OMG, What Was He Thinking?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiscKaren, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. WiscKaren

    WiscKaren New Member

    Hi, I need advice or at least read a "It's not your problem, Mom, let it go".....

    We are estranged from difficult child son. One of the rules before we kicked him out was no body piercings or tatoos. Since he has left, he has gotten tatoo'ed and his face is full of piercings! Okay...not my problem.

    However, today difficult child daughter brought over some pictures; two of them I wasn't meant to see. What are they of? Our difficult child son has cut his tonque in half to give it a "snake look". I'm ready to puke, to say the least.

    What would possess someone to do that? I don't get it. I maintained my composure while daughter was here, but since she left, I'm crying and absolutely sick to my stomach.

    And then he wonders why nobody will hire him, except dead-end jobs.....

    Please tell me what he did is none of my business.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sadly, it really is none of your business. He doesn't live with you. He's over 21. What he does is up to him. I agree with you that the look he seems to sport is over the top and downright disgusting, but it is HIS look.

    Let's just hope he doesn't get into the implants that give him horns and scales and the like and tat his face.

    I'd suggest that the next time someone offers to show you a picture of your son, you decline. Some things in life are just better left not knowing.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Karen, what he did is none of your business.
    There are some very strange body modifications out there (I was reading about some of them on a website, and I didn't dare look at the pictures...eeewww)

    My recommendation echoes MB's: just don't look.

    Your son has made his choices, and he's the one that has to live with them. His problem, not yours.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    It reallly is none of your business. It is his body, his life, his lack of ability to get a decent job. can still upset you. It can still make you ache for the child he was. It can still make you shudder. Big hug---I know it hurts to see them do damage to themselves.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    There isn't much you can do but grieve for what he is doing to the body that you once cuddled.
    I'm sorry for your pain. At 23 you would hope he would be past this stage. It sounds like something a 15 to 17 yr old would do.
    It would make me sick too.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I'm so sorry, your heartbreak comes through in your post.

    Unfortunately, it is not any of your business, as the others have said. I too would decline to see any other pictures except for those that you choose to hang on your walls. I hope one day he comes to his sense and knocks off this adolescent behavior.

  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Photoshop came to mind. Are you sure that the tongue is really his and not just a photo done to get the best shock value?

    I've seen the man in Ripleys that thinks he's a cat and even had cheek implants and I've seen the slit tongue thing, and like MB said the horns, and all kinds of things normal thinking people believe are attention seeking tactics.
    I guess the hard thing is remembering the baby you cuddled vs. the being he's trying to morph into.

    My son tattooed his middle name on his wrist. DF has gobs of tattoos as a biker - it's a right of passage but NONE below the shirt sleeve or elbow for work. When he saw the name tattooed on the wrist we asked him if that was because he was SO dumb - he thought he one day would forget his name. We just say he's stuck on stupid to ourselves.

    You could always say "Man speak with forked tongue" when he opens his mouth. Or .....Oh honey that's great - now you can lick your problems twice." I think the kids were going for shock value so you really handled it well. I mean really well.

    I really don't know WicKaren - I'm sorry for your hurting heart - Dude has done some really defacing things to himself and I sat there and thought "BUT I WIPED YOUR BUTT, and put bandaids on your boo boos NOT so you could go out and ink yourself up."

    Hugs -
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hugs for your mommy heart.

    "Not your business" does not equal "does not faze me".

    So very sorry.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    For a long time Rob had 21 piercings on his head...wait, more than that, I forgot the ones in his eyebrows.

    Fortunately, he outgrew it and now only has in each ear.

    In your shoes, I'd be thinking "thank goodness for plastic surgery" because he's going to feel like an idiot in 5 years.

    In the meantime, I'm sorry. It really isn't your business but I'd want to smack him upside the head anyway.

  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Good grief.

    Okay... it's not your problem, it's not your problem, it's *not* your problem.

    Gotta say, I'm feeling queasy at the thought... but also my second thought was that there have got to be a gazillion plastic surgeons out there making a fortune fixing difficult children' tongues and what have you.

    Starbie's wit, as usual, is right on. He speaks with forked tongue... OMG, what a hoot.

    Breathe, Karen, breathe.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    It's most certainly NOT your problem.

    Although I can imagine how you feel. UGH

    I don't get the attraction for that far out of thing either. Just don't. And I've had kids try to explain it to me.

    Nichole likes it. So everytime she mentions it I remind her that she's not only a Mother, but will someday be a Grandmother, and OMG who wants to be seen with a grandmother who's whole body is one huge tattoo or a load a piercings??

    Actually, I have it lucky with the piercings. Nichole is allergic to nearly all metals.:D The last 5 piercings haven't lasted 24 hrs. lol

    I know this has gotta be tough on you. But it's his body. His decision. His life. All you can do is pray he comes to his senses eventually.

  12. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    The tats have never bothered me, its a personal thing although I have tried to keep it to an "after your of legal age" Everyone in the family has one cept easy child. Mine was always threating to pierce this, that or the other but it was just to get a rise out of me - am pretty positive if I showed I was horrified by the idea, he would have done it. I always agreed to go along with him when he had it done cause I have always wanted my nose pierced (I was serious) and that just put him off the idea all together. Either that, or he realized it would curtail his rap career with a big old steel ball in his lip or tongue (there are no rap lispers as far as I know) and various and assundry rings hanging off his face.

    But I just don't get that split tongue thing that seems to be the fashion craze at the moment. Seems it would take all the joy of eating an ice cream cone on a hot day.

    But whatever the reason he has done this, its not under your control and at 23, entirely his business.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Why on earth would someone split their tongue on purpose? Wouldnt that have to hurt? Ewwwww. It hurts me when I accidentally bite my tongue! He really is going to be sorry one day when he has to explain this to little johnny or little betsy when he is telling them that they cant do x or y and he has this obnoxious tongue hanging out of his mouth! Plus he is flipping burgers for a living because he cant get a better job.
  14. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    it is not your problem but I can understand feeling sick over it, I am sure I would too. I hope you can let it go with a little time and I agree, do not look at any more pics of him. My difficult child 1 would probably be attracted to him--she says it's all about the piercings and tattoos for her as far as a guy being "hot". She has her sister's name tattooed on her wrist, a big tattoo on her backside--you can see it in low cut jeans, and her eyebrow pierced. She says she will get more tattoos, I hope she doesn't get any more names.
  15. WiscKaren

    WiscKaren New Member

    Thank you everyone for your replies. Some I laughed at; some I cried. I didn't sleep a wink last night, tossing and turning over this. But nothing I can really do about it. My friend's today told me "He'll outgrow it, just be patient". He's 23, almost 24 -- when, when is that going to happen? I've been hearing that now for almost 5+ years.

    I know the photos were not the product of Photoshop. GFGson has been into self mutilation for quite some time now; he actually started cutting himself at around age 14-15. He has since outgrown that, I think.....phew!

    I just wish I knew what happened to my little boy. What happened? What made him start doing drugs? One time when we were in court, the judge even remarked outloud, "You are lucky to be alive with all the drugs you have used. It's actually remarkable that you haven't fried your brain." But I think they have, I really really do. Sad to say, but he actually revolts me.

    This tongue cutting was the last straw. I can't take it anymore. I have been focusing on him now for over 10 years. He has drained me, both emotionally and physically, and financially. I plan on packing any remnants I have of him away this weekend, including pictures and things he made in grammer school (which I have kept displayed all these years). To me, he no longer exists. I want nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with him.

    ....and that, my friends, is so very sad. But I have to focus on me, my marriage, my grandchildren. And with him in my life, even though we have been estranged, I haven't had the energy to do that. Is that selfish?

    Again, thank you.
  16. judi

    judi Active Member

    My son did this sort of thing too and I too just cried and cried that he would hurt so bad to want to do this. I don't have great words except that now my son is almost 23 and is working and supporting his son. All you can hope for is that he grows out of this stage.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Detaching and taking care of yourself is the only thing you can do at this point. I think it's like a stove top. When your kids are ready to be born we say they are "in the oven". Then they are born and we put them on the front burners, so we can watch them closely. Then as they grow older we put them on the back burners and we simmer as they get through their sassy teen years. As the boiling lessens - we cover the pot and eventually remove them from the stove.

    I guess it's up to each parent/chef to figure out when the child/recipe is done enough that we can walk away from them without guilt, knowing we've done the best we could.

    We added all the right ingredients, we watched over them, and then we hope that they are done enough to present to the world.

    THEN like any good cook - we sit back and relax, marvel at our masterpiece, or critique it, pick at it for further hopes of increased perfection and when we think we've gotten them just right - we look for our rewards and accolades.

    I think when the creation self-arranges itself we somehow take offense. I'm trying to learn now that I've done my job - and while I know that my son lacks the capacity to be on his own - I keep pushing him towards a situation where he's able to not be on my burners.

    I'm done cooking - I'm ready for take out.

  18. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad


    Wow, I certainly feel for you. But I'm at that weird stage of life where I'm having to learn the difference between "really important" and "really important only to me".

    I don't know what other issues you may have had with your son, so I won't try to offer anything other than my humble opinion. But, right now, if it were MY son (who is a substance abuser, criminal, and ADD sufferer), I'd be weighing the differences between socially odd and detrimental behavior against criminal and physically/psychologically damaging behavior.

    I am in the process of learning how to truly detach from McWeedy. A while ago, I had to learn that fighting him on saggy pants, drug-culture music/lifestyle, and a lazy attitude towards life was different from fighting him on drug use, stealing, lying, and risky behavior that affected his health.

    I gave up on burning his Kottomouth Kings and Cypress Hill CD's; we simply asked that he not play them around us or the family, that he not show his underwear around the house; we put a network filter up to keep him from surfing for porn at home, and now have rules about using the car and phone that we help him pay for. We did that for us, to save energy for fighting other battles.

    I say that out of ignorance of your situation, though. I don't know if you have other issues that you're dealing with. But if you are, where does this rank on the overall list?

    Body mods are gross, at least to most people. But not to all. It makes life more difficult, especially in our increasingly conservative country. But it doesn't make life impossible. It won't get him put in jail, it won't cause his lungs to rot or his liver to turn to Jell-o, or anything else. And, if that's the worst of it, it'll be his cross to bear, not yours. So on that end, I agree that it's his problem, Mom, not yours.

    Also, as far as I know, body mods (even severe ones) aren't necessarily indicative of any other nefarious or harmful behaviors, other than self image. My sister once had a boyfriend who had the tip of his "manhood" tattooed to look like the head of a snake, with scales all the way back up to his belly. He also had many other visible and not-so-visible tats and piercings.

    Gross? yes. But he was good to my sister, and had a good job. He ended up marrying a girl with eyes tattooed on her breasts that could NOT be hidden by anything other than a crew-neck shirt (not that she ever tried to hide them), and wore earrings that look to be imported from the African tribes that stretch their earlobes down to their knees. But they're happy, accepting of their community's response to how they look, and I believe they are both successful in their careers.

    Again, I'm not minimizing the impact on you, the parent. McW swears he's going to tat his arms when he moves out. We aren't happy, but it's his life. Given the other things in his life that we can legitimately bark about, we're wasting time on this other stuff.

    I don't know if that helps, but that's the track wife and I decided to take. If you saw Hairspray, Queen Latifah's character had to tell her black son and his white girlfriend (set in the 60's) to expect "a whole LOT of ugly coming from a long line of stupid". She didn't tell them no, but she warned them to expect a pretty difficult life from their choice. I think it's pretty much the same thing here.

    Also, you may find the post by Ant'sMom over in Teens and Substance Abuse helpful ( It talks about how we see our teens and adult children as the nine-year-old innocents that we still need them to be; we go back to the time before the tribulations began, and we want those feelings again. That post struck home with me because that's what I was doing with McWeedy.

    I didn't realize it, but last year when I started playing hardball I'd stopped thinking like that, and started dealing with the WeedWhacker as he was, not as the innocent child I wanted him to be. It isn't easy, and it hasn't paid any dividends, but at least I know I'm dealing with reality. It's a start. And I stopped flailing about things that weren't directly harmful to his life, his liberty, or his health (no matter how distasteful I found some things to be, especially the music -YUCHH!!:sick::sick::sick:)

    I don't know if it helps, but at least know that I sympathize with you, and am rattling beads to help you get through this shock.

  19. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    I get that not only from McWeedy, but - SURPRISE - also from my straight-laced, born-to-wear-the-uniform son Sarge. Most of Sarge's friends are inked-up Goth types, even though he could run for national president of the Young Conservatives based on his looks and his lifestyle.

    Sarge says that I "just don't understand his friends", and that they're "no different from him", once you get past the ink, makeup, metal, purple hair and 15 pounds of chains on pants that would hang baggy on an opera diva.

    And he was right. They're nice people, many are very talented in music, art, or the sciences. They just have a different self-image, and dress (or body-mod) to meet that image. I don't like how they look, how they dress, or some of their lifestyle choices. But they aren't criminals, they aren't drug users, and they're genuinely trying to make a good life for themselves despite the self-inflicted burden of not adhering to the social norms for appearances.

    I don't understand it, but I came to realize that I didn't have to. I'm fat, I snore, I curse like a sailor and my daughter says I dress like a banker from the 70's who couldn't afford decent clothes. I wonder what I look and sound like to her friends.
    But she loves me just the same, despite all that. :D:D:D

    So, in a way, Sarge has made me a little less worried about McW's "appearances" when he grows older. If straight-arrow Sarge and his similar friends can be accepting of people who are so different, that (to me) is a good sign. If all I had to worry about with WeedWhacker was his desire to tat and pierce, I wouldn't want the rest of the world ragging on him about it instead of judging him by his skills, his talent, and who he actually was as a person (same as if he were overweight, handicapped, disfigured by disease or accident, or any other superficial difference that had nothing to do with him as a person).

  20. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh Karen,

    Sending you many gentle hugs. :( It is true that it is not your problem but that doesn't take the pain in your mother's heart away. :(

    When we had our split with our difficult child I took all of his pictures, things he had made, anything to remind me of him, down and packed them away. It hurt too bad to constantly be reminded of him as a little guy... somewhat sweet. :( After a few months I began taking them out again and looked at them in a different light.

    You have to do what it takes to protect your heart. With me it was pushing thoughts of difficult child out of my mind as soon as they came in and getting busy with other things. It was the only way I could avoid the pain...and because it wouldn't go away...avoiding became my only tool. Eventually I could think about him and not hurt... so bad.

    difficult child got a less than savory tatoo in the Marine Corps, thankfully it is on his back so it is hidden... and we don't talk about it. :)

    Praying for your peace and hoping that your difficult child will wake up soon.