Last night

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Last night I had a talk with my SO about my son. I told him about more of the layers I am peeling away to see what is. To accept what is.

    He knows a lot about this subject. He has counseled many parents and kids who are addicts.

    We talked about how much progress I have made. He is such a good listener and he just lets me cry if I need to. I trust him, and so I can tell him the raw truth, like we write here, and in telling him, sometimes I hear and learn new things.

    He has watched, and supported and lived with me these past three years of my son's journey. He has seen it nearly first hand, but he is more objective, as he is not his father. That has helped me.

    We talked about the last time I "fell off the wagon" when I was doing so well in maintaining my "No" and then, suddenly, I got so scared and I caved. I don't want to do that next time and I am trying to find the path to be strong when the onslaught begins.

    I am going to write down some more things so I am better prepared. Then I am going to write down "Wait." That has worked for me in the past----that when I am talking to my difficult child and I start getting twisted up and confused and scared by what he is saying, because I didn't prepare for this new bit of news or information or ask.

    If somehow I can just get some separation and some time, right in that moment, I can break the cycle.

    I am slowly, slowing coming to see something that I have been fighting for a long, long time. I didn't want to see it and I didn't want to say it. And it makes me so sad. I can see now that my son and I need to have no contact for a while. You just don't know how sad that makes me.

    I am seeing more and more of my own naivete in dealing with my son. I am just simply no match for him. It is like a big bully and a little girl going at it. This little girl has been getting stronger, but he is always one step ahead of me. At least. Why? Because he is dealing with the what I want, and the here and now, and at all costs. I am dealing out of my love for him and my concern for him, and trying to find something, desperately, I can say Yes to for my son. Wrong thinking on my part. Wrong thinking.

    As long as there is one chink in my armor, my son is going to find it, dig in, and exploit it. Then all of my armor falls away and I am vulnerable again, completely exposed, and I have to build my armor back. Thankfully, it doesn't take as long as it did the first time, BUT there is still such a cost to me and to my life.

    Also, I am setting him back. Because I am once again teaching him that I will cave and thus, he doesn't have to do it. He doesn't have to take responsibility and figure it out on his own.

    Argh. This is such a bitter pill to swallow.

    It is such a blessing to see something new, and then to sit with it, sit with the pain of it, and slowly take it in. I want to be gentle and kind in my detachment. I don't want to say and do things I later will be sorry for, as best I can.

    I believe, I so believe, that the path for him and for me is a separate path, a path of adults living their own lives. I have to connect that conscious thought and knowledge with my heart and then with my mouth so I can be singing the same song on all fronts. That is when he and I can get better, by the grace of God.

    So, thanks for listening to this. I will not do anything hasty, but let time take its time. I will wait.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a few tricks I used that helped me. I'll share them. Take what you want. Leave the rest.

    1. Daughter could not talk to me about money or I was to get off phone or leave. Money was a taboo subject. Therefore, after she knew I meant it, she didn't call me so often, but, when she did, it was actually to converse and not to ask for favors.

    2. Coming home was not an option. Once she accepted that, again she tended to call less often, but even if it was once a month it was to converse, not to beg, threaten or to scare me into doing it. Now it was a bit easaier for me because she was at her brother's place, but she could have easily ended up on the street for breaking one of his uber-strict rules. If that happened, she was still not going to be allowed home. She had to really believe me before she stopped the manipulating.

    I have no idea if I'm right. She says I am, but who knows. I believe that her belief that nobody was going to ever bail her out again helped her decided to quit in the basement of her brother's house without rehab, and only her boyfriend beside her. She needed the wake up call that she could actually be out on the street or arrested and dad (burned her bridges there) and mom both would let her stay there.

    Now some adult problem children don't mind being homeless. Some would prefer to not talk to us, to misbehave, to live in libraries and drug stores that are open 24/7, and to couch surf. They tend to have money...I have no idea how they get it and don't want to know...and they do eat. We can't make them care about the quality of their lives or what they are doing with their lives. But we don't have to listen to them beg us to dig them out of the holes they dig, all the while with them refusing serious help.

    I once read a book called "The Mole People" about addicts who lived under the tracks in NYC. They preferred it to living in the real world, although it was terribly dangerous and made my skin crawl. I wondered, "Why?"

    These people, and often our difficult children, do not value what we do...warmth, comfort and safety....and we can't make them. If they cared, they'd be soooooooooo motivated to change. WHEN they care, they WILL change. Not everyone does, but some do. But it is their choice, not ours.

    I think you are doing well. Hugs :)
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Thanks MWM. I like everything you wrote and said.

    I am coming to see that some people like this life on the street with drugs that we can't imagine liking. I have heard stories of people who said that and then they proceeded to do that for the next XX years. So I guess there are some people who like that life.

    My son may be one of them.

    That is something I am just now able to start seeing. And I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong.

    But if I'm not, then I have been struggling against something---for MYSELF, not for him. And that is just plain dumb. (smile)

    I am doing well. I really am. I have my moments, but most of the time, the large majority of the time, I am doing well.

    I also know things can come out of the blue and hit me hard and then I won't be doing well for a while. But it will be just for a while.

    I am committed to my own life, for the long haul, regardless of what the people I love do. This attitude has helped me in dealing with my parents, who are learning to live with the aftermath of my mother's stroke last August. They are doing some things that make no sense to me. But you know what? It's their right to live their own lives as they see fit, and it's none of my business. I don't get to "set them straight." What do I know anyway?

    This whole darn journey is so humbling. And that is also a good thing.

    Blessings and peace to you today.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're doing very well Childofmine. And, I know how difficult it is too.

    Waiting is good.

    I learned that during any interaction with my daughter it was wise and prudent to always say, in the face of the next request or drama, "I have to go, I'll get back to you." Giving me the absolutely necessary time for my brain to settle out of the enabling role and into the detachment mode. Over time that became the way it was and over more time, she stopped asking for anything. She hints now, but I don't bite.

    I have virtually no contact with my daughter other then occasional emails or FB messages. I too had to face that we might end up exactly where we are. I always had hope that things would change, and like your SO, my SO encouraged me to see how long this has gone on and how unlikely it was that she would change. That was hard to see. I call it the death of hope. However, once hope left, interestingly, it simply left me with reality............she is who she is, it is what it is...........and acceptance was soon to follow. Suffering ceased (for the most part) and my own life began expanding.

    I can conjure it up and feel sad about it, but why? Sometimes it hits me that my only child is out there and we have no connection...........and I feel a momentary sadness...........and then it passes.............I have tools to keep me on the straight and narrow............I keep myself very healthy with exercise, diet, sleep, meditation, friends, support, you I am committed to my own peace of mind and my own well

    It's been a long journey to this point. Being here for others helps me too. You do a good job of supporting others with your wisdom and your can provide solace and your own story for parents struggling in this strange land we live in. Wishing you continued peace throughout your journey.............we're all in this together.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Yes. Yes, yes and yes, RE. Exactly.

    Thank you so much.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Child, there are so many kinds of pain as we move through this with our kids. There is that endless, hopeless kind that tells us we are letting ourselves know what is real. Then, there is that other kind of pain, that kind that we feel almost by choice. That kind of pain happens as we gain clarity. We choose to see, choose the pain; accept it. How could you not grieve when everything you believed in is just...gone?

    It is such a bewildering place.

    In time, the shock of what we've learned to accept, the shock of the true things we had the courage to see and know and taste mellows into an agonizing but, at last, a steady state. Once that happens, we begin rewriting the music of our lives. I know (and am happy) you are following the thread on the change process that seems to happen for us, as we choose to see true things about our children, about our dreams for them, about our truly unrecognizable dreams for ourselves as mothers, and for our own lives. Whatever our dreams may have been, our children are our children. We can practice detachment because that is the right thing...but it never stops excoriating us. And they're in such pain, our kids! And they are not who they wanted to be either, and it hurts so much, and we never knew that much pain existed, and we fight it with everything we have. But once we choose to see what is there Child? It's like...nothing else scares us, ever again.

    Abusive childhood? POW
    Poor self esteem? Laughter.
    Someone, friend or family member you need to confront? Pardon my French, but they are suddenly no more important, no more frightening than, a fart on the wind.

    I read that somewhere. Fart on the wind, I mean.


    I am having one of those out of temper days.... Good. Something must have let loose somewhere and more of me must be here. Always, that comes with anger. Probably the very emotion it was sealed beneath.

    I am sorry you are in this kind of pain. I would never choose it for me, for you, for anyone. I hope there is a plan, a progression, a meaning. Have you read Viktor Frankl? He survived and wrote about what it meant to survive, a concentration camp. He writes less of the horror of the thing than of how that dehumanization changed him, changed his view of what it is to be, at all. Elie Wiesel is another writer whose pain echoes my own. I find comfort, there. Find comfort in knowing others have survived, have put what I feel into words.

    Ellie Wiesel wrote that telling of a thing, trying to find words adequate to describing it, somehow defiled the sacred horror of what it was, to go through it.

    That is how I feel.

    I see that in you too, Child.

    You are coming through it, coming through changed.

    It's so sad, so sad. I pray there is a purpose.