Heard from Gfg32 after a month of silence

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Just as somebody on CD predicted, After a month of silence, you will get another blast...or something along those lines. husband and i both received an email last night that said he would ruin our reputation "in that small, small group of yours". He threatened to post on the local newspaper, social media and teacher review sites. husband and I are both retired, so I don't get the point of the last one. Who would be looking either of us up on a review site or care, lol?

    He sent husband a text from one of those anonymous texting sites ...began it with "A******"...and a bunch of nonsensical meanness and pointing out that girlfriend is his real family. He sent an email to me that said "You didn't respond to (girlfriend's) email because you there was nothing you could say". This refers to an email girlfriend sent a month or so ago trying to guilt me into helping gfg32 out and criticizing husband and me for detaching....saying we were practicing avoidance, etc. etc.

    Did it take husband and me back a little? Yes, it did...and we had an extra glass of wine each. I reminded husband over and over, "The board predicted this would happen! They haven't been wrong yet".....and husband remembered that I had told him weeks ago to expect something else in about a month. We woke up early, for us....we had started talking about gfg32 less, still praying and thinking about him, but not obsessing. That won't start again, and it is not like we thought he would be a bit better in a month---but it's not fun to be reminded of how bad off gfg32 is in his thinking.

    husband and i have an overnight trip planned the middle of this week. Glad we have that on the calendar.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I am glad you posted to let us know. These periods of dysfunctional contact are so very hard. I bleed a little in my own mommy heart for you. It is hard to be attacked under any circumstances, by anyone...but being attacked by our own adult children, once they are past the hissing nasty of adolesence, strikes deep to our core.

    I am struck by how just plain hostile and aggressive he is. I can't imagine what he thinks to gain from this...which speaks, as you mentioned, to his disordered thinking. What does he think posting to the local newspaper will do? Seems highly unlikely they will print anything (more disordered thinking). All these venues are used to people trying to use them to exercise vendettas...they will recognize this for what it is.

    And starting with "hey A...." I mean really, what? Is he trying to bully or scare you into supporting him (yes I think in some weird way he is).

    He will have to work through this angry explosive and outward blaming emotional state himself. Only he can do that. We cannot know how long it will last...weeks, months, years. Likely at some point he will turn on girlfriend's family (in fact I sort of wonder if they are backing a way a bit too, leading to his angry outburst)

    You know, this has made me realize for the first time that I think I have taken in other people's difficult children for a few weeks or even months at a time. My easy child/exGFG daughter (difficult child's twin) likes to collect them. Her hapless, never graduated from high school (but he is SO SMART, mom!!) boyfriend lived in our basement for several weeks, in a yucky little pile of messy. I bought him toiletries and asked him to clean up after himself, but it was too much. I eventually threw him out when I found him in my daughters bed, expressly against house rules (she was 17--like my mom, I know what is going on, but I have house rules). He has gone on to a series of short term jobs and supposed educational opportunities that never materialize. Happily they broke up. I 'm thinking now that he might have been sending mean emails to his parents about how I was his only family...I could hardly tolerate him! and last summer easy child daughter brought her roommate from college to live with us..first she was going to pay a small amount of rent, but then it took her a bit to get a job...somehow I totally let her live off of us for 2 1/2 months. She too brought a boy home (slept with him in the room right beside my 14 year old sons) expressly against house rules. She never once cleaned her room, and actually got her period and messed up the new sheets and blankets I had bought for her...and didn't wash them all summer either. Left them in a pile when she left. Some one else's difficult child. And I fell for it.

    I comment on that only because your son's relationship with girlfriend and her family sounds kind of like that...easy child/exGFG daughter thinks these people are wonderful but unlucky, unfairly treated by life, and that she must share her advantages (and her mom) with them...it worries me about her, actually.

    For you....I'm sorry you were caught in the swirl of his angry lashing out. He is angry about everything right now. Believe me, if he were doing well (working, stable living, happy relationship) he would be throwing that in your face, not actually understanding that you would feel relieved and happy for him.

    I probably would not respond at all. I don't like to touch poison..delete both, or print them and save them in some file you don't look at if you think you might need them some day, but get them off your regular inboxes. I think any response will just open the door to more harassement, which is what this is.

    I guess what I am trying to say is...this has nothing to do with you. You did nothing to evoke this. This is just thrashing. After you have a chance to recover from the shock waves, go back to what you have been doing. Pray for him. Enjoy each other. Take your trip.

    Its all you can do.

    Thinking of you today and all days,

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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, SS, I'm so sorry. My difficult child 36 threatened to come after me and shoot me if I did something he didn't like. In his case, I didn't believe it, but that's because he's two states away and has never even touched a gun and has no idea how to use one. Plus he's afraid to drive too far from his house.

    "It is what it is." Radical acceptance of who they are. The revengeful edge of his e-mail is a red flag that he could be dangerous to you and that he probably has some sort of personality disorder, like antisocial or narcissistic. No matter how angry our children get, very few threaten to try to destroy our lives or calmly say, "I will come up there and shoot you. I mean it too." Our young men are over the edge and if I were you I would not feed the bird. I would not answer anything that is a threat or disrespectful. I have told my son that if he threatens me, swears at me or yells at me he will not hear from me until I feel ready and, if he does it again, same thing. This has been effective. I talk to him less and he tries a little harder to be respectful. I also told him that any threats will be brought to the police.

    Whatever nonsense your difficult child threw at you, there is no point in addressing it. It is almost the same thing as trying to reason with a two year old who says, "You're mean and Im going to break this house down if you put me in a time out." You can't. So I'd skip all the nonsense. If you want to send him an e-mail, the only thing I'd respond with is, "If you threaten Dad and me again, I will send the threat to the police. If you want to talk to us, you will have to be respectful or I will no t read what you send. At the first sign of disrespect, I will delete. I love you, but you are not thinking clearly now and I need to talk to you when you are in a better place. Have a good day. Love, Mom."

    That's sort of how I communicate with 36. It infuriates him, but by the time he does talk to me, he has usually cooled off and he does not make reference to his nastiness, which is his way of saying, "I won't acknowledge what I did wrong, just what I think YOU did wrong, but I'll put up with your rules for as long as I can." It usually isn't for very long and the cycle starts again. It is very peaceful to me to have made a decision to set boundaries and protect myself. If he hates me, I can't control him...then he does. He has no reason to. If he wants to invent some, that is just the way he is.

    I would go on that vacation and relish it. I would also change the locks on your doors and, if you can afford it, get a security system. You need to protect yourself. I know how horrible it feels to have to protect yourself from your own child, but if 36 lived near us, we'd have to do the same thing because when he feels like we "crossed" him, he gets mean and vindictive and I believe he has the ability to act on it. For days, I got the chlls hearing his voice in my head, the calm, sure tenor of it, "If you do _______, I will come up there and kill you." It still gives me the creeps thinking about it. He didn't say it in a rage. He was oh-so-calm and firm. He has said similar things to my ex, who spent $40K on his custody battle for his son. There is no pleasing 36. When you don't do what he wants you to do for him, he sees blood. I have no clue yet if he would ever act on it, but I don't want to take chances.

    36's siblings have already dumped him. He has no friends. His wife left him. Ok, so she is crazy too...she had to be to marry him...but she did leave him. A difficult child can always find another difficult child for aid and comfort (like your son seems to have done). Personality disordered people make good lawyers, if you don't check too deeply to see the layers beneath the talk.

    I believe you can not slander somebody by posting stuff about them on the internet, but since you are both retired, not sure it's worth it to remind him that you can take action. Who is he going to slander you to now? His FB friends? Does he really have any friends? Or is it just the young difficult child girlfriend who he is playing.

    I just wanted to share that I've kind of been there so that you don't feel alone. Our two young adults are not the only ones who do this to their parents, but we don't hear about when it happens because we are too ashamed to share. This is the only place (and within our family) that anyone knows the things that 36 has done. by the way, he is grooming his son to be like him. I wish I could know my grandson better to have some influence over him, but son just lives too far away and my husband and I have no extra money to take trips states away. Last night, my grandson got on the phone and said, "So what are you sending me for my birthday, Grandma?" Between both of his parents, I keep waiting for little J. to fall apart.

    So sorry your son continues to try to manipulate you. When you don't fall for this he may take the next step and try to damage your property or you, which is why I am warning you. Whatever you do, DON'T TALK TO HIM TOO MUCH! You will give him more to stew over and stoke his fires. And, although you certainly don't have to do it, I would definitely let him know that any threats will go straight to the police because you feel threatened.

    Eventually he will go silent, most likely, except for bursts of fury when he needs money an d you won't provide it. God forbid he get a job or get money in socially acceptable ways of society. These people act outside of the rules of the law. It's part of their sickness, but since they can be dangerous and are usually in denial they THEY ever do anything wrong, we can't help them and it's best not to try. Telling him to go to therapy, even in a kind voice, will just set him off more. He will take it as an insult.

    Wishing you find peace and serenity on this day, in spite of your difficult child's behaviors. Gentle hugs.
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  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh SS, I am sorry. These sucker punches are difficult to recover from, however, you sound okay, knowing this would occur prepared you a little bit for it. It still sucks though.

    Someone once told me this which has always made so much sense to me, "engage with crazy people and you become crazy." If it were me, I would not engage at all. Not even to state my love as his mother for him. He is in a zone which you can't enter, it is some mental disorder and my belief, having lived so close to that zone all my life, is to keep your distance from it, it can burn you. Allow him to role through his threats and ignore it and continue on with your plans to go away and enjoy your life. You may have read Kathy's posts on the SA forum, her daughter recently did the exact same thing.........she is 28 and her parents stopped giving her anything, just like you did..........the result? A verbal attack with threats.

    Step aside and allow the arrows to fly by. Perhaps, say a prayer, see him in the hands of your perception of a Higher Power............and let go.

    Do your very best to do kind and nourishing things for yourself. husband too. Getting out of town is a huge help, so continue with that..........we do that continually, as each mile from home increases, I feel lighter and lighter.

    Wishing you peace SS, and solace.............and laughter and joy..........go have some fun.
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  5. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Hey SS...just wanted you to know I'm here reading along and hoping you have some peace today...I agree with MWM that you really need to protect yourselves...it's hard to accept that our difficult children might be capable of hurting us and while I don't know that he'd physically hurt you, he may try and steal something or vandalize something that he knows means a lot to you and/or husband...we got an alarm set up and changed our locks after our difficult child left at Christmas...it had been scary living with him-- he'd have rages and yell at us-- he's a big guy, 6'2", former football player so is scary when he gets like that...ours also loves guns and has 2 of them (which we kept locked up but now he has them)....so as hard as it was to accept that he could do something bad to us or our things, it is a part of the reality of having a difficult child, particularly one that can have such irrational thinking-- you don't know what they're capable of so protect yourselves...so glad you get to get out of towm and RE is right, enjoy each other and focus on getting away and the peace that I hope that will bring...
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    SS, I too think you should not respond to him. I am always amazed, though I should be used to it by now, of how black and white the thinking of our difficult children can be. My feeling is that he didn't get what he wanted from you, so in his mind you are all that is evil. His girlfriend's family hasn't gotten to that point yet, so he has made them a source of great hope and promise. I had to smile a little bit at his "small, small world" comment. At least in the world I run in, everybody knows quite a bit about difficult child (usually by his own reputation, not anything I have said), so any threats of ruining OUR reputation would be met with quite a bit of eye rolling. I am glad you have a midweek getaway planned and hope you have a fabulous time.
  7. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback. It never fails; you prop me back up and make me feel so much better. Two more hateful emails from gfg32 since my post, but now I am expecting them and will delete before reading. The last one I read stated that itis easy for him to hate me. Again, I am through reading them.

    As far as husband and i know, he still lives 1500 mi away. He does not have a key to our house. We don't have a garage and I have long expected him to key our car. We need to do a lot of painting and fix-it stuff, but husband and I are ready to get busy so we can put the house on the market. I wouldn't mind apartment living for awhile---if the neighbors are quiet, lol.

    It's ironic, because just before this latest wave of hateful emails began, husband and I were talking about gfg32's birthday next month and what should we do. In his last email, gfg32 said several things about what a horrible mom I was and then, and you will think of me every (his birthdate). What a jerk.

    Thanks again. I am off to sub today in a first grade classroom. I only sub a few days a month, and glad I am today. First graders on St. Patrick's Day should keep my mind off this, haha. Thankfully, i found a green shirt to wear....might cry if some little kid pinched me.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    SS, I am sorry he is doing this. I can imagine that came like a bolt out of the blue after a month of silence. I would have been hoping against hope that silence meant progress and who knows, maybe he is doing something good, but continuing to lash out at you when things get hard.

    One of the things I think is common with difficult children is they have no coping skills. Sometimes I think I would like to ask my son this: So, what are you going to do differently this time when you feel scared/sad/incompetent/thingsarehard/tired/anxious? Because having a plan for that is the key. Like it is for us.

    I love that you and husband looked at each other, voiced your stress and feelings and then...just had another glass of wine. I am glad you have each other to process with and pray with and then...go on your trip together!

    Yep. Their coping skills are about this level. You're mean, so there! I'm going to be mad at you. I'm going to ___________. So there! See how you like that, Mommy and Daddy.

    I can see him/them stomping a little foot and red-faced.

    This is huge. Making our own plans, looking forward to them, and then going no matter what. This is self-care.

    I agree with MWM. I would have a compulsion to "set him straight." If you do, sit on it for a day or two and then respond if you want to. We love them so much. It's so hard sometimes.

    This book MWM posted about on another thread is really good. Straightforward. I started reading it last night after I realized I had bought it and never started it. There is a chapter about completely stopping contact. I haven't gotten to that chapter yet but I can see that as a possibility for me, if things get worse with difficult child.

    I will post again in a minute the title as I don't have it right here. You and husband might want to read some of it together. It's good.

    Prayers and blessings for all of you today, SS. You and husband and your difficult child. Miracles do happen! I believe that.
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    SS, it's When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart.

    Addresses mental illness and substance abuse and a host of issues. It's practical and even gives scripts.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, SS, but so glad that he has gone so far that you are able to move on with your day. 36 does that too. Honestly, if he wasn't my son, I would not want to even have casual talk with him. The truth is, it is hard sometimes for us to feel motherly love toward our difficult children. And I don't mean all of them. I mean the ones who are verbally and/or physically abusive to us and belittle their childhoods and how we parented them, especially when our other children don't see it that way. Honestly, I sometimes think a difficult child is a difficult child because of skewed reality. The truth is, most of our difficult children were spoiled rotten, loved on endlessly, and had every opportunity to have a wonderful life. Many are brilliant yet did not finish college (36). They could have, but they didn't for a variety of reasons. Those with mental illness had the chance for the best mental health treatment available because we cared so much.
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  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am sorry difficult child chose to attack instead of interacting with you as the kind, responsible adult you raised him to be...but I love it that you and husband stayed united, had that extra glass of wine, and seem to have just enough perspective to draw a deep breath.

    I am so sorry this is happening.

    I know how it hurts, how it causes you to question where you went wrong, to question whether your son is right and whether you are responding correctly now, to wonder how this all happened.

    It comforts me to learn, here on the site, that other parents, parents who raised their children differently than we raised ours, are being abused, almost word for word and action for action, as husband and I have been abused by difficult child son.

    This helps me understand that it is something in my son driving this dysfunction. A woman told me yesterday that she was in a group meeting with parents and addicted kids in recovery. One of the kids was badmouthing his mom. The counselor had him stand...and demanded to know what he was on. The kid denied it, but eventually, whatever drug it was he was using, it came out.

    The counselor told the parents there that the one sure way to know whether your child has truly stopped using is that former addicts deeply regret the things they said and did while using. If one of our kids is nasty, entitled, and blaming...we can be pretty sure, according to this counselor, that our difficult child is still using.

    I am sorry this is happening to you or to me or to any of us, here. But we can learn what is real about our situations and that will give us strength to survive them without tearing ourselves apart over where we went wrong in raising our difficult child kids.

    It gets to be about cold-eyed survival.

    Our own.

    Stay strong, Strength.

    I told my husband last night that he is getting to look more and more like a hero to me, the more that I heal, the more I am able to detach.

    He blushed!


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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks again. husband and I noted that rudeness is the way gfg32 has dealt with us the majority of the time for YEARS. Guess we were so conditioned, that we were grateful for the few times he was pleasant.

    husband has said more than once that gfg32 was spoiled. We never made a lot of money, but in other ways....daughter received a letter years ago from gfg32 that she said was full of a very distorted account of their childhood. She never gave details, but it bothered her enough that she stopped corresponding with gfg32.

    So many similarities on CD. You include a random observation and I'm AHA!!!! THANKS for mentioning that!!!!

    Maybe some day, things will get better.

    Oh....this was rich... In one of the hateful emails, gfg32 mentioned how he had been forced to fend for himself at a young age. Obviously, he needed more practice, lol.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    LOL! Funny!

    Actually, I think a difficult child thinks "fending for myself" means:

    1/I had to clean up my own messes!
    2/I had to do my own homework without them giving me the answers!
    3/I had to pick up the clothes I threw on the floor!
    4/I had to stay home for a half an hour when I was twelve years old after school while that dern mom was working so that I could have the best.
    5/At age 18, they had the audacity to tell me they would not longer support me in every way!!! At such a YOUNG age, I had to actually take some responsibility for myself. Hey...I'm 40 and I still think they should help me out. After all, they chose to have me. I didn't ask to be born...
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS, I know how you feel. I have often thought that our kids here all memorized the same book, the difficult child handbook. In fact, once we had a whole thread on all the things in that handbook and your eyes would roll right out of your head if you read it, it is remarkable how similar they are, drugs, alcohol, mental issues, it almost doesn't matter, they mostly say the same things, respond the same way, it's uncanny.

    And, yet, we, the parents, being of a relative sound mind, respond the same too, for a very long time, we seem to go down this path sideways and upside down, but down we go. We attempt to respond in a normal, well thought out, loving, caring and supportive manner............until we realize that none of that works. We are dealing with something so vastly different then what is in our reality..........which is usually when we find this site and begin the journey of change that most of us are on. It is quite the journey too. No one expected this, no one wanted this, no one would wish this on anyone..............but, here we are.

    We have each other and that ends up mattering so much.......
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  15. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Exactly, RE. This board has been a Godsend. husband and I are sad tonight...that it has come to this. We hoped, but did not expect, a better ending. And, maybe, perhaps, some day....the relationship will be better. There is no relationship now---gfg32's choice. He told my mom that my funeral was last week. Glad I didn't show up, lol. (insert laugh instead of tears!)

    I have always felt so badly for families with estranged "children", as in HOW COULD it come to that?!?! Well, now i understand. Ironically enough, my paternal grandparents experienced this with a son they adopted at age 3. They had four daughters, wanted a son, and adopted one. A few years later, my dad was born. I never heard there were harsh words spoken. It was just that my uncle ran away from home at the age of 15 and moved far away. Years later, he returned to the same small town, with a wife significantly older, stepchildren...and they then had two kids together. He and his parents (my grandparents) seldom communicated. Growing up, the little pieces I was told made me very sad.

    Now, I wish i could sit down and discuss this with my grandparents. I kinda get it.

    Yes, having each other on CD to cry with, rage with, bemoan, commiserate, worry and begin seeing the truth, is huge.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS, sadness ends up being such a big part of this path. I am sorry you and husband are feeling sad. How can we NOT feel sad when this is our reality. You are not alone SS, I know that doesn't make the sadness go away, but there are so many of us here who feel that too. We have lost something we always thought we would most assuredly have.........and not only that, but we are always uncertain of even that..........it could change, or it may not. But whatever the outcome, we have to accept what is right now, not what may happen down the road. Today is all we've got.

    So, have a glass of wine with husband and toast how well you guys are doing..........feel the sadness together, talk about it and when you're ready, let it go for now........it'll resurface another time............
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It seems to me Strength, that families have repeating events. Generation after generation, the same issues surface. It makes sense that they would, I suppose, in that we are taught to perceive and behave in a certain way and so, all of us do and the situation is never resolved. In a way, I think that is what we work our ways through here, on the site, as we share our stories and our pain and work our ways toward learning how to detach from the guilt and the shame while learning to love ourselves and our children in a different, more honest, more respectful way.

    That is what I think I see in the changed way I see my own children. I had built up this false persona over the times of failure. Like, to cover that, I invented this perfect martyr, this perfect mother...whose children were jerks.

    Whose children, in spite of all my wonderfulness, were not treating me very wonderfully, at all. There were so many ways to keep myself in that mindset. I believe it began honestly enough...I think it may have been how I dealt with the rawness, with the repetitive shock of what happened.

    But somewhere in there, I lost me. Lost my strength and resiliency. Lost me capacity to see badness when it happened. I leapt into denial at the speed of light, and never even knew anything was wrong. I still remember reading MWM's posting about 36 being abusive. Until then? I never got it that my son was the same way, with me!

    I never let myself see what was happening, what was real.

    If we can figure out a way of relating to ourselves honestly, I think we can see a healthier way to think about and to relate to our difficult child kids. On another post, I said something about the kids having been different, even as children. Probably, we were such good moms, such good parents, that we gutted them through it, somehow. But, when they were old enough to leave the house without us, the trouble began.

    Maybe that is why we feel so protective, allow so much inappropriate behavior from our difficult children. Perhaps, we have nurtured and protected and believed for them in this special way since they were little.

    I don't know so much about that. I do know I am learning to love my kids (and myself and even husband) in a radically different way. I mean, what I felt before was familiarity. This is blazing, open, honest...pretty joyful stuff, actually.

  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Reminds me of that story about the newly married young woman who made a roast and cut off the ends of the roast. The new husband asked his new wife why do you cut off the ends of the roast. She said, my mother always did that. He went to her mother and asked, why do you cut off the ends of the roast. The mother said, I don't know, my mother always did that. He finally asks the matriarch, the grandmother why she cut off the ends of the roast and the grandmother says, "because I didn't have a long enough roasting pan.

    That story illustrates the "stuff" we learn in our families, the things handed down that we take as truth or history or both and sometimes it turns out that the pan was just not long enough but it still becomes our history.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is exactly it, Recovering. We learn how to interpret reality from our families of origin. Why we see what we see in the way that we see it is never addressed. Remember that piece you sent me, about the eyes being cut open?

    It is hard to get that concept that we are blind when we think we see. Hard to understand that we only see what we have been taught to see, and that the truth we think we see may be something else, altogether.

    My Tai Chi instructor is always talking about that. He tells us that our left brains are constructed in such a way as to protect us from what is really real because we would be too frightened, too depressed, even to try. So, we selectively interpret the world and its meaning based on what is safe to know.

    Our families of origin have survived. Whatever else their versions of the world have accomplished, they have survived to birth us. And they teach us the same survival skills, the same version of reality, that has helped them to survive.

    I do feel surprise, when I have worked through another layer and see reality expand into a multi-faceted thing with a thousand meanings.

    So, that's good, then.

    I like that story about the roast, Recovering!