Update on my difficult child and Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, she came, 2 hours late and I didn't know she was coming until Thanksgiving Day morning, but to my utter amazement, she hung out with us for a long time after we ate and there was absolutely no DRAMA, no intensity, no negativity, none of the usual stuff which makes me crazy and stresses me out............It was the calmest and most enjoyable holiday I have had with both my daughter and my granddaughter in probably 12 years............

    The interesting thing is that after she left, around 1:30 AM Friday morning, I went upstairs and checked my laptop for emails..............there was one from her posted about an hour before she showed up at our home. She apologized (first major difference, apologies are not natural nor does she usually make them) for being late but she said, she wanted to be honest, she had worked that morning and when the job was completed, the person who hired her, refused to pay her. She fell apart and went home crying. It was more dramatic since a few days before she was notified that the meager income she had was abruptly cut off and that's what she has been living on for about 3 years. Her phone died, she couldn't pay her bills, but she said, "Mom, I'm trying, I will be there and I won't bring any of this with me, just bear with me.........."

    Reading that after the fact was probably perfect for me, I didn't know anything of those developments all day and as I reviewed the day in my mind, I was in awe of how she held it together, was calm, never said a word about anything in her life and was actually a pleasure to be around. My granddaughter showed up for dessert with her boyfriend and the two of them made a big effort to get along, it seemed clear they were doing that for me. I was very touched by all of it. I set a very distinct boundary with my difficult child about her behavior and she honored that on Thanksgiving day. Not only that, but some black cloud of misery which has surrounded her for over a decade, looked and felt as if it was no longer there. I can't put my finger on the shift exactly, but she looked like she used to look 12 years ago, before her life went south................

    I made a decision to help her again, to buy her a new phone for her birthday next week and to help with some bills. As my SO said to me, "this is where you step in when you have kids, this is regular parenting." Regular parenting, I had to smile, I haven't seen regular parenting in over a decade, I've been in the world of insane, dark, unpredictable difficult child behavior.............so this was very different. It felt different. It looked different. It was different. The following day my difficult child dropped by and I gave her some money. She said, "thank you Mom, for all you've done, I don't know what I would've done without your love and support." I was literally without words since my daughter has NEVER said anything like that before. She has resided in the world of the entitled for so long, apologies and gratitude did not fit in that world. She also emailed me how grateful she was that I invited her to dinner and how much it meant to her........................you really would have to know my difficult child to know how remarkable a change that is, just to have her say that.

    She promises to call the Social Worker I got her hooked up with months ago, she says she gets that she cannot be in inertia any longer, she has to begin to make changes now. She worked out her living arrangements with the older woman, somehow they have forged a workable connection together. My absence from my difficult child's life for almost 5 months has proved to be just what we both needed to grow and change our old behavior. I still can't get over it................it all seems surreal to me.........I really had let go of her ever changing or of us ever getting to a point where we could connect in a healthy, calm and respectful fashion.

    I don't want to be jinxed with the board curse by saying all of this, there is still much work to be done on her part, she has a distance to go to start having any kind of thriving life, but this all seems like a good start. Of course, she could slide back into the abyss, and that would be completely her choice, and I would have to adapt once again to another level of detachment......................but somehow it all feels different now................I feel very different, hopeful, but yet not attached to the outcome...........
  2. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I couldn't find the like button! Enjoy the new relationship you are forming with your daughter.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I wanted to open a thread to ask you how things went, because I knew you were worried about it a while back, but I didn't want to open any wounds if things didn't go well.
    So reading your post made me cry. I was SO hoping that would be how things turned out! What really broke my heart is how awful her day went before she came over, but she held it together, and of course, the email of gratitude. She's showing so much self control, and I'm thrilled also for your granddaughter.
    The phone and money to help with the bills is a fantastic early birthday gift. Her response was priceless. Revel in it, and I hope her actual birthday goes well, and Christmas, too. Thank you, God!
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    What a wonderful development! I hope things continue to go well. Such a blessing to have had a day like that, all together. :)
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    What a lovely turn of events. :)

    :) :) :)
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm so happy it went so well. I'm sure this memory will be very important for both you and your daughter and also for your granddaughter in coming years. Even if things go south again (and i certainly hope not, your daughters behaviour sounds very promising), that memory is something no one can take away from you.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a wonderful holiday! It's a great feeling to do nice things for your difficult child and feel "normal" parental feelings, isn't it?
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Sounds like she is trying very hard! She also put her problems and feelings aside to ensure everyone had a great holiday. I'm also happy your granddaughter was able to spend time with her mother in a pleasant atmosphere.
  9. I'm so glad to hear this positive post! Sounds like you had a wonderful day. And I agree that it was better that you didn't read her email until after she'd left for the day.

    She did very well to hold herself together like she did considering what had just happened that morning.

    I love that you were able to have a normal and positive parenting moment with her!
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Awww RE! Reading this made me smile! I'm so happy everything went well! It sounds like she's come a long way!
  11. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That is so great!!! I am so happy you had a great holiday!!
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Regular parenting.......so enjoyable. You've got to think/wonder on the other side of that coin if difficult child maybe didn't have a moment where after she left she thought "Wow....I was a Regular kid" .....how refreshing for her too.

  13. Jinian

    Jinian New Member

    I'm new here and still navigating all the ins and outs of this site, but to the OP I really do know what you mean. I think we all want all our children to feel safe enough to just enjoy the world at large with no bad thoughts and no second guessing. When it happens, and we get to witness it, its a beautiful thing. Its a sense of RELAX kicking in. "rattling my beads?" that we all get to see this at least once in awhile, to see our children just relax. May that happen for all of us. I know that for me, after 26 years of living with aspergers, that when it does happen, its damn near glorious...
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RE, great post! Thanks for sharing your enjoyable moment with us!

    Help, then step back into your world. Let her keep on doing it on her own. And you enjoy your drama-free world!
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    RE, I am so happy reading this. What a lovely Thanksgiving, and how wonderful that your difficult child was able to look outside herself, and work so hard for the happiness of others.