This came up in a thread and I want it to toss it out to my friends here. You know what? I think I did. It was that "I will be a great mother, no matter what, even if I have to sacrifice my entire life and my emotional health for my kids. My kids ARE my life and without them I am nothing, therefore if they fail, I am a failure. I can't let either happen. I have to keep pushing, pushing, pushing. I have to treat them with all the love I have, even if they abuse me because I am better than that. I am Mom of the Year. And these are my babies." When I felt that way, my kids were all under eighteen. I did not linger in that mindset for too long as 36 didn't let me. Although I did want to be the mother who is 80 with a 60 year old child in her house, if it came to that, I was afraid of 36. If he had not threatened to assault me, and if I hadn't been divorced so that nobody else could step up to help me when he did, he may still be living in my house. Did YOU get anything out of being the mom who enabled her kid? Made excuses for him, like I did? Put up with terrible abuse, like me? Even after 36 was gone, I enabled him in many ways, including the little money I had, listening to him berate me, and I saw him even after a few more times when he acted like he was going to hit me while I was visiting him at the various hotels he lived in. I don't know what I was thinking, really. He is tall and strong and once I brought him food and he threw it across the room and lifted his fist and I still didn't leave and I listened to how horrible I was for not letting him come back home. I came close to inviting him back many times. If I didn't know that his father was moving up to the area and had bought a condo just for the purpose of giving 36 a place to live, I probably could not have handled the in-between time when 36 lived in hotels. They weren't nice ones either. I probably would have let him come back home, to terrorize me again. I think the one thing holding me back was my daughter, who was terrified of him. It took a long time before I was ok with what I did, especially after he stayed with his friend's family for a while and his friend's mother called me up to scream at me and tell me what a horrible mother I was for throwing him out. Of course...she threw him out three weeks later, but that didn't make me feel any less awful. A bit vindicated, perhaps, but I still felt pretty rotten.