It's Christmas Eve here and I'm crying...


Well-Known Member
Hi everyone,

I'm in Australia, where it is Christmas Eve already and I'm feeling broken. Nothing major has happened, I'm just weighed down by the constant battle of negotiating life with a difficult child.

My husband's parents live in another state. Yesterday they visited for the day as they were on their way to Christmas with my husband's sister (about 100km from where we live). We celebrated Christmas with them yesterday with a full Christmas dinner. My Difficult Child arrived in the afternoon as planned. (He's housesitting for a friend right now so not living at home for the moment.) He was in a good mood to begin with and chatted away amicably to his grandparents. After an hour or so he disappeared upstairs. When I asked one of his brothers where he was they replied he'd gone upstairs for a sleep, which made me think he was perhaps hungover. I was annoyed because I thought this was very rude during a family gathering, but both my husband and I refrained from insisting he come downstairs because we didn't want to risk him 'blowing up' in front of his grandparents.

When dinner was ready one of my other sons woke him. He came downstairs and sat at the table but was sullen and refused to eat (like a toddler, frankly). We all ignored the behaviour and treated him with courtesy but underneath I was fuming and also fearful that a blow up was imminent. After dinner he went straight back to bed. When I woke him to come downstairs again because he grandparents would soon be leaving, he seemed in a better mood. He was polite to everyone then and at least the evening ended on an okay note.

Now, in scheme of things I know this isn't a huge deal, but I'm sick of constantly being on edge. It's 2pm here and he is supposed to be arriving back home around 5pm for our traditional Christmas Eve get together. Already I'm worried that he won't show. Then there's tomorrow to contend with. Will he turn up? What sort of mood will he be in? Will he ruin the day for his younger brothers?

I'm so envious of families with 'normal' loving children right now. I have two other sons, who are everything a parent hopes for, and I am truly grateful for that, but I'm sad and perplexed that I have a child who is as damaged and difficult as my eldest is.

My husband and I are taking the younger two on an overseas holiday in just under a week's time. I cannot wait to get on that plane. But as always I'm worried that my eldest will do something to prevent the trip happening. He has a knack for causing havoc at the most inconvenient times.

Thanks for listening to my vent. I needed to tell someone how I was feeling and now I have. I'll be okay.

I hope the lead up to Christmas has brought all of you some joy and that things are as good as they can be for you right now.

L x


Sending good vibes...
Ms Lulu

I’m sorry for the heaviness you’re feeling. We put so much focus on the behavior of our adult children and it feels like we shouldn’t or can’t be happy unless they are thriving or doing the right things. It’s so important for us to remember to take care of ourselves. To check in with ourselves and make sure we are ok.
I’m hoping for a better day. Yesterday for me was hijacked by the phone message from verbally abusive, self righteous son. I couldn’t wait to go to bed because I couldn’t shake off the knots that I had all day.
I think the holidays do put added stress on us but we have to remember they contain the same number of hours as any other day and for myself to try to normalize it rather than think because it is a special time of year that all my troubles will disappear. Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas rather than the commercial hype helps too.
I hope you are better today. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself not waiting for others to do so.


Well-Known Member

Sorry your eve was an anxious day. Our Difficult Child's really do choose inappropriate times to show off. Remember, it is just a manipulation.

Give yourself a break from worry, it will be there when you get back. I'm glad you have another child to love.
Breathe and know we will be sending positive vibes to you.

Hug your other family members for a few extra moments today. Allow yourself to be fully, unapologetically loved.

Let us know how it turns out! Xoxo


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Merry Christmas from the other side of the globe!
I've been where you are. Having my son at holiday gatherings I was always on edge. I love my son but I don't like him. Some people find that hard to imagine but it's my reality. If I were to meet my son on the street, he is not someone I would seek out to have a relationship with. His life philosophy is not something I agree with and at holiday gatherings he would go on and on about his beliefs and how ignorant and foolish people are that don't align with his way of thinking. I was always trying to keep the peace.
I have finally gotten to the point where my son is not welcome in my home. I am in no way suggesting you go to that extreme, just sharing what I've had to do for my own sanity and peace.
My only suggestion is to keep it in perspective. Just because your son is not happy does not mean you also have to be unhappy. Your son is who he is and it's not your job to try and "keep the peace". It's okay if his grandparents see the worst side of him. I actually think it's a very healthy thing to allow. You see, when our family and close friends are never subjected to how our difficult adult children can be, then they will never understand why "we have an issue with them". They can easily side with the child who can be charming and manipulative. Of course we don't want others to see this, we can feel that they will view this with an attitude of "they must be horrible parents for their child to be like this".
Let's say he erupts and causes a scene, what would you do? I think having a plan in place is our best defense against the "what if's". For me, I would tell my son he had to leave. It's your home, you get to set the rules and the boundaries. There is nothing wrong with telling him what your expectations are and if he can't abide by them then he doesn't have to come or will be asked to leave if his behavior is rude and unpleasant.
I'm glad you have a trip planned. Do not let your son ruin it for you. Do not give him that kind of power. You got this!!!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I have moments I’m envious of that kind of thing too. Healthier kids who for the most part (at the very least) are productive and appropriate.

Plus...just being sick and fed up of the entire situation.

I’m trying to concentrate on my blessings. And be grateful for when our diff. child is at least “so so” as I know things can and often are much worse.

That’s what I would recommend in this case. I pick and chose my battles. And I am refusing to let this glitch (although it’s a big one) wreck my life any further than it already has. I’m choosing to ignore a lot and be grateful for decent days and concentrate on my blessings. It’s not always easy. Believe me, I “get” it.
You can do this.
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Well-Known Member
Don't let your son take this trip away from you. If problems arrive let him deal with them he is an adult. Your other children deserve this trip. You and your husband deserve this trip. I am learning what an impact my always having to rescue my difficult child had on my other children. That impact has cost me to lose a lot of my relationship with them. Its not fair to me them or my husband. Give yourself and your family this gift and have fun.


Well-Known Member
Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so much to everyone who replied and apologies for taking so long to come back to you. I was caught up in the madness of Christmas yesterday and didn't get on here at all.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both went off okay. My Difficult Child arrived on time for both events and was pleasant to everyone - even bringing small gifts for us all. So it was a good result.

We leave here on Monday for Malaysia and I'm praying nothing happens between now and then to prevent our trip. Earlier this year we were booked to go on an extended holiday with our youngest son (16) and three days before we left our Difficult Child got into some serious legal difficulties, which threatened to delay (or even cancel) our trip. He strongly denied any wrong doing and because of the crowd he was hanging out with at the time (all drug users) we had no idea what the actual truth was. In the end we went and left him to deal with the consequences on his own. (We did loan him money for a lawyer, which he has since repaid). Even though we went on our trip and had a reasonably good time, the fear of what might be happening back home, and the guilt of leaving him with it, hung over our heads the whole time. In the end, nothing came of the matter - no charges were ever laid - but almost a year later I still live in fear of this matter coming up again, or a new problem coming to light.

I know I'm ruminating, and honestly I do try to get past this and live in the present as much as possible. I don't know, maybe it's the holiday season, but despite all the good signs from him at the moment I am feeling very low. I think it's because I fear this is the calm before the storm. There's always something with him. It's been that way his whole life. It's just that now he's an adult I have no control over what happens. Even though I know this, it's hard not to feel somehow responsible for any bad choices he might make.

Please pray for us that we get to take our other kids on this holiday. We all really need a break from him.