Why did I have even a flutter of hope?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Matt is moody all over the place. He is changing medications, so you know Xmas is always the best time do that. Not.

    He woke up a grump on Xmas morning but his friend came to breakfast in a suit. His friend M seemed so excited, Matt not so much. Lovely. Then an hour later we are trying to continue some family tradition despite my dad's passing, and we all opened presents. I had only gotten M 3 or 4 things....because you know he was our guest, and Jewish, and I barely know him, and his parents should have sent him presents, but regardless M's feelings apparently got hurt and he made a comment to Matt about how all he got were crappy gift cards and Matt got a new phone etc. Yes M is a complete difficult child. It made Matt cry. Matt was trying so hard to make M feel part of all this. So was I. I think deep down M was mad because his millionaire father sent him nothing-but Matt perceived it as a failure on his part for not being the family M really needs.

    So in the afternoon, my aunt and uncle came over for dinner. They bought us each a gift that was shallow and void of really knowing who we are as people, but whatever. I got their dog an Oregon Ducks banadana which was the hi-lite of their christmas. It only cost 15.00 and a little thought. You know?

    Anyway, they gave M and Matt both hunting knives. Within minutes M was in the garage crying because knives make him feel bad feelings, like urges to hurt himself or animals.
    M was terrified of the knife and was shaking when he told me to please return it for him. Wow. I had no idea.

    So then, at dinner, my aunt stated about 18000 times how much she misses my dad. I was about to push her off her chair if she mentioned my dad again. Do you how much mental energy it took for matt, my mom, and me, to try and stay centered all day block the fact that he was not here for Christmas for the first time, ever? People can just be so shallow and vapid.

    Anyway, by 9 tonight M was pacing and jittery, and Matt was crying and feeling horrible that he didn't get his friend the right present, and that he had failed to create the perfect holiday for his friend......my mom got teary eyed missing my dad.....and I contemplated using the dam knife on myself or locking myself in a closet and screaming.

    I have no idea why I thought this whole day might be happy. I really need to be more realistic. I really, really do. I do this all the times with things...
    This was by far the most emotional holiday ever. I am very glad it is over. Now I have to drive M to Portland with Matt tomorrow. I can o ly pray the rest of M's trip sails more smoothly .
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I am so sorry but really, I think you made a valiant effort to do things well and if anyone doesnt like what you did then that is their issue. Both of those boys are well old enough to be happy enough if all they got was gift cards. I stopped giving my adult kids much after they turned 18 until because actually none of them have returned the efforts. Well, Billy has tried but this is the only year I have tried to give him a good gift and he says I have more than made up for it and I never have to even try anymore...lol.

    I have no idea what to say about your aunts. Some people just have bad timing I guess.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet is right. You did your best to make this a nice holiday for everyone. If they couldn't appreciate the effort, then it's not your fault. Sounds to me like M has issues that are above and beyond, I hope he's in treatment. Perhaps he needs a lesson, due to his family background, that it's not what you got but the thought behind it that counts. Honestly, you didn't have to get him a darn thing. I understate the desire for Matt to make the holiday nice for his friend, but chalk this up to a lesson in you can't force the emotional response you want. Evidently M was in a mindset to feel sorry for himself. A shame. He probably would've had a very nice time if he'd allowed himself to do so.

    Not one of us mentioned husband yesterday. Not one. I'm know we were all thinking of him, but yeah. Instead we focused on other things, the pleasure of being together and the diversion of the grandkids excitement. It got us through it with a reasonable amount of normalcy. husband would've been very upset, knowing how this family loves Xmas, had we turned it into a sad holiday. I felt the pangs of his absence once everyone left, but I got through it ok.

    As for your aunt.......I'd have had to tell her to shut up already. geez I'm sure she did miss your dad, but she didn't have to keep commenting on it over and over.

  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Oh man what a tough day! I tell you even if not for difficult children and mental illness-extended family seldom=joy! I can't tell you a friend who loves this part of the holiday deal. And greiving on top of a holiday has got to be tough. Next year you and mom go off to Hawaii or something! Be good to yourself today. ((Hugs))
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    wow! I could really feel you're pain...it almost made me teary-eyed myself.

    I agree with everybody else. You did your best, but it has been a hard year and the holidays tend to bring all things "family" into the limelight. If it has been a hard year for a family, it is a hard holiday...at least, it has always been that way for me. At least it is over now and emotions can get back to where they were before the holidays...wherever they were...hugs!
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Sorry the day was such a let down. There's a particular sadness about hopes that are not realised, isn't there? You really tried hard to make the day a nice one for everyone and for your guest - what more could you have done? Hugs.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh wow, you did so much and I was even thinking, imagine how awful it would have been for M NOT being with you. You were there to support him through what would likely have been a terrible holiday season anyway. If his family does not give him gifts for Hanukkah and different things trigger him, well, that would likely happen anywhere. Thank heaven he had you. Matt should realize that too. It is hard to imagine them as grown men when you describe them. I know they are not emotionally grown, but it is just sad they have those intense feelings.

    There was too much going on for you and nothing you could have done better! First time holidays after a death are terrible. My friend went with her kids to FLA for their first warm Christmas (dad died and the kids are just middle school) but they felt good talking about him a lot! Everyone is so different. It should be left to those closest to set the tone, sorry your aunt did not see that she needed to just keep it in her own "thinking bubble". HUGS. I am glad it is done now and I hope the Christmas let-down doesn't hit you and yours. Sounds like it can only go up from there! Saying a prayer for peace for you and hoping that M and Matt can enjoy each other and have a nice trip bringing M home too.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Big (((hugs)))...

    I'm sorry it was such a rough holiday for your family.

    Your aunt and uncle sound like complete idiots. I find it so ironic that they felt knives made good presents....don't they know the superstition? To give a knife as a gift is to cut the relationship...although it sounds like they were well on their way to doing that anyway with their insensitive comments.

    As for M? You did not mention what M brought as gifts for others....did he spend lavishly on thoughtful presents for everyone else and felt slighted in return? Or was he just being rude?

    Either way, complaining about a gift card is just awful of him.

    So sorry it was not a better day.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    All I can say is that they are both total difficult children, and like Buddy said they both acted as if they were about 8. In reality I think they both have the EQ of about 15-16. OTH my Aunt and Uncle acted like they were about 20, so the whole day was a drama-palooza. Next year, like you said exhausted, we are going somewhere, anywhere, other than stay at home and open presents.

    Daisy M. is still in treatment, and he doesn't have his own money, so he couldn't buy gifts. But there somehow got to be all these weird "present" ideations on his part.

    Tomorrow is M.'s birthday and he asked me what I got him. Kiddingly, sort of, but not really. He is VERY caught up in presents it seems and how that defines someone's worth as an individual. Probably because of the past abuse and absolute emotional rejection by his parents. His bio Mom got him crack for his 16th BD. And his Dad is literally a millionaire, and sent him nothing this year.

    Still - the best I could do is what I did - and M still has more than he would have had sitting by himself over the holidays.

    My Mom had a good idea of taking M a BD cake and a card tomorrow - and is offering to take the boys out to dinner for his birthday. M. really liked that idea. Investing time in a person is far more meaningful than anything material, and hopefully M can get that.

    M has been in treatment for 3 years. He has some very serious issues. He can have psychotic breaks - and so yesterday the episode with the knife freaked us all out I think, especially Matt, because he saw M do this a lot in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before his medications were stable. I asked M's Dad before M came what I should do if he had a break, and his Dad said oh, he doesn't really do that and if he does, just ignore him. OK. Sure. ???? Not.

    So.....I am going to return the 2 knives and my stupid present from my Aunt and Uncle and get a gift card for something I want. I think I deserve it after all of that. Matt and M are now at Matt's place in Portland.....and Tesla (she is just as tired as I am I think) and I are going to finally go relax by the fire. This 7 days of bad luck has to stop as of now.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief! Sending hugs. DDD
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Knives are simply not good gifts for boys like this...duh. Not rational thinking. Good idea to take them back. I would like one of those Uloo knives though. I think thats how they are spelled. The ones that have the wooden handle and the curved blade to chop things. They are great.