Detecting a sense of quiet resignation among many of us...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Signorina, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am finally at a real computer (and not my quirky iPhone 3GS that eats my posts) and I wanted to start typing out my 2 cents on many posts and give you all an update on my own travails and travails with my difficult child.

    And then I detected a bit of synchronization among many of us; especially those of us who aren't newcomers.

    Yes, many of our difficult children are ramping up, some are checking out of our lives, some are running away; and it definitely seems like their progress (if there was any) has been lost. And even those kids who aren't actively getting worse are still on a path of self destruction. But no hysteria on our part. No pleas of "what should I do?" No second guessing, no research, no shoulda, woulda, coulda... It seems like we are starting to manage our own lives better after too many months and years of being in constant crisis management.

    And I am so proud of all of us. Maybe we are finding strength in numbers. Maybe our mutual support is giving us the strength to detach. Maybe we are setting good examples for each other and finding a collective strength that we could not find alone. I read these posts and even though we don't know each other on a personal, in real life level - I recognize myself in you all and my son in your kids. Even though we are all very different and our kids are not interchangeable -we all share such common experiences.

    I am finally realizing that I need to step far far away. Detach is such a short simple word and yet such a loaded, long process. I am finally understanding that while I cannot make him better, I have been his scapegoat for making himself worse. And I am done being his scapegoat. That's my last and best hope for getting my son back. Maybe it was my constant reactions that fueled his self righteousness and sense of entitlement. Maybe if he can't react at me - he will eventually turn the spotlight on himself. And in the meantime, he will not be my focus. I've tried everything to reach him. The things I haven't tried are many of the things that have failed for you all. I know that trying them in my situation will fail too. So, my been there done that includes by proxy - your been there done that.

    And I hope I am making sense.

    But most of all - Thank YOU. For sharing your journey with me and allowing me to share yours. And for being the strength that holds me together. This place is the only place I've found common sense advice & understanding in the completely senseless life my kid is choosing.

    And if this somehow reads like a farewell; please be assured that it is NOT! For now, I am not anxiety ridden at the knowledge that my kid is in a filthy apartment, unemployed, likely hungover and high. I am sure the sense of panic with- difficult child will set in for moments or days in the weeks ahead. And I will be leaning on you all again. And I will always want you to know that you can lean on me.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 2, 2012
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sig, you wrote that beautifully and I agree with everything you said! This board has been such a lifesaver for me, just knowing there are others out there that really get what I have and am going through has been a huge source of support for me.

    And I realized today that I really am getting to a different place. I came back from my trip and started having some thoughts about my job, like maybe I want to do something differently.... and I realize that my easy child is going off to college next year and we will have an empty nest... and that I need to think about getting involved in more things that I love and want to do.

    And what I realized tonight is that as I am finally letting go I need some other things to focus and think about other than my difficult child!! One of the things that was so great about my trip this summer is that I did not focus on difficult child... I focused on other interesting things and it was so so good for me. I need to make space in my head for other areas of interests in my life. Not sure what those will be..... but I think I am entering a new chapter.... and yes I will still keep reading here!!!

  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig you always seem to be able to put into words exactly how I am feeling, even before I know that's how I'm feeling. But that exaclty how I'm feeling, quiet resignation. And I don't feel the panic once did or the urgency to stop her from self destructing or the overwhelming gloom of disaster pending. I'm just plugging along, finding new outlets for my energy and resigned to the fact that it is what it is and I can't change it. I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I was at her age and how my parents and family were not my first priority and I wanted to live my life the way I wanted. Of course my life plan was on a much better course, but the feelings were the same. So I resigned to the fact that difficult child is not thinking about us and is going about doing what makes her happy at the time. It's me who knows she is on a self destructive path.

    I am grateful she remembered my birthday and that she seems to want to maintain some contact with us and that is OK for now. I have changed my focus and I am at the point in my life where that is the way it should be. My husband and I cleaned out our garage today. We worked hard and were both very sore when we finished. With my arthritis and his bad knee and back we realize it's time we focus on each other and what is ahead for us. We went to a lovely dinner after and I am grateful that I can now think about other things than what difficult child is doing.

    And I am eternally grateful to everyone here because if it were not for you I believe I would still be stuck in that awful place of trying to fix difficult child. Our stories are all the same, different difficult child's and a little different circumstances but so much alike. It's not that I have lost hope but I no longer live every day hoping she will call and ask for help. Looking back a couple years ago I never thought I would be able to go on with my life like I have. I was despondant. But today I have things to be happy about and I am at peace. I have done everything I possible could. No regrets.

    So thank you for this post because it put everything in focus for me and explained why I feel the way I do. And I'm not going anywhere either because everyone here is my family.

  4. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest


    Thank you for the beautifully written post.

    Count me in as a member of the club. I've realized in the last few days that I've been a lot happier recently. Why? Because I have stopped focusing on difficult child. I don't think about him nearly as much as I did - and thankfully, my dreams of him finally doing the right thing are tapering off dramatically.

    I've sorted through his room. Some went to the trash, some to Goodwill and the rest is stored in bins in a large basement closet. My goal is to get everything that belongs to him in that closet in the next week or so.

    At the same time, I am focusing on me. My new nutrition/exercise plan is going well and taking up a lot of time. I also decided to see a highly-recommended chiropractor for stubborn back pains. I'm seeing him three times a week for a while but I feel SO much better.

    Encounters with difficult children are still problematic - like the Beg-Fest he performed on Thursday asking for his car back. I told him I was going to hang up and I loved him. I could still hear him pleading as the receiver clicked off. Progress...

    I'm not gong anywhere either. Will be here in good and bad times. :)
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I still catch myself having moments where I start to panic about difficult child. The moments are becoming farther and farther apart. My mother has always had an awsome relationship with him. I always thought it was because she does not live with him nor did she have to deal with the fall out from his choices. The truth is that she raised her own difficult child and speaks from experience. She has told me numerous times that I needed to love him as is, not for what he is not. It does not mean that you do not have expectations for him or that there are not consequences for his choices. They are his choices and he will either learn from them or he won't. Tying your life to his means if he sinks so will you and then where will you both be? Live your life not his.

    Life for me is getting better. Life for my difficult child...well that's up to him. I have educated him about what his choices can lead to both good and bad.
  6. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My 34yo son was born a difficult child and the last 2 year relationship with another 37yo difficult child was stressful. I was detaching fairly well before her, but her constant e-mails and calls telling me I was 'the reason he was so f***** up' and his cutting himself, threatening suicide made all of the guilt I thought I had gotten over return.

    During my emotional relapse I found this forum, I thank all of you too.

    My son still posts all of his drama and suicidal thoughts on facebook, and I have family members that think I am cold blooded for not trying to rescue him. I don't ask him about any of it when he texts me. I listen to him talk about his deadbeat dad or anything else he wants to text about. No advice, no opinions.

    My difficult child shows many signs of BDP and the cutting and suicidal threats has been in many of his short relationships. I have called the police in the past to check on him and when they arrived he said he was not suicidal so nothing was done.

    After my male cousin committed suicide last week I was scared. All week I was emotionally drained and tired, wanting to spend time by myself. Like we all know, IT is what IT is, and we must acccept IT.

    Each morning I pray for peace and I meditate. I am resting and enjoying the peace today, the drama has died down, it will return again I am sure.
    (((huggs and blessings for us all)))
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    As always you are all so inspirational. I almost feel guilty saying this because it's not Q's choice to have his struggles but I do learn from you all and apply ideas especially about starting to let go because it will happen some day and I fear sooner than I want it to. I pay attention to you all, such amazing gifted parents.

    Sig. I drove thru the college neighborhood beautiful. Thought of you.
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you for your post. Forgive all my typos as I am not at a computer. I some resignation and it is largely due to all of you. I
    watch and read and learn. difficult child will be 18 in a month. We will not be asking her to leave because she is on probation and will be accountable to the judge every
    60 days. She has an interview tomorrow and we hope she gets the job. She has really struggled to find one this time. She chose not to sign up for
    classes this term. We agreed that it would be too much stress since she also has75 hours of community service plus restitution to pay.
    She must also continue therapy. She is on the waiting list for EMDR again and will see a new therapist next week. She has been pretty good but then she is
    On house arrest and can only leave with us or to work.

    I know it will be a long road. I dont know if she truelly means it when she says she wants to change. Time will tell. A good friend would be a blessing
    For her. She really has noone(unless she goes back to her pothead friends). She has to stay sober so I dont think she will.

    I hope we all continue to have some peace. I think being here and going to 12 step meetings has really helped many of us. This place is like a motion sickness pill
    so we can weather the inevitable roller coaster rides. I pray for everyone and I have hopes that your boy will recover in time. (((Hugs))) to all.
  9. Saunder1540

    Saunder1540 New Member

    Very nicely written Sig. I am so glad for you. I am hoping to be there someday. We did kick our son out last Monday and I am so depressed. Im ok one minute and crying the next. It's so hard to go about your normal day trying to put on a happy face while at work or wherever. My husband and I are trying to be tough but it is so hard. We do know he has no where to go so that's one reason it's so hard. We do feel we're doing the right thing though. Hoping he'll be more motivated to think of his future while he's running the streets not in a comfy bed or food whenever he wants it and so on. I am reading Setting Boundaries for Adult Children and there is great advice in it about enabling. My husband and I have started counseling for us also. Would love to have some prayer warriors out there! I am thankful that I found this site and welcome any advice you have! Thanks
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Sauder- I was in your shoes a year ago. And it took me a long time to stop crying every day. It was so hard to put on a happy face and try to fake through social occasions - even just dinner out with H. More than once, I looked at my husband and said "we need to go home NOW" and we did. It took me a few months to even begin to cope and it took me a year (this week!) to realize that this was not going to be a short term thing. I had assumed he would leave and that the situation would reach a climax - getting better or worse - in short order. It didn't and it hasn't. I raced to research treatment facilities, homeless shelters, defense attorneys, bus schedules etc - certain that I would need them and I haven't. Not to say we haven't had our bumps - both dismal and hopeful - along the way. There were many times that other posters' kids were begging for attention (negative and positive) and I was JEALOUS because my son had not (and never did) reach out to me.

    So -- it will be unpredictable. Dare I say, you will get used to it. I think I must have posted 20 times in those first weeks re-iterating that I was looking for advice as to "What to do NEXT" and looking for a crystal ball to tell me when he would come to his senses and return to being a easy child. I wanted to shout that "My kid WILL BE DIFFERENT" - but of course - he wasn't. Everyone was very gentle and it finally sunk in that there is no pattern, no magic solution, nothing to do or say that will fix it.

    So, I hope you will stick around. Know that we get it and we care and we will be here for you.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Saunder, I too have been where you are. We also kicked our son out when he was 18 and at the time it was the hardest thing I had ever done and I felt heartbroken that it came to that. It was definitely the right thing to do. Since then I have had many more hardest things and heartbreaks with my difficult child. All I can say is it is a process to get to the place of detaching and finding ways to live your life and not focus on them. It does not happen overnight. I can't believe how much better I am doing now than I did a couple of years ago....even though I am not even sure where my son is right now.

    Sounds like you are doing all the right things... counseling for you and your husband is key. This board is a great source of support... and I would suggest also finding a good support group for parents... I found a great alanon group for parents that has also been a lifesaver for us. Knowing you are not alone is a huge help I think.