Active Member
I was thinking about the way I use CD.

I can't articulate how marvelous this site is and how much it has helped me. It is an oasis in the desert.

I remember when I first found it. I almost cried with relief and amazement- My GOD, I am not alone!

Yet (other than telling my story) I feel incapable of offering any advice to anyone who is similarly troubled. I don't want to practice false humility, but I don't feel "worthy".

How can I possibly help someone when it's so obvious that I have failed to successfully solve my OWN problems? A friend was telling me about something that was going on with her kids and I started to tell her what I would do. Then I thought, "YOU need to shut up! Your kid is a hot mess. She might be scared that if she takes YOUR advice, her kid will turn out like yours..."

So what I'm trying to say here is that I'm so thankful to everyone for everything I read here-the wonderful and non judgmental advice, the support, the empathy. I know that nobody is claiming to have all the answers when they post and that you are all speaking from your hearts. I am just not sure that I have the same gifs to offer you all. So I hope you will forgive me if I just seem to be "taking" and not giving back. I'm still learning.

That's all I wanted to say.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Blackgnat, I think it's important to note that, at least in my opinion, the most important component of coming here is that first feeling you expressed, "I am not alone." Telling your story is the most valuable asset any of us can offer because "out there" are countless others who have a similar story and when they read yours, they are saying, "My God, I am not alone."

Your contribution is the same as the rest of ours, we all have a story, we all share our story and that helps us and it helps others.

We are all attempting to maneuver through a landscape which contains enormous heartbreak. When we read that another is struggling in similar ways, it brings our shared humanity to the fore and allows us to rest in the almost sacred knowledge that we are all a part of a larger context. How we all contribute to that context is unimportant, that we are a part of it is where the opportunities for profound healing and change are found.


Well-Known Member
The most helpful thing for me is just to read other people's stories. You don't have to offer specific advice. None of us are 'experts' or pretend to have the solutions to other people's problems, definitley not me. Sharing experience is the best thing about this site. Finding something in another person's story that relates to your own situation, recognising thoughts and feelings that are shared by someone else, getting a 'spark' of possibility at some new thought or direction or action that I hadn't contemplated before and reassurance that I'm not a terrible mother and that my emotions are pretty normal. Detaching from my son's issues and looking after myself was the 'spark' of possibilty for me.


Well-Known Member
Blackgnat, first of all, welcome!
Second, I also don't contribute much these days -- in fact, hardly at all. But I feel very much that I "belong" here. This is "my family" to whom I don't have to offer any explanations, but can just be myself and know that everyone here accepts me and my difficult child for what we are. And believe me, when you feel the time is ripe, you will also write something for someone else, even if only to give them a virtual hug. That is also important.
So, welcome to "the family."

Love, Esther


Well-Known Member
I remember when I first found it. I almost cried with relief and amazement- My GOD, I am not alone!
Yet (other than telling my story) I feel incapable of offering any advice to anyone who is similarly troubled. I don't want to practice false humility, but I don't feel "worthy".

Blackgnat, I am right there with you.

Oh my--the day I found this forum. I have repeated this many times, but I was Googling How to stop enabling - Looking back, that is borderline pathetic since my difficult child was 32 yo. I had been so caught up in trying to get him on the right track for so long, it was like I was ensnared in super sticky fly paper and couldn't get loose or move forward.

The few times I do offer insight, others come along with way better stuff. But that's okay. They certainly have come across with wise posts for me!! They are wise humans. I remember in the early days, checking back all the time for responses, printing them off for husband, reading and re-reading them. So, sometimes it is good just to know somebody is reading your story and supporting you.

Every once in awhile, when somebody new comes along and their angst shows through...I type more--because I remember how that feels and how lost they are....and that they will feel much better in just a few weeks. And, sharing, as is probably shared as much as anything on this forum, how I could not solve this for another person...ever. There is a reason everything husband and I have tried has not worked.

and, yes, as you say, the knowledge that they are not alone.


Well-Known Member
Well let me say one has all the answers or we wouldnt be here! We would all be out by a pool (or some lovely place) without a care in the

I have been here a long, long time and I dont even feel like I have much to offer sometimes. Like you said, I sometimes wonder how I can tell anyone anything considering my kid is a colossal mess. That said, I couldnt leave this place for anything and will probably be on here when I

Dont worry about what you type...we just like hearing from someone!


Active Member
I agree. Just knowing that there are others dealing with difficult situations helps me feel not so alone. Where I live, I don't have any friends whom I can share these things with. They would not "get it" like my friends here do.

I come and go. This mirrors my daughter's bipolar disorder, which fluctuates between stability and raging mania/depression. When she is stable, I don't tend to be as participatory as I am when she is unbalanced. At those times, CD helps me cling to my sanity and once again detach from her tortured world.


Well-Known Member
You said you could not offer advice because you could not solve your own problem. The truth is we can't solve these problems because our difficult child's own these problems. We just happen to be the people who love them.

I learn from every story posted here.


Well-Known Member
We do what we can when we can. We have enough demands in life, this place has zero demands. We need that. There will always be story that you will relate to and you will participate then.

sent from mobile phone

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
The other thing that is so true here blackgnat is that we learn, we understand on a deeper level, with every post we read or respond to. Each of us has been where you are now, and has struggled to learn a better way. The incredible blessing for all of us is that we do learn a better way. We learn how to love our self-destructive kids without judging or resenting them, and we learn how to find our ways back to loving ourselves. We learn how to change the pattern blackgnat, not by changing our kids, but by changing our responses to them and to ourselves.

As we do that, we begin letting go of judgment and blame, first for the kids and then, miracle of miracles, for ourselves. We begin to cherish and befriend ourselves, again.

I am so very glad you are here with us.


We come to understand that


New Member
it looks like this site may give me some encouragement. i need it. im not unhappy, just discouraged. my daughter and I have been on difficult terms since she was 12. she is now 32 . however last nite my 12 yro grand daughters grandmother i ( never married her son) called me and said you need to get her in a better school (we havent spoken in years) .. I have been taking care of her and her 8 yro brother brother since birth . I told her i wouldn't lie , cheat or commit fraud for her to go to a better school. She said she would and she does it all the time. ( she also knows we have a rent house and can't believe I won't let them live there because we live in a better district). She knew alot about our situation and I think my daughter is talking. ( Her current inlaws are very disrespecful to me and we don't talk either) My husband and i are working toward retirement and taking care of ourselves. My grandchildren are here 5 days a week in the summer. I have done my job. I don't talk to my daughter unless I have too. It makes my life so much easier, but with the kids it is necessary.. Im so tired of being blamed for everything.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Okwoman, you may want to start your own thread, you've posted on an old thread and others may not find you as readily. You can cut and paste your post on your own thread by clicking on Parent Emeritus at the top here, then look right and click on start a thread.

Welcome. Your story sounds much like many of ours. If your daughter is 32 then you are near retirement as a few of us are, and you're correct, your parenting years are over. You are not obligated to lie for your grandkids to get into a better school, nor are you obligated to rent your home to them, nor take care of the children, those are choices, not obligations or responsibilities. Whatever you are willing to do and feel good about is the best choice, in my opinion. Otherwise you will feel resentment and then the act of giving is nullified.

Others don't have the right to judge us for our choices although they do and I know that can hurt us, but it is likely best to let that roll off your back. The other grandmother sounds as if she is trying to intimidate or bully you into doing something you are not willing to do. Let it go. Do what you feel good about doing and don't do anymore. It sounds as if you have good boundaries, keep them up. Boundaries are important when dealing with troubled adult kids.

I believe you're doing the right thing. You're doing what feels right to YOU. That is the best policy for health and well being, in my opinion. It also sounds as if you are doing enough. You care for the kids. Your daughter is ultimately responsible for her children,not you. If you have a contentious relationship with your daughter then it also makes sense to limit your exposure to her. It makes sense to connect as little as possible if the connection with her is problematic. Only you can be the judge of that.

All in all your post sounds healthy. It certainly isn't ideal, but we don't see much of ideal around here..........but you're doing what is right for you, you have a relationship with your grandkids, you have good boundaries around your daughter, I say, good job.

You can't control how others feel. If they are blaming you, it is their problem. To me it sounds as if you are responding in a healthy way. It can be a lonely road to do the right thing, but stay the course and continue limiting your exposure to toxic, blaming, negative people.