I had to say it...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, May 8, 2016.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, I posted these words:

    Well he was at work all right. Got home about 9, griping like crazy, tired and ready to find another job. Told us he didn't work today. After church we all go to see a movie and during the credits he goes out to "call work and see if he works tomorrow." We then drop him off at a friends and we go for sushi.

    At the restaurant my phone rings. It's his manager. He left on his break last night and never came back and was supposed to work tonight.

    Lied to again.

    I of course, call him and read him the riot act. Why lie? "He was afraid of what I'd say and think." I told him at least I wouldn't think he was a liar. "He's not a liar. How can I not understand he was afraid." I responded that it's frankly insulting that he'd be so afraid of what I might SAY that he'd lie to me." :(

    I hate a liar more than anything. ANYTHING. That's what he should be afraid of.
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  2. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    That's too bad. You know, I have followed your threads for many months now. For months before I ever made a post on this forum. I have a pretty good grasp on your struggle, and your son's situation. You kicked him out for stealing a change jar, right? The straw that broke the camel's back. Since then, he has made some really good strides in the right direction, right? He has slipped up here and there, but overall has improved considerably. Is that a fair assessment? I don't understand why he told this lie. It is very perplexing. Maybe he didn't want to disappoint you again? Lying isn't okay, but it also isn't always completely selfish. Without knowing more, I can't help you understand the lie. So, all I can do is say that it is unfortunate, and that I am sorry.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Lil, I'm so sorry. Darn him for lying to you again. I do hope he realizes he is walking on thin ice. I wonder if he just get too comfortable with his current living situation.
    Hang in there!!
  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Lil, I feel your pain.

    You and Jabs take very good care of yourselves.
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  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I think Darkwing is on to something. He went on about how he was"afraid" of what we'd say; how we'd feel about it.

    He KNOWS how we feel about being lied to. I told him that it was a lot easier to get over being disappointed in someone's actions than it is to not trust them. He was all shocked and insulted that we might not trust him now. :(

    I don't get it. He was mad they called me. I was listed as his emergency contact. Technically, they shouldn't have. But still. That's what happens when you leave on a break and don't come back or answer your phone.

    Darkwing, it wasn't a change jar really. It was about $700 we'd been saving up over 9 months, hidden in the back of our closet. He had to go looking fir something to steal to even find it. Not the first theft, the last we were willing to put up with. He's only back now because his apartment building burned and there was no room in the shelter. I love my son very much. I'd do anything to get him straightened out, but I won't live in a jail with locks on every door to keep my stuff safe from my own son. He'd been warned multiple times.

    So, he best get another job. Pronto.
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    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  6. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Yeah, I knew it was a substantial amount of money. Rereading my post, it sounds like I am mocking you, doesn't it? Like you're so bad that you'd kick your own kid to the curb for stealing a few bucks in loose change. I swear, that isn't how I meant it. I used change jar as more of a figure of speech, not ridicule.

    Lying is such a bad habit. And a difficult one to break. Your son has done a lot of lying. I have probably lied more. So frequently, in fact, that it became subconscious. Early in sobriety, I would lie about stupid :censored2:. Lying even when I stood to gain nothing from it. It just became second nature. I still find myself lying about irrelevant :censored2: sometimes, and I think "Why did I just lie about that?". Sister is even worse. I swear, if she told you she had McDonald's for lunch, chances are she had Taco Bell.

    It seems strange because it really is. Yes, your son lied to you. And no, you shouldn't just brush it aside. But figuring out WHY he lied will be beneficial to him. Talk to him about it. He made a mistake, and he can certainly learn from it, but only if he can understand why he lied at all. For gain? To avoid hurting you? To avoid your disappointment? Or maybe for no real reason at all. Once you clear that up, you can work on changing that behavior.

    You have done so well as far as your own recovery. Even though it was painful, you have stuck to your guns. You made him leave for real, not for a few days to send a message. I can't imagine that being easy, or pleasant. There are no point to rules or conditions if you do not enforce them. And you have done a great job of standing firm. Throughout your threads, you have demonstrated the understanding that he will need to fall in order to motivate him. Such as refusing to buy his groceries, and stuff like that. Nothing wrong with housing him after an unforeseen event. So long as you don't let him get complacent. When the situation is resolved, things will be as they were before this fire.

    How is your husband handling all of this?
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This sounds plausible, Lil. The way he must see it is that he an adult has the right to leave a job when he wants, if he wants.
    But it goes back to the same thing. It is he who has to straighten himself out. It cannot be us doing it. Unless we need to straighten ourselves out.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Darkwing. Why do you lie? Do you know?

    My son lies a lot, but less lately. When I asked him last time, he said he just didn't want to be such a ":censored2:-up." He gets tired of seeing himself and having us see him as blowing it. He seems to be lying at least some of the time to preserve his self-esteem. Which, actually, makes sense to me.

    I see Lil's son as lying to preserve his autonomy. Also a good thing, I think. But of course we would want our sons to feel autonomy and self-esteem without the need to lie. But it is not about us, is it?
  9. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    I always thought this was funny and sadly true..."You know how to tell if an addict is lying? Their lips are moving."
  10. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Lying to your parents its not new my sons lied to me I did to my parents and so forth now do I hate being lied by my kids yes but its not by far the thing I hate most not by far. You know why because I realized that they do not lie to hurt they lie to protect me or themselves if its not malice behind their lie why would I hate that more then anything.
    I hate when people steal do violent things when their indifferent and when their abusive this is are things really make my blood boil.
    He lied but is that the worst thing he ever did or did he do way worse and you forgave him?
  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry that this happened. It could be as simple as he had access to a car and the pull of being able to drive again overrode everything else. Most of our kids are impulsive without giving pause to the consequences. I am pretty sure he would not want to own up to this being the reason. My therapist told me to avoid the whole lying thing to not give him a chance to lie. He suggested that I stick to the facts. You went to work and left on break. You did not go back to work. The manager called me because you gave him my number. The car was used for something other than what was agreed upon. This is the consequence. Then I was to walk away. When I was able to do this as opposed to listening to his litany of bull, it was effective.
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  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    The betrayal here is the disrespect involved in presenting a false reality, both to himself and to you. He disrespected himself here, too. What we want for our children (and for ourselves) is to be people who take responsibility for what we've done. How can we steer our courses in life, otherwise?

    Sometimes we will be wrong. We will do wrong things. If we don't admit that to ourselves, we will keep doing things the same way. It is not so easy to admit we were wrong.

    I like what pasa's therapist had to say about how to respond.

    It's like saying: It is what it is.

    In my enabling days (Yesterday, you guys. I still struggle with enabling behaviors, and with saying no.) In my enabling days, consequences could be avoided if the story were bad enough. It was as though the kids were more concerned with my reaction than with their actions. When I was able to stop doing that, the kids (I think this is true) the kids were able to begin reclaiming their senses of integrity. When I could see what was happening the way pasa's therapist suggested, why these things happened mattered less than what actually did happen.

    The thing is that there is a history here. It would be one thing if your son had called the manager and told him he was not coming back but he would see him tomorrow.

    Or that he was not coming back, and he was not coming tomorrow, either.

    But he left the manager hanging, too.

    Why he did those things matters less than that he did not take responsibility for his decisions. I am sorry that he took the car and used it inappropriately. I think you were correct in trusting him.

    You are not responsible for what he chose to do with your trust.

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  13. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Sorry it took so long to respond. Wanted to see if some of these were addressed before I chimed in.

    I wouldn't say he has improved considerably. Before the fire, he was making improvements but considering how much we were having to do in the form of food and keeping the electric from being cut off while there was candy scattered around the apartment and alcohol in the fridge I wouldn't consider it to be a huge improvement.

    We've tried many times before. "I don't know" and anger are the usual responses.

    I'm better than Lil. Its less personal to me. Partly its a dad thing and partly its having more experience dealing with people like this from work.

    Its not that he walked out of the job. Its that he lied to us about it. We've tried to make it clear that its his life, his responsibility, HIS consequences. Whether we've succeeded or not, who knows.

    Lil and I both take being lied to VERY personally. Our son knows this and still not only lies to us but lies to us about crap that is easily verified. The big issue with the lying is trust. He never has done anything to gain back my trust after all the stealing from us and the lying only makes it worse.

    Actually, we checked mileage. It was a bit over what he really needed to get there and back but not significantly. Probably ran by a friends house in town before coming home was all. We never even mentioned it to him.

    Like I said to A Dad, he has a long history of lying to us and its a betrayal of trust. I had a difficult time letting him come home for a bit because of that trust issue. Still do regular "security checks" making sure certain things aren't missing.

    Responsibility is the big issue here. I thought Lil was going to snap out on him when he said it was the managers fault for calling her. Not long after that she almost screamed at him "Happy Effing Mothers Day to me!" and finally hung up the phone.
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I think he's in the middle of a lengthy response. So I guess we'll see. Better than me I suspect.

    No...he only put 7 miles on the car and that's about right to go there and back...maybe a tiny bit out of the way. So he didn't misuse the car privilege.

    I think that's what pisses me off most. You don't DO that to a job. You don't just walk out. Yes, people do it. Heck, we had a secretary at out office who just left for lunch on her FIRST day and never came back. We laugh about it now, but we were all so shocked at the time. We had one just last month who came for the first day then the second day, at training, announced she was quitting for another job and left. We've had at least two others who just walked out on break and never came back...one didn't even call HR until she was prompted to do so by another clerk. (I think that says something about my office, lol.)

    This! I HATE being lied to. That simple. Just don't LIE to me.

    Yeah, I didn't handle that too well. :(

    It was the being lied to...again. I hate it. He knows it.

    But, what's done is done. Car's back off limits. It was only on for the one day because we were going to a funeral. He's back to looking for jobs. If he finds another one right away, fine. I'm just getting really tired of him walking out of jobs without one to go to and with no notice. This is a HUGE no-no and red flag for employers. He's 21, not 18 anymore. He's never going to get a decent job if he can't establish a work history.

    But again, what's done is done.
  15. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My daughter worked the same job all through HS. She has been unable to keep a job longer than 3 months since, due to the drugs and the disorder. She blows up and curses out bosses or just walks out. She has been fired or walked away from more jobs in four years than I have had in an entire lifetime. I understand your frustration. Without a job, an income, true independence is impossible.
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think you handled it really well. You told the truth.

    I am going to work on doing that. I have this thing about "understanding" when people do crummy things to me. It's a matter of courage, I think. Or maybe, it has to do with what we think we deserve.

    You deserve better. Especially on Mother's Day. You were making that clear to your son.

    I like your response very much, Lil.

  17. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    You know, you remind me of my uncle. He is much more concerned about my aunt's well being than anything else. My sister can say and do whatever she wants to me or him, but we both feel the need to protect my aunt from it. She is the type to take it all personally. I think she's just put SO much time, money, and tears into my sister and I that she no longer thinks rationally about it. She doesn't want it to have all been for naught. We are the closest thing she ever had to children, and she goes out of her way to give us the kind of love we never got from ANY adult in our lives. Unconditional love. She wont stop trying. I am terrified it will kill her. She is almost 60, and works 80+ hours a week. She has to drive to Carson and back numerous times a week for her other job. She sometimes works 2 shifts back to back. She isn't physically healthy. She already doesn't sleep nearly enough, and when she has the opportunity to get some sleep, it is always disturbed in some way by my sister, and me until recently. She wrecked her car 2 years ago. Terrified of it happening again. I can't lose her. She is ALL I have left. So my uncle's main priority is damage control. He has no time to take it personal. In that way, you remind me of him.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This makes sense to me. Does my son lie to protect the idea he has of how I see him, or does he lie to protect his sense of himself as not a screw-up?

    How simple.

    He wants that I think well of him so that I feel better towards him.

    He wants to think well of himself.

    The dog ate my homework. It is not about avoidance of responsibility or culpability. It is about integrity of self.

    We know that he must accept "the truth" in order to form the commitment to change the reality of his choices. That is the source of my frustration. Part of it.

    Except that how did I (again) lapse and begin believing that anything about what I think and know have anything to do with what he does or is?

    But my distress is also about integrity. My own and his.

    So I looked up the definition of integrity. I like the second one: the state of being whole and undivided.

    I want my son to be whole. And I want that we share an undivided view of our shared world and that there not be a huge crevice in the confidence I have in him.

    It feels like I am not whole if I cannot confide more or less in his integrity. I feel something is broken (me?) if he lies to me.

    And really. Is my sense of wholeness something that I confer on myself or is it dependent upon the presence or absence of lies by my son? Is my sense of wholeness really a sieve? Is my son my own safety net?

    Of course not.

    He rejects our truth so that he can maintain the stability of his thinking about a good "self."

    Of course this makes sense. His lying is not about me.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    For me, the lying was one of the hardest things to take with my son. Especially when we did so much for him to try and help him get his life on a better track.
    My son was/is a master at lying, he will look you straight in the eye and lie.
    I agree. Even when I knew my son was lying and I would call him out on it, he would still lie!

    I've always said about my son "if his lips are moving, he's lying"
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The lying is hard for me too. I feel it as a betrayal. As an act of moral turpitude.

    The little bit of insight I am gaining has to do with A Dad's post--and looking up the definition of integrity. There were two definitions of integrity. The first had to do with moral lapse or failure; the second having to do with the breaching of a whole. Like a breaching of a relationship. A division.

    Lies create space between us. When we cannot trust in the whole of us. I look at it as if I cannot trust in my connectedness to my son because he has broken the trust.

    But who really broke it? Was it me or him? There are lies to manipulate and to trick and to achieve advantage or gain based upon deception.

    But there are lies to maintain relationship, to weave together fissures, to maintain integrity despite breaks. A net can be a way to save as well as to leak. It is my decision which way to see it.

    If my son lies to protect his sense of himself, and my sense of him, he may be motivated by the latter, not the former. As a dad explains.

    Have our children turned into our enemies? Plotting against us...trying to deceive us? Or do they try to save themselves and our sense of them, their connection to us.

    One way to see this brings the possibility of reconciliation. The other brings greater suspicion and difference.

    Is it a chicken and egg question or a way back? I do not know.