Totally ungrateful

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sherril2000, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    So, my son has been in jail for 2 weeks. He's charged with- probation violation, possession of marijuana, & possession of a concealed weapon. He was a juvenile felon, charged with- grand larceny, which is why he was on probation. My attorney told me the prosecutor could decide to charge him with- possession of an illegal firearm, which is a felony & carries an automatic 2 year sentence. So, being the fool I am, I hired my attorney to defend him. I even took the time out of my busy day ( I work 2 jobs) & set up a conference call with- my attorney to check on the progress of the case. My attorney told me he was pretty sure he could work out a plea agreement where my son would only serve 4 months on all charges . I was ecstatic, & couldn't wait to tell my son. I thought he would be so happy. Guess what? He threw a fit & told me I should have gotten a better attorney. I couldn't believe it. He actually hung up on me. Then he called back & my 15 year old daughter told him he was an ungrateful jerk. He told her he was going to hang himself in jail if he had to serve more than 3 months & then hung up on her. I absolutely have to stop remembering him as the innocent, sweet, loving little boy he once was. He has become so angry and manipulative. I just don't want to give up on him because she & I are really all he has. This is the hardest thing I have ever been through.
  2. I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this. It seems pretty typical for our difficult kids. They live in a fantasy world and want everything to go their way 100%. Then they take it out on us when it doesn't. He's probably hoping you can waive a magic wand and he won't have to experience the consequences of his behavior. And if you were somehow magically able to do that, he would only be happy until the next crisis of his own making occurred.

    Take good care of yourself. You deserve to be respected and appreciated, even if your son can't see that.
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been where you are Sherril, giving and giving and giving. My daughter acted in the exact same way your son acted, ungrateful, rude, disrespectful, angry, blaming, manipulative, really, a jerk. But I kept showing up and giving more because "I was all she had. Her husband committed suicide, her children were taken away, she lost everything".........on and on my litany of excuses for her behavior went, and on and on my relentless giving went........and on and on her bad behavior went. Until I stopped. I stopped giving. I set strong boundaries. I insisted on being treated well and if I wasn't I hung up or stayed away and told her I would no longer tolerate that abuse, that disrespect. She was angry. And, after awhile, it changed. I didn't expect it to, and I don't believe one should set boundaries and demand respect for a desired outcome, but to do it because no one deserves to be treated that way and I wasn't going to put up with it anymore. Your son may or may not change, but you certainly don't deserve to be treated that way. Your son is acting badly.

    It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever been through. If you want your son to change, you are going to have to be the one who does all the changing, he won't. He's already been allowed to act this way. By you. When you stop allowing it, that's when it will change. Either he will change, or he will exit out of your sphere because he refuses to stop being a jerk. Either way, you will gain back your life, your respect and your peace of mind.

    He is holding you hostage with his behavior. Nothing you do is going to meet his entitled ways. You might consider letting the attorney go and allowing the pieces to fall where they may. If your son threatens suicide, call the authorities at the jail, he will soon stop doing that. Many of our troubled kids threaten us with killing themselves, starving to death, freezing to death, being unsafe, whatever, but of course, the one thing they fail to realize is THEY put themselves in these situations, not us. But they often insist that we remove them from the consequences of their behavior. Doing that for them is ripping them off of learning the lesson. That is how we learn, by facing the consequences. Your son is learning how to manipulate not how to grow from this experience.

    Do you think your son will learn any kind of lesson if you bail him out? Possession of a concealed weapon is a serious offense. Grand Larceny as a juvenile? It may be time to step back and allow the pieces to fall where they may. His ungrateful behavior and hanging up on you and threatening you with suicide is over the top in bad behavior.

    Give it some serious thought as to how to proceed. Letting him face his consequences is not abandoning him, you're still there, just allowing him to know that he can't do illegal things and get off, he has to pay a price for it, or he WILL do it again.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I do know how hard it is. Do what feels right to you, but consider all your options.
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  4. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    Thank you both so much for your replies. I'm learning, I really am. I was always very overprotective of all my kids, never wanting anything bad to happen to them. When I look back on my sons past, I realize I tried to protect him too much. My son -in-law, who served time in Juvenile detention years ago, recently told me he experienced much the same situation with- his grandmother. He told me she always loved him unconditionally, just like I do my son. She would bail him out, pay for his attorney fees... Sadly, she passed away. After that, he had no one but himself. I'm proud to say he straightened up, & has become a good husband & father. He warned me my son sees me the same way he saw his grandmother. He thinks I will get him out of whatever trouble he gets into. I definitely see the error of my ways. I'm working hard to set boundaries, & he will have to sign a behavioral contract & abide by it if he wants to live with- me when he gets out. I just have always been so afraid of what he would do if I didn't give in to him. I know now things will only get worse if I continue to enable him. My 15 year old daughter told me tonight he actually brags to her that he's my favorite, & he can manipulate me into doing whatever he wants. I have been such a fool.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh have my complete sympathy. I understand. I was thinking the exact same thing today about my son. Not as bad as your situation, but just as ungrateful. After all I've done, after all I've forgiven, after taking an hour of vacation yesterday to take him to apply for food stamps...and buying him a very few groceries to tide him over until they kicked in (I expect people to chastise me on this board for that)...buying a pack of cigarettes (mostly because I wanted one after dealing with him) and giving him the rest, today he asks me to loan him money. I told him no. He asks me to once again leave work and give him a ride - or rather his friend a ride - to a pawnshop. I told him no and that I was busy and needed to get back to work. His response: "Thanks for nothing!" and hung up on me.

    I'm still fuming.

    It's never enough. No matter what we do, no matter how much we do for them. It's never enough.
  6. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    You are exactly right. It's just like that with- my son too. Never enough. We try & try & try, & it's never good enough. You were smart to put your foot down & say no. That's what I'm doing from now on.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Yes, he is very ungrateful. My son has been in and out jail / prison many times. I have never paid for an attorney for him. He started getting in trouble as a teen and even back then I would not spend money on an attorney. I was always there for him, went to all the court hearings but was not going to spend money on an attorney to get him out of the trouble he had gotten himself into. I knew that would only send a message to him that what he had done was really no big deal but it is a big deal.
    It's the "mommy" in us that does not want to see our children in trouble or suffering but that is where we have to separate our emotions from reality.

    You know the answer, you know what you need to do and what you shouldn't do. You have not been a fool, you have simply hoped that your love for him would be enough. It's heartbreaking to learn that it's not, that you cannot kiss his booboo and make it better.

    He's an adult now, making adult choices, it's time he face adult consequences. Let him kick and scream all he wants, don't buy into it. You deserve to have a calm life and it's up to you to make that happen for yourself.

    You need to set boundaries. When my son was in jail and he would call, he would start on his ranting and raging and cussing. I do not tolerate any of that and told him if he continued I would hang up. There were many times I hung up on him. I learned over time the best way for us to communicate was via letters.

    Hang in there, you will get through this.

    ((HUGS)) to you..............
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Lil, I'm so sorry. It is so frustrating how ungrateful they can be. I will not chastise you for doing what your feel you need to. We all go through this at our own pace. It's easy for me to say "close the purse, stop giving" because I am so far down the road from where you are now, but I was there once too. I think you are doing great. It takes time.
    ((HUGS)) to you Lil.
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sherril, could you put the age of your son in your signature and a little about him, any diagnosis, etc. like you see we've done. It's difficult for us to recall your information without the signature. Thank you.

    And, you're doing a good job, this is very, very hard, we all go through it doing the best we can. It takes time and it takes support for us to make the changes. Hang in there, keep posting.......hugs to you......
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  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Sherril, I see your son is only 18. It is so hard when they're so young, isn't it? They seem like they should be children they should be able to change. I feel like that's the worst part. It seems like we're not done yet...we're still raising we owe them somehow to keep trying.

    I try to remind myself that young men the age of our sons are currently in the military, serving their country. They aren't babies. We have raised them. We have done what we could and we don't actually owe them a thing. IN fact, if anything, they owe us.

    Well, I did make him go the whole weekend. :confused: And I didn't buy him much. And I told him that this was it. Now he'd have his food stamps and he needed to get a damn job because it's time to grow up and take care of his own life. I thought we'd had a pretty good talk...guess it didn't take.
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  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I do not expect gratitude from my son. I now do because I want to. I want to less and less. I never do for him if he asks. He is learning not to ask. I now get an "appreciate it mom" most of the time. Do I think he means it? No. The important thing is that it is in my time on my terms.
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  12. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    It was rather amusing last night. She couldnt go to bed without telling me she had done this even though I had told her to do it if she wanted, I wouldnt be upset about it. Although she did fail to mention the cigarettes!!


    Yes, he will quit doing that VERY quickly! I work in Corrections and can assure you that suicide watch is unpleasant for staff and VERY unpleasant for the offender. We have to check in on them at prescribed intervals from between 15 minutes to one hour. They are placed in a paper gown with no mattress, pillow, blankets, sheets, or anything. They are fed on styrofoam trays that we gather back up right away. Granted, this is what Im used to and different departments have different proceedures but you get the idea.
    My advice to you would be just as RE said, pull your assistance with this and let HIM sort it out.
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Sherril, I am so sorry to read about all you have been through.

    I am going through something similar with my son, who disappeared (again) after we provided an attorney for him at his last arraignment. He has turned a more than reasonable plea bargain into a warrant for his arrest, all because he expected to go in and have no consequences for his bad choices.

    I don't understand the filter through which our difficult children see the world and their place in it. It is their own Hell, I guess, to perpetually wonder why everyone doesn't see how the rules don't apply to them.
  14. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    When a difficult child thrives on manipulation there is a good chance that you may be dealing with a personality disorder which is different from a mental disorder. Personality disorders can also co-exist with other types of mental illness. Here is a short guide by the Mayo Clinic. Maybe it will help you identify what behaviors you are seeing:

    Lil, there is never reason for you to be chastised here, on this board. We may be tough with you - but it seems that it works for you, after you internalize it, and get over being PO-ed, you are able to see the tough situation you are in with your Difficult Child son and you are making good progress in starting to detach. I think what you see as chastising is just you being hit with the realities that you don't want to see. I don't think you are wrong for what you did for your son. Actually, had you not done it you would not have had the experience of seeing just how ungrateful he is.
  15. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    Why don't we look at this like we are on the outside. What if your delinquent neighbour's child/adult had a track record like your son. I would be scared sh_tless to think that he may not be getting any or much time and then will be returning home to be my out of control neighbour once again. I would also be very angry that our court system works this way. That someone with a juvenile felony and now an adult felony is slipping through the the cracks. Is this really fair to the rest of society? He gets dick squat and we get to live fearful in our own home.
    Sherril, sorry if this sounds harsh, but try to put yourself in someone else's shoes. Too many of us understand from your shoes as a mother what that is like. Just thinking about it from a different angle.
    Me, I would want the harshest sentence available, hoping prison would be his rock bottom and then come out a different man.
  16. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    Thank you for this information. I've been saying for a long time something is wrong mentally, he needs help. He has characteristics of both borderline & antisocial personality disorders. While I agree he should be punished for his actions, I'm faced with- the dilemma of how serving time & the influence of other inmates seems to make him act worse. I'm definitely having him evaluated when he's released. I found a neuropsychologist in our area. One positive thing is he will take the medications prescribed for him. He wants to feel better.