Breaking my end of the cycle.....hope for the newcomer


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.


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.


Well-Known Member
This is a beautiful and true post, Karisma.
So wise, so loving, so hopeful.
I have read and re-read it over many times. I can relate to every word, how it all fits perfectly.
I am practicing breaking my end of the cycle.
... as are we all practicing this in some way. You have greatly encouraged me.
Thank you.


Thank you for this posting. I am one of those people always on this site just looking for strength on a daily basis to stay strong. Your story has very similarities to mine although I am just a few steps behind with detachment.


Well-Known Member
This heartfelt truth is awesome. I also had to learn that there is no way to fix anyone, no matter how hard and relentlessly we try or how much we give up our life to do it.

Im glad you are back participating in the world, realizing that everyone chooses his own path in life.



Active Member
Thank you Karisma. So beautifully stated. I love my daughter and two granddaughters so much, but I can no longer be involved in her life. I especially miss my granddaughters. But I have found peace and am enjoying my life I can go on a vacation now and not have to locate Walmart to send money. My phone can ring and my body doesn't go into shock. I think of them frequently and say a prayer. Thank you. I'll be rereading your post many times.


what a beautiful post and what an inspiration for us all. I too have broken the cycle but only because life with my difficult child had just about broken me. It is a hard hard road but to finally realize that you cant fix anyone other than yourself is truly liberating. I thank everyone on this site for their ongoing advice and support! You are all angels! Wouldn't it be fun if we could actually meet? I wonder what the press would think of a Difficult Child


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
What a beautiful post Karisma. I can relate on so many levels.

My therapist is moving on after seeing her for 7 months. She has moved onto a new job and will not be seeing patients anymore. She was there with me through the tough times starting in June of 2016. I am grateful for her help through that difficult time sorting things out and looking for answers.

Last night we both acknowledged that I have changed. I am not the same person that I once was. You are not the same person either.

Thankful for that for the both of us and others here that have found strength.



Thank you all for your replies. I do want to inspire hope, as hope is what I have found here. I am in the fortunate position of having a certain degree of detachment just due to circumstances. For instance, my son can not live with me because I live with my boyfriend (who is my ex-husband and my son's step father) who would never allow my son to live there and Difficult Child knows it. So I am not constantly bombarded with requests to stay over and such.

I also live in Arizona where it is warm most of the year. I want to share something I learned about the "system" and it may or may not apply to another region but it is something I did not know until recently.

My best friend works for a company that gets homeless people instantaneous and lifelong housing vouchers. This particular company only works with the non-SMI population, because SMI housing vouchers are obtained another way.

This is how it works: A person has to register with the shelter system here, but is not required to be staying there, just registered with them. This action alone puts them on a list for housing, but it's a very long list.

However, if this person has a "crisis" (calls the crisis line for anything at all), they instantly go onto a different list and generally are in their own apartment within two weeks.

The crisis can be anything they consider a crisis, just calling the crisis line is what moves them to the front of the line.

Difficult Child remains homeless by his own choice in spite of this. Baffling.

Hope it is useful to someone.