Why doesn't he call...just once?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by wakeupcall, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    In my attempt to detach, give up on hoping for more, I still wish he missed his mother, just a little....will he ever? My husband says good riddance, but I really miss hearing his voice(he lives 8 miles away with his father). I only hear from him when he wants to shock me with a huge, and expensive, new tattoo he wants me to see via FaceTime, or if he needs gas, etc. I literally have only given him a lunch with me and ten dollars for gas in months and months. My reward is.....like I don't even have a son. He just turned 19, really, does he not miss his mother? I missed my mother when I was 19 and in college with plenty to keep me busy....I still missed her. Sigh....a sad day today for some reason.....
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    If all you are to him is as a walking ATM, the answer is probably not. That was not the answer you wanted to hear. Some of our kids are so into themselves that they only express loving behavior when they have something to gain from it. He may also just be mad at you for changing the game on him. It is sad when we expect some sort of warm and fuzzy from our challenged kids and it just is not there. Expectations that are not met cause us to feel huge crushing disappointment. Mine has actually told me that he was tired of being nice to me if he was not going to get what he wanted.

    Spend your time and your emotions on those who appreciate you.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yep.If he gets arrested or needs money desperately, perhaps to pay off a fine or a drug dealer, he'll call you. If he is like most of our difficult children, he will not call you to ask you how you are, just to chat about life with YOU, or to wish you a Happy Birthday. Most difficult children do have some things in common. The ones we talk about here, with a very few exceptions, think we exist only to give them stuff or to rescue when out of trouble, even if they ar 45 years old.

    Don't feel like it's personal. It is usually a part of their personality or because of their drug abuse. It is very hard to accept what our grown children are, but when it is in our face, there is little choice.

    You however can take good care of yourself and give yourself a party of a day, if you want one. I would try to be very good to myself if I were you and to stop hoping for something you know will only be bad news (a phone call from difficult child). If you have other kdis or a SO make plans with them. Or call a friend. Or do something you love to do, but don't do often enough. This is the first day of the rest of YOUR life, and it matters A LOT. You can't change your difficult child...none of us can...but we can enjoy our own lives and do everything we love and make a difference in the world. We do not have to feel badly all the time because one of our chldren is not doing well by his own choice.

    Lots and lots of hugs and wishing you a hapyp, serene day :)
  4. Hope_Floats

    Hope_Floats Member

    It's so normal for a parent to want our child to love us back. But sadly, our adult children that we are detaching from are not normal, but are dysfunctional and don't have the capacity to love us. I'm suspicious that they don't even love themselves, or they wouldn't be self-destructing like they are.

    Unfortunately, I'm actually happier and more at peace when difficult child isn't communicating. Because I know that whenever my phone lights up with a text from him, it's not good. It's never good. Somehow, we always hope, though.

    I got sucker punched just the other day. The texts went like this:

    difficult child: Hey (I'm bracing myself for the "can you call me?" or "i need help" that usually follows)
    Me: Hi there, how are you doing? (okay, big mistake. major opening for a request for help, but I'm just too programmed for politeness)
    difficult child: Okay, you? (What? He's actually okay, and he's communicating? And he's asking about me? Maybe there is good news for a change - or he just misses me!)
    Me: I'm struggling with sinus problems and a little bit of sore throat, but otherwise fine. (I expect the "normal" adult response of a tiny bit of sympathy)
    difficult child: I rolled my car.

    Oomph! There it was. Sucker punch. Should have seen that one coming. I think we miss the little kids we remember them to be. I think we miss that voice, or the voice that we hope will someday be that of an adult child that has an adult relationship with us and appreciates all we did for them to help them develop into the wonderful human beings that they have become. But that's our fantasy.

    I don't take it personal any more. I just don't think my difficult child, or yours, has the ability to miss us in a normal, "I love my mom and/or dad and have a good relationship with them and miss our interactions or just talking with them" kind of way. That part of their brain or personality is missing, at least for right now, as MWM says, due to their drug use or personality disorder or whatever else is going on with them.

    It's not you. But it still makes us sad. Hugs from me too. Go get your nails done or have a message. You deserve it. I got a manicure today and I feel much better. :)
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well. This is the most depressing thing I've managed to read in a long time. Maybe I'm a sap, but I choose to believe that our kids do actually, maybe somewhere deep down where they haven't found it in a while, love us, at least a little.

    Wake up, I know exactly how you feel. My mother died when I was 23. I'm 51 now and I still miss her. Every. Single. Day. That my child doesn't love me the way I loved my mom just breaks my heart to pieces. Saddest thing in my whole, entire life.

    And now I'm weeping at work and I have a case to hear. Ugh.
  6. Hope_Floats

    Hope_Floats Member

    Oh Lil, I'm so sorry. I absolutely did not intend to post something that would be depressing. I'm just working really hard at accepting what is probably true and not taking my son's behavior personally. I actually hope I'm wrong. I'll try to sound more encouraging from now on. I do still hope! Please forgive.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for anyone's son but mine, but my son is overly attached to me and does love me. But he is so very self-involved th at he never asks about me, my life or how I'm doing and he never calls me on my birthday (doesn't even remember it). It is not about love with him. He loves me. I know that. It is all about his peronsality. He can not get past caring only about himself. He is 36. Unlikely to suddenly develop a strong sense of caring about anyone about himself and his little boy. At least he cares about his son. And he was brought up in a house that considered caring toward others and generosity almost more important than anything. My other kids picked it up, but he did not.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hope, there are many adult children here who really don't have the capacity to love. It could be their personality disroder (antisocials and narcissists don't love except themselves) so, yeah, we get used to it. I think my son is a narcissist and he does love me to the extent that he can. More than that, he NEEDS me for HIS needs...emotionally. Every oncversation starts out wtih, "This is what's going on with me...me...me...me..."

    So while he loves me, he is totally disinterested in me. His siblings have long dismissed him. This makes me sad, but they can not abide his self-involvement and lack of interest in anyone except himself. I guess it's pretty intolerable. I'm used to it, I guess, and I just radically accept it. It is sad, but we can still make good lives for ourselves. We are not one person...our child. We are separate individuals. We can make good lives for ourselves even when our loved ones will not make good choices. We are not them.
  9. Hope_Floats

    Hope_Floats Member

    Oh dear. This is supposed to be a support forum, and I don't think that I was supportive at all in my post. Is it possible to delete a post after it's been published? I would like to. :(
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    HopeFloats, you were fine. We talk about how sad we are when our grown kids don't contact us. If we don't talk to one another about it, who can we tell???? Your post is actually a common topic. If you delete this, it will still come up again. We know most of our difficult children consider us their ATMs and don't call us unless they need something from us and the topic isn't going away.
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  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh dear Hope no! I didn't mean your specific post!

    It's the subject matter in general that I have a terrible, terrible time with! I'm SO sorry you took that as directed at you.

    As I said, the fact our kids don't love us the way we loved our parents just breaks my heart. I have SUCH a hard time with that...more than any other part of this whole ordeal!

    Again, it was SO not you! I'm teary today on general principles. So please forgive me instead. You didn't do a thing wrong!!!
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ah, Lil, you were lucky to have that with your mother. I had not seen my mother for ten years when she died of brain cancer and there were hard feelings. I missed the mother I wish she had been, not the one she was. She had been cruel. There are all sorts of dynamics on this board. I try very hard to be the mother my mother never was to me. When I make a mistake, I take it very hard and hope I'm not like her. Well, I know I'm not, but...just saying.

    My only family is my dear husband and my children. I do not have contact with anyone in my family of origin except for my 90 year old father.

    We are all coming from different places. It doesn't even bother me much as they were so toxic, bitter and horrid.
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  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My mom and I were very close. I just adored her. I loved dad too, but differently. They were "older" parents - especially for the 1960's. They were 36 and 52 when I was born so they were of the "Mom nurtures, Dad is the breadwinner" school of parenting. Dad was very loving and even demonstrative, but Mom was the one who was just always there. I was such a Mama's girl that I had a high school teacher tell me I'd never make it in college because I couldn't be away from home. Proved them wrong in a big way! :) But yeah, losing her so young has been hard. When times are especially good (wedding, birth of my son) or bad (right now) I miss her most.

    Wow that rings true...but for me it's my son. I miss him, but I miss the son I want, not the son I have.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, Lil, I'm glad you had your mother there for you. It was a void in my heart for many years that I didn't have one.

    Trust me, I know how you feel about your son. I wish 36 were different. He makes everything so hard.

    Big hugs for a wonderful couple who did ALL THEY COULD for their son. I can tell by the love in your posts that you have a heart of gold. Cling to your wonderful husband and try to enjoy your lives together. And one day your son will probably appreciate the two of you. You are both very special and he must know it somewhere. He is still pretty young.
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  15. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    My mom died when I was 28 and I miss her more and more every day. She was my best friend and I will always have a huge void in my life without her. My difficult child will never love me like that and I understand that he's just not capable of that kind of love but it's heartbreaking nonetheless.
  16. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    At least all of you know where I'm coming from. I texted him again today and get a three word sentence in reply. I just miss him. Sorry....a wee bit weepy today...no real reason, mourning the loss of Leave It To Beaver family hat I never had.

    I'll be ok, I have a great new husband and he loves me...and sees my difficult child for what he is better than I do.
  17. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lil - let me give you a bit of hope. I think 19 is too soon for them to miss us. Or appreciate us. Or be able to express their love for us. My kid aged out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/TLP at 18, and lived on the streets of Chicago for 2 years. The kid didn't call me once in his first 6 months "on his own", but fortunately he always found an internet connection so I was able to verify he was still alive by his my space postings. I didn't initiate contact. I waited for him.

    Heartbreaking and utterly terrifying? You better believe it. In all the rough years we had with him, I think those were the absolute worst. I actually had a plan for when the coroner called us to identify his body - call husband to come home and take care of other kids, and I'd head to the city. Dark dark dark times.

    I think not initiating contact is important. He knows where you are and how to get in touch with you. Maybe I was just battle weary after 14 years of trying to reach my kid, but I made the very conscious decision to *not* initiate contact because when I did, I just opened the door for him to wound me again, and again, and again. To this day, I don't know the details of those lost years in Chicago, and I've made it clear I don't want to. I have a pretty good idea, but then again, maybe I don't. BUT... when he did initiate contact, that's when we began on the road to healing, for him and for me. Years of living with my own difficult child taught me that he was only going to do things on his terms, in his time. Somewhere, I made peace with that. Just my opinion, hon, and I know not terribly comforting to you this evening.

    But time will pass and I think some kids do come around. Just not on our, or any recognized, time table. They take longer to cook. But I think eventually things will get better for you and your son.

    My kid is now 23-1/2. The most delightful amazing wonderful kid in the world. Still mentally ill, still a bit off, but... loving, respectful, appreciative, caring, and concerned. My greatest hope was that he would simply survive the life he chose. He's done much more than that.

    A funny - he came home this weekend for my meatloaf. Now the standing joke as the kids were growing up was that they would *never* come home for "mom's cooking." Used to be when the fire alarm went off, the kids knew dinner was ready - seriously. But, my difficult child came home for my meatloaf (of all things). And he loved it, ate thirds, and thanked me. Five years ago, I would've said pigs would fly first. But... you just never know what is going to happen.

    Nothing I can say will relieve your grief. You do need to take care of yourself and especially be kind to yourself. You cannot control what your difficult child will do. You can only control what you do. I think grieving is appropriate and very necessary. It's part of the whole process, unfortunately. But in the back of your mind, remember that the person he is now is most definitely not the person he will be at 23, or 30, or whenever. I firmly believe that as long as there is life, there is hope.
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  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Wow. I didn't mean to hijack the thread, but slsh, thank you so much. That was exactly what I needed tonight.

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  19. Bone Weary

    Bone Weary New Member

    I understand your feelings. I have begun to detach andmy son text me this weekend and I replied for the first time(on a borrowed phone). I miss what might have been and my baby boy. He is gone, snuffed out by years of abuse and drug use. I pray my son will come around but I am starting to live for myself. He is living on the streets. He has a court date soon. He may spend some time in jail for not being there. I am not going to try to fix it.
    Anywho, good luck with your son. As long as there is life there is hope. Take care of you for a change.