Letter from difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Today a letter came from difficult child. It was not addressed to me. It was addressed to his 11y/o brother. I obviously opened it because I had no idea what it might possibly say. I'm glad I did. There wasn't anything drastically horrible in there but difficult child did say that the reason he's in jail is bc he was in the group home and it was "NO FUN" so that's why he impulsively left with a girl and is now in jail. Uggggh really?? You're in jail because of the group home???? Not because you compulsively steal from everyone you meet?? It's enough to make me want to scream! He also said that he's forgiven his father and almost as an afterthought "I've even forgiven mom". Ok??!! I guess "mom" is the bad one in his eyes. I guess all of my suffering over his problems means nothing. I guess all of the hard work and heart and soul I've poured into trying to help him means nothing. His father is an abusive ahole who is in prison and he's forgiven! How nice! It's not really a surprise bc he's always blamed me for everything but to see it written was kind of a big huge slap in the face.

    He also wrote that he'll be home for Christmas. Ummm - no - he won't. It breaks my heart but he can't come into this house. He's a thief, he has major unresolved anger towards me, and he's unstable. I can't take the chance.

    I'm going to talk to my younger sons therapist before I give him the letter. I want to see what he thinks. Younger son is having some problems coping with certain things and I don't want to add any fuel to the fire.

    I do have to say - seeing difficult child's handwriting and reading his thoughts (even though they are skewed) was heartbreaking. I wish I could wave a wand and make his world better but it's so (even more so now) obvious that it will never ever be that easy! *****sigh*****
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, J I think it's a great idea to show the letter to the therapist before letting your younger son see it. Although the letter is heartbreaking for you to read, it certainly solidifies why you have to guard your heart and home at this point. Sigh.
  3. JFK - I'm so sorry he has caused you pain again today. It doesn't seem to end, does it? It is so hurtful when they blame us for all of their problems. My difficult child has been the same although his problems are not as severe as your difficult child's are. I know that I've always been his biggest advocate, worked the hardest for him, cared the most for him, done the most for him, maybe even loved him more than anyone else in his life - and yet everything is my fault. I understand how you feel today and I'm sorry.

    I think showing the letter to the therapist is an excellent idea. I wonder if he'll even recommend you show it to easy child at all. easy child has enough to deal with right now and as you said he's having trouble coping.

    Please let us know what happens.
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Yes CJ. It definitely solidifies what I've known for a long time. In a way it's good because perhaps it will make the next step forward in this whole detaching process a little easier for me but it's SO sad. I had a moment before where I was reading the letter for the 1000th time and I had to lock myself in the bathroom and just sob. I sat there for a good 10 minutes sobbing and clutching the letter. It's devastating that difficult child's perception of everything is so horribly distorted. I've always known but seeing the actual handwriting is what really drove it in.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you wtwe! It really helps to know that I'm not alone! It's crazy because, although I have made my fair share of parenting mistakes, I'm his biggest advocate and have been the one fighting tooth and nail for him all this time. It's clear though that he sees it differently. In his mind I've been fighting against him. It's so sad too because at this point I'm the only one he has left. His biodad is in prison and he's alienated his dad's family and my family bc he steals. I'm the last one standing.
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I understand the pain of seeing a letter like that ... my difficult child has written to me, and told me various times, that he 'forgives me' for all the 'horrible stuff' I did to him all his life. That if he's forgiven me, I should be able to forgive his dad for all the abuse. He's very close to his dad. This is a knife to the heart, because all those years I was my difficult child's only advocate and support. His father didn't deign to participate in parenting except to go over the top every so often, and never supported difficult child in anything. But I'm the one who has to be forgiven.

    Their perceptions can be so warped. I think we have to just remember the truth, all the things we've done and all the love we've given, and try to let the pain slide off our backs. But it's not easy. Sending many {{{hugs}}}.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I'm sorry that you clutched the letter and sat and sobbed, but I know you are not alone in your heart ache. Not just for what you are going through as a friend, but for what many of us have gone through or are going through - we feel your pain, disappointment, open ended fears, hope, despair, and are probably praying the same prayers in between at times questioning "Are you mad at me God?" type of attitude. It's like you get just a glimpse of hope when they get some structure in their lives and then they go off the reservation and we teeter up and down like a gradeschool playground toy. Some days it just flat stinks to be who we are. But every day I try to think...."WHAT on earth am I thankful for in regards to my son?" and somehow? Belive it or not. Even though I can have twinges of jealousy with absolute strangers ......and their "perfect" children? I find myself thinking "Okay----I can deal with this he maybe XX but he is XX."

    In the letter that he wrote? I think maybe at this moment it would be hard for you to weigh out the positives over the negatives. Seek the positives.
    When he wrote the letter - He was thinking about home. He was thinking about his little brother. He cared enough about him to write him. In his own way, with poor communication skills he IS stating to an 11 yo that Group homes are no fun, I think it's a way of saying - Don't mess up like me and go there. Youll end up here - a warning. One that shows care and concern. (so he DOES have a heart). He mentions that he made a mistake. So he's getting the idea, you do XX and XX will occur. That's progress also. Not what we wanted of course.....but he's starting to see if you don't obey, there is JAIL. And he's there. Reality smack.

    Maybe at this point he's not ready to admit to a little brother he's a thief. I think that would be hard for anyone - but especially a difficult child, and maybe just maybe he thinks that his kid brother has held out ( _) much faith and love for him - a last refuge if you will. Maybe the little brother should write him a reality check letter back if he knows what has happened. Then he goes on to say he's forgiven his Dad.....and wouldn't that be a great step for him if he has????? And what's so wrong about forgiving you too? No one is perfect. I'd like to know what he was so angry for that he felt he HAD to forgive me about. Maybe it's contributed to his behaviore and you didn't even know it. I say this because DUDE was mad as HADES at me for years......and did things, and acted out---and whenhe finally got into therapy he belted out "I HATE YOU" I hate your guts. and OMG I about fell apart. I mean.....WOW. He was angry at me for a LOT of things.....many many things.....and then we talked for years......and years. about all the issues he had I never knew he had. He was angry with himself too----I don't think hes' forgiven himself yet.....it's a process. But I was actually relieved when he forgave me.....and like you I did nothing----I was a single Mom - who worked 3 jobs and did all I could to help him....but I didn't stay married to his abusive Daddy.....(he was too young to remember) and I was a monster for taking him away. I thought I did a good thing. He thought I was the enemy.

    And don't be too sure that Daddy is forgiven too - it's part of the process that they learn in prison GROUP therapy. IT sounds to me like he's TRYING to use the tools that they're teaching him in anger management sessions. So he's LISTENING. And I would say - TRYING. Maybe not fitting all the pieces of the puzzle in the right place......but he's at least trying. Doesn't mean a black mark against you Mom......and it doesn't mean that he's going to get CURED in prison.....or that he could come home for Christmas. But maybe??? Maybe it's a start. Try looking at it that way. Just a different spin on the same letter.

    He's not quite gotten to the point where he admits......everything. Yet......and maybe never. But sounds like a start. ANd of COURSE you're the last one standing. You're his Mother. It's what we do. And then we walk away and let them fall..and pray they see what we're trying in a last ditch effort to accomplish...and cry......and there's no one there to pick us up....because everyone thinks we're idiots for still caring.....but they don't understand. Only other Moms understand. And that's why you have us.

    Hugs & love
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I would not give the letter to 11yr old. What would be the benefit?
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Awww, JKF, I'm sorry. I can so easily envision you clutching that letter and crying in the bathroom, it brings back a lot of memories............so much pain for us Mom's, it's unfathomable in it's depth. I do agree with you that it will make the next step in the detaching process a tad easier. I've found that those moments, painful as they are, where we have a better glimpse of the reality of the world in which our difficult child's live, unhinge us a fraction more from the drama of their lives. And, I know how those sobbing episodes take it out of you. However, they also clear the air a little more and often bring more clarity to the situation, as another level of your parental expectations, beliefs, wishes, understanding and visions for what you believed to be true, move aside a little bit more to let the truth become known. I think, we as parents go through our own transformation as we accept the reality of who our kids really are as opposed to who we want them to be. Sigh. Seeing that all written down must have felt like a blow to your heart, I know I've felt that sometimes when my difficult child does or says something so outlandish I have to take a step back and really look at her and realize that she and I live in polar opposite realities...........it seems like a never ending movie..........but really, it does get better, it does get easier, at some point, (in my experience anyway), you realize who they are and begin to accept that, for your own sanity and peace of mind..............and something in your heart lets go and you breathe more easily and calm down. That hold our difficult child's have on our hearts, the one which terrifies us and leaves us weak from worry, begins to loosen little by little until, finally, that tightness around our hearts goes away.....and our life can continue in a healthier and much more peaceful way...........

    I also agree it is a good idea to show that letter to your younger son's therapist, he may not be old enough to decipher that in a positive way, especially if he is having a hard time now. I recall, many years ago when I was raising my sister, who is bi-polar with many other diagnoses,..... she kept running away and getting in trouble and my daughter was so young then, just a little girl, and one day I was talking to her about my sister and she just burst into tears, she was terrified that her Aunt, my sister, was not safe "out there" and she was very, very worried. Your younger son is going through his own stuff about his brother and that letter may or may not be a good thing for him.

    Hang in there JKF, as you can see, you are not alone, you have all of us wounded warrior Mom's surrounding you with our understanding and support. I hope you're feeling better today............many gentle HUGS for you..........
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hugs...that comes first for sure. Secondly I think you are very wise to hold the letter. Speaking to the therapist sounds like the right move. I would bet that he will advise you to stash the letter away as it certainly would be confusing at the least. Here's hoping you avoid holiday drama. DDD
  11. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I am sitting here in the waiting room at the therapist reading all of your responses while younger son is in his session. I am literally tearing up. I can't express how grateful I am to have such amazing support from all of you. Sometimes I feel so alone because no one, including husband, understands what this feels like. For at least a couple of years now I've been a shell of my former self and have allowed difficult child's problems and all of the guilt I feel to completely encompass me. However, I feel like I'm starting to "come back to life" just a little bit and I honestly believe having the support and advice from all of you helps so much!

    As for the letter - It's stashed away at home. I don't feel like younger son can handle that right now. In a way I feel bad bc that's a letter from his brother - who he loves and misses SO much- but he's so much younger and is going through some issues of his own right now. I don't think now is the right time for him to read difficult child's take on things.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, JKF, welcome back to life!! :hi5: