I need to be tied to the mast.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I posted a comment on another thread and realized after that I needed counsel. I don't know what I am asking for. I guess, just company. Not to be alone with this. I have the impulse to text my son asking him: Where did I go wrong? What happened that 27 years of love has come to this? How?

    I know I should not do that. That it would be sado-masochistic. But I feel like it.

    How in the world did it happen that my son is 29 years old, probably living on the street, spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month on marijuana, uncaring of anybody, without basic human baseline personal habits (he tries to keep his body clean, I accept that), but living situation, no. No goals. No responsibilities. No helping others beyond doing favors. It's like he is an empty shirt.

    He has excellent social skills. He is (was) extremely handsome. He is highly intelligent, cultured, well-mannered, articulate, warm. To neighbors WE looked like the problem. For two years he held it together and presented a good face to ALL the neighbors in the other house. I would say he was almost beloved.

    How can somebody present as a reasonable person, and have the desire to do so, without wanting anything in their life or asking of themselves that they become somebody in their life, by that I mean character?

    I could come up with a few answers if this person was anybody other than the child I have loved more than anybody in the whole world.

    Today was moderately hard. My son's mail comes here. Since he never pays bills, and does ridiculously irresponsible and unthinking things, like calls ambulances to take him to the doctor ($6000 bill; not once but serially, and he did it again)...when he was in my town 10 minutes away from my house, it feels dreadful when these unpaid bills arrive to my home. Like a slap in the face.

    So I had had a tough afternoon. A social security employee at first told me that my son likely could receive my full social security payment, after my death...and then the man retracted it...because my son had declared in his SSDI application that his disability had begun when he was 24, instead of earlier, when he knows full well the circumstances of his life...and won't let go of it. But for short term benefit, he distorted it. And because he did not involve me, I could not give him or get him good counsel. This cannot be reversed.

    So I felt slapped down by this. Because I struggle to find a way to make peace with my inability to help him security after I die. I mean, give me a break. How completely irrational this sounds.

    When I got home, there were the bills. So I called my son. (I know this was a mistake.)

    Please change your address. I don't want your bills coming here.

    Click. He hangs up on me.

    He had last called a few days ago. Can I come home? No.

    When he hung up on me I texted him: Please change your address. And don't call or text me, until you begin to act like a socialized human being. Was the gist of it.

    I cannot follow my own advise. Imagine. Searching for ways to control his life and protect him, from my grave. I cannot think of something more futile and pathetic.

    So, this post is disjointed because it is a merging of two posts.

    I cannot accept this. How can my son live like this? How can he be like this? People think it is my fault. Maybe YOU think it is my fault. Perhaps this is the truth I need to accept that I created this monster. Or had unreasonable expectations that he could overcome his beginnings. Or denied basic realities which are now undeniable.

    I don't want to hear any of it. I just want this NOT TO BE HAPPENING LIKE THIS. I want to live in denial. Denisl is no longer working.

    I have come so far. I am doing so much for me now. With my son on the very periphery of my life, I am able to function and have hope and gradually add constructive and forward looking interests and activities to my own life.

    Every.single.time.I.have.contact.with.him. I feel like :censored2:. It has gotten to that point. Where I do not want to have even verbal or text contact with the person I have loved most in my life. X 100. And I cannot make sense of this.

    I am not seeking that anybody make sense of this for me. Quite obviously I do not want to look deeply at this situation because it is so painful to me. And that is my quandary. I want to be stupid. Because the pain would be too great to be smart.

    I guess all I want to do is to get through today and hope that tomorrow is better. That I climb back into my own life and make him peripheral again. But how can I live the rest of my life with my heart walking around outside of my body? I mean, most days lately, I feel like I have possession of my own heart. But I get like this, and I lose it. I lose control of my heart.
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Copa. I am sorry for your aching heart and all of the unanswered questions you are dealing with. Some things just make no sense at all.
    I have no answers. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Hold tight dear friend. You will find your way through. I am sure of it.
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  3. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Guess you know what I'm going to say. None of this is your fault. There's nothing more you can do to help him. You know it all. You've lived it. You've done it. Now forgive yourself.

    No you can't secure his future. Yes, I suspect he may be able to collect SSDI if he gets an attorney to argue that he was in denial when he filled out the app and said after 21 onset. But that's his appeal not yours. Put it in writing to him with list of attorney names and then let it go. He might like the idea now if SSDI pays more than SSI. But give him info and let it go. And FYI SSDI will pay him when you collect retirement or turn 65, whichever earlier, not just after you're gone. But that's another post. Only one other thing, offer to provide him and attorney with proof (evaluations) that it was before 21.

    About the mail....you know this..detach... I get my kids' mail but it doesn't bother me. I put it in big envelopes and hand it to them when I see them. I don't look at it other than for urgency eg criminal hearing. But if it bothers you then stop. You know this. Tell post office he doesn't live there and you have no forwarding address. Getting mail not your responsibility!
    But I won't preach to the choir any more on this.

    More importantly, why? Wish I could accept it for mine. But then, my mother has the same question about me. She thinks I should be happily married to a dr, lawyer, indian chief in a 4 bed house in toney burb with 2.5 gorgeous kids at Harvard or Yale. I'm a bitter disappointment. Where or where did she go wrong? Well I could answer that for sure. But its not just about her mental illness. Its not just about the illness I inherited from her. Its about values. She and I don't consider the same things important. I don't care whether I have the best house on the block, the greenest lawn, the best car. She does. Thus I'm a disappointment. The fact that I'm happy, do positive things for others, live my religion, etc not important to her.

    So what's important to your son vs important to you?

    Elsi and I posted replies to Drew about this relative to autism. Different topic but same theme.
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  4. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One of mine has been homeless all but a few months since I kicked him out at 19.5. Now 27. Why? Straw that broke... Smoking weed in my house. Any drugs in my house a huge issue for me and he knows...reason he chooses to be homeless rather than live here... He'd have to give up weed. Define homeless? Been on an older female's couch. One or the other of two anyway. He doesn't define this as homeless. He doesn't see it as a problem at all. He buys the weed for both of them and kicks in some money for food, gas..his definition of roommate. My definition homeless. He doesn't see weed as a "drug". He sees it as alcohol or tobacco.

    So I worry about his situation. He doesn't.

    Hope you feel better today. Hope you re-read your post. Hope you write a reply to your post and take your advice.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Copa...... I ache with you. I feel for you. I know your pain. At the moment I have worries about my son but he is doing ok.... but as you know he has been homeless and on the streets and I have worried and worried and felt helpless. I get all that you are feeling.

    So a couple of thoughts. You most definitely are not at fault. Let go of that one. You did not go wrong. This is something in your son and at this point he is an adult and he needs to find his way and you cant find it for him. That is just so hard as a mother because we want so much to help and protect our children but once they are adults we really can’t.

    My second thought is around grief. The fact is what your son is doing, his aimlessness, his lost potential, his going nowhere is terribly terribly sad. The fact that being around him is so hard for you that it is not good for you is sad. It really is. So some of what you are feeling is pure grief. We can live our lives, we can even live basically happy productive lives, but that doesnt mean the sadness and grief goes away completely. It just sometimes takes a back seat.... and sometimes it comes and sits right next to us.

    What I have found is that when the grief bubbles up and gets close to me I have to let myself feel it for a few moments.... I cant wallow in it for a long time, but I have to let it in, let myself feel it for a few moments, maybe have a good cry, and then I can put it in the back seat again. If I try to ignore it, try to pretend its not there, try to push it away then it just stays around and keeps tapping me on the shoulder.

    So the situation with your son is heartbreaking and sad and of course you feel that... and the fact you feel that is normal, and is ok and is because you are a loving mother.
    Let it in and then maybe you can let it go for another day.


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  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Oh Copa I can so identify with your pain here. I am fighting the urge right now to text C and find out how things are going. Or lord help me text S...and I know how things are going there. I want to and I dread it because every time I reach out I am inviting them to make their problems mine.

    I have asked myself all the same questions. What could I have done differently? How can they live like this? How is it that it seems like nothing I tried to teach them has stuck with them?

    I don’t have any answers on the SSI or SSDI. I don’t think mine have those options - certainly not for getting anything from mine after I’m gone. I worry about that a lot. What happens to them when they are my age or older, assuming they make it that far? They are making no provisions for tomorrow, let alone retirement. I’ve had to try to let that go. It’s hard. It hurts to think they might still be living this existence by then. I can only pray they’ll find their way back to sanity while I am still here to help. C perhaps is on his way. We’ll see.

    I’ve moved twice and changed my name since they moved out, so I don’t get mail. Thank goodness. That would be upsetting for me too. I would also suggest you return those as undeliverable and let that go.

    I have no real answers - I am on this path with you. But because of the title of your post I will leave you with this song from Mumford and Sons, which I Posted in part on another thread. I don’t know what it is ‘really’ supposed to mean, but when I listen to it I hear the process of detaching from taking responsibility for someone else’s life and toxic choices. Moving from ‘I will hold on hope/I won’t let you choke/I’ll know my name when it’s called again” to “I need freedom know/to live my life as it’s meant to be”. I’ve listened to it a lot lately. (by the way, I think in addition to the Oddessey references which reminded me of your thread title, the coming out of the cave reference is for the enlightenment ofSt. Francis of Assisi.)

    The Cave

    It's empty in the valley of your heart
    The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
    Away from all the fears and all the faults you've left behind

    The harvest left no food for you to eat
    You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
    But I have seen the same I know the shame in your defeat

    I will hold on hope and I won't let you choke
    On the noose around your neck
    And I'll find strength in pain
    And I will change my ways
    I'll know my name as it's called again

    'Cause I have other things to fill my time
    You take what is yours and I'll take mine
    Now let me at the truth, which will refresh my broken mind

    So tie me to a post and block my ears
    I can see widows and orphans through my tears
    I know my call despite my faults and despite my growing fears

    But I will hold on hope and I won't let you choke
    On the noose around your neck
    And I'll find strength in pain
    And I will change my ways
    I'll know my name as it's called again

    So come out of your cave walking on your hands
    And see the world hanging upside down
    You can understand dependence when you know the maker's heart

    So make your siren's call and sing all you want
    I will not hear what you have to say
    'Cause I need freedom now and I need to know how
    To live my life as it's meant to be
  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Copa, I'm so sorry that you feel everything has come crashing down on you. I have a couple of thoughts.

    First, you do not have the benefit of seeing how your son would have turned out if you had not been in his life. Were you able to do so, you might be amazed by your positive influence, whereas from this viewpoint all you can focus on is "failure."

    Second, about the SSI, your son (like most of our adult children) lives in the moment. Yes, it was incredibly [email protected]$$ed, but hardly surprising. He has been making financial decisions based on a 2-week window so as to afford marijuana; you can't have expected him to contemplate his material support after you are gone. As smithmom said, you worry about his situation, but he doesn't. You did what you could.

    You won't make sense of it, Copa. None of us will. All we can do is try to stop rattling our brains against the cages.

    There are so many ways to stop. We have so many trailblazers to follow around here. RE has done so much wonderful internal work to come to a place of acceptance. She is the Bodhi of Gracious Acceptance. Leafy has done such a tremendous job of modeling strength to her daughters, even at a time when she was reeling from the loss of her soulmate. Tanya had a health scare and made a deliberate choice to find joy and keep joy, no matter what her son brings into her life. SWOT is a master at giving her son a loving and listening presence, while still maintaining that "medium chill" level of emotional involvement, even when he is trying to bait and batter her. Newstart talked about her friend, who made the decision years ago to walk away and never looked back. RN turned to her faith. There are so many others.

    All of them somehow came to terms with the realization that every single contact makes them feel like shite, and they don't want to do it anymore.

    I was reading about a study in which researchers looked at the number one reason why mothers cut ties with their adult children. There was little correlation with the "big" reasons one might expect, like incarceration or substance abuse. The number one reason is that their children violated their trust or expectations by not sharing core beliefs or values that were fundamental to them. When looked at in that light, it's no wonder we rattle our brains against the cages. We can't betray our core values. They define us. We can't not love our children. They define us too.

    So how do we reconcile such a conflict? I guess all we can do it examine where we stand emotionally and find a path we can live with, based on our values.

    I don't want to hijack your thread with my update, but I am going through some similar feelings so I will share. In brief: After son submerged his car and didn't let us know he was all right, I told Hubs I'm done. (How strange...just a quiet realization that I don't want to do this anymore. I always thought if I ever reached this point, it would come with a big catharsis.)

    I told Hubs that while I will always hope son will find his way, my main concern was no longer son's welfare (how strange and sad to say). My concern is Hubs's welfare if he must bear this burden alone.
    Hubs said he understood and agreed with my decision; he just wasn't ready to take that step yet.

    In the past 2 weeks, son left rehab, went on a meth binge and called Hubs because police were there to arrest him. Hubs called my son's rehab buddy and they raced to his hotel. No cops, just son sitting on a bench outside, hallucinating, with a bunch of drug buddies in his room. Hubs cleared them out of the room, cleared the drugs and paraphernalia out of the room, and took him back to rehab, still saucer-eyed and hallucinating. Surprisingly, they took him back.

    Son left rehab the next day, called Hubs 2 days later on another binge, hallucinating, saying someone was in his room trying to kill him. Hubs called me at work, in a panic, and said he can't deal with this anymore. I told him to Baker Act son if he was a danger to himself, otherwise walk away.

    When I got home from work that night, Hubs looked 100 years old. I told him I thought if he doesn't find a way to stop, he's going to die for son, and it won't do son one bit of good. I begged him to consider limiting son's contact unless and until son finds his way back to us.

    When son checked himself out of the hospital after less than a day, he called Hubs to say rehab won't take him back a third time and asked for some help getting transportation for a supposed job offer. Hubs told him he's done, we're done, we're not doing this anymore. He doesn't want any contact until son has at least 6 months of sobriety under his belt.

    I don't know if it will do any good, but my point to the story is that Hubs looks so much happier, he feels happier, he has his power back. I'm absolutely not saying that no contact is the answer for everyone, but the body doesn't lie. It's right for us, for right now. And I think that's all we can do...find what's right for us, right now.

    I wanted to add, that's why I don't spend as much time here lately. I find that I need to keep my distance from all of this right now. Maybe as time goes on I can gain some perspective. For right now, I must keep it in the background or I am too easily swept away.
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa... This is not about you or your sons amazing childhood. Or what you are lacking in because you dont lack. No child was ever loved more than your son.

    Smithsmom brought up something important and I will expand on it. Our children have far more influences than just us. There are teachers, life, genetics (we adoptive parents do not control their DNA), and as they get older.. peers are far more important to them than we are. Society matters too. In your son's generation, and all young people, weed is no big deal.. How can we,old parents in their minds, compete with their peers? We cant.

    What were you doing at 29? Were you trying to mirror your mother's values and life or were you .woman deciding your own values. Would you blame your mother for any hardships? I had a dysfunctional, abusive mother but by 29 mistakes I made (plentiful)were on me. I do not and never did share her values.

    29 means he is choosing his life and social norms based on his own opinions. It is shocking but unless it comes with pot use accepted and money, he doesnt care about the warm house and he wont look for a job. Trust me he knows where to go to get help looking for a job. SSI gives him support options that he isnt using. Job Rehab would help him find a part time job that would not affect his social security. He knows this.

    I like the idea of mail tossed in a bag. If you can resist, dont check to see who sent the mail.

    If you write to him asking what you did wrong, know that you are giving him a license to abuse you and lie to you about yourself. His truth is too painful. His truth is on him. He had every advantage and HE chose to live this life. Thats the answer. He is too busy diverting the blame to you to tell you that truth. Everyone, ourselves included, ultimately chose who we are.

    Every step forwatd for us includes our own relapses. Forgive yourself for s bad day. Do something completely crazy fun for you and see if that helps.

    Love to one of the kindest smartest ladies I have ever "talked" to.
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I allow myself “crash and burn” days. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that triggers it. Then it all comes tumbling down.
    The circumstances we deal with our adult kids are heartbreaking. We love them. We may be bitter and angry, in despair over their choices, yet, for the most part, we function and do our best to hold our heads up.
    That in of itself is an enormous feat.
    Some days, the dam lets loose and all of those feelings have to go somewhere.
    Honor your feelings and let them flow.
    It is a hard journey we are on and there are times when we just need to rest.
    Circling the wagons, Copa, I have been right where you are at, many times.
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you everybody. I agree with every word. Be back later. Such wisdom, acceptance and love on this thread. Thank you. I will be rereading this a dozen times.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Albatross. I am sorry your son has taken the turn he has. And I am sorry you and your husband have suffered the effects of these choices by your son.

    The image that comes to me in my mind's eye is the underbelly of love. Aka kicked in the gut. And taking measures to not be so exposed to threat. It is shocking. Shocking. That the kick to the gut comes from our children. We are physically stunned. Seized. Breathess. Doubled over. The physical pain is so intense. intolerable. And when we can think. It becomes worse.

    Even more shocking is how we seek to, even crave to return to the scene of the crime. Over and over again. Fire engine chasers. Storm chasers. And we are the victims. As well as the witnesses.

    It is like this forum is the victim witness program for battered parents. And typical to abuse victims we keep returning. Until we stop.

    Leafy. Thank you. You sound so tranquil today. With such deep acceptance. Kind of like a river

    Actually. All of you sound like a deep river. Of strength. Of acceptance. Of deep wisdom. I wish I could meet each one of you someday. To express my respect and gratitude

    Elsi. . I love your poems/lyrics. I will try to google them. Where did you find the latter?

    Unfortunately for you, we seem to share some of the same vulnerabilities. Is it kindness or softness or sensitivity or feeling the nuance and pathos and depth of a situation? I don't know. Is it a strength or weakness? Am I a mystic or accident waiting to happen, or both?

    I am on my cell. Fingers hurt. For now.

    Swot. Thank you for your kindness. And the truth. I have loved my son. And right and wrong, I love my son. You stay anchored in realistic truth, unwavering. Thank you. Again.

    Tl. You say it all. You have come out on the other side. Whole. Strong. Conscious. Brave. Open. Bounded. Enduring. True.

    Smitty. Thank you. For the objectivity, understanding and counsel. Especially about values.

    M who I live with has gotten mad at me. He says there are times (actually most times, when we can only rightly say either yes or no).

    By that he means LOSE the story. The judgement. The rationale. Just no. My values are mine. Yours are yours. My only right is to say no for me. Not you. This lesson is a tough one for me.

    M's family comes to me for financial help. I suffer saying no. That's my problem he says. The suffering. Not theirs.

    Same with our kids. They cannot be protected from or denied their suffering. It is theirs. To learn from or not.

    As is ours for us. All of these. Tough lessons for me. Thank you.
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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  12. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    My kids usually turn me on to new music - ironically, Mumford and Sons was probably recommended by C. They are a British Folk/Alternative Rock band. The Cave is one of their biggest hits. (Little Lion Man is another one I love - though those lyrics do have some curse words.) Music is my go-to for consolation and for losing myself when thoughts become too overwhelming. Music and cleaning or gardening. I put my headphones on blast and just lose myself in what I'm doing for a while. I listen to about everything except Rap and Hip Hop. My itunes library has about 40,000 songs in it with playlists for every possible mood and situation. Yes, this is my Aspie obsession. ;)

    I think, for many of us, our biggest strengths and our biggest weaknesses are one and the same. I don't think loving and trying to accept our children wherever they are at the moment is ever wrong, or ever weak. But it does open us up to be hurt. Like you, I so want to keep the door open for my wayward ones for whenever they are ready. I also want to protect the peace I have carved out for myself here. Those impulses aren't always compatible.

    I think M has good advice. Being able to say no, but also lettting go of the judgment, is where I have come to. No, you can't live with me. Yes, I still love you. I will not judge you for the choices you are making in your life, but you cannot bring them here. I am sorry for the pain your choices have brought you. I cannot rescue you from that pain, because only you can do that.

    It is hard. It is hard when we know deep in our bones that the advice we want to give them is RIGHT. That if they would only do what we want them to, their lives would be so much easier and so much less painful.

    It's hard not to feel like their rejection of our advice, and our values, is also a rejection of us, and of our love for them. And of everything we have done for them over the years.

    With my oldest three, I sometimes feel like I have spent my whole life pouring love into a bottomless cup. I pour and pour and it's never enough to make up for whatever scars come from their early experiences, their DNA, their brain chemicals, whatever.

    And yet...it finally did click with N. It's not perfect. He slips up sometimes. But he's on a good path and we have a good relationship, although he's almost 2,000 miles away now. I treasure that and hold onto hope that C and S will also get there.

    I think maintaining both love and boundaries is all we can really do. And that balance may look a bit different for each of us.

    Stay strong. You're not on this road alone.
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think there will always be people who think it's your fault just as I'm sure there are those that think it's my fault. Whatever other people think of us is on them. They have not lived what we have. It took me some time but I came to a place where I really don't care what others think about me. I know the truth just as you know the truth and that is all that matters.

    I don't believe this and I know that you don't either. I think we all have days like this. How could we not. For you and I Copa, we each have only one child which compounds these feelings as we have no other children to compare to. Hold on to the truth, which is you raised your son in a loving and nurturing home. No Copa, you did not create a monster.

    Oh I know I did! I had too many unreasonable expectations of how my son not only should live his life but how he should overcome all his shortcomings. When our sons were little this was easy, we could correct their path as needed. Now they are grown men and we can no longer correct the path for them.

    This is the life of a warrior parent. We have highs, lows and steady ground. I prefer the steady ground myself. After talking with my son today I could have easily allowed the roller coaster to take me to a high place but the problem with that is it must come down. I choose to stay on the steady ground.
    I know now that there will be more contact with my son that I have to be more on my guard. It's easier for me when there is no contact.

    You live the rest of your life for you because you deserve to live a life that is full and happy.

    I think it's very normal for all of us to have days where we take 5 steps forward and the next we take 7 back and the next we take 10 forward.

    Copa, you have grown so much and come such a long way from when you first came to this site. I'm so glad that you are a part of this forum. You have so much to offer.

    Here's to better tomorrows!!
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  14. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    It’s not irrational at all. This is a parents worry in life, especially when our children have disabilities. These are things I often worry about B and he’s only 10 and I’m still in my early 30’s. I pray I have enough time on this earth to see him succeed in life. I worry that when my husband and I are gone, no one will be there to care for him, to advocate for him, to ensure his success. You are not alone on this earth with this fear.

    Human relationships and emotions are complex. It’s never usually just one thing that drives something. It’s a magnitude of things. Knowing something and emotionally feeling something are two different things. As a parent, you want to protect your children, you want to see them succeed. Both for their lives and your own. So that way when you leave this earth, you hope they’ll be safe and happy. Again, it’s not pathetic. It means you’re a loving and caring human being.

    I don’t think it’s your fault and neither should you. In the end, it’s HIS choice. Why is it that say a parent with addictions, can have one perfectly “normal” child. Or two normal, loving caring parents end up with their child in jail. Again, human beings are complex. It’s never one thing that causes it. You cannot take the blame for his choices. My son often says to me “you made me hit my brother”. I remind him, that hitting was HIS choice. I did not physically move his body, I cannot control his actions. His choice and his consequences. Nevermind the fact that hitting his brother because of me makes absolutely no sense.

    My father was abusive alcoholic growing up, I had many choices in my life to make. I could have chosen to become abusive, I could have chosen to become an addict to deal with the pain, I could have chosen to marry an abusive man. My choices, not my mothers’, not my fathers’. These were my choices to make and they’re choices that I continue to make on a daily basis. To rise above yesterday and be better.
    You are not God Copa and you are not your son. He is his own person and in charge of his own mistakes. Please don’t lay the blame at your feet. You could have been the worst human being possible in life and the choices he makes are still his own. You did the best that you were capable of. After seeing many of your posts and replies, I can tell you are a good person, someone who cares and loves and takes the time to comfort other people in their time of need. I hope that you also see how much you’re worth, because it’s a lot.
    You’re not alone on this journey.
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  15. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    You sure aren't. I am wondering if there is room on the mast for me, though I think your boat's just in high surf conditions. Mine's embarking for Crazy Town.

    Ever since Hubs told son not to contact us for 6 months, my mind has been consumed...CONSUMED...with scenarios, many times a day, all day, every day...

    --What will I say when son's wife writes me a letter asking me to give him another chance?
    --What will I say to son's children?
    --What will I say when son begs my forgiveness for the pain he caused my husband?
    --What will I say when son tries to join us for Thanksgiving?
    --What will I say when I find out Hubs really was contacting son behind my back?
    --What will I say when...

    Mind you, NONE of these things have happened, nor are they on the horizon. Son doesn't even have a girlfriend, much less children, and has not even noticed I am not speaking to him. Our hosts have already made it clear they will not have son in their home for TG. There has been no attempt at communication between Hubs and son.

    Seriously...what is wrong with me?!? I need help. Am I losing my mind? How do I get it to stop?
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    OK. I am feeling pretty smart this minute and I will attempt to answer. Cocky she is. My block will be knocked off next minute.
    Just stop. And this is how you stop. You change the channel. The channel you (we) are on is a loser channel. It is like you found a show on the CNN headline news of disaster, adult-child related disaster. There is no remedy. There is no answer. There is no getting out of the rut ON THAT CHANNEL. You have to change the dial. Remember when TV's had dials? Change the dial. This show is called Mother Bashing Extravaganza: How crazy can she be? We compete.

    Oh. I'm back to focusing. How to change the channel? My spiritual director, who is a rabbi taught me. She will actually interrupt me and make me stop the incessant tirade of disaster movies or self-abuse.

    I actually get breathless and begin hyper-ventilating, but that has not happened for a while.

    So. This is what she tells me to do. I obey her. When I do I feel better.

    The Rabbi is speaking to you:

    Find contact to a surface. Like the bed, the floor, etc. Lay down. Let your body feel supported. Find as much contact with the surface as you can. Rest into it. Feel supported. Listen to your breath. Keep listening. In and out. Slowly. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. In and out. (I think this practice kind of knocks you out.) I find that all of the (whack job) mental activity leaves by itself. It may be that when I get nuts I deprive myself of oxygen. I kind of believe that. I think I may work myself into a panic attack.

    And with that the channel usually changes. Other people mediate.

    Any which way you can. Just change the channel. There is only continuing agony on that channel. You are not crazy. It is a crazy-making channel.

    I think we go to that channel to feel connection with them. It is a paradox. Because we end up losing ourselves if we go there.

    I think we cannot feel connection with them through normal means because it is too scary for us. Because we are so afraid. They are so out there. We feel FOG. And so to feel connected to them we go to the crazy making channel. Poor us.

    Let me just comment briefly on your queries. I know you know they are not very much tethered to reality. But there is a kernel of truth in each of them. Each of your queries is a Valentine I think. As are mine.

    We know this is true: The reality right now is that our sons are out there. They are not meeting girls, let alone getting married. There are no children in the making. (Great sadness for me). My son, at least, has had not one iota of a desire to ask for forgiveness, for anything. But I WISH this was so.

    This is the reality that we would hope for (wives, babies, holidays, forgiveness and reconciliation). To head-on think of these hopes and dreams would make us feel horrible. Because there is no reality to them, and we know it. So we would feel incredibly sad. It is an instance of cognitive dissonance. We love them. We fear for them. We are angry at them. We have no control. We connect with them by distorting our incompatible thoughts.

    We want connection. We need connection. We yearn for connection. We cannot have it. Not now. We turn on the crazy making channel, for connection. (You may even sub-consciously want hubs to be talking to son behind your back, who knows.)

    About the other stuff: Son knows why he can't come to Thanksgiving. The issue is not Thanksgiving. The issue is Valentine's day. It is love.

    M told me: His sister saw my son J in a violent yelling match on a major street where she had a store. There is no walking that knowledge back. No Thanksgivings for my son with M's family, who I do not like by the way. So there.

    He withheld this info from me for a couple of years. So M is probably talking to your son behind your back, too. Who cares? The only thing that matters here is you. That you change the channel.

    You are on the CRAZY-MAKING channel. (By now you may have changed the channel.) I was there too, and could easily go back. That is why I am here with you. And probably, why you are here for me. Because we are in the same club. We love our sons and there is not one thing in the world we can do to make them safe, or let them come home.

    This is too horrible to even type. And worse we cannot manifest our love and fear directly. It's too painful and crazy making. So we turn to the crazy making channel. But posting is better.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  17. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I am fAmiliar with that channel. I’ve had days recently when I watch ever program on loop.

    I change the channel with music and work. Cleaning, organizing, weeding, taking care of the animals. My house is getting very, very clean and I am running out of things to throw away or organize. I am driving partner crazy. And probably not doing my eardrums any favors with the smiths and pet shop boys on blast. But hey, it’s working for me right now.
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Wow, Copa. Talk about nailing it. That is exactly what is going on. Exactly. Every word. Your post is going with me everywhere I go. Thank you so very much.
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Wow Copa. That Rabbi is one smart person!
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I love the visual of this. Channel surfing and who's there on the screen, my son, oh lets see what this episode holds. Oh look, it's a rerun, more of the same. Yes, change the channel. I love it!!