A few knotts in my neck

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JayPee, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I've been doing pretty good lately with no enabling. I'm kind of like the "addict" and know how long it's been since I enabled. It has not been easy but this morning I decided I needed to take the next step and that it was time I stopped my OS from contacting me via my work e-mail with his nasty verbally abusive messages. I realized that this is just another way I allow him "control" over me. I worry and fret all day wondering when/if they will come and how nasty they will be. I'm done with being held hostage emotionally.

    So, I simply sent an e-mail to him stating that my work has asked me to first ask him "nicely" to stop contacting me this way (which they didn't but if they knew he was, they certainly would say this). Within 20 min. I got two phone calls from him at work (because he's blocked on my cell phone) too. The first one I hung up after just exchanging a few words because I couldn't get much in edge-wise anyways. I remained calm but told him I'm not going to be part of his verbal abuse anymore and I cannot help him financially either. He begged and pleaded and was angry, calling me by my first name then of course, proceeding to tell me I was evil and the worst mother and that all my bad karma was going to come back on me. He said that the minute he got a job I just decided not to help him anymore and that he's going to be walking the streets. The way he said it was as if he was punishing "me". He was like, "you'll see!".

    Amazingly enough, he mentioned in his hysteria that he's been working with asbestos and mold and was able to pay off his loan he took out against his car. So, that just goes to show me that he can work but would rather beg and plead and call me names to swindle money out of me thru guilt and shame and humiliation. I'm certain he's still struggling but I'm continuing to pray to God for strength.

    Trust me, I continue to pray for him as well, even with all the horrible things he says to me and the constant disrespect that he thinks is fixed with a simple "I'm sorry". There is no telling him that I need to see long-term change. He is so blocked off right now he has tunnel vision. Maybe someday we can have that conversation but now is definitely not the time.

    Just hoping to hear some words of encouragement and strength from those of you who have been through this.
     
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  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Great job. Hard job.

    We will often not be allowed to be heard. Some of our kids don't want to hear it and don't care about our feelings or do not want a fair fight. They talk over us. They don't hear us.

    Kay is this way We never try to justify what we do with spoken words to her. That makes her tirade ramp up to levels that will hurt us for weeks and that make us doubt our good, hard decisions. And of course that is the point. That is what they want. To bring us to our knees until we give in. Until they are our boss, telling us what to do and we do it. How old does your son have to get until he doesn't want or need a money machine mommy? How long do you want to be?

    Kay wants one forever but I quit. You did too. I say great. And your son has more resources than you knew. Is he on drugs? That is pricey and often funded by us. We don't know it, but we do it. We believe what they say they use the money for. These types of adults do not tell us the truth. They just don't.

    How dare your son bother you at work where you have been making money to give him gas and food money? How dare he anyway.

    I would never have given this advice a few years ago, but I think you need to get a no contact restraining order against him so he legally can't call you at work or anywhere.

    I forgot that Kay threatened to disrupt our business but we told her we would regret it, but we needed to protect our business and that if she even tried we would legally prevent it. She knew we meant it. Our business was hard fought and even she will not destroy it. She never did go through with her threat. She could tell we were dead serious.

    Keep being the strong soldier we all need to be. Value your life. Forget guilt. It is your son and my daughter who should feel regret, if anyone does.

    God bless you and be well.
     
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I applaud you JP. You are helping him as well as yourself. He has it in him to make decent choices. You do not deserve even one word of his abusive tirades. Block him completely. That's what I say. And if he happens to get through, some way, cut him off so that he does not get to complete one sentence. You don't have to listen. Ever. To this. Ever. Again.

    Bravo.
     
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  4. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Busy,

    Phew...I just took a deep breath. Thank you for your post. I don't "really" know if he uses but quite some time ago it was a huge problem. So it is very possible. As you said, they don't tell us when we hand over the money that this is what it's for.

    So, I do appreciate your mentioning that they don't let us speak and talk over us and really what's the point of the conversation? The point for my son I believe is to send me to "the fight" where he would normally pummel me. This time I remained calm (except for the knotts in my neck) and knew that he was not looking for a reconciliation in terms of bettering our situation. All he's looking for is money. bottom line.

    By the grace of God, go I.
     
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  5. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Copa,

    Thank you for your reply. Such good people you all are. I am so glad not to be alone and isolated with this. It helps me to have clarity when speaking on this forum to all of you. It is so easy to get clouded in false thoughts after speaking with my adult sons and all the things they say to me. In a minute I feel flipped upside down. I'm glad you put me back on my feet.
     
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  6. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    JayPee, I think you did great. Your comment about you being an "addict" is true. As painful and awful as all this is, there is an addictive quality to it. I've noticed that same thing within myself. It's been two and a half weeks since I blocked Joshua's phone, and I find myself wanting to creep back into that "enabling thinking" I've lived with so long. So there is definitely an aspect of having to work on changing ourselves. Josh apparently gets his hands on someone else's phone occasionally and he will get around our blocking by using another phone. He did that last night, but I blocked it immediately. My husband got a few texts from this other number, as well. So at least we know that nothing has changed. Same old, same old.
    And when I have unblocked him previously, I too worry and fret all day, every time I hear the "ding" go off on my phone, I automatically cringe, wondering if it's him. That's a form of stress and control, just as you said.
    And like your son, there's no reciprocal conversation possible. He just talks, yells, and swears over me or my husband. What good does that do any of us? It's pointless and harmful.

    Absolutely keep praying. My son has turned away from God and spiritually is not capable right now of praying or seeing his need for God, so I have to step into the gap for him and pray. That's the way I look at it. Honestly, I see no change whatsoever coming from my prayers, but we can't always see what's going on behind the scenes or what the long-term effects of prayer might be. I also don't want to have to stand before God one day and explain why I failed to pray for him. I don't want that on my conscience. So, all that to say--stay strong in the boundaries you have placed, those "lines of peace," to help you live responsibly and peaceably.
     
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    You are doing so incredibly well, JayPee .I applaud you! It is inspiring to hear you stick to your boundaries. I am amazed that OS things attacking you verbally will yield results .you are getting out of God's way, so God can work on your son. You are giving your son the gift of dignity, of self respect once he pays his own way 100% in whatever capacity , and you are leaving the door wide open for him to seek help for whatever issues he may be facing.
     
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  8. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Beta and Wise...

    I appreciate your support. It is not easy making changes. I read somewhere "We are addicted to certainty. We would rather be certain we are miserable than risk being happy and satisfied."

    I did this for so long. I was certain I was going to help/enable sons even though I was miserable and angry that I couldn't put a stop to it and all the consequences it brought to me.

    I can't say that I'm "happy" just yet but I am satisfied that I have boundaries for myself that allow me to know what's unacceptable behavior. I kept waiting for them to see how "wrong" they were but truth be told I'd still be enabling if I let them.
     
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    As far as the restraining order goes, as Busy recommends. As I recall, your son has been abusive but not directly threatening. I recall he's said, he wishes you would die. This is mean. And actually bizarre. I think. But it is not a direct threat.

    I have another point of view. But you need to decide what feels more comfortable. You could if you wanted, give your son a chance to learn the lessons your boundaries are giving him. You wrote this: "I kept waiting for them to see how "wrong" they were but truth be told I'd still be enabling if I let them." So far, he is responding well to each of the boundaries you have put in place. I know that sounds wacky, given this recent call, but he's under pressure now. You are tightening the screws. And he is learning. By your reasonable boundaries you are teaching him/prompting him to curb his behaviors at the same time you shore up your own identity, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

    If you had had sufficient boundaries he could not have acted out like this. You bear some of the responsibility. I am not blaming you. I am saying that one way to approach this is to tighten up your boundaries and to see what comes next. (If he has been violent towards you or has made a direct, specific threat that he will harm you, you have no choice, I think. You must get a restraining order.) But if he has not made a threat nor has he been violent, I believe you have the choice to not take such a move. Yet.

    While the only important thing right now is your well-being and safety, you are also teaching your son how to have self-control and giving him the impetus to gain this. This becomes the basis for his own self-respect and his capacity to and willingness to respect others, particularly women.

    It's your call. You're in the driver's seat.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    The reason I suggested a restraining order is mainly that he bombs her at work. Could cost her the job. Work is not the place our adult troubled kids should ever be calling us.

    Although I know OS did not make a movement to hurt JP, if it were me, I would not be alone with him right now. Those are scary, hateful words. He would have to see me in public around other people.

    I agree though that this is JP's call.
     
  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Copa,

    You are correct, he has been verbally abusive but not directly threatening. Even my therapist suggested a restraining order but I don't feel I'm ready for that at this time. This son, "is a lot of talk" he is literally afraid of his own shadow so I don't feel threatened by him at this time.

    I truthfully am not quite sure if he understands what's happening right now. I'm not sure he's learning anything yet. I could be wrong, but I feel he's in flight and fright stage not in "oh, I see she's trying to teach me a lesson" stage. He has not in the least bit "owned" his part of the problem or acknowledged that he needs to be responsible for himself.

    I feel for now I need to be fully detached from him as a necessary compassionate boundary for me. I believe in my heart that I will know, somehow when the time to begin reconciliation is upon us. It is definitely not now. I would only be submitting myself to more verbal abuse and blame.

    I also do take some of the responsibility for the way he behaves. It's what he knows typically happens. Verbal abuse, bullying me and making me feel guilty. Then I usually give him money. He's only doing what he's known to have worked for a very long time. He's likely very surprised he hasn't been able to break me.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear JP

    Oh no! I was not implying reconciliation. I was saying that by you putting good boundaries, you set up the condition that he can learn. He has by no means learned, yet. Your welfare is paramount. The learning here for us is to put in place what we need, and to learn to pay attention to what that might be. When we do that we set up the precondition for our children to learn self-control and to act from it. But that can't be our goal, primarily. Because I will speak for me here. My center was my son. I had no way to act for myself, centered in myself, when I came here. To act primarily from their point of view is to risk giving up ourselves.

    But by the same token we are their mothers. I think by being unnecessarily reactive we put at risk ourselves and them. That's the other pole from complete enmeshing. Overreacting. I have done this. It cost me and my son a great deal. I regret it. Adequate boundaries, I am learning are what I need. Like Goldilocks. Isn't it Goldilocks. Isn't that who is not too this and not too that? I forget.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    JayPee, I think you did an absolutely FANTASTIC job!
    I feel the same way based on your posts, though I would imagine he might also be in what I call the "HUH?!" stage of disbelief. Sometimes I like to picture them making it in a Scooby-Doo voice.:biggrin:

    It's a pretty cool thing when we as parents take our power back from people who have had us over a barrel, emotionally speaking, in ways only our own children can.

    Good on him! That guy can accomplish things when he puts his mind to it!

    I like what WiseChoices said about getting out of God's way so God can do His work. That is what I tell myself too, when I am feeling guilty/fearful/six shades of terrible mother. A therapist told me I am letting the world be his teacher. That makes sense to me too. I hope one day to have that conversation too, but my son isn't ready for it yet. Nor am I, honestly.
     
  14. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Alba

    Thanks for your encouragement. Some days like today I’d just like to remove my inside emotions, put them on a shelf for a bit while I take a rest.

    It’s exhausting. Your reminder of what Wise said is helpful. I think I need to meditate and practice that right now.

    I read something kind of funny the other day. it said: if you brought an appliance in for repair would you 1. stay and hover over the technician while waiting for him to fix it ? 2. Tell him how to do his job? 3. Tell him to move over and try to fix it yourself? It then went on to reference that this is sometimes how we handle our problems. We say here’s what I have that needs your attention God, but then we go ahead and handle it just as mentioned above. Pretty silly when you think about it.
     
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  15. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I have been through a nearly identical situation. When I cut my daughter off she also upped the ante with the phone calls and insane behavior. It was so difficult to get through. I'm glad you stuck to your guns. I know how hard it is and how painful it can be. This is great, though. You took the first step toward being healthy and happy! Congratulations! In my experience they will typically back off for awhile, then try it again, just to see if you are really going to maintain your boundaries. For me it got easier each time and I have maintained my boundaries. I truly believe it helped my daughter get her own life together. She is much better now and I hope will continue with the positive path she is on. I'm proud of you! Keep it up and keep focusing on taking care of yourself.
     
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  16. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Elizabrary,

    Your daughter is doing better now? I'm so happy for you. Gosh, that gives me hope. It's hard when you start thinking that they're now on the other end "hating" you.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  17. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    JayPee

    As I think I've said before, you have grown SO MUCH since coming to this site!

    Just wanted to add that we always think/imagine the WORST situation that our kids are going to end up in. I sometimes would have to reel myself in. Like why did I always go "there"?

    Quit trying to "write the ending". You are not in charge. God is in charge.
    :love:

    Hugs.
     
  18. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Yes, right now she is in a good place. She has maintained stable housing and employment for about 5 years. She and her boyfriend just had a baby and they seem to be in a good place. My older granddaughter is doing well in private school and competitive gymnastics. My daughter finished her freshman year at community college and is in her first semester as a sophomore at the university in our town, with an eye on law school. She even went to an informational session for undergrads interested in law school this week. Now, I realize it could all collapse tomorrow, but these last few years have been much better, albeit with ups and downs. If you had told me all of this when I first joined this site years ago I wouldn't have believed it. I am now able to be supportive of her without being intrusive or telling her what I think she should do. Even when she asks for my advice or calls upset about something I keep it neutral, saying something like, "You're a smart woman. You'll figure it out." I think that takes a lot of pressure off of both of us. And I know it helps me maintain my peace of mind.
     
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  19. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    JayPea, way to go!!!! Two things stick out to me.

    He calls you by your first name. My daughter does that to me when she really wants to get under my skin, because she knows it works. I leave my rational thought and transition straight into my emotional self, which is not a good time to have ANY communication with her.

    I personally think his comment about earning his money working in asbestos and mold could be an insinuation he is putting his health at risk, which he might try to manipulate you in the future. I see it because my daughter was exposed to toxic mold for a very long time and now blames all the symptoms of her alcoholism on that. It could be my take on the comment because of what I have been through, but I want you to be aware it could be manipulative behavior.

    If he really did pay off his car, that is a great step forward! Keep up the good work on boundaries that protect your mental health.

    Light and love to you. Small victories add up.
     
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  20. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Ok so I wasn't the only one who thought that saying abestos and toxic mold was to make you worry about his health.i find this possible.

    From my own experience, when Kay suddenly had money that we didn't give her we would get strong reasons to believe that she stole something valuable and sold it. Or sold weed or other drugs. She never claimed to work but would claim Lee was working overtime (doubt it. He works as little as possible mostly at Pizza places) or Lee got a settlement from a car accident or workman's comp.

    We never bought it totally but we tried to, back a few years ago. We didn't want to think Kay or Lee would steal from stores or sell any drugs. My worst fear that I rarely voice is that she does some prostitution with Lee's good wishes. Kay has no real moral compass.

    God keep us strong. Or whatever works for you. For me it us God.