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When Adult Children Become The Parents!

Old 11-25-2010, 01:50 PM
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When Adult Children Become The Parents!

I am in the process of playing out a drama in my home right now where my 35 and 19 year old sons are acting as the parents and my dry drunk husband is the toddler and I am a child. I have realized I have an irrational fear of my husband which causes the inability to actually stand up to my DDH. I'm thinking I even might be suffering from the battered woman's syndome. However, my sons don't share my fear of their father.

My DDH acts like he is suffering from some type of dementia. Our relationship is like air and fire. I'm really thinking he cannot handle me any more now that I'm disabled. I have even wondered if he was trying to drive me crazy. I feel like he is especially playing "dirty pool" with me. I suffer from short term memory recall and try to write things down in my journal. I write things that will help me in remembering things I need to do, my events, and my feelings. My DDH has started lying to me, but he does that with our 35 year old son. He doesn't have any, but a negative, relationship with our 19 year old son.

Well, the drama started Tuesday night when he started in on me about something. I decided I needed space, like a walk, between him and me instead of adding more fuel to our relationship. So I managed to climb back downstairs. I suffer from mobility problems. Once I got downstairs I couldn't find the phone to call my sons. They had gone to the grocery store. I couldn't find my purse. However, I did manage to roll out of the house in my power chair. I took myself on a roll around the neighborhood in my power chair in the dark. I don't have any lights on my power chair, and I found my tour interesting. I must have stayed away from the house for about one hour, until my 35 year old son found me. My 19 year old was, also, out in his car looking for me. My DDH was upstairs in his bed!

Well, when I got back home the boys and I talked. They scolded me of NOT doing that again! We ended up watching a movie together. Then I ventured back upstairs to my bedroom. By this time my DDH was sound to sleep.

The following morning I could hear my DDH do everything possible to wake me up. He turned the TV on, talked to himself, and banged things around in our bedroom. However, I laid in bed pretending to be still sleeping.

Last night after work my DDH started in again with his actions and words. He got very upset, and my 35 year old son took me for a ride in his pickup. When we got home my DDH was still raging. The boys helped me back out to the pickup. My 35 year old son had a talk with his father. His DDF decided to leave the house for a while. He went to a motel for the night. Needless to say the three of us didn't sleep very well last night.

My DDH came back to the house early this morning. Something happened at the motel he was staying at. He got locked out of his room with his belongings still in the room. I overheard him on the phone with the motel manager. He was allowed to go back to the motel to pick up his belongings, but "they were still going to file charges". Don't ask me. I don't know! Any way he had fallen in the motel's shower and hurt his head. He has gone to the military base's ER. I haven't seen him since.

He's not here right now! Even with all this drama going on, there is less stress than when my DDH is here!

My 35 year old son is making Thanksgiving dinner. Frying turkey and all the trimmings!

I don't know what to expect from here on......but I will keep you posted!

Your prayers will be appreciated!
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:16 PM
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Lots of prayers coming your way, Phoenixthebird. Your DDH sounds like he has anger management issues - sounds like a very toxic environment at home due to him. Hope things work out the way you want - lots of peace and serenity wishes for you and your family. Enjoy the thanksgiving dinner that your son is cooking for you!
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:43 PM
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Hotels don't press charges for falling in their showers.
I worked in hotels for almost fifteen years.

*Prayers for your safety*
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:17 PM
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Aw Phoenix, I am sorry you are going through this. I played the role of go-between for my parents when I was a young teenager also. My ADad would be so mean to my mom, and her feelings would be so hurt but she would not tell him what he was doing that hurt her. I think she was afraid of how much more hurt she would feel if and when he would react to her telling him. Fifty years they have been married and she still attributes his alcoholic behavior to, "He just doesn't love me because if he loved me then he would not fill-in-the-blank."

Have you and or your sons been going to AlAnon? They sound like very responsible and caring people.
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:50 AM
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Have you in my prayers Phoenix, as with your mobility and other problems you have enough to contend with. Coping with a tantrum throwing, offensive and non-caring man as you are, must be the pits, and thank God for your sons.

I have heard of "injured" hotel/motel guests suing the venue for various reasons, but never these places charging the guest for hurting himself. I wonder if he didn't throw a real tantrum, and cause damage to the room and also upset other guests and that was why he was on one side of the door and his gear inside.

Maybe it is time to look at options for removing him from causing anymore unneeded stress to you all, by either him leaving or you doing so.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:28 PM
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Unfortunately the peace and serene I felt for a short time has ended. My DDH came back home from the ER shortly after I posted. He has suffered a factured vertebrate in his neck. He is now able to walk around the house with his neck brace on. I feel like he has managed to become the focus point of the family again. Alcohol had been the focus point of my family for so long, then I suffered my stroke, and the focus of the family sifted to me. I believe that my DDH just couldn't cope without doing something to sift it back to him, again. The sad part of this is I don't feel any sympathy for him. No one is jumping in hoops to help him out.

He went to his primary care physician this afternoon. The doctor took x-rays of my DDH's head and neck and now has to undergo a MRI. At least this is one way to get my DDH to get his physical done.

He still isn't admitting the truth as to what actually happened at the motel to cause him from being locked out of his room. The only logical thing, and knowing him, I believe he verbally abused the motel manager, and he had battery charges placed against him. This may not be such a bad thing, either. His verbal abuse has moved outside the family circle and has moved into the public realm.

Our Thanksgiving meal was delicious! My son is one heck of a good cook! Know of any single female ACOAs that might want to meet a very nice eligible male ACOA?! (LOL)

The higher the expectations, the lower the serenity. I try to keep my boundaries high, my expectations low, and my heart open.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:52 AM
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Oh dear, this may be where he has tripped himself up....public show of abuse etc, is not quite what he wanted I guess. Now a few more know what sort of a person he is, and the fact that neither you nor his boys are catering to him tells me heaps.

What are the chances of you getting loose from this volatile and uncaring man? Surely as your husband he is legally liable to provide for you when disabled and needing help, if he is unable to get off his butt and help you. Could you and the boys, either move him out or find somewhere for yourselves.

Could you see a lawyer to see exactly what, as his wife of so long, you are entitled to receive in a settlement, after all his actions and non actions are pure abuse in my book.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:18 PM
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Thank you for you caring and for your compassion! I'm taking baby steps to become independent. One of the first steps I need to do is to get my driver's license back, start back with my physical therapy, and see an attorney concerning my rights. In JAN my 19 year old will be getting his semiannual annuity check for $10,000. With that money the boys and I do plan on moving out and getting an acreage with an one story home. The boys will be getting into agriculture, and if I'm able, I would like to raise and train border collies. Of course I will continue working my codependency recovery program.

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Old 11-28-2010, 06:20 AM
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Slow and easy wins the race and it begins with a plan.
And what a great one you have in place!
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:17 PM
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This thread that I started made me to do some inner soul searching. Why do I have such a fear of my DDH? He has never physically abused me, RIGHT?! Yet what he has done to me could be considered psychological abuse. After I conducted further research and dug up some resources from one of my previous lifes I started another thread entitled "Psychological/emotional/ verbal Abuse". http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...bal-abuse.html

I consider myself to be generous, intelligent and caring. Yet my DDH has refused to listen to me about anything. He is always determined to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. Over the years I have tried to get my DDH to take responsibility for his aggression, his controlling, his abusiveness, and his unkindness. I have never found a way to actually engage him in a conversation that would enable a resolution. I believe he thinks if we don't talk about it, it just goes away by itself. This ends up being a waste of energy! This has lead me to get very angry.

I have tried many strategies to be heard. My DDH has refused to take any responsibility for his behaviours. I have tried getting him to see logic. I have often confronted him with requests that he should listen to me, and not to try to control me, but he always claims everything he does is right and justified.

If I assert myself, he gets angry and enraged and creates fear in me. Irrational fear?! No matter what strategy I use, he refuses to take responsibility for his behaviours, and refuses to consider mine or his wellbeing. I don't consider myself to be passive. I have often tried to help my DDH see how frustrating his control tactics are, but he has turned a deaf ear to such pleas. My DDH is determined to meet his own needs, not mine. I have tried to explain to him how his neglectful behaviours, denigration and mind games have affected me. I have tried to explain to my DDH how trapped I feel, how hurt I feel, how I need the safety and the space to be myself, but he has used this information as further ammunition to further control, manipulate and abuse me. My most frequent means of coping is to try to remain silent.

Jadmack wrote "Oh dear, this may be where he has tripped himself up....public show of abuse etc, is not quite what he wanted I guess." Maybe this time he might get himself into individual therapy for himself. I don't think I have anything left to give him!

However, he's acting as nothing is wrong!......Except for his neck brace and his inability to do anything for himself!

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Old 11-29-2010, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenixthebird View Post
I consider myself to be generous, intelligent and caring. Yet my DDH has refused to listen to me about anything. He is always determined to do what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants. Over the years I have tried to get my DDH to take responsibility for his aggression, his controlling, his abusiveness, and his unkindness. I have never found a way to actually engage him in a conversation that would enable a resolution. I believe he thinks if we don't talk about it, it just goes away by itself. This ends up being a waste of energy! This has lead me to get very angry.

I have tried many strategies to be heard. My DDH has refused to take any responsibility for his behaviours. I have tried getting him to see logic. I have often confronted him with requests that he should listen to me, and not to try to control me, but he always claims everything he does is right and justified.
This sounds exactly like the last several years of my marriage. A constant power struggle. Him trying to control me, me trying to control him. Both of us desperately trying to win.

You're right--it is a complete waste of energy and a big cause of anger.

The one and only thing that ever helped me out of that situation was to let go. When I stopped trying to win, stopped trying to control him, stopped caring what he did or didn't do, my life transformed.

L
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:27 PM
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I identify in a way, because I'm in amazement at how mature my kids are with my AH--they tell him how they feel in a non-judgemental way--they don't run, they don't minimize reality, they tell it like it is, and they then let it go. I'm in awe of them, and I learn from them often.

On the contrary, I tend to want to run. I repress my feelings.

When we went to Europe as a family, my oldest son was the dad. He would grab his dad by the shoulders when we emerged from a restaurant in which AH had drunk himself silly, and he'd say, "Now, Dad, don't move. I'm going to get the car and I'll be RIGHT BACK." He had just graduated from college at the time, and I was so grateful for his presence and take-charge attitude. But at the same time I was ashamed of this upside-down aspect to the family. So I know how you feel.

My rationale for why we are this way has to do with ACOA patterns of never wanting to make waves. Funny thing is, just telling how you feel doesn't really make waves. And if it does, so what? The wave settles back into the sea, and you have maintained your integrity.
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