Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tamarann, Aug 11, 2019.
Thank you @BusynMember, that hit me the wrong way too.
Her son said animals don't have to work and why should people? The reason animals don't work is because they hunt or scavenge their food. If he wants to eat but doesn't want to work, what other option is there than to learn to hunt and fish. I'm trying to use logic here. Those were his words. Animals don't work and and should people.
Working in our society generally is to put food on the table and provide shelter for oneself and a family. Little different than animals. If we are providing the food and shelter to another able-bodied adult we are the ones who are interrupting the natural order and cycle.
The able-bodied in a species do work. They hunt. They prey. They disseminate pollen. They build nests. Etc.
It is absolute nonsense to justify indolence, withdrawal, lethargy and isolation by citing animals.
When our adult children do this on our home, refuse to be productive, refuse to conform, refuse to function, refuse to cooperate--the problem is US. For whatever reason we refuse to take control, set limits, call them out, and to put a halt.
Of course there are conditions that make it impossible for people to work: Disability, illness, pregnancy, old age, are some of them. That is why I have harped about a psychological evaluation and treatment, to rule this out, and to remedy it, if it is present.
The problem here is the ongoing conversation between parent and child, about something that is patently real. If he said, animals don't work, why should I?, he said something untrue. Animals do work.
So what he is really saying is: Animals do work. And so should I.
Crayola, yes, I read it. You were in my opinion sarcastic. You obviously have no child over 18 who doesn't thrive because you would then know they don't do logic. More helpful is mentioning soup kitchens and food pantries. Or not answering at all. We are hurt parents. I doubt you are in our situation with an adult child who is not thriving. If you ever do raise a child who ends up this way, and I hope not, you will see why we are really here.
Meanwhile, many blessings.
I so appreciate those of you who watch over us to make sure we are safe and protected and supported. And that when words sting, bring it to our attention and walk us back to safety and kindness.
Albatross, thank you for your wisdom.
I can worry without being worried that I'm worrying.
Yes, I had tons of guilt and shame coming into Al-Anon. Working the steps has helped me a lot in releasing this burden I put on myself. I did the best I could do with the tools I had at the time. And once my own guilt was gone , it was easier to set a boundary and say "I no longer accept blame from you", "I don't allow anyone to attack me today" and if they continue, I calmly walk away. I know they are hurting , but attacking and blaming is not going to get any of us well, you know? I try to encourage and love and accept as much as I am capable of right now, and when I learned to be gentler to myself , this also translated into my relationships.
I try to remember the same thing, "I did the best I could with the tools I had at the time." My husband had to remind me of this yesterday when I was beating myself up for not recognizing that Josh had mental health issues sooner, such as when he was an older teen, for example, or even a very young adult. At the time, I thought he was just the typical lazy, selfish, entitled "millennial" you see often these days, and that he just needed to "grow up" some more. Now I can look back and see things. But, at the time, not knowing there was Bipolar in his biological mom and knowing little to nothing of mental health issues, I (we) just didn't recognize it for what it was. And now here we are. I too need to learn to be gentler with myself.
I made the same mistake. But was it really a mistake? What else were we supposed to do? They presented with behaviors that were dysfunctional or self-defeating. Our role as parents is to support them to function and to take care of themselves.
In our case I did insist that he get treatment and at some point he flat out refused.
All of us arrive at the same place, ultimately, where we fall back upon our own resources and capacity to be self-determining. When our sons did so, their judgement was impaired and their insight into themselves was too. Our relationships with them could not prevail because of rebellion or conflict or distorted thinking or whatever. This does not mean that it will always be this way. I believe that your son is doing better.
Beta. Whether or not we saw or did not see the mental illness, our situations would have arrived at the same place. I believe that. It is one day at a time. It helps our sons if we take care of ourselves and stop beating ourselves up.
"All of us arrive at the same place, ultimately, where we fall back upon our own resources and capacity to be self-determining. When our sons did so, their judgement was impaired and their insight into themselves was too. Our relationships with them could not prevail because of rebellion or conflict or distorted thinking or whatever."
Copa, here's another one of your gems. Good insight.
As far as whether our situations would have arrived at the same place, what makes you say that? I guess in my mind, if we had known earlier, especially before the legal age, we might have been able to force him to be evaluated, get medication and therapy. Now he refuses because his brain doesn't even recognize there's a problem.
My husband did point out last night that if we had not adopted Josh, he would have spent time being exposed to his mother's Bipolar, alcohol addiction, and substance addiction; probably would have ended up in foster care and ultimately in trouble himself, so maybe we delayed and/or mitigated the outcome a little bit. I hope this is true because it does help to think we made things better, at least for his growing up years.
Beta. Do you need me to walk you through how the quote thing works? It is so much easier. I have an appointment in a few minutes but I will come back later.
My son and I were involved with therapy pretty much continually from the time he was 9 years old. He received school-based services. I did know earlier that there were vulnerabilities.
But the thing is, as they develop they also have more freedoms in the teen and young adult years. And new developmental challenges emerge. That's when bipolar or psychosis and mood disorders may emerge. That's when their brains mature to understand their histories, and feeling emerge. All of that is not necessarily bad. They have to come to grips, as do all of us, with the reality and truth of the circumstances of their lives. Not just in an abstract way, but coming to grips with it. With adoption for example, this can be tough.
I am almost 40 years older than my son. And I am having to do the same thing. Thank g-d, this recovery of memory, this coming to grips with it, and self-transformation, however painful is a cornerstone of my religion.
Beta. You could have done 1 million things differently. And still have arrived at the same place. The place you have arrived is reality, at this moment. This does not mean it is a forever thing.
tamarann hugs to you. Sometimes it is hard to sleep at night. There have been times where I just had to say the serenity prayer over and over to myself to get to sleep. I think the fact your son said to let him figure it out is a good sign. And if its any comfort there are supports for the homeless and they find them. My son has lived on the streets and found ways to survive. It was hard on me exactly because it was so hard to sleep at night.
I have to say I took Crayolas comments differently. They kind of made me laugh not necause the situation is funny because it is not but because his logic is so skewed and by his logic a fishing pole would be a logical and great gift. We are all different and it is so hard to know how something will be taken online without seeing the expression or hearing the voice in which something is said.
I'm embarrassed to say that someone told me how to do it once before, and I stumbled around and finally was able to do it, but because I haven't done it recently, I've forgotten how.
Yes, you're right, of course. We could have tried to intervene much earlier and ended up right where we are now.
I've decided to see if I can return to the therapist I saw on Josh's birthday in January and at least go once a month. Depends on whether they will still be willing to give me the discounted fee. But I need to talk to someone about my over-developed sense of responsibility and obligation to take care of, rescue, and fix Josh. Co-dependent I am.
This is "on a lighter note."
Our family loves outdoor activities and we fish in our boat. That is, everyone fished except for Kay. After just three minutes of waiting for a bite, Kay would start grumbling that its it's boring and stupid and that she isn't going to do it. She wouldn't either. From very young until a younger teen until she stopped coming with us, she would not fish with us, just ride along. Hunting was the same only worse, more. barbaric to her. She would grumble that she is a vegan, which was hard for us not to laugh at because nobody can inhale steak or hamburgers faster than Kay. She used to claim to be a vegan even when not on a hunting trip.
These kids don't want to work. Fishing and hunting requires, at the very least, patience, which our kids tend not to possess. They would not be able to survive alone if they had to work hard. As much as they may complain about being too "good" for charity and hating food pantries, given a choice between fishing/hunting and the food pantry, Kay would pick the food pantry. It is far less trouble and Kay doesn't do hard work even to eat. Heck, she doesn't work period.
On less of a serious note, my story is why I found the comment Crayola made so unhelpful. They aren't going to fish and hunt and half of what they say seems to be lies and/or mental illness. Maybe both. Kay has never been vegan lol. This man knows that animals and humans are different, but may not have realized that he made no sense.
I think we should TRY to post to one another with HELPFUL suggestions, if there are any. I have had too many tell me things I should do to Kay that they KNEW were useless and sarcastic, I think in an attempt to shame me. I didn't need the help, trust me. Or maybe it was to show me how deranged Kay's thinking was, as if I didn't know. I knew.
Now I speak up. I used to just cry.
I used to get tremendously wounded here on this board. There was somebody here who posted a lot who I cared about deeply and she cared about me. But her voice was very direct. I felt judged. What ended up happening is that I took it and took it, and stuffed it, until I reacted.
I think we need to tell people how to treat us. To tell them what hurts, or what is not helpful. And I think each of us needs to try to take responsibility to hear this.
Because we are online we are especially vulnerable to mis-hear things. By dealing with hurts and misunderstandings when they are small, we guard some into their becoming big things.
It's interesting how the intent of online communication can vary so much, depending on the reader.
Crayola's post didn't hit me the wrong way at all. It was exactly what I was thinking, and I did not think either of us was being cynical. I took it as a parent delivering a wake-up call. Not one of the fun aspects of parenting...but something we have to do. Eventually the couch-surfing and kindness of strangers runs out, and our kids have to earn their keep somehow.
Years ago, when my son was 20 years old, he erected a tent in his girlfriend's back yard (because we wouldn't allow him to live at home while getting high all night and not working). His girlfriend's mother told me Son said he was camping there because he (in his words) "sought only to live on air, sunshine and love." She thought it was the most adorable thing she had ever heard...and let him stay for 3 months. I (being the parent) was less than enthused and wished (and still wish) she would have supported us in giving him the wake-up call he needed.
That's where I'm at - my own guilt feelings (whether they're founded or not) are the thing that's holding me back. Thank you for your words. <3
Thank you so much to everyone who has commented. It has already helped me immensely to not feel so alone, and to hear so many different views and thoughts. I think I was sensitive to @Crayola13 comments because these are things I have said to both my sons, trying to get them to see logic, but they just don't. I am trying to be compassionate and helpful to my son and to myself; being angry and sarcastic doesn't (usually) help me.
HOWEVER, having said that, my kid does face some real challenges as he embarks on this "lifestyle". And I AM angry. The option to use food banks or soup kitchens kind of pisses me off - why should working taxpayers provide those services to people who are perfectly capable of working but choose not to? They are meant for people who cannot work, or who are struggling by TRYING. Do I want to see him starve to death? Of course not. But how else will he learn anything? If he's not hungry, why would he change? @Crayola13, you didn't say anything untrue! (My mom heart was just vulnerable <3)
I did know of my son's mental illness, because of the Bipolar disorder on his dad's side of the family. I got my son tons of treatment as he was growing up including a very prominent child psychiatrist, nutritionist, individual therapist, social skills training, out of district school placement and so on. He was constantly reminded that his condition was not him but none the less one which he had to take care of himself as he got older and couldn't drink and drug like he would see others do. We compared his Bipolar disorder to diabetes, telling him to be himself but watch himself for signs.
But I also could not figure out the difference between his mental illness and typical behavior you see these days when he was a teen. I did not know he was drinking and smoking synthetic pot when he was 16 causing his medications to not work properly for him. And I think even if I did know there would have been no way for me to stop it. If you ever go there again blaming yourself try to remember it most likely would have not mattered a whit once he was out of your sight.
With all that was done for my son he now declares he does not have Bipolar disorder, that instead I "drugged" him as a child to keep him quite. My son does not have a quite personality and was never at a point in his life where he was anything but boisterous, so his current description of how he was is so far off the mark it's funny, hopefully some day we will laugh together about it.
From what I've read, often people lose themselves in their late teens but years later somehow come to an acceptance there is something very off and get help, when they are ready, and only when they are ready.
I hope and pray both of our son's find a path where they learn to accept their conditions and get the help they need.
You highlight the text you want to quote. To the right a block quote box will show up. Click Quote. This will add the highlighted text to "multi-quote" which is an invisible container that stores the quotes you want to use. Below the text box where you write your post, you will see a button called insert quotes. Click that. That will make your desired quotes show up where you write your message. Be careful not to interfere with the parens and other programming language. *But we all do it. It will only screw up the qoutes but that is how we learn.
I would practice a few times with just one quote. And then graduate to more than one, if you want.
Separate names with a comma.