I'm a failure

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lucyxyz, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member

    my son has always been difficult. He's an only child after several failed IVF treatments to give him a sibling. Trying to play with him when he was growing up was always hard as he had to be allowed to win or all hell broke loose. Behavior problems started in school. Too chatty, sometimes disrespectful to teachers etc. Mid way through grammer school he was always the one sitting next to the teacher etc. By junior high, daily calls from
    the school for behavior problems (drug use started here) and by high school, daily calls, suspensions, cheating all culminating in him cutting pretty much every day. He only graduated as I begged a teacher to pass him with a D- as I always thought (someday he'll get it and not graduating highschool is a life long stigma). His childhood friends all went on to college which wasn't an option for him.

    Now he's 20. Has dropped out of 5 junior colleges that we've paid for. Has become a pot dealer, and has decided that being horribly disrespectful and now violent towards us will be his new goal in life as he's miserable because his friends have outgrown the screwup and the warnings we gave him about not changing his behavior have all come to fruition.

    He was adored. There was never a more wanted or loved baby. He was a beautiful blond haired, green eyed baby who we loved more than life. My mother bonded with him from the second he was born and would literally have done anything for him.

    He was coddled and catered to his whole life yet after each one of his failures, he blamed us. He NEVER took ownership of any of his deeds. Not his bad grades, failures in college, his disrespectful behavior etc. He met his first real girlfriend last year. A nice girl from a good family but the drama started with her shortly after. Angry, blaming, destructive. Threatening to kill him self etc. she finally found the strength to end the relationship ship. So now the cycle has started again with us. Flying off the handle over nothing. He doesn't work or go to school. He sells pot we think and stays out all night and sleeps all day. He doesn't do anything around the house. He doesn't talk, laugh or socialize with us at all. If he's home he's in his room.

    The other night he decided to give away his dresser. It makes no sense, we bought it, and now he has nowhere to put his clothes. I mentioned to my husband that I didn't want the empty dresser blocking the spare bedroom in our house. It wasn't angry or threatening, just a statement to my husband. He overheard it and went crazy. Threatened to kill us over and over (again he's 20 years old). Broke things etc. his rage was mostly at me but he was screaming at my husband too. I left so my husband could try to calm him down and finally ended up calling the police. This is his second 5150 call. He refuses any help or counseling. His failures are NEVER his fault. Won't work or go to school, then culminated the night by mocking my grief for my mother who died two years ago and calling me a fu**ing c**t.

    Anyway I'm done. I'm exhausted. I'm tired and worse of all, I simply don't care anymore. I just want him out of my life now. His sole ambition is to make us miserable because he screwed up HIS life.

    Has anyone else simply fallen out of love with their kid and want no relationship? I don't wish him ill will, I just feel nothing and feel you just can't come back from the things he said. I literally don't want to know him. There's nothing there but bitterness (all self inflicted) and again he refuses help so I'm ready to resume my life away from him. Does that make me horrible?

    My husband is a classic enabler so unfortunately that situation isn't healthy either but it's my son I'm referring to now.

    Any advice?
     
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  2. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member

    New here and have now read this is the right forum for adult children. I can't figure out how to copy that post here.

    Basically I need to know if anyone else has gone cold. Have your kids been so horrible to you that you simply want no further contact with them?

    My son is cruel, refuses any help, threatens to kill us, calls us horrible names and is now getting violent.

    We worshipped him but I'm done. Has this happened to anyone else? What sort of mother falls out of love with her child? I feel horrible and am such a failure :(
     
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  3. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I'm so sorry Lucy.

    I have been beaten and battered by my sons drug addiction and I feel your pain.

    I think going numb is a way for your mind to protect itself at this point. You have been abused and hurt terribly. I think what you are feeling is probably not unexpected given your experience.

    I don't have any great advice other than to be kind to yourself and maybe get some counselling where you can feel safe to talk about how you are feeling.

    Take care...
     
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  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Can you check what you legally need to do to evict him? At this point, I don't think I would try to negotiate a plan for him to stay.

    Also, do you think he is giving away the dresser to get drugs? It's your home, your furniture, why would you allowed w him to give it away?

    And to your question, yes, many parents get to the point that they don't want to be around their difficult child.

    Others will be on with good advice... KSM
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, hon, please seek therapy to help you cope. This is too hard to to do alone.

    Hugs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi Lucyxyz, and welcome. I am sorry you had to find us but glad you did.

    You are not a failure, you are not horrible and you are not alone. Many of us have "gone cold" when our children have gone off the rails as your son has. For some of us it is temporary, for others permanent, and for others it is a day-to-day thing. But I think all of the above can relate to what you said.

    Somewhere Out There, the wise woman who posted right above my post, once said something so meaningful I put it in my signature: As parents, we too hit rock bottom.

    I think you are spot on when you say we need to resume our lives without them. I think that is absolutely necessary, whether or not we are still in contact with them. That is the key, I think. We need to find ways to resume OUR lives and stop living THEIRS.

    Are you seeing a counselor, Lucy? It might be a good thing to do, with you and husband not coming from the same place. Not only is is stressful, but difficult children can be quite masterful at triangulating their parents.

    Keep posting and reading, Lucy. It helps.
     
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  7. tandemdame

    tandemdame Active Member

    Lucy, you are not a failure as a parent, and feeling numb to your son after all you've gone through sounds like a normal coping skill.

    I agree with the others that talking with a professional would help a great deal, and if you can manage to present a united front with your husband on the same page, you will be in a much better position to deal with your son.

    My husband is not an enabler, but he is retired from a career of helping people, so he was able to put up with our daughter's behavior for a long time, and was a good example of patience and forebearance for me during many rough episodes. However, when things got out of hand and my daughter was charged with assaulting me, everything changed.

    I can relate to your feelings of not having feelings towards your child. You are not Superwoman and need time to heal. Personally, I would be struggling with feeling fear towards my child if I were in your situation (in fact, everytime I think about finally seeing and speaking to her in person, I panic. I have not had contact with her since last August).

    Take care of yourself. If your son is still living with you all, I imagine you are on pins and needles, waiting for the next problem to start up. That's not healthy. Your son needs help, and he may have to get to a point where he is forced to seek it on his own.
     
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Lucy, we're glad you're here. Welcome.

    As others have said already, yes, many of us (most of us) have gone cold toward our DCs. Finally, beaten down, exhausted, bone-weary of it all, we stopped. We stood back and we let go.

    It sounds like that's where you are right now. It is a sad and tough place to be, but I believe for we enablers and "helpers" for our adult kids who have gone off the rails, like yours and like mine did, this is our own rock bottom. We finally realize that love isn't going to change this. If it was going to change it, it would have already changed, because we love our adult kids so very much.

    But they are now adults---even if only in the legal sense---and they are making choices. We have to let them do this. And in order for them to do this, and fully experience the consequences of those choices, we have to stand back and stand down.

    I believe that is the ironic part of all of this journey. Once I was able finally, to let go, due to my despair and exhaustion and frustration and yes, anger, then, in time, my Difficult Child started having a chance to change. Before that, I was always standing between him and real life.

    Don't fight this. This is your journey and this is your next step. As others mention, having counseling and support is such a good thing. For a time, I went to an Al-Anon meeting every single day. That program helped me so very much and I can't say enough good things about it, and about how I've changed, and grown, through Al-Anon.

    It doesn't "feel" right to be done with our grown kids, but wow, think about it. Who wants to be around someone like you describe, and like my son was? Not even their own mothers.

    You can't do anything about your husband's journey (his commitment to enabling) but you can move forward in your journey. And when you change, there will be a domino effect with your son. He will be different in some way too.

    Don't expect miracles. With my son, even after I stopped, for a long time, he just got worse. But finally, his dad stopped too, and then my son had to live in the real world. And slowly, he started to change. Today, he has a very good full time job, has his own place, is sweet and kind, and is rebuilding his own life. This CAN happen. I believe one reason it was able to happen is because I finally got out of the way.

    Please know we are here for you during this time. We know how hard this is and the hard hard times you are going through. Please continue sharing and let us help.
     
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Not a failure. Far from it.

    Lucy, If you wrote the above statement and inserted "husband" for "son" and "child", and "wife" for "mother", would you expect that person to stay in her relationship? Just because you gave birth to the person abusing you, doesn't mean it isn't abuse. Like you can love a man and not be "in love" with them, you can love your child but not like them even one little bit. As wiser women than me have said to you...your numbness isn't coldness - it's a psychological response - to years of abuse by this young man and it's not abnormal or wrong. It's a coping mechanism to protect you from more pain.

    My son is my only child too. He's 21. Our problems have not been as severe as yours...but yesterday I basically threw money at him until he went away. He is manipulative and lies and whether he was in need or playing us, I don't know. But our choices were, have him come home (he's two states away and homeless) or give him money and keep him out. We didn't want him home. What kind of mother would rather her son be homeless in the winter in the mountains than home? Granted, we had a 3rd choice of cutting off all contact...but we're not there yet. I think though, if my son were violent and threatening and calling me names - he's never done that at all - I'd be there...I think I'd be ready to cut all ties.

    I think you still love your son. I think your feelings are being masked by trauma.

    As others have said, counseling is so very helpful. If your son is still in the home after this last incident, I think you need to get him out. It won't necessarily be easy, especially if your husband is resistant. Is HE willing to put your son out? You may have to do a legal eviction, if your son knows he has rights. You may be able to just tell him to go and have him do it. But it sounds like you have grounds to put him out with a restraining order - an order of adult abuse and protection it's called in some places. None of it is pleasant. But it sounds necessary.

    I'm so sorry you had to find us I understand the self-blame...as do we all. How I wish I'd realized my son's behavior was not a "phase" when he was young and put him in counseling. How I wish I'd done things differently. These are normal feelings, but please - remember - You are not failure. This is not your fault. He's a grown man with choices.
     
  10. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    You love your son, not the addict. He needs help, but doesn't sound like he will go willingly....it's time for him to go. Get counseling, with your husband too....he. needs to see the brokenness.

    I believe we get to this point to guard our heart...I would be shocked if pot is the only drug...where is he funding his habit? If he's dealing...remove him...you don't want that, and it's usually more than weed. Weed doesn't usually make people violent. You saw the red flags years ago...perhaps we all did, but we chose to breeze past them until we literally tripped...and find ourselves where u never dreamed you would be.

    Hugs...find out your rights..life is too short to live in fear and stress.
     
  11. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Lucy.
    NO-you are not a failure. There are many parents who make little effort their child's whole life and the adult turns out fine. There are also many parents who do everything nearly right and their kids go off the rails.
    Truer words were never spoken. I love my son too but I so cannot fix him.

    ME.
    Hard to admit as there are still isolated times when he's easy to be with. Even harder to admit is that he may be impaired at those times. So many years since I've seen the real person, I don't know anymore.
    Lucy, as you see, you are not alone. Counseling and al-anon helped my husband and me through the roughest spots. You are there. Continue to post. Take a little control. Your home should be your sanctuary. Prayers.
     
  12. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member

    Thank you all so much. It is reassuring to know I'm not alone.

    His last 'episode' after Christmas, when the police came, he was told that we would have to legally evict him. So he stood over our bed screaming at us that we wasn't 'f'ing going anywhere' etc. he was so horrible that I thought for sure this time my husband would help me follow through. We'd draw up the paper work necessary to get him out. Then nothing. So when I said he's a classic enabler I wasn't kidding. We literally don't talk about him. He works behind the scenes to make sure my son and I aren't in the same room at the same time. I return to work after the holiday shutdown on Monday. My son lies about school constantly (he doesn't go) but my husband plays along as reality isn't pleasant so he's told my son to make sure he's gone between 10-3 daily so I can work from home in peace. When I try to talk about it he clams up. He'll just nod and when I push it he'll say what do you want me to say? He's only 20, etc. He subtlety infers that if I wasn't negative about it maybe it would be different. We're literally not allowed ANY boundaries in our own house. He could burn it down and if we were to approach him about it, another explosion.

    To him, these unpleasant episodes happen, but kets not dwell in them. Let's pretend all is well and cross our fingers it'll get better. When in reality, each episode gets worse to where we now sleep with our bedroom door locked and my knife block hidden in the garage. My husband still believes his lies even after we've walked into our house over and over to smell of freshly smoked weed, found drugs in his car and his room. He's so inconsiderate that he'll literally leave a tray of pot on the coffee table. I think he gets so high that he just gets up and leaves and forgets he left them there. That or he just does not care that we find it (I sort feel it's the latter as again he knows there are never consequences to his actions).

    We've worked very hard the last 30 years. We're in our 50's, paid off our house (with the proceeds from my mothers estate) and were hoping to retire in the next couple of years. The only way I see this ending now is violently or me moving out postponing that retirement indefinitely :(.

    So many hopes and dreams squashed by this mean, violent 'child' who only seems to exist to only intimidate me and do drugs. So I have no support. It's just me unfortunately. I will definitely seek counseling. My son is above it. He's a classic narcissist. Nothing is his fault. He's a terminal victim and knows more than professionals. So counseling is beneath him as how can someone beneath his intelligence level help him? So it's up to me to fix my responses to his narcissism and not him. I'm racked with guilt over feeling like I no longer love my only child, I've just taken so much, I am truly numb. So working in being okay with that is my goal I think. It's so reassuring to know that I'm not alone.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. It feels good just to get it out there.
     
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  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh Lucy I am so sorry. It must be horrible to have your husband so completely blind to the situation. My husband and I are not quite on the same page with my son...I'm the easy one...but we're much, much closer than that. If I walked in and found weed laying on the coffee table I'd lose my MIND. I think I'd likely call the police and make them arrest him for possession. I'd certainly seek a protection order from the courts if I was so worried I hid the knives and locked my doors, and try to get him out that way.

    Would your husband go to therapy with you? He must be exhausted from playing referee and burying his head in the sand.
     
  14. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member


    Yea he'd go. We've gone before, and the counselor reiterated that boundaries are a necessity. My husband just refuses to comply. But I'll keep trying
     
  15. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member


    Control isn't possible with him here. He's in control and he knows it. The only control is the police physically removing him. The mental health system here in California is a joke. They 5150'd him this last time and he was home before we got home that night from my inlaws house where we had gone after the altercation. So literally probably 2 hours. So now we'll get a bill for over $1,000 for an ambulance ride Where they literally took him to a hospital 20 minutes away then immediately released him. It's ridiculous and heartbreaking and maddening all in one :(
     
  16. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am so sorry you are at this place and at this juncture. I too have lived with a difficult son, who also acted in the same manner, had police called to the house numerous times, and who also called me the most horrendous names. I was sure I could save him but in the end almost destroyed myself. We were like the frogs in the boiling water pot...not realizing how dysfunctional our lives had become and then accepting the behaviours as the "New Normal". We should have stopped everything much earlier........

    As Child of Mine said:

    I believe that is the ironic part of all of this journey. Once I was able finally, to let go, due to my despair and exhaustion and frustration and yes, anger, then, in time, my Difficult Child started having a chance to change. Before that, I was always standing between him and real life.

    Don't fight this. This is your journey and this is your next step. As others mention, having counseling and support is such a good thing. For a time, I went to an Al-Anon meeting every single day. That program helped me so very much and I can't say enough good things about it, and about how I've changed, and grown, through Al-Anon.

    My son's behavior and my reaction to it (oh yes i could save him, don't rock the boat) cost me my marriage, my self esteem, and my heart. Not until I was able to let go completely, have him removed from the house and my own personal space, through much counseling to begin to heal and see him in a different light did things begin to change. We were on spin cycle. I am sure that had he of remained with us violence would have escalated .

    Today after several years, my life has changed dramatically and I embrace calmness and lack of drama. My son lives in a group home (mental health and addiction issues) but is becoming more responsible with his life and choices. He is growing up. I have grown up but have set boundaries in place and have focused on the positives of my new life.

    Had I of Iet him, he would have taken me down with him like a drowning person. Thank goodness I finally saw the light. Please get counseling for yourself and your husband. hugs and love for your hurting hearts!
     
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  17. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Don't be guilty, you have NO reason to believe that. There are a lot of similarities between your situation and mine. My wife, Lil, is the enabler although nowhere nearly as bad as your husband is. I've gone through numb to the realization that I do love our son, but can do absolutely nothing to affect the outcome of his life anymore. I'm just waiting for Lil to catch up with me. We aren't on the same page but at least we're usually on the same chapter.

    For the record, if our son were ever to use the C word face to face with his mom he wouldn't have to worry about what I would do to him. One time he made the mistake of saying to his mom "Why are you being such an effing B*tch about this?!" and she went absolutely ballistic on him. Our son has gotten physical with me a time or two but in hind sight, they were fairly petty incidents. The one time he openly challenged me was during/immediately following the first of these incidents but the police were already there. He was mad enough that he hoped I'd do something stupid. I doubt seriously that he actually thought about swinging on me. He knows I'd clean his clock.
     
  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    If your son is an adult, you shouldn't be responsible for the bill for the ambulance ride, or any other medical bills. That is on him.
     
  19. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member


    I know but he's on our plan and has no way to pay it. It's all so dumb
     
  20. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member


    This is my issue. My husband does his best to defend me, but I'm of the same school. What sort of man doesn't lay out another who speaks to his wife like that? They've gotten physical numerous times. They've bloodied each other but no actual punches are thrown. Mostly my husband working to restrain him.

    Ugh