The Boundaries Boomerang Effect... I Think :)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, May 12, 2015.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    A little update from here.... (longer than I thought, oh well......someone get me an editor? Ha!)

    May 5 --- Our son went to court and was left to continue on probation. He says he's been clean 25+ days now. He has follow-up court (in 2 months) to ensure he's doing what he said he'd do. Proud of him right now (she said, recognizing it's good to keep grounded in the wide range of realities). He set up Intensive Out-Patient (IOP -- a little surprised the court allowed that instead of more In-Patient, but they did). He set up clean and sober housing. He has begun working odd jobs and has an interview with a major glass company later this week.

    May 8 (Fri) --- Although our communication has been much better (he's clearly clean....not hard to distinguish), I found myself feeling taken for granted. Old stuff on my part, I think. Stuff I kept in and didn't say earlier, when I should have. I began to suppress it again, but then decided enough of that. So I wrote him a message (Facebook) and told him exactly what I was feeling. To my surprise, he called me not 10-min later to talk about our feelings. He shared his and I shared mine. Then we each shared our boundaries. YES, he now has boundaries......and, to my surprise, they were healthy and wise. I told him my boundaries. Basically, we both wanted to know we had each other's support. He wanted my public, verbal support in him getting/staying clean (no negativity). I wanted his public, verbal support that he wanted us to be his parents (may sound odd, but I'm guessing many of you "feel me" on this one). To my utter amazement.........THE CONVERSATION WENT VERY WELL! He has major difficulties. But, son of a gun......he appears to be slowly evolving into an adult. And, hey, I ain't perfect, either. I appear to be slowly evolving into a more healthy kind of detached, yet loving parent.

    He apologized for being gone 6 months, saying he missed most of it in a "drug haze". I accepted his apology and replied, "You may've missed it, but I experienced every single minute of the last 6 months and they were not easy. Yes, your feelings matter. Know that my feelings matter, also." Surprisingly, I think he heard me.

    I then wrote something publicly on Facebook offering my support (telling him we were proud of him). He saw it and immediately wrote something publicly on Facebook that he loved us and was so glad to have had our great talk and excited to see us tomorrow.

    Whaddya know? We both stated our need, we both heard each other, and we both complied with each others' respectful requests. AMAZING. Not accustomed to that. Realize it may not happen often, sooooo.......... just running with it with gratitude! LOL!

    May 9 (Sat) --- We saw him for Mother's Day (best we could coordinate). Shocker...........he bought me a card (which said applicable things) and wrote me an apologetic note and some very kind words about me being a better mom than I realize. Um, yeah........tears in my eyes on that one. We then went to a movie ("Kingsman" know, something soft and sentimental.......NOT! Ha!). Afterward we spent time up on a hillside overlooking the bay........just talking.

    I think the biggest lesson I've learned over this last year is to SAY LESS and LISTEN MORE. This is helpful for many reasons: 1) He already knows what he should do; 2) He is not looking for answers, just looking to be heard (our son is a talker, galore.....I've always known this was a big need of his, even when I didn't heed it); 3) It completely takes me off the hook for decisions, advice or comments; 4) It helps me maintain boundaries and detachment, while focusing on LOVE THROUGH LISTENING.

    I'm positive all of that is easier on him (he feels less judged, as HE figures out his life). I'm also positive all of that is easier on me (I feel less responsible, as I LET HIM figure out HIS life).

    My Path/Struggle --- I don't want to sound like I have a strong handle on all of this. I don't. I've just been through years and years of hell trying to learn this stuff. The more I let go, the more I become aware of how, ultimately, we each must walk our own path. I tried to walk his. Didn't work. I've even tried, at moments, to let others walk mine (which shocks me, in just hurt so much parenting him at times). That didn't work, either. And the more time goes by, the more I realize that Free Will is a GIFT beyond compare. Free Will, of necessity, means we are the captains of our own ships. True, we may all be sucky steerers of our ships at moments. Just part of the process at getting better at steering. And after maaaaany years of steering my own ship right onto the rocks, I'm just not willing to do that any more. At first, it was so hard to do. I questioned myself ALL the time. But now, some years in, I don't question myself nearly so much. Still do at moments. But those moments pass.

    And the critical thing I learn is that EVERYONE steers their ship ONTO the rocks sometimes. But it doesn't mean we can't steer it right back OFF of the rocks. At a moment's notice, too. Learning that better now.

    Mother's Day Weekend --- This weekend has SUCKED for me for about 10 years. Used to hurt so much that I had to choose something else fun (we usually chose to go to a baseball game -- on Father's Day, too, because it hurt my husband, also).

    This year was different. In fact, unbelievably, I didn't even realize Mother's Day was approaching until a friend asked me about it last Thursday. We've been uber busy lately, so, honestly, this was the first time in 10 years that I felt no attachment to it at all. But, then...........boom-boom-boom! Suddenly our son requested to see us, got me a CARD (that's huge, trust me!), we had grandkids, and we even found a Ticketmaster gift certificate (Christmas present) we'd forgotten we had. So we selected a concert (Neil Diamond), managed to snag a pair of the last seats available, and when we got there, the usher gave us freebie better seats!

    Whaddya know? I'm thinkin' this was a PURE gift from God/The Universe! And I took it, baaaaabyyyyy!

    All those years of horrific Mother's Day weekends. One never knows what future Mother's Day weekends hold. for this one.........I reiterate........ I took it with great gratitude, baaaaabyyyyy! :woohoo:

    I'm finding that the more I "let go", the more I gain without even seeking it. In life in general, too. Not my normal mode, but I like it so much, I'm getting much better at not thinking about tomorrow.

    Today will take care of itself. And so will tomorrow. :beautifulthing:
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  2. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    PS -- Oops! Waited too long to add something (edits window expired). 2 things, actually.....

    1) I know Mother's and Father's Days are often very painful days. They generally have been for us. I mean no insensitivity to anyone else by posting that we FINALLY had a good one. I understand.

    2) I also know that our son's situation (with mental health and drugs) is very on-and-off again. He goes for periods of time "checked-in" and then "checked-out". Now that he's 25, we recognize his pattern. While I can't say what his future holds, I can say what his past has held. So, we're just grateful for whatever good days there are! And we're clearly in a good week right now. Appreciating every second of it because we never know what next week brings!
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    HLM what a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your "bright spot" with us. It sounds so hopeful.

    So very true. I love the imagery of this. I know there have been times that I crashed on the rocks! The wonderful thing is we all have the power to correct our course.

    Gotta love Neil Diamond. What's funny is today I had one of his songs stuck in my head for no reason. People usually remember the Monkey's singing it but for me it was Neil Diamond "I'm a believer"
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  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    What a lovely post - thanks for your words of wisdom. My son is very, very talkative, the opposite of my husband. He can go on for hours, and sometimes I want to run out of the room, but your Love thru Listening really struck a chord.
    I also have tried and failed to have him at least listen to our guidance, but now I just listen - mostly because he just needs an ear to bend. He doesn't have many "normal" people to bounce things off of either. 25 seems to be the magic age for DCs. They seem to slowly "get it" by then, if they're lucky. Your son is making strides and I admire him for that, and for setting his own boundaries and acknowledging and respecting yours. Good work!
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  5. Childofmine

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

    Headlights Mom----I love your post! Thank you for taking us step by step through the past few days and how you are continuing to work your recovery.

    Prayers and blessings for continuing better days. One day at a time. Live in the now. This very moment.

    Warm hugs.
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  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all! Learning peace amid storms is a worthwhile process. Especially if survival is the goal. :)

    Tanya -- Neil Diamond opened with "I'm a Believer". Great concert. But I love The Monkees, too. Saw Micky Dolenz in solo concert (plays killer drums, still!) a few years ago. I'm in awe of both Neil's and Micky's energy levels. Another worthwhile goal......maintaining energy for fun into our later years!
  7. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Happy for you! AWESOME!!!!!
  8. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    ** IMPORTANT --- I just read about the painful Mother's Day so many of you had this weekend. Please know that I hope my words of FINALLY having a good one (first good one since 1996) have not been painful for anyone else to read. At age 25, this is the first card EVER that our son has bought for me........on any day, not just Mother's Day. I get it. I really do.

    I feel your aching hearts and it reminds me of the deep ache in my own heart I have known all too well over the years. This is a thorny path we all walk, for sure.

    Side Note -- I had miscarriages. Our son is our only child and he is adopted (through foster care). I remember when we were undergoing fertility testing and a particular friend of mine kept asking me to be present at the birth of her kids. I was happy for her, but I could NOT bring myself to go as it was just too painful. She had 5 kids. I wasn't able to bring myself to join her in witnessing her kids' births until child # 3 -- and I went to witness that miracle of birth (now he's our 15-yo godson)! By child # 5, I felt only excitement for her. But I was almost paralyzed by sadness of my own situation during her #'s 1 & 2 births.

    I am reminded of that pain now. Please know that my hearts are with all of you on all holidays.......

    My wish is to always be compassionate and encouraging to you all in this forum. In fact, that's my wish for ALL my waking moments. A work in progress....

    Signed, Mother who heard not a peep from my son last Christmas.......nor for the last 6 months. That's why I'm so VERY grateful to have at least this ONE Mother's Day go well.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love this. For me, I love this.



    Another quotable moment. I love this one, too.

    It is easier to love and accept ourselves, once we understand this.

    One of us, here on the site, posted a quote about how we compare our insides with the outsides of those we think are doing this right. Maybe none of us knows how to do this.

    And maybe, allowing ourselves to take that to heart will enable us to view ourselves with compassion.

    We try so hard to know the right thing.

    I am so pleased and happy for you, Headlights Mom.


  10. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Cedar -- You touch my heart with your words. Thank you :) As always, such a pleasure "conversating" with you! (you know I'm gonna remember that word always as my favorite Word of Cedar!