Question/thought about difficult children

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Terryforvols, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    Yesterday husband and I were talking about all the mixed emotions that live inside you with a difficult child and how one day anger with them comes to the surface, the next feeling sorry for them/wanting to fix it, etc. Our difficult child is now in a 28 day rehab program, but may face jail time for writing tons of bad checks.

    Our thought/question -- if YOU were facing jail time, when you were at home with all kinds of time, would you not be on the phone or doing whatever you needed to do to give you the best chance of probation, no jail time, etc.??? I would be in a panic if I thought I might go to jail. Our difficult child never has a sense of urgency about anything. I know she is severely depressed, but.... You can say to her "you most likely will go to jail for a little while" and she says she knows, but I really think deep down they think they will be rescued because that is what we have done for SO LONG!!

    Any thoughts?? As hard as it is, we are trying our best to detach. We are helping her where we can, but there is definitely no guarantee that even with help she won't get jail time. Maybe that is what she needs to wake her up. When she came out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in 2005, she was great for 3+ years, strong, etc., but being in a toxic relationship and refusing to leave it drove her back to bad habits. It is just so sad because she has been a great mother 95% of the past 23 months, but doesn't seem to be worried that she could very well lose it all for a time -- maybe losing it is what has to happen. Selfishly, it will limit our ability to see our precious, precious granddaughter -- we will have to put out all the effort to see her because sister in law and his parents certainly won't go out of their way to make sure she knows us, too.

    Again, if I thought I was going to jail, I wouldn't be online or watching TV all day!! Only a difficult child!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Even without an adult difficult child I can say I've seen this. Onyxx very rarely gets "real" punishment for her crimes. The worst has been a 1-night stay in juvie and 4 days in psychiatric hospital.

    Grounding doesn't seem to faze her at all. The thought of being arrested doesn't faze her. She does what she wants, never thinks ahead. And so far... Nothing has really happened.

    The only thing that bothers her - and it's a mild bother - is that this time, she didn't get her cell phone back. It's on my account, and I told husband - either she gets her own and pays for it; pays me up front; or he has to take care of it. He's not interested in doing that, so she'll have to come up with the money. She's asked several times, but always in the manner of one who knows the answer is already no.
  3. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I think the kids act this way because they are overwhelmed. There IS no right way to go for them, anymore. They can't see how to begin, and no longer believe they will complete the journey even if they find the courage somewhere to start. What I learned here on the site is to say how sorry we were that this was happening. (Which was very true). And also, to remind the child (adult, now) that they had been raised to know, and do, better. I think this helps them remember who they were meant to be, before the drugs or the alcohol or whatever got them. And I think those childhood teachings, that identity with the person they were brought up to be, is the only source of true strength our addicted children have.

    During our worst times, when there was literally nothing I could do, anymore, I took some strength from knowing that of all the people in the world, I was one of the few who knew, and held faith with, the understanding that my child was meant to be so much more than he had become.

    I think this helped him to steer his way back. Not that he is anywhere near where he will come to, but he is on the path, now.

    Imagine if you WERE your child. The one thing you need, no one can give you.


    If your child can remember who she was meant to be, she can (maybe) steer her way free of the addiction.

    I wish you and your family well. I am so sorry this has happened.

  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Honestly, I have found over the years that for me, this line of thinking only leads to frustration. It really doesn't matter what I would do, or how I would feel, or what I would think, because, it is not me, and my difficult child will never think like I do, act like I do, or feel like I do. I have stopped trying to "understand" their thinking from my perspective, and tried to accept that in difficult child World, this is "normal," and to suggest otherwise to them, usually means an argument or at the least, a puzzled look.

    in my opinion, all we can hope is that someday, a lightbulb (or more likely, a nightlight) will go on and something will begin to change, ever so slowly. I have seen, particiularly with my Oldest, that she doesn't make the *outrageous* choices she used to make, even if her choices .. and her reasoning about them.. are still, well, skewed. I try to hold onto the phrase "progress, not perfection" (ala AA) when it comes to both my difficult children. I try to embrace whatever positive I can find.

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  5. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I was thinking along the same lines as Crazy. I have stopped expecting my difficult child to do or think the way I would in any given situation and it has really helped me detach and not be so frustrated with her actions or lack of actions.