Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. In one of the other threads about tutors, I mentioned learning (trying) detachment with difficult child.

    I am doing it, but it is a daily struggle. In the end, I had to for my own sanity and to regain something of a life. It also helped me to loose the concern about what others thought, etc.

    This doesn't mean we take away his supports and are not here to help him; I think it's just a different way of thinking? Perhaps coming to terms with his conditions/getting through some of the mourning that comes with having a challenging child?

    For example, college is no longer an expectation for difficult child; it's there if he wants it, but he has to choose this path. He may not really understand it, but he will already say that if he ever gets caught doing something illegal, we will leave him sitting in jail (we all know that there are exceptions, but difficult child does not know this).

    This has been really hard for me, I tend to be a fixer and like to get along with others and had to learn how to be harsher, it's not natural to me. It would be great to have other's opinions and advice.

    Of course, I'm not sure how much husband would agree with my assessment of myself, but I think I've come along way in the last several months!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, my son is about to turn 14 and I started having thoughts about detachment about 2 years ago. I think it's hard for the kids and us parents when they are at this age. I don't look at it as "detachment", I look at it as "starting to let go". We can't detach from them when they are a "tween" or early teen the same as we should when they are in their early 20's. But, they do need to start realizing that this is their life and their choices and their responsibility. That can only happen if we quit making all the choices for them and quit acting more upset than they are if they are suffering consequences for a bad choice. JMHO.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Detachment STARTS by thinking differently. But, then we need to have behaviors that follow suit.

    Detachment is NOT about being harsh in my opinion. It is about allowing others to learn from real life consequences. Harshness somehow implies that YOU are doing something wrong. You're not. You are allowing your son to make his choices and choose his consequences. There is nothing harsh about that.

    Detachment is a process - and it sounds like you are making progress. Good for you!!
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I can relate big time. I am in the process of detaching now. I have come a long way. Just a few months ago I was a total mess. I was so involved with my daughter's chaos and trying to "fix" her that I lost myself. My only identity was her mother. Her and I were one. I walked through life in a fog. I was not living, just barely existing. I went through the motions but felt empty all of the time. I lived in darkness and despair. It was so not fair to my other family members. Most of all it was not fair to my son. Don't get me wrong, I did things with him, did the parties at school, pta, bowling, movies, reading, all of it. My body was there but I was a shell of myself. I wasn't really enjoying anything, I was too busy being suffocated by my addiction to my daughter. Every waking moment was hell. It was ridiculous. I had had enough. I began to live again. I am now able to enjoy happy moments. I have begun to rebuild myself, gain strength and see the sun agin. It is a process and very hard to do. But worth it.

    The key for me is acceptance. I had to accept my daughter's choices for what they were, her choices. I know that I have done everything humanly possible to help her. There simply is nothing left that I can do. I will be here for her and help her as much as I can. When she is ready. When she wants it. I will no longer dedicate my entire life to her. We can only do so much. We can only take so much. At some point they have to step up and take responsibility for themselves. When she does that I will go to the ends of the earth for her. In the meantime I will continue to breath!!!

    I often think of something that Marg posted to me once. She said that we must divide ourselves like a pie chart. Everyone, including us, deserves a piece of that pie. We can only allocate a certain amount of our energy to each part of our life. And I really do refer to that chart daily to remind myself that everyone in my family matters. Not just difficult child. THANK YOU MARG!!!

    Hang in there. It does get easier.

    Shawna :)
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    In the beginning it feels harsh, because to some of us who are codependent (or something :) ) it is a huge change of thought processes and actions.

    But once it gets going, it is a lifesaver. And an easier way to live.

    I am also learning to detach from an elderly cousin in NY who should absolutely NOT be living alone in her apt. She leaves water boiling in an open pan on the stove (instead of a teapot), is addicted to painkillers, and cannot walk more than 3 steps to the bathroom with-o assistance. She makes me want to scream. I flew there and showed her retirement home pamphlets, tried to talk her into living here, did everything I could. I made appts. with-attorneys and doctors, Meals-on-Wheels, in-home care, you name it, and she cancelled them all. I used to call her every day, sometimes twice a day, if she didn't call me, and it was eating up all of my time and energy.

    I had to let go.

    She's still alive. :)

    Sometimes, it means just keep breathing. :)
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  6. My favorite :D part of this process, getting my own hyper and happy personality back again and someone who talks too much. difficult child has always told me how fake I am around others. But to try to help him, I changed my own personality; but it didn't work too well.

    My New Year's resolution is to be happy; difficult child think's I'm the one coming unglued . . .

    Sounds stupid I know, but you'd have live it to believe it.
  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Wonderful family: Here is where the fact that we may know and understand more about what is what and the fact that what we have to go on is not so much.
    12-adulthood are important years of learning and that there are so many options as to what serves your family or your child(ren) is where parents are so vital.
    The question becomes how to meet everyones individule needs and accept them AND share a safe learning environment with boundaries in tact.
    What I am curious about is what is the wholesome and healthy
    relationship and how do I give that my time and attention?
    I am clear on what is abuse and what all the details sound like:
    and then he, and then she, and on and on and on...I can draw the diagrams and list the componants ect ect and definately have the lingo and the defintions and can give examples and can break down examples into parts...

    Now what I find is my interest is the healthy and well functional and the terms that I want to explore are starting with "emotionaly delicious"
    In terms of the developing child learning to give them the responcibility for their thinking process and the options expression to you and for their own awarenes of their ability to examine and create direction first they have to be in the position where they pick it up when it is theirs.
    Our children sometimes are just reflecting what we are "doing"
    and because it is change for us (and we are human and prone to 'see' what 'they' do) it seems like some complex psyco-babblion new age mirical when we just find a new way and then do it and then they reflect that inherent ability to do as monkeys do and do 'it' too.
    If human knoweldge was not so lucritive to horde and sell we would share it more readily and not need to schedule the three digit apt hour or pay the author for "the cure".