Well, my son thinks demanding respectfulness is abuse towards him...lol

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I sent him this text after he started yelling and swearing at me and I hung up on him. He actually thinks HE hung up on ME, thus the contents of the text:

    My text to him right after I hung up: I love u but u do have to talk to me with respect. No shouting or swearing at me or name-calling. U can all me anytime as long as you are respectful.

    35: off, hanging up, and blaming me is old. Stop with these stupid text threats. (Honestly, he was on good behavior for this text back to me...at least for him!)

    What twisted thinking. In his mind, I abused him by demanding he not swear at me, yell, or call me names. I've been doing that all the time lately and it enrages him. He tells me to apologize...lol. And, trust me, he really feels, in his mind, that my demands that he talk respectfully are being mean to him because he is "going through hell." Skotti, I think you may have been partially right about the borderline with him only I believe he has many traits of a mixture of personality disorders. Borderline is but a part.

    Well, he didn't call me this morning. He usually does. Guess it's just too much for him to treat me like a decent person...lol.

    Thanks, Al-Anon. I just wish they had more meetings here. We only have al-Anon meetings on Thursdays and Saturdays in this small town. If I thought AA or NA would help me, I'd go, but I think they are too off track for what I need. We have lots of those meetings.

    Oh, well. Al-Anon is also online!!!
    Lasted edited by : Jul 10, 2013
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Projection -- classic difficult child tactic! They project their own behaviors onto you so they can shift blame. I wouldn't bother with a follow-up text next time, just quietly say, "OK well I'm ending this call, call me back when you can speak respectfully" and hang up. You don't even have to define it for him again.

    It's good that he didn't call you, I call that progress -- he's following your wishes, after all!

    Al-anon is great.
  3. MWM - Yeah for the Al-Anon meetings. Glad they are helping you.

    I agree with Crazy - projection and denial from difficult child. My difficult child does that too - disrespectful, yells, is rude and ignorant and then asks why I called to start a fight with him? Why do I always yell at him and upset him? Huh? I'm speaking in a rational, normal tone here - it's him.

    Our support group says we need to use the three S's. Speak it, shut up and slip out. So, say what you have to say as short and concise as possible, stop talking and leave or end the conversation. You did that and I'd make it even shorter next time.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, so much Welcome. I went to an Al-Anon meeting tonight and it helped. I think I texted too much to 35, but I haven't texted to him since then.

    I will remember next time...short and sweet. If he even calls. He's a strange person who implodes his relationships with other people.

    I appreciate the support more than you know.
  5. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    MWM, back when our son was using, he would do the same kinds of things 35 is doing, now. Totally unreasonable, off the wall kinds of things, spoken with such conviction that I would wonder afterword whether we'd even been having the same conversation.

    husband would yell back, things would go from bad to worse, and by the time I got the phone back, things would REALLY be terrible.


    I like the way you are handling things with 35. I totally get that feeling of missing them so much and being glad they are far away at the same time.

    I used to feel like I had been run through a steam cleaner after talking to difficult child son.

    It's really hard to stay the course with them.

    Saying a prayer for strength and sending a hug.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all. Barbara, special thanks to you.

    Interesting development. Without discussing what I had texted to him, 35 called and did not abuse me once. He even waited for me to finish speaking without interrupting me. I don't know how long it will last, but I guess I have to keep getting off the phone if he gets abusive. It is like training a small child how you expect that child to behave. It is very frustrating at his age.

    Thanks for understanding, everyone.

    I am VERY grateful he lives in Missouri!!! I had tickets to see my grandson and for the t third year in a row I canceled them. He doesn't know I was even coming, because I didn't tell him. I'm not going to waste my time buying tickets from now on. His "I will kill you. You will be dead" will be imbedded in my head forever. Who says that? It's not worth the risk of going there, even though he probably doesn't mean it. But if he loses it....well, I'd rather live to see my grandchildren-to-be and to be a foster mom to other little kids who need me.
  7. MWM - I just wanted to add that you're handling a very sticky situation here. Trying to be supportive while 35 goes through the difficulties in his life and trying to set boundaries as to what you will and will not accept and tolerate from him.

    You are doing a great job but he is a slow learner. It's going to take a lot of time and patience on your part and of course conviction as well. Hang in there because you really are doing a great job. Remember that the reason it's taking so long for him to get it is because of him, not you. I know you feel like he may never get it and he might not (I feel this way about my difficult child too). I have resigned myself to continuing doing what I'm doing until it is obvious that he isn't going to change his spots. Right now I'm planning on hanging in there until he is 25 and then making a decision from there as to what I'm willing to do in our relationship. So for the next 8 years I plan to call him every week and try to have a nice conversation with him. That's it.

    Of course 35 is much older than my difficult child and hasn't changed so you might want to change your time frame but I think I'd resolve to maybe 2 calls per week on set days and the rest I'd ignore. And continue to hold your ground with the boundaries you have set.

    *Hugs to you.
  8. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I just wanted to add that we need to remember that, however big and strong our sons get...we are still their mothers. And while I know it doesn't feel much like it while they are railing or swearing at us, or accusing or blaming us for everything under the sun ~ they hear the words we say to them.

    They listen.

    They may not be able to listen to anyone else in the world. But on some level, some part of them is listening to us, to the voices and the wisdom of their mothers. They trust us.

    I think sometimes they are lost, and need a way to go and someone to believe better of them than who they are right that minute.

    And because we're their mothers, because they trust us and because we love them, what we say can bring them back.

    So we need to say the things they need to hear.

    You are a man. I expect more from you. Or as you did this time MWM, I expect to be treated with respect and will tolerate nothing less. Or, men take care of themselves and their families. Of course you can. I'm proud of you. You are doing the right thing. (You might have to look hard for reasons to justify those statements!)

    I never could figure out why difficult child son would call at all, when the conversations would devolve into what they devolved into. I didn't know any better than to say the things I believed, back. It was like difficult child son needed to hear that. Maybe drug use really does mess with their senses of reality, with their internal compasses?

    Anyway, that's what I did, and difficult child son is ~ I'm really proud of who he is and of how he is doing, today.

    Every so often, he will still call all riled up.

    Mostly, he's taking responsibility for himself, these days.


  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks again, Barbara. I'm first reading tonight. It's good food for thought. I think 35 is a little bit different though. He listens to me sometimes and he makes it very clear that he is listening and likes w hat I said. But if I say anything that is too much what he doesn't want to hear or disagrees with, he tends to get abusive and stop listening or hang up, swear, etc. which makes me not even want to speak to him. Also, he is already middle age, more or less. I think is still young with plenty of time to grow and change, but you have to get moving by that age and you simply have to put in an effort and do it. I really believe he has a personality disorder medley that makes it harder for him to admit he needs help and get it. He has tons of borderline traits. He loves you or hates you (for the moment) there is no middle ground, no gray in his world. He also has narcissistic traits and is, for the most part, disinterested in other people unless they influence him. Thus he has alienated all of his siblings and his father isn't too found of his personality either. Nor am I. There's not a whole lot of good to say about him, as hard as this is to write down here (I have never even spoken these words at Coda or Al-Anon). He's not likeable. He doesn't have a good heart or a lot of compassion. He has frivolous values...having money and toys to show off is important to him. Living in a "good" neighborhood that others look up to is important to him. Stuff like that. He totally misses the simple things in life that are precious because they are free and nobody can ever take their beauty away from us...like the blue skies or the mountains or the sweet smell after a storm.

    I do not have a ton of faith that he will change. I hope he mellows out as he gets older as a lot of people do. You simply can not go around telling your mother or anyone, "I will kill you. You will be dead." It still boggles my mind that he said those words. He has changed the way I think about him by saying those things. He did not sound crazed. He sounded very calm and careful when he spoke those words.

    I sadly am glad he lives far away and is phobic about driving even too far from his own house. He's afraid of flying too. Very, very neurotic. I feel for him for that, yet he doesn't make things better when he drinks or takes too many Xanax.

    Thanks for the feedback. I was probably rattling.
  10. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    You are right, MWM. Reading those words again straight out like that, I understand that son wasn't just screaming about things in general and tossed that in there. And as rageful as difficult child son would get when he was using? He never did threaten to kill me or husband in words. Now, if looks could kill....