New here... sad

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Doddlin, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Doddlin

    Doddlin Guest

    Hey, first... how do all of you get that little bit of bio attached to the bottom or your messages?

    Second, I have been reading about all of you. It's so wonderful to find a place where others are going through what I've been dealing with.

    My story - my oldest son graduated HS with a 3.9. Started summer school at the community college (this was summer 2009). He lasted about 1 month. Broke house rules, was belligerent, etc. Had to ask him to leave since he broke the deal for staying at home and getting help with college. He was perpetually lying, drinking, not motivated unless it was Mom's plan. I knew this would never work. He admitted he was only going to school because he didn't want to disappoint me. He said he wished he could just stay in my basement and play his guitar. Ugh. He was diagnosed with ADD in 5th grade. Does extremely well when medicated. But, at 17 decided he would not longer be. This caused him to become angry, depressed, unmotivated... generally VERY hard to live with. He left last summer. Moved in with a really dark fellow. Didn't pay bills, wrecked two cars, had one repossessed. We helped him get a good call center job for $14.22 hr with benefits. Worked a few months over the winter and when his car was taken, didn't show and was fired. I have bill collectors call day and night. He is completely broke, owes his credit union for hundreds in overdraft, multiple credit cards, etc. He is seeing a girl he met a Jr. in HS. She is a good student and just graduated. She was kicked out of her home last year though. I'm afraid he had a lot to do with it. He lost his apt and all of his belongings. Been couch surfing. I took a B-Day card his GM left for him last night. He is dressing like a thug and smells terrible. He is working at Dairy Queen again (his previous HS job) and I'm thankful he seems to be able to hold a job through all this. Very smart kid who almost finished his AS in HS for college Finance program. Says he might try to go into ultimate fighting now. Oh boy. Very affectionate but too ashamed of his life to come around us at this time. No way to call him either. Found him at Dairy Queen last night.

    Youngest is doing worse. Failed this year at school almost everything. He is a Jr. Will be 17 next month. Wants to skateboard and worked about 6 hours a week at Baskin Robbins until last week when he quit. He likes to smoke weed (as he tells me) and spice. He ran away to his Dad's last week because I found he had sluffed school and was going to impose a consequence. He had been talking to an 18 year old he works with about moving out over the past few months, so I'm guessing that was just an excuse (blow-out) to leave. He stayed with the friend for a week until his Dad and I decided to have him go to Dad's and see how it goes. Not sure he will finish school at this point. Says his problem is that he and I "clash". His Dad has been a deadbeat most of his life. He was physically abusive during our marriage and had been a terrible role model to the boys all their life. Takes them to play what he wants to play on some weekends. He has taught them to disrespect women (hence why I'm struggling with them). He has had about 100 women and broken relationships since our divorce. Moves in with them, bankrupts them financially and emotionally and then leaves to find another.

    Still... I'm ready to give up and let live what is. I joined a Families Anonymous last week. Cried the whole meeting. Feel like a failure (co-dependent I guess) since I blame myself for how they are going down the path. Jealous of all the families that have kids going to prom, college, jobs... generally having happy normal lives. I want to cry when I see and hear about these kids. Hard to want to do anything with extended family right now since mine has fallen apart.:(

    That's the story. So glad I found you all and at least I'm not alone.
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Doddlin

    Welcome! First of all, to add a signature, go to the top right hand corner of the screen and look for settings. Then look down the left hand side for My profile and edit signature. There you can add the details that will help us remember your particular situation.

    I think that you are taking proactive steps to deal with the problems that you are having. Your oldest son has picked his path and there is nothing you can do to change it. Hopefully, age and maturity will eventually help as will living with the hard consequences of his choices. As far as your younger son, I think some time away would be good for both of you. Maybe the grass will not be greener at his dad's and at least you will have a respite from dealing with him.

    Joining our website family and going to Families Anonymous were two great steps that will help you see that you are not to blame for your sons' problems. My favorite saying that I learned on this board was the 3 C's: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    We all grieve missing the "normal" moments in our childrens' lives. I guess we just learn to live with a new normal.

    Others will be by to welcome you, too.

  3. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    First of all, WELCOME Doddlin!! Glad you found us, too.

    As far as the bio info at the bottom of our posts....someone correct me if I'm wrong, but up in the top left of the screen you should see a heading called My Profile. If you click that, you should see a box (kinda towards the bottom, I think) where you can type in your info. There should also be a place where you can toggle the answer to "Show my signature in my posts" or some such wording.

    Okay, to the guts of your post, let me say: I feel you girl! Sometimes I still struggle with activities with my extended family, due to my difficult child's antics. I know your pain of blaming yourself. Something is basically hard-wired in Moms that causes us to assume responsibility and blame for our kids wen they do wrong. I'm not sure what it is that makes us do that, but I've worked pretty hard to counter-act that instinct.

    One thing I can assure you, if you stick around with us here, many many others will offer you their experience, strength and hope. It WILL get better, with time. It takes practice to reverse those tapes in your head. But it can be done!!

    I think the best thing you can do for now is let go of your boys. Youngest is with his (so-called) Dad, leave him be. Eldest is couch-surfing and not starving, leave him to find his own way. He may tire of the insanity of his life without ADD medications, or he may decide he prefers being unmedicated. I suspect he is self-medicating with drugs & alcohol, and I believe no matter what steps you take to change that, he's the only one who can.

    It's unspeakably difficult to stand by and watch your kids make the wrong choices, and then even harder to allow them to face their own consequences. But that's what it is: Their choice, NOT yours; their consequences, NOT you who is to blame.

    As I said earlier, many others here will step in with thier own stories. Keep reading, keep checking back. And again, Welcome to our World :D

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Doddlin -

    If it makes you feel any better - you have an extended family here. (I know some of us are a little odd. - that's Odd not ODD) But we're a really good group of people that I'm sure you couldn't type something about what your kid has done and someone here would say - "OH ME TOO." I raised what I would consider one of the worst behaved boys anyone has ever met. I have a certificate to prove it - (no I'm serious).

    So take into consideration that you are now NOT alone. Believe me if you do something um....."odd" and post it here or you do something that will ultimately lead you to complete parental failure? You'll get responses - not mean, not ugly - just HEY you know that doesn't work right? Or sometimes if you really do a no no - you can get spanked, by others - lol. Verbally - verbally! Then if you're really bad? You get sent to the corner (You'll be in good company though I'm there a lot) :tongue:

    First of all - I read the lower part of your response where you say you felt like a failure. Gotta ask - WHEN you were making decisions for your boys how did you make those decisions? I mean think back about something that you consider a bad time - (got it?) okay now ------ask yourself
    1.) Did I make that decision based on KNOWING the outcome would or could be the worst possible outcome?
    2.) Did I make that decision solely for MY benefit, to profit from or gain something out of it for yourself?
    3.) Did I make the best decision I could at the time, based on the experiences I had, and the knowledge I possessed for the best possible outcome for my kids and not necessarily myself?

    Most people when asked will answer #3. BUT -----they will still say I should have or I wish I would have or I'm a failure or I'm a looser parent. So I have to say - SHOULD is a word you need to erase from your vocabulary - Ever time you catch yourself thinking I SHOULD HAVE with my 2 sons - you should just smack your hand or stop yourself. Why? Because you made the best choice you could based on what you knew for the best outcome.

    Do we yell? Sure - live with a difficult child for 19 years and see if you don't go bald, have red eyes, look like rudolph, think you need to take stock in Kleenex and chloraseptic for a hoarse voice. Not to mention feeling like you are tied up in knots about 99% of your life because 1.) It's not fun to live with someone who has any kind of disorder.....and 2) It wears on you and even though you did the best you could - there is always room for improvement. ----The second half of that #2 - you already have accomplished by coming here and seeking out help and going to Families annonymous. So you cried? Big whoop. Sweet potatoes - have any "normal" person live with a difficult child for a week and see how fast they return them. Of course EVERYONE that does not live with one is an expert - your friends (if you have any left) ----and personally I thank my son for cutting the real ones from the herd - Know what I mean?? I need friends that are going to say "I understand - what do you need me to do? - Can I take him for an afternoon so you can get some peace and rest?" Yeah - all my friends wanted to do was tell ME how I "SHOULD" do this or that. The only one I cut my son loose on who has raised THREE perfect children - handed him back to me after 9 hours - NINE LOUSY hours. THen she said "There is really something wrong with him." 00000hhhhhh you don't say. (jeeez louise thanks for the observation)

    As far as being jealous? Meh....(shrug & hard exhale) I think it took a long time in my life for me to see what that one commanment meant - Thou shalt not covet - I mean even with the hand I was dealt with my difficult child - (and I had 2 most days as we adopted our sons best friend) I think - Hmmm how absolutely tough have I become as a woman? First to have someone give me this kid and then believe or KNOW that I could be his Mother. Not a perfect Mom - just the best one I knew how. I mean most parents are proud when their kids get a job - I bet you were BEYOND ELATED.....remember that high? Yeah - see most people with normal or well behaved kids - don't get to appreciate the small things - we tend to think we've missed all the big things - and granted if you let it - it can make you feel like you've been cheated out of a life-time full of normal things. But your thinking now should be - LOOK at what my son has overcome....LOOK what I overcame as a Mother - (twice over) I mean - WOW - Do you have ANY idea how hard you work every day? Do you have ANY IDEA that you're doing the job of 2 parents all on your own and doing a good job too - Your son was IN high school - he had a job - he may still go to college - you're not Miss Cleo - so you can't predict if he's going to be a homeless bum or senator. The future is theirs - literally - and you have to be able to step back, find praise for the things that you DID do well - and there are many many of them I am sure, and say "Okay boys - You are 18, I'm done. I'm not done being your Mother, but I am done being your Mommy. And start to find things to live for ------for you. Stop pushing a log up a mud hill - Get yourself a hobby, get yourself a counselor and YOU GO. Learn how to say no, set boundaries and not be a door mat - EVEN not for your boys. It's okay to say no - they'll come back but you need to draw the line and stick to your guns. It's not easy - tough love isn't called - easy peazy sissy wissy love - it's called TOUGH LOVE as in - THIS IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT - and probably more difficult for you (another thing that feels like you're getting cheated out of at first) but when you start to figure out that you HAVE a life beyond your sons? It's wonderful. It is liberating - It's like calorie free cookies - that don't go to your hiney.

    Writing is a very good cathartic thing to do. You can type out your life with yourself, marriage, divorce, boys - the good the bad - and just keep a journal of going back through your life - and when you remember the good things - highlight them on the computer and save that page - leave it and then go back a week or so later and re-read what you wrote. It will be a revelation into how good of a Mom you tried to be - you did your best -and you are writing this for you.

    Coming here and telling me you want to cry about your sons? I get it......I really, really do. Detachment 101 is on the horizon for you and we'll help. You just have to understand that I'm not just saying these things to make you feel better.....they are fact. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. DANG GOOD MOM. You're the Mom of two boys who have issues -----and because of it you have your own issues - so you need a therapist to talk to so you can sift through all this "I hate my life" garbage and start living again.

    Really - Really - Promise.
    Hugs & Welcome
    Oh and FYI - there's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself either - but don't dwell on things that you think I should - remember that is no longer a word in your vocabulary.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I want to welcome you to our little corner of this wonderful site. You really have found a new bunch of friends who have been there done that and walked a mile in your shoes before. We have probably heard or lived it all before in some form or fashion! Lots of us are still in the midst of the chaos.

    Pull up a chair, grab a cup of whatever is your drink of choice, sit awhile and get to know us. We want to get to know you too. Please go to UserCP at the top of the page and fill out a signature like you see on the bottom of our posts to let us know about you and your difficult child. That helps us keep everyone's stories straight. There are so many folks on this site that we can't possibly remember everyone! Thanks!

    Read through our posts here. We have an archives section available down below. There is a wealth of information there. Also check out the Watercooler for tons of fun and humor to let down your hair from dealing with all the chaos. We all need some fun in our lives.

    I am so sorry you had to find our site but I am glad to meet you. I came to this site back in 1999 when my son was 12 years old and quite the handful. As you can see in my signature, he is now 23 years old so I have been here for quite awhile. There were some very dark times but I think we are seeing some light now.

    I want to offer you some links that may be of some assistance.

    Detachment article

    Detachment practice

    Setting boundaries book

    Again, I want to welcome you to our site and to this forum, Parent Emeritus.
    One of your Moderators, Dammit Janet
  6. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Welcome . You have found a wonderful support world here at PE. I am so sorry for what you are going through, but you are not alone. I have struggled with the lying, disrespect and lack of motivation AND the entire dimension that divorce brings into the equation. Post here and vent here. You'll learn alot.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the site! Just want to say at your boys' ages they are making their own path now. That is OK. Some kids have to learn life the harder way. You just start taking care of you! Get a new hobby, get your hair done, get a massage, etc. Do something for YOU - you will appreciate it!
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. So many of us have been where you are, and can relate. The best thing you can do right now is TAKE CARE OF YOU. Families Anonymous is a great step, keep going!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. Your identity and worth is NOT about what your boys choose to do or perhaps some things inherited from your D-ex. They all sound a lot alike. At your boys ages, it is up to them to get it together and try, but don't put the pressure on yourself. Keep going to your meetings and learn to detach. Sometimes natural consequences are life's best teachers. In the meantime, YOU have a life. Live it in spite of your kids. Sending hugs and good thoughts ;)
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to add my welcome, Doddlin.
  11. Doddlin

    Doddlin Guest

    Thanks everyone for your kind words! I keep trying to reply and hitting something that clears my screen. Sounds like you've all been there done that.

    difficult child called last night and we just talked about nothing. I was calm, kind and just said I love you. Nice for a change. I'm learning to let go and let God. No more lectures and trying to tell him how to fix everything. I think this is really good for him. He isn't used to me having nothing to say but "I love you and I miss you."

    The boys appear to be turning out just like their Dad. No surprise. I don't know why I ever thought I could prevent it. I've since learned the same sex parent is a powerful role model at this age. My worst nightmare is that they would turn out like this man. He is a wife beating, broke, emotionally disturbed and very manipulating man. He uses women and has had a revolving door (100's) ever since our divorce. Ick. I am still questioning why I didn't just take him up on the threat long ago.... "If you come after me for support I'll leave state." Dang it. I cannot believe I was ever in a place to have allowed someone like that into my life let alone have children with him. Biggest regret.

    FA has been great. Went to another group meeting last night. It's helping me SOOOO much.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, hey, I just want to reiterate that this is NOT your fault. Also, please don't give up hope. Very quickly (since everyone else knows this) I adopted a little girl from Korea as a baby and she started abusing drugs at TWELVE. Yes, twelve. I felt so much guilt because not only had we adopted her, but she had gone through my hub and I getting divorced, which made an insecure child less secure. But she STRAIGHTENED IT OUT! She is 26 now and doing so well that I cry when I think about her because your sons are actually doing better than she was. I thought she'd end up a criminal or dead. And I had no idea about her birthparents to know about genetics but even genetically challenged kids can turn it around. Detaching in my opinion is the way to go. And those FA meetings...heck, there is NOTHING like in person support and help. And I can't emphasis enough again to go on with YOUR life. Explore your hobbies, make new friends, get involved in church (if that's your thing), join a fitness class just for fun, don't give yourself time to feel guilty. You are there for your boys if they choose to turn it around. That's really all I did for my daughter...there was no miracle had to come from HER.

    I love the serenity prayer. I have it attached to my computer and say it every morning when I wake up. There is more wisdom in the little poem than any advice anyone can give in my opinion. Take care.
  13. Doddlin

    Doddlin Guest

    MidwestMom - Thank you soooo much for your kind and WISE words. I'm sorry to hear of your struggle. It helps to know that I'm not alone... talking to you all as well as those at the FA meetings is helping me get through the day right now. I am understanding that my personal struggle mostly stems from my own childhood pain. I was abandoned by my Mother (left with the man that molested me and sisters, still married to him). I ran away myself at 15 due to physical and emotional abuse by stepmom after that. I have very little connection with either of my parents as a result of that history. I dreamed and worked very hard to build a life with my boys that would be different. I never wanted them to grow up with the pain I did. I also feel very rejected (I'm sure my feelings of abandonment are kicking in) by them right now. I feel like I tried to hard to make their lives wonderful. Maybe too much. I didn't think that could happen. You hear everyone tell you to keep them busy, be involved, love them, be consistent with discipline, etc. I worked at all that very hard. Now the result seems to be that like the rest of my family, they will fall away from my life too. Seems I am destined to be without a close family. Well, this seems to be what I am imagining and hurting from. I know I have to get over this self pity, but I just never envisioned I'd be going through this with my boys. We were so close, I just don't know what happened.
    I am willing to work on myself right now and have taken those steps. I know that is the only thing I can change. My perfectionism isn't helping though. :)

    I am glad your daughter is doing well. That gives me hope. Are you close now?
  14. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Hey Dodd, just wanted to reach out to you and say, the fact that you can recognize some of what you're feeling as self-pity is a huge advantage in being able to turn those emotions around. Also wanted to say, please don't beat yourself up so much. Allow those feelings. Even the ones that are bad. Accept them, process them, and that will make it easier to let go of them. At least for me, I've found if I deny my feelings, it's harder to break the cycle. You are grieving the loss of the relationship with your sons. That's okay! Go ahead and grieve. Keep talking, keep being honest about how you feel, keep sharing at FA meetings. It will get better, I promise!!

    It really is a huge burden lifted, when we find we are NOT Alone. I'm so glad you found us, and to see that you're getting involved with support groups.

  15. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Hey, Doddlin. I noticed a comment you made on another thread, about the pain of looking in your 17 yr. old (just moved out) son's room. One of the very BEST things I did for myself after difficult child moved out was to IMMEDIATELY--I mean within the week--TOTALLY redo that room. It's completely different and I immediately began using it for its new purpose. Honestly I less and less think of it as difficult child's room. It's a room in MY house that I have taken back for my own use. In my case, the most sensible thing to do was to redo it as easy child's bedroom, but it doesn't even have to be a bedroom. It just needs to be DIFFERENT. What do YOU need? A study? An exercise room? If you were moving to a new house and had one more room, what would you do with it?

    Obviously, it's a different deal if you think there is any chance your son will move back in, but if the most it would ever be is an overnighter here or there, you really don't owe it to him to devote a room to the chance he would use it from time to time.

    I also let easy child choose things to redecorate the bathroom that had been primarily for difficult child's use. These changes helped her and me both, with positive diversions as well as "new" practical rooms that made the memories less "in my face."

    Do what's right for YOU.
  16. Doddlin

    Doddlin Guest

    Thanks for the supportive words you all give so freely!

    PonyGirl - you're right on the mark. I realize fully that I need to help myself, I got pretty good at that earlier in life. Just a little out of practice. One of my strengths is recognition of my own problems and taking steps to pick myself up off the sidewalk. hehehe. I'll get through this one day. I'm having good days and bad. The good days remind me that I'll heal and get past this. Bad days remind me that I'm human and need to grieve when the sadness comes. I'm working hard at this time.

    emotionally - Boy, I thought of this too. I did this right away last year when my oldest son (now 19) moved out. I turned it into my exercise room. My exercise room became the guest room for mother in law, step-daughter, etc. This room (my 17 yo's) is on the main floor and next to the main floor bathroom, so I have to see it all the time. I have lot's of extra rooms now and no idea what to do with them all. I was think just as you mentioned, I just cannot figure out what to do with it. Also, he hasn't come to get any of his things. It's just sitting there untouched.

    He called me last night to ask about a certified letter I sent to his Dad. He wanted to know what's in it. I told him "just legal stuff" and that I'm still looking out for his best interests as I should being his custodial parent. Really I'm just covering my butt with Ex. He is only interested in being off the hook with child support for the next year and nothing else. In the letter I explained that I'd look at the current arrangement as a summer visit and we'll evaluate how he is doing then. If he chooses to drag him down, such as smoking spice with him like a few months back, then this will be detrimental. It's really just good to have things documented. My REAL plan is to detach from him. He mentioned that he wants distance from me since he has been with me for 16 years. HAHAHA. I explained this is what you do with people you have problems with. Otherwise he would want to continue our relationship and work to make it more healthy with me. Probably I said too much. But, I didn't cry (he did) and I told him I was not going to let this rob me of happiness and hurt me like it has in the past. I'm taking care of me. He calls this morning to ask for his SSN and tell me he got a job, has a new girlfriend. hahaha. Now, why isn't he going to his Dad for this support? Could it be that he knows the "source" of all that is Mom? I just said I love you. That's all. "Keep your hands inside the ride at all times" is what keeps going through my mind. Thanks for listening to me babble.
  17. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member for what to do with the room, I'm sure it will be easier for you to figure that out once his stuff is out of it. My memory is that I hadn't made a final decision about difficult child's room until it was empty. I know I didn't wind up doing at all what I had originally planned. I realized once it was empty, though, that it was really the most allergy friendly room in the house. I'd removed the carpet, put in hardwood floors, and once the room was empty, the solution was much more obvious.

    So...I turned easy child's bedroom into a playroom, and difficult child's bedroom into easy child's new bedroom--with strict rules for her that we keep it as "barren" as possible. All toys, DEFINITELY those dust-collecting stuffed animals, and all books, papers, etc.... all the stuff allergists say should never be in an allergy kid's bedroom...stay in the playroom/study. Bedroom is a bedroom. Has worked great. She now has a suite!

    My difficult child wasn't very concerned about getting her stuff right away either. Leaving it here made for good excuses to wander in and out when she wanted to. She didn't REALLY want to be OUT. She wanted to keep the door cracked. So I rented a storage facility. Sort of. I had a friend who had extra space in her garage and also needed a little boost in her spending money, and so I moved every particle of difficult child's stuff there, paid my friend a month's storage, and informed difficult child where it was and that she'd need to coordinate getting it within 30 days or arrange payments from then on. She was STUNNED. It was a win/win all the way around.

    One word of caution though. If you like the storage facility idea but don't have a "neat" arrangement like I found, DON'T rent a space in your name and then give difficult child the access. My "garage" friend knew of a parent who did this and then wound up in jail when illegal drugs turned up in the facility. Because it was in parent's name, there was no way out of harm's way.

    Good luck figuring out what will work for you.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Doddlin, you've gotten some great feedback already. Welcome! Stick around~
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    You know - I used to think that the behaviors I saw in my son - were going to lead him to be JUST LIKE HIS BIODad. I would think it often and talk to the psychiatrist about it, but I never, ever - not once compared them outloud. My marriage was hell, the abuse was hell, hiding was hell, the mental number it did on me- hell. I expected for 10 years for my x to find us, and kill one or both of us. So imagine my shock and horror when my son told me he was going to 'find' his biodad. O.M.G. The stuff that went through my head was just -sick.

    Amazingly enough after about five months? I have realized that my son is NOTHING like his biodad. NOTHING. The more amazing thing about it all? He realizes it too. Whatever he 'thought' he was searching for - or maybe what I kept him away from? He's realizing this on his own. THAT in itself with a few comments now and then? Are worth gold to me. Absolute gold.

    My thoughts were that once he was there? It was over - he'd be EXACTLY like him or mostly like him - and well, I'm happy to say I was wrong. So - my advice for you is to never assume your kids; no matter HOW badly behaved will be like their Dad because they just may get so turned off by their Father's example vs. what you raised them to be - that they show you they're nothing like him at all except maybe for looks and all the good stuff the man was before he let you see his other side. Keep the faith - there's still lots of time.

  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Rushing...sorry if I missed something.
    Kathy's thoughts are similar to my own....
    I also went to FA for a few visits and thought their program was very good. I think it is GREAT that you are going.
    Yes, those milestone losses are really hard. (hugs). If you aren't going already and find that you need to, don't hesitate to go to a therapist yourself. Many here have found the need. It is NOT easy having a special needs child, and bottom line, this is what we all find ourselves facing.
    And yes, especially when our children turn 18 and certain 18+ it is time for us to move on. Detachment is key. No one said it is easy. Like you said "let live." If possible and appropriate, you might guide your adult child to mental health services. If it wont hurt YOU AND your child is cooperative, you might help provide some limited help...helping them help themselves. HOWEVER, this is YOU time now. Keep a good thought....hope for the the same time face reality...move forward for yourself and enjoy life to the best of your ability. Like Kathy reminded us: You didn't cause it, can't control it and can't cure it.