Not fair and never will be

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, May 13, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

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

    When I was a little girl, my mother said I was always complaining that things "weren't fair." She and I both laugh about it today, but I admit I still think/want/wish things would be fair.

    In other words, you put good stuff out there and you get good stuff back. The more you give, the more you receive. If you do the right thing, the right thing will come back to you.

    Those of us on this forum are well-acquainted with the fact that this just does not happen, especially with our difficult children.

    We do all of the things a good parent is "supposed" to do----we do it way, way past the time of our statute of limitations as a parent---and bad things keep on coming.

    It's not fair. And it never will be.

    I ran across this quote today:

    "If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself. That's like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn't eat him."

    I believe this is about accepting reality.

    Not to stop loving someone. Not to stop giving to others. Not to stop being a giver instead of a taker.

    Just to accept reality: Giving to an active difficult child doesn't help him/her. It doesn't help us. In fact, it hurts us all.

    May we all learn even more about when to stop. And when to go.
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  2. Childofmine

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

    So this morning the phone flashed that Shreveport Louisiana phone number and I answered it. difficult child said he was in court, waiting in a room for his turn, and there was a "free phone" so he used it.

    I said, Hi, how are you? I was warm with him---no time to "decide" how to be---I was just in the moment.

    I am glad my natural instincts were warm.

    The first thing he said was "you didn't take my second call last time."

    I fumbled and stuttered around, because as I posted here, I had intended to take that call but inadvertently and ironically, I hit the wrong button and it went to vm. I told him that. It was the truth.

    The next minute, the phone went dead. I guess he wasn't supposed to be on that phone. Surprise! "difficult child doing something he isn't supposed to do"---world breaking news. Lol.

    Isn't it funny how things happen? I haven't heard back from him again yet, but he should get another "free" call once he is back at the jail.

    This morning, I also watched the CBS special report on the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial. The President told a story about a 24-year-old young man----my son's age-----who died that day carrying people up and down the stairs of the South Tower and helping people find a way out. He walked one person all the way down on his back, and then went back to get more people. He died. He died helping people.

    I stood there watching the TV and crying, and then his mother spoke. She said her son died helping people. She said that is the only purpose in life---for people to help other people.

    That is so true. It is all about love. Her son tragically died too young. She can be comforted knowing he died helping someone.

    It's easy to say, why can't our difficult children live lives like his? Doing the right thing. Helping people. One of the things I was thinking was comparing this young man to my son. My first thoughts were harsh in comparison. And then sad.

    This young man is gone and he died doing something really good. My son is still alive and he is in jail.

    Obviously this is an emotional day for me and I'm just trying to accept that, too.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Its a shame how people's choices can effect us. In one case it brings you closer together even though the son is dead and in the other you move further apart. What a shame.

    I will be thinking about you.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I am so glad you posted. I was wondering what happened in court. I hope you an post again, when you feel ready, when you know what the decisions were today.

    Yes, I understand that. Mothers are warm. We want to be warm people. I'm glad you were warm too. I'm not always warm.

    Ouch! I remember when that happened! I hate to be called out...even when I feel OK about what I did. I'm not strong enough to feel OK when some one shakes the tree a little.

    It is good that they remind us ALL THE TIME, right??? gotta laugh.

    I have this conversation in my head and in person with difficult child. Sometimes he says "I'm happy, mom" and I think "Uh, it isn't all about you." Sometimes of course I am so so so relieved that he is happy enough, not scared, cold, miserable, frightened. Sometimes I tell him exactly that...our purpose here is to do good in the world. Sometimes I see that he can feel an echo of wanting to help...he used to serve in a soup kitchen, and I know her liked that a lot. No reason he couldn't still do that. I wish he would.

    You are in limbo now, waiting to hear, to know, so you can adjust accordingly. It is an emotional day indeed. Be very very gentle with yourself. If I could call your SO and tell him to be gentle and kind today I would (because I am a not-yet-recovered controlling enabler!)

    Hugs to you my friend,

  5. Childofmine

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

    Echo, thanks for your concern for me today. That feels good---SO is out of town on business this week but he is pretty sensitive and gives me a lot of TLC about difficult child. I feel like sometimes I dump on him too much about difficult child, and I DON"T want that to be the ever-consuming focus, thus the need to get another Al-Anon sponsor who can take most of the load! : )

    I just called the court to find out what happened today as difficult child hasn't called back.

    He went into court, asked for a public defender, was appointed one, and the case will be heard again June 25. So he stays in jail until then.

    Another reprieve. I do feel relieved. I would not have imagined him getting out, as one of my friends asked today, but I was halfway expecting them to pronounce the consequences of the revocation. I guess that doesn't conform with due process, though, as he is entitled to representation in court, so that makes sense that it is postponed again.

    I, of course, knew exactly what you meant in the post above about difficult child. I remember when I used to hear people talk about being relieved about their son/daughter being in jail, and I would just shake my head---way back in my heavy overinvolvement days---and could not imagine..."any good mother"....ever saying anything like that.

    Be careful what we say or even think right? We just never know.

    It IS a reprieve from the chaos, insanity and fear of what might happen to him on the street. I believe it is preferable----for me----to him being homeless.

    Prison is an unknown so who knows how I will feel if/when that happens. I have heard there are some better things about prison like more programs, but also I think maybe some things are worse.

    Who knows? I am okay today. A little more emotional than usual, but I am being kind to myself. I ate too many Lorna Doones this afternoon and took a little nap.

    Thanks for being a good friend, Echo, and thanks to all here. Life marches on.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I felt like this after difficult child daughter's beating, COM. Once the extent of the damage was known...I don't know how to describe what I was feeling. It was about what was right and what seemed so wrong. It had to do with faith, with my once upon a time belief that if I just held faith with what I knew to be right, things would right themselves.

    I lost all that.

    I lost my faith, lost whatever it was that had kept me going, that had kept me believing life was good and the world was basically working as it should, whether I could understand it or not.

    I lost all that.

    There was nothing left for me to find a solid place to stand up from.

    So, I decided to say "yes". Whatever was coming next, whoever I was asked to help, any way that I could do my own little part to make it better ~ that's what I decided I would do. It was like a rebellion, in a way. It was like, in those places I had any influence at all, I would do a right thing, a good thing.

    I didn't have the energy left to feel defiant, even. It was all very quiet.

    And do you know, the strangest, most incredible things have come into my life from that simple choice to change what I could.

    After we have been traumatized and retraumatized, the hurt and shock get so compressed that we can be hit, left standing, and somehow...answer the phone. Like it was nothing, nothing at all, to receive a call from our own child, in jail.

    I am glad, COM. It is so rare for us to have those times with our difficult child kids when, taken by surprise, we can just love them.

    Me, too.

    So, your son's first concern was not that he needed something from you, but whether your feelings for him had changed.

    That is an important piece, I think.

    I don't hear worry or resentment for your son in this conversation, COM. I hear you blundering around a little over your lack of perfection, and then telling the truth without guilt or apology.

    Just like a real person interacting with another real person.

    These are such huge steps.

    I would hazard a guess, knowing the quality of your spirit from your posts to us, that your son would have done the same in that situation, COM.

    There is a thing I learned from my daughter when she was on the streets. And even, from things people have told me about my son. (For instance? Someone named their son after mine. What in the world....) Our children, who seem like such out and out losers to us, are acting in and upon the world in ways we know nothing about. There are people who trust and look up to them. There are people for whom the fact that our children have lived made all the difference. Because we feel responsible for where they keep putting themselves, because we are the ones who see them at their most selfish worst...we really have no idea who our difficult child children are. Not who they are to their friends, or to the people who find themselves walking the same paths our difficult children walk.

    It was such a weird thing, to understand that about my kids. They seemed like such bad people. They were running with such bad, scary people. They had everything in the world I never had and threw it in my face.

    But...their hearts are decent.

    It was the strangest thing, for me to realize that.

    I met a homeless woman in her sixties, the day I scooped difficult child daughter out of there. She was toothless, and so happy and gentle and kind. difficult child had told the woman her mother was coming. The woman waited with difficult child until I arrived, took the two bucks I gave her like it was a million, and zipped off to the liquor store, happy as a lark.

    It was surreal.

    difficult child daughter's first boyfriend (OH MY GOOD LORD) could not read even enough to fill out a job application. (Not that he ever filled one out that I knew of.) He had been diagnosed dyslexic when he was little. Never believing he would have the capacity to read, he never tried, and was never expected to try.

    The diagnosis was wrong.

    difficult child daughter taught him to read. Between bouts of binge drinking and beatings and jail, she taught him to read.

    And he was proud COM, so proud of himself, when he could read.

    There are other stories, similar stories, for both my kids.

    So...I don't know what I am trying to say exactly, except that, while our difficult children are such huge disappointments in almost every way that matters to us...their hearts and characters seem to be in the right place.

    Your son would have saved those people too, COM.

    So would mine.

    I feel this too. Especially for the difficult children who refused education and who might have gone on to invent that crucial something that would make all the difference.

    Your difficult child is young, COM. He is where he needs to be, for now.

    It's as you posted earlier: None of us knows what is coming. The other side of that, I am beginning to believe, is that none of us knows what is really happening here, at all. Street morality is stringent and immediate. How does that old saying go, something about honor among thieves? It's a different kind of morality, for sure...but I don't think either of our kids are heartless or cowardly or cruel.

    I am glad you responded to him with warmth, COM.

    The world is so cold. There are times when we have to be cold with the kids for their own sakes. That is what detachment is about. You've done that. He knows, and you know, that you will stand up for yourself and that you expect better from him.

    It was a gift that you could be warm to him, just this one time when there was no harm in it.

    I am so sorry this is happening, COM.

    I think part of what is happening for you now COM is that it is out of your hands. There is nothing you have to do, nothing you can do. For this little piece of time, you are allowing yourself to feel the things that would have defeated you when, for your son's own sake, you needed to be strong. The feelings are coming now that would have made you too weak to turn your child away when that was the right thing to do.

    Now that you can, COM, now that your child is where he is and there is nothing you can do, you are facing those feelings you repressed without flinching.

    It is what it is.

    It is very hard.

    But you are handling everything well.

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just checking in with you, COM.

    Just saying, "Good Morning!"


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  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I was rereading some of my notes from a retreat last summer, and came across this. I know you like spiritual things...

    "When the Lord said, Let there be Light"
    Light said, I have to wait.
    The Lord said, why?
    Light said, for there to be darkness, so I can manifest myself.
    The Lord said, darkness is already here.
    Light said, then I am here as well."

    No joy without suffering.
    No mud no lotus.

    We are holding you tight today.

  9. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Oh yes. Why don't they get it? Get the effect it all has on us?

    But our sons aren't bad people. Mine isn't. I'm sure yours isn't either. I was at the 9/11 memorial a few weeks ago. They were ordinary people, like us, caught up in an extraordinary event. My son would have acted the same as that man. Most likely yours would have too. Don't be so harsh on yourself or on your son.
  10. Childofmine

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

    Thanks friends. Oh yes, I know my son has a good heart, and that has not changed. Who knows what he would do in the same situation as Wells. I think he would try hard to do the right thing and something good.

    Drug addiction doesn't mean he is a bad person.

    I used to think that (I'm good, he's bad) with my ex-husband in dealing with his alcoholism. That was so wrong. I know better now.

    My harshness was just my anger at his behavior. And then my sadness was just my despair at his behavior.

    I am still very glad I was warm yesterday. I think about Wells, the young man in the South Tower, and the young man who died in a halfway house a few weeks ago here, and the homeless man found dead in an abandoned house this week here, and I want to remember that I can't know how long I will have my son (or anybody else) in this world.

    I want to be gentle, and kind and compassionate, and warm. I am just glad I was warm in our conversation yesterday and that it was natural.

    I believe my warmth is possible because I have had the distance I need.

    I would like to go and see my son in jail but I just can't decide if that is a good idea for me or not. I don't want to disrupt my peace right now. And he is likely to be still actively navigating his situation, mentally. Listening to all of that is hard for me.

    I don't have to decide today, said Scarlett O'Hara. I'll just wait until another day to decide.

    I am going to for a girls' weekend to meet my mother, sister and niece. Back Sunday. Hugs and love and blessings to you great people on this site.
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  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have a wonderful weekend COM. We'll all be here on your return..........
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think Cedar is right about our kids. My kids can be complete jerks, especially Cory, but they are also really good in certain ways. Cory is excellent with children. He almost always has an extra kid or two with him. As mad as Cory can get with the cops for arresting him, if one of them got hurt he would do his level best to save them. He would give anyone anything he could. That has gotten him burned more than once.

    I still feel that we get a sort of karma in life though right now I am really wondering what on earth I did so bad to feel the way I do right now. I try to do what I can to help. I give when I can to things like tragedies and St Judes. One day Tony's brother Buck was making fun of me for calling in to donate to the Hurricane Sandy fund and I told him that at least I had a roof over my head and I could afford to give just a little. One day it might be me needing the help. I told him HE should be scraping together money to send too considering he expected every charity and church under the sun to help him. He smirked at me and told me I would never see my money back. I think I have, at least in good will. Buck liked to tell me he was better than me because he would go to church on Sunday's (well he went as long as they were giving him money) but I didnt go.