I have been collecting my thoughts and making an attempt to put what has happened in the last few months into some kind of order, for my own self, and to be able to share it with you. When I left for a 2 week vacation which would take me 3000 miles away from my homeless daughter, I was in a deep turmoil the likes of which I have never experienced. Suffice it to say, leaving was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I want to first say that when I left, many of you wrote me in response to my turmoil and your words made an important difference. I heard you when many of you said, she will be homeless wherever you are. Leaving town when my only child was so down and out and I was leaving to go to have fun and relax went against everything I had known to be real and true and how it is supposed to be when you are a parent and you love your child. It was very, very hard. Your support and your parting words to me gave me the strength and the commitment to just go. I was going to the island of Kauai which is the one place on the planet I experience a real sense of home and of peace of mind, so it ended up being the perfect place for me to be. As soon as we got off the plane, I felt that balmy, warm air embrace my worn out mothers heart and I knew I was in the right place. Before I left I think I had done all the heavy lifting of detaching from my difficult child, seeing her for the truth of who she is and understanding that I had no control over her choices or her life. I left feeling empty and exhausted. Tired from the devastating journey of letting go of my daughter and the life she had chosen to live. It had been a very long process. However, as each day went by I felt better and more and more detached. What I believe occurred was acceptance of what is. Acceptance, just a word and the longest journey Ive ever taken. Upon my return when I saw my therapist, he said, you really made quite the statement to your daughter, you said, you have your life and I have mine, and Im leaving town to go live mine. I received an email from my difficult child after being away for one week. She didnt ask me for anything, I was 3000 miles away. She seemed to be wanting a connection with me and told me she had slept in her car, it was really cold and raining, she had no money left for gas to heat the car or to eat and she was really alone. I was not in town this time. She was truly alone. Oddly I didnt react with that horror in the pit of my stomach, the parent nightmarish worry and dread and fear. I read it and thought, well, looks like she hit bottom. Before I left town, just as we were walking out the door, I said to my SO,I feel like I should leave difficult child some emergency cash and put it in an envelope outside so she can access it. He said, Do it. I left $75 in an envelope outside on the porch. I dont know, is that enabling? Who cares. I did it for me, to help me leave town. It felt right. I emailed difficult child about the cash. She went and got it and it got her through that moment. The next time I spoke to her, it was when we were home a few days. She told me while we were gone, she had applied for and received food stamps and medical insurance from social services. I had been trying to get her to do that for 2 years. I had given up on it months ago. She had handled all her parole issues and paid back some of the restitution to the authorities. She had worked out the issues with having to work off some of her jail time with volunteering in the town we live in. She was actively looking for a place to live. She seemed different, determined to get out of where she was. I couldnt help thinking that somewhere inside of her, she had an awakening about my not being there and it really was up to her now. Last week she found a place to live. As soon as she works out the details she will be moving in to a situation with two roommates, both work and seem like healthy, hardworking people who have futures. She has abandoned her old group of deadbeat friends and has a few new friends who have careers and seem normal to me. Amazingly she can keep her 4 cats. Shes been looking for jobs and considering going back to school in the future. For the last few days shes been staying with us. What a difference from just a short while ago. No drama. No emotional outbursts. We had my SOs 10 year old grandson here for a few days who is a precocious, funny, delightful kid. I saw my difficult child laughing with him and playing with him in a way I havent witnessed in over 15 years. Sometimes when I am talking to her, she looks like she did years ago before the stress and bitterness and craziness took her over. I asked she and my granddaughter to make an attempt to put their differences aside for my sake because I am doing the best I can for both of them and their relationship is theirs to work out, to keep me out of the middle. They are both doing that. My difficult child will stay with us until her room is ready in her new dwelling. Sometime between now and about 2 weeks. It doesnt matter; we are all okay with it. I think everyone realizes the changes that have taken place and were all on the same page about it. She and I drove together the other day to the chiropractor about an hour away. I used to just dread being in the car with her, the intensity, the never-ending drama of her life told to me in an enclosed small space would just make me crazy; I could barely stand it for 5 minutes and avoided it like the plague. But, it was quiet. We talked about all kinds of things, it was a normal conversation. I actually enjoyed it. She is still an intense and unusual person with issues and stuff to work out for her self. She is who she is. The difference is I worked really hard to disconnect from her and her life, I dont feel guilty or responsible for her, I think I understand the difference between enabling and helping, I have accepted the way it all is, and I know I have my own life to live now. She is on her own path. I can help in small ways which feel good to me, and the rest is up to her, we both know that. Whatever happened when I was away, broke the connection we had which kept us stuck in a pattern of dysfunction. I think she recognized the reality of life without me and I recognized she is on her own and I can only be responsible for me now. I told her I would help pay for part of her storage unit to get her stuff out and help with some of the financials to get her started. As it turns out, that is more minimal than I originally thought because her rent is only $300. Which is unheard of around here, about half of the usual cost of just a room. She can actually afford to pay for her new place and also pay for all her bills. I can help by paying for a chiropractic adjustment for her, or offer a place to land until her place is ready, so she can save some money for a few weeks. I feel good about what I can do, no more resentments. I guess the best part for me, other then not having to worry about her being literally on the streets, is that she just seems as if a big hunk of some kind of craziness or stress or fear or something seems to have left her. And, whatever kept me stuck to her in a negative, dysfunctional way has left me. We are separate people living our own lives. Is that the breaking of the proverbial umbilical cord? Is that the long tyrannical reign of codependency and enabling coming to an end? Is that my daughter waking up from a long, sad road of grief and loss? Is that mental illness starting to smooth out because of her age? (Some experts say that at around 40 some of these mental anomalies can get better) Is it me recognizing that Im not getting any younger and I need to be free to have the rest of my life in peace? Is it the acceptance of what is that freed me? I dont know, perhaps its all of it. That peace we talk about is present right now. It may be elusive and be gone tomorrow with another issue to have to deal with, but right now, its all okay in my world. And, I want you all to know, that at the worst time in my life you provided me with a safe place to land, a soft and inviting place where you held me while I figured out how to proceed. I cant express in words how much that meant to me and how much it helped me. I hope I can give back just a little of what has been given to me. I read your posts every day and send you all my prayers for this road we parents find ourselves on to get easier and for all of us to find our way through. You are all remarkable people given extraordinary circumstances to maneuver yourselves through and you do it with dignity, grace and love. Thanks for being there. God bless all of you .