Once again he called and I answered...grhhhhh

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Annie2007, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    My son called a little while ago with same old stuff. He needs family phone numbers and assistance. Tired of sleeping on concrete...now in Hawaii.... Said someone stole his money out of his wallet that was in his back pocket while he was sleeping...the police have infiltrated his brain ( and government) because of all the titanium plates in his face from almost fatal beating a couple of years ago. He wanted to know if I was a shrink because I told him nobody is getting inside his brain and knows what he is thinking. He says plates must come out of his face so no more infiltration. I told him that can't happen. He repeated for the thousand time that I never cooked him meals when was little, that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, never had to beg for food and on and on it goes. The rest of the conversation was just him belittling me and arguing that he does treat me ALWAYS with respect. Conversation ended when he referred to me as "female" parts. I hung up. He says all I want to do is stick him back in another pscho ward or jail. And I told him it does not matter what state or city he runs to, nothing with his situation will change until he makes it change. He says I should not force him to have to rely on the government (disability) and that he is going back to school and already accepted for assistance to go. I have heard this so much. He says it is not so much about money. He just wants to stay a few months at his "rich" uncle's and use his computer. He says it cost money to use computer at library there. Then he just keeps telling me he can't keep living on the streets ( he is very mad about me putting him that position) and that family should help him out. And on and on it goes. Why am I keeping him from excelling in life he says.

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  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Annie, I'm sorry. In AA and Al-Anon they talk about geographic cures and how they never work. New place, same people, same behavior = same insanity.

    Having a crazy conversation like the one you had with difficult child makes us....crazy. We can't be logical and direct and common sensical when the other person is not at all.

    There is just nothing to be said except: I'm sure you can figure it out. I wish you the best. I love you. Good luck, and let's stay in touch.

    That is how I define being encouraging and supportive of my difficult child. I cannot fix his life. Tried. Didn't work. A million times.

    I am just not going to stay in the same place with the same old circular conversations anymore. Because it makes me crazy.

    We can be kind and supportive when we don't engage.

    Write down some things you will say, Annie, the next time you decide to answer the phone when he calls. Keep the list taped by the phone and in your purse.

    When he calls, and you decide to answer (it IS a decision), whip out that piece of paper, and do not give in to the temptation to say anything that isn't already written on that page.

    Once I started doing that, things started to change with difficult child. I wasn't caught off guard. Warm hugs. I know how sad and hard it is.

    We can only take care of us. That is the truth.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So sorry Annie! I hope you are able to step back, clear your head, and get some peace.
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Oh Annie. You sound so tired. Having a set list of responses means you don't have to think so hard when he catches you on the phone. I also used to have some tunes ready, inside my head, that I would hum to myself silently to drown out the 'same old stuff'. I had a German boyfriend about a decade ago, who used to call this sort of thing an "ear worm". It's a good description. It helped me deal with my son's phone calls. Whatever works for you though, you need a tactic to deaden the impact, so you're not so exhausted by these phone calls.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I hear the sadness in your soul. I think having a list of things to say or just disengaging is the best advice in this situation. Hugs for your weary soul.
  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    You've gotten good advice from the others. If you feel you must answer, be prepared with some responses. If you want we might be able to talk you through some.

    For example, if this comes up over and over...maybe instead of engaging you can say something like "I'm sure you can work that out" or "mmmmm" or "I see". What is the point of telling him that can't happen? I"m sure you have said that many times before. Its not like he will accidently get the plates out because you forgot to tell him they are permanent...some doctor will tell him the same...so why be the bearer of bad tidings, or take the hit for disappointing him when some one else or just life circumstance will surely do so? I try to remind myself of that all the time. My mom, bless her soul, wonderful in many ways, could never resist being the person to point out a flaw in the plan,good plans, bad plans, crazy plans. A lot of those plans were NEVER going to happen, she could have just smiled, nodded, or served more hamburgers, but instead she pointed out the flaw and people got annoyed...with HER. Not with themselves, or the plan, but with HER.

    Its been helpful to me to remember to keep my mouth shut when it is clear that life or some one else will teach the lesson I'm about to teach...at least when it comes to my adult relationships .

    Good luck to you Annie, this is very very hard. I'm so sorry you are in this position. Keep posting. It helps. We are here.

  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Someone once told me, "when you engage with crazy, you become crazy." So, don't engage. Refrain from these conversations, all it is is you being your son's whipping post and scapegoat. He can discharge his negative, vile energy at you and then go off without it. And, then YOU carry it. Don't do it. Do what COM mentioned, stick to the script and get off the phone. Or don't pick it up. Or pick it up every 7th time. Some plan of action which will take you out of the mix.

    I'm sorry Anne. It hurts, I know. Refrain and get yourself support. Doing those two things will change the situation rapidly.
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    You could also try Child's technique of "I will talk to you for 10 minutes next Thursday at 5 PM my time. I won't talk to you before then, so please don't call or leave messages of any kind."

    It builds boundaries. Plus you can then feel ok about not answering his calls before then, because he is badgering you and not respecting your boundaries.

  9. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    Son has sent 2 texts tonight. i did not respond to the first one. second one said "why are you ignoring your son, Mother? I cant seem to get one night away from this nightmare. Found out today he has been calling a wealthy older man here in the middle of the night...probably for money. You guys are wonderful and I really appreciate all your input and kind thoughts.
  10. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Annie I truly feel your pain-it sounds like your son is on the edge. If that's the case, I would feel inclined to ignore any calls or texts-it's just going to intensify your suffering if you acknowledge him. This is SUPREMELY hard to do. But I have often found, and I think that other posters will back me up, that difficult children seem to do just fine-even when we are imagining the worst. Often, by the time we hear from them, we ask if the problem is resolved and they say "What are you talking about?" because they have already moved on to something else...

    Good vibes to you!
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  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Annie, one thing I used to do when difficult child was driving me nuts with repeated texts and calls was this:

    Made a decision about when I WOULD respond, either 48 hours from now or three days from now or whatever it is. Then I would say or text: I will not be available to talk to you until Thursday after 5 p.m. Have a good rest of the day. I love you.

    Or I would say nothing and just do it.

    Often, Annie we throw way, way too many words at the situation. I used to be one of the worst offenders here, because I am a communicator by nature and my profession. My view is that more communication is always better.

    But not with difficult children. If we can really reduce the words, and keep things simple, we help us and them.

    And Annie, once you say something, you have to stick to it. So if you don't think you can go two or three days without responding, keep the first times you try this shorter. Go 24 hours or whatever you can do.

    Because caving in, once we have set a new boundary, just teaches them that we don't mean what we say.

    In the beginning, it's harder, but as you continue it will get easier and easier. As you start teaching him that you mean what you say, he will stop harassing you so much via phone and text.

    In December, when my son was homeless, one day he texted me 262 times. It was mostly just ...... or ???? .... or periodic cursing because I would not answer. Finally, he kept ramping up, and I caved in. He said his computer cord was broken and he had 23% battery and would not be able to text me again.

    I was afraid. I was so afraid that that would be the last time I heard from him, since he was in another city and on the street somewhere. So I caved in.

    I taught him that I don't mean what I say. So I had to work hard to get back to where I was before, with him. And I soon learned that he would find a way to communicate---other peoples' phones, the library, FB messages, etc.

    It is completely amazing how resilient and resourceful they can be, when they want to be about what they want to do.

    Warm hugs. Also, you can just turn the phone completely off for a few hours at a time. Just turn it off, and do something nice for you, Annie.
  12. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    I know I cave in because I always think it will be the last time I hear from him. More texts today wondering why I am ignoring him and to send $100 because he lost his money and is starving. Then a minute ago he said please send walmart gift card so he can get some food...another text coming now. Now he says he has been digging in garbage cans collecting cans and still can't afford a meal. I am not sure I believe that. Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. Well actually I guess being a stepmother was! Why do we feel guilty if we don't respond? A friend of ours lost their 30 year old daughter in a car wreck in the middle of the night the day before yesterday. In the blink of an eye, his whole life has changed. She left behind three children. So afraid I will get a similar call one night. My son has a son who will be five next month. He was adopted without my son's permission. He has wonderful parents and I get pictures and go meet him anytime. He lives very far away. I want to, but it has not happened yet. My son met him las year for a brief visit, but he has made no effort since then with this open adoption. I feel like he has robbed me of ever getting to be a grandmother.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Annie I know what you mean about being afraid it will be the last time.

    I used to do all kinds of things because of that profound fear.

    In time, I have been able to move to this place---most of the time I can respond kindly and I always say I love you at the end of the call or when we leave each other.

    I want that to be an overriding thing between us. That we love each other no matter what else.

    Annie this is likely the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. Sometimes I stop and think anew and it is still surreal that we are in this place and time.

    We are all here together Annie in this. You are not alone here and we are all here for you.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's a devastating fear Anne. We have to move to a place where we understand that we are utterly powerless to control anything with our adult kids. One thing that helped me was to release my difficult child to my perception of a Higher Power. To recognize that we are not in control and to relinquish that power to the source of our spirituality. You do not have the power to keep your greatest fear from happening. However, you do have the power to not allow that fear to determine how you respond right now.

    Your son is abusing you. Your son is manipulating you. You can block his texts so that you don't have to be confronted by the relentless attacks that go on. As MWM always says, there are numerous food banks and shelters which offer the homeless opportunities to eat. If he gets hungry enough, perhaps he will seek help, or a job, or whatever it is he could be doing other then texting you.

    It helps us Anne, if you will put a signature at the bottom of your post, as you see we have done. That helps us to recall your story and how old your difficult child is. I can't recall his age, but having a 5 year old son he has nothing to do with does speak loudly to his lack of responsibility for his actions ...........in a profound way.

    The "nightmare" will only end when YOU decide to end it. Your son won't, he is used to the gravy train you have been providing, so there is no reason for him to change. YOU have to respond differently by saying no, refraining from responding, setting boundaries around his behavior, getting the support you require to make those changes and focusing on yourself rather then your son. The dynamic between the two of you is unhealthy and you have the power to change that.

    When we give and give, and control and enable and fix and try to change another, all we get is depleted, angry, resentful and fearful. When we begin the hard work of detaching, setting boundaries, saying no and letting go, we start to feel better and we walk out of the nightmare. It isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, it is the hardest thing any of us will likely ever do, but in order to preserve our own sanity, in order to find some peace and some joy and really, give our difficult child's the opportunity to wake up and take care of their own lives, (or not), we have to let go, detach and learn to accept what we can't change. It's the only way through this maze of insanity.

    I'm sorry you are hurting. Keep posting, get support, stop responding to all of those texts, in fact, stop reading them, and go do something completely nourishing just for YOU. Take care of YOU. Be kind to YOU. Put yourself FIRST. You deserve that.
  15. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    I am using my iPad and do not see signatures at the bottom. How do I put it on there? Do I need to use my computer?

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  16. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    His last text said he was sick of being stepped on and forgotten. Our family as a whole has done nothing to help me help myself. I am tired of the lack of support. It is rediculous. I did not respond.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Annie, my son used to say all of the same things to me.

    I remember one time, I just started agreeing with him. I said, you're exactly right. Not one single thing I have tried to do has helped you. In fact, your situation is worse today than it was in the past. So obviously, I have not been able to give you the help you need. So I am going to stop trying. Your life is up to you.

    He was completely shocked by my sudden agreement. I didn't go into all of the dumb, illogical things he was saying---which were not true, wow, how much I have tried to help him, way more than anything I have ever done for my easy child son or anybody----I just simply agreed that I have not been able to help him.

    Finally, through repetition and consistency and lots of starts and stops, today, he is somewhere out there---I don't know where---doing whatever he is doing. I don't know where he is. I don't know where he sleeps. I haven't heard from him in a week.

    But Annie, he is not coming to me anymore with the constant barrage. Whatever he is doing, he is doing on his own. Every night and every day, I release him over and over again to my Higher Power, to God, to the Universe, to all things that are good, asking for protection and safety and recovery for him.

    That is really all I can do anymore.

    Somehow when they are saying completely dumb things that are so outrageous, it helps us stand firm. I hope that is the case for you tonight.

    Warm hugs, Annie. Sleep well.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning Anne. I hope you feel better today.

    To put a signature at the bottom of your post, go up to the right hand corner on the page, find your screen name, click on it and a drop down will show up. Then click on 'signature'. Write it and remember to save it, it will appear at the bottom of your post. Thanks.
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    How scary, Annie. He's obviously going untreated and vulnerable, and of course there is nothing specific that you can do to help him. I don't really know what I would do in your shoes. M has always been out of touch with emotions and the reality of his abilities, but not like that. I can only offer you gentle hugs.

    I do agree with Childofmine, that you can not argue these things with him. He has a mental illness and he won't understand and may be looking for someone to argue with. I think of it as I do the hopelessness of my father always trying to make his mother who had early onset Alzheimer's understand reality or do the things that she used to do. She just couldn't, and his trying to convince her otherwise was really a useless hurt (his specialty) on his part.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I feel really badly for you. Can you maybe see your grandchild? I adopted my youngest as an open adoption and would have welcomed the grandmother visiting our little girl. It never did stay open, but that was because they didn't do it. I have any info my daughter wants or needs if she decides to search (won't be hard since I have her address and FB...lol). I'd love to go too because I loved her birthmother and still do. So don't give up hope on that front. I'd call and see where the family is at on that.

    This is harder to say.

    You really don't want your son being a father, as in the child lives with him and some woman he picks out who probably won't be the best. It is probably better if he doesn't have any more children until he gets his life together. It took me until age sixty (ppppppppppffffffffffffft) to have a grandchild I can actually see. My other one lives in Missouri and I haven't seen him in a long time because my difficult child son doesn't like to travel and he's too far and I don't have enough money to go visit on my own and stay at a hotel (I don't think I'd stay at his house. )

    And, Annie, I also wanted to share with you how sorry I am for your friend's son's accident. An acquaintance of mine lost a daughter who was riding on the back of a motorcycle with her fiance. They were both killed instantly, both very productive wonderful young people. She fixed motorcycles...ironic. Somebody hit her. There are no guarantees about life and it can be soooooooooooo scary.

    We are with you, sending hugs for your hurting heart.