09-03-2021 12:19 PM
The other day on my social media feed were scenes of the New York subway platform flooding, and wham, all of a sudden I was a flood of tears! Triggered- as the current expression goes! It’s been some time since I posted here about our family issues with our now almost 19 year old son. It’s been six years of heart breaking agony with him, and although generally many things have improved, the triggers of memories that then threaten to derail our day persist. I won’t go into all the years of drama other than to say it involved heavy drug use, toxic and violent behaviour that resulted in VROs, son moving out at 15, only to return at 18, go again, and return again. He’s now clean but dealing with a serious injury after coming off a motorbike.
So now I find myself in a situation where the girlfriend, whom I had banned from being in my home, is the only person son will allow to help him with showering. The,logical part of me understands that adult sons don’t want mum seeing them naked (spare me that 😂) , but when I have been on the receiving end of a lot of verbal abuse from the GF, she was the reason he got into drugs heavily, she acknowledges that she is still using dope regularly, and I’ve had to pick up ‘the pieces’ several times when their relationship has gone south, I am struggling to have her in my home. My son is clearly coaching her to behave impeccably and yet I cannot bear to be anywhere near her. All the feelings I had successfully compartmentalised for so long are now like the water in the subway, ankle deep and still rising. She arrived at 10:30pm the other night and I lost it with them both! She had just finished work and come over to help with a shower.
I guess my struggle is with allowing her to be here, to show gratitude, to put away the past and not always use it as the yardstick for future possibilities… she is so envious of our family and the things we have, the things we have done in our lives…her background is hugely different to ours. So, how do I stop the flood and focus on the future? How do I stop fear intruding on the present?
09-03-2021 02:59 PM
Hi @Faob_1 Thank you for sharing this with us. It sounds like what you're experiencing right now is incredibly difficult and I'm glad that you can talk about it here.
I'm sorry that you had such a triggering experience. It's hard to manage our emotions when they feel like a flood. Some experiences can trigger memories and emotions, and it can feel like we're trapped in the past. There's a helpful resource here on how to manage thoughts when they feel like a flood. Also, here is a resource that may help dealing with triggering news.
I'm also wondering if it might help to talk with a professional about how you're feeling? You're experiencing a lot and you do not have to manage it on your own.
It sounds like your son is helping his girlfriend and she is improving her behaviour in your home. I'm wondering if you think that talking with your son or her might help the situation? It might be good to get to know her and challenge some of your previous conceptions about her. Here is a helpful resource on with how you can talk with your son or his girlfriend.
Thanks again, and I look forward to talking more.
09-03-2021 05:30 PM
Thanks for the reply. I do have professional counselling every couple of weeks which helps at times, but my son rarely, if ever, talks about how he is feeling. It is up to my husband and I to do the heavy lifting there & it feels very one sided a lot of the time. I've tried to talk to son today and as usual got blamed, yelled at and told I am a horrible person. There have been times in the past 6 years when everybody has been horrible, drug affected violence brings out the worst in everyone as we react rather than respond.
So, today I explained that I understand he needs the help of his GF while he is partly immobilised in a neck and back brace, and the logic brain accepts that. However, my emotional brain tells me that I am very fearful of what may happen with GF around due to the past patterns of behaviour and abuse; that I am trying hard to put those feelings aside as she comes over. Just don't expect me to want to be around her at all. So, for my efforts at being vulnerable, I got abused and blamed.
This has been an awful week of having my birthday- which I used to love and now detest because son literally threw his birthday gifts back in our faces on several occasions over the past few years- so now I hate birthdays. I feel completely and utterly emotionally empty and very fearful of my son and his outbursts. I am wary of the fact the Drs are prescribing strong medications for him at the moment.
To top it all off my dearest brother's wife, a doctor, has him on an anti-Covid vax belief path (she's a nutter even though she's a dr) when he is in a very vulnerable age group! So I just couldn't deal with that on top of everything else, and told my brother I wouldn't continue that conversation with him, and hung up. It's been a tough week.
09-04-2021 12:19 AM
09-06-2021 11:36 PM
It certainly sounds like you've been through the wringer with your son, and I can just imagine that the motorbike accident itself must've hit you you very hard, and then to have drug use and the girlfriend on top of that and needing to shower him just sounds explosive for any family let alone with everything else going on. I don't know if you're managing to get out of the house at all but finding ways where you can chill out and have a break would be a good start. We love and cherish our children and it's heartbreaking when things aren't working out for them, we nearly lose them in some way. So stressful.
I'm thinking of you and sending my love.
09-06-2021 11:56 PM
Thanks all for the support. It is truly appreciated. The son’s girlfriend has not been seen since Saturday morning. I suspect I have made my thoughts so well known she has decided not to come over. Son asked for help with a shower and has since changed his mind, so who knows what is going on there! He manages with a ‘birdbath’ so until he pongs he will survive I guess!
He is trying to research all sorts of car projects to keep himself occupied at the moment so now I am dealing with him flitting from one idea to the next, and the putting up with barbed remarks about how I choose to spend my income! He forgets that I work full time, pay the bills including feeding, clothing and housing him, and still have some discretionary income. Not lots, but enough! I had to remind him that when he’s my age and he’s worked darn hard for some security he too can spend his money how he chooses. Then of Course his green eyed monster came out about what his sister has vs him! Honestly, it’s never ending! Anyway, I must say I sleep so much better when the girlfriend is not here. It’s incredible how much it was stressing me.
thanks again for the support.
09-07-2021 01:12 PM
@Faob_1 I'm so glad the support has been helpful.
It sounds like the stress has improved a little for you without your son's girlfriend in the house, although things do still sound very demanding. Is better sleep helping?
Hope you can take some time to nurture yourself while you have a bit of space at least.