Off the grid again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I have my Facebook set up so that if my son posts anything I'm notified. While I will look at what he posts I am good about dismissing his ramblings. A couple of weeks ago I had a notification so I looked to see what he posted. He was complaining about how messed up his life is and how no one cares about him and that his own parents don't inquire about how he's doing.
    I've learned over the years to not act in haste so I thought about it and decided I would send him a private message (that is the only way I will communicate with him on Facebook). I told him that I had seen his post and I reminded him that we have always been there for him. I reminded him of the many times we have gone out or our way to help him but in the end he was the one who distanced himself from us and treated us with such disdain and disrespect. I reminded him that we have lived in the same house and have the same phone numbers but he's the one who has moved around from state to state, town to town and without a phone which makes it difficult to inquire about how he's doing.
    We have only had contact with him via Facebook for about the past 6 months, he still doesn't have a phone and pretty much couch surfs or his homeless.
    I also reminded him that the only time he reaches out to us is when he wants something, that he never once has asked how we are doing. Not once has he asked how his dad is doing since he started having grand mal seizures.
    I reminded him that he chose to live his life on his terms and while we don't agree with his choices we have not interfered. I told him that I was sorry to hear he was struggling and that his dad and I love him very much and that we pray for him.
    We "chatted" back and forth for a little while and I could see the old patterns forming so I ended with "Son, know that dad and I love you very much we always will" he replied that he loved us too.
    A couple of days later I was notified that he had posted something so I checked it out. He was asking if anyone would trade a guitar for his Kindle.
    The following day I went to look at his page and it's gone, he's gone. I did my sleuthing to see if he had blocked me but he deactivated his Facebook account.
    So now he's off the grid again and I am back to not knowing where he is or how he is.

    It's such a double edge sword, it hurts to know and it hurts not to know.
    I accepted a long time ago that there may come a time that I never hear from him again. I also have accepted the fact that someday I may get a phone call from a coroner.

    Once again, my heart is breaking. Through all the chaos and heartbreak I will always love my son. He is my one and only child.:(

    I will continue to live my life and do my best to make the most of it. Hubby and I are leaving in a week for Antigua. I find sitting on the beach and watching the waves to be very therapeutic.

    Thanks warrior parents for listening and caring.
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  2. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you continue to go through this. I know your heart is breaking & I also know you don't deserve all this pain. Sadly, our children put us through so much, but we still love & want the best for them. Glad you're taking some time for you. Hugs
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  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    It used to worry me greatly when difficult child "disappeared"...and he did that, frequently. This is probably small solace, but as you learn that he is okay, it will get easier. Still, I am sorry you are hurting with this. It is scary....until it becomes easier.....again, because you will learn he IS okay.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks. He has done this many times before. It's a dance I'm familiar with and it does get easier as time goes by it just still sucks to have to go through it.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It really does suck to go through it. I'm really sorry.

    My daughter is homeless too. She occasionally 'disappears' too. I know what you're talking about, firsthand. As with you, she is my only child.

    There is never a question of our love for them, that is always intact......I think it's our inability to inhabit the same world they inhabit........and that inability leaves us out.... out in the cold......not knowing........ in dramatic uncertainty.... the chaos and messiness that COM talks about, only the intense version, not the ordinary life chaos and messiness, the super sized one.

    It's as if we have to continue to expand our parameters of our ability to live within this ever widening circle of uncertainty. Perhaps this is true for you too, each time I expand in that way, afterwards there seems to be a little more peace, a little more of a sense of calm, a deeper understanding of acceptance. However, right before that, I am breathing my way through the next level of letting sucks and it hurts. And, then I adapt to it. And, it's okay. The expansion worked.

    You'll move through this hurt, this not knowing......and you'll adapt and be back to your detached self once a day, or have much healing under your belt, this is a temporary and likely short lived bout with the old insanity. Tomorrow is a new day.......

    In the meantime, you're not alone, we've all been there........ and will likely be there again.......but each time, it is a shorter visit........and then, thankfully, peace will welcome you back.....welcome you back.....home.

    Hugs to you Tanya.
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  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He is punishing you. Isn't your son one of the older ones, like mine?

    They are old enough and smart enough to play cruel games.

    You know what? You wasted your time writing to him. It just let him know you were upset and he took it a step further and deactivated his account to scare you. My son does things like this too. When you think about it hard, it's really mean, but they don't care.

    Hugs and try to have a peaceful weekend. Your son is a survivor. Unfortunately, he does it unconventionally, but he will survive. He'll be back, like always, when a crisis hits.
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  7. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Oh Tanya
    That's so true. The only thing I now pay for my son is £10 a month topping up his phone. It's more for my benefit than his, the only way to keep in touch, even though most of the time his phone has no battery power and no signal.
    My son used to have a FB page, a long time ago when he lived in the world of electricity and online 'friends' and mindless postings. He despises anything like that now and deactivated his FB page years ago. I'm glad about that really. I hate FB and the rubbish that is posted on it. I try never to look at the pages of my other kids, the 'normal' ones. I see and read things about them that it would be better not to know, and they're the easy-child type of children!
    This self-obsession that they have seems common with our difficult children, but it's also true of a lot of the other non-difficult children. My son frets about issues and the sufferings of people caught up in various injustices but rarely thinks to ask how members of his own family are doing. The others, mostly, only phone when they want something though and don't think to ask how we are either.
    I agree with RE that "it sucks". But, through the chaos and heartbreak, as you say, we still love them and we know that they still love us, so maybe that makes it still bearable.
    I'm so glad that you have your "best friend" husband. He knows what it's like to be a survivor. You are a survivor too Tanya. Focus on the fact that you still love your son and he still loves you and no amount of chaos will stop that.
    I know what you mean about the beach and the waves. We live near the sea, not warm and sunny Antigua though. The sea here is normally cold and wild and it's windy and raining, but the sea and the waves are what I yearn for when I'm having a rough day or have had a sleepless night. I always find my lost peace of mind at the beach.
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  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    One of the most hurtful things I learned to accept as true within the past year, here on the site, was how coldly manipulative my children can be. Especially after things have been quiet for a time, I relax around those issues of self protection, those places where I am vulnerable and can still be hurt and thus, manipulated.

    Or can be made vulnerable to manipulation, which is sometimes even worse because then I have to make myself see all the ugliness of what is true all over again before I can rename myself someone decent.

    That is what it gets to be, for me.

    I am so horrified to know what has happened. It...I don't know. It feels like, when I am tottering along in a pretty good place relative to what has happened, the kids up the ante. It is like they are rubbing my face in their failures and their hurt.

    The awful thing about it is that I am betraying them.

    I am not the mother ~ not to them, and not for me ~ that I believed in, that I wanted to be, for me, and for them and for the sake of my family history.

    But I have to betray myself and my kids and that dream, now. I have to, and you do too Tanya, balance along a thin ledge, a tightrope almost, over an abyss. Falling off on one side will find us enmeshed in enabling and spiraling into that kind hell. Falling off on the other side will find us petrified into some kind of judging figure of a person made of stone, bitter and righteous.

    In both cases, in every case where we slip off that narrow place that is safety for us, and sanity, we will begin a jangling, meaningless spiral with no end. I have had to climb out of those places, before.

    I know you have had to, too.

    But we have one another, now. We can recognize ourselves in one anothers stories and somehow, that helps pull us through the confusion of it.

    It is so much harder, when we have been shaken into those lost little feelings of sadness and disbelief. I imagine it is the same for the kids. They probably cannot believe this has happened to them, either. All at once, they are waking up in their late twenties or early thirties.

    Maybe that is why they try to hurt us. Looking for some kind of comfort, or for someone to blame, or for someone to somehow make it alright?

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  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks everyone. I've been through this many times before with my son but what make it different this time is I have all of you to share with.
    I know I will hear from him again as that is the pattern and with that pattern when I do hear from him it will no doubt be that he is in a desperate situation and wants something.
    I am so grateful for all of you.
    It's a great balancing act we all do, loving them but not enabling them, wanting to know what they are doing and not wanting to know.
    Protecting our hearts and emotions. Letting go and living in the moment.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It isn't easy for the kids, either. I sometimes think they actually believe what they tell themselves. difficult child son is so vehemently certain the course his life has taken is our doing. There are echoes of accusation in difficult child daughter's assessment of the course her life has taken, too. If I listen too long, I wake up in that echoey place where nothing makes sense. It takes time for me to come back from that place. I have the comfort now though, of knowing for certain that I will come back.

    So, I wait.

    I am learning to nurture myself through it ~ through the waiting, I mean.

    You handled everything well. I even think you displayed courage and grace under fire and my hat is off to you.

    Good job. You told him you love him. You told him you believe in him.

    You honored your curiosity about someone you love, though you knew it would hurt you, to know.


    We have no say about what they will hear, or about what they will do with that.

    I am sorry your husband is ill, Tanya.

    Nothing easy about any of this. Like me, I am sure you are relieved to have heard from your son, but torn up over what was said.

    We learn all we can about how to do this ~ about how to survive it, really ~ and we do the best we know. We mark our own lives passing, and we make our choices, almost defiantly, to celebrate it all ~ to celebrate all that we do have ~ right in the face of the shadow of what has happened to our families. There are important things, things like phone calls from an adult child who cherishes you and wants to know you are doing well, or whether they can help, or when they are coming to visit with happy, healthy grands...none of those good, strengthening, validating events are happening for us.

    And they are never going to happen.

    And somehow, we have to be okay with that.

    There was a post here once about how people who never had children function and find meaning in their lives. The answer, of course, was that they function extremely well, and that the meaning of their lives is what they make it. I think about that alot. I see that I can define the meaning of my life story, just as those who have chosen never to have children can.

    And I take hope, there.

    I don't know exactly how this is all going to look as I come through it.

    The key suffering for those with troubled children is guilt. That is the thing those who never had children are not carting around.

    That makes sense. Our dreams looked so different than this! Ha! This is like ~ man, I don't even know how to begin describing what this has been like. I read something once in a Dirk Pitt novel. He is this fictional adventure man who works for NUMA and pulls through all things without mussing his hair and has just the right amount of five o'clock shadow at all times....


    I believe he wears Aqua di Gio. I'm spelling that wrong, but I am very sure that is what Dirk Pitt would wear. (Or he would wear nothing at all, as they say in the English Leather commercials.)

    What is the matter with me this morning!?!


    Anyway, Dirk is at the bottom of some cliff somewhere calling for help. And he is described as feeling like "the chump in a Laurel and Hardy movie who, calling for help, is thrown both ends of the rope."

    And thus, my avatar.


    The other thing that causes such intense suffering is the dream of family ~ is my identification with that dream, with that definition of who I am. That is why I feel so keenly the loss of things I have never had.

    So I think about those two areas ~ guilt, and that dream of family. Between the family/genetics postings of MWM and 2much, I am working through the guilt so beautifully. The dream does not tear into me the way it used to. The holidays are not slice and dice mom affairs as much as they used to be. I am never going to have those stupid bouquets from FTD delivered to my house at the holidays.

    This year, I may order my own and let that be my closing ceremony.

    But I do have The Challenge of the Grandmas Baklava and so many other really cool things ~ like someone who never had children might do, too.

    I think that kind of thinking is how we can survive the deep hellishness of these lives where helping those we love is not helping and where losing what we do have is par for the course and the kids pop back up in even worse positions.

    And somehow we have to incorporate that kind of living, changing pain. It is not a steady state. It is a continuing aliveness and unpredictability of pain, and of the sure threat of pain. And you know it's coming and you know the only thing you can do is stand there and try to keep your feet.

    Sometimes now I just look at it and say, "Oh. There is my pain."

    And I am so glad to be separate enough from it to be able to see it and to say that, at all.


    :hugs: (That's me and Dirk.)

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  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is so sad, and I think so true. My son does this too. Your son did not get what he wanted (words of love and encouragement aren't our Difficult Child's idea of parental support). I have learned, as you have, that he is fine and is not worried at all and will be back around once he is over what he perceives as being wronged. I hope you have a wonderful and recuperative time in Antigua!
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  12. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Tanya -- So sorry to read of your experience with your son and your aching heart. I have appreciated reading your posts (your humor, your insights, your strong heart) and am sorry to hear of you being treated that way. You don't deserve that. We have experienced much of what you shared, also (our son is currently AWOL/homeless also.....4 months). It seems so strange and.......well......senseless? Does that word resonate with you, also?

    Your son will most likely show up again. But I know how that feels to wonder not only WHEN he will show up, but IF he will show up. Hard on a mother's caring heart.

    Thanks for sharing so freely here. We are warrior parents, indeed! And we warriors are even stronger when we stick together in support!
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I know 99% of the time that things with my son are not going to change but I hold onto that 1% of hope that he will. While I do allow myself to hold onto that little bit of hope I am realistic enough to know that it may never happen and when I have an encounter with him I do it with my eyes wide open. His cruelness used to cut me deep, now it's more like a paper cut, it only stings for a little bit.
    I'm glad that I chatted with him even if it was brief and without any real substance. I'm glad I reiterated to him all that I and husband have done for him. I'm glad that I recognized the conversation on his end was quickly slipping into the old pattern and withdrew myself from it while ending it with letting him know he is loved. I'm glad he responded with telling me he loved me and husband.
    So very true!! They want us to feel sorry for them and they are counting on "guilt" to kick in and take over our logical thinking so they can manipulate us. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for him when he realizes that he can't play me.
    Absolutely, along with pointless. It is just so sad that they are living their lives with no direction or meaning as I see it. I'm sure in their eyes there is meaning. MWM had posted something about how there are 80 year old parents still enabling their 60 year old Difficult Child. I just cannot imaging being in the fall or winter of ones life and looking back only to find emptiness, that is senseless.
    Yes, there is a deeper understanding of acceptance for sure and the peace that comes with it. I cherish this as I remember all to well the feelings of helplessness, terror and utter chaos. I've come a long way since those days and am grateful for the inner strength that at one time I did not know I possessed. I am grateful for this forum, to have fellowship with others who know what I'm feeling and that offer feedback and support.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    As I read your words, I recognized something about the growth we accomplish, here. I mean, I can see the underpinnings of it in myself, and I see those same underpinnings of strength and separateness and the requirement of truth in your post.

    I remember a time when if my hurt and broken child accused me of parenting badly, I believed it.

    I collapsed into believing it.

    I no longer believe that.

    I am separate from my child in that way, now.

    So, perhaps we are describing the falling apart of enmeshment, here.

    And we are going to need to do that, if we are going to keep loving our children as they stumble down paths we cannot condone.

    Do you feel you are Tanya (and I have begun to learn too), to see what happens with our children from an outsider's, rather than a mother's, perspective?

    There was a time, perhaps for you too Tanya, when I could not separate myself enough from either of my children to recognize how what was happening to them affected me emotionally. There would be the dissonance of a dream breaking in the distance, but in the present moment, there would only be this shocked, echoing silence.

    Like, a really hot sun.

    Silence like a living thing, and I would be rudderless and not able to tell up from down and I would feel so stupidly helpless.

    And then, there came that first, little "That isn't true." And that is where we begin reclaiming our integrity, I think.

    We stop believing lies.

    And we are able to separate from the sickness in our children and to recognize it for what it is. I mean, the sickness is not my child. My child is sick, but the sickness is a separate thing.

    A bad thing that happened to all of us, but not who we are. There is something here about Headlight's Mom's post:

    "Lest I grow cold...." I will have to look that one up. Something about finding gratitude as the truth and steering a course from that true place.

    There is something here too about the thing I took from the President's State of the Union: "Young and in love in America.", and "We are a strong, tightly knit family who are coming through very hard times."

    I know I am babbling a little bit.

    But there is something here for us, I just know it.

    Some way to come through this.

    I am remembering one of us posting about replacing and then, burning the broken door to her difficult child child's bedroom. She posted that it felt like marking a passage. Not to sound too dorky here, but I keep coming back to my own imagery of a closing ceremony surrounding those holiday bouquets from FTD.

    Ritual is so much a part of being human, of marking time.

    Do we all need to ferret out which are the rituals which will help us mark the time?

    Burning a bedroom door would not be a ritual for me, because believe it or not I never minded the filth or destruction. How strange is that. I mourned what was happening to all of us, I was shocked at the filth and the changes in the kids, but burning a door would not have done it for me.

    Lighting white candles. That was a ritual that had meaning for me, a ritual that helped me externalize and bless the pain, and I still do that with my whole heart.

    For me, that represents home. It represents my faith and belief in and my love for, my lost and wandering child

    I will order holiday bouquets from FTD this year. I will do this as a closing ceremony for me, and for husband. Beginning with Easter, I will do it for one year.

    Closing ceremonies.

    I think these kinds of rituals, these kinds of markings of passages and honorings of so much that was hurtful and that we have somehow survived, would be very good for us.

    We should start a thread about that.

    I have to work today though, and need to go hop in the shower.


    :mcsmiley1: :mcsmiley1:

    This is me and husband taking a motorcycle trip on our Harleys. We tossed the FTD bouquets because we no longer need to mark the time.

    As long as this is a fantasy? I am the guy in the lead.

    AND I have a mustache.


    This is me and husband, sleeping under the stars somewhere cool that very night.

    Dirk was only a passing fantasy.

    Turns out husband wears Aqua di Gio, too.

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  15. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My son was interviewed recently, by a journalist intrigued by people living off-grid in extreme situations. My son sent me a copy of the interview. Part of the interview was about why/how he had ended up where he is. He spoke about his father. He said things that were partly true, negative things, but he left out a huge load of stuff, positive stuff, that was also true. It was a strange interview for me to watch. Like a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing. So, only part of the edge of the jigsaw was in place and my son had chosen to throw away a lot of the middle, maybe because it was too hard to do, or he didn't like the picture, or it didn't fit in with the jigsaw he has in his head of the sort of person he is and why he is that sort of person. So, it was hard to watch the first time. I was struck by the bits that he'd carefully selected to show. I found myself thinking. Was this true? Was this all there was? And then, as Cedar says, came the first little; "but... that's not really true". Well, it is 'sort of' true, but it was only a tiny part of the whole jigsaw. So I thought about the rest of the puzzle, and how this journalist has only captured a tiny bit of my son's picture, how it would be interesting if this journalist interviewed me and my daughter and even maybe my ex. But of course that's not going to happen. But it doesn't matter. I've got my integrity. The bits of the puzzle that my son has thrown away are still there, even if he chooses not to acknowledge them.
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  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Absolutely, I remember when we first started having problems, my son was 14 and in hindsight it probably started earlier, I could not believe what was happening. I think I must have operated on auto pilot by throwing myself into my daily routine of working, cooking dinner, doing laundry, all those "normal things" to give myself a sense of normalcy hoping that what was happening with my son was a "phase". Slowly I came to the realization that it was not a phase, this was my life.

    I understand what you mean. I know there is a disconnect that happened a long time ago. Of course, I will always be his mother and will have a mothers love for him but so much has happened and too many years have passed that the disconnect was inevitable. I have friends that have close loving relationships with their sons and I quietly watch the interaction and am really unable to comprehend it but am in awe of it. I do not harbor any feelings of jealousy, I am truly happy for them. I would not wish what I have endured with my son on anyone. My son is my one and only child so I have no other children to compare what a loving relationship would look or feel like, I have just simply accepted it for what it is and isn't.

    That was me only it was my bedroom door. We had to put a lock on our bedroom door because our son would help himself to whatever he wanted out of our room, mainly money. I came home one day to find a hammer laying on the floor and hole about a foot wide in our bedroom door. Burning that door was very therapeutic.

    Cedar, I got a good laugh thinking of you riding your Harley, you of course in the lead with a mustache no less.

    Lucy, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to watch that interview. Your analogy of the puzzle make so much sense, it really gives a clear picture of how our Difficult Child can distort reality. Of course those "blank" parts of the puzzle are the pieces we hold, they are the pieces of truth.
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  17. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is me. And it makes me very sad and also makes me realize that it could not have gone any other way.
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  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Integrity. That is a good word, a strong word. That is part of what we lose as our children ~ as the children we were responsible, to ourselves and to society, for raising ~ grew into the adults they became.

    We lose the sense of our own integrity, of the legitimacy of our place at the table.


    This is how it happens. Given where our kids find themselves, we hear their stories and believe we must somehow be responsible.

    And we try to supply what seems to have been missing, whatever nurturance the child feels was not enough. If takes us a very long time to get it that the child will always only see the places where we were not enough, because otherwise he will have to take responsibility for himself.

    Again, detachment parenting makes sense, here.

    It may be the only way they will ever see and reclaim and address that very selective puzzle they see as complete.

    Given where our kids find themselves. If their stories are positive ones, they credit us with that, too. (As we do, too.)

    Not our kids. I mean the parents of kids who are not difficult child kids, the lucky bums.

    Our daughter screamed at her father last night that he had brought her into this world, and he needed to take care of her.

    And of her kids, of course.

    I am not sure whether she meant the ex-husband, too.


    How very, awfully, true.

    That is the difference now for me, too.

    It isn't that I love her any less. I see that there are missing pieces of the puzzle.

    And I see how carefully tailored a collage has been composed of the remaining pieces.

    One side of my heart aches for her vulnerability. The other side hisses: "That's a lie."

    I remember those times. My brain would be focused on what happened, where she was, how she was while I continued the thankless, superhuman activities involved with being a mom in those days. Remember ironing? Baking twice weekly? Dinner ~ well balanced and everything home made ~ every single day, and holidays filled with people for whom, again, every single thing was home made, and presented in a spotless, tastefully decorated home where it was your job to wash the car and even, mow the grass because after all you don't work?

    Reclaiming my integrity is a surprising thing. As it turns out, I have a plethora of resentments, too.

    I did and do, deserve better than what my children have given me in return.

    And at this time in my life, it gets not to matter what the children think. Like Lucy, I know what the missing pieces of that terrible puzzle my children brought me as a gift ~ I know what the missing pieces show.

    Okay.... So, "Not that the other guy is a jerk, but: "We hold these truths to be self evident...."

    We name ourselves.

    Martin Luther King's "I have a dream."

    A better way, for us.

    A balancing act.

    I remember desperate, secret prayers underlying my days in those beginning times, those times when everything began to fall apart, and I could not make the picture of what was match with what I had believed was real.

    No wonder we are all so shell shocked, here.

    I have never seen it from my point of view. Have never seen it from the perspective of my puzzle with the missing pieces, to add onto Lucy's imagery.

    You know, if this were my life I could choose to change it. Or I could accept it for myself, and not suffer. I think this is true. We suffer because we are their mothers. Here is the thought: If I had chosen these things for myself that my children have chosen for themselves, I would not be suffering at the outcome so much as trying to avoid the consequences.

    Which, again, is part of the theory behind detachment parenting and Tough Love, too.

    I am suffering though, because I think she must be suffering.

    But she is her own, now.

    Lost wherever it was I was going with this.

    This is where I was going: This did become our lives. For a time, I took my identity there. it because I am aging, because I sense an ending? Or is it that I realize the futility of all those buckets of money that went for nothing, and the time and effort and care that money represents.


    It is.

    I see it differently, now. We are going through it again, only I see it differently, now. I don't want to give up the finishing this up with husband, as we each become more firmly married to the other, more accepting of the other and of what is coming and of who we are and of everything we do have and of everything we do not have.

    We talk often, husband and I, about the thread here about where people who have never had children find meaning.


    It may be true that each betrayal left its scar. Or maybe, because I cannot take all my grands and still have this life that I cherish, I resent daughter's determined intent that we continue to be responsible for her while she does the strangest things.

    Flash on all that ironing, all those toilets to clean, all those windows and PTA meetings and etc....

    Or maybe, I would take them all, but want nothing more to do with daughter or son who refuse to step up, themselves. (Son is stepping up very well, actually.)

    Thinking like this is very unlike me.

    Anyway, what I was going to say is that it turns out these losses were phases in our lives, after all. Only the phase consisted of and was fueled by our guilt, our hope, our acceptance of the look of their puzzle, and of the story the missing pieces told from the child's perspective.

    It was not a phase our children went through. It was a phase we went through.

    A phase we are growing through even now, as we define and assign meaning and merit.

    I remember writing once that our relationships with our children were horribly real things, without much room for illusion.

    And that turns out to be true.


    I am jealous. Insanely jealous.

    That is why I hate my friends so much. They shine, in their children's eyes.

    And I am not.

    And I cannot even imagine what that must be like.

    Maybe that is where I am going. It cuts like a knife to be jealous and enraged about it. To know that is what I should have had too, and to be angry at my child because I don't.

    Make that children.

    And to be angry at myself because, after all, I am the mother who did not do this right.

    Very difficult to find integrity in that mess.

    That did not happen to me. The betrayal in it ~ whew.

    I would have burnt the door, too.

    I am angry about things, this morning. I am seeing them differently, and I am angry. How strange.

    Maybe, I am letting myself see some of the missing pieces in my own puzzle. The ones that say I deserved better.



    That is me. Not wanting to see the legitimacy of these missing puzzle pieces.


    And this is me, believing I will come through okay and not hate filled, like my mother. much of what we are all doing, what percentage do you suppose of the grief and worry is something we do to protect our children from ourselves ~ and even to protect ourselves from ourselves. The ultimate betrayal of ourselves as mothers would be to admit our children have done and continue to do what they do.

    And that it has nothing to do with us.

    Pirate mom, right? "I will make another."

    So there again, detachment parenting changes the chemistry in our relationships, both to ourselves and to our children.

    Integrity for us.

    No one to champion our children, anymore.

    Surely they merit a champion? Someone to light the candles and see them safely home?

    I am glad. There is strength in the kind of laughter that comes from pronouncing our own names.

    And we all have had to be so strong.

    It's unbelievable, really.

  19. Childofmine

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

    Lucy when I was reading your post about he interview I flashed on my own experience. For years I felt very alienated from my father. When I talked about my feelings to my mother and sister, they minimalized all of it. They said I was too sensitive and I didn't see things correctly.

    They gaslighted me.

    Today I do see things in a more balanced way about my father...the good and the bad. But all those years I was so hurt by his behavior that I could not see the balanced view.

    That was my truth though at that time and I was entitled to it.

    I know your sons story is complex like all of our stories.

    Perhaps this was his truth and of course when we talk about it we never can articulate all of the ins and outs.

    I am sure it was very hard to hear and you have my warm hugs today Lucy.
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am quoting from Albatross' post. I love the way new facets of understanding are brought into reality as we each filter what we read and share our conclusions.

    Back to the kids, and to how to define ourselves and our situations and integrity.
    It gets to be like standing on principle, doesn't it. A kind of "This is who I will declare myself to be."

    Remember when it was all so spontaneous and sweet?!?



    Maybe the disconnect is between who we know the kids to be and who they picked to be. How could someone who chooses the more painful option of choosing to love the abusive child not lose respect for her child?

    Maybe that is the secret I don't want to see.