Detachment from 36 year-old difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Mechdonna2, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

    I detached last year. My difficult child has applied for soc. sec. disability. Last I heard he is supposed to take a language evaluation? His only physical problems are back trouble and he hurt his ankle during a fall. He is trying to say he is too disabled to work. His girlfriend has been supporting him for many years. Last I heard she was down to nearly skin and bones. Probably from stress. She told her mother that "I have made my bed and I have to lie in it."

    If you read my posts last year, I found that they were drinking and using pot/spice.

    I saw two movies recently about raising young boys. I felt like my son was calling for me last night. No one in the family has heard from him recently, so I don't know much. Last I knew he was staying home with his fish tank, dog, and cat. His girlfriend is willing to support him and his pets. It is hard to believe.

    I was just wondering if many of you imagine that your child is calling, "Mama." How do you get your mind off of the pain of it all?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    36 is always calling "mama." He says, without shame, "I'm a mama's boy." I really don't mind it as long as he doesn't ask me to support him financially and to be his mommy which is different from being an adult's mother. I am fine being his mother, but not his mommy. He is not a little boy anymore and has made some very questionable choices in his life that I will not get him out of. While I am willing to talk to him if he is upset, maybe more than most mothers of grown sons do, the minute he gets abusive, cusses or tells me why something that is his fault is my fault, I get off the phone.

    Also, just because you thought you felt him saying "mama" doesn't mean he is.And if he is? He's a man now and you simply will not do him any favors by acting like "daddy." You can talk to him and be a father, but, when you part company, he makes his own decisions and you make yours and you have not done ANYTHING wrong. You can not live forever. He has to grow up. Often he wants me to make decisions for him and I won't do that anymore. Sometimes he gets furious with me for refusing to make decisions for me, swears, gets abusive and hangs up himself.

    Disclaimer: This is strictly my own opinion and I know others may not agree and should take what they find useful and throw out the stuff you don't find useful.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Mechdonna. I have those feelings too. In fact the night my difficult child was arrested a couple of weeks ago, I had dreamed about her the night it happened and that is unusual for me to dream about her. I believe there is more that goes on in life then simply what we can see...........however, sometimes it is possible that our own worry and concern manifests as our kids calling out for us.

    Think about when he was a little guy, didn't you sometimes think he was calling for you or you heard him in the night and when you checked, he was just fine? It's likely that.

    And, as most things in life, we just don't know, we have to live in that uncertainty and that lack of is tough. I have been reading a couple of books which may offer you some comfort............ Comfortable with Uncertainty and Living Beautifully by Pema Chodron. I've just started reading When things fall apart, by the same author. They've helped me enormously to navigate this crazy terrain we parents live on.

    Hang in there. Keep posting it really does help to clarify our feelings and get the needed support and empathy. Sending hugs..........
  4. Childofmine

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

    Hi Mechdonna, glad you are here. I have "heard" my son calling in the night. I think it's the basic DNA talking when that happens---that strong iron cord that binds us to our children forever. I posted a few days ago about that cord. It stretches and stretches and stretches so tight with difficult children.

    Finally WE have to be the ones to cut it, because we finally get it that they aren't going to.

    With "regular" kids, they grow and they go. The cord hangs loosely and comfortably. I have that with my older son---he's 28 and we talk by phone usually about once a week. He is engaged, has a Master's degree, and is moving back here with his fiancee in the spring. They are both mature people and "doing what they are supposed to do."

    It's so hard when we still hear our difficult children calling. It scares us and we go back into old thinking. Can we limit it to just the thinking and the we DO something? That is what I am trying to stop---the doing something part.

    The task is this, I believe, to recognize the DNA connection and be thankful for it, because it is a gift, but not react to it.

    They are now adults. We get detachment. We are practicing it and at least we are better, for the most part. They may or may not be better. Right now I am feeling a "fragile peace" when I think about my son, who has been out of jail for three weeks and is homeless. Usually he can hang on for 30 to 60 days before something else happens.

    Maybe it will be different this time.

    Maybe it won't.

    It's up to him.

    But yes, sometimes I feel him calling in the night. I heard him calling last week when I didn't know where he was and hadn't heard from him in several days. I almost drove by a couple of places to see if he was there. But I didn't.

    One day at a time. Hugs and prayers and blessings to you today.
  5. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

    Thanks so much for your support. It helps to know that I am not alone.
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Mechdonna,

    I am new here (detaching from an almost 33 year old--and spice was/is in his story). you ever speak with your son at all these days?

    While i have not heard gfg32 call "Mama", I have had a couple dreams in which he was very sweet and friendly towards me.

    Hope you start posting again.
  7. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2


    I see that your difficult child also blames everything on his parents. My difficult child's father broke off contact with him while my difficult child was a teenager. He turns all his anger against me. He said his father had reasons to break off contact. He does not seem to hold anger against him. But, he told my friend that "when my Mom looks at me she sees all the things she did wrong."

    While he was under my roof last year, he had a drug deal going. I took his possessions and put them outside along with information about a recovery program. We are fortunate to have one of the best in the country in our city. He has no interest in recovery, so I told him to NOT to contact me, unless he is in a recovery program. I just can't take the lies and manipulation anymore.
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I imagine that, Mechdonna. Whether it is real or not, I do what I can in that instant. I open to it. I have read that when we are frightened, we call for our mothers. As surely as we understand our mothers are not going to magically appear and save us, we take comfort in that imagery of her, and of the safety she represents.

    So, I try to be that, try to send that.

    It makes me sad, worried, so regretful.

    But it is something I can do.

    So, I do it.

    Our daughter was beat in a domestic assault over the course of many hours just after Thanksgiving. She was left for dead, and dragged, bloody and naked, into an unheated back room. When she regained consciousness, the abuser came back.

    Somehow, she convinced him to bring her to the hospital.

    Though so much of the damage has resolved, she has some brain damage that seems not to be resolving, yet. She is living in a shelter with my 14 year old granddaughter. It is likely that she will be relocated to another part of the country for her safety.

    She did call out to me, Mechdonna.

    I never felt a thing during the beating, other than a sense of disorientation, that feeling that something bad is coming.

    Pretty immediately, I say the Serenity Prayer when those feelings happen. I cannot change any of this. If there is something bad happening, I am going to need my strength to deal with it. I cannot be frittering it away worrying about something that may not happen.

    I just think we are all in dire straits, here on the site. We share our stories and tell one another how fortunate we are to have that option...but in reality, we live every minute of our days and of our nights bracing ourselves to learn of the death, or the permanent ruination, of one of our children.

    We suffer; night and day, we suffer. We learn to be strong in the face of that, in the undeniable fact of that.

    We have to.

    It is what it is.

    I am sorry you are in this kind of pain, Mechdonna. I know how much you love him, how much you wanted everything to be different.

    I have no idea where the strength it takes to walk through our days comes from. I don't know how we do what we do, how we keep loving them, how we never forget them, not for an instant.

    This may help, Mechdonna. During the times when the pain of what is happening becomes overwhelming, this imagery can sometimes comfort me:

    "Sybil remembered the crucifixions of her past, and by each of them, where she herself hung and screamed and writhed, she saw the golden halo and the hands of the Fool holding and easing her, and heard his voice, whispering peace."

    Charles Williams
    The Greater Trumps


    Here is another, for when I am feeling more defiant in my relationship to my pain:

    mother goddess with one breast
    eaten away by worms of sorrow
    and loss

    See me, now....
    Your severed daughter
    laughing our name into echo
    all the world shall remember.

    Audre Lourde

    The Politics of Women's Spirituality
    Charlene Spretnak


    And here is one for the pure beauty of it. The beautiful things can heal us, can make us stronger.

    "A bird cried jubilation. In that moment they lived long. All minor motions were stilled and only the great ones were perceived. Beneath them the Earth turned, singing."

    Sheri S. Tepper
    The Revenants
  9. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

  10. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

    Scent of Cedar,

    That is such a sad, painful situation. I am so sorry your daughter and you went through that. Hugs and kisses for you.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Mechdonna. Your words were a sweetly unexpected blessing.


    We are healing now, and difficult child is recovering well.

    It is hard to know how to function beautifully, how to live and cherish our lives and our blue skies and dinner time when we so worry about our difficult children. When we haven't heard from them, when we know our difficult child kids (who never did seem to think like everyone else) are probably doing something foolish or downright dangerous...again.

    We all, every one of us here, have to be so courageous in the face of that. But, somewhere in the troubled days and nights, we realize a responsibility to our own lives, to our right and really, our obligation, to our own happiness. We realize we can choose strength; that we can choose to respond from a position of respect for ourselves, of caring and compassion for what we are living through. Briefly, we can even learn to admire ourselves for surviving something no one who hasn't lived through it, year after year, could ever understand.

    Child of Mine posted once about seeing ourselves in the position of balance between the cloud we see visibly, and the silver lining it surely contains, though we do not see it.

    That is the balance that feels right, to me. That is the imagery I remember, when I am knocked off balance.

    I always see the sun too, piercing through the clouds and making them white.

    That imagery helps me know how to feel my way through the shaky times. Maybe that will help you, too?