Update: A new world


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Staff member
My daughter has been moving ahead full speed since her release from jail 5 or so weeks ago. She has a job as a bookkeeper, about 20-25 hours per week, she also works for a catering company on call, she opened up a checking and savings account and proudly showed me her debit card. She is respectful of me and lets me know where she is all the time. She has intermittently been staying with us. When she showed movement in a positive direction, I offered help. No money, just a couch and on occasion, the use of my car for work. I think because I had expressed my feelings to her numerous times, her stay with us has been uneventful except for my marveling at the changes she has made.

I have gone through a pattern breaking experience with my granddaughter which has had similar components as the detaching from my daughter without the real angst, however the FOG has rolled in a few times. She works and is leaving for college in August, AND her list of "requirements" (all teenage stuff like new tie dyed comforter and matching sheets, a new flat screen TV, new lamps, etc. all of which she already has!!) has arrived on my plate a couple of times and before I removed it and placed it back on to hers, I went through some real internal struggles with what I SHOULD be doing versus what I COULD be doing but am choosing not to. I had already told her she needed to pay for certain things, trying to continue teaching her how to be responsible. I continue to say no, however, it takes a little work on my part.

We're leaving today for the college town for assessment tests for 2 days. Yesterday I was having a bad day because of the latest "requirement" from my granddaughter and how was I going to handle my daughter staying at our home or not, using my car or not while away. I talked to my SO and that was as usual very helpful. I decided to grab the bull by the horns and have another conversation with my granddaughter about her responsibilities. Only this time when I began talking to her, I started to cry. I have never done that, not once, with my granddaughter, I have always remained stoic and strong. I just broke down! I told her that I just couldn't do it anymore, take care of all of her needs, that I feel at times buried under the pressure of everything that she asks me for. She was compassionate and nurturing, it was such a tender moment. She said, "it's alright Grammy, I don't need XY&Z and I can buy the rest with my own money." We talked for a long time. I told her more about my own childhood and my own experiences. We talked about her mother. It was one of those conversations you begin to have when your kids are now adults. It was terrific.

I told her that I wasn't sure how to handle her mother while we were gone. Although I trust her mother to stay, I don't trust the people she has been known to hang out with. I don't want those people in my house. Because my daughter doesn't see those people in the same way we do, she might be tempted to have them over to our home regardless of our wishes. I am not sure of that exactly, but my granddaughter was adamant that she did not want her mother in the house while we were gone. I told her my views, that I sort of agreed with her, but I had other concerns as well and expressed them to her. Together we came up with options and she said, "I'll back you up Grammy because I'm tougher then you are." I had to smile. She's right.

So, we talked for a long time. It was wonderful. Then my daughter came back to the house. I told her what my granddaughter and I had decided, that we were going away and thought it best if she stayed elsewhere. My daughter said, "it's okay Mom, you don't have to explain, it's your house and your car and I will find options, it's no problem." Then she told me that she had been seeing her old boyfriend from High School. He had come to my house last week. They were together all through HS, and everyone knew how much this boy loved my daughter, geez. He's a good guy. I know his Mom, I've known him since he was 16.

So, it turns out he is divorced and they have rekindled their relationship and he asked her to marry him!!! She is not so sure about that part quite yet, but they are talking about living together and he is in the car business and said he would buy her a car. I think he has done quite well in the world. AND, he is a nice, 'normal' guy.

Within a short amount of time, it appears that she will be safely tucked away with him, with a car, a job or two, a checking account and a new lease on life. I have not seen her like this in over a decade. She smiles a lot. She laughs. She bounces happily around. She still has an "odd" personality however, she respects me and is moving in a very positive direction. She is handling her life on all fronts, nothing has been left undone, she proudly shows me all of her accomplishments and I am proud of her for the first time in years and years and years.

I think my 'breakdown' with my granddaughter was exactly how that should have played out. I did not plan that, in fact, I was probably more surprised then anyone! But my vulnerability is something she needs to see. I have been seen as such a strong, capable character, and clearly that is a front, I am not like that all the time, and my granddaughter seeing my real self opened the doors for so much more intimacy and understanding. It was a stellar evening on all counts.

It felt as if something "broke" inside of me yesterday. As if something I had been holding together for a very long time.........just collapsed, perhaps it was what was left of my false persona, the controlling part of me that was always trying to hold it all together..........whatever it was that 'broke' ...........I feel so....... so much better. It feels as if doors are swinging opened now.

This morning we're driving my daughter to her job and from there she'll take over. We are driving south for about 6 hours to a coastal town where we'll be having a tour of the apartment/dorm suites that my granddaughter will be staying in. I am very excited and so is she. And, so is my daughter. While she has been with us, my granddaughter has been expressing herself to her mother pretty continuously. And, my daughter has been listening without comment. I think that is very important for both of them.

Please wish us well on our new journeys. The three of us are embarking on new adventures, leaving the past behind...........it is time now, it is definitely time, now.


Well-Known Member
What a great post! Your granddaughter sounds like such an awesome young lady, and it sounds like your daughter is really working at it, and working it well! How nice that they are respecting your boundaries and so sensitive to your feelings.

I think your vulnerability and your willingness to show it are what MAKE you such a strong and capable character.


one day at a time
Oh RE, thank you so much for sharing this whole story. There are so many layers. Your daughter, your granddaughter, SO, the new boyfriend/fiancee, and most of all YOU.

This is real life. This is the good story of three good women who are trying to start a new life, building on what they are learning and have learned.

It is messy, full of fits and starts, but there is good, honest communication, and people are listening to each other, and respecting each other, and so just for today, it is working.

RE, Just for Today.

You are walking the walk of recovery, and your family is benefitting. You created the space and the time and the distance and so good things, today, are moving in to fill that space.

Your daughter and your granddaughter are making good things happen for themselves today. Oh, they are so very human, of course, like we all are. Like you are, RE.

Who knows what tomorrow holds? I see your clear-eyed, tear-filled honesty and I rejoice because honesty is the true currency of recovery.

Warm hugs for you today, RE. You are doing it.


Active Member
It's so great you're able to post good news. It's a switch from the usual difficult child drama and problems, gives everyone hope. in my opinion, the fact that your daughter was doing well before and did not let drugs complicate her already complicated life was a blessing.

I admire you for having the strength to step in for your granddaughter. I'm so burned out with problem solving for others I can understand your mini break apart. I think it was a good thing too.

I know we all go so trapped and stifled by the difficult child world that it's easy to think things will always remain the same. I personally have seen a 40yo living on the streets, a heavy drug user, turn his life around and have a great career and raise two easy child daughters. Another, his young adult daughter told him if he wanted to be in her wedding and the future grands life he had to straighten up, and he did.

It's never too late for them, they just have to want it. Best wishes for you and yours.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
I just gasped at your post! What a transformation on your daughter's part. I know it's early, but wow - incredible. Have a whirlwind of peace and plenty this weekend with your lovely and engaging granddaughter! I'm sincerely praying you all continue on this remarkable trajectory.