It's official

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I have canceled Christmas in my home. Due to overwhelming depression caused by this past years events I have no desire to put up a tree, decorations, sing, bake, fa la la or anything.

    I finished the letter to Dude today. It was blunt, direct and as non emotional as I could make it. In it I stated the part about no Christmas whatsoever:

    I told you earlier I don’t feel like celebrating Christmas the traditional way. I’d rather sit in that house alone with no decorations, no presents, nothing – than to put myself threw another Christmas of feeling like a fool because I ran out excited to get you that ONE special gift only to see it smashed to bits or torn up on your bedroom floor before New Years. Or to hear a day after Christmas you were back to not listening or following rules. This way I don’t get disappointed and hurt. I’ve always done everything in my power to give you a great Christmas. I’ve waited 11 years Dude for you to change. I’ve got to move on from being this sad. It’s not fair for you to continue to misbehave and then ask me to have a holiday celebrations.

    I sent the letter with his caseworker. No Christmas card, not single wrapped package, bag or bow. Just a letter basically telling him to grow up.

    I can keep Christmas in my heart for what it is, but I'm not keeping Christmas from him because of his behavior - I'm canceling all further holidays as I just don't see the point. DF is a major holiday killjoy - has been ever since we've been together, difficult child CAN hold his behaviors together to get presents and usually can behave right before any holiday. THEN after he gets- he gives (and not nicely) and in spades. It's makes ME too sad to deal with it.

    Thanksgiving was what did it I think -He was supposed to be able to come home if he had good behavior and knowing THAT - he managed to manipulate the system, making me think he had nothing to eat, no where to go and blew his chance to come home at the last minute. I spent the holiday basically in bed for 4 days too depressed to think. Just not going through with giving to give and make my heart happy anymore. And if I'm supposed to ignore the fact that "Well it's Christmas" then in 2 weeks I ignore behaviors because "It's New Years" and ignore it all for the holidays sake so we can be together - yelling, screaming - patching holes in the wall, calling the police - then a month later "IT's valentines day" and after that "It's Easter, His birthday. It just never ends - and so I made it end or hopefully begin. Begin by sending a message that you can only abuse your Mom so long before she stops trying.

    If he ever decides to pull himself together than a longer time than it is between holidays for HIS OWN GOOD - and stays that way for a LONG TIME - maybe there will be something to celebrate with him.

    i guess I just needed to get that off my chest and go home and cry for a while. Thanks for listening if you made it this far.

    God made me the woman of steel and gave me a kid made of Criptonite.


  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I totally understand where you are coming from. My difficult child manages to ruin our Christmas every year.

    No presents are good enough and she lets you know it. Christmas is all about her (in her mind) and she doesn't understand anything about the spirit of giving.

    Last year she made me cry for the last time. I wanted to go away this Christmas but let easy child and difficult child talk me out of it. However, this year I only bought a few little presents for each one and I'm going to give them each cash and tell them to buy the rest themselves. I refuse to spend my time and energy trying to please difficult child or easy child (easy child was also disappointed last year but more diplomatic about it).

    They are already asking why there are no presents under the tree. They just don't get it, do they?


  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm so sorry that Dude's behavior has robbed you of the joy in celebrating a holiday that I know you cherish. I think I can understand why you won't be decorating or baking... you need an emotional break from the bad holidays of years past.
    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can keep Christmas in my heart for what it is </div></div>
    Maybe it would cathartic for you to spend the holiday reaching to those that will appreciate your efforts:
    the elderly
    the sick
    the poor
    I'm concerned that you may sink lower into depression the holiday nears; please consider reaching out if that happens.
  4. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    you know, if you read up on it, it's not been so long ago that people didn't give or get presents at all on Christmas day.

    Some cultures gave small gifts (candy, fruit, nuts) on St. Nicholas day (Dec 6th) or the Epiphany (Jan 6th). Christmas day was spent in quiet reflection.

    Maybe a "return" to that is what is in order for you, Star. Although if you do feel the need to give, I second TM's suggestion of finding those that would welcome just a smile.
  5. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    I've just finally caught up reading a bit on the board, as I've been dealing with some issues with my mom, and I'm just hearsick over Dude. I'm so very sorry he's making such bad choices.

    That being said, I'm even sorrier for how you're feeling. Dude is making the poor choices, not you. Don't you dare feel badly for anything he might miss out on as far as holidays. There will be plenty more for him to enjoy and celebrate ... WHEN he's acting appropriately.

    You are such a giving person, with an exceptional sense of humor. I do agree that there are many that would truly appreciate a kind act at the holidays.

    If you can pull yourself up, getting out and doing something for someone that might actually appreciate might be the best medicine for you.

    Meanwhile, don't worry about the decorations; don't worry about Dude not getting presents. Please reach out though if you do sink into a deeper despair.

    Sending many hugs and prayers your way as well as a sturdy shoulder and lots of tissues.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{Star}}, the unofficial Mrs. Claus of the board!! I'm so sorry that it has come to this. I really love TM's idea of reaching out to those who will truly appreciate it.

    I was talking with H the other day about our holiday traditions. On the years my girls are with their dad, we usually just put up the fake tree and wait until they come home before we open our gifts. I got to thinking, "Why? Why can't we have a real tree just for us? Why can't we open our gifts on Christmas morning like everyone else? Why do we have to have a second rate Christmas just because our girls aren't here?" Well, we wound up with the fake tree because apparently H likes that we don't do a real one every year. But we are opening our gifts on Christmas day this year even though we'll be alone.

    Star, I know it's hard when you're feeling so low, but try and reach out to someone or an organization who will appreciate your efforts. Do it for YOU if you have to - make that your motivator. Or, conversely, make it all about them if you have to. Even the smallest thing, the smallest gift or offer can make all the difference in another person's life.

    Otherwise, I'm sorry. Please remember to take care of you - self preservation and all that brings you peace. Hugs~
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    I understand, sympathize, emphasize, and totally get it. That false half a day of "aren't we a normal family" is miserable, especially when you know the roof is going to cave in in short order.

    How many holidays past have there been discussions on the board about how to handle the celebrations? It made sense when the boys were younger *not* to tie in festivities with- behavior. The holidays were sacred family times, regardless of what the family had endured during the year.

    But your cryptonite kid has drug this on way too long - mind too. My take on it is that it's not punishment at all. It's acceptance, with a healthy dose of mourning for the picture-perfect holiday that we haven't had, cannot have, with our kids as they are today.

    Truthfully? I'm still very seriously contemplating getting thank you pots and pans for Christmas this year, storing them here. Starting a "trousseau" for him. Ditch the death metal music (ok, that's not happening anyway) and video games and child-like gifts. Buy him Corell plates instead. Welcome to practicality.

    My wish for you is that you are able to find peace with how things are for now, and that maybe next year you and DF can come up with your own definition of celebrating the holidays and build new traditions. Most of all, I hope that Dude is able to someday come home (visit!) and join in wholeheartedly and joyfully.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't know what I want to say to you. There have been alot of
    years and alot of holidays that we all have shared in the CD family. We have been joyful for the family members who have had
    reasons to be joyous. We have been saddened and on occasion cried real tears for those who have endured pain. I admire your
    intelligence, your diligence and your wit. I think you know that
    in your heart.

    on the other hand

    (gee the family hates it when I change gears like

    I would like to suggest that "changing gears" may be exactly
    what is needed this December 2007. There is no "Ho Ho Ho" in my
    response because I don't think there is any sign of happiness and
    wonder this year to trigger joyful responses in your home. My
    gut says, however, that your son has been troubled or ill for many years. I don't believe that he can "change" who he is to suit you...or to suit him. Regardless of what diagnosis he has had or
    will have, he is a screwed up 17 year old kid with issues that all the Kings horses and all the Kings men have NOT been able
    to resolve. I do not believe for a New York minute that Dude
    wants to be who Dude currently is.

    Of course my feelings for you are "family like". I swear on the
    lives of all my PCs and difficult children, I understand wanting to hide under
    the covers and wait for time to pass. BUT, my friend, I do not
    support that choice that sounds so appealing.

    If Dude was a cripple would you tell him "walk to me" and then I
    will respond. Dude is a cripple. Dude is an emotional cripple.
    Find a middle ground, Star. You do not have to pretend. You do
    not have to "Ho Ho". You do not have to buy special gifts. BUT
    do something. Your son needs to know that you did something.
    If it means sharing thirty minutes in the park, or filling a $1
    stocking with candy and stupid little gifts, or going to a used
    book store and buying a joke book. DO SOMETHING.

    Every single day somebody has a child die or become crippled or
    get arrested or ???. I'm sorry that it is you...but YOU are the
    person that God gave Dude. You do not have to be perfect but YOU
    ARE THE ONE. Find something. regrets. Many heartfelt
    hugs. DDD
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    You are all right.

    I DO love Christmas. (Unofficial Ms Claus - that sleighs me) ho hohoho.

    Believe it or not I'm not doing this because of or in spite of Dude. I think I may be doing it because I truly can't cope. Yes - the half a day normal life thing just can't happen anymore. Because it becomes so not normal quicker than anyone but you here can imagine.

    I am just so tired. I feel like Arthur gone on the crusade for the Holy Grail, only to return and find my loyalties have been compromised and my family and dreams not what I had wanted.

    True - I could continue, and put up the tree, the lights, decorations and all the trimmings, but I just can't see doing it for myself. IT's a lot of work to go as Christmas as I do here. Even a small deviation from previous years seems like I'm cheating on Father Christmas. I decorate the yard and the roof and have dreams of Christmas pyrotechnics (I said dreams) and we always joke about the baby Jesus Fireworks stand by the freeway. Yes at Christmas the South sets off fireworks. Whoda thunk?

    Reaching out to someone seems like a great idea. I know you are all right in saying not to slip any further. It's really hard to beat this feeling down. I keep semi-hoping that there will be a motivation miracle, and then seriously thinking Jacob Marley will come clinking down my hall - although in my case it would be Ms. Katherine something - she was a prune I worked for 27 years ago and hated Christmas. (There's motivaton)

    Well - thanks all, you've given me some super ideas and suggestions. For someone who constantly tries to be uplifting and preaches cheerfulness - I feel like the daisy that's gone through "She's crazy, she's not crazy, she's crazy, she's not crazy"

    When I find my petals I'll let you know.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I just wanted to send you some heartfelt warm ((((hugs)))).
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending some gentle hugs your way.
  12. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    Some cultures gave small gifts (candy, fruit, nuts) on St. Nicholas day (Dec 6th) or the Epiphany (Jan 6th). Christmas day was spent in quiet reflection.

    I am all for this idealism again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can we send it to Congress? :dance:

    Hugs and prayers for you, I am sorry it's been ahrd year for me too, any chance of you splurging on a trip for one to Hawaii?
  13. VLong

    VLong New Member

    Just sending very understanding hugs to you, my friend...
  14. Janna

    Janna New Member


    I'd like to send you a comforting shoulder and an ear ~ along with a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies ~ special for you, my friend.

    I'm sorry you feel the way you do. I wish I had something magical to say here ~ but I don't. Just sending a gentle hug your way.
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Star, I do feel for you. Last year difficult child had pushed me to the limit. Right after Christmas, in January of 06, he stole all my jewelry--except what I was wearing, and I'm sure had I been sleeping when the bright idea hit him, he would have taken it too--and pawned it at the local pawn shop.

    The year continued to worsen. Small infractions, petty thefs-for which no one would hold him accountable. In October he was attacked by some local Crip wannabes and almost killed. In November he broke into sister in law's house and stole some money. He then stole from his best friend (the son of my very best friend). We packed him up, sent him to rehab in Buffalo, NY. It took all of my Christmas fund money to send him, but he seemed to really be sincere. He was home 2 days later. No refunds. We then packed him up and sent him to a place up in your neck of the woods------(In the meantime, husband's mother died, it will be one year tomorrow, so difficult child came home for the funeral---but we refused to allow him to stay longer than 2 days.)He lasted 3 months and then was home in February.

    He continued his downward spiral until he was arrested in March and we refused to bond him out. He sat there for a month, until husband's father died and I made some calls and had him released on a PR. Since then, things have improved. But those days, that year and a half was dark. I simply quit caring. I wouldn't answer if he called. I wouldn't speak if spoken to except for short, curt replies. I quit on him. And you know what----when he got out of jail in April---he finally cried and apologized---for everything. He was honest for the first time in his life.

    He is better now. Not great, but better. I think because he wants to be and because he knows that I am still detached and the shock value is gone. He can't hurt me anymore. And if he goes against my rules---he's gone.

    Sometimes you just have to back away. So Dude gets nothing this what? He won't die. He probably has too much already. So he gets upset? Big deal, he would get upset anyway.
    If you want to quit Christmas or give it up this year---do. If you want to change your traditions, then change them. If you want to wrap yourself in tinsel and garland and stand on your roof with a lighted star on your head, do it.


    But, do it because it is what you want. Not because Dude "made" you feel that way.

    (If you want you can come south for the holidays---the beach is lovely this time of year!!!) I've decorated, wrapped, cooked, baked, and will even play some background Christmas music. You can just sit and enjoy. I'll even make my difficult child be nice to you!
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm sorry you feel so bad. I'm like you -- everything or nothing. The first time my daughter moved out before Christmas, I did nothing. I was even more miserable than had I put my things out. So, the next time she left in November, I decorated. Oddly, while I wasn't in the Christmas spirit, it did make me feel better to see the things I loved surrounding me.

    I hope you find some peace and comfort. Helping others, especially during the holiday season is a good thing. Maybe you could even adopt a family and spend the money you would have spent on your son for them. There are so many today that have so little.

    For now, many hugs, a shoulder for you to lean on and arms to wrap around you. Take care of you.
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Star -

    I'm so sorry. Like MB, I'm an all or nothing kinda gal. There have been a couple of years that I could have gone completely without Christmas because of my own depression, not because of kid issues. And last year, the kids put the tree up like the week before Christmas - my tree was always up the day after Thanksgiving. I was so sick with undx'd blockages in my arteries and couldn't do it and really didn't care to. It just took too much, I felt so bad, difficult child was spiralling in a big, big way and it was just one more thing I was going to have to fake my way through. Had my kids been older, I wouldn't have done it at all.

    That said, I think the others are right. Don't give up completely. Rather, don't give in. If you let it, what you're feeling right now will consume you and you will have to fight one helluva battle to overcome it. Instead of doing a tree, maybe just buy a poinsettia. Adopt a family or volunteer at the soup kitchen or at the hospital or a nursing home.

    Maybe now is the time to start new traditions and make new memories. Reclaim this holiday for you.

  18. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    So sorry Star.

    I get it too. This is the first year my kids aren't going to be home for Christmas. Ya know - the empty nest thing. I truly considered not putting up a tree. It just feels empty somehow. Old traditions and dreams die hard don't they?

    There is way too much hype around the holidays. Too much consumerism. Too much Norman Rockwell ideals. If ya just cant do it this year - so be it.

    I too like the idea of reaching out.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  19. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you. Anyway, I'm so sorry that you're feeling so down. I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you... WFEN
  20. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You have to do what you have to, in order to cope. If this is what it takes, then so be it. You and Df should plan to go out to some movies on Christmas. Lots of new movies are coming out that day. See if you can make yourselves a reservation for a restaraunt. Take the pressure off yourself this year. Go out and just enjoy yourselves. Give yourself something else to look forward to on that day, rather than feeling guilty that you cancelled Christmas.

    Big Hugs!