"Ur gonna be a grandma"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Stress Bunny, May 5, 2014.

  1. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    So this is the latest one-line text message from JT.

    Every single week there is some new drama with him, and it seems the ante keeps increasing. He has only been in his own apartment (after his grandparents allowed him to stay with them for a couple of months) since February. And, already, he has been arrested, charged, and jailed with underage drinking and distribution of alcohol to minors. He has ended up in the ER numerous times for work injuries, receiving pain medications every time, of course. Then, he collected on workers comp. He has been in a car accident, and he has failed to pay bills, including his student loan from when he flunked out of college, so creditors are after him. He invited his girlfriend to live with him so he could charge her for some of his rent and living expenses. Then, he had a fight with this girlfriend, who threatened to shoot him, apparently, so he called the police, and she was removed from his apartment. He immediately got himself a new girlfriend, who has a young daughter, stating that he is madly in love with her because she is "the female version of himself", he said. No surprise there, since he is truly in love with himself. She broke up with him two weeks later.

    This week, he texts me that I am going to be a grandma - ughh! And, he leaves it like that, like he always does. One line. One statement that will provoke strong emotions in me.

    Sometimes he texts things like he's won $10,000. Now, I knew that he had fallen for a ploy on that, but I didn't say anything. I didn't respond. I wanted him to find out himself. He argues with everything I say.

    Another time, he sent me a text that he had a really bad night. And that's it. He doesn't say what happened, but he wants me to get all concerned and wrapped up in his drama. "What happened, JT? Are you okay? Oh my gosh, I am SO worried about you!" He wants attention. He wants to cause me emotional turmoil. He gets his kicks out of it. As my husband said, JT is probably smirking from ear to ear after he sent me the grandma text message. He enjoys this. If I don't respond, he sometimes can't resist texting me more about the drama anyway.

    I haven't responded to this latest text. The fact that he would text me something like that instead of talking to me in person or giving me more information speaks volumes about his selfishness. I don't even know who the mother of this baby might be.

    How can I have a decent relationship with someone who cares nothing about my well being? Someone who lives his life in opposition to every blessing he's been given? Someone who enjoys hurting me financially, spiritually, and emotionally? There is not one thing about JT that honors husband or me. He dishonors us and enjoys it.

    I guess I don't know how to take things from here. Ideally, I would like to have a good relationship with JT, but he is so emotionally exploitative and sociopathic, even, in his delight in hurting us, that I wonder how it's even possible. I am tired of the constant drama. How can I have that good relationship with someone who has a foul mouth, inflated sense of self, trouble with the law, drinking, drugging, smoking, gun-toting, knife-wielding, porn-watching, a personally exploitative, manipulative approach, an argumentative attitude, and generally unlikeable personality? I don't even want to talk to him. Conversations with JT are always about JT. He lives in a fantasy world where he views himself as superior to everyone else. He already knows everything about everything. He is all-knowing and omnipotent. I am not exaggerating. He brags about his superior abilities non-stop and believes everything he says, despite objective evidence to the contrary. He lies constantly and about everything. I don't trust him. Because of his big ego and big mouth to match, not to mention narcissism and selfishness, he can't maintain relationships over any length of time. Most of his "girlfriends" last only a matter of weeks.

    I know all of this mess is JT's problem, but yet, it affects me. It's hard to accept it or distract from it. I grieve regularly for the hopes and dreams I had for JT, for the peaceful, happy life I always wanted.

    Next weekend is Mothers Day, and I can only imagine the drama that awaits me then.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    you describe him very clearly:

    I guess the question is, WHY would you have a good relationship with the person you are describing? What would that say about you? How would that affect you day to day? what does a good relationship with some one like that look like? I'll rest on that last question. What does it look like? Maybe you are aspiring to an impossible concept. How can anyone have a good relationship with some one like that?

    If texts are his major vehicle of harassment, maybe you can ask him to stop texting you. You can let him know that you find the texts distressing and so you won't be accepting them anymore..then you can block them or just not answer them as you see fit.

    If you can move to a place where phone calls and face to face are the MO of communication, then at least there won't be these one-sided bombs.

    It's hard, Stress. Its stressful. You are working on seeing it as it is. That is good and healthy work, even though what we see is not what we want to see.

    I'll follow along and see what you and others have to say while you work on this issue in your life.


  3. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member


    I can't reconcile what I would hope for with the reality of what is. So, it is impossible, I think. I really don't want a relationship in this current state of affairs. Does that make me an awful person? I feel so sad and regretful that this is how everything is turning out. JT maintains an incredible sense of entitlement. He believes he has a right to be in our life and to attend family functions, etc.; to be accepted no matter what he says or does. But the truth is, he has damaged the relationship so much with his behavior and words, that we no longer have anything left to give him. He has only taken. It has been one-way.

    I am proud of myself when I don't respond to his texts. I have changed over the past two years since he's taken us on this unwanted ride of his. I am detaching. I can more clearly see what is happening, and best of all, I am freeing myself of the guilt and sense of responsibility I have felt for his actions. I still struggle to find peace on a daily basis. I fantasize about going away - far away to someplace tropical where I could get away physically and emotionally in a new setting; someplace where the biggest worry would be watching out for falling coconuts.

  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I really hope he is just doing one of his sadistic texts.

    Nothing makes a difficult child who is not in an enlightened frame of mind a good parent. The kid suffers. I rarely see my grandson. I don't even know him.

    Sometimes they use the poor baby over our heads for money.

    Praying for best outcome and, no, you can not have a normal relationship with a sociopath person, even your own son.

    If you have other loving kids I would exclude him from your mother's day festivities and do something else with him later at night at ,say a public restaurant for coffee or not see him at all. My difficult child always "forgets" to contact me for Mothers Day and never even sends a card. It doesn't even bother me anymore. He is what he is.
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  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    It is OK to know this to be true today. It is OK to sit with that thought and allow it to be true. It is true, it is a reasonable and fair response to his behavior, and it is hard hard hard thing to see. A hard place that we, as moms, live in where that is true.

    Think about why it is that you have allowed his needs to supercede the needs of all others. Does husband want to see him, to spend time with him? Does Bubby? Do you? Why does only JT get what seems to make him more comfortable, at the expense of all of you? You may even have been thinking about seeing him on Mother's Day...YOUR day...an activity which would bring you only distress and discomfort in a weird alternative universive where you are supposed to pretend to be enjoying yourself.

    Maybe this year is the year to say that what you want for mother's day is to be allowed to be who you are, want what you want, do what you want to do.

    I am sorry, truly I am, that you are in this hellish place with this hellish boy.

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  6. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    Well, JT followed up on last night's text, texting me again today to ask whether or not I received his text from last night. First of all, he always texts me from work, and he's not supposed to be using his phone during work hours. I have told him that I won't contribute to him losing his job. He claims his supervisor doesn't care. Doesn't care or doesn't know? Either way, I won't respond to texts during his work hours. Of course, since I said that I don't think it's a good idea for him to text during his work hours, that's now the only time he ever does text me. The defiance goes to such petty levels.

    MWM - Thanks, I hadn't thought of having a separate time with difficult child on Mothers Day, but that is a definite option. I expect him to seek attention regarding this latest news. It's always all about him. You're right that he certainly won't make a decent parent. But, he'll already be ousted from this child's life before birth, as there is no doubt the mother will not want him to be part of it. I know your 36 is a challenging person to communicate with, and I'm glad you have other children who are more honorable people. I have a 13 yo Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) boy, who has some very difficult moments behaviorally, and I just pray he doesn't turn out like JT. That would be devastating to have both kids end up like that. I have a great deal of anxiety about it.

    Echo, you bring up a great point about JT's needs superceding everyone else's. I guess I somehow continue to feel obligated to be a "good mom". And I want things to be alright. The truth is things are not alright. Not one bit. My husband can't stand JT and really wants to detach from him completely. With Bubby, it's out of sight and out of mind. He is in the moment, and since JT no longer lives with us, Bubby seems to be okay with getting all of the attention. The grandparents and other relatives are all extremely disappointed in JT. They think he doesn't know how good he's had it. They believe he has wasted his opportunities and made relationships with him very difficult. I feel embarrassed, ashamed, and brokenhearted about JT's choices. Every week, he seems to settle into a new low with everything. I find myself resenting all of the years of my life I wasted trying to raise him well. All of the years of perfectly good days ruined by his behavior. It's like a nightmare that never ends.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stress Bunny, I'm sorry you're going through this with your son.

    You may want to read this thread ECHO introduced, it has some good material in it that may be helpful to you....http://www.conductdisorders.com/community/threads/id-like-to-talk-about-acceptance.57846/

    If you haven't already, you may want to read the article at the bottom of my post here on detachment.

    Most of us on the PE side have experienced what you're going through and what most of us discover is that often we wait and wait and endure and endure hoping that our difficult child's will change. It is rare that they do. All you can do is change yourself. Work on yourself and develop tools to detach from this drama that your son is dragging you through. If he is texting you continuously, then block his texts. Tell him you will speak to him once a week at a time that is convenient for you. You do not have to put up with this on a daily basis, that is what is crazy making for you. You have to be the one to limit this behavior and set boundaries because he won't.

    Keep taking steps back. Limit the texts. Limit the time spent with him. Limit his ability to bring toxicity into your life. One choice at a time. There is no reason you have to see him on Mothers Day. That is your day and you already know he will ruin it. IF you must see him, do it outside your home at a public place that you can get up and leave from once he begins his bad behavior. Otherwise he will ruin the day for everyone. That's usually the outcome. Don't allow it. You have all the power, however you are giving it to him.

    Sociopaths have no ability to empathize with you at all, so any expectation that you have that he will understand your feelings is a set up for failure and big disappointment. You seem to be expecting him to behave like other people yet you've described someone who can't do that, so you have to lower your expectations. It's usually best to limit your exposure. It usually works best to set strict enforceable, impenetrable boundaries around the behavior which harms you................he won't do that, you have to do that. We have to keep stepping back and stepping back and setting limits and sometimes they learn and abide by those boundaries, sometimes they don't. But it is up to you. Otherwise, you will be going through this for many years to come.

    If you stop reciting your part of the script the two of you are practiced at, he will have no choice but to change. The power you have is how you respond, so respond differently. Don't get involved in his daily dramas, there is no reason to do that.That is likely a 'Mother should' or guilt, either one of which is a made up sense of duty which will only keep this scenario in full swing.

    He is an adult man who is making life choices on his own, there is no reason you have to be part of the aftermath of those choices.

    If you haven't already it may be prudent for you to seek support, Families Anonymous is helpful to a lot of folks here............this is such a treacherous journey for parents that it usually becomes necessary for us to seek professional help. This is a mine field of bombs going off pretty regularly and therapy or whatever kind of support you choose becomes necessary for us to remain sane and healthy.

    Hang in there, once you start responding differently it gets a whole lot better. Keep posting, it helps a lot. Wishing you peace of mind........
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    My dear Stress,

    RE has given you so much good guidance...I hope that you are in a place to take it to heart. It can get better, I promise. We all know your pain, more than you can imagine.

    Holding you tight in my heart tonight,

  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    This sounds like a simple thing, and it is, but it's hard to do. We get into habits. We react. We get sad and we can't stand not to talk to our children. We think well, doing this one little thing is something I would do for anyone. And maybe it will make a difference. I can't stand to do nothing. What do I do with my thoughts and myself if I do nothing?

    All of those things keep us engaged.

    Keep taking steps back can look like this:

    1. If you answer the phone when difficult child calls, stop answering and let the calls go to voice mail. I remember the day it hit me that I did not have to answer the phone when my son called. I thought as his mother, I should always answer the calls of my two sons. I realized I did not have to do that, and that was a big day for me. I was no longer held hostage by my phone and I could either call him back or not.

    2. If you answer texts, stop responding, and wait for at least 24 hours----no matter how many times he texts or what he says in those texts. One time my son texted me more than 260 times in one day. He kept ramping up because I didn't respond. It's hard at first, but it gets easier. Not responding gave me a perspective on how insane it was that he would keep on texting dozens of question marks or periods just to keep bugging me.

    3. If you see your son often, start seeing him less often. Finally, this last time, I was seeing my son for 10 minutes once a week. We would sit in my car and talk for 10 minutes. Then we would hug, say I love you and I would let him out of the car. Those were good times, actually. I would feel sad when I left that he was still homeless, but it got easier.

    Whatever little habits you have of staying engaged, work on putting space between them. Work on stopping.

    I found that I have to "do something" with that additional angst, time and space that was created by not staying engaged with difficult child.

    I kept busy with other things. I started using that energy to do nice things for myself.

    We have to change the bad habits---the sick dance---we are dancing with our difficult children. I'm not dancing anymore. Then our difficult children will have to find another dance partner. Or, in the best of circumstances, they will have to dance with themselves. They will have to quit relying on other people to live their lives for them, and they will have to start living them themselves, under their own power.

    That hasn't yet happened with my difficult child, but I know now that I have created the space where he can do that, if and when he chooses. Before I stopped, he had no chance because I was filling up all of the space.

    Hugs. This new path is a hard one, but it is worth it, Stress. We know the other way doesnt work, so let's change what we are doing. We are the only people we can change.
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  10. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Hi Stress Bunny,
    I have been absent from the boards for a while, busily helping difficult child launch to an apt. (You may recall her February suicide attempt). It sounds like you're still dealing with the same stuff as before. The advice to cut back gradually strikes me as really wise counsel. Easier said than done, I know. I'm sending prayers and good wishes to you.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is stellar, COM.

  12. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member

    Update: JT text messaged me again asking if I had received his earlier text from the day before (referring to the grandma text). I waited and only responded "yes". And then he sent me another of his one-word wonders, "And?" I almost think he's wanting some sort of adoration or something; as if this is just the greatest news. I didn't respond.

    Recovering - Thank you so much. I have been keeping up on the acceptance post, which is very helpful. You are right that sociopaths lack empathy and do not change. I have read a great deal about psychopaths and sociopaths. I became interested when I suspected something wasn't right with JT, and I happened upon an article with the psychopath checklist, as used by mental health professionals. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It hit me so hard. I shared it with husband, and he agreed that there isn't even a question that the criteria describe JT. I know we're not mental health professionals, but as I mentioned, since that time, I have read books and articles and a lot of studies, etc. I am quite sure, in my heart and mind, that that is what we're dealing with in JT. He is not violent, thankfully, however, he is very manipulative and will use people to get what he wants. He doesn't care about them or respect them, though. The feelings of others are not on his radar. Interestingly, his second grade teacher told us that he seemed to lack any concern for the impact his behavior had on others; in a way that was unusual for what one would expect in a typical child. Anyway, none of this has changed over the years.

    I don't think we have a Families Anonymous in our area, unfortunately. I am working on responding differently, and I am glad for the progress I have already made. The hardest part for me is accepting that things will probably never really change. I would like to have hope, but if I am objective, I can't honestly see it at this point. I want to step back more.

    Echo - I am so very lucky to have found this forum. I don't know what I would do without it. It's difficult to realize that I have been struggling with these difficult child issues for so long. I can look back 18 years and see that it's been happening all this time. So much time.

    COM - Your advice is extremely helpful. I have read it numerous times to really let it sink in. It is so smart and so direct.

    tryagain - Definitely cutting back on contact and involvement. It is a process, however, it actually feels good at this point. I am at my limit with the drama and stress. I don't need it. It's not good for me, and yet it seems so foreign to think about me for once.

    Cedar, there are so many gems posted here. I read them again and again. It really does help. This forum is so supportive, knowledgeable, and understanding. I am sorry we're here, but also glad we have one another.
  13. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Want you to know i am keeping up with this -- that JT sounds like a younger version of my gfg33....not violent, but NO empathy. He sees humans as objects to get what he wants. There is no love. I am SO understanding where you are. Hugs.

    Wish i had found this forum when gfg33 was your son's age. It may have spared husband and me many years of angst--trying to stay in his life and get him back on track. Fruitless waste of emotions, money and energy. I definitely feel your pain. Letting them go is very freeing. It takes awhile, but it happens.