What is wrong with me?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by okie girl, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    i have not spoke to my Difficult Child since March. He has been in and out of jail several times since last March. When he text me I cannot bring myself to read it and I can not answer his calls or listen to any voice mails. It's like I am afraid to. I love him but I just can't deal with him right now. I feel like hiding under a rock. What is wrong with me??
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh, Okie Girl. Sending huge cyber hugs.

    What is "wrong" with you is... actually normal. After what he has put you through, you likely have some level of PTSD - triggered by him attempting to contact you. Its not easy to overcome PTSD, but it can be done. With a lot of time and a lot of help.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Okie, good to see your post. How is your Achilles heel? Hope you are able to get around better now.

    There is nothing wrong with you. I have been at the same point you have. Heard so many stories, lies, stolen from and been blamed for everything under the sun. Went through a time when my head and heart were just spinning from it all. I was living as if my life depended on my two getting better. It hurt and drove me near crazy, the road they were, and still are on.
    Then one day I woke up. Woke up and said what the heck am I doing?
    That's when I started to feel like how you are feeling. Not numb, but nothing. I love my two, but it was like going from one extreme to the other. Stuck and enmeshed with all of the drama and chaos, to numb. I think we all go through different stages when we hit this point. A heart and mind can only take so much abuse. Maybe it is shock?
    I don't know Okie, but it is a part of the road to recovery from the sickness called enabling that we got used to with our d cs.

    You are calling the shots with your feelings and response now. YOU. This is great. Our d cs would yank our chains, expecting us to drop everything and come running and we did, most times. Now we see the ridiculous lengths we went to.
    No more.
    This is your life, your time.
    Don't crawl under a rock Okie,
    get out there and grab your life back.
    Do something good for you.

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  4. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you InsaneCdn.....I think maybe that is what I have......I feel so anxious and jumpy. He has been calling and I blocked his calls but then he starts texting me. I know he is in crisis mode and I just can't do it anymore. He is supposed to be in court today and he is needing me to help him do something, I think. I am so upset. I just want to sleep and not deal with any of this. I feel like a coward.....I did see one text it said"please answer" that is when I blocked the number. Feeling awful.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    There is nothing wrong with you.
    It's been a few years since I have had an actual conversation with my son. He has tried to call me but if I don't recognize the phone number I let it go to voice mail. Once I hear his message, I do not call him back. I do talk to him somewhat on FB. I have my account set up so that he cannot see anything I post. I do not trust him as he will take things out of context and use them against me. If I do converse with him it's via private message and it's not very often.
    He has talked to my husband, usually after he calls me and doesn't get an answer he calls my husband. It's funny how he will tell my husband how sorry he is for the way he has treated me, yet he has never left me a message on the phone or on FB telling me that. I think he only says it to try and regain trust.
    I can see what he posts on FB and in one post he can come across like he's this happy go lucky kind of person, then the next post is how he bought some bad pot and wishes the guy dead. This tells me that he has not changed at all. He is still trying to convince people that he is not who he really is and I don't want to be any part of it.
    There may come a day when I will be willing to talk to him but for now I'm going to continue protecting myself.
    That's really what it is Okie Girl, we are protecting ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's a smart thing to do.

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

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You are NOT a coward, you ARE a warrior!!!
    You are spot on, he's in crisis mode and that's when our d_cs reach out to us begging, "please answer"
    I do not blame you for blocking the number, I would do the same.
    Again, you are simply protecting yourself and there is nothing wrong with that.
  7. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Oh thank you Leafy...you always know just what to say. I have recovered from my achillea surgery and can walk without pain now. Thank the Lord. I hate this feeling of being afraid to have contact with my son...it feels so abnormal. Sometimes I just want to leave and not tell anyone but I know that is not going to happen. My husband is so supportive but he says he is done with my son. He is his step-father. He does not have any children. Can't say I blame him. My daughter and my husband and the grandchildren have good relationships. I just wish my son could get his life together. He is 44 years old! Will it ever get better with my son or will I never have contact with him again?
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  8. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Tanya....your reply has made me feel so much better. Thank you. I guess I am protecting myself from more heartbreak. It helps me to know I am not alone. Thank you so much!
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with you, Okie. It sounds like you have had enough and want to live your life and rightly expect him to do the same. Whatever he needs, he can figure it out on his own at 44 years old.
  10. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    About 7 years ago- I did tough love with son for 6 months. I wouldn't take his calls. He had started calling several times a week with his drama, need for money. He was in jail and even had someone call from the jail to tell me "Hi I protecting your son- I know he is mentally challenged and I am protecting him but I am getting out tomorrow and your son needs 500.00 to get out jail. That was it for me. I lost sleep that night with all sorts of thoughts of him being beat up, molested, etc. Then I found out it was all a ruse for me to get him out of jail. I stopped the calls. It was hard but the longer I went without talking to him the more I was able to accept my decision and get on with my life without his drama and desperate pleas for money. Fast forward 5 years later he tells me that was the best thing I ever did for him- tough love, not taking my calls. He did well for a few years until this past year when he started down that road again.

    Take as long as you need until you are emotionally, mentally ready to re-engage with your Difficult Child. They destroy our psyche, cause us to doubt ourselves, lay guilt on us for not helping them every time they call.
  11. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Oh.....how I needed to hear this! I have been emotionally drained. So depressed and just want to sleep.
    Thank you both for supporting me. I have been so depressed and just want to sleep and not deal with him. Tough love is so hard. I'm just so tired. I just can't engage with him because he will put a huge guilt trip on me and make me feel even worse.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There is no pain like the pain a child can inflict on a mother. There is nothing that compares with this kind of pain.

    But with all my heart, I believe you are doing the right thing for your son.

    All the help in the world, all the tears, all the pain ~ these things have not helped your son to be the man you raised him to be. Your son is no one's victim Okie girl. You did not raise him to be a victim.

    He is doing this to himself.

    If you can pull away from him for a time, perhaps then he will be forced to stand on his own. Once he recovers his self respect, he will be on his way to becoming the man you raised him to be.

    Nothing you have done for him has helped him, Okie girl. It is time to try a different kind of parenting. Please read the information about detachment parenting pinned to the top of this forum. I think that will help you. Also, please read through the McCoy information at the bottom of this post. She gives us the words we need to talk with our adult children as adults.

    I am so sorry this is happening to you and to your family, and am so glad you are here with us.

  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Okie, I feel the same way sometimes. Okay, truth, a LOT of the time. With my Rain, it has been 20 years of nonsense. Not super bad all of the time, but the bad has been building and peaking for the last 8 years or so. With Tornado, about 11 years and there are three grands in the mix. It is tough. Hard. Heart wrenching. No contact is invariably easier for me than contact. I am able to push things to the far corners of my mind. Is that heartless? I do not think so. It is warranted.
    Unfortunately, my two look to us for rescue, after rescue, then figuratively spit in our faces. That is what it feels like.
    Contact is like dealing with con men, flim flam people, scam artists.
    There always seems to be a catch.

    So we have to be very clever.

    Go with our heads, not our hearts.
    Guard our hearts.

    We wouldn't let a stranger treat us this way. Who can blame anyone, for not wanting to speak with someone, who is always looking for the upper hand? Looking for help, but ends up dragging us down, and not appreciative for the help, or sacrifice? It is never enough is it? I keep waiting for the lightbulb to go off, for that moment of truth, when my two will come to me, and say "Mom I am sorry for all of the heartache and pain I have put you through." Then, even then Okie, they will have to prove those words with actions. I will not wait for that to happen, to live my life. You should not either, we have given and given and given. Enough sacrifice. It is enough. My two, 36 and 27, yours 44. They are adults. If we do not want to talk with them, or text them, they shall have to look in the mirror and know why.
    They try to fool us, but I do not think they can truly fool themselves.

    The truth is a never ending drum within our heartbeat.

    In the meantime, since we are not going to wait for our adult children to get it, we need to build ourselves up.

    It is not right for us to live out the rest of our lives, pining away for our d cs, who have made terrible choices.

    So, I think we need to be really smart, intuitive, ready, strong.
    We are soldiers in the hardest battle.
    Soldiers train hard, Okie.
    Soldiers are in top shape, their best form, to go into battle.
    I think that is what we need to do, take very good care of ourselves, and be battle ready.
    We don't only need a toolbox, we need a damn arsenal!
    I think the decision to not answer texts, or calls is like a shield.
    We are saying, without saying

    "You have not treated me with respect,
    I cannot believe what you are saying, I am protecting myself."

    I think that is perfectly fine, understandable, I think our d cs, in their right mind, would understand.
    Even drug addicts and criminals have a code. They know, Okie, what they have done.

    We do them no good by allowing them to continue to use and abuse us.

    They know, deep down inside they know.
    By setting limits and boundaries, protecting and standing up for ourselves, we are helping them see the stuff they try to bury.

    If they have to look at what they have done, then they have a chance to change.

    You are doing something good for you, and for your son.

    I was thinking of all of the time I spend here on CD, posting and writing to others in like circumstances. It is very strengthening, to know that others are going through the same types of situations. We are not alone in this. At work, out there in the world, relatives, talking with people that do not have troubled children, it can be lonely. But, here, everyone understands.

    Writing and posting here, is like journaling with a responding audience.The words of advice, sharing and kindness are very comforting.

    So, Okie, if we go back and look at our first posts, we can see why we have come to a point, where we screen texts and calls. Our d cs have not treated us, as we deserve to be treated.

    This is unacceptable.

    We have to look at ourselves, and love ourselves enough to fight.

    Fight the depression, the feeling of going down with the ship.
    We do no good to ourselves, our mates, even our d cs, by going down with the ship.
    I think the best thing we can do for our d cs, is to show them how to live, by our living well.

    Show them by example.

    Pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and soldier on.


    Take time every day to do something enjoyable, relaxing, good for us.
    Find new hobbies, create a bucket list, goals.
    We are soldiers Okie, we need to keep training, keep at it.
    We have no control over what our d cs do, but we do have control over how we respond. I think you have made a wise decision by not answering, you are putting YOU first, understanding how draining contact would be.
    This seems counter intuitive to our nurturing nature.
    We get upset with ourselves.
    Stop it Okie, no one can blame you for protecting yourself.
    So, good response for protecting yourself. GOOD!
    Now, to work on the other aspect.

    How we deal with our decisions emotionally.

    The emotional aftermath of self protect mode.

    We can start with baby steps in changing how we respond emotionally, too.

    Lift yourself up my dear, you do not belong down there in the darkness.

    Do something good for you Okie. Every day, take time to recharge.

    It can be a small thing, a relaxing cup of tea, a good book, a nice walk.
    You deserve it, and so do I.
    It has been a long, hard journey.
    We can do this.

    One day, one step at a time.
    Hang in there warrior sister, you will be okay.

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  14. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Cedar for your kind words of encouragement. My son has dug his self in so deep, I just don't know how he will ever get out. He has 2 felonies and was charged also with possession of Meth. He goes to court today. He has nobody. He has a 21 years old daughter and an 18 year old son that will have nothing to do with him. I love him but have done everything I can and nothing has worked. I worry about all the time.
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  15. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you..thank you so much Leafy. You know just how I feel. You have given me some wise words and advise. I needed to hear this so much. Thank you Leafy. (((HUGS)))
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    He knows you love him. Meth, especially, does horrible things to our children.

    Holding you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

    My son is 39.

  17. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Cedar. Holding you and yours in my prayers too
  18. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    My ex sister in law takes a cab since she doesn't drive due to diabetes/feet issues. Anyways this cab driver told her he had used meth,heroin for years. Lost everything job, house, family, kids, etc. Went to prison for 5 years. During that 5 years he had time to think about his life, his choices, the path that got him there. When he got out- he moved to another city and started again. Never contacted old drug friends, etc. He had totally break away from the old life. He has been drug free for 10 years now. There is always hope- that they will correct their lives- but it make take time in prison for that to happen.
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  19. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you so very much for sharing this with me. This makes me feel that there is hope and I really needed hope. (((HUGS)))
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Okiegirl, you are depressed, I think. It is all too much. I went to bed for 2 years. I had had enough. Nothing could get me up. I am still not there yet. Little by little. I have no stamina to deal with my son. He asked to come home for one night. I said no. I do not call him. I set strict rules on phone calls. What he can talk about. Etc. So I am doing what you are doing.

    We get battered and battered and cannot take any more.

    He did show up at my door and I let him in. It is so hard. We love them so. It is hard for me to face that it does not change. A little but not enough.

    We are all in this together. I agree with Cedar. Our loving them did not help. They need to do this on their own. If we do not protect ourselves first, we are disrespecting ourselves and them. We did not raise them to be men who would abuse their mothers. We cannot let them. By retreating you are protecting himself.

    I am hard on myself like you. Stop it. I will stop it. You stop it too.

    Finally, I worked in prisons 20 years and before that in a County with a bad, bad meth problem. It is very hard to quit but people do. I have seen people turn themselves around in prison. It is sad because sometimes they are grateful to be incarcerated because there, without the meth, they have a chance to live their real lives, be themselves.

    Meth is hard to quit because of how it alters the brain. There is a meth psychosis that lingers, that makes quitting hard. In most people it seems to go away with time.

    Your guilt and worrying will not help. It does not help him. Only separating does. Because if we do have contact with them we are swept up in it with them, and they lose all respect for even us. That is not good.

    Now is the time to heal. Please. I hope you post regularly. We are all in this together.

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