The "Stuff" Just Hit the Fan

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    There's another issue I haven't mentioned. I think he may be seriously delusional. For the last year he's been convinced that Chicago PD and the FBI have been tracking him due to an identity theft crime which he may or may not have committed while working at a major bank. He's convinced that he was followed onto the plane in Chicago because a guy on the same plane got off in Charlotte when my son did and then boarded the plane for Orlando. He didn't pick up his suitcase at baggage claim because he was certain the authorities were waiting for him if he did. He had a chance a couple of days later to help a friend move another friend from one house to another outside Orlando in exchange for which the first friend would take him to the airport to pick up his luggage, but he declined because it required him being up by 7 am. Yesterday he told me I need to be home Wednesday because the airline is shipping his luggage to him (at no charge, he says) but someone needs to be here to sign for it. Normally that's not a problem as I'm home pretty much all the time. But I had made plans to do something with a friend for a couple of hours and now I have to cancel or risk not being home when his suitcase arrives. If I'm not here I don't know what happens next, does it go back to the sender, and will they reship it at a later date?

    All the while I'm thinking this situation could have been avoided had he claimed his luggage upon getting off the plane or taken his friend up on his offer. I know this is not my responsibility, but yet I would feel like a total jerk if I weren't home tomorrow when his suitcase is delivered. He had said that he could make sure to be here during the time I would be gone but A, as someone else on another thread said, I'm reluctant to leave him here alone, even for a short period. And B, assuming he made it to the hospital last night, he's at a facility for the next 72 hours and couldn't be here anyway. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place in deciding which way to go on this. *My plans with my friend are not for anything major and could easily be postponed or rescheduled for another time.
     
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If he is still drinking or using street drugs, his psychiatric medications wont help. That screws them up.

    I agree that it doesnt sound as if he is trying at all. If he is able bodied he can find a job. I have an autistic 25 year old who works, lives on his own and tries very hard. He does have some community supports but is doing really well. A lot can be said for trying your best, even if you have challenges. The problem is that many of our adult kids who bring us here wont try hard and turn to crime because maybe they think its easier.

    I hoe things get better soon!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  3. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My son and I haven't lived together for many years. It never works. The last time I saw him before now was over two years ago when he was here for a brief visit. This time wasn't meant as a visit but to get him out of a bad situation in Chicago. Long term, short term, or anything in between, I honestly have no idea. On the drive from Orlando to Daytona the night we picked him up at the airport he was already talking about going back to Chicago at the first opportunity. Since then he's also mentioned the possibility of going to Georgia (where he was born), or California, or Denver. I think he's Mary Poppins, coming and going as the wind changes. And that's fine, if he has the means to do that...which he doesn't. I've helped him relocate once, but I won't again, particularly since he can't seem to make up his mind where he wants to be from one day to the next.
     
  4. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Son just called to let me know he's leaving to go to the hospital and will call me once he gets there and then once he gets transferred to the stabilization facility. No apology (didn't expect one) no "Love you, Mom" but at least he's still keeping me in the loop so there's that. And at least I know he's not midair on his way back to Chicago (for now anyway). I take my positives as they come. Hoping by the time he gets discharged three days from now last night will have blown over for everyone and we can try again.
     
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  5. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Laura, Good luck and prayers too. Hopefully they will get his medications stabilized and maybe he will look in the mirror and see a jerk.
    I know he doesn't see any of your husbands point of view. My son doesn't see any of his Dad's, only his own warped view.
     
  6. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Sadly he only sees things from his own perspective and how things affect him. I'm sure most of us do the same to an extent but we also have the ability to see more than one side of an issue and to understand where the "other guy" is coming from. Back in January or February I was laid up with pneumonia and he got angry because I wouldn't walk four blocks to the Post Office to get a package in the mail to him. Said I was just lazy and selfish and inconsiderate because I had promised to get the item in the mail and was going back on my word. And I don't see that ever changing so I just have to let it roll off me unless it crosses a line into threats or abusive name calling.
     
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I truly believe this is a very common attribute with difficult adult children. I know my son only thinks of himself and only sees things "his" way, which in his mind is the only way.
     
  8. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    A typical phone conversation...
    Son: Hey Mom, how are you?
    Me: Well we buried the cat yesterday so I'm a little sad.
    Son: Sorry to hear that. But enough about you, I called to talk about me.

    One time I told him that empathy is not his strong suit (I should have kept that to myself, I know). His response was, what are you talking about? Didn't I just ask you how you were doing?
     
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Sadly very typical! It’s tough but I’ve learned not to take it personally and just roll with wherever they’re at. I’ve also learned to give very cheerful, non-defensive no’s to things that don’t work for me and not get drawn into negotiations or explanations. Just nope, I’m afraid that doesn’t work for me, you’ll have to figure something else out! And end the conversation if they start to argue. It would be nice if they thought about my needs but I don’t expect it and therefore am not hurt when it doesn’t happen. I look to others in my life for those needs.
     
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is key to navigating a conversation with a difficult one. I use very short, canned responses and will repeat them over and over.
    I have found that offering very little about my life works best for me. This way I don't have to worry about telling my son something that he will later use against me. I also don't have to wonder about his lack of empathy, I already know it's just not there. I remember one time my son was waiting for me by the car and when I came out of the house, my heal got caught in the storm door and down I went. My son did not even come over to me let alone ask me if I was okay. Instead, he yelled at me "mom, hurry up or I'm gonna be late" :rolleyes: Ya, that was a special moment.
     
  11. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Exactly. It is what it is, basically. I will say it's easier say no over the phone because when he gets argumentative or demanding I can always say goodbye and hang up. Not so easy when we're together because he wants to argue and negotiate and the more I say it's not open for debate the louder he gets, which is what woke my husband up last night and culminated in my son's outburst. Do your kid(s) try to negotiate or compromise when you've given them a firm no in a face to face situation? And how do you handle or derail or diffuse it? That's one skill I can't seem to conquer, because no matter how much I rehearse these scenarios in my mind they always result in trying to argue/debate/compromise/cutting me off midsentence until I just sit back and say nothing. But disengaging only makes him more agitated and determined to get his way.
     
  12. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I hear ya! One time I tripped on our way to the bus stop and he wasn't concerned for my wellbeing (I was okay) but irritated because I was going to make us miss the bus. Yeah, because tripping and slowing us down was my diabolical plan all along lol.
     
  13. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I really need to work on the short to the point responses you mentioned. I don't need to tell him why his step father's morning routine is so important to him, he only needs to know that it is and that I won't ask him to forego it if there are other viable alternatives. If he doesn't like the alternatives, too bad.
     
  14. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Laura mine used to but I’ve successfully broken them of that habit. It’s taken years though. Just being consistent and refusing to get emotional about it. It is a lot harder in person. I usually resorted to ‘I’m done talking about this - do you want to stay and talk about something else or is it time for you to go?’ We had a lot of history together with witnessing and being subjected to abuse by their dad for years, and one of the most powerful things I learned to do, even before I left for good, was calmly naming and rejecting abusive behavior when I saw it. As in, ‘what you just said to me is emotionally/verbally abusive, and I am not going to let you talk to me that way. If you can’t calm down and talk rationally this conversation is over.’ And I’ve had many conversations since with all of them about their dad’s behaviors and naming and defining abuse. Not to run down or shame their dad but to break the cycle - to make sure they knew what behaviors were abusive and should not be repeated in their own relationships. So i have a shortcut to calling them on abusive words or behaviors now. I can just quietly say ‘you know I won’t let you talk to me that way’ or even just raise my eyebrows at them they generally back down. Because we’ve talked about it, and because we all went through hell together and my boys in particular have a protective streak towards me sometimes that I can pull out of them by evoking that history in a low key way. Reminding them that we don’t go back there anymore.
     
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  15. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    So what how do you classify or categorize this? Son called me a little bit ago saying was leaving the stabilization center because the wait was too long and that a friend was paying for his medications so he didn't need to be there anyway. Said he had missed the last bus in that area and asked me for an Uber? What??? My only response was "No." Plain and simple, end of story. He just called me again to say he was mistaken and there was one more bus which he was able to catch. So that was good news.

    But here's the good part. He told me he's meeting a friend when the friend gets off work at 9 and wanted to come hang out here until then. Again...what??? I didn't respond, trying to formulate my words. While I was considering my response he threw in that he wanted to "clarify" what happened last night. Said he was justified calling my husband what he did and storming out because my husband was yelling, screaming, and cursing (he wasn't...I heard the entire exchange). Told me I misheard and that his hearing is better than mine, and that I was in another room. (I wasn't, I was standing right there in the kitchen between them. Told me "Eff you, you're calling me a liar and insulting me and I don't have to put up with that. Just remember what I said about Chicago and don't be surprised if I go back there." and hung up on me.

    WTH was that? Guilt trip? Bullying? Threats? Manipulation? Gaslighting? All of the above? At any rate, it's nothing I feel like engaging in.
     
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Good for you. Yes, he was blackmailing and bullying you.

    Look, he left Chicago for a reason but he is legally a man. If he wants to threaten to go back and actually finds a way to go back (on his own dime) you cant stop him and he will probaby hate it again.

    Seriously, the blackmsil and abuse about your husband is not acceptable. Amazing what some can say and do to make us wish we never had to talk to them again. Yes, we love them. Sometimes it is hard to like them. And we cant control them.

    Keep standing strong. I know you are hurting. I am sorry.

    Love and light!
     
  17. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Update: I talked to my husband and he said he was okay with my son hanging out for a couple of hours but did not want to rehash last night. When I called my son back he said he's extremely pissed off and done with us and we don't have to worry about ever seeing him again. He repeated the threat (?) or intention (?) which ever the case may be, of going back to Chicago. (He'll surely be coming by to pick up a check he's expecting in the mail and to retrieve his luggage that is supposed to be getting shipped here tomorrow...that should be interesting)

    All I know is that we've done the best we could to help him, even going above and beyond what was expected of us. If he's done with us, so be it. Hurting? Yes. Angry? Yes. Willing to continue playing his game? Not a chance in hell. But nobody can say we didn't try.
     
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  18. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Laura, He s bullying, manipulating and being totally obnoxious.
    My son told me dad kicked him out. I clarified to him. No Dad told you to shape up or you would have to move out. You are the one that said "I'm going now" got a duffel and left. We took that to mean you weren't willing to change your actions so you left. he wanted to continue to argue without acknowledging a word I said. They hate it when we tell them they are lying. They know they are but think if they tell their wrong version enough times we will think they are right.
    He is threatening you that he will go back to Chicago... good lord what an idiot. if he is going to be homeless in the winter Chicago is a stupid choice. Don't you want to roll your eyes at him?
     
  19. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    If he does go back to Chicago it will be either because the check he's expecting will cover his airfare or the partner in his toxic relationship will fly him back. And things will be sunshine and roses for a few days until the next fight and the partner kicks him out for the gazillionth time. He knows...maybe doesn't believe...but knows that WE are done with HIM at that point. No more Ubers when partner puts him out of the car on a cold rainy night with no where to go and no way to get there. No more money on his transit card so he can take the bus or train. No more crying about how hard his life his, no more pity parties when he's beating himself up for what he's doing to himself. Nothing.

    And no I don't have the urge to roll my eyes, I think a face palm is more appropriate.

    My biggest fear is that something tragic will happen if he's on the streets. But if he chooses to go back to that possibility, there is literally nothing I can do. I simply have to accept that possibility and deal with it if it happens.
     
  20. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I like your spunk.
    I like that we are recognizing that what our adult kids are doing is all of their own making.
    You have given him every chance to turn things around. I hope he has a realization before getting on a plane. If he doesn't you know you have done everything you can.
     
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