OK - really????

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    All I can say in UNBELIEVABLE.:rollingpin:

    I am trying to cope with losing my Dad, going up to spend these last few weeks with him, being unemployed AKA moving - and Matt is now suicidal, or homicidal - depending on the rage he is in. I mean - I picked up the phone today when he called, and was just blown away that he was in this state at the very time I can handle it the least.

    I am frankly speechless. He has been doing pretty well for freaking 8 months - and now - BAM. Raging and psychological as destructive as he was 8 months ago when I picked him up from Dallas. AND - right when I have to deal with all these other things. I mean, really, UNBELIEVABLE.

    I am sure he is acting out on his grandfather's impending death - but God forbid it be in a healthy, rational, linear train of thought. NOPE. All he can think fo is his anger and how wants to either hurt someone, or kill himself.

    We talked at length about how angry and sad he was inside, how much he hated his life, how much pain he was in..............and yet................the concept of making concrete steps to change is more than he wants to even comprehend. And medication change??? Forget it. He will probably never make a change again - he is so sick of all the medication changes over the years - he is like a mule.

    I understand some of this is a difficult children way of coping with the death issue. He had nightmares all night he said, and was still shaking from them. Yet, his dysfunctional way of coping makes it impossible for anyone to help.

    And personally, right now, I am feeling really mad and exhausted that he is choosing THIS time to be like this. I have to leave soon! I have to go say goodbye to my Dad - which is also his grandpa - and yet I am going to have to worry that he is going to off himself while I am up there saying goodbye to my Dad???
  2. Star*

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

    Don't ya just love when they HAVE to turn .....ALL the focus back on THEM......even in death?

    Take your flight - take your dog...take your time - and tell him .....nothing more. If you feed into his behavior at this point? You're just going to give him fuel for his fire. He's very much old enough and stable enough and doing well enough (thanks to you) to cope with whatever it is that is going on. Let him continue to grow up and handle this moment like an adult, and deal with him when you get back because by then? It's surely going to be either something else - OR something even more traumatic...

    Yes Steely - even in death, they have to have the spot light all on them. Janet just went through this with her dad and her family - and it was pathetic. Totally and utterly pathetic.

  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ah honey, that just bites. No other way to put it...it just bites.

    Many gentle, soothing hugs for you...

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh sweetheart... Hugs. And yes, they do. (BM did it with her father and the kids' sister - all about HER.) Right now? YOU take care of YOU.

    More hugs. Cause I do understand...
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Keeping you in my prayers, Steely.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *HUGS* babe. Wish there was a way to make this easier on all of you.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yup. Go through with your plans. Let Matt deal with his own issues. You've given him the tools, let it be up to him to use them. Yes, his grandfather is passing........but by darn your father is passing. Sad for both of you.....but sorry this is bigger for you than him. He needs to understand that. And you need to be able to deal with this loss in relative peace.

  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    So funny you said that because he just called and all is peachy, after a 24 hour hiatus of how horrible his life is and how death is the only option - suddenly things are OK again.
    Where is that spork Abbey????
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. I just read that note and your response and that's pretty much what I was thinking.

    The fact that he has NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and bipolar makes everything that. Much. More. Know what I mean?? Every hurt is a BIG HURT, every slight is a BIG SLIGHT, every hug is a BIG HUG.
    That's the way it is with Matt.

    Best of luck (that sounds lame but I don't know what else to say).
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    (((HUGE HUGS))))...the rollorcoaster ride never ends with a difficult child. At this point all the focus needs to be on you, your dad, and your peace of mind. Try not to think of difficult child, not yet. Give each thing its' due.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've shared this before - a line I used on difficult child 1 when he was suicidal, was to tell him to get in line, if anyone was going to commit suicide, in fact had more cause - it was me. And I had chosen the option of sticking around to meet my responsibilities and look after my kids, rather than kill myself. So if he wasn't going to stick around, I might as well off myself first. After my sacrifice for him (giving up suicide for now) he should at least have the manners to wait his turn.

    Another angle - "I have enough to deal with at the moment, losing my father. I am still hurting from losing my sister. Do not do this to me now. It is just not fair of you to do this to me right now. Of course you're upset at losing your grandfather, but remember - he is MY DAD, I've known him longer than you have, and much closer. It's OK to hurt about him dying, but this is not a competition. You do not have to consider suicide in order to feel you're genuinely upset at his passing. Get back in perspective, boyo!"

    The shock effect can sometimes work. Giving it air time, when you feel fairly sure it's mostly histrionics and poor emotional awareness - not good.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Star and Marg are totally right. He is old enough and has more than enough tools to handle this. If you change your plans or step in and make changes for him then you are setting him up to expect you to handle this stuff for the rest of his life. It will be what he expects.

    In this situation, he needs to work to support YOU. This is a hugely traumatic time for you and it is high time for Matt to start seeing Steely the woman, the person, rather than just seeing Matt's Mom. He is trying to drag your focus back to him because he perceives that you are distracted.

    REMAIN distracted. Your top priority and your focus should be on your parents and yourself. This is when family bands together and supports each other - not when each member acts like a spoiled brat if they are not the center of attention. DO NOT let him interfere with your plans to spend this time with your father and mother.

    When my gpa died we could not afford to all go to the funeral. Gpa had asked bro and I to remember him the way he was when we visited him and NOT the way he would be at a funeral. Specifically asked us to not attend his funeral so we wouldn't see him that way. I was willing to travel to the town where the funeral was, but would not attend the funeral. Bro carried on like he was the only one who loved gpa, and insisted on going. He and my mom flew to the funeral. If we all went we were going to have to drive and my parents decided that dad and I would stay home. The ENTIRE trip gfgbro acted like a difficult child. Right up to being very late to several things and almost missing the funeral because he was out playing with the cows. They stayed with a family friend who had a farm and gfgbro refused to do anything to support my mom or Gma or to mkae anything easier on them. It was the first time many of these elderly family friends ever met gfgbro and they were all upset by his lack of respect, which deeply shamed my mother.

    It took my mother YEARS to forgive gfgbro for this. It caused real problems with her ability to fully grieve for her father and a really good therapist to help her finally deal with it all.

    Don't let Matt's behavior steal this time with your father. Let him know you have every confidence in his ability to handle himself while you are caring for your parents during these last days.

    I am so sorry he is showing his gfgness. I hope he is past that point and that he is supportive of you and your parents as you all celebrate your father's life and grieve his passing.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    REMAIN distracted. Your top priority and your focus should be on your parents and yourself.

    I agree.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star is right that we just went through this with my family acting like total turds from the moment he died until the funeral. It was as if I raised a pack of jackals. I actually ended up throwing a Wendy's cheeseburger across Jamie's living room...lol. Everyone was screaming at each other, threatening each other. Mandy called from my house telling Cory she had wrecked their truck badly and she was hurt really bad and he had to come home RIGHT THIS MINUTE! He was freaking out wanting someone to take him back home but we were all so ticked at him we wouldnt take him to the sidewalk. Finally someone managed to talk enough sense into him to realize that if she was in a bad enough wreck like she said, she certainly couldnt have driven the car home and she surely would have been taken to the ER. (She wasnt even in a wreck!) Then Tony got mad and walked out on me and no one knew where he was and he said he was leaving. I was next to livid during this whole time.

    My dad died on a Thursday night. I had stayed in a motel that night. Like an idiot I had agreed to go back up and stay at Jamie's until it was time to get ready for the funeral. What I should have done was what I wanted to do...get a weekly studio motel rental. Wouldnt have been that much more than paying nightly. After all the uproar when we went back up on Friday night after Tony and I spent the day with my step-mom making the funeral arrangements, we spent Friday night and Saturday night at Jamie's. Tony and I left early on Sunday morning to go back to Richmond to just have peace. We stayed two nights at a motel. Sunday and Monday. Funeral on Tuesday. I should have got the weekly and saved my sanity.

    Even Tony said he could see that Cory was winding up because he couldnt handle seeing his grandfather dying. I dont think having all of the boys in one house together and them all egging each other on was a good thing. They tend to get macho with each other...especially Cory and Jamie. Who is better, who does Tony love more? Who did Papa love more? Sigh. Puts me smack in the middle and right then I didnt need it. I finally snapped and screamed that it wasnt fair that they were doing that to me while I was trying to write his eulogy. It was my father who had died...not theirs. I didnt have any siblings...I was now completely alone in the world and what they were doing wasnt helping a danged bit. Now Im sure you know I have cleaned up my language quite a bit...lol.

    Death, families and especially a difficult child or two make for some really hard times.
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Janet - I am quite fearful of our family dynamics going to hell in handbasket, as well - even without Matt.
    Today my parents blasted me with - oh - we thought we wanted you to come up this week - but now we think that would be too much for you!
    WHAT? Too much for me? I told you I wanted to come up and help.
    Well, we just think you will get burned out.
    Oh - because I am a small child?????????
    So now I have canceled the whole trip to Oregon.....I mean - if they don't want my help - than far be it from me to impose!!!!!!!!!!!
    All I have ever done is try to help them. It was always Heidi that was the difficult child about everything, throwing tantrums, and stomping out. I am the stabilizer - so why would it be too much for me?????????
    Yes, my feelings are hurt - and I am mad. And I know it is all just beginning.
    Last night I asked my Mom if she was going to go to a support group for caregivers, or a dying partners group or something - and she was like -
    "well no, um, I am fine. But what are YOU going to do?"
    ME??? I have not been married to him for 47 years Mom - this is a little different.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Steely, don't get huffy. Your mother sounds like she's in denial. I think you need to be there. If it would be too much - so what? YOU need to see him.

    I remember going through this with my own father. He was a fighter, he had been at death's door a few times and refused to go through. I saw him twice in the two years before he died, each time for only a few minutes. The first time, he was in a Sydney hospital, gravely ill. Not expected to survive. But he did and was flown back to the country. Over the next two years he would not talk about his dying at all, not to us. We could talk about the weather, we could talk about family, we could even ask how he was, but we could not discuss anything real. husband & I were in the area and made a special extra trip to go see him (he as back in hospital at the time) and simply because we dropped in, he began to fret that he was sicker than the doctors were telling him. I wanted to tell him I loved him, to say all the things I needed to say, but a talkative nurse was sitting there on her break and keeping the conversation trivial and light. I couldn't ask her to leave, Dad was happy chatting. Also, it would have seemed like he was sicker than he was, to have me ask the nurse to leave just so I could say what I needed to say - I had to think about his needs right then.

    So I never saw him again. He died a year later, I was unable to get back to see him. So I wrote him a letter. I said in the letter, "Sometimes it's easier to put our feelings in writing than in person or over the phone." Dad really valued that letter. He rang to say so, but again wouldn't really talk about feelings over the phone. I knew I had reached him and said what I needed to, and I knew he appreciated it. That was as much as we would ever be able to do.

    When he died there were two sisters and a brother there, plus Mum. My sister J rushed up to be with him, but he would have barely known she was there. My mother held his hand, also keeping a finger on his pulse. I'm told that the pulse just slowed until you couldn't tell whether it had stopped, or was just taking a longer time before the next beat. You never know the point of death in this case - it's just that eventually, the next pulse beat just fails to happen. Somewhere in the interval, he had died. Peacefully, as he had needed after such a fight.

    I didn't see my mother, either, and I regret that too. But I did talk to her a week before. I didn't realise when I talked to her that she had decided to stop fighting and let herself die. A brave choice, given the circumstances. But she was distant during the phone call, I sensed she was already looking ahead and was not paying much attention to my chatter about the kids and what we were all doing. I think there were things she wanted to say, but did not. However, she had said them at many other times over the years.

    Steely, think abut what you will meet when you go there. What your parents will be like, how they will be handling things. Good or bad. Coping with the mundane, or actually confronting te emotions of needing to say goodbye. I suspect that your mother is just plodding form day to day keeping things light and inconsequential. Your arrival will force them to face his death, and sometimes we avoid this because we feel really bad if we begin to grieve too early, before the person has died. We feel disloyal, so we deny the problem until it's too late to say what we need to say. Your mother may be only just holding herself together, and scared that your arrival will be the last straw for her. Rocking the boat, making her face his impending death.

    Think about it. Then make your decision. You do have a right to be there, but you may need to go in gently. Have fun, talk about good times, help your mother get dinner. But don't ease her burden unless she asks you - probably she needs to do this, to spend every last possible minute working for hi, supporting him. Because soon she will never be able to do it again.

    Afterwards is when your mother will really need your support. If you are already there, you can ease her load.

    It would have been good if we could have involved either of our parents in planning their funeral. But to ask them to do so would have seemed to them like we were giving up on them. It's a generational thing. So if you go, when you go, let them set the pace. It will be frustrating (very) in one way, but knowing you were there will be a valuable gift you give to yourself for the rest of your life.

  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    My step-mom did the same thing to me. She purposefully didnt call me in time for me to get up to see my dad until he was too sick to even really know I was there. She told me on a Saturday night and I told her I was leaving that next morning and she told me no, things werent THAT bad, his brothers would be in on Wednesday and I should just plan on being there then. I pleaded to come earlier but she kept telling me that it wasnt a good time and I couldnt do anything for him anyway. I shouldnt have listened. I should have gone. As it was, she called me on Wednesday morning at 5 am and told me she thought he was going to die that day and I rushed out. Tony had already left for work so it was just me and Billy. Cory had to stay home to get all of Tony and his things ready to come up. I was irate. I only got to hug my dad and actually hear him say "jaaa" and "keee" when I handed him some photos and a book that she recorded for him. And he smiled and he leaned against me. Thats the last real thing I have to remember. His last word to me was Keyana. Well as best as he could make it. God I miss him. His birthday was this past weekend. So was my moms. Sigh. They were born back to back. 3/3 and 3/4
  19. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    So sorry Steely. I know this sounds lame, but hang in there.
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow Marg and Janet - THANK YOU.
    I tend to be the one that "listens" to what people want and honor that. This just seemed like another time to do that. You guys gave me a new perspective.

    This episode brought up a lot of old family tapes which are ones of anger over the denial they have regarding everything that ever happened with me and my sister. There is probably a part of me that wants them to realize and "pay" for what denial does. I know - that is truly unhealthy. But I guess perhaps I have not truly forgiven them for the way their denial played out in my sister's death.

    A lot to think about, and decide.