Need some opinions!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Hi everyone - my difficult child is still in jail. The ministry man went to see him on saturday - he said he really didnt know what he wanted - he doesnt know and neither does anyone else - anyway - I have the meeting for Alanon tomorrow - does anyone have any suggestions on the topic I should have the meeting on - remember there are sometimes new comers and we dont want to scare them off! Any ideas would be appreciated. thanks
  2. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Also today I was watching golf - and they are talking about Tiger Woods how wonderful his parent are and how they stood behind him and encouraged him to do good and now look at him! So where does that leave us less than wonderful parents that busted their butts to provide and do everything for their children? That makes me upset when I hear that - it makes me think that every child that has been encouraged by his parents should make millions of dollars and be perfect! What did we do wrong?
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Susan, I saw Tiger Woods on The Mike Douglas Show when he was two years old. It made such an impression on me that I still remember watching those early putts.

    There is no way on earth that the newscaster who made those comments was casting aspersions on the rest of us with less talented and more challenged kids. in my humble opinion, you are way too sensitive.

    In that light, maybe your topic for Al-Anon should be something about not taking our kid's behaviors as a reflection on ourselves.

  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Just imagine what Tiger's parents would have done if they had to raise one of our kids!!! Tiger is a wonderful role model and a prodigy. I wouldn't take anything away from him. He works very hard and has an incredible work ethic. Raising a easy child is normal difficult but we all know how much more difficult raising a child like ours is.
    Loving a successful kid is a lot easier than loving a difficult child. The love is the same whether a prodigy or in jail. It's not more or less just easier. in my humble opinion.

    Don't let your measure of success be compared to a Tiger Woods. Look for small progress from year to year. We keep getting up every time our difficult child's knock us down. We keep picking our difficult child's up everytime they sabotage themselves. I have to say we are probably made of stronger stuff from necessity.

    I'm not knowledgeable with Al Anon so I can't really offer any suggestions but look to what you need to get from them and use that as a topic. Good luck.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Keep in mind that if the dream hadn't been just as important to Tiger as it was to his parents it most likely wouldn't have happened. It wasn't just good parenting that got Tiger where he is. It was also choices that he made along the way.

    Good parenting can only take any child so far. That child also has to have the desire to make the right choices in his/her life and put forth the effort to succeed. Tiger's parents were blessed with a easy child who also was an over-achiever. Nothing at all like parenting a difficult child. Believe me, I have a easy child over-achiever and difficult children. So if it was all up to good parenting skills by all accounts I shouldn't have any difficult children at all. Which of course itsn't the case.

    I agree with Suz. This may be a very good topic at al-anon.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think this is a good topic for your Al-Anon meeting.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    For Tiger and his parents, he was and is an exceptional person with an exceptional gift. I doubt anyone was casting aspersions on other parents when they said what a great job Tiger's parents had done with him. He had a gift. He was willing to work to improve that gift. His parents backed him up. Isn't that what we all do? His parents did the best they could for their child. So do we. So does my neighbor. So do my friends. The fact our children are not golf pros or tennis greats or Nobel prize winners doesn't less the fact that we all are great parents. We guided our children the best we could. The paths our children chose are theirs, not ours.

    As to Al-Anon, why not make your topic about detaching better? Something about the fact that you keep wanting to save him and how to stop that vicious circle? The newbies shouldn't be a factor -- they're there because of alcoholism or drugs in their family. They've lived the reality of this for many years. I think they can handle anything brought up. That's why they're there.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have 3 kids who had various issues growing up. As an adult one of them can only be called a complete easy child least in my book. He wasnt parented any different than the others but it was his choices that made the difference. It is still his choices as an adult that are making the difference.

    Parenting only goes so far.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I am a special parent. No, I didn't raise a Hollywood movie star. I did not raise a pro-am golf prodigy, I did not raise a child who could play the violin at 3, or recite Shakespear, or tap dance like Sammy Davis. I did do my best to raise a child who's "map" was changed due to the behaviors of his bio-father and his bio-father's Mother.

    I believe that I was picked to parent this kid because I am wise, caring, tough, determined and because everyone in heaven knew no matter what I would love this child. I was also chosen because I'm smart. I'm smart because I have given parenting a 17 year old child MORE than any other woman I know, and...I knew when it would be best to walk away and hope and pray he figures out lifes lumps to his advantage.

    When other parents may have hung on, felt sorry for the boy who had such a horrible childhood, or pitied him instead of making him obey - I loved him with all my heart enough to allow him the opportunity to fall on his face. Parents don't come much tougher than that.

    As far as a topic for Al-Anon. What are YOU going to do with the time you have left on this earth?

    Quick opener - HOW old are you?
    Write down age
    Now figure out the average man lives to 78 , woman to 81
    HOW much of YOUR life did you spend trying to change the person who brought you to this meeting?
    Write down that number.
    Now - subtract your expected age from above from the number of years you are now.
    This gives you the number of QUALITY years you can still hope to have if you make a decision today to understand the Serenity prayer, change the things you can, the courage to accept those things you can not and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Maybe you should start by really evaluating the Serenity Prayer. It's not in the bible - it's not a religious thing - it's just a verse someone calls a prayer because you're asking your higher power for peace.

  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    The more you recite the Serenity Prayer, the more it becomes a part of your mantra. It becomes ingrained. Then when bad things happen---which is often with a difficult child---it is the first thing you think---not what can I do. Honestly, you can do nothing!!! You can't change him. You can only change yourself.
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star, thank you for this. One of the ways I came to accept my "fate" as the single parent of two difficult children was to say to myself that God chose me as their parent for a reason. He knows what He's doing, and I have to trust that. WHile I have cried many tears, I have always found the strength to move forward somehow, and advocate for my children and practice Tough Love when I had to, even when doing so broke my heart. When someone asks, "how do you do it?" I say, because I have to. There really is no other answer.

    Stands, I you've gotten some great suggestions for your meeting. Detachment is the key here I think... how to separate the addict's feelings from your own, and take responsibility for the correct feelings .... YOURS.
  12. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I think all your posts are perfect. So I will bring up the topic tonight of detaching with love and letting go because that is where I am. Detachment does not mean you dont love them - I understand that so much - but it does mean you cannot live your life through them anymore - you cant change them only yourself and when you are powerless over changing something the only person you can change is yourself. Right now I am at that point again! I am powerless over everything to do with my difficult child - I am powerless over worrying about him - I can write him letters letting him know I love him , am thinking about him, ask him if he needs anything (socks, underwear, etc.) but that is all I can do - I cant change the outcome of things that I have been trying to change forever. It is scary to think I cant change it but I finally feel like I have to let go - does that make sense? It seems that I am a beginner and I am not. I just have to go through this in my head over and over and feel it emotionally before I can do it - you get to a point where you just feel empty - there is nothing more to try.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stands, good for you. You've hit the nail on the head. I just have one comment, and it's on this:

    "I am powerless over worrying about him "

    Guess what? This is one of the things you ARE NOT powerless over.. .because this is about you. I'm not saying we can stop worrying completely, but you can take control over worrying about him becuase it is YOUR action, not HIS. Does that make sense?

    A good way to look at it is to simply say, "whose problem is this?" Your difficult child's actions and consequences? HIS problem. Nothing you can do. How you respond to his actions and consequences? YOUR problem. You CAN do something about that... change it! (very oversimplified, of course. It's a long process).

    :) Good luck tonight. I hope you come away with tons of wisdom and support.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I have to detach in many ways from two of mine...though for different reasons. For my difficult child its for the same reasons as most of us here. For Jamie, its because of the fact that he has been in the Marines and has recently been recalled to active duty. Now if there is anything that teaches a parent that you no longer have any control of your child its them being in the military! Uncle Sam doesnt give one lick about what I

    I have to sit here at home and just wait and hope and pray that everything works out in the end. There is absolutely nothing I can do about anything. Its not his fault...he did nothing wrong. Its not my fault. Its no ones fault. It is what it is. Ok...I could blame Osama Bin Laden or the Talaban and that gives me a good out for beating on trees when Im good and angry...but really...this could have happened no matter what.

    I dont know if Im really detached per se as much as I just know I cannot change what I cannot change. I have to accept the realities of life. My realities are that I have one son who will probably be in a war zone in the very near future and one who may be in prison during the same time. I just hope that neither of them dies. That is what keeps me going.
  15. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Detachment does not mean you dont love them - I understand that so much - but it does mean you cannot live your life through them anymore - you cant change them only yourself and when you are powerless over changing something the only person you can change is yourself. Right now I am at that point again! I am powerless over everything to do with my difficult child - I am powerless over worrying about him -

    if I am reading this right it sounds like you think detaching is something you do for awhile while things are bad and then you don't have to do it anymore. Detaching is something you need to do forever--it is a healthy way to live, not just a one time thing. Also, it doesn't seem like you get that you are not powerless over everything to do with your difficult child. You are powerless over his actions but not your own! You certainly do have power over worrying about him--that is the essence of detachment! You come to the point where you realize you are powerless to change him and what he does and with that comes a sense of relief--you don't have to try to control him and make him do the right thing. You are relieved of that responsibility. And that relief brings with it less worry. Sure, you still worry at times but mostly you get on with your own life instead of trying to live theirs.

    I think you are able to talk the talk Stands but I think you don't really "get it" yet. You haven't had that "aha" moment. I hope it will come for you soon!

  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks and I did good tonight! Everyone said I did so good - some said it was the best meeting they had been too! I always talk from my heart and what I struggle with most - what everyone struggles with - sometimes fear and mostly trying to fix and stay in control of someone I cant control. I still worry about the outcome of the situation - but now I am not in control - only God and the legal system. I am proud of the way the meeting went tonight.
  17. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Not only are you NOT in control of your son's actions, you (not just you but every person on the planet) has no control over ANYTHING except their reaction to situations. What we have is free will. We can do what we want. But we can't make anyone EVER do what we think they should do.

    Good for you for bringing up a tough topic.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wonder if we are getting stuck on the word "worrying"? I think all parents worry about their kids no matter if they are difficult child's or easy child's...whether they are 6,26, or 46.

    I worry if mine are happy, sad, if their team won the game, if the baby gets the sniffles, yada yada. Its part of parenting. I know my dad does the same with me. His first questions to me are always about how Im feeling, am I doing ok, blah blah. Its not that Im taking on their problems for them or want to solve them but I care. I want the best for them.