Sometimes Radical Acceptance = Stepping Back


Well-Known Member
Hi all. Since difficult child was arrested on Christmas Day, we've had a flurry of activity (some pleasant, some not, some confusing).

The Not Pleasant ---- After difficult child's arrest Christmas morning, we began receiving private messages on Facebook (they obviously looked me up because we're not "friended"). One, in particular, urged me to pay difficult child's bail (which court originally decreed no bail allowed). We made it clear from difficult child's first police incident (age 10?) that we would not pay his bail at any time. No need to get arrested, so no need for bail. We have never paid it (despite multiple arrests) and never will. difficult child knows this. But his friends do not. they do. Case closed.

The Confusing ----- Not clear (as it keeps changing), but apparently difficult child has been released from jail (some technicality?). But the case is still open and under investigation. No clue where he is or if he has an ankle monitor, etc. No clue what any of it means or where it goes from here. Home alarm intact.

The Pleasant ----- husband and I took an impromptu road trip to talk and to clear our heads. husband and I road trip so very well together! Change of scenery always helps my head (when it's muddled) and my heart (when it's weary). And it did help. :) Then we had impromptu houseguests (traveling from out of state) and enjoyed visiting with them for a while. You know.........people who obey the law, show up for work, and are so very warm, loving and fun! In difficult child-dom, we feel it's important to fill our lives with as much of that as possible.......warm, loving and fun! Everyone deserves that!

Our Conclusion ------ On our road trip, husband and I had hours to talk. husband is the best person I know....his entire being overflows with "warm, loving, and fun". Really. I can see the toll difficult child takes on him. I already know the toll difficult child takes on me. So, we have opted to "step back" and have no contact with difficult child for however long we parents need for our health and happiness. Sometimes difficult child takes too big of a toll. Fact.

So we move ahead into our best version possible at this time of Radical Acceptance. Knowing that Radical Acceptance sometimes means STEPPING BACK......quietly, peacefully, prayerfully, willingly, compassionately, wisely.

Oh, and one last thing............. GO HAWKS! (NFL postseason is upon us!) Watched the last game all decked out in my new Seahawks jersey (Russell Wilson, of course) and loved it! :D


Well-Known Member
Staff member
It's good to hear from you HLM, I have been thinking about you.

As usual your post speaks of acceptance, compassion for your difficult child and yourselves, understanding and humor........... and as a result, the peacefulness one finds there. I applaud your resilience in the face of could certainly be called grace under fire..............

There seem to be these reminders of our need to keep that radical acceptance vigil. The other day my daughter texted me that the woman whom she had been staying with locked the doors and wouldn't let her back in on Christmas evening after we dropped her off. It was in the 30's that night. There is more to the story, but I don't feel like expanding that thinking..........suffice to say it was a bit of a drama created by the characters my daughter hangs out with. I had that all too familiar feeling in my mothers heart of anxiety about the weather and where she would end up. I talked to my husband (a wonderful husband, much like you describe yours) and he of course, said, "I will be okay with whatever you decide to do." I decided to step back. A couple of years ago I would not have been able to do that, OR I would have suffered greatly doing it. Instead, I read some inspirational books and went to bed. The next day she texted me telling me she had found a place to stay, at least for that night, actually with a friend of hers whom I know to be a really good guy. So, she worked it out without my stepping in.

So we move ahead into our best version possible at this time of Radical Acceptance. Knowing that Radical Acceptance sometimes means STEPPING BACK......quietly, peacefully, prayerfully, willingly, compassionately, wisely.

Very well said HLM.


Well-Known Member
RE --- Thanks for your good thoughts. Always appreciated! Well, yes.... feeling resilient, compassionate, wise and in good humor today. But Christmas morning? My "sageness" looked more like this........ "^$^%#$$#I@#^%%@&!!!" LOL! Oh, yeah, I let it fly like a sailor! :D But, hey, a little distance helps me reclaim the higher path in whatever ways I know how. And when I struggle in the fog, I get by with a little help from my friends (she nods to The Beatles). :)

Sorry to hear your story about your daughter being left out in the cold (literally). That is SO hard as a mother! I have experienced similar. But no matter how often we experience it, it's never easy. EasIER, but never easy. by the way, kudos to your daughter for figuring something better out! I think they are capable of far more than they realize........when they REALLY have to try. Sad it has to get to that sometimes, but, like you said, sometimes it's for the best (and the only way).

RE -- You and your husband are so sympatico. I love hearing how well you work as a team. And great idea choosing to read inspirational books during that time! I once read a quote by Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World) that said, "The only way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit." I often come back to that. You did exactly that........replaced your worry (which isn't a bad habit, just a painful emotion) with wisdom. Sometimes leaving something behind (like worry) isn't enough. To leave the void open is to invite it back. To fill it with something wonderful and positive is to shoo it away.

Again, you leave me with another wise nugget, RE!

Hey, we've gotta do what we've gotta do, right? (I know there's a Seinfeld quote in there somewhere!) ;)

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
:bravo:Love your post HLM. Full of confidence and optomism.

No need to get arrested, so no need for bail. We have never paid it (despite multiple arrests) and never will. difficult child knows this.
I feel the same way. I remember the first time my difficult child was arrested at 14 and husband and I told him we would not bail him out, he proceeded to freak out, crying and screaming that he would not survive being in jail. My response to him "I warned you that this would happen if you continued to disobey rules and laws. This is the consequence to your actions, now deal with it" To which he replied, "well you better at least get me a lawyer" I told him they would appoint him a public defender as I was not going to spend my hard earned money on a lawyer for him, then I hung up.

How wonderul that you and your husband were able to do a road trip and were able to recharge yourself.

Wishing you all the best for coming New Year.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like you had a lovely time with an amazing man, your husband. Both of you are truly blessed to have such a fulfilling relationship.

This was such a good post. You're doing a heroes job.


Active Member
Good for you!! I wish I had understood the 'stepping back' part much sooner than I had.

My helping was taking a toll on my health, and retirement account. It took years, but I slowly realized I could be one of those senior citizens with zero income and an older difficult child still sleeping on my sofa, unemployed, and still dependent on me!

(((hugs and peace)))


Well-Known Member
Great post, HLM. I can let grief and worry about difficult child completely fill my every thought. I absolutely love how you bring in a little literature, a little Seinfeld, a little football, a little road trip...a little JOY! No matter what difficult child brings to the table, you somehow manage to fill it with lots of GOOD things too.


Well-Known Member
Tanya M, MWM, Tiredof33, Albatross --- Thank you all so much for your uplifting words!

Albatross --- My walk through difficult child-dom has been.........oh, my.......I don't even have words for it....