He maybe be clean, but he's still difficult

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Origami, May 17, 2018.

  1. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I'm not really needing any advice here, but just sharing an observation. Maybe some of you can relate? My older difficult son, age 31, is now out of rehab, working part time, and living with his wife and kids. He had told us it's the first time he's been clean in over 6 years (from heroin). This is all good news, of course.

    But his sobriety didn't really change the fact that he's a terrible communicator, and still something of a jerk! He's not outwardly aggressive or mean, but is subtly manipulative and a bit entitled. On Mother's Day, I had heard from all my kids except him. So about 5 p.m., I called to see if he and wife and kids were still coming over for dinner so I'd know how much food to buy (don't worry, I didn't cook). He was out working, and said they were all coming over soon, and by the way, Happy Mother's Day.

    Then at dinner, my younger son, who has a history of trouble with this brother, left the table and went to his room right after we had eaten. He later told me that he left to avoid getting into a fight with his brother. At the table, his little nephew (older son's child) had said, "Uncle, when are you going to give us back the computer that you stole from Daddy?" Younger son had taken the computer as "payback" for the guitar and viola that older son had stolen from him and pawned. My daughter had originally given the older son the computer, but told younger son he could have it instead after all the theft happened. Older son had even agreed that it was OK with him after he admitted to stealing from his brother.

    Anyway, younger son was angry at being called a thief by his nephew (presumably coached by older son). He texted his brother asking if he was going to contribute to buying the food for dinner. Older son replied, "No, and I see you're still sponging off the parents." This is ironic, since he (older son) had been sponging off us for quite some time himself until he went to rehab. Younger son spouted off with, "And I see you're still doing the bare minimum and not providing for your wife and kids." He told me he cut off the conversation after that because he didn't want to get into a scene on Mother's Day.

    So, some of the difficult behaviors survive, alas. At least there wasn't a fistfight.
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    WOW!! Very sad but as you said, at least there wasn't a fistfight.
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I have noted before about our difficult children and the lasting effects on sibling relationships. I don't think they realize either the damage they have done or accept they have done it.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It takes a long time for an addicted brain to return to normal...if it does.
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  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I can honestly understand that. You want it to be JUST the drugs.

    My son would be sober for months at a time but I did not like how he "thought". It was not how he was raised and I had no idea how he had become this person. He was not like that before drugs entered his life.

    The program he is in now TOTALLY changes his way of thinking and I'm SO GOOD with that.

    I was like - please brainwash my son!!! LOL

    What kind of a mother says that?? ME!
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  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh lordy, Origami. Sorry you had to deal with that on Mother's Day...but at least everyone was together, and as you all said, at least there weren't fisticuffs. At least sons respected you and "your" day enough to spare that scene.

    Addiction really is a family disease, with so much to work through long after the addict has stopped using.

    I think youngest showed some real restraint and was a real stand-up guy, both for you and for your nephew in not calling out his dad on what really happened. Hopefully oldest son will have an attack of conscience and decide to set things right between uncle and nephew. Even just telling his son that he "forgot" he told Uncle he could have the computer would be nice...

    Gotta love the honesty of kids though, right?
  7. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I was just thinking the other day that my son has been extremely difficult since he was a toddler so I probably shouldn’t expect too much even if he does quit smoking pot someday. I had really convinced myself that if he would just quit that stuff than all of the problems would be solved but I’m realizing that is just not true for us.
  8. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Yes, I saw this as a mini-victory since this might have escalated in the past. In fact, I didn't even know they had been bickering at all until younger son told me about it later. It's doubtful that older son will have an attack of conscience, though, since he seems to be impaired in that department.
  9. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    If/when my son decides to go back on his medication and stop whatever it is he’s doing as self-medicating he would still be challenge. He used to be very honest, and not at all sneaky. Didn’t play the victim and he would be very quick to apologize if he messed up or forgot something. But he was still pretty emotionally immature and self-absorbed.

    This past Mother’s Day he called me the Wednesday before and calmly (because I had previously told him we could have conversations as long as they were nice and calm) told me he would like to get together for Mother’s day but would have to have a “full apology” from me for the “court thing”. The court thing was about me having to have him removed from my home and then trying to get him to go to hospital because of his delusional behavior that led up to it. I gasped and then laughed as I said “Well that’s not going to happy buddy!” He hung up on me. Great, he wanted me to pick him up, buy him a meal in restaurant, and give him a full apology for his behavior.

    Looking forward to the return of the Mother’s days when he calls, says sorry he forgot to get me a card and tells me Happy Mother’s day, on Monday, ha!