We returned from a 2 1/2 week road trip through the south on Wednesday evening and the first phone message I received driving home from the airport was from my daughter, her car is 'missing.' Sigh. Over the course of the road trip, I could feel myself letting go of the stresses my difficult child brings to me. When home I am pretty much aware of what she is up to and the drama her life entails. I didn't tell her we were leaving until the day we left. That day, she called me at work to tell me the list of stuff she couldn't pay for, car insurance, car registration, car repairs, she didn't get her food- stamps because she didn't fill out the paperwork on time, her roommate wants her out....................the usual................I was involved at work and said I would call her back, she is adept at simply listing her issues within 2 minutes of answering the phone so I already knew what was up. I never called her back. We left town and after about 5 days I could feel myself returning to a peaceful place. We had a wonderful time. My granddaughter spent time with my mother while we roamed around the south, the whole trip was a success. Then, as soon as we are driving home and I check my messages, the voice mail from my difficult child comes in. When we got back to the house, there were messages on the house phone, I didn't listen to them until the next day. Another message from her. I didn't call her back. She left me a message on Facebook too. I wrote "call the police and report your car stolen." I thought about all of this all day yesterday as I did laundry, opened up all the mail, handled all the "re-entry" stuff. I just didn't want to talk to her and listen to the long list of what isn't working because she has no money. After some thought, I wrote her an email and expressed my thoughts and feelings about my unwillingness to listen anymore when nothing changes, it is always the same, the results of her life are the results of her choices, and I am weary of listening, offering advice which is never taken, and I told her that all of the help I gave her last year simply prolonged the inevitable losses she is experiencing now. The stolen car is not a surprise to me. I told her I do not want to know anything about her life anymore. I sent the email and felt as if this was yet another step in my own acceptance..........it is another limit on what I am willing to do. Each step is another step back, more detachment, more acceptance................ I cried. I felt sad and angry. However, those feelings dissipated quickly, within 10 minutes I was out the door to go to the market and feeling okay. That is a big difference from a year ago where it would take me out for days. My contact with my difficult child is so limited now, I just don't want to see her or have contact with her. Geez, that sounds so weird, but it's the truth, she is a vortex of negative energy which sucks the life force out of me and everyone else because the focus of her life is on each crisis she herself initiates with her choices..................... and yet she cannot see that connection. With the car now gone, her roommate evicting her, no job, no money......she is running out of options and it feels to me like the bottom is quickly approaching. I believe she is likely going to end up in jail since now she cannot even sleep in her car once the housing situation comes to an end. Sigh. It was strange but I felt a pang of relief when I heard the car was stolen. That car is a continuing source of financial drain which she cannot afford anyway. Little by little over the last 4 years, she has lost everything and then, instead of reacting with vigor and initiative to change and grow, she simply adapts to the new low level and learns to live there.............I held out a lot of hope for a long time, however now I think that the safest place for her would be jail, where she would be off of the streets and perhaps get some help. I'm settling in to my own new level now, not knowing what she is up to. This feels like a necessary step and yet, like all the others, it feels strange and odd and I feel a little sad today. This process of letting go of our kids, no matter how old they are, is long and hard.................and emotional.................. I think what happens is that each day is more about me now, even my thoughts have shifted so that my difficult child is not the star of my thoughts, I am. When we were away, I didn't think of her much, just fleetingly, which I see as a healthy shift. The vacation and how I felt while away really prompted this transition, I felt free of her life while away and I want to continue that.