Why so numb?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by BackintheSaddle, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Hello All- I've been reading threads but haven't posted in a week or so...my difficult child was kicked out right at Christmas and continues to live with my highly dysfunctional parents...I haven't seen him since mid-January...he's mentally ill, definitely, but doesn't drink or use drugs...he refuses treatment which is part of what led to him attacking me and being kicked out...since that time, I've occilated between many feelings, like I know all of you can relate to...I was so sad most of January that I could barely get out of bed most days...I've been doing a lot of 'self care' so I have felt a lot better in February but still fluctuating between anger, sadness, guilt, and all those feelings that we mothers (and fathers) struggle with on a regular basis...however, in the past couple of weeks, I've grown increasingly numb-- I don't know how else to describe it...about then, I got a nasty letter from my father (I posted about it and many of you sent wonderful responses), blaming me for every problem he and my Mom have had for the last 40 years and all of my difficult child's problem...I didn't respond and didn't let difficult child know I got it (I doubt he knows about it) but I burned the letter and feel really 'done' with my parents...but still hoping difficult child will come around, grow up, or whatever and come back into my life...last week, for V-day, I decided to be 'true to myself' and give him gifts like I've always done-- a card and candy...it was also snowing here (an unusual thing) and baked cookies and put them all in a bag...I went by his work to drop it off and lay eyes on him...I really miss just seeing him...but he wasn't there so I texted him to let him know I would drop it off and ended up leaving it in their mailbox and told him it was there...I was so nervous just driving on that road, even nauseous, but left it and got an email from him later that said 'ok. got it'-- my doing this caused my husband and I to have an argument because of the feelings it stirred up...that was it...haven't heard from him since, never get texts or emails from him to see how we're doing...he's totally just cut us off (and I'm sure he'd say it's my fault)....I've left it open to let me know if he wants to see me, have breakfast/lunch, just let me know...nothing...I've texted him weekly the last 3 weeks just to check in...he may or may not respond, doesn't seem to care at all about staying in touch...so lately, I just feel numb...I don't miss him like I did, I don't cry, I feel empty in a way though I'm able to appear happy, go to work like usual, and go through the motions...

    I decided to finally reach out to you...why do I feel so numb? (yet so tired)...makes me worry that some horrid stage is coming next where I'll get the rug out from under me...the numbness is the calm before the storm so to speak...it's been 2 months today that difficult child was kicked out and I feel little when I say that..
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this and I can relate to the numb feeling. I'll try putting on my psychologist hat, but remember the hat is there, but the degree is missing ;)

    My guess, and it is just a guess, is that you are absolutely horrified to find out what most of us had to find out...that our difficult children care little for anyone but themselves, and that includes us...that once we are not longer the ATM they don't have any real reason to speak to us. First of all, they are punishing us for no longer being their personal money machine, which infuriates them. They will accuse us of not caring about them when we do this and punish us by cutting us off. That's an attempt to get us to be the money machine again. This is a lot for any mom's heart to take in, so we grieve and we try and when normal attempts to reach out don't work, we realize that all we are to our grown difficult children is The Bank.

    I am going to post a theory I have. I think most of our grown kids, especially the ones who are not addicted to drugs, like my 36 and your son, have personality disorders along with whatever else is wrong with them, such as mood disorders. Mood disorders alone do not cause the kind of coldness and meanness our grown children exhibit. I am thinking that they both show some narcissistic and antisocial traits. Take a read for yourself and see what you think. Remember, as you read, that a person can have many traits of one or the other or both and not enough to be labeled as such, but still have it affect their relationships, especially their close ones. Basically both are a big "It's all about ME." They don't understand or care how much they hurt other people (choose your poison...don't understand/don't care. Both are very negative traits in a human being when dealing with other people). I see traits of both in 36.


    Regardless of what is wrong with your son, he is an adult and is punishing you in the most cruel way a grown child can. He is showing you that you can only be in his life if you keep giving him things. And in spite of their "you don't love me", they know we do and they know how much this punishment hurts. That's why they do it. Has he ever taken responsibility for attacking you without adding "but" to his apology?Is he still refusing to see that what he did was dangerous and wrong, and that "but you provoked me" isn't a good excuse? Kind of like telling a poor girl who is raped that her short skirt provoked the attacker.

    I think the numbness is normal and will fade. It's kind of a big shock to our system when we admit to ourselves (and see proof) that our grown kids are really not very nice, loving people. The shock part is the numbness, in my opinion.

    Keep on being good to yourself. Do you have a therapist? You really should not take this walk by yourself. You need a caring person to guide you through it. NAMI is also a good place to reach out for support.

    Wishing you a peaceful, serene day as you take this difficult and life changing journey.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Back In the Saddle, I've been wondering how you were. There are three others of us that we haven't seen for a little while too, and I am waiting for them to post with updates.

    I am so glad you posted, BITS.

    What you are doing is a such a hard thing. As I see it, you had no choice but to take the actions you took regarding your son. BITS, I believe that, on some level, this dynamic was already in play long before the events that transpired in December. It seems to me that the problems between your son and yourself have been carefully nurtured by the grandfather, time over time, to just this end.

    I would be numb, too.

    In a way BITS, you have lost everything that matters, everything you worked so hard toward having, swallowed your pride for so many times, and invested your heart, soul, and mind into. This is not only about your son. This is about being made to feel bad, about being made to feel wrong and responsible, just like when you were a little girl.

    Only this time, the thing you are being punished by, for, and over, the thing your father is dangling in front of you, is your own child. Is the mind and heart of your own son ~ is your son's perception and rejection of who and how you are.

    No wonder you're numb.

    And, like when you were little, you're fixing to blast that SOB.

    I swear you are, BITS.

    I think that is why you numbed down. You are waiting to see what happens if you act nicely, first. If you play by the rules of normal, decent behavior, maybe the nightmare will stop.

    He is covering his tracks pretty well, your father.

    He came out of this smelling like a rose.

    Your position has been one of powerlessness for some time now, I think. I believe you knew it, saw it coming, and decided to set limits for your son, knowing he might run to your father, knowing your father might triumph.

    But the threat hanging over your head, and your son's BITS, has been there for a really long time. It is hard enough to parent without a grandfather purposefully confusing issues. Not seeing it, trying to pussyfoot around it when there were forces pushing for it, forces trying to undermine you every step of the way...that would have been a wrong thing, too.

    I think you are numb because there was no good choice to make. How horrible to be in a situation like this one when what is at stake is your own child.

    Knowing it was coming does not ease the pain, the shame, the anger, the grief. You had to take this path, BITS. You had to do what was right in raising your son. It was a risk, and I think you knew it when you took it. You did it for your son's own sake...and this was the outcome. Until things come back into balance (and one day, they will) you are doing the right things in making the effort to keep contact with your son. As time passes, as you post and receive response here, the shaming, almost desperate nature of the interaction will become healthier. I don't mean to offend. I sense the vulnerability beneath the actions, the hurt and rage and shame.

    You did what needed to be done in confronting your son, BITS. There would have been no point in allowing things to go on as they were out of fear that this might happen.

    Now, the choice has been made. The cards are on the table, face up. Even your father's cards are finally on the table, face up.

    You cannot change your father's hateful, rageful, spiteful, so pointlessly hurtful game plan, BITS. Like my mother, who will be who she is until the day she dies, your father may never change.

    Or maybe...this is his vehicle for change.

    Maybe BITS, this is where your family has its opportunity to address and heal all the badness handed down, generation to generation. I don't know so much about that, but you will be able to see whether there are repeating patterns, here.

    From what you have told us about your family's dynamic, there are.

    Like us BITS, like those of us whose kids are homeless or addicted or hopelessly lost in the frighteningly unreal world of mental illness, you will need to choose your path, accept that there are consequences to your choices, stay present in the moment and let go of the outcome if you intend to survive.

    Sounds pretty dramatic, right?

    It's true.

    It's really hard to do that. Learning that skillset is impossible BITS...but I think it is the only way you will survive this intact.

    We are right here, BITS. You know others of us will be along in a minute or two. Each of us will see a little piece, will be able to address something the others of us missed.

    And we will get through this, BITS.

    I don't know why this had to happen. I mean, I know your father forced it. I don't understand how or why a parent can be, can wish to be, so cruel, so destructive of his or her own child. But my mother is that way, too.

    You aren't the only one, BITS. Your abuser abuses not because of something in you, but because of something in him. Abuse is such an impersonal thing. It hurts so much that it feels like it must be true.

    But it is not true, BITS.

    You are a fine woman, a beautifully loving mother. You are being targeted by an abusive male. It isn't going to feel sane or right or good.

    You are strong enough, BITS.

    And we are right here.


    I wanted to note that it is interesting that your father sent the nasty letter when he did. He did that because you are defying him, BITS. He must be about ready to, as the old saying goes, spit bricks. Maybe things are not quite as sweet as they seem to be, over at Grandpa's house.

    I have been in that place where I was done with my parents, too. Or, where they (my mother) was done with me. It was an interesting thing to note that suddenly, my mother created this whole "if she doesn't want to be part of this family / it's all your father's fault / it's all (my husband's) fault / how dare you / who do you think you are." It degenerated to the point that when my father had open heart surgery and I called the hospital to see how he was, she had me blocked. If I wanted to know whether he lived or died, I needed to go through my mother.

    I said my goodbyes to my father in private (to myself), and did not call, again.

    It is what it is. No sense pretending it was anything else. But my mother got a sick kick out of it, BITS. It was the only power she had, and she used it.

    There are times when it is what it is, and the cost is what it is, and you refuse to pay or play the game, anymore. That is what you did, BITS. There was no way to avoid it for me, and there is no way to avoid or change it, for you.

    I'm sorry, BITS. But it is what it is.

    It literally has nothing to do with you. It is nothing personal. There is pain there to be unloaded and you have been targeted.

    As you have been, all of your life.


    I hope all is well now with your husband. My husband has heard hours and hours of pain and tears and rage, too. It changes the dynamic of the marriage, for them to see us in that kind of dark, shaming pain. But your husband will see you, shining through the hurt of it, and he will pull you through.


    Doing for difficult child what you have always done is of primary importance. Providing opportunities for him to see you is very important. Your father would like nothing better than to have you cut difficult child off.

    Then difficult child will be entirely in your father's power.

    Right now?

    You have your father in checkmate AND HE KNOWS IT. That is why he sent the nasty letter. To weaken and confuse you.

    You are your son's mother.

    Your father is not going to win this one.

    If this does not resolve soon, (I think it will resolve ~ there is a pressure cooker kind of feel to it) but if it does not resolve, can you cultivate those feelings of love and find gratitude where you can.

    Find gratitude where you can.

    Gratitude for what you do have, gratitude for what you have left, will get you through this on a daily basis.

    It is the only thing I know of with that kind of healing in it.

    Begin a gratitude journal. Five items, five things you are grateful for, every day.

    There is something called "morning pages." First thing, you write three pages about anything you want. But you write without thinking it through. Pour out your heart. Date and hide the pages away. No one gets to see these pages but you. As you begin, you will learn to call these pages the morning rages, instead.

    That is what I call mine.


    But all the muddle of hurt and pain and rage will be pinned down there, where you can see it.

    That helped me to find my way into what I was really feeling, beneath the numbness, beneath the hurt and the rage.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I am so glad to hear from you again! I know so well the feeling of just staying in bed...anhedonia is the technical term for it...no joy, no pleasure, no satisfaction of needs to fulfill. It is a main symptom of depression...you might recognize yourself in this...I did, when I too was lying in bed in November over the crush of life events, much of it about difficult child


    If nothing else it may make you smile.

    I agree with "the doctor is in" MWM...I think that the forced acceptance that your difficult child (and your Dad) are basically mean, is hard hard hard. What a yucky place to be, surrounded by "loved ones" who are so unloving, so unkind.

    I also agree about the personality disorders. I was quite clear as an adult that my dad was bipolar, quite flamingly so...but it took and actual shrink with a degree to point out that his cruelty to us and to my mom (he was a big fan of cutting people out without explanation...he would just begin an era of glaring, not speaking, and not responding to one of us...while still living in the house with us...that could go on for weeks, months, or, occasionally...years!. It was awful, shaming, scary, and incredibly diminishing) is not a product of bipolar disorder...that is a personality disorder. That surprised me but is true. Good going, MWM, you'll get that degree yet!

    Mostly I just wanted you to know that I am reading along, glad you posted again, that I share and know some of what you are going through, and I hope the comic makes you smile.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I try, Echo ;)

    I might add that BITS father sounds Narcissistic. BITS, sadly your family reminds me of my own. I do think many of us can relate very easily...
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad you stepped out there and came back and posted BITS, I was wondering where you are. And, I am so very sorry you are feeling numb, that you are dealing with so much betrayal from your family.

    I think MWM, Cedar and Echo have all given you sound support with whatever "hats" they are wearing, the biggest one is our concern for you.

    The kind of assaults you've recently sustained would knock anyone down, your response, whatever it is, is warranted and appropriate. You've just received a couple of whopper sucker punches which probably opened the doors for old wounds to come flying back too.

    I think in these kind of highly dysfunctional families where there is mental illness and alcoholism those of us who are highly sensitive bear the biggest burden and suffer the most pain as a result of that very sensitivity. Sometimes when the pain is too much to bear, I think we have a sort of safety valve which gives us a break from the intensity of the onslaught. Numbing out can give us that space. Depression may be there as well. And, certainly not being able to yet accept the truth of our situation can create that numbness too. Perhaps all of it is at play.

    When I was in a similar place, one of my (many) therapists called that place the FOG, sort of an in between place where I knew the old enabling me wasn't going to work, but I was not certain of how to be, how to respond, how to react..........I had always responded the same way and now I couldn't and I knew that much.............but the new behavior hadn't settled in yet, so I was at a loss, I was empty, I had no where to go. I actually stayed in that place for awhile. I could take in the information I was being offered in my therapy group, but I really was not prepared to act on anything.......I really did feel as if I was in a FOG, I had no idea how to BE. So much of me had been that enabler and without that, I had no where to go.

    This situation with your father and your difficult child is really pretty gruesome from the standpoint of you the daughter and you the mother..........you're in between two difficult child's, what an awful place to be. I think I would be numb too.

    My heart goes out to you BITS, this is a rough time. Please take very good care of yourself..........if you have a therapist, reach out to her/him. Do very, very kind and nurturing things for yourself. This is a time to really ask for support and utilize your support system.........do not isolate. I am sending you caring hugs and prayers. Hang in there, we are circling the wagons around you................we are here for you.
  7. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    thanks so much for responding....I needed all this sage advice and support...I do believe my son is very mean and heartless and yes, I agree with there being characterological problems with him, grandpa and grandma...the only reason I'm not in the mix is from many many years of therapy, reading, meditating on what went so wrong with my framily and doing everything I could to make sure my son had a healthy upbringing-- which he did...I do think my father is a narcissist and I'm pretty convinced my son is borderline...it just fits his personality...yes, husband and I are struggling...he's getting tired of my mopiness and I'm upset he doesn't 'get it'...we're going out for the day to do something he wants to do with horses...so maybe that'll help us come together better and getting out of the house can't be a bad thing!...;-)....will be back online tonight

    thanks again and have a great day!
  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hey Bits,

    I have no wisdom (the responses you received helped me a lot), I am thinking about you and have wondered how you are. It is good you are getting out with husband. Just showing yourself and him that you can get out gives you hope and shows you are trying, even if you are still numb today and just going through the motions.

    I went through the numb part with this last drama with gfg32. It was not very long (because i have been there before through years with him), but yeah---couldn't do much of anything---just numb. So, I feel for you and hope you get mad(?) or whatever is next. Because, you will NOT stay this way.

    Hugs and please report back about your day with husband and horses.
  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    My X had me numb several times during what my son refers to as my walking breakdown years. It came down to the fact I could not accept that he was gone. I was use to being able to fix things, as a coward had only jumped into fights I could win. The more I tried to get him back the further away he went.

    When no amount of begging, badgering, threatening, acting like could care less, replacing him, or anything else was successful in getting him to step up to responsibility of his children I was numb. I'm grateful my son when I was too far gone to feed them made sure the girls got food, he would force stuff at me too as I was often too depressed to eat.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Powerful words and very true. The only advise I can give is be kind to yourself and the people around you; they are hurting too but probably focusing on you and not their own healing. My X found other women stupid enough to have his offspring, but your son only has one mom and even if he wanted to he can not replace you.


    PS remember what I said about the more I tried to pull him back the further away he got? I would recommend keeping attempts at contact to a minimum and never at his workplace... It was cute me going into restaurant my son works at referring to my 6ft 300 Lb son as my "baby boy" until the day my distraction caused one of his co workers to almost cut his thumb off, haven't been back since.
  10. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    well, today was hard...and exhausting...but I got through it and had some fun! We went to meet some new people so my husband could start competing- met the trainer and all kinds of people...no one knew me or our situation so I could leave it behind..I cried almost the whole way there but (it took about an hour's drive) was able to pull myself together...what happened this morning to set me off was that my difficult child dialed my phone and I didn't know it...so when I saw his missed call (and my heart skipped a beat), I texted him to say that I saw I missed it, it was good to hear from him, was he ok...in a bit, he answered to say 'oh sorry, didn't mean to' (in other words, he butt dialed me)...so said 'how are you' and he never replied...by the time we left, it'd been two hours or so and I knew by then he wasn't going to bother to reply...(sorry this is so long but it helps to explain)....

    when all this started to happen, I started some home projects in hopes that they would make me feel more positive...my husband is an electrician and has to do home projects for his work (just not ours) so these were meant to be my projects-- things I can do without his help like paint walls, hang wallpaper...I work all day on a computer and with my work, I rarely have moments where I can step back and admire something I finished and accomplished...I thought having these jobs (painting the kitchen is the biggest bone of contention) would help me heal....well, husband has little patience for mess and has gradually taken on this task because it's taking me too long (I work at least 40 hours/week so no exactly someting I can work on each day)...when I came home yesterday, he'd worked almost all day on it and it's turned out to be a much harder job than imagined-- we have an older house and it's the original wallpaper we're trying to take down and paint the walls...so he'd worked almost all day on one wall and was very frustrated...really let me have it when I got home-- not directed 'at me' so much as venting at how frustrating of a job it was but clearly upset that I'd ever started the project and added to the 'mess in our life'...so fast forward to today, he wants to go start his training and has to have me go (which I had planned to spend the whole day on the kitchen so he'd get off my back)...so as we're hading down the road, I say he has to agree to lighten up about the kitchen since I'm going with him (since I'm losing my day working on it)....and I explain to him how it might not seem important to him but that it's one of the only ways I can feel like I accomplished anything positive and I really need that now...and then the tears start...and I couldn't stop...I devoted 19 years of my life to that difficult child...I was a single mom for the first 3 years, finished putting myself through graduate school while getting up all during the night for a new baby....worked my career around being there for him and making sure he got everything he needed-- my husband is the only father he's ever known and when difficult child was 3, we got married and he adopted difficult child...by the 2nd grade, he was depressed and drew a picture at school of shooting himself so started therapy and has been with the same psychologist ever since...seen with the same psychiatrist since 5th grade...soooooo much trial with him, times when he peed in the closet, stacked furniture in his bedroom against the door so we couldn't get in, threatened to jump out of a moving car, out of an upstairs window...school was always a challenge even though he's very smart...never had friends, always isolated, just never easy, never without issues and the older he got, the more belligerent, bullying, angry, and focused on me...so the tears were all about how I spent 19 years raising that child and look how much I accomplished...he's a mean jerk who can't even reply to me on a text...and no, he's never apologized for how he attacked me without a 'but' and he later sent an email about how much I needed to apologize for all that had happened, not recognizing any of what he'd done...and for the past 1+ year, my husband and I have had days when we weren't sure if our difficult child would attack us in our sleep or not....there were nights we barricaded our bedroom door to make sure he couldn't come in...not because he ever threatened us, but because he was so volatile, we weren't sure what he was capable of...but all the time, the entire time, everything he did was MY fault...he got bad grades because life at home was so stressful, life was so stressful at home because of me-- I had the gall to ask him to pick up after himself, his dad wanted him to be respectful...we asked so little of him and held on until he barely graduated high school and then gave him a list of very generous choices of next steps- he agreed to one that meant he'd live at home and go to community college but would live by a list of rules, including going to see his psychiatrist and taking medications- he paid his tuition upfront and we agreed to pay him back if he followed the rules and got a 3.0...starting November, things started turning to the worst and I found pills he should have taken but didn't...was catching him in lies and the cycle was starting all over again...the 'climax' was the day he attacked me but there was a lot leading up to that and the whole time he was 'confiding' in my parents about how awful life at home was and they were giving him what I'm certain was advice to help drive the wedge even deeper between us and him...

    so in the course of the day, I went from numb to sad to angry and then had fun when we were out in the beautiful sunny day...was able to stop thinking about it for awhile...by the time we got home, I was exhausted...but got through the day....hope you did as well...
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    BITS, I'm so sorry. You have had a hard time with him. I am going to throw a theory out at you.

    I know that your son never knew his birthfather. Do you think, however, that, even though he never met him, perhaps he inherited his personality and mental health issues and maybe even a personality disorder (they are finding that they are partly genetic) from his birthfather? I ask because I'm in an adopted parent group and many of the families have met their children's birthparents and almost to a person they all marvel at how much their children are like the birthparent that they have never ever met before. Sometimes they even have the same gestures and ways of walking, yet they were not near one another. I happen to think genetics is bigger than nature. I believe you did everything in the world for this young man and he just never responded to it. Is that like your ex-husband was? If so, you can NOT blame yourself because a child that is 50% your ex's DNA turned out more like your ex than like you. I forgot why you broke up, but I am going to take a wild guess and assume YOU wanted HIM out because he was a major moron, perhaps even violent with perhaps some substance abuse issues. Of course, I could be way off. This is merely all a guess.

    Your son is the only person in the world that can make his life better, regardless of whether he inherited some bad genes or not. That still stands. He needs to start by taking responsibility for what he does without the "but." You did nothing to provoke his violence. Until he seeks serious help and is willing to work very hard to change his negative personality traits and to accept responsibility for his actions without the "buts" he will stay the same, but it's not your fault and YOU don't have to stagnate with him.

    As for your husband, if you feel he needs to give you some TLC right now (and I would think it would be very helpful), if just talking to him doesn't help, maybe the two of you can get into couple's counseling. Won't be the first time a difficult child made a once good relationship contentious. You also should get into private therapy for yourself to help you over this. It is such a hard thing to deal with, especially when you only have one kid. I can't even imagine my only child being either 36 or He-Who-Walked-Out-On-Family. Really, I've had quite a hard time with both of my oldest boys, with the one who walked out hurting me more than 36, since 36 is at least in my life and okay at times and from a distance. But I do have to still deal with his moods. Fun, fun, fun.

    Sometimes, honestly, I wish I had not been able to have biological children. I know that's terrible and I couldn't say that to anyone but the group here. 36 has been such a handful from Day One. I also truly do wish I had never thought I could adopt a child from another culture who was already six years old. WHAT WAS I THINKING???? Well, I loved kids and wnated to give a hard-to-place chld a loving home. And I did. And he walked out on me. The true loves of my life are my husband (he is my second one though...lol) and, more seriously, my pregnant, beloved daughter Julie, my sweet son Sonic and my precious Jumper. I no longer can even think of He-Who-Left as a child of mine because he has been gone for so long and 36...I love him lots and lots, but I really could never live with him or even near him and I don't even really know my grandson from him because he is far away too.

    See? Your post brought out an emotional whinefest in me...lol. I was close to tears when I typed about He-Who-Left. That was the most brutal kid experience of the my entire life. I could not have done it without all the help I got. I felt so lost and empty, even though I did have four other children and my hubby. I know what you are going through, and it will get better. Time is a great healer.

    Try to have a peaceful, serene night and think about what your options are to help YOURSELF get through this. We care about you, but we are not professionals. Be good to yourself and get outside help for you and for you and hubby if need be. Don't neglect yourself anymore and don't blame yourself for how your son turned out. It was not because of anything you did. 36 had a good life too. Heck, he was doted on.
  12. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Wow I'm learning so much tonight, thank you MWM there is something to the biological issue I'm sure also. My girls dad when stressed or asleep would slip the two fingers on his right hand into his mouth. Angel I saw doing the exact same thing on the ultra sound and has always had an issue with those fingers in her mouth.

    I keep thinking about what you said about a rape victim that they claimed her short skirt provoked him. You are very right and it might have provoked him, but that doesn't authorize him to commit rape. He is suppose to be in control of his body and the harm caused by his actions!!! I wish I had read this years ago as I have struggled with my friend brought her attacker to court, and they let that evil man walk because she wasn't wearing underwear. The point was he had no way of knowing that until he took her jeans off, now my head is spinning wondering why her lawyer never brought that up?

    And it goes for you too BITS your son had no right to put hands on you for any reason! You do not deserve to live in fear of a young man trying to walk all over you! He is responsible for his actions! That is your home and your life and if he isn't gonna allow you the liberty of living with happiness he can just shove off! Don't fall for this guilt trip these people are trying to put on you, you don't deserve it! Also please don't let it interfere with the relationship you have with people who treat you right and do respect you.

    Wishing you a peaceful weekend

  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member



    It seems you are breaking through the numbness. That is so good, BITS. You are beginning to heal.

    I really liked what MWM and Nancy had to say about genetics.

    If difficult child contacts you in future, it might be best not to respond the first or even, the second time.

    I don't think it was accidental.

  14. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    huh...Cedar, would he really be so mean to just dial me and claim it was an accident? that brings tears to my eyes to think about it but I wondered how he could 'accidentally' dial me when it's been 2 months since it called me- so my number wasn't exactly in his 'recent contacts' folder...oh wow- that's something to think about today...I've been reaching out to him on Sundays just to check in but had decided after yesterday not to bother...now, I wonder if I should ever reach out to him again (just wait until he contacts me if that ever happens) since he clearly knows what impact he's having on me.....I guess my reaching out to him is the only way I have left to try and stay connected and remind him that I'm here...but he is so enmeshed in that toxic world with my parents that maybe there's no point...just gives them more ammunition for knowing they've 'got' me...hard to accept I came from people (and raised one) who are so cruel...I don't have a mean bone in my body--- like RE said yesterday, I've always been the hyper sensitve one...they're definitely taking advantage of that now I suppose
  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    BITS, I am sorry you are still in some of the most intense phases of this (numbness is even intense) but as you pass through the phases you are on the right road. You are on the road to a happier, more peaceful, more calm, more contented life. You are on the road to serenity. You are on the road back to YOU.

    Numb is one stop on the journey. Perhaps the first stop was Denial---again, protection for us when things are just too much to bear. Numb is another one. Fear another, more active one---that I believe causes some of the most reaction we do to our difficult children behavior. Feeling our fear and accepting it wholeheartedly is a one way to negate that compulsion to react. Another is Anger, another is Depression, another is deep Despair. Another is Powerlessness. As we move along on this journey, we also experience Relief, Acceptance, Love, Compassion...and I am sure there are others.

    Yes, I agree with MWM, and you may cycle back through it again, more times. Like the other stops/stages on the journey.

    I find that I can cycle through one or more or four in the same day, sometimes, like you talk about doing yesterday. Sometimes I stay in one for the whole day. Usually, going to sleep at night breaks the cycle and the next day, I will be at another stop and another stage.

    One thing is for sure: You won't stay where you are. I think this IS recovery---this cycling through stops and stages. We are growing. In this deep pain and discomfort and all of the above emotions---we are growing. We are learning to live with Uncertainty.

    Yes! This is a tool. Gratitude is a tool, making that list, every morning---sometimes stopping and doing it several times a day. There is always so much to be grateful for, even in the midst of this AWFULNESS.

    Yes, that is God's plan---that we can't or won't suffer so much (most of us, most of the time) that it becomes unbearable. I know some people do and it leads to suicide or other acts. But most of us, dealing with our difficult children, learning to live with their decisions, the outrageousness of them, is so painful. Sometimes we just have to go numb. That is our protection for a while. Until we can feel again.

    As I have said this week, I have been angry this week. So angry at the senselessness of my difficult child's decision to be homeless, to use drugs, to live on the street when there are other solutions. So angry at the utter waste of it all. I am sure that under the anger is fear, powerlessness, sadness. And above it, is relief, acceptance, gratitude---that he doesn't live in my house where I have to look at this every single, my growing acceptance (definitely not there yet at all) of his choices and that THIS may be the way it always is forever or for a long, long time, and gratitude---I am so grateful for all I do have and yes, I am even grateful that he is alive and thus there is a chance for a new start for him.

    BITS, you will not always feel this way, whatever you are feeling today. You will stop and go to another stage and another stop.

    And your precious difficult child is also changing---right now---all the time. He will likely be different tomorrow---maybe closer to you and maybe not.

    We are not the source of all action for our difficult children. I am learning that sitting completely still when it comes to my difficult child means that other streams of force and action---himself, the courts, the police, people he is with right now---those are active.

    I need to stop. I need to let go. I need to let time take its time. I need to be silent. I have spent so much time and so many years, BITS, talking and acting and trying and working for HIM. For HIM. He is now 24.5 years old.

    It is time for other streams of force and action to take over. It is time for me to stop, to stand by, with compassion, with love and with a hand out---IF and WHEN he decides he wants true help. Until then, there is nothing for me to do. There is no role for me to play.

    Let me continue to learn HOW to do that, BITS, just for today.

    I am praying for you BITS. I am so glad you had a good day tomorrow. Today, feel your pain, but see if you can decide, just for a few hours, not to SUFFER. Pain is one thing. Suffering is another.

    Blessings and peace and joy I am praying for you on this beautiful day.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just want you to know I am riding along with you BITS. As the numbness goes away, all of the feelings surface...........I remember that too.

    Just today I would say as you walk through all of these feelings, feel them and move on............I believe now that they balance themselves, we move through, we resolve the issues, we make choices, we change, we falter, we make mistakes, we get back up, we feel better...............it's like a soup, all the ingredients are there but they're raw, it all has to cook together...........all of those feelings have to come together to form the new YOU, the one not taken out by your parents or your difficult child's view of you or their treatment of you............you keep moving further away from that.............and as you do, you become stronger and more whole...............

    Just today I would say all of that............because that's what I feel right now. Of course, tomorrow I could wake up and be up the creek.............but right now, that feels true for me. I am okay. It sounds like in spite of all of it, you are okay too. We sensitive ones feel it all..............but once felt, we remain vulnerable to life, open hearted in the face of all of it..............still able to love and be present..............not the path your parents chose.............may not be the path your son chooses...................but it is your path. Stay the course BITS. It gets a lot better.
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  17. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    it was a better day today....got some work done and painted a wall!...;-)....the kitchen already is looking better and husband is going to back off and let me 'have at it'...got a quick text from my difficult child after I texted him yesterday morning to ask 'how r u?'....he responded tonight to say 'busy'...that was it...what a little snot that boy has become...the more I can see him for who he really is, the better off I'll be and the more capable I'll be to detach like I need to...'live and let live', right?....'one day at a time'...he's not an addict but the sentiments still apply
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    BITS, how are you?

    It always happens to me that as I come back into balance after something traumatic with one of the kids, it helps me to post here about what I have learned, about where I am, now.

    You know what they say, BITS.

    Enquiring minds would like to know.


  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    BITS, one of our biggest problems is we still see them as boys. They are young men. Immature young men, but young men. I mean, some people are fifty and still act a lot like children, but they aren't. I've finally gotten to the point where my two boys are men in my head and I try hard to remember that. Of course, they are in their 30's.

    Also, at least in my own mind, which may be distorted thinking, I think it's worse than my two wayward sons are this way WITHOUT using drugs or at least being addicts (now with 36, he may be a functional alcoholic. I can't know).But I would rather they both be mean because they are under the influence of drugs or sick with addiction rather than knowing they are just this way, period, probably because they have personality disorders.

    Maybe texting him isn't such a good idea. Seems like he isn't going to respond in a way that lends itself to communication. It is a way to hurt you. I am really sorry about this. They seem to love to make us sad and/or worried.

    Try to walk with serenity and peace today and keep up the painting!!!
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just letting you know I'm here too BITS...........let us know when you can how you are doing...........thinking of you and sending good thoughts......