disorder or different?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by nlj, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Maybe there's nothing wrong.

    Maybe he simply doesn't conform to my ideas.

    Maybe he's right.

    Maybe I was wrong.

    Maybe I've been hoping for the wrong things.

    Maybe I've been wanting him to change, but, actually, maybe he's fine as he is.

    I've had a strange week. Reading online comments. Some vile nastiness from people who have no idea of the facts. Some from friends who have enlightened me, helped me see things in a different, more positive light. Some from people I've never met but who don't think he's wrong. Lots of cynicism. Lots of unity. Lots of empathy.

    I was humming some lines from Bob Dylan this morning:

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin'
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    I don't want to get out of the new road. Maybe I'll walk on the sidewalk.

    Could I live off-grid? Could I join a gang of campaigners?

    No chance.
    But maybe I could embrace it all and stop catastrophising.

    What's going to happen next?
    No idea.
    But he's not going to conform
    And, actually, maybe I don't want him to.

    (With apologies to everyone who hasn't got a clue what this post is about)

    (and please don't write any detail in any response - I'm hiding away for a while x)
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I LOVE that Dylan song!!! I will hum it all day today now, we can harmonize from across the pond.

    I love the image of you walking along the sidewalk, your face a study in contemplation and focused attention.

    There have been a lot of revolutions, and most of them started with a scuffle. Who knows where this will lead? Your son and his crew are standing up for something they believe in. Stand back and say wow.
    (still, I totally get that it would be really nice if he just took a job in your hometown, got married, and he and his wife and two kids came over to see you on Sundays. I get that part too).,

    Yours in Solidarity (Echo shouts some revolutionary slogan now).
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hugs and high fives, Lucy.
    Your brain and your heart are working together - always a good thing.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    People who live off the grid in the US (and there are many) are rarely college kids. Maybe they do exist, but never heard of any. Usually it's a family who is suspicious of the government and thinks taxes is theft and so they buy land and build a fully self-functioning farm with well so that they have no ties to society and don't have to pay government bills and quite possibly can get away without paying taxes. Often, they are people who are so paranoid that we are going to have the government knocking on our door any minute to take our guns (this is a huge issue in the U.S.--lots of people are crazed about this gun issue. It is in our Constitution as the Right to Bear Arms, but many people believe our more "liberal" presidents will order guns be confiscated and we will end up like Hitler's underlings). I find this absurd and wacky, but most of these people are NOT mentally ill. They sound it to people who don't live here, but they are simply folks who are ready to go to war with the U.S. Governement and don't believe the government has any right to know anything about them. As an American, although I don't walk THAT walk, I understand their viewpoint and even agree in some areas.

    Now, the difference here, besides the issues, is that most of these folks live well. They are good with their hands. They know how to farm and prosper. They take care of one another. They often homeschool their children. They do not want to be found out. I have never met anybody who does this, but I did spend many, many years on a real time politics MIRC chat site and talked to many who were in fact living off the grid, for the most part, and finding ways to dodge the government and also many were certain the government was coming any minute to take their weapons.

    Some owned an stock pile of war-like weapons. Scary, to me, sensible to many Americans. Often they also stockpile items they will need when the government holds people in detention camps, but they feel they will be spared. Sounds nuts if you don't live in the US. Sounds nuts to some of us who do. But this faction of people exist here and they are about as off the grid as the Amish. Except that they do manage to use electricity and hot water and other luxuries and they do watch television. Id on't know if they go through proper channels or find alternative ways to accomplish this.

    America is very conservative right now and few progressive Americans are voiced these days therefore you see and hear few kids going off the grid because of racial or social injustice and even less care about the rest of the world. But I think we have always been insular. If our kids go wrong, it is usually a less complex reason. It is normally that they feel as if they dont' fit in and th at drugs is the answer to at least finding others who don't fit in with normal society. It doesn't have a "cause." The "cause" is themselves and feeling inadequate. I know my daughter's reason was very easy: "I was so shy, nobody ever talked to me. Drugs allowed me not to care and I suddenly had all these friends."

    That is more often the reason in th e U.S.

    I am sure this is hard to believe in countries where people care more about what happens to people who are not doing as well as we are and even bigger issues in the world. But it really is not happening here right now. The last time the kids cared about the world was during Nam and in my opinion that was only because it affected THEM. THEY could be drafted.

    We are a selfish lot here.

    Anyhow, this is just hodgepodge I learend from chatting so long to other people about our politics and with some of them "off the grid." Our schools do not encourage thinking about others. I am alarmed at how inept even some of our "beter" schools are.

    At one time, Obama wanted to make a speech to the school children. In most countries, that would have been mandatory watching in class. But many schools were in areas who hated Obama and the parents protested it and he was not seen there. So...that may give you a hint as to what it is like here. We are very different and, of coruse, much bigger and more diverse (yet not more tolerant). At least, this is how I see it from my own eyes.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Not sure what new has happened since you are hiding so well...(I almost didn't realize who this was - you're good)...but you sound pretty positive.

    That's my favorite Dylan song.

    I have to admit, there is a certain allure to living off the grid, homesteading, being self-sufficient. I could have been a hippie if I'd been born a decade sooner. As it is, I like comfort way too much.
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    And here's MWM's post! lol

    Really, I've done a ton of research on off-grid living, homesteading, even what the call SHTF Preparedness (stands for S*#& Hits the Fan). Not because I'm planning on putting on my tinfoil hat and hiding from the government or the zombie apocalypse, but because they have some neat stuff on solar power, gardening, camping, food storage, etc. It's interesting and if I were 30 years younger, and not bogged down with bills to pay, I'd give it a whirl.
  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I lived off the grid for much of my 20's. It was an adventure. It is also nice to go to a store, and have water every time you need it. I think everyone should give it a try for a week or two. It will show you who you really are.
  8. Tentimesaround

    Tentimesaround New Member

    This is my song these days!
    Give it a listen.
    "I Bet My Life"

    I know I took the path that you would never want for me
    I know I let you down, didn't I?
    So many sleepless nights where you were waiting up on me
    Well I'm just a slave unto the night

    Now remember when I told you that's the last you'll see of me
    Remember when I broke you down to tears
    I know I took the path that you would never want for me
    I gave you hell through all the years

    So I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you
    I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you

    I've been around the world and never in my wildest dreams
    Would I come running home to you
    I've told a million lies but now I tell a single truth
    There's you in everything I do

    Now remember when I told you that's the last you'll see of me
    Remember when I broke you down to tears
    I know I took the path that you would never want for me
    I gave you hell through all the years

    So I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you
    I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you

    Don't tell me that I'm wrong
    I've walked that road before
    And left you on your own
    And please believe them when they say
    That it's left for yesterday
    And the records that I've played
    Please forgive me for all I've done

    So I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you
    I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you

    So I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you
    I, I bet my life, I bet my life
    I bet my life on you
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lucy, good to hear from you, I've been thinking about you.

    I know how you feel. My grown up little girl is a free spirit, makes choices based on "being free, being untethered"........sometimes I admire her tenacity, her courage........sometimes I just wish she were married with kids, like ECHO said, and came to dinner on Sundays.

    I have 2 siblings who live, well, perhaps not quite off the grid entirely, but close to it......I admire them too. Both support themselves well and don't rely on others like my daughter does. There was a time, like pasajes, that I lived off the grid and it was seriously, one of the best times of my life.

    I grapple with that with my daughter..........the choices she makes, the way she lives........doing everything I can to let go of judgements leaves me with more space to see her more clearly, without my expectations.........it's hard to be the mother of a non conformist, off the grid, difficult child........there is just so much uncertainty, they don't stay within the lines.

    Now that my daughter no longer asks me for anything and has carved out her own existence, as long as I keep those boundaries intact, and she respects me and is kind to me, all is well............but yeah, I understand about trying to embrace it and not catastrophize about it..........

    Hang in there Lucy, we're all here in the same boat. As Pasa said on another thread, sometimes "it just sucks to be us"......for some reason that made me smile, because I know she knew........ we all know........and that knowing that we all know, makes me feel better.........you're not alone Lucy. None of us here are. And, it still sucks, just not so bad.
  10. Childofmine

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

    Lucy, I get what you are saying. I think we change a lot when we go through all of this and we start seeing things in brand new ways.

    A lot of the old norms die away. We start seeing other people in a new light, and we learn new ways of thinking and behaving. We start accepting people for who they are. We stop judging (so much). We start being able to "live and let live."

    Who is to say your son doesn't have solid ground to stand on, with his beliefs? As I've said before, much of the institutionalized and commercialized world is distasteful to many of us.

    However, for whatever reason, we have chosen to conform, at least somewhat and to different degrees.

    He has not. So, okay. Personally, I'm okay with people living how they want to live, as long as it doesn't infringe on me or on others. The rub with your son is that he's on someone else's property, right? That's the real rub. I know his lifestyle causes you hurt in your mother's heart, is he warm? Is he fed? Is he safe? Is he okay? I so understand that.

    And I think we are sad too, because we had dreams for them, and their dreams were not our dreams. We get over that, in time, and I think we develop a new respect for people who go their own way.

    With my son, he has done things in his past lifestyle that I can't reason away by saying, oh, okay, do your own thing. Stealing from other people things that don't belong to you isn't right. By any measure. Hurting yourself with drugs that aren't given to you isn't right, by any measure. Breaking the law, even if you don't agree with the law, isn't right, by any measure.

    But there is something, a grain of something, in me that says, Wow, I'd love to thumb my nose at the world and "get off the grid" and just be. It's not in the cards for me, but a little part of me yearns for that.

    I watched the movie, Wild, recently, and I loved it. I loved seeing her strike out on that path of 1,000 miles, to find out who she is. There was something very appealing about that to me.

    So Lucy, I see what you are saying here, and perhaps you are making yet another shift in how you view your son.

    I wish for all of us the peace of acceptance. The serenity and the relief and the peace of letting go. Of living one day at a time. Of live and let live. Of How important is it?

    The more we can accept what is, the better off we will be. Warm hugs to you tonight, Lucy. We are here with you, no matter what.