Leaving town, leaving my difficult child on her own.........some thoughts.........

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We leave tomorrow afternoon for two weeks. I haven't heard anything from my daughter since yesterday morning, in an email she told me she is still sleeping in her car, with the cats. I had a bad day on Tuesday, going through all the negative thoughts of how can I go on vacation when my only child is homeless and living in her car. I had a strong intuition that she was not in a safe place and I found out I was correct. She moved on but is still homeless. I was considering paying for her to stay in a motel for a couple of weeks. I felt bad. Then the next day I began thinking that someday I will not be here and she really will be on her own, so perhaps I can look at this as if it is an experiment.

    Tuesday night I wrote her an email and listed all the shelters in the area. SO told me that if she didn't mention the cats, she could stay in a shelter and just leave the cats in the car and stay safe. I mentioned that to her as well as giving her more resources to think about. I told her that if she considered surrendering the cats, at least the 3 young ones, I would help her to some degree financially for a few months until she got on her feet. But, if she chose to keep the cats, that presented such a huge hurdle in finding housing that I would not offer any help under those conditions. A new understanding of what my boundaries are.

    I haven't heard from her since then. I think, at least right now, that I will go on vacation and just leave things as they are. She has all the resources to find her way if she chooses. But, as you all know, our difficult child's have minds of their own, and they don't always work in the way we believe they 'should.'

    It feels strange to me. And, yet, at the same time, being 3000 miles away from home and away from her, is an opportunity for both of us to figure out how to live our own lives. My heart aches and yet this feels oddly right. She and I have been through a lot in the last 6 weeks. We've communicated in ways we never have and opened doors that were previously nailed shut. We are connected in a different way and yet detached from each other. It still feels odd to me, unusual.

    My guess is that this is another level of recovery in my own codependency. I can sustain the anxiety about letting go. I couldn't do that before. Therapy has shown me that often, as codependent's, we step in to save them to allay our own level of anxiety and fear ( of course, also to 'save' them.) I went through much of that anxiety on Tuesday all day. But I managed to get through the day without making any moves towards my difficult child that I would later regret. I held on tight and didn't 'do' anything but offer information on shelter/housing resources.

    The doing nothing was tough. I think, for me, just trying to do something to help relieves my anxiety about my difficult child's life. But, it's my anxiety, not hers. She is living in a different world, one in which she lives in the moment, surviving. Her mental distractions keep her brain busy with minutia while mine drags fearful scenarios into full view scaring me into action. I went through all that fear and managed to do nothing and I maneuvered myself through that familiar mine field and got out without stepping on any. Whew.

    I am committed to enjoying myself on this vacation, mostly resting my overactive brain which has been fully engaged for almost two months with my difficult child's shenanigans up close and personal. I am tired. The timing of this has been fortuitous and I plan on taking advantage of it to the best of my ability.

    I am taking my laptop along with me and as I rest in the sun, I will be checking in on you guys and updating you on how I'm faring. As always, thank you for your good thoughts. God Bless.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Have a wonderful vacation. You deserve to have peace and fun. I love that you will be checking in! Let us have some fun with you, OK???

  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Remember this: she'll be homeless whether or not you go on vacation. Where you are, really makes no difference. But you're right, being 3,000 miles away brings its own sort of "peace" to the situation for you; you literally can't do anything from that far away. And in the world of codependency and learning to detach, I think that's a good thing.

    I also want to mention something I've said here before, a favorite saying of my own therapist. "You're working harder than she is." When we get to a place where we're more worried about their circumstances than they are, it's time to step back. I get into that rut with Youngest from time to time, I find myself worrying about where she'll go, what she'll do, what will happen if such and such does or doesn't happen, and then I realize, she's not worried about it. She's just moving forward with her (bad) decisions and not giving it a second a thought. Why should I let myself be consumed with worry over it, if she isn't, and spend time and effort researching potential solutions to her situation, when she hasn't bothered and probably won't take my suggestions anyway? I'm working harder than she is.

    Hugs. I hope you have a fabulous vacation, you SO deserve it!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you. That is true Crazy, I am working harder then she is. I appreciate you saying that right now, it helps me to see the picture more clearly. It's a path for me which does not always move forward, it keeps moving all around the map, makes it more difficult to just decide to be one way, when the next moment I'm confronted with a whole new ball of wax to deal with! You're right, she will be homeless regardless of where I am, good point. I'm sure hoping this all subsides some when I get on the plane, I sure don't want to be ruminating about it while away. Thanks!!
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Go and have a good time. Relax, enjoy the sun and warmth and what crazy said is true, she wil lbe homeless whether you go or not. Life is too short to continue living it in hopes that our difficult child will change.

  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    If they have a donkey? Bring that back. If not? I'd like a horse. If not? I'd like (thinks hard with one eye closed.....) a car.....lol (okay shooting the moon there but you could have gotten off cheap with a donkey or a horse and since you choose neither - then a car it is. ha.

    And if it's NONE OF THE ABOVE?


  7. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It's so true! Their situation will be the same whether we sit home and worry or not!!!

    Enjoy your vacation!!
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping your vacation is awesome. Not sure if I would take my laptop. Checking in with us will be fun but won't you be available to difficult child via email?? It might be good to be be completely "gone" for the duration. Hugs DDD
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks DDD. difficult child only responds to my emails, she actually never just emails me. Laptop is fun for me, but I get what you mean.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to read that. Any time someone is going away I can't help but think about GFGmom...sigh! husband and I went south to attend youngest sd's wedding. GFGmom had responsibility for then easy child (difficult child#1) and like a dummy I thought she would really enjoy the time parenting him with-o me around in the home we shared. Really I didn't worry about it. Then, ta da, she showed up at the wedding in time for the sitdown dinner because she "didn't want to miss the exciting party". I had left the address and info incase she needed me. It's been over twenty years ago and I still don't know who took care of easy child. Yikes, difficult child's. DDD