Asking the experts


member since 1999
How long does it take for the OMG-he's-out-on-his-own, sick, stomach flipping, paralyzing anxiety, he's really going to mess this up terror to go away?? I called the TLP to talk to thank you and they told me he'd gone "out". OK, this is the goal, this is what he's supposed to be doing but holy cow... I felt just ill.

He just called, having borrowed a peer's phone to let me know he'd gone to the beach. :faint: Again, what he's supposed to be doing, using public transportation, doing age-appropriate things. He sounded happy and proud, and I *will* be nominated for an Oscar for my supportive mom performance but I'm literally shaking.

Breathing, breathing, breathing... and trying to remember this is a good thing for him but good heavens, it's terrifying!

How long does it take to get comfortable with your kid's freedom? Do you ever *not* want to just hurl? :ill: Honestly, I think I'm possibly having a panic attack here.


Well-Known Member
LOL...well Sue...I will let you know when I get there.

Actually, it took me about a year to get really comfortable with Jamie in the service. We were so used to him being home and then he just was gone. For so long, we didnt even get to see him much because he was training. I started to breathe easier when I saw that he was handling things well and was content.

Now I hardly even think about where he is or what he is doing every second of the day. I can actually go whole days without even thinking about If we dont hear from him for a week or two we will call up and check on him but he normally calls us once a week or so.

Now when Cory was gone...I never stopped worrying about what he was doing and where he was. I dont know when I will get that anxiety out of me. Maybe when I die?


Active Member
I'm ROFL reading your post, Sue. Yes, I can relate.

When my difficult child was at his secure (locked) Residential Treatment Center (RTC), as you said, the goal was to get him to turn things around, and to ease him back into the real world.

The day he called to let us know that he had reached the level where he could go out into the community and apply for a job, my heart turned to mush. We finally had him safely locked in somewhere and they were going to "let him out"? Sounds awful, but that's how I felt.

He got a job at a sub shop, and had to walk almost a mile each way to work ... and he came back to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) after each shift! Yes, I was stunned, to say the least.

So, I understand what you are feeling, but also know the pride I felt each and every day that my son walked to work, and walked back to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He was working the program, and integrating himself into the real world.

Hang in there and revel in the new thank you. Feel the pride, mom!

Sending hugs,


Active Member
Glad to see you in our neighborhood Sue :smile:

That 'ole feeling, sorry to say, stays around for a while. For as long as we can remember we were hoping for our difficult child's to grow up. It's like they are two year olds again once they are out and about. At least yours is taking public transportation...driving is a whole 'nother eye opening experience.

On the bright side, and you've definately got a huge bright side. Your difficult child is doing the typical teen things. That's so cool :bravo:. If he's already called you and let you know where he was...well, well my friend, you've got one up on a lot of us.

Hope you don't stay away so long. :smile:

Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
Ummm, I still get sick to my stomach anytime I hear an ambulance or police chopper and neither SO or Dan is home. I never even give them being out a second thought till my ears pick up one of these sounds - and its been a while since I have seen either one of them at or over my house LOL -

I have done pretty well not "thinking" when they go out - but the sounds will throw me into a whopper of a panic attack. The freeway is beind the house across the street - and the entrance to it is at the bottom of the street - I don't even want to tell you how many times I have bolted straight up out of a dead sleep gasping when I hear the police on the bullhorn pulling someone over

I can clearly relate to all the above also. I have dealt with decisions to rather be "kicked out" that have to abide the rules of the home. So he goes to his friends house and lives where everyone does drugs and that is all. yes, I was sick most of the time. I thought it would be a learning experience that he would hate but NO! So now my sons court date is next Tuesday. He has been in jail for one month or so and I am afraid the judge will let him go and he cannot come backhome to live so where will he go. He thinks he has it all figured out but not really so the tough love thiing to do is let him find out but I hate it. It is much easier when they are locked up. That sounds cruel!!!


member since 1999
Hmmm, so what you're telling me is this is a never-ending situation, hunh? Egads... :wink: Deb, absolutely - much easier to feel comfortable in them not being home when you know they're locked down. I've been repeating over and over that it's not about my comfort level, it's about his. I think it's too early for him to mess up but... oh my gosh, the stomach-churning worry! Who knew?

Marcie - he's up in the big city and we're in the corn fields... thankfully, I cannot hear the sirens, LOL.

Sunny - he's asking about when he can get his license. I'm so not even remotely ready to go there. Have told him I'm not wild about him learning how to drive in the big city - he'll have to wait until he comes back to our little village.

Great Janet - now I can start obsessing about the anxiety level when Wee heads off to college (in 5 years, LOL)... and then Diva... on top of whatever thank you is doing... gasp!

Susan - the TLP thank you is in is for kids age 16-21 (still in public school) who have mental health issues. I believe all the kids in thank you's house have been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and rather than going straight back home, they step down to this program. They work on independent living skills (cooking, budgeting, housekeeping, jobs, transportation, social skills, etc.) plus there's a therapeutic component. In Chicago it's run by the same agency that runs the main adult mental health supported living/working program - kind of a bonus in that if thank you still needs some level of supervision when he graduates, his foot will be in the door to move on to the adult program. Of course, it's all voluntary so if he gets a bee in his bonnet and decides he can make it on his own, we can't force him to stay. The idea is to get him a solid period of time in a less restrictive environment than Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (the most recent one was actually very similar to a hospital - extremely secure) but one where he will have more structure and supports than we can provide at home. Right now the goal is if he can get a good 6 months in without problems, we'll seriously consider trying to have him live here again. He came home in 2003 and again in 2004. Both times he crashed and burned within 3 months, so we're trying a different strategy this time around.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
When Travis started doing more things that involved "freedom" to go where he chose..... I honestly was a wreck. I wonder if he wasn't Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) if he'd seen thru the whole nonchalant Mom routine. lol

But for Travis to just go and do things he wants to do it usually involves walking. WALKING. This is my legally blind son, who also happens to only vaguely to be aware of what is going on around him. :surprise: The boy who used to scare the beejeebies out of his sisters by stolling out into traffic totally unaware of oncoming cars. OMG! At least 4 people I KNOW nearly have hit him!

Still with all of his other limitations, I wasn't going to take what little independence he has left from him. So I keep my mouth shut. However, in a moment of weakness I managed to connect him up with an association for the Blind and get him a white cane and an Occupational Therapist (OT) to teach him how to use it. (however only recently he's been using it on a reg basis)

Travis walks everywhere, to the library (2 miles), to wallie world and kmart (at least 5), ect. If it's really hot or cold he'll ask for a ride.

I've gotten pretty used to it. And in the 3 yrs he's been doing all of this walking he hasn't been hurt.....yet. But I still cringe each and everytime I hear sirens. :faint:

I can't wait til he finds a new job and can start using the town's new taxi service.



Active Member
I am also LMAO. My older son Nick moved out end of June. He is 29 and a cop in one of the toughest neighborhoods in PGH. I would not even go there in broad daylight.

still....hee hee

I miss him. I want to mother this big ole 6ft tall shaved bald, lean mean fighting machine of a man in uniform.

At first I would call his cell phone, he was on the job. lol
cannot embarrass him anymore doing that.

My motto book is "Love you forever" esp where Nick is concerned. it is me, the mother still wanting to sneak over to her son's apartment and peek into his bed to see him sleeping. sigh.
Thanks for the information. My son just strikes out on everything because of his age. He is 24. I am getting more and more nervous about his court date. If they let him go he will have no where to go. We said he could not come back home - he knows it. My husband is not worried at all. He said it is his turn to figure it out. My son has been before this judge before. Who knows what will happen. I wish he could go somewhere for about 6 months to a year and get it together! Not prison though.