I'm back from my trip to Colorado and on my last evening there, on the way to the homeless shelter, I got a bolt of clarity from out of the blue. difficult child started to spill his guts and told me some incidents about the availability of drugs in jail. All the time I had taken some comfort that at least he was clean and getting healthy. Not so. During the course of the conversation he said that he didn't want to do ANY of the things that people were expecting him to do, like get a job, etc. So he's just pretending, like the sociopath that he is. He admitted that he is already thinking of ways to make things go his way and to beat the system. He wants to live alone and get drunk and high. I was neither shocked nor dismayed. I told him that this was something I needed to hear so that I wouldn't be trying to help when he didn't really want it. He said "Mom, you can't really help me-not in the way that I want to be helped. I don't need that kind of help. There's nothing that you can do for me". I asked him what he wanted from me. He said he wanted to see me and visit me, but the only thing he really wanted was for me to love him. This was massive for me!!!! Finally I get the truth from the horse's mouth. After13 years of crap, I get the "permission" that I've longed for, but wasn't sure I wanted it (if that makes sense, because I was so obsessed about being the one who made him see the "light"). And it sunk in to my addled brain. Not to say that it won't revert to some learned helplessness on his part and some anxiety and guilt on MINE, but I left CO feeling a lot more peace of mind. He seems to accept responsibility for his actions-now AND hopefully in the future. For now, at least... Who'd a thunk it? Strangely enough, he called yesterday and told me he HAS A JOB!!!!Working in a call center. Can't start until he provides a copy of his birth cert (I sent him two copies this year but he lost them both so now it is up to him to get a new one, but his probation officer is helping him with that..) or SS card-also lost. So we'll see. I'm cautiously optimistic but history has taught me to wait 5 minutes and it'll all be different... But am mostly writing to share the gift from the Universe that he gave me-I CAN'T HELP HIM! A believe me, my eternal and profound thanks go out to everyone who has consistently told me that. But sometimes you have to hear it from the source in order to understand that if THEY are even telling you it's time, then you have a duty to let go and follow your own path. I know it would have been more courageous if that had come from me. But I'm a long way forward from when I started my journey into this Ninth Circle of Hell... Just wanted to share!