Expectations bleh

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Triedntrue, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Got a letter from my son in jail with a list of what he expects me to do to help him both before and after he is released. Unbelievable. I am supposed to call about an apt and rent it for him or buy him a house and he will flip it for me. Check on a friend for him. Collect his stuff from the last place he lived before he went to jail. Call i don't know who all to get him released. Let him sleep on a futon in my garage. A few other things. Where does he think that i am going to get money to rent or buy him a house? The draw is supposed to be that he has started counceling and promises to continue when out. Any idea how many times i have heard that. I am glad he is seeking help while there but why does that mean that i have to foot the bill again. Keep in mind he is 37 and we have been doing this since jr. High. I will not put my name on any place that he inhabits because he doesnt pay and does alot of damage. But i am supposed to believe it's all going to be different this time. His credit is so bad he can't get utilities in his name. Who do you think he will expect to pay that? I am just so freaking tired of this stuff. There is always that very slight chance that this time will be the one but i can't bank on that. I have to stay strong even if i used my retirement what happens if my husband or i get ill. Just so frustrated. Have to be strong but so hard.
     
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  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Okay. Do not one thing he demands. Are you his slave? Do nothing he demanded. Nothing. Jmo.

    I am flabbergasted.

    I didn't think I could be surprised by anything these selfish kids demand but I guess I am wrong.

    I can only tell you what I would do now that I have not seen Kay for a while so that I am not under her magic spell of blame, entitlement and, yes, nuttiness. Oh and guilt!

    I would not even consider a discussion about any of it. Does he expect a gold star for going to counseling for HIM? Meanwhile he sits in JAIL? It's too insane You must REWARD him for going to counseling? Really???!!

    If you must answer I would send a letter with one word on it. The word is NO.

    There is no need to dissect your son's mad demands. He is just trying to make YOU pay for his being in jail. I would not discuss it nor would I consider doing any of his childish demands. You don't owe him anything if he does one thing for his own good. He is a big boy, at least legally.

    I would not answer his calls from jail because it will be about this. He is in a very bad place and not ready to heal if he is still acting like this and you don't need to go along for the downward ride.

    I am really really really sorry that he is being so horrible but these issues are HIS issues. And in my opinion he has to know you aren't going to pay for him to have a life after he screws up. There are government services for that.

    At this point in my life if Kay dared to send me a demand letter, I would toss it out. I am sure I'd be shaking in anger and have tears in my eyes but I would NOT answer it. I have had enough distance to tell when she is being insane and I want nothing to do with MY old ways of feeling so guilty that I used to actually do things that your son demanded.

    If you pray, pray a lot. My only advice is to pray and step back for a few quiet days, don't talk to him and see if sanity returns to you and gives you some peace and guidance.

    One thing that helped me was to ask myself what Kay had done for anyone in the past decade.

    I believe in "give and you shall receive." It's time for our kids to learn to give. Jmo.

    I send you blessings and hugs for your hurting heart and hope you can come to a resolution you can live with. Please try to be good to yourself.
     
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  3. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Boy, oh boy, does this sound familiar. My DS is 34 with the same story, and me hanging onto to that "slight chance."

    It's good you posted because you deserve to use your resources for yourself, and you shouldn't be asked at your son's age to to be his keeper, his secretary, or anything else.
    I have fallen down the rabbit hole many times, thinking "how will he manage without my help"? The truth is my son hasn't really changed since middle school and it sounds as though, like mine, he has just continued to compound his problems.

    You did not create his problems, and you can't control him. He has you in the FOG of fear, obligation, and guilt. It sounds as though he's great at ordering you around. I've been the recipient of that also - afraid that if I said no, he would think I don't love him. I am sure you want only to help him, but he is oblivious to or doesn't care about the effect of his choices on you. Stay strong. It's hard, and the what if's can drive a mother crazy, but you deserve a peaceful life in retirement.

    My son just cut me out of his life again because I set some boundaries. His rage made me feel physically sick. In the little time since, I've thought about all that I've done to prop him up with no real substantantive change in him or other than momentary gratitude either.

    Love yourself enough to stay strong.
     
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  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    One last thing.

    This enraged me.

    Even if he one day gets his life together, you should give him nothing. A house? I did that! It doesn't work to give them things.

    Don't pay him for his words or deeds. Ever. Ever. Ever. Good or bad.

    That's about it. Boy did this bring me back to the past.

    I think I have PTSD. My retirement is almost gone and Kay is worse

    Don't be like me. He in my opinion gets nothing from you. Don't be like husband and me. Please. Don't.
     
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  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If he cannot pay child support, where would he get the money needed for the materials to remodel and flip a house? Even if he could do the tile, painting, etc. by himself, he would expect you to buy all of that, too. Has he ever successfully flipped a house in the past?
     
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  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    So I'm sure you've heard this before. Enabling (among other things) is thinking that just this next one thing you will do for them (for the thousandth time) will finally be the "thing" that will put them on the road to success. This is NOT true.

    The ONLY way that he could ever possibly learn is by being the change in the situation. He has to have a plan and be able to implement it, not you. How does this make him any better now if he's dumping all his responsibilities on you again? It doesn't. It just makes you feel obligated and worried he has no one to help him. I write this as therapy for myself. To pound it into my thick skull.

    It's like they throw a pile of bricks at us while we stand there petrified of their demands and the fear sets in that they'll never change if we don't help. Again, if they don't change, we at least have to work on ourselves to be the change. Get stronger, pause, step away and re-set your emotions. We always want to eliminate any pain or suffering they are going through right away! All the while, they don't care if we drain all our funds and retirement money.

    Stay strong.
     
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  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    How about sending a letter back with your expectations of him? To repay you for money you have shelled out to help in the past. To get his life together. To be responsible for himself. To take care of himself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To repair his credit. To see what he can do for others. To be kind .To be humble. To do the right thing . To make amends to those he has harmed.
     
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  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I hope you tell him no, Tried. In my opinion, the content and tone of his list tells you all you need to know about the likelihood of his making a sustainable change—even if you didn’t take his track record into account.

    I was having such conflicting feelings today, doubting my stance and decisions. Your son’s list encapsulates how little our own children think of us. It cleared my mind and heart. I deserve better. You do too.
     
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  9. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Thank you all for backing me up. I decided a while back he had had more than his share of my retirement. I just could not believe he had the balls to suggest i buy him a house. You are right Crayola i would be on the hook for materials and he might work on it for a couple weeks and even if he flipped it he wouldn't move out. I like your idea wise choices about a letter with my demands.acasia sounds like they are two of a kind. Jaypee i agree with you. Again thank you all.
     
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  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Thank you albatross
     
  11. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    in my opinion I would not send him a letter of demands. That will just ramp things up and engage him and I have no doubt he will hurt you badly with his response.

    I do not believe in a tit for a tat. I woud not answer. He deserves no answer. And to keep the drama to a minimum I would go silent. Your response would enrage him like a wild animal and you would hear him roar.

    Do you want him to hurt you more?

    If not,dont react to him. At all. If you answer him you know the fire will spread. You may get temporary satisfaction for giving him a piece of his own medicine. In the end you will probably sorry that you enticed the entitled lion to rattle his cage. He will hurt you worse. Much worse

    in my opinion it is not worth the brief satisfaction. You will not change anything or teach him a lesson. You will inflame him to the stars and hear all about how awful YOU are. You will face abuse. He may even stop the counseling just to teach you a lesson.

    Less is more. Less speaks louder. I would not send the letter.

    Of course like always this is my opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

    And may God sit on your shoulder during this trying time.
     
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  12. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I have decided to not react immediately i want to think before i act.
     
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  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh boy. Really? Just no. Uh uh. We are not rugs or endless supplies of funds. I think waiting before response is good. You know anything you say will be used against you in the courtroom in his head. JMO, if he was truly benefiting from counseling, he would not present a list of demands, rather an apology for all he has put his parents through.
    When Tornado knew she was to be released she demanded to stay with me, “Otherwise I will just end up on the streets doing the same old same old.” I was pretty sure that would happen regardless and even more sure I couldn’t have her in my home. Rinse, repeat. Not that it didn’t hurt me to do so. It was, and is hard. Make sure you are very kind to yourself TNT. I’m sure there will be more to come. As a matter of fact, my daughter was just picked up on a bench warrant and is back in. Good. I hope they keep her awhile so she can get clean. That also means I may start getting those phone calls any time now. Happy Holidays to us. Oh boy. What a Jerry Springer world.
    Take care Tried and stay strong. You got this.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  14. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hey Tried,

    My 38yo son could have written that letter. <big sigh>

    It was on this forum I learned to ignore/no response and it stopped the demands. We have zero communication now, but that is preferable to all communication being demands and/or blame.

    It was also here that I learned the importance of being extra good to yourself. You deserve it. Please report back on what special things you did for YOU this week.
     
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  15. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    I’m with a lot of the others, sounds way too familiar to me.

    Here’s the deal mom I’ll do something for me so you will also do something for me. Entitled much?

    And the clincher I’ll do something for you (if there’s some miracle you can make me do anything after I get what I want) and you do something for me.

    Of course you know it’s all bs, but please don’t let the “what if’s” get to you down the road. You know it’s the same game.

    The truth is he may or may not be able to figure things out on his own, but he certainly will not if he’s able to continue using the same non-solutions he’s used in the past. I know I’m preaching to the choir here and you are very aware, just stating it.

    I’ve taken to very short responses to these kind of situations. Like ~ “I’m sure you will figure out what you need to do for yourself.” or “I'm glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. I know you can do whatever you need to do for you to be in a good place both mentally and physically.” These responses are basic and easy in text or email, not so much when my son gets me on the phone from an unrecognized number. In those cases, with much distance, I’ve been able to remain quiet and calm, I don’t even disagree with his crazy accusations against me. When he starts calling me names I tell him “no one speaks to me like this anymore” and I hang up.

    These times have been becoming less and less, surprisingly my son has been able to keep a roof over his head without my help for over a year and a half. It could be because he has people who enable him (which is true) but one thing I'm sure of is there's no way he can be treating anyone the way the treated me and is able to get them to help him.

    I don’t know if he’s figuring out life better these days but I know he’s figuring out I’m a different person than the one he used and abused in the past.
     
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  16. Calgary Mom

    Calgary Mom New Member

    This is so hard for you and so familiar to many of us. The first step to making things change is to change what you have always done when your son asks for help. I think your plan to wait before responding is a solid one. I also liked Deni D’s approach of saying you are sure he will figure it out. Since taking this approach with my son, things have improved, with him starting to take some personal responsibility for getting what he needs for himself. It’s early days yet and I anticipate set backs along the way, but I know that putting the ball back in his court was the right thing to do. Ultimately your son will do whatever he’s going to do, with or without your help. But rock bottom, where the only way left to go is up can come sooner if we stand back and let natural consequences play out. You are in my prayers. And whatever your beliefs, I hope you can still find some joy and peace during the holiday season.
     
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  17. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Triedntrue, You have some wonderful suggestions here and I have tried each and everyone of them with my 37 year old daughter. The one that worked the best for me was saying to her, 'You are a 37 year old intelligent woman, you can make the right decisions for yourself' and then let it go. I remind her that this is her journey and she needs to start walking it like a grown person. I wish you all the strength in the world as you set strong boundries with your entitled son. Saying just NO is a complete sentence, I am learning this too.
     
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  18. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am so glad you shared this so you can get the support you need to stay strong. Boundaries could include what behaviors you expect from him in order to have any support from you (not financial). Words are words until you see actions. Maybe ask him what services he has found? Has he looked into transitional housing? Has he made plans with the guidance of a social worker? How would he plan to flip a house, does he have a credit account with suppliers? Things like that. Keep it real. I understand how hard it is. I also understand that everything I ever did for my 41 y/o alcoholic Difficult Child daughter was to no avail. I am thinking of you.
     
  19. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Thank you for your support. I really appreciate all of the wisdom i find on this forum. We have so many things in common with our adult children. I know what i need to do but just hearing all the confirmation from all of you keeps me strong. Again thank you!
     
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  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think there is a difficult adult child "type" that all of us know well: entitlement, self-indulgence, irresponsibility, dependency, and self-centeredness. This combines with an inflated sense of self-importance and a special kind of power--which is principally exercised in their lives vis a vis us, their parents. Their relationships with us are played out by extracting resources and support from us, typically through manipulation or coercion.

    Clearly, your son, fits the type. The difficult child in prison is a special variant of type. In prison the difficult child's style is cramped, so they can't (as much) do their typical stuff (fill in the blanks.) On the one hand, their sense of self-importance and power increases because they can tell us they are doing all of these positive things (off drugs, mental health, not asking us for money, getting drug treatment, going to chapel, etc.). On the other, as their actual mobility and power has decreased by the circumstances of imprisonment, they become more dependent, which propels them even more to play out their identity and power needs over us.

    Every time when they command us to remedy their helplessness, we are flummoxed. (Shaking my head, here.)

    In their incarcerated circumstances their dependency and anxiety increases, feelings they don't want to feel. So what do they do? They put these feelings into us. They perceive us as horribly worried about them, terribly concerned about their welfare, extremely dependent upon their getting better, as totally invested in what happens to them. As if they are vulnerable babies, they imagine us as willing to put everything on the line, for them.

    To me your son's letter exhibits all of these aspects. It's really helpful to read. Because over your story I have distance. I can see how completely transparent is your son's manipulation. Really laughable. And sad, really. How powerful he wants and needs to feel over you, while his actual power and control over others (let alone himself and his actions) is practically non-existent.

    I don't know why our kids (who are grown adults, in middle age or nearing it) can't or won't take responsibility for themselves, and put responsibility for their lives in us. But I truly agree with the other posters who suggest that you not respond in any way other than with neutrality. I would try not to bat an eye. I'd try to forget you even got the letter.

    I think when I am angered or stunned by this kind of action taken by my son, I am seduced into ignoring the part I have played in the story. I have been in the game with him, as I try to help him, try to stave off disaster, try to push him into normalcy. I am looking at myself in the mirror.

    Our willingness to sacrifice for them is what has to stop. Our over-involvement with their stories is what we *I, need to let go. Our enthrallment with each installment of their dramas, has to cool down.

    We need to become enthralled with ourselves and our own lives. If I wasn't so sad and worried I could do this. But at least I am getting the concept.

    Thank you very much for this thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019