Yestarday I was walking home from work and my phone rang, a call from a number I didn't recognize. No brainer, I don't answer those, they are usually from difficult child...it is astounding how many people, including strangers on the street, will let him use their phones to call me. The call goes unanswered, no message (typical difficult child, thereby confirming my impression). In a minute...another call, same number. Also typical difficult child...he calls and calls until I pick up, although that game has been over for a while now. Again I don't pick up, but this time I get a voicemail. I almost didn't listen to it, thinking it would ruin my walk home...but I did..and it was one of my easy child teenage boys, who had lost his phone over the weekend and was at the store trying to get a replacement (why? because easy child's take care of their own problems!!!). He needed me to confirm something...but when I tried to call back I got into some corporate phone chain and couldn't reach him. He came home phoneless and discouraged. And I thought...the arm of the damage that difficult child has unintentionally inflicted is very very long. I must remember that. I mentioned that to easy child daughter, and she told me that to this day she pretends to be asleep and feels guilty and anxious if her roomates are awake and moving around. She relates it to all the school mornings that my ex and I waged endless battle trying to get difficult child out of bed for school. One of my easy child boys hallucinates the sound of yelling in the house whenever he has a fever. easy child daughter cries if she has a drink and difficult child comes up...she says she feels like she should have protected him better (he is her twin). She also rages, because he took books, CDs, money, phones, and ipods from her room over the years. Especially her much loved books. There was a time when we locked him in the front foyer at night. We couldn't trust him in the house when we wer sleeping, but couldn't put him out (he was 16, or 17). The other kids had to step over him n his sleeping bag to get to school. No comment. Thats all. Remember the others...the other kids, the other friends, the DHs or DWs or SOs....all the others wounded in the battle of trying to save difficult child. Echo.