difficult child behaviors and The Shining....


New Member
Well, I know everyone is going to say I am over-reacting and difficult child is so old and I should just get over myself for once. :blush:

But here is the thing.

Even when we don't have a terrible thing happen with a difficult child on a holiday, we do.

We miss them, we wonder where and how they are, we see other parents who do know where their children are and how they are and that they loved them enough to pick up a phone and do something other than lie.

And all those little things that don't happen for us anymore make our holidays sad ~ very much sadder than the holidays of those whose children are doing well.

And I know everyone will say I am borrowing trouble here, but I think it is important for us to recognize where the unsettling feelings are coming from, on the holidays.

Because do you know what I did yesterday before dinner?

Ate a pound package of peanut M&Ms, that's what!




New Member
I understand how you are feeling. I don't know if it's just a difficult child thing, or a kids getting older thing. I had a nice peaceful holiday and my difficult child is doing well right now, but it was still a different kind of day which made me a little sad. My difficult child had to work and my easy child daughter went to her boyfriend's families house for dinner. Most of the rest of our family is in Florida right now, so husband and I went to a restaurant for dinner by ourselves. It was nice, like I said, but different. I was looking around at the other families with their small children, or even grown children, all sitting and talking and mine was just too quiet. Didn't quite feel like a holiday. I hope to not have to do that for to many holidays in the future. It just made me think of what the holidays used to be like, all chaotic, but fun!! Easter was always a huge thing on my husbands side. My mother in law would have a huge dinner and easter egg hunt before she sold her house with the big yard.

I didn't eat too much candy, but I did eat enough at dinner to make me feel ill for the rest of the entire day :smile:


Active Member
barbara, we cannot help but want to have a peacefilled holiday. I sat at the church I have belonged to since 1973. I saw families that I have watched grow up over the years. the parents my age...the kids my kids' ages. their kids were with them, they looked healthy. I imagined them going home to a nice brunch. I know that there are most likely things about these people that I do not know. their heartaches, problems etc.

in my mind I just wanted someone to cook for, kids running around, my sons and good wives for my sons. not gonna happen any time soon.

I decided instead to be thankful for what I DO have. my home, my health, my sons are alive and my grandson was chewing a tootsie roll as he said "hi Nunny" on the phone. I could go on and on about the small blessings. it makes me appreciate the life I do have and forget the stuff I wished I had.


(the future) MRS. GERE
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I decided instead to be thankful for what I DO have... I could go on and on about the small blessings. it makes me appreciate the life I do have and forget the stuff I wished I had. </div></div>

I try very hard to do this, too. There is something about "holidays" that can set us up for disappointment if we aren't careful.

If I know that the holiday coming up will be difficult, I try to do something out of the ordinary instead. Yesterday I woke myself up at 5 a.m. so that I could dart around the neighborhood putting chocolate bunnies at a couple of my neighbors' doors. I figured that even if the Easter Bunny wasn't coming to my house, I could make sure it went to theirs. :wink:

Later, I worked on minor home remodeling projects, then took Chloe to my bro and sister in law's. A very different Easter Day scenario than would take place at more conventional families' homes.

I'm sorry for your pain, Barbara.


Sue C

Active Member
Barbara -- Sending you warm hugs today.

Suz -- What a COOL idea putting chocolate bunnies at neighbor's doors!!! I LOVE it! :smile:



New Member

Suz, you are right.

Knowing what is coming, we DO need to take appropriate action to put ourselves in a better place.

It's hard to remember to do that ~ but you know what?

I got back what I put into it, didn't I.

Negativity is hard to combat.

I like that you did that. Turning your own pain into concern for someone else.

There's an old story about leaving pennies around so that you, or someone else, will find them sometime in the future. (You know that old saying about seeing a penny and picking it up and all day lomg you will have good luck.)

So, the moral there was that we could do good things ~ good, unexpected things, anytime we wanted to, never knowing who might find our lucky pennies.

Pennies aren't worth what they used to be these days, but the concept is probably the best thing there could be to combat this kind of negativity.

Thanks, Suz. :blush:

Ant's Mom, I read and reread your response to one of the other posts, this morning. I don't remember which one it was, but the prayer you made for that mother helped me, too.

KFld, Sue C, and Nomad thanks so much, too. (Nomad? Excellent idea, about getting those little M&M packages! Too late for me, though! Besides, I INTENDED to eat the whole thing when I bought it. :smile:)

KFld, I think you are right about part of it being that the house is empty now.

Sometimes I feel so foolish and wish I were stronger.

Know what I learned though?

M&Ms is definitely not the way to a strong, well-balanced outlook ~ no matter how happy those little M&Ms look in the commercials!

They were very tasty, though.

Barbara, Even though my kids are only in middle school and high school and still living at home, I can relate to what you're saying about the holidays being such a difficult time. Before my difficult children were born, I always loved the holidays. Once they were toddlers, I no longer enjoyed them. I always tried to put on a happy face while making bunny cakes at Easter, chocolate chip cookies for Santa, etc., but inside I just wanted to cry...

To difficult child 1 and difficult child 2, the holidays are only about what is in it for them. difficult child 2 gets excited when it is somebody's birthday because he gets to eat cake and ice cream. difficult child 1 doesn't want to spend any time that he doesn't have to celebrating his or anyone else's birthday. He just wants the celebration to be over so he can get back to his computer. Neither difficult child 1 or difficult child 2 ever does anything thoughtful for anyone during the holidays or birthdays. To them, holidays and birthdays are just about gorging on lots of junk food, nothing more.
Also, both difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 get extremely "hyper", extremely giddy, and extremely childish. difficult child 2 still "tantrums" as soon as party time is over. Then he uses what we call his "garbage mouth". I always dread the holidays!!!

This year, we decided not to spend Easter with family. We spent the day at home, letting difficult child 1 play computer games and difficult child 2 watch movies geared for toddlers. At least it was quiet!!!

So, even though my difficult children still live at home, nothing about the holidays even remotely comes close to "normal". I'm sure if I lived near you, I would have indulged with you, only make mine plain, not peanut!!!

Sending cyber hugs. WFEN


New Member
Barbara I am sorry you had a crummy day!

I did something I hadn't been able to do before, I said no to my family and I said no to the perfect families of my husband.

I knew I couldn't take the fake smiling and answer all the questions from husband's side and I honestly didn't feel like going through the motions with my parents reminding me of their two other kids that were not there for easter.

I spent ALL day sat. at a barrel race and I was too exhausted sun to want to do anything. I grilled out and we all lounged around and ate too much. difficult child was home only a short while, but I was thankful for the little time we spent together eating.

I am learning to change EVERYTHING when a holiday comes. It will never be like it used to be, so I try not to set myself up for disappointment.

Barbara I always say to do something for yourself, yet I am the last one that feels that I deserve something good.

I have started taking my own advice and I feel like my cup is being filled again.

You too should take your advice and make the time to do something GREAT for Barbara, little baby steps, and your cup will begin to fill back up


New Member
I understand what you mean, it's just sad that any of us feel that way. I hope today was better for you. Sending many hugs!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

I go thru the same thing during holidays and birthdays over stepgfg..... I tell myself each time I'm not going to let it happen. But it's there, and I think to deny it would be wrong.

I did it again this Easter. I let myself ache for all of the family love stepgfg has decided to deny herself and her kids. I can't do anything to change it. But that doesn't mean I don't still feel the hurt. Doesn't mean I don't still worry.

It's a form of grief, pure and simple. And I can get thru it when it hits much better if I don't try to deny what I'm feeling. I just wish I didn't have to feel it at all.



This was my first holiday without my gfgd. She had come home at christmas time but it was a complete disaster. Everyone walked on eggshells, tried not to say anything that upset her and ignored her manic talk about how she was exploring cutting and her new boyfriend.

At first it was very difficult for me. Until I realized I had just yelled at my easy child#3, who is only 2 by the way, for the third time for absolutely no reason except he wsa being a normal two yr old and running around. I made a conscious effort the rest of the day to hold my tongue and tried to keep a smile on my face.

It was just us, no inlaws from either side as we are in the doghouse with them as usual. But my lovely neighbours from next door popped over with a goodie bag for all of us, even the adults which was very nice.

Not saying I didn't cry....but that was into the bubbles while I did up the dishes in the evening...pretty sure the only person who saw me crying was my neighbour walking by...

The girls said is was nice, no yelling or fighting for a change...never really knew until yesterday how our holidays had fallen apart....sigh



Well-Known Member
Staff member

I have to admit that when I saw your subject line I thought of the movie "The Shining" and wondered what it the world happened at your house on Easter.

I was rather relieved to find out that you were just sad ~ not being chased around the house by a crazed difficult child with an ax. :crazy:

As far as eating chocolate ~ what exactly was the problem here??? Isn't that what chocolate is for??

by the way, I do the same thing as Nomad. I control by sugar fixes by buying snack sizes. I buy Milano cookies in snack packs that each have 3 cookies in them and just have one pack each morning with my coffee.



New Member
Barbara, Janet's prayer was in response to my post. Holidays are hard on us parentss whose difficult child's are lost to us. My difficult child has missed several family birthday celebrations, two Christmases, two Easter's, three weddings, two babtisms, and the list goes on and on. And it has only been a little over a year that he has been in the penal system. I think that I will always think of him when I wake up in the morning of a holiday. I do not want to fight those thoughts but after I feel them I say a prayer for him. Then I try very hard to put him out of my mind and enjoy the celebrations such as they are. I am getting better at it but it is hard. That is why I posed. I was having a hard time pushing the thoughts away. The friends here helped me do that, they acknowledeged my feelings and sent hugs and support so I didn't feel so down.

It truly is not a matter of not appreciating what we do have it is a matter of longing for a child we love. I believe that longing is natural and that it needs to be acknowledged. The key is not letting it take over the holiday and cast a cloud over whatever is planned.

I am so very thankful that my daughter has the gathering at her house. Thankful that my other kids come and participate. Thankful to be able to watch my grandchildren play and get rambuncious.

I have lived with dysfunction all my life but the holidays were always made special. They were always a day of reflection on family and friends. Everyone always got along everyone always chipped in and worked together. When difficult child was using drugs and erratic that was taken away from our family. He was so disruptive. I pray that someday he will be able to once again be present and pleasant at our family gatherings. But truthfully untill he can once again just enjoy us and blend with us, I know in my heart it is better he isn't in attandance.

Funny I feel no guilt saying that. I love him, I long for him but I also love my family and hold dear the tradition of peace and togetherness at holidays and family gatherings. I and they need that and deserve that. And for my grandchildren that goes double.

I'm sending (((HUGS))) to you Barb, I do know of your pain. Maybe if you do as I try to do, and just set aside a time in the morning to think of your son and say a prayer for him and then put thoughts of him aside for the rest of the day? -RM


New Member
I think what it is is that I used to believe with all my heart that the day would come when difficult child's true colors would shine through, and he would be my son again ~ someone who cherished me. That last phone conversation with difficult child blew me right out of the water. I am having to look at the reality of the thing without that little patina of possibility, that belief that this was just a (very!) protracted adolescence or something.

But nothing is changing.

I am having a hard time believing this is the way it all came out.

It's almost like experiencing the loss all over again.

I will try prayer for him in the morning, RM.

Ant's mom wrote a beautiful response to one of us in her last post ~ something about knowing things weren't going to change and how she was looking at that.

She wrote about time and change, as well. (I don't remember the title of the post now ~ it is here in PE, and I think she just did it today.)

So all these things (along with the tips regarding which kinds of chocolate ~ and in what quantities ~ works best :smile:) are helping me to feel less weird about the way that I feel.

Denial is such a hard thing.

I responded to Nomad in a PM this morning that this process is like forming a callous over a tender spot.

I was going to liken the process to an oyster forming a pearl?

But then I realized I feel absolutely more like a blister than a potential pearl!

But I suppose that eventually, we will have formed layer after layer of whatever it is pearls are made of around our own pain.

That imagery makes it not seem so ugly.

I wish I were being more positive about things.

I have spent such a long time not looking at what it is though that when I am forced to see it and NOT blame myself, I feel sad FOR myself!

This just really sucks.

The only bright thing is that this makes it wonderfully easy to justify revelling in chocolate abandon.



Whichever of us it was who posted about remembering gratitude was absolutely right. That IS the one thing that will help us stand up again. I am sorry I don't remember which of us it was, but thank you. A gratitude journal is a very good idea, too.

RM you are right.

It isn't about not being grateful for all that we have ~ it IS about longing for a child that we love.

I just need to find that place of balance between the two.

And a new source of peanut M&Ms, of course.