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frustrated and tired

Old 10-09-2010, 04:05 AM
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frustrated and tired

I need some advice, please. How does an ACOA keep from getting her buttons pushed, when listening to someone who maybe only needs to vent?

My son, (yes, he is still with me) has been holed up here with me, no job, no car, no friends (they are probably afraid he will be too needy, or ask for party "favors"), lost his girl two years ago(still has feelings there), and is waiting to hear from am employer about whether he gets this job.

Often, when i come home from work, he will be obviously frustrated, and starts venting about stuff of the past. I feel he needs to talk, but when he says something that I know is BS, I let it make me defensive. It is like he wants to start an argument. Like he is angry, and does not know what to do about it. he is a political activist (from home), and loves to argue things he believes- very verbally gifted-ugh -i am not.

We cannot seem to talk about things , often. He loves me, i love him, but I feel abused sometimes, by his anger at society, the unfairness, etc. I get angry, and say things that i hate later.

I feel he needs to talk. But when he says ridiculous things, it makes me so angry- I want him to grow, and succeed, and he has so far to go. I am trying to detach, and let him take care of his stuff- I see improvement.

Last night, when i got home from work, he was obviously in a nasty mood. I asked what is wrong- Idiotic me, but i dont like to ignore a person who is hurting. he said that he was remembering how I broke into his house (two years ago) , being the meddler in his affairs as usual! This really made me crazy! I broke in , for he was drinking heavily at that time, broke up with girl, and had not left his apt for three days, and did not answer phone, or my knocks on door. I was afraid he was dead. I finally, being frantic, picked the lock, and he was so messed up that he could not walk. I sat with him, afraid for him but so glad that he was ok. And he is angry about that! Calls me invader? And why pick this incident out of the blue (again), to argue over? I wonder if he wants to argue, just to have interaction, or because he is really wanting a drink, which he has not had for months?

I just dont know how to keep my cool. Today, i hate what I said last night, as our argueing escalated to the point i was crazy! he can take me from 0 to 100 in about 10 minutes.I said terrible, abusive things. My son, so messed up, and I am so angry about that.

I just want to know how to listen , and to get to the real truth- to be able to let him vent about how lonely he is, or how sad he is about life. He and I are sooo dysfunctional together.

I pray he gets this job, and that a MIRACLE occurs, and he gets on his own, for I cannot deal with this sometimes, and i know he should not be here. he needs his own life, but he is his own worst enemy.

if you just think he should leave, i agree. i told him that he needs to leave before something bad happens, that he is killing me. that i wish i never helped him, those are the nicer things i said. i feel such shame this morning. i apologized, but then , it would just go back to arguing. he is angry that i think he is an alcoholic. i then told him that i dont even know if he is, he said that he was glad to hear that, that it bothers him that i have him pigeon-holed as an alkie /pill popper, etc.

i feel that sometimes he tries to wear me down so that i will give in to some "occasional drinking for relaxation purposes" but I wont and he feels i am trying to control him. well, i am not going to buy it for him, and i wont let him abuse it in my home, should he get this job. i feel he will,and i told him that too.

I wonder if he got angry at me, for not being able to talk about something, or if I was being emotionally battered, due to his frustrations.

sorry if this is more of the same, but if i cant come here, where can I go to talk? I have gone back on my anti depressants, for i am having trouble at work focusing, due to things here at home. i hate coming home, because he is apt to be down, and negative,and make me angry. why cant i let him be angry,and down, without reacting? i told him that i hate to come home, afraid of more negativity, and my reactions to it.

thanks,
chicory
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:13 AM
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hi chicory-

i'm wondering, have you taken any steps for your own recovery? like going to an alanon meeting or getting yourself a therapist?

recovery is like peeling an onion...it isn't done in one day...it is something we commit to in order to get healthy ourselves...

and as we get healthy, we learn how to put into place boundaries with our alcoholics...

things change because WE change...

from reading your post, it appears you are waiting for him to change...

try turning that around and work on your own recovery...

naive
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:37 AM
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things change because WE change...
Naive,
Thank you, for this. That gives me hope, for I think that I can change myself, with therapy or with al-anon.
I need to find a meeting....
I guess I do hope that with kindness and support, he will become healthier, and be encouraged.

thank you, this helps, a lot.
hugs,
chicory
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:41 AM
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chicory,

I make honest effort to not tell people what I think they should do, but I think you really need to go to Al-Anon. I think you are stuck in a seriously toxic, debilitating situation, and until you make true effort to work on yourself, you will stay that way. I am very sorry that you are stuck in this, as my own Mom is stuck in this with my very sick brother.

Your son is sick and toxic and it is affecting you and your life in very bad ways. This stress is going to also make you physically ill if it has not already. Medical research shows people who report high levels of mental stress are twice as likely to die from stroke or heart disease than those with low stress levels.

He is not going to get better until HE decides to get better, and the dynamic between you two is sick. You are asking questions about how to make a sick relationship into a non-sick relationship. It is impossible. And until you decide to step OFF the merry go round, until you decide to get well, until you decide to stop the madness, it will never stop. I am truly sorry and my heart aches to say this to you.

Please take care of yourself.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:02 AM
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Chicory - the only thing I can suggest is that you stop trying so hard to be a 'good listener' and simply draw the boundary that you will not engage in these arguments. Advise him of this new boundary and be firm. "Send him to his room" or make him leave the house until he can speak in a respectful tone about NON-controversial issues. DO NOT respond in any way and ask him to retreat as you would like to enjoy a peaceful evening in YOUR OWN home. If he can't respect the boundary then he will be asked to move out immediately.

If he can't find a healthy outlet for his rage, then that is his problem. Don't make his problems your problems. If you don't engage then he HAS to find another outlet for his rage....or find a new home. YOU are the head of your household and YOU make the rules. If he is not willing or able to abide by them, he is welcome to leave.

My own son can be very argumentative like that as well. He gets on this whole thing about how "the big bad corporations are raping our planet for their own greed" and it drives me insane how naive his arguments are. He's 20 for God's sake -- he has never earned a living and has no clue whatsoever. When he gets on that soapbox I KNOW that I'm going to get riled up and so I do my very best to cease that conversation. Sometimes I even have to leave or ask him to leave. When he was in rehab, sober living and then school I got a taste of serenity and I'll be damned if I ever give it up.

I know all that is easier said than done. Al-anon would help so much.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:09 AM
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My own son can be very argumentative like that as well. He gets on this whole thing about how "the big bad corporations are raping our planet for their own greed" and it drives me insane how naive his arguments are.
I know some 40-somethings who are like this too, extreme, intense anger. It's like some weird personality disorder or something???
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:07 AM
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I just had to have this same conversation now with my Dad He has all this guilt and is trying to explain himself, why he has to seek a protective order against my brother, etc. I just let him explain, and when he was done, I told him it's OK, I don't blame him, it is not his fault my brother is this way, so he doesn't need to feel guilty about it. That I understand it is "different" when it is your own child (even though I can't emotionally understand this because I am not a parent). But Dad is alcoholic too so he is even less equipped than the rest of us to deal with this.

My heart is with you Chicory. Please take good care of you. :ghug3
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:33 AM
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Chicory,

I was wondering how things were going with your son. What happened to making him move out by the first?

L2L is right, you can never make this into a healthy relationship while he continues to live in your home and be abusive. It just can't happen.

Please, PLEASE go to Al-Anon. You shouldn't be a prisoner in your own home, and that is what is happening.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:41 AM
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Chicory..you are fighting a losing battle. When you say he is is own worst enemy it is true, but by enabling him so much, maybe you are his enemy in a way too.I only say it this way so tha tmaybe you will see that by allowing him to stay , you are not only doing yourself a disservice, but him as well.He is allowed to be a manchild. He is almost 40 and the longer he goes on like this, the less of a life he's going to have. The old saying is true"sometimes its cruel to be kind". NO ONE is getting anything good out of this, you are both miserable. I belive even your daughters support letting him go, so there is support within the family for you. I know from experience that no dosage of antidepressants can make living with an addict child ok.Pleas don't feel this is mean spirited..I am sending you this with love..you AND your son deserve better.:ghug3
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:22 PM
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Thank you all. I love you guys....
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:52 PM
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I wish I had the answers chicory
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:03 PM
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It's ok. Thank God I found this forum, just in time to help preserve my sanity.
I called and found out about some al-anon meetings close to me. Tomorrow evening they have one. Hope Sunday meetings are good ones.
hugs
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chicory View Post
It's ok. Thank God I found this forum, just in time to help preserve my sanity.
I called and found out about some al-anon meetings close to me. Tomorrow evening they have one. Hope Sunday meetings are good ones.
hugs
I'll bet they are! I'm so glad you're going. I got you in my prayer box! :ghug3
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:49 PM
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((((((((((Chicory)))))))))))

I agree with TJP...you don't need to be a good listener to this stuff.

Many years ago...my husband at the time used to come home griping about a work situation every single evening. Every freaking night this same spiel all heated up about the same things...I got really tired of the gripe fest...and the anger.

One day I told him I was tired of hearing it and if he wasn't willing to do something about it, I wasn't willing to hear about it anymore. Don't tell me about it anymore.

And then I wouldn't listen to another single word.

It helped. alot.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:55 PM
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thanks TJP. It feels so nice to be in someones prayers

I have to admit, this problem is bigger than I even realize.
I was thinking today, how everyone is saying, have boundaries.

I was trying to think about what my life as an ACOA set me up for this situation. Maybe my ways set my son up in his situation.

as a child, there were no boundaries. there was no respect for each other. as children, we sisters fought and there was very unhealthy rivalry, and abuse.
no one ever said"Hey, I am a person here, and no one should treat me this way".
no one had self respect. I did not learn what that was, and am learning to this day.
we took the behavior as normal, i did not understand, nor did anyone help me with it. We were like a bunch of animals fighting, and no one to stop us, or teach us better.

i enabled my mom, for I felt so sad to see her miserable, and would go for her beer.
it was the only thing that gave her peace, and we knew nothing about recovery.
her doctor prescribed tons of meds-tylenol with codeine, anti-depressants, xanax, many others. after she died , we saw a printout of what she had access to, and we were horrified. thought of going after her doctor, to make him answer to it, but he was a small town "god-quack", and it was not worth it, she was gone. she did it to herself, but she probably had no idea of recovery either.

she did quit when she lost her kidney,after we had turned away from her, could not stand to see her that way. she did find a spirituality that comforted her, and we tried to be near her, but we were so angry and turned off by her neediness , and the fact that she would say "I am not responsible for the mistakes you kids make", which is true, but she did not address the pitiful mess that was our lives. she had a bit of counselling, and they told her that she was not to blame for our messes. which is true, i have never blamed her.

i think that I dont even realize the awfulness of it. it was just normal for us. i had shame, and still do. I could be driving a lexus, and still feel like that poor girl who lived in the yukky house, with crummy clothes. Funny tho, I always thought that I was not poor, that i had class, and that i was only in those crummy clothes by some mistake.

I think my problem may lie in a false idea that I have had forever- that somewhere there is a happy ending. That there is going to be an end to the struggle. that there is going to be a time when i can let go, and relax. that somewhere, someday there is going to be a rescue.
How can I be 58 and not know what normal is?














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Old 10-09-2010, 04:29 PM
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I can relate to your problems. I live with my husband of 40 years who is presently a dry drunk, my 35 year old son, who has been unemployed for about the last three years, and my 19 year old grandson, whose mother (my daughter) suffered from schrezephania and completed suicide in 1995). I am getting ready to dissolve my marriage and move out.

My son and I get along great. I'm trying to help him set up our own small business. My grandson is the one that reminds me of your son's emotional reaction. I don't think he is drinking or drugging, but I'm afraid he might have a personality disorder, like his mother. A person never knows how he is going to respond to anything. I suffered a massive stroke in DEC 2009, and almost died, and now have immobility problems.

I have had to call the police a couple of times to help me calm my grandson down. In my state a person has to go to the constable and draw up paperwork which is given to that person, and then they have 30 days to finally move out. I understand 100% about your feelings about using 'touch love' with your son. After all, us, mothers believe in unconditional love towards our children. However, there is always that ultimate decision. Most cities and states have a family crisis center you can call for assistance. I realize that as codependents, we have been taught to keep family secrets, but you need to accept this problem with your son is bigger than what you can handle all by yourself.

Is it possible to catch him in a good mood in order to talk with him? He needs to understand you do have house rules and in order to 'freeboard' from you, he will abide by them. Set up your boundaries with him, and if he oversteps them, then make him realize you will no longer be his pounching bag. Us,codependents, can become used to being pounching bags either physically or by verbal abuse. In order to calm your relationship down with your son, you might want to be prepared to move out temporarily, and give him some time to come to the realization of what his actions are costing him. He needs to know that for every action there is a reaction.

Starting Al-Non is a good starting point, but you need to work the program in order to see results!
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:35 PM
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I called and found out about some al-anon meetings close to me. Tomorrow evening they have one.
Good for you!! Way to go!
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:39 PM
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Chicory, I don't recall -- where is your son's father?

Hehehe... acdirito may be onto something!.... Yeah, why don't YOU just pack up and move out!? Move somewhere nice and peaceful and start all over again!
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:40 PM
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I think my problem may lie in a false idea that I have had forever- that somewhere there is a happy ending. That there is going to be an end to the struggle. that there is going to be a time when i can let go, and relax. that somewhere, someday there is going to be a rescue.
How can I be 58 and not know what normal is?

chicory, you ARE normal. you are normal as chicory with chicory's experiences and life.
just as I am as wicked, another ACOA, where each sibling fended for ourselves against our father. we did what we could with what we had.
you are resilient, and eager to learn.
that is normal chicory.
every minute of it.


beth, your friend in ACOA normal land.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:46 PM
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as a child, there were no boundaries. there was no respect for each other. as children, we sisters fought and there was very unhealthy rivalry, and abuse. no one ever said "Hey, I am a person here, and no one should treat me this way". no one had self respect. I did not learn what that was, and am learning to this day.we took the behavior as normal, i did not understand, nor did anyone help me with it. We were like a bunch of animals fighting, and no one to stop us, or teach us better....that poor girl who lived in the yukky house, with crummy clothes...
Me too Chicory. Al-Anon helped me in this arena immensely. Especially the ACOA meetings. It helped me to see in ways I had never seen before. And it helped me move out of it and past it. It can be done and it is not as hard as one might think. It is simply Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.

I think my problem may lie in a false idea that I have had forever- that somewhere there is a happy ending. That there is going to be an end to the struggle. that there is going to be a time when i can let go, and relax. that somewhere, someday there is going to be a rescue. How can I be 58 and not know what normal is?
I believe that there IS a happy ending. I believe that the struggle ends when you are ready for it. I believe there will be a time when you can relax. I believe that Recovery means rescuing your SELF, with the help of your higher power. I believe we are all normal. (But I know what you mean by that.) Because did you know that it is estimated that 26 percent of Americans age 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder each year? If more than ONE QUARTER of us has a clinical mental illness, what do you suppose that says about "normal"?
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