I am quoting something @recoveringenabler posted in a response. "I think it's important to acknowledge how far we've come." When I first started on this journey of having a difficult child I used to think there was no way I was going to survive it. I remember that sick feeling I would get when I turned onto my street never knowing what I would be walking into when I got home. I remember coming home one day to find my kitchen counters destroyed. Son had taken a butcher knife to them hacking away. I remember having to replace windows and screens that son had damaged when breaking into the house after he had run away. I remember the buckets of tears I shed out of anger, fear, frustration and sheer exhaustion. I remember all the phone calls I would get at work from the school and having to leave work to go find my son. I remember having to put a lock on our bedroom door so we could try and sleep without our son rummaging through my purse or husbands wallet. I remember coming home to find son had taken a hammer to our bedroom door so he could get in and steal from us. I remember having to call the police because I found drugs in son’s room. I remember all the visits to see son in jail / prison. I remember going through cancer and thinking it was easier to deal with than the turmoil my son caused. I remember wishing he would just turn 18 so I wouldn’t have to deal with him and his chaos anymore. I remember after he turned 18 and wondering why I was still getting sucked into his chaos. I remember giving him a second, third, fourth, twentieth chance and always saying “this is going to be the last time!!!” I remember hating myself when I caved in and gave him yet another chance. I remember it all with vivid clarity. I also remember the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) starting clear. This was the turning point; this was the beginning of taking my life back. It was a slow process, sometimes two steps forward and five steps back, but it was progress and I was moving in the right direction. I had to relearn how to think where my son was concerned as I was like Pavlov’s dog. I had become conditioned to enable him under the guise of thinking I was helping him. I had to learn how to say NO and mean it, and each time I said no to him it got a little easier. I had to learn about boundaries and that I desperately needed them and that it was ok. I learned how to use the tools in my “toolbox” I learned that I couldn’t do anything to change my son but I could change myself. I learned I needed to detach from my son and let him go, to allow him to live his own life no matter how messy or chaotic and it was ok. I learned that I could enjoy my life, that I could live my life for myself and it was ok. I survived all the chaos, all the heartbreak, all the anger, all the fear, all the guilt, I survived it all and I AM OK. I look back to where this journey started for me and where I am now and I am amazed at how far I have come. I am amazed at the resolve and strength I have. Yes, it’s good to reflect back and acknowledge how far we have come. Thanks for the reminder @recoveringenabler Some of us are farther along on this journey while some are just starting it. Wherever you find yourself I just want to offer hope and encouragement that you can get through this, you can go on to live a happy life and you can survive having a difficult child.