A lot of stuff is happening. I’m really noticing my increased psychological health and strength as I’m put under pressure. It’s not perfect, I’m wobbly in places, but it’s a lot better.
Progress, not perfection.
Son2 achieved 5 passes in his GCSE’s. He and I were /are absolutely delighted with this result. It’s so much better than we feared and I hope he will be able to continue at his supportive school, with his friends. Given his shaky mental health this is SO important … we go into school this morning for a chat. He has not quite got the grades he needs for automatic acceptance, but I’m hoping for special consideration …
Unfortunately things are not so hopeful with son 1 and yesterday I discovered a pile of drug stuff. Again. A grinder and evidence of weed smoking.
To say I was disappointed and angry would be an understatement. And there was a huge row. Not good. But, throughout the day I tried to ‘lean into the discomfort’ again, and actually think through my responses.
I have come to the conclusion that I
- have every right to refuse to accept ANY drug taking in my home.
- Don’t care if others think it’s “not that bad”. It is to me.
- Am not mean, critical and horrible (as son1 called me in the aforementioned argument)
- Have done my very very best for son1, especially in the last 2 years
- Cannot control what son1 does – really really CANNOT
- Can set my boundaries and can stick to them
So last evening I sat down with him calmly and explained that
- I am afraid for him,
- frustrated with his lack of effort to sort out College and
- worried that he will lose the opportunity if he does not actively pursue the only option he has.
- I feel he has betrayed my trust again
- I will not accept drug taking
- If I find drugs paraphernalia again he will need to find somewhere else to live. And I MEAN this.
- I will not be giving him any money, nor buying clothes, shoes, phone, alcohol or anything else at all for him unless he is in FT education. If he IS in FT education I expect him to get a PT job, and we will discuss any other financial assistance that is absolutely necessary.
- I expect him to keep his room hygienic and reasonably clean. If he cannot, he forfeits the right to that room and he will have to live in the Den. Again I mean this. His room smells, it’s filthy and unhygienic and he WILL NOT clean it up, nor will he allow me to help him to do so. I can’t make him clean, but I can lock the door and refuse him access.
No answer to that really is there. Good. I feel better. I still can’t control him, but I can control what I do. I have given him my reasoned advice re College, and it’s up to him what he does.
Lastly, to cap a truly stressful day (I haven’t mentioned the blocked sink, dripping tap and kitchen flood which stated it off ) I received an email from my exPartner.
Ugh. Essentially he wants to come and collect some stuff.
I said no. He ended up calling me bitter and hostile, heaping bad Karma on me and threatening legal action. I didn’t reply.
All kinds of difficult emotions round this one. Chiefly:
- a certain pleasure in denying him what he wants almost a “satisfaction”.
- A wicked desire to goad him – I know I am smarter than him and the temptation to stress him out with a combination of passive aggression, sarcasm, blunt truth and amusement is almost overwhelming.
- A desire to do what he does. Just lie. I could say I remember him giving me these things. Then it’s his word against mine. It would drive him mad, but it’s what he did to me hundreds of times. It’s called gaslighting and it’s absolutely toxic
- Hit back. Go to a lawyer with my evidence ( receipts etc) and demand return of the multitude of items that I can prove I paid for …
I guess these emotions are normal. I’m not very proud of them, especially the urge to lie, gaslight or hit back. I can see clearly that any contact with him is just toxic for me, and destroys my peace of mind. In the end my peace of mind is so much more important than anything else, so this is the last email I sent.
I repeat that I have no intention of facilitating your request to collect items from my home. I have previously indicated to you in writing that any possessions that were not removed from my home by January 2017 would be forfeit and / or disposed of.
Please feel free to investigate any ways you like to force me to do so. My position will not change.
I can see no useful purpose to further discussion and I would request that you do not contact me again.
It’s not the end, he said in reply; as he’s taking legal advice etc. Hahaha. What a bloody joke, he has no money and no legal leg to stand on. But I need to close it down from my end, and I will not engage further.
I’m reading a book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho, about forgiveness. It’s a very moving and profound read from people who really know something about the subject. Desmond Tutu is one of those people I deeply respect and admire, a feeling intensified by our recent visit to South Africa. I have some work to do on true forgiveness. Not as Tutu would say, for him, but for me – to enable me to put down the burden of anger that weighs on the soul.