The suicide letter..and the drama king

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by justtired, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. justtired

    justtired New Member

    I found a suicide letter on my computer this morning. He said some very hateful, mean things to me in it. I was tempted to throw his ass out the door then but husband talked me out of it.
    . Oh, he didn't kill himself by the way, and I changed the password on the computer so he can't use it anymore.

    The **** has been hitting the fan since we've laid down some tough rules for my son, or as my son refers to it as "this tough love bs". He's 24btw.. yes, he should've been out on his own by now, but husband gave him 1 month to find a place.

    So yesterday the drama king had a hissy fit and was leaving. He made a big thing about throwing his stuff in his friends old car that's in our driveway.. revving the engine, slamming the trunk, it's a car that has no plates and no insurance that the drama king is going to fix up one day. yep.. husband and I didn't stop him. We told him that was his choice and that it wasn't a wise one but it was his to make, and then we moved our car so he could pull out of the driveway. He didn't leave.

    so, since that failed to get the desired response from us, he now decides he's going to commit suicide.. and I will be sorry because I will be the one to find his body. We ignore that and watch tv.

    Then he tells us how heartless we are to be laughing at a tv show when he's 'killing himself' and runs downstairs where he stays for an hour while husband and I are upstairs wondering if he'll really do it, but we don't check on him and just continue to watch tv.

    So, then he comes upstairs and starts taking food out of the cabinets informing us that he needs food because he's going to be homeless and plans on living under the train tracks. So I tell him that's his choice, and not a good one but I offer him the tuna and our can opener.
    And again, since that fails to get the response he's looking for, he decides he's really, really, really going to kill himself, and we can just sit there and do nothing because we obviously don't love him or care about him, and how I'm not allowed to go to his funeral but our dog is.
    We ignore him.

    Then he writes me a suicide note and leaves it on my computer. Very nasty. I really believe he hates me. What I don't understand is why all his failures are MY fault. Not his dads, just mine. Now, I could understand that if he had a hard life, or if I beat him or starved him, or locked him in a freakin' closet growing up, but I didn't.. I probably should have..

    But anyway, I have questions.

    Is our response to his threats and actions going to accomplish anything? Will he ever get the hint that he's not going to manipulate us with his tactics?

    I know from reading this board that some kids are drama queens and kings.. don't they realize how idiotic they sound? I don't really expect an answer to that. It's just mind boggling the things he comes out, "I'm jealous of his friends'.. huh?

    When they blame the mom.. what's behind that thinking? Do they really believe that their bad choices are because of the mom?

    My husband said his fantasy is that mr. drama king will come up to him in a few years and say 'you know Dad.. I'm really sorry for how I treated you and mom back then'.. I Just laughed, but then I wondered if that ever does happen.

    Has anyone had a child that they've thrown out or asked to leave the home and they've turned into happy, responsible human beings?

    thanks.. and I need a valium desperately. :sigh:
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do feel sorry for your son. For all that he is a "drama king", he must be very unstable and unfulfilled inside to be pulling these kind of antics. He, very seriously, sounds like a small child in his behaviour and in his desire for attention and love. However, fortunately or unfortunately as has been repeatedly said here, you are unable to "fix" him. Is there any mileage to be had out of talking to him man to man (as it were), with respect, asking him what he is trying to acheive through all this - in a sincere attempt to know, not to put him down. I think you have the difficult task of keeping your own boundaries clear and set while still behaving in a way that is loving and respectful of your son whose behaviour is lamentable and unacceptable... More than that, I really don't know. Warmest wishes.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'm so glad that you are seeing the humor in this situation. He sounds like a MAJOR drama queen...

    I agree that ignoring the suicide threats is the best tactic. Whatever you do, though - don't "egg him on" about it or dare him to kill himself....folks will commit suicide out of spite...

    And I cannot believe that you've gotten this far without realizing that everything IS your fault. It's ALWAYS Mom's fault. That's certainly what I hear from my difficult child. I have ruined her life on more than one occassion. So far - she still hates me (or so she pretends). If it was really that bad I figure she would have run away by know - so the blame game is just for show...

    Do you ever watch the show "The Middle" ? There was an episode in which the parents laid down the law for the kids. The kids protested - told them they were being mean. Finally, one of the teens threatened to report the parents to the authorities.

    The Mom replied "You're gonna call them? Gee - I hope I don't lose custody."

    So let your son have his drama...and find the humor where you can.

    Meanwhile - I hope you don't lose custody!
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    wow. he sounds like a four year old. Nevertheless, I think you have gotten some sound advice on not making fun of etc. the suicide attempts. You might just want to say that with the suicide note on your computer (hope you printed it out) you could call 911 and get him transported for an emergency type. (others know more about that than I). He can make lots of threats, but you will take his suicide threats seriously in the future. Don't know if that will make an impression.

    I forgot, does he have drug issues etc or he is just not facing up to adulthood.

    No advice, I feel for you. I have on the peter pan boys in the making too, you know one of the lost boys who don't want to grow up and only want a mother when its convenient.
  5. justtired

    justtired New Member

    Peter Pan boys.. I have to remember that. It's a good description.

    He does act like a 4 yr. old with us. With his friends, he's mr.macho.

    Malika, husband and I both talked to him and what we've gotten from our discussion is that my son doesn't feel loved or wanted because basically, we're not treating like a child anymore. I won't make him lunch. He's got two hands. IF I do make lunch which is rare, I will offer him some, but I'm not going out of my way to just make him lunch.

    I don't buy the microwavable junk food that he likes.. it's expensive and unhealthy, and he's got a job he can buy it himself.

    I won't buy him clothes or shoes anymore.. because he's 24.

    As a matter of fact in my son's suicide letter, he mentioned my grandson and how I treat him like the 'golden child'. My grandson is 6. I make him snacks. We read together, we snuggle together. I buy him clothes, and my son is very jealous of that relationship because thats the type of relationship he and I used to have when he was younger.

    no, he's not on drugs, and if I had seen the suicide note earlier I would have called the police because I would love for him to forced to see a psychiatrist, but my son was already on his way to work before I saw it.

    If I didn't laugh at the situation occasionally, I think I'd go insane..
  6. compassion

    compassion Member

    In my experience, when I set and enforce boundaries the behavior escalates to get me back into doing the "old" way which in my eyes was enabling. I find choosing my battles and prioritizing ONE behavior that is the most concerning. This can be very,very exhausting. I find breaking it down is most realisitc.
  7. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I think I would have called 911 about his "threat" as he doesn't seem stable at all. Is he on any medications or have a diagnosis?

    Maybe you could have had him placed on a 72 hour hold for being a danger to himself - if nothing else a visit by the police may have set off a lightbulb.

  8. justtired

    justtired New Member

    I threatened to call 911. I had the phone in my hand to dial 911 when he told me he took a half of a bottle of tylenol.. but then he admitted he only took 3. I checked the bottle and it was almost full so I know he didn't take more than that.

    He went to counseling when he was younger, and saw a psychiatrist when he was in his late teens who diagnosis'd Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).. general anxiety disorder but didn't put him on medications. He doesn't want to go on medications at all but I think he needs them.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok, let me get this straight in my mind. You have a 24 year old son who is working...what..full time or part time? Lives with you...does he pay rent? Obviously he doesnt have a car because you say he has a friends in the driveway with no tags.

    Does he have any dxd mental health disorders? I realize he isnt going to go on his own.

    He really should be out on his own now. by the way..whose child is the grandson? Not his I hope.

    You asked if anyone had a child who had been asked to leave the home and was doing well now. So far mine is. He also doesnt blame us for what we have ever had to do to him or for him. And we have had many out of home placements along the way. Yes he knows how hard he was on us. He has had a few things happen to him out in the real world and it hit home and showed him some small ways how bad he made me feel. I think having kids himself has helped some on that level. He just turned 25 and had his second child last Wednesday.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think the way you are calmly handling his very childish but grown tantrumming is right on.. don't react and just continue on.

    However I think I would take action on the suicide note or threats. It certainly seems in this situation that it is totally manipulation on his part but I think we always need to take the threats seriously because they might have a shred of truth in them... my guess is he is not happy in his life and he is taking it all out on you.

    My son did some stupid things a couple of years ago and did end up in a psychiatric unit twice.... recently I found some old suicide notes written years ago. I talked with him about it and asked what he would do now if he felt suicidal and he said he would check himself into a hospital. I think having been in the hospital before, plus that conversation with me helped him recently when he was feeling suicideal and he in fact did check himself in.

    So I think your son needs to know that if he is feeling suicidal there is help for him, and that you will take him seriously.... and that no you won't give in to whatever his manipulation is demanding but you will call the police and have him checked into a psychiatric facility.

  11. justtired

    justtired New Member

    He works part time, and doesn't make much so no rent. He's supposed to work around the house and do chores..

    The grandson is NOT his child.

    Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).. generalized anxiety disorder and he's not on any medications. I'd like him to go back to psychiatrist, or counselor and get on medications, but he refuses.

    I'm glad to hear your son is doing well. It gives me hope that mine will straighten up when he has to live in the real world.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    I say WELL DONE to the way you are handling his antics. You are expressing your opinion of his decisions calmly and then not engaging any further. Obviously this is driving him nuts because he seems to be trying to "up the ante" to get a reaction out of you.

    Re suicide threats: I agree with the others to NOT egg him on. As long as you feel it is just a manipulative threat, leave it be. If you feel it is escalating or he even motions to hurt himself - ex picks up a knife - do not threaten to call 911, just do it. If he is going that far, he is really THAT unstable and needs medical care, even if he is still manipulating.

    The mom factor: in my opinion these types blame the person they are closest to. Just the other day I heard a story from a woman and I would have sworn it was one of "these" kids. It was her husband. EVERYTHING is her fault. She happens to be the person this man is closest to. So in my opinion, since the mother-child bond is usually stronger than father-child bond, "these kids" tend to blame mom more than anyone else. There's so much more to it than that, but that is a solid foundation for analyzing such relationships.
  13. justtired

    justtired New Member

    Neither my husband or I would ever egg him on about his suicide threats. I'd be afraid he'd hurt himself just to show us. I don't think he'd go through with an actual suicide attempt though.

    We've told him calmly that if he sincerely feels that way, then we will take him to the hospital or call the police. A couple of months ago he got upset over something and threatened suicide so I picked up the phone, and when we asked if he really felt that way, he just mumbled 'no' and walked away.

    Honestly, I'm looking for a reason to call the police on him so he will be held over in a psychiatric ward for 72hrs. I want him to get help, and I want him to really understand that we are not backing down and won't be held hostage to his threats anymore.

    Today, he's acting like a perfect adult child and practically kissing my butt because he knows I'm mad at him for what he said in the letter.
  14. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    I agree- these "kids" seem to up the ante when you lay down the law to them. The bad behavior always escalates when their old tricks aren't working. My daughter blames me for her messed up life and recently said, "How ironic that now Dad is the one I'm closer to now." Mind you at 14 her father dropped her off from a weekend visit with everything she had at his house and said she couldn't return. He never paid child support and does little or nothing to encourage or help he now, other than listen to her complain about me and, I'm sure, agree with it. Would he ever let her move in with him, his second wife and 3-year-old? No way! How ironic. Do I buy into her malarkey? No. And her crazy talk doesn't bother me anymore like it used to. Now when she tells me what a bad mom I am I say, "I know. Look how you turned out." There's really no answer to that.

    And like you, my daughter doesn't do drugs. And terrible as it sounds I almost wish she did because that would explain her horrible behavior and give hope that it could change if she quit the drugs. As it stands, she's just a rotten person!

    Hang in there. You are doing all the right things, which is why his behavior is getting worse!
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Kids are all different and so I can't say what is true for my son will be true for your daughters... but I will say our relationship is in a different place right now. I know if he was back living in the house our relationship would go downhill fast because we would be back to needing to have rules and him breaking them all and resenting us for having them.

    However right now at this moment we are in a place where we are leaving decisions about his future to him....I am helping come up with options (ie treatment which he is looking for) but the decision about what to do, what option to take I am leaving up to him.

    He is in a place where he wants help for the mental health issues and is getting help for the substance abuse because he knows he needs to do that to deal with his mental health issues. He is appreciative that we are helping him with this.

    Are we close....I wouldnt call it that. He is not really confiding in us but I don't think he is really lying to us either (at least not much),

    I think he really hit bottom and so at least at the moment wants help..... I bringi this up because there is hope but really until they want help there is not a whole lot you can do except to do exactly what you are doing.

  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yes at my house too....LOL. I hear lots of that and lately. it is also true that since I am not his REAL mom it doesn't matter. he has a huge fantasy mom in his brain. I have never told him the truth because it is not pretty. His bio parents rights were terminated before my homestudy ever was on a SW desk. He is sure it is my fault that he is not with the nice mom. Just like if the vet would not have given the shot to our cat he would still be alive now, a year later (he was barely breathing when we took him in). He also doesn't know bio dad is in jail. oh my, I guess feeding, cleaning up barf, laundry,cooking, taking the beatings, finding the doctors etc. is not being a real mom...not enough for him...but everything else is my responsibility...that is, my fault! ( I actually feel good he is going through a normal adoptive kind of phase, but with his lack of a "filter" how he says it sounds way more harsh than other kids sound when I hear about or read about them having that fantasy about birthmom.

    About your son's acting so young like that...his logic and testing seem so immature as you said....I dont know anything about this but isn't there a thing called adjustment disorder or something like that where kids just have a really hard time moving on in life? Not that any difficult child needs ANOTHER label!
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They don't even have to be adopted to feel that "everything is Mom's fault"....
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Kuddos to you for the way you handled it and didn't let him manipulate you.

    Next time there is a suicide threat, I'd follow through with the 911 call. 1. you can still call and hopefully protect his safety while not buckling under the threat. (call 911, then go watch tv) 2. ups the chance that he *might* gets some help and 3. shows him making such threats is not only not going to get him what he wants, but will get him what he doesn't want.....treatment.

    I had to set a move out date for Nichole because she made no moves to do so herself although she was more than ready. She's done very well.

    Tough love can take a while for them to grasp. He's probably going to test you for quite a while before he gets it through his head it's not going to work. And yeah, of course he's going to blame you, you're not doing what he wants you to do.

    Keep the sense of humor. Some days it's all we got.

  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    just tired,

    I will again differ to the fact that what you are dealing with needs a professional response/help. I can't stress this enough. MOSTLY because what you are dealing with is not a garden variety mentally ill or manipulative child. You have chose to allow a 24 year old man to continue to live with you. You have chosen to lay down some very drasticly changed rules which while extremely needed and good for you? It's rocking his world and there could be retalliations. By retalliations I mean reprisals of an adult kind. Right now? He's trying childish things because it's worked in the past, and it's what he knows, or is familiar with gaining success with. Once those things run their course and he's not able to gain his way? He'll up the ante. When that happens? You'd better have a plan a., and a plan b. Be unified in your parenting, and know what it is that the two of your (meaning you and husband) agree to do when the WHAT IF's happen. Call it your contingency plan if you will. If you try to make it up as you go, or don't have someone professional telling you - If you do THIS (A) C,D,E,F or G - may occur.....and here is what we can plan now so that we are prepared and you are NOT caught unaware.

    Like the "I swallowed tylenol" - Okay......When my son did that the first time? I had already dealt with numerous (sad to say) suicide attempts. So I had a plan. DF and I both knew and said IF there was a legitimate suicide plan or a "FAKE" suicide attempt? ALL VERBAL RESPONSES to do with the word SUICIDE will be deemed and dealt with as if they were 100% legitimate - WE are not doctors, WE are not psychiatrists, and WE can't decide what is in a persons head - SO in my world - IF you say "I am going to kill myself 0r I want to die, or I am thinking about dying and those feelings have been voiced more than once - WE do not react to the person, we call 911 and allow the professionals to deal with that person. SHOULD the attempt be real? I am probably not going to be able to talk them out of it anyway, and should the attempt be a fake and I give it latitude? Then I'm giving attention that is unnecessary for a behavior that is not asking for negative attention but a cry for help. Since I don't know what kind of help to administer? I let the professionals do what they can, and the rest is up to the person as to where they go from there. Again - it just can't be my call. To finish my story - my son did have 2 legitimate suicide attempts. Both hangings. Both were caught in time, and he was in treatment at the time (both times on Zoloft which was not a good choice of AD for him obviously, first at age 10 and again at age 16). The third suicide attempt was the tylenol scare and I merely walked out and told DF to call the ambulance, and let them take him to the ER - ALONE. WE did follow some time later, but since he didn't get the REACTION he was looking for - and got put in the psychiatric ward instead and we left? It did NOT get him what he wanted. I explained later if he persisted in killing himself it was his life - he could do as he pleased. I was very droll and dry about the whole conversation. I did say I loved him, and would miss him - but I wasn't buying the BS. And asked him later HOW he would know how anyone felt about his death if he was gone? He sure wouldn't see anyones reactions. (food for thought)

    Our plan B in that whole mess? Locked up every single pill, sharp object and put them in a safe for the entire time he lived with us. Not even so much as a laxative was ever allowed out of under lock and key. Even cleaning chemicals and pesticides were locked up. Not fool-proof (and I mean fool) however I personally had to know that I went the extra mile in preventing what I could. There were still 100 ways he could have killed himself with household objects and eventually - I took the cleaning supplies out and put them back in the pantry. That was part of MY therapy. My going overboard.

    There are so many things, good things, that our kids could be doing - and yet we have to sit back and watch them do and say, and feel seemingly all the bad things. I would have thought my 18 my son and I would have had a great relationship - preparing him for the world, and (record needle skipping across a record sound here) it didn't happen that way. Instead we got to see what felt like the underbelly of Hades itself. Somedays I joked with people here that Satan had a vacation and left me in charge of the real hell. Some days I wondered how many times you could readjust your dreams and your wishes and your values for your children before they just dissipated completely like fog and became thinner than air? Okay so to start? I had given birth to the Next President of the US, and by fourth grade, maybe a veterinarian, and by seventh grade, oh dear me I hope he makes it to High school, and by high school - OMG I hope he makes it out of prison alive and not all gang related and changed by the system, and by the time he got out of jail? Oh dear me could he please just stay off drugs and find a job, maybe get a GED and find a nice girl, and someday we'll have a nice conversation? And now? Now I pray for him to be saved, for his happiness, for him to be a decent person inside and out, for him to find his purpose in life, have enough to eat, be kind to others, and me at least once a week so I don't lay awake at night worrying when I hear a news cast at 3am that says "a body was found in a canal.' Hope he realizes that he IS a wonderful young man, that the past IS behind him, that the nightmares stop for him - it's so unfair, that he can find a job- support himself, and over all be happy with who he is and not so angry....just at peace with his life and who he's become - and let the past be just that. Somewhere in that? Has to be something good for him., and me too. So you do readjust your dreams and lower your expectations. I realize he may never be president, or a veterinarian.....those were my dreams for him. I do hope that he's able to cope with the world, stay away from drugs and booze, find a good family for his life.......and just put anger and stupid things behind him - Maybe with age...maybe with all the things we tried to do for him that seemed like they didn't work - they will later? I dunno.

    I do know that at 21? After throwing him out, and literally making him live on the streets -----or how ever he could - (by his own wit) he has called, and has apologized for a lot of things. He's admitted he was wrong either in his own way or outright. I'm not calling it a miracle just yet because I am so jaded I keep waiting for the back-last effect to happen. Like he calls, he says things about his day...tells me he's really sorry for XYZ and then three days later calls for money. Call me cautious, but in three years? I think maybe I've shared only two or three of the good feelings with the board. There have been more, and I remain optimistic - but very cautiously optimistic because like most here - I've been so hurt - I just can't allow that to happen.

    It's almost ironic isn't it? Seems like when the good things would start happening after so much heartache - so many years of heartache that now would be the absolute time to jump for joy, rally your friends and wave the proverbial parent banner saying WE MADE IT, or LOOK AT MY SON......and yet - you have have so many years of being guarded the one thing you wanted so much more than anything else all these years you have to deny yourself - for's all an illusion again. (huh) ...laughing.....maybe I should change my name from Star to Oasis. hahahhaa...ahem. (well an Oasis is a hottie too) .....oh go on you wicked thing.

    Anyway - you wanted to I thought I'd tell you. And do not let the stigma of "shhhhhhhh we're seeing a therapist or a shrink or a head dude or a mental doctor" get to you. Think of it as a life - coach for a very obtuse family player. Then seek ye ----the couch. lol - okay mine had a couch but I really dug his lazy boy rocker. plush.

    Hugs & Love
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Hello. Only read the first post and very quickly a little of the others, but I do believe any and all suicide threats should be taken very seriously. We certainly understand well that often threats are made that aren't particularly "real." However, one NEVER knows for sure and this is why all of them should be taken seriously.

    You can come right out and ask the person if they are serious and/or if they have a plan. I would call a physician and/or the police no matter how unlikely the situation. This is likely to prevent an actual suicide in the event the threat is real (always a true possibility) and it sends a message that such threats should not be made. Please try not to get overly emotional about this (not easy, I KNOW) and proceed with caution.

    by the way, our difficult child told us she took a lot of pills once and although it wasn't easy, we got her to an ER and she was immediately taken to a psychiatric ward for three days. She had only taken her regular dosage of medications. She has NOT done this since and my guess is not likely to do it again.

    With reference to this question: Has anyone had a child that they've thrown out or asked to leave the home and they've turned into happy, responsible human beings?

    Hmmm. Well, our difficult child daughter wanted to leave home. We only interact with her if she treats us with respect and is appropriate with us. She seems very limited in terms of many things in life and there are many ups and downs. Setting limits has helped her and US.

    I think she has made some minor improvements in her life in terms of being a responsible and happy human being.

    A suggestion...some things to consider...

    I would establish some house rules with the understanding that if they are broken, he'll have to leave the home immeidately. If you can afford it and he is open to it, I would offer him the services of a professional counselor. You might want him to know that this door is always open for him.
    At the same time, I would pick a date for your son to move out and suggest that he find a full time job or at least work more hours to save money in preparation. Think of mile stone type dates...January 1st, his birthday, etc. Then really STICK TO IT! If he doesn't find work and plan, that's HIS problem. He'll need to find a friend to stay with when the move out date arrives.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 2, 2011