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Old 09-15-2009, 07:55 AM
259 posts, read 681,251 times
Reputation: 191


good for you!

i was given hard ass-not-good-at-all-tough-love and that ruined a relationship forever. but you sound like you did everything out of love and in a way you knew your son would learn from! how wonderful that you got to hear the pride in his voice!

sounds like it's time to get a dog! lol
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:59 AM
2 posts, read 5,679 times
Reputation: 18
Default Hurting parent!

Hello everyone,
I have read through some of these threads here & so grateful for all of you in sharing your stories. It is reassuring to me that I am not going through my ordeals w/my adult children alone. Here's my story:
I was married to an active alcoholic for 17 years. I had two wonderful children out of it..my daughter is now 22 & is 19. I was clearly an enabler , but was a very attentive and active mom all those "turbulent" years filled w/anxiety & unstableness. By the grace of God I was able to function the best I knew how. In between those years as my kids were in their teens yrs. My daughter went thru the rebellious stage and had a close knit group of friends, all involved in cheerleading,which led to diet pills, out of that she was on a downward spiral which eventually led to bulimia. Her friends always came to the house and "ruled the roost" if you will. I allowed it and reaped the consequences of disrespect. I was clearly enabling her behavior. To this day she is a strong-willed girl.
worked when she wanted and basically just hung out w/her friends. I never enforced any rules..I just needed to keep my kids happy b/c of what they had to go through w/ their dad. My son was doing very well in school and was very involved in sports. He was always chasing after his dad for attention.
As far as for my marriage it was going down the tube fast and I was sooo unhappy and desparate to get out. I was emotionally drained. I started taking drug & alcohol classes at the local college and in short..I met up w/ the teacher who was the coordiantor for the program..he as well was going through his nigtmare of trying to get out of his "abusive" relationship. He is 15 yrs. older. Our friendship grew and we both decided to get out of our marriages. We were very aware of the WRONG in our relationship..what was worse, was the fact that through/out the chaos of all of it...I had lied to my kids! (I did askthem for forgiveness)I am all about being REAL here. I have nothing to hide..I was wrong in every way and I did reap what I sowed. God allowed my own sin to find me out! i eventually moved out into an apt. w/my kids...I was basically desparate and running for my life..I did not like myself or my decisions at all! Instead of relying on God to support me..John (my husband) bought a house and we all moved in there...I was thinking at the time that I was protecting my kids and just wanted them to have "stability". What a poor example I was for my kids. We were not even married. He was soo wonderful to the kids and I just wanted my kids tohave a home! We did get married and we asked God for forgive us and myhusband to this day is my best friend to this day. We have been married 5 yrs. After we had gotten married, turbulent times in the blended family was obvious. My kids had pushed every rule that was enforced. I would have been the same way coming from a house w/no rules to strict rules that were enforced by my husband. Of course, they were thinking, "we never asked you to come in & ruin our perfect world"! There were also times when they were truly appreciative of what my husband was doing for them...When he gave them a cell phone, he expected them to pay their share...John was always a very hard worker and a father of 4 himself...of course, they are older than my kids and all earned their masters and phd's...had them allworking at 14 and all went on successfully. then you have my kids who thought that everytime we would enforce a rule...or make them responsible for cellphone..car insurance..etc, they would try and give methe guilt trip as well as remind me of what I had done. We had brought my daughter to Renfrew in Phil. during that time and of course, the therapist there had told us that "we"had to change,in other words..we have to treat her with kid gloves here.
Well,to move forward again...At the age of 19,my daughter became very hard to live with..we started to find wine bottles in her room when after her friends were there, worked when she felt like it and we told her that she needed to start chipping in for rent, just to make her responsible for something. She manipulated her way out of it...So, she then sweet talked John into helping her w/ her cell phone,promised up & down that if she got on our plan, she would be on time w/payments..tothis day she owes my husband $500.00..So,then there is my son, he is 17 and his biological father shows up twice to his wrestling tournaments drunk. We had tried to keep him out of the tournament after the one episode..we had a police officer who worked at the H.S. keep a close eye..my son's father totally let him down after promising him that he would not show up drunk, He did and embarrassed his son. Thank God he had us there and a good support from his close team members and coaches. That seems to always stick out in my memory...How he always let his only son down during the most important years of his life. His father has never paid a dime for child support, even though we are still fighting it. He ducks back into rehab everytime.
Now, to bring you all up-to-date. We HAD to move from our small town b/c their father was making it impossible to live around. My daughter did not want to leave, her boyfriend and friends were there & she to this day does not speakto her father. We wanted to get my son out of the unhealthy atmosphere w/hisfather...we had wanted my son to try out a smal christian college here in North Carolina. And we lived two hours from him..It all looked so good, we were sooo happy to get my son into a good,small christian college and take a breather...We finally took a deep breath! My husband and my sondo get along and my son has always respected my husband and looked up to him. Well, we got a call on this one Sunday telling us that my son was in jail!!! Just 18 yes.old, very bright student and never got into trouble...
he was now...apparently, there was more going on in that campus than we knew about. Easy access to anything there...he & his friends there bought some pot and were caught the first week he was there, thye gave them a warning...the following week, they all headed up to a bar and all got caught stealing a bottle of booze. As we were heading up to get him out...I was in shock...I kept questioning "WHY"?? He was a good kid! Maybe it was peer pressure? His explanation was that "he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time"..Of course,my husband was tired of hearing him always trying to blame others and not takeresponsibility forhis own actions. I was there to pad the way for him and always was on my sons side..."yes,ofcourse,he was not to blame! The charges were eventually dropped, my husband went to court with him...a 4 hr.drive to & from and brought him back to college and told him that he is held accountable for the gas to and from...it was his responsibility. (my son's list was of debt with my husband was growing) previous to his going to college, he promised up & down to my husband that he needed a good computer for hisIT classes...my husband kept track on paper of my sons i.o.u's and my son had promised that through his student loan..he would pay that debt off..a year later...nothing. He felt that it would cost him way too much to take an extra loan out..after all, he is young and we somehow owe that to him at least (mom was shaking her head in agreement)..after all,look what life had dealt him. Clearly, enabling. He called a month after the episode and said that he no longer wanted to continue at college. He once again blmed me for pushing the college on him, (he was too busy enjoying life w/friends his senior year)....time was short and we wanted to move to the south. Well, he came back and lived with us. He did get a job...my husband took his paycheck and knocked off some of the balance that was owed to him. My son, did not like it,but it made him accountable!
He stayed for about 3 months with us and did nothing but work very part-time and the rest, he was holed up in his room, chatting with his friends from home on-line and of course playing computer games. I felt very sorry for him and my husband was growing resentful. He truly wanted my son to get his act together and make plans for a college. It was growing very tense in our house..just the 3 of us and i knew deep inside that it was not healthy for my son, He decided that he wanted to move back home and move in w/my sister and her husband. We went back up for christmas and got him all settled there while "mom" was filling out financial aid paperwork and such for him to get to a good college there....eventually, I wound up getting ill...stress!
He wound up moving into his friends house, he pays $200.00 a month to his friends mom...my sister and brother in law asked him to leave..he did not meet curfew and he and his friend took a beer and lied! He took a sememster at the local college and for now is not going back to college until January. He would like to go into teaching. He really is a wonderful kid but is making bad choices. He is happy to be there but is not comfortable at his friends house...maybe b/c he has to pay rent? work more? I do know that he still smokes pot, now he says that he really does not believe in God and he and his friends have done research on evolution and yes, the world "just came into being". That was another heartbreaker for me b/c when he was here, he did go to church with us and accepted the Lord. Not much action after that. Within the last month,we had a blow-up on the phone, he said that he wanted to come back down here and attend the community college. He does not know anyone here, again, it would be the three of us...he said that financially,he is hurting b/c he is now paying for his own insurance and cell phone...he never kept up with that debt as well.
My husband said he wants my son to have a well-established plan b/4 coming down here and that we would charge him rent for his staying here.
I read through allisons book and it finally dawned onme how much I was enablng my kids and howmuchthey were manipulating me...
I pray for my kids everyday!!!! Oh, How I pray for their salvation and direction and God's will for their lives.
I have times when I literally cry myslef to sleep in wondering if I was a bad parent! I screwed up and made mistakes...Part of it is my fault and I readily acknowlege that.
My son is 19 now, I do know that he needs consequences and has to learn responsibility here.
My momwho lives up there as well, constantly istelling me that my son "still needs my guidance"...of course he does, he has always had that!!!! Basically, my husband and I have always been there for him! Is it too early to let go? I am not hearing from God as to what to do...everyting isdead quiet!
My husband had a hard growing up and worked his way through college and life, he is successful and is a very well-respected man. Despite his circumstances,he pressed on and made a life for himself...he has done a lot of counseling with drug/alcohol addicts and sees his fair share of"excuses". He truly wants the best for my kids and loves them...but they just continue to berate him for the injustice that was done to them.
I am soo sorry for writing a book here..it was next to impossible to try and shorten this.. thank you for reading and listening. I do have to say that I feel better just writing this out. I guess I just need support and prayer for direction. Thank God for this support group..I see way to many families that come off as "perfect" and I am one that does not pretend...I just want to be REAL & SET FREE and DO GOD"S WILL!
I am just so overwhelmed sometimes and totally bombarded with guilt. Some of my friends are paying their kids way through college and more...Their judgment of me is so clear when they ask me how my kids are....RIPS MY HEART OUT.
I am tired of being an enabler and the load of guilt is too great to bear some days and my eyes are swollen from crying....Thanks again for listening...Blessings to you all
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:55 AM
47,531 posts, read 63,674,331 times
Reputation: 22340
It's a good post. You give your children the greatest gift when you teach them to become independent adults who can make it on their own.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:58 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
20,274 posts, read 23,813,157 times
Reputation: 28041
And, remember, always: No "good deed " goes unpunished.

This good-deeder has had more than my share of punishment over the years.

Someone related those golden words of wisdom too late in my life.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:54 PM
691 posts, read 2,164,299 times
Reputation: 767
Think about your grandchildren. When you enable your children, and you are gone, guess who they go to for help? My mom cannot support herself, can't hold down a job, my grandmother always "helped" her out, and let her move home. Now, my Grandmother is gone, and my mom never learned the skills to budget, live on her own earnings, how to manage simple things like registering a car, and getting car insurance. My Grandmother took care of all of those things for her. So, now the problem is mine. It is one thing to expect a 19 year old to start taking care of himself/herself, it is another thing to tell someone 60 years old to do that, who has never done it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:56 PM
Location: southern california
61,306 posts, read 79,536,424 times
Reputation: 55458
he will hate you now but later will appreciate this harsh and necessary step.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:58 AM
1 posts, read 1,767 times
Reputation: 14
Oh how glad I am that I am not the only one. My 19 year old hasn't spoken to me in over a week. I didn't per say kick him out, I told him it would be best if he went and stayed with his dad for a while. (who by the way has been absent from his life for quite a while). I just feel so tired and drained, as I have done everything for this kid and when I say everything that's what I mean! He has left my home only to move in with his 17 year old girlfriend and her parents, who already have her brother and his pregnant girlfriend living there. I also have two smaller children, 15 and 12 and as of late, I feel they deserve the same attention that he always got from me. Totally undivided. He had dreams of going to play baseball in college, gone, didn't want it, has now quit his first semester of college, the girlfriend isn't in school a lot either and he now has no job. I sympathise with the looking for a job thing, I stayed on him constantly about that, always saying they aren't going to come ask you if you want to work......I am just at the end of my rope with him and at this point, I am not hurting per say, I have a lot of anger toward him and I hate that because he is my child and I did not raise him to be this way. He is disrespectful to me, his step dad is the only one he would talk to and they want do that anymore because of his actions toward me. I just need some advice, am I wrong for feeling a weight has been lifted and that I can finally have peace of mind? I watched my own parents go through this with my brother and they always got him out of everything and handed out money and hi the same way today at 40 as he was at 16. I don't want my child to end up that way so I chose the road of tough love and can only pray that God will bless us all and bring us together as a family before it's to late.........
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:15 PM
Location: colorado
2,788 posts, read 4,652,748 times
Reputation: 3331
Originally Posted by think.reciprocity View Post
up until this point in my life the very deepest challenges i faced were the death of my parents. On 1 august 2007 (after giving over 3 months written notice), i kicked my "children" out of my apartment.

they had nowhere to go because they failed to take the whole thing seriously & work their butts off to "get it down". So, she went with the baby to her mother's house (which was like walking into hell & taking your baby with you) & my son started out at a friend's house (where he was staying with the friend, the friend's girlfriend who was about to give birth any day, & the friend's mother in a small studio type apartment).

he changed places twice after that. On some levels, he wore his welcome out wherever he went. He applies for lots of jobs & then sits & waits for them to knock on his door. His skills at calling about jobs are frightening. Apparently, his interviewing techniques are worse. He can't get a job. Frankly, he also isn't trying hard enough.

truly, in a perfect world, none of this would be happening. Jeez, he & this girl are frightful together. The actually have nothing in common & the fight like cats & dogs. She complains & nags & rants & raves & he becomes negative in response.

neither one of them are behaving in any way that would impress a mother. But, none of that matters much because they are together & my grandbaby is here & needing two stable parents.

i find it ironic that after all this time of them being unemployed & doing nothing but complaining about every possible way in which their lives were not their faults. Now, in one month they have found their own apartment, moved in, & my son has a fantastic (for a high school graduate) job (as of two days ago). They are going to be able to qualify for subsidized childcare (normally a long waiting list, which makes finding a job immediately a real challenge).

their apartment is, well, subpar (at best) - not conditions any of us would want to live in, but "safe" & in a decent locale. Personally, i had to pay my dues in places just like that many years ago. They'll survive (if they can keep up with the rent) and they'll be better for it - just like i have been.

making a radical decision like this - to kick your children out when they have nowhere & sometimes it seems like they are suffering from brain damage (lol)... It's a rollercoaster of emotions. I was not turning back from the decision once i made it. But, it's been terrible.

on top of that i have discovered this thing that i have heard about for many years: "the empty nest syndrome" and it is real!

i don't want my child back home. But, i've suddenly realized that he no longer has to have a life with me. He can walk away & never talk to me or include me in his life. I cannot imagine that god nor the world has created a pain greater. I have spent the last 19 years of my life with him as the focus. It was my job & responsibility to create safety & family around him. If he strayed away (and he did), i was to go after him (and i did).

now, it is my job to sit back & allow him to live his life. Separate life. Separate from mine. It's mind boggling, really.

today, i am so proud & so pleased. My son took a short break from his job to call his momma & tell her where he was working & what he was doing. I could hear the pride, esteem, joy in his voice - his energy was intoxicating.

i hung up the phone & cried my eyes out! This is the beginning of my son finding his own power, beauty, strength, & honour. I think, today, i can begin calling him a man... My man-child.

sometimes when we love our children, we must love them enough to force them to do it on their own. Make their own choices - good, bad, or ugly. Then to settle in with their consequences. We must wait to offer advise until asked. We raise our children to become responsible interdependent world citizens. If we succeed, we'll never be needed the same ways again.

i've received a lot of criticism (encouragement too) for doing this. But, i knew my son & i knew that we'd be having the same discussions years later if i didn't make the choice for him now. He is fierce like his momma - but he doesn't quite know it yet.

he's ready to shine, y'all... Just wait & see!!!

good job .mom
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:07 PM
Location: southwest TN
8,453 posts, read 16,127,608 times
Reputation: 15926
I have only read the first 2 pages and my heart goes out to you, wanting to offer you a shoulder to cry on and knowing that's NOT what you need now.

ATTAGIRL! It hurt, it still hurts. But you did the right thing. Doing the right thing is seldom easy and often painful. But you stepped up to the plate and you did it. Kudos.
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:51 AM
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
1,195 posts, read 2,242,292 times
Reputation: 1842
Exclamation ... and then he died.

24 September 2016

he died.

so many of you here, when i was active on the site, have been such a support and encouragement.
i found my eldest brother through this site - (who has since died)

my son was the love of my life.
the old me died with him that day.

i'm mildly comforted, knowing, he knew - beyond any doubt - how deeply he was loved, accepted, and "seen" by me.
he had a tough life.
the issues he had with his dad -
which were multi layered...
they were his demise.

he sought escape one too many times
thinking he had it all figured out
and he died

he didn't want to
he didn't mean to
but, he did

his son is now almost 10 years old (will be in January)
i will be 49 in January as well
he'd just turned 28 in August

my poor baby
i'll tell you something
if love were enough to save him
mine alone would have done so

i don't know when i'll quit feeling like i am drowning in pain
there is no loss that compares to this -
having faced the fairly early deaths of both my parents (within 10 months of each other)
and the deaths of 3 siblings (the only ones i had a relationship with)
i could roll all my trauma up together and inject it into my veins
and it still would not come close to this moment to moment agony

i didn't cause this because i kicked him out when he was 19
he respected every attempt i made to do right by him -
even when it meant doing something he hated
every single mistake i made -
he felt the love behind it
there were a lot of mistakes
and a lot of love as well

we can be afraid
we can worry
we can do nearly everything right
we can love
we can hold on
we can let go
but i promise you this -
none of it can save our children from their own demons

i raised him in higher education
in an intellectual
and an emotionally intelligent home
i loved him
i saw his true self
i encouraged him
i was honest with him
i enrolled him in the arts
in sports
in the traditional
in alternative
i supported him
i gave him a diverse and thorough exposure to life -
the best i was able to,
from the socio-economic place we were in -
as it improved -
so did his exposure
we traveled - a bit
we were exposed to many cultures

he had a hard life
my beloved son
in so many emotional ways -
cause i screwed up when i gave him his father
it wasn't the wised to have a child either,
whilst i was still a child
but, i did the best i could with the circumstances as they were

he still died
way too young
way too tragically.

my boy
dead at 28
forever 28
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