Having a rough day today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by 2much2recover, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I have been around for a few weeks and have been following all of your posts. Today I am feeling really down and sad because my difficult child has so many traits of a sociopath I really can not be around her. Everything is a game to her and gas-lighting me and my emotions is a sport for her. She, with so much pride will gladly tell anyone that she is a master manipulator and trust me she is.

    I am back in therapy myself to both deal with chronic pain issues and the crushing pain of having to wall off my emotions from my only child.

    I just searched the forums and not much there with parents dealing with a sociopath for a child.

    My daughter is 40 years old and her trajectory has been much different from some here because she IS a sociopath. She is more the white-collar-criminal-that-is-legally-schooled in how to use and manipulate people in any situation - even LAWYERS and big Corporate CEO's who should no better. I can definitely understand so many of your situations because, well, basically, there pretty much hasn't been much that I haven't been there/done that with difficult child. But now educated with a home of her own, if/when I try to interact with difficult child - she absolutely loves to "play the sociopath game". With my ill health I can't cope with it anymore. Having said that it is sooo....painful to be in a position to HAVE to stay away from your child.
    It would be easy to say, just hang with her when she is acting OK, but once I head down that path I get lost in the maze of a highly intelligent manipulator.

    Anyway just having a rough day as it feels so lonely not to have a relationship without my only child.

    I plan on staying around for a while because it helps me to clarify my own thoughts and remind me the tough road I have been down and why I don't want to go down that road again.

    I know, boo-hoo- poor me!
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh 2much2recover, on top of the obvious sadness and pain, don't add judging yourself for feeling as you do......of course you feel that, it's Thanksgiving for goodness sakes, this is when it hits us. I am so so very sorry. God, I understand how you feel. I do. My daughter will be 42 in a week and although she is not a master manipulator she does hold some degrees in it. She is homeless with a warrant out for her arrest, and the truth is she does in fact fit some sociopath behaviors. She also fits narcissistic, bi-polar, and a few others.......I really don't know, but suffice to say, she is not your average 42 year old woman, she is in a class all by herself. I have never actually met anyone else quite like her. And, like you, she is my only child and we have a very stilted, odd relationship. So I get it.

    I'm glad you're in therapy, that was a life saver for me. I just kept putting myself in places where I could get the most support, I just didn't want to suffer anymore, it just sucks all the joy out of life.

    I'm glad you're here, you bring a lot of good sense and reality to us, which is so helpful. You've been through the wars and you've survived. And, it has it's own PTSD.

    This may or may not help you, but what has made a big difference for me is listening to Eckhart Tolle Youtube videos and re-reading his books. Also, the Brene Brown videos are great as are any books by Pema Chodron. The uncertainty and complete powerlessness is so difficult to lean in to and yet, what choice do we have?

    My daughter is coming any minute, it will likely be okay since she knows all the boundaries. Then I won't see her til Christmas, and then it will likely be months. Would I like it to be different? Hell yeah. But it isn't, so we have to accept it. And, I do know how much that sucks too.

    I'm with you 2m2r, we're all in this together.........know that you aren't alone. We're all here with you today. And tomorrow. And the next day too. You'll get through today and tomorrow go get your nails done, or a massage..........all we can do is take care of ourselves as we move along this crazy path. And, please do stay for as long as you want, your journey supports others too..........hang in there...........

    I'll check back later after the festivities have waned.............
  3. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I think I understand some of what you are feeling. I have come to realize that my daughter is just someone whom I raised for a while. She came to us when she was 9 months old. When she was 12 she no longer wanted to be parented by me because she figured out how to manipulate my husband. She lied and sneaked around, had a secret life, was cutting and getting out of our house via the roof. She will stop at nothing to get her way. I tried so hard to get mothering right because my own mom was a devourer of souls. I cannot ever let my shield down because she will destroy my heart. Please don't minimize how much this hurts you. It's a bit of Hell.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Same way I feel about the son I adopted at age six! He is not in our lives anymore. His choice.

    All of us have precious loved ones, friends, and things we love to do. For me, it helped to focus on loving and being good to myself by hanging around with those who do love me and doing things I enjoy. Your daughter is the one who can not love and care about others and losing you and the love you offered was HER loss.

    Be good to you!!!! Do something fun, great, even crazy ;)
  5. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I think it has been on my mind this week, obviously because of the holidays but also because I am back in therapy. When my therapist asks about sociopathic behavior, unfortunately the answer is always yes, that describes her to a tee. This is therapist number 4 (over many years) and they all have "got it". (described the behavior as that of a sociopath)
    I'll think how much I love my daughter and just when I want to reach out I'll remember - oh yeah she steals my pain medications, she wants weird things from me like my laundry detergent or a ream of paper (all just small things she can afford but why pay when she can take them from me?) But all of that pairs in comparison to the ways she is able to manipulate my emotions. She will dig through my thoughts and feelings and hold them in wait until she can either stretch it to it no longer is recognizable or just stab me in the heart with something. Oh my and the unfathomable child hood she has had (rolling eyes here) Truly, she has been lying so long SHE DOES believe it to be truth. Of course truth holds no meaning for her in the first place.

    Anyway I finally, after kicking myself for what seems like eons......had my therapist ask me who her behavior reminded me of in the family.....and with that question I knew exactly who she behaved like, my maternal grandmother. So that finally I had an answer for that!

    I am so glad I have found all of you here. I have my degree in Pastoral Counseling so, well there pretty much isn't anything I haven't heard and have both empathy and compassion for. Seems like this is going to be a good fit for me for a while.

    Thanks for the thoughts they are warmly welcomed.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How are you doing today 2m2r?

    Thinking of you.......
  7. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I had a really bad day, too. How are you today, 2m2r?
  8. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Just got up but went to bed teary eyed - I know it will pass AGAIN but I absolutely loath to ALWAYS have to guard myself even with my own thoughts about her.
    I thought about it last night and for those of you who don't know a sociopath is not necessarily a murderer or the same as a psychopath. Although both Socio's and borderlines do probably make up the majority of the violent prison population. Mine has been violent in the past but not to me. She wanted to become a lawyer but was prohibited because of a violent felony for trying to run someone over with a car. Became a paralegal instead but hell, she is so smart with the law and it's loopholes, and can argue for herself the finer points of the law she might as well be one, if only for herself and to get by with things in business that are marginally "legal". (define what the word "is" is aka Bill Clinton LOL)
    The thing that is so hard is that while I fear her/her behavior there are things that I find very likable about her. We both share a wicked sense of both wit and humor, so obviously I miss the fun daughter. There are also traits that she has that are things (I wouldn't call them values for her because Sociopaths can't integrate values) that I taught her that are in hindsight, also those things that help her lure people into her web. She is also very charming - but all that is just a mask she wears. When I was dealing last year (for just over a year) with her after not dealing with her for 4 years, when I saw the "nice" mask slipping and the ugly mask rear I would just stop answering her calls, was honestly beginning to think that I would only deal with her when she wore her "nice to mommy mask", but there was only just a bigger game going on behind the mask. Dealing with her becomes both mentally and emotionally exhausting. It is definitely a "mind ***k" came, and frankly I just and not up to it anymore. For those of you who didn't read my answer on another post I made: I have a painful chronic debilitating disease which I am trying to manage the best I can Without narcotic pain medications, although my Doctor insists that I have them on hand for breakthrough pain. That is also why I am back in therapy again - trying to find alternative ways to deal with chronic pain. And I made that plan before things fell apart with difficult child and am proud of myself for following through and dealing with what I needed to do to take care of me despite the hell she put me through just prior to me going back into therapy.
    Thanks so much for the support, knowing I have somewhere safe to share my feelings means the world to me!
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Headlights...I know about sociopaths. Many more are like your daughter and not in violent crime than into violent crime. I get it. I hurt for you. Sounds like you have a good husband. Cherish that relationship and be thankful for him and others who understand and care about you.
  10. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    2m2r, I know exactly what you mean and I feel the hurt on your words. About wanting so desperately to be close to your own child, but you can't, and sociopathy is one that is the most complicated mental illness's. You and your difficult child are a lot older than me and my difficult child and I was hoping that maybe, just maybe by the time I got to your age, it would hurt a lot less. I guess the hurt never goes away does it?
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    The dreams we dreamed when our children were babies die long, hard deaths. We need to honor our grief.

    Our losses are real.

    Our loss is as real as the loss of the mother whose child has died, after a long and tormenting illness. Our loss is as real as is the loss of a mother (or father) whose child has been kidnapped. For so many of us, our children disappeared with that same suddenness. Drug use or mental illness has changed our children into people we hardly recognize.

    In many cases, we love them now only because, once up on a time, our worlds revolved around a child who looked very much like them...but we don't understand where that child is, today.

    I am sorry for your pain this morning. Acknowledging and naming and defining the nature of the pain enables us to become familiar with it. Once we know the nature of our grieving, we can choose to survive it.

    We must choose to look everything squarely in the eye. We need to know the nature of our stories so well that guilt and regret and resentment can no longer do us in, cannot weaken or shame us, anymore.

    It is very hard, what we need to do. But there is no other way to survive our very hard situations. The battle is about acceptance, is about seeing clearly enough to protect ourselves without bitterness, without blaming or condemning our children for their situations.

    This is what it is, to love a child with a mental or emotional illness.

    If we can be clear on the genesis of the problems, then I think we can proceed with compassion. I think we can perform as required, without bitterness or blaming, whether that is to tell a child "no", to end a phone conversation if and when the child becomes abusive, to refuse money or even, to refuse our time until the child is able to control him or her self.

    But none of it is easy.

    We have to be very, very strong.

    We need to make a decision to celebrate our lives, to cherish ourselves and our stories. We need to stop comparing ourselves with those moms who get the Hallmark holidays. (This is especially true of myself.)

    Our stories are our own.

    Our stories are terribly sad, sometimes.

    It's as though our lives have become exercises in loving our children, and in surviving them.

    It really is.

    We have had to question ourselves and our motives and our honesty in ways most people are never forced to do. What is reflected back to us from our children is often so distorted as to be unrecognizable. It is very hard to know that our children may be lying. It is very hard to think that their childhoods could have been so different than we remember them. We find ourselves going through all of it with a fine tooth comb. It takes many years to confront it all, because we automatically try to save them, to shelter them, even from ourselves.

    And then, one day, we learn true things about our children, and that is heartbreaking, too.

    I am glad you are here with us. It is just a little easier when we know someone hears, and understands, how painful and confusing this all is.

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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Hugs. I, too, understand what you are going through very well. I found this forum about a year ago. My then 32yo difficult child was treating his dad and myself horribly. For years that dynamic had existed, but I was doggedly determined to keep some kind of relationship with him. Not saying what I wanted to say to him because #1) it would not do a bit of good and #2) it was just hurt our "relationship" more.

    Finally, finally, finally i got it : there was no "relationship". It was just a mother trying for dear life to hang on until our son turned around. He is a sociopath ("diagnosed" by his sister who is a licensed & practicing psychological examiner). And, once husband and I started reading about sociopaths....oh, boy.

    He has lied to us more times than I could count and has I have read from countless others, would tell a lie when the truth would have been easier. He has stolen. He has re-invented his childhood. He told me about a year ago that his treatment of us was reparation for the way he had been treated.

    and so, almost a year ago, his dad and I decided enough was enough and it was time to take care of ourselves and spend energy and time on things that we could affect and/or enjoy. I owe that to this forum because reading what others were experiencing was so eye-opening.

    It has taken this long to feel good. We still pray for our, now 33yo, difficult child daily. We talk about him, wonder how he is. There is no communication. (after a month or two of hateful emails and phone calls from him because we would not send $$).

    Last time we heard anything was from his girlfriend. It was a long email telling how important it is that we reconnect and let her know if we were interested. I emailed back a short, "We are so happy to hear you two are doing well." husband and i agree that we never want to go down that road again, as much as we love difficult child and want things to be different. Oh, what a dream-come-true that would be, what an answer to prayer!

    But, for now. today, we live our lives without him. And, honestly, we are much happier and stronger and positive.

    I know this hurts and I wish you were not enduring this pain. But, you WILL get better & stronger & happier. That, i can promise,

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  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Man, isn't this the truth Cedar? Preach it sista. I remember when the change from the little girl I once knew become a very angry teenager happened. It was such a drastic change and it literally happen right in front of my eyes. I will never forget the day I saw her personality change. For YEARS it boggled my mind and couldn't make sense of the grief that I felt. One day I said to myself:" Why do I feel like my child died? Why do I feel like I'm grieving my daughters DEATH? Gina, you are just being bleeping ridiculous! Have you lost your goddamn mind??? If anyone who had a child that really died, they would think I am the worse person one earth for thinking this way, if not just plain stupid"

    But I am learning that is so not true. The grief is too real. I will never see that once innocent little girl again and it kills me. It kills me to know that I didn't take advantage of those times more. It kills me to know that the dysfunction around her played a huge part in destroying her once sweet little self. I will never see that little girl again and that grief is devastatingly overwhelmingly beyond sad. I specifically feel bad for those of you who gave your children a lot more than I could have, financially, emotionally, stability, etc, etc and they were not grateful enough to take advantage of it to use it for good instead of bad. They were not grateful enough to appreciate the hell out of it. Most of all, realize how much you loved them no matter what we could or could not give.

    But yes thanks for making it real Cedar. I totally get that grief and learning so many others have it too. I thought I was crazy and all alone about feeling that way. It's devastating to once have this precious child and sweet little kid, our hopes and dreams for that child, just be crushed and turned into a nightmare for lack of a better word. No one wants this. No one.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There was a thread on the site once, about whether it was harder to lose a child to death, or harder to lose a child the way we are all losing our children. The answer, from a mom whose child did die (which any of ours might, at any time, given the lives they lead and the drugs they use and the people they use them with) was that as long as her child was alive, she had hope.

    Once he was gone, she had none.

    Her second child began using drugs.

    She had no choice but to do what she had to do to save his life. That child survived.

    So, she definitely knew what she was talking about.

    There is no easy answer.

    There is no escape from the pain of what this is.

    We can learn to cherish our lives, and that is what we are learning to do, here.

    We are developing the courage it takes to hope.

    We are living lives of old grief toppled by unbelievably horrific recent griefs covered by anticipatory grief wrapped in shame and resentment and self blame. The wonder of it is that any of us can function, at all.

    But here we are.

    We do function.

    Slowly, with determination and sincerity, we can reclaim our lives.

    Slowly, we can learn the parenting techniques that may make a difference for our difficult child children, or we can learn how to let them go without condemning either them or ourselves.

    So, the answer I took from that mom's response about a living child meaning there was still hope...it sounds callous to say so, but what I took from her response is that I am (we all are, here on P.E. in my opinion) living on the raw edge of fresh grief every single day. It is almost worse to hope than to have it over, than to know the child will never fail again, will never be beat like that again....

    Cold hearted to say so, isn't it.

    The horror of knowing what is happening to your child, of knowing it may happen again, is indescribable.

    We have no sympathy cards, no one is bringing us casseroles, there is no black armband for us to wear so others will understand and treat us more gently. Just the opposite. We are judged for what has happened to our children ~ and worse still, we judge ourselves.

    These are very hard things, so we need to begin our recoveries in the smallest of ways. We need to recognize the intricacy of the smallest weed, of the tiniest flower beside the road. We need to understand from that smallest miracle that there must be a reason, whether we see it or not.

    Then, we can give ourselves permission to heal, and to live, and to feel joy, again.

    I am glad you are here with us. It is impossible to heal, impossible to see our lives and our children in healthier ways alone, I think.

    But together, we seem to be coming through it.

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  15. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Amen Cedar. Amen. I will have hope for a very long time. I am learning to look at after all these years as, ok, she is not the precious little girl that I once knew that never even talked back to me, but it is still her. It's her but with all the pain, anger and hurt from her childhood, mixed in with teen hormones and angst. I don't know if she will ever heal from it and get to the other side, many of us do not, but I do have hope...and some faith. I have this quote that I try to hang on with all the strength I have when I am completely fed up with difficult child is "Love me when I least deserve it, Because that's when I need it the most".

    And that doesn't mean tolerate atrocious behaviors. However, it does leave that one little door open for hope...if one day, they do decide to come around and walk through it, with no more anger and just love.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  16. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for that, Cedar.
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If anyone has read Dr. Robert Hare, who did extensive research in antisocial personality disorder, you learn that their brains are wired differently.

    There are actual brain imaging tests that point to psychopathology. When psychopathic people are shown highly distressing scenes, such as people getting beaten up or even blown up, or hurt, or children crying, they did not register any emotion. Heart rate did not accelerate. No signs of stress. Nothing. They were insensitive to it.

    The average person would show distress by the chemicals in her/his brain, a faster heartbeat, even tearing up. I do not understand this test completely, but I'm sure it is online and explained on YouTube. I did see it once on the TV channel Investigative Discovery and it kept me pinned to the TV. The antisocial personality disordered people just didn't have the emotions others have and this is from childhood. They are trying to find a way to help non-empathetic children learn to have empathy so that they do not develop antisocial personality disorder, but so far there hasn't been much success. It seems to be inborn.

    Being that the case, and it accepted far and wide in the scientific community of greater minds than ours, we CAN NOT blame ourselves that our grown children who have antisocial personality disorder is caused by our home environment. Now there is a biological component so maybe if we married or bred with a bad man, also a psychopath, our child inherited that from him, which is also not our fault. In general, we were not aware of this and did not want to think our partner had this personality quirk. In fact, antisocials can be the most charming people on earth when they want to charm others for their own advantage. That's why they shock us when they steal right under our noses. Or, out of the blue, their kind facade crumbles and they punch us in the nose and let us bleed on the floor. We trusted them because they acted so interested in us; so loving; so caring. It is all an act, of course. They watch how others behave and mimic it well. They seem to know what to say and do to gain our trust. THAT they are good at. Ever hear the saying "If it' seems to good to be true, it probably is?" Beware the ultra-charmer who can snap his fingers and gather a captive audience. He is playing a role and playing it TOO well. Nobody is THAT good for real.

    When they hurt us it does not make them feel sad or remorseful. And although many antisocials mellow out as they age and do not engage in, say, as much criminal activity, they are always antisocial. Therapy doesn't help...they are not unhappy and do not want to change.


    What can we do to change a person who has no conscience or caring of rules of right and wrong and has this built into his brain? Many antisocials are very succesful in work, but often they start out that way then self-implode when they try to cheat somebody.

    I wonder how nice it must feel to never experience guilt or to second guess what we do or to hurt for others. Heck, I cry when a dog has a broken leg let alone human suffering. In a way, they are lucky. These things do not give them any pause for pain. Another big trait is that most are very dare devilish, so that could be a positive as well. They do not worry about their safety. One very young man who was badly burned playing with explosives was interviewed in the hospital by local TV as he made the news. He was asked if he was taught a lesson. His answer was, "Oh, I'll go it again. I enjoy it." I forgot his name (my bad), but he ended up a serial killer in Australia.

    And this is why they don't learn from their mistakes. Consequences, even being hurt, do not bother them like they do the rest of us. Most antisocials never kill anyone if only because they don't want to be locked in jail. But a very few do and can be dangerous. You know your own grown child and you probably know if he is antisocial. It is a step beyond borderline, in which there ARE emotions there, although some borderlines also hurt others and end up in jail and do not take blame gracefully. Personality disorders are very difficult to live with unless the person is very dedicated to changing.
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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is what I am going through right now. When difficult child was in our home, husband agreed (at difficult child's request) to breathalyze him randomly twice a day. difficult child always blew a 0.00, and husband praised him for how well he was doing.

    After difficult child left, I found some nitrous oxide whippets in his room. I found literally HUNDREDS more in his car, covering the floorboards at least 2 inches deep. I told husband about that, about how that explained how difficult child was blowing 0.00 on his breathalyzer but still got fired from his job and looked so obviously high on something that we could never catch.

    And husband said he saw one of those little canisters and asked difficult child about it, and that difficult child told him it was whipped cream for his coffee.

    I don't know why, but that hurts me more than any of the other things difficult child has done. I guess it's because he did it to husband. To me, I can take it better. Doing it to husband, that hurts me far more.

    That he would take husband's faith in him so callously, that he would lie like that to his own father, who was faithfully checking on him, trying to keep him sober and accountable, at difficult child's request!

    Whipped cream for his coffee.

    It seems such a terribly cruel thing to do, to play on his father's faith and gullibility like that.

    It's made me not really want to hear anything difficult child has to say anymore. It's made me see difficult child in a new light, a very unfavorable light.

    Another book I found very informative was Martha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door.

    It is hard to imagine going through life literally not feeling any connection with the feelings of others, except in how to exploit those feelings to bolster themselves.
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  19. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Yes I have read both books and a ton more online - which between the therapists and the education I finally came to accept the conclusion that my daughter either is or has a very high scale in sociopath behavior. At that time I nearly had an emotional breakdown. It is extremely hard to face the fact that your child may be a sociopath - especially one that rates high on the scale. You may see me posts links to www.lovefraud.com as this site where I also go to learn more about the sociopathic mind.
    When I found this site I first posted about how my daughter stole from me in a business investment. The reason I went no contact again as she was beginning to show her cards about trying to get me to invest with her again. I could see and feel the manipulation coming. See what she was angling for.
    Before I went no contact for 4 years (and accepted that I was dealing with a sociopath) I told her that we could not have a relationship again until we both dealt with our issues together in therapy. This is because she is an angry bully/charming manipulator - notice I reversed them - that is because she changed and adapted - when I would no longer put up with the anger and bullying - then came the charm and the manipulations - of course all go around the merry-go-round depending on which one will serve her at any given time. After my sister who I was guardian for passed I was really depressed and extremely sick and physically weak. I could hardly eat are drink and my weight plummeted. Well daughter came to my sisters funeral and saw the difference in me and I am sure she saw me in a weak position. The next thing you know she is showing up with food to help get me to eat (I couldn't) This was also at the time I decided to come off the opiate pain medications. So as you can imagine I was weak emotionally, mentally and physically. So when she showed up I just didn't think about the boundary that I had put up before the 4 year dis-connect. Nor was I in the frame at mind - in the beginning to think about all I had discovered about sociopaths.

    While I was in contact for a little over a year, I just avoided talking about the money and did a lot of listen! Remember we never talked about the money issues, the big elephant in the room, but as she started to circle me like a shark ready to strike to hustle me in to another money scam I was ready and I pounced instead, confronting her with everything she did and how she stole from me. I let her know there would be no more money deals between her and I. Also what nerve, I am permanently disabled not only with a chronic pain diagnosis but other health issues as well. Any money my husband and I do have has to go for our own health and well being. (this is why also I will remind other people on these boards to think about their financial situation for themselves in the future. No one plans on becoming disabled when they are dealing with all the other crap difficult children bring!) When I started the business with my daughter it was suppose to be to bring me in extra money in disability. So if you don't think that is a sociopath - a person who will steal the financial well being of her disabled mother I don't know what is.
    Still it took me a long time to accept "she is what she is"
    There are those times when it just kicks me in the gut to be the opposite of my child and know that yeah, like someone who has "lost" their child in another way, mine is lost to me. It's at times, a living hell of grief and heartbreak.
    I don't think I will ever "get over it". I think I will just have times where it really hurts me and times where I don't even think about it. But be over it? I don't think I will ever get over it. I think it is extremely hard for anyone - no matter what the relationship, to recover from dealing with a sociopath. Mental health providers study them for a reason, because they wreck havoc on so many victims and yes their families are usually their first victims.
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    2M2R, I know exactly how you feel. My difficult child fits the sociopath profile to a T. Master manipulator and can be ever so charming. I remember when we started having trouble with our difficult child. We started family counseling and one of the things the counselor ordered was an IQ test. My 14 year old difficult child scores 140 which is border line genius. It has always boggled my mind how he can have such high intelligence and no common sense.

    I have learned over the years the healthiest thing for me to do to maintain my sanity is completely detach. I just got to the point that I could no longer take the roller coaster ride with him.

    Because of his high intelligence he is able to read a book and completely retain the information which in his mind makes him an authority on everything. Again, he does not have any common sense to temper the knowledge. Since he is an "authority" on everything there is no arguing with him. He has an amazing knack for turning things around on you. When I would try and talk to him about the poor choices he was making he would end up talking in circles leaving me feeling confused, defeated, exhausted and hurt.

    I remember times when I would look into his eyes and they were so dark. I remember how he would go into fits of rage, clenching his fists and screaming in my face and an hour later could be sweet as pie. He terrified me.

    He could also be so charming. He has no trouble attracting girls, they think he's smart and funny and they love that he is a great artist. Of course he can't maintain a relationship, these girls always end up hurt and hating him. He can only keep the masquerade going for so long before his true nature comes out.

    I went through so much with my difficult child. My husband and I bent over backwards trying to help him. He was really good at pulling the wool over our eyes. He played the role well in telling us what we wanted to hear and making it appear that he was doing good but again he could only keep the masquerade going for so long. This cycle went on for several years. In and out of jail, we would help, he would screw up and so on and so on.

    Yes indeed, my difficult child has it all, good looks, high IQ, talented artist, oh wait, he's homeless too, oh and it's all my fault so he likes to say. Again, so glad I chose to get off the roller coaster.

    I very rarely hear from him and if I do it's because he wants something. He never calls to ask how I or my husband are doing. It's all about him and only him.

    He abandoned his two children. When my granddaughter had to have emergency surgery he couldn't be bothered. His answer for not being there was "I've got my own stuff to deal with right now" Again, he only thinks of himself.

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with what you are going through. I hope and pray that you will be able to break away and free yourself so that you can live your life for you, so that you can find joy in your life.

    Supporting you and sending you hugs!!