Bittersweet . . .

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have spent the last two days helping my easy child negotiate her first new car purchase. We went for test drives yesterday and narrowed down her choice last night. We then sent for drive out quotes from all of the local dealers and chose one to go with today.

    easy child is now the proud owner of a brand new Mazda CX 5 SUV. She is so excited and thanked me for helping her with the process. She took my advice and asked my opinion each step of the way.

    Why was it bittersweet? It highlighted the difference in her and her sister. easy child graduated from college with honors and has had a very successful first year of teaching. She saved up money towards the down payment and was able to qualify for her own loan. difficult child is driving yet another junker that we bought her and will never qualify for a new car loan with her ruined credit. And, of course, doesn't seem able to hold down a job.

    Even more touching was that my easy child was still driving the 2002 Honda Civic that we had bought new for difficult child. difficult child promptly wrecked it and it passed over to easy child along the way. It has long since been paid off and we told easy child that she could use it towards her down payment. However, when she started the car buying process in earnest, she told husband and me that she didn't think it was fair for her to use the Civic as a down payment since she didn't pay for it and difficult child's car would not last much longer and would need the Civic.

    We told her that we meant what we said but we would keep the car and give her what it was worth so she would still have money to add towards the down payment. The fact that she was willing to give that up almost made me cry.

    Just another example of how different my two daughters are. Each successful step easy child makes toward adulthood contrasts with how emotionally crippled my difficult child is. Bittersweet.

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Kathy. Never say never. I have 3 and all are different and at different places. No one would have said I would ever amount to anything at 18. Im sure my parents figured I would be dead by 25. Never say never. Most likely difficult child wont be like her sister but she can be okay being who she is one day.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is amazing to me how alike our stories are on this board. My easy child graduated from college with honrs too and is a very successful teacher. We bought her first car, same year as yours, 2002 hyundai accent. She took such good care of it and we turned it over to difficult child in 2008 when we leased easy child a nissan rouge because she needed something safer to drive the freeway to her college internship. difficult child trashed that car in a couple months and we finally took it away in 2009 after finding alcohol in it. Last January easy child turned the rouge in and leased her own nissan sentra, getting her own loan in her own name and with her own excellent credit. We had helped her over the years get credit cards and bank account and establish good credit. She did everything right.

    difficult child is still driving that 2002 accent. It is dented and smashed all over, no headlight, floorboard caved in, window broken, looks like trash. She will never be able to afford anything better. She will never have good credit. She has no idea what it means to manage her finances. She doesn't care of she has credit because she will just steal what she needs.

    I wonder if our difficult child's look at their siblings and see how different their lives are like we see it. I wonder what they think and if they understand it is their own doing that they are not living the same way. easy child is living in a very nice apartment with nice furnishings in a nice area. difficult child lives in a very run down very old apartment that is dirty and is surrounded by drunks and drug dealers with a freeway in her backyard and pit bulls in every yard. It's such a stark difference.

    Enjoy the time helping easy child and watching her grow into a successful independent woman. It's wonderful she wants your input. You have done a great job and she values your opinion. I have had to learn how to ignore the differences between easy child and difficult child because it's not fair to me or easy child to not enjoy this phase of her life.

  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, my difficult child was disappointed to hear that easy child did not come back with us so she could see easy child's new car. So I showed her the model that easy child bought on the computer and difficult child wistfully said what a beautiful car it was and how she would never have anything like that. When I told her that easy child had decided to buy the extended warranty, difficult child commented that easy child always was the responsible one.

    So, yes, I think that our difficult child's do see what our easy child's are accomplishing. Unfortunately, I think it just demoralizes them and they think that they can't be like them and then they go even more downhill.

    I told difficult child that she could have these things someday if she really worked the DBT program. It will take a long while to clean up her credit but that it wasn't impossible. As always, it is really up to her. Janet, it helps when you point out that anyone can change.

    difficult child asked what we are doing with easy child's car. I told her that we were going to keep it for the meantime as an extra car and that if she does well with the DBT and finds at least a part time job, we would consider letting her have it. Ironically, both easy child and difficult child noted separately that it would be a full circle for difficult child back to the car we bought her when she was 16. Of course, it is 150,000 miles later.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathy....Cory just bought the best car he has ever bought. From a dealer no less. Now of course, he has no license and Mandy is working with a lawyer to get her license back. Hopefully that will work out before they get more tickets driving it. I did help them get insurance on the car. I realize that may be enabling them but they are paying the payments and I am only listed as a driver on the policy so it cant come back to bite me in the end. I made sure of that. It just helps keep their payments down a little bit. Not a huge amount though. Until she gets all her Dwol off her record, the cost is high.

    Do I think he will ever be completely wonderful and buy a lovely house with the white picket fence? No. I didnt. Heck, it doesnt look like Jamie listened to me to manage that. Billy might. I would love it if he could. I have dreams of winning the lottery and setting them all up that way. First Disney then setting them all I would love to see Cory have just a small place he could call home forever and not have to worry. Nothing special. Just decent. Even a double wide mobile. Maybe one day he will have mine.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Kathy... My mom could have written your post, oh, about 30 years ago. Seriously. I was the "easy child" and then there was GFGbro1 and GFGbro2, but especially, GFGbro1 was going nowhere while I was graduating from college, getting a job, moving ahead. The hardest part was the contrast. If I had become a secretary or something (nothing against secretaries, by the way), the lack of "success" for GFGbro1 would not have been so blatant.

    But... 10 years on... GFGbro1 went back to school... and ended up with a masters degree.

    Life isn't over yet, you don't know what will become of your difficult child. And there is more than one way to define "success" - she may never be buying newer cars, but if she can get her life together she can still have a good life...

    But right now? you need {{hugs}}
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am sorry for your mommy-heart hurt. It is sad. The joy of your easy child's success is lovely too. I am glad you get to experience what pride a parent can have with a child who is reaching her potential. Her story is wonderful.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    I can so relate to what you are saying. I have a easy child daughter who is almost 17. She is doing great and I am very proud of her. I just really like her as a person and of course love her as my daughter.... but she is smart, funny and driven to succeed and she will. The other day my difficult child called trying to convince me to get him a bike (before he was kicked out) and my daughter was overhearing the convo and she said "tell him his 16 year old sister has a job!!!".

    So true... she is in high school but also got herself a part time job and so is earning money and it feels great to her to have some money to do some of the things she wants... like when her ipod broke she went and bought herself another one, no coming to us begging for a new ipod!!!

    So we are now at the point of thinking and looking at colleges. I am enjoying the process (when it does not overwhelm) me.... but at times I am struck by how sad it is that I never got to go through this with difficult child. It is really sad.... and when I get those thoughts I have to put them out of my mind and focus on easy child. She deserves my attention now.

    I hope he finds his way some day but he may not. I am so so thankful though that my other child is a easy child..I know people where both kids are drug addicts and that would totally totally break my heart.

  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Kathy, I get it. My son is so responsible in every way. He worked hard to get all his ASEs so he could be certified and make more money as a mechanic. He has perfect credit, never misses a chance to help his dad and I or a neighbor, and is a loving kid. difficult child got paid yester, haven't seen or heard from her since 12:00 noon yesterday, did pay for the impoundment and towing but will owe thoudands for the truck she wrecked of her brothers. I bet she is already broke.

    difficult child often comments on how he is the favored child-not even close. Her dad doted on her and I was so trilled to have a daughter. Her choices have made it so hard to praise her or even give much positive feedback-we try. I do think they get frustrated when they see one sibling shine as they continue to have wave after wave of frustration and trials.

    I hope you smile inside at what a good mother you have been and how easy child is shining. To have a successful first year of teaching is amazing! We both know how tough a job it is these days.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exhausted, I can relate so well about the favored child. difficult child said the other day that her family disowned her and I told her that the reason she ws estranged from her family is because of the bad choices she is making not because we disowned her, which we did not. I told her to be honest with herself even if she could not be honest with anyone else.

  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My easy child and difficult child#1 were like that. Day and Night. Things have started evening out now that they are older and easy child has been hurt. difficult child#1 has been very good to easy child and helps her with shopping and does girlie things with her now. She even took her to the last family function that was 6 hours away, got a suite of rooms so easy child could rest and her kids would be supervised. I think my difficult child#1 really enjoys finally being able to shine along with easy child instead of being in opposition to her.
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We've heard that tired old line about favoring easy child for years. difficult child just can't understand that we have reasons to be proud of easy child and she really hasn't given us any reasons to be proud of her. It's the old disconnect between her actions and consequences of those actions.
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My girls are much older than yours Kathy. They are 36 and 38. There is still time for yours to find themselves and each other. -RM
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Kathy... mine are younger, and we went through that. We had to figure out really early, that we had to down-play success for BOTH of them. Because... they both started measuring our "love" by our "approval". We had to focus our "approval" on things that were achievable for both of them, and those were mostly the stuff that really matters most - kindness, effort, responsibility, etc. Even then... difficult child wasn't able to perform to the same level as almost-easy child. Not until we got the real help needed for all of his issues...

    We wrestled for years with this, because he just "didn't get it". We felt hurt at his "rejection". Now? He does get it. And it has less to do with his own success, and more to do with getting the help HE needed. He now feels and understands that we actually do care for him as much as for almost-easy child... even though their real world performance is different.

    it's just SO HARD to deal with the difficult child push-back, the put-downs, the comparisons... and even harder to see the toll it takes on sibling relationships. And much, much harder to actually get the right answers and the right solutions and... by the time it's "adult" kids? There is less and less that we CAN do.

    It's NOT FAIR.