I want a future

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by I want a future, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. I want a future

    I want a future New Member

    I remember waiting in the school parking lot for my son to get out of school. The bell rang, and all these relatively happy teenagers passed. I felt incredible disappointment that my child didn't get to be like them. He was a loving, happy child, but at some point everything changed.

    Now he's 18 and 600 miles away. We thought he was improving. Things were looking good, and then we discovered he'd been stealing from us. Not only does it hurt that he stole, but he sees nothing wrong with what he did.

    The pain of the last 10+ years has been indescribable. We tried everything. Therapists, medications, prayer, church, trying to get him involved in sports. Nothing's worked. We can't take it any more. We told him that's it. He's not welcome in our home. It hurts so much to be at this point, and I'm so tired of hurting like this. I feel guilty that I wasn't a better mom, and believe me, he hasn't hesitated to tell me how terrible I was. I don't drink or do drugs. I didn't beat him. I did everything I could to set a good example and tried to help him, but for years he's told me I'm a cold b*. I would have given my life for him.

    I'm crying, but I'm posting this because the people on this forum seem to be the only people who understand. I don't want to feel selfish for wanting some peace. I don't want to feel selfish for wanting a future.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi. This is not my parenting challenge in life, but as a mom of a difficult kid, I just wanted you to know I read your post and am thinking of you. I can only imagine the grief of this.

    There are many here who do walk in your shoes and they will be along I am sure. I hope you find comfort in their words as I have many times.
  3. southermama3

    southermama3 New Member

    I am sorry you are living this way my life too has been chaotic. I "think" I can sympathize with-u bc my cousin who used to be like my sister is a severe prescription drug addict. Her mother had to eventually throw her out and no one ever hears from her unless she overdoses. I don't know what drives people this way all I know is we continue to love them and hold onto that tiny thread of hope that maybe one day that person u lost will come back. All I can offer is a prayer for comfort for your family.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First of all, you are absolutely not selfish for wanting some peace and wanting a life, you are normal, you are a grieving parent with so many feelings you feel like you will implode. I am right there with you. I am in the process of letting go of my 39 year old daughter and it hurts like nothing anyone can imagine. I know the pain, and yes it is indescribable. And I know you tried everything, so did I. And, I also know you can't take it anymore. YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG, YOU LIKELY DID EVERYTHING RIGHT, and therein lies the pain. With all your good intentions, with all your love, even with your willingness to die for him, he is still who he is. I grew up with a Bi-polar Dad and my daughter is likely the same, although not diagnosed, she has all the symptoms. It doesn't matter, she is who she is too. My daughter too has a long list of my mistakes, she's been keeping the list since she's 9 years old. Your story is my story. You did the right thing. You did the only thing. You cannot control his behavior, you are powerless, you can only control yourself and your reactions and make choices for yourself and your family. You are doing that. It is remarkably hard. There are not too many people who can get where you are, but you are in the right place now. You found us. The folks on this site will listen with the empathy only one who has been there can have. We know. The best thing you can do, and me too, is go into your life and find joy, find peace, be happy. It does no good to be miserable for him when it makes no difference to him. He is on his path, you don't know what that is supposed to be, letting go is the only option you can take. You are doing the right thing. I know the pain and I am so, so very sorry. I too watched those other kids wishing my daughter was like them, but she isn't. That is the reality. I don't mean to be harsh, but my HOPE that she would change kept me stuck helping her. Sounds like you have not done that and GOOD for you. You deserve a peaceful, happy future, you deserve to laugh and have fun. Don't let the guilt bring you down. Someone said 'guilt is the gift that keeps on giving' don't go down that road, it's useless and goes nowhere. Choose joy, misery is optional. Use this site as much as you need to, we are all here for you, vent, rage, be sad, whatever you feel, write it down if that feels right, it really helps. It really helps to be heard. Breathe, take some time to decompress, you are not alone, we know how you feel. It's helped me a lot to get into a CoDa group, take a codependency therapy course, be in therapy, write on this site, keep my friends close, get all the support I can. You're in a very challenging situation and support will help you cope and keep you sane. God bless you. Lots of hugs and warm wishes and prayers coming at you.......
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    (((hugs))) Yes, we do understand.
    I have a difficult child daughter that has a very difficult diagnosis. We've had about 20 years of on and off (mostly on) craziness.
    The last few months (knock on woood and crossing myself) seems to be slightly better.
    Our son is easy child, but we had one very difficult year with him. Today he is doing extraordinarily well.

    Your son is 18 years old and you said that you've had 10 years or more of difficulty, even though you tried everything you could think of to provide help for him. Sounds like this was something intrinsic within him and certainly not your fault. Only a good and responsible parent would work this hard seeking improvement. You have every right to want a better life for you and your spouse and ya know what, by seeking a better life without turmoil, you are actually demonstrating to your son that you are able to make the hard decisions in life and that you value your own self worth.

    No doubt you have learned much through this very difficult experience. I know I have. For one, the importance of setting up limits and boundaries and how, when necessary, to detach.

    All of this is very difficult, but an absolute necessity.

    In time, it will get easier. He says you were a bad mom simply because he doesn't want to look at himself. It's all nonsense.

    At 18, the ball is in his court in terms of getting healthier. You might provide mental health services for him if you can afford it, he's willing to accept it, he actually will go and you have proof that he is going, etc. However, he has to do the hard work....not you. And if he doesn't want it...just let it go. You can not force him to go. Perhaps in time he'll see it differently.

    I agree with the other poster...chose joy. If this gets too difficult for you, if you are not doing so already, consider seeing a counselor for yourself.

    Figure out what you like to do and simply DO IT. Nurture your relationship with your spouse and turn this pain over to your Higher Power. Put this all in the distant background and move forward. You want a future and you can have one...a GOOD one!

    Developing Detachment | LIVESTRONG.COM
  6. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I know completely how bad it hurts and how frustrating it is to see them throw away their lives, and try to take you down with him. Your story sounds like mine, except I was a single parent. difficult child was given too many chances and tough love just made him more defiant. I tried every treatment I could afford.

    He not only stole everything from me he helped his friends steal from me too. It was embarrassing when he stole the candy he was supposed to be selling for band and the money he was supposed to turn in. He was always trying to move his other problem friends in with us. Gave them my keys to steal my car.

    My difficult child told me he hated me and sometimes now I believe he still does. No contact with his father and I think he blames me for that too.

    They lie and they are manipulative, very much 'me' people. My difficult child is 33 now and for 3 years I think he was turning his life around. He apologized and said he was a bad kid and he was sorry for everything he had done. He had been working and in an auto program. He had a deal with an auto shop that he had a job the day he graduated from the course if he agreed to stay for 2 years. It was all he talked about for the entire year when he would call me.

    Two weeks into the job he calls me and he has met the woman of his dreams and they are moving closer to her mother. He has quit the job and he is looking for part time work. They are both going to college. For the first year they worked part time jobs and went to school. He is on the deans list and will graduate with honors.

    I have only met her one time and I had to give them money to get back home. They went to a concert 2 states away and some story about a mix up with the hotel blah, blah, blah. The 36 yo girl stayed on the cell the entire time arguing with everyone. I was happy to see them go and happy we lived about 5 hours away.

    THEN I started receiving emails asking for money from her. I ignored her requests and she calls me on my cell cussing me out. When I would not fight with her she started sending nasty emails to my daughter, they have never met. She seems to love drama.

    They had a fight and he was telling me he was homeless and couldn't find a job, he said he was never going back to 'neverland' (drugs), he only wanted to go to school to get a good job. I was sending him money and trying to think of a way to tell him that he has to find a job that I can't support him, I'm retired. But I don't want to crush him when he is trying so hard.

    Two weeks ago the witch started calling me at 6AM leaving nasty messages about he was going to comitt suicide and it was all my fault and other mean stuff, the girl has a very nasty mouth!

    I call the police in her town and they go to her house. All thatGFG has told me to guilt me into giving him money is LIES. He is living with her at her mothers and both of them seem to think at 33 and 33 yo they can go to school full time and me support them.

    I call the mother (the police gave me a number to leave her a message) she says they fight a lot he threatens suicide and goes to a friends house down the block, go out a lot, but they are both in school and making good grades. BUT she also says she has found a drug pipe.

    Someone hacked into my computer and was sending my emails to girlfriend and she was cussing me out that I was spamming her. difficult child leaves a message that I was f***** up for doing this. Now who in their right mind would be send their personal info to this psycho witch!

    I am very hurt that once again I fell for his lies, but I wanted with all of my heart to believe it was all in the past. I know he was the one that hacked into my computer and I changed all accounts and bought a new computer (mine was old anyway).

    I found and excellent book online 'When Our Adult Kids Dissapoint Us' and read the posts on this forum. Many good suggests here for books.

    The bottom line is we can't fix them or make them do anything unless they want to do it. I felt so much guilt and I tried so very hard. They know what buttons to push and they are immature.

    I hope my long story helps you to know that you are not alone. AND he may never change, but you must accept that and look at the good in your life and have a life. I had put mine on hold for many years waiting for him to grow into a self supporting and non drug using individual. The book is sad but a big help in getting over the guilt.

    I came to the realization that I will never have the relationship with difficult child that I had always dreamed, but he has made his choices. difficult child, girlie, and her mother all know that if she ever contacts me again I will press charges. Girlie is controlling and very possessive and they are not good for each other at all.

    Love yourself and protect yourself. As I keep reading, we have to let them learn from their mistakes, as hard as that is we must do it!

    I pray and mediate a lot and go to the gym, find some hobbies. I wish you and yours the very best.
  7. I want a future

    I want a future New Member

    We're willing to continue paying for the therapist he's seeing. I hope this one can help. I'm also thinking of returning to therapy for myself.

    It hurts to see difficult child waste so much beautiful potential.

    Thank you all SO much. Your kind words and understanding mean a lot.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Yes, we totally get it.

    We are parents, not super heros. It certainly sounds like you tried everything you could try and went over and beyond. It's not your fault. We do the best we can with what we know at the time. We're human. But often our best is not enough with a difficult child child, because the desire has to come from them as well. They have to have the desire to be a stable functioning adult, and be willing to take the steps to get to that point. It's not something you can fix for them.

    Your difficult child is still quite young yet. He has some maturing to do and some life lessons to learn. Let him learn those lessons. Yes, it's hard to do. But it's time now to put your main focus onto you and your husband. difficult child is an adult now and you can no longer control the choices he makes. Shifting gears from parenting a child to parenting an adult child takes time and practice.

    I'm glad you found us.

  9. I want a future

    I want a future New Member

    I keep thinking of people who had terrible backgrounds but managed to make it on their own. As I read in another post on this site, our difficult children know how to work things. My difficult child definitely does. I keep telling myself that he can turn his life around if he chooses.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You did a great job of trying to help your son. I am assuming he is on drugs. That's the usual reason for stealing. Once drugs take over, your child is at it's mercy. Remember though your son is only eighteen and he COULD decide to change. My daughter did, Thank God. It was hell until then and even afterward for a while because our relationship had to start over.

    Thinking of you with warmth and caring...
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, I want to welcome you to this site. Many of us have found this place when the chips were very down. I came here a long time ago when my youngest- my problem child- was only 12 and he is now 25 and a half! Lord where has the time gone?

    My son has always been a problem and like yours, he stole from us. That was our final kicker too. I do have to tell you that at 25 he is a whole lot better than he was at 18. He was so hard from mid teens through his early 20s. It took him getting charged by me for stealing from us to wake up. Sad that is what it took but he is much better now. He is a father of 2 now and we have a great relationship...as long as he doesnt live at home.

    So I know things are really hard now and probably will be for awhile but they can turn around. The theory is that the frontal lobe doesnt stop growing until age 24/25 so kids really arent done cooking until then.
  12. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Welcome to the community that gets it. We do. Every one of us has been there. You have done your best. Raising a child means just that: you instill your values in that child and you hope he/she rises to them. Whether they do or not is the part that is out of our control. There's always hope. In the meantime, we understand.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I've not walked in your shoes - ours aren't that old yet (HS age).
    But, two things in your post caught my attention...
    1) 10+ years of trying, and
    2) the mommy-guilt.

    It took us 10+ years too... in our case, we're fortunate, because we are finding answers, but this is an example of why you need to ditch the mommy-guilt... WE found out that the reason there was no help for our difficult child was that the tests he needed - the tests that actually reveal the extent of his primary disability - didn't even exist 10 years ago... weren't even available around here 2 or 3 years ago. Its only NOW that many of the issues, challenges, and problems "our" kids have are "hitting the radar" of various medical, school and mental health professionals. And there remain other challenges untouched as yet.

    In other words... maybe there is "something else" that could have been found - but it's highly likely that "it" wasn't being looked for back when you needed it. NOT YOUR FAULT. I've had to accept that, for our difficult child, too. We did EVERYTHING. 10+ years straight. But... we started a few years behind you, and the windows of help are just starting to open up. I'm watching people come to this board with kids at 4 and 6 and 9... and the help we needed back then, is starting to be available for these families. STARTING.
  14. Bean

    Bean Member

    I understand your pain. I've had those feelings as well. They aren't as often now (my daughter is 20), but the do sneak up on me sometimes.
  15. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I think you should rerturn to therapy too. It helped me tremendously to go on with my life. The funny thing for me is I have 2 master degrees and I give my difficult child all of the credit! I had to find an outlet for my pain and it kept me busy. Therapy also helped me to see that my difficult child loved the attention, regardless how he got it.

    I love the quote, 'no parent goes to bed at night thinking of ways to screw up their childs life!' Find something to occupy your time so you are not ALWAYS thinking of difficult child and the problems.

    Have a great week! Blessings to you and yours!

  16. I want a future

    I want a future New Member

    He has done some drugs, but he's also addicted to buying things.

    Thank you again for all the kind words. I don't feel as guilty because I see all the wonderful people on this site who have troubled difficult children. You've shown me that you don't have to be a terrible parent to have a troubled kid.

    The best to all of you this week. Hugs to you all.
  17. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    You have done everything possible for your difficult child which shows you are a wonderful mom. difficult children tend to blame everyone else for their problems.
  18. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our community. I don't have any experience in what you are dealing with but wanted to say "Welcome" :)