It Just Keeps Getting Worse

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WearyMom18, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Difficult Child apparently called my phone a total of 8 times while I was taking a nap this afternoon. My phone was not with me at the time so I had no idea. She called my husband/her dad after not being able to reach me and asked where I was. He told her I was napping and she told him to wake me up. He told her he would not wake me up and asked what she needed. She proceeded to use the f-word in every way imaginable to tell him she didn't have to tell him anything and that he needed to wake me up. He hung up on her without saying anything. She called him right back and said if he would wake me up she would never contact him again and then proceeded to yell F [email protected]# very loudly and then hung up.
    After all that he did come and wake me up to tell me what had happened. I am shocked that she even called him at all because before she left home I was still trying with her and he was a 'Done Dad'.
    I assume she wanted money but I guess I'll never know. I text her to ask her what in the world she was calling about and she responded to say 'Dad is a POS'.....lovely huh?

    She's been gone since 2/20, I know it hasn't even been a month but how many no's do I have to give her before she quits trying? It makes no sense to me that people that helped you and loved you your whole life and that you abuse horribly and tell you that they will never give you money would continue to try. If someone told me that it would never happen and I had tried 20 or 30 times and every time had been no, I would stop!
    I'm so sick of her being able to hurt us and abuse us!
  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Weary mom, I can tell you that it took many many months...more than a year...and very firm boundaries with a lot of consistency before my son stopped hounding me.

    My husband says this about how long change takes: however long it took you to walk into the forest, it takes at least that same amount of time to walk out of the forest.

    You and I taught our children that we will cave in If they just keep on. We taught them that no doesn't mean no.

    Unteaching that lesson takes a long long time. Stand firm. Decide what you will do. Write it down. Print it out. Keep it close. Try hard not to react. It is going to take a long time to change. For you to change. For her to change. And she will ramp up like she did today when she doesn't get what she wants. My son has screamed that same word at me again and again.

    They want what they Want when they want it. That is childlike behavior and childlike thinking. That does not work in the real world so they must change to survive.

    The more we can stop, the more they have a chance to change. And the more peace we can start to have.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow, I'm sorry for that. What a mess. I am also guessing she needed or wanted money and obviously she was trying to bully it out of Dad. I personally was cheering for him for NOT waking you up to a rash of abuse. Your husband loves you. You are lucky he cares...that will really help you.

    I have a few suggestions when this nonsense happens as I have had it also happen. Difficult Child can call me ten times in a row just because he wants me to answer the phone. What I now do when that happens is stick my cell in a drawer in another room and just ignore it. If you have a landline, you can take it off the hook. Your husband does not need to subject himself to that sort of abuse.

    I have learned not to give in to emotional blackmail. Emotional blackmail is "I will never talk to you again if_______________." Now this was a hard one to do. When it's your kid, no matter how vile they are as people, we love them and we want to talk to them. However, I became very good at sticking to my guns and would just respond to the threat, "Call me anytime you like, when you are calmer." If he then said, "That will be never" I calmly stated, "I can't control you. Look, we need some space from each other. I'm going now." I'd gently hang up and hide the phone. (He has never stopped calling me).

    As for the "why" of it, these particular young men and women make no sense so I gave up trying to figure out why. All I can come up with is that they tend to think abnormally so I should expect an abnormal reaction. Accepting that this is the case has helped me A LOT.

    I am sorry you are going through this. Hang in there. We are with you.
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh WearyMom...I'm so very sorry. The one thing I never had to put up with was verbal abuse like this. So many people here tell similar stories. Mine shouts and curses and rants and raves, but not directed at us. Maybe he understands that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    MidwestMom is right...turn off the phones. Refuse to speak to her until she's calm. Lay down the law on the swearing...even by text. I've told mine when he'd start swearing too much that one more F word and I'll hang up the phone...and I've done it. You don't have to put up with being sworn at by anyone, least of all your child.

  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    One of the most damaging things for me about what we go through with our G.F.G. kids was fighting that kind of exploding panic that happens when the kids tell us and guilt and accuse us when really, they are in trouble because of choices they have made that we cannot undo.

    COM's words will be a good way for you to stay steady.

    This part is really hard. I'm sorry this is happening.

    Me, too.

    Great job, Dad!

    Here again, presence of mind and planning ahead helps us stay focused.

    That is what we need. To know how we want to handle these things that come roaring in at us from left field without succumbing to manipulation.

    It's tough.

    This line of thought helped me, too. There is so much guilt involved when our children ~ however old they are ~ misbehave. We need to stop accusing ourselves for whatever it is they are doing. We need, just as MWM posted, to tell ourselves what is true about what is happening and let go of the emotional baggage.

    Abuse is abuse, where ever it comes from.

    I haven't done that yet. In our family? Just the words "No money." cause a maelstrom of epic proportions. The kids hang up, I have a melt down, husband and I are at loose ends and then, I come here to figure out how to stand up to it.

    What is actually happening versus the picture I carry around in my heart of how things are supposed to be shocks me too much. I have to stay focused on how to respond, or I can't do it.

    It helped me very much to look at it this way: Given that the kids actually do love and listen to us (how else could they learn to manipulate us with such mathematical precision) it is our responsibility to teach them how to make it through whatever is going on with them. That means teaching them to rely on themselves. Which means standing up for ourselves, which is what we want to kids to learn to do, too. It means telling them loud and clear and without one shred of guilt that we are not going to help them self destruct or go a wrong way in life.

    Loud and clear.

    No room for misunderstanding.

    That way, the child has a strong moral code, a parent with a believable backbone, to pattern themselves on once they are through messing with whatever it is that changed the course of their lives.

    Against everything we ever taught them, which is an important concept, too.

    I used to dance all around that whole issue of what I had done, of where I had failed, for these terrible things to have happened to us.

    Don't do that. It turned out, after many years, not to have been me, after all.

    Since I didn't cause it, I could not fix it.

    That is why it is important for you and your husband to know this is going to be rough, to understand that your child's behavior and her consequences are going to escalate, and to decide now how you intend to ride it out.

    That will save your emotional lives, in a way.

    Part of the devastation of loving a child who is self destructing is that our own self concepts are destroyed. But there is no value in that. It does not help us to let that happen, it only makes us weak.

    And we have to learn to be very strong, to get through this.

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you. Your note could haebeen mine (Sorry keyboard issues).
    They get so caught u p in the emotion and the drugs and whateer else is going on they can't think straight.
    I'm glad your husband did not let her talk to you.
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This will help.
    Bless your husband for not waking you up to talk to her (full points if he hadn't wakened you at all!)
    Yes hang up. Don't pick up again for 24 hours at least.

    Her behavior is abusive. And she will indeed ramp up before she gives up.

    I'm sorry you are going through this...but Cedar, MWM, and Child have given you some great guidelines.

    You don't need to subject yourself to this.

  8. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    So now Difficult Child has text me wanting $250 for her portion of the deposit on an apartment she is getting with her gang affiliated boyfriend and his sister and her 3 kids...lovely right? I told her no and reminded her that I have told her time and time again that there would be no money. She then called my phone and I didn't answer which she responded to with an angry text message.
    She doesn't get it that her history of drug use, chronic lying and stealing from us (guns, spare change from every nook and cranny in the house and jewelry), HER ACTIONS have created this situation. Where she cannot get help from us. She acts totally clueless as to why I wouldn't help her. She's either high, dilution all or has so little respect for me that she asks anyway.
    I'm sure you can tell I'm angry right now which is better than my old reaction which was to feel sorry for her and give her money. Thanks to all of you wonderful folks, I am strong now and can much more easily tell her no but I know that because my history of saying yes has been so long, it's going to take that much longer of saying no before she gives up.

    Thanks for letting me vent
  9. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    You are doing wonderfully!

    This is where we invoke the oft repeated message from the board " 'no' is a complete sentence.

    Mom, send me $250.


    Mom you have to help me


    Mom you b*&^*) I need money.

    (no response now to any text for the next 24-72 hours).

    Start again.

    Mom, I'm sorry I was rude, but I really need you to wire me $250 or I will have nowhere to live.


    Mom, I love him and we want to be together. I need $250. If you loved me you would want me to be happy.


    F*(&(& You!

    (stop responding for the next 24-72 hours).

    Write down for yourself what she will say and how YOU will respond. Keep it near. Be prepared. And remember that you NEVER have to respond right away...or even at all. The longer you can wait (at least a few hours and preferably a day) the sooner she'll stop pinging you for the instant gratification of engagement.

    Holding strong!

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Don't read her texts either. That's worse than the phone. They can go on and on forever and not be interrupted. No point in reading abuse. It's the same thing as hearing it.
  11. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    You're right, my area of weakness is her communication. I miss her and so if I see her reach out I'm both annoyed at the prospect of being yelled at and excited because I'm hoping for a positive interaction. I guess I need to cut it off for the time being.
  12. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Quick update and I'm writing this as I fight crying at work!

    She sent me a text saying 'What do you want' and I didn't respond. She called my phone twice in a row and I did not answer while gritting my teeth and sitting on my hands to keep myself from taking the call. Then she text and asked for her bail bondsman name and phone number for the millionth time!!!!! I felt a little snap in my head and decided I was going to end it. I wrote her a text as follows:

    Final message: I love you and always will and I believe that you can turn your life around. I wish you the best and hope that one day we can have a relationship that is free of drugs and cussing and disrespect and legal problems. You're now an adult and can make your own decisions and make your life whatever you want. You're smart and beautiful and so capable of doing whatever you want. Our relationship is not healthy for either of us and based on several of your choices I cannot be involved anymore to protect myself, my home and belongings and enjoy my life again. good luck with your job, I know you can do very well if you put ur mind to it. Handle your relationships with care and respect so they will last. Love, Mom

    Was this a mistake? I'm panicking a bit because I'm afraid I'll never hear from her again and also wondering if I should have just ignored the text! I felt the need to give our situation some finality which I hope will make it clear that she is now on her own. Grrr, life is sure complicated.
  13. I haven't had to deal with this yet as ours is 14, but I've been reading this board for several years and I've never seen anyone say that their child disappeared and they never heard from them again after they set boundaries. Usually, they refuse to speak to the parents for awhile because they're ticked off that they didn't get their way and then eventually, they turn up again.

    You did what you needed to do to relieve some of your feelings. You are entitled to do that! You matter, too! It's scary because you are trying something new and part of you is panicking. Hang in there. She will contact you again. Maybe not for a few weeks or even a few months, but you'll hear from her. You're creating the conditions for her to learn to be responsible for herself and do the right thing, even if she chooses not to take advantage of it. You' ARE being a good parent, even though it doesn't feel comfortable right now.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You are welcome. We have been where you are. I am sorry this is happening, but you are taking charge of your life and your money now, and that is a wonderful thing.

    Next, you will reclaim the territory of the heart.

    Then, you will reclaim yourself and your self esteem. It is very hard on us to love a self-destructive child.

    It helped us to know in advance exactly what we would need to see from the child before we would give any money. Knowing what we would need to see from the child before we would give money made it easier for us to stick to our guns and say no even after our anger had passed.

    It is working very well for us.

    We used phrases like: "You were raised better." "Oh, that's too bad. What are you going to do?" "I know you will come through this beautifully." "You are strong and smart, and everything is going to be fine."

    You know what they say. "No" is a complete sentence.

    "I will never give you money again." Every time you say those words you will believe them more. Believe it or not, we are the ones we have to convince. It feels so wrong not to help. In this case though, you are correct in not helping.

    For your child's sake, and for your own, you are correct in not helping.

    Post here as often as you need to.

    It is good for all of us to have a refresher course, too.

  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I think that is a beautiful text that expresses your love and hope for her and draws clear boundaries. I do not think it is a mistake. I think we can't control how things are received once we release them, (or hit send), and she may not read it, or read all of it, or she may go ballistic. SHe is unlikely to think "oh, I see, she is right."
    You told the truth in a beautiful and succinct way. I hope that made some little part of your soul rise up and breathe again.

    This would be my observation as well.

    I am sorry you are afraid of losing your child. I'm afraid of losing all of my kids, the "appropriate" ones and the not so. It isn't a good way to have relationships (and so far they show no signs of being lost, not even on days like today when I wish they would!)

    CAn you find it in yourself to block her txts and calls for a while? I think it would give you some rest. You'll be surprised how peaceful it can be when the sound of your phone doesn't make you jump.

    You too are addicted to your toxic can't resist engaging over and over. This isn't your fault, or hers, it is part of the dopaminergic response of our brains to stimulation. If you can stop the stimulus it will help you stop seeking the negative thrill.

    I have hope for you . I have hope for your daughter too, and if you are going to help her this is really your best next step.

  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    You handled it beautifully.

    Now, keep firm hold of your heart.

    You are doing the right thing for your child.


  17. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Aahhhh, I'm breathing a sigh of relief. Okay, I am going to move forward from this and not have any communication with her for a while. I need some time to breathe.
    My husband and I are taking some vacation time together in our favorite place to just sit and relax and I can't wait. I want that movie-like experience of sitting on the back porch overlooking a quiet river under big cypress trees reading a book and lazying the day away. Maybe I'm asking too much but just to be away from home and all the responsibility that comes with life....

    Thanks to you all, you are truly a life saver and I'm grateful to have found you.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing you'll hear from Difficult Child as soon as she is in trouble.

    We write beautiful letters from the heart and they either don't read them, don't "get" them, don't give a crapola or contact us anyway and keep abusing us. They don't think right. It is up to us to keep the boundaries safe for us and to follow through on what we say.

    Let's face it, WearyMom, you already have no meaningful relationship with your daughter. All she does is ask for stuff and abuse you and you are put on the defensive and have to listen to her say things to you that nobody should say to anyone, especially somebody whom they know loves them. A relationship between a mom and grown child that is a REAL relationship is mutually satisfying, full of hugs, and trust. Sometimes our college daughter will text and ask if she can use Dad's credit card to go out to eat with her friends. She always checks in. She is such a good kid. We never say no. And we visit her and she introduces us to her friends who are dressed in normal clothes (not black goth and they have all showered and they are all warm and friendly)...and now they call me "mom."

    My daughter made sure she was there for my surgery even though I asked her not to come.

    We go out to lunch together.Being 18 and introspective I don't learn much about the inner workings of her life, but we do share ideas and like to watch sports together. There is no abuse at all.

    This is but one example of a normal adult-adult child relationship that is normal.

    What you have your with your daughter is not a relationship. You are her doormat, her ATM, and her nasty venting machine. Whether you talk to her or not, she has a lot of work to do in order to know how to have a real relationship with you.

    I have one adult child who talks to me like yours does when he is under stress and I refuse to talk to him when he does that. He is ok at other times, but he is possessed when under stress. I don't care if he is stressed. I don't care HOW stressed he is. I am certainly willing to let him vent, but I will not allow him to swear at me (end of conversation), yell at me (end of conversation), direct nasty names at me (end of conversation), make monetary demands (end of conversation) or abuse me in any way. I'm done being abused by anybody, even my son.

    Setting boundaries has worked well and we have more and more good conversations that have us both actually LAUGHING and having fun (I find this a miracle) and less times when he calls me a deal breaker name that ends our contact for a while per my own rules.

    I do have an adult child who I call Goneboy. He left and never came back and I didn't hear from him for eight years and counting. The situation, however, is different. He was adopted at age sic and I really believe he did not bond with us enough. None of my other kids, all who were adopted very young and my one biological son, have ever cut me off. Your daughter will be around. When you hear why she is calling you may wish she hadn't ;/

    I would read the book "Boundaries" By Cloud and Townsend. Although it is a Christian book, and I do not know if you have any religion, this book is helpful in the non-religious parts to ANYBODY. It is very sensible and helped me A LOT. Please don't disregard this book for any reason. You will feel better once you read it and you will have more clarity on what to do for your daughter and for yourself. You can get it anywhere. I ordered it off Amazon. Very helpful read. Gave me some direction when I was flailing.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. It WILL turn out ok. We are ALL survivors here and so are you.
  19. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    MWM you're a gem and an inspiration. I know one day I will be able to help others like you help me and others here. Thanks
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    WearyMom, I did not start out knowing all this stuff. I learned as I went along. You will too. And of course you will be able to help others.

    I think right now, in the beginning, the most important thing is to get facetime therapy, whether it is free help, as in Al-Anon or a private therapist. This would be for YOUR benefit while you walk this horrible journey. There are ways to make it bearable. (Yes, really!!!!) There are incredible coping skills and ways of thinking that didn't even dawn on me without getting help. I owe so many people so much, so I like to give back, if I can. I have no idea why it took me so long to understand that abuse is abuse and nobody has a right to abuse me, but I really t hought:

    1/I deserved it

    2/ The crazy allegations about me were true because somebody said so

    3/ I had to put up with ANYTHING my child did because that's what a mother does.

    I had a load of unlearning to do. My oldest and probably my most long-term problem is now 37 years old, so I SHOULD be a bit down the trail by now :)

    I also had a terrible famly-of-origin so I learned to let go of toxic people. Letting go of DNA is shocking to some people. But they do't live our lives or walk in our shoes. I learned not to talk to too many people about what I had gone through as a child and even older or with my own children. What does Cedar say?

    "What others think about me is none of my business." Cedar, help me out here (Cedar is awesome). Cedar, I know I have this wrong, and what you say is SOOOO GOOD! What is it???