My difficult child's Ups and Downs

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Irene_J, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Irene_J

    Irene_J Member

    Hello Friends
    Although I lurk everyday, I do not post often. My difficult child is now 22. Since high school, she has been attending community college, not always successfully. Although much improved from her early years, after age 19 things got difficult again. She wasn't focused on school, traded in a paid up car for a trendy new one with a car note and was on her way to trouble. I wasn't going through that again.

    She was stunned when I started eviction proceedings (I had to do that legally to get her out of the house). Her car was repossessed when her hours were cut at the restaurant where she worked and she couldn't pay the note (and I wouldn't help financially). Her father made it clear that she couldn't come live with him. And all of those friends she was riding around in her trendy car disappeared.

    She got it together somehow. For over a year she has been riding the bus to school and to work. I refuse to help financially with another car. She is respectful to my boyfriend. She does her chores. And she changed her circle of friends (again!).

    She changed community colleges (since she didn't have a car, she needed one more accessible by bus) and has done really well. A month ago, she was accepted by the 4 year college of her choice. She is transferring to college in another state. My sister and her family live in the same city, so she will have some family there. I'm actually very proud of her since she did this mostly on her own.

    So, I will have an empty nest in the fall. Some of the kids my difficult child went to school with are graduating from college this summer. We talked about how her choices prevented her from finishing college now. One thing she said was true: "Mom, everyone has to go at their own pace."
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Gooood post!
    Seems like setting boundaries, although not easy for you or her, in the end helped her to set priorities and find her own strength
    I'm sorry for your heartache...but glad things are much better.
    You sound like an A+ mom!
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Excellent! I love her comment about everyone growing at their own pace-so true. Good for her, good for you!!
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a great post to read.. thank you so much for sharing your story! Hmmm what are your plans for that empty nest of yours? Redecorating? :)
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    This is such a great story! It's funny, I've been thinking A LOT about my difficult children ups and downs lately and trying to remind myself to really focus on her gifts rather than the ways in which she is different. Your post is just another reminder to do this. You really hung tough with your difficult child, but it sounds like you let her know you were always there. I'm glad she's doing so well.
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Excellent post :D
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This was a very heartening post!
    My daughter did the same thing...she turned it around after a relapse and has been going good for eight years now. The thing that struck me is that we treated our grown kids the same way...very tough love...including letting them hit rock bottom.
    If anyone has a grown child they are pampering, I would look twice at whether or not it works. The ones who make it seem to have parents who allow them to fail badly. It's very hard to say "no" to your own child by in my opinion it's actually the loving option.
    Congrats to you and daughter!!
  8. Irene_J

    Irene_J Member

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Although I would like to take the credit, the turnaround is due to my difficult child's efforts. Nothing worked until I stopped trying to make things work.

    CrazyinVA-yes, I plan to redecorate my empty nest. I've already installed granite countertops in my kitchen. I'm painting now. Hardwood floors are next!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, nice to see you back! Great news. I hope your dtr does well at the new college. Sounds like she is on a great new path.
  10. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks for the awesome update! I hope she continues to make positive strides. She is totally right that everyone has to do things at their own pace.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, hey, for sure the kids do it themselves. Nothing I tried worked either. I just didn't make it easy for her to be a bum and made her leave...she could have wallowed into more drug use and homelessness, but she decided, "No, I want a better life" and so did your daughter.
    They are strong young women. It takes guts to turn ones life around and you have a great daughter!
  13. Irene_J What an encouraging post!

    Thanks to all the encouragers on this site!!!