So confused...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I imagine we have all reached a point where we were tempted to completely wash our hands of our adult Difficult Child. But have any of you ever actually done so?

    I came very close today after talking to my son on the phone. I was trying to get some information so I could do something for him that he had asked me to do, specifically send him my old cell phone. Either he wasn't understanding what I was asking, or I wasn't understanding what he was telling me, or both. But it ended up with him getting very annoyed with me, which basically entailed an arrogant imperious-sounding "what are you, stupid?" tone in his voice and even a couple of "f bombs." I drop them on occasion myself but never directed at anyone, except when I'm joking with a friend who does the same. Certainly never towards someone whose help I am seeking. And the conversation ended abruptly. I understand that phone time is limited at the facility but he ended with "I have to go, bye." No "love you" or anything.

    What makes the bill even harder to swallow is that the last three or four times we've talked it ended on a negative note because I either didn't say the right thing, or expressed the right sentiment but didn't word it correctly, or pissed him off in some other way. I'm hurting now because it seems our relationship has devolved back to what it was before he left home. He treats me as if I have little standing or value in his I heard the perfect phrase, "a useful idiot." That's how he makes me feel lately when we talk.

    Even before he went to rehab, I only heard from him when he needed or wanted something from me. No calls just to check in and let me know he was still breathing, or to see how I was doing, or anything. His excuse was "You know I don't have access to a phone." Yet he somehow managed to call his best friend from school and his former roommate, and of course the boyfriend. But can't spare five minutes for his mother.

    He doesn't realize how close I am to telling him that after rehab he can get wherever he wants to go the best way he can. Because this is one hand that, if you bite it, will stop feeding you.

    Am I looking at this wrong? Am I supposed to just swallow his attitude and hurtful words and treat him as if nothing is wrong? (which is getting harder to do each time we talk). I don't need the hurt and aggravation, I had enough of that when he was younger. If we can't have an adult mutually respectful relationship with each other I'm not sure I want one at all just now.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Would you let anyone else talk to you that way? Why can HE do it? He is an adult and a bit old to be abusing his own mother. No you aren't wrong. by the way if my kids spoke to me like that, I'd hang up. Or block the texts.

    My oldest, who can get testy, knows that to talk to me he HAS to be respectful. If he isn't I won't answer his calls or texts for three days and have no problem hanging up in the middle of a heated call. He knows he must sound respectful too. He has tested me.

    Your son can get his own phone. Or use other persons phone. I'm leery of a rehab that allows cell phones at first. That is how they contact drug dealers. You would hope there would be no drugs in a rehab but that is not always true. Sadly.

    I would and have set a boundary with my angriest adult child. My kid treats me nicely or loses the privilege of my time. Period. I have had spectacular results. Wish I'd done it years ago!

    Even if your son won't be nice, that's not new. And with a boundary in place, you don't need to hear his abuse. Be sure to tell him the Rules for Talking to Mother. I would add that he can't ask for money or crazy running around or favors for him. You are Mother, not mommy. Mommies are for those way under 18. You don't have give in to an adult toddler tantrum or listen to one.

    Love and hugs.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  3. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I've been doing the hanging up and not answering the calls thing for quite some time now. It doesn't seem to have much impact, but I guess all I can do is keep doing it. Totally agree, if he wants to talk to me...and especially if he wants something from me...he can learn to be courteous and respectful or do without my help or even, as you said, the privilege of my time.

    He's told me that they aren't allowed to have cell phones in rehab but that when they get passes to leave for a day or whatever they can take their phones with them. That sounds a little fishy to me but I don't even know the name of the facility to call and verify that what he told me is true. I might hold off on sending him the phone (if i do at all now) until I can talk to someone in authority. It also seems fish they they get passes to go out alone, even for a doctor's appointment, because that would be the prefect time to score drugs to smuggle back in. And I know from having friends in rehab "back in the day" that yes there are drugs available in those places. One friend even told me that some of the night nurses would bring in weed and smoke with the patients.

    Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad your tactics are working with your own kids. All I can do is keep on doing what I'm doing and hope that someday it has an impact.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Laurie,. This sounds so off that in my opinion you could insist you get the name and number and charge person and send nothing, nada unless you feel he is really getting help. Until you have a talk with the head honcho of the place. You need to know if your son seems eager to quit or is defiant. Also what rehab let's you walk alone around the streets??? Not one that is going to have success. Smells like tuna fish all the way.

    You don't have to do squat for a grown man who treats you like crap and uses drugs. How will your good deeds help him get clean and kind? He lies a lot too. He is not trustworthy or kind right now, your son or not. Many of us have had to face this very sad fact about our grown kids. They are not the same person as that adorable little boy who gave you hugs at nine years old. Forget that little boy in relation to this tall, deep voiced, hairy grown man who is changed. Maybe he will get better to you if he quits. Right now he is abusive.

    in my opinion you need to have info to look up this place....for all you know he already left and just wants a phone for drug transactions. And if he is there you need the name to look up all about it on the internet and you need to talk to those in charge before even giving him one magazine. Or a dime. He MAY be there and you may find there are no trips to doctor's and he is just bold face lying to you to get a forbidden phone. And why would he want one? For nothing good. No one good.

    Too many questions. No answers. If I were you, in this situation, I would do nothing until I knew all. If he doesn't want to tell you, you can in good conscience let him do whatever he is doing without you. It is his life to thrive in or destroy. You can't change anyone but yourself.

    I am very sorry. It's hard when we can't trust their lips as soon as they move, but you are not alone. I went thru this to a much lesser degree but it is never fun.

    Hang in there.
  5. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    He really is quite the liar, actor, con artist, whatever you want to call it. Someone one another post was talking about someone who could tell you the sky was green with yellow stripes and have you thinking it really was. That's my son all over. Even when we were seemingly functional and he came home for a visit I would stash my purse just to be on the safe side. Sad, huh? But it takes a lot longer to rebuild trust in someone than it does to tear it down. And just when I feel it's safe to trust him to an extent he tells me crazy things that are possible but very unlikely. Just today he said he's been trying to call me for days (after telling me he can't make long distance calls on the facility phone!) and I never answer. That wasn't true. I talked to him on Saturday (his birthday) and yesterday, and have no missed calls or voicemails from him on my phone. I'm beginning to wonder if he's delusional. A few years ago his aunt on his father's side said that he could put on his resume that he worked for her for two years, even though he did not, because his job history is so spotty. Recently when he was talking about a job he was interested in he said that the time he worked for Aunt Lindy would be a big help. He didn't say it would look good on his resume, he specifically "the time I worked for Aunt Lindy." I didn't really think much of it, maybe he didn't mean it the way it sounded, but it kind of sounded like he thinks he actually worked for her. I'm definitely going to keep my eyes and ears open to things he says that may indicate that he has become delusional. But if he is, there's really nothing I can do about it since he's an adult and I can't talk to any healthcare providers, even if I knew who they were, without his consent.
  6. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I could have written your post tonight.

    My son was a :censored2: and I thought I’ve so educated myself that I couldn’t possibly be hurt and I didn’t think I even had it in me to care.

    Yet I did.

    I’ve been saying that the heart has its limits. But for a parent, it seems like you can never take back the love you’ve already unrolled throughout their lives. It’s forever out there to walk on.
  7. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    He knows...or should anyway...that my love is unconditional and forever. My financial support and acceptance of his behavior, however, is mot certainly not unconditional.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Drugs can make one delusional. But sounds more like he means (wink) you know that time Aunt Lindy covered for me. I have maybe done too much research on antisocial personality disorder because it fascinates me and narcicism for my sis because she insists her boyfriend is one. So I have a good layman's understanding of personality disorders as well as bipolar and schizophrenia which I also studied out of interest in mental illness. I have a mood disorder so I developed an interest in all disorders. I was in hospital for depression for ten weeks and saw schizophrenics and bipolars who had gone off their medications and got very interested in, well, everything.

    If he is delusional at all,he is not schizophrenic, which is a break with reality and would be obvious....unmedicated they are very hard to make sense of. I am not a certified expert but meth can cause psychosis as can weed in some. If he is delusional and not just gaslighting you, then perhaps the drugs are doing it.

    And of course regardless, you are right, there is nothing you can do. And nobody can tell if he is some sort of mentally I'll until he is sober for six months. My daughter was diagnosed biolar on drugs (cocaine and meth) and has been clean since about age 20,and is now 34, and has no symptoms of any mental illness at all. Not even depression or anxiety.

    You MUST be sober a while for a true diagnosis.

    Again, good luck and don't pity his abuse. Or fall for gaslighting. He may want you to think YOU are crazy (which is gaslighting) but also may want you to think HE is mentally ill so that you pity him.

    Wait until he is off drugs to see how he is.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Maybe instead of phone conversations, you could try writing letters. He would have time to read, and let it sink in, before responding...

    Or at least a letter from you expressing your boundaries for future phone contact.

  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I agree with the others. You should not accept this treatment period. You don't deserve it and he has no right to talk to you like that.

    It's hurtful and you are not a doormat.

    He wants to be in control. Don't let him.

    Loving someone doesn't mean you let them walk all over you!

  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    When i read this it sounds so much like my relationship with my son. Yesterday he called from jail and was f bombing all over i told him i would hang up and eventually did. He was angry because his lawyer didn't say what he wanted to hear and because the books i sent were sent back by the jail for the second time. Once because the warden said no books in february and the other because they changed who they would accept from and i didn't know. Another order for shoes and food from a prison website had been delayed. I understand he was frustrated but i was the one trying to help. In answer to your question yes sometimes i feel like moving and not telling him where. He also only calls with "i need you too" or just "i need". Never just to talk or never love you. I love my son but i am tired of everything always being about him i want to live my life.
  12. Dory

    Dory Member

    So so sad!
    I am happy you have found a place to speak.
    I think like everything,
    Enough is enough.