New here...long

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hestiax3, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Hestiax3

    Hestiax3 New Member

    I am new here. I stumbled on this site looking for support with a problem I am almost too embarassed to say out loud. I'm hoping for some clarity and understanding.

    My SS will be 18 in a few weeks. I have been waiting for this day for 7 long years as I will no longer be at all legallly responsible for anything he does.

    In a nutshell....our life has been He!! for 7 years. SS is ODD borderline conduct disorder with sociopathic tendencies. He has been physically and verbally abusive to me, husband and the other kids for many years. He and husband moved out 2 years ago because he threatened to kill me, and I felt my kids deserved a life free of violence.

    My kids are now at college and SS is a senior. husband and he moved back in in Sept. with the understanding that if there is even a hint of violence, SS would move out. I have been living on eggshells ever since counting the days until he graduates and moves out. The abuse is no longer overt, but his basic personality is the same. He is never at fault, and is always the wronged party.

    husband served 20 years in the Army. He was a very respected and was quickly promoted. He is a man of honor and courage. SS will never be even half the man husband is.

    SS just signed up with the Army. Apparently having been arrested and being a sociopath is not a reason to be disqualified! I have huge reservations about why he chose to join the militray. I think it is some weird way to prove to his father that he can do all his Dad did. He has a 1.2 GPA so college is not a choice.

    So here is the part I am embarassed to say out loud. husband and I are both huge supporters of our troups both overseas and at home. We are a very patriotic family. Now, it pisses me off that I have to show the same respect for SS. I know that him joining the Army has absolutely nothing at all to do with patriotism or protecting our Country. It has to do with "one upping" his father (which will never happen). I cannot stand the fact that he is now representing our Country, much less the fact that he is going to be trained with weapons.

    I know it's petty. And I know that it is really shallow. But, I can't help how I feel. He has put our family through so much He!!, and now I have to pretend to honor his pretend dedication to my Country. UGH!

    Sorry this is so rambling. I guess I just needed to vent.
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi and welcome to you!

    You have found a very supportive community. And trust me, we have all admitted to stuff we were 'too embarrassed to say out loud".

    I don't know all of what your step son has been through. So I'll not comment on that portion of your story.

    If I were you, I would rejoice that he has joined the service. The structure and hard work that will be required of him may indeed turn him from an immature young person into a man. I've witnessed the transformations that the armed services provide.

    Hope for the best - if not for your stepson - then for your husband. You do not have to respect your stepsons decisions and past behaviors, but it might serve you all well to respect who he is as a human being. Try to find one good thing in him and cling to that. I know what people often quip about respect being earned. There is some truth to that. But, we all deserve some modicum of respect by virtue of being human. in my humble opinion.

    Others will be around later to offer their welcomes too. Glad you found us.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One of two things will happen (and I hear you, trust me). He will turn his life around and at least do what he is supposed to do for our country, or he will screw up and get thrown out, so you won't have to give him the respect you don't really feel he deserves.
    My daughter was a druggie. She sometimes touches base with the druggies she once hung with and most are still losers. HOWEVER there is one young man, who did SERIOUS drugs, who joined the Navy and became a hero...he saved several lives. He is married and living in Japan now and a citizen worthy of respect. You never know. Keep an open mind--wait and see.
  4. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Well in trying to see the good side, perhaps in his attempt to "up" his father, your SS will learn how to respect other people, and his experience in the military will help him be the wonderful man your husband is.

    don't give up, pretend you are so admiral of his course of action and maybe with time, you will realize he really is into it and you don't have to pretend to admire his decision to join the military.

    i hope it all works out for the best.
  5. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hello and welcome! I understand your feelings. I can completely understand your worries about your SS being trained with weapons!

    Re the issue of respect, of course your respect for the Armed Forces and all they do for us won't change. There must be others besides your SS who have enlisted for less than admirable reasons, but the one redeeming thing about it is that it's a crucible that MAY result in some of them turning their lives around and coming to see life in proper perspective. Some of them may need the shock of both boot camp and deployment to jolt them out of their self-centered ways. Those who don't respond have a good chance of being dishonorably discharged, since insubordination and crime aren't tolerated in the Forces any more than in civilian society. So your SS may, possibly, turn his life around - or he may continue as is, but he won't accomplish what he thought he would. You don't have to respect his motives or even his actions; you can reserve judgment, hope for the best, try to detach and wait and see how things develop. In the meantime your respect for the Forces in general and for what your husband has accomplished need not be diminished.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I fully understand your feelings about his basic disrespect for the military and not wanting to honor that. Oddly, you don't have to. You can respect that he joined and made it to camp. If he graduates from basic, you can respect that he survived that, not an easy accomplishment. And so on. In other respect what he has actually done, not what he will do. His motives are irrelevant, what matters is that he succeeds or fails. Success can be honored. Failure can be put on his shoulders and left there. That truly is one of the beauties of the military -- your past is irrelevant. A milquetoast can become a hero. The town bully can learn teamwork above all else. The punk can become the perfect soldier. The captain of the football team can wash out because he's not really fit.

    As to your fears about his learning to use a weapon, the reality is that he could learn that regardless of joining the military. There are too many para-military organizations out there today (think any Aryan group) that happily take the misfits and use them for their own purposes. At least he hasn't gone that route.

    What is hard is the waiting until he graduates and gets out of the house. I'm glad to hear he is at least not being violent now. Let's hope he can maintain the facade until he graduates. I'm sorry you are going through this hell again. I think it is worse to have lived with the constant fear and then have it be gone and then be worried that it will again resurface than just living with all the time. HUGS
  7. Hestiax3

    Hestiax3 New Member

    Thank you for the understanding words of encouragement. It's been such a trying and difficult 7 years.

    I have been completely disengaged for the past 3 years. I gave husband full responsibilty for SS. If husband was out of town and SS needed something or was in trouble, he knew not to even bother calling me.

    The year before he moved out was the worst year I could ever imagine with the constant violence, lying and stealing. We installed a deadbolt lock on our bedroom door because we were afraid to sleep with him in the house. His own mother would not even allow him in her home. The death threat was he final straw.

    Now, he is living here again. The toll of a house payment, rent and three kids in college was just too much. I only agreed because I knew I could use my parent's place if I needed to, and there was an end in site when he would be moving out.

    I cannot imagine ever respecting, or even liking, this kid. The best I can offer right now is to keep my negative feelings underwraps and cohabitat
    in the same house. Maybe some day I will be able to let go of the anger, the hurt and the fear.

    This whole Army thing is really getting to me. I know it's completely irrational and crazy, but it makes me nuts that this kids is going to be trusted to do the right thing and protect his fellow soliders. He has lied under oath in court more times than I can count, I can't imagine how he is going to B.S. his way thru boot camp.

    I think I may have PMS (in full perimenopause) and I am angry with husband for something stupid....could be why I'm needing to vent...ya think?!!
  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Vent away! We're good at listening. I can only imagine your PTSD over all of his past behavior and having him back in the home cannot be helping in the least.

    The odds of him surviving basic training sound pretty slim. But, who knows, his desire to one-up his father may give him the impetus to succeed and more than one punk has grown into a man in the military. Miracles really do happen. Give it a chance. View it as a way for your stepson to prove he is more than he thinks he is (and I'm willing to bet that deep down he thinks very little of himself unless he is a true sociopath).

    I can remember once talking to my father about an officer he had during WWII that was a complete and total idiot. Don't know why this stuck with me, but it did. I asked dad how he could salute this man (a sign of total respect to me), let alone follow his orders. My dad told me he didn't salute the man, he saluted the bars on his shoulder and his uniform. As to following his orders, he did his best to circumvent those orders whenever possible.

    I know you're scared and angry but you have to find a way to let the anger go. Your stepson sounds like he's done some pretty horrific things and I can only imagine the fear and pan. Do your best to try to find one good thing he does every day -- even if that "good" is staying in his room or sleeping late. Write it down. Hopefully, over time, you'll begin to see a little of the good and be able to let some of the anger go.

    Give him credit that he is following the rules of no violence, etc. It sounds like he is pretty used to getting his own way and using whatever means possible to get them. That he is holding that violence in check is actually a pretty big thing. I know that gives you little comfort but, for your own sake, you need to find peace in any way you can. Otherwise, it is going to eat you alive.

    Try to be as civil as possible to him. You don't have to shower him with kindness but treat him as you would a total stranger at a party -- politely but not necessarily friendly. It is not for his good, it is for your well-being and the good of your household. The tension has to be unbearable.

    I know it is kind of late for this, but has he ever had a complete psychiatric evaluation? It sounds like something is seriously askew and there may be medications that can help him. Is there any chance he would be willing to go for one?

    Remember, the reality is you can't change him. He will be what he chooses to be. However, you can change you. You're the only one you really can control. You can give him choices and it is up to him what he chooses to do with those choices. We can give you advice, a shoulder, a hug and it is up to you what you choose to do with them. My main advice for you is to try to find a way to let the anger and resentment go as much as humanly possible. Not for him, but for you and you alone. If you need the help of a therapist or medication for this, go for it. Do what you have to do for you.

    For now, gentle hugs. Believe it or not, many of us do understand your pain, your fear and your anger. We've been there done that to one degree or another.
  9. Scooby

    Scooby New Member

    This is so not funny, but you DID make me giggle out loud...and let me say... I'm ****** with you. :)

    Listen, there's no reason to make the situation worse by beating yourself up for how you feel. You have a lot of anger and resentment- and let me try to reassure you that... no matter WHAT he does or WHERE he goes .... in time, others will see SS for who/what he is. The military will see it faster than anyone -they won't tolerate much and will either break him to conformity or spit him out but I am pretty sure...that the process will strip him of his arrogance. Its a PRIVILEGE to serve our country -but I'm sure he sees it as the country now owes him... right?! You have to find a way to let go of your frustration and disgust and find a way to laugh at the absurdity...
    Just thank GOD that he will be out of your home...

    Is that awful of me to say? Yeah... probably.... but it sounds like you have been through hell -... and I just can't help but think...that boy is in for a rude awakening and you ought to wish him well -and give him a great big "Good look and if you make it.... THEN... you'll get an atta boy"....

  10. Hestiax3

    Hestiax3 New Member

    Again, thanks for the words of encouragement. I need to be reminded how to deal with him. I quit going to counseling about a year ago, it may be time to return to deal with the PTSD.

    SS quit taking his medications about a year ago. There is really nothing we can do to make him take them, and, quite honestly, there didn't seem to be any improvement. He had a full psy. evaluation 3 years ago, hence the ODD and sociopathic tendencies diagnosis.

    I know I need to concentrate on staying disengaged and to remember that I can only control myself and my reaction to his behavior. Thank you for reminding me. It's so easy to get lost in the ugliness. I am going to make it a point to start my day with a happy something for myself.

    ....have to go strip now....having a hot flash!

  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hi Sue,
    Personally I think respect is earned. When SS get through basic training, then you respect what he accomplished. As he does the proper behaviors then he gets respect. He isn't his dad and his motivation to join won't hold up when things are bad. He will either grow and mature to finish basic or he will do something stupid and fail or self sabotage.
    If the behavior is appropriate then the motivation isn't all that important.
    Lots of people work extra hard for the bonus. The end result is a young man who functions and hopefully achieves and grows. You don't have to like him. He has caused an incredible amount of damage and will be a long time mending fences if he ever does. Hopefully you will see him struggle and overcome. Then he earns respect.