Small Update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    M spent most of the day Saturday obsessing and texting husband - and finally me - about how he was going to deal with Z about this month's rent, which M has already paid his half of. I had been very clear with him last week that he needed to start slowly and without a challenge to Z. That an apology should stand alone with no excuses or reasons. Start with "How are you doing" and/or "I'm sorry". Period. Conversations about how to make it work must come later.

    Instead, he sent a text of 'I'm sorry. Your physicality scared me and made me react in a bad way. I hope you'll see it my way and that we can avoid a fight in the future' which he then forwarded to us. I didn't realize it was a forward, and I wrote and told him he should not send it, he should just start with "I'm sorry." I had also told him last week that he doesn't ever have to say ANYTHING about Z's behavior so long as they can get along well enough to live in the same place, it's up to Z to apologize if he wants to. But for right now M has to make it work out because he has nowhere else to go.

    M responded that his therapist told him that he should tell Z that he was frightened of a physical confrontation. I told him that was correct, but she didn't mean for him to do it in the same sentence as his own apology for his own poor behavior.

    As I thought this through in the past day, I'm got more disappointed in myself for getting sucked into this drama. I can see it that he totally triangulated the therapist and me. I gave him good advice, she has no idea that he's a manipulator who covers all of his bases so he can blame his shortcomings on an authority figure at all times. There is no doubt in my mind that he understood exactly what I meant when I told him to leave the difficult relationship stuff alone for now but his desire was to antagonize Z and make sure that Z knew that he believes that Z was responsible for their falling out. So, he found someone he could blame for ignoring me.

    I'm not that stupid, and it's not going to happen again.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. It's not hard to do what you did with M. It's like living your whole life in tornado alley. You live there? You are constantly aware that at any moment your could be caught up in a twister and your home, life, and world are literally prepared around the idea that it could be torn apart any minute within the blink of an eye so you're always alert and on guard. Then maybe you move to someplace like SC where there aren't very many tornadoes, but for the first season you still have that preparedness in your system. As time goes on? You stop preparing because there isn't any danger and you get a little lackadaisical about the entire "prepare for the twister" thing. Then out of the blue one day the skies gray up and the rains start and you find yourself completely unprepared, and WHAM - tornado strikes and there you are - unprepared....but for the last 10 years? You were ready. Hardly seems fair, so you get angry at yourself for letting your guard down.

    My thought with M or Dude or any difficult child for all that matters? When you live with them and they move out it takes a LONG time for your life to return to some kind of normal (whatever that is). When it gets comfortable? We return to ourselves - kind, helpful, loving people and maybe we reach out just a little more than we used to because we just get so tired of having to pull back EVERY SINGLE TIME, and DAY, and ISSUE with our difficult child kids. So here you saw a more mature M, older, a little less difficult child-ish perhaps, and thought this was an opportunity to not give him advice like a parent, but more like a friend. I would have done the same given the exact set of circumstances.

    It's just a small reminder and it hurts, and for that I'm sorry. Some days I see Dude and I think - OH WOW, a moment of clarity, he's normal, he's grown out of "it" and there is HOPE. Then I reach out and WHAM....tornado. It's a process...and I'll probably repeat it until I'm old and gray because I just hope for that one time I reach out and it IS 'normal'. Just once.

    Hugs - because I know EXACTLY how you feel.