Author Topic: DS under pressure?  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline Pen

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DS under pressure?
« on: September 08, 2016, 07:16:37 PM »
Hi, all...

My DS and I got into a little miscommunication-fueled tiff a couple of weeks ago. My feelings were hurt and I spent a few days throwing myself a bit of a pity party, complete with tears that sprang into my eyes from time to time (TV commercials that show happy families really get to me, lol.)

While trying to sort out what happened, I remembered the wise words I'd heard here and elsewhere regarding how many of our DSs react when they feel they are between the proverbial rock and hard place. I didn't know that a comment I made, kind of in jest, would affect my DS to the point he felt he needed to lash out at me, but I think that's what happened.

DS & DIL are heading for some big life changes soon. A couple of weeks ago DS called me and we had a long, grown-up talk. He asked for my input on a couple of things, expressed his desire for some help (labor, lol) from DH & I, etc. I didn't jump in and go overboard, but I did tell him we'd be glad to help if he needed it (the way good friends or those happy TV families might do, lol!)

Fast-forward a couple of weeks and his tone has changed. Cold as ice, very testy and prickly and argumentative. Whoa, dude...what's going on?

Perhaps he mentioned our good talk and our willingness to help to DIL and she was not thrilled. I don't know for sure, and we will not be likely to discuss it, but my feeling is that she doesn't want us anywhere near any part of their lives. She knows I am not an over-bearing MIL and that I do not want to give advice or offer opinions on anything, even when asked, but she is still adamant about leaving us out.

At first I was devastated, but as Luise says, it was because I had expectations! Granted, those expectations were based on his previous demeanor, but still... darn it, I allow myself to get swept in every time!! Now, although I'm still hurt and feel he needs to apologize and treat me with more civility, I understand that his behavior isn't against me as much as it's self-preservation for him.

I do not want to be another pressure on my DS; he gets enough of that at home. Now I'm working on being more aware of what might be going on so I don't get caught up again. It's a little like "walking on eggshells" w/o the low self-esteem that I often project.

It's very sad when we are reminded, again, that we are not really part of our adult children's lives. Some of us dream of a loving balance, helping each other, celebrating family events together, etc. I'm still working on those pesky expectations, my sense of fairness and my fear of abandonment. Thanks WWU for listening!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 07:49:09 PM »
Oh, honey...how difficult for all concerned. My heart goes out to you and I remember...similar events with my elder DS. I'm sending support and love...caring and understanding...peace and joy. And...hugs! (Plus a great big Fu Manchu!)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 09:29:17 PM »
Awww, Pen, I'm so sorry you are dealing with this uncomfortable situation with your son.  One encounter leaves you full of hope, and the next encounter dashes that hope with no explanation for it.  It's like getting whiplash on a roller coaster.  No wonder you get emotional about it.  Wouldn't anyone? 

It's impressive that you are considering DS's circumstances as you decide how to deal with your feelings and whether to communicate your hurt about his behavior.  I wonder if you could gently let him know your feelings when he treats you with coldness, argumentativeness, etc.  I think it is important for your relationship that he know when he says or does something disrespectful, even if he doesn't do it intentionally to hurt you.  Maybe I'm being naive about how he would respond - you know him best. 

I'm so sorry you are going through this, Pen.  Hugs!

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2016, 08:56:06 AM »
Pen, is it possible that your son has a mood disorder or is just plain old grouchy or kind of mean spirited? I don't know your situation but I do know one of my AC, actually TWO of them (LOL) are moody and one never knows are you getting the angel or the mean one during whatever encounter we have. Both of these AC, one male and one female, are really only happy when we are giving (money or attention usually). Yet, they don't offer to pay or give to us. Personally, I feel kind of bad inside that I have to be so detached emotionally from them but like you said, one has to protect oneself from the constant hurt or pain.

Offline Pooh

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 07:47:45 AM »
Pen, I was having this happen quite often.  Phone call or visit with DS would go great, smiles...laughter...communication...the whole bit.  Then the next time, bammm....he was moody and grouchy.  Back and forth, back and forth.  What I ended up finding out with mine, is that DH enjoyed our talks and visits, but then when he went home and maybe mentioned something we suggested they try (after he asked us what we would do), DIL would pitch a fit that he was listening to us and turn it around and tell him that we were trying to tell them how to live their lives....blah...blah...blah....

Then she would get him tore up and he would start second-guessing and wondering if she was right.....blah blah blah.

It was a vicious cycle he got caught up in.  Now, I don't feel bad for him, because he did it to himself.  It wasn't us, although we got blamed for it.  He should have trusted his own feelings, but he chose to believe her.

Not saying that's what's happening, but it could explain the cold and hot.  That's what we were experiencing.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pooh

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 07:51:18 AM »
Pen, is it possible that your son has a mood disorder or is just plain old grouchy or kind of mean spirited? I don't know your situation but I do know one of my AC, actually TWO of them (LOL) are moody and one never knows are you getting the angel or the mean one during whatever encounter we have. Both of these AC, one male and one female, are really only happy when we are giving (money or attention usually). Yet, they don't offer to pay or give to us. Personally, I feel kind of bad inside that I have to be so detached emotionally from them but like you said, one has to protect oneself from the constant hurt or pain.

Green Thumb, may I respectively request that you go back and read some of the threads on our older members before commenting.  I have seen several now where they have long standing stories here, that you make suggestions without knowing any of the story.  I know you mean well, but if you went and read all years of work they have put in, all the different things they have tried, you will find out...that sometimes there are not answers except that our AC and their spouses are jerks no matter what the OP does.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 09:20:18 AM »
GT, please give Pooh's post your serious attention. I would like to add that our Forum Agreement precludes offering professional advice. We are here to listen (read), share and care. If you are a professional, this is not the venue to use to share your skills. We have no professional standing nor any malpractice insurance. If these constraints don't work for you, please move on to other outlets. Coming from the heart instead of data is the goal I have set for my Website. We leave possible diagnosis and treatment to others. Thanks for understanding.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 09:34:50 AM by luise.volta »
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 01:47:08 AM »
Thank you all for your responses. WWU rides again! Love you guys  :-* Hugs back to you, Luise.

I feel DS is caught in the cycle you mentioned, Pooh. He gladly jumped in before realizing the consequences, or perhaps the material goodies outweighed ties to his FOO (pretty likely!) He probably thought he could handle it, poor guy. It's easier, and more advantageous, for him to blame us than to stand up to her.

Bamboo, I agree that he needs to know when he's been rude or hurtful to me. No guilt trip, just the facts stated gently.

He knows we love him, and I choose to believe he loves us too...until the day the Kool-Aid has been completely consumed, lol.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Monroe

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 10:06:47 PM »
I think Green Thumb was just trying to be helpful and offer a different perspective. 


Offline luise.volta

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Re: DS under pressure?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 10:42:48 PM »
It looks to me like this one has run its course.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 10:46:28 PM by luise.volta »
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher