Friday, August 5, 2011

Argument Letter

We had an argument.  Surprise.

It just came out of the blue.

Everything had been going so well.

He wanted permission to download an X-box game.  We still haven’t given up on being strict about the X-box, especially about the content of games.  We were trying to trust him to get games that weren’t totally awful but, at this time, we were still trying to figure out how to maintain the standards of our home and our beliefs while letting him play some of the games that he wanted to on the X-box. 

This particular game was one that he had apparently heard about from my brother-in-law.  We wanted to ask my brother-in-law about the game and whether he thought it was appropriate for my son.  But that meant, that my son would not be able to get the game RIGHT THAT SECOND.  And that was what started the argument.  

I always feel like I have to get involved to try to keep things from getting out of control.  And then, they get out of control anyway.

It upset me that this argument was taking place because he knew that as far as I was concerned, he couldn’t get a game anytime soon. He had tried to get me to buy him a game just a few days before and I told him that he wouldn’t be able to get a new game for quite awhile.  Now, he was working on my husband.

After everything blew up, I still wanted to be able to say the things that I was thinking about.  When I feel like I can’t say it out loud for one reason or another, I write.  So, I wrote him this letter:

       I would like to tell you this.  After all the good times that we have had in the last couple of weeks, your dropping F bombs and basically saying that I was acting like a b!&@#, was just really STUPID!
       I have been trying so hard!  I have been bending over backward trying to keep things cool around here, helping you, and being there for you.
       And you have been trying hard, too--until just now.
       All of a sudden you just HAD to have a new game—3 days after I told you that there would be no games bought for you until after the next holiday, if then.  Or maybe after you commence from the program.  But, not now.
       I am sorry that you don’t understand that, usually, when people tell you something they really mean what they say.
       I am sorry that I didn’t run home to your Dad last Wednesday and tell him all about how you tried your hardest to get me to buy you a game.  I decided to just not even bring it up so that there would be no more contention in our house than necessary.  I thought that you had accepted the decision.
       Now it seems like he should have known about last Wednesday so that he would be aware of what I already told you.
       I can’t believe that you just didn’t take the information that was given and just let it go at that.  You just had to push and push and push.
       Dad said maybe you can get a game.
       Maybe you CAN get a game after you probe.
       If it is up to me, maybe you can get a game after you commence.
       Nobody said no--never.  Nobody said it depended on the foul language in the game.  The only thing that was stipulated was that we would like to find out more about the game.
       I think getting a game also DOES depend on attitude.  This kind of attitude doesn’t help your case at all.
       From my perspective, you wanted a game right now.  You didn’t get approval to get the game right now.  So you decided to try to throw 2 weeks of good behavior down the drain.
       I am sorry you don’t like it when I am talking quietly and trying to stay as calm as I can.
       You should be thrilled and jumping up and down that I am not YELLING!  I am trying as hard as I can.  If the tone is not what you want, then maybe you should consider what YOU are doing to get that tone of voice.  At least I am not swearing at YOU and calling YOU names.
       I think I have improved tons in the not-yelling department. 
       I am sorry that you don’t like my tone of voice after you drop f-bombs on me and say that I am acting like a b!%@# because of my tone of voice.
       I honestly cannot figure out what your deal was tonight.
       I feel really bad that it went where it went.
       Remember, that time out means time out, and when we say that we don’t want to talk about it anymore so that the situation doesn’t blow up, then maybe you should stop talking about it and making it blow up.
       I hope you can find it in yourself to accept that we did not even need to have an argument tonight and that you can figure out how to not have another one on the same topic tonight or anytime in the future.

Love, Mom

I wish these arguments would just stop.  X-box arguments are the worst.  I can’t fathom that the X-box is more important to him than anything else at times like this.  Relationships can go to heck as far as he is concerned when he wants an X-box game.

He has great tenacity.

When he wants something, he will fight to the death to get it, even when it is very likely that the outcome will not be in his favor.  The more we oppose something, the more he will fight for it.  That is why he was so non-compliant during his first couple of months in rehab.  He knew what we wanted.

I always say that I think his tenacity is one of the good things about him because this quality will be very beneficial for him when he learns to use it in a positive way in his life.

When it comes to his tenacity in fighting rules--I can’t stand it.  He uses it to try to get his own way--no matter whether what he wants will be good for him or not.

I think his tenacity will be GREAT when he uses it to fight to stay clean and sober in the face of temptation.

I would like to have NO MORE of these “fight to the death battles”.  I don’t know how many more I can take.

I don’t know how many more of these battles ALL of our relationships can take.

They tear us apart.

They break my heart.

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