Last night I finally got through to MIke. I warned him that he was not going to act like he did with Bart or I would hang up, and he knows, from previous history, that that is true. Part way through the conversation he said, "I'm going to have to tell you some things that will make you angry." I said, "I don't think there is anything you could do that would make me more angry than things you have already done. He said, "Well, it's not really anger anyway. Anger is a secondary emotion -- you know that. (Thank you, years of treatment centers).
So I responded, "OK, I don't think you could hurt me much more than you already have." And he retorted, "Could I shock you?"
I said, "I doubt it" and he wanted to know what would shock me. I said, "Well, I can tell you what wouldn't shock me. It wouldn't shock me to know that you had 5 girls pregnant at the same time. It wouldn't shock me to know that you had stolen all our credit cards and charged them to the limit. It wouldn't shock me to know you had tried to burn down our house, stolen all our vehicles, or let your friends have one of them." I was on a roll.
He stopped me though and said, "Would it shock you if I came home and did everything I was supposed to do and followed all the rules."
I was dead silent. And then I started laughing out loud. "Yes, Mike. You got me on that one! That would shock me."
I went on to explain how he always thought he could do it when he was in treatment, but that he never could do it once he was out. This time, he says, he is going to prove me wrong.
Maybe that is the secret? Maybe in his conduct disordered, narcissistic personality disordered, FAS, RAD mind the only way for him to succeed is if I completely convince him that I don't think he can. Because the last times I have tried to pump him up with positive encouragement and it has never gone anywhere.
So, could it be that my complete lack of support is exactly what he's needed? Could it be that all of my efforts to be an encourager were counter productive.
I'm still doubtful. It's not going to require me to be Oscar material to act the part of someone who doesn't believe he can make it in our home.