would love some advice ...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jude-in-nj, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    I will try to make this as short as possible... which is almost impossible but I will try!
    Difficult Child (son) is currently in County jail but hopefully will be home sometime mid 2016.
    The charges he was arrested for were assault and simple assault on his girlfriend. (LOOONG back story, she has also been arrested multiple times)
    Anyway, my son ended up in jail and has been there for approx 4 months. During this time the girlfriend has spoken to him a few times and told him she loves him, wants to be with him etc etc.. We have a horrible relationship with the girlfriend if you can even call it that. She has not been allowed in our home for a couple of years leading up to my son's arrest due to the fighting that goes on between the two of them.
    She has said horrible things to us in the past, accusing us of all kinds of things.. anyway, we have pretty much decided to have no relationship with her whatsoever.

    My son is now asking me to please try to forgive (he's been reading about forgiveness...) and to accept her back into our lives. FIRST of all, they are not supposed to have ANY contact with each other when he comes home as part of his probation. SECOND, we (his dad and I) have been told to have no contact with her either.
    Not only that but from past experience I am afraid that nothing has changed and they will go back to their old ways and he will end up in prison.
    My son wants me to text or call her to let her know that we can move forward and that I do not hate her..

    I told my son I cannot do anything until my trust is restored in him.. I under no circumstances want them back together once he is home..

    Nothing I say can make him understand how we feel, right now I think he is being very selfish and is asking me to do something that I do not feel comfortable with but it will improve his relationship with the girlfriend... so I feel it is out of selfish reasons that he wants me to contact her.

    Anyway, any advice on how to deal with this situation? He is of course also resorting to the emotional blackmail ... IE: "I am not going to call anymore"" (fine with me) "Nobody cares" (of course we do but he can't or won't see that because we are not following his instructions) and so on and so on..

    I know I sounds very bitter, and I am after what he has put this family through...

    Thanks in advance for any advice ..
  2. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    One more thing I wanted to ask.. Am I wrong for totally shutting this girl out of our life? At some point do I try to accept her even though the court system has instructed them to stay away from each other.. and if he does have contact it violates his probation? Of course my head is screaming NOOOOO!!! do not let her back into our life.. but Ia mnot sure that is the right thing to do... if they show improvement do I give their relationship another chance?? I don't see it happening after 4+ years of abuse and violence....
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion this is your answer. No, you don't have to accept her. He is lucky as hello that you are letting h im come back home after being in jail for assault. I probably would not and many here have forced our grown children to stand on their own. If I had a grown child in jail and he was not supposed to see this girl per court orders, but he was going to do so anyways, I would not help him break the law. No way. He does not sound as if he "gets it."

    I think it would be foolish to risk your own health and well being by letting this girlfriend come into your home too. You have to take care of your own self. You have three other kids, plus YOU are important and need to be good to yourself. Your son is 23. He is old enough to figure out how to live well or, if you like, learn to live in your house and follow your rules (your home/your rules/no disrespect/no drugs/no money from you). If he wants to stay in the dysfunctional relationship, let him do it somewhere else. But understand that your son is as much to blame as her. He picked her for a reason. He is staying for a reason. And he assaulted her. And he will disrespect the court and law by seeing her and could end up back in jail for breaking parole. And YOU would be showing him you are ok with breaking the law too if you see her when the court ordered you not to see her. That sends a bad message to ALL your children.

    Sometimes it is very hard to see our grown children as men and women who should behave like one. Often, we keep seeing the sweet little boy or girl and go into denial about who our child now is. Are drugs involved?

    My own opinion is, the girl is your son's problem, not yours and you don't need to reach out to her. Can tell you, I sure wouldn't!!! this relationship is not yours to chose to approve or not approve of. It is up to your son to give it another chance or break it off. H e is too old to control. He will do what he will do. And you have to make YOURSELF happy, not him. He's not little anymore. Although it can be hard, sometimes we have to detach with love, and it will make our difficult grown adult children angry, but to me it is better to make them grow up than to keep mothering them and letting them abuse and control us. Not good for them or us. And, yes, as I said before, WE MATTER TOO.

    Hugs for your hurting heart!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  4. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Thank you.. you are of course right. And yes, he is as much to blame as she is. He has dragged us into this relationship and has made us feel the way we do because of their actions! And now wants us to just forget about it and move on.. That is not going to happen.
    I guess I needed and outside source to confirm what I already knew... thank you for that! Our Difficult Child are very good at making us feel like the bad guy!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They all try to guilt us. We need to be clearheaded and remember who they have become, even when it hurts. We need to think with our heads, not our mothering hearts...that's how they get us.

    Maybe it would help if you went low contact with him for now. Don't accept all his calls. Don't stay on the phone if he gets abusive (tell him you will not take abuse and gently hang up). Don't give him lots of jail spending money. He doesn't deserve it. Don't read all his texts and take your time when you answer the ones you feel are worthy of any answer.

    "Less is more" with these young adults. The more you talk, the more they twist th ings and abuse us. I suggest just listening and answering "Yes" "No" "Uh-huh" "Um, got to go." Do not try to explain things. And limit how often you talk or text them. If a text is abuse, delete it and don't answer. Just a few suggestions you may or may not find helpful.

    Most of all, this girl is his friend, his issue, not yours. Don't answer or text her anymore. She sounds like bad news and you have enough on your plate with your oldest son. Hugs!!!
  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I totally agree with SWOT. His relationships are his business and yours are yours. You do not need to reach out to some one you find stressful. Make that decision for the now. If in a few years he is a good guy and she is a good gal..you can reassess at that time. For now his asking you is..off base. He doesn't need to understand. You don't need to seek his understanding or approval. Just say no.
    And if my son were planning to come home to my house and told me he was planning to break the rules of probation..the plans would be cancelled. But that is up to you and we will support whatever you decide.
  7. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Thank you all.. My husband is handling this great. (although I'm sure it's not easy) he has stopped all contact with our son.. Won't take his calls, will not visit him in jail and has said if he continues his relationship with the girlfriend then Difficult Child cannot live here.
    Yes.. They definitely tug at our heart strings.. But if he were an acquaintance I would've cut him out of my life years ago... Sad but true
    Thank you all for the support... It helps me so much. I am so grateful for this site!!!
  8. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Want to add... Your replies give me the strength to stay strong and stand much ground..
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh yes, the good ole blackmail technique. Don't fall for it. Just because he wants to continue a relationship with her does not in any way mean that you have to.
    As you said, per a court order there is to be no contact. Enough said.

    You do not sound bitter at all. You sound strong!! We as parents of these difficult adult children have survived what others could not possibly fathom. These children of ours have completely shattered our trust in them and yet they expect to just forgive and forget. For myself, I can forgive but I will never forget.

    No you are not wrong. How is it wrong to not want toxic people in your life.

    ((HUGS)) to you......................
  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    The answer is simple. You are a law abiding citizen. The law said no contact. Case closed, hammer down, not going to jail to appease the kid. Kind of blunt, but it is to the point and there is no ambiguous wiggle room for him to try to advance his illegal agenda.
  11. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Yep you're all right!
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Jude, So sorry for your troubles, your post struck a heart note with me, because my daughter is involved in this kind of chaotic relationship with the same man now for 12 years. Geez, when I just wrote that my head said has it been that long? Yup and 3 grandchildren. Ouch, just ouch.
    It is a very drama infused crazy whirlwind toxic cocktail that they call love. It doesn't look anything like love most of the time. That is why I call her Tornado and him Volcano, after the Eminem song. We have tried so many times to help, been sucked into the crazy, especially because of the grands.

    That is good, your younger boys do not need to be subjected to this.

    So, I agree with this
    It is not up to you, the law is the law, case closed.

    Amen to that.

    It is very selfish of him. These kids......who do they think they are? Who do they think we are?

    I do not think you sound bitter Jude, you sound REAL. You sound like a very kind and loving Mom. It is hard when we have to make decisions between heart and head, especially when we are used to responding one way. NO is okay. Boundaries are good. Once we start establishing boundaries, our d cs sure as heck don't like it and it can feel weird to us, it is a different pattern we are setting.
    Take little steps at a time.

    This is up to you. We are taught to forgive, but, when people mistreat us or take advantage of our kindness it is perfectly okay to draw the line.

    This is completely up to you, Jude. You have to consider how YOU feel. After all this talk of forgiveness, it is still within our right to use good judgement. Not that we judge people, that is for a higher power, but we do have the right to use good judgement. Actions speak louder than words, folks usually show us who they are.
    I agree completely.One of the things I learned through all of this with my two, is that my now 14 year old went through heck, while we were trying to "help"his sisters and our grands. Our house became a sort of war zone, with a revolving door. So not fair to him. So, I decided that I would not put up with it anymore. It has been just about 3 1/2 months now. The house has a peacefulness about it and my son is so much more relaxed. I realized that he as the minor child, deserves our focus.
    I agree. As I have seen with my grands parents, this pattern of craziness has just continued, it seems like they crave the drama and chaos. Then they are apart for awhile and start missing on each other, then together again. I do not need this in my home, sheesh, I don't even watch violent, dramatic stuff on t. v.
    Yes this is so true, WE MATTER TOO. I think we forget this after all of the years of mothering. Especially if our children start acting out at a young age-mine middle school-so around 13. It becomes kind of a habit of rescuing, past their teen years and into adulthood. They expect us to continue to rescue, drop everything and run, provide. I do not think my two even appreciate all of the help we have given them. They have an attitude of "well you are supposed to". I do not think we are supposed to. What are they going to do when we are not around? They have to learn to fend for themselves and make better decisions.

    Good for you Jude, stick to this. I wish Volcanos parents had the same attitude. They keep taking them in and trying to help, so they have been bouncing back and forth.
    My girl is just as much to blame for all of the craziness.

    Yes, they most certainly are. This takes a lot of work to stop feeling guilty. It is their biggest manipulator, the guilt button.
    It helps to post here, go to counseling, or a group like Al-Anon.
    It helps to hear of others experiences and stories, to keep my head on straight!

    I think this is solid advice. They tug at our heartstrings and draw us in.
    This is very true. After watching the toxic relationship of my grands parents....one gets better, stops using, then the other gets worse, it is a constant see-saw.

    I am glad that your husband has put his foot down. I wish I had seen this years ago, and closed the revolving door. It gets complicated with babies and TRO's, CPS-what a mess. All I can think of now, is my poor 14 year old virtually grew up witnessing all of this. I am very blessed that he is a sweet kid. I think about what he might get into, being in high school, if we continued to allow this in our home. With our two d cs coming and going, he was home less and less. Now he is at home, relaxing in his room, singing and feeling good about being home. It is a relief to me......

    There is a good article in this forum on loving detachment. I read it often to help me gauge what boundaries I set with my two. I feel the same, I would not have friends that act like my two. It took a lot of thinking on my part about this.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry for your heart ache Jude, we are going down some tough roads, we warrior moms and dads. It helps to keep posting and get my feelings out. Thanks for letting me share.
    You are not alone.
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  13. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    New Leaf, thank you for your kind and supportive words. I am sorry you have been dealing with your situation as long as you have, and that there are small children involved. Thankfully Difficult Child and girlfriend have not reproduced but I am scared to death that it will be his main goal when he gets home because knowing him it will create a "forever bond" between them UGHHHHH.... and she will never leave him. Yea right. He is so co-dependent on her, has threatened suicide if he can't be with her more times than I can remember.
    I agree with the drama affecting the other kids. We are lucky that they are all good kids but it has definitely had an impact on them. Especially the youngest, as you said about your young one, he has grown up with the revolving door and drama. He has had friends over maybe a few times but I think he is afraid of what may happen in front of his friends. (I can't blame him.. I hesitate having people over because of this as well).
    I hate to say it but the last few months with son in jail have been peaceful..other than the constant phone calls, but I can choose to ignore them!
    I have no clue what our future holds... I should say I have no clue what HIS future holds. As long as I stand my ground and stay strong I know my future will be ok.. It may not include him but that's the way it may have to be.
    Thank you all !!
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This is tough. My daughter has filed TRO's on her boyfriend. They stay away for awhile, then right back together. The last one, I helped her this past summer. We had had our eldest grand with us for over a year, he was going to a charter school nearby, and showing great signs of improvement. When his mom showed up with brother and sister, he just gave me this look of dread. She did well for awhile, then slid right back to partying. Volcano started to show up, supposedly to see the kids, but the TRO included them, too. I was adamant that they honor the TRO, to no avail. He would sneak over at all hours. Total chaos. No more. We had our grands for a bit, but the State put them right back with their mom. It is heartbreaking. I finally realized that we were jeopardizing the peace in our home, I had no control over T and V's actions, and daughter reminded me "I am an adult, these are MY kids, YOU have no rights to them." WHAM!

    Jude, you mention your son threatens suicide, one thing I have learned here on CD, is that these threats are taken very seriously and your son needs to know this. The suggestion has always been to call 911, or in his case, I guess it would be jail authorities. Some have said, in their state, threatening suicide is illegal.

    You are right in this Jude, it has been very hard on my youngest. Not just in not having friends over, but the overwhelming amount of time it has taken to just survive this drama. I ended up going to counseling, and having him go, too, to get his feelings out. He is a good kid, and I feel badly that my concentration hasn't been where it should be. Not that we didn't pay attention to him, but Lordy, there could have been much more quality to his life, you know? I realized after he broke down crying the morning that my d c dramatically and crazily exited our home, that I could not keep doing the revolving door thing. It was hurting all of us. It created chaos in our home. We didn't want to be home.

    I understand this, totally. I miss my grands, but honestly, they are chaotic, too. It is not their fault, being raised as such. Having them all here, crowded in our small house, the constant turmoil-just crazy. I have to keep repeating to myself-nevermore. I will be ready if my d c ever calls again to try to come back home to say "You cannot live here, it does not work, you need to go to a shelter." This is very hard because of my grands, but I realize now, that my daughter will not change in my home, and that my grands have a much better chance at "normalcy" if they are getting outside help. Their parents do not want to go that route, because of the rules they would have to follow.
    Yes, you can choose to ignore the calls. If your son is disrespectful to you, you do not have to put up with it. I guess you can start to set healthy boundaries for yourself, even in this. Good for you, Jude.

    This is correct, Jude. I think after helping our D cs from a young age trying to overcome their problems and drug use, we kind of slide into enabling them as adults. It is our nature to nurture. Especially if they have social, or mental disorders, it makes it seem that we are obligated to continue to help. What many parents have found here on CD, is that our d cs do not thrive or change at home. They get stuck in the pattern of expecting our help, and continuing down their path.
    They are adults and need to learn how to take care of themselves. We will not be around forever to rescue them. They also need to learn how to live with the consequences of their choices.

    I would set rules, my daughter would break them, saying "I am an adult, I can do what I like."
    Geez, okay, so, how many times did I have to hear that and go through the same old, same old, before it finally knocked me upside the head?

    So, my house is way more peaceful, and I am here, posting and learning from my mistakes (I hope...) I do not know what my hubs response will be, I am hoping he will be strong and understand that we need to keep them out. There is help for them out there. My eldest has chosen to remain homeless, shows up every once in a while. I am getting stronger each time, and not letting it send me down the pit of despair for too long. Each time, I recoup faster and faster. Looking back, I realize how much of our lives have been spent trying to "fix" them, when they don't want to fix themselves, you know?
    That is a kind of revelation for me, an "ah ha"moment. They are adults, they will do what they want, until they figure out it may not be working for them. If I am concentrating more on their "problems", than living my own life, then I have a problem.
    We matter, too, Jude. I think it takes awhile to understand that, then be able to own it.
    We matter, too.
    It is not selfish to begin to take care of ourselves, and value our own lives.

    Thank you for sharing.

    It is Friday, we have a potluck at work. I made brownies. Yum.
    I have to guard myself during the holidays, too many goodies!

    Do take care, and keep posting, it really, really helps.
  15. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Thank you Leafy.. Your kind words mean more than I can express.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to all my questions... It really helps to hear what others have been through :)
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hang in there Jude, you are not alone.
    You have helped me too, as I write, I am reminding myself of what we have gone through. Thank you for letting me share and for sharing your experience. We help each other in this way. Thank you dear, keep posting and let us know how you are doing.