I come and go...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by wakeupcall, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Good Morning, fellow Warriors..

    After spending yet another hour reading on our beloved site, I came to this conclusion. Some of us would have gone stark-raving mad without being able to unload on this site, and regroup, and gather information, and be otherwise directed by those around us. I've come and gone over the years....but I always came back

    My son was a toddler when I first joined this site and he just turned 20 years old. I was going through Haedes with him on a daily basis...wondering what to do next, blaming myself, blaming his bio family, blaming anyone and anything I could think of. I've now spent sixteen of his twenty years researching medications (trying many with him), spent hours and hours and hours with therapists, camped out at the schools that I didn't think were treating him right, defending him to family and friends daily. It was totally exhausting (though I know you all have been there) and I lost myself in this whole process. I couldn't and wouldn't step back and take care of myself...I had to go on and on, move, change direction, try this day school therapy, try a new medication (horribly expensive), read another self-help book...I was consumed with making him a better person as he became an adult. I don't regret any of it. I also am not sure any of it helped in the long run.

    BUT all of you have held me up through those trying times. I still come and read and commiserate...my son chooses to be unmedicated (BIG mistake), doesn't hold a job, does drugs, drinks, and is very ugly acting to his adoptive father (my ex) with whom he lives. Difficult Child is a bit better acting to me because my new husband will NOT tolerate him being disrespectful. I'm slowly, slowly, getting it that I didn't make him this way, I did everything I could possibly do to help, and now it's up to him to become a decent human being. He listens to no one, is enabled by his father. Some days I feel like I bailed out on him, but how long does one give and give and give to the exclusion of your soul? I did that and you, on this board, did/do that. That's because we are parents and we love our children dearly.

    A few years ago I decided if he wouldn't help make himself the best he could be, then so be it. I can't do it for him forever. I love him with all my heart, but I needed to have a life or my life was going to be over. I still love this board....and all the wisdom that is here from your educations to your been-there-done-that help. We have to be very, very careful not to lose ourselves...it would be so very easy to do.
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  2. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I'm right there with you. Haven't been a member but for a little over a year but I also come and go. Sometimes to check in on fellow warriors for updates, sometimes to just know there are so many out there just like me and I'm not alone. Sometimes I just read and sometimes I comment. Very rarely do I post and I guess I don't really feel the need as inevitably, someone else has posted exactly what I'm going through and I don't need to repeat it!
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Wake up Call, thank you for your post. I love what you wrote below.

    Yesterday I read a newspaper letter and response about a mother writing about her son and his father. It seems the father is forever disappointed in the son because the son doesn't have a four-year college degree, a white collar job, a company car and an expense account, 2.5 children, vacations in the Caribbean, etc., just like he did with his life.

    Instead the 40-year-old son works an hourly job, pays his own bills, enjoys the outdoors, hasn't married, is a kind and happy person.

    He also has no relationship with his father, and his mother is grieved by that.

    I have been thinking about that letter.

    For many many years, I had the same thought process as that father. If my son didn't do all of the above, plus more, then he was/is a disappointment and hasn't lived up to my expectations.

    My son has been progressing in his life for about 18 months. I am thankful for that. He still has many of the "old ways of thinking and behaving" however, and I keep waiting for that to change, and being frustrated when it doesn't.

    I got too enmeshed with him for several weeks, and was filled with despair, resentment and anxiety about his life and his future.

    For the past 8 days I haven't talked with him, and I am regaining my own peace and getting back to level ground.

    So...what have I learned from this latest go-round? I hope and pray that I am one more step further on the road to acceptance. I need to learn how to accept my son and his life, as it is today. Not hoping for change, not expecting change, not getting upset when there isn't enough change to suit me.

    If I don't like the way he handles things, I have choices. I can stand back and set boundaries and say kind things and not get involved. I can say, hey, let's get together three weeks from now for lunch (lunch lasts about 1 hour, right?). I can reach out LIKE I WANT TO and in a way that doesn't make me crazy.

    His life is his life. I don't have to do ANYTHING. Except offer verbal encouragement and love.

    Sigh. I want to learn how to keep on doing this...I really do. We, all of us, must learn to accept other people, just as they are. I don't know about you, but I'm good on 99% of the world's population, hey Live and Let Live, right? It's those closest to me, that I love and care about, that I need to learn this lesson about.

    I know their lives hurt us. Watching them struggle and have problem after problem after problem is very hard to watch. So...we have a choice. We can create distance, time and space so the watching is from a distance and intermittent. That is what I want to do. If I can't handle reality (evidently I can't) then I need to create a way to get fewer doses of reality. Until I can learn more about acceptance.

    Ugh. This is the hardest stuff in the world, isn't it?

    Let's hang in there together. We can learn so much from each other. Thanks again for your post.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Great post Wakeupcall,

    I so wish I would have found this site year ago!! I always knew that I could not be the only one with a Difficult Child but I never had a support group like this one where there are people who really do know what it's like to deal with all the issues, chaos and drama of having a Difficult Child.

    My son will be 34 next month and I am successfully detached and while I'm glad I can be here to offer support to others I know there will be times that I too will need support and I take great comfort in knowing that I can count on all ya'll.

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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    What was I just saying about those times I would need support???

    I had a call come in on my cell phone tonight and it was a number that I didn't know so I always let those go to voice mail. Turns out it was my son. He left a brief message. The first part I could understand, "Hi Mom, it's me, just wanted to catch up" then I couldn't understand him, it's as if he turned away from the phone.

    I didn't call him back. I'm just not ready to talk to him. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will be. I feel bad but I also know I need to protect myself.

    My hubby is out of town working and when he called tonight to check in he told me he talked to our son. He said the conversation went pretty good. He said that son knew he has done a lot of screwing up. Husband asked if he was staying out of trouble and son said he was. I told my husband that son has always been good at telling us what we want to hear. You know, talk the talk but don't walk the walk. The trust just isn't there for me.

    My son does not post very often on facebook and he had 2 posts today. Neither one was of a positive nature. The one he was complaining about there is not enough joy in the world and the other was something to the effect of "screw medical marijuana I just want to get stoned"

    To read those posts and then have him call, well I just wasn't up for it. I am glad that my husband can talk to him.

    He also posted a status update that he is in a relationship. I checked out his girlfriends page and she's 21, he's going to be 34 next month. He always manages to find girls that are young which makes me sad for the girl but it's her choice and her life lessons to learn. I just pray that they are using protection.

    Well thanks for letting me share, I will now go back to my regular scheduled life :vacuumsm::mornincoffee:
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  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Sheesh it must be the holidays or something. I am sorry Tanya this is all so very hard. I came home to find Rain there, again. She talked about this guy "stalking" her in the park. I urged her to go to the police, she said she would. Sigh.
    Can't do much else. I am hoping my hubs doesn't backslide and invite her to live at home.
    She is 36, so mixed up. Perpetual teenager.

    I understand your frustration, dear. I am glad your husband has a handle on this. Sometimes we just need a breather. It becomes a toxic situation. Hang in there, you are doing so well. One day at a time, lots of:vacuumsm: and :mornincoffee: and an occasional :beersmiley:
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Tanya I applaud your caution and your care in taking care of yourself first. I can imagine the conflicting emotions you may have had but I think it is a testament to your hard work on yourself that you waited and you checked some other sources and then you made your decision. Our peace has to be #1. We have to be #1. That goes against our nature but it is the healthiest of behaviors. We can be of help to no one unless we are first taking care of ourselves. Warm hugs today. Who knows, Tanya, maybe he is making progress. Progress doesn't look like perfection or even what we hope for. But it can still be progress.
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks COM,

    This is so true and a good reminder for me. I think because I have been disappointed and heartbroken so many times that to even think that he might change for the better and make progress is difficult for me.
    I have wondered many times over the years just what it would look like and what he would have to do for me to believe that he is really trying to change for the better, for himself and not just putting on an act.
    As far as I know he has managed to stay out of jail and that IS progress and that is something to hold onto.