Le Sigh....


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My radar was up that something was "off". difficult child still working (verifiable). difficult child still being "mostly" reasonable to us (verifiable). difficult child still attending AA meetings (less often, but still verifiable). difficult child just accepted his 60-day clean and sober coin from AA proclaiming his clean life.

And then.... difficult child revealed he is smoking weed again. Le sigh....

difficult child says weed is legal in our state (and it is). I replied that alcohol is also legal. That doesn't stop it from being addictive. AA/NA are as much (or even more) about addiction behaviors as they are about the substances themselves.

I see no evidence that difficult child is doing meth/heroin again or that he's back into crime. My gut is not screaming to me that he is doing any of that now.

However...... He's being hidden/elusive (addiction behavior) about his pot use. Accepting his 60-day coin, but not telling his sponsor about the weed portion of his program. Convenient. Manipulative. And neither husband nor I are falling for it.

I do not know all of the facts and I don't even want or need to.

But 2 things are true....

1) ALL of my prior boundaries around difficult child are firmly back in place. That feels healthy and empowering.

2) Regardless of where this goes (forward, backward or a little of both), I am grateful for the good days we had and whatever good days may lie ahead. Each good day deserves recognition and celebration -- especially if they are brief. And that, also, feels healthy and empowering.


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Weed is so widely accepted by this generation of young people. Their day goes something like brushed my teeth- check, got dressed -check, car keys- check, smoke a joint- check. They do not consider it a true drug. To them it is less harmful than alcohol. They honestly do not get our problem with it.


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P4 -- I agree with you on many levels.

However, I also think my difficult child knows what he's doing. That's why he's intentionally not telling his sponsor. If he feels weed is legit for him, tell it to his sponsor. I'd like to hear his sponsor's response.

It's not the weed, per se, which is a warning to me.... It's his elusiveness and hiding it which alarms me. He told me and husband. Good. Tell your sponsor now, difficult child.


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I use to feel that pot was ok, until difficult child got heavily addicted to it and so are a lot of my family members and friends. When difficult child came out of the hospital and I made it more than clear I do not want that stuff even around me. Its one thing to get high once in a while for a little bit of fun, but to use to cope with life or to get off another drug, is completely unacceptable. That is not what it is used for and I think it is stupid. Water is good for you, but if you use too much of it, you can actually drown your own self. Too much of a good thing is NEVER a good thing when potheads try to convince me it's ok to use to cope with life. However, I do see your dilemma. Things are very fragile right now. What are you going to do?


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GM -- Thanks for your comments. Agree with you on weed not acceptable for coping.

What am I going to do? I'm going to do what I need to do for MY health and happiness. I'm in charge of mine, and difficult child is in charge of his. I cannot change him (I tried...but, as we all know, it their true change has to be their true decision). If he claims weed is for medicinal purposes (which he does), then I suggested he see and be followed/monitored by a medical professional and abide by whatever the rx is. Of course, difficult child refused. Not angrily, just playing defense lawyer about it. He's free to play lawyer about it. And I'm free to leave the courtroom.

So........like I wrote above, I'm returning to my original boundaries. difficult child is still in our life. But with some healthy space and boundaries.

Compassion and hope are freebies. Trust is not.

I always love him and root for him (he has many great qualities!). However, I do not always trust him. And, honestly, I must be authentic. I don't do "fake" very well and, honestly, I'm very glad for that.
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Great job HLM. Life has so many ups and downs, you are doing a wonderful job of not reacting to each episode, good or bad, but simply accepting what is........and of course, keeping your difficult child boundaries firmly in place.


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GM -- We all learn so much from each other in here. I learn from you, too! This group is a supportively-clarifying lens for us all. :)

Albatross -- Thank you! I enjoy your posts quite a lot, too. I just said everything in my post, above, to difficult child today. He wasn't thrilled. However, he didn't go ballistic (as we all know, that, in and of itself, can be a major accomplishment). I think he's just put up some more boundaries around me. Well, good on him! Seriously, he's entitled to his adult boundaries, too. I notice when we both honor our boundaries, we are more respectful to each other. Yay, us!

We all love our kids (difficult child's or not) and we all want their health and happiness. But the longer I parent our son, the more convinced I am that we must tend to our own health and happiness first. Not in a hedonistic way (although a little of that wouldn't hurt, either! LOLOL!). But, rather, in the same way an airline always tells you to put your own o2 mask on first, before assisting others. It's a matter of survival. Martyrdom helps no one.

It's so easy for me to get "enmeshed" in difficult child's drama, if I'm not careful. You know, either ditching my boundaries or ditching my compassion. I really feel best when I keep BOTH going strong. Hard to do sometimes, I tell ya that. But that is my quest.

Today I was subbing and saw a 2nd grader who is already quite the difficult child. I stopped and stared at him while he went ballistic (seriously ballistic -- all over the place). I just kept thinking, "My gosh, how hard it must be to be him." Then, of course, I thought of all of our difficult child's.

RE --- Thank you so much for your kind words. I do react sometimes. I used to get down on myself for that - expecting perfection. But, ya know, not only is perfection not possible, there's really no point in it. It takes the "humanness" out of us and our "humanness" is a thing of beauty. I just try to get back on track sooner than I used to (ditching brow-beating myself sure speeds that up, too :) ).

RE --- I value your words and insights greatly. You have retained your balance of wisdom and compassion. You are a beacon light to me with your words and I'm very thankful for that. Keep 'em comin'! :D


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Thank you HLM.

Well, I used to be quite the perfectionist and I've done my share of brow beating too........geez, I guess getting older really does bring about a certain amount of serenity.......thank God.

I have to say this HLM, I have been on a quest most of my life, call it a spiritual one, or a search for truth, or wholeness, or health, or peace of mind........ but I've been at it forever.........and it all came to a head, big time, when my only child went off the rails 3 years ago. The torment, the suffering, the anguish, fear, anger, sorrow, grief, all of it was almost unbearable at times. I sought out armies of help........and gratefully, I got it. This forum was a big part of that help. And, I made it through all of that..........I am as surprised as anyone, maybe more so, given that I just would never have believed that I could not only be okay, but thrive, be happy, be peaceful and enjoy life, while my only child continues in her difficult child lifestyle.

The journey with my daughter brought me through and out the rabbit hole and I learned so much ......... about letting go, detachment, acceptance, peace of mind, presence, non judgement, compassion, releasing of expectations, trust,........and perhaps most importantly, how to stay in the present moment and not lapse in to the past or the future.........not just in relation to my daughter, but to life........all of that applies to every single part of life...........and it changed my entire life in ways I am still learning about. ALL for the positive.

I saw my daughter the other day. She is fine. Living her life, on her terms, with her peeps. I really saw that too. It is literally diametrically in opposition to my own life, but, it ISN'T my life, it's hers. And, I think that I saw that for the first time really........and I felt so.........peaceful...........that's the only way I can describe it. And, here's the odd part............so did she...........

No more judgements, or blame, or "why aren't you different then you are" or sorrow, or anger, or anything. I think I have finally just accepted her for who she is.........and it seems...........we both knew it too..............

I am doing what you speak about often, I am feeling grateful for everything, every moment, happy to be alive and experiencing all of it........and so grateful for this board, for all of you, for the opportunity we all have to change, to grow, to evolve, to expand ..........and to feel peace ........and love .........and joy.


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RE -- Thank you so much for sharing the depth of your story. I think I'd heard bits of it before, on other threads, but this is the first in-depth I've read of it. It is quite a journey, isn't it? I didn't realize your daughter went "off the rails" (as you say) just 3 years ago? Maaaan, you acquire and implement wisdom quickly! You speak as a sage and I respect that greatly. Perhaps it's your life-long quest that I'm seeing in action. You wear it well.

I, also, have been on a life-long quest (definitely a spiritual one). While I have learned much (oy vey, have I!), I see so much wisdom you carry easily (at least it looks that way to me)....more easily than I do, I'd venture to say. All a work in progress, no?

I enjoyed reading how your difficult child is doing so well these days. How you and she have an understanding and appreciation of your separate beauties in your differing identities. How fulfilling that must be, to see her thrive.

Gratitude for EVERY moment is key. We both seek it, so let us always remind each other of it. I'm guessing I may need this reminder more often than you! LOL!

Thank you for being you, RE. I so, soooo enjoy your insights. :D


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Albatross --- Hey, I just noted 2 points of interest in your signature bio (below posts).

1) You work in healthcare? What capacity? I've spent 25 yrs in healthcare (everything from CNA to Clinical Support Tech (respiratory) to Therapy Director (Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)) to Pharmacy Lead). I only went into school subbing, etc., 10yrs ago........needed the flexibility and I do enjoy it quite a lot.

working it one day at a time, slowly taking down the wall and draining the moat.

2) You said you liked my phrasing. Well, hey, I like yours, too! I totally get the "slowly taking down the wall and draining the moat" portion! Nailed it! Your visual, above, will probably pop into my head some time whenever I'm raising the drawbridge again! Ha! Thanks!

Everyone --- I am appreciating getting to know you all!


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Now that my granddaughter has left for college and my difficult child is off in her own world, I have more time to respond!! So here goes........

"Maaaan, you acquire and implement wisdom quickly!"

I had to smile at that HLM. My letting go practice began decades before my daughter went off the rails.........just to give you a brief summary of my life, my parents were both mentally impaired, probably diagnosable by what I now know as Dad=bi-polar, Mom=depressed, so my path of detachment began when I was a child. My brother is schizophrenic and I have a sister who is bi-polar with Aspergers with additional diagnoses as well. I've lived in a world of thwarted realities, insanity, secrets, manipulation, deception and just plain old craziness my entire life. I've had over 20 years of therapy and been on a spiritual path since I was in the 7th grade. Nothing was acquired quickly!

My daughter's husband committed suicide 14 years ago which began my daughter's descent into darkness ....... slowly at first and then it began rapidly devolving 3 years ago when she became homeless. I received permanent custody of her daughter 7 years ago, when it became apparent she could not effectively parent because of her odd and tentative grasp of reality. When I say she is doing fine, I mean she is not homeless or hungry, in jail, or desperate in any fashion, all of which she's been at times. She is presently couch surfing and there is a warrant out for her arrest for not showing up at a mandatory probation meeting. She has a job, friends and somehow makes it in her own way. She lives a very unusual, strange life of figuring out the next step a moment before she has to. No future, no planning, thereby, a lot of drama and chaos when unexpected things happen. Which of course, kept me tied to taking care of her for a long time. Until I realized she was not going to change.

Like you I developed strong boundaries and little by little she and I separated from the negative ways we had been connected as I detached and she learned how to live her life without my interference or help. She refused any help or support, all she wanted at that point was more and more money. It took awhile, but I learned to accept her and her lifestyle as what she has chosen and she and I effectively disconnected in the ways that were harmful to me. It was an arduous journey. But now, she is in her own life and she seems ok with it. She and I don't see much of each other, she is always very busy working out her life...........and recently I moved out of the town we both lived in and I am about half an hour away now. She has no car and little money. Like many of my family members, she is living a reality that I can't enter into and really, she can't enter mine either..........and there isn't a thing I can do about any of it, it is what it is and I have had to learn to accept it........or go crazy. Or continuously suffer. Or be angry and blaming. Or be judgmental. All of which I did. And, now I don't. I chose acceptance. And sometimes I have to choose again.

I need reminders too HLM, it is easy to slip and suffer in things I have no control over, but I am learning to let go a lot faster. A long time ago someone told me that the definition of enlightenment was getting off of it before anyone knew you were on it. That always made me laugh. Now I aspire to do that!! I think misery is optional and I live out of that now. I can choose how I want to spend this moment, right now. And right now, I choose gratitude and peace.

I attended a lot of CODA groups when I was in the throes of my own detachment process with my daughter and often at the end of a group they would say, "it works if you work it!" And, you know it really does. Whatever you're working, whatever path that is. I have my own beliefs and I practice and work it...........letting go of what I can't control, acceptance, gratitude, kindness, laughter, surrender to what is, and of course, living right here in the present moment, which is all I have.

And, I'm so grateful, for now.......... and for what lead to now. For all of it.


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RE -- Powerful, powerful events, feelings, and insights you share. Thank you for that. So many behemoth struggles swirling around you and your family connections over a lifetime. You show great insight in making the monumental leap to the next level of insight and action. You found ways to let your heart and your mind share space in harmony inside you -- in ways which heal and nourish in whatever ways possible. I see great strength in you. And THAT is my gratitude for today --- that you've just inspired my morning.


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I've spent 25 yrs in healthcare (everything from CNA to Clinical Support Tech (respiratory) to Therapy Director (Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)) to Pharmacy Lead). I only went into school subbing, etc., 10yrs ago........needed the flexibility and I do enjoy it quite a lot.
Wow, HLM, good for you! I was a CNA too, tried nursing for a bit but that wasn't for me, did some back office stuff, now actually out of healthcare altogether. I guess I need to change my signature. HA! I didn't think of the drawbridge, but I like the analogy!

RE, it is a real blessing to read your story. I feel like I am sitting at the feet of the master when I read how you have come through the other side.