Moms and tough love.....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    So I was driving along this morning thinking about my mom. She and I were very close and I was very lucky having her as my mom. She died in 2004 and I miss her a lot. Anyway my difficult child loved her a lot too and I was thinking about the unconditional love she had for him and me etc. etc. I was thinking how I could always count on her and how she would always be there for me.

    And it struck me how this tough love thing, having to tell your kid you wont help them, so goes against our natural grain, our natural instincts to help our child when they are in trouble. I was thinking of myself, of PG and all of us on this board.

    I think in our situations it is the most loving thing we can do, to let them fall, to let them find their way, to stop enabling them to use drugs. But it still goes against our instincts. It is so counterintuitive. At least for me.

    I always know with my mom that if I was in trouble I could call her and she would just through hoops to help me and I want my son to feel that way too.... and in fact he does and totally takes advantage of that fact!!! I was not a difficult child and never took advantage of my mothers love. She never had to do the tough love thing with me. I don't have to do it with my daughter.

    It really is awful that we have to be in this position. It is not natural to have to do this!!! And yet it has to be done.

    TL
     
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    TL,
    You are so right! My parents were not the helping kind. In fact they were selfish and didn't help when they could have and should have. Both of them were given money by their parents and bailed out at every turn with money, physical and emotional help. But my brothers and sister and I were dumped out. My sister was not even an adult when she was asked to leave and my brother ran off because my mom was so hard on him (more than the rest of us). I was in college by the time I was 17. I was a good kid and a good student. They never gave me a dime, a meal or a place to do laundry. In some ways it has made me tough and responsible. In another way, I felt so uncared for and stressed that I did not want to do this to my kids. My mom and dad took me off there insurance as soon as I started college (no reason to since I didnt cost extra). I had a major accident and the bills were enormous. I went through all kinds of trauma both physically and mentally. It took 2 years to get those bills paid for by the county and a small portion for me to pay off when I was in school and could barely feed myself. The people involved in helping me were shocked at what my parents had done.

    I do not want to be this way because it has been damaging to all of our emotional security with our parents. They always say they love us and yet....I could never count on them for any kind of help. On the other hand, when you are being manipulated and taken advantage of.....

    The line is thin. Noone gets through life without help. We are social beings and we need each other. The trouble with difficult children is they will get the wrong kind of help when we are not there directing traffic and their very lives are in danger. What parent wouldn't struggle with when to help and when not to when they put themselves in danger?
     
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    We have a conscience and that's what makes it so hard to be so "tough". My son burst into tears and begged me to let him come home for Christmas break. He said he could endure anything, but not homelessness. I told him over the phone that he couldn't stay with us over Christmas break if he planned to see his "friends" and do the stuff he does. I told him to please not put me in the position of compromising our house rules and our beliefs. He sniffled and said he would not want to do that.
    I asked him to just get help...we would take care of the payment, but he refused. He ended up staying with a druggie friend a few towns away from us. So who was right? As far as he was concerned, it was homelessness or his druggie friend's house. I think he felt abandoned by his family. As far as I was concerned, it was get help or don't come home. I guess he chose the lesser of two evils.
    All I know is, we had a very sad Christmas, and all of our hearts were broken. I just feel so awful, even though I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.
     
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL I swear we think the same things almost at the same times. I do have a hard time with this tough love stuff because I do think it's against our nature as moms. I knew that I could always call my parents if I needed something. And while they did not have much money and I had to put myself through college, they would be there in an instant if I needed them. I want to help my kids get a start in life. I have enjoyed helping easy child get settled in her apartment and when I go to the grocery store I will pick her up some things she needs and I took her car in for repairs yesterday and I pick up her dog every day so she can work and not worry about when she gets home and I love taking her shopping and helping her buy some outfits. But with difficult child I can't do those things and it just feels strange.

    Last year when she was living with pothead and had no money I wanted to rescue her so bad but I knew I couldn't. It was hard knowing my child was on the street and I wouldn't help. I hated it and yet I knew if I helped her she would never be OK. The difference is I know easy child will be fine and so the help I give her is because I just like doing it and I know she appreciates it. If I gave that help to difficult child she would never work for herself and would never be able to stand on her own.

    Nancy
     
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    It's like trying to roll uphill.....it goes against everything I stand for and believe in.
     
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