update on Difficult Child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wednesday night Difficult Child and I went to the movie to see Mission Impossible. Turned out to not be such a good idea...but I'm working to see the value in it...for me.

    He had started working at a new job site the day before, and was very anxious about it, thus didn't sleep much at all the night before. So...he was exhausted when we met at the movie. I suggested we postpone but he wanted to do it, so we did. He walked in with an energy drink and had to toss it to get into the movie. He drinks a lot of those drinks.

    He kept falling asleep in the movie. Which was fine with me. But when he wasn't asleep he kept talking throughout the movie. A lot of stream of consciousness stuff about his new job, his raise (he just got a raise after being there for 3 weeks), his old job, his budget, his gas bill to get to the new job site...talking, talking, talking.

    I started wondering if he was using. I was tensed up, trying to listen to him but also trying to evaluate.

    We were the only two people in the theatre, which turned out to be good, since the last time he fell asleep he started snoring loudly. After about 15 minutes he woke up and I suggested we go ahead and leave. I was really okay with leaving but he felt bad that I had paid for the movie for the both of us and now we were leaving.

    But really, I wasn't enjoying it.

    So...then he wanted to go and eat. It was almost 9, and I said, no, I need to go home and go to bed, and you're tired too. But he was hungry, so he followed me here and I warmed up some leftover spaghetti and he ate that pretty quickly and left soon after. He kept talking and that was stressing me out.

    So...since then I have been processing about that. The lesson I'm thinking is this for me: Keep your boundaries intact Momma.

    I can get all excited about his turnaround, and like my signature says, the proof is in the actions, and his actions show tremendous improvement.

    But it's not as "all pretty" as I wish it were, and the Cinderella in me (living strong, she does) can romanticize his progress too much.

    Wednesday night I was reminded of this: "it took a long time to walk into the forest. It's going to take a long time to walk out of the forest."

    I don't want to minimize his improvement. Where he is today and where he was a year ago is light years ahead. But I also want to be realistic myself about it all, and I need to resist my normal "Cinderella" mind-set.

    I need to see it more clearly, for myself.

    So, to me that is the benefit of being together Wednesday night, and I am reminded that I don't really want to hear every single detail or thought he has about his life. I get too engaged and I start judging and I start then feeling and then I get scared that it won't last.

    I think the bigger issue for me it merely...acceptance. Of him, of myself and of everybody else. We are only human, and we do the best we can. That is what he is doing. That is what I am doing.

    I love him and I want to be around him, but I need to do that with boundaries and limits.

    Anyway, just wanted to spill it all out here for you guys, another step on the path. It never ends.
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think it's great that you spent some time together.

    I wonder if he's "talkativeness" is from drinking those energy drinks?
    I tried one once and had the jitters!!:hapydancsmil:

    I think too because you're "mom" he wants to share so much with you.

    I'm sure it meant a lot to him that he was able to follow you home and have you warm up some spaghetti.

    You have such wonderful clarity on this.

    Thanks for sharing with us!!
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I thought that same thing COM, those drinks are loaded with caffeine. And when I am overtired and drink caffeine, I can get in a talkative mode too.

    That is my experience with my daughter too. And, I have to ask her sometimes to stop since it is stressful for me. She is learning to edit herself around me.

    I feel exactly the same way, it's much better the less I actually know since my daughter makes choices and lives in ways that tend to engage me in my "fear then fix" mode.

    That is the crux of it, isn't it COM? Our acceptance of them, as they are.

    You're doing a wonderful job all around. It is another step on the path, however, your ability to see clearly, detach, accept and tell yourself the truth of each situation has deepened, grown and become a part of who you are now.....

    Boundaries and limits, what we've all learned to be the basic building blocks of a new way to love our adult kids.

    Thanks for the update COM.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is a good place to remind ourselves we can choose to be.

    That's the hard part. Boundaries and limits, and not feeling badly that we are required to set them for ourselves, for our own sakes, and for theirs, too.

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  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Thanks for the input Tanya and RE...I hadn't thought about the energy drink being a possible source of the talkativeness. I have never actually had one---I may need to do my "market research" and try one, one of these days. My usual remedy is finding some way to take a nap when I'm super-tired. : )

    I like this. I feel like our relationship is a bit fragile but in time I would like to be able to talk more openly about this kind of thing with him, so we can be more effective with each other.

    He did allude several times to: "back during my bad times". I thought that was kind of interesting, and he seems to be separating the "then" from the "now."

    He did share with me that my ex-husband (his dad) asked him the other night if he had been drinking because he was so tired and fell asleep on their couch very early when he was over there using the computer.

    He said: Dad really made me mad saying that. I will tell you the truth: I bought a six-pack of beer two weeks ago and I still have one in the refrigerator. Believe me, I don't want any trouble.

    I said: Well, honey, it's going to take some time before we aren't scared anymore. We have been very afraid for you over the past few years. That's what it is. We just want the best for you.

    He said: I know, Mom.

    I don't want to be some "dumb dora" and the last person to know, but I honestly don't think he is doing any more than that right now. And it's not because he said it, it's because of the actions he continues to take and how others are seeing him, especially his new employer who gave him a raise after three weeks of working and have been saying all kinds of nice things to him about his work performance.

    But I have been burned before by my naivete, so....

    Thanks again, guys. It's good to process this stuff with people who get it.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I love that he was able to share this with you.

    Your response to him is just beautiful, so loving yet to the point.

    Yes, this is where the truth really is. We all know our DCs are great at giving lip service but it's the actions that tell us the truth.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Could have been the caffeine. Could have been the exhaustion. I tend to ramble and talk and talk when I'm very tired...I suspect Jabber would back me up on that...Get me too tired and I can't shut up. Between that and the energy drink, no other substance would be required to make him ramble on.

    My son also tends to want to talk and tell me stuff I don't really want to know. I don't know where this oversharing comes from. Maybe sometimes, they just really want their mommies? This is what they have since they can't actually be snuggled and pampered anymore...just a thought.

    The absolutely perfect response.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son left our town a couple of weeks ago. In my time, it feels like two months. To have the physical distance of 3 hours train ride, is immeasurably reassuring. He has called once, instead of every day.

    Even my anxiety over his illness and the medicine is receding. I am not waking up with my first seconds of consciousness dread...and the desire to return to sleep. I am able to see that the "wanting to die" feeling that I would get came from the feeling I could not escape the cycle of emotions to which I was subjected without the sense I had control.

    I know now the cost to me of any lapse in boundaries. If my son were to return to my town as he has been I will leave before I submit myself.

    COM, your detailing of what happens to our bruised and battered psyches is exactly so.
    For me, the settling down of emotion only comes "out of sight, out of mind." I do not think this is acceptance. I think it is "ignorance is bliss." I will build on it.

    The thing is we have no control. To insist they live their lives in a way that we can stand it. While I can understand that intellectually, it is still very difficult for me to accept.

    Thank you for sharing, COM. One more way I do not feel alone with this.
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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Yes Lil and Tanya I agree that part of it is he just wants to tell his mom stuff.

    He always has been that way, and I get that, because at my age, I still want to tell my own mom stuff.

    Thanks for pointing that out and helping me remember that.
  10. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    i read your post hours ago and have thought on it off and on all afternoon.

    My first thought was, What a normal thing to do - go to a movie with your adult kid. How lucky!

    How many of us would love to have our Difficult Child ask to do something like that? I know I would. If my Difficult Child wanted to see a movie with me, well....I might faint.

    I am sorry it wasn't quite the experience you/any of us would have wanted. BUT, I am happy for you that it happened. To see a movie with your Difficult Child. Really, that is just downright awesome.

    My Difficult Child used to drink lots of those energy drinks. He may still; i wouldn't know. Your Difficult Child's actions sound more like normal kid behavior than Difficult Child behavior. Not pleasant for you, nor would it be fun for me. (Like you, a nap makes much more sense to me.) These young folks down those energy drinks; they just do. And, they always have earbuds in their ears. It's nuts. (I digress with my judging). But, they do!

    But, still, with all the not-perfectness of the experience, it sounds basically good. The angsting may well be because of that energy drink.

    Like you, i have never had one.

    At my age, I'd fear a heart attack.

    So, I am rambling. I can see your son is not quite there, but he is way ahead of mine.

    And, it sounds so great that you tried this outing with your son.

    He's not there yet, but definitely getting there. Two steps forward, one step back. That seems to be what your son is doing---but consistently---so it sure looks like progress.

  11. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    If I'm just a little fuzzy and need a perk, they work great. If I drink one when I'm already tired, I'm out like a light in a half hour. The first time I actually nearly fell asleep at the wheel while driving over the Sierras. A huge shout-out to the staff at the Weimar Country Store off I-80, who let me crash in my car in their parking lot, kept an eye out for Kiddo to make sure she stayed in the car with me, and had a fresh pot of coffee waiting when I finally woke up to continue my 5 hour drive.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Love this part: He did allude several times to: "back during my bad times". I thought that was kind of interesting, and he seems to be separating the "then" from the "now."