I Don't Know How To Talk To My Difficult Child...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mamato3, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. mamato3

    mamato3 Member

    Things at our house have been a little better and while I do not expect a smooth ride, I feel like I don't know how to talk to my Difficult Child. As long as there are no disagreements, everything is just fine. However, that's not possible, there will be situations where I have to say, "no" or don't agree with my Difficult Child. It's like we are constantly walking on eggshells with him.

    I feel rather silly posting about this and the whole situation, but it's the example I have and the way things go... The cheese dip was gone and obviously Difficult Child had plans to use it. He found it in the trash and threw it on the floor because he was mad. I asked him to pick it up. He refused. I asked him to pick it up or get out because I was not going to be disrespected. He just sat and did nothing. I walked off for a few minutes. Came back and asked one more time. He sat and did nothing. A couple minutes later, he picked it up.

    Difficult Child told me that if *I* would have just picked up the bowl off the floor we would not have had to fight. Any time he does not get his way, it is a "fight". He does not like to hear a negative word, whether it is spoken calmly or screamed. I simply told him I did not appreciate the disrespect he showed me. Plain and simple, calmly and no screaming.

    Difficult Child started the same mess he has many times about how I tried to control his life. I calmly reminded him that he was free to control his own life and live in his own house. But Difficult Child told me it was my fault that he couldn't move out. I took all his money. (back story, Difficult Child got a DUI, tickets, stole money, etc, and owes our family thousands). I expect money out of each paycheck, which he has gotten very little of since he has been fired from his first 2 jobs and currently working his 3rd, but hasn't been there long enough for a check yet.

    Difficult Child told me my other 2 kids hate me and that my controlling them is the reason. He said that he is trying to get along and act respectfully and I am not trying at all. Difficult Child says so many mean and hateful things to me and I don't know how to respond. Tells me that it's all about me and I only care about myself.

    What do I say? What do I do?

    Along the same lines, different from this situation, Difficult Child has "borrowed" money, said he was going to pay me back, but when he got paid and I asked him how much of his check he planned to contribute, he got mad, told me all I cared about was money, he's worked hard and I just want to take it all from him, etc. The truth is,
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If this were me and difficult child was 18 or over I would rather have him gone than wait for the miniscule chance of ever getting paid back. You dont deserve that childish disrespect ("no, I wont pick it up) in your house.

    You can not say anything to the sort of person who refuses to admit he does very hurtful, self destructive things snd blames others. I wouldnt talk to him much at all. "Pack your bags" is about it snd nothing to the abusive lies that follow. Maybe go in my room and lock the door. Do you have a spouse?

    His money problems are due to one person...himself. Doesnt matter if he admits it or not. Nobody made him drink and drive or steal but himself. Your other two kids dont hate you but they may hate their lives at home in general if you let this bully stick around. Yes, he is your son but he is a bully.
    Bad choices are one thing. Abusive behavior is another. A house is the only place anyone can find sanctuary. But it has to be a calm place for that. by the way, I hope you dont pay for his car. He doesnt drive safely and doesnt need a car. He can ride a bike or walk or use Uber or a bus...why pay for his toys? He isnt grateful.

    Please take care of yourself first. Be good to yourself. Treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. Do not allow anyone to abuse you. No, not even an adult child.

    I hope you get some peace tonight.
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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  3. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I do not think anyone knows how to talk with their difficult adult children. That is why their difficult I do not know if any of us ever found out how to speak to them while their still difficult. Doubt it just give up on this and keep up with the consequences and barriers.
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  4. mamato3

    mamato3 Member

    That would be my choice. To have him out versus getting paid back.

    Husband is out of town for a week. Difficult Child usually 'controls' himself better around his dad.

    Thank you! <3
  5. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I agree. Your home needs to be your sanctuary. Difficult adult needs to move on!
  6. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    I agree completely with A dad. They are difficult because we don't know how to effectively communicate with them. All we can do is keep trying different things. I think I would not buy cheese dip for awhile. He was incredibly disrespectful to you.
  7. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    My Difficult Stepson shares many characteristics with your difficult child, especially the thin skin and inability to hear anything even remotely critical without exploding. I agree with everything S.O.T. said. Unfortunately, we can't get through to them when their heads are this hard. Nothing can penetrate except what they want to hear. Stay strong!
  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    We are in the same boat. Our son is facing 2 felony charges. We had him arrested. I wanted to cut him loose after his last episodes of disrespect ( took my car came back wreaking of weed and brought weed into the house). The negative talk about your faults and short comings are Gaslighting. I have leaned this new term here and am developing better coping skills. My husband wants to give him one more shot. D.C. Claims we are to blame for his issues and addiction. He never feels good enough....when we confront his bad behavior threatens to kill himself. Has started cutting (very superficial cuts), all diversion and manipulation. Attention Seeking behavior. I tell him well you had better follow up on that psychiatric referral and get yourself to therapy. I don't make the calls for him. He has decided to obtain a lawyer for his court Charges and he is furious I won't help him obtain one. Why would I I had him arrested. He still blames us for his arrest. Ah no it was your attitude and actions my boy. He was couch surfing and begged to come home. I said not without rehab. He came home after being placed on bail (I didn't bail him out). OD'd the day after my mother died. We put him in hospital 24 hour hold and then he went to detox and signed himself out. I refused to let him come home no rehab no home. He is in outpatient rehab, spent 6 weeks doing nothing room was a pig stigh, then the car incident and pot. I refuse to engage him in arguments I just walk away. I also told him attitude and respect are critical if he wants to reside with us after he turns 18. He grumbles a lot but doesn't gaslight as much any more. Only time will tell how this turns out. He did clean his room and do some chores without being asked 100 times. That was a surprise.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is no way to live in your own home. I know how you feel, I've been there myself.

    Please, never feel silly about posting and sharing that which concerns you.
    I could understand him being upset if he was the one who had purchased the cheese dip. I'm guessing he did not. Regardless, his actions were very childish but also manipulative. He is trying to control you.
    I think you handled it well.

    Again, he's trying to control you. It's very typical of a difficult child to transfer the blame from themselves to someone else and mom and dad are always prime targets.

    Once again, shifting the blame from himself to you. I've been down this road too many times with my son. I truly believe there are times when our difficult children want to engage us into a fight/debate. My son is a master at it. He gets to talking so fast and shifting the topic, one cannot keep up. I know he was counting on me to lose my cool which many times I did, then he would use that against me. I learned for myself not to engage because quite frankly, you cannot have a conversation with a difficult child who operates on wanting to argue and prove mom and dad wrong. I have found saying very little is best for me. My standard is "it's unfortunate you feel that way" or sometimes I just don't say anything.

    Priceless, he's telling you that you are "controlling" and that's exactly what he's trying to do to you.

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with your son's ugliness towards you. It's not an easy thing to deal with. It's a shame that he does not see that you are trying to help him.

    Please be good to yourself. Don't buy into his hype and don't let him rob you of your peace. Your home should be your sanctuary not a place where you feel like you are walking on eggshells.

    I think you are doing great by being firm and direct in telling him that you do not appreciate his disrespect.

    ((HUGS)) to you..................
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  10. RN0441

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


    You are doing the best you can. Be good to yourself! Don't play the blame game.

    You have gotten great advice here. Obviously you are a great and loving mom or you wouldn't be looking for answers like the rest of us.

    I hope and pray for the day when our son tells us how sorry he is for everything he has put us through. I cannot wait until that day and do hope that it comes eventually.
  11. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Hi mamato3,

    Did you know that it's my fault that my son doesn't have his driver's license? According to HIM that is the case because I won't let him drive my car! Let us not mention that he hasn't bothered to pass, let alone take, the test required to get his learner's permit. Apparently, I have amazing mental abilities that control his ability to study and then take the bus to DMV to take the test! I can assure you that if I had such amaziing powers, he would have graduated college, gotten a job which would have him self-supporting, and best of all, move out on his own!

    What I think is truly going on is that his severe anxiety keeps him from getting his DL. He takes the bus to get back and forth to work and otherwise gets rides when necessary. I think he's frightened of driving but because his friends drive, he feels like an oddball.

    So, while I think you handled yourself pretty darn well with the cheese dip, I would have responded with a calm "Yes, and this fight would have not happened if you hadn't thrown it on the floor in the first place. Your disrespect towards me, in my home, is noted and not appreciated. You have my permission to act like an adult" That he picked up the can later indicates it is him that is controlling. He also attempts to use the relationships with your other children as a weapon of manipulation and control. Don't let him.

    I informed my own son about a year ago that I didn't give a rat's patootie about any of his opinions regarding MY actions and MY relationships with other people including other family members. This includes what he claims are their opinions about me and anything that I do (Which are always highly negative and disapproving). I was calm, but very pointed and direct. "Got that??" is generally how I end any statement where I am taking a stand on his behavior towards me. If he argues or gives me some other sort of bluster, I say, "I'm happy to repeat anything you might not have heard clearly. I will not, however, justify or negotiate my stance with you in any way. Understood?" Generally, this is where it ends. If he wants to argue, I will say, "This conversation is over." and either ignore him or walk out of the room.

    The barb about money made me chuckle a bit. How you cann repond is to agree with him in part. Example, "Yes, I do care about money, but it's not ALL I care about. When I loan money, I expect payment when on the agreed upon date. Otherwise, I will no longer loan money, understood?" Then, end the conversation. No negotiation. That's your stance. The end. I loaned Son $20 until he gets paid this week, he knows I'll stop if he doesn't pay me back on the agreed upon date. This reminds me of when Son was a teen and he would claim that, "Everyone hates you and my friends think you're crazy!" when he was mad at me. I would then calmly start naming people I knew for a fact didn't "hate" me, my mom, my husband, this friend, that friend, colleagues, etc. The last time he told me his friends think I'm crazy, I told him with a side glance and a sly smile, "Yeahhh, maybe I am. Better be careful around me. I'm HIGHLY unpredictable!". That's the last time he said THAT to me. As to his claim you just want to take his money, you can simply tell him you are just fine with him taking his money and his self out the door where they can be together and live happily ever after. I said just this to Son the other day when he became offended when I asked about where his money is going that he would need a loan.

    So, detaching and not caring what he believes and thinks and making it real clear to him that is the case from now on might be a good place for you to start living in your head.
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  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I hear you on the blame it is my fault my son got arrested. How about the ole and Big bag of week you had on you. If you didn't have then if you weren't selling from my home ....you would not have been arrested whether I called the cops or not. I would have shrunk with guilt at this accusation a few days ago. Not any more getting tougher.
  13. RN0441

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

    I have read on here many times if they have drugs in your home call the police and keep calling the police. We can't see it when we're living it but of course you should after one warning and every time after that when it happens! Let the neighbors have a field day! Who cares? Most have their own skeletons!

    My son made me into someone I did not like or know (screaming, raging lunatic) with his behaviors. I was like really? Is this how I end up after all the crap I have overcome in MY life and now this??

    It is difficult to talk to them when they are condescending to you, the person that loves them most in the entire world. Sadly, sometimes you have to put that love aside when you are dealing with Difficult Child. But hopefully that won't be forever and someday you/we can have a healthy and adult relationship with them like we're supposed to.
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  14. mamato3

    mamato3 Member

    Thank you!! I appreciate your response more than you know!