I’m coping, as best I can. Every year for too many years now I make it though Thanksgiving, then Christmas but when my birthday hits this merry go round with my son gets to me way too much. Why my birthday and not his? I don’t know. I guess it could be because I reflect on how I would like things to be too much, rather than accept what really is. I guess it could be because my birthday is relatively close to the holidays I work so hard just getting through, I don’t know. I had a really nice birthday this year, actually birthday week, actually great birthday. I went out to dinner a few times with friends down in the south east US where I’m so grateful and lucky to be right now. I even got a few birthday presents this year, not what I’m used to. The love from my friends and family this year has been so much more than I had in years gone by. Usually I was otherwise occupied with work and responsibilities, not that it bothered me to not even notice my birthday myself in the past, it’s just this year has been great. Maybe the love from everyone else is making me notice the lack from my son, I don’t know, haven’t figured it out ~ yet. This was a milestone birthday for me, I no longer have to pay a grand a month for medical insurance that includes nothing but catastrophic coverage. Yay on the insurance cost reduction. And then there is this stuff with my son. I know my birthday is not on his radar, last thing he would think of, I would be very surprised if he knew when my birthday is. But anyway the day before my birthday I got the “I’m so sorry I’m a dic*head” call. And I knew it would shortly be followed by what I describe as the “take down” call to tell me how verbally abusive I am, what a pathological liar I am, how I’m narcissistic, and mentally ill and such. This has been his routine in the past year, every few months but increasing as of late. I don’t know if he’s setting me up on purpose hoping his “take down” has more power or if he just so messed up in the head he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I know logically it is not about me, and actually about himself. He accurately says so many things that apply to him and not all to me, but it doesn’t help knowing that. So he called 8 times on my birthday. I did not answer and then late in the evening I called him back because I’ve been trying to be there for him if and when he decides to get help for himself. There is no one else in his life to fulfill this role so I’m it, for as long as I can stand it anyway. I got to hear him in tears, seemingly listening to me about the need for him to go back on medication, only to flip into a different person, amazingly different person, attempting to take me apart with his typical verbal assaults. I let it go on until I knew he wouldn’t come out of it and then told him I hoped tomorrow would be better for him and told him I had do go and hung up on him. That’s been my new normal. I get it, get that he needs serious mental health help. I also get it that with me being assigned by him as his villain he will not listen to me. I handed it over to God, again, knowing there’s nothing I can do. But this is very wearing. And then my most sensitive sibling, one of four, called me this afternoon and I found myself unloading on him about this situation with my son, again. He was his usual self, telling me how difficult it must be and telling me he hopes my son finds a way to taking care of himself and such all the while not saying one bad thing about my son. He was the best one of my siblings I could do this with but I felt guilty unloading on him because as empathetic as he is he has no idea what it’s about. He has no experience with this kind of behavior, we do not have mental illness in my family. I know I made him feel uncomfortable, I don’t want to do that to anyone, least of all him. Later, when I saw an incoming call from another one of my brother’s, I didn’t answer it. I didn’t want to do the same thing to him, although I know what he would say. He would tell me to write my son out of my life and have nothing to do with him, as he has done in the past, and has told me he has witnessed all I have done for my son growing up. I have a strong feeling the first brother called the second one to tell him of the current situation because he was worried. I have no one in my “real time” life who can relate to this kind of stuff. Not my significant other, he’s very stoic and non-responsive to emotional issues. None of my friends, they have “normal” children or no children and just can’t relate even though I know they care and know how much of a toll my son takes on me. Not even the young woman who is like a sister to him can relate, she’s so angry with him she hasn’t been speaking to him for a while now. Tell me to breath, tell me to have patience, tell me whatever I should really hear right now. I think I just need a listening ear from you who understand right now. Thanks.