This is hard...why is this so hard?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ckay87, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. ckay87

    ckay87 New Member

    I don't want to reiterate my whole story, it's kind of summarized in my signature. I moved out with my wonderful boyfriend 3 weeks ago. The new house is lovely, HE is lovely to live with...the best person I've ever shared space with. Etc. Etc. It's a beautiful existence, I really mean that.

    Son (23) has been set up in his own place. He never managed (or really tried) to get a job before move out date. He has no license, but is a few blocks from the public bus and just a little farther to a major shopping area. And yet...still not working. He's hungry. He keeps falling apart. Broke his phone, lost his wallet. Has a roommate, but he also has a history of losing friends, so that's a worry.

    I've sent him some groceries using Amazon Prime Pantry, gave him my old phone, instructions on replacing the contents of his wallet. He has been promised a monthly "allowance" up to a certain (pretty generous, actually) dollar value. And still he can't make ends meet because he doesn't do a thing to contribute himself.

    I guess I don't know what I'm saying here, other than WHY is this so hard? For me, I mean. My thinking brain is like.... geez, if he can't make it with this massive amount of support, that's just crazy. But my heart...it's hard to be so happy and comfortable when I know my offspring are not. And I hate myself for feeling that way.

    I absolutely dread the day when it all comes crumbling down and I have to say no to letting him live with me again. Because living with him is like being held hostage. He doesn't contribute or help. He makes messes, is gross, refuses to follow rules, and mostly is just mean and doesn't care. Plus I live in a place (rural) where he couldn't access employment without a car, anyway. So then he REALLY wouldn't be working.

    This is where that article on detachment has become like a bible. I mean it. Literally all of my real life friends have the attitude that they would walk through fire to help their children. But those are people whose children would never NEED them to walk through fire to help. When that does become the situation...well, it's not quite that easy.

    Thanks for listening.
     
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  2. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    You've been more accommodating than I would have by not kicking him out sooner and putting him up in an apartment and ordering groceries for him. None of this is your fault, but mothers are always travel agents for guilt trips.

    1. You didn't tell your son to drop out.

    2. You didn't tell your son to start using drugs.

    3. You didn't tell your son to become verbally abusive.

    People without a GED or high school diploma seem to think being a janitor at the food court in the mall is beneath them. You mentioned he has bus access to the mall. His criminal record probably wouldn't hold him back for a job like that. Until he changes his thinking, nothing else will change.

    Enjoy your new house. Focus on the love of your life.
     
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  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Hi and welcome. Can you son apply for SSDI? in my opinion its not good for them to depend on money from us because that not only doesn't force them to do ANYTHING for themselves, including learning how to apply for services, but some day we will not be here and we don't need them to be ten or twenty years older and still unable to get government services in case they still need them. Some are too lazy to fill out a form, but they have to learn how to do it and then do it. If not SSDI, I think they can apply for welfare if indigent but am not sure. They can apply for food share and Medicaid. And they should. Also Section 8. If they won't work then they need to know how to survive using the system.

    We did not allow our daughter to learn how to do these things and now she won't.

    I hope you keep enjoying your life with this good man. Why do we worry? Love and guilt, I think. And we still think of them as our children we should care for. But they are adults and do what they want and some are outright unpleasant to us. It's not easy but we have to give them to God if God is in our lives.

    Blessings and be well.
     
  4. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    It's not that we wouldn't walk through fire for our children, it is that if we did or have, it has not helped. I have done whatever I could think of for my son but it has not made the situation any better. It is so very hard to realize that there is nothing you can do, it is their choice.
     
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    People have said here on this forum in the years I have been here that our kids don't learn or respond to all of the ways that we want to love them and to teach them. To them, our "normal" kind of love and guidance is toxic and our loving them in the regular way leads to all kinds of abuse of us on their part or other kinds of misbehavior. They suffer. We suffer. So. To compare our kids with the "walk through fire" kids is to compare apples and oranges. We have walked through fire. We have ended up singed and burned and our kids react by exploding.

    So. If you want to torture yourself by this kind of thinking...that you need to keep doing something that leads to massive disasters, be my guest.

    Our learning on this site is about another kind of love. The love that entails sitting tight. The love that entails modeling good boundaries. The love that entails holding ones own. The love that entails patience and silence and containment. The love that entails being and not doing. The love that entails trusting (ourselves and them) and faith. The love that entails stillness. The love that entails wholeness.

    This kind of love is HARD, HARD, HARD. Oh how much easier it is to run through fire. Where all we have to do is react. And call the fire department.

    What you are doing is heroic. And you ARE doing it. We all of us are doing it. Even me. Sometimes.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Copa,

    I needed to hear this today. I have to remember to "pause", not react but to act or not act in patience and silence and containment.

    Thank you.
     
  7. ckay87

    ckay87 New Member

    This is what I need to hear. Direct, no nonsense, and TRUE. And I need to hear it from someone else who knows just how HARD HARD HARD it is. Thanks
     
  8. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Excellent reminder, very well put, Copa. Thank you again.

    I agree with each response that's been made.
    . Crayola13, I laughed when I read the "travel agents for guilt trips." That is so true! :)
    . Yes, this is where we are too. Our son has become so abusive and hostile that even simple conversation is impossible and we have had to step back for the time being. We have done everything over the last 6-7 years and spent so much money, and none of it has helped in the least. All he wants from us is more money.

    He has been asked to leave my sister's house and has to be out by this weekend. Despite all they have done to try to help him, he has made no effort to form a relationship with them, but prefers instead to spend time alone in his room, only coming out to (occasionally) work and to eat. My sister commented that at this point he is not capable of connecting with people and has no desire to. So, so sad, but there's nothing we can do but keep praying.
     
  9. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Well, in my opinion you've gone above and beyond. Your son is an adult and needs to make his own way. My daughter had to learn the hard way. She struggled for years and had a baby through it all. Things are better for her now, but there were certainly some dark days in between. I guess I'm wondering why you're giving him any kind of "allowance." He should have a job and pay his own bills. When my daughter has a job and is attending school I'm much more willing to help her out because I see she is trying and I know things come up.

    I spent many years working on detachment and how not to enable my daughter's poor life choices. It is very difficult because as a parent your instinct is to swoop in and make things better for your children. However, when we do for an adult something they can do themselves we are enabling poor choices which leads them to continue the bad behavior. I am pretty good at staying in my lane now and focusing on myself. You deserve peace and happiness. Your happiness and peace of mind are not dependent on the happiness and/or well-being of your adult child. Of course we feel sad when they are struggling, but that doesn't have to ruin our day or week or month or year. I can have that sad thought, then let it go with my positive energy sent out to my daughter. Then I can go back to MY life and making sure I am healthy and happy.

    I truly believe had I not detached from my daughter that she would still be in her bad space. But she can be proud of all of the things that she has achieved on her own. Sometimes now when things aren't going right for her I remind her that she pulled herself out of homelessness and alcohol addiction all on her own with a child, no less. Those are probably two of the hardest things she will ever have to do and it makes whatever is going on seem unimportant in comparison.

    Spend time on yourself. Learn to care for yourself and do things you enjoy. Read about detachment and enabling. Try new things and see what you like. If you're feeling down, treat yourself to a movie, a nature hike, rescue a dog (then you will have something to pour all of your love and care into), whatever you feel like doing. It takes practice to learn to deal with our adult children in a different but healthier way. Sending peace to you.
     
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  10. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I heard an AA speaker last night say that he was abusive to his parents for years. And in turn told himself (and others) the story he had created in his mind that he had been abused. And his Dad who had been a good Father to him his whole life, who had worked hard to provide for his family, detached from him. This alcoholic wanted to win his Father's Love and approval back so bad (in recovery) that not only did he make amends (which did not really bring his Father closer) but he STOPPED calling his parents to discuss his problems . He started to handle his own problems like a man, like an adult . And called his parents to see what he could contribute to their life .Only on his death bed did his Father pat this man's head the way he had done when the man was little and told him he was proud of the man he had become .
     
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  11. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Copa, you said it well.

    Wise Choices, thank you for sharing the anecdote.

    Beta, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you were able to find some common ground with your sis. I think of your safety often.

    ckay,
    I am working hard at detaching and being okay within myself. This is the way I chose to see it. I am not abandoning my child. What I am doing is detaching from the crisis mode and manipulative behavior. I am working towards rational thinking and avoiding emotionally driven decisions. I think it is important to periodically send a simple text to my daughter that says we love you. She knows the boundaries, and somewhere inside herself she knows we will be there with compassionate understanding and help when she acknowledges her bad choices are hers alone, finds a job, supports herself, and seeks treatment and participates in therapies for her alcohol, adderall, and xanax abuse. That is the last I know of, I don't need to know more (there was a time when I did).

    I have one tattoo. It is of an Indian feather and I got it in memory of my mother with a little rebellion; she didn't like tattoos (and she didn't want me to get my ears pierced, LOL.) As it turns out a DNA test says the family does not have Blackfeet Indian roots after all. Moral of the story, don't let what someone else says over time influence our choices. We can wallow in misery or live our best life, it will not change the behaviors of our adult children, because like us, only they can.

    I am thinking of you with light and love. Glad you are here.

    Light and life for us all.
     
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  12. MommaB

    MommaB New Member

    Amen!!!
     
  13. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Yes, this is the perspective I need to remember.
     
  14. RN0441

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

    Great thread.

    Truer words never spoken.
     
  15. ckay87

    ckay87 New Member

    Special thanks again to everyone. I am amazed at how I come on here, blabber nonsensically about the whole poopshow of my son, and in turn receive these amazingly profound, perfectly crafted and helpful responses. So helpful, in fact, that I find myself coming back to re-read the thread every time I get panicky/guilty/emotional/angry, etc. and the same words work their magic all over again.
     
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  16. RN0441

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

    And that, my friend, is how we make it through this nightmare!!

    Having other caring souls that we can lean on, that do not judge us, that guide us on our journey!!