I need to be tied to the mast.

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

  1. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I'm so sorry.

    You say you want to make sense of his position. Can you really? Why put pressure on yourself to understand what is never going to be understandable? Why not just accept that it is and not torture yourself?

    You want him to accept your position. Is he capable of that? Isn't his thinking so distorted that he's just not capable? Aren't you beating yourself up about something that you cannot change?

    One of mine had a BD today too. I had hoped to at least see him. Preferably have dinner with him. None of that was as important to him as it was to me. He slept and "hung out" all morning.. tll he had to be at work at 4 p.m. 4 pm! Well he's almost 30. I can't force him. I suspect there was a great deal of time spent today with a drug still illegal in my state. I hate it! It does him no good. Its self- medication for ADHD. I traded texts with him. I talked to him on the phone. All innocuous. So how do I make myself feel better? I spent some time thinking about the first time I saw him, held him. His BD parties when he was little. The smiles and hugs when he was a kid. I may not approve of his choices but they're his. I cannot make myself unhappy because of his choices. Not the same situation. But focus on the positive and detach from the negative.
  2. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    They are self serving manipulative pigs. period. that is all their is to it. We want and pray for them to change. We hope and pray they turn into the adults that can call and and say ,"hi mom! mom, what's up? Want of grab lunch?" . That only happened on tv shows from the 1960'. I wonder if it was even realistic then.
    I don't think y 21 year old likes me, much less loves or respects me. It is time for me to just say "adios" and change my cell number, selling our house and getting a new one with an address he doesn't know would be even better.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have no expectations of my oldest son. I dont expect him to change. Since he was 18 months he showed a lack of empathy that sadly runs in my DNA. We were at the park and he was climbing the tall monkey bars. He was 18 months. A littler toddler girl was behind him. I can still remember that he gave me a wide beautiful smile then lifted his little foot and stomped on the little girls fingers. She screamed and her mother screamed too...at me, at him.

    This started a disturbing pattern of kids around him getting hurt snd his insistance every time that it was an accident. Funnily he had a lot of friends, but I saw this pattern and by 8 he was in therapy. It never worked

    By 20 he got in my face and svresmed at me and scared me so much that I sent him to my ex's. My ex had a chronic illness and was frail but that didnt stop Bart from shoving him and yelling at him. He was heavily into porn and took real life porn pictures too.

    I hoped marriage would change him. He went quiet pretty much for ten years and my family grew. Once his wife left him that is when he came crying back to me for support as he had no friends nor did he want any. Then the custody battle began and our mutual nightmare.

    Because my son, who I love, has always been this way, there was no curve in the road when he went from a loving kid to what he is today. Since he refuses therapy, medications, good health and excerise habits and never feels remorse when he has hurt somebody, I have no expectations of change and am not upset because of who he is. I feel he was born this way.

    What I cant handle is his screaming and yellingbwhen I am trying to take the edge off for him so I wrote him finally that I will be happy to let him vent but that he has to be calm and kind when he spoke to me.

    It did not surprise me when he somehow turned that on me, said I stressed him out with these garbage posts and said he would block me.

    I dont know if he did. Or care. If he doesnt chose to at least try to be nice, I no longer can be in his space. It is up to him. I would not block him. But he needs to change how he talks to me. Or not and stay away.

    Last time I demanded civility he was nice for about a year. Well, nice for HIM. But it didnt last. I dont think he knows you shouldnt talk that way to people. He always always thinks we deserve it.

    No expectations is not all bad. I may get stressed talking to him but I dont take him personally. He is like this to everyone. His siblings and my husband truly want nothing to do with him. He was very abusive to Princess.

    They are who they are. I feel it is best to have low to no expectations and then when or if they turn around it is a nice surprise.

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son has done this. But not yelling. He will walk up to me very close, touching me, really, and talk meanly, insolently, in a way to dominant, to intimidate. He is much taller than I am. It works.

    Maybe my son is mean. Maybe it is me who will not see it. Who refuses to accept that his heart has turned.

    At the end of the day it is the same thing we are dealing with. These sons have become shadows. And we have to find a way to live. I am very depressed.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I truly think my son at least (and my father and my mother regarding myself) dont realize they are being mean. They think or thought we deserve this treatment and that because we deserve it, it is not on them at all. I could add my sister to that too but i think she was more aware, although she was truly shocked that I had finally had enough of her treatment.

    The difference with you and me is that we know we were not always right and that we made mistakes. I could have let my mother call me names and demean me rather than sometimes giving it back. There is never an excuse for being mean. Not even because it is done to you. I could have let her go rather than getting all hurt and fighting back.

    My father was easier for me to deal with as is Bart. They are/were so alike. My father was abusive to everyone and said things few say to their children. To anyone. Sometimes I gave it back to him. I didnt have to. I could have put up with it or gone very low contact. I did not always make good choices. He honestly felt he was always right and we deserved his wrath. So does Bart.

    My sister I should have cut off the second time she called the police rather than gotten into it with her. The part where i tried a tit for a tat is on me.

    I have felt the guilt even to my childhiid but worked on it in therapy. But I knew and wanted to do better.

    Some people dont know when they are being wrong and dont understand every single relationship is a two way street. I will come back to Bart. He truly, truly believes the universe conspires against his happiness. He has said so. It truly does not occur to my son that he is in charge of his own life. And if anyone gives suggestions that may help him, he truly is overly offended because he believes his bad life is out of his hands. That he has no good options. It is sad, really. He believes I need to let him rant swear abuse and threaten because he is stressed. And nobody else is aas stressed as him because his stress involves custody of his child. But there are ways even this could be smoother for him. He just doesnt believe itbor maybe is so used to stress that he needs to feel it.

    Thinking errors .addressed so well in CBT. But he wont go to CBT or even read a book about it.

    Copa I do not know your son or if he too believes he is in a hopeless situation so that he needs to be allowed to do what he does. You would know better than me. I do know that you are kind and empathetic and know when you were wrong and splatter yourself with guilt, like I do, although I am better now. I allow myself to have acted human. And I dont care anymore about what I did when I was a mentally ill and abused child.

    I also dont really blame people for how they feel they must behave .i vent here. But Bart is Bart. My parents were who they were. I am who I am. I am grateful that I have insight. Not everyone does.

    Love and light and may G-d touch your tired soul and bring you peace
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I agree. I think this is the only way to stay sane.

    I am fortunate that my sons don’t really get in my face or get aggressive with me. They have their father’s anger issues, but also have enough memory of their father and enough self awareness that if I say ‘stop, listen to youself right now’ or ‘you’re scaring me right now’ they will back down right away. It’s such a weird dysfunctional family dynamic we all have. When they were younger, I would physically put myself between them and their dad when he was out of control, or lock them in their rooms and stand in front of the door. When they got to be teenagers, they would challenge him directly. Both of them have been in the position of pulling their dad off of me and protecting me as they got older. So they can still be weirdly protective. I know they think of me as weak sometimes. Neither of them wants to be their father. N has worked hard on his anger issues as well as his addictions. C still has a long way to go. But there are still lines he will not cross with me, because of our history, and I’m grateful for that at least. I think I may be the only person in his life who can say ‘stop’.

    This sounds so familiar! C would rather blame his father and revisit the past than move forward. And his dad was awful, to all of us. But it is not helping him to stay stuck there. And now he blames everything and everyone else, too. He refuses to take any responsibility for his situation, or for why his friends have turned their backs on him after years of putting up with his mooching, temper, blackouts, and other dysfunctional behaviors. It’s frustrating to deal with the denials.

    Copa, it is so hard, and I am so sorry for the pain you are in right now. For the pain so many of us are in. I am sorry you are finding yourself depressed today. I found myself sinking down yesterday. Today I am keeping my head above water. We are heading out to pick apples in a bit here. We went to church this morning. It is a beautiful day. We are meeting friends for dinner later. I am choosing to focus on my life, my joys. Because my sadness doesn’t do one thing to bring my lost ones closer to the light. It only makes me weaker. I hope you can find some joy today, and every day.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I don't agree here about anything of this. The human species would have died off eons ago if people just walked away from their people, their families, tribes, etc. We are geared to persevere, to try to work it out. This is adaptive. Until it is not. And you know very well SWOT, as children we had nobody else. Where would we have gone?

    You did have to stay. There were no options. We do not have to now. We choose to.
    Yes. I think this is very wise. I think he does feel he is in a hopeless situation, and has no good options. But this is a feeling state. It is not true in reality. But a feeling state can feel like a reality. Like the way I feel. Now.

    But the thing is for us to tolerate the feeling states of our children, when the effect is abusive, is another choice entirely. Which is what each of us is dealing with. The war of feeling states. Do we accept that our own feeling state is determined by their own? And how do we change our own feeling state when we are tragically affected by the state of our children and our relationships with them? That is where I am. I cannot (or will not) step out of the shadow.
    This is very healthy. But I do not share this belief. I do hold people responsible for how I hold their choices about their behavior.

    I guess the issue is the word "blame." To me blame has the coloring of judge, but with a stronger emotional field. How is it different from holding responsible? I think this must be an important distinction. Later today I will try to remember to look up the difference. Because I think you are right SWOT. I think there must accrue to the feeler negative consequences to blaming, that do not accrue to holding responsible.

    Maybe if I could accept responsibility, but not blame myself, I could escape from this sadness. Thank you.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa you know I loved my father. It was not because he was kind and caring or even interested in any of our lives or his grandchildren. I will never forget the day he said in a very angry bitter voice "Not one of you has given me one moment of pleasure! Not ONE!" This is not the worst thing he probably said nor did he ever apologize. He thought it was okay to say things like that. In his mind, it was us, not him. Then maybe he forgot or was satisfied with his scathing comment. Who knows which? But I loved him for one reason. He loved me the best he could, nasty comments and all, and treated me the same way he treated the others. That meant everything to me because my mother, my narc uncle, my sister and my brother treated me lesser than. So I cherished him for that. Even though all three of us kids used to say out loud to one another "He is not a nice man" we overlooked his meaness snd loved him. But we all knew he wasnt nice. We said so to each other.

    Copa except in childhood I never thought of my FOO as my tribe. My enemies maybe. I started emotionally leaving in my late 30s and dont miss any of them. I consider my family of choice my real DNA. Maybe I think differently than others.

    It has been close to a year without my DNA tribe and I miss them not at all. And to be honest...and since I will never talk to my brother again in this lifetime....I can tell the truth now. The biggest reason I was nice to my brother before he gave me my inheritance was the mild fear thay he wouldnt give me my inheritance. He probably would have noatter what but I wanted to make it easy. He says he was not affected by my mother or sister regarding me, but it is an obvious lie. As soon as I decided sister was unhealthy for me, he would not answer my texts anymore. Duh! He was unfluenced greatly by my mom and her. Nothing else had happened except the thing with Sis

    Copa I dont have that sort of DNA tribe. If I did then Jumper, Princess and Sonic would not be my tribe. THEY are. Hub too.

    My son can join my tribe but those in my tribe have to treat me well. And I will treat them well.

    Copa I hope your son sees the light. He is your tribe. Your nasty sister is not! M. Is your tribe too.

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT. Answer me this one thing, please?

    When you were a little girl, had you rejected your family, where would you have gone?

    And second. Why did you try and try and try with your sister?

    You judge yourself harshly here. You did not try and try and try with her because you are foolish; or because you are weak. You tried and tried and tried with her because you loved her and because you are good. This is not a failing. It is a strength.

    But when all is said and done I agree with you.

    Now. The psychoanalysts have a term called the compulsion to repeat. It means that we keep going back and going back to the try well. Each time we have the unconscious expectation that we will find water. But we never, ever do. But we try and try and try.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    As a child, I had nowhere to go.

    I wanted to have a relationship with my sister both because I loved her and I felt all our problems were my fault.

    Fortunately (better late than never) I dont want to repeat!
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Your sister, your brother, and your mother, all of them used you in this way, it seems. And not one of them had the strength or the integrity to cop to it. To label you as the identified patient, so that they would not have to come to grips with themselves. This was wrong.

    How would it have been if just one of them sat quietly and heard you? They could not. This was their loss.
  12. One Hurt Mama

    One Hurt Mama New Member

    SWOT, I, too, have always wanted to have a good relationship with my sister, but have been unable to do so. I am 5 years older, and when we were on speaking terms she told me that she always thought everyone loved me more (maybe because I was more agreeable) and that I was the golden child while she was an afterthought. I am sorry she feels this way, and one day I had the opportunity to speak with her alone, and I told her that I was truly sorry for everything I had ever done to hurt her or burden her in any way, and I would like her to forgive me so that we could be close as sisters should be. She took a step back and looked me right in the eye and said, "well, sister, I would forgive you but I don't know what you might do to me in the future." And she turned and walked away. What does one say to that? It brought tears to my eyes, and I didn't reply, but those words have hurt me and haunted me for years. I never did anything to hurt my sister intentionally, but I realize that her experience is different than mine. You are indeed right, SWOT, that sometimes it is necessary to disconnect in order to preserve our own sanity. I can relate to your problems with your sister, and reading your posts help me. Thanks to all who share on this board - you never know who may relate and find some measure of comfort because of what you have shared.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This feels horrible to me.
    I think this is cruel. She could have just responded, "thank you." Or if she wanted to go further she could have said, "there is a lot of water under the bridge. But thank you."

    But to deliberately hurt you says way more about her than about you. She is showing that she is the dangerous and vengeful one, not you.

    I have a very similar situation with my own sister, who has communicated to me in the same way. She also used the term "sister" in a rageful, sarcastic, screaming way. Which made me afraid. Still afterwards I tried to reach out to her, and she refused. But she used my reaching out as a way to blame and hurt me.

    This is really about them, not us.

    I believe my sister was envious of me her whole life and could not come to grips with this. These things happen. Like SWOT says, we have to do our best to move on.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    For me i feel it was about me and how I wanted my relationshipsto be one of mutual respect. Haha.

    My sister used to call the police on me all the time. All the time even when I didnt even live in her state. Her reasons were were crazy such as I sent her an email and she didnt want me to. It grew old. She has a lot of problems and dudnt go to therapy untul her latter 50s and could not take the blame for anything. Its not that I wanted to be close to her. Its that I felt like if I didnt take her back after one of the twenty some times she called the cops then cut me off then I felt like I was being a bad person. Finally, belatedly she said something that made me see who she is and that a relationship was hopeless. Then she typed all over the internet that I dared to cut her off (after all the times she had done it to me). And that I had various personality disorders (shrug). She had all the credentials to do that as any teacher aid (another shrug).

    I had a horrible mean family of origin and was the scapegoat and dont miss most of them. It used to hurt me when my sister, lied about me and put it on the internet but she can call me anything she wants now and its been so long. I dont care. I dont look to see if she is talking about me. It is moot.

    My sister always thought our problems were just about me. Let her think so. If it stops her from bothering me ever again then it is a good thing. She never worried about how I cared about what she did; if she hurt me or embarassed me by calling the cops for no reason. So now .....

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It is now almost a month since my last post on this thread.

    My son's birthday has come and gone. I texted him. He did not respond. It is a month since I have had any contact from him at all. He wants nothing to do with me.

    And I am in agony. I broached to M that we go to the Metro to look for him. M believes that even if we were to find him, that he would perceive this as my ceding. And that not one thing has changed. Yes. M says. J feels abandoned. But if he comes back? You will feel abused. Where does it end? If J does not want to change, why are you going? To see he is okay?

    Me: Not really. Because if I see him and he is not okay? Or worse than he left? There is no reassurance there for me.

    I want to know he still loves me,
    I said.

    M replied: If that is the reason to go look for him, don't. This can only be about seeing if he is okay, if it will make you feel content.

    Nothing will make me content. Nothing will make me feel better unless my son calls me. (And my phone is in another city in a taxi. And my son will not call M.)

    I am despondent. I cannot stand my sadness. This goes on and on and on and I cannot stand it.
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Ask yourself if you would feel better in any way if you saw tour son. Im serious. Because your life is about YOU now and if it will ease your heart at all to see him, even if it ends poorly, then I say do it.

    My sweet hub and three super kids always tell me to cut off Bart. They mean as in never talk to him again, block him, pretend he doesnt exist.

    I cant. I can cut down but not off. As difficult as he can be (although he controlled himself the last time) i cant never cut him off. He is awful sometimes and I love him. He is my child.

    Now this does not mean I plan on seeing him in person a lot. I havent seen him in years. St. Louis is hard to get to from here and frankly I dont know that its a good idea to go. I barely know my grandson because his ex cut off his family and he wouldnt fight her. And then he moved. And he is afraid to drive outside of where he.lives and he won't take a train etc.So seeing him often is unlikely.

    Its for the best. But the thought of NEVER talking to him again is intolerable to me so I do. I do it for me. When it becomes a huge stress I take time off. He isnt here, close. It helps. But I need to talk to him. Until I cant. Then IItake a vacation from him. But Ican not never hear from hom again.

    You dont have to either if it hurts too much. You can see J. just to not feel as if you abandoned him. Just to make sure he is alive. For any reason. Any or none.

    I am not telling you to do it. Just saying you CAN do it if it may make you feel better. And you dont have to do it too.

    I hope your hurting heart finds peace tonight. You are doing the best that you can.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  17. One Hurt Mama

    One Hurt Mama New Member

    COPA, of all the people in the world who can hurt us, our CHILDREN can hurt us like no one else. If you think you should go, then go -- maybe if you are able to SEE him, even if you don't speak to him, it may comfort your mama's heart a bit. And COPA, you should know that he DOES love you - even on his darkest, angriest, longest days, he DOES love you, and NOTHING will change that.
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  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you are in such pain, Copa. I wish I knew what to say to alleviate it.

    I certainly don't see your actions as abandoning J. J chose not to accept your very reasonable offer.

    Honestly, Copa...if he had, I suspect things wouldn't have worked out any differently this time. As they say, nothing changes if nothing changes. It's a cycle you both have been through so many times.

    It's my fervent hope that this will all somehow change the groundwork and lead to things working out differently in the future, however that looks for all of you.
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  19. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am just catching up with this conversation and may have missed some. I know that it is very difficult and depressing dealing with our children either when we have contact or when we don't. We worry when we don't hear from them because we know that with their lifestyles and personalities so much could go wrong. We are stressed out when we do hear from them because of the way they speak to us and treat us. They are still our kids we still love them but don't know how to deal with them. Copa I understand and sympathize with your depression. I have been there and done that and still do that. I would be freaking out if I hadn't heard from my son in that long but you need to worry about you right now and the other people in your life. I don't remember if you still go to counseling but it might be a good idea for a little while. Is there anyway you can check on your son without actually contacting him just to ease your mind. If he has not contacted anyone is it possible he is in jail? Many jails have a website that will list people incarcerated at that facility. There are also sites that will do a search of all facilities. Holidays including birthdays are hard I think because they are so family oriented. My son reminded me that he was in jail for thanksgiving last year and was not invited for Christmas. What he doesn't realize is that the situation was just as hard for me as him. When he got out I decided I was going to detach which initially meant no communication because he would constantly ask for money or rides or whatever. Also If he is invited my other two will not come. It is devastating I just wanted to stay in bed I didn't even decorate. But that did't help me or him. Please know that so many people care and understand and are praying for you.
  20. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Copa, I feel badly for you..for all of us. We have these children--to us they are children. it doesn't matter how old they are.
    Will it make YOU feel better to see him? even from a distance, just to know he is alive. Do you know he is in a certain spot, or do you just think he is and want to make sure?