Trying to stay strong

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by okie girl, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    i have beEn trying to detach from my Difficult Child. I haven't really talked to him in weeks. I got a text from him saying he had lost the keys to his truck. I haven't talked to him. Just not sure what to do. He did ask if I could contact triple A to see if I have coverage for key replacement, which I do. He left me a voice mail yesterday but the connection was bad and I did not call him back. I got a phone call from my insurance provider today and they had left a voice mail for my Difficult Child, which is not on my policy. Not sure what is going on. I will call the insurance company tomorrow and find out more. I think he may be needing to see a dentist for a tooth that has been bothering him. I know I am starting to get that uneasy sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. He has been to several ER,s and the bills are being sent to our address. He also got a bill from some attorney (which is probably trying to collect money for the ER's). I have sent the bills back saying he is not at this address. I had an appointment to see my physiologist today but he had a family emergency and had to cancel. I have been doing so good but for some reason today I am just really nervous about this whole situation. I really don't want to talk to him on the phone. I do better with text messages. I just sent him a text a few minutes ago telling him I got his voicemail but couldn't understand it. He has not responded. He is homeless and I do worry about him but just want him to act his age. I never dreamed I would be dealing with my son being homeless at 43. I'm not telling my husband because he is done. Sorry about this being so erratic. Open to your thoughts.
  2. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    Okie, I think you are doing great. He is 43 years old man. You are not responsible for his stupidity. Sorry if that sounded harsh, but what makes him think he is entitled to use your triple A plan. Did he pay for it? I suspect not. Your so right, that he needs to grow up. At 43 both my kids were out of the house attending U and I was a middle aged mom starting my empty nest days. I am not sure that he will learn this or not, but giving into his requests will not make this any better. I know that pit in your stomach is bothering you, you have done nothing wrong here. He should be the one with a few worries and a big knot in his stomach . Good for you for sending the ER bills back. They aren't your responsibility. Don't talk to him on the phone if that isn't what you want. He is going to try to work on your soft heart. Play it safe and don't respond. I know it is hard for a mom to stand her ground and not help out her son, but by you taking care of any of these things for him is not helping. It is enabling. Take what you want and leave the rest. Don't worry about the what ifs or the maybes that run threw your mind, they may never materialize.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You are 64. You deserve a peaceful retirement.
    He is 43. He is definitely far from being a kid. I don't know the specifics other than he uses drugs. He is homeless because drug addicts are usually homeless. Worrying about him won't make him stop. He may never stop. He is no kid and does not seem interested in quitting. You can not mother a 43 year old.
    When is it going to be YOUR time? Does he worry about YOU? Ask about your health?
    I think he should handle everything himself or not handle it. All of your adult children are over 30. It is time for them to do it themselves or not.
    in my opinion it is time for you to take a cruise with your sweet husband and time for the two of you to love, nurture and take care of one another :)
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  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Okie girl, can you start saying this, whenever he texts or calls (no matter what he asks for): No, I'm sorry. I'm sure you can figure it out. I love you.

    Just say that over and over and over and over, no matter what he says.

    Write it down and tape it to the back of your phone. Copy and paste it over and over again into your text message, so you don't have to type it.

    No keys, no help, no brainstorming, no nothing. If and when he comes back to you and says something like this: Hey mom, guess what? I'm making some real changes in my life.

    Then you could start saying something different. Until then, there truly is nothing else to say to a 43 year old man who chooses to use drugs and be homeless.

    And I realize you love him and will always hope and pray for something good to happen for him. But you have to think of yourself. It's way past time for that.

    Keeping it simple and knowing what you will do ahead of time helps with keeping the focus on you and not on him.

    I remember in Al-Anon this saying: Say what you mean, but don't say it mean.

    That was my guiding light for a long long time, and I'm still learning and living into that statement.

    Warm hugs for you this morning.
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  5. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank all of you for your replies and helpful advise. It helps to know I have support from you and it makes me feel less stressed with your comments. I found out today he has another felony warrant. He is on probation so he will probably be going to prison. This all seems like a nightmare.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. The others have great suggestions. I truly hope and pray that you start to feel better and not so tied up in his issues. Why is he contacting your insurance and not his own? Your insurance should not help him if he is not on the policy. Make sure to contact your them and let them know that he is not authorized to do ANYTHING to your policy, not use it, not change it, not anything. It is odd that he contacted your insurance. Makes me wonder if he is trying to tell them that he is taking over and is your guardian or some such nonsense so that he can cancel it and get a refund sent to him instead of to you. Or he got caught with-o insurance (big deal in our state) and he wants a copy of your insurance paperwork to alter and use to prove that he does have it, the computers are just wrong. I know my older bro tried to teach me to 'save money' by not having insurance and if you get caught you use a copier and white out and a typewriter to make one that shows you are insured. That way you don't have to have insurance so you 'save' money. He also has tried to say he was my mom's financial person and to send records to him and a refund because he is cancelling the service (was not insurance, can't remember what it was, but boy did that situation get U G L Y real fast!
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It's his nightmare, not yours. You probably care more than he does. He is certainly old enough to know what a felony is and to avoid one, but he didn't so this is on him 100%.

    Book that cruise. He has proven that he is not going to be a responsible adult and you have been one and deserve wonderful golden years. At least in prison, he's not on the street.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Okie Girl, at 43 he should not be coming to you for anything. All in all I think you handled it very well. One of the smartest things you can do is to not accept mail.

    Did you get ahold of your insurance company? I would be very concerned about why they would be leaving a message for your son who is not on your policy. I agree with @susiestar about telling your insurance company that he is not authorized to do anything with your policy.

    One thing I have learned about my son and I'm sure it hold true for many of our Difficult Child is that they will go to any length to get what they want. When my son was in jail (one of the many times) and was preparing to be released, he called me and said the only way he could get an ID was if I gave him my social security number. I told him under no circumstances was I going to give him that information. Then he started accusing me of not loving him, blah, blah, blah. I told him if the prison would confirm that this was true I would consider it. He finished the phone call with "just forget it" and hung up. Just out of curiosity I contacted the prison and asked, they told me this was a common ploy by inmates and for the unlucky parents who did give their SS# their Difficult Child would get out jail and get credit cards under the parents names.

    Do what you have to and make sure your identity is protected.

    This is great advice and really works. It keeps it simple. I have used this myself and there were times when my son would just keep at me and I would just repeat the same thing over and over, he grew tired of it and quit asking.

    If you prefer to just text then let him know that, set that boundary.

    I completely agree!!

    ((HUGS)) to you........................
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  9. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you my friends. I did call the insurance and customer service said they had nothing in their notes so I guess that is good. I haven't heard back from them. I have started a part-time job to keep my mind off all this. It has been good for me. I still have his number blocked and will text if he wants to contact me. I have tried to help him but I can't do it anymore. Please keep us in your prayers.
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  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Okie girl, I am saying a prayer for you right now.

    My Difficult Child is 34 so I "get" this older offspring trying to dupe a parent. And, I am so sorry this is happening to you. Believe me, husband and I have experienced much like you have. husband and I have come a very long way as far as detachment since finding this forum. Best thing that ever happened to us as far as dealing with Difficult Child. My husband comments, at least once a week, Thank God you found that forum!

    These folks will buoy you up and help you see what are normal, sensible moves, vs. what our brow-beaten and confused minds tell us.

    Please keep posting and stay close. It will help you - a lot!

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  11. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you SS. I'm so thankful I found this forum. It has helped me so much. There is so many wise and caring people on here that helps me cope by sharing their own experiences.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Okiegirl, I am sorry to intrude on your thread but I need help along a similar line. I want to know if you or anybody has ideas for me, about how to handle a similar issue with my son.
    My son who is 26 said this: "I was hurt because you don't want me at the house anymore. I didn't do anything. I didn't deserve that."

    I am clear about the part: No, I'm sorry. I know you can work it out.

    When he asks to hang out because he has nothing to do or stay over because he is thrown out of here or there, I say no.

    He does not like this.

    He believes it to be unfair and unjustified.

    What can I answer that does not escalate it?

    Last time when I set a limit he did not call for 5 weeks. I fear he sees my setting a limit as a rejection of him.

    I am not rejecting him as my son. It is this: I cannot tolerate close up and personal how he lives his life. You all get it. He does not.

    I do not want conflict or distance from him. Either.

    I guess both of us want our cake and to eat it to.

    The long version is this:

    I can't stand being exposed to how you live. From here on out when you mess up in your life, you need to clean up the mess yourself. I do not want to do it, or to suffer the consequences.

    When you are at the house I lose any sense of peace, security or well-being that I had. When we try to set a limit you call the cops on us and try to put us in jail. Last time you gave M a black eye. When I try to talk to you about it you say it is our fault.

    I am learning to respect your right as an adult to make your own life independent of my values, my opinions and my worries. The trade off is that I need you to take responsibility for yourself, and respect me and my space.

    I want my home to be conflict-free and as we need it to be, as we need to live.

    What can I say to my son when he says to me you hurt me. I didn't deserve it. I did nothing wrong?

    When he will not, cannot or does not want to accept the reality of things: He is an adult. He can live as he chooses. Just not with my help. Just not with me.

    I love my son. Through all of this we are close. I want and need him in my life. Just not in my house.

    I don't know how to say it. In a way that he can hear and accept.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  13. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Copa........I have been in the process of detaching for the last few weeks. I love my son but he never takes responsibility for anything he has done is always someone else's fault. When your son tells you that you hurt him and he didn't derserve it and he did nothing wrong. He is putting a guilt trip on you. This is the reason I blocked my son's phone. I'm not strong enough to confront him. I know his phone has been suspended. I don't know where he is but suspect he is in jail. It's so hard on us moms because we remember them as sweet little guys growing up. Just remember nothing ever stays the same. Everyday things change. Hugs. And prayers Copa.
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I'm sorry you are hurt. I love you.

    Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

    Don't engage with circular conversations, which is a common habit with addicts and alcoholics.

    I spent HOURS trying to reason with my exhusband in these circular conversations. Nothing ever got dealt with. Ever.

    Finally I stopped talking. I am a very slow learner and an unrelenting communicator.

    But even I finally got it. There is no explanation on earth that will ever be acceptable Copa as long as there is no recovery.

    Stop wasting your breath. This kind statement: I'm sorry you are hurt. I love you. Is all true and you can never have regrets saying this over and over.

    He won't like it so don't expect that. Have no expectations. At all. You can't create a new reality for him. Only he can do that for himself.

    Focus on your reality. Create a great life for yourself regardless of what he does or does not do.

    Warm hugs.
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  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    You've gotten a lot of good feedback about boundaries. I hear the fear in your voice about consequences, and I want to weigh in on one son is in jail for a felony. A lot of us have had kids in jail. It is not the end of the world (although certainly I thought it would be, as did our whole family). There are boundaries in jail. They don't use drugs there. If he is supposed to take medications he will get medications. He will be (for the most part) safe. He won't be able to txt you, or to call you often at all.

    Try to move the fear of his going to jail out of your "panic" center. It will happen if it should, and it will be OK if it does.

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  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Copa, before your time we had a lot of threads about letters to our kids...whether they read them, whether they care. Turns out a lot of them stop reading pretty early on. But a lot of us write them anyway. I think it is OK to write him a letter to say all these things.

    And it is OK if you have to also say it in person to say...this all is too hard for me. It makes me sad and uncomfortable to have you live your life this way and then come home and try to pretend all is normal. I can't do it anymore. I need a break.

    And stick to that phrase.

    In the end you may not be able to convince him of the legitimacy of your stand...that is how addicts and Difficult Child's the end it is you that you have to convince. Telling him is part of that process.

    Maybe if you tell him and he doesn't respect it it will help you to keep your boundaries.

    That happened with me.

    Good luck, Copa

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  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Ah, Copa. I hate to put it this way, but he won't accept it because he doesn't like it and your rationale doesn't matter to him. He wants to be able to do whatever he wants to do yet live with you and have your financial support. In some way, people like this tend to justify their own points of view and shut out yours.

    There are no magic words that change this. God help me, I wish there were.

    Hugs ((())).
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  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Honestly, this could be a godsend. He will no longer be homeless, without medical and mental health attention, he will have three hots and a cot. He will have the opportunity IF HE CHOSES TO TAKE IT to start putting his life back together. If you wouldn't give him money while he was on the streets, don't do so while he is incarcerated. He will only buy either junk food or cigarettes (possibly to trade for drugs) or he will buy phone minutes so he can call you to tug at your heart strings for more money.

    I just came back from R&O's (new intakes) and one of the things I remind them of is that we cant force them to change any more than they can force us to change. This is for both OG and Copa, there is NO magic word, phrase, or sentence that will make them understand something that they don't want to understand. Keep it simple, minimal, and in text format if at all possible. Lil can be very strong in resisting our son UNTIL she hears his voice. They are counting on this so don't give them the option. OG, for the record, MANY prisons now allow messages to be sent from the kiosk to your phone for a small fee per message. I will double check to see if you can respond or not but the company that does this covers the prisons in several states so its a good possibility that they have them where you are as well, even if its a different company.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Copa, one thing I have learned from all that I have gone through with my son is as long as they "believe" they have done nothing wrong, nothing will change for them. My son to this day continues to blame me for everything that has gone wrong in his life. I used to try and explain to him how his choices led him to such chaos and misery but he would always turn it back around on me. He's a master at talking in circles, will leave your head spinning!! I learned to adopt the simple phrases, no more trying to get him to understand, no more trying to defend myself. My standard line is "I'm sorry you feel that way, I hope things work out for you, I love you"

    Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.
    Until our Difficult Child our willing to take responsibility for their poor choices they will continue to blame anyone and everyone. My son has been in and out of jail numerous times. It's been a little over a year since he was in last (at least that I'm aware of). Currently he's traveling (I'm guessing hitchhiking) across the west. He posted on FB how a certain state is stupid. It was something like "why do I have to be stuck in #### it's such a stupid state" needless to say, when I read that kind of stuff I do not respond. Seriously, blaming a state???
    You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure them out and quite frankly, I have better things to spend my energy on.

    Detaching from my son is the only way I have been able to maintain my sanity and health. Right now the only way we communicate is through private messages on FB and I prefer that. I'm able to keep my responses very simple. If I sense that the conversation is heading in a bad direction I tell him, got errands to run, gotta go, love you, bye, then I shut my computer off and go something I enjoy, ok, sometimes I might start cleaning the bathroom :p

    @okie girl and @Copabanana , as others have said, there is no magic to make any of this better. It is what it is. We are all in this together and that my dear friends is good, that we have each other.

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  20. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Jabber......You make a good point about Difficult Child would have place to sleep, medical and meals. I'm glad you mentioned not giving him money while in prison. I know phone calls from jail are very expensive. I would really appreciate any info you can find out for me about messages from the kiosk. I can relate to Lil regarding hearing his voice, I am the same way. That is why I don't take his calls and try to just text. I checked the jail record today and he still hasn't been arrested. He does have a felony warrant for larceny. He stole a girlfriends rings her mother had given her. He pawned them. I just can't understand why he can't keep a job and work to support his self.