Do you all ever think there will come a time that we don't deal with all this drama anymore?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PennyFromTheBlock, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    I mean, do you all think there will ever come a time that our difficult ones grow up? Live somewhat normal?

    I simply cannot fathom spending the rest of MY life always waiting on the other shoe to drop, or walking on eggshells, or making excuses for him, or .... just not being able to 'live' and not worry or wonder or second guess myself.

    Do you all find yourselves skirting around when others ask how your kids are doing? What DO you say when you have some kids who are normal everyday adults and you have your difficult one?

    Do you find that those who do know your struggles with your adult difficult children tell you "oh, he's not that bad, he's sweet Penny, etc" ??

    When my son is around I do find myself walking on eggshells and watching what I say to not help facilitate an unnecessary fight? (as in, it's not a big deal, but his perception of most comments are taken as criticism against HIM).

    If my mother were honest, she would admit that my brother fits the mold of a difficult child. He's the youngest of our sibling group- he will be 35 this summer. I don't deal with him AT ALL - speak and act nice at holidays and that's it. My mother was always one to tell ME before a family gathering (twice a year) to PLEASE be nice to "brother" and PLEASE don't ignore him.

    I see some similarities in us- but our biggest difference is I WILL tell my son the truth about himself as I see it. It gets ugly, but I will tell him when he's being an :censored2: -

    I'm just rambling tonight because since my Difficult Child has been here, I can tell my nerves are just FRAYED. I'm always waiting on 'what's next'.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In answer to your title question, yes, I believe we will get to the point where we are not dealing with drama any more - at least, most of us will.

    It doesn't matter whether our kids "grow up" or not. It's not about them. It's about us. WE can learn to step back from the drama, not own it, not get involved in it. We can define our role and responsibilities on a go-forward basis. For MOST of our kids, this will eventually work. Some combination of our repetition and their maturation.

    I'm not there yet, but it's a lot better than it was 5 years ago.
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  3. LostSoul1

    LostSoul1 New Member

    Hi Penny...i know exactly what you mean by 'will this drama ever end'? Also the whole 'walking on eggshells'. Honestly, it has been 'one damn thing after another' for as long as i can remember. My son was always difficult...even from the first week he was born! Colicy, fussy, never slept and nothing i did ever seemed to calm him.

    If you read my thread, i stupidly agreed to let me son return home while he attends a mental health program. Thinking if he goes to the program, things will slowly improve. WRONG. It mades things WORSE.

    About a day ago i had him removed from my home by calling the police after much verbal, threats of physical abuse, and damage to my property ie. flatscreen tv, stealing my credit card.

    I haven't checked your bio or other old is your son? Does he have any mental/drug dependancy issues?
  4. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I have had a brief break with my son where we weren't having any difficulties. Now I am back to going through all you mentioned. I dream and pray everyday to have all those behaviors gone again!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is possible in two ways.

    1/Your dreams come true (and they can) and the adult child decides to chug the drug life and join society.

    2/You change your own behavior and refuse to allow the drama and abuse and drugs to dictate your life. You can do this by telling your adult child to leave (if at home), by only taking cordial phone calls, by not handing out money, by demanding respect or else disconnecting the contact that is disrespectful, and by getting a life of your own that is not connected to what your adult child is doing.

    Therapy or Al-Anon, if it is drugs or alcohol, can help you detach with love and help you immensely. You can't change your adult child and often enabling their bad behavior makes that behavior even worse and causes so much stress on you that you get sick and are no good for anybody, including yourself. And YOU matter. It takes practice and I feel also outside help,but you can learn to enjoy your life and minimize contact with a disrespectful adult child...and start enjoying the rest of your life.

    Nobody should have to walk on eggshells with anybody, let alone in your own house. You can stop this by taking control and deciding what type of contact with a difficult person that you will or will not tolerate. And stick to it. I feel our homes should be OUR sanctuaries, not places where abusive adult children throw us around and make us feel uncomfortable.
    My own opinion again is to NOT talk too much to an adult child who is deliberately acting like he is a ten year old brat. It is probably going to cause less tension to NOT tell him how he is behaving. He knows he is being a *********. But if you say it, that just gives him oil to throw on the fire and he will ramp up his own abuse. I personally would not allow an abusive adult child to be in my home. And when we did meet, it would be in a public place, such as a restaurant, to minimize the abusive talk. Where the adult child can get up and leave if he gets angry at you, but you are not alone with him. This especially is true if the adult child gets violent or breaks things in your home.

    Of course, as always, this is just my opinion.
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Penny, this thought/question/hope/dream crosses my mind every single day.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My oldest is 32 now, and there is still plenty of drama. Still poor decision making. However, over the years I have learned to distance myself from it as best I can. That doesn’t mean I don’t get sucked back in occasionally, but I work hard on reminding myself these are HER choices, not mine. None of it is for me to fix. I don’t wait on the other shoe to drop, I just let her be the one to pick it up if it falls. I will offer appropriate assistance at appropriate times, but I pick and choose carefully.

    I know it’s uncomfortable when people ask about your Difficult Child – but I tend to just answer as politely as I can, with minimal information. “Oh, she’s doing ok. Living [wherever she happens to be living at the time].”

    One thing that helps is to remember you don’t have to answer the phone, or the text, or even the door if you don’t feel up to it. Let those frantic calls or texts sit a few hours before even responding. Deliberately leave your phone in the other room so you don’t even see them. If you worry about what might happen if you don’t respond, just remind yourself about all the other times you did respond immediately – did it really make a difference? Usually not.

    As others have said, there is nothing we can do about whether or not they “grow up” and become drama free. But we CAN do something about how we deal with it, how we react to it. For me, I honestly have come to accept that there will always be issues with my Oldest. Her situation is just too complicated. But I can’t do anything about it.
    Getting to acceptance takes a lot of practice, and for me, took a lot of sessions with a great therapist. But I got there, for the most part. Some stuff going on lately that has pulled me back into the drama river a bit, but I’m working again to pull back out. The important thing for me is to separate myself from her – I had to learn how to not take all her stuff personally, as though it’s happening to me. It’s not happening to me, and it’s not because of anything I’m doing (or not doing). She makes her choices, not me. She has to deal with the consequences.. not me.

    My mantra for 2016 is “Let It Go.” (only not that annoying song.. ha) I’ve done all I can.
  8. mrsalmeida

    mrsalmeida New Member

    I'm new here, and I'm so glad I found this website last night. I told my husband we are not alone, but also, it looks like its never gonna end. Lol. I wonder this just about every day. I knew being a mom would be tough, but I didn't know my heart would break on a daily basis. I honestly just feel better knowing I'm not alone.
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Penny,

    I used to wonder about this all the time too and I could not fathom either living like I was living for the rest of my life. It was almost intolerable and it was 100 percent miserable.

    I think this is what ultimately drives most of us to learn how to live in a whole new way. We can't live like this because it hurts too much and it is miserable. Finally, we are motivated to learn new ways of thinking and behaving (note I didn't say feeling) and we start to work hard for change.

    I agree with SWOT who said the less said the better. I also understand your need to "tell it like it is" every now and then. What I finally got to was setting strong boundaries and even today, when Difficult Child is so much better (working, paying most of his bills, staying out of jail, not using), I still need boundaries with him.

    I try to say as little as possible and let him deal with the consequences of his own behavior and actions. That's still hard to do, and sometimes I get too involved as well. It's going to be a lifelong learning experience.

    Penny, I do believe that my stepping away and back has been a factor in his ability to start rebuilding his life. As long as I was overly engaged with him (seeing him often, responding to his calls, emails, drama, texts, etc.), he was distracted from learning how to stand on his own two feet and start dealing with life on life's terms.

    The more you can disengage, the more he will have a chance to change. It's certainly not guaranteed that he will change, but he will have a better chance.

    I think it's also about separating ourselves from our grown children and recognizing that their life is their life and our life is our life. We have to let them have their life whatever it looks like. That is much easier to do when they are not living in our homes and we are not supporting them.

    I truly like to go at least a week without talking to Difficult Child. That means he is dealing with his own life.

    This stuff is really hard and I so understand your feelings. Hang in there! We care about you.
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  10. I don't have any advise but I wanted to say hang in there. Just recently my mother 57 who just went to e r bc she again got stressed and when my oldest brother whom lives with her and his 2 year old became more than permanent tenants. Her mental stress manifests itself to become a physical problem. She is in the same or similar boat and she has the same thoughts daily. He is now 40 with a child whose mother is in prison and has no interest in being a mother. He at least has been prison and jail free for one year almost this time. But still using god knows what at the moment but it's him trying to some degree with his limitations. I can only pray and hope that you and every other mother or father out there will find peace and calmness and joy at the end of this long journey. God bless
  11. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    My late husband, who was his family's difficult child, had his father bail him out of jail at age 55. I was the one who sent him to jail for violating the protective order against me. At some point, you have to reclaim your life and exit the drama. That doesn't mean that you stop loving your child. It means that you make a decision that all those drama filled behaviors aren't going to run your life day in and day out.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is old. You may want to start a new thread for a better response. :)
  13. Lucyxyz

    Lucyxyz New Member

    For me the only way out of it is detachment. He's made it clear that he lives to make us miserable period. I think he actually enjoys it. I know it a mental disorder of some sort but he refuses help.
  14. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    I realize that this is an older thread, but I felt compelled to respond. I too wonder if this will ever end and have issues responding to other parents who have "NORMAL" children when I am asked about my own difficult. Lately I have been having anxiety and depression. This is due to worrying about how my children will live. Both of them have burned most of the bridges with others and the peers they used to have. One is in prison, and wanting help when he gets out in the form of living arrangements. The other is living from day to day with no job and it is a matter of time before she can't pay the rent on her small apartment. One is a meth addict, the other has been involved in meth after years of being addicted to opioids from prescriptions and also from getting them illegally. I am worn out from years of the drama with both of them but find myself panicking over how they will live. I also feel very pressured because I am the mother and naturally society expects mothers to be the care takers. Also both of my adult kids know I can help them, but since I have put boundaries of not allowing them to stay with me, I feel a lot of pressure inside of myself that now I must suffer watching them struggle and the pain is so bad at times. So I do walk on egg shells and wonder when the other shoe will drop and feel it will drop on me. As for my friends, I do not tell them any details unless they are very close, I do as someone on this thread said, I just say they are OK and living in what ever place they currently live in. But it makes me feel so alone and scared dealing with all this by myself. This has been a 20 year thing for both of them, constantly getting worse. My son is lucky to be alive as well as my daughter and both of them have attempted suicide before, and both were taken in unconscious to a hospital who simply revived them and turned them loose. I have posted before on here that I envy parents who do not have this problem and have adult kids that do well and actually wonder how that feels? My life would be a piece of cake if that were the case. In any event, I feel like I have a constant feeling of impending doom here. So to clarify this at this time neither of my children live in the same area as I do and neither of them are giving me grief over living with me or asking for help. But it is the other shoe dropping that I feel coming. The son, in prison, makes me feel bad about having no place to go upon release, the daughter, living 500 miles away just does not call except once in a while and then I get hints of her impending issues. And I agree with somewhere who says it is about choices we make and boundaries we set, but the issue after we make good decisions and set good boundaries is that we have to live with this grief the rest of our lives unless somethings changes. That is the thing that keeps me upset also, is the sadness of how their lives have turned out. I know this post is long and many of you have read this before in my posts, but this was hitting a nail for me and I just wanted to respond.