Got a letter from difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HereWeGoAgain, May 5, 2011.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    She's been out on the street three months now.

    Last time we heard from her was about six weeks ago. She called wife about getting into detox, but she went underground again and nothing came of it.

    Three to four weeks ago I got a call from a friend of hers, but again, we heard nothing further.

    About ten days ago wife got a letter. I was away working, but I'm home now for a bit. wife showed me the letter. It is quite long, seven pages, and rambles quite a bit but the gist is, "I've really screwed things up. I wish I could come home but I know I can't. I'm doing a little better now and trying to get back on track, but I'm going to do it my way and nobody is going to tell me what to do. I don't need to be in an institution or do this on anybody else's timetable. I hate myself but I'm not totally gone. I have to grow up. Please tell easy child 1 the pain I feel when I think about how much I love her."

    I am mostly encouraged by the sentiments expressed in this letter. It seems like she's realizing that only she can change her life, if she wants it to change bad enough. There is still a lot of blaming others, which is something she will have to overcome, but it is directed at "people" or "life" - it's sort of like she just discovered that life isn't always fair and not all people have her best interests at heart. In the past, she would have singled out a bad guy (wife and/or me, or bio-dad, or the latest boyfriend - not that bio-dad or the boyfriends didn't richly deserve "bad guy" status, mind you) and trotted out a laundry list of grievances, so this is progress of a sort, I think.

    She still sees rules and boundaries and expectations as impinging on her freedom rather than being something that she has to respect as a functioning member of society.

    The bit about "tell easy child 1 the pain I feel" disturbs me very much, it shows that it is still "all about her". My thought on reading that was, you're wanting to get absolution from a nine-year-old child to whom you have done immeasurable psychological damage because YOU feel bad thinking about what you did to her? How selfish can you possibly be? Obviously we told easy child 1 nothing of the sort.

    difficult child also included a two page letter to easy child 1, mostly apologies and assurances of how much she loves her, but can't see her right now because she isn't living right and is not healthy but she is trying so maybe one day she can see her again. easy child 1 has not seen the letter and says that she does not want to read it. She has heard it all before.
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    So very sad the price our easy child's pay for difficult child behavior. My easy child is very cynical now re her difficult child brothers. I don't think she will ever really listen to what they tell her ever's what they DO that counts.
    And PCs are forced to give up so much of their otherwise normal childhoods so that the difficult child can be counceled rehabed schooled visited in jail court etc...the difficult children horrible choices and behavior always seem to overshadow our PCs lives. And of course it's ALWAYS about the poor difficult child. Still makes me angry to really think about what my difficult child sons have done to my easy child and yet she is a survivor and knows how to stand up for herself...thank G-d!!!

    Your easy child granddaughter reminds me alot of my easy child
    ...left with bitterness but also with boundaries surrounding herself so that she does not get her hopes up and heart broken again.

    Hope your difficult child will get the help she needs one way or the other. I have a difficult child that doesn't believe in the "institutions" of help either yet that is surely the direction their headed when they keep using.

    Anyway I am really glad your easy child knows to watch what they do...not what they say.
    Hang in there,
  3. compassion

    compassion Member

    My difficult child also has AXIS II/substance abuse and I know detatchment, encouragin gnad upport with eatching the walk and not the talk. It is not easy to not get sucked into the words. I try to love the daughter and hate the disorders. Boundaries boundaries, boudnaries. THinking of you, Compassion
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's an encouraging step. Can she do it on her own? Yes, people have done it before. But it will require a great deal of maturity and self reflection and knowing where to go for support when she needs it. I completely understand and respect easy child's feelings, our easy child's suffer tremendously and are sick of the words without actions.

    My easy child is currently living in a sober home. We got the letter you did in the form of a text after she had been on the street for six weeks. We told her she couldn't come home and that she needed to find a place for help but that we would support the help she found. She has been in the sober house for five weeks and is doing well so far. It is a slow process, she has a lot of junk to get rid of and a lot of self reflecting to do and I'm not sure she has the maturity or determination to change her life for good and to make a future for herself, but we are supporting her efforts. I know one thing is that we will never again allow our home to be terrorized by someone who is self destructive in the way she was. Like you said, it is up to them to change.

    I hope your difficult child continues to make progress in this area and that your easy child granddaughter finds peace.

  6. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    They move in baby steps, so anything positive, no matter how small, is encouraging! It takes a long time for their thinking to get right, so I'm not surprised about the comment regarding easy child. Hopefully this is the first step on her way to improving her life.
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Like they say, admitting you are powerless is step 1, so maybe this is encouraging that she admits she has a problem and that she needs to change her life. Time will tell.
    I don't blame you for not passing along the info to easy child. One day when she really gets the help she needs, maybe she can make it up to her herself.
  8. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I was pretty sure she'd be hospitalized, jailed or dead by now, but I underestimated her ability to survive, it looks like - as of course you all knew and told me. Like others, she is muddling through, one way or another. Of course, anything could still happen, but the sense of foreboding, of imminent catastrophe, that I had been feeling has almost completely receded.

    One thing about her letter, she went on at some length about how nasty and mean the streets are, and how she was "chewed up, and spit out" - and yet, she'd been through it all before, many times, and should have had no illusions, but she still ran to it. You'd think that she had been abducted and forced into the life if you didn't know better.
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    It's all that part of taking responsibility for their choices that they can't seem to grasp. My son is still living in the hotel and him and his girlfriend are paying the weekly bill, but he's starting to complain about how hard it is to live in one room and have no way to get away from each other for 5 minutes. I want to say to him, if you hadn't relapsed and had been paying your rent you would still be in your one bedroom apartment, but I bite my tongue and just remind him that him and his girlfriend can do anything they put their mind too and if they want a bigger place, they will figure out how to get it someday.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    The remark about easy child really struck me. Love shouldn't be about pain. That's beyond self-centered, that's controlling. It hurts to hear that your difficult child is still on her downward spiral. I don't believe that she is really reaching out to say that she wants to change, it sounds more self pitying than anything. She and my son sound as though they are on the same track. I remember M being very snarky in therapy at one point and asking us "Why should I say I'm sorry? I could just be lying and not mean it. I could tell you I'm going to change and then not." The truth of it is that we know when our kids are feeding us a line. My suspicion is that your difficult child went to great lengths - 7 pages - to feed you and your wife a line. Not a very nice Mother's Day gift, in my humble opinion.

    Oh well... when our kids are on the right track we - and they - will know it. Big hugs...
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    just sending hugs and support