This afternoon my daughter called me at work. We chatted for awhile. I asked her what her plan is for when she gets out. Not the drill sergeant Mom, or the invasive Mom or any of the inquisition type behavior, it felt like a natural inquiry without an emotional component to it. I felt neutral. The conversation was easy. We talked about shelters, the cats, the fact that it would be prudent for her to be in another town. I did not feel any responsibility for what may happen. Last week I had agreed to pick her up in April when she gets out. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon when I was telling SO about it that I realized that I had made it clear, without saying it or asking a lot of questions, that she would NOT be coming back to our home. She said she would call me back because she had to go to the bathroom and we got off the phone. She never called back. SO said, "she was likely expecting to stay with us for at least a little while until she got her cats and retrieved her stuff and found a place to live." I hadn't even been thinking along those lines. He and I talked about how we are not adverse to her staying with us for a small amount of time, but we would have to know that she is on a new track, has an intention to get a job, make changes. She stayed with us a little over 2 years ago and although she said she was looking for a job and changing she never did anything differently and ultimately she left because "we had too many rules." It was also VERY uncomfortable because at the time her energy sucked up all the air in the room and she was so intense and bitter and weird that the rest of us could not relax. Things are VERY different now. As the afternoon wore on, I felt this new kind of sadness, not the uber sorrow which difficult child's bring to us, but a more removed kind of sadness for her, for me, for all of us, a clear kind of "global" sadness about the whole situation. I talked to SO about it and he said, "you really made it clear that she is on her own." The strange part is that was not at all my intention, but I can see how that was the message. I'm left feeling a little odd, she seems far away from me, I feel that light sadness, I feel bad for her and the predicament she finds herself in, and yet I don't have that internal angst about figuring any of it out or even the angst of worrying about her figuring it out. I don't know, but it seems as if I have taken another step back. And, it happened naturally without my even really knowing it! Another odd sense I have right now is this inner peace, I feel very calm. All of this continues to feel "right" even if it feels a little weird right now. I have been accustomed to jumping into my old habitual behavior, and I didn't do that...........I'm not even sure what I did exactly, but whatever it was, it felt right. I'm practicing not fueling the feeling with the past or the future, or my fears...........trying to stay here in the moment where I am hanging out on the couch and SO is watching college basketball, it is warm tonight, the house smells like the stew I made for dinner, granddaughter will be flying through the back door momentarily with her youthful enthusiasm..........I am a bit tired...........right now, I feel really comfortable in my own skin..........and oddly, peaceful too. Go figure.