How do you watch them leave without falling apart?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nancy, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child was kicked out of her outpatient rehab program for using. She was offered a sober house to live in anywhere from 6 months to two years but won't go because she has to give up her job. So she's moving in with a friend who is 19 and living in her family home alone after her parents and sister moved to Florida. Don't ask me why she stayed. The house is in foreclosure and this girl was one that difficult child relapsed with a couple weeks ago. difficult child drank 24 beers and held a knife to her throat and supposedly tried to kill herself.

    I am devastated and so sad that she has given up on sobriety and I don't know how to watch her leave without breaking down and I don't want to do that. I have tried and tried to detach with love but have failed over and over again. I am so worried and afraid I will never see her again.

    I know she has to hit bottom, I know that logically, but my heart is breaking in pieces.

  2. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member


    I wish I had some words or wisdom for you but I don't. Just know that I will keep you and difficult child in my prayers .... I'm so very sorry ...
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I'm so sorry Nancy. Is there an Alanon meeting you can go to tonight?
  4. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    {{{Hugs}}} I'm so sorry you are going thru this. Nothing hurts so much as watching your child hurt.

    Unfortunately we can't live someones life for them. It is theirs and theirs alone to do what they want with it. We love them, teach them, care for them, counsel, advice, worry.... but we can't live for them. (It would make life a lot easier if we could). I know that doesn't help. Wish there was some advice I could give you.

    Focus on your self-care right now. When she wants to get help, I know you'll be there for her with all you warrior mom energy. Until that day, though, you need to take care of yourself so that you will have all that strength and energy. She knows that you are there. That you will be there for her because you always have been.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Many many warm gentle ((((hugs)))) Nancy. I know how utterly painful this was to go through with bff, I can only begin to imagine how incredibly hard it is when it is your child.

    I would check to see if there is an Al Anon meeting. You need the support they can offer right now.

    M2O is right. I know it's hard but you need to take care of you right now. Painful as it is, no one can make the decision to be sober except difficult child. She down know deep down you will be there when that moment comes because you've always been there for her. She just has yet to reach that moment.

    You and difficult child are in my prayers.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree- the worst thing in the world you could do right now is bail her out of this and rescue her from these consequences. My heart goes out to you- My son's situation is a lot different but I beat myself up constantly because he was first committed to Department of Juvenile Justice as a newly-turned 14 yo and is now in there a second time. I feel like at that age, I should have been able to keep him out and "rescue" him from his own drive to sabatoge his good opportunity for a better future. But I couldn't- not even when he was 13/14 yo- so I sure wouldn't be able to do it for an older teen or young adult, no matter how much I wanted to.
  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I know I broke down completely when my difficult child left to move in with a virtual stranger. That was certainly bad, but it's nothing like you're dealing with. I can only imagine the fear and helplessness you are feeling and the pain you are in. As much as we know we cannot control or help them, we have a hard time liivng that truth.

    Please try to get to AlAnon. You need as much support as you can get and y ou need the constant reinforcement of the Serenity Prayer.

  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sending many gentle hugs, Nancy. I wish I had an answer for you.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nancy, the truth is, you can't go through this kind of ongoing stress/disappointment/fear without falling apart. You need to give yourself permission to be human and crumble or the stress of trying to hold yourself together will kill you. Sobbing into a pillow helps reduce the noise. So does sobbing when you have the shower going full tilt.

    What you don't want to do is fall apart in front of difficult child. It's the old "never let them see you sweat" mentality. difficult child needs to think you are a rock and confident in your decision even if you feel like a wet noodle.

    Can you and husband go away for a weekend or something? It doesn't matter where, just a change of scenery to distract you and give you two a chance to distance yourselves physically and hopefully distance yourself a bit psychologically as well.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Suz said it beautifully -

    I'm sorry you are hurting so much - I think a nice getaway is due. Jekkyl Island is BEAUTIFUL this time of year. (and cheap)
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, Nancy. {{{{{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I have no answers.
  12. Bean

    Bean Member

    More hugs coming from me. Definitely allow yourself some cry time, and hopefully you can find some local support.
  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Nancy - I absolutely agree with- Suz. I don't think it's possible to watch our kids make these choices without falling apart. I do think it is absolutely essential to not let them *see* us fall apart.

    For well over a year, Nancy, I was waiting for a call to come and identify his body. He was roaming some fairly dangerous neighborhoods of the city at all hours of the night, doing a lot of drugs, hanging with some not-so-nice people, and getting sucked into drama between rival groups in his circle of street kids. It got to the point where husband and I actually discussed the logistics of it (who would go, who would stay with- the other kids). It's a morbid thought, but it was (still is to some degree) my deepest fear. Nothing I could do about it because thank you was doing his thing. Only thing I could do was prepare as best I could, and then let it go.

    I wish there was a magic trick I could tell you to ease the pain and fear in your heart, but there isn't. Just as it has been for so long with- our difficult children, it's a one-day-at-a-time thing.

    You do need to take care of yourself, extra well. Allow yourself the tears, but also start working on rebuilding your life as a parent emeritus.

    One thing I did, once my anger over his just really stupid choices wore off, was really work on enjoying his sober presence when he did come home for a visit. He's never been here high (to my knowledge) and in some twisted kind of way, his rough existence away from home made him virtually a easy child when he is here for visits. I hug him, tell him I love him, do *not* ask questions about his life, feed him, and tell him to take care of himself as he leaves. And pray that he stays in one piece until the next time I see him.

    Hugs, Nancy. Many hugs.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child and I are driving to Columbus saturday morning for a weekend away shopping and trying to forget for a while.

    Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I read and reread your wonderful responses and you are right and it helps me.

  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Nancy, Hugs to you. I think it is the hardest thing a parent has to do.... to take a tough stand with their kid and tell them they can't live there, they won't give them money etc. It is heartbreaking and it goes against our natural mom instincts to protect and care for our chlldren. No matter how old they are they are still our babies and we have that mom instinct. Except that part of the normal process is for kids to grow up, take responsibility for their lives and for mom to let go. But it is so hard to let go when they are not really doing their part in taking responsibility and caring for themselves. Then we end up having to not only let go but to push them out of the nest and it is hard hard hard. Please don't give yourself a hard time about not detaching is a process. It does not happen over night. I am no expert at detaching because i still get caught up in it too.... but I do know I am more detached now than I was a year ago. The best thing I have found to help is distraction.... doing some fun things with others, going to work, reading a book. or doing a puzzle. Anything really to take my mind off him. The other thing is to recognize that right now you may not be as on top of things as usual.... I know in the worst of times I get very forgetful and pretty flaky about some things. My brain just can't handle it all.... so I try to focus on the things that are really important and not worry about the rest. Above all take care of yourself. A weekend away sounds perfect. Do your best to enjoy yourself or at least enjoy the moments you can. Hugs.
  16. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Others have said it better than I could have.... just wanted you to know I was thinking of you.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As always I'm hoping for the best for you all. Has easy child reached out to Al Anon or any support group? It has been my experience that easy child's have many buried emotions, guilt, resentment etc. and usually feel responsible for making their parents feel better. They want to make up for difficult child's disruptions and often don't realize that they have internal disruptions themselves that need to be addressed as early as possible.

    You and husband have done everything you could do. There is a comfort in knowing that deep in your heart. You have not left her stranded without tools for coping. Now, darn it, she has chosen to have the ball in her court. Some addicts can get it together on their own. I pray she is one of them. DDD
  18. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Many, many hugs, Nancy. The others have said things so well - I can only add, you're in my thoughts and prayers too.
    May you and easy child find some distraction and some enjoyment on your shopping trip this weekend.
  19. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm so sorry Nancy. I don't know how you keep from falling apart. I don't think you can stop yourself. I don't think any of us could stop ourselves. We carry it with us the rest of our lives. I just hope someday she will come around and learn those lessons.
    I hate what alcohol and drugs and mental illness do to families. It's cruel. Hugs.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, Im so sorry she is doing this. I do think getting away and just not thinking about it is a good thing. I have a whole lot of practice putting those worry thoughts into little boxes in my head and closing the tops on the boxes. Its about the best I can do to get through each day.

    I always worry what Cory is up to. I worry if Tony is gonna get hurt on some construction job and lord knows, I always worried when Jamie was in the Marines and now that he works with the sheriffs department, that is even a big worry! I just figure no news is good news.

    Hopefully J will calm down and get her head wrapped back straight and she will get through this. We just gotta keep hoping.