Since difficult child has been out of the house, I've realized one thing in particular I did RIGHT with her and wanted to share. Some years ago, I began writing (on the computer) letters of encouragement and love to her, especially during holiday times I knew were difficult for her after her dad died. I always had a special Father's Day letter for her, birthday letter, and many others. I knew that she had more than a tendency not to listen to me when I talked to her, especially during a loaded emotional time, and well as the pattern of distorting my words later. This often would lead to confusion on my part...Did I really say what I thought I said?...Is my own memory distorted?...Did I really not make clear how much I love her? At the times I'd give her those letters, she'd frequently huff and toss them aside, commenting that she didn't know why I didn't just talk to her like a "normal" mother would do. But guess what? When I packed those boxes of her things when she was ready to move out, I found those letters. She had kept them, and she had read them--more than once would be my guess. Now, for me, I have those letters stored on my computer and plan to print them off this weekend for myself. They give me a very comforting reality check when I get all those messages about what a terrible, unloving mother I have been. It's been so easy for me to get confused at times in the face of her so convincing statements. On the other hand, I have also through the years typed up documentation (just for myself) of some of the ugly incidents right after they happened, while my memory was fresh. This has also been a valuable reality check for me to help me be sure my memories really are accurate, that I didn't just dream up some of the facts she denies having happened. This helps me stay clearer on the path I need to be taking and helps me greatly in controlling those guilt impulses and those thoughts of, "If only I had done more for her...."