Difficult Child Update - "In Your Face Mom"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WearyMom18, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    So my 18yo daughter sends me a text this evening that reads, and I quote "In your face Mom, "I got and we're getting an apartment together"

    My first reaction was, "Really? In my face? Where the heck did that come from?

    The 'we' she is referring to is this guy she met the day of the robbery/hit and run, according to her, and we suspect he is affiliated a very large racist gang based on the tattoos we saw on his chest on his FB pictures- great.....

    She says she got a job at Sonic, a local fast foot chain in a city about 100 miles from where we live. I responded a few minutes later with, "I'm glad to hear that. I hope it works out for you." She never responded.

    After joining this group just 3 days ago and reading and learning about detachment and codependency and enabling,I feel so much more confident and empowered to live my own life and not burden myself with her legal problems and dysfunction but there is also a part of me that worries that she'll get pregnant or this guy and living arrangement will go sour and then what? I guess I will never totally be free of the possible impacts of her actions on my life or at least being burdened by the worry.

    Is it terrible that I also feel a sense of relief that she is not near our home so she is less likely to rob us again and that I want her to remain at a distance?

    Such conflicting emotions...
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    The worry is kind of always there in the background for me. Even when I'm at my most relaxed and happy...it's kind of lurking there. I wonder what he's doing and if he's safe and healthy. But at the same time, I'm happier when I don't hear from him. I wish, I really, really wish, we had the type of healthy relationship that some parents and kids have. I wish I could just call him up and ask how he is. I wish he could just call me and tell me what's up. But instead when the phone rings my stomach drops.

    It is natural to be relieved when the drama stops. It's normal to not want to deal with the hurt and the stealing and the lying and the anger and the pain. There's nothing at all terrible about that.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why is it terrible that you don't want to be robbed? And that boyfriend sounds dangerous. No, you are being reasonable, although it's sad.
  4. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Midwest Mom- thanks for pointing that out. You're right, it's not terrible to not want to be robbed. I think what I meant to say is, does it make me a bad parent to truly feel good that my daughter is not close to my home and to not want any real contact with her at this point? Sometimes when I feel like I'm moving towards detachment, the thoughts that I have are ones that no other parent has felt because I'm a bad mother or because something is wrong with me. I mean, what kind of mother am I to actually be glad that my child is no longer at home or near me even?
  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    that was a perfect, perfect response. Sometimes I think of the goals of detachment as behaving impeccably..that sounds a bit cold, but really it means behaving in a way that you won't have cause to regret, no matter who looks at it (including you) later.

    You behaved impeccably. You DO hope it works out for her! You hope LIFE works out for her...you hope it in and intense, loving, mom way. What you said is true.

    What you didn't do was get pulled back into the dance. She wanted to engage in shock, so that she could brawl with you by text, tell you all that you have done wrong. But you haven't done anything wrong (or probably you have, we all do, bless our mommy hearts), but you haven't done anything that needs a text assault. You did perfectly.

    In earlier days of Difficult Child, my SO, who had a severely , psychotically ill mother for whom he was the sole care provided from age 13 on, told me that I could relax when Difficult Child was admitted to the psychiatric ward...I was shocked and horrified...WHAT??? MY BABY IS IN THE CRAZY HOUSE!!! HOW CAN I RELAX??

    But he was right. Sometimes, when they are doing what they are doing, it is time for us to step back, know they are busy, or far away, or, if hospitalized or jailed, hopefully safe or at least safer.

    She is 100 miles away. She things she won over you somehow. She is engaged in making her own life, good or bad, but she feels empowered.

    You can relax for a bit now, and savor the relief. Do what YOU do while she does what she does. Buy some flowers for the robbery-safe house. Put on some music. Seduce your husband. Binge watch TV. Whatever you do when life is good. Because YOUR life can be good.

    Now is the time for life itself to teach her lessons. Most likely she will be back, but maybe not. You can use a little of this time (after you have done the stuff above) to think how you will react if she barrages you with texts demanding money when she can't make rent (I suggest you not read or answer, and maybe even block her). Child used to set a single time of the week when she would talk with her son...if he didn't make it, then he had to wait till next week. It took a bit, but they settled into a pattern that was healthy for her.

    Don't think about possible pregnancy yet, that is too far away to be real.

    Good luck in these next days. Take some deep breaths that are free of her, if you can. Post often. Read self help books.

    Hugs to you,

  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    That's not what you are glad about because she isn't your child right now.

    You're glad that a person who steals and lies and abuses you is no longer at home. The daughter she should be...the daughter who respects and loves you...you wouldn't be happy to have her gone. But right now she isn't that daughter.

    I'm glad my son is not at home. I'm relieved I don't have to walk into the house and do an inventory to see if something is missing. I'm happy that I don't have to walk on eggshells for fear of him getting angry and yelling and stomping thru the house. I'm glad my house is quiet and calm.

    I miss the boy who snuggled with me and watched our favorite TV shows and showed me nonsense videos on Youtube. But that's not who he is anymore.
  7. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    I am still in disbelief that I have found a group of wonderful men and women, parents, that are or have experienced this. My anxiety is something I have to work at controlling everyday usually aggravated by even a brief thought of my daughter. You're right, I need to accept that right now she is not the daughter I know she can be and allow myself to enjoy life and not feel guilty for enjoying myself.

    I've always struggled with needing to know what comes next. I'm a crazy organizer and planner and I know it helps soothe my anxious self to be in control and know exactly what my next steps are. Not being able to fix or save my child from her own destructive behavior is such a struggle but I know now that it's okay to let go, to let her figure it out. I haven't broken the law or been arrested so I don't need to be afraid of court dates coming and going, she has to worry about that! I haven't burned bridges with friends and family. ..she has! I am trying to learn to allow myself to be me, be an individual outside of being a mom because being a mom is not my only role or purpose in life. I know the right things to do after diving deep into this forum and really taking in what you have all said but there's the actual change in behavior and habits that I have to master. Easier said than done right?

    Echo and Lil, thank you for your words, you have no idea (or maybe you do) how much better I feel about myself and my situation since joining the forum. I follow you both and want to thank you for being a friend...us mom's have to stick together.

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  8. Shan

    Shan Member

  9. Shan

    Shan Member

    I'm sorry you. Got the " in your face" it us rather disrespectful and hurtful. I have gotten it to. I have also gotten hey guess what ? I have no f$$$$ left to care what you think. As hard as it is . And you will worry . You need to let her make her mistakes and live with the consequences . I have with my oldest daughter who drinks a lot and I finally told her she had to leave and I'm not blaming her but through therapy I realize my other ones have no resoect what so ever towards me bc of things she got away with. As a parent no matter how old they are you worry. They don't see this bc simply we don't care in there eyes. My daughter texted me other day asking to borrow money . I said no. She said but I need money fir food . As much as I hate to admitt it I stooped to her level and stated. " in your face... You can not possibly fathom the amount of F$$$$ I don't give" you chose this, you deal with it. Your 26 yrs old. I felt like crap for saying what I did . I got off the phone and cried and thought just maybe you will get it!!!! You will worry and that's normal but you have to let go and let her be accountable for her mistakes.
  10. Childofmine

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

    I agree with what everybody else said here. You are entitled to your sense of relief, so claim it, own in, and enjoy it. It is normal not to want to live in the land of complete chaos and drama. I have gotten to where I actually detest drama of any kind.

    I remember feeling very relieved every time my son was in jail. Sometimes I pinched myself because that feeling and the thoughts that went along with it were so surreal but finally I learned to lean into the feeling, and to enjoy it.

    I never would have thought any of this, but WearyMom, we are where we are and we cannot be anywhere else but right here. So let's find a way to live, regardless. And let's live the best we can.
    I think this is a great way to define detachment. It does feel cold at first, but in time, it feels right, as we practice it more and more and we "get" that this is their life and their choices, and there isn't truly one single thing we did to cause it or allow it or encourage it. Like Al-Anon says: The Three C's: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    Addiction takes them over. Mental illness takes them over. And if untreated, it's in charge. The person we knew is I don't know where. But it's all about them, and what they want, and we are simply a conduit for getting what they want. Do they still love us? Yes, I believe they do, as much as they are capable of. It's not personal. We have to grow to understand that. It's not personal. Their addiction is running rampant and it's in charge, and it says: get all you can the easiest way you can. And guess who that is? Us.

    You know what, Shan? I have done that too. We are merely human. There is only so much we can take. I have gotten in my son's face and screamed at the top of my lungs things like this: Well, if you don't know, who does? You are a drug addict and you have to have help? You are destroying your life. On and on.

    I forgive myself all of that. I did the best I could, and at that moment, it was the best I could do. There were times when I felt like I was literally crazy. I was heartbroken, grief-stricken, filled with fear, anger, despair, hopelessness, incredible worry and pain. I knew he was going to die, and I thought that even maybe that would be better than who knows what was happening whereever he was and whatever he was doing. I awfulized (Al-Anon word) everything. I went to the nth degree with all of my thoughts.

    So when I blew, I blew big. Am I proud of that today? Well, I have compassion for that person who said and did those things. And I have forgiveness for myself.

    Today, I have much healthier boundaries with my son, but I have to work on them constantly. Today, he texted me to tell me about all of the problems he is having with his apartment (water leaking, mold growing everywhere, etc.). He is trying to get the landlord to do something...etc. I listened, and then I started giving advice. What??? Haven't I learned anything? The point is, we have to work do very hard every day to get to a healthier place and then to stay there, and we aren't perfect. We are going to fall off the wagon.

    The question is: How do we handle ourselves when we do? We can't have compassion and forgiveness for anybody else until we give it first to ourselves. Shan, try to give it to yourself today.
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  11. Tentimesaround

    Tentimesaround New Member

    Boy do I get this as do we all! It truly goes against what a mother feels the need to do love and protect! How do you love and let go? They all have that way of drawing us back in! The texts, phone calls desperate cries for help. Somewhere in that you see the child you once knew and hope rises to the surface in hopes they are "back". My Difficult Child has not been living in our home for almost 4 months. I have finally begun to feel safe and at peace here. Will I give that up and let her come back home? Never! We have let her back in with rules, contracts etc etc but it never would last. The first time she left, I spent months running around trying to find help and all I wanted was her home again. It has taken me a long time to realize allowing her back home is not what is best for anyone in my family. Some days these is easy and I am strong! Other days I am weak and sad (like today). My heart aches and it feels there is a piece of me missing. But I am doing my best and today will pass. I will fill my day with self care and no pity and tomorrow will be better. I wish that for you as well. Self care lots of it helps! I also blocked my Difficult Child number this week, I just could not handle that abuse any more and attended my first alanon meeting. Hugs and strength to u!
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  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You sounds so much like me. I really could have written this...changing her to him. I struggle with this all all the time. It's hard, stepping back, not giving him what he needs, telling him to go to food pantries when he's hungry, telling him no when he wants a ride somewhere. In June, his lease is over and we won't be co-signing again, so I may be telling him to sleep on the street. His phone contract is up, so we won't be paying for that again. All of it is hard. But all he has to do is get a job and live like a decent human being. Don't do drugs. Don't steal. Don't lie. Show respect. I wouldn't be friends with someone who does the things he does. I wouldn't have them over to my house.

    I miss the son I don't have.
  13. Tentimesaround

    Tentimesaround New Member

    Someone told me love the kid you have not the one you want. I don't want a new one I just want the good form of the old one.
  14. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    How very true.
  15. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    I totally get it. I wish my son weren't living in our home town. Always on alert wondering if he somehow got in the house that I carefully lock up in fear that he'll steal from me again. Taking inventory of my jewelry when I go to put a piece on. He's been charged with residential burglary for stealing from me in the past so he knows I'll call the police but if he gets desperate enough he may steal again. I don't want to be put in that position again.

    Isn't it terrible, Weary Mom, that our kids are living like this? I feel your pain. Hugs.
  16. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    It IS terrible Carri and I grieve the life that I had always envisioned for my daughter. Why couldn't she have just done what I did and what we raised her to do, go to school and to college, get a job, get married and have children? The good ole American way! I am angry with her that I didn't get to experience getting her ready for homecoming and prom and seeing her go to pep rally' and football games in high school. I am angry that despite everything we did for her she fought us and went against everything we stood for and raised her to be! We didn't ask too much, we weren't the most lenient parents on the block but we did have expectations of respect, self-respect and to live by the morals and values we taught.

    I'm angry at myself for allowing her to abuse me for 4 long years and what's most maddening is the fact that I'll never know why!

    It's the ultimate betrayal to have your own child bring people to your home while you're out making a living to provide all the things you give to them, to rob you blind without even a flicker of conscience. We called the police after she finally admitted that she had orchestrated the theft and the police told us if we filed the charges, it would be a state jail felony carrying a sentence of up to 10 years. We didn't do it; we didn't want to put a felony on her record. Boy oh boy do we regret that now. Maybe if we had done it she wouldn't have been able to do all that she's done since then, maybe it would have stopped there and she would've finally had clarity and turn her life around.

    It's so hard to feel all that anger and also the pain of the loss of what could have been. I'm angry that she has done all of this to herself and to us. Sometimes I think to myself that I wish she would get put in prison to learn her lesson but I know in the end that wouldn't make me feel better.

    I live a Rollercoaster of emotions everyday. Sometimes it just sad pain and grieving and others it's frustration and anger and every once in a while a wish for revenge for all that she has put us through and continues to put us through.

    Aaahhhh, I have to breathe and learn to let her carry her own burdens and detach from that person she has chosen to become. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

    This is a journey, a very long journey that is mostly uphill, in the rain with an occasional falling boulder LOL. It's going to be a very long journey to unlearn (is that a word? LOL) the behaviors and thought patterns I have lived all these years but I know it's possible, that inner peace is possible if I keep persevering.

    To have all of you, just for this one week that I've been a member has been absolutely the most empowering experience and it's has jump started my own recovery. Thank you to everyone for every word you type in support and understanding and guidance. I am blessed.
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  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It does get easier with time. And sometimes better, at least for us.

    Your daughter's choices only impact you if you let them. You don't have to allow her lifestyle to impact yours. You don't have to pay the bail, pay the rent (yikes! If my kid had a racist for a boyfriend, I wouldn't pay a dime until that was over), and we don't have to angst over it endlessly (this is a real trick to learn, but it can be done). We don't have to give advice that won't be taken. We don't have to make our child's life a part of our own if they live against our values. I am beyond thinking that we can make that big an impact on our adult kids. I'm beginning to think it is 90% genetic. In our house, we never had one drink or cigarette or recreational drugs and yet I had a daughter who abused drugs. Was that because of us? I logically don't think so. It was more about her inside workings...she was insecure and very shy and drugs gave her status in school (sadly), boyfriends, and made it easier for her to socialize.Since she has quit (yes, it can happen) we have talked it over a lot. She doesn't think anything would have changed her path as she hated being shy and left out, but didn't know any other way to fit in. She is adopted so she has none of our DNA. I ask myself, I wonder what her birthmoter was like. Bet she was a rebel with a temper, but very smart and creative and she did what was best in her country for her daughter. So my daughter maybe inherited her spunk and her smarts...

    I tend to get off track.

    We gave all of our children opportunity and nobody can take that gift away from them. They know how to behave. They know the right way to live that leads to our particular brand of progress. They could have had a college education and a step up. But when they turn into adults, then what they know...well, it is just like this forum. "Take what you like, and leave the rest." They may know how to achieve in our society because we showed them and gave them every chance. But we can't make them embrace what WE feel is achievement. We can't make them grateful for what we have sacrificed for them. We can't change the wiring in their brains or their DNA. We can just be there if they seem to want or need us and are open to listening to us. We don't help them by rescuing them. We don't help them by becoming their bank only.

    But we all did our best and we can all be proud of the parents that we were. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, so to speak...

    Celebrate your effort!!!! Then work on living the life you deserve, free of taking care of your adult kids anymore. You already did that and they do know how to act. It's up to them. It's up to us to learn how to cope with a difficult adult child and move on with our own life's story.
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