The cycles

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Deni D, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    I’ve notice over the last couple of years my son seems to have cycles of behavior. He will work for about 3 months, become disillusioned that he doesn’t have all he wants in life, quit the job and otherwise blow up his life. Spend another three months pulling himself back together and then work for about 3 months, on and on.

    So he’s 2 months and 2 weeks into his current job and seems to be feeling the burn. He wants to go to family counseling with me. I’d be for that but not with someone who lives in an alternate reality and has no insight to his behavior. He wants the counselor to “mediate” and get me to admit to all of my horrible behavior and accept responsibility for it. I’m thinking this means he’d like me to go back to paying his room and board somewhere and for his food so he’s covered for the upcoming life altering bs he’s about to pull. I told him not to call me unless we can talk about normal things and I’ll entertain family therapy sometime in the future if he ever seems to get a grip on reality.

    He’s not very happy with me, I’m thinking that means I’m on the right path. I still question myself but really, this stuff is so far out there I know any hoop jumping from me would just help to keep him stuck in this mess.

    Has anyone else experienced these kind of cycles?
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deni, I support you holding the line with your son. I understand the cycles you're talking about, I've watched my daughter go thru similar cycles. She hasn't been diagnosed, but bi-polar is rampant in my family as well. She will pull her life together for a time and then it would blow up and any advances she had would fall back into the abyss. She usually didn't see the connection between her actions and how they initiated the down turn. Without accountability, insight and the ability to see oneself clearly, change is hard......change generally arrives when we can take responsibility for our actions, admit to our mistakes and get motivated to do the hard work necessary to heal and grow. Without that, one remains in inertia.....stuck.....and often that involves blaming and manipulation.

    Bi-polar cycling is different for everyone. One can cycle in hours, days or months. Three month cycling is pretty common. It seems as if you have some insight into your son's cycling. Hopefully as time goes by, he will gain that insight as well.

    My experience is that boundaries make all the difference. As you hold that line and refuse to enable or take any responsibility for your son's behaviors and choices, he will either take that responsibility or find someone else to enable him.......but YOU will have successfully removed yourself from his unhealthy orbit so you don't follow him down the rabbit hole.

    As I've consistently kept strong boundaries, my daughter has adapted to the boundaries which allowed us to separate the unhealthy parts of our connection and allow healthier ways to emerge.

    You sound strong and resolved Deni, good for you. I questioned myself too, but we are out of typical parenting, that doesn't apply here, so it's new and doubts arise......however, I believe you are doing the exact right thing.

    Stay the course. Hang in there and keep posting, it helps a lot.

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  3. RN0441

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


    My son did this also but he was abusing drugs. Is your son still drinking or abusing drugs?

    He would stay sober and do well and then end up back in the rabbit hole about every 3 months. You could almost set your watch by it.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My son has been through those types of cycles. I first noticed it when he was still a teen and started getting into trouble. The first time he was arrested he was put on a diversion program. If he completed the program it would have been as if he never was arrested. He had 2 weeks to go and he blew it!
    Same thing happened when he was ordered into a group home. He was 2 weeks from completing his time there and he could have moved back home with us but instead he ran. Because he ran they considered it felony escape. That was his first felony. (I was so proud - not):cautious:

    Fast track a few years down the road. My son has always complained that no one would hire him because of his record and yet he has managed to find some really decent paying jobs that had he stuck with them, could have afforded him a nice life. My son like yours, about 3 months in will either quit or do something that gets him fired. My all time favorite was when he had a warehouse job making really good money. He quit and when I asked him why his response was "the guy that owns the store is an idiot that knows nothing about running a business" The guy that owns the store in question has been in business for 30 years!

    I'll give it to him, he's very bold with his manipulation.
    My son has also told me what a horrible mother I was and it's my fault that he turned out the way he did. Was I a perfect mother? No, but then again there is no such thing. I like so many here and I'm sure you also did the very best we could. My son grew up in a stable home where I and his step dad both worked. We ate dinner as a family. We went to church. He never knew what it was like to go without anything.

    My son has not lived in my home since he 15 because he was court ordered out. My son is now 36. He's had 21 years of not living under my roof or having to follow my rules. He has had more than ample time to get his life together without my influence. Maybe when he's released from prison this fall he might decide to finally grow up and accept responsibility for his life.

    Stand firm Deni and do not give into him or his absurd request. Take care of YOU!!!
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  5. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    Thanks RE, I’m praying somehow, someway he gains a little insight and decides to go back on medication. Otherwise I figure he will just manage to get other people to enable him. But right now I’m pretty sure he knows the people who are currently helping him will not go for picking up the pieces when he blows up again. And I think he's getting the message that I’m not either anymore, even though he’s still trying to rope me in. I figure at least it’s warm out now, if he has to sleep in someone’s bushes it won’t be so bad. He might just need one more time to figure out I’m really not going to jump in to rescue him.

    RN, he’s been an avid pot smoker for some time now, considers it his medication these days. It doesn’t seem that he goes into drinking or other drugging before the blow up. It seems his emotional state becomes worse and worse. And then he starts to become aggravated with everyone (instead of just me) and sees himself as a victim of people, for no discernable reason.

    Tanya, same attitudes. Lack of follow through, excuses about things he’s made happen in his life as if the universe did it to him, and a fictional childhood. My son doesn’t usually get upset with his employers though but rather says other things cause him to not be able to work, when really he just doesn’t want to live as someone would in normal society to keep a job.

    Thanks everyone! I needed the sanity check.
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