My son left. I asked him to.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, May 11, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This post is reminding me of an event last year with my son. A painful event. I was doing everything within my power to make him go to a clinic a few hours away to see a doctor about his liver. He was born with liver disease. Every. single. thing. he was resisting. (Guess who won.)

    So the train was late. 3 hours. On the way he almost got thrown off for mouthing off at the conductor in the food car.

    We got there. By that time I was sick. From stress. We were downstairs in the subway and I realized I could not go on. I told him: You go. You are late but you can tell the doctor what happened and show good faith.

    We had missed the appointment.

    I waited in a Peet's Coffee which is like Starbucks. A half hour later somebody at the next table said: your son is here. My son had been trying to get my attention from the doorway about 15' away and proceeded to talk to me from there. ?? I got up and went to him.

    Why are you shouting at me from the doorway?

    Because I hate myself and I do not feel I deserve to talk to you.


    I was appalled. And frightened. Because it seemed such disordered thinking. (I go back and forth wondering how disturbed my son really is.)

    I do not believe such a thing would happen now--only 6 months later--the change in him is so great. And his feelings about himself seem to have moderated. He seems to less have a need to feel so badly about himself. I am not sure what shifted.
    Darkwing. You will find in yourself the reasons why. It may be when you are able to accept that you deserve loyalty; to be loved and protected.

    Or when you see over time that you give those things to your own will have redeemed yourself in your own eyes.

    Or maybe, now, as you see the esteem and gratitude we feel for you, you will begin.
  2. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Maybe it's a bit different in my case. The adults that should have loved me the way that you love your son did not. The concept of unconditional love was entirely foreign to me. My friends' parents, who allowed me to stay with them for extended periods of time after mom died, certainly cared about me. I adored them. They were excellent people, and ALWAYS did their best to make me feel welcome. I was grateful for that. Still, at the end of the day, I felt like a charity case. Something I obviously tried to avoid being, as I was on the run from child protective services. Then my aunt and uncle come into the picture, and I expected this to be no different. Probably worse, considering they didn't even know me. Instead, they have shown such generosity and compassion. Every time I messed up, regardless of how serious the mistake, I always expected them to be done with me. Not because I thought poorly of them, but because of how poorly I thought of myself. I am only now starting to understand what I mean to them, especially my aunt. My uncle is like my best friend. I adore him, and we get along generally well. It is still uncomfortable for me, because I don't believe I really deserve it, and I cannot comprehend it. They pulled me back up when I was at my lowest. Never hesitating to do everything they possibly could. They have no obligation to do that. She is my great aunt, and uncle isn't even blood. I am not their child, or their responsibility.

    My sobriety, in large part, is because of them, and for them. Before them, what reason could I possibly have had to try to do any better? Give your son something to thrive for. Something to reach for. Once we hit rock bottom, we are ready to do the work. It is at our lowest point that we are open to the greatest change.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Darkwing.

    My son is on the way here. Walking from where the bus left him off, about 45 minutes from me. I couldn't pick him up because our dog is at the hospital, and they will be calling us about her prognosis and to pick her up, if possible.

    I feel sad and scared about our dog. Dolly. We love her very much. We are afraid she is dying.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sending hugs, Copa. Perhaps your son needs to be home ... for your sake, to help you through this difficult period. I hope it works that way.
  5. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    This sums up almost my whole life I've had with my son - with rare, fleeting, memorable waltzes.
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  6. RN0441

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

    Copa - so sorry about your pup. So hard when they are ill. Keep us posted about your son returning home.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you everybody, for your support.

    We summoned up the courage to take Dolly to the vet. We were convinced that her cancer had gone systemic.

    It is arthritis!!! *Or maybe an infection, too, somewhere in her body. (She has an elevated temperature. Her blood work showed inflammation and the possibility of infection.) Seven hundred dollars later she is happy today (on Tramadol, muscle relaxers, and antibiotics.) The vet took xrays of her lungs and stomach/intestines. No visible tumors.

    Son showed up last night. Cooperative. Says he accepts he must live in the rescue mission. He is off to social security to handle business today.

    *We are pretty sure that we will let him back into the house and back to work with M. M wants to graduate him to more demanding work. (M asked me if he could handle the electric saw. I said NO.)

    All in all, better.

    I have been little by little arranging paperwork to return to work (off nearly 3 and a half years to care for dying Mom--and then crashed myself.) Finally, submitted the package yesterday (it is a credentialling process in the medical field.) Within hours received a call.

    Asked about my availability. I said open. June 6th?
    No problem. There still needs to be more review by the specific facility, but....

    I am afraid now. (M is worried if I can do it.) At my age, nearly 4 years off work is major. And it is demanding, intensive, physically rigorous work. Among the things that worry me are--getting up at 5am. And the commute. I am very scared driving outside of our very small city.

    But I worked at this location 7 years ago. And did the drive.

    It feels very much better to envision myself with income. It feels good to imagine myself productive and focused again, focused on something outside of myself and my home.

    Darkwing, I am feeling fellowship with you, here. How one can doubt oneself after a life changing event.

    So it seems to me to be a very different world this morning.

    What I do know about working is that if I do not get back there soon, I will never get back.

    Thank you, all.
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    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on the job - You can do it!!! And I'm SO happy to hear about Dolly!
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. Thank you.

    Not a done deal yet. Did the statewide screening (Court monitors oversee all hiring.) It is now up to review by the local facility which can veto me, but doubtful they would.
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Copa, so glad that you are ready to move forward, if not this one, then another one. You are doing so well, not perfectly of course, still with much to deal with, but you have made remarkable progress in your own life since you first started writing on this forum. I am so glad for you. You deserve all good things in life. Start walking toward them like you are doing, and don't stop. Warm hugs.
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  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you COM. While I know you are right, it is hard to give myself credit. Because I was not functioning at all. To just return to normal *work...hardly seems like much...but I am grateful.

    Thanks for your support. Everybody.

    I got a message that they already decided on me for the job *I start June 6th. While I know they had a desperate need, they could well have rejected me.

    I have done every kind of job in my field in this setting. So I am a good catch. But at an institution nearby a number of years ago I filed age and gender discrimination charges against every single supervisor and manager and brought it to the governor's office. Uh. Oh.

    Dolly is doing well. Yay Dolly.

    We are holding a hard line with my son. I will write if anything is exceptionally horrible or good, but right now the jury is out.

    Take care everybody. I am glad you are all here, and me too.
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  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, Copa! Wonderful news!
  13. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I love this statement. It is so true. It is ok to stop and know, you've done enough. Nothing your son does with his life choices from here on out and can change that FACT about you COPA.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Congratulations! Great news. You're doing wonderfully......:its_all_good:
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you IB. And RE.

    There is some stuff new but I will hold off and start a new thread when I have a better sense of what is really happening, and indeed, if it is happening.

    Thank you, everybody.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you RE.

    You too!! Cheers to everybody. Every. single. one. of. us.
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Let me tell you guys quickly where we are: My son is coming to grips with his lying. Not controlling it but its consequences. We are catching him in repetitive lying, calling him on it. To his face.

    Today he spent the day doing "constructive things" what M calls ways to shut our mouths. You see he knows the buzz words to manipulate and he does it non-stop. In my case, college, is a very powerful word. You know that about me, already. So he spent the day (he says) seeing a counselor, applying, registering for two summer school classes, etc.

    He is still in my house, although I did not invite him here and have told him he needs to make plans to leave.

    So today he came to our room, started a self-pity party. To cut him short, M said, (we had talked before), you can stay on 20th (the fixer house) but you need to engage a locksmith to replace the key. (My son has lost a series of keys and then lost my keys when he reneged on the agreement to bring them back to me, when we kicked him out.)

    So when M said you pay the locksmith, my son said he was out of money. Too bad, said M and I. Look for another place to stay. Be out tomorrow.

    Then 2 minutes later when that lie did not secure what he wanted--he said, essentially, April Fools, he did have money after all. That he made a mistake.

    So the lie apparently was to manipulate us into taking responsibility for his irresponsibility. And it did not work.

    When he was caught in the lie--about not having, then having money--he blamed us for tricking him.

    I said something like, I do not want you in that house. I am sick and tired of you and your lies and tricks and manipulations. I cannot trust you or one word out of your mouth and I do not want to live that way.

    M said his version of the same thing. Leave. Fine. Leave. Bye Bye (in Spanish.)

    He went to his room vowing if I gave him tonight he would leave tomorrow morning.

    You know how to live outside. Do it.

    I didn't wash my sleeping bag.

    Not my problem.

    So M and I talked. I told M, I do not want you to be in the position of being responsible (supervising him and the work.) M responded: There is nothing easy in this life.

    You have to decide. Make one decision and stick to it.

    So I went to my son's room and said the following:

    M and I talked. Personally, I am sick and tired of your lies and manipulations. But if you work full-time and well, you can stay in the house on 20th, for now. Understand this: No excuses. You work. M is not your driver. No manipulations. No excuses. Remember that.

    You are responsible to supervise yourself and take care of yourself. I do not want money from you, for now. I do not want to have any commitment beyond day to day.

    I do not care if you go to college or not. I do not care if you go to Vocational Rehab. Care for your health, or not. I just want you to not stress out M and to keep your manipulation and lies away from me. The minute I see any indication of drug use, you are out.

    What time is M leaving tomorrow,
    he asked?

    Find out yourself.

    What changed my thinking is this: he is my son. Whether or not he cares for me, treats me poorly or not, I have a responsibility to him, for as long as I can, to do what I can, if I see that he is learning.

    I understand I have a responsibility to myself, too. And to M. But I have a choice how invested I get and how close in I put myself. That is up to me. I have the power here.

    If I throw him out, he is without anybody. He is beginning to understand what that would be like.

    He is changing, not fast enough, not enough, but he is changing. I believe him he has not used marijuana since that time 11 or so days ago. I can tell.

    He is terrified about losing his SSI. They are reviewing his case. He is so arrogant he did nothing at all these past 2 years to even pretend he was seeking treatment. The chips will fall where they may.

    Yesterday he lied to me automatically saying he had gone for blood work to the hospital in the big city near us. Within minutes I knew it was a lie and confronted him this morning. He called me mid-morning to confess I had been right. He had lied and felt guilty.

    The running around he did today with the school was trying to both accommodate me by what he thought would please me as well as a manipulation.

    You see, he does not really know what it means to take responsibility. Everything to him is really going through the motions. It could be something he outgrows. Maybe this is him.

    Last night he called himself a kind-hearted sociopath. Kind of like a joke. I did not laugh.

    You choose it. You decide to do it. It may be habitual now, but it is a choice. (He never lied as a child.) So do many other so-called sociopathic types, I told him. They decide who will be their marks.

    I am not your mark, son. The person you fool, is you.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  18. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    "College" is my carrot word, too, and I finally learned my daughter dangles it when she wants back in good graces or is setting me up for manipulation. I ignore it completely now when she throws it out, give no reaction one way or another. If she is ever serious about it, she will just go - not talk.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is my daughter too Copa. I think it is who she is. I did what you are doing, I stopped putting up with anything I considered disrespectful, manipulative, lying, blaming or intense. I felt like a damn cop all the time! BUT, eventually she got it. She changed in direct proportion to the demands I put on her to be essentially respectful in my presence. She learned how to curtail her way of being around me.......I'm not sure that is true around anyone else, but I don't care about that, I can't control any of worked for me. I looked at it like I was taking care of myself.

    I think you're doing a fantastic job Copa. I know you second guess yourself and have so many doubts.....geez, that's just part of all of our lives here......but you keep moving forward, changing, altering your responses, doing what becomes necessary with our kids. It's a tough way of being, it's not easy, but YOU'RE DOING IT!
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  20. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Holmes in the Sherlock Holmes series claims to be a high functioning sociopath. Wonder if that is where he got that.