Missed call from my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    As far as I know he's at Haymarket in Chicago, in some kind of stabilization program before entering their rehab. He's only been there a few days. But today I had a missed call, presumably from him, from the toxic on again off again boyfriend's mother's landline. He didn't leave a voicemail. I can't imagine a facility giving anyone a pass to go off premises after such a short time, so my feeling is he's either already left or gotten kicked out.

    I can't call the landline (don't ask me why but he told me years ago to never call that number and I respect his or the boyfriend's mother's wishes on that). If I don't touch base with him today I'll either text or call the boyfriend's cell phone and see if he can tell me what's going on, although I would rather not talk to him. He's the one that introduced my son to meth in the first place and if they're together there's no way my son can even hope to reach sobriety.
  2. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Sorry you're waiting. Never easy. Sometimes I wonder if caller ID is really a good thing.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Laura

    You are in a tough spot. Because whoever it was who called chose to not leave a message and because your hands are tied due to the demand you not call that landline.

    I very much understand how this feels. To have an adult child demand care and support and our flexibility and a constant source of forgiveness, and yet they will not give us access, control, respect.

    They draw the boundaries and we are not entitled to have even one. To me his making the rule that you cannot call that number is disrespectful and cruel. The whole set up is for your son's comfort, convenience and advantage. And your role: Be there. Remember your rules. And the consequences for breaking them. Tolerate whatever twist and turn son's irresponsible and uncaring and deficient behavior and decisions and attitudes, lead to.

    I am speaking as somebody who has been in this situation. And I have been punished because I would no longer go along with it And I sit with my deep love, my worry, and also with my sense that this is no way to be a parent and a person. Without reciprocity. Waiting to be victimized. Worried about somebody who really is not giving me any place to stand, except to be a useful object. When I give voice, when I balk at the position I am in, he cuts me off. My only role is to be there in the way he wants, when he wants it, to tolerate his vices, and his inability and unwillingness to take responsibility for anything.

    I do not have any answers for you.

    For me the answer is to try to locate myself in my own life, and to let my son live his. As I have taken this position, he has decided he wants no contact from me. It is hard to take, but there is a certain reality in this. The only one who can do anything for your son is him.

    I hope he is safe and I believe he is safe. I hope he finds the stability to move away from people who compromise him. I hope you can find contentment and safety in your own life, while he does so.

    I am sorry this is so very hard.
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  4. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Months ago I reached the point of "enough is enough." I told him that the Bank of Mom is closed and the ATM is down for repairs for the foreseeable future, until he consistently shows me he is serious about recovery and willing to work at hit. Yesterday he called me asking if I would send him money so he could get food (from where I don't know, since he was supposedly in a facility) because the lunch they served him wasn't enough to fill him up. I said no, maybe for the first time. Not the first time I told him no, but I had a tendency to give on smaller requests like $5 or $10, but I had told him that I am no longer willing to do even that. He's shown me no lasting changes or even sincere attempts at sobriety and while I will talk to him any time, day or night, I will no longer contribute one penny of my hard earned money to him until he does.

    Actually, telling him no yesterday made me feel pretty empowered. I didn't feel guilty whatsoever. I do feel regret that it has to be this way, but it is what it is and it's what I have to do, for his sake as well as my own.

    I know all too well the feeling of being expected to be on 24-7 standby as blithely go about their whatever it is they're doing, that expectation that you're available on a constant basis. We too have lives and it's getting easier and easier to not be here when he "needs" me. I do freelance data entry from home and I can stop working at anytime since I set my own schedule. Therefore he expects me to stop what I am working on at the drop of a hat to talk to him. If it's important or an emergency I do so gladly. But when he's bored on a long train ride and has no one to talk to, I don't feel obligated. Yes I choose my own hours, but if I don't work I don't have an income. Same if I'm out with my husband and/or friends. I don't get out often, and when I do I don't want to spend that time chatting with my son (unless of course it's an emergency or urgent situation.)

    I think the "do not call" rule came from the partner's mother, although I have never spoken to her so don't know if this is really the case or not. I believe it is, though, because he never set that stipulation on calling the partner's cell phone.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I just told my son that I will be happy to talk to him as long as we have a mutually kind, respectful relationship, he does not swear or namecall and I can speak without being afraid I will say the wrong thing or have him hang up on me. I cant do anything else anymore.

    Son got mad and said he would block me. I told him that I love him and will be happy to talk to him if he is respectful but that if he doesnt find this possiblee then he has to do what he likes. I cant control him.

    So he hasnt called nor will I. I neither know nor care if I am blocked. My other kids were puzzled that I put up with him for as long as I have, son or not. He does not really care about anyone but himself and refuses to change.

    Your son will do what he wants to do. If he sets rules you can follow them. Or not. Like my son. But one thing you can not do is force him to dump the boyfriend. Another issue out of your control is the meth. He knows it is bad for him.

    I am very sorry. I know that we can only control ourselves. I have learned this. I no longer bother trying to change others. I do set my own boundaries.

    You cant control your son. Or know where he is or what he is doing if your son is not telling you. But you can count your blessings, be around kind loving people, and give your son to God's loving hands, if you believe. Trust the universe to steer his path. You deserve to have a good life, even if your son struggles. I hope you choose to have a good life.

    Love and light!
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think that this is CD in a nutshell.

    Oh that it would be easy to arrive in this place.

    But what I am coming to is that it is a gift to be compelled to find a way to rise above our suffering and to decide to live well, to be a good person, to be useful and productive, to create meaning and well-being and occasionally to feel joy. We can do this if we take responsibility for ourselves.

    If we keep centered in them, keep our well-being tied to them, WE ARE DOING THE SAME THING AS THEM: Abdicating responsibility for ourselves, tying our well-being to the actions of somebody or something outside of ourselves. Co-dependency is dependency of both parties. If one person breaks the cycle, there is no more co-dependency.

    We are depending upon them for our well-being, as long as our day to day, moment to moment state of mind, depends upon some action by them: that they call; that they seek treatment; that they stop drugs; that they love us, etc.. I am speaking about myself here. Nobody else.
  7. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I think my son now knows that I am not back pedaling on the boundaries I finally, FIRMLY set. (Took me long enough!) He will either respect them or we will not be in each other's lives. As heartbreaking as that sounds, I have a husband to think of and my own wellbeing. If my son can't understand that, that's his problem.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I felt this and I did this.

    I had lost myself I bent over so far backward to accommodate him. When I had to face it, that I risked no longer existing, I set a boundary.

    He would not accept this. I insisted. We called and called the police.

    Finally, he left our town, homeless.

    He tried to reinstate the relationship by text, but when I told him, get a new address (I was tired of unpaid bills coming here) he cut me off entirely.

    The thing is this: there are layers and layers of this for us, as well as them. They hold a lot of power because of the depth of our love and need. At first there is a honeymoon period, where we feel the satisfaction and relief of setting a boundary. For once, we have some power.

    But they fight back, and they fight back dirty. I think in my son's case he is not doing it to be mean, or to punish me. I believe he is doing it because he really does not want to face taking responsibility to live well. It is kind of a fit he is throwing, I think. Kind of like SWOT's son. Who is essentially saying to her: if you won't take whatever I dish out, I won't have anything to do with you.

    This is a fit, because the dependency, really, is on their part. SWOT's son will soon get over it. My own son...I don't know. We have been going on so long like this, with his believing he holds all of the cards...I don't know what will happen.

    But I know in my heart SWOT is right. We have to build a life that nurtures us with people who respect us and treat us with care. And we have to find a way that our thoughts contribute to our sense of calm and pleasure, not to our undoing.

    I am beginning to think that my posting here is keeping me stuck. Because as long as I am here I keep my focus on my child.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Laura, you are where I am with a son I tried to support emotionally for 40 years and will keep doing so IF he decides he can be civil with me. Its up to him.

    I am busy. I have three wonderful adult children, a great husband and have recently joined a group of great friends. My son wants me to drop everything if he has a concern and he had them three times a day and is very abusive to me. It got better for a while but the abuse and amount of calling ramped up when something happened in a court case he is going through (which has nothing to do with me and which I can do nothing about). So I tried talking to him but he would yell at what I said and would hang up after swearing.

    So I am focusing on myself and the good things in my life. He would have to change how he interacts with me to have my ongoing support. He can do it but I think that in his mind he will tell himself I abandoned him (I made it clear I am still here) and he will not contact me.

    It is what it is. The rest of my family have heard how he talks to me and hope he is gone. And I recently sat in on a three way conversation that he had with his frail sick dad and heard for myself how he threatened to drive up there and kill him. Yes, he said kill. And repeated it. Because my ex had inadvertantly angered my sons lawyer in a custody battle. Long story but appalling threat. I started to cry and told him to stop. My ex ignored his threat!

    I dont think he would do it bit it was do scary abusive to me.

    Sometimes I need to really lower the boom.

    I am sorry.

    Love and light!
  10. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Well he's definitely not at the facility, unless they have access to the Internet there. I just messaged him on Facebook and he responded almost immediately. Just said he'd call me in a few. Who knows what story he will tell me as to why he's not in rehab anymore...again. I shouldn't give up on hoping for the best, but each time he blows it it chips a little piece of my faith away that he will someday get that aha moment or wakeup call that will make him take this seriously. Without that, he's doomed himself to a life of drugs and homelessness, and you're right...there's not a damned thing I can do about it except keep hoping.
  11. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    That's chilling that he would even make that threat, even if it's an empty one. When my son and I were living together, he never threatened to kill or hurt me but he was verbally abusive enough and occasionally physically that I harbored the idea that it wasn't out of the realm of possibility. Do you and he live in the same city where he has easy access to carry something like that out? That's no longer a real concern of mine since he's in Chicago and I'm in Florida. But his temper and potential abuse is one reason I'm hesitant to even encourage him to come back to Florida. Even if he's not under my roof, he could easily break in some night and wreak havoc if wanted to. Sad as it is to say this, I think everyone's better off with the 1000 miles between us.
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Just two things jumped out at me.

    1. There is typically no way to buy food in an inpatient facility. So if he's asking for money for food he's not there. And 2 if he is there how would he get cash from you for a vending machine?

    2. You were told not to call the responsible adult where he is staying? Sounds to me like they don't want you sharing info. Does this woman know they're using and potentially manufacturing in her home. Been there. Unless other Mom tells me herself I'm on that phone pronto. Classic addict manipulation. "Respecting his wishes" doesn't wash with me when mine is using. He's using, his rights to my money, time and emotion are gone.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is TERRIBLE.

    You have no voice or vote on the relationship of your son and ex, but you most assuredly do with respect to your own with him. I think this is horrible. I know that this is blowing off stream. But this is also a felony crime. It is called "terrorist threat." I ran across many prisoners in state prison who were convicted for less. As I remember just the words got a sentence of 3 to 4 years in State Prison.

    We do our kids no favors by tolerating what would be crimes. I think you are doing exactly the right thing SWOT in pulling back.

    M's niece has been in a years long custody battle. The father beat the :censored2: out of her. For reasons unknown to me, her parents supported her to drop charges. He has been relentless in getting custody of their 3 children, and he has succeeded in getting primary custody. The mother gets the kids on the weekends, and a few overnights a week, from like 8 at night to 8 in the morning, when everybody is asleep. This ugliness happens in custody arrangements. It is intolerable. I understand that. But people deal.

    Your son seems to escalate rather than accept and to reconcile. He seems to be no victim here. He contributes along with his ex to a pervasive atmosphere of fear and instability for his child. I had a great deal of compassion for him. I have less now.

    It is easy for somebody who is not involved to take a stand. I recognize this. But I really support the way your kids see this situation. Your son is being impossible and acting impossibly with you. He is a grown man and a father who is acting impossibly bad. I support you to set whatever limit you need to, in order to not be targeted by him.

    This is helpful for me to understand my own situation with my son. My son is not mean. He does not make threats. But he will not accept responsibility or boundaries. And he seems to not understand reciprocity. Even this KILLS me.
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  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    He lives in St. Louis and is afraid to drive anywhere, even in St. Louis. I am in Wisconsin. Ex is in Chicago. Copa, yes it is a terrorist threat. He was raised in a house where nobody got hit or spanked. None if my other kids are capable of his words or deeds. But there is that DNA Both my mother and especiallt father said some horridh unexcusable things to us. I am so glad I adopted my other kids. This "hate" gene resides in everyone related to my parents and can probably skip a generation but return. I know personality traits can be inherited. My son may as well be my father. Eek!

    Copa, your son is much better...would NEVER say anything like that. He has a heart snd a conscience in spite of choosing a pooe lifestyle for now. There is hope for him
    He is basically kind.

    Bart says some awful things to everyone and is not above a form of stealing ir violence, but this was the worst I have ever heard. I was shaking, crying, begging him to stop. If he had said that to me and sounded as serious as he did I would have gotten a restraining order but ex just wont. In fact he is due to go to St. Louis soon and he still may. Princess is going to try to talk him out of it. I hope she can.

    The problem with ex is that he feels guilty and doesnt take abuse seriously. I pray for his safety.
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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  15. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My one comfort is that, either because he's matured (a little) or we have so many miles separating us, I am almost never the target of the awful things he used to say to me. If we're on the phone and he starts to get angry, he'll hang up. Sometimes he says goodbye first, other times he just hangs up on me. Either way is way better than the screaming and cursing at me of the past. I'm sorry you're having to go through that now with your own son. Do you get to the point when you have to hang up on him? I have on the rare occasion it got really ugly, and I always just say "I'm hanging up now" and then do so. And I usually ignore his calls for at least a couple of days after that.
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have hung up on him a lot. Laura, my son is 40 and is not going to get better. Your son is young and already getting better. Accept it as the gift that it us. My son believes I and my ex deserve his abuse si he never stops himself. No wonder his siblings and my husband want nothing to do with him. He is only nice to his little boy, my grandson who I rarely see due to distance, and he does many parenting choices that make me cringe. He treats his son like a peer and has his son care for him...he is only ten and is the.middle of a horrific custody battle. Son's ex abuses him. The poor baby. His mother is a trainwreck. So is her husband. I wish I could help. But I cant.
    Tonight I had dinner with my hubby, Jumper and her fiance and my younger sweet son and it was so much fun. I have to be around my blessings. It is the only way. And God, my spirit guides and angels who are always there.
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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  17. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I don't really think my son is getting better, just getting better at hiding it (short term at least). And he tells whoever he's talking to at the moment what he thinks they want to hear or what will put him in the best light, particularly if he's after something, like money, a place to stay, or sympathy. He's almost 30 and he seems to want eternal spring break with no responsibilities or consequences.

    He needs an aha moment or wakeup call really badly. I got mine when I found out I was pregnant. He's lost three friends to overdose in the past year, he's been virtually homeless for over a year, unemployed for the better part of two years, and has lost almost everything he had, including a Cubs license plate that my husband airbrushed for him. His physical appearance is going downhill, his teeth which he has always been so proud of are turning brown, and he's racing to catch up with, (I'm 63) in the wrinkles and gray hair department. It's really heartbreaking seeing pictures of him. He looks more like 40 than 30. If none of that doesn't set off the light bulb over his head, I hate to think about what it might take, and that it might be too late by then.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Laura, I am sorry. I understand.

    I hope you have many blessings to enjoy rather than spending most of your time worrying about this son.

    Love and light!
  19. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I'd suggest that you do a search for effects of meth on the body. What you saying about his teeth is classic. They will fall out.

    Sadly I haven't heard of a change in physical appearance being the "bottom" that causes change. But he did agree to rehab once and that's a good sign. But you do need to accept that there is nothing you can about this. It is totally out of your control. Yes, it's just watching for the train wreck. His life is in danger. But there really is nothing you can do. Your concern is hurting you and not helping him. Please think about what's best for you.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    As far as I know my son does not use hard drugs...but I cannot know for sure...because every time he leaves our town he comes back with another habit.

    The situation truly is: damned if you do and damned if you don't do.

    I am the last person on earth who can with a straight face urge you to focus upon yourself and your life. But Smithmom and SWOT are absolutely correct. We can do not one thing to effect their well-being and their motivation or understanding to act in their own behalf.

    Sometimes I revert to the fantasy that if I compel my son to be on his own, and do not support him, he will have a chance to act on his own behalf, and that he will. The thing is, he may or he may not. There is at least the possibility if left to their own devices, they can decide to choose to be healthier, safer and build strengths. But there is equally the opposite reality. That they will not.

    How we think about our lives, what we learn and what we do to rise above difficult and frightening circumstances; that is the crux of this. When the person we most care about in the world is vulnerable and we have no control. And when we suffer either way. We suffer near them and we suffer when they are far.

    Increasingly I am accepting that more often than not people face situations such as this in their lives at some point or another. And I am trying to see my own coming to terms as building character, as building strength, as healing. In this way I give meaning to my suffering.

    It is not easy, but it is real life.

    I will be blunt here: I think your son involves you in his life, on purpose, a life which he is living irresponsibly and dangerously. And he thinks not one bit about how you are impacted. And that is wrong. In that, he is no different than most of the kids here, and it puts you right in the center of this group of parents...who struggle to deal with their own lives that are filled with fear and dread and anger when their lives have taken this turn.

    The questions now are: what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do for you?
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018