A Question For difficult child Parents

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Greene said something in her post that touched on something I've been thinking about for a while. She said that her psychiatrist told her it could be months before she really starts to feel better. That is something that I've been wondering about. Once your difficult child is no longer in your home, either because they have reached the age where they are out on their own or because they have gone to some sort of residential treatment, how long is it before you start to let your guard down? I have spent so long being vigilant, listening for the signs that trouble was brewing, that I almost don't know any other way anymore. Will I always be this way?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Go read RecoveringEnabler's latest post. I think she says it better than I could... and she's speaking from experience.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Good question. I was just wondering myself if I was overeacting about needing to get my easy child tested. I think sometimes we get so used to the difficult child's getting angry over every tiny thing that we become hypersensitive to the people around us.

    I'll have to check out the post IC mentioned.
  4. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    "...how long is it before you start to let your guard down? I have spent so long being vigilant, listening for the signs that trouble was brewing, that I almost don't know any other way anymore. Will I always be this way?"

    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f6/question-difficult-child-parents-52873/#ixzz2MtNmv3Ta

    I just really, really, REALLY appreciate that this place is here, that there are people who understand exactly what I'm going through because they're living it too. Sometimes (often?) even close family members just DON'T GET IT at all. I'm still WTF-ing over some of the things that have been said to me, about how I "glare" at difficult child (um, it's called being on guard, on high-alert, being in tune with every nuance of her demeanor to try to forestall koi), etc.

    I'm actually surprised that I don't have high blood pressure issues.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    LOL! I say that, too.


    Once when my sister came to visit she said: "You have been doing this for so long that you don't even realize anymore the stress it is. As an outsider, I can see it right away". Speaking of my sister (twin), she was watching difficult child for us once when we went away overnight - YEARS ago - I called and asked her how he was doing and she said: He threw (whatever it was) but he didn't throw it DIRECTLY at me...so he's doing good...lol. That incident was a very long time ago. Sometimes we don't realize how much stress we have been subjected to. One more haphazard thought...lol...someone on my FB wrote that if everyone put their troubles in a pile, we'd choose to have ours back. I kind of still get the meaning behind it, but I don't believe there are too many troubles worse than the day-in, day-out life with a difficult child who is not doing well.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm still in the day to day of it all wondering if I'm ever going to get a chance to figure this one out-lol! I think what Stressed says rings true. Sometimes we don't even realize the constant stress we are under and an outsider can see it in a second. It becomes almost second nature-living this way.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    difficult child left for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when he was 9 - it had been a solid 5 years of full-blown gfgness around here and I think we were at hospitalization 15 right before he left.

    It took about 6 months for me to start to loosen up here at home, not waiting for the next explosion. It probably took another good 6 months before I stopped feeling guilty for having fun even though difficult child wasn't here. Not like we had a whole lot of fun when he was here, but... just simple stuff, like going to a movie or the mall or whatever with- the other kids - those activities with- difficult child were impossible, but it was really hard to allow myself to enjoy them when he wasn't here. I felt like any happiness I felt was disloyal to him. (I know, I'm crazy, LOL). Does that make sense?

    I think the quickest adjustment was a change in my parenting. Weeburt was 5 and Diva 2 when difficult child left the first time - I realized I'd been parenting Wee especially as if he was a difficult child, which he wasn't by any stretch of the imagination. Getting back to a more "normal" parenting mode came back really fast.
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I am at that stage where I am feeling guilty for having a less stressful life with difficult child gone. It really sucks that our kids can't enjoy life and chose to make it so difficult for themselves.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I will check it out, too.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    It's been almost four years since difficult child 1 moved out, about two years since we moved difficult child 2 out, and almost nine months since easy child/difficult child 3 moved out. My nest is empty!! To this day, I still enjoy total silence.

    I got over that constant walking on eggshells sort of thing, waiting for the other shoe to drop feeling, fairly quickly. I had to. Otherwise I know I would have lost every last shred of sanity I have left. Well, maybe not entirely - If the phone rings late at night, I still think the worst, fearful that something horrible has happened to one of my kids...

    I'm still working on not feeling guilty for enjoying myself, living my life the way I want to live it, not putting my kids' needs before my own. For the first time in twenty years, I can honestly say that life is good!!

    Even though at this moment, all my kids are doing well, I know that with difficult children, everything is always subject to change in a split second. The one thing that scares me more then anything is the fear of having the phone ring, having one of them tell me they need a place to live. That could be the one thing that would send me over the edge... SFR
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    For me it has taken time and will take probably quite a bit more still. difficult child has been out of home over two years now. I'm still anxious over him. And yes, if my phone rings later than 9 p.m. my heart rate triples before I'm even close to see who calls and answering. And even when I'm at work and if my own phone rings I get jumpy. And last call from difficult child's school was soon four years ago. And even before that they got less and less frequent (school didn't bother to call any more) so I should have learned already that calls during the day are mostly 'safe.' Either someone trying to sell something, a friend or relative with something they need to take care quickly or easy child with changed plans/nothing to eat/needing something and not finding it. Most of the time.

    Of course, any time of the day, if it is difficult child's girlfriend, coach or agent, my heart rate is close to 200 in a second...
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am not the poster child for stress free living. Honestly I do not believe that I have brought much of it on myself...and my psychiatrist just skakes his head and said "I don't know how you do it." Truthfully "I don't do it", lol, "it does it to me". I have slid from one high stress timeframe into another and then another to be followed by another. I'm a truly proud of my parenting skills, my inner strength, etc. but somehow I never envisioned sliding straight into all the kid related crisis into serious health problems combined with the strain of an aging spouse and economic issues that will not be solved. Consider this an introspectie whine and a warning to you guys. Do your best to draw a line that allows you the possibility of some peaceful years. Hugs. DDD
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  15. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    I hate to even let myself think that far down the road, because I only envision bad scenarios. (unfortunately, I'm a glass half-empty type). :( Since birth, I've been saying in my head, "it's going to improve, she'll mature, things will settle down....." Any day now, right?
  16. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    DDD, I agree with you 100%!! After my husband had his heart attack, I did lots of soul searching... Life is precious. Life is short. Your entire world can change in a split second. It is important to enjoy each and every moment while on this earth (to the extent you can) because it is impossible to predict the future.

    At some point, we will not be here and our difficult children are going to have to learn how to live in this world without us. Healthy detachment is not only necessary for us as parents, but also necessary for our difficult children. Our difficult children need to have support systems that do not include us if they are going to be able to survive, hopefully enjoy life, without us.

    Thank you DDD for the "warning." It really hit "home!" SFR