Last night

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

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

    I woke up to my difficult child pounding on the front door at 3 a.m. this morning. I wasn't surprised but boy, was I mad. I went to the door---he said "I don't have anywhere to go," and I said, "well you can't stay here--I'll take you to McDonald's." He said there aren't any 24-hour McDonald's in town, and I said I'll take you somewhere that is open, and told him to meet me around at the garage. I did not let him in the house.

    As I changed, SO and I talked about where and decided a 24-hour truck stop at an interstate exit would work.

    We got in the car and I told him where I was taking him. He started all of the usual---What am I going to do? I have nowhere to go? Everybody has to have help when they get out of jail. Blah, blah, blah."

    I am proud of how I handled the whole thing.

    I was already mad, so I didn't do any of the mommy stuff.

    I told him his life is completely up to him. I told him I am done. I told him you need to get honest, quit using drugs and stealing, get a place to live and get a job. You could go in to the last rehab and say he's sorry and ask them to take him back. Start somewhere. Wherever you decide. I am done (I said it again).

    He said "well Dad has helped me but you haven't." Well, that flew all over me. Really?

    I said "Okay."

    He asked me to take him to his dad's house right then and I refused.

    Just kept on repeating himself. I said "I don't believe a word that comes out of your mouth."

    I was talking very straight to him, direct, very firm. He didn't want to go to the truck stop he wanted to go to a laundromat (??) so I took him there. When we got there he kept on talking and I so I said, "Get out of the car." He didn't so, I said it again.

    I think he was panicked and shocked that I was not participating any more. At one point I said you can turn and go in a new direction with your life at any time. He made fun of that statement, saying it is "religious bs that doesn't mean anything. What does that mean anyway?"

    I didn't argue. That circular distracting talk---I'm done with that too. I said I'm not going to spend anytime figuring out who shot John. No more discussion.

    Let me know when you're settled and I'll bring you your clothes.

    Don't ever, ever come to my house in the middle of the night again.

    He said I lied about the last rehab place when I told him it was a re-entry program. I said whatever.

    When he finally did get out of the car, his parting words were "F___ you." I did not respond.

    You know, friends, I didn't react beyond my reaction to being awakened in the middle of the night. I didn't go there this time. I didn't cry, I didn't beg, I didn't plead, or reason, or argue or anything. I just said what I wanted to say, and had to say, and that was it. I was not going to do one thing different. I was finally ready.

    I went back to sleep, went to Alanon this morning as usual and to church, and then out to lunch with a bunch from church. My normal routine.

    And I feel good. The sun is shining, it's 60 degrees, and my SO and I are about to go for a long walk outside.

    I have reached a new place today. A new level. This may be "detachment with mad" instead of "detachment with love" (Lol, not sure).

    But whatever it is, I think it is the next step toward letting go and letting God.

    And THAT is right where I want to be.

    This morning I texted my ex and gave him a heads up that he may be next since he is evidently the golden-haired boy. (lol). Better him than me. He said if he comes to his house he is calling the police.

    I'm sure it's not over, his working on me. But I feel good today, and one of the reasons is the amazing words of strength, courage and detachment I read on this site. Thanks to you all.
     
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  2. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Good for you COM. We knew this might happen - difficult child showing up at 3AM. Years ago, we kicked our difficult child out (he was probably about 20). He showed up about 3AM, pounding on the bathroom window. husband refused to let him in, with difficult child saying I have no place to go and I'm hungry. The next night, husband left crackers and peanut butter on the porch. difficult child showed up sometime during the night and scattered the food all over the porch.

    difficult child, for years, has thrown up the time I had to sleep in the park.
    Our fault, always our fault.

    I know exactly what you mean about detachment with mad. It certainly makes it easier. It is hard to show detachment with love, when our difficult child doesn't seem to want any part of love. In their mind, if we don't enable them, we have no love.

    Others have said so many times on this board, You know what? They can still choose to be nice. It is difficult to understand why they think they can get us to enable them while they are being hateful.

    You made it through another crisis. Sounds like you have a good plan, unless you want to tweak it, for the next crisis.

    I ran across a very helpful website today. It's Focus on the Family, and seems like I have disagreed with them in the past (but I cannot remember why). It is advice by Allison Bottke and may have already been discussed here many times.

    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting_challenges/set_boundaries_with_adult_kids.aspx

    A snippet:

    But for right now, in order to get smart and take action, you must be ready to declare the following:

    As of today, I will no longer be...

    • an enabler to someone who has no self-respect or respect for me
    • a rescuer to someone who has no desire to be rescued
    • a caregiver to someone who is capable of caring for himself or herself
    I can hear you asking, "But what will happen if I stop doing all these things I've done all these years to 'help'?"

    I don't know, but let me ask you a question: Has what you've been doing all this time been helping — really?
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    COM, you could not have done any better if your guardian angel had been sitting on your shoulder telling you both how to deal with your son and what to say to him. I like how you brought up several times that he is choosing this life when he can go back to rehab. You really handled him, in my opinion, exactly the way our difficult children need to be handled. And then you took care of yourself in the morning...you're quite a champ. I know, I KNOW how hard it is to do this yet you didn't miss a step.

    Gentle hugs.
     
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You were prepared, and you did the right thing. Your difficult child had to have read the note, but he came back, all ready to play, at three in the morning, anyway.

    They just don't cut us any breaks, do they.

    I'm sorry it came to this, but you handled it well.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts.

    You really did so well.

    Cedar
     
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  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, I am so impressed. You did a wonderful job COM. I am very proud of you. You had a plan and you executed your plan brilliantly............very very nice.

    And, you went back to sleep! And took care of YOU. Congratulations!

    Well, real life is about to erupt for your difficult child..............and you are detached............whether with mad or love or distance or whatever.............good work!
     
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Good job sticking to the plan, not looking forward to when it is my turn...

    Nancy
     
  7. Childofmine

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

    "You can't paddle another man's canoe for him." --- Old saying quoted again by Allison Bottke

    Just another update---about 4:30 yesterday afternoon I got a text: "I don't know what to do."

    Then a couple of hours later, the calls from a strange number began---finally he left a voice mail wanting a ride to the Salvation Army shelter. He said he had blisters on his feet from walking all day, and he couldn't walk there.

    I turned my phone off and SO and I went upstairs to watch Breaking Bad (we have 8 episodes left---don't tell us! Yes, we are way behind the times. Lol)

    When we came back downstairs, I checked my phone again---more calls from other numbers, no messages.

    I am not responding to him right now. I believe THIS is the critical time for him and for me, and if he has a chance to change, this is it, this time.

    But I also have to keep in mind that he may not change--as he hasn't yet---and this is for ME just as much as it is for HIM.

    We looked up the first phone number---it is a grocery store near my ex's house and about three to four miles to the SA shelter.

    I will admit, the blisters on his feet twinged me. That is the first time I've felt a twinge.

    I know that if he doesn't start moving forward himself and he keeps on calling, texting and showing up here with pitiful stories, that will be hard on me, over time.

    Part of me has no respect for it at all---and it makes me ill that a 24.5 year old man is pretending to be that helpless.

    The other mommy part starts to struggle over time. So I have to make a new plan (always a new plan as things unfold) about how to limit my exposure technology-wise if this happens. My SO suggested I turn off texting for a while, and I might do that.

    My phone is my only phone for work and personal so I can't turn that off. And since he is calling from all sorts of numbers---he has no phone---I can't block the number.

    He also facebooked my older son and said "i can't believe you are leaving me on the street." So he's sharing the joy.

    I am so grateful that I am at this point in my recovery from enabling. I know I need to keep moving forward with my detachment and I am going to work on it every single day.

    Yes it is harder to do this in crisis. That is why it is so vital to our recovery---I saw that this time---to make a plan, to write it down and to share it with other people, and even plan for contingencies, as much as possible. I rehearsed what I was going to say in my head and on this site several times and I also put it on paper and printed it out and put it in my purse.

    If we don't, we are in danger of just reacting. We have to remember that this is likely the hardest thing we will ever do---saying No to our adult children who have not grown up and taken responsibility for their own lives.

    Losing our parents, losing our own health, losing our jobs, losing our spouse or significant other, losing a close family member like a sister or a brother---this is harder than all of that.

    This goes against our very DNA and of course, all of culture, especially in today's too-precious child culture combined with helicopter parenting. Guilty as charged, right here.

    We have to stop for us. We have to stop for them.

    The alternative is a life of insanity for both of us.

    Let's keep talking---you all, each and every one, with your stories, your care and your wisdom, have helped me so much. Also, as I take the time to write to others from my own experience, it helps me to repeat the truths I have learned. It helps me to acknowledge my own deficiencies in actually carrying this out----even as I KNOW what to do now, finally, sometimes I can't do it. And then I forgive myself, and get up and try again.

    I believe with all of my heart, mind and soul that this path to detachment with love is the absolute only way to find peace, joy, contentment, serenity and hope on this journey. And it's my difficult child's only chance to make it, IF HE CHOOSES.

    May we all have the strength, courage and hope to do what we need to do today, whatever that is.
     
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  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Way to go childofmine!

    Your bravery is so admirable.
    I hope I will be just as strong when my difficult child run's out of people places and things to use!

    I also pray for your difficult child...that he will hit his knees soon!
    hugs and love,
    LMS
     
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There have been times when I did what I had to because I knew the alternative was worse. There were only bad choices.

    You are in that place now, Child.

    I wish I could take the hellishness of it away. What I can tell you is that if you stand your ground this one time, you will not go through it at this depth, again. If you give in...you will. You may think you don't have the strength to stay the course. husband and I did not, not over time. It was the blistered feet, the frozen feet, the winter temps that got us, too. We said no and no and no, turned the phone off, went to bed...I never want to spend another night like that one. I always tell that story. It turned out difficult child daughter and her druggie friends had been blacklisted. We could not rent her a room, anyway. But as the torture of it went on for husband and I, we gave in.

    Because the consequences of our decisions happen in the real, physical world. You don't know the feel of that part, yet. I hope you never do.

    We had to. Give in, I mean. After we said no, the determination to be free of what difficult child daughter had done turned to fear, and anger and depression. Then, we turned those emotions onto ourselves and each other.

    It was the punishment we levied at ourselves ~ not husband to me, but me to myself, husband to himself ~ that is why we gave in.

    And I mean it when I say I never, ever, want to spend another night like that one.

    But then, as I said, she was blacklisted and the situation was out of our hands. And she survived, on the streets, without us for the rest of that brutally cold Minnesota winter.

    There are times when there is no light at the end of the tunnel, times when all we can do is know we do not want to go back to what we had.

    I describe the horror of what husband and I have gone through with words of such emotional intensity because those are the only words that catch the essence of the experience. There was nothing good or right about it. I did not receive spiritual enlightenment through it. It was not a question of love, it was a question of being scraped naked and raw.

    The trauma of what we went through, especially this last time, ignited other, long buried traumatic events. The proportions of my responses to events which should have been routine became, instead, outrageous, overwhelming. I could not function, through the worst of it. I had developed a form of PTSD.

    I am wavering right now, as I deal with the consequences of holding strong against my heart where difficult child daughter was concerned, last summer. She was beat almost to death in the place she had to go to instead of coming to live at home.

    It makes me feel dizzy to know that.

    There are real consequences to the decisions we make.

    The way I see it now, the repeated trauma of what was happening with the kids, the cost to our spirits, to our capacity to convince ourselves we were doing the right thing when every intuitive knowing screamed that what we were doing was wrong...broke me open. I had no defense. All the ghosties and demons from the past had been stored in my psyche in the same places other traumatic incidents with the kids were stored.

    That is what I am putting back together now, here on the site.

    Myself.

    The same thing, those same levels of pain, happened to Recovering. To Midwest Mom. It happens to all of us when we have to do what we have to do because nothing, nothing, nothing helps. That is what I meant when I said there are differences for those whose kids are over thirty. That is why Recovering tells us all to enter therapy, to find outside support, to post and post here.

    Know that I know where you are, what this feels like. If you can keep that wall between what you feel and what you know absolutely intact, you will get through this. Emotion is like water. It is there, it cannot be compressed or changed. But it can be managed. Take very, very good care of yourself during this time. Whether it feels like it or not, you are being traumatized through these experiences. Support is a wonderful thing, but...you are the mother. The worst of this is going to fall on you. Understand so clearly that if your son is ever going to recover himself, this is the only way. Believing in that way will help YOU.

    It will help you stay the course.

    Please know we understand the things you aren't posting about.

    We are right here. We are right here, Child of Mine. we have been where you are and we made it.

    You can do this.

    Cedar
     
  10. Childofmine

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

    thanks to all of you who keep writing and giving me support and things to think about.

    He is incessantly calling, texting and FB messaging me this morning. I have not responded.

    He is pulling out the stops: He hasn't had his antidepressant since Thursday and he is "starting to feel depressed...really depressed...don't think I can take it."

    I am reminded that difficult child knows about doctors and hospitals and can seek treatment if he feels bad.

    I am sure he is starting to feel the effects of not having his AD---you can't go cold turkey on Effexor---your head feels really strange if you do. but I doubt seriously he is feeling depressed after three days' missed dosage.

    Anyway, I have written this letter and posted it on my front door if he comes here:

    February 17, 2014

    difficult child:

    Here are my rules.

    · Do not come to my house again without an invitation.

    · Do not knock on my door. Do not stay here. Leave now or I will call the police.

    · If you need medical treatment, go to the hospital.

    · Stop texting me. I am not going to respond.

    · Do not keep calling me. I am not going to answer.

    · You can call me on Saturday morning Feb. 22 between 10 and 11 a.m. I will talk to you for no more than 10 minutes. If you keep on with anything---like asking for money, a place to live, a ride---I will get off the phone. I will not answer any more calls until the following Saturday March 1, between 10 and 11 a.m.

    I am not giving you any money or taking you anywhere.

    Your life---everything about it---is your responsibility.

    Be the person I raised you to be.

    Respect my rules. If you don’t, there will be no communication at all.

    I love you.

    Mom

    ***********************
    I keep having to get more and more direct. Like some here have said, you can't talk to difficult children like you talk to other people. It's too bad, because this sounds kind of mean. But if I am unclear, wishy washy, "mommylike" he goes for the jugular.

    Ugh.

    Recovery is hard.
     
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Remember...if you've ever read "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud (I believe) the book talks about how, once we set boundaries, a regular person will respect them. A difficult child-like person will scream at you, up the ante, beg you to change back to how it was, continue to try to control you, pout, control, pout, control..until he gets his way. Let's be blunt here. Blisters aren't serious or terminal. You've had them. I have. We've had to walk on them and we've had to work on blistered feet. Do you think maybe he is just using that to make you feel guilty? To guilt trip you into showing him that he can still get you where he wants you to be? Trust me, I have been in your shoes and given in and I always kick myself later as it just started my difficult child doing even more self-pity and asking for bigger favors...again. I am talking about my control freak kid here...he is the one I call 36. He will do anything, say anything to try to get me to behave in a way that accepts his horrible behavior. He is the one I have to pull back on. He has a terrible stomach ache, maybe an ulcer, or he is going to kill himself because he can't take the stress or he is going to make me sorry if I don't do this or that (whatever it is he wants me to do at the time).

    It took a long time to be able to hang up the phone. Well, first I told him, "I love to talk to you and I love you, but you have to treat me with respect or I will have to terminate our discussion instantly." The first few times I did it, he left me numerous nasty, cuss-infested voicemails and texts. Now he doesn't anymore and he is vile less often, but he not under much stress right now either. We'll see how he is the next time he is under stress. It doesn't matter to me WHY he is doing it...he can not control me anymore and I'm not going to do favors for a 36 year old man. Sorry, but it isn't happening. That is my boundaries. It made him crazy at first until he believed I meant it. Unlike some difficult children, he did not cut me off, but he could sometime. I wouldn't put it past him.

    I guess I'm telling you all this to say, in a long-winded way, that "I understand. Boy, do I understand." For a while after difficult child was kicked out for cussing me out, getting in my face, and intimidating me so that I was afraid of him (and this was many, many times), he lived out of motels and his dad paid for them (I can't control Dad). Sometimes I'd feel really sorry for him and bring him home cooked food and talk to him for a while in his current hotel. But I didn't let him come back home. I'm glad I didn't. His father eventually bought a condo just so that difficult child would have a place to live and then ex would call me with difficult child abuse stories...such as being shoved by his tall, strong son, being cussed it, having things thrown at him etc. That made me relieved that I hadn't given in to my mommy hurting heart.

    Society tells us that we are supposed to, in some way, parent our children forever...be the wise ones who give the advice, be there when the roof falls in. But these difficult children break societal norms. They are toxic to live with, often dangerous and societies rule can't apply to us regarding these adult children. We just have to keep reminding ourselves the truth of what our difficult children are really like (radical acceptance) and let them walk their own path, blisters of not (j/k). It is their life, their journey, and only they can make it better. And as hard as it can be to hold back, we don't help them when we cushion them from the hard realities of their choices.

    I hope you walk in peace and serenity today and savor every calm moment. Take good care of yourself. You matter. You matter a lot!!!
     
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  12. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Childofmine,
    I absolutely agree with Cedar. Times like this are traumatizing.

    I know it may sound "crazy"...and maybe it is.
    But I believe we are under as much attack as our children.
    This is spiritual warfare in my humble opinion.

    I read that you are going to meetings, church, working out, reading Al Anon literature and more. Keep up with that.

    And pray for yourself...I know the long list before I go to bed...it's usually for EVERYONE else. But I truly believe in times like this we are under attack and it is important...so vitally important to take care of number 1.

    Remember that I lost my mind in the mindst of my own nightmare with my drug addict son's. I was going to AA and Al Anon at the time too...it still happend.

    Anyway, Cedar's post really hit home for me...reminded me of JUST how VERY important it is to look after ourselves...physically, emotionally, and yes spiritually.

    Lean on all sources of strength.
    Hugs and love,
    LMS
     
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    COM, you are doing a wonderful job of setting the boundaries as your son ups the ante, big time.

    I think your note on the door covers all the points.

    I think with most of our kids and certainly with mine, you have to make sure all the "loop holes" are covered. Most of us have succumbed to major manipulations in the past and our difficult child's in the meantime become masters at shifting the truth around and finding our weak spot and exploiting it. They are clever and usually very bright and can sense where we will fold and as a result they utilize that information to dramatically and often effectively, get their present needs across and often met. Since you aren't succumbing to his demands, the drama escalates. If you have forgotten something, he will find it and exploit it.

    Your note covers the loop holes, unless he can think of some new tactic, like "you didn't say I couldn't sleep in the garage." That's how their minds seem to work. It isn't about what you say or want or need, it is only about him getting what he wants and to that end, our kids will use whatever methods they deem necessary. And, they don't play by our rules or the rules of good conduct at all, they are out to win at any cost.

    Something my therapist told me once made an enormous amount of sense to me............and that was, when I am absolutely clear, when all my doubts are gone, when I know exactly what I am doing with my difficult child, that's when they will stop. I found that to be true. As we progress, little niggly doubts and fears pop up for us parents................naturally they would since this goes against everything we know to be real and good. Once we work through all of that inside ourselves, once we are clear without any of those 'mommy' doubts...........the kids stop their relentless, unending requests of us. They know when we have doubts and they, as I said, exploit them.

    I am sorry COM, this is a grueling and tortuous drama for us parents to go through. It seems never ending, but there is an end to it. You have to hold on, stay the course, allow him to man up and take care of himself without your interference. He needs to step onto his own path now.............whatever that is, in whatever direction that takes him................continue seeing him walking away from you alongside a higher power.................

    Sending you truckloads of strength, gentle hugs, warm wishes for your serenity and caring thoughts of support.
     
  14. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    COM,

    I am so sorry you are having this go on and on. The comments by others are so true.

    After this storm will come some calm. There is a more poetic way to say it, but I am riding in a car and concentrating on texting without getting carsick.

    When my difficult child went through something similar about ten years ago, he ended up leaving the state. He got into more trouble in the other state, but miles between you sure help you get through days/nights easier. I hope your difficult child remembers somebody far away he can hitchhike to see!

    You are doing such a great job but it is SO exhausting. Hope you can get away for a few days ASAP. Wish you and I were at some beach.

    You are so good at planning ahead for these crises. I am learning from your posting. Last night I told husband I plan to hide under the forest. He was "what? I've never heard of that." But, it is exactly what I want to do in those awful crisis times. Completely hidden and protected.

    Hang in there. Keep the courses best for all of your family. Surely, your son will figure something out sooner than later.
    Thinking about you and sending hugs...




    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
     
  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Child,

    I've been checking in on you by iphone, but can't write well that way and so wanted to wait to comment..but I did want you to know that I've been staying with you!

    You have done wonderfully, and continue to do so. Sometimes bearing up under all this pressure reminds me of finishing a road race...you feel kind of great, and excited, and powerful right at the finish, and then, when it is done, you've passed the finish line and had a second to pause..and you feel like you are going puke, or faint, and you double over with leg cramps. It doesn't mean you didn't do fabulously, meet all your goals, do everything right...it just means that sometimes the fallout makes you feel scared and sick.

    So if you do feel scared and sick, know we understand. And if you do not..well then...how much much much water has gone under the bridge, how badly has your son treated you and society and therefore all of us for you to feel so clearly that you are doing the right thing? So...yes...you are doing the right thing.

    It is also the only thing for him. If he too, can figure out what to do under these circumstances, if he too can finish this race (blisters and all)...he will feel better too!

    But today it is really about you, your victory overy your old habits of drowning pointlessly in his needs.

    Cedar posted once to me "your son knows the minimum he needs to do keep a realtionship with you. His continuing to call without doing that is, in a way, a test". Surely your son knows that accusations and hateful language and banging on ANYONE's door at 3 Am is not the minimum needed for a relationship? It represents the skewed, messed up tools he has used in the past that have worked...and you have recognized that those messed up tools are not acceptable. Good for you.

    Good for you for planning, sharing, seeing clearly, writing things down, being proactive, accepting support, thinking things through....we are all so so happy for you, even in these awful days...because you are on the path to a better, happier, saner life. And maybe difficult child is too....or not. But even in doing this, ESPECIALLY in doing this...you are being a good parent. As you always have been.

    You can block him on facebook to stop that route of access. If you can silence your phone so that you aren't being jarred over and over again, that would be good for your nerves and psyche. YOu can check it, or have husband check it, for any real messages from time to time.

    I was once the target of 110 texts in a day...just the ping of a new text had my nerves jangled...it allowed all the attacks to hit much more deeply than they would have otherwise. As you have done in other ways, work to keep yourself sane and healthy...try not to read the messages , silence the phone, delete delete delete.

    Sending strength and love and hope for you in these difficult hours. It won't last forever.

    Echo

    Strength love and hope for you. It must be hard to bear up under the constant onslaught.
     
  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I forgot to say...I love this. This is important. You went back to sleep. You were able to go back to sleep. Because finally finally finally you did the right thing. You got to sleep the sleep of the righteous, not the tossing and turning "what if if only how could he maybe if I" sleep that we all know.

    Sleep is so important (see the New York Times yestarday...lack of sleep causes colds, cancer, obesity, depression, memory loss, car accidents and PROBABLY difficult children haha I am funny today).

    But you took care of yourself. Your routine. Your home. Your life. Your family. Your resilience, so you have some when you need it for the things that happen to all of us difficult child or not. Keep doing that. Keep going to sleep. I hope you rest well tonight.

    Hugs and much tender care,

    Echo
     
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Echo, it is good to see you. I was thinking about posting one of those "Has anyone seen...?"

    You sound fine, and I am glad.

    Child of Mine, there is nothing more that I can add. You are holding on, doing well. Try to look ahead to when your difficult child has accepted your decision. It will not be long now, and he will have created other options for himself.

    I was struck by Echo's comment about the pinging of the texts coming in making everything worse, softening her up for the onslaught. That is so true. Even in the story I told about husband and I and the night we had...the phone was off. It was husband and I who did the beating ourselves up, not difficult child.

    The battle is in our perceptions, in our interpretation of what is happening and who we are in relation to that.

    Stand strong, Child. Everything we did, every sleepless night, every day spent anxious and depressed ~ none of that changed a thing for difficult child daughter. It does seem to be what Recovering posted: They see us as food. A food source.

    That is what it feels like, when you get right down to it.

    I want you to know I am here again today. Freshly committed to support you through this, strong enough because I am not in my own crisis now, to hold strong for you.

    You are doing the right thing for both your son and yourself, Child of Mine.

    Not the easy thing.

    The right thing.

    And we are all still right here.

    Cedar
     
  18. Childofmine

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

    I will write more later. I have a super busy day, workwise, and I have to get to it very shortly. I had class last night, but I am reading all you are all writing and later, I will read it all again and write more thoughtfully.

    Update: last night as I was driving to class, he called several times from a blocked phone number and left a vm saying that the SA would not let him stay there. He "didn't know what to do." Answer the phone the next time I call, Mom, so we can brainstorm. I know you said not to call, but I don't know why they won't let me stay and I don't know what to do. I'm talking to some people here out in the parking lot...

    I didn't answer the phone the next times he calls. Thankfully, I was in class, and I had turned my phone off as I always do.

    I didn't have to decide. I had already decided.

    And I didn't hear from him after about 7 p.m. And I haven't heard all night into this morning. So that is good. I am staying the course right now.

    If I can keep on staying the course, he will HAVE to do something.

    Humor: Brainstorming about where to go if you're homeless??? Right. Those people in the parking lot would be much better resources than I. I have already printed out every shelter and halfway house I can find here for him. He HAS the information and can get it. He just wants to engage me and I see that.

    Having nowhere to sleep when it's cold outside is NOT an emergency. It helps me to define what is, and what is not, an emergency that would even cause me to THINK about responding.

    I am working hard not to respond or react about ANYTHING he says, while also remembering Cedar's thoughts about proactive communication and the difference in those two things. That's why I posted my rules on the front door and then when SO suggested I send them in a FB message, I did. I wasn't sure if that was reacting or not at first. I don't want to teach him that if he keeps on or says just the right thing, he can get me to answer. That is my decision point.

    I do think it was the right thing to do to post my rules to him in a FB message. it was proactive not reactive.

    This time.

    Until next time, thank you for all of your prayers, support, counsel, thoughts. You are all helping me so much.
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You continue to do a good job COM, in spite of all of the relentless contact from your son. This is a tough time and you are handling it well. Each time you don't respond, you train him to look elsewhere, each time you don't respond, your brain settles down out of the FOG of enabling, that place we go in our heads which keeps us stuck in old behaviors.........with each step you take in this new direction, you strengthen the new muscles, like working out at the gym..........it gets easier and easier to do............AND, it is really, one step at a time.

    He has the list of shelters you posted for him............his brain is still on that pathway which says, "let Mom do it for me." Uh, no, his brain will need to create a new pathway which says, "this is up to ME!" And, he will.

    I've said this before, my (schizophrenic) brother lived on the streets of L.A. for YEARS.........and aside from being somewhat dirty, he survived. In some ways he actually thrived because he was accepted there and nothing was expected of him. Being homeless is not the end of the world. Like Echo's son, he can panhandle. I was surprised to hear from her that he can make up to $75 a day. Not bad. Your son has OPTIONS. He is choosing not to take them now. But your new responses will push him to make new choices. I hope that happens sooner then later......for you.

    I am impressed with your resolve. You made a plan and you followed that plan. In this nightmare in which we live, you are creating a new dream for yourself..........hang tough COM.........we're always here for you cheering you on.............prayers sent for your strength and resolve to continue.........
     
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    When difficult child daughter was homeless, she told me she could not use the homeless shelter, too. I called them. The problem there was that you had to be at the shelter, sober as a judge, by 4 p.m. You were locked in and could not leave until 9 a.m. the next morning. Males and females were separated.

    The nights difficult child wanted us to get them a room for the duration of the blizzard, she would call AFTER it was too late to go to the shelter. It was a game she was used to winning. I see that, now.

    Still, it was hellish for us to go through it.

    My tiny little daughter survived homelessness just fine. We got home in May. She refused to come home, we did not see her in person, until the end of July.

    Your difficult child will survive.

    You are right, about the people in the parking lot.

    Stand your ground.

    Cedar
     
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