Out of jail, results sadly predictable

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Echolette, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    So in the end I paid difficult child's restitution, plus a little extra fine for retail theft that they sprung on me when I got there. difficult child was released last night at 11 pm with a subway token and a dollar. And where is he now you might ask? At the same flophouse he was thrown out of this summer. And what is he doing? NOT giving me his bank card as promised,NAND not going to the resource center he committed to... 'Mom, it is a holiday, I just want to hang with my friends and see the fireworks. I'll go Thursday'

    I knew he would screw me over but I didn't expect it to be so prompt.mwhat a loud slap in the face. I was hoping my clear eyed decision making going into it would protect me from the backlash of hurt and anger in my heart.. And maybe it has to some extent..but i,will say I am both,mans mortified, and humiliated in front of myself. And..mod course...a little hopeful, too, that he really will go on Thursday... But he won't.

    I feel like calling him and saying...stay the heck out of my life until you can come tell me something good. But...oh yeah....he doesn't have a phone, so I can't have that satisfaction!

    To further undo me, SO and I are fighting.... I didn't fill in that part of the story, but he is certainly some one's difficult child as well...often wonderfully supportive, but somewhat unstable, prone to things like waking me up at 2 am to tell me he thought we should split up...he filed bankruptcy a year ago and is trying to get his life together..right now his house is being foreclosed on jan 10) and he is moving in with me, and I committed to support him through May while he works out a new business venture.

    But merging houses at our age is hard, and he is very sensitive to the slightest flinch from me..he also has a lot of stuff, so I feel overwhelmed and overcrowded... And I have a history of being afraid to make men angry ( thanks dad)

    So here I am. Focussing on difficult child, wishing for oysters and champagne and stuck in a place of disappointment in the company of some one who is glowering and angry.

    Too cold for a run, my usual cure. Maybe a nap, music candles. I'd love to people-avoid, but have a houseful...
  2. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, Echolette. When I think of all the stuff we did for our son, trying to help him, trying to fix things, trying to control him...and in the end it didn't make any difference. It is so frustrating, isn't it?

    Have the oysters and champagne anyway! Happy New Year!
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry Echolette, you have a lot on your plate. I understand your frustration completely having gone through much of the same stuff............sigh.............Yes, have the oysters and champagne anyway..........put it all aside for now and enjoy your moments............hugs.....
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    First off, Echo, you did the best you knew to do. I would have done the same. In years to come, however this works out, you will know you did every single thing you could do to help your son take a better path.

    I know how that goes, though. We are angry, too. We think of all the ten thousand things that didn't make a bit of difference, or that might have made a difference, or that we should have known, or that we knew better than to do but did anyway because, when it gets right down to it, there are times when we just cannot turn away and do nothing.

    I don't think any of us here on the Board are the kind of people who are able to just turn away from any situation where we might be able to help, might be able to make difference for someone. When that someone is your own child, how much harder it is to turn away! So, each of us needs to stop condemning ourselves.

    We are , every one of us, doing the best we know.

    But here's the thing, Echolette. It wasn't our wrong decisions that created the situation. Our kids have problems. Serious problems, problems that are so painful and wrong and that seem to have no solutions. Someone told me once, when I was trying to figure out what to do, to bless myself and do it. And if that turned out to have been the wrong decision, then to bless myself again, and try another way. The one constant is to bless ourselves Echo, to give ourselves full credit for doing the best we know.

    There is no strength in berating or second-guessing ourselves.

    And we need to be strong because, barring some kind of miracle, the situation is not going to resolve well.


    The grief and continually renewing commitment to a troubled adult child (interspersed with those brief flashes of rebellion when we declare our freedom from all of it) wreak havoc in any relationship. We don't even know the cost of our commitments to our kids until we really explore what it would be like, not only not to have had to deal with the things we've dealt with, but to have had, instead, the things other parents have. The steady love of your child, his growing independence, the joy to be taken in watching the same friends we knew as little guys all grown up and still remembering us and our homes and the birthday parties and football games. The girlfriends become wives and mothers, the successful career moves, the other challenges, well met. Whether we are aware of it or not Echo, we are grieving those losses, grieving a kind of invisible devastation...while we are being blamed, and are blaming ourselves, for it. In order to function in a world no longer sympathetic, we hide our pain and deny our confusion. We go to work or to class or whatever it is we do, and we don't even talk anymore, about the daughter beat nearly to death or the son seen begging on the streets.

    We don't tell anyone about it, Echolette.

    I can't, because once I get started I cannot, for the life of me, shut up again.

    There was a thread here on the site about whether it was worse to lose a child to death than to lose a child piece by piece, as we all are losing our children, here. The consensus was that this is way harder. Then, a mother wrote in who had lost her child. She pointed out that, though we do indeed go through the near deaths of our children again and again, those with living children still have hope.


    You and S.O. will work through it, Echolette. It is just so impossibly hard to do this that we get out of the habit of being in love, with ourselves or with anyone else. There are days when I look at my husband and remember how handsome I thought he was, once. It's a little shocking to realize he still is. Too much pain, too much reading one another's expressions instead of loving each other's faces, too much testing the waters instead of skydiving in.

    Possible for you and S.O. to take a weekend away? Go somewhere no one knows you and pretend you are one of the lucky, beautiful couples relishing themselves and their good fortune? I don't know where you live or what you like to do, but I think there are really inexpensive Vegas packages.

    Or flights to Southern climes, where all you have to worry about is sand in the bikini area.


    Barring that, eat the oysters and drink the champagne in bed with S.O.

    If you two are anything like husband and I? We forget to do that half the time, too.


    too much information.

  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi. I'm so sorry your son disappointed you. Have you read the thread on "general" called "Detachment Parenting?" And a few of the moms say, about their YOUNG kids, that sometimes it's just hard to love them and they get burned out. While it is dangerous to detach from a minor child. In nooooooo way do I judge them as bad parents or uncaring. Sometimes even a six year old can make you so exhausted, you have no more emotions left inside of you...little to give, at least for a while.

    Yes, I understood what they were saying and it is even more glaring when that "child" is an adult. What usually happens to us is that we get slapped once too many times and finally that warm glow and the hope and the feeling that "...but he's my child" just gets zapped out of us and we feel empty and numb and even repelled (I've felt the repelled part with 36). That's when we truly can and do detach. Doesn't mean the love isn't there underneath it all. But the desire to help and our feelings that if we are there for them, they will not only come around, but appreciate our devotion just gets flushed down the toilet...

    I also feel you, like me, are probably a really devoted codependent. Honestly, I want to save every child and animal I hear around and I have tried many, many times. I've taken in strangers who were homeless. Of course, that worked out well...not! I'm not sure committing to support a grown difficult child SO is a good idea for you. You may end up as stressed out with him as you are on your son. Why would you take that on?

    How about making a commitment to yourself? :) Make sure you treat yourself well and only hang with those who appreciate and respect you for your caring, your kindness, the love you can offer and they don't ask you for anything other than your company? How about you being as good to yourself, as generous and caring to yourself, as you are to everybody else?

    I hope you have a nice New Years. And I hope 2014 is a better year; a healing year; one in which you start to see just how very much you matter in this world.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    If the champagne and oysters haven't turned things around with S.O., this might be the time to back away from him, too. It is true that stress from our difficult child kids colors and changes our relationships, but MWM is right. Especially as you learn new patterns of interaction with your son, you deserve someone who strengthens, who cherishes and takes joy in you, and who is a refuge for you. Here is something I know, because it is happening to me, in all my relationships: As I have begun practicing detachment, every relationship I have has changed. In some cases, the change is subtle. In others, shocking. But I am glad for the changes, stronger for the changes. While I am finding that it is true that we teach people how to treat us...I think that isn't altogether correct. There are people in the world who see someone who is kind, who see someone who believes (because she has done it herself), that anyone can be beat the odds, can turn things around, as a ready-made victim, ripe for the taking.

    If this is true of your S.O.? It won't be long at all now before you are strong enough to see it so clearly that you will change things without batting an eye.

    Learning the skills of detachment is like a cold, fresh wind blowing through your life. Everything that is bad for you gets blown out. All that is left is you and those healthy enough to merit your attention. That sounds so cold, I know. But that is what I am finding. I don't even miss the relationships I lost through confronting the players with what I knew to be true about their interactions with me. What I see instead is how, knowing I would shelter and support them, always...they played me like a fiddle! They had no respect for me. They probably don't even see me, the real me. They did not deserve so much as a glance of my eye, but they received total loyalty, total commitment to their good from me.

    I am quite angry at the way they twisted what was offered in faith and love.

    I am not talking about difficult child son, here. Him? I want back ~ but only on my terms.


    Wait and see, Echolette. This detachment is powerful stuff.

    If S.O. is someone who should not be with you? He's going to be finding out all about that, pretty shortly, here.

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I am listening and paying attention. I can see how detachment flows into everything. SO has been a strong supporter for me for year...he held my head above water while I was drowning (because he is a BIG TIME co-dependent himself). I will try to walk a sane line of support without going under with him, if that is where he is headed. I am going to start another thread about difficult child.
  8. 3boyzmom

    3boyzmom New Member

    I have to agree that now you need to surround yourself with positive people, people who support and love you for you! I talk to my Mom, my two best friends, and my brother. Everyone else can leave me alone. My sister has called once to ask questions and when I saw her two days later she didn't say one word! That hurt too, nothing to say, not one thing? Don't pretend to care and then I realize my challenge does this every time I see him. Why do I keep trying?

    I have to tell him that I love him but there is no more help until he helps himself. I can't fix his life. I have two other kids, parents, a husband, friends and a job that need my attention. He is being selfish wanting everyone to help him. I am done!

    Happy New Year to me!
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It has been my experience that relationships fall into healthier or unhealthier places, depending on whether we can recognize how different where we are in the relationship is from where we want to be. One of the measuring techniques for husband and I is joy. Are we able to joyfully accept change? Tragedy? It sounds simplistic. Sometimes, simple is best. With joy as our guiding principle, we have a way to steer ourselves back on course. Even with everything that happens that seems so bad, we assess where we got to (which is usually fighting, not sleeping, being mean to ourselves and each other and even, the poor dog) by that concept of joy in our lives. It helps us to look at it that way. Life is challenging, filled with challenges and with change, for all of us. We do need tools, some way to assess where we are going. That concept of joy works well for us, when we are off-track. If your SO is willing to discuss and support you in other areas, perhaps a discussion about working toward joy, in your individual lives and in your lives together, would be a way to keep your good relationship in a good and growing space.

    We are in relationship to learn from and polish one another. Issues seem to be custom-made. In working through them, we heal ourselves. That is what I hope, anyway! husband and I have issues, too. We try really hard to be awake enough to see them. Joy is a good measuring tool.