Long, long journey to acceptance (swiped from a line by COM on another thread)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Echolette, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Echo, just within the past few weeks and months, I have been telling myself that I have the gift of Time. I have been isolating and sort of rephrasing whatever the issue is. I have given myself time, and still more time, trusting that a solution will appear. During this time, the issue I can't let go of and cannot solve, either, is out there somewhere, just out of consciousness.

    I don't know how to think or feel about it, so I just acknowledge it and give it time.

    I post about it here.

    Then, one day, I find myself thinking differently about it. I am never sure how that happened. All at once, everything is moving, changing. It feels more like I am watching a process than deciding an outcome. It is like a myriad of solutions parade past me. When the right emotional match comes up, I know.

    Once I find myself thinking differently, it isn't much longer at all before something happens that brings the event to conclusion. One time, it was about forgiveness for the male who beat difficult child. I just couldn't know how to look at that or think about him. All at once, this rush of hatred and vengeance came roaring through and right behind it...forgiveness. It was unlike anything that had happened to me, before. I think that "keep it on the back burner" quality is what is responsible for that capacity to keep my attention on a thing until resolution without being destroyed by the emotional trappings that come with every one of these issues with our kids.

    It was the same when we believed difficult child was going into organ failure.

    It is the same (though without that same immediacy) with family of origin issues.

    So much of it is about posting here I think, Echo. Seeing ourselves discussing the issue, reading responses, feeling protected from the isolation of that dark little core at the center of these feelings...I think that is why this kind of magic can happen for us, here on the site.

    So...keep posting about it, Echo. You are in an impossible position. It is ten thousand times worse to be confronted with the actual physical reality of what is happening than it is to agonize over the imagery you know is probably true but have not actually seen.

    Last summer, I found I had come to hate everything about the city difficult child daughter was homeless in. I mean I passionately hated everything about it. We lived in that city for thirty years, loved it, knew it to its bones. And yet, what happened there with our daughter found me hating every curve of it.

    Now that she is out of there?

    I don't hate it anymore.

    It is very strange. I could know what was happening to me intellectually. (Not very attractive to acknowledge what I was feeling ~ and for whom.) But there was something wild, something demanding and feral in the intensity of those emotions. I felt like an animal on the prowl, looking for my daughter in that city.

    I hated the homeless people I would see, wondering which of them it was who had beat her.

    The whole thing was overwhelming.

    It was like I was hanging onto the tail end of some powerful something over which I had zero control.

    We never did find her.

    But I saw so many street people doing whatever it is that they do, Echo.

    And I hated them.

    And I wondered where there mothers were, and if the mothers knew what the sons were doing.

    And I was so angry, Echo.

    And so helpless.

    I couldn't change what I felt for my child. I couldn't accept what I knew.

    I had no choice.

    You are weighing the issues now I think, Echo. The solution, the peace you are searching for now over how to accept what you cannot change, is going to take time to come to you.

    But it will.

    The imagery I came up with to recognize my situation relative to difficult child daughter is pretty awful. It rang true for me, it worked for me. It popped me into numb so fast that I could identify what it was I felt badly about. I knew how to cope with the bad feelings from having been here on the site.

    Recovering was so helpful to me.

    Naming the feelings did not take away the horror. What it did was limit the global nature of the horror. I could touch it.

    So, I could limit the far reaching harm of it. Next step was to learn to sit with the horror.

    I think I did alot of posting at the time about the movie, Apocalypse Now. It felt very much like the interview at the end of the river for me, as I worked through whatever that was with difficult child daughter last summer. Marlon Brando saying something about the horror of it.

    That was me.

    The imagery I finally came up with to know what it was like was worse, way worse, than that movie scene. It comforts me to have it, though. It is too disturbing an imagery to share here.

    When it happens though, I know immediately where I am.

    Part of the horror of this for all of us is that we don't know where we are. Everything is dark, and our kids are lost out there somewhere.

    I did alot of work with the Isis imagery too, Echo. Isis, searching so desperately for the pieces of her dead child; never finding the organs of regeneration.

    That imagery is so horrible, I know.

    But it helped me.

    I'm sorry this is happening, Echo.

    We are in a hard place, all of us here.

  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Oh Echo, I felt so much when I was reading about difficult child calling you last night. It would have been sooooooo much easier on you if he'd been mad and cursing you. But when they are little-boy-like and just asking, well, what about THAT thing we used to do, you still want to do at least THAT.....don't you?....I think there is no way you can say, at that minute, No, I don't want to do anything.

    I know I could not have said that, there is no way.

    Your difficult child and mine sound very similar. My difficult child rarely yells and curses me (but he does sometimes)---most of the time he is sweet. In so many ways, he is still my little boy who would run and hide behind my legs and look out when he didn't know what to do in a new situation. But, and Echo, this is still hard for me at times: He is NOT a little boy anymore, and if I continue to indulge little-boy behavior, I am doing him no favors. Oh, this stuff is so wrenching.

    Your difficult child is reacting to your boundary still. He can't believe his mother doesn't want to hear from him at all. He does need you---my difficult child does too---that connection to their mom. Ugh. It is so so hard to do this. I am feeling the struggle inside myself right now.

    Just a thought, Echo. Instead of saying anything at all in the near future, just act. Don't answer any call that you don't know the number. If it's a legit call from work or a friend, they will leave a message. Just don't answer the phone, at least for the next period of time, perhaps two weeks or something. If he wants to call SO, fine, that is their deal.

    Bless you right now. It very likely will take a long time for him to accept this, Echo. So write down your plan for what you will do if/when he texts, calls, comes to the door, FB messages you, stops you in the park...whatever.

    And be okay when you don't execute just like you planned. That is so okay, Echo. You are asking great, nearly impossible things of yourself. You are on very new ground. Perfection is NOT the standard, Echo, just progress.

    Oh you are. You so are. Hang in there. Write to yourself. Write to us. Find peace where you can find it right now. You have set a boundary, Echo. People don't like boundaries, especially our difficult children. One thing is certain---when we do something different with difficult child, they have to adjust, somehow, someway. That is a good thing, Echo.

    Big hugs for you on this Friday. I am here with you.
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Oh Cedar, when you write just straight out from your stream of consciousness it helps me so much. You write these things, these confusing things, about how you feel and how it doesn't make any sense, and then how you are progressing, and then the crazy strange things that I feel, I can see that they are part of my recovery and my progress and my healing.

    Sometimes people on this board think and get confused about what we write, sometimes. They think that we believe everything we write is true or good advice or our beliefs. A lot of time we are just writing out of our head, dumping it all out, sorting it out here, letting some air get to it, and when we go back and read it, we don't sometimes know even where it came from.

    I think this type of writing, letting others see our deepest thoughts, faults, selves, is another way of taking more steps on this road.

    I am trying to realize that about others who post here, and weigh all with mercy.

    Sometimes, living in this strange zone of loving someone so much and continuing to watch the destruction of their lives, I have feelings and thoughts fleeting through my head.

    I have visceral reactions to things, like this---I have been very involved in my community here, and my PR business kind of demands that type of visibility and involvement. Well, I just can't do those things anymore. I have a visceral negative reaction to it all. Tonight there is (yet another....) community event that I SHOULD go to, I am on the advisory board of this organization, and showing up is expected. Well, I'm not going. There are so many things like this. I just can't. I just can't go there, and stand around and make small talk, and sip wine and do that stuff anymore. It is completely out of my realm anymore.

    It seems like a false world. I have no stomach for it. I have said it out loud to a few trusted friends. It's not that the causes aren't good, I know they are. But the posturing and the falseness and the just sheer waste of energy----well, I'm just trying to figure out how to navigate this new world I am moving into.

    This city, sometimes I hate this city, like you said above. I hate this place that my son has come to ruin in. I wish I could completely move away and leave all of it---including him---behind.

    There, I have said it. I don't know what it means.

    Time will help me, Cedar. I know this. I also know that feelings aren't facts. I know this. But I must dump out my feelings, examine them, let some air get to them, let you trusted friends see them, and maybe then, at some point, I will see why.

    Last night, SO and I had our third premarital counseling session. We had some really good and honest conversation with the priest who is going to marry us, who is a wonderful man in his 70s. It struck me again how grateful I am that I have had to do this hard, hard work on me for these past few years. I have changed so much. I told them both: SO is "getting me" at the very best time of my life. I am a much better person today than I have ever been before.

    But the pace of change is bewildering. It is hard to assimilate all of this.

    When I'm confused by my own self, and my feelings and thoughts, I am trying to turn it over to my Higher Power and just accept myself and what is, today.

    I am trying to trust that there is a greater purpose for this, and that something good is going to come from the tears and the pain and the despair and the unnatural I-don't-even-understand-this feeling.

    Because my experience continues to show me that this is the case, and it will be again. Things will become clearer in time.

    I am so grateful once again that today, difficult child is in jail still and I have a reprieve from him and can make small steps forward still.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I feel that way, too. I have learned to trust the process, now. The changes are coming faster, and I have to let go.

    Just like Recovering is always posting to us, COM.

    That happened to me too, COM. It is part of what is happening with my family of origin. I liked what you said about feeling that some of the things we did before now seem like a "sheer waste of energy". That is how it feels for me, too. I am bone tired of pretending a thing is right or valuable or has the potential for good when it doesn't resonate as real.

    It feels like I am losing the energy to "cover the truth with a lie" just because the truth is ugly.

    True things are pretty ugly, sometimes.

    But this is what has been happening around those issues, COM. I am also coming heartbreakingly alive to the beauty of true things. The sun, rising, setting, or just shining around the house.

    How goofy is that?

    My husband.

    My own face.

    I agree. I don't really know what is going on, anymore. I just try to do the best I know ~ and I get it, that I am coming on too strong. I want to. That is part of what is different about me, now. I want to respond with what I really mean. I hope I am not being a jerk. But...if I am, then I want to know that, too.

    I try to be kind.

    That seems to be the only value that made it through this change process.

    That's a pretty good thing, I think.

    But even "kind" involves a judgment call on my part.

    And I don't really know who I am, anymore.

    I am unpredictable to myself.

    And I want it.

    I want it to be real...but real keeps changing.

    I have posted about this before. Your response brought it to mind and heart.

    So, here goes.

    Maya Angelou, in responding to a question about where her strength of character and purpose were fueled, said these things come to her from her love for God.

    Not from God's love for her, but for her love for God.

    She goes on to describe love as something that creates, that burns through and uplifts ~ not the romantic notion we have of love, but the reality of the creative force.

    The reality of that creative force, of that source of strength and passion and inspiration, that we have no other word for but love.

    Maya also talked about how she learned to love God that way. This is how that happened, for her:

    Someone was working with her on this or that issue. He told her to say, "God loves me" with passion and meaning. She said that phrase over and over, feeling shamed, feeling more and more worthless, until...she broke through.

    She got it.

    God knew and deeply cherished, took joy in, believed the best for, her. For the very person she was in that moment, in every moment.

    She realized she ~ all that was good, all that was bad ~ that she was here on purpose.

    Because she could accept that that divine, eternal, ever-creating Force recognized and loved her... she could return the feeling.

    That intensity of love she returns to the Divine is what Maya Angelou attributes her strength of vision, her courage to call a new truth into existence, to.

    Your response just made me think of that, COM.

    I am happy for you.

    And for me, too.

    I think we would not have come so far, alone.


  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I hear him trying (albeit in that strange difficult child way we know so well) to determine and respect your boundary and still maintain a relationship. You said you didn't want to SEE him so he wants to know if you still want him to CALL. In looking back at when we went no contact with my son, I remember how carefully we crafted our text to him. husband is a lawyer and he actually did the whole lawyer thing as we wrote it, looking for "loopholes."

    That was after the long discussion we had about whether we could really live with not knowing how or even where he was. I remember looking at each other right before I hit "send" and husband saying with such pain in his eyes, "We both know how this is going to end."

    I might be all wrong here Echo, but my take on it is that in his mind the love between you might be about the only thing that keeps him tethered at all. That is not intended as an endorsement of what to do one way or the other as far as future phone calls. Maybe facing the loss of that tether will be what he needs, maybe not. Ultimately this is about you, not him. What can you live with? Are you okay with "mm-hmm, that's nice, thanks for letting me know" kind of calls? That at least lets you know he is alive (sorry to be so blunt, but this is hard, hard stuff here) and it keeps the door open just a crack, to hopefully let a little light in. If it's too hard ( as it was for me) I'd tell him sorry and I know you don't see how my love for you can hurt me so much, but I just can't bear any contact at all with you right now.
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Alb you're so smart. So glad you are here on this board.
  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I don't think so, COM, but coming from you that is a real compliment. I am so glad to be on this board too.

    I was thinking this morning how many, many times in my son's teen years I counted the days until he was 18, thinking that on that magical day things would change. I could finally let go. And I was thinking how many, many times since then I have picked up again, let go, picked up again, let go...Other parents (easy child parents) say things like "We never stop worrying about our children, do we?" and inside I think "You have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, do you?"

    The moms at this place know what I'm talking about. I don't know what I'd do without that.
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    And all I can think is that they are fortunate, and that I hope they never have to know what I know.

  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    amen cedar

    echo sending cyber hugs and some positive energy your way

  10. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I was quiet over the weekend because I was mostly numb. I had some ugly conflict with SO as well, so when I was released from thinking of either him or difficult child, I tried to just be calm and steady and still, like light on the lake (which is where I was). But I'm back, read all the new posts, and processed the ones you all sent me (which I read all along).

    Yes, this is very very true. And believing that, being committed to that idea, both keeps me here posting and commenting, and keeps me changing and growing. It is a gyre.

    No more could I, Child. Thank you for being with me in that, and for not judging or finding me weak. You describe it so well...

    I've been doing that since Friday. It helps.

    Albie, you are SPOT ON. I didn't SAY don't call...he is so concrete sometimes...he just can't get it. You are right, he wasn't really pushing...he was feeling his way. Also he was scared in the little boy way that Child notes.

    and you are right about this too. He has had the same psychatrist since he was two, and that shrink used to tell me that it was very very important that difficult child stay connected to me...he was always relieved to hear that difficult child was still calling me through various stages of his decline...now I sort of wonder...its very very important OR WHAT? He might end up on the street? living under a bridge? disconnected from society? addicted to drugs? Or WHAT dude? What was that burden you were laying on me?

    Haha, short vent there.

    Yes, Albie, I am his tether. And I'm OK with that.

    Yes MWM, it is the small child in him, the one that Child and Albie see, that is so hard for me to disentangle from...those chubby little sticky fingers in my hair.

    He sent me a few facebook messages...one about not judging people with mental illness, a sort of "walk a mile in my shoes" quote, and the other a link to an youtube song about mentally ill folks who recovered and made good...with the message "Hey Mom. Had to share this song with you titled "Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of Your Fish" by Ramshackle Glory Please really listen to the lyrics I love and miss you everyday and will make you proud eventually."

    This is a very new theme for him.

    I know...very sweet, right?

    But this is the crazy...I'll start to believe him, and start trying to help him, and I'll be drowning in his dysfunction before you can even say SNAP OUT OF IT ECHO!!!

    Thats my update, my friends and companions on this journey.

    More anon.


    That is a totally new theme for him.
  11. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Hmm...hot off the press he just texted me and his dad ..'hey mom/dad. just thought Id let u know i am currently at an na meeting at a recovery club house called xxxx in xxxxx "(a known heroin dealing neighborhood).

    My impulse is of course to text back immediately something along the lines of "thats great!" what do you all think?

    My pause (see, I've learned from the board and the value of "do nothing") tells me that he has to do this for his OWN reasons, not for the "PING" of positive feedback of his parents saying "thats great!". If I had a dime for every "thats great" that ended up going nowhere I'd be rich.

    I want him to walk the walk because he has decided he has to. Doing it because he wants me to smile at him won't endure.

    And while I was typing I think he tried to call me (unknown number, usually him)

    But moms and dads out there...what do you think? I feel precariously perched...

    Of course, I know that my actions or choice at this instant will have little to no impact or import over the long run....I just remembered that.

    Seeking guidance and wisdom from y'all....

  12. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    only thing i can think of is to text back "glad to hear your ok but be careful i've heard that is a really bad area"

    it points out to him you are aware of what took him to that neighborhood and you're routing for him without letting him think you just fell off a turnip truck

    i'm glad to hear he's alive and trying to get help, sending you hugs and positive energy

  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    HAHA Echo your mini rant made me laugh. But laughs aside, what a burden. What a burden! Kinda makes me angry, reading about it.

    My take on the meeting (for what it's worth) is that it IS great that he went to a meeting. It might be for the wrong reason, but he's there. It's a start in the right direction. Odds are sure better of him starting to "get it" in a meeting than they are under the bridge with his friends. So I'd definitely acknowledge it.

    Again, my take on this situation, from what little I know, so please ignore if I am off base. Some of our difficult children really DON'T care who they hurt. They are great at pushing OUR "care" buttons when they need something, but deep down inside THEY don't care. It seems to me that your son is definitely NOT one of those difficult children. It seems to me that he sees you hurting and he genuinely cares about that. The song and the quote don't really change anything about his situation, but he is trying to communicate something honest. He is trying to help you understand each other better.

    And the quote and the song really are very sweet and thoughtful.

    And this is exactly the point when my limit-setting alarm goes off. Because this is the part where I start to remember the "chubby sticky fingers in the hair" kind of stuff, and I start responding to him as if he IS that little guy, instead of the man he needs to be.

    I saw my son this weekend, our usual Sunday afternoon visit. He's doing really well, I'm happy to report. The biggest change in him is that he is learning to let go of his resentments more quickly. He has some pretty heavy stuff (for him) going on right now. He still gets very upset about something, but he vents a bit and then he lets it go. I give AA the credit for that.

    And fortunately I've learned from the wise moms at this site not to jump right in there when he has a crisis.

    Between my increased lag time and his decreased meltdown time, it turns out there is actually a block of time in there where he figures it out himself! How about that!

    So we went to the beach and a movie and then took him back to the halfway house and we had our usual hugs and see ya next week kind of stuff. He was walking up the sidewalk and I was getting in the car and he turned around and said, "I love you, Mom" and we exchanged a look that told me he had seen it too, that our usual way of interacting had shifted (at least for that day -- I'm sure I'll find something new to glom onto tomorrow).

    It's such a tightrope, to keep that tenderness in my heart without letting any of that sugary goo ooze out.
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  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wait, Echo. See if you can wait. Remember, he is going to say and do a lot of things to maintain the connection that you told him has to stop for now. This is another thing. If he is sincere, he doesn't need you to complete this. Just let it be, for a bit.

    Don't react.

    Hugs for you and I like his text. :) It is hopeful.
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  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I often think it was easier for me when he was younger, when I was super woman, mother of 4, full time + work with travel, boyish useless husband, and STILL she makes time to findthenewtherapisttrythenewmedsmeetwiththeteacherlocatetheagency .

    I was busy busy busy trying to fix him then.

    It was easier.

    Or was it? The mists of time are so obscuring...I'm divorced from the boy husband now, kids can all fetch their own milk (and set their own alarms for their summer jobs, which they do, god bless them). difficult child's twin hasn't lived at home for three years..if I hear from her 3 or 4 times in a month that is a lot, and it is fine. Lots more time. I'm healthier, happier. So maybe it is easier now.

    Then why does it feel so lousy?

    So I will post some more and see if I can work it out a bit on this site..

    I've been leaden. Hard to get up, moving through the molasses air, can't wait for bed, hard to sleep...I don't even have racing thoughts any more, I am just..enduring. difficult child calls and calls and I don't pick up. I asked SO not to pick up either...so then difficult child started calling his dad (30 x in a day, or so he tells me,but then he (difficult child Dad) was always prone to exaggeration, and a shocked dismay at having the poop hit HIS fan for a change)..difficult child Dad reports that he is manic as all get out, dislocated from reality...difficult child calls the house and the easy child's pick up, and they too report to me...
    "he says that just because you and he are fighting, mom, that we can still have a relationship with him". To which I reply, tiredly..."we aren't fighting."

    Later one of the easy child's tells me an odd, disconnected story about difficult child's twin, easy child's older sister. I am confused so don't really pursue it...and later still, haven't not gotten what he needed in his quiet, tentative way, easy child says "oh, I remember now, we were talking about difficult child twin because he (a coworker) had seen difficult child..." And I said "what did he say" and easy child said "he said that difficult child told him that you (mom) and he were best of friends."

    difficult child is crumbling. But it won't make him better. It will just make him crumble.

    I am beleagured. My attempts to make space between difficult child and me have only caused everyone else to talk to me about him...when I am the one "handling" difficult child they all leave me in isolation (except SO, I must give him that). When they are the contact point....they have to include me, burden me, bounce it off me because they are anxious and don't know what to do.

    I transfer my burden from me to them and it is still with me anyway.

    Right. I cannot accept what I know. I can't change the feelings of distress, dismay, disbelief...loss. and I can't accept that that is what there is. It is an endless circle.

    Yes, he is having a hard time. And he is completely flaming crazy right now, full on manic, which won't help.

    I don't feel like I'm being kind right now. Often I do...but right now I feel like I have shed a crazy person because I just can't deal with it. EVen while the other voices in my head tell me...Echo...you've tried everything. YOu can't help him or save him.

    But I can comfort him...I know he would feel better if he could talk to me now.

    And I would feel worse.

    And nothign would change.

    It's too hard and yet I can't get away from it.

    This is where I am today.
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ouch, Echo.

    There are times when I wish we could have a magical (instantaneous) getaway on a beach at night. All of us could be there, and could comfort or cajole or just forget all about the kids, together.

    White beach.

    Full moon.

    Beautiful horses.

    This is one of those times I wish that, Echo.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. But: You are moving, Echo. You are acknowledging things you have been feeling, and discounting, for so long that you forgot it was you who felt that way, once. You are trying a new thing. You are loving your son enough to want to keep loving him.

    And you know, Echo...you know you cannot go on the way it was.

    You will move through this part Echo, I know it. Nothing we do on this site is easy. It is gut wrenching.


    But Echo, you saw what it was and you saw where it was going. If you are going to have any relationship with your son, it is going to have to be a compromise between what he wants (total Echo obliteration in the difficult child mom role) and what you not only want but desperately need, Echo.

    We all need to grow and grow and grow.

    We grow through every role we take in life.

    We move on. The role changes. Ultimately, we become the ones cared for, not the care takers.

    That our children are difficult children does not let us out of our own need to grow and mature, Echo.

    You are doing the best, THE BEST, possible thing you know for your son Echo, in forcing self reliance.


    I am sorry, so sorry this is so hard, Echo.

    But it is a hard thing.

    So...it's okay that it is a hard thing.

    It's okay.

    Okay to be tired. Okay to be discouraged. Okay to question yourself and the reactions of your family.

    It is okay, Echo.

    Life is not pretty, sometimes.

    And for us, that is a fact borne home again and again and again.

    You can do this, Echo.


    You can do it beautifully.

    You are moving through a new possible reality. You can change back to the old way anytime.

    Give this time a little more time, Echo.

    We are right here.


    Good, good, good for you, Echo.

    Let him learn to be proud of himself, for himself.

    And there will be no respect in it for him to endure, if he does it for you, instead of for himself, Echo.

    Oh, no, Echo. Everything you do or choose not to do has enormous impact. With our difficult child kids, we have no way to know, while we are in it, whether what we are doing is having the effect we had hoped or not.

    Believe that it is, Echo.

    Now is the time for faith in yourself, and in your assessment of where this needs to go, next.

    You have patience.

    You have strength.

    You love your son.

    Now? You are learning to love yourself too, Echo. It feels mean. Feels wrong.

    In reality, the wrong thing is when we continue to love our adult children with the same passionate intensity a mother reserves for a dependent child.

    We need to help our adult children mature, Echo.

    And we need to mature, to reclaim our lives, to become ourselves again, too.

    We do.

    And something like that is just the attitude I would strive for, when next I talked to difficult child. Celebration for him, that maybe he can beat this thing, after all.

    I am sometimes surprised to see that my "kids" are like...getting old. Somewhere in my heart? They are still toddlers or teens or young adults. For the parent of a normally adjusting child this is fine. For parents of difficult child children, that kind of imagery is a killer.

    For the difficult child too, I am coming to believe.

    Happy for you, Albi!


    And this is so important for all of us to remember. WE GET TO TAKE TIME TO FORMULATE A RESPONSE.

    It is the difficult children right, responsibility, and honor to create and to manage, to live or to die to, his own life.

    It is his right to do with his lifetime what he will.

    We are the ones who get to decide our roles with wherever the child wants to take his (or her) life.

    That's all we get to decide.

    How we will respond.


    No one said it would be easy, Echo. It is not easy to perform actions that go against every grain of our being.

    But Echo? I'm so sorry, Echo...but the other way hasn't worked.

    You are courageous, you are staying the course. It isn't easy and that is okay, Echo.

    I'm very proud of you. This is tough, and you are standing right up and handling it.

    I believe you could now qualify as a bona fide b***** on wheels, Echo.


    I think you need to let this one play out, Echo.

    difficult child dad will pick up or he won't. You can only control your response.

    To anything in this world Echo, you can only control your own response.

    That is a hard one for me, too.

    "We aren't fighting. I am loving him into a man."

    I am sorry, Echo.

    It is a hard thing to change a pattern, to change a habit, to do things in a different way, Echo.

    It is a hard thing.

    Do it, anyway.

    True. And that is okay. You knew going in it was going to be hard. It is hard for a really long time.

    That's the thing.

    It is really hard for a really, really long time.

    And then, something bad happens.

    You are doing the right thing, Echo.

    It is a hard thing.

    There will come a day when you can know this and, though the sadness of it will still be the sadness of it? You will go on.

    You will carry it, honor the truth of it, love the bearer of it...but you will go on.

    All of this will become a part of who you are, nothing more.

    Little sadness, little grief, some days.

    That is what happened to me.

    That is the hard thing about it. For people like us, kindness is mandatory. Kindness is something we can do about the cruelty in the world. It kills us to be mean, to say no.

    Your son, like mine Echo, needs to become a man. Or he will be worthless to himself.

    Do that for him, Echo.

    Help him become a man.

    See him as a man.

    I had to do that, too.

    It was the hardest thing.

    Know that I am holding such a special place for you in my thoughts as you go through...everything this entails, Echo. There is no happy ending. There is deciding what the best, most high, least painful, most beneficial for all concerned thing is and then, sticking with it.

    But we are here, Echo.

    And that is something.

    There are moms out there going through this alone.

    That would be worse.

    I always tell that to myself when I feel overwhelmed. I could be facing this alone. And if I had been, Echo?

    I could never have changed.

    I'm so sorry, Echo.

    It is what it is.

    And that is okay.

  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Echo I will write more tomorrow but I wanted to say this.

    You are in a huge transition time right now with difficult child.

    It will not stay like this echo. It will change.

    You could not stand it the other way so you changed it. You set a boundary. People do not like boundaries especially new ones.

    Get out the cloud and Townsend book...and read again what happens after you set a boundary.

    Just keep going one day at a time. Try not to think beyond today. And do the next right thing in front of you.

    Big hugs tonight for you echo. You are in the trenches and we are here with you.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh Echo, I'm so sorry you are hurting so right now. I can't add anything worthwhile to the wonderful posts by Cedar and COM. This is such a crucial time of change for you.

    That hurts. You are like the linchpin on a very complicated piece of machinery, THE crucial piece on which all the processes center around.

    Maybe they need to learn what to do and be less anxious about doing it.

    Or maybe they just can't believe you don't want to be the linchpin anymore because to them it is a fundamental part of who you are.

    I think most, if not all, of the moms here were and still can be magnificent fixers. COM is right, we're REALLY GOOD at it, aren't we? We have had to hone skills that most moms only dream of. People came to depend on it. And in my case, I liked it. It really gave me a sense of purpose, to be the one who could fix those epic messes.

    Maybe things would have been worse for my son if I wasn't such a fixer. I certainly thought so at the time. Or maybe it would have had the opposite effect. Who knows? But it isn't good for either one of us now.

    I don't know where that place is for you, Echo, where to put your fence right now. Part of me wants to say stand firm no matter what. I know that I pulled off some pretty magnificent saves, if I do say so myself, in my efforts to save my son from himself. Stuff I never knew I was capable of. And I wonder what my son WOULD have been capable of, if I had let him work through his garbage.

    The other part of me wants to say if he is crumbling and if there is a way to give him a little boost without feeling crappy yourself, do that.

    I move my fence just about every day, sometimes one minute to the next.

    I'm just so sorry you are going through this right now. I'm so grateful we have each other here at this place.
  19. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Of course you did. That is what we did. That is the job of a mom. And with a difficult child, we try even harder. We turn over every rock to find an answer. For years and years and years.

    Because you have tried everything, and you KNOW nothing YOU ever do will be the difference-maker, the play-maker, so there is nothing more to be done, and that is ONE LOUSY FEELING. It is so much easier to DO SOMETHING, Echo. So much easier.

    So what do we do with this extra time and emptiness and lousiness? We start to work on US. We spend the time and energy on us. And for a long long time it feels awful and weird and empty, but if we just keep on, it will start to feel much better, and one day it will feel really good, and we will have filled up that empty, lousy, awful, weird place with something that makes sense.

    I know you already do things for yourself, but Echo, it's time to step up that game. Do more. For you.

    No, you didn't transfer the burden to them. You put the burden down, and difficult child picked it up and transferred it to them, and it is theirs to put down or take up or whatever they choose to do with it. You did what you had to do for you. You can't control what difficult child does, Echo.

    It's awful. It's so awfully painful to the very core of us. It is SO MUCH EASIER when they are in jail. I have been basking in the glow of difficult child being in jail. Isn't that just a stupidly ironic statement to make?? But it is true. And it is the thought of him being out, free to be, on the streets again, with the clock ticking until the next bad thing happens, that causes me all of the bad feelings right now.

    Echo, you love him. And love is always good. That is why it is so painful. But Echo, I believe we have to somehow, someway, start to accept what is right in front of us. What are eyes are seeing. What they are showing us. They are choosing. They ARE choosing. They can choose something else, but they don't.

    It may always be like this, Echo. I hope it isn't, and I know you do, too, and there is always, always hope for a miracle, for an about-face, but are we to wait forever, holding our breath every single day, dying inside every single day, waiting for it? I don't want to live life that way. I want to somehow, someway, accept this as best I can, ugly as it may be.

    Yes, he would. He wants his mother. My son does, too. I get that. We are the last man standing for them, and because of our boundless love, we keep on and on and on after others are gone by the wayside. Maybe we are the last man standing between them and them taking responsibility? Maybe that is why we HAVE to find a way to stop, not just for us but also for them to have a chance at all.

    You are right. But Echo, it is perfectly okay if you decide something different about difficult child. You decided one thing, and that was good. Now, you may need to decide another. I don't know. Only you can decide, and you can make any decision that you must to live with what you must. I so respect that, for each of us. This is too hard a road, folks. This is just too hard a road.

    I hope you can let it play out, Echo. I do, because I do believe you are in transition with difficult child, with this new boundary. He is ramping up with others in your family, and stirring the pot because he wants his mom. You are worn out, and at the very least, you need some time. Take as much time as you can, Echo.

    It is SUCH a hard thing. So hard to do with someone we love so very much. Do it anyway, Echo. We are here with you to walk with you through this hard, hard thing.

    Remember time. Time. Let time take its time. Let some space occur. Space is a good thing. Silence is a good thing. Silence is just silence. It allows something new to happen.

    Big warm hugs to you, my friend Echo, tonight. Please keep telling us how you are. What you are thinking and feeling. We care.