With no contact, it still continues

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeekingStrength, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    We learned a few months ago that Difficult Child was married. This marriage is to a woman husband had as a student years ago (husband does not remember her.) She has a daughter....about 12 years old.

    She Face Booked husband in May 2018. husband did not see the message until about 6 weeks later. She said Difficult Child was very unstable and had slammed her hand in a door. husband did not respond. A couple months later, we learned they had married.

    Fast forward a few months. They moved to another state. Tonight, husband sees a message the wife sent in June 2019. She includes her phone # and asks husband to call her, saying she has questions she should have sought answers to earlier. Says Difficult Child has abandoned her in this faraway state.

    My first reaction arose from a place in my gut that has been dormant for quite awhile. I was like, "You must contact her! That poor woman and daughter. We must see if we can help."

    husband wisely decided that he cannot get involved. After about ten minutes, I knew he was correct.

    Those sucker punches may not come nearly as frequently with no contact, but they can most definitely still pop up. :(
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  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh. How very difficult.

    I don't even know what to say.

    I waited a few seconds and this is what came up. Many, many years ago I got a phone call from a woman who said that my father had slipped a mickie into her drink at a party and that a consequence she had become psychotic. She said her life had never been the same. When she called me it was approximately 1988. The supposed drugging incident would have happened maybe 20 years before that. She did not know it but at the time she called, my Dad had been dead for 5 years.

    In the late 60's she had known my father and I because we had lived together for a short time, my dad, me, my half-brother and her with her toddler son. I knew my Dad was attracted to the young woman but never realized they were involved in any way. I would have been about 18. The woman slightly older. My father about 44 or so and dissipated. And sadistic. I don't doubt that he might have done what she alleged.

    I want to stress how little I knew this woman. We were only surface acquaintances.

    So. Out of the blue this woman had found me, 20 years later and she targeted and blamed me for this thing that destroyed my life. *Uh oh. That was a Freudian slip. I meant to type, the thing that destroyed her life.

    And even more bizarrely, she found me a few years later in a different city, and again she raged and threatened and blamed me for these crimes. To her it was as if I, not my father, had destroyed her. I believe my father to have been capable of this kind of inhumanity, in the service of what he wanted. And to be indifferent to the roadkill he would leave in his wake. But I was not my father. Yet indirectly she held me responsible.

    To underline this, 22 or 23 years after we knew each other in a very surface way, she found and targeted me because my father apparently drugged her to have sex. And then she found me again in another city a few years later and targeted me again. For ruining her life. In this latter time I would have been about 44, the age my father had been at the time of the supposed incident. Not having seen or thought of the woman for 25 years. And my father dead already, many years.

    Deep breath here.

    Here there are two young mothers, with children. Each vulnerable and putting themselves in the paths of predatory men with varying degrees of responsibility and seeking well after the fact to involve or punish others.

    Here we are roped in by these women. In the case in which I found myself, this woman clearly wanted to discharge her crazy rage onto me. I became my father, and she cared not, my responsibility or the effects on me of what she did.

    In the case of this woman who is your son's wife, now abandoned, it is less clear what are her motives. But how in the world could they be clean and above board?

    She chose to marry a man who she knew was capable of violence because he had already perpetrated the act on her. I am not judging her. I am saying the horse was already out of the barn. She knew. This does not say that she deserved it. And I know I have stayed in or deepened relationships where there was already problematic behavior. We do this. Unfortunately.

    But here, with her, the story has already been written. The plot line has unfolded. Nowhere have you or your husband been introduced as characters into this narrative. It's like Jane Eyre showed up in Huckleberry Finn on the last page. What's the point? What's Jane doing here with Huck? There's nowhere to go with this, except confusion. What in the world do you have to do with this story? You're Jane Eyre in Huck's story.

    Add to that, my favorite childhood party game, Pin the Tail on The Donkey.

    I fear that in the case of this poor abandoned woman, she quite likely sought to do the same thing as Michele did all those many years ago. Look for a donkey. What could she have wanted except to find a way to discharge her pain, and to find a substitute to attack, unable to have at your son.

    Perhaps I am coloring this with the ugly paintbrush of my own past. I find this story sordid and small. I find your son's behavior to be repugnant, but I also find this woman's behavior to be disgusting, too. Where is her honor?

    I know you guys are probably not as old as I am but I know you are retired, and she for sure knows you are retired. Why in the world is she trying to rope you in? What kind of a person does that?

    It sounds to me like they are a lock and key the two of them. While my heart, like yours, went out to her at first, I am ending this with a way different take. Run, don't walk away from this woman.

    Finally, I find myself lately thinking about how bizarre life really is. Or maybe it's just my life. Thank goodness it's been somewhat peripheral to me ( not entirely so), but there has been way too much drama! What I have experienced vicariously through people I have known *the tragedies they write for themselves, could be a dozen blockbuster movies. Or biblical stories. Is it just me? And you?

    Be super, super kind to yourselves this weekend. Indeed this is a gut punch. But most of all is the ugliness of it. How could you not be affected? I am too.
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Ouch. I'm sorry, SS.

    We too have elected to sever contact with our son after the latest bout of drama and abuse. As time goes by, I can feel the spot in my gut start to calm. But I know it won't take much to wake it up the next go-round.

    Son recently took great advantage of a recovering addict who staked his finances and reputation on son. The end of the story is, the man's car is in impound on the other end of the state because of son's DUI and the man and his wife are potentially losing their apartment because they used son's income on their lease application and son is in the wind again...

    I guess they thought, like we did so many times, that son just needed someone to show a little faith in him...

    Some days the sadness and shame over how he's alienated/abandoned every single person in his life is quite overwhelming.

    Then I remember I have nothing to be ashamed of; this all on him. And he's not ashamed of himself at all.

    I totally understand your reaction and feel sorry for the woman as well, but I agree with Husband too.

    Exactly what kind of answers does she think you can provide, that she doesn't already know? And...I mean really...what could she possibly expect you to do, as the parents of a 38-year-old man? As Copa so wisely pointed out, how exactly are YOU involved?

    As hard as it is, no contact means no contact with the peripheral damage either.

    It really hurts though.
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    On another thread a mother is asking whether or not she should get involved with her adopted difficult child's (who is now in jail) birth parents. The birth parents are seeking information about their "son."This mother is tempted to engage with these people for different reasons, not least she wants to find out what nasty things her son has been saying about her. To get some insight into him, too.

    Every.single.poster on the thread is counseling her to STOP. With one voice they write NO!

    I mean how many plot twists do we need? Who has the stomach for more? And why?

    At some point the end of the story is the end of the story. It's not the end of love. And there may even be a sequel. Oh. Maybe we can put Jane Eyre in the sequel. But we'd introduce her in the first or second chapter.

    There is no energy and no will and no appetite for more of this story. You guys were wise to close the book. It's already been written, this sad story.

    I am so, so, sorry. I don't know why people live as did my father and does your son. I try all of the time to redeem myself. It's hard. Yes. But what is the alternative? I know this sounds innocent and a little foolish. I can't help it.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry Albatross. I watch the threads to see how you are doing. I am sorry it's come to this with your son.
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I have always been too soft regarding my loved ones, but when it comes to problems adults are having with family members, and this has happened with Kay, my husband and I dont get involved.

    This in my opinion is the girlfriend's problem. You are not responsible for your. grown son's grown girlfriend and how he treated her no matter how bad it was. His backstory is actually in my opinion only as much as he wants her to know. Its not in my opinion your place to tell her anything. She has a twelve year old so she isnt a child, like maybe you could think of a 21 year old as being. She also had problems with your son and decided to stay with him. This will be one of life's lessons for her. Maybe I am overly suspicious due to Kay, but I wonder if she hopes you will compensate her for your son's behavior.

    My own personal instinct is that it would be uneeded trouble to get involved. I also see no moral reason to contact her. I hope you can sit back several days before doing anything. I find I respond better after I wait on things for a cooling down period. Maybe that would help you too.
  7. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your responses are, as always, so wise and strengthening.

    There is no way husband and I are responding. My initial reaction, upon reading the message, was that we had to reach out. After hearing husband list the reasons we should not, I calmed waaaaay down.

    We have no idea what the truth is in any situation with Difficult Child. Heck, he may have sent that message, thinking husband might take the bait and send $$.

    No telling.

    Thanks again. :youreright:

    Reading your experiences, Copa, Busy & Albatross, brings reality back into focus---we have so many painful experiences - and we are getting wiser and pushing on.
  8. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Hi SS- I've had similar situations when I was in the midst of chaos with my daughter and cut off contact. It came around to me that she told people I had put her and my infant granddaughter out of my house in the middle of a blizzard when they had no car. Of course, the truth was I told her she couldn't stay in my home if she continued to have contact with her abuser, so she left. On foot, in a blizzard, to go back to her abuser. Her abuser's (also her baby daddy) mother called me livid about me putting them out in a blizzard. She left her anger in message, and I chose not to reply. I had debt collectors, the sheriff, hospitals, places of her employment contact me at various times about various dramas in her life when I had no contact with her. It was horrible. It was like ripping a scab off a wound each time. And many of those people definitely were judgmental of me for not knowing where she was or how to contact her. That just added to my already poor state of mind. When people were understanding and kind, it meant a lot to me. Once I had to take the dog she abandoned with me to the vet. I was explaining to the staff woman that my daughter had moved to an unknown place, likely another state, with her infant daughter and abandoned the dog with me, so she was now my dog. The woman said, "You probably wish she'd left the baby and taken the dog." I said, "Actually I wish she just left them both with me." I never forgot her kindly manner.

    I'm sorry you're going through this, and I know it's hard to really believe none of this is your fault, but it's not. These choices are your son's, and his alone. He is a grown man who makes his own decisions. Once I really internalized and believed that my daughter's decisions were hers alone and had no reflection on me I started telling people the truth about her. I no longer tried to hide her life or choices. If someone asked me how she was I told them. One time she got mad at me for telling someone she was drinking again. I told her, "You must think it's ok because you're doing it. I will no longer lie for you." It was truly liberating when I got to that point.
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  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I understand how that would shake you up. I think you and your husband are very wise to leave it alone.

    My son has left a wake of many people that he has hurt. I too had thoughts of reaching out to them to offer help or to just say how sorry I was that my son had caused such chaos and hurt. I'm glad I never did. As much as I hate that my son lives his life in such dysfunction and drags people down the rabbit hole with him, it's none of my business.

    I don't know what this woman could possibly think you could offer her. Any questions she has, she already knows the answer to.

    No matter how much we hate that our children bring people into their lives and hurt them, we need to remember that these people, just like our children, make their own life choices.

    Wishing you peace!!
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  10. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    She's after money and thinks you're responsible for raising your son to behave badly.
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  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Copa. I am still following along on occasion. I am sorry for what you are going through now as well, and for all of us still struggling.
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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Was able to read your input to husband today; he was most appreciative. "These are such wise and understanding people."

    The Jane Eyre references had him laughing.

    Thank you, each and all of you.

  13. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    What a great thread, as a reminder to stay in your own lane (to myself).

    Too many times we have received calls regarding something our daughter had done to wrong someone. Once it was a strange man at a hotel. From what I could glean, she slept with him (for money), and left before he woke up, stealing everything including his shoes. He spoke with my husband saying, "I really don't care if she keeps the stuff... but my shoes? Can you please arrange to have her return my shoes?"

    I have NO idea how on earth this man found us and got our number.
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  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    That's really sad, ChickPea...but also really funny. It sounds like a Seinfeld episode.
  15. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    This is why I continue to read and post on this site. Until I found this site I couldn't share my feelings-experience with anyone that really understood what we were going through. I could write paragraphs on how many times I have wanted to help the people my son has hurt. How I felt responsible for him and his actions. How many times I have had people contact me trying to get a hold of him for something he did wrong to them. I even had the now ex wife try and get me to help her. I did help various people on occasion but no more. He is an adult as are they. I am sorry they were trusting but I am not responsible for his actions. It has taken me a while to get to this point but I can't right all of his wrongs he has to do that. Glad you decide not to get involved with his drama.
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  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Great advice on this thread. I used to work as an advocate for victims of domestic violence. So my first reaction is to feel bad for the woman and I would want to reach out just like you felt at first. But contact or no contact he is still your son.... and really it is not appropriate or workable for you to step in and support her in any way. She needs to find support for herself somewhere else. And as others have pointed out who knows what is really going on... I had the thought that maybe she is reaching out to get something from you for your son.....

    I remember once an exgf of my son got an RO against him. She also had issues so it is hard to know really what the situation was. I told her who she should talk to to get help, but even though I did that kind of thing for work I was not the person to step in and help her.
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi SS, geez, I'm sorry you had to get caught in the drama even for a short time.......but really good news that you and your husband quickly regained your resolve. Our empathy can be a double edged sword, can't it? Sending you big hugs SS.....and kudos to your husband for sidestepping the FOG and seeing the clear vista.
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  18. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SS, I have had many people that my daughter harmed call me. My daughter dated a sweet young man and her behavior almost killed him. He called me often to cry and tell me how awful he felt. I would listen because I was afraid he maybe suicidal. I listened to another young man cry because I felt that by listening to him I could help defuse him, I was afraid that he might even kill her. I tried to defuse the situations. I do not do anything like that anymore..I would not get involved even though I learned a lot about where and what my daughter was doing.
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  19. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Honey, I'm telling you. It was impossible not to feel this man's angst. It was like we had been hit by the same target.