The fear that your child could die

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont post much about what may or maY not be going on with Bart anyomore because I there are people who read this that are not people I want to share with. But I want to share with you and without details will do so. Does it really matter if a DNA member I wont see again in this lifetime knows about a struggle I have?


    So its Bart. Without writing a novel about the perils of his custody battle and what himself and his father have done to make sure it isnt good I will reach out.

    Right now his blood pressure is "dangerously high." He cant remember how high it is but the bottom number is over 100. I am 65 and mine has never been close to that high. He claims he cant afford the rather expensive medications that help him (most blood pressure medications dont help him) and his stomach is a mess too and his nerves are shot. He is almost 41 and could die even though I sent him money for blood pressure medications. He wont buy them. He claims he cant afford them. He makes close to six figures and does spend a lot on child support, medical and daycare for his son. But he also indulges in things he claims he wont give up that cost money. Like videosystems and electronics and a nice car.

    He needs coping skills but he wont go to therapy for help to stay calm in a very stressful situation. He wont let his ex win any of her petty wants in court so he is always stressed. He wont go to a medical doctor. He wont do anything that I would do or suggest to help himself. He wont join a divorce group to make local friends that understand. He has only girlfriends who cant listen for too long and who leave and I dont blame them.

    He wont talk to my other angel kids although they dont really want him to. They heard how he talks to me and have repeatedly asked me to stop the contact because he is so mean and abusive.

    My mother cut me off and I never wanted to do this to him. Many of you would have.

    I made an emergency appointment with my awesome therapist yesterday after a sleepless night. I love my therapist. She just resonates with me and is so smart. She gave me extra time. I was her last appointment of the day and i must have been there for two hours. I cried the whole time telling her Barts story from beginning to end and my attempts to help. I needed a neutral point of view.

    I will paraphrase what she said that finally sunk in.

    First and foremost she addressed my fear that Bart will die, a huge fear. And that if I dont listen to him all the time (he can call three times a day talking only about himself....angry....) And I try to at least listen. Im afraid not to be supportive, like so many of you. For a while I was better with this but with this new drama I have been scared into being his wall to bang off of again, even when he gets very abusive. The more he is stressed the worse the abuse. The screaming. The swearing. My poor husband walking into another room because one can hear him over my cell phone.

    And Bart wants advice on how to calm down but I am not allowed to say therapy, doctor, medications, friends, divorce groups, any new approach. Staying busy. Exercising. He gets infuriated by the responses. He claims the ONLY thing that helps relieve the stress is to talk about his case non stop and have me listen and give pep talks. I am not kidding.

    My grandson is suffering. He has one parent who abuses him badly snd my son who lets him do anything, buys him everything and talks to him as if he is his peer. My grandson is treated like his adult BFF. He knows too much about court and his fathers problems for a little boy.

    After my therapist listening to me trying to be as accurate as I could, my therapist expressed deep sorrow for my grandson. She thinks my son is a Narcicist and so do I and that his exwife is borderline. I agree there too She said its a very common combination for a narc to be attracted to and marry a borderline but that the relationship is a trainwreck. She said my grandson is screwed unless he gets away from both of them when he can. I sort of did that with the narc and borderline parent combination. He can too. I hope.

    Then my therapist told me the deepest truth. If my son dies of his medicsl needs and stress it will NOT be my fault. That he wont help himself. That my getting all entangled wont save him and can hurt ME and others need me around. That I need to stop engaging.

    I have given the same advice to many here. I know this but needed to hear it from somebody in real life who is not emotionally invested in the outcome. Somebody other than my hubby and three other kids. And my friends who I really havent shared this with. And I wont. I want to enjoy my friends, not get pity from them.

    So I digress. I refuse to try to save him anymore. I would if I could. But I cant. Today he asked what he should do about his chest pain and stomach pain and stress and I said my onlyoreal suggesions are to please see a doctor and a therapist. I told him this was my honest advice even if he didnt want me to say it. That he deserves to take care of himself and that J needs him healthy.

    He said "I told you not to say that! I cant take off work and i dont have money! You just stressed me worse. Maybe Ill have a heart attack and die!" He hung up.

    I feel sort of relieved and guilty about the relief. But I cant not be honest anymore. I gave him the best advice I know in his situation. I am tired of calling my ex on his behalf too. He is abusive to ex too.

    It is time to do what I tell you all to do. Live my best life. Give lavishly to those who can accept my love and who return it. Have fun with my family and friends .Travel. Move on. This son has received more attention from me than all of my loved ones put together.

    I have two families. One is my three amazing kids Jumper, Princess and Sonic. And cant leave out my adorable grand. And my super husband and pets.

    The other is me and Bart alone in a death match Not one day does Bart ever ask how I am or how the others are. Last week we had to put down our beloved cat. I was devestated. He knew about it because I took a break from him. When I finally answered the phone he didnt even ask me if I was OK before ranting on about himself, his bad luck, his case etc. Never a word about anyone but him and my grandson but mostly how grandson is giving his ex a hard time. He does love his son the best he can. But...and I hate to bring up my father in a negative way but he my beloved father loved us the best he could but it wasnt because he knew us well or was invested in our lives. He was all about himself really. That is who and what my son reminds me of with his own son.

    A child of ours may die young for many reasons. My son self sabatages as much as any drug addict. He wont take care of himself. And I cant make him take care of himself.

    I am going to try hard not to take the blame for his problems and health. Once he hangs up he usually requires an apology from me to call me. I wont do that now. I need a break. And i am tired of apologies I dont mean. I have done this all my life .Apologized to appease. I wont anymore.

    I hope I am doing the right thong.

    Light and love to everyone here.
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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    SWOT, I don't have time to respond in detail to everything here right now, but I'll jump back on later when I can. For now, I just want to say I am sorry you are going through this, and I understand how hard it is to live with that fear. There are many ways our children can self-destruct, and it doesn't all have to involve drugs or alcohol. I think you're coming to the right place with releasing yourself from feeling responsible for his choices or solving his problems. Hugs to you.
  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Oh, and SWOT - I am SO SORRY for the loss of your cat. One of the hardest decisions we ever have to make. Extra hugs.
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  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank you to the moon. I miss her so.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    SWOT, you have always been there for him. Through all the ugliness with his ex, through all the court battles, you have been there as his sounding board. You have offered him advice and he gets angry, you have withheld advice and he gets angry.
    I think he mostly reaches out to you because you have always been there for him. I know how much you love him and your grandson but this is their journey and no matter how much you want things to be different for them, it's up to them, mainly Bart, but it's up to them.
    Again, you have offered good practical advice. You have even given him money for his medication. There is nothing more you can do.
    It's good for you to take a break from it.
    I'm so sorry he won't listen to you but that's on him. His life and his health are his responsibility.
    You have your new house, your new motor home, your new pup AND a wedding. Live your life the very best you can sweet lady!
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Tanya, I was hoping you would answer. Thank you. Its true as you have been there for your son. And i guess like you I have to count my blessings.

    My son is not unlike yours. Mine is older too and unlikely in my opinion to ever help himself. I dont mean yours wont. Or mine for sure. Just that they havent yet. My son wont even admit that things have to change. And he has alienated the nicest two sisters and amazingly kind brother that a person could be blessed to have. I wish I had had a mom who wanted to help me and kind, caring siblings. And good advice and support that didnt quit.

    Imagine. Our difficult kids have so much. Many have much more than we ever dreamed of having. Many of us had to make our way alone and did well. And they have it all and dont take advantage.

    I welcome any other feedback. I value ALL of you!!!
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  7. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, I am so very sorry to hear about your cat. It is heartbreaking because I know how much comfort and peace a cat can give.
    This is a visual that I do when I am scared to death that my 36 year old daughter might die. I close my eyes and pray 'God this child is yours, please heal her body mind and soul. I know only you are in control please give her the strength to get through this life journey, please dear God, do not let her die before me.
    I mediate that prayer and I feel much better. I wish you much peace.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much newstart. I love that. I will say it. God is such a comfort to me and so many.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is so cruel.

    What he is saying is that there is no place for you to stand with him. If you say your truth, you are in trouble. If you do not, you are in trouble. And you are to blame either way. If you advocate for him, you stress him out and he will die. If you say nothing, you fail to protect him.

    You are truly in a lose-lose situation with him.

    Our children are very hard to detach from, as in, complete no contact. In my being on the board it seems it takes a truly life-death situation, to do so. As in we become deathly ill and to continue with the stress of these relationships will kill us. Even then, it is hard for us to do.

    I was reading yesterday I think about time outs. Which is what it seems you are doing right now. Maybe it was a post of Elsi. Where she pulls back when there is real abuse, and hovers in the background until the child demonstrates some self-control and awareness that there are limits. But she does not bow out entirely.

    In my own case this is harder. I can have some peace in out of sight out of mind. I think this is more primitive than what she does. I need to put my son out of my mind. But I cannot do this for long.

    It seems when my son is in my mind at all, I find it unbearable at least some of the time.

    Today is his birthday. I sent a text. It feels very tragic to me. I could not put "happy birthday" because he would feel that to be mocking. And he has said to not contact him. Like my sister. Let him send a legal letter too that I need to never contact him again. What a disaster.

    I have no advice except this: You deserve peace. You deserve safety and emotional safety. You deserve calm. You deserve to not be attacked.

    Whatever you have to do to maintain that, you are entitled to do. Indeed. I think we are required to do it. In my faith we are required to have boundaries. It is part of what it is to be a real human being.

    Not one of us can hold together the life of another person nor should we.

    Life is choices. Bart can choose to act together. I am certain he does that in his job, with his neighbors, with his attorney and in the courthouse. He can choose to do so with you. He chooses not to. This necessitates a choice by you. Will you accept his mistreatment? Should you?

    He can decide to change. Just as you can decide to resume contact, if and when you choose. It can be tomorrow if you want.

    What I am saying is that this does not have to be a huge deal. Our children seem to not like boundaries. There is no life without boundaries. Bart needs to decide how he will act. You have every right to not accept his behavior.

    As far as his health decisions, I know how hard that is. We have no control. (I do not even necessarily believe everything he says. For some reason he wants you to suffer. He wants you to feel helpless. He wants you to feel desperate and without control. In this way he gets all of the horribleness of his feelings into you. He gets you to feel them. And in this way he can feel better, and more in control.) Bart is now controlling you. It is a way for him to regulate his own personality, by making you feel powerless. And it is VERY NOT GOOD. But you do not have to accept it.

    He is a middle aged man. He will go to the doctor. Or not. He will take his medication. Or not. He will find support. Or not. (So many parents lose their children in their lifespan. While it is not our preferred outcome, this can be a part of life. I do not want my child to die. Sometimes I believe it would kill me, should this happen. Five years after my mother died, I am still walking wounded. I fear the death of my child would kill me off. But the thing is, I have to learn to live with real life. Real life is beyond our control. I have the personal resources--potentially, at least--to deal with real life. Everybody has to. One way or another.)

    But you DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE IT. His torture of you. (It is torture, even if he does not mean it.) It does not mean love has stopped, to not take it. It just means that you value yourself and will not let somebody, even a beloved child, take away yourself, your safe place, your integrity. Because this is what he unconsciously seeks. He got himself into this huge mess with his EX. Somehow this is what he has sought in life. To be constantly buffeted by this corrupt/emotionally toxic storm and to constantly choose to do battle that never ends. It sounds very much that this is a lifestyle. And if this is the case, it will not change, unless he begins to seek change. He may. But that will have nothing to do with what you do or say or are.

    This negativity with the ex has gone on long enough to know that there has to be choices BY HIM, to perpetuate it. He is not an innocent victim here. Even if he casts himself as such. Somehow this is working for him. In how he views life.

    But this does not mean you have to live this life with him. There are plenty of parents and children that see each other once a year, if that. They may talk once a month or once a week, if at all.

    I used to think these families were "different" than me. I wanted closeness and I wanted warmth. I wanted the kind of relationship I had with my grandparents. With everything close in. I thought that distant families were cold families. (Well. My own family was a warm family and I could barely be in contact with them for most of my life. You see. I am only now learning to face a little bit of the truth.)

    Well. There is a reality in my life that is inconsistent with what I want. I am a conscious human being (usually). I cannot have what I want. Because to have a close-in, warm, relationship with my son is to accept the reality that I will feel abused (even though that is not my son's intention.)

    That is the reality. Just as you describe your reality.

    I used to think (until last night) that it was my fault that I felt abused. That a stronger, better person would not feel abused by behavior such as my son's. That a stronger, better mother would not REACT. She would not be TRIGGERED. She would not feel RESPONSIBLE. But this week I saw that vulnerability is a superpower. (See below/RE Christine Blasey Ford.) That my vulnerability deserves respect. From me.

    Well. I am thinking differently with the Christine Blasey Ford hearing. I am recognizing that each human being has a right to her feelings, and to be protected BY HERSELF FIRST, and then, by others. And that we have a right to demand that. We cannot make anybody respect our feelings or to care about them either. But we can begin from the position that WE MATTER and WE WILL TAKE A STAND. AND WE WILL PROTECT THAT STAND.

    I do not think your situation requires any radical choice or behavior. Just back off for now. Back off. And let him be.

    You have done something very important and very powerful. You have told yourself the truth.

    Sometimes the best way we can deal with things is just tell the truth to ourselves. And from that a path can emerge.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    First, I'm so sorry about your cat. These tiny furry lives leave such big holes in ours when they leave us.

    Now, Bart:

    Oh. My. Hun you know as well as I do how dangerous this is. I wasn't much older than he is when I went to the ER to get my B. P. tested and it was 210/135. They wouldn't let me leave the ER. I spent 3 days in the hospital until they found the right 3 drugs to keep it down. I already was on drugs...wrong ones.

    My question is, if he doesn't go to the doctor, how does he know it's that high? Could he be exaggerating for some reason? Could he just be trying to get your emotions involved? Because he seems mean and petty and spiteful and just nasty (sorry) but he doesn't seem stupid. He has a good job. He has health insurance. To ignore this is STUPID. Not just a little stupid, but dumb as a rock stupid!

    And THIS:


    This just says to me he isn't really sick, unless it's mental. You just don't ignore your B. P. and chest pains at 41 years old with a child to care for and you don't react that way to the ONLY WAY TO DEAL with it. What the hell does he want? You to mail him a magic pill? It's ridiculous.

    This is so completely true. Given what he says when you do engage...well, what else can you do.

    SWOT, he's a grown man. He's an intelligent man. And you are right, you can't save him or change him any more than any mom here can save or change their addict children. I wish there was something more to say.

    It's very sad for your grand. Treating him like his buddy and more importantly TELLING him about his problems is a great way to give the ex ammo. Speaking of which:

    I thought he won?

    But regardless - to be honest, it's possibly a bad thing, but I wish I could talk to him. I'd say "You don't want to hear go to a doctor. So be it. But I'm going to say this and you should think about it. You have a STROKE or a heart attack and you're unable to even take care of yourself - guess who gets 100% custody of Jr? You may as well give him away if you aren't going to pay enough attention to your health to live to see him grow up."

    Of course, I'm not his mom and I wouldn't care if he never spoke to me again.

    SWOT, I'm so sorry. I wish there was something else to say. Do NOT let him torture you. You can do nothing else but speak the truth and if he doesn't want to hear it, well...I guess he'll stop calling.

    I really wish I could help. :(
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa, I also hoped you would respond .What a beautiful and true response. Not always comforting but so true. Thank you a million times.

    I was especially taken when you said he chooses this. Of course he does! He doesnt have to fight about everything his ex wants. He could give in. He could pay at least some of his legal bills and not be so financially drpendent on a very unstable father.He can go to doctors, seek therapy. Be NICER. Like my father before him, I truly think he believes he is a nice guy. I dont know what you do with that. Nothing. You cant get nicer if you already think you are nice even while screaming eff you to the world. You cant get help if you think its all coming from the outside and you are just a victim. To get help in therapy you must admit that you are your biggest problem and want to change. So if you dint think so, you dont change and you stay unhappy.

    You are right that I can not make him take care of himself. Everything he does from his eating habits to not seeing a doctor or therapist to not exercising is unhelpful to himself but I cant change it.

    It is time to give up the battle and hand him over to God. Its out of my hands.

    Thanks again for your wise words.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh I struggled with this. I thought lil was talking about our sons...and I thought, "Wow mine is tall."

    Somehow this fit. Tiny furry lives. That is really resonant for me. The tiny furry life of my son. That gives me some relief. It is surely better than THIS :censored2:ING NEVER ENDING NIGHTMARE.

    I am very, very sorry about your cat.

    My cat is my life. (And she has been very sick. Now with kidney and heart disease.) A couple of weeks ago M got mad when I said this: Taking care of Stella is the only thing that is keeping me alive. (Dramatic? Oh. Sorry.) M: How can you build your life around something more vulnerable than you are!!

  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My dogs are so very important to my life, especially my rescue dog. I get it.

    I hope your cat is with you a long time. My baby had renal failure and lived much longer than she should have. Oh I cry just thinking about her sweet soul. She is with us now...her ashes and her spirit. But I am selfish. I want to pet her and have her rub her face against mine precious Kitty and Kitty was her name indeed! We rescued her and that was her name then, she answered to it so we kept it.

    Sweet Kitty.
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I know you didn't really mean to be funny...but I had to laugh out loud. Mine's tall too - but he is kind of furry.


    I'm so sorry to hear your kitty is sick. Our old lady is probably every bit of 16 - and our dog is up there in years. Jabber and I will have no more pets after these. It's too hard, both caring for them and losing them. :sigh:
  15. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    SWOT, I agree with others here, and with the conclusion you've already drawn yourself.

    A grown adult who repeatedly asks for help and advice, only to reject that help and advice when given, does not really want help and advice. He wants attention. He wants sympathy. He wants to wallow in his self-pity, and have you join him in the mire. He wants to make you feel bad or guilty, or punish you for what he perceives as your role in his current helplessness. He wants you to agree that the situation is hopeless and he is helpless so he can absolve himself of the responsibility of trying. Any of these, or some toxic combination of all of the above. But he does not actually want actionable suggestions of things he can actually do.

    And in these situations, when dealing with an adult, there is nothing you can do. See my response on Copa's tie me to the mast thread: they are sitting on the floor or a room with multiple ways out while insisting they are trapped, and getting mad when we suggest (however kindly) that they might want to try getting up off the floor and turning a %@%#% doorknob.

    He is making poor decisions for his health, but they are his decisions. When he decides it is important enough to do something about it, he will. In the meantime, you do not have to take abuse from him, or allow him to make his problems your problems.

    This is when I go into Teflon mode. Let it slide off, and reflect it back on him. He gets upset and insists that your suggestions would never work? Oh, hon, that sounds like a tough problem - what are your ideas for getting around that? My idea won't work? OK, what are your ideas? Well, I've told you what I would do - sorry those aren't workable for you. I don't have any other suggestions, but I'm sure you'll figure out your own solutions.

    It's maddening, I know. Hang in there.

    I had to laugh, too! I also have a couple tall furry ones! :laugh:

    I know! I wish we could all keep our furry babies forever. It's been a little more than a month since losing Stellaluna and I still keep thinking I see her out of the corner of my eye or feel her soft little paws getting up on the bed from her kitty stairs in the middle of the night.
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  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Can I steal this? Because this is the most brilliant analogy I've ever read!

    This should be posted in big letters by the telephone of every parent.
  17. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Feel free! I’m glad you find it useful. (I’m better at coming up with analogies than actual answers ...)
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am fortunate that I one hundred percent believe that I was shown that nobody or nothing dies except our bodies. Our energy/consciousness survives. So I feel her here and believe its her. But that doesnt stop me from crying. Same when I know my father and grandma are with me, I still cry. Even when my husband, who is not so prone to believing this, told me my father had visited him...he felt and saw I had validation...I know he is still alive and with me, yes, those tears.....even knowing this....

    I am a big crybaby. I am selfish. I want to be able to touch my loved ones who are in the spirit world now....
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Elsi, thank you with all my heart for your kind, wise words. I need to remember this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Swot. How long did you know she had kidney disease? How many years did she live after diagnosis? Do you remember the stage she was in when she was diagnosed? How old was she when diagnosed? What did you feed her? Did she get medication?

    My (uh oh I was going to write daughter) cat will not eat the wet kidney diet (KD.) Only will eat the dry chicken KD. The wet is better because of the moisture.

    If anybody wants to share counsel please do.
    Thank you.