United front?

Hi everyone and I so hope you are finding some peace and happiness this Christmas.
My son has been asking me for money on and off since September (see "threatening email" post from 3 months back.)
I know it's really hard for him to keep going in the big city with rent to pay and has recently (as far as I can ascertain) split up with his girlfriend. I have sent him a lot, but at Christmas I had a bad feeling and was starting to stress out, I couldn't enjoy Christmas Eve as I was worrying about my son and how he might be feeling. I discussed it with my husband and we decided it was best to leave it be, after all we had already sent him money just the week or two before.
But I felt bad...I have some money, I have my own in my bank account, though we always discuss big expenditure beforehand. I sent son $500 and immediately felt so much better.... but I couldn't bring myself to tell husband as it was Christmas Day and I didn't want an argument...now I have confessed and he is angry. I know we were discussing a 'united front' and how important it is, he feels I have betrayed him, and I guess he is right. How to mend things!
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I sent son $500 and immediately felt so much better.... but I couldn't bring myself to tell husband as it was Christmas Day, and I didn't want an argument
I think you did the right thing by telling your husband. I think the only thing you can do now is explain that you felt it unbearable to face Christmas day without sending the money to your son and at the same time you felt it unbearable to ruin your husband's Christmas by telling him. Just tell him exactly as you told us. And let it settle and give him time.

Personally, I think your husband is overreacting a bit, describing what you did as a betrayal although it may have been impulsive and hidden. Parents have a right, I think, to be individual people too. You tried to protect your husband not to hurt him. And then you came clean. However, I wouldn't tell him this. I'd keep it to myself.
 
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Acacia

Well-Known Member
Hi,
I certainly have caved before. Two steps forward and one step back. Keeping boundaries and a united front isn't easy with our difficult adult children, especially given how expensive it is out there.

When I feel compelled to go against something that my husband and I have agreed upon I now tell him: "Rational or not, this is a boundary I can't keep." Other times he helps me hold to the boundary, which I appreciate (he is my son's stepdad, so he's more objective). I also know that feeling of having caved, being caught in the middle, and feeling even worse.

Be kind to yourself. This is tough stuff. The sad thing for me is that no matter how much I've given financially, both of my difficult ones eventually end up back in the same dysfunctional situation they were in before. Would write more, but have to go.
 

BusynMember1

Well-Known Member
Hi. I am sorry your son is choosing to make bad choices and that you feel you have to bail him out. That was me for ten years and I did NOT always tell my husband because I was a codependent, trying to please everyone. Of course my daughter blew her rent on drugs ("The dealer said he'd kill me"...this after she called again for MORE rent money) and my husband found out and he eventually moved out.

I personally was only saved when I went for help, therapy and Naranon. God help me, I was as sick as Kay. I was addicted to taking care of a 30 year old women at the expense of my husband and two other kids who had a crazy stressed out mother for Christmas and every other day. Kay was all I cared about and worried about. I only sometimes got sane and remembered that Kay could choose to get government benefits and professional help, which we both agreed we would pay for. But instead "poor kay" who may have felt stressed like me, did NOTHING to make her life better. "I am not a welfare person" she told me more than once. "You guys have money! Selfish %#$&."

So I almost lost my sanity, my good common sense, my husband and my two other kids because Kay made herself indigent and without any benefits. We were her benefits.

Once I went for help to get well from my own illness, we closed The Bank of Dad and Mom. In ten years of giving most of our retirement to Kay, she did not one thing to improve her situation. As of now she is homeless in a very old motorhome that a cousin gave her and her useless husband Lee. I would bet it no longer runs. It is parked somewhere in the SW states.

I recovered and am doing well, even though she is still homeless. What helps me is that some cousins she FBs with tell me she likes being homeless, out of the "rat race" and, as she calls it "free." She gets benefits now.

We as parents have choices to how we respond to our loved ones who don't try to make things better. I personally wish I had realized that everything we bought and gave to Kay did not help her one bit. I see no stories here where the kids change due to our money and nervous breakdowns. A few changed by their own choices. That is the only way people change. We can't change an unwilling person.

My daughter's idea of comfort is way different than mine. Your son, like all of us, has to walk his own.path. These kids tend to spend our money on things they desire rather than their stated reasons for "needing"money. Very often it's drugs. But they are not going to say "Mom, I am desperate for drugs." They are hungry or homeless or need a warm blanket. They know how to do it.

Next time your son says he needs rent, my suggestion is to give him NO money...send the rent directly to the landlord. You may find out he doesn't even live there anymore. We did twice! Kay was furious we didn't give the fake rent money to HER. It's crazymaking.

I wish you peace and love.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
What you did was understandable. But, in my humble opinion, you must never do it again. A marriage is meant to be sacred and forever. And it should be based on love and trust. Consider counseling if things don’t improve with your husband. If you really like the counselor, should this type of conflict arise again , you can hash it out with professional help at your side. But…I do believe that Trust is crucial in a healthy marriage.
 

cocomad

New Member
Hi,
It is really hard to not solve problems for your kids when they are struggling. It's even sometimes harder to discuss your feelings, emotions and solutions about your struggling one, with your husband! I hear you about a united front but.... guilt and stressed out we sometimes cave in & make an offering to solve financially. As painful as this is to watch and listen to our loved ones ...we can't solve their problems. I have may addicts in my life .....my sister (56) who has been rescued and enabled can hardly make any decisions for herself. She is a nurse practitioner. My parents have raised her kids, helped dissolve her marriage, provided employment. I love her dearly but she had her wings clipped from too much involvement. The only way to learn & live a full life is to get out there and participate. We all have different paths , some rocky and steep.
Good thing you came clean.... he will cool off! Take good care of yourself and have self compassion. It's hard to be a mother ( for life)!
Wishing you some peace and comfort this last week of the year.
Sheila
 
I think you did the right thing by telling your husband. I think the only thing you can do now is explain that you felt it unbearable to face Christmas day without sending the money to your son and at the same time you felt it unbearable to ruin your husband's Christmas by telling him. Just tell him exactly as you told us. And let it settle and give him time.

Personally, I think your husband is overreacting a bit, describing what you did as a betrayal although it may have been impulsive and hidden. Parents have a right, I think, to be individual people too. You tried to protect your husband not to hurt him. And then you came clean. However, I wouldn't tell him this. I'd keep it to myself.
Copa you are so wise. To be fair, I am putting the word 'betrayed' down here to describe his reaction as I understand it. Yes I am letting it settle, I told him I would not do it again, but i think it will be some time before he forgives me, he is a slow burn kind of person and though he is good at talking things out, it tends to be like a lawyer pursuing his case. Not much of what I say goes in! as I see by replies from Busy and Nomad, his concern is for the negative message it was sending my son and evidence that I am becoming codependent. Whether it was the right thing to do was the thing I agonised over, knowing the danger... I have promised myself (and my husband) that this was a Christmas / Omicron crisis /showing that someone cared thing and I won't be making a habit of it!
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
his concern is for the negative message it was sending my son and evidence that I am becoming codependent.
I think this is valid. Over the years it has come to be that I co-parent my son with a man with whom I was involved for many years, but the relationship became something else. He is ALWAYS concerned about this. He believes still that the reason my son has not gotten significantly better is because we haven't let him dangle out there in the breeze long enough. That we and others have rescued him, and he has never suffered enough to learn. There is a psychological word for this in classical behavioral therapy. It's called "intermittent reinforcement." That means that rewards are inconsistently given. This is the HARDEST behavior to extinguish. Because animals and people keep waiting for a long, long time for that reward to come. We've trained them this way. So your husband is right, and so is M.

But the thing is we're mothers. We are not behavioral psychologists. We're not in a lab with rats. Feelings come up in us that are intolerable and feel unendurable. I believe this is both emotional and biological, too. I believe that this is an inborn trait, and it is very, very hard to learn to deal with, although doable. That's why Al Anon is such a wonderful support and way of being.

But there is another way to see this too. It could be that we can't train our adult children to do one thing. It could be that they will do whatever they do no matter what our response is. It could be that any sense we have control is an illusion. It could be that the illusion of having control is more important to people who like to be in control. It could be that people who like to be in control tend to be lawyerly; to make plans; etc.

It could be that acting from love sometimes, is the thing that mends and heals. I believe our children are more than manipulative, f-ups. They are our children. Who we love. Love is not a disease or an addiction. It's love.
I couldn't enjoy Christmas Eve as I was worrying about my son and how he might be feeling. I discussed it with my husband and we decided it was best to leave it be, after all we had already sent him money just the week or two before.
You describe your husband as lawyerly. By this I understand that he likes to be objective and rational. I think while we can value objectivity and planning and rationality--I wonder if you were a little bit plowed over by all of that rationality. You may have agreed with him in the moment. After all, it all sounds good. And I agree with the others that relationships need to be a "united front," based upon full communication and trust. But there needs to be a way for both people to have a full voice. Emotions need a place, too. Heartfelt love and worry aren't just "co-dependency." They're love.

I wonder if part of what needs to happen is that you need to find a fuller way to communicate how you feel with your husband. And that there's a place for what you feel in the conversation and in the plan. It's not so much that you did wrong, I think. It may be that all of what you needed to express to your husband didn't have a place at the table. Maybe you didn't feel comfortable. Maybe the feelings were hiding. Maybe you felt overwhelmed or feared he would check you. But feelings need a voice and place, too.

I am very much like you. I try so hard to hold the line. But then sometimes I realize this is crazy. Where are lines in love? Love is love. I am not saying we don't need to do the right thing, but it's not always so cut and dried. What exactly is the right thing, anyway? Sometimes flexibility and tolerance have a place. I am not saying who's right and who's not. And I know that I am a minority opinion here. I am not saying your husband wasn't right. But maybe you were right too.
 
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Hi,
I certainly have caved before. Two steps forward and one step back. Keeping boundaries and a united front isn't easy with our difficult adult children, especially given how expensive it is out there.

When I feel compelled to go against something that my husband and I have agreed upon I now tell him: "Rational or not, this is a boundary I can't keep." Other times he helps me hold to the boundary, which I appreciate (he is my son's stepdad, so he's more objective). I also know that feeling of having caved, being caught in the middle, and feeling even worse.

Be kind to yourself. This is tough stuff. The sad thing for me is that no matter how much I've given financially, both of my difficult ones eventually end up back in the same dysfunctional situation they were in before. Would write more, but have to go.
Hi Acacia thank you! You are right to point out that difficult adult children aren't changed by financial help, I can't think of any kids on this forum who have ever been changed by it. I did it to stop my feelings of FOG, to just-in-case stop son from taking steps to harm himself, to show him somebody cared for him at Christmas. But I have no doubt that in the long term, it did probably more harm than good. Being 'caught in the middle' is something I have often felt with my husband. I'm about to reply to Copa and will expand on the incredible insight she shows in her analysis...Hugs x
 
Hi. I am sorry your son is choosing to make bad choices and that you feel you have to bail him out. That was me for ten years and I did NOT always tell my husband because I was a codependent, trying to please everyone. Of course my daughter blew her rent on drugs ("The dealer said he'd kill me"...this after she called again for MORE rent money) and my husband found out and he eventually moved out.

I personally was only saved when I went for help, therapy and Naranon. God help me, I was as sick as Kay. I was addicted to taking care of a 30 year old women at the expense of my husband and two other kids who had a crazy stressed out mother for Christmas and every other day. Kay was all I cared about and worried about. I only sometimes got sane and remembered that Kay could choose to get government benefits and professional help, which we both agreed we would pay for. But instead "poor kay" who may have felt stressed like me, did NOTHING to make her life better. "I am not a welfare person" she told me more than once. "You guys have money! Selfish %#$&."

So I almost lost my sanity, my good common sense, my husband and my two other kids because Kay made herself indigent and without any benefits. We were her benefits.

Once I went for help to get well from my own illness, we closed The Bank of Dad and Mom. In ten years of giving most of our retirement to Kay, she did not one thing to improve her situation. As of now she is homeless in a very old motorhome that a cousin gave her and her useless husband Lee. I would bet it no longer runs. It is parked somewhere in the SW states.

I recovered and am doing well, even though she is still homeless. What helps me is that some cousins she FBs with tell me she likes being homeless, out of the "rat race" and, as she calls it "free." She gets benefits now.

We as parents have choices to how we respond to our loved ones who don't try to make things better. I personally wish I had realized that everything we bought and gave to Kay did not help her one bit. I see no stories here where the kids change due to our money and nervous breakdowns. A few changed by their own choices. That is the only way people change. We can't change an unwilling person.

My daughter's idea of comfort is way different than mine. Your son, like all of us, has to walk his own.path. These kids tend to spend our money on things they desire rather than their stated reasons for "needing"money. Very often it's drugs. But they are not going to say "Mom, I am desperate for drugs." They are hungry or homeless or need a warm blanket. They know how to do it.

Next time your son says he needs rent, my suggestion is to give him NO money...send the rent directly to the landlord. You may find out he doesn't even live there anymore. We did twice! Kay was furious we didn't give the fake rent money to HER. It's crazymaking.

I wish you peace and love.
Hi Busy! Thanks so much to you and everyone else for taking the time from your holidays to reply to my 'little lapse'. You struck a chord when you mentioned how you were neglecting your family by only worrying about Kay. I have a greatly loved daughter who made an effort to go get herself tested and Covid 'clean' the week before Christmas so she could come for a visit, just to hear me moaning and worrying her about her brother and not taking much notice of her and what she was doing, - my son has a second sight as to when to communicate with us at the most disruptive times, he sent his last 'I'm desperate' emaii half an hour before my daughter arrived, so I was in a mess from the start.
I am planning to send son an email laying out the fact that I won't be helping him for ever. But as Copa points out, they will wait a long time between 'intermittent reinforcements' such as these. One main motivation for me was that I do believe that the Covid Omicron crisis (especially in the big city) is a circumstance like no other. I am planning to let my son down gently into the forthcoming spring and summer, and if he cannot pay his rent and gets thrown out in June, he (and I) will be better prepared for such a crisis in the good weather...
 
What you did was understandable. But, in my humble opinion, you must never do it again. A marriage is meant to be sacred and forever. And it should be based on love and trust. Consider counseling if things don’t improve with your husband. If you really like the counselor, should this type of conflict arise again , you can hash it out with professional help at your side. But…I do believe that Trust is crucial in a healthy marriage.
Nomad, you are so kind to take the time to respond in the midst of your terrible trouble. I hope you have been able to find a little peace and happiness this Christmas. Yes I have promised hubs and myself I will not do it again. I felt that Omicron, which has cancelled everything, plus a little Christmas spirit (of which my husband is ENTIRELY lacking), drove me to take this step and I am not proud, but not unhappy I took it. I think our marriage will be fine, but this episode has made me think I need to be a little stronger in my boundaries with both son and husband as hubs is a strong personality, is a tad narcissistic. and likes to be in control of a situation because if not he gets anxious. So in a way it does me good to stand up to him every now and then!
Copa's wonderful reply has summed up so clearly the mother's love and how it motivates us. I wish I could send it to my husband. If only to put into words how I feel, that I cannot express to him in my own. Thank you again, hugs xx
 
Hi,
It is really hard to not solve problems for your kids when they are struggling. It's even sometimes harder to discuss your feelings, emotions and solutions about your struggling one, with your husband! I hear you about a united front but.... guilt and stressed out we sometimes cave in & make an offering to solve financially. As painful as this is to watch and listen to our loved ones ...we can't solve their problems. I have may addicts in my life .....my sister (56) who has been rescued and enabled can hardly make any decisions for herself. She is a nurse practitioner. My parents have raised her kids, helped dissolve her marriage, provided employment. I love her dearly but she had her wings clipped from too much involvement. The only way to learn & live a full life is to get out there and participate. We all have different paths , some rocky and steep.
Good thing you came clean.... he will cool off! Take good care of yourself and have self compassion. It's hard to be a mother ( for life)!
Wishing you some peace and comfort this last week of the year.
Sheila
Coco, thank you for your positive thoughts and good wishes. It's REALLY hard not to think, "OK, next time I WON"T tell you!" - I told son that a response to the gift was not necessary, but he (hard not to suspect son of wishing to stir it up between hubs and myself) did email me back and said a few things about his life which I thought it wrong not to show my husband. Is it really a good thing I came clean? I'm wondering...
But yes I do understand we can't help son too much and I'm determined not to give him enough to get him out of his problems because they will never end. I just got a little involved in the 'magic of Christmas' and as my name implies, I'm still waiting for a miracle...x
 
I think this is valid. Over the years it has come to be that I co-parent my son with a man with whom I was involved for many years, but the relationship became something else. He is ALWAYS concerned about this. He believes still that the reason my son has not gotten significantly better is because we haven't let him dangle out there in the breeze long enough. That we and others have rescued him, and he has never suffered enough to learn. There is a psychological word for this in classical behavioral therapy. It's called "intermittent reinforcement." That means that rewards are inconsistently given. This is the HARDEST behavior to extinguish. Because animals and people keep waiting for a long, long time for that reward to come. We've trained them this way. So your husband is right, and so is M.

But the thing is we're mothers. We are not behavioral psychologists. We're not in a lab with rats. Feelings come up in us that are intolerable and feel unendurable. I believe this is both emotional and biological, too. I believe that this is an inborn trait, and it is very, very hard to learn to deal with, although doable. That's why Al Anon is such a wonderful support and way of being.

But there is another way to see this too. It could be that we can't train our adult children to do one thing. It could be that they will do whatever they do no matter what our response is. It could be that any sense we have control is an illusion. It could be that the illusion of having control is more important to people who like to be in control. It could be that people who like to be in control tend to be lawyerly; to make plans; etc.

It could be that acting from love sometimes, is the thing that mends and heals. I believe our children are more than manipulative, f-ups. They are our children. Who we love. Love is not a disease or an addiction. It's love.

You describe your husband as lawyerly. By this I understand that he likes to be objective and rational. I think while we can value objectivity and planning and rationality--I wonder if you were a little bit plowed over by all of that rationality. You may have agreed with him in the moment. After all, it all sounds good. And I agree with the others that relationships need to be a "united front," based upon full communication and trust. But there needs to be a way for both people to have a full voice. Emotions need a place, too. Heartfelt love and worry aren't just "co-dependency." They're love.

I wonder if part of what needs to happen is that you need to find a fuller way to communicate how you feel with your husband. And that there's a place for what you feel in the conversation and in the plan. It's not so much that you did wrong, I think. It may be that all of what you needed to express to your husband didn't have a place at the table. Maybe you didn't feel comfortable. Maybe the feelings were hiding. Maybe you felt overwhelmed or feared he would check you. But feelings need a voice and place, too.

I am very much like you. I try so hard to hold the line. But then sometimes I realize this is crazy. Where are lines in love? Love is love. I am not saying we don't need to do the right thing, but it's not always so cut and dried. What exactly is the right thing, anyway? Sometimes flexibility and tolerance have a place. I am not saying who's right and who's not. And I know that I am a minority opinion here. I am not saying your husband wasn't right. But maybe you were right too.
Copa, I can't thank you enough for this response, it made me cry (in a good way). It puts my feelings into such eloquent words. Yes you are like me, but you are also like everyone here, and that is because you are so empathetic. You take all our feelings and experiences on, and have such a deep well of experience yourself to reflect upon and provide examples from. Plus that, you are educated, wise and analytical and we are all so lucky that you take the time to respond in such useful and sympathetic ways! I wish I could show this to my husband, unfortunately, I think he is much like M. What most would call 'old school'.
"Maybe you felt overwhelmed or feared he would check you". Yes - he said to me, I would not have stopped you, how could I? But he would not have agreed to it, and that would be checking me, for how can you go against your partner's decision, except defiantly (triggering the exact same fight), secretly, or at least as a 'fait accompli'?
Yes he is rational, controlling up to a point, it's a self defence mechanism. He does have narcissistic traits. He is old school masculine, doesn't clean up round the house etc and is rather self absorbed. (I am also a strong personality and have a good practical business head, and I'm currently starting/building my new business at age 60, so I'm fine - I don't want anyone thinking I'm being too downtrodden!) So although he can be a difficult person to live with, we've been together for 40 years, we'll survive. Love is love, yes yes, it's so hard. All we can do is try. Many many thanks Copa ! Please, never leave!
 

BusynMember1

Well-Known Member
I love all my family/kids. I gave birth to three (one died and I had to learn how to let go...God gave me no choice). Kay is adopted and we got her at only a few months old. She was the first, my princess.

No matter how much we love all of our kids, as one parent who had to lose a dear child, I have learned that our feelings are not everything. We in my opinion have to control them. Sometimes we have no choice about letting go and we may mourn forever but we have to learn to let go. Death happens and it teaches even as it tears one apart..

Other times it is BECAUSE we love, especially that we have to let go. If there is more than one kid that we have, in my opinion we have to force ourselves to let go for the sake of all of our loved ones AND for the loved one who needs to grow up/be less dependent.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

I can hear myself blathering about how sad it was that Kay wasnt with us during many holidays. How did my other kids feel when I said that? THEY were there. Weren't they good enough? What about Ethan? Ethan was dead of an undeserved cancer...since I knew he couldn't come back I did not talk about him like I did Kay. It was a mess for all.

In later years, after we gave Kay to God and I forced myself to just do it, the family would talk about how badly they felt about all these things I had done. My other two kids are lovely, forgiving, kids and I am blessed. But I could have lost them AND my husband. Because Kay sucked all thr oxygen out of my world. I had no room for anyone else.

If we love our kids to the point of choking them and pay all our attention to the troubled one, is that okay?

I don't think k so. 12 Steps (been in a long time) teaches us not to enable our kids bad behaviors and constantly reminds the control freaks and codependents of us that we have NO control over other people, not even our kids. And that doing for them what they can do (but wont) do for themselves makes them more dependent and helpless. We won't be around to take care of them forever.

Everyone loves their kids. Not everyone refuses to let them learn or grow up. When I did it, it was selfish. It helped ME feel better. But everyone else I loved suffered because of it. Kay was not helped at all. Yes, it was about ME. I had to stop.

Just my perspective. Love and prayers.
 
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Nomad

Well-Known Member
Holy moly, Busy. Wow. Powerful. And true. Our son has wounds from all that has gone on. Ironically, I do too. As it was often my husband that looked the other way.( But I did at times too)

He chose to not think too much about it or too deeply.

But…recently with the latest…he did. It was like anvils falling in his head. And it hurts.

Just a boatload of stress, lack of respect, entitlement…craziness, insanity….INSANITY. For decades.

I can’t speak for others, but I now know that EACH of us in this family were and are BADLY negatively affected. And our sweet son had this most peculiar year from hell (and from seemingly outer space) in high school that I think was at least partially due to the constant drama trauma , stress and insanity.

AND when this most recent thing happened…OMG. I realized ALL the effort this far was for ???? My friend with reference to her adopted child with “issues” called her “the bottomless pit.” But I see clearly now…I can NOT fix this. No matter how much I hurt, no matter how many family members hurt, no matter how many sacrifices, no matter how much money, no matter how many professionals, no matter how much analysis…forgiveness, patience, love, assistance, gifts, extras, damage…and probably prayers.

AND our excessive efforts likely made things worse. Worse!!!!!

99 percent of everything , according to her, that goes wrong in her life is due to US. Occasionally it’s some oddball other person…a teacher, a friend, a mental health facility, a stranger. It’s NEVER her fault even if it is glaringly obvious. Never. It’s disturbing.

All that is left is her personal effort (? Have never seen this?) and a miracle from God. These things are out of my control.
 

BusynMember1

Well-Known Member
Nomad, I hear you. Motherly love should be a reason to let them learn to the extent that they can. Our money just makes them more a child. Even disabled adults can learn to accept community help so that they have support when we are gone. If there is just us, they will suffer so much when we leave. In my case, my other kids will not take care of Kay and I don't blame them. She will not have anyone to beg for money. Or to pay her rent. Nobody. Enabling due to love is not loving to them in my opinion.

We have both sure lived a lot in one lifetime, haven't we?

Let us pray for a better year.
 

Mamacat

Active Member
Waiting, your husband reminds me of mine. I help my daughter financially. I wish I didn’t have to but I do. She works but doesn’t make enough to take care of herself and my two granddaughters. I don’t tell my husband. He is her step-father. I have some money off my own so that’s how I justify sending it. I wish I could be honest with him, but the grief is not worth it. My daughter is a single mom. Hopefully one day she’ll be on her own. And yes she knows I won’t be here forever. She would like to be self sufficient. It just hasn’t happened. She has made some bad choices which she admits.
 
Waiting, your husband reminds me of mine. I help my daughter financially. I wish I didn’t have to but I do. She works but doesn’t make enough to take care of herself and my two granddaughters. I don’t tell my husband. He is her step-father. I have some money off my own so that’s how I justify sending it. I wish I could be honest with him, but the grief is not worth it. My daughter is a single mom. Hopefully one day she’ll be on her own. And yes she knows I won’t be here forever. She would like to be self sufficient. It just hasn’t happened. She has made some bad choices which she admits.
Thanks so much for this Mamacat! I really get it that the grief is not worth it. It is enough that I have agonised over it whether it's right or wrong. I don't need a lecture about it, but I do understand he is upset and he is now being 'off' with me, I expect we will have to have another row to clear the air. He's usually not happy until I am in a puddle on the floor, it's a power struggle. (He is holding fewer cards these days though, that's all I'm saying!) By learning about boundaries with my son, it's given me tools to handle others in my family, there are quite a few of them!
 
I love all my family/kids. I gave birth to three (one died and I had to learn how to let go...God gave me no choice). Kay is adopted and we got her at only a few months old. She was the first, my princess.

No matter how much we love all of our kids, as one parent who had to lose a dear child, I have learned that our feelings are not everything. We in my opinion have to control them. Sometimes we have no choice about letting go and we may mourn forever but we have to learn to let go. Death happens and it teaches even as it tears one apart..

Other times it is BECAUSE we love, especially that we have to let go. If there is more than one kid that we have, in my opinion we have to force ourselves to let go for the sake of all of our loved ones AND for the loved one who needs to grow up/be less dependent.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

I can hear myself blathering about how sad it was that Kay wasnt with us during many holidays. How did my other kids feel when I said that? THEY were there. Weren't they good enough? What about Ethan? Ethan was dead of an undeserved cancer...since I knew he couldn't come back I did not talk about him like I did Kay. It was a mess for all.

In later years, after we gave Kay to God and I forced myself to just do it, the family would talk about how badly they felt about all these things I had done. My other two kids are lovely, forgiving, kids and I am blessed. But I could have lost them AND my husband. Because Kay sucked all thr oxygen out of my world. I had no room for anyone else.

If we love our kids to the point of choking them and pay all our attention to the troubled one, is that okay?

I don't think k so. 12 Steps (been in a long time) teaches us not to enable our kids bad behaviors and constantly reminds the control freaks and codependents of us that we have NO control over other people, not even our kids. And that doing for them what they can do (but wont) do for themselves makes them more dependent and helpless. We won't be around to take care of them forever.

Everyone loves their kids. Not everyone refuses to let them learn or grow up. When I did it, it was selfish. It helped ME feel better. But everyone else I loved suffered because of it. Kay was not helped at all. Yes, it was about ME. I had to stop.

Just my perspective. Love and prayers.
Hi again Busy. Sorry for late reply - your last paragraph is spot on. I definitely did it for ME!
I felt at peace and happy after I'd sent son the money. But it's complicated too. I sent the money because I had no idea what my son's state of mind was that Christmas Day. I feared the worst and I worried that he thought no-one cared about him. That's how I used to feel sometimes as a young person. My dad divorced my Mum when I was 18 months old, and he was a rather biased father, favouring his new family over us. I sometimes felt I was not loved. I don't know my son's mind. I can only look into my own, and yes, that child's mind does think in pretty simplistic ways...Must go now, but thanks so much to you and everyone who has answered me so kindly. I wish you peace and safety in this New Year xxx
 
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