Phone Calls from 34yo starting up again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    These attempts at contact by Difficult Child are always a bit disconcerting for husband and me. Within a thirty minute time span last night, husband received a call from a number with the area code from the part of the state 34yo Difficult Child is currently residing in. Then, a call from the state he was living in.

    husband did not answer either. The callers did not leave a vm.

    Within a few minutes, my cell lights up with one of the #'s, and next a text from another one which read, Suppose you blocked your eldest son number....How can you call yourself a Christian?

    I blocked each # on my phone (after Googling the #'s - no luck). husband does not want to block anybody. In the past, I have blocked Difficult Child's #, but unblocked it after about six months.

    If I was not 100% certain the calls are for money (interestingly enough, recent attempts by Difficult Child to contact us were around July 1 and August 1), and would most assuredly include his same old tactics of bullying, shaming or whatever other tricks he might have, blocking would not be my first choice.

    I found this forum almost two years ago. It amazes me that Difficult Child is still pretty much where he was then. Still not self-supporting and still looking to his parents for help. We have not given him one cent during this period. And, he has not gotten any nicer toward us.

    Thankfully, husband and I have made some progress in those two years. :)

    ....and we are going over our plan (again) --- if he shows up at our door.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is a healthy approach to take, Seeking. I think it will help you too to have rehab and treatment center and Social Services numbers to give your son. Know the number of the shelter in your area, and where the food shelves and soup kitchens are. If your son believes he will not find the kind of welcome and support he believes himself entitled to, I think he will not come.

    I would text those numbers to him with no other comment except "I love you."

    Here again, extended family will play its nefarious part.

    If they encourage him to bring his addiction home, they should be made to take him on until he is better. Extended family invariably disappears once the going gets tough ~ and when we are dealing with an addiction, the going always gets tough.

    I am sure you and D H have researched treatment centers. Send for their pamphlets to give your son and to the members of your families.

    You are neither helpless nor heartless.

    You know your situation, and you know what you are doing and why. You understand, though your extended family does not, that helping an addict morphs into enabling. Enabling morphs into blaming our own children for the dirtiness and filth their addictions revolve around and consist of.

    That is uglier even than what now exists, for all of you.

    I am convinced that addiction breaks first integrity. Then, the capacity for empathy. Then, there is the kind of hatred so many of us see in our addicted kids.

    These are not things we can love them out of.

    As COM posts to us, addiction is a terminal disease.

    It is heartbreaking enough without having extended family in the thick of things, grinding whatever axes are theirs to grind.

    You know, and extended family don't ~ not yet anyway ~ that a portion of their scathing judgment of you and D H comes from their certainty that they could change this. If they do help/enable your child, if they do encourage him to bring his addiction home, it is a true and certain thing that they will dump responsibility for him back on to you once, having enabled him in the first place, they are confronted with his addicted, needy, amoral self. The difference is they will dump him with consciences free and clear as birds in flight.

    After all, they did, in their wonderfulness and generosity, offer their help while you were busy talking about something called "enabling" and turning him away.


    You don't have that option.

    You will be judged either way. If your son does beat his addiction, you will be judged because he ever had it.

    It is not unusual that an addiction in one member destroys extended family. You are not alone in that aspect of things, either.

    But you do have us, and you do know we believe in you and even, in the possibility that your son can hit bottom and come back.

    I believe it for mine.

    I believe it for yours.

    So far, mine keeps going back. That doesn't mean I don't love him. That doesn't mean I don't believe him.

    But it does mean he cannot come home.


    Ha! I was just going to post, as I usually do when someone might take comfort from posting and checking in frequently that "as our Seeking Strength says, stay close to the site during this time."


    Do stay close now, Seeking. We have been where you are, today.

    It is a hurtful, hopeless place.

    But this time, you are not there alone, waiting and not knowing anything at all other than that you suffer.

  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I wonder whether a backpack filled with things like socks and rehab info and peanut butter and etc would be helpful for you and D H, Seeking. Packing the backpack could be seen as one form of healing: Loving your child enough to buy socks and etc and determining, for yourselves with each purchase, that though you love him, he. is. not. coming. home.

    Seeing the backpack there by the door, prepared, may help you envision giving him the backpack and sending him away, and that envisionment might comfort you now, when everything about this, and about what will happen when he comes to the door, is so uncertain.

  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is so true. I hate this part. That others judge and feel so superior to us. And then so completely free and virtuous when they turn their backs forever. I just hate it.
    I like this idea.

    Seeking, I would not open the door. Your son should he come to your home is an uninvited guest. I would not open the door to him, unless he were to call and together with your husband you decided to invite him.

    Should he come to the house uninvited, I would have a plan in place of what room to go to and how to respond.

    I know if it were my son he would go to all of the windows and doors and he would try to get in. I would be afraid, so I would confront him. It would not go well.

    Think about a plan.

    Seeking, this is not about an absence of love and care no matter who says this or even thinks it. It is its opposite.

    I just hate that we have to endure the sticks and stones of others, or fear that they will come. Because they already have.

    You are doing the right thing as parents. Standing up for the right thing for you and for him.

    We are here for you.

  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I too have been on the receiving end of my son saying similar things. My son had not been on FB for a good six months then one day there is a post, it read "I'm so lonely, no one cares about me not even my other cares about me"
    Don't let his words break your resolve.
    I think it's great that you and your husband discuss him showing up at your front door. I find the "what if game" to be very helpful. I like having a plan in case my son does ever show up.

    I really like Cedar's suggestion:

    While it's good to have a plan I also believe it's healthy to limit the time spent on this. I value my peace and I know how easy it can be to allow my thoughts to become consumed with thoughts of my son and wondering where he is and will he show up here. When needed husband and I will discuss it for no more than 1/2 hour then that's it, we are done. It allows us to go on living our lives.

    ((HUGS)) to you.............................
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thanks to each of you. husband and I appreciate the support.

    While I do not want to sound like the employee sitting in the back row of the staff meeting, saying, We tried that before. It does not work.....well, I feel like that about the backpack idea. Although, I agree that it is a loving gesture.

    When we left supplies on our porch before, Difficult Child smashed what he could and tore the rest of it up and scattered it all over the place. Quite the mess to clean up. Neither husband nor I are too anxious to go that route again.

    We have talked about so many possible scenarios. We know ex girlfriend's family must be totally frustrated. We have never met them, but they seem to be a very close clan and may think husband and I are total jerks. and, that is OKAY, as long as they do not drive him down here.

    Our town has one shelter and it has a long waiting list. The area Difficult Child resides in right now has several shelters. An ex colleague's son lived in one for over a year. She thought the folks who ran it was wonderful. And, that area has public transportation. There are more opportunities there, but reasoning things out is not Difficult Child's strong suit, especially when he is bound and determined to win at controlling another human.

    Tonight has been quiet.
    This has probably been shared before; i think I first ran across it somewhere here. It drives home the part about not dwelling on these happenings - something husband and I still tend to do - even years (and years and years) later.

    A Harvard Professor of Psychology walked around a room full of students while teaching about stress management.
    To begin his lecture he grabbed a glass of water and raised it above his head as if he was going to propose a toast, and instantly everyone expected they’d be asked if the glass was half empty or half full as part of the lesson. Instead though, with a smile on his face, the professor asked "How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Students called out answers "6 ounces" and "10 ounces" but he shrugged them off.

    He replied, “The actual weight doesn’t matter. What really matters is how long I've been holding it. If I hold it for just a minute it feels very light. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a whole day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. Any longer than that and I will be very tempted to give up and drop it. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

    Thanks again. It shores us up. We do not second guess ourselves anymore; we feel confidant we are taking the route that will most likely prod Difficult Child to get help and help us survive. But, the blips that arise here and there certainly shake us.

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  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is a great way to look at it. I'm glad you shared.
  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Didn't your mother send him some $ recently? And if I am remembering correctly, she is very religious? So maybe he is trying to guilt-trip you from both ends, 2 generations at once.

    I am glad things are quiet tonight. Stay close, SS. We are all with you.
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS, I'm sorry this is happening once again. Stay the course, you and your husband are doing very's hard, but you know now how to respond, or NOT to respond. Sending lots of hugs.......
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    SS, I am sorry about those phone calls. I remember the tightening of my stomach when I would see # like those, and then the worry after. What is going on? Where is he? What does he want? Is he coming here? (then the PTSD sets in). Ugh. Then, least I know he is alive.

    You and your husband are remarkable. Amazing. I love that you tell us about how you and he are doing over the past two years, and how far you have come.

    This stuff is impossible to "get." We will never "get" it. We can only let go of something we don't understand that is a part of somebody we love.

    I'm glad you have a plan. I also see that if you don't feel a compulsion to further prepare yourself, beyond just making sure you and husband are on the same page if he shows up at the door, then don't. Don't use your precious recovery, good clear thinking and energy on what ifs and maybes. They are not likely to happen anyway.

    I hope your son, in his own way, is moving forward on his journey, even if you and husband and we don't understand it. Maybe it's not ours to hold onto those we raise and love so dearly. Maybe, in some cases, it's just enough to have raised them, and then worked hard to let them go.

    Thanks for your wisdom and grace.