Will be three weeks Wednesday since difficult child got out of jail...again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

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

    So, here I am, Wednesday will be three weeks since difficult child got out of jail. As far as I know, he is still living on the street, still has no job and rehab isn't happening.

    The first two weeks, he sounded good, clear and like he was ready to do something different. I was hopeful, but kept my distance. But I was still hopeful. I thought: maybe he really is ready.

    But I knew he probably wasn't. When talking about this rehab place in a major city close to here, he said: well I still don't think I really need to go, but If I go for 28 days I can get into their halfway house program and get a job, because they don't charge you.

    Still working around the edges, difficult child. Still figuring, thinking, ready to get something for nothing.

    That's not ready.

    Last week he asked me to keep some of his depression RX for him because he got a 90 day supply and said he didn't want to carry that around in his backpack. And then, bring him some more boxers and tank tops. I said I can do it tomorrow. I never heard from him about a time to meet to I took the tank tops to the day shelter on Friday and left them with Heather, the social worker. I had a bit of a down spell on Friday, but I was basically just dejected that he seemed to be slipping down again.

    I got a letter for him from the state DHS office---must be food stamp stuff---this weekend and I texted him and said I have it. I didn't open it. Then he asked if he could come here and watch the World Cup final and I said, "Sorry, we don't be here." I didn't think we would at the time, but we ended up being here, and I felt bad that I said no, but I didn't think it would be good for him for him to be here doing that.

    Ugh. I wish things were different.

    I went to Al-Anon yesterday and after talked to an Al-Anon friend in the parking lot. He is a therapist whose wife is an alcoholic. I really value the things he says in meetings. I told him about difficult child's good talk at first when he got out of jail and now how I am sensing he's not pushing to make anything different happen. He seems more focused on the World Cup than where to live, how to survive, and anything that would change his current situation.

    That means, as I told my friend, that in another 30 to 40 days or so, he likely will get arrested again and then he will serve a long time. I am working to accept that his may just be his journey. That he may have to do this, next, to do the next thing after that.

    My friend agreed. We also talked about how we believe there is too much help there for people, which allows them to stay like they are, instead of being more motivated to change. I know, we don't want people to be hungry, but really, if you are getting food stamps and three free meals a day, etc., then why do something different? It just feeds into difficult child's "not going by the rules" mentality.

    I know it is what it is, and I can't change any of it.

    easy child and fiancee came over last night for dinner and brought their new Corgi puppy for us to see. I wish I could have invited difficult child, but again, I don't think it was a good idea. For me.

    Today, I am again working to lean in to what is. This is what it is. I need to keep my distance from difficult child. I need to keep on working on me. I can't affect change for him. If it is to be, he is the catalyst for his own life, and only he can make something different happen.

    I just sadly believe that the longer this goes on, the more entrenched he becomes in this 'off the rails' lifestyle, and the more he will not be able to really re-enter society. But again, okay, this is on God's time, not my time.

    Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Yes. We see this. It is maddening and saddening. Its good that you can recognize and name it.

    I know. So sad to see what might have been a fresh start become same old thing. It is hard on us. It is probably hard on them as well.

    You absolutely did the right thing here. Were you going to relax in front of the TV together? Goes back to your earliest posts about making bland conversation while his life is falling apart. So, how is the weather?

    There is no place where it was OK for him to come hang out and watch the game.

    And that would be the core of it. You cried for 3 days when he got out of jail, and even then he was more interested in the World Cup than anything else, and that theme has remained true. I guess its avoidance. At worst it is out and out crazy talk. It goes along with the "working around the edges" theme that you mentioned..somehow if he pretends life it normal it will be so. Magical thinking.

    I'm going to stop you here. We don't know that this is so. I know that that has been his pattern, but who knows what the future holds. We have enough to deal with today. Please please please don't use your energy preparing for a day that may not come.

    Yes. His journey is different than your journey, than my journey. It is his alone. He has to go where he is compelled to go.

    He does sound like some one who can learn..maybe he can only take in so much at a time, or for so long (two weeks, no longer...the time period when he seemed clear). And yet...he learns. So maybe this needs to repeat itself a few more times, as you suspect. But you are right...your work is to accept, and let go. I know you know that my friend (hugs).

    That sounds wonderful! I can imagine that Corgi puppies are ridiculously cute. What a nice respite...I hope you saw it so.
    I sometimes live in another world...one where I am a family of four, no dad (he annoys me) and no difficult child...just me and my three. It is so nice. I think it is OK to live there sometimes. I hope you kept your presence where you were.

    If you are like me this is very very true. Having them intrude, because all their choices, their needs, their problems, even when they are happy enough or in denial, are an intrusions..is exhausting. difficult child called me twice today, and I ran downstairs to give him the copay for his rehab program...I feel burnt out, drained. Just by that. We need to keep our distance, Child, at least for now, at least until we get stronger. We are still pretty new at this detachment thing, as much as we have embraced it.

    And what good work it is. There is nothing of more value. Your work has lead you to become a resource to us all, and I"m sure the more so to those immediately around you. The "working on me" part is life work. And you are so good at it, so thoughtful...there is solace there.

    At one point on the forum a few people recommended The Mole People, about people living in the underground tunnels of NY. I read it and it completely freaked me out, for exactly that reason...the longer they lived down there the harder to ever re-integrate. I was focused on that for difficult child as well. And yet...again...it is what it is. He will re-enter or he will not. Your son, my son...they are connected in some ways, emotionally, personally. They had a life that they remember. I do think they can find a way back in if they choose...its just more work than it is worth to them right now. They are making that choice.

    Its been a looooong three weeks for you, Child. Just....hold the good stuff. Water the seeds, as the buddhists say. Corgi puppies. Dinner with easy child. husband and your wedding plans. Water the seeds.


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  3. Childofmine

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

    Thanks, Echo. I am hanging onto this. Keeping it simple, trying just to accept, and let go.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    HUGS. One step at a time.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    COM, I am here too, reading along, sending you my good thoughts and warm hugs.

    We have to stay here in the present moment.

    Who'd have thought after almost 5 years on the track to hell that my own daughter would emerge from it and grab onto a life? I had given up all hope and............... she popped out. I was as surprised, perhaps more so, then anyone. So, anything is possible. However, it helped me to stay focused on the now, right here in this moment. Right here in this moment, you are fine, your difficult child is fine, you are readying yourself for your upcoming nuptials, you are all warm and fed and safe................what happens in the next moment hasn't arrived yet.

    That thinking made it easier for me to let go.

    Reading The power of now by E. Tolle was helpful to me.

    Hang in there COM, we're all here with you................
  6. Childofmine

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

    I am working to stay in now, instead of the future. When I start to get a little hopeful, like I did when he was talking the "good talk", sounding sincere and clear and purposeful the first week or so---then I sink down when none of it comes to pass.

    But, the ups aren't quite so high, and the downs aren't quite so low as they used to be. More like a wavy pattern.

    So.....Then I have to "get real" again. Live in the now. It is what it is. Okay, so if it continues like this, I have to settle into it, not be waiting for change.

    Remember last time? I realized after he got arrested I had been waiting every single day for a signal that he was changing.

    I don't want to live there again. I don't want to live my life waiting on anyone else to do anything. I just want to lean in to today, with all of its good and bad components.

    With difficult child, I want to accept what is, right now, today, without any expectations of anything else.

    To do that---to get myself to do that---I have to almost go a little bit the "other way" to get back to center.

    So, hey, Echo and RE, you are right. Of course there is always potential for change. Being the Sunny Susie, the Perpetual Romantic, and the Believer-that-all-things-are-possible that I am naturally, I don't think you can shake the hopefulness out of me. That is just how I am wired.

    But I can't---and I don't want to---live in that state of hope. I want to allow for it, but I want to live in reality. This is a major shift in thinking for someone like me.

    I am learning how to recover, and to change, and to turn the focus on myself, and every time I write about it here, and read about it elsewhere and hear it at Al-Anon, the neural pathways are rooted a little more firmly.

    I am so different than I used to be, and it's all because of this journey. I am a much better person today, in all regards. I am grateful for that. But wow, it sure is hard and it sure does hurt, doesn't it?
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This is so key to living our lives fully..those of us who spent our lives enabling, and now have to figure out how to be. This is a brave statement, one to hold on to, to act on. Write it down. Read it every day. Figure out how to turn it to a positive.

    I'll do the same.

    We learn so much from what we all write down here, don't we?

  8. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    COM, I can so relate to your post-I think our difficult children are the same age (25) and have similar stories -don't they all?

    Right now I'm in Colorado-drove here from Illinois and got here yesterday. Staying with ex and easy child at their apartment. Saw difficult child yesterday-he got out of jail July 1 and was lucky enough to get a bed in the homeless shelter. He's also in a community program (and on probation) that requires him to be randomly drug tested and brethalyzed (spelling?) twice a day. Also on medications. So that is a TRUE BLESSING. All of it.

    He knows that he's on the edge of a precipice and could fall at any moment. He is what I'd call in a honeymoon phase but I can see him emerging out of it into depression and hopelessness. He is currently talking "the good talk" but then again, I've only been here a day-not even! -more like 16 hours! and I fully expect it to start going pear-shaped. Now, is that just ME? Or is it my past experience of his history repeating itself? I'm thinking that my presence here might not be the best-that we will hurl ourselves into the old patterns...he always unloads on me, so maybe that's what produces the feelings of doom for me.

    He has 2 felonies now but he HAS to find a job. He knows that too much unstructured time is lethal. He already said "Mom, having all this time (has to be out of the shelter from 7 am -7pm) having nothing to do without being high and drunk is getting old". He has pretty much blown through the $1,000 that built up on his State card while he was in jail.

    He does NOT want to go to prison, which he will if he messes any of this up. But I have a feeling he isn't really looking for one. He kind of expects to fail. That's what has happened in the past, but this time there is no safety net.

    I'm sorry if I'm highjacking your thread! I really just want to send you support and empathy. It's a tough ole world out there...
  9. Childofmine

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

    Yes it is. All of that is great. I wish it were the case for my difficult child. So glad for you and yours, BG!

  10. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Child, no profound words of advice or anything like that. Just hugs from me. Thinking of you tonight and sending out prayers for all of our wayward difficult children.
  11. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    COM sending a hug and some positive energy

  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    COM, I don't have any advice for you but wanted to say I so hear what you are saying about seeing the same things play out again and again, the things our difficult children do and the responses we make. For me it is like an earth scraper or something, every time the track gets a little deeper and it gets harder and harder to stop rolling down the same old track. That place of zero expectations is something that is definitely hard-fought territory. I used to see it as a place of hopelessness, but now I am starting to see it as a place of surprises. I am going to continue trying to get there.
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  13. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    It's Thursday, Child. Did you talk with your boy today?

  14. Childofmine

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

    I haven't heard from difficult child since he texted Saturday to see if he could watch the World Cup final here on Sunday and I said no. Sunday afternoon I had a missed call from him.

    Today, my exhusband texted my older son and myself to say a friend saw difficult child in an Asian restaurant here in town eating lunch today. ???? With what money, I wonder. The friend said he looked "very healthy."

    My first thought is: I bet he's panhandling now. I could tell in his voice the excitement of seeing his friend collect $70 one day last week or whenever it was but "he would never stoop to that."

    Betcha he's stooping.

    Anyway, I am having a good week. For some reason, I am more able to let him go right now. I am thinking he's happy with his life as it is, and I'm not going to be all twisted up about the what ifs, what could have beens and what mights.

    What will be will be. He is in full control of his life, or, he COULD be in full control of his life if he wanted to.

    SO's parents are here from Ilinois. I cooked a great dinner tonight for all--shrimp scampi, blueberry crumble (picked the blueberries myself today....: ), and tomatoes-from-my-garden and mozzarella salad. It was good. We just got finished playing Eucre and they went home.

    I enjoyed the cooking today and having them over. easy child came over with his new Corgi, Penny, to meet them, and I was so glad to see him.

    I am very thankful today for SO and his incredible, steadfast support. I was stressing over difficult child's birthday coming up July 27 and he helped me think of a plan---we are going to have difficult child for dinner at SO's house and presents, and have asked easy child and his fiancee to come. I will make difficult child's favorite---beef stroganoff, and a birthday cake, and will give him a book on WWII (he loves reading about that) and some new boxers and maybe some new tennis shoes. That's the plan, at least for now.

    Anyway, I need to enjoy the lull because with difficult children, the lulls are always temporary. Thanks for asking, Echo.
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  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member



    Saliva, dripping on my keyboard.


    I think it was the fresh picked blueberries. It might have been the freshly picked garden tomatoes, though.

    Saliva is so indiscriminate.


    P.S. Just following along with you, COM. Even when I am not posting, I am reading along, wishing you well, sending you strength....

    You can do this.
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