Detachment is not that you should own nothing; it's that nothing should own you.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scent of Cedar *, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This quote from Wisdom Warrior came up on my FB this morning.

    If I apply it to the emotional hurts and rages and coldnesses...this is a beautiful, appropriate description of detachment for us, too.

    "Detachment is not that you should own nothing; it is that nothing should own you."

    If we can take the overwhelming emotion out of a thing, we can see clearly and function from that place of clarity.

    Somewhere in here, in that first part of this phrase on detachment, is love. It isn't that we don't allow ourselves to love ~ that is the part we own. It is that we don't allow someone to hurt us with our love for them.

    In a way, it is like keeping our love clean and free and sacred, however the kids ~ adults now, grown up and sometimes, really mean ~ behave. It has nothing to do with us, how they behave as adults.

    I have been feeling badly about difficult child son and the house thing. He is so darn rude about it, so entitled. I told you that he wanted to (make that expected) us to "sell" him the house we live in in the summer.

    But he has no money to buy it.

    His contention is that he would be able to work in a city some three hours away, that he has a job there, that the money is great and he would pay the house off in a flash.

    Drug use is a piece of the reason ~ probably the only reason ~ he suddenly needs to move from the state where he lives.

    And I know I should be okay with having said no, and I know I should be able to walk through all this with my head up and blah, blah...but boy, I can hardly sleep at night, and I think about it, alot.

    Plus, difficult child son is so meanly selective about how he sees and phrases a thing that you would think there was only me, mean as a snake, preventing him from taking this wonderful opportunity to relocate because I am refusing to let him live in our house while we are gone.

    difficult child son?

    Is 39 years old.

    He has come home to pull himself together many times in the past. Each time, we have lost control of the situation, and spent what we needed to just to get him on his way.

    And I know all this, but those darn emotions, the wishing it were different, the wanting what I want and wanting to be, and to be seen, as the kind of mother I want to be ~ all that is so heavy.

    My granddaughters seem to like me very much.

    I like them alot, too.

    That is something very good.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar...honey, you know that none of us owe our grown children a house!!! That's outrageous. Yes, they can be amateur lawyers that trick us and make us think we need to do these things, but this is not logical. It's YOUR house. He can make an apartment his sanctuary (we have) if he wants a place to live. He can work and save up for a house or a townhouse or a condo.

    No parent owes a HOUSE, their HOUSE, to their child unless you want to will it to him after you are gone. And would he take care of it?

    Cedar, he is a middle aged man, like my son.

    I am very glad your grads love you. Of course they do. You are a wonderful person. You have gone over the edge and done flip flops to help your son get started. It seems to be that he can't or won't. Probably won't.

    Try to have a peaceful, serene day and try hard not to let his amateur lawyer/guilt tactics roll through your head. He is not being fair or rational, but, yeah, if we hear something over and over again, sometimes we can sort of doubt ourselves and our good sense. Our difficult children are very good at Stockholm Syndrome. I know mine is classic at it!

    Be good to a very important and worthwhile person....yourself. And do something fun with your wonderful husband who treats you the way you deserve.
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    So foolishly after all these years though, I wish it was different than it is.

    We wish for honor. We wish for those we love truly to see us, and to be able to reflect that finer self back into our own questioning hearts. That is what a good marriage (or a cherished, long term friendship) is, when you think about it. It is that someone who truly knows us loves us more, and believes in us more, than we do, ourselves. More than we can do, because each of us knows the personal, private things we struggle with, in our secret hearts, to be better people than we sometimes are.

    But for one of our own children to be so spiteful and hateful is like holding up an ugly, spoiled thing to reflection. And if we let our children in, if we open any internal doors to them...those are the reflections that hit at the heart.

    It quite sucks.

    And I am getting a little angry about it, actually.

    It's like a really mean trick, in a way. Like when you reach to shake someone's hand and they have one of those little hand buzzers in there.


    And oh, for Heaven's sake and forever...but, I thought you loved me....


    There is only that little piece that wonders whether, this time, he would make it; or whether, this time, I (we) owe him this other chance because now he has children and we aren't even going to go to that house again for months.

    But...who pays the utilities, right?

    Who pays for food and clothes and gas if difficult child son does not pick up?

    I mean, this could get to be a real nightmare because there are children involved.

    The other side of that is: what kind of parent (really and sincerely) does not believe in her own child enough to fight for him or her?

    So, that is the tight little circle ruining my sleep, lately. In a way I am glad. Once I am through this, I will be less (way less) vulnerable to any of this. In fact, I am not so vulnerable to it while I am awake.

    Ha! I sound so foolish, even to myself.

    It's a pretty lonely thing though, to stand on the hard won ground of common sense and of detachment and of the choice to self protect instead of risking for and supporting someone you still harbor dreams for.

    And I do still want difficult child son to succeed, to be okay, to be a good father, and to be happy.

    It is a strangeness that, as is their pattern from forever, difficult child daughter will crash and burn and then, BOOM...difficult child son.

    Drug use complicating an already chaotic situation for difficult child daughter, and drug use creating a chaotic situation for difficult child son.

    It's unbelievable.

    How can this be my life, right?!? Deep in that secret place in the heart I was posting about earlier? That place where we keep the secret things we don't want to know?

    I wonder whether I even really care anymore, at all. Do you suppose we ever just stop? Just stop believing? Then we would have to look right at what is.



    difficult child son is definitely not adverse to using his children to hurt me. Poor difficult child son, though. He has used them to hurt me so much that I don't really know his children, other than through phone calls and one or two visits, at all.

    And role in their lives can be very much from the outside looking in. My job as their grandmother is simple. Believe in and love them. I can handle that without ever seeing them in person, again. Last summer, I did not even get to send cards, remember? When difficult child son refused to give me the address?

    And I think I felt worse about it than the grandchildren did. They were happy to get their Halloween cards and chatty as all get out about how they've been. And I get it that difficult child son hopes to reconnect me?

    But I was never disconnected, so I am going to handle whatever he comes up with next just fine.

    Which makes the kids not exactly a weapon difficult child son can use with impunity, anymore.

    What is the matter with me, that I need everyone to think I am nice?!? Who cares whether I am, was, or ever will be, a good mother or even, a nice mother?!?

    Or a bad grandma.


    Remember that movie, Bad Santa?

    That is going to be me, in the grandma department.

    Cedar spits a plug of tobacco into the dust. (I have been reading a Western just lately.)


  4. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    SoC --- Oh, my. Our difficult child is younger, but many similar events and emotions abound. It does suck. MWM is right in bluntly reminding us that we do NOT owe them. We don't owe anyone who's that abusive toward us -- even if they're our own kids.

    Your phrase, above, stuck with me because I can relate. Getting a "little" angry. I used to say that phrase. Truth is (for me -- maybe not you or everyone)... I got a "lot" angry about the garbage. I used to blame myself for that -- expecting myself to be some kind of a saint or something. But then I flipped it around in my head and thought....... "Well, who WOULDN'T be angry at being treated this way?" I mean really..... who wouldn't? Wouldn't it be more odd to NOT be angry about it all?

    SoC --- You post some absolutely terrific stuff on this site. I learn a ton from you! You have a kind, sage sort of a soul. You are constantly seeking the higher path, the greater wisdom, the gentler good. I admire you for this!

    Nope....... You don't owe him a home and you have done a great job doing all you could. Sadly, sometimes it just is what it is.

    But I love that you are loving your grandkids and they are obviously loving you right back! That's a beautiful, beautiful thing on every level. Their beauty and innocence bring such light into our lives when darkness could abound (from difficult child's), if we let it swallow us. Good job recognition their shining light in your life. No doubt you are a shining light in their lives, too. If they're anything like you, well, then, the world is in for a treat in the coming years. How old are they now?

    Signed, Nana who gets to spend today with her CBE (Cutest Boy Ever -- used to be Cutest Baby Ever, but, well, you know, he just turned 4, so he graduated into "Boy" status. :) C-B-E!
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    A four year old boy grandchild, huh? That's so great! So, you got to do Halloween, and you have the other holidays coming right up, too.

    I love that age.

    I have six grands, HM.

    Oldest granddaughter is 21. Funny, so bright, doing really, really well as she sets out on her own in the world. Her birthday is six days before mine. husband and I raised both granddaughters off and on, when they were little. This granddaughter, once when we needed to take them both to live with us, was my introduction into homeschooling algebra.

    And we did just fine ~ but boy, did I have to bone up on that stuff.

    The local school would not take the girls, because I did not have guardianship. I had to learn to home school in like, fifteen minutes.

    We did fine, though. It wasn't that hard, really. We had internet and computers, then. When difficult child daughter was able to take them back, they were able to pass right into the next grades in school easily.

    Our second granddaughter is fifteen. She has been through so many difficult things in the past three years. She is in a safe, stable home now, is doing well, is doing better, is coming through it.... She was born on my birthday, and I got to cut the cord. She just sent me an email showing a picture of this heavy set elderly lady. The lady has fallen to the floor. There are many concerned people looking down, trying to help her and so on. The caption: "My grandma when she realizes I haven't eaten."


    We have four boy grandchildren, too. difficult child daughter's two boy children I am quite close to, though with difficult child daughter's situation over the past three years, we have lost touch to a degree. They are 9 and 6, now. I love them more than they love me, because they don't really remember me so much, anymore.

    I don't mind.

    They will be falling in love with me again soon enough.

    difficult child son has two sons. They are 9 and 4. One is our blood grandson, and one is our grandson because we want him to be and he wants to be. This has been a difficult relationship all around. difficult child son is ~ he accuses me of being a crummy grandmother because I don't do for his sons what I did for difficult child daughter's two girls.

    Like, let them come and live with us. Along with difficult child son and his S.O.

    I am serious.

    This is not the first time difficult child son has been furious that we refuse to let him come to live with us, or refused to take he and his son in.

    They live in another state altogether from us, so a visit there is not something you plan when the father (our son) isn't speaking to you. The other side of the game is that he can accuse us of being crummy grandparents because we never come to see them.

    It's a Catch 22 for grandmas. difficult child son's vehemence and condemnation have been hard for me.

    I try to do better, to send more things in the mail and so on...but this summer, we left the addresses down South. difficult child son refused to tell me his address (or talk to me, for that matter).

    So, I lost touch with those grandsons a little bit.

    They seem to like to talk to me on the phone, though. I have been able to talk to them three times since we got back, and found the address, and sent their Halloween cards.

    I think our son isn't talking to me again now though, so I probably won't be talking to those grandsons for a little while or a long while.

    difficult child son likes to hold my relationship to his kids over my head. Things like I won't be talking to them again, or they don't even know or care about me and that's all I deserve because I'm such a poor excuse for a grandmother.

    And how it's too late now, because the kids are growing up fast.

    difficult child son likes to twist that knife in my back.

    So, that's been a difficult thing. I don't know just how we are going to proceed with this. I do know we are going to keep sending holiday and birthday cards.

    My grandmother made all the difference in the world, for me. I didn't see her that often, but she would send little things in the mail. When we did see her, she loved us.

    And really, that made all the difference, for me.

    So, I try to do that for the little grandchildren who have me for a grandma, too.

    It doesn't even have to be all that much.

    For anyone reading along who is a grandmother, try to remember this part of my story. Grandmothers can make all the difference in the world for a child. We don't have to be there that often, we don't have to spend alot, we don't even have to talk to them so often on the phone. But especially for children growing up in challenging environments, I think knowing there is someone out there in the world who loves you for nothing, for no reason at all except that you exist...that can change everything, for a child.

    So, like they say somewhere or other, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

    There is a thread on Substance Abuse about mean adult children. It has been quite an eye opener. If you haven't read it (or for others of us who find ourselves unable to know how to look at our relationships to our adult kids) it's a great thread.

    Here is one last thing about grandchildren, and about our relationships to them. I think little kids know more about their own situations than we give them credit for. I think that if we come one little inch forward toward them, they are ready already to love us, to open to us, to welcome us into their ~ really, not to be mushy at all ~ but into their hearts, their true hearts.

    They need to be loved, like we all do...and grandmas, I don't know why this is, really, but it just seems to me that all grandmas find children fascinating. Even when they aren't my grandchildren, I like little kids so much.

    Here is a story, for anyone still with me.

    Remember the Disney movie The Lion King? And there is a pig in the movie. A wart hog, I think. And he is always telling everyone to call him MR. Piggy? So, when we were always watching that movie, I told my granddaughters they had to call me MR. Grandma.

    We still laugh and laugh about that.


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  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I agree! Cedar, you not only constantly seek the higher path, you have complete faith that others will want to do so also. Your faith never wavers. When I picture you in a Christmas movie, you are not Bad Santa. You are Bill Murray's lost and found true love in Scrooged, the one who runs the homeless shelter and says, "The good thing about regret is that it's never too late! You can change! I see that every day!"

    I totally agree, Cedar. I have not a single doubt that you have great and sincere and unwavering belief in your children. You are the one who has taught me that, to make that clear to our children, that no matter what, we hold that seed of faith that one day they will find their way.

    But that doesn't mean we step back into doing the same kinds of things we have done for them before, knowing in our heart of hearts that they haven't changed, and that therefore in all likelihood the outcome won't be any different this time. Giving/selling him the house wouldn't be fighting for him, in my opinion. It would be acquiescing to his manipulation, maybe even making it a little easier for him to continue or even escalate his drug use, and making it much more complicated than just spending what you need to send him on his way next time.
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, in all honesty, I've never heard of a kid who expected his parents to sell him his house. That is so far out there it's not in touch with reality. He is expecting more than even most difficult I hope you see how magical his thinking is. "If you don't let me buy your house on my terms (which may be he never pays for it), you don't love me, you're a lousy mother, and on top of that you're SELFISH." I don't know if he said those things, but it is just mindboggling.

    I think we need to give ourselves maybe five minutes of hard thinking time each night about what our difficult children say so that we can analyze the realism, or lack thereof, of their thinking. Maybe that would help. A house, huh? Why not a Mercedes? The grandkids need a safe car to ride in (good way to use the grandkids) and if you love him you'll get him a safe, expensive, prestigious car. And why not buy his wardrobe for him because he can't possibly get a high level job without name brand clothing, right? If you loved him, you'd do it. I hope you are not offended by this. I didn't mean it to mean your son would actually ask for all this. But most of our difficult children do expect an awful lot from us that are not in the realm of realism.

    Did you ever ask your parents to give you their house??

    Any one of our difficult children can and do make outrageous demands and tell us we are mean mommy (the MOMMY rather than mother is on purpose) if we dont' do it. They revert often to very young status when they wanted that toy in the store and you humored them and bought it and then they thought you were a nice mommy. But if you said no....whoa baby!!!! Tantrum time and you were the meanest mommy in the world!

    They still think of us as "mommy."

    Hope you got the message and, again, I did not mean to offend!!! My son is no peach.
  8. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    This was beautifully put Cedar. Loved reading it.

  9. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Please tell me the name of the mean adult children thread. I have one who is NOT a difficult child. She just continues to break my heart...lives a thousand miles away. Will not even acknowledge my husband of 2+ years. Barely speaks to's crushing. I know, I know, I'm doing better at detaching, but it still hurts. She has all my grandchildren.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A difficult child "gift from God" is a difficult adult child, kind of a joke. A sad joke.

    If you want to talk abot it, you can start your own thread by clicking on "new thread." Many of us have mean adult children.

    I have one adult child who won't acknowledge his family, except for his wealthy father (we are divorced). He has two kids. We adopted him at age six...maybe he was too old to feel that family feeling (shrug). At any rate, a lot of us understand.
  11. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Cedar -- Wow! 6 grandkids? You have riches of the best kind! Grandkids! Awesome! I loved reading your and their backgrounds. 21 is your eldest? Incredible. And you homeschool-taught Algebra? You go, girl! I'd find that a little intimidating at this stage (algebra memories fade oh so quickly! LOL!). I thank you so much for taking the time to introduce me to each of them, individually, so I can have an idea of who's who when you speak. They are so lucky to have you!

    Just re-read some of your paragraphs -- your details on guardianship, homeschooling, cutting your granddaughter's cord at birth, etc. You have quite a story to tell, Cedar. You are a strong one, indeed. Strong-hearted and soft-hearted is the best kind of combo-blend. :)

    So sorry to hear your difficult child has a twisted sense of connection around so much. But especially around you. He is missing out. I don't understand why so many choose to do that, it seems. I once had a psychiatrist tell me that our difficult child "acts out" that way because he trusts me." My response? "Welllllllllll..........that's fine and dandy for him, but not for me!" LOL!

    Ahem.... and I reiterate....... You are still a sage soul in many ways! It's a please to "virtually" meet you. :D

    And, oh, yes.... 4 yrs old is so much fun for our grandson! Long story (for another thread, another time), but we are also blessed to be invited (by our daughter-in-law's siblings) to be "honorary grandparents" to 3 other beautiful babies (ages 3, 6 mo's, and 5 mo's). Lots of babies in our lives nowadays and we, who never bore a biological child of our own (miscarriages, then adoption of difficult child at age 6) are ENDLESSLY THANKFUL for this bounty of beautiful children blessing our lives at this stage. We are KEENLY aware of what a gift we have with these grandchildren (and they all came to us via difficult child's choices.........SO WE ARE GRATEFUL!). We love them deeply! And yesterday was filled with playing in the ball pit at an indoor jungle gym.........just me and a half-dozen 5 yo''s or so.......WHAT FUN! :D Blessed, blessed, blessed!

    I'll have to check out that "Mean Adult Children" thread

    PS -- Love your "Mr. Grandma" story!

    Gotta go............My Seahawks are on now!
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Thanks to each of you for such strengthening responses for me.


    I have been told too, that the kids act out most harshly to the person they trust to love them through it.

    There was a time when I thought that was the way to do it, too. When I thought I was meant to listen, and that the bad things could be pulled out and looked at and changed up, that way. But I learned, here on the site, that maybe that was where I was like, standing on my child (my son, in this case) to pat myself on the back for being such a kind, tolerant and blah, blah, blah.

    I came to see the utter lack of respect for the person treating us badly, if we don't let any of that stick, if we don't take them and what they say seriously.

    They are strong enough. They do know better.

    And it is a mark of respect to them to say so.

    There is a kind of true thing in there, somewhere. Life proceeds along a kind of continuum, it seems to me. We fight to be the best we know...and over time, that best thing, that triumph of self creation, gets to be a caricature of what was real, once.

    Then, we have to start all over.


    I don't know that I am a good grandmother, really. It was so easy, so effortless really, when the kids were little. But within the past year, I have had to tell each of my granddaughters she could not come to live here with us. Good things have happened ~ way, way better things ~ than would have happened, had we encouraged them to come home.

    But I didn't know then, when they asked, what would happen.

    The fifteen year old is making her way back, having problems crop up here or there, but she is doing ~ she is able to talk about how it feels to be who she is, now.

    She is able to talk about the differences between herself and other teens. About the things they will never be able to empathize with, and the loneliness of that.

    Our refusing to take her taught her some things she needed to know, I think, about wildness and running away and choosing what we choose.... But again, I did not know that when I refused to take her.

    It was a hard thing.

    She had to stay with her mother. And then, her mother sent her away.

    But that seems to have been exactly the right thing.


    The 21 year old took the reins of her life and is functioning, taking the challenges, beautifully.

    She is doing well.

    The fifteen year old...we have conversations now that would never have happened, if she were still presenting the granddaughter I needed her to be and hiding the rest.

    It's a whole different way of being a grandmother.

    The 21 year old....

    There too, the conversations are brutal and honest and real in a way that could never have happened, had we encouraged her to come home. There are issues we all need to work out for ourselves. Family is there to help us do that, but it is hard to know what the honest response is or what it means, or which honest response is the real one.

    Which response I make comes from what I know love to be.

    And it's really different than protecting.

    Sometimes, the loving and therefore, correct, response means risking, means letting our child go, with clear instructions regarding determinedly creating where they will place themselves, next.

    Scary stuff.


    Anyway, that is how I try to figure out what the hallway to say. (I got that from MWM. She never says bad words in her posts, have you noticed? I like that. The word I meant was hell, of course. Not hallway.)

    I have been required to come up with more than kindness or understanding or any of that kind of thing. I have had to let go and take risks and be honest about what I see, and about what I will or will not do, and why.

    It was a betrayal of being their grandma of the first magnitude.

    But so far, this seems to have been the right thing.

    But the reality is very different than the one everyone else seems to have.

    Isn't that a strangely true thing for all of us, here. Our relationships with our children and grands are out there on the far edge, where things are very real.

    I wonder sometimes whether, far from having done something wrong in our parenting, the parents here on the site were the kinds of parents (or grands) that have given their descendents a kind of strength that enables them to push through to the edges of what is possible in their lives.

    I am probably all wet on that one.


    I was thinking about MWM and 37's response to news of her illness.

    Those responses 37 had were the truth.

    That is how he really feels about his mother. Whatever he says and however he treats her (And he is often so darn mean! As is my own son.) he put that aside in an instant and spoke what was true.

    Now...where did that come from.

    Where does what we believe our kids think about us ~ the rattiness and the anger and the bad words ~ where is that really coming from?

    Is that meanness what lives in their hearts and colors their worlds and they are mad at us because they are mad at themselves?

    WTF, as someone has surely said at some time or another, and I am just repeating, here.

    (Sorry, MWM. What the hallway just doesn't have that same rhythm.)



    Part of what I saw there was 37's willingness to be strong for MWM, to stand up for her if she needed his strength. So, the question becomes (does the question become?) I don't know exactly, but could it be that our kids still believe, on some level, just like they did when they were little, that we could magically fix the wrong things and that is why they are so mad with us?

    Could that be where the feeling of betrayal comes in?

    I know darn well there is something here.

    I remember Albatross' thread on magical thinking....

    Anger seems not to have any basis; when we look deeply enough into it, it seems always to be about what we needed, or about who we wanted to be, or how we needed to be seen.

    A hurt place.

    Protecting Ourselves from Adult difficult children, wakeupcall.

    That thread is on Substance Abuse forum.

    If you can tell us more about what is happening with your daughter, we can share with you any experience we have.

    Maybe, like me, you will need to be one of those grandmas who loves her grandchildren for their sakes, and not her own.

    They are still yours, whether your daughter lets you see them, or not.

  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ha! I love this.


    This is an interesting thing, Albatross. There was a time this past winter when I sort of lost my faith. I just didn't see things in the same way, anymore. So many bad, unpredictable things had happened, and kept happening. Over time though, I seem to have come to a different way of believing or having a different kind of faith or something. It's like I've begun to have faith without faith. No proof, no...I don't know how to describe it. This is new to me. I've already lost so much, given up on so much. (Wa wa, right?) Not to be maudlin. Just to say that all that faith kind of broke through into something that doesn't have an end game, a time I will know all is well attached.

    It feels easy to remember to be present.

    That would be the best way to describe it.

    But it's like, I don't have so many of those old, formulaic ways of looking and seeing and defining and responding.

    Like a kind of hovering, touchable thing that I a not familiar with yet.


    But he adds, especially when talking to husband, that he knows people whose parents have mortgaged houses to give their kids a start in life. (Something he has also asked us to do. When one of his friends, who started working in a pizza franchise while still in high school and worked his way up, over the years, to manager, wanted to buy his own franchise, the parents took out a second mortgage to stake the kid.

    I know the kid?

    And he was a decent, straight arrow kid even as an adolescent. Our son got this really cool job at a fancy restaurant when he was the same age? And he began using drugs. So, there you go.

    Anyway...where was I.

    So yeah, MWM ~ that is exactly what difficult child son did say.

    This is a very good thing for you to tell me, MWM. I get shaken over the idea of shelter, and of how scary it must be to be a father and not be sure whether you can keep a roof over your family's head.

    This is very good for me to remember.

    Yes! I was sort of mulling over that same kind of thing in an earlier response.

    Maybe that is a piece of why difficult child son has not picked up financially. With his natural gifts, he should have been able to go pretty much where he wanted to in the world.

    Thanks, MWM. We all need to help one another see as clearly as we can.

    None of this is easy...and it is very easy to stay stuck in responses, or in assessments of what is happening with our adult kids, that lost their effectiveness years ago.

    I do want to help difficult child son (and myself) work through this. The first step has to be to see what we can see of the places where things are blatantly wrong and start there.

    I appreciate, everyone.

    Thank you.