Good morning from ice storm central. I wanted to give an update on things and just share my experience during this phase of it all. Brief recap: difficult child has been out of jail since June, started working early September (still homeless), after two months of seeing him work full time consistently trying, we helped him get into an apartment. He was working two jobs, now working one, 48 hours a week. Girlfriend who stabbed him last summer living with him, she was pregnant, had a miscarriage. So....Sunday difficult child, easy child and fiancee came over for dinner. easy child's birthday was Saturday-Valentine's Day, so we were having his birthday dinner. Sunday is difficult child's only day off every week. I texted difficult child during the day and offered our washer and dryer if he wanted to bring a couple of loads over. Background: I drew a hard line a long time ago about using our house washing clothes, showers, meals when he was in and out of jail and homeless. However, I know he doesn't have a with-d and I wanted to offer this, now. So he came. He brought easy child a birthday gift. He brought two loads to wash. It was really good to see him. Girlfriend wasn't with him. I asked, where is girlfriend? Well, she is in the hospital. She got really depressed and tried to cut herself this morning at 5 a.m. so I had to call 911 and she is going to a psychiatric hospital. She is depressed about the miscarriage. I asked if she has been taking her medications (she is bipolar). No she had an appointment to get back on them this coming week, plus birth control. I didn't say a lot of things. I said I am sorry, and I hope she is better soon. He spent the day with her at the ER and they were waiting to locate a bed for her. difficult child talked to me a lot Sunday about his job. He has been working here for 90 days via a temp firm. They have talked to him about bringing him on permanently after the 90 days and giving him a raise. He doesn't know how much. He makes $8.25 an hour and gets time and a half for the extra eight hours each week. He says he can pay his bills on that but it's hard. He talked to me about going to some kind of tech program/school to become an electrician. I gave him the cell number and email address of a friend of mine who is a director at a tech school here. She knows his story and she is expecting his call. He talked to me about all of the problems with his apartment (no heat, dripping water, lights that don't work, mold in light fixtures etc. etc.). He talked to me about all of his efforts to get the maintenance people over there, and the times they have come, and the problems that are still there. husband gave him some ideas about how to pursue solutions with that. difficult child said his dad told him he would get involved and then later say, no, you are 25 years old, you need to deal with this. (I silently applauded that). The mommy-in-me started doing the mommy-in-me thing, but I kept it inside and didn't say it. His car has a check engine light on and he said there are "20 codes". His boss at work is a mechanic so he is talking to him about making some kind of deal to get his car fixed. Across the room, easy child and fiancee (statistician and pharmacist) are planning a wedding (well, kind of) and trying to buy a house, before the wedding (what????). I asked about any plans/thoughts/ideas about a rehearsal dinner, which ex-husband and I will give, and easy child and fiancee got into a disagreement about the whole thing. Finally I shut up. We had a very nice dinner, all of easy child's vegetarian dishes he asked for, plus bbq chicken for the rest of us carnivores, and of course, the birthday cake, ice cream and presents. After a while, they all left. After reflecting on it that night and yesterday, here are my thoughts: ***People are just messy and chaotic. All people. Why couldn't I accept that and see that clearly before now? Why did I think things "had to be perfect"? Why did I think they ever would be perfect? ***People have to make their own way. Me doing it for them just plain does not work. It didn't work when my son was in the throes of addiction---jail, arrests, homelessness, throwing him out, talking arguing begging crying yelling giving giving giving paying paying paying helping helping helping....didn't change a thing. It wouldn't work now if I started calling the landlord, calling the tech school director, getting his car fixed for him. It doesn't work with easy child/fiancee who aren't getting their decisions made for their wedding. It doesn't work with husband who won't go and get a colonoscopy to find out about his stomach problems. It just doesn't work. I can't make or convince grown people to do things. ***The way forward for all of us is having problems, dealing with problems and learning from the whole process. THAT is how we grow. There is no other way to grow. Is it hard for others who love us to watch? Is it painful? You betcha it is. ***Loving fully and truly and unselfishly means letting people find their own way, and being there if we can, standing by, keeping quiet, offering just love and encouragement. All of this takes tremendous self control, which takes working on ourselves because we just aren't wired that way automatically. We are not wired to watch people we love struggle without getting involved. This is something we have to learn to do. I hear people in Al-Anon say that they are today grateful that they have alcoholics and drug addicts in their lives because having them there forced them to become better people who mind their own business, work on themselves and grow through the whole process. That sounds nuts the first 50 times you hear it, but over time, it becomes truth. My difficult child is so much better today. He was clear-eyed Sunday night. He was sweet and appreciative and he communicated and helped clean up the kitchen. Several times during the evening I hugged him and said I love you. I said, you are really doing great. I know you are dealing with a lot, but you are dealing with it. You are doing it. Keep it up. when he left, he had his clean clothes and some leftovers. He didn't ask for money. I didn't offer any money or promises of money. I am so grateful that I have learned (for the most part---I can still mess up!!!) just to keep quiet, listen and give him a big hug and some ideas every now and then. The old me would not have been able to do any of this. Not one bit of it. I was the biggest fixer and enabler. I couldn't rest without letting you know what you ought to do---my "great" ideas for your problems. I am beginning to see that THIS IS LIFE. This is what it is. It's not pretty. It's messy and chaotic and that is how it must be. My role at this point is to be here for my grown kids, have them over for dinner from time to time, be loving, supportive and encouraging-----and live my own life. That is my job. To live my own life. What a journey this is. Warm hugs to us all.