Know I will find support and compassion here

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for those who post on this site. The response to parents' pain is measured, and wise, intelligent, kind, and borne out of hard-won experience. It's after 11 at night and I am sitting with two cards in my lap, both unopened and both from my son. One is a Christmas card I sent to him in prison, returned to me, stamped rejected and the other a letter from him. The level of my anxiety is testament to the trauma of my relationship with him. I don't feel up to opening either one. He is in prison for one year for dealing and will be released this spring. He is angry at me because I told him he at age 30 he cannot move back home when he is released and because I have limited my contact with him and have not visited him. It has been 15 years of hell, and he still has the power to make me feel like the bad guy and to go to a place of fear. As a survivor of childhood abuse, it still hard for me to stand up to abusers, especially men, especially my son. The support of this forum is invaluable to me.
  2. Rosie67

    Rosie67 Member

    I am so sorry for you. I know you will receive wonderful support here. Xx
  3. Feeling Sad

    Feeling Sad Active Member

    Acacia, welcome to this site. I joined 9 months ago and it has been a Godsend. I received supportive words of encouragement that kept me from falling apart.

    I completely empathize with your fear of aggressive men after being abused as a child.

    My life was threatened by my schizophrenic sister when I was 11. My parents did not protect me because they were very overwhelmed.

    I then married an abusive Vietnam vet. I tried to help him and stayed over 12 years. I numbed out the fear...ptsd.

    My eldest son unfortunately became schizophrenic. I tried to help him for 9 years. I felt helpless due to my childhood trauma. I lived in fear. Last June, I had to file a restraining order because he held a broken bottle to my throat and argued with his voices about not wanting to kill me.

    My childhood trauma put me, finally, into survival mode. Trust your gut instinct. Be kind to yourself. Do not push yourself beyond what you are able to do.

    Yes, you love your son, but you fear him. I am going through the same thing. Yes, I miss him. But, my younger son and I need to be safe...both physically AND emotionally. You also need to feel safe in your own home.

    When you feel that you are ready, you will open his letter. It could be days or months. You are, rightfully, trying to protect yourself from any verbal, emotional, or physical abuse or trauma. There is no rush. You might have a trusted friend read it silently and supply you an edited version with only important facts.

    Do kind things for yourself. Try to relax and go out into Nature. Watch funny movies or see upbeat friends.

    You are doing the right thing in setting up boundaries. It is sending him a message of what behavior you will allow. He knows that you love him.

    I am a special education teacher. It is called behavior modification.

    Go with your instincts and keep the boundaries in place.

    One day at a time... We are here for you.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Acacia, I am so sorry for all of this, it is so difficult to deal with the pain, anxiety and emotion of it all. It is the same for my two, I do not think they have one iota of understanding or any sense of empathy for what we as parents go through. It is very lopsided and unfair. I think the more I understand this, the better off for me, to understand that my own children have grown up to really not give a hoot about their parents. Drugs seem to overemphasize a very selfish gene.
    I know the feeling when d cs are angry for our reactions to their actions........It is not like we are unfeeling, like we did't try, Acacia, I am sure, like most folks here, you have done everything in your power to try to help him get his life straightened out. It is too, bad, when our d cs do not get it, that their choices have created these consequences for them. It is not up to us as parents, to cater to our adult children, period. Especially, when they choose to go down a path of destruction for their lives. It is almost as if they expect us to hold their hands all through this, to the detriment of our own health and well being. NO, no and no.

    You are not the bad guy, you are a loving mom, caught in the throes of his choices. HE is an adult, 30 years old, and must face his own consequences. It is beyond reason, our d cs feelings of entitlement. We gave them the best years of our lives, and they are supposed to launch. We are not supposed to rescue them, for the rest of our lives. I am sorry for the hurt and pain of it all. You are not alone. Many of us here, have been in the same place, soul searching our past, wondering about parenting mistakes, and feeling badly, when we set boundaries. It is healthy to set boundaries, and to not allow people to hurt us, especially, our own adult children. I am glad you are here with us Acacia. It is good to have a safe place to get all of this stuff out, the folks here, understand the pain and frustration of it all. Keep posting, and know that you are not alone, and we care. {{{HUGS}}} leafy
  5. Feeling Sad

    Feeling Sad Active Member

    I agree with Leafy. He needs to feel the true repercussions of HIS behavior.

    I have been told by my therapist that my son never had a chance to get better while he lived with me.

    That hit me hard. All of these years of hard work prevented him from improving. I thought that I was giving him support and motherly love...

    As long as we 'buffer' them from the world's natural consequences, they will be able to continue their poor behavior. As a mother, we are not responsible for 'fixing' everything.

    My therapist went one step further.

    By putting up with my son's bad after day...month after month...year after year...I was making his bad behavior worse. I was enabling him. I hate that word. I still do, but it is true.

    When you allow someone to mistreat you in anyway, then you are 'training' that person that it is acceptable behavior.

    Even when you get mad afterwards, it always goes back to normal. As mothers, we want to forgive and love them. We also want to forget...forget that it ever happened. We want our well-behaved son back.

    They learn, step by step, that you tolerate worse and worse actions or words.

    They also learn how to 'work' you by certain words or actions to impart the most beneficial reaction.

    I would ask my son to see a doctor. He would turn over a table or verbally threaten me. I would stop in my tracks.

    He learned how to avoid the conversation. This was repeated over and over again.

    He now had the power over me because I both loved AND feared him.

    I made him worse and not able to get better by my motherly love...

    It was a very bitter pill to swallow. Now, my son is going to a shelter, he had labs done, and filled a prescription. I have no contact per the dictates of the restraining order. But, it appears that he finally went to a doctor AFTER I removed him from my house.

    I will never know how much better my son could have been if I had made him leave sooner... The past is the past. But, right now, he is taking actions I nagged...pleaded...implored for 9 years to take place.

    Think of what you have been through and his past actions. Do not think if him as the cute child he used to be. But, rather as the adult he is today. It will make you stronger in your resolve.

    He knows that you love him. Feel this in your mother's heart.

    Do something fun and relaxing today for yourself. Stay strong and begin to heal.
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  6. Feeling Sad

    Feeling Sad Active Member

    I wanted to add one more thing. Mother guilt is very strong and crippling.

    If you want, way down the line, you can have a third party that you can 'speak' through. Or you could open a P.O. box , so that you can correspond by mail, as long as he is NOT abusive. It is less emotionally taxing than speaking 'live' on the phone.

    You can still 'be there' for him, but from a safe distance. Heal.