I just got one of those dreaded messages from my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My son posted a message to my FB wall.

    He says he's in a lonely spot in life. That he is a vegan, doesn't drink, no cigarettes, no caffeine, and that he doesn't steal. (his drug of choice is pot but there is no mention that he's stopped that)
    He goes on to say he's alone and is getting left behind, no one to talk to. He and his girlfriend have separated.
    He tells me he's so lost, that he doesn't know how to live, doesn't know what his purpose is and that he's scared. He says he walks around 10-15 miles a day with a 50 pound pack and no where to go.

    I replied to him via private message and deleted his post from my wall after copying it.
    I told him that I was sorry to hear he was having a tough time. I told him I pray for him and hope he things will work out for him and that I love him.

    You know I have been successfully detached from him for several years but it's still hard when I get a message from him like this. I have to stand firm in my resolve. I cannot fix things for him.

    I know this is typical of him. When he's feeling this way he reaches out to me but any other time, I'm not even on his radar.

    It's so frustrating that he's 34 years old and can't figure it out.

    I am so grateful for this site and the support that is here especially at times like this.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  2. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    I'm so sorry. I know how hard it must be to have gotten that message. Big hugs
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks for your support Lila.
  4. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    I totally empathize with you. I got the same "pit in the stomach" feeling when I read this that I get when things like this come from my own son. I totally understand. It's so hard. But you are right, you cannot "fix" things for him, even though we wish so badly that we could! You have my support! Hang in there. And thank you for sharing, as it really does help others (ME!) to know that I too, am not alone!
  5. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    Oh how I hate, hate, hate the word "purpose." That is a pop culture myth that has been perpetuated and then used as an excuse to do nothing or whine about being "lost" because of unfound "purpose." We all, as human beings, have the same "purpose":

    Be kind, be open minded, be generous.
    Give more than you take.
    Gain independence and have self-respect and pride in yourself.
    Accept yourself, as well as others.
    Persevere through rough times, rejoice in good times, & accept that everyone gets their fair share of both.
    Think about others and not only yourself, and adjust your words and behavior to reflect that.
    Take responsibility, understand consequences, and make choices accordingly.
    Never stop learning, growing, or changing as a person.
    Be empathetic and sympathetic without being gullible.
    Find your talent - knowing it is a career if it makes money, a hobby if it doesn't.

    Sorry to hijack your thread with my rant, but I just hate how that gets used as such an excuse in our society. I am glad that you recognize that there is nothing you can do and I hate those "dreaded" messages, texts and calls too. No matter how much we recognize that we can do nothing to bring about change in someone else, it is still a kick in the stomach when we are confronted with that in those we love so much. Wishing you a peaceful night.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Walrus, thank you for your words. I really like what you say about "purpose" I'm going to save this and the next time my son has one of his pity party's I'm going to share these words. (if I have your permission)

    Hijack away. Thanks for sharing.
  7. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    Share away! :bigsmile:
  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh man, I hate those messages. Interesting that he put it on your wall, instead of sending you a private message.

    If it were my d.c., given the timing I would say that he has recently broken up with his girlfriend and is feeling lonely and unloved. I think your response is just what someone in that situation would want and need to hear.

    It's so hard to get those, though...
  9. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Tanya.

    No matter how much we learn on this journey...and we can certainly learn a LOT..... a moment like you just shared can bring us so down. It certainly has that effect on husband and me.

    Our Difficult Child's often relay this to their mothers. My own Difficult Child very, very, very seldom shares this kind of stuff with his dad, but he certainly will with me. and, i get his reasoning. ugh

    Of course, my son is a sociopath (I believe) and that explains quite a bit about those kind of messages. Many folks have fallen for his verbage through the years. And, I, as the mother, sometimes fear I will miss a serious cry for help because of that.

    Deep down, I do not think that is about to happen. Difficult Child has not shown any sincere willingness to turn his life around.

    But, darn. I feel for you. Not conducive to a good day.

    Plan a trip or outing. Somebody posted lately that they always tell their Difficult Child they love them. That was good for me to read.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Tanya. To me, your son's note exemplifies all of our situations and your response, a model, of how I would hope to respond.

    34 years old is middle aged.

    With all of the meaning and experience to be found in life, our sons seem to feel sometimes, at least, incapable or unwilling to live as more than lost boys, yearning for a mother to make everything right. How sad for each of us as dealing with adult children unwilling to take responsibility and to accept reality. And for that, they blame us.

    My knee jerk response to your son and my own would be to hysterically yell into the wind--don't you get it? It is not life that works out but you that work it out. But it is just this agency that our children resist. They do not want to be the prime movers in their own lives. They want to be blown about. They want to go in circles. They want to hold others responsible.

    That is what makes me nuts. The pain of it. The frustration.

    Bravo for you for staying out of it. I always fall in, head first.

    But finally what I am left with is a sense of your son's cruelty. Yes. If he is 34 you are in your mid fifties or more. I am older. These sons of ours. Is there not even a crumb of compassion for us-- instead of trying to expose or humiliate or make suffer their aging or already old mothers--whether consciously or not? Did your son even for a second think of you and how the communication would affect you?

    I have compassion for our sons, too. But this really underscores the necessity to stay out of these kinds of existential,What's it all about Alfie, breast-beating moments. If the dialog is with G-d, why call your mother?
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This is a very good thread, and , Copa, I like your response.
    After my daughters life, with no thought of her future other thsn using drugs, it took a while for her to decide which way she wanted to live her life. Even pot impeded your "seeing ahead" skips, if the pot is daily. You need a clearing of the mind and time to get yourself back. My daughter had actually finished and got A's in a Cometology class while on coke (amazing accomplishment,really,and she was caught and almost kicked out, so...digressing)...she is very smart and had a leg up. You'd think.

    Problem was, especially on drugs, she hated the job and slugged along doing retail on drugs. She hated that too and kept quitting until it was the drugs she quilt. Only then could she clear her brain and decide a "purpose" of sorts and she took out a loan and went back to school, and most of you know the rest...the graduation, the awards for oher pastries, her boyfriend, her own house, her adorable baby.

    You need to have a clear head to decide how you wish to spend your life and then to do it. On your own. Because you want it and dont need us to get it. She is 32 and a very typical young mother. Now. Not while doing drugs.

    The first step to your purpose is to get a job and a place of your own. If they won't, what do they expect us to do? It is very sad for us, but only they can find a purpose. Their own purpose.

    I had my fair share of pity calls too.

    I am so relieved she figured her life out on her own with SO.

    But at one time I didnt think it would happen.

    So sorry fot the heartwrenching call.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Ah Tanya, I am sorry. We love them, and that is why it hurts. Love hurts but I would still rather love.

    I think there is some real truth here. When I look around, at our DCs and truly, at many others, one thing I notice is that without some kind of reason to get up and make something happen every day, we drift. No one expects us, so we don't ever arrive.

    It is really good to have to be somewhere, and as I like to say...have to kill it, drag it home, and then do something with it.

    If not work, then some other sort of schedule and discipline and meaning. Human beings need it.

    It does sound like he is reaching (yet another?) a day of reckoning within himself. His life isn't working for him. That is always a good sign. Then, is he sick and tired enough...enough to change it?

    Only he........only he........can change his own life. You know this so very well, and that is why you worked so hard to achieve the loving detachment...that state of being...that you exist in today, Tanya.

    I listened to an NPR story on a new book called The Teenage Brain, where they discussed the maturation of the brain, saying that some brains don't mature until the persons are in their 30s. And drugs and alcohol and substances delay this maturation and interfere with it.

    So there is hope. There is hope if we can allow people their own journeys, as hard to watch as they may be. You are allowing his journey, Tanya, and by allowing this painful journey, you have matured into a person who understands that we can't control, fix or manage people, places or things. Even those we love so profoundly.

    The pain is still real. Wishing and hoping so very much for something good for him, a new direction. But maybe it is at hand. We never know.

    The warmest hugs for you this morning.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thank you all for your responses. It means so much to me!!!

    I wonder about my son as well.
    I too wonder the same but I cannot dwell on that. The sincere willingness to turn his life around, that is it. I have told my husband that often. What would that look like? It would be so much more than a panicked message. I truly do hope that he has quit drinking, smoking and stealing but the only way that is going to have an impact on me or him is if it's long term, not just a couple of months.
    This is so true Copa. Like i said, I'm not even on his radar until he gets to this desperate stage. It's his cycle. He finds "love" a girlfriend and all is right with his world until the girlfriend sees him for how he really is, a moocher, then she leaves and then suddenly I'm the one he reaches out to. I never hear from him on any holiday's, birthdays, mother's day, father's day, no, only when HIS world falls apart.
    Love this Copa! It's going in my "toolbox"
    It is cruel. My son thinks only of himself. To ask how I am or his dad or any other family member. If I were to get a message like that I think I would stare at it for a long time in disbelief!
    Exactly SWOT! What do they expect from us????
    Yes, I too would still rather love even with the pain.
    I always hope this for him, that one of these times it will be enough and he will not only want to change but will put forth the effort. This is his cycle. You would think I would be used to it by now after so many years. I don't think any of us can ever really get used to it.

    Again, thank you all for your replies, your caring, your hugs. I will now resume cruising altitude and go about my living my life.
    ((HUGS)) to you all.............................
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, I know those messages are tough to get. They pull at yur heartstrings. But I have to tell you that my gut reaction to this particular message (as an outsider) was a bit different. If my daughter sent a message like that to me on my Facebook wall, my initial reaction would be anger - not at the sentiment, but at the fact she put it on my wall for the world to see. That's pure manipulation. (am I jaded or what?!) Of course I don't know your son, and maybe he's not Facbeook savvy and doesn't realize it would be public? If not though, the fact he posted it publicly and didn't send it in a text or message is something to think about. Either way you were absolutely right to delete it and send a private message.

    It's so hard when you see them hovering near the bottom - the urge to help can be strong, those old feelings of "maybe this time is it." Hang in there.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
    • List
  15. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I feel the same. If my daughter posted it publicly it would be to embarrass, shame and humiliate me. This is why I don't have her on social media. It would be nice to have that tool to keep up with her, but she has used it against me too many times. If she really wants to speak to me, she knows my number and can message privately. I had to put that boundary for my own peace.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I do believe it was pure manipulation. I have my FB account set up so that he cannot see my posts or pictures. I do this for a couple of reasons, one being my ex daughter in law and I are close and she shares pics of the grands. My son made a choice to drop out of his children's lives so he will not get to see pics of them via me. Also, I just do not trust him and he does not need to see what I post.
    I had to figure out how he did it. He "tagged" me in the post, so, I had to add another layer in my security settings that I have to approve any posts that I am tagged in before they will post to my wall.

    Of course this doesn't stop him from posting things on his own wall. Several months back he posted something on his wall to the affect that "not even my own mother cares about me"

    The sad thing is FB is the only way he can communicate with me. He has no phone, only a tablet that he can use when he has access to free wifi.
    In the past I have had to completely block him. Hope it doesn't come to that but I will not hesitate to do it again.

    Thanks so much for your support!!!

    Oh, and you are no more jaded than I am. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Just a couple of thoughts about this, fwiw:

    the nature of our DCs is both manipulative (especially to we moms) and self-centered, i.e., the world revolves around them.

    At the same time, I began to see, at times, that nothing he did or said was truly aimed at me, in fact, he never even thought about me and what I was thinking or feeling, and how his actions affected me....only that I was another spoke on his wheel to tap into, one that he could just about always count on to respond, and he was seeing what I could provide for him, whether it was a sounding board, emotional support, money, a place to stay, food, a ride, whatever big or small thing he needed....even just a breathing someone to tell that he knew would just about always, always respond.

    I think Difficult Child took me so much for granted, even when he was on the street and in jail, that I was the one person (out of maybe two people---his dad and me) that would respond in some way, even if not the way he wanted.

    I guess what I am saying is that we are assuming that they react like we react, in that "can't they see how much they are hurting us?" I don't think that ever enters into it, when they are in the throes of their diagnosis.

    The nature of the disease itself (mental illness, substance abuse, etc.) includes the symptoms of denial and self-centeredness. They deny their own condition so they don't recognize the symptoms. They just want what they want.

    I have been told that addiction (a mental illness by definition) produces the most selfish people on the planet. It is just about feeding the addiction.

    So my point is this: we give them way too much "credit" when we assume that they are feeling like we feel. We see the effect we have on others, and we moderate our behavior. They don't. The illness doesn't allow it.

    Hope that makes sense. I see it as a distinction.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  18. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I never hear from my son until he wants something from me, usually money. My son says he has stopped the alcohol and cocaine, just now uses pot daily. He sees this as a step in the right direction. Maybe it is, the arrests and jail time they both served from drunken fights were frequent.

    He is enough by himself, when he was with girlfriend for the past 7 years it was crazy. The two were just alike! Very immature and into Goth. Both agreed to live homeless on CO for the pot and to be groupies. She would always return home to her mother, and I guess he was living in the woods most of the time.

    I have not physically seen my son for years and he was another (along with girlie) that posted nasty things about me not loving him, being racist, not liking her because she was from PR. I had to laugh at the PR racist stuff, hubby is Hispanic and they both know it.

    My stomach was in knots when I got his message about girlfriend's passing. The first thing I did notice was his one liner saying, 'now all of my plans are ruined.' Why didn't he say OUR plans are ruined? in my opinion, she was just as self centered. I do know her passing is difficult for him, it's difficult for me and I only met her one time. Which, is a story all in it's self lol!

    He still posts outrageous stuff on FB. Joining an old prestigious organization that you have to be a member of the religion to join. I know for a fact he can not join the religion, he is divorced. About touring with a band, selling his songs. Crazy stuff!

    My son was a difficult child from the start, the drugs made it much worse. Detaching is all we can do. I always say this child has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Well said COM!! I completely agree.
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is so true To33!!
    If anyone else other than my son treated me the way he does I would have nothing to do with them, but because he's my son, my one and only child, I will always love him.
    I remember years and years ago hearing that you can love someone and not like them. At the time I thought how strange is that and now I find myself living it. I love him dearly but do not like him.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List