together and time goes by, you could decide that you do support the relationship.

    Let time take its time. Do nothing for now.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I would do a whole lot of bobble headed smiling at him and saying...hmmm, dont know, let me think on it.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    So was the reason for his visit a supple hint to ask you to pay for his wedding, including this girl's dress? Sorry. I am so cynical about difficult children.
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Write down a list of bridal shops in the area and send them to him. That way you have the advice but didn't take actions.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  12. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    I am proud of myself for keeping a sense of calm and state of underreaction during the visit. Yes, I absolutely think he wants something from us, most likely money and attention, and admiration.

    But at midnight tonight I received one of his notorious one-liners, "I'm drunk".

    He is such an unbelieveable jerk.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Amazing isn't it?

    If it were me, I'd probably not do the wedding thing with him. Engaged after two weeks. "I'm drunk." No jobs for either probably.

    It won't last even if he goes through with it. I would not buy anything pertaining to a wedding, shower, etc.

    This may be a giant ploy to get a lot of money from well meaning relatives. When asked why you aren't giving them anything, if it were me, I would answer something like, "Dad and I do not feel you are ready to marry anyone. We feel you need to get your life together first. So, although we will not try to stop the wedding in any way, we also will not help pay for it."

  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    The other day, SO's daughter---20 years old---informed us at dinner that she and boyfriend (first year in military of a four-year commitment, then wants the military to send him to medication school, etc., currently in another state) might be getting engaged.

    She is halfway through college and wants to go to law school (she says).

    This girl is in NO WAY mature enough to be married to anybody. She even told us that she plans to be Bridezilla and have the most awesome wedding anybody ever had (read: $$$$$$).

    The whole conversation was surreal. It's all about the wedding and the ring.

    She is a very entitled person. I was so proud of SO. He said very little.

    He feels it is likely the whole thing will blow over. This is her first real boyfriend. They have no $. I think people in the military make something like $20K a year.

    The daughter went on to say, she is really tired of school and she will likely take a year off anyway between college and law school.

    I bet she never goes to law school, but hey, what do I know?

    She is a very bright girl but needs a lot, a lot of growing up and real world and understanding what things cost and what hard work is.

    When we hear stupid stuff from our kids, the smart money says and does nothing. Usually, it works itself out.

    And hey, we all know you can't fix stupid.

    And time is always our friend. Just wait. Just wait. Just wait.
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  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I liked what MWM had to say about your difficult child being too young for you to approve of him marrying anyone.

    We are not talking pregnancy here, are we?
  16. layne

    layne Member

    I'm just curious, why are you accepting a visit from him and why do you feel scared to tell him how you really feel about the "engagement"? You seem strong enough to throw him out of the house, so I would think you would be able to tell him how you really feel. Why even entertain such a stupid thing such as his "engagement"? The only way to beat a narcissist is to become one yourself.
  17. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    MWM - You are right on about everything you said. It could very well be a giant ploy for $. I don't know. The "I'm drunk" thing in the middle of the night after we had a reasonably good visit is a last straw for me. What kind of son worries his mom at midnight as to his safety and whereabouts? I worried whether he might be driving or how he is getting alcohol underage, i.e. who he is with, not to mention what else he might be dangerously mixing with the alcohol. He was jailed only 9 weeks ago for the alcohol charges.

    JT does have a very good job, which he has held for the past six months, amazingly. We figure he is holding it to prove something because he knows we were concerned whether or not he would be able to do so, given his inability to cooperate or take direction from superiors. No doubt, this won't last long, though, as JT is progressing with substance abuse.

    He wanted to bring his girlfriend/fiancee and her 2yo daughter to visit this Friday, but I have cancelled that, stating that I can't see him this Friday. This was my first message to him after the "I'm drunk" text, so hopefully he gets the reason why. Why should I put myself through the constant pain of watching him spiral downward into addiction? I am SICK and TIRED of this! No way am i going to get suckered into giving him money or support in any way unless/until our relationship is much better.

    My husband LOVES this quote of yours! Definitely true! And, this will most likely blow over in short order, as most things do with JT.

    SOC - No, there is no pregnancy - YET, anyway.

    Layne - I have read your words multiple times, and they really help. You are right. It is a terrible idea to entertain his engagement thing in any way. I see that more clearly now. The background on this is that JT has a long history of defying ANYTHING we have ever wanted for him. If we share with him that we are displeased with something, he is that much more likely to go ahead and do it anyway, which is his choice, I know. In my detachment from him, I am trying very hard not to give advice or even let him rattle me with his constant drama. SO, I was trying to avoid engaging in any sort of argument. I wanted to let him make his own choices and suffer the related consequences without giving him the jollies he gets out of upsetting me and drawing me into it. BUT, in this case, if he has the complete nerve to even ask me for money for his wedding or guilt me in any way, I believe that is the time to voice exactly what MWM stated. NO MORE GAMES!