Here we go again :(

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, May 21, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    difficult child just called from his roommates cell phone. As soon as I saw the number I had that sinking feeling. When I answered difficult child immediately says "I need a favor and it's only for one night." Ughhh here we go again. Apparently, through no fault of his own of course, he and his roommate missed curfew so they're out on the street for at least tonight. difficult child asked if they could spend the night here. Nope. Sorry but no way in hell. He hung up on me but called back a little while later asking again. I firmly explained to him that he's only allowed in our home when he's following the rules and since he knowingly broke curfew tonight he'd have to deal with the consequences. He chose to break the rules and I'm not "bailing him out". Supposedly he can go back to the shelter tomorrow after he talks to his caseworker but he's out for tonight. That's their rule - make curfew or sleep on the streets. He chose the latter.

    I do feel bad bc he's been doing pretty well on his medications etc. and we've been getting along but he chose to take this route instead of going back on time. I told him not to come here and if he does we will have a problem. Perhaps a night on the streets will remind him of how nice it is to have somewhere to stay? He really likes the SH and hates the streets so it's should be a no brainer right?

    Did I do the right thing or am I horrible? He always tests rules on purpose to see if he can get away with breaking them. If I enable him and allow him to come here he'll think that's an easy way out the next time. I can't start this whole thing over again. I need to stay tough.. Uggggh!
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You absolutely did the right thing. You are never horrible, you are always a good's just that our difficult child's put us in situations which are terrible on us, having to make choices which are so difficult............but he made the choice tonight, so he has to deal with the consequences, all you did was point him in the direction of his consequence without getting in his way. Good job. Go to bed with a book and relax, you know he knows how to be on the streets, he's done it many times before. Sigh.
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I slept well. Surprisingly well. But I just woke up to a nasty message on FB from difficult child. Basically saying how can I deny him when he only missed curfew by 5 min and saying that I love younger son more etc. Also what kind of mother does that etc. Basically using his same old tricks and trying to guilt me into feeling bad. But I'm DONE with that!

    So I replied with : "difficult child - the rules are the rules. Either follow them or those are the consequences. You knew that when you chose to miss curfew. I refuse to allow you to make me feel guilty for the rest of my life. I've helped you NON STOP for a long time now whether you see that or not. And if you have a problem with stepdad address it with him bc I'm not playing that game. OUR rules in OUR house are what they are and are what they have always been. I have been allowing you to come here more to visit but I refuse to enable you. YOU CHOSE to break curfew last night knowing that you wouldn't have a place to stay so don't blame your choice on me. Like I said - I'm done with the guilt. Completely done with it. It's been eating me up for years and I refuse to allow that to happen anymore. You're an adult. Either get some therapy and deal with your feelings or don't. Your choice. But I will not allow you to try to make me feel guilty any longer. I am your mother and I love you and always will but enough is enough. I've done a **** good job at helping you nonstop for a long time now so if you don't realize that and want to hate me - fine."
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    You did the right thing. He only issued curfew by five minutes this time. How long will it be the next time? And the time after that? No. He needs to learn the hard way that curfew is curfew, and if he chooses to stay out later than he's supposed to then he will have to deal with the consequences of his choice.

    I'm glad that you were able to sleep, and I think that your answer to his FB message was right on. My difficult child pulls the whole "You love easy child more than you love me" nonsense, so I know how infuriating that can be to hear. Hopefully, tonight he will get back to the sober house on time.

    Stay strong.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Bunny - supposedly he missed it by 5 minutes but I'm sure it was more than that. And this isn't the first time. He did it once before too and they let him slide. After that they told him to make sure he's always there at least 15 minutes before the van comes so he won't have this problem again. And here we are. This is difficult child pushing to see what he can get away with. Well - now he knows. I don't know where he slept last night but he was on Facebook until almost 2 am so I'm assuming he was able to crash with his roommate at the roommates mom's house. I guess SHE has a heart.

    And the guilt thing infuriates me. He said at least I care about one of my children and it's nice that my favorite child gets to have a childhood. Ummm ok - so the fact that easy child/difficult child has been on the back burner all this time while I deal with difficult child's nonstop drama means nothing. Ok - whatever! He also said he hopes I have sweet dreams in my husband's house, in his f'ing bed. WTH? I can't with the drama and guilt. I'm majorly p*ssed! HE broke curfew, HE broke the rules, and now HE has to deal with the consequences. It is NOT my problem!
  6. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So here's the response I got :


    Nice huh? And the "F"'s were actually the real word. I edited it before posting. So yeah - real nice.

    And here's my reply:

    "Ok - if that's how you feel than fine. It's a shame though. I love you difficult child and I have tried to help you nonstop. Ask everyone and anyone. I have put nonstop time and effort into helping YOU. All you have to do is follow the rules and that means being ON TIME. NOT 5 MINUTES LATE. I'm not going to battle with you all day. It is what it is. If you want to call me later you can as long as you can be respectful. And if you think I don't love you you're seriously mistaken. I can't force you to know that but I really do hope that someday you realize it."

    I tried to stay calm because if I argue back with him it won't do any good. I am, however, very hurt. This is what I've been dealing with nonstop for years and you know what? I want it to STOP now!
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    OMG!! I get that, too! "easy child gets all of your attention and I get nothing! You love him more than your love me". Ok, dearie, let's fact check this. easy child is 9 years old! When difficult child was 9, and alot less independent, he got alot of attention, too. Yes, easy child needs me to help him with his homework alot more than difficult child ever did, so in that one area he does get more attention. easy child plays alot of sports (baseball, football, and hockey) so I am always taking him to practice or a game. When difficult child was younger and played little league I took him everywhere he needed to go, too, and easy child had to get dragged along, whether he wanted to go or not. And alot of the attention that difficult child gets is negative attention because he behaves badly. If he would choose to make better choices he would get more positive attention.

    These things make me crazy.
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy. Honestly, I think less is more when responding to messages like the last one, if you respond at all. You don't need to repeat yourself -- you made your point the first time. When a difficult child is in that kind of combative, blaming mode -- nothing you say will make much difference anyway. He can't hear/read it in the way it's intended.

    It takes practice, but sometimes it's best to just ignore the nastiness and not reply at all. What I learned with my difficult children was that it's almost like behavior modification -- when they were nasty, I either didn't respond at all, or responded with, "let me know when you're ready to talk about this calmly." Period, end of sentence. When they were civil, I responded civilly -- and if it turned nasty after initial civility, I repeated the previous statement and ended the conversation. It took a long time (years, for Oldest), but eventually, they got it. Each time you are able to cut off the nastiness, it makes you feel a little bit stronger -- you're taking the power away from them, and keeping it squarely for yourself.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    If he replies again in the same tone, don't reply. It will get you no where and you will end up arguing with him all day. It's typical difficult child thinking. "Well, I only missed the van by 5 minutes." Whether he missed it by 5 minutes or 5 hours isn't the point. The point is that he missed it and that is no one's fault but his own, whether he wants to accept that or not. Blaming you is not going to change the fact that he had to pay for the consequences of his own actions.
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    That makes sense CVA and Bunny. Sometimes I just can't help myself though. But you're right - sometimes no response is the best response especially with a difficult child who is "never wrong".

    Anyway, I just found out that he can't return to Safe Haven until Friday. That's when his "72" is up. Apparently when you miss curfew or test positive for drugs they put you out for 72 hours. So on Friday he has to return by 7:30 pm if he wants to continue to stay there. In the meantime - I guess he's on the streets again. I know it seems so mean and heartless but I simply will not bring him into my home. Especially since the reason he's on the streets again is because HE BROKE THE RULES. He wanted to push boundaries and this is the consequence.

    I'm trying to stay calm but I'm so sad. Tired. Worn down. Beaten up. I put on a happy face and try to stay strong everyday but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. It's never ending! But I'm trying to stay strong and be firm. After all - "What you allow is what will continue".
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Try and do something nice for yourself today. Take a walk. Read a book. Pick up a hobby. You deserve the peace.
  12. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bunny! I'm going to try. I think I'll do some gardening later and then get a new book for the kindle. I'm going to put my phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode and not take any calls after 4 pm. Also I think I'll skip checking Facebook messages tonight. He still doesn't know that he's out of SH until Friday so I have a feeling when he finds that out the "s**t is really going to hit the fan. Uggggggggggghhhhhhhh!
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CiV and Bunny gave you excellent advice and I understand that it stills stinks. I completely understand your feelings of being tired and sad and worn down. Gardening and reading and not taking the calls or checking on FB will help immensely. Go enjoy your moments today...........put him aside and let him deal with his own life, you've done enough now............
  14. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I needed to see this today. My difficult child is older ~ almost 40. To us, she portrays confusion, regret, determination to get things right...but she continues to do as she pleases with whom she pleases. It is so hard to see through the manipulation when it's YOUR child doing the manipulating. Even if the "child" is nearly 40.

    You are doing the right thing; you are behaving with integrity. You are telling your son the same true things the shelter is trying to tell him: Yes, the rules DO apply to you.

    I wish we had done, then, when difficult child was 14, or 16, or 18, what you are doing, now. Once difficult child had children.... And now, she is betraying the children, too. You are doing the only thing that will (maybe) change your difficult child's course in life. Seeing the situation for what it really is will help you know you are responding correctly.

    It is impossibly hard to make ourselves see what is happening for what it is. It is in our natures to believe in, and to protect, our children.

    Recovering Enabler said to me once that parents with children like ours need to fight our own natural, normal parenting emotions. It seems that staying strong, that remaining committed to what we know we need to do is impossible, under the onslaught from our manipulative difficult child kids.

    Your post is helping me to see my own situation differently. Thank you for that. We all need all the strength, all the clarity, we can find.

    When they say horrible, hurtful things, we need to remember that. They know just where to place the knife; they never miss the heart.

  15. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    That last sentence brought such tears to my eyes. I alway say difficult child goes for the verbal jugular. The cuts wound very deeply.
  16. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Barbara - this is the most difficult and trying thing I've EVER had to do in my life. It's so hard to say "no" to your child when they are hurting and in need. It kills me every single time. Thank you so much for your support and words of encouragement. It helps so much!

    difficult child just called from his MHA worker's phone. He apologized and said he knows he was wrong and he's sorry for saying such hurtful things to me. I accepted the apology but told him that doesn't change the situation. He's still on the streets until Friday. He said he knows and he accepts that and that he will try to do better in the future. He said he likes SH and doesn't want to have to leave there so he'll just do what he needs to do from now on. Uhhhh - That would be nice!

    I can't help but feel bad because I DO love him but I have to stay firm and tough so that he learns from his mistakes. So hard at times like this!!!
  17. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    They do indeed. difficult child knows exactly where to cut and it hurts every single time.
  18. Oh JKF - that sounds exactly like something my difficult child has said to me on so many occasions. Ugh. You did the right thing. Letting him come to your place, especially with some other difficult child that you don't know, would have started a trend of him missing curfew and asking to stay with you - Good for you for stopping that before it started. Your response on FB was also good. If he says anything else I would not respond at all. If you do you're just taking his bait.

    My difficult child posted some awful stuff about husband and I on his FB a couple of weeks ago when he found out he didn't qualify for SA because he actually has a nice home to live in if he chooses to follow some rules. I'm blocked from his FB and the only reason I saw it was because he hasn't blocked his sister. It hurts, a lot.

    He also does the "easy child is your favourite. She gets everything. Go be with your favourite child. " The reality is quite different of course.

    Hugs to you. Hang in there and stay strong. You handled the situation incredibly well and I'm so proud of you!
  19. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I like your responses to difficult child. Stay strong.
  20. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    And here comes the guilt. Right on schedule. Usually sets in about 12 hours after the initial shock of the latest drama wears off.

    I'm sitting here in my nice safe home, full from dinner and comfortable in my pj pants. difficult child is probably hungry and will sleep near the train tracks tonight in the company of his 45 year old, alcoholic, homeless buddy. It's about 90 degrees and 100% humidity and we're supposed to get severe tstorms tonight and tomorrow. So this definitely doesn't get easier with a warmer season change like I thought it would.

    I am praying that my tough love will help my difficult child. I know that this is not my fault but that certainly doesn't make this any easier. If anything it makes it worse. The hardest part is that we've been getting along really well lately and spending time together every weekend. He and I had such a nice day here on Sunday together and I can't believe it went from that back to this in the blink of an eye.