I told my mom today that difficult child is getting rats. I had to. The cage arrived yesterday, today we are getting the bedding and other stuff, and tomorrow we are get the rats from a rescue. difficult child is doing all of this with her own money. And my mom totally freaked out. She went on and on and on - she can't believe I'm allowing this, the mess they're going to make, she can't believe I'm allowing this (repeatedly), etc. And there's just no way she's telling step-dad about it. From her reaction, you would think that...I don't know. It was just over the top. I just let her go on and didn't say a word. She finally - after about 10 minutes into her tirade - asked if I was still there or if I'd hung up. I told her I was still there. I told her that I'm grasping at straws for things that can bring some happiness for difficult child, and that I'm just trying to survive here, and I don't need to be beaten up about it. She said she's not trying to beat me up, and that she just doesn't want to know anything else about it, and "that's the end of that conversation". I am really struggling to keep my head above water emotionally. I'm an adult. I can make decisions and shouldn't have to be beaten up about them. It's not like I'm letting difficult child do drugs, or anything else that is way worse than a couple of rats.