September 26, 2020 at 11:25 am #108879
I’ll put the link to earlier posts about this here if that is okay.
I had a court date of Oct. 8 for my civil suit against my son, trying to recover $2,300+ that he owed me for a very specific loan. I was expecting he’d never even pick up his certified letter but he must have finally picked it up and last week, I got a notice the date was delayed to Oct. 19th and he planned to defend!
I was in a whole different mindset then, thinking, wow I might see my son on that day. And I’ve been rather emotional lately when I think of him so I was thinking, how do I do this? How do I keep my emotions in check? And I was thinking how I just want to say to him if there was some way I could really get him to just treat me with respect and be a decent person to me again, I’d gladly forgive the debt.
And I wondered what surprises he had in mind. I don’t know that much about how courts work. Was he really going to “defend” or just planning to show up or what? Because there was no defense in my opinion as I had clear documentation and even recent admission from him (in an email I planned to take to court) that he owed the debt; he just felt I was vindictive to ask him to pay it, especially because I copied my letter to his wife asking him to pay it by May 1st or contact me to make arrangements for paying it before that date.
Anyway, yesterday I got yet another surprise in the mail: he paid it with money orders. He didn’t pay the additional $137 in court fees that was to be added to the judgement but I did decide to accept it as paid in full and went down to the district office and withdrew the suit.
Again, my mind is in an emotional tizzy. I admit part of me was looking forward to whatever was going to happen that day, just seeing my son. I was maybe going to say that I was happy to see him no matter what the circumstances were that I was seeing him. I was going to take the opportunity to say things that I can’t say since he had that cop call me to inform me he didn’t want me to contact him ever again. I was going to wish him well with his move and his new job. I am debating. I still may send him a card to wish him well or something. There is no official order of any kind for me to not contact him. And if it was just him that I had to deal with, not his wife, I am positive he’d actually appreciate my well wishing. But I have not even tried sending him a text or anything since that day.
And I’m too curious for my own good and I know that. I sit and wonder how he suddenly got the money to pay me? He has said at various times “I obviously don’t have the money to pay you.” He has a good paying job, his wife still works, and they have stipends for 3 foster kids in a state that I happen to know is quite generous with that, so of course it should not have been a problem for him to come up with that money, which is part of the reason I pressed forward to get him to pay it. But I also know how irresponsible he is about paying debt and to make an understatement, I was last on his list for paying anything back. Well, anyway, thanks for listening!
September 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm #108888cruiserParticipant
I’m thinking Great! case closed.
I don’t think there is anything you can say or do. anything you say or do will stir some pot.
Take the highroad and just walk forward. remember the policeman told you not to contact him.
It’s in his ball park. it is his choice.
you know you didn’t do anything wrong, join the rest of us here that have no contact.
live life for you and make it the best you can.
September 26, 2020 at 5:12 pm #108894aFaceOfLossParticipant
I am glad he paid the debt. My only advice would be to send him an official acknowledgement that the debt is paid and thank him for that. That closes the case fully. And say no more. He clearly does not want to talk with you and conjecturing/imagining if he would or wouldn’t without his wife leaves you stuck in his drama. These are not children and though we pay the emotional price for their behavior, we have choices to not do more harm to ourselves I don’t know how much of this is from parenting, genetics, the times, other influencers, etc. But every adult makes moral choices and then results flow from them. Maybe they are in deep anguish, maybe they don’t feel anything at all. We can’t know unless they decide to share that with us. But the choices are theirs ultimately and not ours. We have our own to make and that is hard enough. I am so sorry for your situation, for mine, for all the moms and dads here. It stinks. But we can learn and grow and still have lives and peace and even joy and that at least is something. Be kind to yourself.
September 27, 2020 at 12:20 am #108898AUSSIEMOMParticipant
I guess you may never know, RS, and maybe paying you off as he has now, may be paid in full for any future relationship. Not nice to think about or speculate. He has no further commitment towards you. I hope you have support for yourself with other family or close friends given that it may be an ending. But who knows….time will tell. In a way, it would feel a bit of a letdown to me.
September 27, 2020 at 2:46 am #108900walkingforwardParticipant
I agree with Aussie. Please try to heal now. I have found that having closure for me consists of two steps forward and then one step back. With time there are more steps forward, thank heavens. My best for peace.
September 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm #108902
Thanks for all your thoughtful comments and yes, I will try to go forward in a positive way without further “stirring the pot.” But I do want to make a clarification to Cruiser’s comment. The policeman did NOT tell me not to contact my son. He made it very clear he was relaying the message my son did not want me to contact him and there is a difference. The deputy also did not seem sympathetic to my son’s cause as we talked briefly about the situation. The phone call said “private caller” and other than this man telling me he was a Sheriff Deputy, it would be hard to believe the call was for real. Many whom I’ve told this have said they don’t believe it was a real cop in these circumstances.
The only reasons I believe it was a real deputy are because knowing my son, I don’t think he has any friends who would do this for him, and the fact the deputy did not seem sympathetic to him, and did say I was in no danger of getting in trouble if I sent him a card or any other correspondence since he was just relaying the message my son doesn’t want me to contact him. The court will notify him the issue has been settled so I don’t need to send him anything about that.
It is just a weird and sudden turn of events I’ve gone through over the past week with him unexpectedly paying this debt.
September 27, 2020 at 12:26 pm #108904rparentsKeymaster
I am really glad that he paid it and there was no need to go to court.
IF you do send a card or note as you mentioned in the original post here, you might keep it simple. If this were me, I would tell him thank you. Maybe add a nice ” hope you are doing well” or some such. Anything more will be ammo for picking apart.
Hugs to you. Please take a little of that money and do something for yourself that will bring you joy or satisfaction.
September 27, 2020 at 12:56 pm #108905AUSSIEMOMParticipant
All I can think of RS, is if Sheri ever writes a follow-up book to Done with Crying, she’ll have a lot of material to share with readers.
I am astounded time and again, reading of people’s experiences here with their children these days. The world itself seems to be spiralling into a vortex of disrespect, self-centred, angry behaviour and I’m not sure I quite understand why. Was it the ‘sixties revolution of moral standards, is it too many people populating the earth, is it too much materialism and the expectations of such. I don’t know.
No generation I’m sure was ever perfect but respect for others seems to have disappeared to a great extent today. Fracturing of families. No family, no person, is ever perfect. I saw flaws in my parents, my father had a drinking problem which he faced and dealt with when I was sixteen years of age, my parents had twenty or more good years together after that; my mother was a terror in a department store, ‘get me the manager’ she would often say, yet, she was treated with respect, she could be overbearing, but kindness was there too in her….so you see, no family relationship is perfect but to the day I die I will have respect for the parents who raised me, who stood behind me, beside me, throughout their lives with me. Being adopted, I could have ended up anywhere, and yet, I landed into a family who loved me very much and who treated me with great kindness.
What I don’t understand today is why that isn’t recognized in the generations of estranged grown children. I do believe divorce causes a painful disruption to family life for both parents and children, yet this is not always a factor in estrangement. It can play a large part in it but is not the case in all estrangements.
When I think of estrangement, I think of Matthew 7, “Judge not, that you be not judged. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye”.
Estrangement is all about judging, about finding fault in others, about not accepting behaviour that has caused parents many a sleepless night at times, and yet, the parents remained faithful to the child throughout their growing up.
September 27, 2020 at 3:43 pm #108907
Everything you said resonates with me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Sheri, you said, ” Please take a little of that money and do something for yourself that will bring you joy or satisfaction.”
I have thought about this quite a bit over a long time, what I would do with the money if he ever paid me back. I’ve always been a rather frugal person and sometimes I got picked on for it, and called “cheap” or a miser or whatever, yes even by my own children and probably more so by ES. I usually took it in the good hearted or semi-affectionate way the comments were intended, but the truth is I don’t think I have ever been a cheap miser. One of my strengths is that I have always been able to live within my means and when I married my first husband at age 19, we definitely would have been poor in some people’s eyes. But I knew how to stretch the dollar and nobody went hungry; we had food and shelter and all our bills were paid. On time. I believe I learned this mostly from watching my own mother make ends meet in very difficult circumstances.
Now we live quite comfortably. Through the years, I have worked hard and my husband and I make a reasonable living together and I feel I can afford whatever I want (because I do not have expensive tastes/wants for the most part).
But my ES seemed to reject the idea of living within one’s means, and would always want to get fancy name brands of everything and he would find subtle or not so subtle ways to put down my choices and purchases. Through the years, I have worked very hard, earned a masters and doctorate degree (which I saved up in advance so I never had payments for that) and even had multiple jobs at the same time (one full time and additional part times). Right now at age 61, I work one full time job and two part time jobs.
I have living room furniture that is now 17 years old and the ones my husband and I usually sit in are quite worn. My son and his current wife would NEVER have furniture that looked like that. I have been thinking about buying new furniture for awhile now and I have thought if I ever got the money my son owed me, I wanted to do something symbolic with it. I thought of just putting it in savings for his kids or something but my husband and I spend a ton on his kids and will continue to do so throughout their lives so I’m just not going to do that with this money. I am going to buy living room furniture with it. I’m overdue for the furniture and could afford it years ago but have put it off. I am absolutely going shopping for living room furniture. To me, yes it is something that will bring me joy and satisfaction and it is symbolic too.
And if I send him a card it would definitely be simple. I just want to tell him good luck with his new job and his upcoming move to a new house. I was planning to find a way to tell him that even if I met up with him in court over the money owed.
September 27, 2020 at 5:27 pm #108915cruiserParticipant
sorry for my screw up with words,
Do enjoy shopping for your new furniture and enjoy snuggling into the new chair.
HUGS 2 u
September 27, 2020 at 5:30 pm #108919rparentsKeymaster
That’s a perfect idea! Good for you. I hope you find some well-crafted, comfortable furniture that looks good as well as “supports” you!
September 28, 2020 at 2:18 am #108920aFaceOfLossParticipant
Good for you! We finally got a couch and chair we like very much and it felt great. We were always setting up our living space to accommodate visitors and our son and DIL. Everything was ok but the ones we have now are comfortable for us in particular and we are enjoying them very much.
September 28, 2020 at 7:06 pm #108932
Thanks for your support and kind words, everyone, and Cruiser, no need to apologize! It sounds so tough when a cop calls but I want to keep in clear in my own head that I specifically asked the cop (if he really was one) if I’d get in trouble for sending him a card or something and he said no and that he was just relaying the message my son did not want me to contact him. My husband and I are going SHOPPING this afternoon. 🙂
September 29, 2020 at 3:14 am #108950DottyParticipant
Very interesting thread, RS, and I really understand your ambivalence. Your son still being in debt to you provided that tiny thread of hope that you would have some contact with him again – he may be feeling that tug of responsibility to repay you, and think about how you have helped him. There was also the chance of seeing him in court, where you could express good will and kindness towards him, and now that’s gone. So you’ll be happy to have the money back, but a bit sad it has caused a kind of finality to the whole nasty saga.
We have a similar situation. We lent my son and his partner over $US100,000 to help them purchase a property, and I know we will never see this money again. Unfortunately we trusted them, so have little in the way of documentation stating it was a loan. The loan allowed them to bring their approved mortgage back into the black, which made them avoid paying interest on their mortgage. The understanding was that they could pay the money back when ever we asked, as they had already had the mortgage for this amount approved.
The solicitor said we could push this, as we lent the same sum earlier – the first time they repaid it when they sold their house, and then we lent it to them again when they had found the next property they wanted to buy. So by tracking the bank withdrawals and deposits, we could prove that it had been a loan. We have never charged them interest either.
When the whole estrangement thing blew up, my husband asked him to repay the money. Son agreed, and they settled on a date. In three and a half years, we have not seen a cent. My husband emailed him a couple of times; no response, and we have just left it. We have redrawn up our wills, and noted that son has had his ‘share’, and there will be no more money coming his way. I know that my son and his partner will never be able to repay this loan. They have had a new baby, bought another house which they have had to renovate, so I know that it’s not worth pursuing.
He knows it was a loan. He knows that the understanding was that when we asked for it – when either of our daughters needed help with their first house – the money would be repaid. This must pray on his mind.
I’m now wondering to put some money away for our wee grandson in a trust, but that’s another story and another thread.
All the best, Rattlesnake. Hugs to you
October 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm #109095
We bought our furniture and I’m sitting on one of the new pieces as I type this. I also sent him a note. It was a very nice, very brief note, thanking him for taking care of the court matter and congratulating him on his new job and wishing him well with his upcoming move to a new home. I copied the note just in case they somehow want to claim sending it was harassment or something. So far I’ve heard nothing and don’t really expect to.
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