Need Input, Please - Email from gfg32's girlfriend has me shaken

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi, asking you to read yet another email. This came from gfg32's girlfriend today and has me feeling bad, sad, worried & shaky.

    Thanks for all advice and wisdom.

    Hi (my name),

    I know we haven't talked in several weeks. I know you haven't been speaking to gfg32 either. I have to tell you, I'm very concerned about him. When he came back to (state he is now in) he had nothing. I let him stay with me for two weeks until I moved last week. He is currently staying in a motel, paying a weekly rate. I've helped him as much as I can, financially. We talk every day. He is devastated right now. He feels abandoned and frankly I don't blame him.

    My family has always given unconditional love and support to each of its members. Even when they have made mistakes, struggled with addiction, been jobless, been incarcerated, etc. (yes all of these has been present in my extended family) Never has anyone in my family (my grandparents, my parents, aunts, uncles) "detached" from any family member. I know with 100% certainty that my parents and grandparents would never ever leave me alone. They would never detach. No matter what.

    As a licensed therapist, I have to say that "detachment" in these scenarios is not helpful, warranted or effective. Not only that, but I believe what is going on between you and gfg32 is avoidance, not detachment. I think it is easier to avoid the difficult feelings that arise when your child makes mistakes, lies or disappoints you. You may feel disgusted, guilty, betrayed... difficult child is 32, but he is your child. You are his mother. He needs love. He needs you.

    Am I saying you should enable him? No. Enabling and supporting someone are similar but ultimately different. Gfg32 has not smoked (spice) in two months. I know this for a fact. He has gone to labor ready every morning for the past 8 days, and has only been given one day of work. If he were to get a fast food job or something similar, he would not get paid for 2-3 weeks and would face literal homelessness while waiting for a paycheck. He needs support. Someone to help him help himself. When you are starting from nothing, it is very nearly impossible to turn your life around on your own, without support from family and other loved ones.

    I have no money now, no job either yet. My family has paid for me to move, because a choice I made to move away without being financially stable ended up having negative consequences. A series of MY poor financial and some poor personal choices has cost them several thousand dollars. But they have brought me out of the mess I made and are supporting me while I make every effort to start over.

    I wish that you would do the same for gfg32. I love him, deeply. My biggest hope is that he can renew himself and that he will be my partner throughout life.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I disagree with the this girlfriend and bet your son put up quite a fuss to get her to write it for him. Bet he stood over her shoulder while she wrote it. She is a piece of work too. by the way, he certainly can pull himself up from the bootstraps. It's his fault he may have to spend a few nights in a homeless shelter. Why should you reward him for the horrible things he has done to get to this place? Bet he never spends one day on the street either. Our difficult child's know how to find places to sleep well. This letter actually angers me for you.

    If he will let you give him emotional support without one dime that's all the support he should get at his age. But he doesn't want your emotional support, does he? He wants your money. He wants to be able to live in your house. He wants to lie to you and be excused. He wants to use drugs (and nobody knows, incuding this person if he still is or not) and get a pass. He wants to be Peter Pan and at the same time make you feel like the bad guy.

    This girlfriend is a loser. She is not being helped by her family. They are enabling her. Why do you care what she says?

    If this were me, and I know myself well, I would not be reading 32's e-mails, letters, texts and NONE from third parties. Sometimes when ours don't work, difficult children tend to get others to do the dirty work for them. They feel maybe they will have more credibility. Apparently it worked on you, but it is just a sick trick.

    If he had a job he wouldn't have to live out of hotels. There are worse fates, by the way. He didn't start from nothing You gave him EVERYTHING. And if you give him more, he will still blow it. He is manipulative and cunning and I don't trust him, even though I don't know him. He reminds me of my 36.

    I would never have read the letter. I learned. But since you have, you can choose your reaction to it. You have several choices.

    1. You can think "OMG. I'm horrible. girlfriend's family is right!!!! I have to take care of him and enable him forever. I have to give him more chances. 1,000 chances wasn't enough! He's only 32. I can't abandon him." You certainly have the right to buy into this and let him come home, give him money, trust him for no reason, etc. That is one option.

    2. Don't respond it it and think and talk about it with your SO and a therapist who is on YOUR side, one who understands what you have gone through with your son. One who isn't infatuated with him.

    3. Continue to stand your ground and ignore what an immature young woman was probably prompted to write. Don't change anything. Don't respond to her. She has nothing to do with you and him. She is a tool in his game of manipulation.

    4. Take care of him his entire life and have no life of your own because you feel guilty. At the same time, ingore your other loved ones who treat you well.

    You can actually do anything you want with this, but if it were me (and I know you are not me) I'd crumble it up in the garbage and go on. To me, and again this is just MY take on it, it smacks of your son telling her what to write in order to make you have a meltdown, feel bad, and do his bidding. Only a very mean person would do that to his mother. I have a son who would. I think you do too. But I don't know your son.

    Wishing you some serenity and clarity and hoping you sit back and don't react quickly. Take a deep breath. Think, think, think. Time and reflection are our friends. There is no reason to freak out right now. And actually in my opinion there is no reason to over-react to this at all. I hope you have a peaceful night.
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  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I agree with MWM. I also smell a lot of manipulation and alliance-building.
  4. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, MWM!! I was so hoping for a response and yours is wonderful. I had just said to husband, not 3 min ago, I wonder how much of that email was written by gfg32, lol.

    You just stopped my teetering thoughts and I know you are so correct. It is great how you can drill through posts and sort stuff out.

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Albatross!

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Let's just say I've learned from experience ;)
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Oh good grief. What a frieking heartbreaker. My suspicious self says she wants the burden of responsibility removed from HER.
    My son's girlfriend and countless of his friends over the years have tried to chastise me, warn me, cajole me, or overall tell me what a great guy he is. Mostly those people are not in his life a few months later. I don't talk to them, accept calls from them, or acknowledge them on fb txt or email anymore. Please. Those young unsnthinknthey know him or life better than i? I don't think so.
    I particularly like when they chastise me, as gfg32's girlfriend is doing here. He so great, she ahould help him out.
    Please. Toss it.
  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Echo. The board seems slower in the evenings, so I am especially grateful for you guys pushing me back up, calming me down.For the umpteenth time, husband commented "I am so glad you found these folks!!"

    I think I will ignore girlfriend email. I have some stuff I'd sure LIKE to say, lol.

    Nobody on here ever told me this would be easy. $&@?!!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good Lord, she's a licensed therapist? Well, my first thought was the same, he and she wrote it together in their collusion to intimidate, manipulate, blame and finally to force you into sending money. Are you kidding me? He is 32 freakin' years old! (sorry, could be a tad of my own anger at my 41 year old!!)

    If her parents are so giving, why couldn't gfg32 go home with her? Oh my. The sheer righteousness and arrogance is almost humorous.

    And, HIS distress is the way it's supposed to be now........he lost his meal ticket so there will be some grief for him. That's what spurs us to action, we're uncomfortable, we have to make choices...........that's how he will learn to be a MAN.

    That note made me angry. I think you and husband should throw any other emotions overboard and focus entirely on MAD!! That is the appropriate response.


    OK, here's my advice, you and husband just got suckerpunched and the way out of that is to do something kind, fun, comfortable and totally for YOU and husband. Go enjoy yourselves.
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  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I'll say it again...LOVE you guys.

    Thanks! Three hours ago, i would never have dreamed I'd feel SO. MUCH. BETTER.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    That is the question. In a normal situation, it would be the man and the woman involved who would, together, put things right in their own lives. Something fishy going on here with the girlfriend, too. I agree that she does not want responsibility for gfg32 and is trying to dump him on your doorstep so she can look good while making a clean getaway.

    I am thinking your difficult child was not the only one using spice or drugs.

    So do some soldiers fighting in foreign lands. But they don't write mommy about how unfair it is, or how afraid they are that they might have to work McDonald's.

    This girlfriend is walking all over you in her letter. There are good therapists and boy, there are some who are worse than not seeing a therapist at all.

    Both kinds are licensed.


    He's been without a job for two months.

    Adults join forces and make it through whatever the challenge is. You have helped your son to this point. It has not worked. It will never work. The only thing that could possibly help your son is to live with the woman he claims to love, and who claims to love him, and beat his addiction on a day to day, minute to minute, I-want-you-more-than-I-want-drugs status.

    She is the one leaving him.

    Not you.

    They are giving her a plane ticket and a place to stay after she and difficult child used up everything else.

    They don't want to take your difficult child on, too.

    Then why is she leaving him, now?

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  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I had that exact thought.
    She sounds more GFGish than I realized previously.She has no money, no job, and has cost her parents several thousand dollars? and now she is trying to start anew (PLEASE NOTE difficult child's commonly LOVE TO BE TRYING TO START ANEW!!)? I thought she had a job and an apartment. I am seeing her through very different eyes now.
    Yes...her parents have been supporting her AND him, and they are drawing hte line now. She doesn't want to lose HER gravy out he goes, and she is hoping she can recoup some of her losses by getting you to send money to difficult child.
    Cause I think if you just call him and tell him you love him (which I don't recommend at this moment anyway) she would not feel satisfied.
    Echo the Cynic
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ha! Echo the Cynic. Echo the straight shooter, you mean.


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  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    SS---I am just getting to the board to reread your post and give it some thought. I am sorry for the delay and so glad others were here immediately for you. Just reading her words, I started feeling weak and shaky and not sure myself, as I have asked myself many of those same questions in the dark night of the soul about my own son. Am I abandoning him just when he needs someone the most? How could I, his mother, leave him on the street? He won't ever get turned around without somebody's help, and usually the Mom is the last man standing, so where am I as he lives who knows where?

    I have thought many of those things myself. So my first thought is, wow, she is GOOD. She goes right for the jugular. Sounds like she has some good practice of her own, perhaps.

    You betcha they are different, chickie-boom (that's what I call, facetiously, girls like her).

    And walking that line---some days it is a thin line with barely a toehold, and other days it's as wide as a stripe with a firm place for two feet---is a day to day decision that only ONE Person can decide about. She can't decide for you and you can't decide for her. How about some respect, you licensed therapist, you? How about some boundaries?

    Really? I'd like to know how. Is she drug testing him? If not, she doesn't know squat. (makes me mad, this all-knowing arrogance of hers)

    Aha! Now we get to the crust of the biscuit with chickie-boom! She's a difficult child too! Now, she's doing HIS dirty work for him. Isn't that nice of her?

    And he's letting her.

    What does that say about the two of them?

    She needs to hang out her shingle, start taking some clients....and hey, you know, start EARNING A LIVING HERSELF, since she is a "licensed therapist" and quit living off mommy and daddy and grandmommy and grandpoppy. (guess you tell I'm steaming here...)

    I HOPE she can do a better job counseling others as trying to counsel her own situation demonstrates a pretty shabby thought process and approach.

    Yep. She's done all she is going to do, and so she wants to hand him back to mommy. Since he isn't having any traction with mommy, well, I'll take care of this. I'll set your mommy straight, difficult child. I'll tell her how all wrong she is.

    SS---I would suggest to chickie-boom that you've been doing this a heck of a lot longer than she has. You're his MOTHER. You've been there and done that, a million times more than she's ever even thought about. So don't tell YOU what YOU need to do, if you don't mind. (Wow, I could go on and on...this is pretty darn therapeutic!).

    This also calls to mind one night when my son's longtime girlfriend (now ex of course, he burned that bridge and she was a big enabler so it wasn't a good combo even though she is a very sweet girl) called me frantically one night. She was standing there at her house with her parents. My son had evidently gone over there (with her) and while they were there, he stole cash from a drawer in their kitchen. They were calling me to see what I was going to do about it. This was about 2.5 years ago and luckily I had some recovery under my belt. I told them how sorry I was that that had happened. She said, well, my dad wants to talk to you (keep in mind I have never met this person) but I said sure. He reiterated the whole thing again to me, and I just listened. He was upset (and rightly so). I said again, I'm very sorry this has happened and my son has done this. Please do whatever you need to do.

    There was silence. He said, well, I'm thinking about calling the police. I said, I completely understand that, and if that is what you decide, please go ahead and do it.

    I also said: my son wasn't raised like this. He is addicted to drugs and alcohol and he is operating out of that addiction. I am really sorry this has happened, but I can't control what he does. Please do whatever you have to do.

    He immediately calmed down and we hung up respectfully.

    Others have not been where we have been, SS. I try to remember that always. And they can't get what they aren't ready to get. Unfortunately, most of us have to walk the path of experience. We have to KNOW we tried every single frickin' thing on God's green earth before we realized NOTHING was going to change what an addict decides to do except HIMSELF. NOTHING. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Nothing.

    And now, SS, I am sorry that your son is living in a hotel. I am glad he is showing up for work. I am sorry that once he doesn't get work that day, he doesn't realize he can use that day to make another plan. I am sorry that he is sitting and waiting for someone to save him instead of doing something, one day at a time, doing SOMETHING, just one thing different, to change his situation. I am sorry he doesn't get together with other people in the same situation and see if they can get a place to live together. I am sorry he isn't willing to live in a shelter for three weeks while he does work that fast-food job and get that first paycheck. I am sorry about all of it. I am sorry he doesn't try to rent a room somewhere that is cheaper than a hotel. Etc. Etc. Etc. There are lots of things people can do, if they will only TRY.

    And I am sorry that this girlfriend is in his life, because she is a user and an enabler herself, and unless she decides to change, they aren't a good pair either.

    But MOST of all, SS, I am thinking of YOU. Hang in there. You are staying the course. You are not reacting to crazy stuff. Keep the faith. Just for today. Hugs and warmth and blessings go out to you today.
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  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you even sure she is a licensed therapist? Have you seen a certificate? Maybe she took a few online classes or maybe she is just lying to make herself seem as if she has credentials.

    The difference between support and enabling to me (and does not apply to anyone is my personal dictionary ;) ): Support is emotional support, phone support, encouragment, suggestions that are met with thoughtfulness on difficult children part and always "I love you and know you can do this." Enabling is handing out any amount of money, paying for difficult children messes and toys, letting difficult child live with you rent free while he steals/lies/doesn't help around the house and is verbally abusive. To me, there is a BIG difference between enabling and support because support is free. girlfriend doesn't seem to know this. She talks about the support she gets from family, IF IT'S EVEN TRUE, in terms of what $$$ her family dished out to her. Not one word about how they were her cheerleaders, which is what support is for a man of your son's age.Loving support is free and doesn't require a donation.

    That is the MidwestMom Dictionary ;)
  16. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member always, each of you inputs something different to consider. So powerful.

    You certainly got husband and me looking at girlfriend differently.

    Just to make sure I am not "unfair" to her, girlfriend had job in state where she and gfg32 lived. On the 23rd, she moved back to hometown and not working yet.

    But, yeah...she had option to stick with him. I suspect the line about wanting to be with him down the road was to throw off my suspicion that she was trying to dump him at my doorstep!

    And, she emailed my mom, as well!!!!!! Don't know if it was same content.


    Thanks, Scent and COM. Good stuff. The substance of your thoughts....always so rich.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  17. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Just as some on here predicted, gfg32 is trying to vilify us. husband heard from his sister today (who lives in same state difficult child 32 is in). After not hearing a peep from gfg32 in two years, he FB's her the email his girlfriend sent me a couple days ago. sister in law was mostly confused. She was very supportive, but admitted that she had sent girlfriend a FB friend request before talking to husband because she was worried.

    Gfg32 told my sister in law that the letter has gone "viral" in our home state. husband and i presume this means he has sent it to lots of folks. The amping up apparently continues for a good while.

    I want to move.
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    husband and I did move, SS.

    So has Witzend.

    husband and I built a house in a great neighborhood when the kids were like, one and three. We moved away when they were both in their twenties. By that time, that beautiful house we'd built felt like a dungeon. When I think of it to this day, it looms on the horizon, the windows blanks of glass and all the flowers dead.

    The neighbors we once cherished and laughed with ~ I don't know whether we changed or they did, but everything changed, in our neighborhood.

    This is another, different kind of loss parents sustain through the raising of a difficult child. I understand now that I am not the only one. I did not know that, did not have this site, as we were going through it. The loss of friends, of self respect and other respect, the loss of social structure, of that feeling of goodwill in our neighborhood...all so personal to us, and all seeming so unimportant compared to losing our kids, one to mental illness, one to addiction. There have been such black times, for us. The loss of who we were in the eyes of our peers, and of who we'd believed ourselves to be as successful young marrieds raising their family. Also, we lost our reputations as good parents IN our families. Every social occasion during that time was haunted by unspoken questions about what had really been going on behind closed doors in our house.

    It is only recently that our daughter was diagnosed.

    Our son...I don't know what's the matter with him. But he is so much like your GFG32, like MWM's 36, like BITS son and father.

    It sounds strange to say, but I think you will understand when I tell you I am so grateful to know there are other parents going through the same, exact, things that are happening with my son. I have described your sons' activities to my husband. The things our sons do are so eerily similar that it could be one person, one interchangeable person, doing the same things to all of us. I am talking right down to verbiage in the emails.

    So, unless we parented exactly the same way...our sons are acting out the aftermath of addiction. Has the chemical imbalance responsible for the addict's high destroyed some essential something in their brains? I don't know that, either. What I do know is that life is so short. I know I still love my husband, still cherish spending time with him. I know that as I heal, as I recover myself and my self respect after these horrible years of loving dysfunctional children, that I never want to go back to that place, again.

    We do so much here on the site about personal growth. I think it is necessary to anticipate and require a time of healing for ourselves. We parents have been and are being (and may always be) traumatized by our vicious, drug addicted kids. We are so vulnerable to them because we do love them.

    There is no solution.

    Nothing is going to make this alright.

    Sooner or later, we will decide whether we are going to survive it, or whether we are going to continue to "help" our vicious, drug addicted kids (which always turns out, pretty much, to mean paying for their drugs, one way or another).

    It is the situation that is bad. There is no good solution to a bad situation. Whatever we do, we are going to look and feel badly for a time.

    I decided to live.

    I am reclaiming my life.

    I am so grateful for each of you, for all of you, here on this site.

    Without you, I would never have known anything more than victimization at the hands of a vicious adult child.

    It is not a good thing to see...but it is better to see.

    So I do.

    I am so sorry this is happening to you, too.

    There is strength in coming together, SS. I am so glad you are here, so glad we can share our stories and our strength and our pain.

    You and husband will come through this. You have a different perspective, now. No one who has not dealt with an addicted child can ever understand.

    This FB campaign your son is conducting consciously and with malice aforethought ...our difficult child son has done the same, only he said terrible things about us to husband's family members on personal visits to them. Know when this happened? As difficult child son and his family were staying in our home on "vacation." What difficult child was looking for was to come live at our house while they got settled in the area.

    We had set a time limit.

    difficult child did not like that.

    Someone here posted this response: "Please pray for my son. He is going through such a hard time right now. I love him so much."

    I like that response, very much.

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  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS, I am so sorry. The malice with which our kids condemn us once we stop enabling can be extraordinary. The smear campaign which your son is waging against you will ultimately die down and after you have no response to it, he will let go, but in the meantime, do your very best to ignore it and keep you and husband as far away from all of it as you can.

    I was taught this simple imagery once which helped me. Imagine a golden or white shield of light surrounding you and husband...........imagine as the "arrows" of the attacking words and gestures fly at the shield they bounce off and return to the sender. Done. Presume it works and go about your business of living. Don't put any more energy in to it........ignore it all as best you can.

    You are now seeing the truth of who your son has become. When they act in these ways they make detaching easier for us. He has become someone so obsessed with getting his infantile needs met he has lost control of his order for him to someday be able to climb from the depths of darkness he has surrounded himself in (or not), YOU must walk away and stay in the light of the sun, do not join him where he is by giving any credence at all to his actions. Allow him to stand alone in the dark place he has chosen. You did not choose this, he did..............

    Hang in there SS, we're all here, you're not alone..........stay the course............
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  20. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I totally get wanting to move.

    I hope you don't need to do that. Because it is he who is full of hate and malice, not you.

    When my (then) difficult child daughter brought a water bottle full of vodka to the end of year class trip in 8th of her friends got alochol poisoning and had to be extracted from the tree house he had climbed to to drink in secret. My daugher, he, and a few others were in danger of being expelled from their select admissions high schools. None of the kids were allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony.

    We were completely ostracized. Only one family called to invite difficult child/easy child daughter over the whole summer. Her entire social networking page clicked off, one by one.

    2 years later I was at a party, and I was introduced to a kind looking response to the introduction, she said "you don't know me but I know you" I smiled politely and asked how and she said "my son was part of the collaterol damage from your daughter" (he had gotten drunk too, and not been allowed to walk in graduation). She was venomously angry. Towards me. A lot of people were.
    My difficult child son used to ring our neighbors doorbells and ask them for money.

    He also used to go to my favorite restaurants, or restaurants run by friends of mine, and ask for food or money. They would call me, awkwardly, and ask what to do (with the undercurrent of "please make him stop doing this, it is bad for our business to have a smelly homeless man walk in...we would call police but can't because we like you....)

    Once I got to work and difficult child was passed out on the couch in our elegant class-enclosed reception area. Stinking dirty and unconscious. The receptionist said he had asked to wait for me, and she didn't know what to do.

    Parents of difficult child' s suffer endless and unpredictable humiliations.

    All the more important that we develope strength in ourselves, in who we are, in our other relationships. As we are doing here, learning through each other. It really helps.

    Thinking of you and your family today.

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