I contacted him after 5 days

bluebell

Active Member
I hadn't heard from him in about 5 days and for the month and a half that he's been out of the home, that is the longest. I can locate his phone so I know he is primarily staying on one couch and has gotten a job from the guy living there. But I started worrying nonetheless. I texted 'You doin ok?' I went back and forth over what to say didn't want to say 'I hope you are doing ok.' or anything that implied my hopes or fears. It took him hours but he finally replied 'Yes'.
I felt stupid though later my daughter went to get takeout and saw a girlfriend of one of son's friends. She asked how he was and the girl said 'He's wired'. daughter told me that means he's on drugs. I guess we knew that otherwise he wouldn't have had the outburst that got him kicked out, but it still hurts to hear. And now I feel stupid for texting him. Of course he's ok, he's high as a kite.
When will I learn?
 

Elsi

Active Member
It's hard. I go through phases where I resolve not to contact them and just wait for them to contact me. Then I go through phases where I feel guilty that I don't keep in contact with my kids and don't know what's up with them. And when they do call, I dread it because it is ALWAYS drama and bad news. Sigh. It's hard not knowing, and it's hard to let go of the need to know.
 

Lil

Well-Known Member
It's so hard to not reach out. When my son was homeless, I tried to get him to just tell me he's alive every week or so. He never did, so I'd text him, "Are you alive?" every couple weeks, for the longest time. If I got a "Yes", I just assumed all was good. If I got an actual call...it was always complaint and whining and begging. That "Yes" was all I ever wanted. As hard as it was, the rest was up to him.

Hang in there!
 

bluebell

Active Member
'Are you alive?' is good. It's a yes or no question. Although if having a bad day I can imagine son answering 'barely' or something like that. Always opening the door for more abuse no matter how it's worded. I guess I should be appeased by locating his phone but what do I know if he doesn't sell it or let friend use it or something. Or for that matter anyone could be texting 'Yes'! But to hear his voice would surely mean I would get my day ruined. And that's certainly not what I'm after!
 

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm sorry bluebell.
If only they cared as much as we do.

When will I learn?
There's no time limit on this. The important thing is you are progressing forward. We all have moments where we stumble and take a few steps backwards and that's okay. We regain our footing and continue moving forward.

((HUGS))
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I don't think you need to feel bad about what you did, at all. We have no control over what they do, but we are their mothers after all. That is what mothers do. They worry about their kids.

What I am trying to do is try to locate myself in myself. And to not so much agonize about doing the right thing for my son, as if there is some thing I can do and some way that I can do it that will have a result in them. This is the fantasy I had for far too long.

My son is suffering now because he does not know what to do or say to get things back where they were, where he could do most anything, and I was still in the arena. He has gone to a metro a few hours from here, and I believe he is homeless.

It has been about 6 or 7 weeks since we changed our program. We went from victims to dominators. What we are dominating is our space. We will no longer allow it to be overrun and our psyches to be overrun. It took a couple of weeks of calling the police multiple times, for him to stop squatting and basically terrorizing me.

At first there was radio silence. Then he tried to resume contact by putting me on the defensive by being mean and aggressive, by text. When I did not take the bait, he got sad, stooping to send me an emoticon (never before happened.) And this morning he texted something like, "you don't love me anymore, do you?"

I deliberated about what to respond. What would he understand? What would make him grasp that it is not about whether or not I love him (which to him means that I tolerate whatever he dishes out.) Until I caught myself. There is no response on my part that will have an effect. My responses effect me, not him. And I have no control over whether or not he ever grasps that the dialog that has power is the one he has within himself.

So all I wrote was, that's ridiculous. Of course I loved him, but that this had to do now with his questions to himself, what it would be to act as if he loved himself. He wrote back he misses us and the animals, adding "be well."

I felt that was as good as I could expect, but I had to accept whatever it was.

And I went along with my merry day. I am back to brasilian jiu jitsu, the very, very modified version.

Bluebell. You need NOT be concerned if you do the right thing. There is NO right thing. He is in control of and responsible for his life, not you. Your life is fine thank you.

Our task here is getting ourselves back into our own lives and selves. Little by little, we are doing it.
 
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toughlovin

Well-Known Member
I think I have somewhat of a different take on all of this. When we kicked my son out when he was 18 I was ready to write him off and wait for him to contact me. A therapist suggest I not do that, instead that I text him now and then to keep the door open but don’t invite him home!! Well its been 8 years since then and we certainly have been up and down on the roller coaster.... including time with him homeless and in jail. But it has kept the relationship there and when he has wanted and been ready for help he asks for it. I really believe that him knowing we love him, even with all of his screw ups, has helped keep him alive.

So I think there is nothing wrong with texting him now and then and asking how he is doing. Nothing wrong with letting him know you care and that you love him.

The trick is not getting too invested in his response.... it is his life and his journey and you cant figure it out for him. But nothing wrong with letting him know you are there in the background, loving him and willing to help him when he is ready for it.

And if he turns abusive then hang up the phone... certainly no reason to take his abuse.

TL
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I agree with everything in tl's post.
A therapist suggest I not do that, instead that I text him now and then to keep the door open but don’t invite him home!!
I think this was my biggest mistake and I did it over and over again. This empowered my son to be dependent, self indulgent, and entitled.
So I think there is nothing wrong with texting him now and then and asking how he is doing
Yes.
The trick is not getting too invested in his response.... it is his life and his journey and you cant figure it out for him.
Yes.

It truly amazes me, how simple it is. Yet so impossibly hard. We have zero control. Zero. There is not one thing we can and should do that will have an effect. Which is to love them, and to stay in the game. But that does not mean to let them play us, or to believe we have any power to win in their life. By winning I mean influencing the choices and way that our children live. This is what I could not, or did not want to grasp.

The idea that my son suffered, was degraded, victimized and miserable, was absolutely intolerable to me. I had to take out the word "die" because still I cannot tolerate that idea. You see, I must still believe that I can control things, if by typing a word, I have fear.

Bluebell. We are all of us here with you trying to do the same thing, survive, and even thrive while are children are not. That you love your son, while he is living poorly, is the name of the game. The goal here is to begin to play in our court, and to let play in theirs, without judging ourselves, being miserable or giving up our lives, which is what I did for a time. I believed wrongly that self-sacrifice would have some magical quality. It did not.
 

Elsi

Active Member
I think I have somewhat of a different take on all of this. When we kicked my son out when he was 18 I was ready to write him off and wait for him to contact me. A therapist suggest I not do that, instead that I text him now and then to keep the door open but don’t invite him home!! Well its been 8 years since then and we certainly have been up and down on the roller coaster.... including time with him homeless and in jail. But it has kept the relationship there and when he has wanted and been ready for help he asks for it. I really believe that him knowing we love him, even with all of his screw ups, has helped keep him alive.

So I think there is nothing wrong with texting him now and then and asking how he is doing. Nothing wrong with letting him know you care and that you love him.

The trick is not getting too invested in his response.... it is his life and his journey and you cant figure it out for him. But nothing wrong with letting him know you are there in the background, loving him and willing to help him when he is ready for it.

And if he turns abusive then hang up the phone... certainly no reason to take his abuse.

TL
I really like this, toughlovin. I’ve gone back and forth between this approach and then pulling back and not reaching out because I’m afraid of inviting drama. But I feel better when there is some contact, and when I know they know I care. You’re right - the key is not getting too invested in how they respond or whether it matches your idea of how they ‘should’ respond.
 

Lil

Well-Known Member
So I think there is nothing wrong with texting him now and then and asking how he is doing. Nothing wrong with letting him know you care and that you love him.

The trick is not getting too invested in his response.... it is his life and his journey and you cant figure it out for him. But nothing wrong with letting him know you are there in the background, loving him and willing to help him when he is ready for it.
THIS! ↑

I've wondered many times if my son really loved me, or if he was just paying lip service...tossing out the "I love you" just because we've always made it a habit to end every conversation that way, even in text, his whole life. But I don't think he's ever had reason to believe we didn't love him. I've told him, and I meant it, that there was NOTHING he could ever do that would make me stop loving him. He could be a serial killer and I'd still love him. BUT that didn't mean I was always going to like him and it didn't mean I could live in the same house with him.

I also told him once he was going to grow up and fly on his own if I had to bodily throw him out of the nest. Turns out, that's pretty much exactly what it took.
 

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
A therapist suggest I not do that, instead that I text him now and then to keep the door open but don’t invite him home!!
One of the key factors for us parents is to have strong,firm boundaries in place. When we do this, we can communicate with our adult children within the boundaries we have set.
My analogy is this: The door is open but the screen door offers just enough barrier.
Of course there are times when it's okay to cut off communication. We should never be okay with our children attacking us verbally. I have gone through this with my son. I cut off communication because all he did was attack. It allowed me the time I needed to re-center, then I reached out to him and we were able to start communicating again. I told him I would not tolerate him attacking me the way he did and if it happened again, I would not communicate with him.
Now that he is out of jail he has sent me a PM on Facebook. I responded with some questions, simple questions, how long will you be in the halfway house?, what are your plans. It's been a few days and I have yet to get a response. I understand that he does not have a phone and is most likely using a computer at the halfway house or a library. When he does respond next it will be interesting to see if answers my questions.
 

bluebell

Active Member
Hey guys! Thanks for this discussion. I'm having a bad day at work. I got my review yesterday and it was good, but it was not great. A guy coworker told me what he got on his (WHY?!) and it was better than mine. I won't go into it, but it is ludicrous. I've been with this company for 25 years but under some really new, really sexist management. They don't take the time to even figure out what I do.
Anyway, fighting the impulse to quit and find myself thinking some of the same things I hear my son say when he's in defeatist mode. But it's not paranoia if they are really out to get you! Life is tough, especially with a sensitive soul. I know my son thinks he is the only going thru stuff, but we all are, and he is/was lucky that he had so much help. There's noone I can go home to and vent, they all need me to shut up and keep the paycheck coming! I will get thru this, but I may need to take a mental health day or 2!
Hugs ladies :)
 

toughlovin

Well-Known Member
I agree sometimes it is totally appropriate to cut off communimcation... certainly if ones safety is at stake or if there is any kind of abusive behavior of if it is just necessary for your own mental health. I have never had to totally cut off communication BUT I have hung up the phone when my son has gotten verbally abusive and refused to answer when he immediately called back. That got the message across... if he wanted to talk to me dont do that.
 

SeekingStrength

Well-Known Member
husband and I stopped communication with our Difficult Child. He was verbally and emotionally abusive, and yes, we wondered about our safety now and again.

We learned Tuesday evening that Difficult Child recently married and has a 13 yo step-daughter. Hearing your son has married, and your first thought is fear & concern for his wife and step-daughter, is not a good feeling. He most likely will drain them and that makes us feel awful.

I need a cruise.
 

bluebell

Active Member
SeekingStrenth,
Wow! Married. I do understand about the fear and concern for others. I am not as long down the road as you, but I can see down it and I do know ours is not his only toxic relationship. Others will follow. And our son does verbally abuse us as well as death threats and he is out of the house due to real concerns over our physical safety. Sad.
Funny note though, after my pity party today about work I sent my daughter a text 'Window or Balcony?' I want to go on a cruise so bad! She won't go because she stupidly won't leave her boyfriend, but I can dream. We should have a special cruise meetup for our group!
 

Triedntrue

Well-Known Member
I agree about communication if he is vulgar or mean i block his number for a few days. I had to hold my tongue when he was criticizing his friend who has foster children about allowing them to speak to him in an abusive manner. He doesn't connect that i am his mom and thats what he does to me. And has since he was the fk age.

On a side note my ex employers wanted to weed out the more senior employees so they could hire youger people at a lower salary. Just watch yourself.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I am up for a cruise, too.

Seeking. I read your post without realizing it was you, at first.

And then I saw your name and I was SHOCKED.

Your son got married?

My first thought is that he is seriously afraid of doing an extended amount of prison time. And does not want to do it alone. People all the time get married for ulterior motives. Yet I have seen, even in prison marriages, the relationships can deepen and change people.

Your son has alienated everybody. There seems to be nobody in your family now who does not know and accept his true colors. I guess he feels he has the need to move on to new pastures. Where he is not yet known.

The positive side, is if he does feel the need for connection.

The negative, is he will use her for money, supplies, visits, even sex.

Honestly. This stops me in my tracks. Your son has been so mean. And yet his parents are loving and good and principled and decent people. The apple does not fall far from the tree. There is always the hope he will change.

But, I am saddened by this too. For you. I am sorry Seeking.
 

bluebell

Active Member
I had to hold my tongue when he was criticizing his friend
Yeah I can imagine son being like this when and if he gets older. I will probably have a tongue bitten in half!

my ex employers wanted to weed out the more senior employees so they could hire younger people at a lower salary.
I'm sorry triedntrue, of course that fear is on my mind. Although I don't really know what I can do if that is my employer's intention, except save my pennies. As in all things lately, I am just surviving a day at a time.
 
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