As I read through JJJ's thread this morning about all the chaos Kanga is bringing their family, it brought back so many memories. I thought I was the only Mom who had at one time counted the days remaining until the 18th birthday. Many of JJJ's circumstances are very different from what mine were, but defnitely the chaos, the CPS involvement at times, the lies/accusations regarding being vicimized sexually and otherwise--those memories are still very close but getting more distant little by little. I've struggled with whether I'm doing the right thing in distancing so completely at this time, but I can't find any other realistic option. If I crack the door now, I believe even worse chaos will come into our lives. I've discussed it at length with the psychiatrist, and his validation means so much. Although he is not going to "tell" me what to do, it's fairly obvious to me that he thinks the more reasonable thing for me to do is what I'm doing--trying to heal myself and take care of the rest of my family the best I can. The family that has to a great extent been lost in the cracks while difficult child has run all our lives. He agrees that, if I go the other direction, I'll likely have another child to raise--or at the very least to rescue in some way--in addition to taking difficult child back in, with all the baggage that goes with that. Based on the past, I'm likely to be disturbed by what I'll observe regarding the parenting of this child, and I'll be hooked into taking on the responsibility for making things better. I've been blasted by a couple of "friends" regarding my perspective on this, and so I've been reluctant to post here, but the truth is that I'm afraid to love this new child. That means I can't see him or hold him. I can't see my daughter either. Definitely this is not what I thought it would be like to become a grandmother. He's due to enter this world in about 3 months. I'm trying to taper on my anti-anxiety medications, and I've made progress, but when I tried to stop the ambien, the nightmares were relentless--waking several times crying each night. The psychiatrist says I'm just not ready yet--that I need more distance first. All nightmares, of course, were centered around difficult child. The door I have kept open is e-mail and, more recently, facebook. I've been working for the last couple of weeks organizing old pictures--sweet, loving pictures of difficult child's childhood. I'm posting them in albums on facebook. Just a few weeks ago, I couldn't stand the thought of facing those pictures, so I think this is progress. For whatever reason, I've just felt driven--very suddenly--to do this. Just guessing this is a part of my grieving/healing process. I'm really not sure. So far, only one set has brought me to tears. I've had a few comments from difficult child, who is able to access the albums since she is my "friend" on facebook. Interesting that most comments are of the, "I'd forgotten about that," variety. Sure does balance her claims of a horrible childhood with an unloving mother/family. Maybe a reality check for both of us. The question that lingers from the story told by the photos, however, is, "What on earth went so wrong?" I'll probably never know for sure, although I still think genetics are the primary factor. A poem I read in college comes to mind: "Traveling Through the Dark." That's me. It's going to be a long road, but I think I'm going the right direction finally. Getting healthier physically and emotionally. I hope I'm doing it right. I hope I won't get a tidal wave of regret later. I'm open to suggestions. I think I still need to be sure I'm not overlooking workable options.