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Old 11-08-2002, 04:34 AM
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Hi everyone,

I talked to the Beav last night and he can twist me around his finger...believe that? All my talk here and I can still fall for him. I have learned to say "can I get back to you?" And Ward doesn't get it but I need to regroup after every encounter. He thinks I am keeping something from him and gets upset with me. I get so caught up in my thoughts and saying the next right thing that I am almost catatonic after I talk to the Beav.

He called last night and the conversation started out really well. He is moderating meetings now and he sounds good. Typically he then moves into wanting something and since he is not very original that is where the conversation proceeded. He has a day pass this weekend and wants me to pick him up. He wants to see his son. (his inflection not mine). Now we have had the GS at our house for the last 2 weekends in anticipation of this pass and the Beav was not very forthcoming about exactly when it was going to be. So his son won't be here and the rehab is 3 hours from us...for a 12 hour pass.

I didn't immediately say I would be there so...he begins telling me how he has no one and no one does anything for him and everyone else there has family who cares. Bingo! Straight shot at the heart. So me? "Can I get back to you?"

I got off the phone and was catatonic...Ward got pissed and slamed the door on his way to bed. So much for the Cleavers!

I went to bed with the AA Big Book...the hard core, pulls no punches straight scoop. Lo and behold a thought begins to emerge.

I am being manipulated! And I am none too happy about it!

I got out of bed and wrote the Beav a letter. A loving supportive letter pointing out a few of the things that we have done and how much I love him and want hin to rejoin the family. Maybe I will mail it and maybe I won't.

The other part of the conversation we had was about sober living after he gets out in 20 days or so. He wants me to call. Sorry can't do that...they don't want to talk to me anyway. He won't go to this town or that town...nothing that has been suggested to him meets his needs.

It takes me a while sometimes to "get" it but if I take my time and don't make a decision in the emotional moment I usually get a clear picture. He was doing some serious quacking and I still have to stand back to see it. This progam continually has me in awe.

Oh and he is on his last pack of smokes....guess I will have to run out and get him some...right? I already sent his coat, gloves, hat, two shirts, candy and toiletries, smokes, phone card, and a tax check of his that came to our house. Nope, we don't a thing for him.

Love to you all...and thanks for being here!

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Old 11-08-2002, 05:52 AM
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good for you JT, man I wish all the times I was manipulated...I wish I could have gotten by with, I'll get back to you. See when I was reading your post...I was saying ohhh, thats sad he thinks noone will do anything for him. THEN, it hit me.

Ogly use to tell me all the time....MANIPULATION, so good at it they are. She would point it out to me when my A was quacking at his best...

You and Ward have done lots....just by being his parents. I know your son knows that.

Do something good for you today......

Love ya!
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Old 11-08-2002, 06:36 AM
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Wow. You are really awesome, you know that? "Can I get back to you?" has just become another of the weapons in my arsenal of sanity self defense. This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful, and we all need something to give us just a bit more time to take a breath, remove the emotions and look at things from a logical and practical view.

You ARE being manipulated, and I was amazed to see myself in parts of your post. My sons - who are ducklings, mind you - not really quacking yet but probably headed in that direction- know every single button to push on me in order to get what they want.
I will use that quote with them from now on!!

HUGS to you. I am awed by your honest, candor and the strength of your program.

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Old 11-08-2002, 07:25 AM
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Gosh I know just where you are coming from.. I am getting to the point that I always say "let me think about it. .or get back to you" in almost every type of request. Sometimes I feel like I am being less than honest but damn it I get suckered into things so easy. then I end up mad at myself for saying yes when I really don't want to do anything.

I think you have given plenty. Years ago I attended Tough Love for parents. They stressed (rightly so) that parents have limited resources both emotionally and physically and that we need to realize that. We don't need to give 150 % it isn't healthy for us. But how easy it is to fall for that manipulation. Just stabs ya to the heart.

Think. .think. .think. .they say in AA.

Thanks for the post JT Good reminder or how it works.

Blessings to all mothers of addicts Mo
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Old 11-08-2002, 07:45 AM
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It is what it is!!!
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JT -

WOW - Quacking at it's best, I know I've been there, done that!!!! I agree with the others, you are awesome!!! I say that because you do your best to use the tools that you have learned, you were feeling shaky and went right for the book!!!!

Writing the letter - great thing to do, even if you don't mail it. But you might want to, we quackers have to be told (over and over and over and over etc.........).

Love and hugs to you my friend!!!!
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Old 11-08-2002, 08:55 AM
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It would be fun to have a thread of phrases we can use when being manipulated.

I will remember yours JT. Good for you. I haven't heard from my son in over a week and I'm wondering if that's a form of manipulation too.

Old 11-08-2002, 09:26 AM
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Thank you all so much!

When I got through posting I went and looked at those "hooks that make you boundryless" and wow! You know, you can look at something a hundred times and when you are ready you are ready. I need to reexamine my boundaries. I told you guys that I go catatonic? Could that be disassociation? I can pull in really really far. It would take naked Mel to get a reaction out of me. So extreme detachment is probably another one.

Perhaps I have been SO detached and SO afraid of making the wrong move that I make no move at all. I am so careful to pick my battles that I don't have ANY. That is not healthy! I am going to state my boundary with the Beav...I will edit my letter and send it.

And this morning while I was driving my license suspended hubby to work at 4:45 am he commented on how BADLY I DRIVE. I let it go.


Ward....honey, sweetie, baby....I am coming home with the better DUCK!!!!

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Old 11-08-2002, 09:44 AM
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About to reveal how immature I am in this program, but....

Ok, JT and all you have replied, please help me out here. If you read this board regularly, you know I'm a new comer so please cut me some slack when I ask this question. I'm sure some of you are going to want to take a 2 x 4 and hit me over the head!!!

I understand where your son is 'quacking' (I assume that is the same thing as whining? I'm figuring out also that there is a certain 'lingo' in the Al Anon thing ). I get sick to death when my daughter starts having her pity party, wanting to invite her dad and I. I've recently told her, "No thanks, I'm not coming."

But help me understand this. Do you not think that Beav isn't indicating to you that he'd just like a visit, some family, some show of support from you on his day when he has a pass? As a mother, I'm trying to put myself in your shoes and I'm just wondering how much am I MISSING THE BOAT by thinking if this were my daughter, I really wouldn't find anything wrong with going and seeing her on her free day. In my mind (I probably should say "CONFUSED" mind) I'm thinking that would be a show of support. So ya'll help me out here. Please help me understand how JT going to see her son on his free day makes her being manipulated.

Now would I send him more smokes? Nope. Just been thinking about that one recently as I realized I'm giving my daughter money each week, money for lunch when she goes to her outpatient treatment out of town. She attends treatment, then AA and that runs past lunch. She is an hour from home, so I figure I do owe it to the kid to feed her. And then I was throwing in and extra $25 per week for just know, when she goes to Wal Mart and needs mascara, shampoo, etc. Well, today I thought "HOW STUPID!" I'm buying her cigarettes, I'm buying her Metabolite (over the counter diet pills) and who knows what else.

I'm thinking my daughter only ought to get enough money to eat each day. If she wants to skip lunch to buy her cigarettes (I doubt that will happen though. She ain't stupid. I think she uses her cute, young personality to get lunch bought for her by some fellow AA member), then that's her decision.

And to make ya'll smile....husband and I drove 45 minutes last night to what we thought was an Al Anon meeting. Got there, they started saying, "Welcome to this meeting of AA." I looked at the husband, thinking we were going to get carded or something. I said, "SAY SOMETHING!" He did and they were very nice, telling us we were welcomed to stay. I knew I'd learn something and I wouldn't mind attending AA and Al Anon every week. Heck, I'm beginning to think those AA folks don't have anything on me in the messed up department. I'm giving them a run for their money!!!!

Thanks guys for any advice. And thank you, Lord, for helping me keep a sense of humor about this.
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Old 11-08-2002, 09:48 AM
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Coincidence or....


As soon as I finished editing and sending my post, I was taken back to the board and there was your's.

You made me laugh with your 'skillet' comment. I knew I liked you from the minute I saw you!!!!

When you get through with the skillet, could I have it to use on my daughter (and anyone else who gets in my way when I'm PMSing?.... )

Hugs JT!
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Old 11-08-2002, 09:48 AM
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Hi JT,

So much great work. We're so lucky to follow your lead.

I hope you don't mind if I make a statement about something I've learned here in regard to your last post. I know I'm new and you are so much further along than me so if I'm totally off the mark, please feel free to tell me so.

When I first got sober, I read the big book cover to cover in rehab. I practically memorized it. I was working the 10th step (or so I thought) by my second week in rehab. All different kinds of addicts do things to extremes. I think most of my controlling comes from being a perfectionist.

I love what MG says and have learned a lot from the way she works her program. She says that she has her boundaries but if she feels like her son is going to die or commit suicide then she is going to help him, no ifs ands or buts. I think that is because she needs to do that for her. This program is about what is going to make us happy and help us to live sane a peaceful lives. In emulating that, I have tried not to feel manipulated into doing things for my husband where my step son is concerned for example, but if I feel like doing it because I want to, then it's my decision, and I am free of resentment and/or feeling like they got one over on me.

I don't know if I'm making sense here. I just think you're really special and no matter what you do, if it makes you happy, then the people who care about you will be happy for you.
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Old 11-08-2002, 11:50 AM
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Hangin' in and searching,

You are not on the wrong track and I didn't intend my post to be about going or not going. I may very well go. I haven't made up my mind.

My issue is the manipulation and how sad and confused I felt after I hung up the phone. One moment he was in a great mood and telling me how he is leading meetings now, but the moment I hesitate he turns it on and I don't want to participate in that. I don't want to be sad and confused everytime I speak with him. In fact I don't want ANYONE to leave me sad and confused ever again.

Stating my boundary and following through on it is about me. It is not about punishing him in any way. To be honest, I have felt anxiety whenever I talk to him because he always puts me on the spot ( uh...I allow myself to be out on the spot). If I go I will be putting myself in the same position that I was in last night on the phone. He continually puts me in a place where I am forced to say "no" and we all know how heart wrenching that is. Why do I want to do that to myself?

He is not the same "child" that moved out of my house 7 years ago. We have a very strained relationship at best. He holds us responsible for his situation and is quite vocal about it . I continue to show my support in spite of him if that makes any sense.

I stand by being honest with him in this situation. Perhaps our relationship will improve as a result of it.

If I don't go it will because of two things. A 6 hour round trip drive and we don't have the GS this weekend, and that is what he wants most right see his son.

God, can you tell I am working on something? A bit wordy aren't I???


Last edited by JT; 11-08-2002 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 11-08-2002, 12:06 PM
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Like I said...

I'm new at this and having trouble understanding it all, but thanks for helping me understand, JT.

And trust me, I know about those youngin's pulling on the heart strings. Good gosh, I am JUST NOW in the very beginning of taking teeny, tiny baby steps as far as what kind of boundaries I'm going to be setting with my daughter. She knows how to push my buttons!

I'll be reading your posts and all others on here to hopefully take my position on her alcoholism in a postive direction.

Thanks, JT. Hope you have a great weekend, whether you go or stay. But here's the deal. My philosophy is rather safe than sorry so I'm going to go ahead and ask God to help you handle the meeting with your son IF you do go. Hey, I figure there are no wasted prayers.
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Old 11-08-2002, 12:32 PM
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You guys have me thinking now.

I think it boils down to the "victim". Is he being a victim or am I being a victim.

My son has truely been suicidal on probably 2 occasions. He on a million occasions has stated that he doesn't want to live anymore and it's all my fault because of his horrible child hood. Quack, Quack.

The thought that comes to my mind right now is when we act or they act is there a victim.

If my son wastes all his money on things that aren't important and then crys because he doesn't have money for cigarettes then he has put himself in the victim mode. If I buy him cigarettes then I am allowing him to stay in the victim mode and I'm also a victim of his manipulation. Now on the other hand, if he had an unexpected doctor bill or something like that he had to pay and then didn't have enough money for cigarettes, and asked for help, he wouldn't be in victim mode and I wouldn't be a victim of manipulation.

If he is truely suicidal and I take him to a hospital then I feel that is ok. If he is just crying on a pity party and not willing to do anything for himself and I run to get him, then he gets to remain a victim and I have been a victim of his manipulation.

The times I try to compromise is in life threatening situations when a jacket, gloves and hat might keep him from freezing to death. Also if he is doing everything he can for himself at the time I might throw in extra things just because I want to.

So I think that we could question our actions on these terms. Is anyone a victim in this.


Last edited by Morning Glory; 11-08-2002 at 12:34 PM.
Old 11-08-2002, 01:24 PM
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Hi all
well i have just been reading through ur post and WOW,its so spooky[ thats the only word i can think of at the mo], how all of us are dealing with the same sort of quacking, malnipulation, sob stories, and problems, we may all ahve different situations but the stories are all so similar. Its little wonder that this site is such a life line, its is truley amazing, some time i read the posts and it fits so much with everything going on in my life, even down to the exact same quacking.

The amount of strenth i have found in all of u ,still stuns me, and its only now when i sit and think about it, that all the times i've beat myself up with the "im such a whimp" because im not able to leave him,,,,,,, i relise that it take a hell of alot to deal with the A, and thier illness, and that every one of us is blessed with a inner strenth, that we just keep finding. tonight when i go to bed , im going to go to my mirror and take alook at me , and then thank me for always being there, and not letting me down, after all wouldent we say the same to our best friends for helping us.

Baby steps, but step none the less, im sorry for rabbiting on, but you all never fail to impress and clear my thinking up.

the amount of surport here for each other is outstanding , and im
so glad i found you, your my family.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))TO ALL(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

a very emotional spin,xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Old 11-08-2002, 01:45 PM
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I think it's also about rescuing. Is this
something they can do on their own, or do
I have or need to be involved. 9 times
out of 10, I don't have to do anything.
I sure understand "catatonic", I like
that word, J.T. I walked around that way
yesterday, after my son told me his
probation stipulations. Then he called
right back and said he was coming back
home, he and his wife weren't getting along. Remember, I just wrote him a
loving letter he couldn't stay here any-
more Sat.? How quickly they forget!
My response was whooooooa, wait a minute.
I will make some calls so you can talk
to someone right now about these problems
and you can work them out right there.
That put a end to everything right then
and there.
I'll remember "let me think about it"
for whatever the next time may be.
And this trip-why can't the Beav take
a bus? Sure it will cut into his 12 hour
pass, but what about ol' Mom making a 6
hour trip?
Hangin in', after years and years of
dealing with this-well J.T. is Just Tired.
So am I-my son is 29 years old-and I must
not forget my 20 year old in jail-a whole
other story! We have run, jumped, rescued, taken full
responsibility for our A's, and none of
it has worked. And then set boundaries,
rules, etc. to protect ourselves, and that
hasn't worked! So you wind up not want-
ing to do anything at all-except love
them. We would love to have a adult rela-
tionship with them, where we are not
needed or asked to do anything.
J.T., I know you will make the decision
that is right for you. Oh, and give Ward
a whack from me LOL

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Old 11-08-2002, 06:13 PM
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I follow you all the way on this one. It is one thing for us to be nice and decide to go have a visit, and leave.

It is totally another issue when we go because of either our own guilt or the guilt they lay on us (manipulation - ugh).

And when we get there, it can be a happy visit, sharing stories and encouraging thoughts, or it can be yet an extention of the pity party - poor me, what did you bring me, the stores are open and I need.....

Very wise move to step back to consider your feelings before you respond.

I think I would go if I wanted to, and try to make a good day out of it. But if I thought it was going to end up a lousy day, I would probably stay home.

He'll be finished in 20 days and he is then free to visit you and his boy as often as he chooses.

As I re-read what I am posting here I realize that it's a coin toss.
Heads, he wins...tails, you lose.

Okay JT, I've been away and am out of practice here LOL. Go with your instinct. Yes, that's my final answer, Regis.

Good luck and have a wonderful weekend, whatever you choose.
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Old 11-08-2002, 06:41 PM
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I say a prayer every day to thank God for sending angels in my life to learn from. You guys are my angels. Thank you for being so honest.

I have been considering these posts and the thought also hit me between the eyes (I hate those) that perhaps my A is a victim to my quest for a relationship. Perhaps I have searched and searched for what I want and he has been a victim of my manipulations to get that. UGH. This has been such an eye opening post.

This disease is so powerful. My thought is that My heart goes out to you moms that have a child has your A. It has to be tough.

Whatever you decide, it will be the best decision. If you go have fun, if you stay, keep the skillet handy!!
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Old 11-08-2002, 06:44 PM
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I think you are doing a great job being true to yourself, and still loving your son. I love your "Can I get back to you"! I have been using " I can't give you an answer right now, I need to think about it" which has really helped with both A & daughter. It gives me that couple of moments, or however long I need to THINK, not just react. It has made such a huge difference in out household.

And "Putting you in a place that you are forced to say no" OMG, my daughter does that just constantly. I cringe when I see her coming! I swear I hide from her sometimes, because it will always be something, which will lead to confrontation.....

I think that as long as YOU feel comfortable about what your decision is to do, and not resentful or feel hurt or used or pushed into something, then it is ok. You are doing it because you want to. As we all know, they are the master manipulators. But it's our choice if we chose to do something or not. So instead of saying " I should, I have to, I need to.... I need to rephrase it in my mind and say "I choose to...." then it is ok, it is my choice.

Hang in there! Your HP is right at your side!
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Old 11-11-2002, 07:09 AM
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Did you go???


Just wondering if you went for the visit this past weekend?

Hugs gal,

Hangin' In
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Old 11-11-2002, 11:57 AM
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No I didn't...and after all of the above, the main reason I didn't is because he did not call back. Maybe he made other arrangements. Nothing had been settled...when I didn't commit right away he began telling me I haven't done anything for him in 10 years....which is way off base. So he chose not to call me back.

I did however learn a valuable lesson...I need to define my boundaries clearly. It must have been time for me to get that message.

Hugs and thanks for thinking of me!

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