questions/still struggling (used to be Missy44 - now Missy444)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Missy444, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Missy444

    Missy444 New Member

    Hi all and I apologize for the jumbled writing. I'm at work right now but had to vent...

    It’s been a long time since I’ve logged in and alot hashappened. If you look back in my historyyou’ll know that I have a son (three actually, but one has gone astray) withsubstance abuse issues, depression, lack of motivation, etc...We threw him out for the last time over a yearago. He was leaving drugs andparaphenilia in plain view of his younger brother and sister, disobeying all ofour rules and wasn’t able to keep any of the 10 or so jobs we helped him get! Anyhow, we put him on a plane to his father’s(a three day driving trip from where we live) in the hopes that he would starta new, drug free life. And he did, for awhile...and then the drama started again. He has a great full time job paying him over minimum wage, he was living*somewhat independently* with his dad, he bought a car, was playing in a men’shockey league and seemed to be on a really good path for at least 8months. I should know better than to behopeful.

    Since that time (and a little before that I didn’t knowabout) he quit his job, got kicked out of his dad’s for not following the houserules, joined up with a bunch of kids that are younger than him (and likelybeing influenced by him)smoking pot, drinking, etc... has had numerous raunchygirlfriends, lost his car (got a DUI) and is likely going to jail for a fewweeks in December because he never paid his fine. He’s mooching again off of friends (livingwith them, not working, not paying). Idon’t know how he always seems to find someone to take care of him. I just pray they don’t bail him out inDecember. He’s terrified to go to jail,14 days might shake some sense into him, but I wouldn’t bet the bank on it.

    Now that he doesn’t live with me, or even in the same city,I do notice that my stress level has decreased immensely. My younger children are happy, not living inthe chaos and things with my husband are pretty good. I do have a few issues though and I’m hopingsome of you can give me your thoughts:

    1. When I do talk to my son via facebook or phone I still hear that little boyin his voice and I know that he used to be such a kind, loving kid. It breaks my heart and I can’t help but blamemyself for how he turned out. I don’tmean that I completely blame myself, but I feel a shared responsibility. I know he makes his own choices as he’s anadult, but I feel that I could have done things differently when he was growingup. How do I get past that?
    2. I feel like I have abandoned him. I can’t believe that I allow him to struggleand sometimes be homeless when I will donate my time and money to our homelessshelters in my city. I feel like such a hypocriteand failure.
    3. I thought I was strong, but I know if I get a call thatsomething terrible has happened to my son I don’t think I would ever be able tolive with myself. I know I cannot enablehim, and I don’t want to. But what can Ido?

    Thanks so much everyone and I’m so sad that there are somany of us going through this.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi Missy! I am sorry you are going thru this too - and I hate to say "welcome to the club". I've been here about 2.5 months and it's amazing how much so many of our difficult child's have in common with each other. Like quintuplets or some such separated at birth.

    But along with noticing their similar behaviors - something else became clear - as moms - we are all very different parents. Yes, we all love our kids - but for the most part - we have all parented in very different ways, ...yet we ended up here with difficult children who are so much alike.

    DING DING DING - it wasn't our behavior that was at fault. Some of us discovered tough love early, some of us enabled the kids for a long time, some of us raised them on a strict budget, some were raised in comfortable homes and some were even over-indulged. Intact families, divorced families, ill parents, healthy parents, adopted kids or biological kids or step kids...WE ARE NOT THE REASON they became and are still difficult children.

    So the first thing you gotta do is to realize that you are not the problem here. And that you don't hold the keys to unlock the easy child trapped inside the difficult child.

    About the same time I found this board - I found a website with an essay called
    Kid’s Bad Decisions Do Not Mean We Are Bad Parents

    You don't need fixing, you need help coping. Trinity posted some detachment phrases about a week ago (they're also in the archives) and they are a good reminder and a primer in what to say when.

    Again, so sorry to welcome you to the club -- but glad you are here and please share with us and reach out when you need it. {{{hugs}}}
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am sorry for your pain. You know I have seen kids come out of horrid situations and becomed upstanding, law abiding, and productive adults. It is his choices that have landed him in this place not yours. I strongly suggest that you attend Alanon meetings to help you release your guilt. I do understand what you are saying I have been in your shoes. wondering if I had done this differently or that differently would the outcome have been different. We kill ourselves with the what-ifs. Eventually we realize that we did our best but that they didn't do their best. Be kind to yourself. Tearing yourself up will not change a thing but will make you unhappy and stressed.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back Missy. Sorry you are hurting again.

    You know in your head that you didnt cause this but in the heart it really hurts, I know. We just have a much softer spot for the struggling child I think. Or I do. My middle child can mess up and I just think he is an idiot and pretty much let him feel his consequences. I get a bit more riddled with anxiety when it comes to my youngest. My oldest tends not to do

    You asked what can you do. Be your sons cheering section when he does something right. There will be plenty of people in his life that are willing to put him down but if you see him doing something good, tell him. You dont have to point out what he is doing wrong, Im betting he knows by now. You and he both know he isnt coming back to live with you so just dont talk about it. Tell him you know he is smart enough to figure things out.
  5. Missy444

    Missy444 New Member

    Thanks so much for the replies, I needed them right now. I also needed a reminder to focus on some of the good things...Janet, you're so right, he's told all the time and reminded that he has really screwed up. I try to be his cheering section, I guess the let downs have just become too much to handle. I'm going to try my best to remember to encourage him when he does something right. God, I miss him so much. He was my first and I was young when I had him. We were very close...I keep telling myself that someday he will come through this and I will come to accept who he is now (when he stops manipulating everytime he opens his mouth) and we will have a relationship someday.

    Thanks all. And I have to remember, I have so much to be thankful for. Four wonderful children, just one wandering aimlessly at the moment.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Missy, nothing to add--this is not where i am in life, but I really wanted to say hi and let you know I am thinking of you and your family. Lovely that you have four great kids, and I also think it is so great how your love for difficult child shines through the pain.

    HUGS, Buddy
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Missy, our situation and feelings are so similar to what I have gone through with my son and i have felt the same way.

    None of us are perfect parents and we can spend time what iffing ourselves and wondering if we had only.... but the truth is that kind of thinking doesn't help. You cant go back in time and the reality is you don't really know if any of those what ifs would have really made a difference. He is an adult now and so the decisions about his life are his and it truly is up to him now. The fact is none of us had perfect parents, some people have horrible childhoods and grow up and do not do the things our difficult children do. It really is not your fault.

    I do recommend going to alanon - a parents meeting if they have one in your area. I personally have found it very helpful and it really helped me to let go of the guilt and the what iffing and to start to really believe the 3 Cs, you didn't Cause it, you can't Control it, and you can't Cure it.

    I think the best (and really only) thing you can do is to continue to let your son know you love him and you will help him if and when he is ready to help himself.

    Jail may be a huge wake up call... more than you realize. My son spent two weeks in jail a year ago. Before that he had the attitude I will do what i want and I don't care if I go to jail...... ha after two weeks in jail one thing he really knows is he does not want to go back. The bravado about jail is gone.

    Hang in there and know you are not alone.