Tuesday's child...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    After not sleeping last night, I got up today and called the Lieutenant at the Sheriff's department to see if they could help me get word to difficult child or find how when he is going to be released. Left a vm.

    I have everything ready by the front door to make it short and sweet IF he did appear at the front door some dark night----which one? tonight? tomorrow night?---in the middle of the night. As I posted on another thread, I had been resting a bit easier since Sunday---thinking I was prepared and had "done all I could" by sending a letter over a week ago 10 days ago stating "don't come to my house when you are released." Then the letter came back in the mail refused by the jail due to a rule change. No more letters, just postcards.

    For some reason, I am still "trying to do the right thing." I know it sounds crazy. I was having a really hard time seeing how I could turn him away at 2 a.m. in 18 degree weather without a warning.

    I know. It's crazy after all of the water that is under the bridge.

    So I called the jail myself this morning---thinking it's a long shot they will tell me anything. But they did. He will be released in the wee hours of February 15---that's early this Saturday morning. The person I spoke with said the only way to get any word to him is to mail a postcard now.

    So I did---jumped in the card, bought a postcard, wrote most of all from the letter I could fit on the card, and took it to the post office.

    I do feel better. I know have "done all I know to do." I feel like I have said what my boundaries are and I asked him to respect them.

    Is this old thinking? Not sure, but I felt compelled to do it even though I know it doesn't guarantee he won't come here. What am I so afraid of? I am nearly frantic with the need to build great walls between him and me.

    Anyway...I'm so tired now, but the sun is shining and I can see blue sky even though it's 28 degrees.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh COM, I can so relate to wanting to build walls between them and us. We have been so vulnerable to their lies, their manipulations, their uncanny way of knowing what to say or do so that our hearts will hurt and we will waver in our stand to set that last boundary. It is devastating to live like that for any length of time. I am so sorry. I know how you feel. I would have done all the exact same things you did, including the run to the post office with the post card, anything to prevent that face from showing up unexpectedly at my door in the middle of the night......... on a cold, dark night...............geez.

    It's like covering all the loop holes, making sure there is no entry point. I understand the frantic urge to do that. Sigh.

    Your story brings this to mind.............in the middle of my daughter's incarceration where the daily phone calls to go get her car out of impound, but pay the registration first, go to the police dept.to pick up stuff, go here, go there, write checks, pay for this.........I was frantic. And, driving home from the jail one day, I was crying and SO said, "I have this image of you and difficult child in a boat and the boat has a lot of holes in it. You are frantically making every attempt to fill up the holes..............and difficult child is making new ones." I can still recall exactly where we were on the road, and to this day when I am there, I recall him saying that. For some reason it made so much sense to me, it was one of those ah ha moments where change is afoot.

    Your story reminded me of that frantic energy we get, to fix it or to keep ourselves safe from it...........but it has a certain sharp edge to it brought to us by difficult child and their never ending inability to be absolutely unaware of the consequences of their actions on others, in particularly, their parents.

    You have really done all you can do. Now take a deep breath and know that you can trust yourself to do the exact right thing for you when the time comes. Since you now know the date he will be released, perhaps you and SO can go to the city or the next town and stay the night somewhere while difficult child's backpack and note sit on your front porch. OR you can ask SO to hand it to him if you stay home and difficult child comes over............don't put yourself in the position of having to see him.

    You've done a terrific job of covering all the bases that will take care of you.............relax now..............you have a few days of freedom before he gets out..........go enjoy the sunny, blue skies and all the moments of your days...............sending you caring thoughts and prayers for your peace.............
  3. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Recovering has said what I was going to say. You have done all you can to prepare. You have prepared to deal with expectations we THINK he will have that he has no right to have, but maybe he will have them anyway...or not.
    You have pondered and felt your way, and been practical and you've filtered advice and observations from all around you. You are as ready as you can be...now try try try not to exhaust yourself looking for the last perfect plug, the one that doesn't exist.
    I agree that you should try to avoid the situation of being face to face with him and having to disappoint him. That is why SO takes my difficult children calls and I do not. I do not trust myself to speak with him. I do not want to expose myself to the world of sadness and vulnerability that comes with that. If your SO can answer the door and you can stay in the bedroom...agree on that. If that doesn't feel right, leave town and leave the backpack and note out front.
    As Recovering said...you have done a terrific job. Try to be in the moment now, not in the future. The future will come soon enough. And we'll be here with you when that happens too.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Thanks to all today for your kind and wise counsel. As so often happens, I am better. The sun is still shining here.

    It just so happens that my older son and his fiancee will be here Friday night as it is his birthday on Valentine's Day. So, there will be reinforcements.

    I have done all I can and yes, I am ready to put it aside again. And I believe I can.

    Thank you to you call for walking with me as I ebb and flow. What a journey for all of us! it is so good to know we are taking it with people who really do understand.
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    So glad you are having a better day today also that you got that postcard into the mail, it should get there by Saturday.

    Not much more you can do at this point. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best, like I said before when I'm in similar situations in the future I hope I can face it with the courage, wisdom & dignity that you have shown me.

    Hugs from Michigan
  6. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    I see you're going to have company, that's good.

    I was going to say to just leave the bag outside the door on the porch with a note taped to it, and go spend the night at a motel. You'd rest easy knowing no one will come knocking.

    If this sounds like a good idea, you could always tell your son the change of plans...

    Good luck with whatever you do...
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh, COM. There is no way you would have been able to refuse him, had you not forewarned him that he needed to make alternate plans ahead of time. You did the right and honorable thing. So much of what we do as we navigate these places with our difficult child kids has to do with honor. The things we have to face are so hard that, unless we are very sure we are doing a right thing, and that we are doing it in as ethical and as kind a way as we know, we cannot take the actions we know we need to take, at all.

    husband and I faced something similar last winter. difficult child daughter was drinking, drugging, homeless. A three day blizzard, with temps plunging way below zero afterword, had begun. She called to have us rent her and the current bad man a room. We had already decided we were not going to help difficult child daughter in any way, told her as much, and told her that she needed to go back to treatment. She called and called, Child. We said no, every time. Finally, we turned the phone off. That night, neither of us slept much. The next morning, we decided to rent some cheap something for her for the month or two until we got home so WE could look at ourselves in the mirror.

    That is what I meant, by honor. There are some things we just can't do and live with ourselves. It gets not to be about the difficult child at all, anymore.

    Turned out? difficult child had been blacklisted, in the city, by name, for the things she and her friends had done in the really bad places they had been renting by the week before difficult child ran out of money.

    difficult child and the bad man survived the storm.

    We suffer so keenly, we parents. Suffer such anger, such shame and humiliation ~ suffer those who am I really kinds of questions, those what kind of person does this / what is wrong with me kinds of questions ~ terror, nightmares, rage at having been put in this position. Self-righteousness, sometimes. A kaliedescope of emotion, night after night after night, none of it good.

    If you find you cannot do this, Child, it will be good to have an alternate plan.

    Taxi at the jail? Take him to one of those places where they rent by the week? Or maybe, three days at one of those places with a kitchen? Somewhere near a soup kitchen?

    He will not be able to get into a shelter that first night...unless maybe you called the shelter to learn whether he could be allowed in, having just left jail?

    It's worth trying.

    It is always good to have an alternate plan.

    The thing that matters most is that he not move in with you. Whether you pay for a room for a few days near a soup kitchen ~ that's no big deal.

    Pride is no longer much of an issue, with me. I have to be able to face myself in years to come, or I will be destroyed as surely as I will be if I let the kids walk all over me. I have paid rents and deposits to get my kids to move out, and been so glad they were gone. Again, it gets to be less about the difficult child than it does about trying to navigate these nightmarish situations in a way that does not destroy me.

    It is a hard thing.

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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Cedar you made me cry. You understand. I don't know why we have to go through this, endlessly.

    I will do the best I can. I have a plan but I don't know if I can do it or not.

    This IS about honor. I don't know what else it is about, except pain.
  9. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    When I was 19 I went hiking by myself.. 3 weeks, 221 miles, temperatures 20-35 degrees (it was February). I had a tent, a zero degree sleeping bag, wool socks, thermal underwear and a wind-resistant jogging suit. I even fell in the Potomac river (don't ask ;) ), I never got hypothermia or starved to death.

    People can do what they have to do.. even things out of the ordinary ;) (I.E. Sleeping out of doors in cold weather.. with appropriate gear of course).