Hoping to see son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Just a FYI: As you know, Josh left my sister's house about two weeks ago and is supposedly renting a room.
    I am going this weekend to Denver to see my sister now that he is gone. I have contacted him about whether he would meet with me. He has refused, calling me the usual names and blaming me for his unwillingness to see me. I am going to continue to try to contact him in the hope that he will change his mind.

    I don't know when or if I will get back to Denver, and I really would like to at least see him once more. I don't think I will ever see him again otherwise. My last attempt to plead with him to come and stay with us, just a week ago, was met with the usual abuse and refusal.

    Anyway, that's what's going on in my neck of the woods.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Beta. I am glad that he has a room. And that he left your sister's apparently without event. That's very, very good.

    What makes you think that you will likely never see him again, if not for this visit?

    I understand that this would be a fear, but reality, why? He is mentally ill. He is very immature. He is confused and in pain. None of these things needs to be a permanent thing. Have you considered backing off and letting him work things through?

    I was estranged from my mother for many, many years. I did not see her or speak to her. And then one day, things changed. For the last 20 years of my mother's life we made a relationship work, and she lived with me, or near me as she died.

    Josh can profess his hatred. He can call you vile names. He can refuse to see you. Forever. There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with your real life history or relationship. The way I see it, you do not have to buy into his distorted reality.

    You could choose to let him be. And let time do it's work. Time and prayer. Many people get on medication at some point and live normal lives.
  3. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Copa, Yes, I've considered this. Given the fact that he has me blocked right now, I may have no choice but to back off. I can't know for sure that things will always be this way and that I will never see him again, but I realize that this is a very real possibility. I still have a hard time believing that things have come to this point.
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Then don't believe it! Where is it written that you have to believe such a painful thing? This is not a reality. It is a fear. It is a threat. It could happen, yes. Just like all of the worst possible things that we try to never think of.

    To my way of thinking, that you would not go there, not go to the worst possible thing, is NOT denial. It's faith. Faith in love.

    Have you thought of the possibility that your son feels compelled to push you away because you won't let go? Not as in "forever and forever." But to give him a break to mend. He's saying to you, let me be. I need you to let me be.

    But he accepted safe harbor at your sister's house. Do you see the contradiction?

    I don't see the either the inevitability or the probability that he will be forever rejecting or separate. Nor do I see it as inevitable that he will be so ill. Lots of things can happen to change the course of things in life. Even illness and anger.
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  5. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I like how you put this. This resonates with me. I do have a tendency to live out of a state of fear, and I can see that I'm doing that now, just from what you said. My mind has a tendency to go to the worst-case scenario, which, of course, is not living in faith. I do need to watch that pattern of thinking, that I'm not looking at the situation as inevitably lost. Again, it's just hard to find that balance of hope, where you have enough to keep you going but not so much that you're emotionally enslaved and constantly "falling down the rabbit hole" when things don't go as you hope.

    No, I haven't thought of this. My impression is that he seems to need us as a "punching bag" to vent his anger on and so why would he relinquish that? Obviously, I'm having a terrible time letting go. I'm just afraid that if I stop trying, he will go down the tube and either be dead or in jail.

    Can you explain? He did accept staying at her house, but he made little to no attempt to have a relationship with them and only used them as a housing source, which is one of the reasons they asked him to leave.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Many of us are like this. We have the fantasy that by our thinking we can control what happens. Your terrified thoughts about the future, which if you think about it, are inventions--are not real. I'm not thinking of the correct word right now, but in a way this is a kind of symbolic child sacrifice. In your thoughts, you show your willingness to let him go. But this is only symbolic. You hope through your thoughts, to protect him from real harm. To protect yourself from real loss. If I do it to myself, I can make it so that you don't do it to me.

    I am sorry to be so blunt. I think we feel if we keep over and over again symbolically sacrifice our child in our thoughts, we are kind of paying the piper....and in reality....this bad thing will not happen. We can keep real threat at bay.

    Of course, this is irrational. We can't through raising the possibility of bad things, his being in danger, never seeing him, etc. protect us and them. So not only is it futile, it's hurtful.

    Reality does not yet exist. We can only imagine a tiny portion of the future. Maybe half dozen horrible possibilities, of trillions and trillions, even infinite possibilities, nearly all of which could be better.
    Look. Nearly all of these adult kids on this forum are having a hard time growing up, and a large part of this centers in their capacity to detach from us in healthy ways. We become objects to them to heap on us their own suffering, rage, confusion, frustration, ambivalence, helplessness, impotence. In psychology this is called displacement or projection. These are ego defense mechanisms. All of us do some form of this. To help us cope.

    Josh, like my son, has very difficult circumstances (early and present) to assimilate and deal with. Adoption. Race. Abandonment by birth parents. Mental illness. It seems as if he has identified you as the person on which to displace all of his negative feelings. This does not make it true. This is a functional behavior for him. He does it to help him function. Is it a good way to function? Is it healthy? Is it kind? No. But it's helping him get through each day. To survive.

    He related to your sister...in this way. He used what she had to offer, but his interest was not to relate. It was to survive. He does not have resources to do more right now. All of his capacity and energy he uses up just surviving. You seem to be asking for more than he has to give right now. And this makes his rage bigger.

    He does not feel what he says to you, how he treats you, deep down. But he's not living "deep down."

    It's like I put in my thread how I told my son, I never want to see you ever again. I was Josh, right then. I was maxed out. I just wanted the pain to go away.

    This is Josh's way to deal with his pain. We can pray for him and for me, and for all of us, that we will find more loving and stronger ways to deal with our suffering.
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    The opposite of love is not hate...it is fear.
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  8. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Copa, No need to apologize--I didn't feel you were being blunt or abrupt at all. Actually, your words give me hope and comfort. Wow, there is so much insight in what you say, both about me and about him. I am going to print this out and read and re-read it in the days ahead. It really helps provide an explanation for why he is acting as he is. I wan to believe that he doesn't really feel the way he says he does but speaks out of the pain of his illness. Thank you, again.
  9. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    And my thought pattern to "prevent" bad things---wow that is so true. I think the thought is that if I can think up all the bad things ahead of time they will either not happen or, if they do, they won't catch me unprepared and, therefore, be even more devastating. It's like I'm "bracing" myself emotionally for the worst, as a way of not being destroyed by them.
  10. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Question: Are you saying that my continued attempts to reach out to him and contact him could be making things worse and making things harder on him?
  11. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Beta, I have been where you are. I was there for 8 years. Only when I completely let go of my daughter, meaning NO contact at all did she grow. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But it was the only thing that worked with her. My silence spoke volumes and when she matured a little bit she realized what she had done. Backing completely away from her and letting God take the full reins is the only thing that made her change in how she treated me. If I would have never seen her again it was better than the constant abuse and I was ready for that.. NO ONE deserves to be abused and used. I was a doormat for many years. How I got to the cut off is I envisoned myself handing my daughter to God and saying' This is your daughter, she is acting awful, please fill her with the Holy Ghost and heal her. And honestly do it. I cried 3-4 times a day but I stayed strong. I cut my ties sharp and hard. I cut all times. If there was an energency she talked to her dad. I made myself invisible to her. It was the ONLY thing that worked with her because God knows I tried everything else plus. I pray for you because this is so very hard but it needs to be done, what you are doing now is not working. Flip him off and I promise you will feel some sort of well deserved relief. This will go against everything we have learned as Christians. This goes against my nature and soul but I had to do it to restore peace and to get things moving in the right direction. What I had with my daughter was pure BS. Abuse like I was in the company of a devil. DONE with it and I pray you will be too.
  12. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Dear New, thank you for your feedback. Wow--eight years. I can only imagine the difficulty of that. Well, you're right--what I and my husband have been doing sure hasn't worked and isn't working.
    Cutting ties like that does go against what we believe and who we are as mothers. I need to come to the point where I value myself enough to not allow him to abuse me. And to value the peace and joy that God wants me to experience and manifest in my life. I think that's the crux of it---balancing the loving and nurturing part of me as a mother with the responsibility to not enable him to continue in evil behavior. Posting like this, and reading the responses of others, helps so much in sorting all this stuff out. Even when I don't post, I read the posts of others regularly and am helped along.
  13. RN0441

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

    Newstart and Beta

    I did cut ties with my son too. He now says that I disowned him and I did. I did not put a label on it at the time but I guess in reality that is what it was.

    I was in therapy for 2 years to learn to set boundaries and detach because I was drowning. It wasn't his abuse of me as much as my pain seeing him not care about himself at all. Not love himself so how could he love me?

    I do think this is great advice. As painful and as unnatural as it may seem.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    The only way I will ever see Kay acting kindly is to do her a favor, such as housing her or giving her money. Many of our kids seem to be cold to us unless we give to them....at least until they get help and want to change.

    I try not to think ahead but Kay is so angry now that unless she changes down to her core, I don't want to see her. It hurts when I do. It is nothing like my relationship with my other kids. It's as if she is blackmailing me of her positive emotions until I give her things again.

    Kay is good at pulling away. Better than me. Attachment disorder, I think.

    God bless.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    I think it is making it way harder on you your reaching out to Josh. Josh is very confused right now. He can only hurt you and himself. Why go there? I think your reaching out is really prayers.

    I feel quite certain that Josh has it in him to mend. I don't know from where that certainty comes, but I feel it to be so.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    M has said so very many times, and he's right, that the only place in life where my J has control and power, is over us. Especially, me. I am wondering Beta if Josh is the same, with you. You are his safe place. You are the one in his life who has loved him unconditionally. And no matter what he does or where he goes you continue loving him.

    Remember the book Runaway Bunny? Where the mama bunny followed her baby to the ends of the earth? That is the wish of a child of 3 or so who begins to want to explore, but at the same time fears separation from his mother. Thus the popularity of the book.

    These relationship traumas we are having with our adult children pull on these vestigial fears for our children and for us.

    They trigger us.

    Josh needs to separate. He's an adult. But he's engulfed with all sorts of emotions, some related to his illness, others related to his history and circumstances. All of it mixes together and becomes vulnerable and confused and furious. In an inappropriate way he gets some kind of control over this toxic mix of emotions through rageful and mean behavior towards you. It's a coping mechanism. I'm not condoning it. I'm just saying what I think it is.

    While my son does not do the same exact thing, he has his own version. Maybe passive aggressive. Resistant. Manipulation.

    If you know that Josh is not doing well with your contacts, to me, backing off makes sense. Trust me, Beta. He knows how deep is your love for him. If you were to back off, your love for him will not go away. Nor will his for you.
  17. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    What you say makes a lot of sense to me. It's really the only thing that makes sense of his behavior, actually. Thank you.
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  18. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I feel your pain. I haven't spoken to my older son, in about 2 1/2 months. The thing that has helped me and I'll share with you because I feel we relate on this level is a quote from the bible:

    "A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them and you will have to do it again." (Prov. 19:19)

    My sons verbal, threatening abuse has to be on him. If I go back to him too soon because I feel I need to out of forgiveness, he may not have learned his lesson yet and I will only have to repeat and experience his poor behavior again. It's hard waiting this out but in my opinion it must be done. We can forgive them (as we mothers all do) but we shouldn't be so quick to run back to them until we have seen sustained changes.

    Stay close to to your trust in God. He'll see you through the loss you feel right now over your son.
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  19. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I am going to save this post. Very profound. It spoke directly to me and I can relate 100%. Thank you for sharing.
  20. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    JayPee, thank you for sharing from your heart and life's experiences with your sons. I always learn something from your posts and am strengthened from your resolve.

    Yes, I've run across that verse and recognize it. All I can do now is totally leave him in G-d's hands because he has broken off communication with me. I hate to go to Denver and be so close to wherever he is and yet not see him; that's the main thing bothering me, but at this point it looks like that is the way it's going to be. Whatever happens or doesn't happen there, I'm going to enjoy my time with my sister and her family. Our youngest son is driving over from Nebraska just for an overnight stay so I will get to see him too.

    One good thing that has come about as a result of this is the fact there has been some healing in my relationship with my sister, with whom I was somewhat estranged until she took Josh in a few months ago. So I'm going to go with the focus of enjoying the relationships I do have in my life and make them as healthy and fulfilling as I can.

    I'm still mulling over what Copa posted yesterday. It has given me a lot to think about in regards to what is driving him to behave the way he is with the abusiveness. I have been helped so many times from the insights of many of you CD posters and I appreciate you all. Wish we could meet up in person just to have some faces with the names! :)