I love my kids no matter how screwed up they are...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Where Did I Go Wrong, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Hi - I just stumbled across this group and thought it looked like a good support group for me. I'm 57, retired, disabled, married and live in a remote area in BC Canada. I was a teacher, a mom, a grandma and a wife but now I don't know who I am or how to be "just a housewife" - because I hate housework!
    My children are 30, 28 and 23, my stepchildren are 34 and 32. I love them SO much but they have disappointed me in SO many ways! I'm new here so I'll save all my drama and just fill you in on the two things that are breaking my heart at the moment.

    My son had a fiancee, a stepdaughter and a daughter, along with a rented home, a decent job, a nice vehicle etc. He was a very happy man until he came home from work one day and his fiancee told him he had to move out, she had found someone else. She took his life that day and I don't know that he will ever recover. They verbally agreed on child support and a visitation schedule for him with the girls (so that she could party every weekend). He couldn't afford child support and rent, truck payments, insurance, etc... so his truck was repossessed and he had to move in with his step-brother. He had no vehicle so he couldn't get to work and lost his job. He went into a deep depression and spent most of his days sleeping and playing video games. He didn't eat, shower, do laundry or clean up after himself - his only happiness was the days he could spend with his girls. After a year his ex moved out of town and refused him access to the girls so he quit paying child support, thinking she would come after him for the money. Apparently her new boyfriend makes really good money so she didn't bother - and she has another kid with him now so that makes 3 kids with 3 different dads. And we thought she was such a sweetheart - she had us all fooled! Anyways, my son is now 30 yrs old and dead inside. He has a job and rents a townhouse with his younger brother and hasn't seen his daughter for almost 2 years. I've begged him to get a lawyer and arrange for joint custody but he can't afford it and isn't strong enough yet to fight for his own rights. He feels he is worthless so his daughter is better off without him. She is a beautiful little girl, looks SO much like her daddy when he was her age and my arms and heart ache for her. I want so much to know her, to tell her how much I love her - and that her daddy loves her too - but I love my son and how can I betray him by getting my own lawyer and getting grandparent's visitation with her? Wouldn't that just confirm his belief that he is worthless because he can't fight for her?

    Secondly, my daughter was doing really well for herself at one time. She had her own apartment, her own furniture etc, a decent job and a second job to make a little extra money. She was happy, but single and had self-confidence issues. Then along came a dumb-ass lazy guy who could talk her into just about anything, and he manipulated her for 6 years. It ended with them both being homeless and unemployed and collecting welfare. She lost everything - including some very sentimental things like her jewellery, grandma's china, expensive old furniture, childhood possessions and her medical records and other legal papers. When I went and picked her up in the city, all she had was a couple of garbage bags of clothes and a blanket. And a broken spirit. She too went into a deep depression and spent most of her days in bed. A friend got her a job in town but I live up on a mountain and she doesn't drive never mind have a car so it was tough to get to work for 6a.m. and home again. We managed for a month or two until she found a friend in town that she could move in with. Her so-called friend was on welfare, living in social housing with her son and their friendship came to a dramatic end with my daughter unemployed, broke and homeless again. For the past 6 months she has been couch-surfing, using and losing her friends, occasionally coming home to take advantage of my love for her. She can be a sweet, caring person, or she can be a vicious, spiteful witch! I don't believe it's true but most of my friends think she is doing drugs. I don't understand how my baby-girl could have turned into such a lazy, irresponsible liar, but I love her and I can't give up on her.....

    My husband loves my children too - but he feels that they are adults and I have to back off and let them deal with their problems on their own. He doesn't have much contact with his kids - I am closer to them than he is and would do anything I can to help them. He isn't very supportive towards me because he feels that at our age we should be enjoying ourselves doing whatever we want to do for ourselves. I'm so torn - I can't choose between my husband and my children, especially when my elderly parents are ailing. And that's another story......
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with your husband. Your children are actually adults now and they will survive being disappointed and sad. It isn't healthy for them or for you for you to "do anything to help them." You can't. Have you ever seen a counselor?

    I strongly recommend reading the books "Codapendent No More" by Melody beatty. Until you stop living through your children, who are approaching middle age, you will never have a happy, sane or quiet moment of peace in your life. Yes, YOU have a life and it is equal in importance to your adult children. Your daughter is not your baby girl. She is your adult daughter. It isn't a good idea to think of grown up adults as our babies that we have to save and fix. We can't.

    You may also consider why you are allowing your grown daughter to abuse you.Also, she is responsible for being with this dumb-ass guy for six years. She bears equal blame. Nobody put a gun to her head. She chose him. We can not always look to others for blame when our own grown children mess up. She had the ability not to get involved with him and then to seek out resources to leave him. It' was her decision to give up her good life for him. That's on her, not him. He has his part, but it's usually 50/50.

    I suggest you read the aforementioned book, get a very good therapist to help you with your own identity and life, and start working on taking care of YOU. You can't be any good for anyone else, especially yourself (and remember YOU matter) if you try to fix a nd help all of your adult children, who are old enough to not need your care, AND your elderly parents who could probably get help outside of you. You are one person trying to take care of your entire family and doing nothing for yourself.

    If I were you, I'd step out of son's custody problem. It is up to him to fight for his kids. If he doesn't want to do it, he doesn't want to do it, and there is not one thing you can do to make him. He bears some responsibility here. It is not all her. It never is. He picked her to marry. My own son's wife ran off with another man and he has to pay child support and it affected him, as it does everybody. Is it fair since he didn't want the divorce? Does it matter? It is what it is. He has to pay it. It is your son's responsibility to go back to court if he can't pay child support and not just stop paying. The court needs to know he lost his job and may modify his payments. They will not care about his depression. My son was depressed too. Your son needs to stop being a victim and needs to get out of bed and seek help for himself. If he has no money, there is mental health by the county. You probably need to stop telling him what to do. He will learn or face the consequences, which is already happening. The law doesn't care about ex's new honey. He made a baby. That's what they care about. That was on your son for not doing anything. Don't waste your money on grandparent visitation rights. There are none.

    Let your son learn to grow up. My guess is you have always tried to make everything smooth for him and he is unable to take care of himself, a skill he has got to learn. Nobody will take you seriously anymore if you try to "Help" him because of his age. Look, I did that too when my kids were younger, but I learned that they will not learn the skills to be an adult if I don't stop and have had many heartbreaking experiences. Two of my grown children had to be told to leave. One was on drugs. She totally turned her life around and is now VERY responsible and wonderful. The other struggles emotionally, but he does have a job, his own house, his son 50% of the time and he knows nobody is going to come to his rescue if he can't figure out how to solve a problem. My ex sometimes gives him money, but if he had nowhere to live, he couldn't come back home to either ex or me because of various reasons you can read about here. I have learned boundaries.

    Your daughter is choosing her life. You can't change her. You shouldn't try. You have 0% over her and the only person you can really change at all is yourself and your reaction to your struggling adult children. By 30 adult children need to be taking care of their own problems. What will they do when you are no longer here?

    It does not mean you don't love your adult children if you let them go. We are supposed to "give them roots to grown and wings to fly." I love all of my adult children with all my heart. But they are separate people from me and most adult children, unless we are handing them money (which they should be able to make themselves) do not appreciate our two cents or our attempts to change them. Nor should they. If they make poor choices, in our opinions, they are the only ones who can change them. And our nagging and saving won't do the trick. Have you bailed any out of jail? Have they used drugs? Stolen from you? If so, did you call the police to show them that this is not acceptable even if it's you?

    You choose your husband vs. children when they are under eighteen. At your age and your childern's ages, you are choosing a far different picture: Enabling your children and keeping them needy vs. living your own life, which can be wonderful even if you have children in their 30's who are struggling. You can choose a great rest-of-your-life or the drama of freaking out and crying and begging and using all your money for your middle aged adult children.

    Sadly, you can't control your son's child's mother either. Your son made a poor decision, in my opinion, to have a baby with a woman who clearly has children with many men probably to get child support. But he is as responsible for the situation as she is. There are condoms. If he has no transportation he can do what my daughter did after we made her leave. She walked to Subway and back for her job. It was a long walk. She walked in the cold and the hot. She did finally buy a bike. Maybe your son would have to take less money, b ut there are jobs he could get. That is HIS problem, not yours. My daughter learned to have a strong sense of responsibility and work ethic by having to do things herself. Not all adult c hildren learn, but t hey have no chance of learning if we don't believe in them enough to step back and let them try. It is their life, not our life. My daughter quit using drugs, even quit smoking cigarettes. She bought a house and just gave me a precious granddaughter with her SO of eleven years. Life hasn't been easy for her either, but she clawed her way out of the hole and made it.

    Since you are so new to the idea of stepping back from your adult children, I will leave you with my favorite prayer of wisdom, which I feel is helpful even if you have no religion:

    "God great me the SERENITY to ACCEPT THE THINGS I CAN NOT CHANE (like other people),

    I hope you keep posting. This is a hard journey and doing it alone is sometimes impossible. But you on a path of self-destruction and you are not helping your adult children at all. The only ones who can decide to help them is them. The more you try to step in, the more child-like they will behave. The first time somebody told me to put myself first, I thought it was such a selfish thing to request that I walked out a room full of people. It was group therapy. But I did start to read and then I joined codapendents anonymous. I started letting go and working on myself.

    I am sixty. I have a serene life today. If I hadn't been frankly told not to try to be a "mommy" to my children who were messing up and too old and scolded to have my own life, I would still be miserable and my adult children would be no better off. I demand respect. I don't send money. I let them figure it out.So far that has worked a lot better than trying to scoop them up, even when they do things that will harm them in the end.

    I hope this did not offend you. That was not my intent. And I hope you can start a journey of learning how to let go so that everyone can live his own life. Your health, physical and mental, is going to suffer greatly if you keep this up and you will be good for nobody, not even YOU, if you fall apart.

    Gentle hugs for your hurting heart. Hoping for a new beginning.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oops...reading again, I see you are in Canada. Maybe there are grandparent rights there. If so, then you have to decide if you want to see her. I would not worry about your son's self-esteem. He needs a wake up call to get out of bed anyway. If you want to see her and legally can do it, I certainly would if it were me.

    Other than that, I stand by my advice as the only sane way to deal with your life. Hugs!!!!
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Ditto.........Gentle hugs for your hurting mommy heart. We really need to stop thinking of our adults as still being our "children".
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. You may want to copy and paste your post onto the Parent Emeritus forum where our kids are over the age of 18. You will likely receive more responses in that forum.

    There is an article at the end of my post here on Detachment, it is helpful for us parents to read it.

    Your kids have run into some walls lately. It's sad and difficult and often devastating for us to watch from the sidelines as our kids lives implode. I have been in your shoes. However, once they are adults, their lives are in their hands. We can be supportive to a degree, but the rest is up to them. They have to pull themselves out of the depressions they are in.

    You seeing your own granddaughter is a different issue. If you can gain some rights to her and that is what you want to do then do it. She is your granddaughter, attempting to take care of your sons feelings while he is stuck in his depression does not sound like a good idea, taking action on your granddaughter's behalf seems like a positive course of action.

    Both your kids have suffered some bad times, however, it is up to them to find their way out. Reading the book MWM suggested would be a good idea. Any kind of counseling you can find to help YOU to figure out what your boundaries are would be a positive step for you to take. Many of us here have to find some kind of professional support to be able to detach from our adult kids and their issues, choices and problems.
    It's hard to let go of our adult kids and allow them to figure life out on their own. We can provide our love, our kindness, our guidance if they ask us for that, but in the final analysis, there is really nothing we can do. They have to make the choices to come back to life.

    "My husband loves my children too - but he feels that they are adults and I have to back off and let them deal with their problems on their own."

    I agree with your husband. These are your kids battles to fight. Get yourself some support so that you can be okay and you can enjoy your life regardless of what your kids are doing or not doing. I know that's a tall order, but otherwise, you go down with their ships and there is absolutely no reason to be doing that.
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  6. Childofmine

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

    Hi Where, and welcome. You are getting the right advice already from the others who have posted. We know how hard it is to change your thinking and your attitude, but that is what you are going to need to start working on.

    It's clear from the tone and style of your writing that you are still thinking of your adult children as kids. When you see them in your mind's eye, you are seeing that precious three-year-old, six-year-old or young age when they were so innocent and dependent on us. The biggest problem was peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese for lunch.

    But that was a long, long time ago. Today, it's vital that we---and they---face reality. We---and they---look at what IS. We---and they---accept life on life's terms. You didn't have it easy, and they don't have it easy. That is what builds character. Dealing with life on life's terms.

    People have to LEARN how to do this. Some of us learn sooner rather than later. Remember when we all thought that our kids would grow up and start taking more and more responsibility and oh, somewhere between 18 and 24 would be paying their own bills, living their own lives, living in their own homes and dealing with THEIR young families? Well, for some of us, many of us who read and write on this forum, it may have happened with one of our kids or more, but it didn't with at least one more kid.

    In my son's case---difficult child---he began using drugs and he has basically stalled and his life looks like a complete failure right now. Where, I have had to LEARN how to let him go, and it's a lifelong journey.

    I tried EVERYTHING first, because I can't learn from other people, evidently, my situation MUST be different, but finally, finally, even I have accepted that his life is his life, and I deserve a life myself.

    So I agree with your husband. He is right. Your feelings are still your feelings, and I know how hurt and upset you are, watching two people you love very much struggle. But this isn't about feelings, Where.

    This is about people having natural consequences of their own decisions. I know your son had some bad things happen, and your daughter did too. But it's what we do with what happens to us, not the fact that it does happen, that is the difference between moving forward in our lives and letting circumstances dictate our lives.

    Your son and your daughter could have made many different choices than they have made. But if there is always someone who is going to step in, give them sympathy, help them out, run them up and down the street, wash their clothes, slip them some money now and then---whatever you have been doing to make yourself feel better about their situations---they will never deal with the reality of their lives. Why should they? They have you.

    I used to feel this way too, about really everybody I knew who was having serious problems in their lives. "I would do anything to help a dear friend, a relative, my son." I would completely put myself aside and do anything, because after all, I'm doing fine and I'm a strong person, and well, they need me.

    That was very faulty thinking on my part, Where. I used to think that thinking meant I was a very good person. I don't anymore. I know that I used to be very codependent (please read CoDependent No More by Melody Beattie---this is a must-read for people like us) and I felt good about myself when I was helping other people. Saving other people. Managing other people. Giving my great advice to other people. Well, it was clear what they OUGHT to do, right?

    Wrong. I can't know what any other person in this world should do. Working on me, today, is a full time job.

    Where, please spend a lot of time reading this site. There is a wealth of knowledge here. And then, assemble your toolbox and start spending dedicated time every single day working on yourself.

    I promise you, in time, you will start to be a much happier person, regardless of what your son and daughter (or anybody else for that matter) do or don't do.

    If you have substance abuse in your life (from a friend or relative), please start going to a 12-step program for yourself, like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. You will make friends who get it. You will start to grow in ways you can't imagine. Your life will be much more peaceful, contented, serene.

    We can't live other people's lives for them. It is a full time job to live our own lives. This doesn't mean we don't love them---we do, very much. It just means we are giving them the respect and dignity they deserve to chart their own course, whatever that might be.

    Warm hugs for you. Please keep sharing. We care.
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  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Where, I agree with your husband and the others who have posted here. I hear what you are saying, that you would do anything to help your kids. Most of us would, and did, and struggle with whether or not to continue to do so. But SHOULD you? And for whom would you be doing that?

    The challenges your adult offspring are facing are very difficult, but their own choices are why they find themselves where they are. And as adults they need to find their own way out again. If you fix things for them it will be YOUR way, not THEIR way. If they don't feel discomfort and stress and and heartache and all the rest of it, they will have no drive to face those challenges. When they face those challenges, they become the strong and compassionate adults you raised them to be.

    When you had your first child and you imagined him or her all grown up and your parenting days done, did you envision yourself still trying to solve his or her problems? I think you should not feel torn between your kids and your husband at this stage. Parenting days are done, time to enjoy life going forward with your husband!
  8. Childofmine

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

    We should all write this on a piece of paper and post it on our bathroom mirrors.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Where Did I, it has been the hardest thing for me to see and step back from my kids. One is 40, Where, and one is 39. Those are not kids. Those are adult people I am helping to remain stuck in some adolescent fantasy that the world is a place where you can be as self indulgent as you like, and there will always be someone there to believe you are a good man, a good woman. We need to step back, Where. There is a slim chance that when we do, the kids will pick up and stand up.

    Though I began this whole detachment thing with that thought in mind, I am beginning to get it that whatever these people who have hurt me so badly for so long do about their lives has less to do with me than I once believed.

    The sad but sobering truth is that if my kids were to pick up now...I am not sure I would care. There have been too many holidays without them, too many birthdays and Mother's Days and Father's Days when we pretty much tore our hearts out over what had happened to our family.

    And now, just recently...I am not sure I care about that so much, anymore. Time goes on. Life happens. There are so many places to find joy, so many ways to heal and so many reasons to heal, to reclaim my life and my sense of self worth.

    Should I feel badly for that unbelievable change that has happened in my heart?

    Know what I feel, instead?


    I have been is such pain Where, for so long a time.


    During my time here on the site, I have finally begun to see that truth. For the sakes of my children, I need to learn to back away. And for my own sake, Where, I need to see what is happening for what it is and stop blaming myself. Trying to figure out where I went wrong, or where we went wrong as parents, was a necessary thing in the beginning. But somewhere along the way, I took that process of checking our parenting, that process of reviewing our family life to learn what it was that needed correcting, and made it my life.

    How sad Where when, though the heart of the problem is probably drugs...I no longer care.

    I am still in the process of learning and accepting this too, Where.

    I spent something like twenty years inappropriately fixated on my kids. I am only just now letting myself off the guilt hook for how this could have happened. I kept trying to ferret out where the wrongness in our family had been. I ignored the drugs, the alcohol, the really, really bad people my kids started considering friends and blamed myself.

    I believed for my children that they were better people than they are.

    Don't do that, Where.

    If our children were doing well, we could let them go and bask in their reflected glory. As our children are not doing well, we feel the task of raising them cannot possibly be done. Who wants kids who are doing what ours are doing? Who could ever back away and declare this good?

    It is not good, Where. But it is over. We raised our children well or we would not be here on the site beating ourselves up over whatever it was that went so very wrong. But here is the thing: If we could have helped them out of who they've become, they would be everything we dreamed of and believed for them, today.

    And they are not. In fact, in my case at least, my kids are so far from who I raised them to be as to be almost unrecognizable.

    I think that is why so many of us with kids who are going a wrong way picture them in our minds as younger than they are.

    The adults they became once they were out of our care bear no resemblance to the adults we raised them to become.

    In my case, drugs are an issue for both kids. Our daughter's mental illness plays a part in her behaviors. One of the moms here on the site has had to learn to navigate around her own mental health issues. From her, I have learned that it is possible to take responsibility for yourself and for the quality of your life, even when we are coping with mental health issues. The difference between that mom and my daughter is that the mom who posts here does not use drugs.

    My daughter does.

    So does my son.

    That is the issue.

    Not how they were parented, and not how much I do or do not help them.

    Addiction changes, weakens, breaks people down into the worst version of themselves.

    I'm so sorry, Where...but from what you have posted to us, drugs are an issue for both your children.

    Your husband is right. My husband is right. My husband has been right for a very long time. In a way, he did what he did, poured money into the kids long after the time he believed that was appropriate, for me. In this time, we are both reclaiming ourselves. In this time, we are reclaiming our relationship to one another.

    There have been so many wasted years, Where. There has been so much depression. Our lives (mine, for sure) have been focused on one child or the other.

    I wish I could take that all back.

    Cherish yourself and your husband. It turns out that, just as they've always told us, life is very short.

  10. Thank you all for your feedback - I really do appreciate all of the comments but had minor surgery today so I'm feeling pretty groggy... I have lots of questions and will get to them later but what the heck does difficult child stand for?
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, it is our "problem child" that we tongue-in-cheek called our Gift From God :)
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One more tidbit I want to share with you, a shame from my past that may have contributed to my oldest one's continuing feeling that he needs to bring every problem, no matter how small, to me and to get angry when I now tell him, "Oh, I think this is something you have to figure out yourself."

    When my son was young, he was an "only" for six years. Honestly, the trouble started very young for him and I refused to believe it was his fault. It was the other kids fault that he hurt the child. It was the teacher picking on my son when he got complaints about acting out obnoxiously in school to impress the other kids (disrupting the class). And I would march off to school to give the teacher(s) a piece of my mind and even go over their heads to complain that a teacher did not like my son. I never shared THIS with the group before. It seemed too far in the past. My son could NEVER do anything wrong, yet, in my heart, I knew something was wrong because he was in therapy since age eight. I was so enmeshed with him that (and I blush here to show you how badly my life was actually just an extension of his) he kept a journal and I read it. Yes, I did. And if he had a bad day, I would cry and let him have a "mental health" day at home without telling him that I knew he was struggling. Yet back then he handled his problems without telling me, but that changed as I started to buy him things when I felt he was sad. then suddenly he told me "Sam was picking on me today." I would literally go back in time like PTSD to the days I was teased and bullied in school and freak out so badly I'd buy the kid a Nintendo game to help him feel better. Yes, I did all this. I wanted to make every day of his life happy. I didn't want him to suffer from the bullying like I had.

    The thing was, he never had been bullied. If anything, he was a bully. The kids liked him because of his intelligence and how he back talked teachers and they especially LOVED how well he could steal candy for all of them. He never got caught. I didn't even know about it until recently when he told me how he was admired for his thieving skills. Once he was with a friend and the friend dared him to show his genitals to a passing car. He did it. It was his sixth grade teacher's car, not on purpose. I did make him apologize and was beside myself with embarassment...but he was not disciplined in any way and his teacher's "oh, boys will be boys" attitude didn't help either. She was the one teacher he had who actually liked him. God only knows why. He was very bright, still is, and I do think the teachers saw his potential which he never lived up to.

    When he got into his teens he became a REAL problem for me and the catering came to a halt. He was tormenting his siblings and they were complaining and I think I snapped into reality. I was working on myself and my codependency and seeing that I was not a good parent, but a blind parent. That's when the trouble REALLY began with the way our relationship went. He was one mean kid. He has always been on the mean side, never a sweet little toddler. I faced it. I could not do anything but keep upt he counseling. It didn't help. To this day, he can not solve his own problems without my input, but at least since pulling back he did get a good job and supports himself. He is a decent father who accepts his responsibility because the money train was cut off from me when he was young. My ex has money, but he HATES to dish it out so his children hate to ask him for it. 36, as I call him, has asked for it and gotten it, but it wasn't given to him nicely and he would call to complain about his father who was paying the bills for his custody battle. I told him he had no right to complain...that if you are taking something from somebody else, it is up to them if they want to give it to you nicely or yell at you about it. You are only your own person when you do everything yourself.

    I think I knew this kid was born different because I did not feel the same need to meddle in the lives of my other kids and they are all doing better than he is, even my autistic son. I mean, that young man tries so hard and would never abuse me or swear at me or demand things of me and he is disabled and only twenty-one.

    So you see, I came from w here you are at. I had to fix this damaged, picked on son I had, only it made him worse and did not work one iota. I don't think 36 was destined to be a nice person, but maybe he would have done less illegal stuff and taken more responsibility for his actions if I hadn't run to his defense all the time when he was a child.

    He is a child no more. He has threatened me and my ex so he can never live with either of us again. When he acts abusive on the phone (he lives a few states away) I gently hang up and will not answer the phone again for a few days. This is actually causing him to be nicer to me on the phone as he has a need to connect with me and I have a need to only talk to people, my own grown children included, who are nice to me, as I am to them.

    So we are not so different. I just stopped the enabling and excuses when 36 was a teenager. And I'm glad I did.

    It all started when I read a very good book called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie (or however you spell her name). Then I joined a twelve step group called Codapendents Anonymous and learned that it is ok and not selfish to think about yourself. At that point in time, I was allowing my ex to abuse me because he had a serious medical disorder. I felt that his illness exempted him from being kind to me. Boy, I had a lot to learn. I did learn. WE ended up divorced.

    Things are so much better in my second marriage. My two kids from that marriage, including my autistic son, are doing so well. And my daughter who once did drugs and was thrown out totally straightened out and is my sunshine and best friend.

    36 is doing better at least towards me since I set strict boundaries down.

    I have a good twenty years left. My dad is 90 and still sharp. Hey, could be thirty years. Not going to waste those precious golden years ignoring my husband and taking care of my middle age son.

    I hope you gained some camaraderie from this. I think 36 would still have major problems even if I had not stuck up for him. I mean, this kid liked to hurt other kids. He did it with a smile on his face then denied doing it even when I saw him. He was into porn very young. He is very selfish. It's in his inherited personality. But, trust me, my running to save him and excuse him just made him learn early that he is not going to be held accountable for the negative behaviors he displays and I'm sure it did NOT help him, even though I quit doing it when he was about fourteen.

    Hugs to you. Hope you feel better today. We would love to have you continue joining us as we share our journies.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is not true, MWM. You were a lovely, funny, compassionate parent.

    You just don't know how cute I thought it was that you were really worried about Jumper when she didn't want to go for ice cream!!!


    Your child 36 has problems. This child has always had problems. He had been "raised" before he ever did any of those bad things. He knew right from wrong but he did it anyway. You were and are a good parent and a blind parent. Most of us, not only just here on the site, are a little blind where our kids are concerned. When so much is wrong that we finally admit we are not helping the child stop doing whatever it is he is doing, we beat ourselves up for that when all along, there was nothing we could do to help our kids because they already knew better than to do what they were doing.

    There is a stereotype of the hardened criminal's mother who refuses to believe her child did anything wrong. I think that response to a child in trouble is fairly typical. Here on the site, I think we are learning, I think we are choosing to see, our difficult child kids, warts and all, and love them with our eyes open. There is regret in that, because we think, "Maybe, oh, if only I'd seen sooner, maybe...."

    It is what it is, though.

    And we always do the best we know or can learn.