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Old 11-29-2012, 05:52 AM
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What the.....?

A dear friend of mine's son died yesterday from a 2 year battle with leukemia. Her son was friends with my son many years ago but the boys haven't seen eachother since ds was around 9 or so. My son remembers going to Evan's birthday parties and the years we all spent doing our homeschool PE at the park every Friday. I have been following their story these past 2 years because my sister nearly died from leukemia when we were kids, too, and leukemia really touches a heart string for me.

Anyway, I told ds yesterday about Evan's death. He cried and then said, "Don't tell dad." I asked why and he said, "He'll probably just say 'good'. Remember how he was right before your dad died last year? When he freaked out and said he didn't want to hear about it anymore and you were crying and he got mad at me?" Yep, how could I forget. My AH threw my dying father under the bus screaming and ranting about how awful a person my dad was and how he didn't want to hear any more updates about how things were going while he was in hospice. I remember thinking, at the time, that I had married a monster.

So, fast forward to this past Tuesday while AH and I were in marriage counseling. He had told me that he didn't want to hear about Evan's updates anymore(he has said this in the past, that he doesn't want updates about people we know who are suffering, but he also complained that he doesn't want updates about my mom, either, because it will always lead to him judging them and me getting upset....well, then stop judging them and just listen to the story...he's not capable) and I chose to bring it up in marriage counseling. I explained that I felt that telling AH about people, things happening in friend's lives, etc was part of sharing in a marriage, a give and take of conversation, etc. He told me it was depressing and then started going off(while with the counselor) about how he doesn't understand how these people afford their vacations around the country and how they can pay for all the stuff they have, including the millions of dollars of medical bills and blah, blah, blah. I tried defending my friend explaining to AH that they weren't vacationing, stupid. They were taking their very sick child around the country to different trials at different hospitals. They were staying in Ronald McDonald Houses, they were living, all 5 of them(2 adults, 3 boys) in a 700 square foot room for months at a time, her husband had to cyber commute to a demanding job. I told AH that when my sister was sick I saw a community pull together, people I had never met came to our door to give us donations, brought us food, etc. I saw real true humanity and caring and love. He seems to think these things don't exist and that he would be on his own if one of us got that sick. He kept ranting and raving about where do people come up with this money to just give it away, where does all the money go for Susan G Komen stuff, etc. Seriously, it was absolute insanity and thankfully the counselor finally stepped in and told him that he needs a better outlet for his anger and that he's wasting too much precious time being angry over stuff that has nothing to do with him. LOL, I've been trying to tell AH this for years, UGH!

Anyway, Evan passed away that night/early AM. AH has been away for business and last night on the phone I couldn't even tell him about Evan's death. I was so angry about the things he said about these wonderful people who now have lost their oldest child. I was angry about how he handled things last year about my dad(even though my dad was an a**, he was dying and I didn't need to hear AH's rants), and I was frustrated that my 14 year old remembers it and now thinks his father doesn't care about human life to the point where he doesn't want me to tell dad about this child's death!!! Every time I read Evan's updates and about how he touched people's lives so much, I start to cry, I cry for his family and his mother(my dear friend), I cry for myself and my son because I have to come out of denial and realize I've married someone who really is an a**, just like my father.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:25 AM
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Lack of Empathy: The Most Telling Narcissistic Trait | Psychology Today
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:28 AM
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By the way, this is the best, most exhaustive discussion of Narcissism Personality Disorder that I've ever found online.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) : How to Recognize a Narcissist

Check it out.

When I discussed this with a therapist, she said that the best way to interact with a narcissist is never, unless you must, in which case you should do with pity and from a great distance.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:43 AM
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Wow. My ah does the SAME thing. he makes everyone elses problems his own like severly his own. guess it feeds into his addict behavior.
then when it comes to me talking to him about ANYTHING it upsets him doesnt want to talk about it even if it has NOTHING to do with him.
even if it were the news.....cant talk about it....he hates sad stories.
Gets made even extremely mad to anything that is even remotely upsetting. forget talking about finances , he hates those too.
plans for the future? yea.....if its not about what HE wants .....those upset him also.
ALL this is girl is an addict being a child.....a drunken child.
I have cried also ....i should be able to talk to him and have a normal heartfelt conversation without him blowing up at me, making it about him or teling me he just doesnt want to hear it. selfish selfish behaviour......because as soon as he wants to talk about something depressing/upsetting that has to do with HIM i had to sit and listen for hours and watch him spiral down.
Sorry for your loss and I am sorry that the one person you should be able to talk to wont listen but We are listening here on sr.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:48 AM
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Lizatola, I am so sorry about the loss of your friend's son.

I know you express dismay at what your son said about not telling your AH. I don't know what to say about that except part of me was glad he was able to express that to you so articulately. It shows the strength of your relationship with him. In my family, growing up with an A mother, we were all very afraid to express our feelings and fears. So kudos to you for building that trust with him, as dismaying as the context was.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:03 AM
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I'm so sorry about your friend's son. How sad.

I explained that I felt that telling AH about people, things happening in friend's lives, etc was part of sharing in a marriage, a give and take of conversation, etc.
That is a totally reasonable expectation of a marriage and it is a totally deluded expectation of your husband. He is not that man. He can't be that man. It is not him. There is nothing that you, or the counselor, can do to turn him into someone he is not.

IME, once I truly accepted my husband for the person he was a couple of things happened. I was no longer surprised, upset, frustrated, shocked, mystified, or angry at how he behaved. I lost respect for him in so many ways but at the same time give him the respect inherit in being a person. The respect to accept him for who he was. I was able to let go of all the turmoil I was feeling and focus that energy in a different direction, one that was more productive and focused on my own situation and life.

Thinking of you and your son. I have a son almost the same age and it is hard for him to be so conflicted about his dad. My son isn't nearly as open so it is hard to know what he is thinking. :sigh:
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:16 AM
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Just wanted to say how sorry I am for you and your son and your friends, and the loss of their son. This is tragic.

Can't really say anything about your husband that I want to say because its just curse words. So I wont say anything. I am glad you and your son have each other.

Sending prayers your way ...so very sorry about this loss.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
Lizatola, I am so sorry about the loss of your friend's son.

I know you express dismay at what your son said about not telling your AH. I don't know what to say about that except part of me was glad he was able to express that to you so articulately. It shows the strength of your relationship with him. In my family, growing up with an A mother, we were all very afraid to express our feelings and fears. So kudos to you for building that trust with him, as dismaying as the context was.
Oh me too. I work hard to keep the lines of communication open with him. The other day he told me that he thought AH was fat, lazy, and stubborn. I didn't tell him he was wrong, I validated his feelings and told him that we can't change who dad is. Yet, a part of me was like: Thank God I'm not the only one who sees this and it's not just me.

Our son is a great kid. Very perceptive and even though he struggles to remember what 9x8 is, he can remember to the day certain conversations we have had, events, what he was wearing when he won his first tennis match, etc. It's like he has selective memory because I wish I could get him to access that part of the brain when he's studying. Like today, he has a science test and he still can't give me the definition for petrifaction. I've gone over it like 20 times, LOL! He has Tourette's, ADHD, and other learning problems but his athleticism really helps him gain friendships and respect, and his counselor is working with him in regards to handling peer pressure and the stuff at home, as well.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:50 AM
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So sorry for your loss- thankfully your son and you have ech other to rely on. Sending prayers to you and your friends :-)
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:23 AM
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The lack of empathy for others is a very common trait in alcoholics & even recovering alcoholics.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:11 AM
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I am sorry for your friend's loss of their child. Am sending good thoughts and
prayers for their family.

I am very glad that your son is comfortable at being able to communicate with
you his feelings.

You, however, are still EXPECTING your AH to be something he is NOT. He
has told you over and over in words and in his actions WHO HE IS, when are
you going to believe him? And once you believe him you will have to decide
if you can live with him this way for the rest of your life or not.

Sending good thoughts and prayer also for your family.

Love and hugs,
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:25 AM
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I am so sorry to hear of the death of your son's friend. I don't there is anything harder than the death of a child, and you and your son have my sympathy and prayers.

Your son seems quite perceptive about your AH's behavior and capabilities, or lack of capabilities. I know you are working hard with him and his counselor about the many difficulties in learning to cope with his disabilities and his AH. I give you great respect for your love and dedication to your son.

Your comments in this post make me wonder whether it might be useful - or time - to talk about how your son would feel if you both did not live with your AH any more. His response might surprise you. Certainly his comments that you mention in your post are quite cognizant of his father's deficiencies, and he seems to have some real maturity for a 14 year old. It might let him feel more empowered in the situation (which I also endured) of living as a child with an alcoholic father.

Just a suggestion - talk what you want and leave the rest.

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Old 11-29-2012, 09:32 AM
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First and most important, my sympathy to you, your son, and his friend's family, what a sad time...

'WHEN SOMEONE SHOWS YOU WHO THEY ARE, BELIEVE THEM" Maya Angelou
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:40 AM
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((Liz))

please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your dear friend's loss of her son

and also for the grief that you must feel knowing that your AH is not who you & your son wish he could be ~ The reality of becoming aware of that, admitting it to someone else or even hearing it from someone else (like your child) is very heartbreaking

pink hugs for all
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:05 AM
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Liz - I remember hearing this quote ...maybe it was after 9/11 or maybe it was after the OKC bombing that took out the daycare center but it struck me then and seems apropos now...
A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.
A child who loses his parents is called an orphan.
There is no word for a parent who loses a child.
That’s how awful the loss is.
- Jay Neugeboren – An Orphan’s Tale – 1976

As for your AH and his lack of empathy.... lol, I am generally one of the voices around here that says be patient and understanding and ... Right now? F--- Him, take care of your son's grief and see what you can do to support Evan's family.

When there is a death, people often have no idea what to say "I'm so sorry about your son" seems so ...inadequate.

But I learned something the day I buried my father. There were a few hundred people who showed up, many had come long distances. Everyone who knew him knew that the bond between us was indescribably strong and over time many of those people came to me to say that they wanted to reach out that day but were afraid to because after a few people told me stories about what he meant to them I was having a hard time keeping it together.

...but I really remember each and every time someone came and hugged me and told me it would get better and told me how much my dad adored me and talked about me.

So... AH resents the sick boy getting all the sympathy? Tomorrow I may urge you to be understanding but right now, to hell with him. Evan's family and your son ARE grieving and who better than one of us codies to offer love and support and whatever assistance they need? Maybe a charity event in his memeory - I do 100 mile bike rallys all summer for things like MS, Diabetes, Cancer.... that's a doable one. There are lots of other things. Maybe work with your son and figure out a meaningful tribute to Evan that his family can appreciate for years to come. Nothing can replace Evan, raising a million bucks to stomp out Leukemia or support Ronald McDonald house or similar charities over the next ten or twenty years would perhaps help the family find solace and meaning in the inexplicable death of their son and would be a good thing for you and your son.

Prayers to you. Will try to give a sh1t about your AH tomorrow. AH is a-hole today, lol.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:19 AM
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I am so sorry for the loss you and your son are feeling. A prayer goes out to all those feeling his loss. Although on a much much lesser extent, I can relate to the lack of empathy as my AH, reacted the same way when my cat was dying ( I dont mean to equate the loss of a pet to that of a person), he picked a fight with me telling me I was nuts, over reacting and there was nothing wrong with the cat-this from an animal lover. She died that night. I was stunned at his lack of empathy and that was the first time I realized that his addiction to alcohol had really changed him. Find comfort with your son and hold tight to those wonderful memories you have of Evan. Big hug.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:59 AM
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Once again, I feel like you married my AXH. The "I have no interest in hearing about your friends" and most definitely this:
I told AH that when my sister was sick I saw a community pull together, people I had never met came to our door to give us donations, brought us food, etc. I saw real true humanity and caring and love. He seems to think these things don't exist
Any time I told him something like that, he would say "it's strange how people who are [insert bad word here] and criminals get all the support, and I bet when I die, there won't be a single person at my funeral."

I had forgotten that particular aspect of his dysfunction, but I'm sort of glad you reminded me.

And now I'm off to read Florence's links.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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Liza -- just a thought that occurred to me (and not because of anything other than that I'm curious if this is a common thing, too): Does your AH react differently to stories about bad stuff happening that's further away?

Mine used to be depressed for days (but actually engaged) in natural disasters on the other side of the world. He would be very concerned and depressed about homeless people. But when things got closer than that, it made him angry.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:10 AM
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Liz, I am sorry to hear about your friend's son.

But something about your recent posts is weighing heavily on my mind, and I have bitten my tongue so far.
I understand your H has flaws, and that your child has remarked on these by calling him "fat, lazy, and stubborn". Granted, he is a teenager.

It seems to me that a certain amount of respect is needed for any relationship with a husband or father.
I think it is truly dysfunctional when all respect is lost for the person paying the way of others.
Your H may have some "lazy" traits. But something else is amiss that has nothing to do with alcohol or other flaws in your H, when that same "lazy" person is also paying the way for other's disrespect.
If you and your son received zero dollars from your H--would those same "lazy" type of descriptions be used if you two had to make your way in the world without him?
Or would those words disappear with the realization of the daily struggle to survive?
It's a fine line we have to walk chastising a drinker and losing all respect for the things they do in life that are beneficial to us.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:47 PM
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MoG -- I thought I misunderstood your first post but reading your second one, I see that I don't, I simply disagree with you.

I think it's healty for children to make the observation that their parent is behaving in ways that are unhealthy -- whether they are able to put it into appropriate language or not. "Fat and lazy" may be a kid's way of expressing his disappointment in his father. Mine have said worse. And when they do, I may remind them that alcoholism is a disease. But I won't order them to respect a person who they feel has neither earned nor deserved their respect.

For me, telling people about my AH's bad behaviors (here or at Al-Anon) was a way of figuring out whether the behaviors were typical, or whether I was overreacting, or what. Sort of a reality check. For me, that was part of the process of determining whether to fight for my marriage or give up.

As for the other part -- I don't see "He supports you" as a good enough reason to feel obligated to treat someone with respect. Matter of fact, I would go a step further and say you are never obligated to treat someone with respect -- respect is earned, and when given by obligation, worthless.
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