It's like a break up...


A day or so ago I posted that I didn't really miss my son, that my house was peaceful and I felt okay.

Yah, that didn't last. I cleaned and organized and listened to an album I use to listen to and sing to my son when he was a baby last night. That was probably a bad idea, in hindsight. He texted and asked to come by to pick up his SS card so he could get food stamps, and I got to hug him and see him. I told him I loved him and I was very proud of him for getting it together. I also shared a story with him that when I was two years younger than he was, I was kicked out of the house with much much less, pretty much a motorcycle and 40.00 and had to live on the floor of a cambodian family's apartment for three months, so at least his couch surfing host can communicate with him. He told me that he and his girlfriend from hell (my words) found an apartment that was income based and he was still looking for work. I told him it's been only two days, and gave him a dress shirt and tie. He kissed me and left. I was strong in front of him. Didn't cry. Smiled. Told him I was proud of him and that he was doing okay. Gave him soft toilet paper to take home. (he's a guy, and soft tp is important, or so my husband says)

Well, since then, I've been a crying mess. I think it started with my listening to that stupid album and thinking about all of the gifts he has been given that he is not using, physically and talentwise. And how bad I screwed up by giving him too much. Or something. It feels like I am actually breaking up with a boyfriend, how sick is that? Talk about dependency. I thought that he was dependent on me for money, (which he was), but what kind of mother just forks over stuff to her son without holding him accountable for it? So I think I'm going through the whole stages of grief thing, and I'm somewhere in grief and denial.

I don't even have it as bad as most of the parents on this forum and so I'm sorry for the pity party I'm having, he's not shooting up somewhere, he's just in a weird place.

I did want to share one thing here. I was really proud of him for going down and getting food stamps and housing lined up. My mother called me last night to see how he was doing, and I said, Mom, you aren't going to BELIEVE this, but he is actually figuring out basic survival skills and shared that story with her. She just went off on me, and said that he was just trading in reliance upon me to reliance on the government, and that there were food banks and he wasn't starving, and he was just going to trade it in for cigarettes and etc. The reaction floored me. I thought it was a good thing. When I was much younger, I too got food stamps and even welfare and WIC, and now I make super great money and I am proud to pay taxes back to help other people. I never thought I would have to use my anti-codependent talks on my mother, but I said, well, I am proud of him for that, and you and I will just have to disagree about it. I love you anyways, and then I hung up. I don't think difficult child will use temporary assistance FOREVER, maybe for the next couple of years until he gets his feet and gets through school... but that's what it's for!!

In France, students and young people get monthly assistance and there is no problem with it - when they get older they give back.

Anyway, that bothered me, and I wanted to vent a little.

Then this morning, I had a dream that I was driving at a normal speed down a freeway and something happened and I over corrected, and then over corrected again and everything went out of control and I ended up heading sideways towards a truck, closing my eyes to the inevitable crash. I don't have to be Freud to know what that means. I know I will get through this. And I know it will be okay. I'm just a little depressed and sad, and it's 12:30 noon and I'm still in my pjs drinking coffee in bed. Not healthy.

Back to the original thread. I haven't felt like this since I had a bad breakup. It's weird. My poor husband. Thank you all for listening.

*p.s. I'm still trying to figure out how to do the bottom signature thing.


I think it is a good thing that your son got the food stamp application on his own. Better this than harass you, beg, starve or steal. I know it is hard, but generally speaking, family members don't usually "get" what we are going through and they too are frightened. So, instead of comforting or lending an ear, they argue with you or accuse you of doing everything wrong, etc. just let it go in one ear and out the other. Sounds like he might also look for a job soon.
Perhaps you did some enabling before...hard to say. But it doesn't seem like you are doing it now. He, like many young men, seem to need to learn life's lessons first hand. Surely you miss what might have been, what should have been, ideally. who knows what the future holds...likely good, even great things. Patience. Hang in there.


Well-Known Member
I think the food stamp thing is good too. I think it would be better if he got a job and didn't need it, but at least he has a way to buy food that doesn't include you.

When my daughter did drugs and had to leave my house, I cried for three weeks, but it had to be done. She is the first one to say it was the best thing we ever did to her. She had no choice but to either be homeless or go live with her straight arrow brother who would not even tolerate a cigarette in his house or in front of his house. Knowing she'd REALLY be out on the street...that he did not have the ambivalence we did and would not waiver...she followed all his rules, including cleaning the house, cooking, getting a job that she had to walk to because she had no car, and quitting all drugs, pot included. Cigarettes included.

We are very close now and my daughter is working, bought her own house with her boyfriend, and is over her growing up problems. Once we found out she was using drugs, she never got another dime from us, even when she was living with us. She had to get a job (and did) if she wanted anything other than necessities. She has a good work ethic now!!!

Sometimes this can work to a child's advantage. My daughter was 19 when we made her leave. We are not that crazy about her SO, but he is ok. We don't get involved in our children's relationships even if they are bad ones. Once they are adults, we let them learn lessons themselves. We will always listen to them, but never give advice unless asked.

I hope you feel better soon. You are doing your son a favor by forcing him to grow up. What your mother thinks is insignificant. If she is not supportive, you may have to distance yourself from her or not talk about your son with her. You don't need anyone judging you!! Last thing you need.


Midwest Mom, you give great advice. Thank you. You have 16,000 posts? Wow. You are right. I'm 50 years old, why do I care what my mother thinks? Especially because I support her. Good heavens.

I've decided to get showered and dressed and go to Ikea, my happy place. Thanks for listening.

If I could just figure out a way to get the squirrels out of my walls, I'd probably be happier too. **** tree rats.

scent of cedar

New Member
It IS like a breakup, dancerat. When we face facts about what our children are doing, we need to grieve the future we held for them in our hearts. We grieve that things will need to be so tough for them, when everything they need is right here, where we all have always lived, together as a family. Your feelings are right and appropriate. Though you are in pain, you are taking appropriate actions toward your son, so that he can understand the need to change course.

It is never easy to understand our dreams are tarnished. But you know what? It takes real courage to admit it, to see what needs to happen next for the sake of the child, and to do it.

I admire you, dancerat.

I am sorry you are sad, and that you miss your boy.

You are doing the right thing, for his sake.

That is what a great mom does.




Well-Known Member
Staff member
Dancerat, I hope you made it to IKEA.

To me it sounds as if you're right in the throes of the process of detachment. I am so sorry. We all know how it hurts and how it goes up and down and sideways. It is much like the Elizabeth Kubler Ross stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, in no particular order. When it comes to our kids, we parents tend to hold on tight, so letting go and detachment is really tough.

As Cedar said, we have to at some point let go of OUR dreams for them. Not so easy.

The grief is deep and the longer your son stays "out there" on whatever level he does, the grief goes on because the process of really letting go of the life we thought they'd have gets our attention and then reality strikes.............they may not reach their potential, they may not get to where we always believed they would, they may settle for much less then we would have imagined. In any case, there is grief.

My advice is always to find a therapist for you. I had private therapy and I was in a parents Codependency group lead by a therapist and I attended NAMI and CoDa groups. I don't know how parents traverse this landscape without professional help. But some do. I was not one of them.

As Nomad mentioned, people who are not directly involved with a difficult child lifestyle have no clue what this is about. Likely best for your own sake to keep your choices to yourself until you're strong enough to not take it personally. It isn't personal, this really does fly in the face of regular parenting, other parents can't imagine the devastation we go through, so they will blame us for what is happening or blame the kid. Either way it's judgment coming from others who have not been in your shoes. Keep it to a minimum for your own sanity. Otherwise you will find yourself defending your choices too much. It will wear you out.

Going back in time and seeing the younger version of our kids is kind of a normal fascination we seem to have. It seems to be a part of all of this. It hurts though. And, we all seem to do it, so just ride through those episodes as best you can realizing it is a normal thing we do in trying to make some sense of all of it.

You're doing all the right things. That doesn't mean it's easy. That doesn't mean it will feel good. In fact, it will feel pretty bad. But, it is the appropriate response to the choices your son is making or not making. He's the one now making those bad choices.

I also agree that getting the food stamps for the time being is a good choice for him as he figures it all out. It's a choice that is available for him, he should take it until he gets on his feet.

Hang in there, keep posting, we are all here for helps to write it down and get responses.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Dancerat, to put a signature in, go to settings at the top of this page on the right hand side........, click on settings, scroll down and look on the left hand side. Find profile and under that you will find signature and bio, go into those and create your signature. You can also check on Avatar and create one for yourself.


Thanks, with your help, I believe I've got it. I think all the stress has gotten to me, I woke up with a terrible sore throat and swollen glands. I gargled with turmeric and it helped some, but I think what I really need is some downtime. Sadly, I am going back to work on Wednesday, and probably sick. Ugh.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Good work on the signature.

Just a thought given you're coming down with a cold.........stress lowers the immune system so we do pick up more illnesses rolling around..............if it feels right to you, find a good acupuncturist..............I have been going for years and it's wonderful for relaxing, strengthening your immune system, combating the kinds of stresses we face here..........I just feel good when I I go for tune-ups, I believe it keeps me healthy no matter what goes on................Hope you feel better.


Well-Known Member
Dont you hate looking back on those baby pictures? I do. I only have one picture of my difficult child graduating and that was from Head I cant help remembering him as a small child because he has two little girls who either look just like him or act just like him. Thankfully its not both of Two difficult grands in my house would be just too much for me!

One thing I did learn over the last few years as my difficult child has gone off on his own, though he is back now until he can get back on his feet, is that when a boy grows up and becomes an adult they simply dont do well at home. At least most of them. They get stuck between two worlds. The world of a grown man who can stand on his own feet and support himself and family...and then there is that stuck teenager in there if they are still at home. My youngest has always felt better about himself if he is supporting himself, even if that is only with disability and food stamps.

Oh one thing I have seen in your posts is that your son is a piano player. Please make sure you keep that because at some time in his life when he is settled down he will want it badly. I also played piano and when my parents divorced they got rid of the piano. At that point I was in no condition to take it because I rented. Its hard to move a piano when you move in a car.


We are a musical family, and our whole downstairs is a music room. We have two pianos, a full drum set and a wall of guitars. My husband is a jazz musician so music is a huge part of our life. I always thought that if difficult child could just start a band it might center him, but GFH doesn't want him to, so oh well. His choice though. I told him he cannot take his keyboards or fancy guitars until he gets a stable place to live because I think he would hock them or sell them for money and we have spent too much for him to sell them for pennies on the dollar. I am thinking strongly that what you said about the two worlds is true. Thank you for your thoughts.


Well-Known Member
My own two cents?

I think playing in a band is another child's pursuit and many musicians get involved with drugs. I would be more wanting him to get a regular job. At best, perhaps, if he finds a straight group of people (non drug users) it could function as a hobby once his life is sorted out.

The only thing that may center him is getting serious help. That is what most of our kids need...and to work HARD at the help they are getting. It is seriously hard work...I've been there/done that/have the tee-shirt. Nothing outside of himself will help him if he can't learn how to calm the chaos within and take responsibility for his life.