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Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bone Weary, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    I knew when we adopted my son there would be problems. He was 8 and had been in the system since he was 4. But I honestly believed that if I loved him enough and showed him life could be different he would be ok. I didn't foresee his dad and I divorcing because the dad had become an alcoholic. At age 16 he was back in the system because his dad pulled a gun on him. By that time my son was using and I found my little boy a scary angry young man. He was placed in a group home for treatment. I found a job and went to live close to him so we could be reunited. He manage to graduate and we went through therapy but there was no reunification as I had hoped. He could have lived with me but he chose to curse me out each time he was around me and begin using. I could not allow him to live with me under those conditions. He came back to live with his dad, his "real family". They kicked him out last week. He only calls when he needs money. This week he called from a homeless shelter again needing money. I feel sooooooo guilty for not giving him money. He could be telling the truth now. He could be sober. I gave him money two weeks ago to help him get to a job that never materialized. I feel like I have failed. But I don't think I need to give him money. I hate to sound selfish but I want a happy life. I want him to have one too but I can't give him that. He is 20. Why do I feel so guilty? I want him to have a better life. No drugs and a job!

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  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It isn't easy, I know, but you are handling this well so far, Bone Weary.

    MWM has several threads running on PE right now about adult children. You will find strength there, and validation.

    Welcome to the site, Bone Weary.

  3. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    So I got a call from my son. He spent the night in an abandoned building and needs money for the shelter. I will not send him any money I said. So I get off the phone and call my sister and pray. I decide to go pay the $25 to the shelter. I call him and he says that dad is sending him money! Then he laughs at me and smarts off! I hung up the phone livid! I have beat myself up for days! He hasn't changed a bit. Right now I want no contact with him. I Am on 2 antidepressants because of him. I blocked the number he called from. I am considering changing my number but that is my last tie to him! I think what if he really does come to his senses or needs me! I need to get my head on straight before I go nuts!

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  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Shelters are free.

    Your son acted just like a ten year old kid who pulled a prank on you. Like most difficult children he is in serious Peter Pan mode. I'll bet he doesn't even go to the shelter. Rather, my guess is he buys something he wants, maybe drugs. I need to correct you about something though...and I had to get into serious therapy to realize this. As crazy as this sounds, you are on two antidepressants because of yourself, not because of your son. You are letting his antics impact your life and you do have control over how much you allow his situation to affect you.

    Yes, the first time a psychiatrist said it to me, I burst into tears and told him he didn't know what he was talking about and he asked me if I thought I could control my son's behavior, which has always been hideous. It goes way back to toddlerhood with him. I told him that if I had been a better mother he wouldn't be this way. The doctor told me that wa false, that I had been a great mother and that none of my other kids were like him and that I had always been there for him and gotten him help, but he refused to admit there was a thing wrong with him. He told me that, with my history of depression and anxiety, this would be the death of me if I didn't find a better way to cope than to obsess over him and try to "talk sense into him." He even suggested I toss him out on his eighteenth birthday. Yikes! I couldn't accept or process his advice then. I think it was too harsh at a time when I thought I was supposed to mother him forever.

    Well, I was younger then and my son was still a minor at the time and I was horrified at everything this doctor told me and I never went back to him, but he was 100% right. I learned the hard way (College of Hard Knocks) that no matter what I did, I could not change my son. I could only change my reaction to his abusiveness and his jerkiness.

    It isn't easy, but it gets better. I'm pretty good at it now. And my son is nicer to me now because I won't even pick up the phone if he has been a jerk to me. I just won't engage him until/unless I feel up to it. My son does value a relationship with me so he tries to be nice, which is awfully hard for Sometimes he's not and I h ang up and won't pick up the phone for days. If I get that clenching feeling in the pit of my stomach when his name comes up on my cell phone, I know it's not a time when I can talk to him.

    If you feel like no contact, do it. Sadly, the adult children who bring us to this site are not the type of adult kids who bring us good news. They only call when they want something and I can't remember any time in my life when my son ever asked,"So how are YOU?" or "Happy birthday!" or "How are my sister and brother?" He doesn't care about anybody except himself and he does love his son, but his son is an extension of himself (at least that's how I think he sees it).

    If your son comes to his senses, he WON'T need you. He will be peaceful with his decision and himself and his support team. He won't be calling you for money anymore. I have one adult child who did drugs and was horrible while she used them, but she is a different person now that she has been clean for years and years and she doesn't need me that often. We are close, talk about twice a week, we Skype so I can see my granddaughter when I want, but she is independent. There are ways besides cell phone to keep in touch. E-mail is a good way and he can always go to any library and log in there for free. I think e-mails have less impact than actually hearing the voice. Anyway, who pays for the cell phone?

    Hugs and wishing you the best!!!
  5. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    Thanks! I hate doses of reality but I needed that! Apparently he walks up to strangers at Kroger and asks to use their phone. I know I have to really let go and let God.

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  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    The COURAGE to change the things I can,
    And the WISDOM to know the difference."

    We are here for you as often as you like and we are on call 24/7 and 365 days a year.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    And we have been where you are.

    That means no one here will judge you or your child.

    We are all way too hard on ourselves already, and our kids -- oh, man, they are so hard they drive us to distraction.

    Looking back on everything, I just can't believe it, sometimes.

    Can't believe any of this even really happened to me.

    And MWM is right.

    Shelters are totally free. My daughter was homeless, once. They don't like to use the shelters because they are separated by gender, they have to be not high on drugs when they come in, and they lock them in so they can't go out and get drugs and then, come back.

    My daughter was 38 when she was homeless?

    And I called the shelter and the shelter mailbox and the homeless outreach person so much that my daughter was actually questioned about what her mother thought she was doing, calling the homeless shelter so much.



    Your son is abusing you.

    He is doing something called "gaslighting" in a way. That is when someone we should be able to trust tries to hurt us so badly that we will give them whatever it is they want, this time.

    And sometimes?

    People will do that horrible thing to us, to their own mothers, for a measly $25 bucks.

    It takes a really long time to see that, though. We love them too much.

    One of us posted something about a mother's heart being a beautiful thing. That is true.

    But an addict's heart is a far from beautiful thing.

  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I've never heard of a shelter asking for money. That is the thing about shelters.

    Your son is abusing you.

    It is OK to back away. Just stop picking up when he calls...let him leave a voice mail. Don't respond to texts for 24 hours. He likes abusing you because he likes the feeling of hurting you or shocking you in the moment. If you delay the responses he doesn't get that stimulation..I won't call it pleasure because I'm not sure that is what it is.

    Make space for yourself.

    He doesn't need you, or what you have to give right now. He is trying to hurt you and take from you. There is no meeting ground there.

    Good luck to you, mama.

  9. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    I read about gas lighting. It is such a shock to your system when you read your life next to the word abuse! I am not a candidate for abuse! I am too smart to let someone use me. Yeah, right!
    I love my son. But I think I am going to separate myself for awhile. I need to take care of myself and my mental health is important. I think the stress is also taking a toll physically. I need to get it together. Or as close to together as I can make it. I think when he realizes I won't give him money he will be angry and verbally abusive(there's that word again) as he has in the past.
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  10. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    Thank you all for baring your souls and letting me learn from you. This forum has already benefited me so much. I just want to be happy. I think people have always tried to tell me what to do. For some reason I am seen as weak and you know what, I am sick of it! I am from the South and it is ingrained in our culture to be polite and think of others before ourself. Women especially. I have been a people pleaser my whole life.
    Sorry for the rant. Actually I'm not. It felt goooooooood!
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    BW, it's not just the south. Women are taught that. I was taught that and I was also bossed around by everyone, especially my family who thought I was the black sheep. I think a lot of us here were like you at one time and some still are. I still fight the urge to become a doormat. I tend to say "yes" when I mean "no, I really don't want to do that." But I'm better than I was.

    We are here for you :) Have a good day!!!!
  12. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Hi Bone Weary! I'm fairly new to the board, also, but wanted to welcome you and to let you know you've found a good place where you'll get some great advice and encouragement. These fine ladies have also kicked me a few times (in a good way) and I'm learning to not be a doormat to my 17 and 27-year old problem children. I'm also originally from the south and now in the midwest, and although I think the "people pleasing" is a universal woman thing, it's more prominent in the south. Regardless, I think we can unlearn this destructive behavior and take back our own sanity and power in life. And still be nice people (mostly).
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  13. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member


    For what it's worth, there's a fabulous tool I learned from my Cousin R in Memphis when I was a teen.

    (how did an Eastern European concentration camp survivor end up raising his family in Memphis? Loooong story. And if I tell you how we found 'em, that'd "out" my identity.)

    R is the most amazing woman, the family historian, even named for my mom who her dad thought died in the camps. (Eastern European Jews, the Ashkenazim, name their children after dead relatives. On the other hand the Sephardim, the ones from around the Mediterranian, name their children for living relatives.)

    Anyway. About that tool. When R (and every other Southern Woman I have known) is forced to deal with a jerk of one kind or another, they smile and in that "special" tone of voice, say "Bless your heart." And you can tell just HOW horrid (for those of you unfamiliar with the tool) the person is by how they drag out the words, and how broadly they smile.

    So, when you get off the phone with your challenging one, don't forget to give it your biggest grin and, taking 15 seconds or more, say "BLESS YOURRR HEARRRRRRRRRRT."

    (I'm lucky. My daughter is way too developmentally disabled to be consciously, willfully horrid to that level of horridness. But she has a lot of the "not giving a shoot" lack of empathy or boundaries. She just does it all at the functional level of a 4 year old)
  14. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    Oh honey (we call everybody honey down here), I use that myself. I love it! Thanks for the smile!
  15. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Bone Weary --- Welcome to this group. Glad you're here, but sad you have to be here at all (if you know what I mean).

    Your son is our son. Our is currently 24, but an awful lot of what you just wrote is right out of our family history, too. We adopted young and the problems grew massively over the years. We felt guilty, just as you do. It took me years to learn it really how that's not the case. And it's easy to start feeling guilt because so many others want to heap it upon us. We adopted our son at age 6 (foster system) and I was utterly shocked people did not understand how we had little or nothing to do with so many of our kids' difficulties. Our son is doing much better at the moment (knock wood), but..........well, you know.....

    Their lives are "one day at a time" thus our lives, also, are "one day at a time".

    Sending you the warmest wishes of comfort today....
  16. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Bone Weary -- Hey, I just read your little "rant" and you said it felt "gooooood!" You go, girl! Claim your strength! IF someone's abusing you (and it sure does sound like gaslighting -- by the way, I just learned that word recently, too, and it fits!) have a right to be mad! In fact, it'd be unusual not to be mad. We're with you!

    by the way, we have many relatives in the South and we loooove visiting there! :)
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am a new member trying to learn. What does this mean? " MWM has several threads running on PE"
    I am also right now going to google gaslighting.