Difficult Child did four months in jail. I told them he was mentally ill and they evaluated him. Two doctors found him competent, legally anyway. Bummer, not the scenario I had envisioned with him receiving court ordered treatment. Oh well, another time. He is out on an ankle bracelet awaiting sentencing in about 10 days, He is constantly on the verge of a warrant for not charging the ankle bracelet and he is court ordered to a halfway house, which, of course, he refuses to go to. Whatever. The point is this: You guys introduced me to the idea that I deserve to have a life and that the way to that life was detachment. I did not embrace this right away. At first I thought I could never do it. I thought " well that's fine but I could NEVER be detached from my son....I love him too much" I thought I had to suffer along side my Difficult Child til the end so he would not be alone. That is enmeshment and the polar opposite of what he or I needs. It serves no one well. It is harmful to us both, but can be unlearned. Detachment is a skill that can be learned and takes practice. But it can be achieved, and peace can be found. We deserve good lives and can have them. This was a idea so foreign to me when I got here. I truly love him endlessly and unconditionally. With that being said, I have learned from you guys here on this site that there is a certain kind of love that our Difficult Child's need, and it is not the same kind of love that we show our healthy children. I was my son's enabler. I thought I was just loving him by doing things for him (that he could have done for himself). I do things for my daughter that she could do for herself, like buying things for her, so why can't I do them for my son? Because he will trade those things for drugs, that's why. She will cherish my gifts. I no longer help him because I love him and that is what I learned here. Its much harder to say no than to say yes. Much much harder. This is the love he needs. If my tears could fix him, he would be fixed. If my worrying and sleeplessness could help him, then all would be well in his world. My pain does not benefit him, and it definitely does not help me. He called about an hour ago asking for money for food. I said no. It is not for food anyway, but even if it were, the answer would be the same. He can get food stamps if he is hungry or go get a food box. He got nasty with me and I had to discontinue the call. Unpleasant to be sure. Life isn't always pleasant I have learned. I am truly sorry for his predicament. I am sorry that he doesn't listen to the way that I have outlined for him for him to meet his needs. Apply for SSI, get your housing voucher, apply for food stamps, etc. My best friend works for an organisation that gets homeless people housing vouchers. I have the hook up. By saying no, I nurture his gift of desperation. And it is a gift. I can not thank the people on this board enough. I truly do not think I could have attained the detachment I needed without months of reading and advice from you all. The four months Difficult Child was in jail also helped. I found out what peace was and became willing to do anything I needed to do to keep it. I was wise enough from being here to know that I needed to use his incarceration as a springboard into a new relationship. I let him know via many postcards that I would not be the same mother he remembered, that I had done some changing and I was not going to do a, b, and c anymore. Mainly giving him money. I sent very very little money while he was there and did not bond him out ($200 bond) It is a process, this detachment, and a week ago I was on the phone with the morgue, my heart in my throat while I waited for the worker to check for his name (I had not heard from him in some time and was worried). I have given him a card that his child support goes on. It is only $10 a month and the card is in my name with my address in case he is found dead with no other ID. These Difficult Child's tend to keep hold of things that give them money, no matter how small the amount. I have accepted that he could die. I certainly do not want him to, but he lives in such a manner that it increases the chances of it from that of a normal young adult. I learned that "helping" him actually increases that chance also. These Difficult Child's are amazingly adept at surviving their lifestyle. They have skills I certainly do not understand, but they do. I believe that having to do things like find food and shelter gives them purpose and fulfills them on some kind of primal level. I respect it. I say these things to give hope to the newcomer or lurker who isn't sure what to do. I can not "help" my son. If I could, his life would get better with my intervention. But that has not been what happens when I "help". What I can do, is help me. I have a beautiful life today. Sure, I still feel anxiety and sadness over this boy who can not find his way. Sometimes its overwhelming, like today, but relieving my discomfort over his discomfort by doing things for him only perpetuates the cycle that I am hoping will one day be broken. I am practicing breaking my end of the cycle. Hope this is encouraging to anyone reading who is still suffering like I was.