What's happening to me in detachment...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Ah, Child

    ...I am so very very very sorry to hear this. My own skin is up in goosebumps at the shock and derailment.

    They will do what they do, won't they. You said just a few days ago that he doesn't make it more than 60 days, and so it is.

    I am so sad for you.

    I just looked up and read your signature again...

    "24 difficult child son, addicted to drugs and alcohol, no recovery (yet!), keeps spiraling down, jail, arrests, homelessness, rehabs, lies, stealing, no responsibility, victim...all of the usual. He doesn't have a problem, doesn't need rehab"

    It is true, isn't it. Keeps spiralling down, arrests....lies...stealing...all of the usual.

    I tend to agree with you that he won't go to rehab.
    I agree with you that $200 bail won't help his life in the big picture.

    Why why why do they do that?

    That is the right thing to do. The only thing to do.

    Your tools are strong now. You have been diligent about honing them. They will hold you up. You will hold you up. You will be there for him, and be strong for yourself, as things unfold as they must.

    You know, I grew up in a house with no religion, Christian based in terms of celebrating Christmas and Easter in the Santa Claus Bunny manner. Married a jewish guy and had all four of my kids B'nai mitvahed. I like churches. I like synagogues. I never in my life prayed until a few years back when a friend of mine said about my difficult child...I will pray for him.

    And I was so comforted.

    So now, sometimes, I pray.

    And Child, I will pray for you, and for you much loved son.

    I'll be back when I've had a chance to process this. I just want you to know I saw, I read, I know.

  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh COM, I'm stunned and saddened by this. It seems a lot of times just when things are getting better and we start to settle into that idea -- they find a way to mess it up!

    With only what you have told me, it is my gut feeling also that rehab isn't the answer if he is using it as a bargaining chip to stay out of jail. It will just be hots and cots to him. It seems to me that he just isn't ready yet. Maybe this will be what gets him ready. Who knows?

    think it's great that you told him everything you are feeling and told him once again, even in the middle of this, that you have faith that he can deal with this. And he will.

    I'm so glad to hear you have your day planned and filled with activities and people that make it meaningful. I too think that the tools you have been using will help you get through this, but I'm so sorry that you have to. How sad to be right about the 60 days, but I've been there too, so many times.

    Anyway, you are both in my prayers.
  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    That part of your post jumped out at me. Very good that you said those things--better than later wishing you had said them.

    COM, I am so sorry. Your difficult child sounds like such a sweet, lost guy. While I hope he does not go to prison, if he does, there may be several opportunities for therapy, support groups, things along that line. I was so scared when my difficult child when to a prison (sounded much worse than jail), but it was a good place, considering....

    Once, when difficult child was incarcerated, I called the jail about something...anyway, the guy I spoke with said something like, "It won't stick. They almost always come back" and I remember thinking and perhaps responding, No, not my son. He won't be back. difficult child was in for breaking a restraining order. Within a month, he was back in...because he continued to break that restraining order because he thought he could outsmart everybody. At least, that is what it looked like to me.

    I will say a prayer for you and your son right now and will continue. The other day I read something along the lines of "What if you have prayed for somebody for 12 years and nothing has changed? Then, make it a baker's dozen".

    My difficult child does not believe in God. I wish he did. I cannot help but think just feeling that he is loved unconditionally and can go to a higher power for help and guidance might give him peace.

    Again, I am so sorry. Perhaps this is all part of God's plan for your son and something good will come out of it. Not the way we would choose, and not a thing to celebrate by any means.

    You sound good. Keep posting. You and your son will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Child, after our daughter was beat, it was so hard for me to stay in my own skin. Everything felt weird, felt shaky and crooked and wrong. As time passed, I was able to stand up.

    You will too, COM.

    This loving a child determined to go a wrong way takes more strength than we have. We find it somewhere. Somehow, we go on.

    I can't even imagine what it cost you to tell him you would not bail him out.

    The only real thing I can tell you is that I am here. Right here.

    Sometimes, there just isn't anything to say.

  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    how are you today? what is going on in your mind and heart? how are your tools serving you?

    I thought a lot about your son yestarday. I don't know if this applies here, but I think sometimes difficult child's get themselves arrested because it is easier then whatever else they are doing to live outside. Then they are not "failing". They are wrongfully oppressed by the man. A part of your son may have chosen this as one of the ways to get out of the cycle he has been in.

    Or not, of course.

    I hope you are finding some sustenance in prayer, in your friends and peers, in us, in SO, in the daylight which has come around yet again.

    Hugs and strength to you, and prayers from this buddhist for you and your son and all of us.

  6. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    So sorry you are going through this. So much I dont understand abt this horrific disease, altho one universal thing is that they feel they can talk, plead, bat their eyes and get out of everything!!! So so sad.

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  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just wanted you to know I was checking on you, Child.

  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Same here, Child. Hope to hear you are doing OK....thinking about you.

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  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Good Morning to my dear community. I told SO this morning, I have to let my "peeps" know how things are. :) He smiled. He is so glad you are all here for me.

    I had briefly gotten on here yesterday and saw your posts, and was so warmed by them, but I have been running fast and hard with a lot to get done this week so haven't stopped to post, until now. Thank you so much for this caring community and for your words of comfort and support.

    God is very good. He has given me much to do this week that must be done. As you know, I'm in grad school (one class at a time! I'll be 100 by the time I get my master's, but so what?) and Monday night we got our take-home midterm due this coming Monday night and it's a bear! I'm working on it every day for at least one to two hours, plus everything else. My business is very busy as well. The grass is growing, and I'm going to be mowing it for the second time this week. Part of my own set of tools.

    Plus all of the stuff with difficult child. As you know, Thursday morning he called twice from the jail, and then I went to the day shelter to see about the money plus his backpack. Meeting with Heather, the social worker, was an unexpected gift. She is a very kind and compassionate person and believes in difficult child and the fact he has made progress. She also gently confirmed my decision not to bail him out of jail.

    Friday morning I talked with my best friend for a while, cried and cried, and then I let my sister know, cried and cried. Crying is so therapeutic and I don't try to hold it back like I used to. And it doesn't exhaust me as much as it used to. I was able to go on with my morning yesterday and still get a lot done. Then I went down to the County offices to see about the driver's license fine as I told difficult child I would, taking the $50 with me from his dad. So...another God thing...the person in charge of the fines is someone I know, someone I used to go to church with. She also shared with me her meeting of a couple of weeks ago with difficult child and the good things she heard and saw in him at that meeting. She has reduced the fine to the lowest monthly amount possible---$20. She also got more information from me about the warrant and his arrest Wed. night at Wal-mart. Plus details about how much he owes today. She also hugged me, was very caring and compassionate and gave me her card if she can help with anything.

    What a blessing.

    I am considering paying the $20 per month but I haven't decided that yet.

    I emailed difficult child's dad and brother and let them know about the above. It is affirming to see that others believe he has made and is making progress, even though.

    The warrant detailed exactly what he stole. Yes, it was food, but also a six-pack of beer and an X-box controller. He put it all in a cart and just proceeded to walk directly out of the store. Got stopped by an internal person. The total was $94. So, yes he told the truth about the food, but of course, left out the beer and the controller.

    Sounds like he was going to have a party after getting the job that...very. same. day. Ironic, isn't it? He can make a good decision for himself and then self-sabotages for whatever reason---arrogance, grandiosity, I'm-not-going-to-follow-rules, I did something good, now I have to do something bad, fear or failure...whatever the reason. Whatever the reason, and it really doesn't matter what the reason is, it shows how much he needs help.

    And then my parents emailed me and my ex-husband to ask the both of us if we wanted them to talk to him and bail him out so he can start his job on Monday as planned. My dear, sweet parents.

    I called them---got them both on the phone at the same time---and did a lot of listening to their pain. They were so hopeful when difficult child got a job, only to be dashed to the bottom by this news. I so understand that feeling, and then the compulsion to do something, do anything, to stop the insanity. To prevent him from going to prison.

    My mother kept saying, we just want him to know we love him and he hasn't been forgotten and we are here for him. Her voice was shaking. My dad is trying to do the corporate-reasoning thing, if this, then that. Neither of them understands addiction.

    We talked for a while and my dad asked a lot of questions. He wants to know if difficult child has an underlying mental illness and if that can be causing this crazy behavior. He wanted to know if I thought that getting to work at that job on Monday would be a good thing for him, and thus the bail. On and on with the questions.

    Of course, I tried to give some facts, as many as I thought they could handle, about addiction being a primary diagnosis and that it must be treated before it is possible for even the professionals to evaluate a second or third co-occurring diagnosis.

    They kept saying, we don't want to do something you don't agree with or think we should do. I gently said, let's not do anything today.

    I told SO later, I couldn't just straight out say don't do it. Today, I can be more direct, but I was being gentle as I used to be right where they are, today, loving someone and having your heart broken so badly by their self-destruction and just feeling crazed about taking some sort of action.

    Except as we all know here, there usually just is no action to take. Our human selves can't grasp that, hardly. It is nearly too hard to grasp. That we have to stand down and stand aside and let our own precious adult children, our difficult children, manage their own lives.

    I slept well last night. I am okay today. I am going through the cycle of grief---I can feel it. I will likely have to cry again today. I will likely get angry again today. I will likely feel despair about difficult child today. And then I will likely feel acceptance again.

    He has a hearing on Monday. According to the paperwork I was given, he is pleading guilty. He will spend 60 days in jail, if no one bails him out, for this misdemeanor. He is banned from all WalMart stores in this area. He will get out actually in 40 days because of the 30% reduction rule here, and then his PO will decide if he is going to "violate" him on the larger felony probation. If he does, he will go to prison, presumably for four years, but I don't know how they handle reductions or if they do reductions. If not, he will be out on the street again to start it all over again.

    I will likely go and see him in jail this time. I told SO today, I think I can do that now. I am continuing to progress myself, and have done a lot of accepting since Feb. 14 and I am now able to see him and feel less compulsion.

    The things I said to him on the phone Thursday I said for myself. I know my words and my actions or inactions aren't going to play a factor in what he does or doesn't do.

    Who knows, friends? This journey is ugly. But perhaps this is exactly the journey he must take to get to where he needs to go.

    I can't get in the way of whatever path he is on. He must find his own way, this wonderful young man who I love so much who is in the iron grip of this horrible, dreadful, powerful, baffling disease.

    There is so much help there for him. If he would only take it. Maybe he will, this time.

    I am good today, even though. A large part of that is the words each of you posts on this board, my working out my own story in my responses to you, and the grace that we offer each other to be right where we are, doing the best we can, each of us in our own, way.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You did such a beautiful job with your parents, COM.

    A prayer for your continued healing; for your health.

  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Thanks for giving us an update. I too think you have handled everything so beautifully.
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member


    I just caught up on this whole thread and am thinking of you. Our stories are very similar in so many ways.... my son has also been homeless (for 3 months in winter last year) and has been in and out of rehab and spent time in jail.

    Does your system have any kind of drug court? It might be worth asking about? After my son was arrested last time his PO told him she would have do the 18 months he has hanging over his head unless he agreed to do drug court. The drug court is what finally got him into the long term residential program he is in... which is paid for by the state!! If he leaves that program they will call probation and there will be a warrant for his arrest..... after waiting for a couple of months in jail to get into a program, he knows he does not want to go back.

    Your son clearly needs this kind of treatment..... and if the system can set it up that would be great.

    And I think you are doing great.... doing all the right things to detach, take care of yourself, and at the same time still letting your son know you love him. That is the path I am on as well.


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  13. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    COM, So sorry for your pain. My difficult child has been in jail for a month now for problem violation and will stay there until a bed becomes available in the long term state tx facility she was sentenced to. For some reason, it does not make me sad that she is in jail. We have been dealing with this disease for most of the past 14 yrs. There have been total maybe 2-3 yrs of sobriety and peace, but they are not 2-3 consecutively, maybe 1+ here, then 6 mos there, etc. Two years ago I would have been hysterical, but after her spiral downward over the past 2 yrs, including shoplifting and a stint on meth, mting men online for $$, I guess Im grateful she is alive. I guess knowing she is sentenced to tx helps also.

    Tomorrow we are going to see mother in law/father in law. My mother in law refused to see difficult child when she was with us Dec-Jan. It hurt husband and made me so sad. mother in law is 88 tomorrow and will problem never see difficult child again on this earth. I understand she is angry that difficult child has hurt our entire family deeply but I cant understand not wanting to say I love you one last time. She wld never admit it, but I think a big reason is bc our 17 yo nephew, her youngest grandson, was killed Nov 1 in a car wreck. He was a great kid, never in trouble, etc. difficult child asked me if her grandparents wished she had died instead of him. That broke my heart, but even though I 99.9% dont believe that, I cant convince myself mother in law doesnt. When he died, I broke down and told my brother in law that I always believed we wld bury difficult child, not their child dying. In an odd and heartbreaking way, I felt guilty yet blessed that difficult child had survived choices/consequences she made while nephew had been a great kid who had done nothing. This problem makes no sense to anyone but me...sorry. Also, I believe our parents generation believes addicts can "willpower" their way out of it...they dont understand addiction. My dad is furious with difficult child, but we went to his house at Christmas and difficult child was treated just like easy child. Every other member of extended family on both sides saw difficult child, even brother in law and sister in law, and even though angry/sad/disappointed in difficult child, loved her. I just dont know how I will feel tomorrow--I love them very much but am hurt.

    Sorry for that vent. Stay strong and true to yourself! Prayers.

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  14. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    Oh and I totally believe difficult children self sabatoge, at least ours does. One step forward, 5 back. I believe hers is that she doesnt think she can do it, doesnt think she deserves it. One thing that we talked abt at our first FA mtg was that we did so much for her, she never had to learn on her own that she could do it. Any pain with a boyfriend, I couldnt stand it. Unfortunately, at this time I tried to fix it, rather than letting her experience the pain and deal with it. This was all occurring at the same time she began using, and she, behavior-wise, is still 16. I can still here her saying when I asked her back then-why? Because "I realized with Xanax that at school I could see ex-boyfriend with new girlfriend and it didn't hurt". I cant get past sometimes if only I had helped her thru her heartbreak instead of trying to fix it. Just another way I punish myself.

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  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    thank you for taking the time to fill us in...you are right, your peeps needed to know!
    It sounds like you are taking a lot on, but it also sounds like you are pacing yourself...taking care of what needs to be taken care of in your own life, and doing "one step at a time" with difficult child's issues. I don't know that any of us can do better than that.
    Your story about your parents is heartbreaking. The loving concern of people who are in a different place in their relationship to difficult child, and the concern that that very love will derail either them or difficult child...it is such a delicate place, and you are so vulnerable right now that it must be very sad and very hard. I think your strength and love for all concerned really shined through in that exchange.
    I'll pray for you, and for difficult child. I hope he feels a bit safer and in a place with better boundaries in jail than he did on the street. I hope he internalizes some of the structure there.
    The x box is pretty telling, really.
    Deep breaths, Child...one day at a time. YOu are doing so well. Life is very long, as it turns out. I hope that difficult child will continue to learn to cope and thrive.

  16. jugey

    jugey Active Member

    I'm so very sorry COM. I can only imagine your pain and disappointment. I've been following your story and hoped that your son would succeed in overcoming his challenges. Such a shame! Thinking of you both tonight....take care.

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  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Me, too. How many times does it take? I have lost count of how many times he has been arrested and been in jail. I should have kept a log of all of this, but who knew? It is somewhere between 7 and 9 times over the past three years.

    He doesn't seem to be able to make it in the real world. Obviously, his addiction continues to progress, like addiction does. His roller-coaster ride has been just about straight down.

    I find myself going through all of the mental exercises again. What can I do? What should I do? What might help? Is there anything that would help and if there is, how can that happen?

    And then I stop. I know there is no reasonable pathway here. I have been there done that. Already. Multiple times.

    And then I think: But maybe this time, this time, he's finally ready.

    And then I remind myself that it's up to HIM, not me, to save his own life.

    Ugh. This is the stuff of the dark night of the soul. I'm waking up earlier since last week. So last night I went to bed at 9:30. That needs to be my MO for a while. I can't do this when I'm tired. It's too hard.

    Yes he does. That is exactly what he needs. I am praying that somehow, someway this comes to pass.

    I'm okay most of the day but I have my mental meltdowns. I have to say it all again to someone, and then I can put it aside and go on.

    To a good day today, friends.
  18. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    this is a good place to say it all again to some one...I hope that putting it here helps to put it aside and go on.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with re-visiting the question of "is there anything that would help and if so how would that happen?" It's OK to turn that prism over and over until we are sure that, for now, this time, we have considered all options. It's OK.

    It's OK to check in with us, with SO, with other people you like and respect about options, and about your choices as well. You have a strong core. You won't be driven off track. Pushing on the walls, on the envelope a bit to be sure it is still sound is healthy. Go ahead and do that...then put it aside and go on.

    I don't know what difficult child will do. He may feel that at least now he has the next four years taken care of. I don't know why he can't manage. I don't know why he stole an x0box and told you he was hungry.

    I do know you have loved him, cared for him, and respected him enough to let him make his own decisions and not rescue him. He can't learn self-rescue out of thin air...he has to practice it, live it. You have stretched waaaay out of your comfort zone, your mommy instincts, and are letting him practice. He fell down...or maybe he didn't. Maybe he did what he wanted, got what he wanted.

    A little anecdote...my SO was (and probably still is) a difficult child. Grew up wild and independent and unparented, the parentified child. Now he is a rescuer, god bless him. He rescues his daughter all the time..money, housing trips, car insurance, you name it...and you know what? she is a difficult child too.

    The thing I hear from both of them all the time, in the most loving possible manner (here is where it intersects with our mom-to-difficult child behavior) is..."its too hard, you don't have to do it" or "it is not your fault".

    Once I took a trapeze class and when I got to the top of the platform I froze...cause...guess what...I am afraid of heights!!! SO stood on the ground watching me...and gestured his love and support. the gestures said "you don't have to do this. I will come get you. It is OK to come down."

    Before our recent amily trip I totally messed up one of my son's passport, (it expired about a month after our return, but had to be valid for 90 more days). We left him at the airport (he came and joined us three days later, happy ending). SO's daughter said to me "its not your fault." Uh...yes it is. And it is mine to figure out (seeing as how said son was only 15). I thought to myself...what if the response to everything in life is "its not your (my, her, our) fault?" Then we are just victims of fate, buffetted by bad luck? what good is that? how can you live securely thinking that nothing is your fault, nothing can be impacted by your choices?

    When I was about 10 I climbed a tree...sat in the nice crook of it for a while, about 8 feet off the ground. Then...I couldn't figure out how to get down. At all. I called and called for my mom, and finally she showed up. She studied me for a long moment...then she said "you got up, I'm sure you can figure out how to get down'" and she went back inside.

    What was SO supposed to say to me , up on the trapeze? what felt good and loving and supportive to me? he was supposed to say what my mom would have said "you can do it. You'll be fine." That feels like loving faith and support to me. SO's comment felt undermining, as though I were weak, as though I really couldn't do it.

    I jumped off the trapeze, in the end, and flew through the air. I got down from the tree sputtering and indignant. I fixed the passport. Because I knew I could do all those things (well I wasn't sure about the passport), although for minute I wanted SO to come rescue me, get me off the dang platform...but I would have regretted it for a long while, that sense of weakness, incompetence come to fruition.

    Does that make sense? We all fall into the trap of telling our difficult child's Its not your fault, its too hard for you, you don't have to do it, I'll come get you.

    They'll never fly off the trapeze, ever, if you do that. They may not anyway. But at least they can choose.

    You gave him the opportunity to choose, and he chose. He is in control of his own life.

    Life is long, Child. It may take him another 10 rounds, who knows. He may like it this way, who knows. Keep doing what you are doing. You are well and sound, he knows you love him, and is even beginning to get the idea that you have faith in him.

    Now put it aside and go on with your masters, your business, your church, your SO. Keep on with us. Keep loving your son as you have so earnestly and faithfully done.

    We are here for you. I am here for you.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love this.

    Love it, Echo.

    I cannot think of a better description of the rationale behind detachment, and of the reward, for our children, as it takes hold and they recover their independence ~ or, step into it for the first time.

    Ha! I wanted to know whether you jumped. Good for you!


    I agree with this. Somewhere in their adolescences, when they were supposed to be taking more control and we were supposed to be letting go, something happened to turn that process around. Our difficult child kids do need to know they can do it without us. We need to teach ourselves they will be fine, that they can do it on their own.

    It is the situation that is difficult. Nothing we do or do not do is going to feel right ~ unless the difficult child child suddenly turns easy child.

    And that wouldn't have anything to do with us, either.

    I think I get it now that the very least we can do for our troubled kids is to believe they can handle what they get themselves into. It is really hard to listen without coming up with a thousand solutions. We need to train ourselves just to listen.

    Just listen.

    Just be there.

    I have the worst time in the world trying not to judge. Just lately, I have been concentrating my efforts more on that than on trying to just listen.

    That reminder to myself seems to be helping me.

    I don't know whether anyone else remembers that old television program "Dragnet"? Joe Friday or whatever his name was.

    "Just the facts, Ma'am."

    That's what I am trying to do.

    Put a space between myself and the emotion.

    Faith in him.


    Here is a quote about faith, Child:

    "Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out right or wrong, like a gambler's bet. It is an act, an intention, a project; something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of Time and right into Eternity, which is not the end of Time or unending Time, but timelessness, that old Eternal Now."

    On Strike Against God (I think)

  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member


    I so feel for you... our difficult children seem very similar.... dont know if you have gone and read my posts over the last several years.... but my son has been in many programs and kicked out of many (or walked out). I have wondered if he will ever "get it" and what will it take... and I have gone down the path of what did I do wrong.

    And like you I have found ways to go on living my life no matter what he is doing or going through.... and yet in the really bad times it is hard to keep picking up your head off the pillow and keep moving forward and to keep taking care of yourself. But that is what you have to keep doing because there really isnt any other option.

    And you can be there to love them, and support them in doing the right things... but you cant do it for them and you cant live their life for them and you cant make them make smart choices. We would love to but we cant.

    So I am really hoping this stint in jail wakes him up and that somehow the court system will say wait we need to get this kid long term help or we will lose him all together.

    As you know that is what finally happened with my son and this time he seems to have risen to the occasion and has been there 6 months and I am just praying and hoping he keeps on going.

    In the meantime I am enjoying my good nights sleep because I know there may come another day where I will sleep fitfully again.

    Thinking of you!


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