Looking for some shared wisdom as period of no contact ends

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Echolette, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    "your son knows the minimum needed to have a relationship with you..his continuing to call without doing that is a kind of test"

    such a great comment, Cedar! and I can feel myself failing the test.

    So..short reminder...difficult child in jail in December, I paid fines but not bail so he could serve less time and not have ongoing problems..he made me multiple (unforced and unsolicited) promises...would go straight to support center for homeless upon release, get lined up for housing, see a caseworker (both the public defenders office and the support center have them), restart medications, give me his debit card so he stops spending his ssi the day he gets it and also pays me back...but instead, immediately upon release, he told me "its a holiday mom, I just want to spend it with my friends."

    After that I cut off contact, in one of those wonderful, 'detachment aided by anger' moments.
    Although he called repeatedly, and also called my SO..I held firm, eventually even telling him not to call. That lasted about 7 weeks, and honestly, it was a relief to me to not have to deal with him...although, on these pages and daily life, it took a lot of processing, and there was a LOT of noise in my head.

    Last week after yet another snow storm, the doorbell rang...I heard him talking to some one on the street, saying "some one must be home because they put out the trash between last night and this morning". I was tempted to not answer, but I did..he was there, his cheerful slightly anxious clueless self, no gloves, unbuttoned jacket on a freezing morning..said he had some regular shovelling gigs and though he would just stop by and do me a favor. I stood in the door way and talked for a moment..he said he was couch surfing, sometimes sleeping under the bridge, had a subzero sleeping bag and a whole homeless community, that he is overall happy, drinking and smoking pot but not using hard drugs, and that he had a new job doing take out food deliveries (he has had several jobs like that for a few weeks at a time). He had a shovel, picture, and bike.

    I let him shovel the walk, and he did a great job..best job all winter. Then he wanted to walk me to work..asked me to carry his shovel and picture so he could wheel bike...very eager to tell me how well he is doing. So I found myself a little late to work walking through town carrying a heavy shovel...and I thought...

    this is the beginning of slippage for me.

    He waited for me in the park the next day, just to say hi.

    Yestarday I saw him on the street, drinking coffee from an expensive coffee house, sandwich in one hand, bike in the other (quite the juggling act). Was now living in a house he had previously told me was a crack house, but eager to assure me that "Kevin" knows him well and is a good influence, the crack is just to pay the rent (Wut?) Had changed jobs to another delivery diner.

    And last night..he called...asked if we still watched Walking Dead as a family on Sunday nights, and if he could join us.

    And I said...in anger...difficult child, have you done one thing that you promised me?...he was silent, confused, seemingly. then said...well I could bring over some money, start a payment plan..." and I said...I am not accepting bribes. I ran the whole list of what he said he would do. I said I don't let thieves and liars in my house (or something like that..I was mad enough that I don't recall all).

    and then we hung up.

    Apparently he had called SO a few minutes before and had essentially the identical conversation with identical results.

    So now I don't feel so stable...I don't feel as clean as I did in my zone of no contact. I hate when I get angry and mean to him. I don't know how to just see him or talk to him and listen to his crazy (Kevin has his best interests at heart, great new jobs...I forgot to mention that he was talking about renting a $500/month studio in a ritzy neighborhood in town....again I say..."wut?') I don't know whether to nod and be quiet, which is easiest but eventually costs me psychologically, to argue with him and point out the crazy, to cut him off, to let him in...3 steps forward 12 steps back. He always thinks that once a little time passes he has a fresh start...the little time can be an hour or two or days or weeks...but he definitely believes that time=restitution without any other action needed.

    What is my question? It is the constant question here on this board...how do I manage myself in my relationshihp with difficult child?

    If my story brings up any reactions from you all I'd like to hear them...

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would practice Radical Acceptance. I'll try to help you. You can take what you feel is relevant and throw away anything that you feel does not pertain.

    1/He is my son, but he is not the person I hoped he'd turn into when I gave birth to him. But I can't change that and I can be happy with my life even if my son took a turn that I feel is morally wrong. I accept this.

    2/He is probably getting a lot of his money due to drug dealing. That's why he is pretty happy, has money on him, and can afford expensive coffee and sandwiches. The money he offered is tainted since he has no job. There is no way he earned the money. I can't change it so accept this.

    3/He seems just fine being homeless. Maybe he doesn't WANT a home because that means he has to give up his drug life, get a job, follow societal norms and he was not upset. I WAS UPSET, but he wasn't. He looks at the world differently than most people. I have no control over this. It is just a fact. I accept it because there is no alternative other than to angst over it and ruin my health, my own life, and my relationship with other loved ones.

    4/When I encounter him, his attitudes and responses to his life will seem bizarre to me and will bring out the "I want to mother you" instincts that I have because I am a good person. But he isn't going to follow my house rules and I'm not going to get the kind of responses I want from him. Since I have no control over this, I accept it even if I don't like it.

    5/Lecturing him/trying to reason with him/enabling him doesn't change him one wit. I don't like this. I want to be able to shake him silly until he gets some common sense. But I can't do that...it won't work...so I accept it.

    I think that looking upon your child, trying as hard as you can to be objective and emotionless (I know it's very hard) and seeing him straight is very important. The feelings can come later, after you've assessed who your child really is. And then I think that radical acceptance/accepting the truth and going with the flow is mandatory for us to stay sane. To keep trying to change them by mushy e-mails, declarations of how we wish this and that, and buying into their manipulative Normal Rockwell family scenes (to get us to feel guilty over them) does not work. They all try it. It does not work in reality.

    Don't seek him out much. That will make him think he might be able to manipulate an invite home even living the lifestyle he's living, even though he is living in a crack house with a dealer and involved in it it some way (radical acceptance). When he seeks you out, keep it surface. "How you doing?" "I knew you could make it." "How are you feeling?" Don't offer anything. The only way he may change is if he gets tired of his life of couch surfing and drugs and decides, on his own, to drop those nasty friends and get serious help and you will know when that day comes, IF that day comes (radical acceptance).

    Go to Starbucks. Go to a donut shop and splurge. Take a long, hot bubblebath with scented candles. Flirt with your SO :) Maybe hide out in the bedroom for a while (too much information????). Enjoy your own life. You can control your own life. You can't control his. It is much easier to deal with grown difficult children when you accept what you can not change and deal with them accordingly. At the same time you can remind them cheerfully that you are always here if they want to go to rehab and get help...you will always be a support system if they make good choices. But don't dwell on that. And don't let that draw you into an argument with the difficult child about how horrible you are not to give him money/clothes/an i-pad/any other baloney he/she comes up with.

    Have a serene, peaceful day. Readical acceptance. You may want to read the book.

    You can find books on readical acceptance on Amazon.
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  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Echo,

    You know, your son is doing some dumb sounding stuff, but he is being nice and friendly. If my gfg32 would just be nice to me, while not asking for any money, I would welcome a little contact. Maybe not. I am thinking no contact until he calls (waaay in the future, most likely) blames us for nothing and asks for nothing. That does not seem like a lot to hope for, but gfg32 is far away from stopping the toxic stuff.

    You always have been such a rock for me with wonderful advice. I wish I could do the same for you. I like what MWM said, reminding you to focus on you. And, I do think the Radical Acceptance with adult difficult children is crucial.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Your difficult child is not the enemy. Your own emotions, your own fear, your own understanding that things are sliding for him ~ those things are the enemy. He loves you, Echo. He is your son, and you love him more than your own life. I hear the joy there was for you, in seeing him, in walking with him...in the scent and the sound and the whole, wonderful thing that is him.

    My perception of my situation with my difficult child kids is changing, Echo. I don't know why these terrible things are happening to us, why it all has to be so stupidly, excruciatingly pain filled.

    But I do know I heard the joy of him, the joy of seeing and hearing him, of the scent and the feel of him, for you.

    I felt it, plain as day, Echo.

    Take strength there, Echo. None of us knows what is coming next. Don't waste or limit any opportunity for joy.

    Don't waste it, Echo.

    It doesn't need to change a thing about the boundaries you have decided to keep your life sane. You are healthier, stronger, more able to have joy, to hold it and reach for more, since you have established these boundaries.

    Nothing needs to change, Echo. You did the right things, responded correctly. Yes, it is sad that your son is as he is, right now. You already knew that, Echo. Don't let something you already knew destroy you, now.

    It was never easy or right, Echo. Chances are that nothing will change any of that.

    But in the interim? You have seen your son, Echo.

    He loves you.

    Do you know what it would mean to me to see my son like that again? Loving me like that, again?

    The only boundaries you can set are your own. You do not get to tell him what to do, Echo. You did the right thing as you saw it, when you paid bail and fines. You set your boundaries and expectations, then. difficult child blew through them.

    If he dies tomorrow Echo...how important will those choices that he made then be?

    Your boundaries are set as they are for good reason.

    But any time you see your son, any time you can touch that sweetness in him, any time you can love Echo...I think you need to do that.

    Who cares if they are manipulating us...or are they? Maybe, we are manipulating them. That is all a part of why boundaries are good, and should not be changed.

    Let it be, Echo.

    The answer to your son's question about coming over to watch the show is: "When you have met the terms of our agreement, we will talk about that. I want you independent and strong, and I love you."

    Really, what else is there to say?

    I'm sorry Echo, I know you are in pain. But what I heard so much more clearly than pain or anger was...joy.

    No need to change boundaries, no need to change anything at all, Echo. But when there is any smallest opportunity for joy, go after it, have it, celebrate it with everything you have.

    We suspect we will lose our daughter. The old patterns are there, Echo. Should I hate that, should I rage about my rules, about the things she agreed to do?

    Or Echo...should I maintain my boundaries and love her, love her so fiercely?

  5. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Hey Echo- I'm so sorry you're feeling confused but I think you did great! you took advantage of seeing him while at the same time sticking to all your boundaries...and like Cedar, I think you're blessed to have a difficult child who still reaches out to you, even (sort of) apologized for what he was doing--and he's clearly doing things 'his own way'...he's happy, and seems to just want to stay in touch with you, his Mom...it doesn't sound like he's meeting with you to ask for money, just to walk with you to work or whatever...he even did a good job for money, a fair exchange in other words...addicts other have to try things their way before they realize, after relapsing, that their way doesn't work and they have to ask for help (a very hard thing for most to do)...I love MWM's suggestion of just listening to him, keeping the interchange at the surface level and then Cedar's of relishing the joy of actually seeing him and spending some positive time with him..I really would give anything for my difficult child to reach out to me in a positive way..I haven't seen him in ~6 weeks and he couldn't care less...as Cedar said--

    But any time you see your son, any time you can touch that sweetness in him, any time you can love Echo...I think you need to do that.

    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/com...eriod-of-no-contact-ends.56515/#ixzz2uAdNskL5
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truthfully you have received such heartfelt and experienced advice that I have nothing new to offer..except..after well over a decade of "peaks and valleys" I have learned again that although you can enjoy the peaks, chances are there will be another valley before long. Learning the appropriate degree of detachment is not a piece of cake AND it varies from year to year. Sigh!
    I think you are doing well. Hugs DDD
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  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This was a humbling and thought provoking series of responses. I have to say, the middle ground may be the hardest for me to feel stable on...no contact was hard but clear. Full support and attempts to control or change him was at least a fulltime distraction from the reality of who he is. The middle ground..seeing my boy as the man he is, and letting it be so without being angry, without wanting to slap him for being sooooo stupid, and still to cherish the contact...that seems right, and yet seems impossibly hard.

    This helped me a lot, today, Cedar. I may print it out and carry it in my purse as I have one other of yours, and one of COM's...yours was about his knowing the bare minimum, and COM's about searching in myself for the part that still wants to make him change.

    I used this. I sent him a facebook message. It was longer than this, much longer, perhaps more than he will read. I said I was glad to have had some contact this week. I said that we would have to wait till he lived up to his promises before he could be welcomed back into my home...and that I hoped he could see his way to that while his younger brothers still live here, while there is still a "family" to come home to. And I told him that I loved him and know that he is smart and resourceful. I read it to one of my 15 year olds..he like it a lot, and I think it made him feel better, sort of safer in his relationship with me (he feels quite safe and loved anyway, but I am sure there is some place of 'she cut difficult child out, maybe she'll cut me out too if I cross her" in their deep psyches).

    He (easy child 16) offered that I should have used more "I feel " and "I think" terms, as they are inarguable. Pretty sweet from a 16 hear old who has not yet had therapy (he is starting on WEdnesday, thank goodness, long overdue)

    Bingo!!!!!!!!!!! Really....what else is there to say? I love you, stop being a &*(*$ and we can deepen our relationship.

    I was surprised that you all read yearning or love or happiness in my post...I'm not sure I felt that, or maybe I did...I guess I did actually, there was relief when I went to the door and opened it instead of pretending not to be home. I feel that it was oddly brave of him to come ring the bell...or oddly manipulative. I don't really know. I'm sure he misses me and is lonely for what I have offered him in the past. I heard his voice once when he called SO...he said "I want to talk to Mom"...so clearly and firmly..he is not a clear firm kid...I know he misses me, wants my love and approval as he had as a child...that may be the hardest part. He isn't hostile or aggressive, he wants to be loved and accepted..maybe if I had loved and accepted him when he was younger and starting to seem odd he wouldn't be this way now...but now..he is a dirty begging stealer drug user/dealer.....how can I show him the loving acceptance he desires? I cannot.

    But I get that a moment of shared light between us may be important for both of us.

    Hahahahahah (bitter wry laugh). Oh yeah. I kinda forgot that for a bit.
    I have quite severe SADD...as does his twin, as did my mom. I"m pretty clear that he becomes manic as the days get longer...so we will be in for a whirlwind of emergency room visits, psychiatric hospitalizations, and unexpected trips out of town (discovered via calls from emergency rooms in other states). So..yeah...DDD...thank you for that point! I really SHOULD enjoy this calm!

    Thank you all for the hugs, the thoughts and feelings bent my way, the experience brought to bear.

  8. Childofmine

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

    Hi Echo----I so get what you are writing about right now. It's like okay, I know how to do---crazy drama and crisis. Pre-recovery, I jumped in there and handled it over and over, fixing it all for him. Now, I stay 10 feet away, even as he threatens suicide (this week via text message, I wrote about it elsewhere), when I went, spelled out what I would do next time he threatened that, and left.

    But how do we do the day-to-day relationship with our difficult children who are doing what your son is doing---right here in our hometown, just up and down the street---and what mine is doing?

    Can you have a relationship, really, at all? What if THIS IS IT and THIS IS HOW IT IS GOING TO BE? We love them, and we don't want to be cut off forever...blah blah blah. You and I are quite literally in the same boat and I can almost feel your brain working, parsing over these questions and others because MINE IS TOO.

    Here are a few thoughts along this line:

    1. Most of the time, things DON'T stay the same. There will be a break in the current action. If they are dealing drugs or taking drugs, they will be arrested, in the hospital, OD, something. It's illegal. It's them against the police, and they're going to lose every time---eventually. And they are stealing, likely, to get drugs or get food if they don't have any money or way to buy anything. Your son sounds at least a little industrious---I don't think my son is doing anything but walking around, eating the shelter foods, and doing whatever (I'm sure I don't even want to know). I don't believe he is earning any money at all.

    2. Let's say they don't get arrested, hurt, dead---and this current state of affairs continues indefinitely. Let's say this does become their life for a long time---couch surfing, homeless camps, sleeping in a shelter temporarily, sleeping at a McDonald's restaurant---right here in our town, Echo. Right here in our faces.

    3. I've thought about this and I believe the next step for me would be to meet him regularly at a restaurant for a 30-minute "let me have a look at you." I'll buy him lunch or an early dinner and we will lay eyes on each other for as long as (I) can stand it. It will likely be short. If he starts asking me for stuff, it will be even shorter. Will it hurt? Yes. Will I be able to stand it? I don't know. I have no idea what to even talk about. The weather? My graduate school? His grandmother's stroke?

    It's like sitting and discussing the price of tomatoes when the house is burning down all around us. Just writing this sound surreal, much less sitting and actually doing it.

    4. If I were you, I'd forget the agreement. It didn't happen. It's not that he's late doing it---it just didn't happen. It's moot. It's over. Yet another agreement not kept. Why do we even believe them EVER when they offer these agreements? It's just something that sounds good at the time, and maybe, they even believe they are going to do it, a little bit. I don't believe anything they say and I don't think there's a chance in heck they can sustain anything from one day to another without a LOT of rehab and then hard work over a period of time. Let's don't even accept any agreements---just cover our ears---until that happens because all it brings is more disappointment and more despair, Echo. And then we're mad and we can't just start over again with what is, today.

    I don't know about you but I can't have him come over here for dinner right now like everything's normal. Oh, Hi, honey come in and let's eat. Have a seat. No you can't take a shower and wash your clothes even though they smell like cow manure. You can sit at my table and eat my spaghetti and then in an hour you'll have to walk off down the street to go who knows where. We'll eat in uncomfortable silence because nobody knows what to say. We'll talk about the food, maybe, oh this is such good garlic bread. Maybe he'll start trying to make me feel sorry for him. Maybe I'll get so sick to my stomach I can't even eat, with the sadness and pain of it all. The sheer insanity.

    I don't know about you, Echo, but I'm just not there yet. I can't put MYSELF through that. It really sounds horrible to me.

    So Echo, let's just work on doing this thing one day at a time or even one hour at a time. I so get your bewilderment, your confusion, your sadness and your pain. MWM talks about Radical Acceptance. I love that concept and I am working on that. But when I'm asked to practice it like "everything's normal" with difficult child sitting across the table eating spaghetti, fresh from the homeless camp down the street, I don't have what it takes to do that. Maybe I'll get there and maybe that is even a goal I need to set for myself, but I can tell you I'm sure not there right now.

    Here is the bottom line question:

    How do you have any kind of real relationship with an active drug addict or alcoholic who is completely counter-cultural? They have basically rejected all we stand for. Our lives are happening in different universes.

    We do still have our love for each other connecting us together. But beyond that, we don't get their world, and they evidently don't get our world. It's like trying to sit and talk to someone who only speaks Swahili when I only speak English? No comprende. No connection. We can make encouraging eye contact and smile, but there is no language for this.

    I don't want to be sorry I didn't do more, accept more, love more, and I know you don't either, Echo. But how in the world can we do this?
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh ECHO, it is a rough ride isn't it? You are doing just fine. Sometimes we just run into them a little before we are quite prepared with our new detachment skill...........you are just still forming that new way so you teeter a little..........that's the way it is.

    It is a lot easier when you don't see them. And, then you see them and you may falter a bit, but you don't slide back into the abyss anymore, you just lean back a little until you get your bearings back. Don't judge yourself, this is hard...........it's not linear, we go back and forth and up and down and sideways.........that's how it is. There is no right or wrong.

    It's a process, it really is one day at a time...........one day perhaps you all can hang together and watch TV, or maybe you can't............but you can trust yourself to get to a place where you can make those boundaries and those choices one step at a time as your comfort allows. This is where you are today. You are doing very well with all of this..........all of us understand how it is............we are here for you......... up, down and sideways...........
  10. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    The only thing I can think of to add is something someone said to me recently - that I repeat to myself often when I am thinking about my difficult child daughter so far away and living what, for me, would be a miserable life: "Most people are doing exactly what makes them happy." And I'll bet your difficult child is doing that, too, no matter how bizarre it may appear.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Because we WANT to believe them. It goes against our grain to mistrust our own children so much. I do have to add that, as time goes on, with many people, sadly it becomes impossible to believe them and it stings less when their promises don't come true. My daughter told me she quit using drugs so many times that when it really happened, it took a while before I believed her. She had to prove it to me.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    But if Echo does not bring up the agreement, she is in the position of turning him away altogether or letting him in. It gets not to be about whether difficult child meets the terms of the agreement. Until Echo is ready, is done enough to tell her difficult child never to darken her door again, the agreement gives her a place to stand up.

    difficult child is no longer calling and coming and being nice in order to live at home again.

    And Echo has a place to stand.

    One of the most healing things we learned was to establish what it would need to look like before we would help. What the difficult child would need to have accomplished, and what the money would be for. It was an early step, a first boundary.

    But it was right and true, and gave us something solid to judge the situation by.

  13. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is true. I can pretty much count on that...I think I forgot that for a moment, and started thinking how to deal with the new normal! He usually gets manic in the spring..he'll end up in jail or a psychiatric ward, or in another state a few times. In fact, were I to turn my thoughts anywhere, I should turn them to that!!

    I think this is where I am going for now. I do really really like to eat out, and my friends get tired of my few favorite spots...I can have a win win of meeting him at one of them. Once a week may be too often. Maybe just "from time to time".

    It is important to me that you all understand I am not really stuck on "the agreement" which was never really an agreement, it was promises he made...they were not overtly linked to my paying his fines, they were just him voicing his plans. I didn't ever say "OK since you have promised this I will do that". Been around him too long to fall for that dance again! Somehow that last round of conversation, were he made those commitments, has become an important metaphor for me. It isn't "dude, do what you said or I won't see you" its more "dude, change your life and yourself most especially that yucky habit you have of making commitments that go unmet' or I can't deal with having you in my life. Which, I get, is totally a losing proposition. But that is why I feel myself so stuck...I am stuck THERE. I am stuck at "I can't be your mom as you are". That is not a good place to be stuck.

    It is the 'pretending everythign is normal' part I can't wrap my head around, even though I have been doing it for years. Pretending to be enthusiastic when he tells me for the 15th time he has a job (this can be anything from "i applied for a job" to "i'm thinking of applyin for a job" to "I applied for a job and they said they would call me" to "I have a new job but since I will cancel shifts at the last second at least twice in the first week, in a week I won't have a job anymore..." So I am sick of smiling and saying 'oh good" when he says that. It makes me ill, like I feel when I am lying to myself. And yet I don't want to say hey dummy, you've been saying these exact things for 2 1/2 years and look where you are....

    I don't know how to have any conversation with him.

    Thank you...you are right. I'm just not ready. I had planned a longer no contact period...I actually told myself 'till June' but when he showed up at my door I talked to him anyway...as I said in thatfirst post, I actually though 'this is where I begin to slip'

    Just knowing that you know that and can name that, Recovering, is helpful.

    So I am not sure what I will do.

    He read my facebook message, but, as usual, did not respond.

    I am tempted to invite him to lunch at a place I've been wanting to return to...I may do that and see what happens.

  14. Childofmine

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

    Absolutely. Exactly. This is where I am, too, Echo. I have heard it all, like you say above. One time, on his last job, he "wasn't being treated fairly" so he somehow got the cell number of his boss's boss and called him to tell him how unfair things were, can't remember the specifics anymore. I happened to be in the car with him, taking him somewhere as he didn't have a car, while this was going on. He was in top form. This was about a year ago. Needless to say that job ended, just like all of them do. How far I have come since that time. How much further down he has gone.

    Echo, I understand about the agreement. I do. And what it represents.

    For me, whenever I have any kind of agreement or even when someone has sent me money for him for his birthday or I have his clothes here and his computer here...for me that kind of stuff never, never goes well. It gets all twisted up in what is the right thing? for me? For him? What do I do with it? If I do this, then that...if I do that, then this...

    I end up spending so much time and energy on this kind of stuff. I just don't want to have any "formal" ties like those because with him, nothing is EVER simple or direct. I guess that is why I want to be "anti-agreement".

    His mail doesn't come here anymore. I sent the post office a change of address for him, finally, when his mail kept coming here even though he was living at his dad's house. I was having to see all of the "bad mail" being sent to him, like the student loan he has defaulted on, etc. I was paying a price just seeing that stuff, back then.

    Hearing about agreements takes me back to all of the contracts I wrote up for him to sign (don't laugh, that was back when I thought well, spelling things out on paper, so it's all clear, now THAT will be his wakeup call and give me something I can point to. Silly me. Silly, silly me). I was a babe in the woods, writing and rewriting these contracts, spending all kinds of time on the actual words, making them clear, whatever. What. Ever.

    I see what Cedar says about the agreement giving you a place to stand. I hope it does. Whatever makes it better, to do this hard, hard thing we are all trying to do, stumbling forward in our own ways...

    This stuff just goes and goes in a circle. This morning I got a FB message from him that said: Do you have any of my w2s or do you know if dad does?

    I guess he is trying to get a tax refund. I have no mail for him of any sort.

    That is a sad question he poses. He has no address even. He hasn't worked in nearly a year. I will give myself a minute or two to be sad, then I will move on with the day.

    Echo, I feel you walking with me right now, down the road. I am behind RE and Cedar. You and they are showing me the way and what might be next.

    Enjoy this beautiful day, Echo.
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    How does all this look and feel, today?

    Are you doing well?

  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm here too Echo.

    Did you have lunch with your son?

    It's been a rough week around here............pretty soon we're going to have to move our growing wagon train to Montana where there is just more space!

    Sending you hugs and caring thoughts........
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Thinking of you.
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Isn't it snowing there right now?

    I was thinking like, oh, I don't know...Acapulco.


    So, just to clarify a point and unify our vision? We would all be wearing bikinis and cowboy boots. Cowboy hats mandatory. (No bad hair days.) All have fresh mani/pedis, skin smooth as silk, and killer muscular structure.

    Talk about your stress free cattle drives.


    Hit 'em up. Cut 'em out. Hit 'em up, cut 'em out, Rawhide!

    Does anyone speak Spanish? Whoever knows Spanish can be Clint Eastwood until we get back to America.
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  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Acapulco is WAY better Cedar. I was thinking of that Big Sky and all of that space. Bikinis and cowboy boots. Wow. I'm so in.
  20. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Echo, I haven't had time to read the other responses -- just skimmed a bit, so excuse any repetition.

    I think the important thing is to give yourself Time, and Space, and Forgiveness. Time to figure out how you want to approach your difficult child. Space to move back and forth within the boundaries you've set for this newly emerging relationship. Forgiveness for the inevitable awkward times that will ensue as you and he try to figure it all out. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself and listen to your gut. If it feels right, run with it. If you get that niggly stomach-drop roller-coaster feeling, then stop and try something else.

    There's no right way to re-establish contact after a period of no-contact. And with a difficult child, they're going to try what works, what has always worked, and escalate and be stubborn and do what they do before they start to figure out that you have changed, and they need to change.

    I broke contact with my difficult child -- Gosh! -- nearly 8 years ago, and it's only in the last year-ish that we've even begun to grow close again. Before the horrible dark times, we used to be thick as thieves, joined at the hip. Total absence was hard on both of us, but I wasn't prepared to go back to the horrible times, and knew that giving in would bring us right back down into the pit. So many years, and so many trials and errors, failures and regroupings later, we are starting to form a new bond as mother and adult son.

    You'll get there.

    Many gentle hugs,