Unconditional love?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    He doesn't think so.

    Our son's 20th birthday is Sunday. We're taking him out to dinner tomorrow, since the place he wants to go is closed Sunday. I had some clean clothes in the car we found while cleaning out his old room and offered to drop them by...he wasn't there. Well, I texted him and told him that if he wasn't freshly showered and shampooed tomorrow we'd leave him. When he had court last month, he was gross...wrinkled and his hair was so greasy I wouldn't have touched it on a bet. I don't want to see him like that. If nothing else, he has the ability to be clean!

    Well, that was apparently the wrong thing to say; it led to six texts about how he can't have a good day without someone b*tching at him or being condescending to him and how he hadn't planned on looking like :poop: but he was sure I would think he did regardless and how it was :poop:y for me to say we'd leave him on his birthday when he has no one to spend it with except for us and only one other person who doesn't think he's a piece of the aforementioned :poop:.....

    Yeah...fun times.

    He doesn't get that I'm scared for him. I'm scared all the time. He's got until mid-May to do his community service, but he won't have that done because he has no money to pay for it. He has until June and then he's out of that apartment unless he has a job...because we won't keep paying the rent. He has until June and then the phone is cut off...because we won't pay for that. I'm scared all the time about his life. I've tried to tell him that. Reminding him that he has to take care of stuff...is met with anger. He snapped and got an attitude at court when I told him he HAD to get a job so he could pay his fees because he'd go to jail if he didn't. Time is so close now. But I can't talk to him...he just gets attitude.

    I want ONE thing in the whole world. I want normal. I want him to have a normal life. I want him to have a normal job and be as clean as a normal person and to have normal conversations and a few normal friends.

    He doesn't understand that it isn't that I have standards too high. It isn't that I'm embarrassed to be seen with him or that I don't like him or that I think he's not good enough...it's that seeing him all gross and dirty just reminds me of all the problems.
    It makes me so sad.

    All I wanted was to prevent a problem before it started...I didn't want to get there tomorrow and have him be all gross and upset me then. I wanted to have a nice meal and for an hour or so maybe be able to pretend our lives weren't so messed up.

    Now I don't even want to go tomorrow.
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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    You hit the nail on the head. It is our fear and our wanting normal that keeps us stuck in a never ending nightmare. It is as if they need to prove that we are wrong. In order to do that they continue to push the limits to show us we are wrong.
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    It's such a double edged sword dealing with a Difficult Child. They demand to be an adult and do whatever they want, the "you can't tell me what to do" attitude and then they "need" something and they revert to being a helpless child. Then you go to help them and it's never good enough.

    You have done so much to help your son and it has been met with resistance. I do not think you were out of line at all to request that he be cleaned up so you could take him out for his birthday dinner.

    His reaction and responses to you remind me of my son. It all sounds so familiar. They do love their pity parties.

    You know, I've said it before, I will always have hope that someday my son as well as all the other Difficult Child out there will wake up and decide to turn their lives around, to live as a responsible, productive part of society. I'm also a realist and know that may never happen. I also know that I have to accept the fact that my son is going to live his life the way he wants to.

    As for "normal" that just isn't part of the equation for our Difficult Child but that doesn't have to be the same for us. When I decided to take my life back and detach from my son my life started becoming more "normal".

    It's my hope that when you go to pick him up for dinner that he will have enough respect for you, if not himself, to clean up. I hope that you will be able to have a nice dinner.
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  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Thanks...I just hope at this point I can manage to do so myself. I'm tired of being upset with him. I really am. I said to Jabber the other day, I would give anything to have a son who could call and come by...eat my food, use my washer and dryer...and I wouldn't care because otherwise he'd be paying his own bills, living his own life.

    If he did that, got a job, paid his bills, bathed and what have you...If he had a life I could ask about, "How's work?" "Seeing anyone?" "What are you doing tonight?" "What did you do this weekend?" the usual kind of boring small talk you can have with people...I would be so happy.

    But he doesn't work, last I heard he is apparently seeing a married woman (I told him, I just didn't even want to know. I told Jabber I feel like he's just a murder away from breaking every commandment. It's like he's trying to prove he has abandoned every moral we ever tried to instill.) Of course, I don't dare ask what his plans are for the weekend or what he's been doing.

    So...we'll pick him up. Go to the pub. Order dinner. Sit in awkward silence I guess. He'll feel like we're judging and unreasonable. I'll feel sad and hurt.

    Yeah. Going to be fun.
  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Lil, there is no way you could have handled this without some problems.

    With anyone else, you say "We are going to X restaurant for your birthday dinner" and they infer how to dress. If they don't know, they ask.

    And regardless of where they are going, they know that showering is expected.

    With anyone else, of course you would NEVER say something along the lines of "Be clean or we won't be taking you" because of course they would take offense.

    But with a Difficult Child we feel we have to say "Be clean..." because if we don't say it, they won't do it...and they will act as if they simply didn't KNOW.

    If you hadn't said it, he very well might have shown up unshowered, etc. He showed up in court unshowered, so going out to dinner would seem to be even less of a formal occasion.

    We feel we have to tell them things that should be obvious. We assume that a lack of knowledge of how to behave is the root of the problem.

    They take offense when we say these sorts of things...as anyone would. Who wouldn't be offended by being told to clean up for their birthday dinner or they wouldn't being going?

    But they never stop to think why we felt we had to say it in the first place...

    It's a no win situation.
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yeah...he has always complained, "You don't have to say it over and over and over." Well apparently we did, as instructions never stuck. I specifically told him for court, "button up shirt tucked in and a belt". He was in a t-shirt and baggy jeans...not to mention dirty. He had the nerve tonight to say he doesn't have any decent clothes. Well gee...that's because he brought to interview-appropriate clothing I bought him back and left them here at some point after he left the shelter...my guess would be at new years when he stayed here. All he had to do was ask and we'd have given them back again. But no.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Eh...I'm tired. Very, very tired...and going to bed. Thanks again for listening.
  8. Lavenderjk

    Lavenderjk New Member

    Lil, I'm brand new to this site. I came here looking for...something, I dunno. I have an adult child. When I saw your thread, I couldn't help but be drawn in.

    I don't know your situation in-depth - I haven't had time to read more threads; however, I do empathize with something you wrote..."I want normal." Oh heaven knows how badly I want normal; however, that seems to be galaxies out of reach.

    I look forward to reading and participating in discussions about parenting.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lil, our our inner chaos will not change until we change. This is true on so many levels in so many areas of life. It doesn't matter if all you want is for him to be your idea of socially normal. Until you accept that this won't be so, you won't find peace. Honestly, before my small set back, I was about there...accepting what I can not change and being very peaceful and I know that's the key to peace in every facet of life. We need to stop caring about what others think and change our expectations.

    I wish I had a normal, loving family, not one my therapist claims is as dysfunctional as a family can be...that even kids who are raped find more compassion for their parents than my family finds...that there is no compassion at all in my family for mental illness, for mistakes, for anything. But wishes are for little kids and we are adults. I know you believe in God and so do I. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. You'll see that this is true in time.

    It is w hat it is. You can make this change. Those of us who have lived years wanting things to change who are doing well now have learned that the secret is not for others to change, no matter who they are, but for us to radically accept that they will not and to embrace what is.

    Until we do, there will be no peace. After being so hurt about what (ok it's not my kid) but what Sis and Bro were doing...reading my posts (and they still may be) and making fun of them...I found the answer in just accepting that this is them and that it is what it is. I have had a very peaceful, serene night knowing that the sun will come up tomorrow even regardless of what others do or think. When I can meditate and ignore the drama and, in fact, just accept, I am so good. Life is so different for me. When I have my slip ups, as we all do, where I am wishing this or that or he or she would change...I am sad and flustered.

    Tonight I chose peace and detachment. You can too. The change has to come from within us, not outside of us as we have no control over that. I hope you can just go with the flow, as I am doing now (after not doing it for a few days). It is like living a different life...one that is beautiful vs. one that depends on others to make me happy and serene.

    Radical acceptance is the answer. Hear his words. Do not take them personally. What he thinks and feels or SAYS he thinks and feels do not pertain to you. You can still have a nice night out with your son if you don't judge him. And if you feel it is not good for you to go, then choose yourself. Whatever happens will not end your lives.

    This was a good time for me to give advice (for whatever you feel it is worth...it is your decision to take it or to discard it as you too are an adult who makes her own choices). I am loving this peace so much more than when my inner self was lamenting why I can't have normal siblings who don't read my posts and laugh at my reality because they are supposed to be mature and could have more compassion. Could, could, should, should. Toxic words to us. Who cares if others think differently than us? Who even cares if they ridicule us? It says more about them than us.

    Acceptance is the answer. Detachment emotionally is necessary. Your son is young and at your son's age I never dreamed my son, who was in the throes of mental illness that inherited from our DNA (and that most people don't understand), would be where he is today. I am so proud of him. I am so glad I went and saw the mature young man who is such a good father. The loving, son who I love with all my heart and soul.

    Accept today as it is. One day at a time. One minute at a time.

    We can only change ourselves and accept others. Tonight I choose to accept my siblings s they are and stop fighting the siblings I wish they could be and the reality of life that had happened with my mother...and I sure feel a lot happier than when I am fighting what already happened in the past and what is happening now. Seriously.

    Everyone does and feels what they do, including you and me.

    And embracing the truth is the only way I have gone from a very high strung, miserable, door mat in my 20's and 30's to the mostly stable, content person I am today. Like all addicts, used to drama, we will have slip ups, but we can get back on track.But we have to think in the moment, think of ourselves and our own reality, and accept the way others are, even if we don't like it.

    Hugs a nd hoping you find the peace and serenity that I lost for a few days, but that has come back. I invite you to join me in radical acceptance and in the incredible peace of knowing that we are who we are and others are what they are. And just accept that this is so.

    "Briefly, radical acceptance just means that you acknowledge reality for what it is. If you accept the reality of the situation, you can stop dwelling on situations you have no control over (and even those you do) and move on with your life."

    Big hugs!!!! :)
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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lil, you are not him, he is not you. You were a dutiful daughter who did what your parents expected of you. He is rebellious and unconventional who does not share your values. You SHOULD have dinner without judging his appearance. Who cares what strangers in the next booth think?

    Lil, if he does not get a job he will pay the consequences, but you didn't raise him not to work and it has nothing to do with you. It is not within your control. Any consequences you dole out or don't chose are within your control. Nothing else.

    Lil, often even with my girls, who are very talkative, sometimes they are quiet at dinner. So what? We know we are together and they know I love them. It matters if you decide that it matters to you. You can not control how he feels about the dinner. And try just to enjoy the food, talk when you can, and not judge. Even with practice, not judging others is hard. That's often our biggest mistake. We judge. I do it too. I am not reaming you a new one. It is hard not to judge. But when I don't, I am a much happier camper.

    Radical acceptance. Keep repeating it. Repeat it's meaning. It will make sense to you one day. It is impossible to do it all the time but the more you do it, the better and more peaceful you will fee. Try it!!!! :)
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is going to sound so rotten. You need to counter those feelings, Lil. You can talk at him, you can move heaven and earth from your end, but once you have done all you know, it will be your son who truly decides what happens next.

    Fight the fear, Lil.

    Even if you can only let go of it five minutes at a time, try to breathe your way out of fear or worry. Do what you can, do all you can, and then let go.

    Let go of the outcome.

    The rhythms of the Serenity Prayer seem to help. Someone very wise once told me to read it until I got it.

    I did that.

    It helped.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    There are some things we cannot change.

    It's like being gutted.

    Never let them see you sweat.

    That is why you have us.

    We are very good at sweating things out together.


    Try to see yourself interacting with your child from a place outside yourself during this dinner. Understand you will journal or post here about it later.

    You will feel alone, but you are not alone, because you have us.

    A very hard thing.

    An ugly story.

    I'm so sorry.

    Good for you. Stand right up. You are his mother. He has no right to speak to you that way.

    You are caught in a place where this child has power over you through your fear for his future. The only way to be free, as I see it, is to begin believing and speaking to the child as though these things have already happened and you are fine with his choices regarding those issues.

    I think that is something that might get this kid to take it seriously.

    Change the way you talk with him about what he does and whether and how your life will be affected by it. Communicate that clearly to him and then, learn to believe it yourself. Find things that help you remember to be strong in the ways you have chosen and post them on the fridge or carry them in index cards in your purse.

    These are your weapons, the things that will help you see this differently and that will get you through it. I know you two go to church. How did the Mary face what was happening, and face what was to happen, to her Son?

    How in the world did she do that.


    Begin talking about taking a vacation during the time of his court date, like you forgot how important he is. Like you actually forgot all about him when you planned it. Wonder how that would affect him, to think that you and Jabber are starting to pick up the rhythms of your lives without giving him much thought, at all?

    That would be best for you, anyway.

    You are new to this. You are doing great, but this part is very, very hard.

    I am sorry, Lil and Jabber.

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  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lil - I totally relate to where you're at right now. The fear, the frustration, the wanting him to just jump through the darn hoop for once in his life so that he can *have* a life... it's an exercise in futility and will make you crazy.

    We were frequent fliers to Hades and back throughout my difficult child's childhood, but I have to tell you that age 18-20 with him was like a one-way trip. I cried daily for his first 6 months of his adulthood - no joke. The fear and worry were consuming. He was making one bad choice after another, looked like [email protected], malnourished, sores, drugs, living God knows where, and his wardrobe was ... well, I call it his demented Dr. Seuss stage - trip pants and this bizarre neon green and black striped shirt that he wore 24/7 and was so small he had mended its seams a gazillion times (on the upside, he figured out how to use a needle and thread). Half his head shaved and the other half long hair of unpredictable and ever changing color, and so many roaming piercings on his head I was surprised what was left of his brain didn't leak out. I was so certain he was going to die, intentionally or unintentionally, that I came up with a plan for when the coroner called us. Hubby would leave work, come home and take care of the other kids, and I'd schlep up to the city to do the identification. In a twisted way, that plan gave me peace. I think it was the beginning of acceptance that there were things I could do absolutely nothing about, and the very best I *could* do was to have all the bases covered on my end. Utterly twisted logic, but also, for me anyway, the only thing that let me feel like I was in control of something (anything).

    It was during this stage I mastered the art of biting my tongue. I think it's a really important skill. Nothing (NOTHING) I said ever resulted in action on his part and only resulted in frustration/sadness/pain/anger on my part. Most of the time it resulted in snarky remarks from my difficult child, who knew everything and had it all under control (allegedly). It boiled down to a very basic choice for me - did I want to be able to see my living son, under any circumstances, or did I want to wait for him to start behaving like a human being and see him then? Given that I was convinced he wasn't going to survive into his 20's, I opted for the former. Yes, he looked awful. Yes, we got stares in public. Nope, he wasn't living life in anything that resembled a reasonable manner. But it wasn't truly my problem anymore. His quality of life was his problem. He was outraged at being picked up by cops because he looked "suspicious", but you know what? You look like Charlie Manson does Demented Dr. Seuss, you're gonna get picked up. He knew better than to call me when he did get picked up because... it wasn't my problem.

    I stopped asking questions about his life because, let's face it, the answers were gonna be awful. Who needs to know that? I let him decide when to see us. I didn't preach or coach or make suggestions. It was completely on his terms and I think that was the only way we were ever going to have any kind of relationship. I bit my tongue - a LOT!

    We want our kids to be happy and healthy and safe and clean and .... normal. But as Timer Lady always says, "normal is just a setting on a dryer." Our adult kids get to make their own choices, [email protected] or not, and chances are excellent that our input, at best, will be ignored. In my kid's case, my input tended to push him in the completely opposite direction. You have absolutely no control over what he does. You have absolutely *no* control. None. If you did, he wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. It may well get worse before it gets better, but it is NOT YOUR PROBLEM (aside from the heart-stopping grief you feel over how phenomenally well he can make a bad situation worse). Grief and sadness are your problem, not his. Figure out how to live with this - whatever works for you. It's baby steps and takes practice and diligence and some backsliding, but you and jabber have got to figure out how to make peace with how things are now, remembering that there is absolutely nothing you can do to make him change.

    Fear is a real bear. It's debilitating and it feeds on itself, and before you know it, you're entire life can be driven by it. It will cripple you. Learn how to let it go. Again, whatever works for you. The Serenity Prayer became my mantra - I have it on a medallion I wear 24/7, for those late night panic attacks when you wake up and wonder where your kid is, what he is doing, is he safe, is he warm. I cannot change those things, I have to accept them.

    He may well end up in jail for not doing what he's supposed to do. Not your problem. He may look awful at dinner - again, not your problem. If you can stomach it for an hour or two in order to see him, do it. If you can't, don't. No judgement at all. Just as he gets to define his life, you and jabber get to define yours now, and that includes what, if any, prerequisites there are for having dinner with him. If he ends up homeless, without a phone - not your problem. You have given him ample support, emotional and concrete. At some point he has got to figure out how to function on his own two feet. Our kids are ridiculously resourceful. He will figure it out. In the meantime, I would strongly recommend not asking questions about his life. It only opens up doors that you probably don't want to go through. Keep things light and simple.

    On a really *really* positive note - he's just turning 20. Yes, you and I and most of the parents on the board probably had things a whole lot more together at 20, but... some of our kids take a lot longer to cook. 20 is still a baby in difficult child-land. As a therapist told us when my difficult child was 8, some kids don't change until it becomes too expensive to stay the way they are. What I wish he had added was that some kids have a near-infinite capacity to endure a miserable quality of life and we need to batten down the hatches, 'cuz it's gonna be a wicked long ride.

    Take care of you. Be gentle to you. Start dismissing some of the fear - it's a very deliberate choice to let it go, but it will help you and, in my humble opinion, in the long term help your son.

    Charlie Manson/Demented Dr. Seuss is 24 now - he just passed his EMT written exam, is taking his practicals next week, and got a real job as an EMT. He did this on his own, completely. Go figure. Change does happen, in their time, not in ours.

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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I know ladies...I really do know. I suppose judging his appearance is bad, but let's face it, that's what the whole world does. He's never understood it. I'm certainly within my rights to refuse to be seen in public with him (at our favorite place to eat and people know us) when he looks like a dirtball, but I should have handled it differently. I should have either said, "please shower" or we could have just gone today and said, "Oh, you aren't ready! Go shower. We'll come back in 1/2 hour."

    But what's done is done.

    I wish I could find this easier to let go of. I wish I could just detach and not worry. I was closer to that a few months ago, but once again I'm finding it really, really hard.

    Sure I want "normal"...who doesn't? In the end though, I want him to be happy. I really do. If he were happy being homeless and even dirty and friendless, it would be easier. But he isn't. He hates his life. He always has. I've been doing much better until June started looming so close. He was actually surprised when I reminded him his phone will be shut off. I'm sure he'll be surprised when his landlord tells him to move out. Come May 1 we'll be telling the landlord we won't be responsible for rent anymore and that will be that. Since he isn't working, he'll be told to move out.

    So the calls will come and the begging. Worry about that has me back to...not stage 1...but not to the point I was just a few months ago.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lil, it is perfectly within your rights to set boundaries. After all, you are the one paying for the meal. "Look, while I am eating I prefer you are clean so please shower and wash your hair."

    As for normal, what is normal anyway? I think about that a lot. Certainly your son is not within the average for a young man his age. Surely, you wish he were at least working full time. But, even if he is unhappy, and he refuses to do what he needs to do to make his life better, what are you supposed to do about it? Cast a magic spell over him? (Don't you wish we could?) Even if he is unhappy, he can do better. He is not physically disabled and he did finish high school so he is mentally well enough to work somewhere. He does not have to take any drugs, whatever he is doing in that department.He is the one making himself unhappy. You aren't. He isn't happy even though you rented him an apartment and make sure he has his needs taken care of.

    Happiness comes from within and as much as we would like to, we can't make another person happy. Only the person can do it. The person also has to be willing to do the sometimes hard work to get there. My trip was long, tiring, and consisted of therapy, self-help groups, medication and homework! But I wanted it THAT bad. Today I would say on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most content one can be, I'm an 8. He can get there. He can do it too. But it takes effort. And it takes going forward even when life hits you in the gut and you need to regroup, as I did this week. Lil, I was horrified that my sister and brother were actually reading my posts here and laughing about them. It's about five days later. I was able to use my coping skills and cognitive therapy to get to the point where I can find them pathetic and put them away in the attic and keep posting. So what if they read my stuff and laugh? And your son can go forward, have setbacks, and then plough forward again too. All it takes is learning those coping skills and nothing can knock you down for long. He needs to be educated on those skills, which does take therapy, which is an option he has.

    I believe in your son's ability. Now if he prefers homelessness, joblessness, no goals, bad hygiene (which does give others a certain feeling about him), and you to take care of him forever, no, he will not be happy. But he has many tools to help himself. At his age I was an emotional mess, but I climbed out of the hole. And I had no famly support. I am not comparing me to him other than to say he can do it. But you can't help him do it. Honestly, it's a one-man journey. You can have friends or no friends. You can have family or no family. But you walk this walk yourself. It's your life. Others can wish you well, but they can not do the hard work it takes to find peace, serenity and meaning in your life. Some people thrive on chaos. I think everyone in my family did because it was all we knew. Your son may thrive on something else, such as laziness as it is all he knows.

    It takes time and effort to change what your comfort zone is, even if you are used to it. But it can be done. Much hope for you and your son's future.
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You know, I have several Facebook friends who identify themselves as witches....hmmmm???? :sneaky:
  17. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Lil, I'm suffering the very same malady. Difficult Child is suffering from "entitlement" disease, that his father continues to perpetuate. I'm trying desperately to detach. Had lunch with Difficult Child yesterday; he was showered(!!), had a haircut(!!), and was respectful(!!). I thought...thank you, it's about time. Then last night he stole $100 from his father's wallet.

    He just refuses to get a job; but who would hire a 19-year-old with a record and can't pass a drug test??? Really, who? How will he EVER find a job IF he wanted to? He had an arraignment on Wednesday for probation violation. He refuses to do community service, go to court-ordered drug/alcohol classes...so probation office got a warrant!! What's it going to take??
  18. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lil - just real quick.... figuring out how to live with our kids' choices and not be miserable about them takes a lot of time. And I have to tell you I think it's extremely normal to have your strength come and go in waves (or tsunamis). It's really easy for me to sit here and tell you yada yada yada, but please know that I was an absolute basket case when we were living it. Completely frantic at times. My mood swings' mood swings had mood swings. I alternated between heroic rescuing mom who was going to fix it all for my baby and queen of detachment, sometimes hourly. It was *awful*, for everyone in our family (and probably for my beloved CD board family, who suffered through umpteen gazillion posts as I tried to figure out how to deal with it all, LOL).

    I brought my kid home after 6 months on the streets. We tried to help him get a job, clean up, live "normally." I had completely forgotten that fiasco until this afternoon when I was thinking about you. He lasted a week and then hightailed it back to the city and his real "family" (aka street kids he hung with). Painful beyond words. And boy did I kick myself for being such an idiot. But.... it's what us moms do. We want to make it all okay. Suz used to have a quote in her signature along the lines of we do the best we can until we learn better, and then we do better.

    I think we will always worry, regardless of how well or otherwise our kids are doing. The key, I think, is learning how to minimize how adversely that worry/fear affects our lives, and only time and experience teaches us that..

    If you can weather your current concerns without going back to stage 1, that's progress. Hang on to that. Expect to backslide. It's okay, normal, human, whatever, and you've got a ton of shoulders to lean on here.

    I hope you are having a pleasant dinner with your kiddo.
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  19. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    When husband and I began "actively detaching", I received several emails from difficult child that said "Love me for who I am....or not"/"Accept me for who I am....or don't", and perhaps another variation or two.

    husband pointed out one day...OK, difficult child is trying to guilt us with these words yet he cannot see doing this for us?

    difficult child expected us to totally support him as he was, as in keep sending money. Nowhere in his thinking was he giving us what he wanted. It was a one-way street...again, keep sending money. Not supporting him financially = not loving him for who he was. (jobless, using spice, hateful)

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  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well, it wasn't terrible. Had to bite our tongues a few times. He was way too insistent that we know about this woman he's seeing. Now, normally this is something I'd want to know about, but she's married...and living with her husband...who apparently has no problem with an "open" relationship as long as they don't have sex...and apparently she doesn't like sex, she just wants companionship. Yeah, all that was way more than I wanted to know.
    :bag: I know what my son gets out of this...a sugar mama. She feeds him, buys him cigarettes and will be giving him a free tattoo....she's an apprentice tattoo artist.

    Then of course he had to tell us about the various types of beers he's tried lately. I told him I'd prefer it if he'd quit telling us about things he does that's against the law. After all, I drank before I was 21...but I didn't go home and tell my parents which beer was my favorite.

    But we had dinner, managed to not get too upset with each other. Helps that it was our favorite Irish pub, with amazing food. None of us ate even half our servings, so he has plenty of left-overs for tomorrow. We gave him his "gift" which was cash...yes...I know the no cash rule, but he has a friend who has a ticket to a concert (just a little band in a bar type thing) and he was invited but it was $15 and so we gave him $30, enough to go and get some drinks/food, etc. After dinner, we took him to Dairy Queen and got ice cream and then took him home.

    Was he clean? Eh. Clean enough. He even took off his stupid hat and his hair wasn't too gross. Certainly could have been worse. He even shaved.

    So...I'm worried about this woman. Still worried about the job situation.

    The birthday card we gave him said, "This is a card you'll like. It doesn't lecture, judge or disapprove. It just sits in your hand and wishes you a happy birthday." Luckily, he took it in the spirit in which it was intended.
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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015