Just wanna cry

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Elsieshaye, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    My background's in my sig. difficult child sent the following email on Valentine's Day (just got it this morning because I have a filter set that hides his emails among all my other ones, and makes it hard for me to read them unless I specifically search on his email address. Haven't done that for a couple of months, until today.

    "Mom I'd like to come home. I'm tired. I'm having trouble sleeping. it's not the usual insomnia. it lacks that productivity. I haven't even been able to write a single word since I've been down here. I miss you. I miss being home. Here I feel like I'm in exile, like I'm being punished for something I don't understand. I need to be home. I need you to understand this. I'm stuck in a limbo unable to move on. and quite frankly it makes feel like ****. It's like all I see is fog, when I look outside, when I look in the mirror. I feel like you don't love me. For the life of me, i don't know why. I love you. I always have. I wish you knew how much pain i'm in every day. I wish you'd console me. nothing excites me like it has. nothing that i loved before. I've lost my sense of humor. I haven't laughed in months. the only thing that seems to bring me comfort is when I'm around something that reminds me of home."

    My response:
    "difficult child-Name, I love you very much, and I'm sorry that you are hurt and feel stuck. I know you don't agree with my asking you to move out. Moving back in with me, though, is not an option. You may not remember the chaos and the behaviors that led me to decide to ask you to leave, but I certainly still do. I love you, and I want you to have a happy life that you can enjoy and be proud of, but living with me isn't going to be part of that. I understand if you are angry with me about that.

    Tell me about what you're doing now. The last I knew you're working at FastFoodPlace, and from your facebook it looks like you're seeing someone. She seems nice. -Mom"

    I wasn't even briefly tempted to have him come back up here. The thought of having him live with me makes me feel anxious, nauseated and trapped. So, it's not going to happen. At this point, I'm truly ok with him being angry with me. I just don't have the energy to involve him in my daily life beyond email, and I'm getting a little sick of explaining to him over and over again why the living-with-mom ship has permanently sailed. Ugh.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think your response was great. It makes it clear that you love him, and you care about what he's doing with his life, but sets up appropriate boundaries as far as "coming home" and makes your stance on that very clear. I don't know him, obviously, but his response seems part sincere, but part manipulative. The manipulation may not be deliberate, but he's throwing out a lot of guilt on you and no apology for any part he played in being asked to leave your home. I imagine that's what makes it easier for you to have zero temptation to invite him back. That said, he's still hurting, and I think you reached out to that part of him appropriately. Perhaps this could be a very small start to rebuiding some sort of relationship with him. Obviously it needs to be a relationship on a whole different level than before, and that will take getting used to.

    Hang in there..
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    That was a really GOOD response!
  4. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks, C. I know this is all part of the dance, but can I just say how completely angry and disappointed I am that he is trying to guilt and manipulate me into taking him back in? Zero attempt at taking ownership of his own stuff. Pure playing-the-victim and wanting to twist my arm by telling me how much he's suffering. That, more than anything, tells me nothing's changed and I made the right decision. Still irks me, however. I wish I could wave a magic wand and he could poof into self-awareness and maturity. I really do hope he takes this as a first step into a new relationship with me on a different level. What I'm expecting in the short term is a face full o'crazy ranting and telling me what a terrible, unloving mother I am. I should probably be able to tolerate that better than I actually can, because I'm the grownup and all, but I really just can't. Thank goodness for email, because I would be a wreck if I'd had to do that face-to-face.
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I think your response was fantastic!!!
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy do I know THAT feeling well. I don't blame you for being angry and disappointed, your feelings are completely justifiable. One of the hardest parts of detachment for me is learning not to hope for reactions that are coming from *my* reality, and constantly being disappointed. I tend to think, "well how dare she, that's so illogical and self-centered, why can't see see how wrong she is?" Which really means, "Why can't she react the way I want her to react?!" Lowering your expectations for your difficult children behavior or reactions (or anyone's) seems so wrong, but unfortunately, it becomes a survival tactic when dealing with a difficult child. I have to keep reminding myself of that, though.

    I agree that it's much easier to deal with via email. If only I'd had email back in the days of divorcing my kids' dad...
  7. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks, PG.

    C, yes, you're right, it's very much a situation of "why can't he react the way I want him to react." The problem for me is also that I am having a very hard time meeting him where he is. It's not just that I want him to react a certain way, it's that I don't think I can tolerate dealing with him if he doesn't. I was talking to my therapist about this last time I saw him, and I said that I recognized one one level that to get past this and move on I was going to have to be willing to tolerate a certain level of whiny, blame-y, drama from difficult child. But, right now, I don't have it in me to allow that.
  8. sicktired

    sicktired New Member

    Wow, that was a great response. Knowing how difficult, trying to be strong, and hurting on the inside with unimaginable pain. I have great admiration, with sorrow. It seems in dealing with difficult child, feelings are always in stark contrast, like an exagerated bitter sweet. Stay strong.
  9. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thank you for all the responses.

    Small update: He responded to tell me he had a new job, was happy with his girlfriend, and oh by the way since he's not going to be moving back in with me could he have all the videos of my father and the deed to the small piece of land in Mudville that I (and 8 other cousins) inherited a few years ago, plus the email address of the cousin who is the executor of that estate. :rolleyes:

    Oh well, at least he 1) responded and 2) didn't get all melodramatic. I was a little concerned this morning that there would be either overt, mouth-frothing hostility or drama and threats of suicide or something similar in my inbox. I ignored the deed request, told him I'd convert the videos to dvd and send him a copy, and sent him the cousin's email.

    I think the lesson here for me is, no matter what else happens or what he tells me to the contrary, DS will be ok and will find his own way.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member


    First, I had the same impression you did, he may be telling the truth about his feelings but it is all about him. He doesn't know why he is there?? Well that alone says it is for sure not ok for him to come home... either no insight which is not going to get better or he is lying and that is just plain not ok. I think you response was beautiful. He is your son and a valuable and loved human being. But you are teaching him about boundaries and true love of a parent in the best possible way it seems to me...and of course who am I?? Just saying........

    but his update, that is amazing. so the destroyed and lost kid is actually rocking a new job and has a girl friend so is not quite as stuck as he would seem to say. (he may feel that way, not going to argue that) And asking for your land etc.... yeah, that is really something else. Did you at least get a little internal chuckle out of that? You sound so strong (am sure that is not an easy thing to be with all of this) and I hope I can face things as gracefully as you are.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OK, I laughed at his list of "oh by the way" things lol. So typical difficult child :)

    I just remembered something wise a therapist said to me years ago, when Oldest kept talking about wanting to come back home (I threw her out at age 19). She said, "Adult children aren't supposed to have a goal of moving back home. They're supposed to have a goal of being independent and moving OUT. Remind Oldest of that next time she talks about wanting to move back home. She's got it backwards."
  12. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Buddy, it actually kind of p!ssed me off. I'm really hoping that the person he's been showing me he is in the last few months isn't who he -really- is, and that he'll grow out of it. Because, really, he's kind of an a-hole. He's making it easier to keep my distance, frankly. Which makes me sad. He phrased the stuff he asked for as "one last request" which makes me think that he's going to go into radio silence mode after this, since I said no to him. And that makes me sad too, despite the fact that the person he seems to be right now isn't really one I want to spend a lot of time with. I hate the thought that he's only going to come to me when he wants something, but I guess I have to suck it up and accept that, at least for now, that's what I'm working with.
  13. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Oh, I like this. I'll keep that in mind if he asks again about moving back. Thanks!

    I'm not quite at the point where I can laugh yet. I'll get there, but right now I'm just disappointed and a little angry. In a month or so, this'll be funny. Right now, not so much.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Elsie -

    Your response and dialogue with difficult child is to me like the first ADULT dialogue and step on the path to healing for both of you. I remember the things that you and he were going through months ago and how incredibly chaotic it was. I remember thinking how much I admired you for being alone, and having the courage and strength to come here, stand up to difficult child despite not having what seemed like ANY support in the real world, and I believe a patootie of an X - and the ugly and bitter words your son kept sharing with you....yet? You remained through the heartache such a wonderful Mother on the outside while hurting so badly on the inside - I can't imagine anyone here reading your posts and not being able to feel your pain. Your words spoke volumes.

    This to me? This stage in your relationship with our sons is like a nameless starting over point. We don't tend to get all the regular accolades that other parents seem to get. Somehow to me? It's like we got ripped off our whole lives - in school ----there was very little of the PTA, school plays, interaction with other parents or sports teams (my son couldn't handle any of that and for the most part was in group homes or Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s) - even there he was so ill behaved he wasn't ever part of THEIR programs and it hurts. THe only other people in MY life that have ever been empathetic were the parents here. Then in middle school - when there are crushes, and girls, and dances - All missed. Jr. High - all the levels and things that are normal along the way stages, High school - friends, cars, friday night football games - things ALL kids seem to have? Not for mine. I don't know about yours. And for just one moment of normalcy I would have given my eye teeth. ANd then finally? You throw them out and for a while you feel like a failure, a complete and utter failure to some degree...and you think - My GOD why? What didn't I do? I tried so hard. (enter a sob)

    And then this? This first call. This Mom, I'm starting to realize that......that my mess ups weren't you. That I have a lot of regrets, that I wasted so much. That I want MORE out of life. And you.........HOPE. But not too much - because if you do? Someone may hear you and come along and crush it - or maybe your hope is exhausted.....after years of being so burnt out. So you almost hope.....but not outloud. And then there may be another call after this, and possibly another? Then maybe he'll fall and you'll have a falling out again. Then you're devastated. Don't be. It's normal. It happens - it's part of the path to him figiuring out - HIMSELF. His life - what he REALLY wants - that he's TOO DANGED old to behave like a child, and couch surf, or eat out of dumpsters, or borrow money from kids that have jobs and now want things of their own so they CAN NOT loan friends the 20 all the time - and the noose gets tighter and tighter and they finally fall in line -----and it's ALL.BECAUSE.YOU...........did your job as a Mom.......and he'll call....again......and say I'm sorry.......I love you...and it may take a few more calls, or a few more months or a few more years......but this? This is a start, and you my lady handled it beautifully - and I am PROUD OF YOU.

    There isn't a secret handshake - but if we hand an emblem? I'd suppose it's a box of tissues or a roll of toilet paper for the numerous tears we shed. (personally I'm up to a hankee - trying to stay in the recycle mode)

    Hugs & Love
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Like everyone else here, I think you did a FANTASTIC job of setting strong, clear boundaries and yet making it clear that you love him. And some of his behavior is certainly manipulative and self serving, which seems to be a trademark of the difficult child's. I commend you for your strength and courage and your compassion too. I understand about the laughs aren't quite there yet, but fortunately, they will come soon. It keeps us sane to laugh about it. I appreciate you sharing this with us, it all feels so familiar and it helps me to listen to your story and feel your reactions, so like my own.Thank you and God bless.
  16. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Thanks you guys, you're making me feel better. Because of all the crappy times (pretty much exactly like you described them, Star), I think I was hoping for a pass on all of this growing pains stuff. Haha, no such luck! I can deal with it (although I do reserve the right to roll my eyes until they fall out of my head, lol!)

    Glad it's as useful for you to read what I'm going through, Recovering, as it was for me to post it. It's such a gift to be able to say what I think without having to worry that people will misunderstand and think I'm awful.

    Thanks again.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I wont say not to feel this way... we all know we shouldn't, but I really do understand this feeling at times. People on the outside can't possibly understand some of the decisions we have to make or even at times I think people do not understand I use a warped sense of humor to deal with things. Mostly when I dont react in public to some of the outrageous things Q might say or do, I worry that people must assume I am letting him do this and so it is my fault. It is a huge relief to come here and have people who get it. Even if our situations are different, we all understand the possibility that there is way more to the story than the little things people see on the surface.

    So, just saying, I understand but of course... you are clearly not only NOT awful, but AWESOME.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star, so well said, thank you. Your scenario depicted the way it often goes down for us. And, Buddy, you're right, people on the outside don't understand the decisions we have to make. They are soul wrenching. And, what Star said, 'and you think - My GOD why? What didn't I do? I tried so hard. (enter a sob)' That statement alone is the mantra of our lives, and the secret handshake, the recycled hankie or box of tissues, Geez, who knew how many tears one could shed for our children. No one gets that but you guys. Interestingly, in the book I'm reading the author said that the best folks to be around are other parents going through what you are going through. Thank God I found this site. God bless all of you!!!! You're all amazing people doing the very best you can under the worst possible circumstances. Isn't that the definition of Grace under pressure................
  19. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    You are very lucky his dad would take him in - not that I felt like my difficult child's dad was a good role model. It is much easier now that I have moved away from difficult child. I have members of my own family that would not understand why I wasn't rescuing my adult immature son.

    'I think the lesson here for me is, no matter what else happens or what he tells me to the contrary, DS will be ok and will find his own way.' I am still praying for that!
  20. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Tired, his dad is a lousy role model. He's an entitled, whiny, bullying manipulator who thinks the world owes him everything. I was pretty unhappy that DS moved in with him. They haven't gotten along in years - in fact DS cut him off before he had no place to live. And, of course, his father saw it as a victory and enjoyed being the rescuer. He apparently was telling difficult child a lot of stuff along the lines of "see, I told you your mother didn't love you and was untrustworthy," which came back to me both via his own sister and via difficult child throwing insults my way.

    Actually, DS is the one who is lucky that his father would take him in. I don't know where DS would have gone to live if his father hadn't, but he would've found somewhere. He's resourceful like that. (For example, while he was telling me that he was starving and sleeping in the park right after I threw him out, he was actually sleeping in one of the laundry rooms in our apartment complex and getting meals from some Mormon missionaries that live in the building. Not luxury, obviously, but not the same as starving and sleeping in the park, either.)