So HOW do I be supportive??? I give up.


Well-Known Member
So Son had shocking big setback in court and is in serious despair and i really want to offer emotional support. I am drained and frustrated after trying. Here is a synopsis of our morning chat. Not verbatim. And it was much longer.

Me: Call your lawyer. He does work for you.

Him: what am I supposed to say? It can get worse. He can get mad at me bothering him. He can drop me!

Me: Oh, okay. Well, thats up to you.

Him: (erupting) stop it!!! Dont ever say that again! I have told you this! You dont listen! For five years I have been tellng you what to say and what NOT to say! The things that help me and dont. You either dont listen or dont learn!

Me: what did I say wrong???

Him: You said its up to me. I always tell you not to say things like that. I KNOW its up to me. Duh! Stop saying it. I hate that, Captain Obvious (yes, he used this). You are making it worse! I dont want to talk to you if you are going to be a wussy snowflake! (Insults continue)

I normally hang up before this, but he was truly traumatized. But I could tell I wasnt helping him. He was getting more agitated.

Before I ended the call he got out that I was taking all his support from him (me...I am all his support) and that without me he would have to do this himself. I am useless to him. Thanks a lot for nothing.

Before I had a chance to say "I love you and hope you calm down to talk later" he got in one last dig. See, this weekend i am driving to Chicago for our family Thanksgiving with Princess and granddaughter's family.

"Go visit your other more important family while I am all alone! Have fun while I suffer alone!"

I should have just ended the call, but this got to me and frustrated me and reminded me WHY he is not doing better under this adversity. After five years of court.

I said it, knowing he wouldnt like it. "You WON'T join us. You can. It is your choice to be alone. You dont have to be."

That enraged him. He swore and hung up before I could. To him, he cant. Its not a choice. He has not driven to Chicago to see anyone since moving to St. Louis six years ago. And he wont take a train. So he is is his choice. Although he doesnt consider it sn option. I dont get why its not a choice to him.

Back to my thoughts. Seriously, he has all these things he doesnt want me to say beause he calls them "doom and gloom." But I dont know what he thinks is NOT gloom and doom. I am not sure what he considers gloom and doom either! As always, he will ruminate and not try to help himself.

I am driving out to Chicago with husband, Sonic, Jumper, her boyfriend and the dogs in a few hours. I feel sad for Bart, that he is alone and wont drive up to join us. It isnt that long a drive. Four/five hours. His entire family will be there. Princess cant stand him, but he would have a chance with Sonic and Jumper and his father lives near Princess. Princess wouldnt ban him from her house.

Bart truly has a good reason to be upset. But he wont take any action to either get therapy for himself (says only a PSYCHOLOGIST can help him, not a plain therapist) and that he cant afford one, and he wont go to a self help group, and he wont even demand a call from his lawyer. I am Mom. I want to help. But I dont know what helps. I give up.

I really feel horrible for grandson, but I have no control over any of this. I am afraid Bart will call while I am trying to enjoy our holiday with the others. I wont answer if he does, but....I hope he doesnt.

Thanks for listening. I kow this may seem petty to dome of you facing bigger issues. I am sorry to complain. I am trying hard to give this to God.
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Well-Known Member
I wish I could give you a big hug.

Those phone calls must just wear you out! You are right...there is nothing you can do or say that will help either him or the court case. Nothing at all. If you are encouraging, he will see it as you being unrealistic. If you are practical he will see it as unsupportive. You aren't a lawyer. You aren't a psychologist - and his aversion to counseling is kind of ridiculous.

Try to enjoy your weekend. Him not going to Chicago is all on him. Heck, I've driven to Chicago for a 3-day weekend and I'm two full hours further away than he is. They have daily flights from St. Louis to Chicago that take literally 45 minutes and are not terribly expensive. They also have daily trains, though that would be the slowest of the three. There is NO reason for him not to occasionally go.


Well-Known Member
Thank you, Lil. I know he could join the family and support helps. But he needs to accept it. I am plain worn out trying out the many professions I am not trained in to try to support him. I dont know how. His child is 100% his life, which is never healthy, and it doesnt last as they age, but there is no advice he will try to maybe make his life better.
Suicide is my biggest fear, but I cant control that either. He wont get hrlp and I cant make him.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm so sorry you had to endure that. I totally get it, it's so hard to support someone that puts "rules" on what you can and cannot say. My son does the same thing.
The truth sometimes is hard to hear but it's the truth not doom and gloom.
I'm sorry he doesn't see what a gift you are to him.

I hope you have a safe trip and wonderful holiday with your kids.



Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
It is exausting to deal with Having conversations with difficult people, it is simply that. When it is your child it becomes exponentially difficult.

When people put limits on what you can say. I find it best to try to stick to acknowledgement and open ended questions. It seems to help stop explosive situations with my AS when he is in a reasonable frame of mind.

Example. So your X wife has.....I am sorry to hear that. What options are you considering to manage this? How do you think this can be resolved? What is your lawyers perspective on this.

And at exactly what you said here SWOT. I am no expert. I am here for you and I support and love you. I find if my son gets angry it’s because he is refusing to take accountability. I refuse to accept manipulating and blame and your right. It is then time to end the conversation.

Enjoy your holiday as much as your can.



Well-Known Member
Oh, and to Lil, he has no aversion to couseling, but has convincrd himself only a fully crendentialed psychologist with a Ph,D can help him so any therapist or social worker is not going to hrlp. And with the price of psyhologists and his bills, he prices himself out. There are low cost therapists but they are not good enough for him. And religious counseling? Hahaha. Why do almost all defficult adult kids believe in nothing? Not that this is bad or wrong, but it is one more thing they cant count on. And they dont have this comfort.



Well-Known Member
has convincrd himself only a fully crendentialed psychologist with a Ph,D can help him so any therapist or social worker is not going to hrlp.

With all due respect, this sounds like arrogance. "I'm so special/complex that it takes someone with a PhD to understand me. No one less has anything to offer me."

It is a pity. There are a lot of very qualified people out there that could give him some assistance and show him some coping mechanisms.

No offense intended. My kid was much the same way...only he didn't think ANYONE could ever understand.


Well-Known Member
Lil...haha. No offense taken. Bart is a snob. In every way. He cant afford anything due to child support but he has the newest and most expensive of everything. So does his son. His two credit cards are maxed out.

Remember, Dad is paying his legal fees. Bart makes good money. He should have enough. But he has to have the highest cost 80? Inch TV, every new game system and game, iphone 8 etc. A plain therapist is like a generic television from Walmart to him. Not competent. Its crazy. Nobody else in our family is that way, not even my ex!
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A dad

Active Member
Just curious here at the speed of an very very old snail the trial goes on what are the chances it will end because your grandson became an adult?


Well-Known Member
Very good. His lawyer doesnt think ex will ever let go of court unless she has almost sole custody in all areas, unlikely to happen, or grandson turns 18.


Roll With It
I am glad he apologized. It sounds like there was no way to get any other outcome during your earlier conversation except the tirade that you got. It wasn't so much about what you said or didn't say, as it was about him being unable to control himself and his anger.

His apology shows that he is worried that he will lose you also. He knows that he didn't treat you well. If you stop talking to him or listening to him, he will have no one in his emotional world. He is probably very afraid of this. He knows you will not tolerate verbal abuse and he gave you a lot of it in his outburst.

He must have such poor self esteem. He has to have all of these fancy items from well known brand names. He has to show that he can afford the big expensive brand names, even though absolutely no one ever sees the inside of his home except for his son, himself and you if you ever get to go visit him. He clearly devotes a huge portion of his income to paying for these things when he cannot truly afford them. They must be a way to show himself that he is doing well, to prop himself up when he feels bad. He knows that even his siblings don't enjoy him. He knows that he doesn't fit in socially. He knows that things are his only solace and he is deep in debt trying to keep these things. It is a way to bolster his poor self esteem. I am sure that the time he spent married to his ex didn't help his self image one teeny little bit, either.

Part of the "I can only be treated by a Ph.D psychologist" is because he has so very little self esteem. Some part of him is terribly sure that he is so messed up that it will take someone terribly qualified to untangle his problems and fix him. He hides it behind the bluster of "How Important I Am!" but really it is a way to announce how much he believes he is so incredibly messed up. I find that terribly sad.

I hope some day Bart can learn to accept himself and to be happy living within his means. I do truly hope that he gets the custody mess settled, or the judge finally tells the mother that if she brings another action before the court, it had better be due to verifiable abuse or she will lose custody completely. I also hope that the constant custody battle will make your grandson see that he is more of a pawn to at least his mother, and maybe this will turn him more to his father. If Bart listens to what his son wants as his son gets older.

Please go find something positive to do with your day! There has to be some better thing to do with your day!!