Need your opinions

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LookingForPeace, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. 19yo son (E) living with girlfriend out of state. Limited communication. Texts us when he has questions or needs money. Have not given him any. Instead we have offered to help him manage his income. Diagnosed with ASPD.

    Within the last 2 weeks E has messaged several family members claiming he wants to rebuild relationships. Messaging us to the point of badgering. Wants us to forgive/forget on his schedule. He continues to lie, live in his own world.

    What is going on? Why the sudden need/desire to rebuild relationships? He will post a status on FB when he wants us to know something instead of contacting us directly. He’s very narcissistic. My 2 other kids have blocked him. My husband and I tolerate him and do not engage when he posts rude comments. What do you guys think? Part of me wants to believe he does want to change but in reality I know it’s just a bunch of bs. Is he losing his girlfriend? Does he need a new “supply” therefore he’s contacting us?
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I don't know the inside his head. I will tell you that for us, if our borderline daughter did this, and I could see it, this would be self serving. That is who she is. It would most likely be to form new fake relationships so that maybe somebody would pity her and then give her housing, money, something. I do not believe that Kay can love the way others do. She has proven that she only wants us if we can or will benefit her.

    ASPD is a not-to-be-taken-lightly diagnosis. Please take care of yourselves regarding your son. His past is likely to predict his future behavior and motive.People tend not to change without years of hard work on themselves. I am talking about therapy and maybe twelve step together. Nobody just wakes up one morning and is changed.

    Take caution in your dealings with this child please. A normal person makes one requoest for amends then waits for an answer or accepts not getting forgiveness at the moment. Bombing you suggests a possible desperate desire for something BIG. Don't be fooled like so many of us were. Keep a cool head and you will find out what he really wants. If it is a true loving relationship only, no money need be exchanged. No favor. It just is.

    God bless you with all my heart.
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think you are correct to have your guard up. Rebuilding relationships does not come from badgering, insensitivity or Facebook.

    But he can only act from who he is right now. He reaches out this way, because he has no other skills. So he does it his way.

    I don't question his intent. For whatever reason he feels the need to have family support and assistance to a greater extent.

    However that does not take away the risk factors. If he has been self-serving, manipulative, deceptive, or aggressive, before, he will be the same way in his efforts to "repair" connections--absent extensive therapy or other intensive work on himself.

    Until he reveals the why he is doing this, I think second-guessing the why is not helpful to you. You have all of the information that you really need. You know how he has been. You know what he has done. You know what the risks are.

    He is very, very young. I would not necessarily believe that this diagnosis is writ in stone. I worked in prisons (in Psychiatry) many years and I was hesitant to give this diagnosis, even to hardened criminals. From my experience people in mental health and medicine can be trigger happy with their diagnosing. It is highly subjective and very inconsistent. Which can be hurtful.

    But the thing is, your son has a baseline of behavior that is a reality. People don't change by uttering magic words. Saying one wants to rebuild does not in fact rebuild. The change for your son will not come from you or your family. Or what he does with you or gets from you. That I guess is what makes me a little scared. He seems to think that the change will come from something that happens with you, or through you.

    Any change will come from efforts he makes within himself and his life. Over time, and with effort, having nothing at all with rebuilding relationships. So, I guess I am saying that his words are probably "instrumental" a way to get something that he wants.

    Maybe the thing he wants is love and care. But you are left with the primary obligation to minimize harm to yourselves and your family. I would think about ways you might respond in a self-protective way, if he contacts you directly.

    But I don't think what he is doing indicates a desire to change himself. It sounds like what he is doing is trying to change his situation. If there have been episodes in the past that have been difficult or conflictual, I would be wary.
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  4. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    I can only comment based on my own experience.
    Since they were teenagers, my three children have not said, nor have they done much of anything that did not serve each one of their best interests.

    My daughter was an absolute genius at having 5 backup plans to prop up her plan A.
    With B, C, D, E and F already in place, the room for failure, disaster, hurt, blame, disappointment and then disappearing was enormous!
    The last time I saw her, 8 years ago, she was throwing Christmas presents out of her car window, screaming "I don't want these (gifts)! I HATE Christmas!!!!"....
    We all stood in the driveway. In shock, in tears, as she peeled out and was gone.
    I never saw or heard from her again. The exception -- 2 times she contacted her brothers (asking for something), and there were random Facebook posts, which I eventually blocked.
    The thing is, there was No Warning from her prior to it happening, that she was going to detonate, explode and disappear forever... on that day.
    But, looking back, it was inevitable that it was going to happen one day...and then it did.
    So my point is, sometimes you can get blindsided.
    Other times, there's that little voice inside of you that tries to warn you.
    In the end, you wind up just trying not to get hurt anymore.

    "Hic sunt dracones...."
    The old mapmakers used to write,
    "Beyond this point, there be dragons."

  5. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I think it's important to remember that you are dealing with a son who is ill. He has a mental health disorder. Even if he was misdiagnosed, something is going on based on past behavior that you have seen that makes you have boundaries in place like not giving him money. Not sure what has happened that other family members have blocked him.

    I think that the frantic pace of his desire to reconnect would imply a motive other than wanting relationship but we never know what is going on in someone's mind and heart . We can forgive and communicate that (if we feel ready) but that doesn't mean I don't have boundaries in place or don't protect my physical, emotional, spiritual, or financial well being .
  6. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am in a vulnerable place right now because I responded to text from my daughter that I thought was her finally reaching out for the kind of help and support I have been praying for. I will just say she only wants help to keep destroying herself and because I will only support meaningful, healthy choices she turned on me with vile hatred.

    Whatever you decide, make sure you are prepared for the response. I always think I am, I am doing better, but despite being aware, I fear I have developed PTSD. I now have nightmares.

    I walk beside you in this. Not sure there is an answer.
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    His girlfriend might be persuading him to work on his relationship with you.
  8. They always surprise you don’t they!?! Hope things go well for you.
  9. Yes, we definitely have boundaries. He would run away, lie, steal, sabotage relationships for his siblings, steal their money, scream at them they are not his real siblings, threaten them. We adopted all 3 children from Russia.
  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    He could have reactive attachment disorder, which pretty much looks, sounds and is like ASPD. Adopted kids tend to have these sorts of issues and many others. Kay is also adopted.

    There is really not much you can fo for ASPD or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). However, if perhaps he has one of them, he would definitely not be looking to reconnect out of love. ASPDs and RADs don't even understand love, let alone want it. With Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) we were told that love actually scares the person and trying to offer love makes the person scared and worse.

    When we apply to adopt, we are so excited and over the top, and maybe this is mixed with happiness that one more child who has no parents will grow up beloved in the arms of a family. That is how we felt. It seemed so right.

    We had no idea that adopted children are much more likely to have all sorts of mental health and substance abuse issues. We did not think that maybe Kay's birthmother would be drinking during her pregnancy, but she could have. And that could be another component to Kay's problems, if she did. We have little info on birth family.

    If we had been frankly told the risks at the time we had been planning to adopt, we probably would have adopted Kay anyway. We arrogantly would have not really believed it would happen in our loving home. But then in hindsight we could have looked back and admitted that they had disclosed this well known fact. They did not.

    I had never heard of reactive attachment disorder short of a few articles. Back then there was no internet and nobody mentioned it.

    I call Kay borderline, and she acts like she is, but the fact is that reactive attachment disorder is a lot like all three Cluster B personality disorders...Antisocial PD, Narcicism, and Borderline. And all are extremely hard, if impossible, to treat and do not tend to get better with no treatment at all.

    I am so very sorry for your pain. Kay was adopted from abroad too, however not Russia or that part of the world.

    God bless and be well.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  11. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Just reading through the posts and agreeing with everything written. Looking For Peace, I'm so sorry for the pain this son is causing you.
    BusynMember, once again, your situation is so much like ours. I can't remember--how old was Kay when you got her? Josh was 4 months old and had been in a Christian foster home for about two months before he came to us. Back then, I believed that growing up with love would conquer everything. I was so naïve.
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  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This was my first thought too. My son has used his fractured relationship with his family to garner sympathy. He is drawn to "fixers," because they tend to hang in there the longest.
  13. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    She was four months old. I thought we got her in plenty of time to mold her but she molded us.
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  14. Yes, I am sure he has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Thank you for your comments. You totally “get it”.
  15. Thank you ALL for sharing your stories, comments and advice. It really takes a community, such as this, to help me get through this relationship with our son. As much as I love my extended family, many just don’t understand. Then I begin to question myself and wonder if I’m being too cynical.

    E has since stopped messaging us for the week. Of course he posted a FB post, playing the victim, that his family won’t forgive him. As you all know, when you constantly get crapped on, pretty soon one decides I’m just not falling for it anymore. So, we have a very superficial relationship. I contact him, ask a couple questions, and read his stories that are his truth. The stories are very fabricated and usually don’t make sense. I’ve stopped trying to call him, he doesn’t answer my calls or his phone has been turned off since he can’t pay the bill.

    Thanks again for listening! Hope you all have a great week!
  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    They sure do!
  17. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Sounds like a typical ASPD manipulation to me. I used to work in a prison and I saw it all. People with these disorders are fantastic as conning people. They seem so genuine and sincere, but it is always a ploy to get what they want. I know it will be difficult, but I think it would be good for you to take a break from communication with him. Block him on phones, FB, anything you can. It will give you a much needed break from the chaos and with a little breather you might gain more objectivity about your relationship and if/how you would like to continue it I'm so sorry. I know this is very hard.
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