What's the longest you have gone without hearing from your child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, May 18, 2015.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    It's been 2 months since I have heard anything from my son. The longest he has not been in contact with me was 9 months and there have been many times over the years where long periods of time passed between contact.

    While it's been years since I detached from him I still wonder how he's doing, he's my son and I will always love him. He pretty much mooches off people, couch surfing / homeless. The only way I have to communicate with him is through FB. He has not posted anything for 2 months.

    I go through the thought process of wondering if he's in jail again to maybe he's dead. I accepted these "realities" a long time ago. I know that it's a real possibility that my son could die and I would never know.
    It's just so sad.

    I am very grateful that I have been able to move on and live my life. I have a wonderful life filled with much joy yet there are times like this where I have a sadness. It's the not knowing. I do not obsess over it as that serves no purpose.

    All in all I am at peace.

  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't have experience with long silences with my kids, but I do with my D C brother (homeless for most of his adult life, he's almost 62 years old now). He's on Facebook .. we don't communicate but I do watch is page for activity, just so I know he's still alive. He will sometimes go months with no posts (6? 8? I haven't paid close attention). Then he'll appear again, obviously having gotten to the library or crashing somewhere with internet access, and post rambling posts - usually about religion or trying to put a band together. (yes at 62 he's still trying to get a band together and aspires to be a famous rock star).

    I know not hearing from your son must be so difficult -- on one hand it's a relief not to be sucked into the chaos, on the other you can't help but worry. Hugs to you.
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks @CrazyinVA
    Yes, this pretty much sums it up.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This happens with our son. It happens with our daughter too at times, when she needs to figure things out for a little while, I think. It makes sense to me that the kids will need times of rebellion. When they will need to take a kind of time out of time to do the growing up they could not do while practicing their addictions or while, as happens with our daughter sometimes, they are not thinking in healthy ways.

    Our son is angry right out loud during his times of ~ of whatever this is, this thing we are all involved in with our children. His silences last for a very long time. Last summer, for those who were not here then, our son refused to allow me to have his address. I mean, I had it, but I had not brought any of our addresses with us when we had come North that year. (Actually, D H had packed those items having to do with such things. He truly could not know that the addresses were written into the calendar I keep in my office. This matters to me, because I try to watch closely to see that I am not sabotaging my children or myself.)

    Just in case I am my (abusive) mother.

    I don't want to do those things to my children that were done to me.

    In any event, when I told our son what had happened and wanted his address so I could send the cards and etc that I send for our grands, he refused. I respected his wishes in this.

    I could have gone online, could have found the address elsewhere, but I chose to respect his wishes in this.

    In his own time, our son came back to me, and to us. It was after we were South again. I had the calendar and the addresses, and sent Hallowe'en cards. It did not seem like cheating. I had not gone behind his back to find the address. It was where I had told him it was, and I was there and used my own, legitimately acquired-from-the source, address.

    And our son was happy that we did that, but there between us was the knowledge that, since I was no longer doing money (NO MONEY), he was seeing us by his choice, not ours.

    I think that is a piece of what happens when they choose not to see or contact us.

    I am sorry I cannot be clearer.

    It is a messy circle. I am making the sense of things that I can. I think that when the kids need not to see us, when they need to declare that kind of independence from us...I think then they need time to realize they love us. For so long, everything got all twisted up in enabling and victiming and justifying why we were bad parents if we did not send money and not that they were in shameful places because they were not strong enough, maybe, to admit what their addictions were doing to them.

    I am sorry this is not clearer, Tanya.

    I am feeling my way through all of it, too.

    With our daughter, the times of silence are way shorter. Like, a week or maybe, two. And when she calls? She is so funny and sweet and outrageously apologetic about what she thought while she was working through whatever it was.

    And, since we did not know that was what she had been doing ~ since we did not know, at first, that we were not hearing from her on purpose ~ we would be like, "What, honey?"


    Being a screwed up family is amazing, in the real of it. It's like a battle in a way, where everyone wants every other one to win.

    And then we all have dinner together or something.

    At least, I hope we do.

    Tanya, this is what I know for sure because we have been at this for such an impossibly long time: Your son loves you. He cherishes you in a way you (and I) cannot even imagine. I don't know what the cherishing looks like to them, to our children. I do know that what we say, the words we use and the images we hold of our children, matters more than we know.

    So, this is a pretty confusing post.

    I wish I could be clearer.

  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks Cedar,

    Your words are very comforting.
    It's easy to forget that somewhere deep within our Difficult Child that they really do love us. Like you said, it's hard to know what that looks like to them. Because they can treat us with such disdain and contempt it's hard to remember that on some level they do love us.

    I am also happy that the last few times we chatted on FB it was good. He wasn't asking for anything which for him is rare.
  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Tanya -- First, I send you a warm virtual hug. Thinking of you and "feeling" your heart.

    To answer your question....... Twice we have gone 6 months without hearing from our son (up until about a month ago was the last one). He frequently disappears for 2-3 months.

    Those times in-between are so hard on all of us moms. We love them. We worry about them. Still, I am so glad to hear you find times (all in all) of peace.

    What often helps us on our rollercoaster (the ups and downs) is reminding ourselves (out loud) that when our son is AWOL, he usually returns at some point (at least for a time). And then, equally important for us, is to remind ourselves (out loud) that when he is present and "somewhat stable", he usually returns to AWOL at some point (at least for a time).

    Somehow, my mind finds comfort in knowing there's usually a balance. That to his every yin, there's usually a yang.

    Tanya, you are so wise, kind, and insightful. You really are. You express yourself so well. I greatly respect your combo of strength and sensitivity. And then the ability to put it into words. I haven't met you (in person). But what I hear in this forum tells me of how you most likely possess another wonderful combo...........gentle, yet strong in resilience.

    I send supportive prayers and vibes your way!

    PS -- I just read Cedar's words to you.............I think she said it much better than I did! No doubt you are greatly loved (despite whatever difficulties your son has at times)!
  7. Childofmine

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

    Tanya bless you and warm hugs. You are such a warrior mom. When I first started reading your post I was trying to remember how long I actually went at the worst points of not hearing from him at all. I don't think it was ever more than a month but I am not sure.

    I applaud your recovery in being able to detach enough to let much longer periods go by. I can only imagine what that has cost you and the many "dark nights of the soul" that you have experienced.

    I was talking with a friend who is going through a divorce. We were talking about the concept of the refining fire. Walking through a raging fire and being changed by it for the better.

    I believe this is a choice we make. We on this board....you Tanya...have and are still being honed by unimaginable fire. Fire most people never have to experience although pain In this life is not optional. We will all have so much pain.

    It is never welcome and never easy but if we are lucky we even get to the point when we see the refinement opportunities while we are still burning around the edges. We hurt and we can see ourselves from a slight distance hurting and growing at the same time.

    My heart hurts that you haven't heard from him and you are living with such beauty in such Terrible Uncertainty with such grace and compassion to offer other people.

    You are amazing.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks @HeadlightsMom , I so appreciate your kind words, supporitive prayers and good vibes.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks @Childofmine for your kind words and warm hugs. I too believe we are refined by fire. Had I not gone through what I have with my son I do not know that I would be as strong a person. It has prepared me to deal with many obisticles in my life.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are a very wise warrior Tanya. To sit on that razor's edge of such dramatic uncertainty and still have peace is a remarkable and downright awesome place to be. And... I do know the cost.........my heart is with you Tanya........sending bunches of hugs.....
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  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member