An Apology

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Albatross, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I would like to apologize to the friends on this board. I have not been posting for quite awhile, though I have been reading along and thinking of many of you and your struggles.

    My difficult child came back into our lives on a regular basis several months ago, saying that he realized the road he was on was leading him nowhere and he wanted to return to college but did not think he could do it without some support.

    husband and I discussed what the worse sin would be, to be fooled once again or to not believe him this time if he was sincere. After much consideration, Difficult Child moved back home and we paid his 1st semester's tuition once again.

    Difficult Child knows if he doesn't pass his classes or keep his job he leaves immediately, and so far he has done those things, but there are of course good days and bad days and very bad days. Giving him a chance seemed like the right thing to do, regardless of what he decides to do with that chance. Somehow I am not as wrapped up in the outcome anymore.

    Hence the apology. I wince when I recall the certainty with which I told some of you what you *SHOULD* do with your DCs. If I were reading my own posts, I would most certainly have said it was wrong, dead wrong, to allow Difficult Child to move back home and cover college expenses when Difficult Child had burned us so many times before.

    And maybe I would have been right. Who knows?

    I have no way of knowing what each of you goes through, and I regret my surefooted, prideful stance when ultimately it is up to each of us to do what is right. And "right" changes on a dime, it seems.

    So I wanted to let you all know why I have not been posting. My so-called advice rings hollow when I realize that I don't even follow it myself, and sympathy and virtual hugs don't seem like much to offer. I
    don't know much about dealing with DCs and certainly know less by virtue of knowing each of you only by what I read here. But I am reading along and thinking of you often. My lack of activity on the board does not reflect the affection and empathy I feel for each of you.
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  2. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that you made a thoughtful decision to give your guy ONE MORE chance. Your decision was not made out of anxiety or fear or insecurity or naievity, or a need to control, as are decisions made when one is in enabling mode. You both went into this with your eyes wide open. You set clear boundaries with him.

    I have valued your advice. No apology is necessary, as I see it.
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  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Albatross, Thank you for your post, although I am new here, I have much to learn. I am grateful for this site, so much experience and heartfelt advice.

    I can get strong too, so I must apologize for when I get up on my :soapbox:.
    If I have offended anyone, please forgive me. I think we all are coming from a deeply hurt place when it comes to our D c's and with that comes all the stages of grief smacking us all up in our faces. There is no right or wrong, everyone processes at their own pace.
    Yes this is true, right changes on a dime. Funny, I was just thinking today about the flavor of this board. There are folks from all walks of life, and every different style and manner of writing. Sometimes things can get lost in the reading of it, especially due to the stress of our situations. But one thing I have seen, crystal clear, is that folks are just trying to make some sense out of the crazy, and by others sharing thoughts and opinions, sometimes strong thoughts, they are just doing their best to try to help, and in that, it gives a sense of meaning to the senselessness of it all....ummm does that make any sense?

    One of my favorite sayings is "The beautiful thing about the mind, is that you can change it."

    I hope things go well for you and your family, and that you post when you can. We have much to learn from one another, all of us. I think, too, that we all understand the intense desire for our adult children to turn themselves around, who is to know when that point is?
    Who is to judge, what each other does?

    I am sure, in your earlier posts, you were coming from a place of caring.
    Don't be so hard on yourself, Albatross. Welcome back.

  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Albatross,

    Glad you are back. And that you have been here all along.

    I want to say one thing and one thing only: All of us are making this up as we go along. It would be wrong if we did it any other way.

    We are not writing a theory. We are each of us writing our lives, and doing what we can so that our kids do so, too.

    I would hope I would do what you did.

    You wanted to act from strength and hope, your own and your child's. You balanced that with a realistic look at the potential for change, and the costs to all. You set your conditions. And your expectations.

    Who is it that says we have to look at our own faces in the mirror? Cedar, I think.

    Your son is quite young. To me, he deserves chances--if he has been doing his part. Not 100 percent, but more hits than misses.

    Those of us who are "learners" on this forum do not learn from ambivalence and inconsistency, we learn from shoulds.

    Margaret Thatcher told I think it was George Bush, "don't go wobbly, George." I forget the circumstance. But it couldn't have been more difficult than the battles we face as parents.

    If you told us from the stance of "should" I know I for one heard it as, "don't go wobbly, Copa." And it made all of the difference.

    Thank you, Albatross

    PS I looked up the quote which Dick Cheney disputes. Whatever. It was from 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The exact quote, true or not: "Remember, George, this is no time to go wobbly."
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  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    @Albatross - please don't go back and read my first posts either... I was feeling my way through my own issues by weighing in on others' situations. Sometimes I added something, most of the time I was just difficult.

    What I'm saying is... lots of us have been there... said whatever, gave advice that we later didn't take ourselves, spoke too soon. Don't get too wrapped up in the past. You have more experiences now to share... and can share those differently than before.
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  6. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    I don't post nearly as much as I should...your post struck a chord- and I'm going to tell you why.

    Our experiences give us an insight to things that most (thankfully) never ever have. I have found (myself) that I become stronger MYSELF when I talk to someone going through these things- as if, the things I know to be right and true become stronger within ME when I share my experiences with others.

    You know, we can all say "cut off contact! do nothing more for them!" and then we turn around and REINSTATE CONTACT! DO MORE FOR THEM! I don't think this makes us hypocrites or someone who has info to share that has no value.

    We all know our children far better than anyone else. But we often have rose colored glasses with our own kids. Not so much with others. I have a friend at work embarking on a Difficult Child issue now that he's an adult and I can tell her what I WISH I had done WAY before I did anything.

    We love our kids. We want them to be better and be successful. Yes, sometimes we step out on faith and we help even when that baby voice in the back of our heads is skeptical.

    That's ok! We all have something of value to add here. You all (so many) have helped me so much more than you will ever ever know.

    Here's to peace and blessings!
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  7. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Albatross,
    I too have felt that I was too quick to know what other's should do with their Difficult Child's. And...I too, have let my young difficult child move back in with husband and I in the last 6 months. For us...for this seems to have been the right decision.

    Just wanted you to know I "get it". You are not alone.
    I hope you'll stick around and post. All of our experiences are valuable.
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  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi Alb

    Missed you.

    We all deal with this thing the best we can, often making it up as we go along, I'm really glad that things have changed for you, please post whenever you feel like it and let us know how things are going. You may feel hypocritical, but didn't your past 'tough love' actions maybe help lead to this improved outcome? That's the whole point isn't it?

    It's really great to read about one of 'our' kids changing direction and finding something positive!
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  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hey Alb. So glad to hear from you.

    Ummmm. Don't be so hard on yourself. That is what I am thinking, reading what you wrote.

    Alb, we do the best we can, and this stuff is so very hard----to the core of our being hard----that I think we have to grab on and cling hard to a new belief and a new plan and we have to believe it with everything we have, or we just can't do it.

    Anything you may have said in a strident moment...we have all had our strident moments. I think grace and mercy here need to be part of our everyday equation.

    This stuff is hard, folks. It is so freakin' hard.

    I can imagine you and your husband agonized over your decision to give him another chance. I see not one thing wrong in that. You and he are the ONLY people who have lived your life with him and you are the only people who can decide, truly, what is next.

    We here on this board cannot know the full story. There is no way to do it with this single way of communication---writing. We would have to know your full story, his full story and be there, so to speak, to have a greater voice.

    We can only share what we have come to know and believe, and it is our truth. We must take what we like and leave the rest. That is a sacred Al-Anon statement and belief and understanding. If we hear something that doesn't ring true for us, well okay, but that doesn't mean it's not true for at least one person.

    So...Alb...I'm thankful that you and your husband and Difficult Child are going forward, even if it's not perfect and messy and bad at times.

    Who knows what the possible outcome will be? I believe that each of us is always so happy for the others when something positive happens, and we think, maybe that can happen for our situation.

    Honesty, humility and patience are what we all need to be sure to share with each other every day. Grace and mercy.

    I'm just so glad to hear from you! Please keep us posted on the good, the bad and the ugly of how things are going. Your experience can help others.

    Love to you, Alb!
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  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think this was the right thing. If there is success, it will be your son's success. If there is success, it will be that your son was able to create a different life for himself than the one he was headed for so short a time ago.

    The worse sin would have been not to believe in your child. Until we are certain, until we so resent helping because we realize we are being lied to and help anyway ~ but this time, because we cannot face who we will be if we don't help (which is an apt description of the ugliness of enabling) we must believe in our children's abilities to turn their lives in another direction. The energy to do that is your son's energy.

    All you did was make it possible for him to accomplish a positive goal sooner.

    I think there are no shortcuts, here.

    Until we have tried everything we know, I think we cannot, nor should we, turn away from our kids. It's when we begin to see ourselves as their saviors and they begin to practice self deception to get us to save them ~ that is the ugly circle of enabling.

    The child's self deception.

    Our willing compliance, for the sake of our own dreams.

    That's where everything gets messed up, somehow.

    I believe it was the right thing. Especially given that you are not as wrapped up in the outcome. What will come will come. You have done the best thing you knew.

    That is what matters.

    This is not a game. These are our children. The issue is less what we do or do not do than it is that we do what we do for the right reasons. That is the tricky part.

    None of this is easy or simple, and there is no one size fits all answer.

    At the end of the day, we become very humble, it seems. Not so much here on the Board, but in our relationships to our children, and to ourselves. There is a kind of grace in: "I don't know. I'm sorry, but I just don't know."

    It was very hard for me to say those words to my children. That was my piece of reward for enabling, maybe. That I got to know, to be seen as someone who knew, whether I knew or not. That there was always something to try, some way for me to pull the iron out of the fire until one day, there wasn't.

    A kind of twisted martyrdom.


    I don't know why those darn kids couldn't have just done the right things so none of us had to go through all this.


    Remember when we were the best moms ever?

    It was very hard to let that go.

    When I did, I learned that I was and am a fine, fine mother. The problems of addiction or emotional illness are multi-layered complexities.

    We do the best we know.

    How kind of you, Albie.

    Thank you.

  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Albatross,

    I understand where you are coming from but I don't think you have anything to apologize for. There are no steadfast rules when dealing with our DCs. We do the best we can with what we have to work with at that particular moment in time.

    We can only offer advice to others based on what we have been through and that's all it is, advice. It's up to the person on the receiving end of that advice to discern what they will do with it.

    It's easy to say things like "I would do this" or "I would never do that" but until we are in the thick of it none of us can really say what we would or wouldn't do.

    I have it in my head that if my son were to show up on doorstep that I would not invite him in. Easy to say that on this side of things. I may act differently if and when it ever happens.

    There must have been something different this time and it's that "something" that I hope to see in my own son someday. People can change at any point in their lives.

    You did not make this decision lightly and I can only imagine all the emotions that were and are still being felt.

    I don't see an apology needed, what I see you offering here is hope for the rest of us. I've said it before, where my son is concerned, I will never give up hope but I only allow myself 1%. Hope is a good thing as long you don't become consumed with it, it must be tempered with reality.

    I send you, your hubby and your son all my good wishes that this will truly be a turning point in his life.

    Please keep us posted on his progress. Please keep posing and offering what you can to others.

    ((HUGS)) to you.....................

  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much, ladies.

    I think this is so very true. I think motive has become a much more important consideration to me when making decisions.

    Yes, exactly. Sometimes I feel the need to grab onto certainty like I would grab onto a root to keep from falling into a bottomless pit.

    HAHA! I did not think of it that way. Thank you, Copa.

    The wisdom and support to be found in this place mean so much to me. Nice to "see" you guys!
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  13. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    If you've been there done that you know that few things are black and white when dealing with a Difficult Child. Our daughter and her one and a half year old son are living with us. Is it an ideal situation? No.

    But our grandson is safe and she's working. So it is what it is for now.