Looking back at how far we've come

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I am quoting something @recoveringenabler posted in a response.

"I think it's important to acknowledge how far we've come."

When I first started on this journey of having a difficult child I used to think there was no way I was going to survive it.

I remember that sick feeling I would get when I turned onto my street never knowing what I would be walking into when I got home.

I remember coming home one day to find my kitchen counters destroyed. Son had taken a butcher knife to them hacking away.

I remember having to replace windows and screens that son had damaged when breaking into the house after he had run away.

I remember the buckets of tears I shed out of anger, fear, frustration and sheer exhaustion.

I remember all the phone calls I would get at work from the school and having to leave work to go find my son.

I remember having to put a lock on our bedroom door so we could try and sleep without our son rummaging through my purse or husbands wallet.

I remember coming home to find son had taken a hammer to our bedroom door so he could get in and steal from us.

I remember having to call the police because I found drugs in son’s room.

I remember all the visits to see son in jail / prison.

I remember going through cancer and thinking it was easier to deal with than the turmoil my son caused.

I remember wishing he would just turn 18 so I wouldn’t have to deal with him and his chaos anymore.

I remember after he turned 18 and wondering why I was still getting sucked into his chaos.

I remember giving him a second, third, fourth, twentieth chance and always saying “this is going to be the last time!!!”

I remember hating myself when I caved in and gave him yet another chance.

I remember it all with vivid clarity.

I also remember the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) starting clear.

This was the turning point; this was the beginning of taking my life back.

It was a slow process, sometimes two steps forward and five steps back, but it was progress and I was moving in the right direction.

I had to relearn how to think where my son was concerned as I was like Pavlov’s dog. I had become conditioned to enable him under the guise of thinking I was helping him.

I had to learn how to say NO and mean it, and each time I said no to him it got a little easier.

I had to learn about boundaries and that I desperately needed them and that it was ok.

I learned how to use the tools in my “toolbox”

I learned that I couldn’t do anything to change my son but I could change myself.

I learned I needed to detach from my son and let him go, to allow him to live his own life no matter how messy or chaotic and it was ok.

I learned that I could enjoy my life, that I could live my life for myself and it was ok.

I survived all the chaos, all the heartbreak, all the anger, all the fear, all the guilt, I survived it all and I AM OK.

I look back to where this journey started for me and where I am now and I am amazed at how far I have come. I am amazed at the resolve and strength I have.

Yes, it’s good to reflect back and acknowledge how far we have come. Thanks for the reminder @recoveringenabler

Some of us are farther along on this journey while some are just starting it.
Wherever you find yourself I just want to offer hope and encouragement that you can get through this, you can go on to live a happy life and you can survive having a difficult child.

 

PennyFromTheBlock

Active Member
I remember wishing he would just turn 18 so I wouldn’t have to deal with him and his chaos anymore.

I remember after he turned 18 and wondering why I was still getting sucked into his chaos.

I remember giving him a second, third, fourth, twentieth chance and always saying “this is going to be the last time!!!”

I remember hating myself when I caved in and gave him yet another chance.

Me. 100%. I had to pause and re-read these four lines.
 
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