The first Christmas without difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I invited my daughter for Christmas. I didn't hear from her. My granddaughter's older sister and her fiance came over early in the day unexpected and ended up staying for dinner. My granddaughter's boyfriend joined us too, also unexpected. My fiance and I never got out of our 'at home clothes!' I can't recall a more peaceful, calm, fun, easy one point I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and they were all in the next room laughing and having so much fun, it made me felt good to be a part of these impromptu festivities and this level of joy and ease.

    At one point, the kids asked about my difficult child, I hadn't heard anything and didn't know what was happening. That's when I asked them all to stay for dinner.........all of them wanted to leave before my difficult child got here and my granddaughter said she would leave right after dinner because she didn't want to be around her mother. I sat on the couch and thought to myself, 'geez, they will all leave and my difficult child will show up' and even on a good day, she isn't any fun, she's dark and brings the energy in the room down because she is just not a happy person and she doesn't interact in ways that make others feel valued or considered. I just sat there watching everyone having fun and enjoying each other. I was near my laptop and I noticed an email from my daughter saying her phone had not been working (it's always something) and a few other complaints and then asked if she was still invited. It was such an odd email, of course she was still invited, most people would have just called the day before or so and asked what time should I come, should I bring something, but that is not how it goes with my difficult child. She will come hours late or not at all, and/or come with the newest intense drama. When the thought occurred to me that I didn't have to answer her, she could just show up, or not, or call, or whatever......................I actually felt nauseous...........there is everyone having a good time and I could end that and feel uncomfortable and uneasy with my difficult child, everyone will leave and the dark energy will take over, as usual. I went in the kitchen and for about 20 minutes I felt emotionally messed up, I just didn't know how to handle it. I called my SO in and told him I was thinking of just not responding to difficult child, she could still drop by but I didn't think she would. He said he would support whatever decision I made. I told the kids my difficult child wasn't coming and if they would like to stay, i would enjoy that. They did and it was a perfect day. One of those times you just can't plan, everyone was in a stellar mood, thrilled to be together, great food, lots of laughing and fun and stories and joy.

    I didn't respond to my difficult child until today. I answered her email and after the recent knowledge of the mean text messages sent from my difficult child to my granddaughter,.........all of the help I've offered her..........nothing has really changed in the last year.......... just adding up all of it, I realized that I did not want to be around my difficult child and all of the drama and negativity and awful choices she makes which create immense chaos and despair for everyone around her. I feel sad that it's come to this, but this is where it was before the holidays. Seeing my SO and granddaughter so happy and choosing to go with that was a difficult choice for me, but I think it's the only choice now. Reading Witz's comments on her move and how much peace she gained from that difficult decision and what a lovely Christmas she was having, had a very big impact on me. Another example of how others choices and stories can really support our own ability to make a difficult but necessary choice. Thank you Witz!!

    I feel sad today. But I'm determined to focus on my granddaughter, my SO and me. Sigh. And remember what a wonderful Christmas we all had together, really, one of the best ever.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    RE I'm so glad you had such a lovely xmas, much deserved I might add.

    I'd not feel too guilty that you chose not to be around difficult child at this point in time. It's not like you uninvited her. She could've still came on over or at least called. Hopefully at some point she'll grow weary of the drama and the dark moods and go seek some help for herself.

  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Many Christmas hugs. I'm so glad you had a nice time!
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    So glad you had a nice Christmas, may it be the first of many.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think you did the right thing. For yourself and your husband and your grand daughter. It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all and I don't blame you one bit for wanting your day to continue on that peaceful path.

    I know other relatives are not the same as our own children, but I was very close (sister close) to my difficult child cousin. I busted my hide for years and years at holidays and birthdays etc to host nice family meals and to have everyone together. Some times difficult child cousin would be a wonderful addition. Usually I only realized it after it was all over because I'd be waiting for the shoe to drop so to speak. More times than not, I felt sick ahead of time worrying if it would be ok. I noticed other family vibes to her mood and at times we had entire special days ruined in some way because of it. This year it was only S/O and easy child and myself and I was quiet and utterly different than normal but peaceful and loving and gosh so wonderfully predictable. I knew we would all enjoy ourselves and be happy and laughing and smiling. It was different in all of the best ways. I did feel a twinge or two when thinking of difficult child cousin. But I know she can't be unaware how her moods affect others. She ultimately controls her own destiny and behaviors. While we don't need to tag along for the ride at our own expense. I'm so glad that you went with your gut and ended up having a fantastic day. I bet your grand daughter won't forget it either.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Healthy choice! I'm thrilled that you had such a wonderful holiday. Hugs DDD
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Your post made me smile :)
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so happy for you too. I have to learn to live for myself instead of others. Maybe someday I will.
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm happy and relieved for you, SO and granddaughter, and of course, a little sad for difficult child.
  10. RE - I loved the visual I got of you in the kitchen preparing dinner and listening to the happy conversation in the next room. Lovely! Happy! Peaceful! Very pleased that you got that. It is bittersweet because difficult child wasn't involved and couldn't be involved in that happy, peaceful way.

    But you made a good decision in not responding to her. You and your granddaughter deserved that peaceful happy day and you got it. Sometimes I put up with more from difficult child because I don't want my easy child to be hurt or lose her relationship with her brother but in fact, she would rather him not be around and not have to deal with the drama so I'm doing it for nothing. It's great that you learned what difficult child was doing to your granddaughter and that it gave you new perspective.

    Happy New Year to you!!
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I totally understand. I think you did the right thing for yourself and your family. The pain of having to make that choice will fade as time goes on. It truly will.

    I like my life without difficult child and all his antics and hysterics and the pain they bring on me and my family. I like not worrying about finding out about something terrible that he has done at my most vulnerable times. I like not worrying that he is going to show up at my door begging for money or help that he is just going to squander. Truth be told, I can find little good that came out of taking him under our roof and making him a part of our family. He has slandered us, stole from us, abused us both physically and verbally, broke bones, and brought all kinds of disgrace upon our family name. I dedicated 20 years of my life caring for him, fighting for his rights, finding help for him, searching out alternative schooling and interventions and spending tons of money in the process. Yet I have nothing nice to show for my effort.

    I wish it were different. I wish we could be together and live a happy life but that isn't going to happen... His choice not mine.

    I wish there were places and laws that would allow the adults with MI to live supervised lives away from their families. Places that were not jail yet were as secure as prison. Places where we could go and visit under supervision and safety. Unfortunateyl there are not and my son is in jail instead. None of this is my coice.

    I chose to check out of his life. I did this because I couldn't be happy it. I seek peace. I need peace. We all do. Some of us find it in the extremes of all or nothing. Others find it in captured moments like yours this Christmas. May we all find it in the amouts we need. -RM
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013