The Encounter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I thought that with recent park closings that I might be seeing Rain again, and yesterday she stopped by sons paddling practice. She waited patiently for me to finish what I was doing. I could tell something was bothering her by the look on her face. I asked her if she was okay, she nodded. I grabbed her and gave her a big hug and told her that I loved her, always have, always will. She leaned in, different than her usual stiffening up and pulling away. I held on to her for a long time. It has been years since I have been able to hug her like that.
    She asked about her sister, if I had heard from her, spoke a bit about the jail situation. Rain explained that Tornado was “not herself” had crossed lines with her boyfriend, a betrayal, they argued and Tornado was defiant, unapologetic. Rain went on to say that Tornado blames everyone for her problems, that she is old enough to know better. She said she had been riding her bike all day, thinking about things, how she is tired of how her boyfriend treats her, tired of the raids at the park and constantly having to move things, being with people she cannot trust. I told her that all of that seemed like it was way more work than living a conventional life, that she was smart and capable, and she doesn’t deserve to be mistreated. I didn’t mention drugs or rehab.
    She knows.
    She didn’t ask to come home and it took every ounce of strength not to offer that. As much as I say it won’t happen, it is so difficult to see her hurting. I know deep down in my heart that I cannot have her live with us. She needs to get into treatment, work through her issues. That will not happen in my home.
    There was a piece in the newspaper about agencies working with the homeless in the parks they are closing, offering services. I do hope she will take that step.
    Rather than being sad and letting my spirits sink, I am trying to see this as a sort of break through, a softening. I am wondering if the shock of her sisters antics have shown her how far off the rails one can go on meth.
    Hopefully, this will be a pivot point for Rain. She will need to figure that out, what she wants out of life.
    In the meantime, I will hold on to the miracle of that long hug, and continue to pray for her to find her way.
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  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi New Leaf.

    This is so hard. There is no good place to stand here. These are our children.

    My son called tonight. Had not heard from him in a few weeks. He is living a few hours north of me, in a major metro, very, very expensive. I have no doubt he is homeless.

    We had ejected him (with the law, required multiple times) from the property we own, where he would not pay rent, or stop squatting, and we would not let him come here (forcing himself in, etc.) I grew to fear him.

    His only priority was his drug use and the consequence of that was his transgressing every appropriate boundary and indifference to living like a decent human being.

    So. He called.

    Is there any chance I can come back?

    Yes. Someday. Absolutely. Not now. It was not working. It does not work.

    And I left it at that. I did not spell it out. I did not blame. I did not criticize. I did not say what has to change or how. All of that, I left unsaid. The only appropriate thing anymore I can say, is no.

    These are adults. I see, now, I have no right to give counsel. To solve problems. To establish or identify goals. Or to enforce them. Just, to say no.

    It is up to them to make it right for them.

    I brought up to M a bit later: I have bitterness towards him. I don't know if I can put it behind me. And he has to learn again how to be human. (M had said, what he must learn is that he is responsible to house himself, to eat, first, before his drugs.) To me, that is not enough.

    So M answered: Forget about the past. Let it go. But let him learn what happens, what is the consequence of his decisions on how to live. And let him learn to change his decisions. This has nothing to do with you. Of course he calls you. Where else does he have to go? It may mean that all doors have to shut to him. And he may come here, but you don't have to admit him. He is responsible.

    New Leaf. It could be a pivot for Rain. Or not. I understand the awakenings of hope, and her acceptance of your love. For now, I would try really, really hard to be grateful for that, for just those precious moments, and to let it go, let her go.

    When I begin to get invested in what could or could not happen I put myself in my son's story, and become a character with intention and desire in his story...over which I have no control. And this ends up messy. This forum is full of the mess I make, splattered all over threads, that comes from me inserting myself into my son's story.

    They do not help things, because over and over again, their default is to try to get us to insert ourselves in their stories. As habitual ways to avoid responsibility, or to seek love or comfort or security. Or to just bring on chaos....IT NEVER WORKS. When we enter into their stories.

    I do not know how this works out for either one of us, because I believe in each of our lives, we will have relationships with our children. I just don't know how or when.

    But I share your view that this was not the time. And these were not the circumstances. You done good!!

    But how could this feel good? There is so much want. So much yearning. So much fear.

    The only way for us to do this is to think about this as a conversation. And you said it in a way that I hear, and I feel. There was an opening. And that is good. But now there is a pause. And we wait.

    I am happy for you, New Leaf.
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  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Oh, Leafy, what a beautiful and heartbreaking encounter.

    This sounds exactly like what I’ve been through with C. He never directly asked either, but I always sensed that he wanted me to ask. And I didn’t. For the same reasons you didn’t. It’s so hard, though. I felt like a monster.

    I pray this is a pivot point for her, too, as I pray that this new room will be a pivot point for C. You’re right - being homeless does look like a lot more work than living a conventional life. It sounds like maybe Rain has come to a place of recognizing that there are other ways to live?

    I always find it interesting that my two difficult ones seem to see each other’s issues more clearly than they see their own. It sounds like Rain has a lot of insights into Tornado’s behaviors as well.

    I find that it is so hard to balance between hope and caution when I have these little breakthroughs with my kids. I tend to err on the side of hope, even knowing I may get my heart broken again. Because how can we not hope?

    Hold on to that hug. No matter what does or doesn’t happen next, that moment means something.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Leafy, how wonderful that hug must have been. :love_heart:
    This shows some real promise. The first step for anyone coming out of the darkness of this kind of life is to start seeing that life in the pure light of truth. It's a small step but it's a positive one.

    She probably knows what the answer would be. I take this as a kind thing she did by not putting you in the position to have to say NO.

    I can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions that you must be feeling.

    Stay strong dear lady!!

  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Dear Leafy...this sounds to me like your daughter is coming to a crossroads and I pray she turns the right way. Being tired of her life may be the first step to changing it.

    I pray for strength, for you and for her. :hugs:
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  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Leafy - My heart is with you. Seeing our kids hurting the way we do is just so heartbreaking.... it is hard not to just ask them to come home and try to take care of them and their hurting selves.... but of course we know that doesnt work. Hold on to that hug.... and letting her know you love her is the best thing you can do and hopefully she will be holding on to that too.

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  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Your post was very touching. I am so happy you and your daughter shared that special moment. Yes maybe just maybe she is changing her thinking based on all that is going on. We NEVER know what it will take to awaken them.


    I have watched your posts and KNOW how much you have done and how hard you have tried with your son. So many times I thought oh no! I am so glad that you have firm boundaries now. And I do agree with M. It's as simple as what he said. Son needs to know he has to put his food and housing first before his weed! He may never lead the conventional life you hope for but this order is a must!

    We are not supposed to house and support our grown children. It is not supposed to be that way. Period.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Leafy, crossing all my body parts that Rain wants to change her life. She said what my daughter said about why why she (daughter) quit. She told me "It got too hard. It was too hard to take drugs." I think Rains mind is starting to clear. She actually seems to be seeking you out.

    RN, such big kudos for you and your son. I feel he is in a very good place. expect him to do very well once he is released. In the warm south!!

    Copa M. Is such a wise man. I think he nailed it. Food and shelter first. How easy yet most of us have such complicated thinking! I am so glad you have M. and your pets and are seemingly doing much better.

    Love and light to all.
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I read it that way as well Leafy. It brought back a memory of a very similar experience with my fact, it was the day she was released from jail the first time. We picked her up and she held on to me and we stood there for a long time holding each other. It's difficult when you're right there in the moment to see how it all fits in the long game, however, that really was a turning point. That opening meant something then, which didn't stop the chaos right away, but it was the beginning of my daughter making strides in a more positive direction. When I look back, it was one small step for her.... after another....and another..... from that point on. And, each step for her was a step for me to step back and allow her to slowly remove herself from many of the unsafe situations she was involved in......without my stepping in to help. I wanted it to happen faster than it did, but in retrospect, she was systematically changing on her own time in her own way. She did stay with us once or twice after that, but it never worked out for either of us. It wasn't always intense and dramatic, it simply didn't work because she and I realized she could not live within my boundaries. She required more freedom, and that's ok, it just didn't work in our home. (She is not now nor was she then, involved with substance abuse.)

    You sound balanced and centered......I know it's not easy.....there isn't anything for you to's in their hands.
    I will keep your daughter's in my prayers.
    Sending you much love and many hugs......
  10. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    What a touching encounter, Leafy. I too hope that this is the start of Rain taking her life in a new direction.
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  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Copa.
    Yes, it is hard. They are our children, but, they are also adults. Rain will be 39 next week. 39.
    The same for my two. And I cannot allow myself to forget that, or their propensity to regress even further in my home, the chaos of it oozing off the walls like Dalis clocks. It turns my stomach, the memories. I cannot, and will not go back to that.
    Good for you Copa. Hard, but good.
    My two have told me through words and action that they are adults and will do as they please. So, do as you please, but not in my home. It is not a pit stop, a motel. I have found when it comes to my two, that the less I say, the better. I don't need to have my words twisted, or argue with anyone.
    My bitterness is towards consequences that we got dragged into by their living here, it didn’t phase them. The feeling of entitlement and blame, all at the same time. It didn’t work. They didn’t mind living off of us, disrespecting our home and everything we worked hard for. What a mess. The bitter taste left in my mouth reminds me that I don't want to sample that again.
    They are responsible. They have the wherewithal to make a life for themselves. It is a choice. They have to understand this. They have to take responsibility for the choices they have made while they have been in our homes. They have to know that their attitude and behaviors in our homes are unacceptable.
    I am grateful for the connection and do hope that she comes round the corner. I am not a therapist or rehab. I have enough reminders from past attempts to try all over again to fix things for both of them by opening my door. That did not work for either of us.
    This is unfortunately true. It becomes an unhealthy pattern.
    Thank you Copa, and I am happy for you. Although this is a difficult lesson, I think that it has forced us to shift focus and look inward ourselves. We cannot gauge our lives on the choices and actions of others, even our beloveds. Perhaps as we transition through this, it will help them to see that they are capable. As we place value on our own lives, irrespective and beyond what their choices and consequences are, maybe they will see the value of their own. If we rise above the degradation, just maybe they will. Our rising above and grabbing our lives back cannot be dependent on what they choose.
    I had that monster feeling for a nano second. I swallowed it down. We are not monsters when we show our adult children that they are capable to make better choices and that they can make a better life for themselves. We take a stand for ourselves, and for them.
    I hope so for all of our wayward children, that they can begin to see that there are other ways to live, that one does not have to compromise oneself for a fleeting happiness induced by chemicals. That they have been duped by that fantasy and are chasing a dragon that brings more misery than it is worth. I think that a connection is important, but not one that affords them a continuance and ease of using. We have to take a stand at some point, however painful, so that they see the difference.
    Maybe, just maybe it is like looking in the mirror. Rain has in the past, made irrational decisions, distanced herself from family. Pointed fingers and placed blame to excuse her using. Denied using. She herself said that it is about choosing, Tornados choice. So, in that, maybe she is having to look at her own choices. That will have to come from her.
    It is painful to hope at times. It is taking a chance at having the bubble burst. I think that there is a way to practice acceptance, but still hold out hope..... and the foundation for this is faith, patience and balance. How can I pray and ask in faith, yet doubt at the same time? God works in mysterious ways, and not always in our timeframe. This is where bolstering ourselves is so important, to be able to live our lives with peace and joy, even though our adult kids are out there dealing with their challenges.
    I think so too, Tanya. These park closings do not leave much room for Rain to go. As people struggle for places to set up tents, I would imagine there is conflict, as resources are thin. I have heard that homeless can be a tight knit community, but in talking with her, relationships have been strained. I believe that she has replaced family for her "connections", those connections are not as solid as she thought, especially with her own sister.
    I think this is true as well. It was kind of her.
    I am trying to stay off the roller coaster. Just praying for steady state, and that Rain find her way. I am quite cognizant that it could all change in an instant, that is the reality of it. I have experienced that enough, the extreme highs and lows. For both her, and I. I don't need that kind of stress. So, I will try my best to relish in the moment, continue to hope and pray, but not go overboard.
    I was thinking this morning that the usual feeling I get when seeing her was not there. I do not know if that is a shift on my part, or hers.
    What that feeling was, in past encounters, was an awkwardness, a hesitation, a sort of rift, a divide and disconnect. A waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't know if that feeling shifting, comes from acceptance or my resolve that I am not the one to "help" her.
    Only time will tell where all of this goes, and I do hope she finds herself. My finding my potential is not tied to her outcome. Anymore. That is not being unloving, selfish or unkind. It is being real.
    Thank you Lil. I do hope that she is at a crossroads. It is completely up to her what path she takes. She has always turned away any kind of real help, saying it is a sign of weakness. What I take that to mean is in the eyes of her peers, weak people go to the doctor when they are ill, weak people go to shelters and rehab. It has been a hard, hard lifestyle to live. Hopefully, she will realize this, and seek help. I know it cannot come from me, that just sets us both up for the cycle to continue.
    I hope so TL. Only time will tell what her next move will be.

    Thank you RN. It was a standing still in time. I hope that she will take to heart her value and worth and start to make healthier choices.

    I agree with RN Copa, you have bent over backwards to try and help your son.
    In this day and age especially in Hawaii with rents so astronomically high, many families double up. I see this as a plus, if all are contributing to the cause. The problem with my two is that it became a big vacation for them.
    Not so much for us.
    Thank you all for your wisdom and prayers. It means so much.

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  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Re and Albie
    I think I will hold on to this one small moment and be grateful for it. Hope without expectations. If it is a turning point, that would be wonderful. I will continue to pray for that.
    I think that is key. To not step in to the rescue. It has to come of her will, and doing, then she owns it.
    This would most likely be the case.
    It’s not easy, but much easier than the old frenetic feeling that I must do something. I know all too well that that does not work. I took all the consequences of their choices, and made them my own, hurting and grieving over something I had absolutely no control over. It was as if a transference occurred, my falling into the rabbit hole with them emotionally, gave them leeway to pass the blame over to me. They sensed my despair and spun me up into their web. Disentangling from that and switching focus, affords them to do the same.
    The one thing I will continue to do is pray. That is the saving grace that has allowed me to survive this. That, and the help from this site.
    Thank you Albie. It has been so long since I have felt her let go in my arms. It was a precious moment I will cherish.
    I will continue to pray and hope that she find her way.
    It is all up to her.
  13. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Fingers crossed, prayers said for all of us. We cope with these wayward adult children.
    I am glad that you had a few good moments with Rain. I hope it is a step forward for her.
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I would call it a nightmare. Sometimes I think, it wasn’t that bad. “What are you talking about Leafy? It was hell.” I didn’t want to come home. I went off to work, they were sleeping, claiming illness. Came home to a mess. Then miraculously, they were cured and out the door.
    It has happened enough times that I see the pattern. Ingrained, etched into stone. They cannot come home.
    We have to work very hard to break free from the patterns we have set. They not only sense weakening, they invoke it.
    You are getting better at setting boundaries Copa.
    It is the same for my two. They do not seek help.They slide backwards into the same awful nothingness and take my home right along with them. Without batting an eye. It is completely unacceptable.
    I have come to the conclusion today, at this moment that I will not allow myself to fall on the sword through suffering along with them. It devalues my life. No good comes of it, in fact, I think it only goads them into more debased living. How can they learn to value their own lives if we place such little respect for our own, becoming marks for them? That is what it all boils down to for me, that I became a mark in a con artists game. They were not looking to better themselves, nor was I working on improving my own life, in that suffering state, my focus was on the impossible, wanting change for them, thinking that my sacrifice would save them. It didn’t. It only emboldened them to take more advantage of me.
    It is a pattern I see. They will not change it, it is too easy for them, why should they? So we must. Shift. Redirect our thoughts and emotions from the yearning and longing for change in them, to implementing change within ourselves. I really think this shift is key for them to grow and begin to look within. We no longer carry the burden of their consequences, by making a conscious effort to break away from the old patterns, we are showing them there are alternatives. That we are not responsible for their choices. It does not mean we cannot have hope or pray for them to find their potential. That is the one thing I cling to. I have to let go of any notion that it has anything to do with me. It is entirely up to them.
    I am sorry for rambling.
    Copa, you are doing this. Whatever you decide, you are moving forward. You have come so far on this journey. You are stronger than you think.
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Tired out, yes, indeed, prayers for all of us and our wayward adult children. May we all find peace.
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I agree wit you Leafy. It's fine if they live at home for a bit and can actually be a joy if they are productive and can be trusted and are NOT using.
  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Swot. Perhaps she is. Only time will tell. What I am working on is understanding that I cannot put my life on hold waiting for her to figure out what she wants out of her life. “Be the change” keeps running through my head. In examining this journey, I see so much synchronization of action and reaction, emotional response to my twos consequences. It is a monumental effort to pull away and rise above it all. I believe that as we put more effort into surviving, then learning how to thrive despite what goes on with our adult children, it just may be key to their ability to own their choices. We want them to take charge of their lives, we need to take charge of our own. Look at past mistakes and work hard to change ourselves.
    I totally agree. What a blessing for you Copa. I am amazed at your progress and strength.

    Yay for you, hubs and your son RN!
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    And so it goes. I saw Rain briefly yesterday. She had a different bike, proudly remarked how she had stolen it from her old boyfriend and “he deserved that because he was whining to her about coming back..and at the same time had turned into a man ho”.
    She went on to mumble and ramble some other stuff that I really couldn’t comprehend.
    Probably high, but who knows? I am not supposed to be judgemental, but I think we do need to be on our toes and use good judgement.
    Lest I fall back into the rabbit hole.
    It is a stark reminder to me that she has a long way to go.
    She did mention that she was talking with a human services worker, trying to get her ID, asked me if I had her birth certificate. Spoke of getting into a homeless shelter, but it was “too far from everything.” Stayed awhile with her new boyfriends mother, but he preferred park living. What the heck?
    Surprisingly, I am not shaken, a bit sad, but it has been such a long journey, and I have seen this side of her so many, many times.
    Hopefully, she will follow through and get her papers together. No ID whatsoever, no SS card, nothing.
    Meth is life and soul snatching. I spoke with a friend who told me she tried it a long time ago and coming down from it was what made her never touch it again. She said she felt like she was going to die. That was after one brush with it. Her other friends had gone on a three day binge, experienced paranoia and psychosis, that scared them into stopping, forever.

    I hope my daughters will make efforts to escape its grip.
    They have to decide it is not worth the trouble.
    I will keep praying for them.

    Borrowing from my dad’s philosopher, Epictetus.
    “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control and some things are not.”
  19. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Oh, Leafy...this all sounds so familiar. Your Rain and my S sounds very much alike, especially with the rationalizations for their behaviors. S could definitely have used that reasoning for stealing a bike from a boyfriend.

    I know you know this, but the journey back to sanity is not a smooth one. Even if she is high again today and back in the chaos, that doesn't mean that the insights she showed the other day are meaningless. I really believe they are still percolating somewhere in there, taking root until she is ready to do something with them. There may be a lot more back and forth before that happens.

    Drugs truly are soul-snatching, as you say. And meth is an especially bad one. I don't even know what all S is using. Cocaine, I hear, and lots of prescription pills. But there is plenty of meth and heroin around here, so I wouldn't be surprised. She has full sleeve tattoos on both arms now, I think in part to hide needle tracks. It's hard for me to understand. I don't even like being drunk - I hate the feeling of not being fully in control of myself. I truly can't understand the appeal that brings them back to these powerful, mind changing drugs over and over again. My brain just doesn't work that way.

    Taking steps towards getting an ID sounds positive. Baby steps towards normalcy, right? I know how terrifying it is to have one on the streets with no ID. I think about that when I don't hear from one of them for a while.

    I'm glad she's staying in contact with you. That's positive, at least. And I'm glad you can let yourself feel sad without falling all the way back down the rabbit hole. Stay strong, Leafy. Hugs to you.
  20. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry, Leafy. Your encounter sounds heartbreakingly familiar. We struggle not to get ahead of ourselves when something positive happens. We struggle not to give in to hopelessness when it turns out to be more of the same ol' same ol'. It is probably little comfort, but I am in the same place tonight. Your daughters and my son are in my prayers.