When your difficult child chooses to shut you out....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    There are a lot of posts about detaching when your difficult child continually asks for help, etc. In my situation, my difficult child has chosen to shut me out of her life ... at least for now. For those who have faced this (and I know you're out there!), how do you handle detachment of that kind?

    She moved out of the hotel with her internet boyfriend about ten days ago and moved in with her dad, just down the street from me. I am VERY glad she is out of that situation and was supportive in the text I sent when she texted me to say she was there. My text read: You're doing the right thing, sweetie. I love you.

    We had a "date" to go see Eat, Pray, Love last Monday. When I showed up to pick her up at the appointed time, the door was unlocked and she was gone. I was scared to death. This is VERY unlike her.

    She finally called DEX an hour or so later to say she was "hanging" with an ex-boyfriend. She'd told a friend another story and she has not called me since.

    Yes, I know it's only been a week, but it hurts like heck. She'd lived with me up ubtil her hotel adventure and we were very close. This is the loongest we've ever gone without contact. I am not calling her because she needs to own this.

    I'm keeping as busy as I can. I'm re-reading "co-dependant no more". I pray a lot. And I still need help.

  2. 7jewels

    7jewels Guest

    It takes so long to accept that WE don't NEED our difficult child's, and that they are adults. I'm on that road, too. I remember the first time my difficult child and I were separated for longer than a week or two (she was in ED/Residential Treatment Center (RTC)), it was agony. Distraction is best. Read stuff that has NOTHING to do with difficult child's and only a half hour or so of Codependent No More. Even with my large family, I still HAD to force myself to find distractions from my obsession with my difficult child; she was MY addiction and I had to own that. It's a process for sure. Love and hugs.
  3. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    For me, it's been a year since difficult child-S left. I think I'm finally now, getting to the point where I can distance myself and start the healing process.

    With difficult child-A, he's been gone since 15. He comes around every once in a while. He says he loves me and give me a hug, but only if I keep my mouth shut about everything in his life. So it's a very distant relationship.

    Time, and a LOT of it, is the only thing that helps. And it really doesn't heal the pain. The scar just gets thick enough that the pain isn't as intense. The heart is still broken. But you learn how to live with a broken heart. And you accept that you did do everything in your power to help them, but they are not puppets. You can't control them or live their lives for them. You have to let them go. Love them. Care about them. Pray for them. But you can't live for them. And I hope that someday the planets will align in just the right way and my kids will be my kids once again.

    Sorry you are going through all of this. {{{{HUGS}}}}
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It takes time. Especially with all the changes you have had to process. Be good to yourself and find a new hobby or interest.
  5. Bean

    Bean Member

    I'm sorry. This must be really hard for you. I haven't experienced this on a large scale--yet. But I feel like there are pockets of time in my life when contact has been completely on her terms. It isn't easy, either. But when my daughter would go on the run, contact would be on her terms, not mine. That was hard. We didn't get to meet, talk or whatever when it was convenient for me, so it was always a somewhat stressful event. If I hadn't heard from her, I'd want to stop everything I was doing when she did call, because I wasn't sure when she would call again.

    It is not the preferred way of having a relationship. Just make sure you set up your parameters, too. She was supposed to meet you for lunch. Her just taking off and not respecting that was pretty rude of her. The worry of "how she is" might be trumping that, though for you right now.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    L is doing that to us right now. There is never any contact unless it is initiated by me. Honestly it's probably for the best. Her boyfriend (????) of six years kicked her out once and for all, and she is on the prowl trying to find her husband/father of her children. I pity the fool. But I digress...

    We didn't have contact with M for years. I don't think that your situation will come to that. Our lives were completely toxic. We hear from him now and then, usually it's his calling for advice that he doesn't intend to take. I try calling and texting from time to time - like his birthday earlier this month - but if he doesn't want it, there's nothing I can do. I just try to make sure that he knows we're here.
  7. 7jewels

    7jewels Guest

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. I read your post about 20 times. My scars are thickening as well. When I have seen my difficult child over the past year (3 or 4 times), I have to use the 12 step technique of "acting as if" everything is normal and ok. . . . and particularly acting like I DON"T need or want her to be "better" or live a certain way. If she even sees my eyelids flutter in a certain way or I make the slightest weak comment, her control issues swing into action and I feel as if there's a knife being plunged into my back. "Acting as if" takes a LOT of practice. I try to be patient with myself for my errors in allowing my difficult child to manipulate (yet again). But I get better with each encounter . . . as my scars thicken.
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I think she's counting on my concern for how she is to trump her downright cruel treatment of me. In my heart, I am way more concerned about her well being than I am about her lack of social graces, but I will not allow her to squirm out of an acknowledgment, if not an apology.

    Fortunately, her dad does call and update me. Unfortunately, he's pretty hands off and does a lot of looking the other way. She'd been living with him in the spring following her last Internet boyfriend debacle. At the time, I was in an apartment waiting for my house to be rebuilt following a fire. She said she'd intended to move into the house with me when it was done and was just spending time with dad. While this was partially true, I suspect her real motives had to do with her ongoing campaign to get him to allow her to use his car to drive to North Carolina to see this dude. Anyway, she got mad at him for not allowing her to take his car on this journey, got mad at him for his drinking (poured out a bottle of his vodka in the process), and moved back with me in the apartment.

    At the time, I told her that it is never ok to be estranged from a parent. Yes, you don't like his drinking but you don't show it by destroying his property (said this more kindly than it's coming across here). They saw one another because he was helping me transition back to the house and she did, eventually, apologize for the vodka thing. Still, he made no effort to see her for about six weeks. And even after that, it was minimal.

    Yesterday, he said to me "well, we're just wired differently. when she was with you and I didn't hear from her much, I didn't think about it because I knew she was ok."

    Yep. We're wired differntly alright. To say the least!

    I know I'm just going to have to let this run its course. Thank you for your support and all your good advice. I know time is my friend.

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{Dash}}} I always enjoyed a very close relationship with my easy child - still do, though on different terms.

    This past year has been terrible with her. It felt like a delayed adolescence, but for her, this past year was filled with some healthy changes and decisions. I cannot say that I agree with everything she's done, but I know that the foundation she's received is sturdy and that she will be okay in the end. She's growing and changing and I have stumbled along the way, felt a lot of pain through her rejection and I have mourned the loss of the young woman I KNEW...and have slowly come to accept the person she's slowly evolving into.

    The bottom line, for me, is that I needed to learn acceptance. Acceptance that she is an adult and acceptance that I have no contol over it. The good news is that once I began accepting her as she is and treating her more like a young adult (respecting her decisions and allowing her to learn by her own mistakes) I was able to overcome my pain and she was able to overcome her resentment. We're getting back to being able to joke around and be close again. It took a little while, and it's not perfect because there are times when I feel her absence to a massive degree, but we're getting better. She actually came away to PA with me this past weekend and last week we went out to dinner and a movie. No attitude. And at the end of our time together, she went to her home and I went to mine.

    Acceptance is also what helped me deal with both difficult child's detachment from me and me from hers. I think you need to find ways in which to fill your life with more things and people who feed your soul and time. I went back to school and I continue to work on my marriage and myself, figure out personal interests outside of my family, strengthen friendships, etc. At this stage, it's important to let her feel her own way and you start turning the focus back onto yourself. I really believe everything has a way of falling into place. Hugs.