Sundays are hard! (Warning whiny post ahead)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Signorina, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Sundays are hard. When I don't hear from difficult child during the werk, i always think he'll be in touch on Sunday. He wasnt, and i stayed up just in case he texted. By the time it was obvious that he wouldn't I was so awake & wound up that i couldnt sleep. At 2am surfing the web, I found an excerpt from a book on "Parents who Hurt" that hit close to home. Sleepless & weepy -I rewrote it to fit my situation:

    I worry about difficult child all of the time and cant stop wondering what I did to make my own child cut me out of his life completely? I'm sure I made my fair share of mistakes, but my intentions were always good.

    He was always so needy of positive attention. Even as a toddler, he was often hard to please but he blossomed with positive attention so we doled it out when it was earned. We put our kids first-we indulged him, provided attention, welcomed his friends,volunteered in his classrooms, coached or team parented, jumped when he needed us including therapy and emergency doctor visits for stupid or ignored injuries. Obviously none of it made him happy or connected to us. And of course, he isn't grateful for any of it. I can't even begin to explain how HARD I worked at being the mother he seemed to demand. Why wasn't it enough for him? How can he hate me so much?

    I know that easy child 1 & 2 resent that he sucked all of the time, energy, and money out of the family - the resources that should have gone to them. Even now, I am never 100% present with H or them because my mind is so burdened with worry and hurt. It's really heartbreaking, I am 100% heartbroken! I feel like failed as his mother. How else to explain his ease with detaching from me so easily? He left and he hasn't looked back. I just can't wrap my head around it. I don't know how to come to terms with the way our family has been fractured.

    Me-44 happily married to husband since 1990
    husband-48, great dad, good man, tries really hard
    difficult child son 19 abusing substances, no diagnosis of Mental Illness or addiction-yet. Away at school without our blessing or financial support. Left home rather than get help.
    easy child son 17
    easy child son 14

    'Each day I wake feeling an urgent need to do something, and then I realize there's nothing I can do. The emptiness just has to be.'

    *Norma Bourland​
    Lasted edited by : Oct 3, 2011
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Reading this made me so sad because I understand so well the feelings you are having. I wonder too how my difficult child can just turn her back on everything and I can't wrap my head around it either. The only thing that makes sense to me is their addiction is more important to them than anything else in the world. They are able to detach themselves completely from us and everything else that should matter.

    I wish we lived closer, there are many of us that could start our own support group. I wish I could make your pain go away, sometimes we just have to feel it and walk through it and allow oursleves to be sad and then try to go on with living.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I know you're worried about difficult child, and I understand that. been there done that

    But it would probably be more constructive to place that energy you're using worrying over him onto other family. Your other boys are still teens. Try to enjoy the time you have left with them at home. Find some fun stuff to do together when you're feeling down if you can. It's a win/win. You get a distraction from worry, while you and the pcs get to spend some quality time together.

    It can be so hard shifting from parenting a child, especially a difficult child, to being the parent of an adult. That learning to let go and let them live with the decisions they make is not an easy adjustment and takes practice. You have to learn to trust in the things you spent a lifetime teaching him. It's his choice whether he will use it or not........and it will probably take more maturity for him to figure out his parents actually did know what they were talking about.

    But we're always here when you need to let it out. It's ok.

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Hugs. It sounds to me like you did every little thing you could have possibly done to make him happy but you know, you are here to love him unconditionally but your job isnt to make him happy, that is his job. He has to find his own happiness in life. I know I made that mistake with my boys. I wanted to make them happy all the time. I felt if they werent happy I wasnt doing a good job.

    I cannot imagine how hard it is for your son to simply walk away and not look back. I would be furious and sad and a whole ton of other emotions all at once. Lots of "how dare he's" would be going through my mind. Honestly for right now, I think you need to give him exactly what he is giving you...nothing. Focus on your kids at home. They need you now. Nurture them. Spend time with them. Let difficult child work out his issues on his own. Remember the Prodigal Son.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The others have great input. I wonder though, does he truly not think about you? Or does he know how much he means to you and is thinking he is punishing you by not contacting you? in my opinion that seems like it might be part of the truth. You didn't support what he wanted to do (get an apartment and deal drugs while playing at college) so he is now going to not let you play with his toys. Pretty much like a 2yo at the park when he gets mad.

    I hope that you are both working with a therapist and attending alanon. Until you deal iwth your co-dependent behaviors, and that is what this is - not being able to be happy unless you are sure he is happy - neither you nor difficult child has a prayer of being healthy. In fact, it also greatly affects your husband and other kids. I do know how it hurts.

    One thing that sounds dumb or cliche but works is to fake it until you make it. Get a therapist if you don't have a good one. See the therapist weekly or more often. Also go to alanon and/or narcanon meetings. At first go to a lot of different ones, different times, places, days. Find the ones that are right for you, and start on the program. Substance abuse affects ALL of you. Drag your other sons to alateen. They need to work through this also, both their bro's actions and their family dynamic. You are ALL sick from difficult child's use of drugs/alcohol, and given what you say, chances are you learned this behavior long before difficult child was in your life. So give it time, the fix isn't fast. Act like you are all there and enjoying your younger sons, husband and YOU. You will be surprised because one day you will realize that you are not faking it - you ARE enjoying them and yourself and your life.

    Also remember that you are their mother, not their friend. friends are there to be sure they are happy. How many friends has difficult child had in his young life? All those kids one teams, in classes, etc.... - all frends. YOU are his MOTHER. Only one of you. I know you thought your job was to make him happy, and that you thought you failed. Think about that. Your job as his mom was to make him grow up into a productive citizen.

    NO ONE EVER has a right to happiness. That is a personal goal, and a personal CHOICE. You simply cannot make someone happy, esp your child. We are guaranteed the right to PURSUIT of happiness, not happiness itself. It is easy to get confused, but if you honestly thought your job was to make difficult child happy then you would have bankrolled this apartment and his life right now. Deep down you know that the popular **** about being your kid's friend is just that, ****. Total nonsense. Your job was to make him a good person. You took him to church, gave him chores, taught him right from wrong and when he chose not just wrong or illegal but really really wrong? You cut him off. You didn't want to, you knew it would make him happy to have you continue to bankroll him and support his use of substances. But you knew, deep deep deep down in your very soul, that making him happy is not your job. And that bankrolling his current choices would NOT lead him to where he needs to be as an adult.

    It is HARD to do what you did. I really respect you for it. A lot of us take much, much, much longer to get where you are. You still need meetings and a good therapist and to stick with your family here on the board, but you will get through this. And you are not alone as you go through it. We will always be here, and once you start going to alanon, the people there will be with you also.

  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thank you all so much for attending my pity party. Seriously though, thank you so much for you insight and your compassion. I am astounded by and so very grateful for your kindness and encouraging words of advice. I feel like you all are my best friends - and I've only been here a month.

    By means of explanation my "wanting to make him happy" comments stem from the incredibly hurtful things he said as he was leaving. He told me he hated me, he hated having us as parents, he hated our family- but not his brothers - who -- by the way -- hate us too. (apparently they talk all the time about how awful we are) That our family was a joke and completely and totally dysfunctional. That we are fake and full of bs and everyone saw right through us...and that he never wanted to be a part of this family except for being with his brothers and something about how we couldn't keep him from them and that they would chose him over us... I could go on and on but you get the gist.

    In my rational 10am-10pm world, I know he chose the must hurtful "go for the jugular" things he could say to me. I know many of you have experienced physical acts of destruction by your difficult children - my son's words were his form of destruction. In my "pity party, table for one" moments on Sunday at 11:55 pm, I go over and over his words and wonder if he really truly meant them...if that's how he sees me... if he's that narcissistic or if he's really just that much of a jerk...

    And since he won't answer my texts or call me - I pour my words out on my computer instead of to him... fwiw - he hasn't been in touch with either of his brothers since he walked out the door. He didn't even say goodbye to them when he left.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    Hugs to you... it is so very painful. I totally understand where you are at and I have so been there. I suggest you contine to text him now and then, not often, but enough to let him know the door is open when he wants or needs it. It will probably help you feel better to know you are leaving the door open.

    AND then find things that make YOU happy, that make you feel good. Enjoy your other kids and do stuff for and with them.

    Your son has to find his own way and right now he is choosing not to have you do it with him. His rejection of you speaks to his connection to you... he would not need to reject you so completely if he didn't feel a connection or didn't care. He probably needs to do this on his own as a way of separating from you... Separating from parents is a normal part of growing up, but our difficult children have a harder time with it and so I think do it in much more tumultous ways because they don't or can't do it otherwise.

    I have had some pretty tough times in my relationship with my son, and he has said similarly hurtful things to me... how I am an awful parent blah blah blah. It hurts and at times put me in a place of total despair. Yet when we kicked him out I kept in touch and kept the door open. And when he needed help, and had no where to turn he turned to us.... and he still is.

    So our relationship is in a better place. It is not yet the close relationship I crave with him, but it is more honest, he is less demanding, is more grateful for our help..... and he is making his own choices and we are respecting those choices and are no longer trying to control him and what he does.

    So just because there is a rift now there may not be a rift forever.. the key is to keep the door open but don't wait around for him to call or text you. He is not ready to do that right now but it doesn't mean he won't ever be ready. He will and when he is you can be there for him.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I seriously doubt all your kids feel that way or that they are all in his camp. I honestly thought when I was parenting my teens that as soon as they hit 18 they were going to hit my front door, open it, and far away and never look back. I fully expected I would hardly hear from them again. I figured I would maybe hear from them on holidays but not much more. Oh I was ever so wrong! I cant blast my kids from me with dynamite. I only had one who actually left the home in what could possibly be seen in a normal manner and that was because he entered the military. He left and never came back. The others? Well my oldest is still home and Cory was here until he was 22 and then he moved back home when he was almost 24 and stayed a year and moved out about 6 months ago.

    All my boys have great relationships now but as teens, ohhhh boy! I thought they were going to kill each other. And I was the worst mother on earth.
  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My easy child/difficult child is aspergers's (he is not the one I post about here) He lives on his own now and he would never think to call me on a regular basis. He often doesnt' answer his phone but he does respond to texts. I used to be very hurt that he didn't come to family functions, didn't acknowledge birthdays or holidays etc. It took time but I realized he is in a different mindset. He doesn't do that to hurt me he just doesn't see the point even though it has been explained to him over and over again. I deal with it by texting him when I need to get in touch. He will answer texts and he will act on them. I do not overuse it for fear of desensetizing him to them. My point is that often the actions of people with mental health issues do not make sence if we look at it from a normal perspective. When I could look at my son's actions from his "normal" I stopped being hurt. Hope that makes sense and helps a little. -RM
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have you considered asking your other sons if he is right? Wiz tried that with me, but Jess and I have always been close and thank you was a momma's boy and they were both disgusted with him. Loved him, but disgusted with him just the same. thank you couldn't express it, part of his problems, but Jess had no trouble. She has always been his "interpreter" on an emotional level and is rarely wrong.

    Have an open, honest talk with your other kids. Listen to them, go to counseling if it will help, and they will likely shock you. I doubt they agree with him - they know he hasn't reached them or said goodbye or been any more considerate to them as he has been to you. Don't let him hurt your relationship wtih them, it is just another way to abuse all of you.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Yes, I have talked to my other boys. In fact, I told them that my own brother and I often complain to each other about our own mother whom we love dearly. So, I totally understand if they gripe to each other about me - heck - I expect them to do so - it's healthy.

    We had a heart to heart when difficult child left and they assured me that they do not hate us and that it was simple sibling griping. My difficult child also told us that night "M and C know i smoke pot and I drink and they are FINE with it." So we had that discussion too. They confirmed that yes - their older brother had said such and told me they know it's not OK. H and I have spoken about that often - in what world did my difficult child think it was OK to tell his 13 yo brother that he is smoking weed and drinking? I know he was trying to justify it - to himself - but that's a very sure sign that he is not the man he once was. My younger son idolizes his oldest brother and until my eldest became a difficult child - he was VERY cognizant of and RESPECTED that idolization and tried very very hard to be worthy of it. Until this summer, difficult child was the greatest older brother any easy child 2 could want. In fact, easy child 2 purposely chose difficult child's football number for his own jersey. He couldn't get it this year (woes of a freshman) so he chose a double digit that added up to it. ("32" instead of "5")

    easy child 1 is the strong silent type. Never wanted to be grouped in with difficult child-even as a baby. He is the type of person who likes to fly under the radar. A man of very few words and an old soul. I have to be very careful talking about difficult child with him. We've had brief conversations but I need to make sure I don't make it about difficult child. When difficult child was still a easy child and at home, we used to joke about our home turning into the "Eldest son Show". easy child 1 would hate the spotlight on him, difficult child seemed to love it. (So long as it was shining on his accomplishments.) I do my best to let easy child 1 determine where our conversations go...I have always respected that he knows what's best for himself.

    Like Janet, I figure if my kids like me too much - I am doing something wrong! But, down deep, I hope that they have abiding love for their mom and dad and brothers. Know what I mean??

    (and rejectedmom - my difficult child does has a substance/bravado issue - nothing like aspies or anything else. just 19yo jerk. Yes I said it. We all know men just like that. Never thought I'd call one of them "son" which is what stings.)
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello Signorina. Sometimes it seems like there is no justice in the world. You were a devoted, caring, committed parent - you gave your time, your energy, your love, you tried really hard to do your best (what more can one do?), and the recipient of all this, your eldest son, repays you not with gratitude or returned love but with hostility and/or indifference. His own life is also in a mess, it seems. I on the other hand had c**p parents - I mean really c**p, the sort who you would hesitate choosing over being raised in an orphanage - profoundly narcissistic, profoundly indifferent to trying to do their best, neglectful and in many ways abusive, hopeful only that their children would look after and attend to them rather than vice versa and yet... My two brothers and I have never been involved in any crime, we are respectable citizens who hold down professional jobs and whereas I have not triumphed in the relationship stakes, my brothers have had long and happy marriages (not without a lot of therapy and one of them is a long-recovered alchoholic) and are good parents. So... my point is.... that it seems like in some way, sometimes, it's just the luck of the draw. My parents didn't deserve the children they got and your son didn't "deserve" the parents he got. It is very sad and hurtful for you indeed. But one thing you can do - and it seems to me that that one thing is precious indeed - is you can hold your head high to yourself and you can know that you did your best. No small claim. And the result of that... was, unfortunately, completely out of your hands. Hugs.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    SI -

    I think your feelings are completely valid. The most interesting lines that you wrote (to me) was

    I know that easy child 1 & 2 resent that he sucked all of the time, energy, and money out of the family - the resources that should have gone to them.

    Okay - let's take a minute to explore this thought. This was the past. It's done, it's over, you can not change it for them, for your other son. And at the time you did put more time, energy and money into the son that you thought needed it - WHY did you? WHY would a Mother EVER EVER take from her other children and give to one child? Did you have a crystal ball at that time? Were you able to see into the future and KNOW that what you were trying to do as a VERY GOOD PARENT to help the one child was taking away from the others? Of course not. The OTHER TWO...WERE okay with what they had and would make it - the one you gave to? Needed extra to help him along. You did what you did at the time because you thought it was the best thing to do, had you known otherwise how to do differently - you would have done that. You did the best you could with what you knew.

    The flip side of your thought would have been......You saw into the future,,,,,,you saw that your one son was a complete waste of time, you gave him NOTHING - you gave the two easy child's all your resources because you KNEW difficult child would be a waste and just let difficult child fend for himself. in my humble opinion - THAT would have made you the kind of Mother that you're beating yourself up for NOW.....Twenty years later. Sorta madness if you ask me. You're literally beating yourself up - for BEING a good Mother. Your SON is the one that has made his choices - NOT YOU.......You can't understand WHY he's made these choices. That...does NOT make you a bad mother...THAT alone does not fracture a STILL have TWO easy child's and a husband. Missing a piece perhaps but not fractured.

    Even now, I am never 100% present with H or them because my mind is so burdened with worry and hurt.
    This? Is a choice of your own making. You are where you want to be. If you WANTED to be 100% with your H and your other children? You would get up in the morning, say your prayers about your missing son, and then throw yourself into the day that you have been given and make the most out of it. Not look at the day like a chore. If you are burdened with a day - perhaps you should start waking up every morning looking at your day differently. Each day is a gift, a fight - a present - and to be in it? You have to be the best YOU that you can possibly be. You just said in your former sentence you feel guilty because of how you treated the other two children - because you spent ALL YOUR RESOURCES on the difficult child.......and well look at you here.....AGAIN......NOT giving yourself completely to them (again)???? I'm not sure how you make it BETTER for them and show them - THEY matter if you continue to MOURN over and over - instead of beign ALIVE and WELL and the BEST HAPPY person you can be. Does this mean that you are not sad? No. Does this mean that you aren't hurting inside? OF course not. Does this mean that you can't BATTLE depression on a minute to minute basis? Not at all. But to CONTINUE to take away from your family for the sake of this child that has to make his own choices in life after ALL that you have given him and after ALL his siblings and his Father have done without? WOULD BE ........really really sad. Don't continue the sadness. If this is truly how you feel? Get help, talk to someone, get on some medicaiton that helps. Find what works to build up your best you can, and in the meantime.......HOPE.

    It's really heartbreaking, I am 100% heartbroken! I feel like failed as his mother.


    How else to explain his ease with detaching from me so easily? He left and he hasn't looked back.

    He is ...his own person. He IS a child. He IS (a he) okay throw hate mail but he is a boy/man and as a woman you are not going to understand that part of him. He IS a person with a brain that doesn't function like the rest of the world - and you have to be okay with that at some point and accept it and him for what and who he is. NOT a Rhodes scholar, not a veterinarian. Maybe not even a HS graduate. At some point maybe a complete stranger that in time you can get to know. Not RE-know. Just know. His Mother ? Sure. But no longer in control of the man he is, the person he was - or the child that you raised. At some point you can look at it and hope/pray you gave him the tools he needed to at least be in the world, get along, survive......and in the mean time -= stay out of trouble, know where home is....miss him madly....and allow yourself to mourn and close the book on what you thought you would have but no longer is a reality. Not so much a loss - but a different chapter of your lives together. The hasnt looked back part? Well - some of that MAY ----just MAY have to do with him you know. He may be embarrassed with how hes treated people, how he was treated and a need to find his own way - without don't know. But being weepy and miserable will NEVER bring him back. Never. People have a misconception that if you loose someone and don't mourn them for life - they will stand off in a distance and watch to see if you have been sad for years and pine away - I think th better thing to do is live your life to the best of your abilities FOR yourself and inspite of the loss you suffered. Write them......tuck the letters away .......if they never come around it's cathartic. If they do come?
    You can hand them to them and say - I did miss you like crazy - I just didn't know where you were - or eventually maybe you'll understand what I mean by living each day with Zest and LIFE......for YOURSELF to be an example to the world. Make people WANT to be near you -----not shun away from you.

    I just can't wrap my head around it. I don't know how to come to terms with the way our family has been fractured.

    Well my dear - I think if you understood this or how to wrap your head around it? You'd have your own syndicated talk show. None of us understand it completely. But my advice to you is to stop the thoughts that are telling you - your family is fractured and unfixable.......Your family is......dented - at best you have a member that is off on an adventure unable to communicate with you for whatever reason through no fault of YOUR own. He's not dead, he isn't in the center of the earth unable to get back to you.........he's just lost in his own mind and has to work things out for himself. Don't over complicate things for him by being the parent that falls apart - STAND strong for yourself and for the rest of your children and family and find the things in your life that bring you peace and happiness and stop HYPER focusing on THIS ONE THING. Is it tragic? Of course. Can you survive? I dunno - That's up to you......but maybe the bigger question here is "How long can the rest of your family survive while you fall apart ?" I think.......I think they need the WARRIOR Mom that lives inside you and I know that the kid that left needs her too. Just remember he's a little bit more stubborn (like his Mother) about these things.

    I would only know what i've told you - having lived through it ------wanting to fall apart is easy. Falling into a pit so deep and so freefalling and hoping there is no bottom and no tomorrow because it's easier to keep falling than to face tomorrow is heaven compared to clawing your way back up to the top and dealing with heartbreak. I know this probably will not make sense to you - but if your friend ever kicks a nativity scene across a room at Christmas time and you laugh until you cry? Let her kick it.

    Beyond that? I hope you can find someone to talk to, and get on a good antidepressant, learn to detach and be stronger than you've ever had to be in your life. You have good friends here that will help. You are not alone.......and we won't let you pit=party dive.

    Hugs & Love
    been there done that Star
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Much as he may say ugly things, seeing you going on about being the parent your other kids need, the spouse your husband needs, and the person that YOU need, will probably be one of the best lessons you could teach him.

    What lesson?

    That the world, and his mother, do NOT revolve around him. That he is NOT the center of the universe or the most important thing in ANY person's life other than his own. in my opinion we ALL need to learn this lesson.

    HOW will it help difficult child to be able to look at you and see that he has taken the joy and meaning out of YOUR life? WHO will he then give the heavy responsibility of being the joy and meaning of his own life? We ALL have to give our own lives joy and meaning - NO ONE can carry the weight of that responsibility for another person. they just can't. I dated a guy who expected me to make his life "right" and "meaningful" and "good". It was exhausting. I couldn't take pride or joy in my successes with-o him getting really angry for "shirking" the duty of making sure he did what he needed to do to be emotionally okay. He was even jealous of any book I read because he felt it took too much of my energy away from him. We didn't date long because that is just not a game I could play with-o giving up every drop of joy I felt in/about my own life and accomplishments.