What distance is safe?!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Albatross, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    As a little background, my difficult child signed himself out of inpatient rehab after 4 months and disappeared. No one knew where he was for over a month. Then he signed into a detox unit, completed that and got a bed at a halfway house. A few weeks ago he asked us to bring his bike, which husband took to him and stayed for a short visit. While he was there, difficult child asked for his work boots.

    Saturday we finally found his boots and took them, again staying only for a few minutes. difficult child looked SO GOOD! He had gained weight, his eyes were clear...A few times he started to make some "poor me" overtures, then backed off when we didn't respond. He was smiling and laughing and more hopeful that I have seen him in years. He has a job working outdoors and looks tan and healthy and has even developed some muscles. He asked us if we would like to go for a hike Sunday, if he didn't have to work. We told him to call us Sunday and we would see.

    We were surprised when he DID call. husband and I "strategized" a little bit beforehand and agreed that we would just listen, not try to advise or fix anything, no matter what. And we did what we said. (Thanks, ladies!!!)

    It turned out to be a really nice day with him. difficult child said that he was thinking of enlisting because he realizes he does better with some authority (structure of the halfway house) and would like to go back to school (he has lost 3 scholarships because of not attending classes). He asked us our opinion, and we told him our thoughts without any "shoulds." We told him whatever he decides to do, we hope it works out great and that it was wonderful to see him doing so well.

    Monday difficult child called me from recruiter's office and said he needed some documents so he could take his entrance exams Tuesday. I took those to him, again not staying long, with just a hug and a "good luck" before I left. We were looking forward to hearing how his tests went last night.

    Instead, what I got this morning was 2 texts. (1) They (military) won't take him unless he lies and he can't do that because he already took the test (?not sure what he means here?). (2) He lost his job and is quitting the halfway house.

    WHAT?!? It has been FOUR DAYS of MINIMAL contact and he has somehow managed to trash all the progress he has made and he has disappeared again? This is like the opposite of thinking I can control his actions, I'm starting to think maybe I am the black curse of death!

    What happened?!?
  2. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    It's not you Albatross, try not to think like that. It's your son.

    This sounds just like my son. He is 'up' one week and 'down' the next. He goes from one intense plan to another and, as soon as things don't go his way, he's off again. For years he's phoned me and poured his angst down the phone and I've worried sick about him for days and then heard from him and he's bouncing with some new idea and life's great, while meanwhile I've been in a state since the first phone call. Or he phones and everything's fantastic, he's got great plans and great mates and he's going to save the world and then the next week he hates everyone and he's going to take off to Europe and live in the forest there because there's too much bureaucracy here and everyone's out to stop him living how he wants to live (homeless, not working, squatting in a derelict farmhouse, living on scavenged free food).

    It is only very recently that I have been able to break out of this cycle, thanks to the ideas on this site. Our sons sound similar. I have started to accept mine for the way he is. I love him, but he is a separate entity from me. His plans and moods and highs and lows are nothing to do with me or what I do. Now I listen and do not judge, but I take everything 'with a pinch of salt'. I know that his life is like a butterfly's, flitting from one plan and one obsession to another. Nothing I say or do has any influence over that. When I think about things rationally, I know that I have years of experience that prove to me that this is true.

    Just continue to love him and to spend quality time with him whenever that is possible, even it is very rare. But try and get him out of your head. As mothers I think we are programmed to feel guilt, anguish and many other emotions about our sons, and truth and logic fly out of the window.

    Thinking that you are the black curse of death is no different from thinking that you can cure all his problems and make everything right. Neither is true. Look after yourself and let him look after himself.
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, Albatross. I love it that you had this time of hope. You did nothing wrong. Loving our kids is such a pleasure, such a joy for us. I say take those good things, cherish that you laughed and hiked and had hope with and for him. If a bad time is coming, those are the memories that will matter. Not the pain and confusion you feel, now.

    Whether it happens now, while we are still here, or later, after we are gone, I think that our certain conviction that our children are worth loving, whether we like what they do or not, will be a strength for them when they finally do battle with the source of their illnesses. Out of all the people in the world, we are the ones who know who they dreamed to be, when they were little. We are the ones who see the flash of innocence or kindness or humor, and fall in love with them all over again.

    We're really good moms.


    We are the ones who know who they are and who they were meant to be. We are the ones with unshakable faith that they can beat this thing.

    I think that when they see that, they believe it too.

    But they have to choose that, Albi.

    I've been thinking about fear and weakness and having come to believe that my children can't take it, won't make it, don't have what it takes.

    What a crummy message for a mom to send.

    So, I am working and working on that, this morning.

    Cheesh, it just never ends.

    But the kids are worth it, and I am worth it, and oh, boy ~ if I actually get that family I've always wanted to have? This will all seem like no big deal.

    So, I am working pretty hard to see with clarity, to believe in my kids but not for them. I am working to change my own beliefs about where this is all going.

    It's pretty hard.

    Detachment is about learning to identify, and detach from, the enabling behaviors that helped our children slide so far into the rabbit hole. Detachment does not mean we don't wholeheartedly love them. It doesn't mean we can't see them, or that, if they choose the rabbit hole again, we have to, or have the right to, be angry or hateful about that.

    They are battling something harder than we know.

    Detachment is for us, Albi. In theory, our detaching allows the kids to see who they have become and to rise out of where their choices have taken them. In practice, it takes more than once for most of our kids.

    Some of our kids will never get out of the rabbit hole.

    That is when detachment becomes a survival skill, for us.

    Your son is young. What you have tried in the past has not helped him. Detachment has given both you and your son a glimmer of hope. My take on it is to re-read the detachment information Recovering posted for us on the top of the PE thread. Hold strong with your husband that you had that wonderful time with your son, all of you together. Don't let anything bad color or change those memories, for you. Try really hard to remember that time may never have happened, had you and husband not changed how you responded to your son's pain.

    Their pain is real, Albi. The consequences of their choices are real. But I think the truth of the matter is that there is no way to help them but to stay strong in our love for them. We need to really get it, on a gut level, that the journey back is going to be a tough one for everyone in the family. We can prepare for that, so it doesn't take us by surprise. We can believe for our children, when they slip, that they were indeed raised better, that they are strong enough...and that they don't need us to do anything at all but love them for their strength and believe they will make it through to the other side.

    It is the situation that is wrong, Albi.

    You did nothing wrong. Your son is fighting his way out of a really hard place. It is not going to be easy for him to turn things around.

    But you cannot do it, for him.

    I think your message to your son, loud and clear, should be that difficulties were to be expected, and that he is going to need to keep fighting if he wants to take his life in another direction. I would tell him that it is not going to be an easy thing, but that you know he can do it.

    Albi? You can do this part, too. You can get through this day, this disappointment.

    You can do it, Albi.

    With strength and grace and courage, you can do this.

    Posting helps me to be stronger than I knew I could be. Thank heaven we have this site and each other, Albi.

    Believe him strong. Expect him strong. That is what I am going to try to change about how I think about my own children. They are strong enough.

    It's a practice, to learn to change our thinking, I think.

  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I had the same immediate thought as Cedar and Lucy...you didn't cause this. Your time with him didn't cause it any more than a different choice of not spending time with him would have caused it.

    Our difficult child's have a hard time with obstacles, and a hard time with consistency, especially consistent effort. They fall apart at the smallest detour from their proposed solutions (what happened at the recruitment center? right?)

    It is great that you had that nice day with him. Hold tight to that. It was what it was..It didn't have significance for the future, it was a single day in the life of difficult child. It sounds like it was lovely.

    For the rest...you can respond to the text with "that sounds frustrating" or "thats too bad" or "sounds like you have a lot to think about" or something like that. CAuse all that is true.

    This is so important. I have definitely delivered that message repeatedly to difficult child, and to my other kids (and my ex husband) sometimes as well...sometimes I slip into delivering it to SO too...CAUSE I AM SO SMART ONLY I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES...apparently.

    MY easy child/ex difficult child daughter has thrived since I started delivering the message "you go girl" or "that sounds hard, I love you"

    I saw difficult child walking on the street yestarday...he looked cold and disheveled. He was carrying his stuff in plastic bags, and although he was wearing a heavy coat he had no gloves...his hands were red and chapped. And I thought...honey, where are the gloves I gave you last month when you came and shoveled my sidewalk without gloves on(even that day I saw him put the gloves on his open back pack, and could see that there was another pair of gloves in side).
    Those gloves are kind of a metaphor for me...I gave him what I thought he needed, what ANY sane person could have seen he needed..but he didn't value it, if anything it even weighed him down. He moves on without them, and without me. He and his friends had been "moved along" from their encampment under the bridge, and he was going to spend the day at the Barnes and Noble, till he could stay warm, and then figure out where to sleep. He didn't ask for help...I don't think he even t hought of asking for help.

    We don't know what they need. We can't provide it. They have to find it themselves.

    You didn't do anything Albatross. Your boy took two steps forward and 1.9999 back. It is for him to figure it out.



    They follow their own path, thats all.
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am going to use this too, Echo.

    Especially the "That sounds hard. I love you."

    This is great.


    This is true too, Echo. If they needed what we think they need...they would be fine, now.

  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Wow, as always ladies, thank you for your wisdom. Echo, I cried when I read that about the gloves. That is such a perfect metaphor for what life is like for our difficult children. How very sad for you.

    I see that part of this is disappointment because I had some (unreasonable) expectations when the hike went well. We detached! We didn't tell you what to do! We worked really hard to do this! WE have changed, why haven't YOU? Ugh.

    I *know* in my head that I am not responsible for this latest development, but when I haven't laid eyes on difficult child since Christmas and haven't had any direct contact except for the last 4 days, and then he bails out, well...but I can also point to plenty of times when I had NO contact with difficult child and he bailed. These life-altering decisions seem to be conjured out of thin air for him. Lucy, my difficult child sounds a WHOLE lot like your son.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find out that he is catastrophizing this quite a bit, that the truth is he needs to see about a waiver, or that his boss just didn't need him today. And it wouldn't be the first time he's told me he left rehab and left me frantic with worry, only to find out a week later that he was still there. Now that I think about it, he did NOT tell us when he DID leave. We heard about it from a 3rd party, long after he was gone.

    In typing this, I can feel myself moving more into anger than sadness.

    But Cedar, you are right, it is a hellish place for him to be. I am reminded of my brother, who committed suicide and left the note for me. Several times in his note, he described himself as "a self-destructive basket case, a loser at life." Those exact words, several times. I thought somewhere along the line, someone he valued must have said that very phrase to him. I don't remember it, but he was quite a bit older than me and we were not very close. But clearly it stuck with him.

    No matter what, I can at least show difficult child that he is worthy of a little faith.
  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Forgot to say, I love this!
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you were brought up to be let down. This is something I noticed about difficult child behavior.

    They can be doing really well, but it doesn't last, at least not right away (it CAN eventually last, but they have to really dig in their heels). They tend to have a low tolerance for a setback in their lives. They think, "Hey, I'm doing better and now the military won't take me and my boss fired me (we don't know why) and because of that why should I even try? The world is against me. I am no good. I quit!!! I'm going back to doing whatever I was doing before that got me into this mess because, after all, trying doesn't work." They just give up, and that would be ok if it was to sit and reflect, but they usually start to self-medicate as soon as they hit that setback. They have an inability to deal with disappointment and tend to throw their entire progress down the toilet if they experience a challenge.

    A easy child can handle ups and downs that life throws at them, and make a negative into a positive. A difficult child doesn't, and goes on major destructive pity parties and we are not invited to help them. They will reject our help/advice or even blame us for what has happened.

    And, yes, it can happen as fast as four days or four hours. difficult children need LOTS OF THERAPY to help them build coping skills that are inborn to some people. Having been a difficult child myself with that same mentality (although never used drugs), I know how hard I had to work on learning to cope with bad situations and setbacks. And I know 36 is the same way.

    You didn't cause difficult child to have a setback. Life did it. Would have happened if you hadn't visited. He is not yet able to deal with disappointment by seeking helpful professionals, which he had access to in the halfway house, and he doesn't know how to do it himself.

    Whatever you do, when your son is on an upswing, approach it in your own mind with caution. There is nothing wrong with cautious hope, but heavy on the cautious, at least for now. And don't ever blame yourself because the ball is now 100% in his court. He will continue to need therapists and life coaches to help him learn skills he lacks so that when life throws him a curveball, he can still move on in a positive way. It is VERY hard, long work to do this...one who knows here.

    Ok, so I've never been a drug addict or even been drunk, but I have done things to make myself feel better that were self-destruction such as saying to myself, "Forget this! I'm buying myself some nice clothes even though this is our grocery money!" As a very young adult, I even shoplifted a few times, which mortified me (I did THIS?) and only made me more pouty and depressed and unable to function. There are times I barely functioned at all. There are times 36 drank too much (more familiar and I think he still does drink too much) and there were also times he could not function.

    Your son has a long walk ahead of him. You can and should be mindful of his path in case he improves for a significant period of time and you can show him a certain level of support. But it is his own walk to take and he will take it HIS way and nobody knows where he will end up.

    Never blame yourself when he deviates from that path to Somewhere. It is part of his journey and it is his footsteps taking the journey, not yours.

    Gentle hugs and so sorry for the hurt in your mommy heart. Move on and try to have a serene and peaceful day. Don't overthink why your son did what he did. You aren't inside his disturbed mind and even if you asked him, he would probably just say something unhelpful such as, "Why even try? I give up." But he doesn't really know WHY he is giving up....for now. Doesn't mean he won't try again later and do better. I was in my mid-30s before my hard work started to pay off for me.
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  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Alb, I've been following along here but just now have a chance to post. First, I am so sorry for your crushing disappointment. Of course that is how you feel! We get so hopeful. I never want to abandon hope for my precious difficult child, but....sometimes this is the price of hope. And we pay the price so dearly. Maybe they do, too. Who knows.

    I love this, Alb. You were cautiously responding to your son. You were excited and hopeful at seeing him looking so good. That is so human and so right. He has made progress, Alb. You saw it. With your own eyes.

    And then he actually called. He actually did what he said he would do. That, too, is progress. It still IS progress and that progress DID HAPPEN.




    And yet again.

    Again, yes. Alb, here is the question I always have for myself, after a few days go by and I'm getting over the crushing disappointment. Should I have done something different? And only I can answer that question, for me? Not different for them. Different for me.

    We have been hurt so much. We have wandered in the vast wasteland of deep pain for so many years. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being hurt so much. At one point I was terrified of being hurt again. I couldn't take one. more. hurt.

    Today, I can take more hurt. But I don't necessarily WANT to.

    That leads me to this place. Right now, my son is behaving much like your son did. I am cautiously optimistic....well maybe a little, but maybe not, too.

    He's homeless after nearly 5 weeks out of jail. Still.
    He has no job. Still.
    He's basically doing the same things he did the first days of being out of jail.

    From my perspective. Which is very limited. By my own choosing.

    I don't really know what he is doing/not doing/thinking/feeling, Alb. I don't know because I am allowing myself only very small interactions with him.

    For me. And for him.

    I posted elsewhere on this site about an insight I had this week about the parallel between my mom/me years ago when we detached for a while and then my son/me now that we are detaching for a while.

    I had to have that time to break my too-close reliance on my mother. I was a 26 or 27 year old married woman who was way too dependent and reliant on my mother for way too many things. I lived in another state, but my mom was the Queen of my life. If she said it, that was gospel.

    I had not broken the apron strings. I see that so much more clearly today.

    My son HAS to have the time to break free of me. If he doesn't have that time, he has no chance. He still may not be able to do the work he needs to do to build a good life for himself now, next time, or the time after that. I don't know.

    I only know that I am getting the way of his adulthood. And of course, that is the very last thing I want to do.

    I have no idea if you are in the same place with your son or not.

    Of course, we want to see them and celebrate their progress! That is such a wonderful thing. They want it and we want it.

    But for me (just for me, Alb) right now, I sense that whatever is good that is happening with him is very fragile. I don't want to disrupt that.

    So for me, for today (who knows about tomorrow), I am working hard to stay away. These 10-minute car talks are about all we need to be doing for a while, at the most.

    I would love to take him to lunch this weekend. But I'm not planning to do that right now.

    I hope you and husband are okay today and enjoying some peace and some sunshine. The progress did occur, Alb. What happened after the progress doesn't take that away.

    We are like them---inch by inch we move forward on some days. Inch by inch we backtrack on other days.

    This is the stuff of real life. This is the way all of us change. It's not one big fell swoop forward that stays that way. It's a back and forth thing and looks chaotic and frustrating and hopeless, but Alb, it's not.

    I think realizing this and living into it (as much as we can with our humanity) is part of Acceptance. A really really hard part.

    Blessings and peace and my prayers for you today. So glad you are here.
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Echo, I also wanted to write to you...

    Yes they do. Their coping skills appear to be nil. But then I think that, wow, he is living on the street and surviving. That is very basic stuff. He is living---breathing, sleeping, eating, moving from place to place every day with just a backpack and nothing else. Could I do that? Would I do that? I don't know. I guess I would if I had to. Hard to fathom.

    So...is it when they have to deal with "regular people in regular society" with all of the responsibilities and expectations of "taking care of yourself" that they can't/won't/don't do it? I've completely gotten rid of "you have to go to college and get married and buy a house and have 2.5 kids." That's done. Now it's this: "you have to get a job in a factory or at a convenience store and find a room to rent or a crappy efficiency apartment that is super-cheap and walk to work every day and heat up cans of whatever for dinner". I know...that's still expectations, but I'm getting there! : ) Maybe the reality is/will be: spending days at the day shelter eating breakfast and lunch, walking around town, getting food stamps, talking the right talk, but not making it happen. Maybe that is HIS best effort.

    Actually, when I think about that, I think alcoholics can make that kind of life happen long-term. Usually, drug addicts can't because they end up stealing in order to buy drugs and then law enforcement steps in. That has been my observation and the observation of others and one major difference in alcoholics/drug addicts. So the above "reality" I wrote usually has an end because drug addicts take drugs. That's what they do. They can white-knuckle it for a while (my son usually can for 30 to 60 days) and then they go back to the drugs. Without a program of recovery.

    Oh, Echo, who knows? (sigh)

    Yes, when I first read the above I thought, wow, Alb had so, so, so far to fall that offering a mild response like that would be completely impossible. Instead I bet she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs. That is the value of waiting. To not immediately respond so we can get some perspective. Otherwise, we are back at it---just as crazy as they are---screaming our deep disappointment and grief and fear in reaction to yet another backtracking by them. Ugh. I like your responses very much. A mild response regardless of how I feel inside.

    Oh Echo. This broke my heart. I was there with you, seeing him walking down the street. It brings tears to my eyes even now. He is our son. He is everyone's son. This is the heartbreaking, can't sleep at night, will I ever survive this stuff.

    We give them gloves (rehab, food, money, a cell phone, a place to live, a college education, new clothes, take them to get their driver's license again and pay for it, bus passes, new Nikes, on and on and on and on) and then a few days later, there are no gloves and their hands are red and chapped.

    And we see...again....again....again...that we just can't fix this. We can't give them enough pairs of gloves to keep them warm.

    And this is the hardest thing in the world to see and to grasp and to remember and to finally. Finally. Finally. Accept.

    And then we STILL have to do it again. We still have to buy more gloves, out of our deep love, or offer to help them buy a bike once they get a job and a place to live, we still have to do SOMETHING, because to do NOTHING is incomprehensible to us.

    And we have to accept all over again. We have to do it every single day. It doesn't stick. Just like their big plans and big talk and steps forward doesn't stick.

    Oh, I see myself so clearly walking the same exact path my son is walking. His is for drugs. Mine is for control.

    God, help me let go and give it ALL to you. That has to be my prayer every day, every hour, every minute sometimes.

    Thank you for continuing to teach me this lesson by the vision of your son walking down the street. I hate it. I wish I could do something about it. But I can't.

    Blessings and prayers and sunshine for you today, my friend Echo.
  11. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    This is my son you are describing. His life. He doesn't want a normal life. He doesn't want a normal job. He doesn't want four walls and a roof. He doesn't want bills to pay. He doesn't want anyone else to have any expectations of him. He doesn't want to be told "this is how people are supposed to live, you have to do the same". If he had a time-machine I think he would travel back to the stone-age, where life was just survival, simple, uncomplicated. I have no idea how he survives or, even more amazingly, seems to enjoy his lifestyle. He tells me that centuries ago this is how people lived, "yes" I say, "but their life expectancy was about 30 at best". Shrug. He doesn't care, just thinks I'm dumb to not 'get' it. I've stopped judging him by my own standards, it's best for you to do the same. I think my son would get on well with your sons Alb and Com. For a short time anyway :)
  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is my difficult child exactly. He once told me he had no intention of getting a job, his goal was to live his entire life on "air, sunshine and love." It was eye-rolling cute at 18, not so cute at 21. If he were living on air, sunshine and love while hiking the Appalachian Trail or riding the rails, we would be applauding his adventurous spirit and courage. But he doesn't step over the back fence; instead he tries to find his adventure in a bottle and ends up enraged and despising himself and those around him.

    Child, you are right about the living on the streets stuff. My difficult child's (mis) adventures have taken him to some very remote places with some very dangerous people and no one to turn to for help. I don't know that I could survive that, but he does. And I know that if I ever find myself in the zombie apocalypse, my difficult child would be the go-to guy. He can handle stuff like that. He just can't handle a job.

    Hmmm....perhaps I am seeing him and myself in some new ways today. This thread is leading me to see this situation in many more facets and I am very grateful for that.

    Lucy,our boys should get together. Maybe we can pitch a new reality series and that is how they can earn their grocery money.
  13. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My son would tell your son that he doesn't need any grocery money. You just need to search the skips and rubbish bins behind supermarkets when no-one is around and then use up all the food that is disgracefully wasted by big commercial businesses that don't have any respect for the world. (and he's probably got a point hasn't he?)

    It's known as 'skipping' here, but I think you call it 'dumpster-diving' in the US.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    MW, when I read this I had a picture of the Olympics in curling, with difficult child as that giant metal ball careening across the ice and me frantically in front of him, sweeping, sweeping, trying desperately to shape his path and determine where he will land. How exhausting. How silly. Thank you so much.
  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    thank you for seeing my son so clearly today. Thank you for seeing me, too.

    I had to grind my teeth to not take control. I wanted to offer him a bed. I even wanted to take him on our family trip (REALLY BAD IDEA). I wanted to offer to call the housing, give him money, give him a bag of groceries. I wanted to intervene. but Child, he didn't ask for any of those things. I don't think he would have been so honest with me if I had been in a place lately of rushing in.

    I can only stand back and watch him, love him from a careful distance. I hope he is OK while I'm gone...isn't that funny? I do nothing to ensure his OKness while I'm here..I don't know why leaving feels so bad. It does bring up years of memories of vacations and family events he missed for any of a variety of reasons, usually at some new therapeutic/rehab/treatment place. He has missed a lot. I have missed a lot.

    but I ramble.

    Yes Child, we walk the same path as our sons. And we can't give them enough gloves to keep them warm.
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  16. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Albatross, there's nothing I can add except that here's one more comrade hurting for you. (((HUGS)))
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Albatross, everyone has given you stellar support, I have nothing really to add except to make sure you are taking TERRIFIC care of YOU, nurture yourself, do very kind things for yourself and make YOU the priority. I am reading along and sending you prayers and good thoughts.......I hope you have a good day today........
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I wanted to give you an update. He sent another text saying he was going to "just lie to them so I can enlist and deal with the consequences if I get caught. I'm tired of constantly worrying about my job and loneliness."

    I really REALLY wanted to give him some advice or try to get accurate information but I didn't. (!!!)

    Using your suggestions, I texted him back "I'm sorry things are so hard for you right now. You've done great so far, and I have all faith you will continue. You know what is best for you. Best wishes with whatever you decide."

    All true statements, no fixing, just faith.

    He responded, "Well, thank you. I ended up getting a nice tip at work which is pretty cool. Thank you, I will try to get cleared for service as soon as I can. Working tomorrow so I will make rent. Love you."

    So he was catastrophizing, and he worked through it without any help from you-know-who.

    Today he worked through a challenge on his own, and I let him.
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  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am stunned at the changes in our kids once we stop controlling / enabling.

    Albatross, you did a phenomenal job.

    I was tempted to give an answer on the lying thing!



    It's true that the kids are not where we want them to be, yet. All this takes time. But there is hope, now.

    I have been trying to remember words and phrases from the site when interacting with difficult child daughter. It is almost impossibly hard to just be supportive without putting in my interminable advice. I can see now how that might belittle a child ~ even a very young one.
  20. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Alb my son used to call me and tell me all about how he was going to beat the system. One time he said he was going to pay an accountant to do his accounting homework for him and he was looking on Craigslist for one, to whom he was going to pay $20.

    All I could feel was physically ill.

    And back then alb I would spent countless energy sitting him down explaining why this was wrong. Like we hadn't taught him those values already his whole entire life.

    Lol at me.

    I am so proud of you for being able to set and hold that boundary as he was saying this thing that I am sure must have really hurt you to hear. I remember feeling so dismayed and sick that if he actually thought that, wow, what a long long road he has ahead of him.

    Alb your son knows already that this is not the way to go. Maybe he is getting sick and tired and that comment is a desperate idea he was trying on for size.

    That is not a bad thing at all alb and the fact that you had a mild response to him gave him space alb.

    Space to really let it go as what his response really could be. You did good alb and I am wishing good things for you and him both today.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders