Pinch me

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My so-called difficult child is .... hold onto your hats....

    Cleaning my living room.
    Cleaning my kitchen, including the floor.
    Putting together a bookshelf for Diva.

    Unasked. Unsolicited. With no expectation of personal gain for himself.

    It's been so long since I've gotten any help (without major drama) around here that I just burst into tears.

    He is unrecognizable as a difficult child anymore.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so happy for you.

    :beautifulthing: :jumphappy:
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have this HUGE smile on my face, just reading this... This is wonderful!!!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Grinning from ear to ear here. :bigsmile::beautifulthing:
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sue, how very cool. OMG, I'm so excited to see this. :beautifulthing:

    I'll pinch you at the Chicago gathering (hint, hint).
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    How wonderful!

    What's different this time? If you can identify it, you could write a book and sell it and make a daggone fortune! Seriously- do you think it's honeymoon or is there a definite change?

  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I don't think it's honeymooning, Suz. I think it's a combination of age and maturing (won't go so far as to say "maturity", LOL), along with having lived a really rough existence the past 2 years. He had his shirt off today and I noticed an ugly scar on his shoulder - he informed me that he had been stabbed in TLP, post age 18 so I was never notified. My heart just aches for him, and I know I don't know the half of it (don't want to). He had to get to this place on his own, and I have no doubt that he went to some pretty dark places to get here.

    I think he gets the concept of "do to get" a bit more, and he also really desperately wanted/needed someone to step in and start guiding him because he was spinning his wheels in terms of progressing towards his goals (*his* goals, not goals created by a "team"). He hadn't quite gotten to the point of outright asking for help, but he had made repeated comments over the past several months that I didn't have to shut up (my self-prompt for detaching when the urge to give advice started to overwhelm me, LOL), that he would really like to hear my opinion.

    I think the other huge difference is he is an *adult* and I no longer feel the need to know where he is/what he's doing 24/7. He lets me know if he's going out, is respectful of our early bedtime/rising hours as well as general house rules, and I'm pretty confident that for now drugs are not in his life so.... it's good. He will be taking the GED the end of July and enrolling in community college this fall. We're helping to facilitate these things because he just never seemed to be able to get it together for himself. I'm not feeling bad about facilitating because heaven knows, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/TLP certainly wasn't able to teach him the skills - their fault, his fault, who knows, who cares? At this stage, I'm all about end results.

    We're no longer the bad guys in his eyes. We're boring and old and his parents, but we're not the root of all that's wrong in the world. I think, because of where he's been and who he's been with, he has an honest appreciation of family, home, and the comforts of same. He's mellowed quite a bit.

    I have to tell you, it's been a real gift to have him here. He is really just a delight now. Even has taken to wearing shirts and ties instead of the Demented Dr. Seuss getups he used to wear. That's my kid - one extreme or the other. :rofl:
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow.....this is so impressive.....inspiring and encouraging!!! I am amazed. :) :) :)

    I am glad you gave the reasons as to why you think he has changed - that is really important. And I also think it is important to help facilitate some things like college with our kids when they have not been taught about any of it in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s. That is my biggest hurdle right now - knowing when to help Matt. The one Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Matt was in for the longest made it a point not to teach the kids these things until they were on a "certain level" which Matt never got to. Instead they kicked him literally to the street a year and a half into it the program, still on the lowest level. The next one, same thing. So now, I really have no clue when to help, if I should help, if I help how I should help him - without it all being an enabling cluster.

    Is thank you on any medications now? And how old is he now?

    I am so happy for you...........I will keep sending positive juju your way.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Pinchy.......pinchy pinchy................(insert crab avatar) pinchy.......
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    It certainly sounds hopeful and I desperately hope that you won't be disappointed. Considering his dxes and history, I'd also be interested to hear if he's on any medications and what the combination is.

    He's still young. I'm so glad he is learning lessons along the way. Rob learns lessons but still has impulsive tendencies that interfere with his progress so he continues to learn the same lessons over and over...sigh

  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    He's 20 now, Steely. Hasn't been on medications since before he left TLP. Does struggle with depression sometimes but my hope that years of therapy would teach him something seems to have been right on. He's actually pretty proactive about self-care, surprisingly.

    What I don't see is his old anger and off-the-wall impulsivity. It's gone. I suspect living on the streets, running with- the crowd he was running with, he had to learn self-control. Some really hard lessons learned, I think.

    The TLP didn't have levels, but they were "client-driven", meaning the kids had to initiate everything and ask for help - job apps, college apps, heck, even going to school. thank you at 16, 17, 18 just wasn't driven to do anything to help himself, so he also walked out of there with zero skills. I don't know about enabling... maybe we are. I know the PE'ers were pretty adamantly against him coming home a couple months ago (and maybe they were right - time will tell). I held off for a while longer but it was just something that was in my gut, that it was time to reach out and see if he would accept help and guidance. I can say that never in his life has he been this willing to listen to advice, and with minimal assistance, he's following thru on stuff.

    Suz, regardless of how this plays out, I will not be disappointed. I had to follow my gut, and he will do what he will. I'm just savoring having my family together again, and having it be peaceful for the first time in forever.

    I had to chuckle today. Diva is just being a royal pain with- her typical teen-plus attitude lately. After all of thank you's hard work on the bookcase, she pitched an ungrateful, uncalled for, beyond-bratty hissy fit that her things had been moved when we'd tried to find a clear space on the floor in her room for it (though how on earth she could tell anything in that disaster area had been moved is beyond me). She completely went off on him. I was working so didn't hear the whole thing, but did hear him tell her that she needed to back off and get it under control - he'd help her move the bookcase in when she had lost the attitude and had a place to put it. Calm, cool big brother. I was so proud of him.

    And my kitchen is sparkling (*sparkling*!!!) and the living room is perfect. He even vacuumed under the cushions. I paid him and he was very appreciative (though I don't think nearly as appreciative as I am, LOL).
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Sue, your gut has always been good. Trust it.

  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    That is wonderful news Sue, am so chuffed for the both of you :)

    I still remember him pulling the heads off all of your flowers eons ago LOL

  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am in such admiration that you trusted your gut....that is all we as difficult child moms can do.....and so many times it is right. I have also received feedback from the board that I might be enabling, and I hear that, weigh that, but then i have to go with not only what is in my heart, but what I know to be true about my situation. Like you said only time will tell-and our journey is so short we have to not only listen to others but also take risks.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fantastic update!!!!!!! I really needed to read something this great tonight! Gives me some hope:) Hope you can make it to Chicago! Linda and I will both pinch you-lol!