Update on my present adventures....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, May 3, 2016.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok folks, it's been quite awhile since I've posted.....life has been up and down and sideways..... about 6 months of continual change.....let's see if I can put it all in a nutshell.....

    I retired in December. Quite the transition. Almost 5 months in and I'm beginning to enjoy it. Letting go was a bear, but I managed it..... with some stress and some chaos....but now? It's pretty darn good.


    Our granddaughter made the choice to come back to Northern California from Southern California where she was living, however, she went to live with her older sister rather than with us. It's an excellent choice and she is thriving. I do believe my parenting days with her are over.

    More liberation.

    My daughter had been stable for a year and a half, but about a month ago it started to go south. One of the roommates she was living with is bi-polar, refusing to take his medications and has become violent. She had a warrant out for her arrest for a probation violation from almost 2 years ago and the roommate turned her in about a month ago. She spent 23 days in jail and was released after she petitioned the court with a new proposition which allowed an early release and if she stays out of trouble, the charge is reduced and eventually she can have it expunged. That's a huge relief for all of us, it marks the completion of that ordeal which will now allow her to move ahead. She believed she could return to this place she'd been living, but the day she was released, the roommate began acting nutty, his behavior is highly volatile, suffice to say it didn't appear to be a safe place for her to be. He exploded and destroyed many of her things. So we agreed to allow her to stay for a few days, with all of us thinking she would find a way to stay with a friend temporarily, until she could find a permanent place. That has not turned out to be true. Although a bit down the road there appears to be a good, stable home coming available for her with 2 stable friends.

    A little background is that my daughter has some mental or emotional anomalies, but has not received a diagnosis. She had been extremely difficult and oppositional, however in the last 2 years our relationship has changed dramatically. I no longer enable her. She never asks me for anything. I know my boundaries and I set them easily. My entire life changed as a result of my stopping the enabling with her. It changed many other parts of my life for the better. It's felt like a miracle! She makes great strides in keeping me out of the dramas of her life and is aware of how much her choices impact me, so I have rarely been connected to those choices for quite a long time now. We get along quite well now.

    I made arrangements to visit my mother for her 91st birthday next week and to be with her for Mothers Day. It was a complicated airline arrangement which has high penalties if cancelled. My husband and I were looking forward to this trip as a sort of celebratory vacation after retirement and as a completion to all the stresses we've dealt with recently. My daughter is still here at my house. I am not comfortable with her staying here while we're gone, mainly because she has some sketchy friends who can be cunning.... and she can get lost in her scattered thoughts and disappear in a room with no concept of time.....while said friends might be doing some "shopping" in our home. I'm not quite sure of that since she's changed so much recently, but it's still a consideration. I told her yesterday that she would need to leave on Wednesday, sticking with my boundary setting. We leave on Friday. She has no where to go. The shelters here have waiting lists. She is considering trying to stay at her old place with the bi-polar guy simply because she has no where else to go. For me, that is a pretty creepy choice.

    So, my choices seem to be, cancel the trip and pay the penalties, which I'd prefer not to do for a variety of reasons. Drop her off at the old roommates and allow her to deal with all of it, which creates a bit of anxiety for me.....or somehow allow her to stay here at our home. I feel she has changed and outgrown that old environment. Even though as it stands, she's leaving tomorrow, I'm not clear about that decision, I feel stuck. I'm also trying to figure out if I would be able to enjoy myself if she were either here or at the old place. I do have some experience with that though, you members who've been here for awhile may remember that I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks when she was homeless a few years back.....and I managed to actually enjoy myself.

    The positive part of it is that I don't have the angst I used to have whenever I had to deal with situations like this with my daughter. It feels like a difficult choice that I have to figure out, but it lacks that emotional component which used to just take me out. I feel more balanced and neutral inside of myself, which indicates to me, quite the shift!

    I went to lunch with a girlfriend today who also has a difficult child and spoke with another girlfriend on the phone who has a difficult child, both of whom offered me love and support..... and even though a decision didn't emerge from it, I felt so much better having received support from others who know this terrain. As it stands right now, my daughter is planning on leaving tomorrow and going back to pack up her remaining things and stay there while looking at other options.

    I would be very interested in getting feedback from all of you wonderful warriors out there......I know many of you have been in these kinds of shoes and I would very much like to hear what you have to say. I could use a fresh perspective.....and your collective wisdom. Thank you.
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    RE, it's so good to hear from you. CONGRATULATIONS on your retirement.

    It sounds like things have been going really well for you. It sounds like your daughter is doing so much better.
    Wonderful that your granddaughter is doing so well.

    I'm glad you decided to continue with your trip and completely understand not wanting your daughter to stay in your house alone.

    As for her housing situation. It's always a gamble when you have roommates. The fact that she is showing progress would make me more willing to help. Of course it's always such a fine line when dealing with our d_c's. I don't know what your financial situation is and that dictates how much you might be willing to help. When my son got out of prison my husband and I knew he couldn't live with us so we purchased a small home. The idea and hope was that our son would get a job and eventually start paying us rent, then after so many years of son doing well, we would help him buy the house from us. Well it didn't work out so well. We still have the house and have rented it out for the past 8 years. If you did choose to do something like this you can always have a management company be the middle man, that way your daughter would not have to know that you own the house.
    I don't know if that is something you might consider. Again, it's such a fine line. I feel if they are putting forth honest effort then helping is helping and not enabling.

    There's also those Tiny Houses!! (I watch too much HGTV)

    Enjoy your trip and your visit with your mom. 91 years is something to celebrate!
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can any relative or friend check in on her or stay with her to keep her safe and the seedy acquaintances out? I dont know your monetary situation, but if it were me and I HAD money lol I'd even pay a safe person to do it. Can she go with you maybe?
    Just my ole brain cranking out some thoughts. Im so glad your daughter seems to be doing well yet I understand that she still and always maybe will have sime challenges. How is your graddaughter doing? Update! Update!
  4. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    HI RE, I so enjoyed your update. Things sound on the upbeat.

    I know what you mean about the uneasiness of leaving your daughter in your home while you are away. We did that once a while back a couple years ago. We were gone for 3 weeks, with specific instructions to son to please not to have people in the house during our absence. We did lock the hallway door to the back part of the house, but I still did not feel good about what might take place elsewhere. Anyway, after our return, we learned from another son who came by to check, that some party (ies) had gone on. Folks spread out on the floor, camping out. And when we returned, there was a lot of evidence (bottles, trash, etc,) that had not even been attempted to be cleared up.

    Just an idea ... Is there an acceptable / reasonable motel room in your area, where you might pay for a week or two stay (however long you will be away) ~ so you could pay to put her up there while you are gone. Some places even have refrig and microwaves in the rooms. Just a thought. I think I might do this if I ever have to leave my house again if my son was here. It would be worth the expense to ease my mind. And her being in a such a motel place like that would require some initiative on her part to get food, and do laundry etc on her own, not be dependent on the ready-made necessitites. And the hotel probably might have restrictions on what "sketchy type?" visitors can come and go / stay etc. and would be making their security presence known. Hmm?

    Hope it works out. You definitely need to go on your trip and should go to visit your mom. That's sound great. How wonderful for her to be having a 91st birthday. Congrats. You have good genes. Take care. Kalahou.
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    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    It's such a tricky one, wondering if a difficult child can be trusted to stay in our home, knowing they are homeless while our house lies empty. I had this dilemma with my son when he offered to stay in our house and look after our pets while we were away on holiday. He was living rough at the time and it seemed so ridiculous that this big, warm house was empty but that I couldn't trust my homeless son to live in it for a while. It's so crazy that it gets to this situation where our kids have turned into these people that we can't trust to be in our home alone. My main issue with him was the state I knew he would turn the place into. He would manage to turn it into a filthy tip in 2 weeks. There wouldn't be any drugs or theft or anything like that, but just a general lack of thought and lack of respect for anything. I decided that it would ruin my holiday worrying about what was happening back home so I did my usual and paid someone to take care of the cats and my son did his usual and muddled through, as he always does. Things have moved on a lot with him, but I still don't think I'd let him stay in my house alone. They've created this situation themselves and lost our trust. My son would have to regain my trust completely before I let him stay alone, and I'm not quite there yet. Has your daughter regained your trust enough? That's the only question to ask yourself I think. I'm sure you'll make the right decision for you. That decision is only about whether or not she stays in your house though. - Don't cancel the trip!!
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  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Congrats on retiring. It is a huge transition that takes time to settle into. I don't have any suggestions to add. I just wanted to let you know that I am so pleased about the progress you have made.
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  7. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi RE. Congrats on retirement. "time to stop making a living and start making a life". All good suggestions above, But mostly I just want to thank you for giving me hope today. Your scenario, a few yrs. down the road from my own, helps me to know peace is possible.
    Maybe healing or not for my son, but peace is possible. You give me a reason to sing. Prayers.
  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    RE, how nice to hear how well everything is going for you. Congratulations on your retirement!

    Hmmmm....tough one...

    In my opinion, cancelling the trip is not an option. I don't know your daughter and how much she has changed but from my own experience I would NEVER let my son stay in the house. Even if he handled the responsibility well, the worry that he wasn't would spoil my trip.

    I lean toward her making her own arrangements. I am just thinking out loud here...maybe making the occasion a chance for separate mini vacations? Does she have stable friends she could visit while you are away? Maybe help out with bus fare or something?
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  9. Nature

    Nature Active Member


    Congrats on your retirement and I agree with the others about not cancelling your vacation. As for allowing to let your daughter stay in your home - that is a tough decision. I believe it's based on whether or not you have regained trust in her again. What has she said about this? Is she understanding and not challenging your choice and ready to face responsibility for her past? I'm not sure what the answer is but I have faith that you yourself are a much stronger person and have grown a lot through your own experiences with family members that deep down you know the answer to the question you ask. I wouldn't allow my son to stay in my home any longer and even with recovery I would think there would be too many temptations to fall back into without supervision while on the other hand your daughter has shown increased awareness of her past wrongs and has made strides to better herself. So what to do? I would continue not to enable but also allow myself to be flexible without feeling that I was falling back into a pattern of enabling again by helping her make the right choice of where she will stay. Your post also gave me hope that one day I will again find peace , thank you for that.
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    What did you decide to do?

    We had our 23yo d c stay at our house with our dogs this past March when we went on a trip. It turned out OK. He didn't keep the house as neat as I like, but that is to be expected. He seemed to strive really hard to follow the rules and was good to the dogs, which is enough. We are planning on having him stay here again this 4th of July week when we go away again. He seems to be off the drugs, other than pot and alcohol.

    On the other hand, the non-drug using younger step-son stayed at our house once with our dogs and had a big blow-out party the day we left. Some party-goers kidnapped one of the dogs and took him on a drunken joy ride. He was traumatized.

    Oh, congrats on the retirement!

  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you! Your support means a lot and is always helpful.

    After a lot of thinking and communicating, I decided to stick with my original boundary. At the time, it felt difficult, in fact it felt like one of the hardest choices I've faced with my daughter. Only this time, I was armed with a background of the two year codependency course I took a few years ago and all the tools I've learned over the years. I got a lot of support.

    At one point when I was talking to my husband and pondering how I would feel if something dreadful happened to my daughter after I dropped her off and while we were gone. He said, "don't let the what if's control your life." I've heard that before, but in that moment I really got it on a deeper level. I realized the remarkable level of powerlessness I have in my daughter's life. Her destiny is completely out of my control.

    I have a history of running in to the future to figure out how I can avert disaster. I can't do that anymore....I just don't have that kind of control. And......it is such an enormous relief.

    She was in some back pain Wednesday morning so I took her to my chiropractor who had agreed to see her awhile back for a nominal fee. Then we both went to my acupuncturist. We left there feeling so much better. My acupuncturist (and friend) gave my daughter her home phone number and said to call her if she ran into any problems. That was such a sweet and supportive gesture, it brought me to tears. It seems to me that when we let go of control, others step in to help. We stopped and picked up sandwiches and candy bars for all the roommates. I did what felt right to get her in the best shape I could to send her on her journey. I dropped her off to deal with her broken and scattered things and where she would go..... and asked her to text me later in the evening to let me know she was safe.

    I went to bed not having heard from her and I opted to not text her. I let it go.

    She fell asleep and texted me at 5:15 the next morning that she was "okay and everything was fine."
    She knows I am leaving today and sincerely wished me a good trip and told me not to worry.

    I didn't ask any questions, I'm not sure what her plans are.

    I feel relief and a sense of an "opening,"........ my daughter, my granddaughter and I are on our separate paths now.....connected by love.....whatever happens is what happens, it feels better then it ever has to say that recognizing that there isn't anything I have to do.......

    We leave today for San Francisco and fly out tomorrow. My acupuncturist told me on the way out the door, "leave all of this behind you and go have FUN, that is your job now." That's exactly what I am going to do now. It feels good.
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    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I forgot how awesome your advice always was...how it always resonated. I'm happy, happy, happy you are in a good place. Have a great vacation!
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thought I would let you know how my trip to see my Mother is going......

    Yesterday was the best Mothers Day I think I've ever had. My husband, brother and I took Mom out to dinner and it may have been the nicest time I've spent with the two family members I am still in relationship with. As many of you know, I have a family riddled with mental illness, abuse and toxicity. I've worked hard and long to heal myself of that beginning, especially on the relationship with my mother. My mother will be 91 on Tuesday. Our relationship feels healed. I saw it as an acknowledgment of both of our willingness over the years to do the hard work of expressing our truths. I felt enormous love and connection with my mother. It was a joy.

    On the way to dinner, my granddaughter called and we 'face timed' with her. My mother was thrilled! She had never done that before and she loved being able to 'see' her. After dinner my daughter called and talked to both of us. My daughter went to great lengths while in jail to purchase cards for my mother and make sure they arrived in time for Mothers Day.

    My granddaughter posted an article on FB about how difficult Mothers Day is for daughters who have a difficult relationship with their mothers. It was a poignant article. She put her feelings out there for all to see, wishing all wonderful mothers a happy day and asking those who knew her to read the article. She then posted a picture of she and I and said, "the real MVP, happy Mothers day to the person who never gave up on me." To say I was touched would be a colossal understatement......... then she texted me a private message she sent to her mother, where she expressed her truths in a compassionate and yet very honest way, telling her mom that she was grateful for the opportunity to be born but that my daughter offered her no real mothering, and went on to share her very own experience of her mother in a heartfelt yet clear way. I have always encouraged this honesty because that level of expression is what has made all the difference between my own mother and me. At the end of her message to her mom she wrote, "all I have to say is thank God for your mother because I wouldn't be the person I am today without her picking up your pieces."

    My granddaughter and I then spoke about the day. I told her how proud I am of her. I told her that I had done a lot to heal the relationships I've had with my mother and my daughter and it has gotten me to a place of forgiveness and love and that she, at her tender age of 20 has already accomplished so much healing with her Mom. I told her that she was the hope now, that the era of abuse and bad mothering is over and she begins a new era, that she is the future where love reigns.

    Later my husband and I talked about what a remarkable day it's been for the 4 of us, my mother, me, my daughter and my granddaughter. It certainly feels as if an old, deep family wound has seen the light of truth and as a result has healed. I believe I've carried that torch of truth and the shining of it on the dark corners of abuse has burned the hurts away. Now my granddaughter is shining her own light and it is a powerful statement of her strength and her compassionate heart. I could not be more proud of her.

    My daughter was as optimistic and positive as I've heard her, she appears to be traveling on a different path. It's up to her to heal her relationship with her daughter, I hope she can do that, but that's between them, all I can do is love them both and be present for them.

    It was a big day for me. It feels as if I have accomplished what I set out to do...... heal my relationship with my own mother, detach from my daughter in a loving way and raise my granddaughter to be a compassionate, strong, honest and loving woman. I can't put into words how much this all means to me. We're all on our separate and yet connected journeys in ways I'd always dreamed of. I am deeply grateful. My greatest Mothers day wish has come to be.
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    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    RE, that is so wonderful.

    I love that your mom got to "face time" what a kick for her!

    You should be so proud of your granddaughter. What an amazing example you set for her.
    The message she sent her mother was perfect. She told the truth with love and that is something that can be very hard for people to do.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It offers so much hope.

  15. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Beautiful day, RE! What a lovely story of reconciliation.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I purposely did not read the other replies because I did not want to be swayed.

    If It were me, and I was who I am now, I would let her stay in my house with rules. No visitors would be rule number one rule.

    Let me explain my reasoning: About 3 months ago we took a big risk with my son who had showed up at my door one night at 10pm when I had told him the day before he could not stay at my house, even one night. (He had been in another city and that had been fine by me.)

    After 2 days I kicked him out. He found a place in some shack behind this woman's house.

    My SO, M, and I had been in conversation about the possibility of buying a fixer upper house for my son to live eventually. The view of M was the only way that my son would get better would be close in with us. He did not get the detachment memo.

    A property came available: A house with a 2 bedroom apartment over the garages. We felt it gave us a lot of flexibility and we would not lose money on the deal.

    I told my son. I am buying a house for you to live. You will have to help fix it up and you will have to pay rent. OMG. He beamed with happiness. He had been four plus years out of my house and over 2 years homeless in 4 counties.

    He seemed ready to work with us. So we began. He has been working for 2 months most days. While there is backsliding he is ceding more and more and going by our rules, more and more. To a greater and greater extent we tighten things up. We are at the point where it is no marijuana or caffeine pills or any other drug while you are living with us. Not on the porch. Not on the street. You use drugs, you leave.

    He is more and more around us and wants to be. It is stressful because he is a poor listener and still wants to dominate but I love him near me. I am hugging him and kissing him. I feel my son is back from the wilderness and I am too.

    I do not know how much of this can pertain to your daughter's situation and your own with her. But sometimes it is the time to risk for love.
  17. Childofmine

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

    Hi RE, just getting back after a few days away and catching up a bit...so glad to hear about you and what's going on in your life, and especially your retirement. Please write more about that later---tell me how to start thinking about getting ready for that!

    Ah, what a Solomon's choice. I think that kind of choice is one of the hardest. We have a nice house. They have no where. We are going to turn them out because we can't trust them to be in our nice house. It is a very hard thing to do, the hardest, but so many of us do it, and have done it, because when you get down to it, to the base of it, there is no other choice. Our home has to be our sanctuary, and we can't trust that sanctuary to someone who is untrustworthy. It's so sad.

    So you made the hard, hard decision, the right one, I believe, and by doing it...wrenching as it was, you move another step forward on your journey...the only true journey we need to be on, the one where we let go of all people, places and things, and we are so light that we float forward in our lives, filled with many emotions---sadness, peace, that exquisite relief. The relief of knowing we can't fix the world, we can't fix our adult children, we have a full time job working on ourselves.

    I'm so glad you had such a peaceful and joyous Mother's Day. What a gift after such a hard decision. So glad to hear from you.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all.

    Thanks Copa. I understand your reasoning with your son. My daughter has an unusual reaction to rules. I certainly would have made "no visitors rule number one" too.......however, how I envision her response is what prevented me from feeling good about allowing her to stay in our home. I can easily see this conversation after the fact.....

    Me: "There are a number of things missing from the house.
    Daughter: "I don't know anything about that Mom.
    Me: "Did you have anyone over here?"
    Daughter: "No, but so and so dropped by to give me some money he owed me."
    Me: "Did he come in?"
    Daughter: "Well, he asked to use the bathroom, so yeah, of course I let him in for a minute."
    Me: "Were you in the house with him the whole time?"
    Daughter: "Well, I went out on the porch for a cigarette. But I wasn't gone long."

    The problem with the whole scenario is that "but I wasn't gone long" could be 2 hours. My daughter, bless her heart, has never had a concept of time, nor of the manipulations of others. She is the only person I know who takes a shower for 90 minutes and then actually claims, "I take very short showers." She can show up 3 hours late for dinner. She doesn't seem to have any ability to have insight into her own behaviors. How she sees herself is vastly different from how I, or anyone else sees her. And, one time when she was staying with us, we asked her NOT to have any of her friends come over (they were pretty sketchy guys and we had her then 14 year old teenage daughter living with us.) Literally within one hour there was a guy at the house. When I talked to her about it, her response was, "Mom, he only came over to rub my back because I was in so much pain." To her, our rule didn't matter because she was in pain. For her rules are next to impossible to follow, she withers under them, her perception of rules is like a death to her. Her perception of freedom is that she cannot compromise it under any circumstance.
    She pleaded guilty to a crime she didn't commit because she couldn't wait for 2 weeks in jail, even after her attorney told her she would get off free if she just waited. She refused and set up a four year debacle that was a nightmare for all of us. She still maintains she did the right thing. You cannot argue with that reasoning, it is not logical. All I can do is accept her reality and take care of myself.

    I also do not believe she is manipulative, I believe she has some cognitive impairment, I believe she thinks in terms of "magical thinking" and I believe she suffers from a number of various mental illnesses where she believes her own irrational thoughts to be the truth. It's taken me a long time to see things this way, because I did believe she did a lot of things on purpose, but as time has gone by, it begins to become obvious that there is something fundamentally very different about her. Once I really understood that, in a way it got easier, because I let go of the anger and made everything about being very, very clear with my boundaries while accepting her for who she is. That's when real change occurred. Since she has refused any kind of professional help and does not believe there is anything the matter, she simply continues her life the way she sees fit. Because I have demanded that she treat me respectfully, along with my belief that she got to a point where she could actually "see" me and appreciate me, along with my own deep changes of protecting myself and taking care of myself, my relationship with my daughter has changed. However, in many ways, she continues to be herself out in the world, making some strides along the way, and yet her basic personality and way of seeing the world, has not changed much. I am very grateful to have gotten this far in my own thinking.

    She is presently staying at her former residence. She has some good opportunities to move in to a more stable environment because she can see that where she is no longer works. It had to get really bad before she recognized it as necessary to move. I hope she follows through, and it sounds like she will, but until she makes the change, I don't really know how it will evolve. She can talk about doing something for a very long time before any real change happens. It's a bit like my brother, who is schizophrenic. For 40 years he has written me letters, perhaps 3-4 times a year asking for money, which I always send to him. In every single letter, for 40 years, he tells me, "these 2 friends owe me quite a bit of money, and when they pay me back, I will certainly pay you back all the money you've lent to me." He believes that to be the truth.

    Being surrounded by so much mental illness has changed my life in remarkable ways. I could have easily sunk in to a pit of the non reality that many of my family members reside in because it is crazy making to be around that level of delusion and illusion without questioning your own sanity and your own reality. Which I did for many years. With the support of many excellent therapists, I learned to separate myself from all of it. And, my daughter in particular forced me to address what acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and detachment really mean for me. It's been a very difficult journey, however I've come out the other side with a deep sense of love for my family and what they've taught me about myself. In the end, it's been a gift. I never would have believed I could say that, it's been very painful.....but it is what it is and acceptance has given me peace.
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  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Love your post RE.

    What doesn't kill us CAN make us stronger and you are very strong indeed.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    RE, what a lovely post.
    My son is younger. 27.

    Reading your post, I believe I am doing something similar to you (except I front-loaded all the therapy and even though I would benefit now, I am burnt out.)

    I can say my son has changed.

    He is very motivated to be near us. He tries to cooperate (to a point.) His kind-heart, sense of humor, compassion, have returned. I love to be around him, now.

    He is way less aggressive, oppositional, hostile. I mean way less.

    At the same time there is an element of what you describe in your daughter.

    I think the fundamental issue that plagues us still is that he is an adult, and he does not really act like one. He does not take on (fully) the mantle of fully accepting the consequences of his commitments and responsibilities. i.e. monitoring himself, being accountable to make sure that what he agrees to is accomplished or maintained.

    He is dependent upon outside supervision to do so. Seeing that we are there to see him and to check him.

    So while he has benefited from being close to us, the changes in many things are skin-deep.

    But I cannot discount the radical changes he has made on his own volition. Really important changes.

    I have asked him to leave the house I own where he is staying. Last night. On important things he did not follow through.

    It is hard to know how to see this. Because clearly I can see that he did not follow through because those things were not important to him, but important to me. But we come down to the fact that I have a right to impose rules if he is living in my space and around me.

    The question is, is it fair or right for me to impose conditions on him that I want for him, and to which he is indifferent or opposed. Like marijuana.

    He does not realize how colored is his life in a negative way by the marijuana. He is morose. He is depressed. He looks dejected and unhealthy. When the euphoric effect has worn off. But there is no sustained buy in from him about leaving it alone, when we are at a distance.

    We are left in the no-win situation of either letting him be, to do what he wants, and living with the consequences. Or keeping tight rein so he does not leave our sphere of control.

    A little bit it seems like your situation with your daughter in your house. When you are there and able to run a tight ship, she and you are doing fine. More to the point, she does so much better in your environment. But is unable to maintain it without your sustained presence. Because she is not committed to it in herself. For whatever reason.

    As I write this I am better able to understand my son.

    But the sadness, too, is that I am HAPPY with my son near me. At the same time I cannot let slide his sketchiness, shadiness--when he wants to impose his lifestyle upon us. It is very hard to know where to draw the line.

    Because after all he is an adult. But at the same time he is an adult that seems unable to sustain an independent living situation or lifestyle that sustains him.