How do you let go


New Member
Dad? You don't let go. You choose not to be miserable over events you do not control. At my house, we had to learn to identify the feelings themselves as the enemy. The hopelessness, the grief, the frustration, the almost fanatic compiling of information that no one will read.

The thing is that you taught your difficult child better than to do what she did. You raised her better than to treat you as she is treating you. The places she has been and the things she has done have just about killed you.

But no matter what you did, it didn't work, did it.

When your difficult child is ready, she will be ready. Until she is, there is literally nothing you can do that will not enable her to slide further down the tubes.

So now, you need to heal yourself.

Begin countering the stress response. So many of us suffer a kind of post-traumatic stress ~ only our issues, and our guilt, are compounded, because it is our own children we were unable to save.

Many of us have lost, or are losing, our marriages. Unless you can understand how the pieces fit together, there is just too much pain.

I see you have not posted a response. I would urge you to post here as often as the whim strikes, and about any aspect of life with your difficult child, either now or as she recovers. We have all been where you are, today.

We can help you get through this intact.



Well-Known Member
Yes- its hearbreaking to be in this situation. My son was just a week away from joining the Marines for abut 4 months, the pathological lies were an insult. The money he needed - he had excuses and lies for everything. At one point I had had enough,nothing he ever said was true. I mean nothing. I couldn't take the craziness. Your daughter has you in the same situation. If you tell her "no more", she will be forced to help herself. Hang up when she yells. Tell her you will only listen to a calm voice. When she says, "But what will I do?". Have something prepared, like, "Your a smart girl, I'm sure you'll figure something out", or say "That's too bad" when she demands money. Don't let her abuse you like this. It will make her angry at you, but be steadfast in your decision- she will rise to the occasion and help herself because she will have no choice. Seriously, like ant'smom says, there are programs for women to help them with services, I don't know what they are- but there is alot more than welfare. On my first ever post here I wrote while my husband was on his way to our son bringing him all his childhood money from every holiday and birthday...he was 18... and every person typed, don't do it, but in week all the money was gone. No more money to her, ok? -Alyssa


New Member
Thank you for all your responses and support. I guess it's the pregnancy thing that has got me the most. She is in no way ready to raise a child, and her husband who is in prison, may or may not be around to help. She has not been able to make it on her own with alot of help and I don't see how she will manage with a child in the mix. Let me throw out another question and see what you all think. My wife and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary. We have a son also who I guess you would call our easy child, in college and doing all the right things. Fortunately dealing with our difficult child while causing alot of sadness has brought my wife and I closer. We were making plans to be abroad next fall. This would be around the time the baby is due. If we leave we will be in a remote area and not able to return. I guess in one way leaving might be the ultimate detachment. It however doesn't feel right to me. On the other hand I feel resentment that her choices continue to affect us.

Sue C

Active Member
Gosh--this is a tough call. I think you have to do what you feel is right in your (and your wife's) heart.

You are fortunate in that your dealings with your difficult child have brought you and your wife closer, because for many, it pulls them apart.

Take care,


Well-Known Member
Hello "the dad",

I must admit I haven't been where you are. However, I just wanted to welcome you. I have been on this site for about 7 or 8 years and I can tell you that it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Just talking about things here with people who understand and are not judgmental and have experience, is the best form of support that we can find anywhere in the whole world. You are no longer alone, and we will all be here for you and your wife.

Yes, I can understand the dilemma of wanting to be there when the child is born. I hope you are able to find the right balance and make a decision you can feel OK with.

Love, Esther


New Member
Let me clarify a little. It's not so much that I want to be there when the child is born. The things that should be milestones in our childs life have only brought sadness. We were in South America when she got married to a guy on his way to prison. I am not happy about the marrage but have no regrets about missing the wedding. The birth of what may be our first grandchild only brings me sadness. My honest hope is that if she has this child she puts it up for adoption. So to be honest I have no great desire to be there for the birth. I don't believe it is right for her to have a child she is not at all prepared to care for. And while there may be social programs that can help her, I guess I feel in general that people should be responsible for themselves and not depend on society to shoulder those responsiblities for them. The help I have given her since high school had been ment to enable her to take care of herself, ie, get a job, get an education, but somehow it has enabled her only to head down the wrong road. We live in a small town and while she often states she wants to leave she really doesn't have anywhere to go. I would be fine if she left. It's not really practical for us to move, although the thought has crossed my mind. I guess I am envisioning her being homeless and pregnant or with baby in tow while my wife and I are off traveling. None of our friends or business associates have any idea of what is going on. And like I said, this is a small town where my wife and I are far from anonymous. And please, don't get the idea that it is just about us (my wife and I). It seems like we have been very focused on our difficult child and now find ourselves torn between her and getting on with our lives.

Getting happier

New Member
I feel the same. I see my difficult child full of potential, fail at every opportunity, many that other kids would not have had available. I was getting sucked into helping him or being an enabler. He had a job and was walking to and from, it was below 21 deg here. So, I tried to help him get a loan for a car even though he works part time at $6.50, I did not want to. Because my credit is low I was having trouble getting loan , therefore for one wk straight he and I were together after work, sitting in car dealerships. He was volatile angry and disrespectful to me and it took all he had to be respectful to the dealers and financial people. I never stopped praying. Suddenly, after one dealer who deals with bad credit, told us he could get 2006 chevy malibu with $350 payments and insurance of $350 which would have been total disaster with me as cosigner, difficult child calls me saying he paid cash for a car $1000 with $80 insurance liability only. I realize this was the best. God worked it out for me. I have not seen difficult child since. but by not helping him I helped him, I remember in alanon, if you really want to help, which I do and I know you do too, then do nothing. I have not seen him and will not call or contact him, if he wants money or help I will say no. I would protect his child though. That child will be a light in darkness and is a person worthy of love and respect. If I could not care for the child I would allow DCFS to take and protect the child til difficult child was able to.
We have to let go and detach even if it results in difficult child death, we cannot prevent that. It could happen even if we are in the mix trying to save them. Unless they fall so low ( and low is lower than any of us dreamed in our worst nightmare) they will never get off the stuff and turn life around.


Active Member
Do you and your wife want to be part of this child's life? We have a grand-child whom we are helping to raise. We're in our late 40's and well-off financially. We could raise our grandson without any problem and we are willing to do so if the need arises.

However, if you are not able or simply don't want to be in this child's life, then staying away would be better. At any rate, take care.


New Member
You say you are hoping your daughter will give the baby up for adoption. Is she thinking along those lines? Have you or she looked into a home for unwed mothers?

In answer to your question I see that you do have many choices.

If you want to go away and feel that you won't be able to hold your head up if you do, how about getting involved now. Maybe you could convince your daughter to get involved in appropriate programs. Help her get plugged into all the available supports. Then tell your friends and family what is going on and advise them of the actions you have done to help your difficult child. Then once everything is in place go on your tip with a clear conscience.

Or if you honestly feel like you are done. If you feel that you cannot advise her to avail herself of the social help that the government and community makes availble to her because it goes against your core beliefs. If you have done all you are willing to do for her then go and don't look back. Those that judge have not walked in your shoes and are not worthy of being called "friend".

My only other advice is to always remember that there is a huge difference between detaching and disowning. Be sure both of what you are doing and that it is indeed what you truly want to do.


New Member
My advice would be that unless you feel your continued involvement will effect positive change, you should go on with your lives.

If this child were walking a positive path now, would you feel free to go adventuring with your spouse?

Then do it.

Part of what needs to happen for both you and your child is for her to realize that you are willing to accept the choices she makes WITHOUT LETTING IT DESTROY YOU.

Once she sees that she is not engaged in some high drama where grief over her choices rules the day, she may change her mind and decide she really does not want a life centered on husbands in prison or babies born and raised without adequate support from the father.

Whatever your daughter decides, you have no control over her choices.

You only get to decide whether you will love her anyway, or not.

You can love her, tell her clearly that she is making wrong choices, ask her why she does not do thus and so instead ~ and then, accept her answers and her actions and go on with your own lives without condemning yourselves for what she decides to do.

One of the things my husband and I have had to give up is pride in our parenthood. We are like the walking wounded after the battle has been lost. In our interactions with other parents, parents whose children have just received a medical degree or purchased a swanky new home or presented them with that longed-for grandchild, we are silent.

Learning to celebrate with those whose chidren have walked a different path has been almost impossible.

But we are working on it.

By the time I found the site, I was so riddled with guilt over what had happened to my son that it was difficult ~ no, impossible ~ for me to believe I deserved any good thing.

But limiting my own life did not help my child.

This is the other thing those of us with children who are self-destructing need to come to a place of peace about.

Limiting your own life will not help your child make another, better choice.

Though it may not look like it now, the value system your child was raised with is still in there. One day, she will be ready to get on with her life.

That is the time when she will need your support.

For now, your job is to heal and to cherish yourselves and each other, and to go on from here.

I am so sorry this has happened to you, and to your family.