Saying Hello

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by animal lover, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. animal lover

    animal lover New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I have not been on this site in a long time. So please bear with me.
    I hope you are all doing well.

    I am still having trouble with my 32 year old son. I think when I first started this forum
    he was 30. He still refuses to communicate with my husband and I. Mu husband recently
    wrote him a letter, but he would not let me read it.

    Last time we visited our son was last September. He than told us he had a medical condition.
    He told us he had cancer in his jaw. When we asked him why he didn't tell us sooner, his reply
    was that he didn't want me to freak out. When we started to ask him questions about who his
    doctor was he would not tell us. He is currently living with his friend and also has a girlfriend.

    When both his Friend and girlfriend were there I said to them to please let us know in the
    future if our son has any issues. Our son said NO they are not allowed to say any thing.
    I did not comment on that cause I could feel an argument coming on.

    When we arrived home after our visit. I called our son to let him know that we arrived home safely.
    He said tome that we did not seem very upset about his medical news. I just told him that we did
    not want him to feel worst. See our son is known to tell stories. And still at this point I really don't
    believe him. He has lied so much that we do not know what is truth.

    Yesterday I tried to get in a site that checks his back round. I found him on the site. It down loaded everything
    and it said you can now access these records. I clicked on the button and they wanted a monthly fee, which
    I can not afford.

    Does any one know a site where you can check on someone, but not get charged? If so let me know.

    Thank you so much for listening
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is it possible he doesn't have any medical condition? Sounds like he's a big manipulator and not a very nice person. Many of our kids are that way. If he doesn't want to tell you what's going on with him, then let him not tell you. Can you trust that what he tells you is true anyway or could it be a ploy to try to get money from you?

    Why do you want to know what he doesn't want to tell you? It will probably only hurt you and you can't change anything. Have you ever tried detachment?

    It is very hard to love a child who is not nice and lies and steals. But I learned, and it wasn't easy, that WE have lives to live too and we need to go on enjoying them even if we have damaged children. It doesn't help the adult child if we suffer with their bad choices. Your son is a full grown adult now and there is nothing you can do to help have control over only one person...YOU. And your son has control over himself.

    If he wants to be a hateful, uncaring son after all I'm sure you've done for him, either due to mental illness, drugs or just meanness, you can't change him. The more you chase after him, the more he will try to take advantage of you. Can you give us a background on him? Was he always this way? Does he have a drug problem? Does he refuse to help himself?

    Please, please be good to yourself. Get therapy if necessary.
  3. animal lover

    animal lover New Member

    Midwest Mom,
    thank you so much for your reply. Have we done a lot for our son? You bet. No he is not on drugs. I know from a friend
    who has been watching. He just feels that he had a bad child hood. That is what think any way. He does have ADD and is embarrassed to talk about it. I think when I first the forum I explained the history of my son. So it is all in here. think you hit the nail on the head. He is just mean. He was not always this way. Like I said his recent medical history I have no idea.

    I did have him tested for drugs when he was a sophomore in high school and the doctor confirmed to me that he was drug free. I tried to do it discretely, but he found out, cause I accidently left the report on the table.

    He is supporting himself and shares a house with his friends.

    What I don't understand is he is really nice to us when we go visit and then we never here from him and believe me I
    have tried to communicate with him, by written letter e-mail, even send him b'day cards and Christmas. I feel so bad.

    Right now I am looking for a site where I can get some back ground info. All the sites I have been on want to charge you.

    So you know of any that are free? Thank you for listening. That is very kind of you.

    Animal Lover
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I never heard of a site that gave info on people other than the bogus pay sites that claim to give you a criminal background check. I don't think you can get medical info, but I have a feeling he is trying to get sympathy so that you will dole out stuff to him. Maybe he was sicki; maybe not. These types of adult children love guilting us into giving them stuff. Maybe he's nice when you visit because he hopes you'll hand him some money on the way out. Do you normally bring him things? If so, try visiting him without any money or goodies and see if he's still nice.

    I have a not-so-nice son who is very "nice" to me as long as I'm saying or doing what he wants, but he has no problem calling me a stupid b**** if I say the "wrong" thing. Fortunately we are so broke he never hits us for money, but he sure hits his dad for the bucks (we are divorced).

    For ten years I barely heard from Son while he was married and things were good for him and his wife hated us. As soon as she predictably ran off with another man and is now fighting for custody of their son (he is using his father's money), I can't hear from him enough. See, I'm a little cynical that your son was sick because these types of adult children (and they DO stay children) tend to come back to Daddy and Mommy when they are sick or needy. If he is anything like my son he would have been there begging you to give him your full support while he went through his cancer treatment, only to dump you again when he was all better. I could be wrong. I'm thinking of my own son, I think.

    At any rate, it's time for you to get help so that you can learn how to move on. It takes a long time, but it feels good. You can relapse, but you just go back for more help. We have to forget about the cute little baby we held in our arms (very hard at times) and remember the reality of what is You could try gaining access to Son's facebook, but what would be t he point? I've learned that I don't want to know everything and no longer even think about what may be on his FB. Right now, however, my son calls so often (and is often so crabby) that I know too much. I have learned to take one call a day unless he is abusive during the call. Then he has to wait for three days and he calls nonstop, but I put my lphone on silent and let him call without answering. I can't take too much of him.

    I am going to Al-Anon. I can't prove it, but strong suspicion that he drinks too much and know he uses prescription Xanax, but WAY TOO MUCH OF IT! I'm not at Al-Anon for those issues though. I'm there to learn how to live one-day-at-a-time and to detach. I find it very helpful and the price is right.

    Keep posting. We're on your side.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back AL, thanks for the update. You seem to be in a pretty good position with your adult son. You mentioned that he is working and supporting himself, he isn't asking anything of you except to believe his stories. Perhaps I am not understanding this and please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that you are over-focused on your son. He may believe he had a bad childhood and that is his prerogative, you can't change his opinions nor can you make him stay in contact with you.

    There is an article at the bottom of my post here on detachment, it may be helpful. It may be time to stop trying to figure out your sons motives and what he is up to and start to concentrate on your life. Sometimes after we've been enabling our kids for so long, we forget how to have our own lives, it takes an effort to bring our focus back to ourselves. You may need some professional help to change that focus. Your son is 32, he is a grown man. He is a grown man taking care of himself. Whatever issues he has, at present he is not willing to talk to you about them. You can continue trying to figure it all out and expend all your energy on him, or you can begin the process of detaching from your son and find ways to enjoy your own life, find your own joy, your own fulfillment and your own peace of mind. We can't change another, but we have all the power we need to change ourselves. It can be challenging to do that, but unless we do, we are going to stay in chaos and stress which is crazy making at best.
  6. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I think Midwest Mom and recoveringenabler have made some really good points .. .. ..

    "Why do you want to know what he doesn't want to tell you?" That question doesn't really need to ne answered except to yourself.

    "You can continue trying to figure it all out and expend all your energy on him, or you can begin the process of detaching from your son and find ways to enjoy your own life, find your own joy, your own fulfillment and your own peace of mind. We can't change another, but we have all the power we need to change ourselves." In the long run, that's probably the most productive approach.

    Consider the fact that your son is manipulating you and whether you want to be a victim of this over and over and over again.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    All good advice. The info that you might get from those sites is where he lives & phone numbers. They're not going to tell you anything private, like medical records or where he works, but if there are legal issues you can see public filings. So you may find that all you'll get is what you already know.

    I know it can be gard, but if he is supporting himself, you should really give him the autonomy an adult might deserve under the circumstances.
  8. animal lover

    animal lover New Member

    I love my son. Believe it or not we were really close at one time. He confided in me and told me
    everything. When he was 17 he got a girl pregnant and we were never told or found out until
    her mother called. After that he stole from us. This is when all the trouble started.
    My husband and I have always been good to him. We even paid for over half of his wedding and
    gave them both a nice honey moon. I think that should count for something. Don't you.

    We go to see our son once a year and I told my husband I don't think he wants us to come.
    Simply because he is always on the defensive. My husband and he were talking about insurance
    and my husband was just trying to help him. My son said to him. " You think you know everything ".
    Dad. With that I broke down and cried. My son said to me. Why are you crying? I said every time
    we come here it is always a fight and that we didn't drive 700 miles to be treated like this. I than
    went upstairs in one of his bedrooms and cried more. He knocked on the door and put his arms around
    me and told me he was sorry.
    What it boils down to. I just want a happy relationship with my son. I pray for him all the time.
    I just don't know what to do. thanks for listening.

    Animal Lover

  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    We as parents put all this time & effort into raising our kids to be independent adults; then when our efforts are successful and they leave the nest shouting over their shoulder "I don't need you anymore" it really hurts.

    Angel lives under the same roof as me but because she told her case manager she didn't want me to participate in her treatment... by law her case manager can't talk to me, even to confirm appointments that Angel needs me to drive her to. She can't talk to me but she listens because she offers programs to Angel that I suggest, otherwise Angel would want her working on things she can't make happen (like braces for her teeth instead of employment skills, housing programs) I'm working on the detaching thing but it's still new to me so the others at this site can help you more then I can.

    Medical information is confidential there is no legal way to get it without a signed release from your son. If curiosity is killing the cat so to speak you can often get useful information from your states correctional system online without cost. I periodically will check on that site to look up people who I like to keep track of by looking at when they were in jail, for what etc. To keep yourself out of trouble stick to public information stuff rather then getting onto thin ice with medical records, credit history etc.

    In the end the more time you spend on this the more it feeds into your need to know (at least it did with me) it wasn't until I came to terms with the idea I can't control what other people do and I need to stop wasting my time chasing people that are just going to make me feel worse once I catch up to them. I would continue to send letters and cards for holidays, birthdays etc. but doubt I would automatically plan a 700 mile trip just because it's something I've done in the past. I don't know your son or you for that matter but if it was me I would wait for an invite that I believed would end in a nice visit before making that kind of trip.

    Maybe a nice side project? Plant a garden, join a book club or better yet just about every shelter around has an abundance of cats they don't know what to do with. Don't have room to take one home? they could use help feeding & socializing at the shelters. My point being the more I chase my kids the more they run, but let me get into a project that I'm enjoying and they seem to then want to be with me doing whatever.

  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    AL, your sorrow about the relationship with your son is about you, not him. He is choosing his life, he has made his choices, the hard part is you have to live with them and you want more then he is presently willing to give. if I were in your shoes I would seek counseling for myself, so I could find ways to let go of the grief and sadness of what you don't/can't have and learn to concentrate on what you do have. You can't control your son nor his choices. You can control your responses and your own life.

    It's commendable that you paid for your sons wedding and honeymoon, I presume you did that out of your love for your son. Of course it counts for something, but what is your expectation? Because you paid for his nuptials, he owes you something? If you gave that freely, then he doesn't owe you anything.

    Apparently, for whatever reason, you can't have the relationship you want with your son. You can't change that fact now. All you can do is focus on yourself, move through this sorrow and angst and disappointment about something you can't change and enjoy your own life. There is nothing you can do to fix this if your son isn't willing to fix it. I agree with helpangel, find things that make you happy and go do them. Little by little change the focus off of your son and place it onto yourself. You will be much happier if you do that. Otherwise you'll stay stuck in this vicious cycle you are perpetuating yourself.

    I also agree that you should not visit your son and drive 700 miles unless you are invited. Let him come to his own realizations without you, or maybe he won't but in any case, find ways to live your own life and let go. It's really hard to let go of our adult kids and accept them for who they are, including not having much to do with us, but it is what it is and your acceptance of it will offer you peace of mind. I'm sorry you're hurting.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a feeling you are a bit needy. Is this true? Could it be your son feels snothered by you? He obviously loves you if he comforted you while u were crying. Maybe you do not allow him to be himself? Just throwing some ideas out there.
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Animal Lover, to the compassionate responses already received, I would add that sometimes, our adult children need to put space between themselves and their parents to find out who they are without us. This is an important piece of becoming independent, free-thinking adults. It doesn't have to mean they are rejecting us. It is similar to what an adolescent goes through as he or she is trying to figure out just who they are in a changed, and changing, world.

    There are times when parents need to give our children room. Times when we need to let them go a little, so they can come back to us as adults, and on their own terms. It helps me to look at it like I am loving them through whatever it is. Whatever they do, and however they feel about me or husband? Doesn't change one thing about how I feel about the kids. In those times when I especially miss them? I may light a candle especially for them. Or, re-read a card. Or, take out some cherished something that reminds me of them, to comfort myself.

    Sometimes, I just have to miss them, and that pretty much sucks.

    As we are all learning, here on the site, no matter how old the kids get, they still feel like our "kids", to us. We still want that intimacy we had with them when they were little. It's okay if we don't have that with them, though. We can love them to distraction, but still give them the time they need to come home again on their own.

    You are so fortunate, animal lover, that your son is living independently. I can hear the pain and confusion in your posts. I know how it hurts, not to be the primary focus in your child's life, anymore. But it seems to me that your son will come back to you sooner if you give him this time, if you allow him to know he can trust you, if you let go and believe in the best for him, and for yourself.

    It sometimes seems that parenting is filled with equal parts of joy and pain. I am lonely for my children too, sometimes. But I know they will come back to me, when they are ready. Your son will come back to you too, animal lover.

    We come to respect our children as adults, when we realize they can function very well without us.