My son left. I asked him to.

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

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well. Yet another iteration.

    When M left I asked if my son was with him.

    No. He's not here. He left me a note, suggesting the worse. He does not understand anything. He does not want to suffer at all.

    I just read the note (written in Spanish--my son is tri-lingual, self-taught):

    Forgive me but I have to leave you guys. I cannot continue being an inconvenience. I do not know what will be but I hope the worst happens to me.

    I think it is the worse kind of retribution. (Maybe not the worst--he could murder me--that would be worse.)

    After M told me he was gone (I was still in bed) I recall dreaming about having a young male child near me in a living room. He kept bothering me. I thought to myself (in the dream). Why do I not have him in school? Why is he not out playing? I am failing this child by not taking care of him properly (who is he, anyway?)...

    And then I woke up distressed because of this responsibility I was neglecting. And then I read the note.

    You see, my son, I think, wants to evoke, awaken this kind of response in me. The sense that I am responsible. That there is something more I could do, should do.

    Or maybe that is who I am.

    I am sad now. Who would have guessed that after all of it, it turned out like this. Nearly four months together, trying. And this? He just leaves? Putting the onus on us, for requiring any participation as an equal from him? I guess I am sad and a little bit mad.

    Because look at it. While he says he is mad at himself. He retaliated against us.

    Maybe that is what he said, Darkwing. Not kind, but high-functioning.

    He is kind, but at the same time cruel. To be indifferent to the suffering of those around one, and to on purpose to cause more, is cruel.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am on the outside Copa, so my response may seem harsh, but that seems so melodramatic and manipulative. I'm glad you feel mad, it certainly looks like he is now waiting for you to feel bad and seek him out and give up on any accountability you are asking of him.

    One time when my daughter was staying with us, about 2 years ago I think.....she left because she said, "you have too many rules." My rules were basic, be accountable, participate and help (since she was staying with us for free and wanting to lounge around all day doing nothing). She would rather couch surf or be homeless in her car then be accountable. It's difficult to fathom.

    I'm sorry Copa, all of the drama, the uncertainty, the chaos, it takes such a toll on us. They change the rules to attempt to keep their way of life going, while our way of life crashes as a result of our trying to care for them and ourselves by simply asking them to meet us in the middle. My daughter is similar in that she is focused entirely on her self and what her immediate gratification is. I had to remove myself from her sphere by creating very, very strict boundaries around her behavior.
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  3. RN0441

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

    Sorry for this Copa.

    Don't react. I think maybe this could be a good thing. He's trying to figure this all out and that is a good thing!

    He's being a bit over-dramatic but so be it.

    Remember it's his journey.
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  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    Copa, I'm so sorry. I don't get it. I really don't. You gave him every chance and then gave him another. As best I can tell, he was told he had to actually work with M, fixing up the house he was living in and not do drugs. That's it. That's all you asked for. And he leaves so as to not be an "inconvenience"? Wow.

    That's exactly what he did. He acts as though YOU were to blame because he felt you felt he was "inconvenient".

    I'm just so sorry. But, what a jerk.

    What is the matter with these kids? In all seriousness, why is "get a job and don't do drugs" such a damn inconvenience to THEM? It's only what EVERY adult human being who isn't independently wealthy has to do to survive!
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes. And punish us for even seeking accountability, or more to the point, demanding it.

    I think this means that we have turned a corner. While it does not feel as such, we are winning. He is seeing that we will not tolerate the same old him. He is getting the cost: and refusing to pay. He is as if saying, if you do not let me pay with my currency, I will not pay to play.
    It really is a power play is it not. He is saying, my rules or nothing. My way or the highway. And he is off to the highway.

    I really wonder what he is thinking. Because there is really no more safe or comfortable place to go.
    Who knows what the future will bring. I almost expect him at my door tonight. I don't know what I will do. It does not much help to think it through.

    I think I know where he went from here. He must have gone to the library at a community college a 10 minute walk from here. There are freely available computers. An automated phone call came here, saying he was trying to re-set his password for another college, where he had enrolled in a class.
    Honest to G-d, I do not know how to do this because he shows up at my door.

    M is disgusted because again, he left the room where he is staying dirty and full of trash. No matter how many times you tell him, it makes no difference.

    Because, after all, it is about power, is it not? He says: you have no power over me, or over your space when I am here. Autonomy without responsibility. Those are his rules.

    What are mine for me and my own space?
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, RN. What a rice and loving reply!

    I mean, it widens the embrace does it not, to contain all of it, everything. It gives me the room to stay present, of not foreclosing on either myself or him...which is always my weak point.

    Thank you.

    I need to remember. It is not always the worst thing. Just sometimes.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. He didn't even have to get a job. We were going to put him to work in the house where he was living.

    He is a jerk.

    I am about to make my way over to your thread. I hope things have chilled somewhat.

    Thank you.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh I know, but "work" and "get a job" are kind of synonymous. After all, if he had a full-time job outside the house, I bet you and M wouldn't care a lot if he only helped out a bit, as opposed to really work full-time with M.

    I hope you do hear from him, because I know you will worry.

    Maybe he'll figure it out on his own. :group-hug:
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Perhaps if he shows up at your door and you cannot turn him away, you might offer a different alternative. I know this sounds absurd on many levels, but what about telling him since he cannot take care of the room you've offered him and he cannot do the work you asked of him, offer him residence in a tent he can erect on your property. If you have a lot of property, as far from the main house as possible.

    At one point in my illustrious career as my daughter's keeper, I had no more bedrooms available since her daughter and my mother were also living with me......I said, " you can put up that green tent you have on the back patio."

    It created quite a bit of dark comedy, for instance, my granddaughter asking me, "Grammy, what am I supposed to tell my friends when they come over and see that ugly green thing out there? How can I say, 'Oh, that's where my mother lives." And we just looked at each other and cracked up. She said, "it looks like hobos live here with us."

    But really, if you can't turn him away, then he gets what he gets.....or maybe he gets what he deserves. To sleep in a tent. If he trashes it, you don't have to look at it, it isn't inside your home or on your rental property.
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I laughed out loud. How sad.
    At first I thought about a tent at the rental house which is unoccupied. Out of my hair. But there is the bathroom issue, and safety.

    Oh. I have a porta-potty I can loan him. Thank you!!
  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I am sorry, Copa. I am sorry you and M are going through this, AGAIN, and I am also sorry because I was throwing out...well, rather elaborate plans and ideas for his return.

    I regret posting those things. I am feeling very foolish right now.

    His response to your and M's kindnesses was that note? Really?!

    I am stunned at his reaction, and then again not really. The not wanting to be inconvenienced, the implied self-harm if you expect anything in return. It is sadly familiar, yet it surprises me every time.

    Sometimes I want to see, just for a second, how warped their worldview, just to try to understand where they are coming from, how they cannot understand how lopsided they see things.

    I wonder if I would be able to find my way out again.

    I am just so sorry, Copa. I am doubly sorry.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am trying to fathom what you mean here, I cannot recall one thing you have posted anywhere that I have read that would warrant this response.

    What elaborate plans for his return? You mean, mine? He may yet return.

    Albatross. Thank you for your post. It is helpful for me to really absorb just how mean he can be. When things are not one hundred percent lovely for him...say, 92 percent...he turns it make it 98 percent horrible for us.

    I am fantasizing now, was my mistake to go to his room and for us to tell him we changed our minds...about the place to stay and the job? Was that the error? Humanity. Flexibility.

    Does he see this as blood in the water, and does he automatically expose his eye teeth?

    Or is it something more benign, does he feel better and safer with a hard line? Who knows? It underscores however there is no room here in this for us. This is a monologue. That may give the appearance of having dialog, but not really. He is playing this out he and himself. And that is as it should be. So our role is Greek Chorus.

    So be it.
    This is my son's set of defenses...the minute life does not go his way. Instead of wondering, oh, how could I do better next time...where is there learning, here.... He falls on his (training wheel) double-edged sword (that has fake blood and a blunt edge (on his side), screams Hari Kari real loud, and the next thing you know you have blood streaming out of your gut, and son is in the kitchen eating all of the food in sight and leaving all of the pans for you to wash.

    Such is (my life). M is discouraged. The word he used was "beat." We both have migraines.

    But, undeterred, I went to the college library to look for my son. Why? I feel bereft and want to reassure him. How sick is that? Thank goodness he was nowhere in sight.
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh's not sick. It's a mother loving her son, no matter what. My son thinks "unconditional love" means not only accepting but approving of all their faults. In fact, what it means is continuing to love them and want them happy and safe and sound even after they rip our guts out.
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is exactly it.

    We bear all of the responsibility for doing and not doing...failing him...and ourselves.

    Unsaid by him are all of the ways we were willingly inconvenienced. Because of our failure to indulge him 100 percent in every single way....he martyrs himself as the all-suffering child whose parents will not give him, help him, even a little bit.

    And who will punish us by being destroyed by unknown forces...because we have forced him into the wilderness.

    What an absolute jerk! And I raised this?
    M asked my son last night? What are your plans? What are your goals? What kinds of work do you want to do?

    The best my son could come up with is what he would like to study.

    Science, he replied.

    M, flabbergasted, (who himself has worked since 5 years old) and did not have a life permitted him much freedom of choice...*but excelled and prospered despite it...said: What kind of work do you want to do?

    My son could not think of one thing. I do not know why. Is it because it is not a priority? Because he does not want to? Does not think beyond this minute and this want? All of it? None of it?

    Albatross, Lil. I am here with you. I am really out of my element. This stuns me.

    And why is that? Was I completely deluded because I came to have hope?

    Who said it?

    Hope is a dangerous thing.
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. I am going to ask you a question here. I hard, difficult question. I am afraid to think about it myself.

    Do you think this is who they are? I mean. Am I in absolute denial? I think there are people who think this about me. That I am unwilling to accept the truth.

    I keep thinking that he has to mature. Yet he is 27. Almost middle aged.

    Is this who my son is?
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    In my case, my son can accept I do not approve of his faults. He can accept that I require him to change.

    It is that he expects infinite do overs. To say, I tried or I did not mean it, or it was a mistake is enough.

    For him, everything is provisional. Everything can be wiped away, like those boards the kids have where the film can be picked up, and the marks are gone.

    And if the magic erase board does not work--it's our fault, for asking too much.

    Honesty. Cleaning. Sobriety. Working. Too much to ask. Too much to give.

    Nobody is supposed to respond to him like it's for real.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think I am getting mad.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I asked M, what we will do if he shows up tonight.

    M said: He won't.


    To punish us.

    Then what will we do when he does show up?

    Go back to the original plan which is already set up. He stays in the house on 20th. He scrapes the floor. All that changed is that he lied to avoid paying the locksmith, was caught, got mad at us, and left. He left to punish us. He will be back. We will resume where it was left.

    I like this way of seeing things. Which to me is the epitome of not reacting, or even responding. We are pretending we did not see him. Like his leaving was not even a blink. Totally without import. Good.

    Like we did not lose one ounce of resolve or power. Our way or the highway. Who is the loser. We are. Oops. I mean, he is. He was the one who lost a bed and the support of a family for one day and night or as long as he wants to throw his tantrum. But us?

    We do not even turn to see as he breaks his toys and throws his food.
  19. Ironbutterfly

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

    Copa- I hope you are mad, really mad. I hate to say this, but you and M keep eating his crap on a spoon. I did the same thing with my son- until I got angry, really angry and said no more. You both have bent over back-wards with so many chances, very few conditions, and yet, he can't do the two requests: help fix up the house and don't do drugs.

    Fact is, he doesn't want to live by those two rules. He left that note as an escape of having to do something responsibly, to change, to honor you and M for all you have done. It's an excuse he uses over and over again because he simply wants to do what he wants to do, whenever he wants and he knows, that eventually, you and M will extend an olive branch yet again. He works you both. What I see happening is both you and M talk; you have a plan of action, you deliver it to son. Son tries, he doesn't follow through. He runs, leaves messages, making you both feel like crap. He comes back, you again offer him another "solution", hoping this will be more agreeable to him. He throws a fit, leaves a "poor me" note to make you feel even worse. It's a wash, rinse and repeat cycle. Many of us have done the wash, rinse and repeat to no avail.

    I got mad and tired of being made a fool by my son's lies, manipulations, emotional outbursts and threats. The promises, the fake stories of well he is doing, blah blah. I got mad and tired of him sucking the joy out of my life every other week. I got tired of offering solutions him saying oh yes, great idea and then really give me the finger.

    Today, I had to block my son from calls, face-book. He lied yet again. I even gave him a clue as to why. It was hard to do block him, not getting any calls, knowing how he is. But today, you know I just don't give a crap. Maybe I will unblock him at some point, but for now this is where I am. I am free from lot of things. Will I wonder and worry, sure. But he made his bed yet again, he can just lie in it for a while. I did tough love of no contact for 6 months- he told me years later, thank you, was the best thing you did for me. I keep that in mind today, with him blocked. I'm tired and need to recharge myself. I don't want to eat what he is trying to serve me, which is his crap on a spoon.
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  20. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My daughter's complaints about living with us after rehab?

    "You have too many rules."
    "I won't be able to do what I want."
    "I won't be able to have anyone over when I want without asking."
    "I will have to ask for everything."

    That is kind of how it works when you have no income and no housing, regardless of WHO helps you out. Their house? Their rules. Her mindset has always been, "I'm an adult so I should be able to do what I want.." My mindset is, "You sure can, when you have your own income and your own house." Needless to say, she went elsewhere of her own accord.

    Exactly! I think they react just like toddlers: do outrageous, shocking things to get our attention. When we don't react, it forces them to up the ante, then try something different. I hope that eventually the "something different" will be "good choices."
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