Finally Here....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So for months (ok years now) I've been counting down to difficult child #1's 18th Birthday! Well it's just about finally here. He'll be 18 this Sunday! I thought I'd be so excited and happy but instead I find myself having mixed feelings about it. I'm scared that now that he's an adult he'll make the wrong decisions in life. I'm sad that my "little boy" is gone. I'm sorry that his childhood wasn't better for him. I have regrets and guilt that I'm trying to deal with but it hits me all at once sometimes and literally takes my breath away. On top of him turning 18 Sunday he just graduated from high school this past Tuesday. So it's a double whammy for me this week. It's also hard because the group home he's in is 3 hours away and I won't be able to be with him for his 18th birthday. I sent cards and a package down for him to open on Sunday and we also gave him a very nice graduation/birthday present (new laptop and case) when we went down for his graduation on Tuesday but I still feel sad about not being able to be with him on his birthday. ***Sigh****

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I'm having a pity party today and I just needed to vent.
  2. compassion

    compassion Member

    JFK, I am glad you felt safe to share your grief, pain, etc. Eighteen is a huge transition time but it my experince it is very mixed. My daughter is now 19 chrnoilogically and seems harder to get supports.She functions more like a middle school age child most days. It has been important for me to be honest about my feelings. The grief comes in waves. I try to feel it,epress it, and take care of me!!!! To an extent, 18 is freeing becasue any legal issues,etc. will be on THIER shoulders, not ours.
  3. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Sorry to hear you are feeling down. It is understandable though. It is a big day for your difficult child and of course you want to be with him. Don't feel guilty over the life he has had. I know, easier said than to do. You've done everything possible for him. You've been a good mom. Hopefully you will be able to call and sing happy birthday to him over the phone. Then go do something enjoyable to keep yourself busy!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    We often foresee that it's a time of transition for them, but we don't realize what a huge transition time it is for us as well. We shift from the caregiver role into a supporting role.....and that is a huge change. Give yourself time to adjust. It takes time to get used to it.

    Welcome to PE :)
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi! and welcome to PE. I think maybe the 18th birthday may be an even bigger deal to us parents of difficult child's than to the kid themselves. Oh they are thrilled no doubt but they dont have a clue what lays ahead and wont anytime soon. Most wont be able to leave our nests for a long time. If not our physical nests, metaphorically. I went half foolish on Cory's 18th birthday and had a huge I bought two bottles of cheap pink champagne and to this day he thinks I was just thrilled for him. Oh heck no, I was thrilled for us! Everything was now squarely on his skinny little shoulders where it rightly belonged. I could have danced a jig if I had known how.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thinking of you, as the years pass so quickly here, I think I can imagine feeling some of the same things you mentioned. I hope difficult child does well and is able to make positive steps forward in life. HUGS to you and best wishes on this next phase.
  7. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry it took me so long to reply! Things have been nuts and I haven't been on the computer much. If it's not one thing it's another! I need a VACATION! Thank you all so much for your replies. I appreciate it more than you know.

    Anyway, it's been very difficult lately. I'm having a lot of sadness and guilt but like some of you said, it takes time to adjust. It's nice knowing that he HAS to take some responsibility for his own life now that he's 18 but that does come with mixed feelings.

    He's having some problems in his current placement. He's not getting along with one of the other young men in the group home. Last night difficult child called me to tell me he hates it there and that he's coming home. He said he's tired of being in a group home and he can't take it anymore since he's been in one on and off (mostly on) since he was 12. He was crying and begging and it broke my heart but I was firm. I had to say "NO" once again. He asked why and said he's changed and I had to gently remind him that no he hasn't changed because he's still stealing and still lying and that's not acceptable in our home and never will be. He said please and that he has no where else to go. I said I'm sorry but no. He proceeded to freak out at that point and scream at me saying how much he hates me and he hopes I die. I hung up in the middle of his rage.

    It's definitely sad that he's been in a group home for so long and it breaks my heart that he didn't have a "normal" childhood. He's had so many chances at home and he's blown them each time. Each time he's been home he's continued to steal, lie, threaten, and last year at this time it escalated to the point of him going into daily rages with him breaking things and threatening to kill me. We can't allow that to happen ever again.

    The program he's in now is a transitional program for young men ages 18 - 24. He's been there since the end of May. They will help him with life skills and help him find a job. He liked it at first but he was just honeymooning. Once the honeymoon phase ends difficult child usually crashes very hard. I can hear it in his voice. He's desperate and that scares me. At this point, I'm trying to keep out of it and let him figure out what to do but it's hard. He knows what to say to hurt me. He likes me fine when he thinks he's getting something from me (such as the brand new laptop he just got, etc) but after that's over it's back to hating me and blaming me. Anyway, I think I'm going to just give him his space and let him figure things out on his own.
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I've been there with the bittersweet moments. My situation is different, but those milestones bring out a universal sort of longing in us warriior parents. Welcome to PE and know you're not alone.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JFK, I want to offer you just a tiny bit of hope. Cory also spent a good deal of his teen years in group homes or other type placements. He was a huge handful as a teen and we really didnt expect to see him live past his early 20's. When he turned 18 we felt such relief because we knew that he would finally be held accountable because all those years before, the punishments were harder on us than him even if he was in group homes. It took quite a few years of him being an adult for the law to show him they meant business but finally they did and things have really turned around for him. In the past several years he has started becoming more of what he wants to be. He is so upset with himself over what mistakes he did make and wishes he could have a do over but that isnt possible. Just the other day he told me he wants to start dressing better, go back to school and his plans are to take care of his daddy when he is older because his daddy is getting to old to work so hard. I had to bite my lips at that one...lmao.