I need a refresher course on detaching

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Older difficult child is doing well, in spite of a few setbacks (wife moved in with her boyfriend so he divorced her). HE lives almost 2 hours from me so I don't hear his day to day problems and I like it that way.

    Younger difficult child has always lived too close. He seems to draw me into his frequent drama way too much. I have helped them financially more than I should but I don't want to see my grandchildren living on the street. Things have been quiet for quite awhile. Then last week, difficult child lost his job. It was mostly the fault of his boss (actually boss's wife) and I don't blame difficult child for being angry. He has another job lined up but in the meanwhile he is fixing the foundation of the house he owns so they can move back in it and stop paying rent and the guy who will hire him for the new job wants him to cut up and haul off many loads of scrap iron (difficult child will get the money from it) before starting the real job.

    Then this weekend difficult child and wife and friends got in a big altercation with another couple: the babysitter called; a couple who used to be friends with them was at her house causing trouble and threatening the kids (difficult child's kids and their friend's kids too: friend is babysitter's brother). Instead of calling the police, babysitter called her brother and so brother and wife, difficult child and wife showed up and got in a fight with the other couple. Yesterday all 3 couples got summons to appear in court for 3rd degree assault charges. difficult child has been in trouble before and is afraid he will go to jail but I doubt it. What will probably happen is that it will be pled down to assault by mutual consent and they will all get a fine. THe big problem is that difficult child's wife got a new job about 7 or 8 months ago and it is the best job she will ever have. She works in the kitchen at our hospital. After they hired her they discovered that, in her past, she had a charge of assault by mutual consent (basically a bar fight) and they said they weren't supposed to hire her with that on her record but they would let it go but to be sure she stayed out of trouble. So now she will probably lose her job and that is basically what they live on as she makes more money that difficult child ever has.

    The two difficult children have spent all of my mother's nest egg that was supposed to be for me to buy a retirement house with; they have charged up my credit cards for things like car insurance and food; we are all broke and I can't help them anymore. I know it is really not my problem but they know exactly how to get what they want. Last month I gave them $400 or their electricity would have been turned off. Again, if it was only difficult child and wife I'd let them sit in the dark but they know I worry about the grandkids. I haven't slept well for days; I'm OK in the daytime but as soon as my head hits the pillow I start worrying and am wide awake. Besides all of that my mother's dementia is getting worse and I have to deal with her on a daily basis.

    I would like to just leave the state with no forwarding address but I know that is not going to happen. Remind me again how I am supposed to detach from all of these people.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Geez, I am sorry. While reading your post I felt that familiar pull of anxiety that comes when our kids are in trouble and asking for our help. I know exactly how you feel, I guess we all do. It makes it so much harder when there are grand kids involved, yikes. I am raising mine so that's how I dealt with that, my difficult child has no capability to raise a child. I don't know, if you can get yourself into some therapy, the local clinics usually offer reduced fee therapy. Or if you have a NAMI near you, they offer support groups for parents. CoDa or any 12 step group. Some folks have found family 12 step groups. I think the only way to detach is to get as much help for YOU as possible, so that the focus shifts from THEM to US and to do that, for me, required A LOT of outside help. It's so hard, but it's not impossible. Remember to take care of you, you and I are in the same age bracket, your life should be ABOUT you now. You're stuck in the middle of caring for your mother and your kids and your grandkids, no wonder you're not sleeping!!! What I realized is that there is never going to be an end to my difficult child's DRAMA, and it will always drag me in, so for me, I had to distance myself from her life so I didn't know the every day 'stuff' she put herself in. Not knowing is a life saver. Perhaps you can do that, slip quietly out of the every day stuff so that you are not compelled to keep stepping in to help. UGH. I am so sorry. Take care of YOU now. ((((HUGS))))
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mutt...I know the feeling so well too. Is there any way at all that all these people can get together and decide to "forget" the details when they get to court or even just not show up. I mean the complaining party. Or the complaining party can say that your dtr in law wasnt one of the ones who was involved in the fight. That would get her out of it. I would imagine that in a month or two these people will be friends again if they are anything like the people Cory and Mandy hang around.

    I know that we have had cases we have tried to take to court and the ADA has summoned us to court for the first appearance but when the defendant asked for a continuance we never heard back for the next date so I assume that when we didnt show up the case was dropped. I know that has happened a time or two to Cory too.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Being broke might be the best thing in the world for you. You'll have good reason to say No without feeling guilty. Usually all it takes is getting used to saying it often enough, and then.....well, you don't seem to go back to old ways.

    Are there other options the kids can go to for help other than you? The county? Community Services? Something? Here, the kids could've went to community action and had their electric bill paid, and then if they qualified, could've been placed on a low income plan that the state helps cover the cost. I don't know what is available to them in your area, but you might be amazed once they are forced to really start looking in more appropriate places than you for help.

    This is not an issue I really deal with much. Only one I've had to deal with it with was Katie, and I just told her I was broke and that was that. Once I took her a couple of bags of food and told her I wouldn't be doing it twice so make it last and be more responsible next time.

    Frankly, even if I had the cash to "help", I'd never admit it. That type of helping doesn't truly help. I can say that because I lived with a man who ran to his mom every single time he over spent money and couldn't pay a bill.........until he was in his 40's. Only thing that made him stop was me telling him if he didn't then we were done, and meaning it. It's behavior that becomes habit. That habit gets reinforced by the one doing the "helping", and it's a never ending cycle. Once I stopped the cycle, behaviors that got him into that situation started to disappear. If a crisis did come up, he found other ways to handle it.

    I tell you this because I'm certain you don't want to be doing this sort of thing for your kids when they're in their 40's. My mom, quite by accident, has managed to get herself into this situation with my eldest sis. Sis is 53 yrs old.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I would like to just leave the state with no forwarding address but I know that is not going to happen. Remind me again how I am supposed to detach from all of these people.

    Yes, it can happen. I would move. Seriously. Disappear and go on strike. And cancel your credit cards. If your grandchildren end up on the street, then CPS will deal with it. This is all WAY too much. All those adults acting like kids and ending up in court. Bad, bad, bad.