It's been a while since I posted on this forum, though I have been lurking and taking heart from all the support that goes around and touches me. We've just survived--I think--a brutal Christmas. And I am thinking more seriously about an option that a rather wealthier friend proposed to me some months ago. He suggested that if my 27-yr-old's difficult child's constant crises, bullying tactics, dysfunctionality, etc. were all wearing me down to the point where my own life and the happiness of everyone around me was crippled, and yet I couldn't detach completely . . . I should hire someone to take the calls and negotiate the visits. So that if difficult child craves money, or is nosediving at 2 a.m., or is suddenly homeless, or whatever, he cannot call me, but he can call this person (let's name him Joe). And Joe either talks him down or sets him straight or, if the crisis seems worthy of the name, communicates calmly with me so I can address the problem without having a lunatic on the other end of the line. I'm not sure I can afford this, but it seems worth its weight in gold at the moment. Has anyone else tried this approach? How has it worked? If anyone in the Northeast has an individual to recommend, they could PM me. Thanks and Happy Boxing Day!


Welcome back but sorry that things are still rough.

I think that finding a healthy way to detach will be far more beneficial than outsourcing your difficult child's calls to someone else.

I mean this gently and with love - spend the money on YOU. Perhaps some professional advice or "coaching" from a therapist will have a more lasting effect and cost far less money. A mediator could make your relationship much worse and it's no guarantee that difficult child won't contact you first. Plus it won't solve the real issue with your difficult child - it just inserts a middle man. It could prolong things rather than solve them. I have to imagine they bill by the hour - and do you really want to receive a bill every time your difficult child is ramping up?

I know detaching is hard and heartbreaking and we often are on pins and needles awaiting that next call or crisis - but I am so inspired by the warrior moms here whom have found ways to cope with their difficult child's antics - even see the humor in this situation. My best tool for detachment is this very board - and I hope you will lean on us so that your difficult child doesn't wear you down.



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I think it sounds like a wonderful idea, if Joe is willing to do it. Does he know what he's getting himself into? Fresh eyes that are on your side can only be a good thing, in my humble opinion.

Obviously, there'd have to be some things that they couldn't agree to without your consent. Namely, money from you. I think that I would make sure that difficult child understands that you will not be answering calls, or that you will only answer calls after you and Joe have discussed it and Joe has a plan that difficult child has agreed to.


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Joe wouldn't have to be a paid individual. Maybe a friend or family member who is super patient.

On the other hand I also think finding a way to detach is good. Honestly the best thing that could happen when he calls and goes crazy is to say "I won't be talked to like this, call back when you are willing to talk to me me nicely." It might take a month of repeating but if you don't take it he can't dish it out.


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HAHA, I think I would prefer to have Joe stand in for difficult child!

I have wondered about how it would work if we traded difficult children amongst ourselves just to field the phone calls and crises. I tend to believe that my BS detector would be more effective with someone else's difficult child, and that someone other than me would be more likely to be able to comfortably tell my difficult child, "Sorry Bub. You're a big boy. Figure it out." But who knows if that is how it would work out.

On the other hand, I think the best long-term approach is to cut out the middle man and learn to deal as effectively as possible with our difficult children directly.