36 is now 37 today. Reflections.


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Yes, it is his birthday. He doesn't acknowledge it because he has this horrible fear of aging. I did text him "Happy Birthday" which is way more than he ever does for me or anyone else in the family, including his father who hands him bales of money. I sent a card. It is probably late. We do not exchange presents. I cut that out because he really doesn't care (he'd let me know if he did care...TRUST ME ON THAT) and he prefers I spend it on his son.

Looking back through the years, I do see some progress. He is responding to my boundaries and swears he doesn't steal anymore. Now his word is only as good as his word, but I try not to analyze it. He IS a good father, never spanks his son or gets angry at him. In fact, he is almost too lax. They do lots of fun things together. He never misses his child support and works a good job. He is far, far, far from perfect, but I am proud of the things he HAS done, that I never thought he would do..like working hard since his early 20's and being a good father and not killing his ex, whom he was very rageful at. That may seem like a silly thing to be grateful for, but I think he still has a lot of rage and violence inside of him.

All in all, him being two states away has been good for both of us and we talk all the time and he is much better at not being a jerk now that he knows I will get off the phone at the first sign of jerkdom.

So we embark on another year of our journey together. I wonder where it will take us.


Active Member
I know it's probably been a strange day for you, but it's good that you are able to be grateful for some of your son's progress. The fact that he's a good father and good worker speaks well for the way you raised him. I like to think that, despite their problems, our difficult children retain some of the good that we tried to instill in them and that maybe it just comes out in different ways. So you should be proud of yourself, also, and I'm sure the boundaries you've set have had a huge impact. I'm still learning so much from you!

Hugs and best wishes for the next year of your journey with your son!


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Aw, thanks, Oragami. That is sweet and I take it to heart. I wish I could say he is all better, but that's not true. He has been responsible largely because he is very snobbish and not having a big house, a prestigious job (although I don't think his is...lol) or looking "good" to others is horrifying to him, although at one time he was too ill to care. I'm cautiously optimistic that he is going to continue to stop his benzo use and again that is for his own reasons...they impede his ability sexually. But he has almost cut it all out...he used to pop Xanax like popcorn. This is, of course, if he isn't lying to me, but he has not sounded slurry over the phone like he sometimes used to sound. I am very pleased (and surprised) that he is such a caring father to my grandson, even if it because he sees the boy as a little him. I don't care why. I'm just glad he takes care of him and am even more thrilled that he never plans on having another child because I think one is all he can handle. I wish he'd try harder to let me see my grandson, but he is phobic about driving too far (a.k.a. five hours) to a place where I can see him and his son. He is also lazy and that is probably the biggest factor. I never do see my grandson. I wish I knew him. He gets great report cards (37 is VERY smart and his son is taking after him...he is six and can already play chess). Unlike 37, although he does get a little active in his desk when he is done with his work, he has always gotten perfect behavior scores, which 37 didn't...lol. But I can't fly out to MIssouri whenever I feel like it and take off work and pay for a hotel (I refsue to stay with 37). And he won't drive to Chicago where the family gets together for the holidays. So he still disappoints.

It doesn't matter. His sister in the Chicago area has no interest in ever seeing him again. My daughter who is in college doesn't like him very much either because she can hear him swearing and calling me names when he loses his temper...he is so loud it can be heard from my cell phone. So there is a down side.

All in all, things are better than they could be. I wish he'd make an attempt to meet everyone halfway so we could see my grandson, but he won't and I can't make him so it is what it is. I have my precious granddaughter from my precious daughter whom I can spoil and love on and I will.

At any rate, he made it to 37 and he lives two states away and that does give me peace as he is capable of exploding at me and really getting scary. So Happy Birthday, 37. It could be worse :)


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Staff member
In the world we all live in here MWM, your post is a really positive, good one. Your son respects your boundaries. He doesn't live with you or use your resources, he has learned from your respect of yourself and he is a good Dad and a good provider. His personality quirks are something you've already accepted. All in all, in my opinion, it is a very good update.

You've worked so hard using all the methods and techniques we talk about here, you've maintained your self support with therapy, you are healthy and do fun things for yourself, you are communicative and have a light heart.......you've healed your bio family 'stuff' and you remain a teacher and guide for the rest of us here with your strength, compassion, insight and courage. YAY!

Celebrate yourself today MWM, you made it through the creepy maze of insanity and come out the other side in a really good place!


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MWM, you are such an inspiration to so many of us here. I know I tend to think in terms of black and white with my difficult child. Your post reminds me that change happens a little bit at a time, it starts with me, and no matter what, the love between us is still there. I hope you and 37 both have a wonderful day!


Active Member
Please enjoy your day! My difficult child will soon be turning 37. I can say, while he thinks he had such a horrible childhood, and everything that has happened is everyone's fault but his, he is respecting my boundaries.

I just found out that my difficult child has moved back to his birth state from the 'pot capital'. He is in jail for domestic violence. They have been together over four years and fight continuously. Two years ago she was arrested for domestic violence, I guess she felt like it was his turn!

Amazingly, the six months they were panhandling and smoking pot everyday they seemed to get along better.

He didn't contact me and I don't hear from him very much, once he understood I meant NO MORE MONEY he really doesn't have a reason to contact me.

Since she was arrested for domestic violence in the exact same town he is now I'm hoping the courts will issue some kind of 'stay away from each other'.

It is heartbreaking that we (all of the forum members and many that just listen in) have adult children acting this way, and I find it sad my difficult child doesn't want a better life. No one even bothers to ask about him any more.

At least I can now accept that his life is his choice and my life can be a very good life, as long as I don't let depression slip in again and bring me to me knees. Never give up hope, just don't hold your breath. Maybe someday things will click for them.

Do something extra special for yourself today, you deserve it.

(((hugs and blessings)))