And you wait…

You take the highway this morning, hoping that the 65 mph air will blow the tears on your face dry before you get to the office.  You can’t do anything but wait for the call.  Will it be from The Self-Destructive One, the hospital or law enforcement this time?  No way to know.  So you drive…
Another night of sleep interrupted, as you learn of the latest incident.  Nothing to do but wait.  Helplessness.  You go over everything you could have done differently.  Should you have been tougher on the first infraction?  Could you have worked a little harder at the marriage?  Or are you simply unfit as a mother?  
What do you do when one of your children has The Rage?  Where did it come from?  Will it be there forever or will it mellow?  Will he survive long enough for you to find out? 
Not long ago, you read in “Freakonomics” that peer influence is far greater than parental influence as we develop as humans.  Should you have intervened when he stopped playing softball and took up skateboarding? Was it the peer influence that launched this, or is it simply how he’s wired?  And where did all that fucking anger come from?  He was such a laid back kid…
You’ve taken away everything from him that you can take away.  Cash.  Access to your home.  Everything but love.  And you will never do that. 
So you drive.  Let the wind blow against your face and dry it, hoping your swollen eyes can stay hidden behind the sunglasses when you get to the office.  And you wait for the call…

35 thoughts on “And you wait…

  1. I’m sorry things aren’t better and aren’t getting better.

    He is grown-up and the responsibility for where the chips fall are his now. A person gets to a place where the hows/whys of childhood aren’t the main factors and they have to accept that it’s “all them”.

    Growing up can be a long, painful process for some of us. It’s no one’s fault.

  2. It’s difficult when our offspring are challenging. It’s hard to not take it personally when things don’t go the way we’d like for them to go. But, we do our best raising them up and that’s all we can do. Once they’re out of the nest, they have to fly on their own. It’s the way of the world.

    We love them. But we don’t, at times, necessarily have to like them.

    Remember that the only thing within our power is our reaction.


  3. Made me think of this:
    (I was listening to it yesterday).

    Hang on, there’s nothing you can do but ride it out.
    I was a hellion myself, and I eventually turned out okay.
    One of my parents friends told once told me, “you’re the success story,” which made me think about what a shit I used to be and how at various points in my life I must have been a serious disappointment. But they hung on and held out. It will get better, he just needs to find his way first. It may take years though. Wild oats – they must be sewn. You know how it goes. And then there’s that whole, “if you love something, set it free,” thing. He’ll come back. And eventually he’ll realize that you were there waiting for him.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Your blog is the highlight of my day and I love the family stories. I am in the same boat with “The Self-Destructive One, the hospital or law enforcement this time?” It’s been a long time and progress has been very slow. Feel exactly the way you describe most days. Was it me, was it his dad, he’s now responsible for his own actions – round and round. I feel your pain and anxiety. I wish I could send you comfort.

  5. Yikes. I’m sorry to hear all this. But I think that each of us is born with an internal disk drive and there’s only so much peers or a mother can do to influence how it operates. I’m sure I’ll learn that hard lesson several years from now. Please don’t blame yourself.

  6. nice sharing daisyfae. as parents all we can really do is respect our children and hope that one day they return the favor. whatever it is, hang in there sistah!

  7. well… shit…you reminded me that I too have all this to look forward to even more than I do now. I have started getting the texts this year saying “Dad hates me and kicked me out” “nobody cares” breaks my heart and makes me want to jump in the car and drive the 3 hrs in less than 2 mins but then I call the Ex and talk to my hubby and then call “The Boy” and work on it all from where I’m at. Then lay down at night and cry myself to sleep while the hubby wonders what else he can do but his hands are tied and he doesn’t interfere. made me cry, for you and for me, because we love them but have to let them become who they are meant to be.The hard way, the easy way.. they must choose.
    ((hugs from a few hours north))

  8. stephanie – thanks.

    savannah – much appreciated and needed.

    beth – my parents may have influenced my values, but it was my peers who drove my behavior. and to a degree? still do…

    annie – i’ve given it back to him to figure out ‘why’. until he know why he does it? it’ll dog him… i’ll answer questions, go to counseling, and do whatever i can to help him figure out the ‘why’. but it’s all his…

    rob – yep. love them forever, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to hit them with a sturdy plank on occasion. my reaction – on limited sleep – is decidedly nonlinear. off to nap.

    writerdood – thanks. i had my share of ‘hellion’. makes me wonder if it’s more of the ‘long arms of the trailer park’ at work. as a parent, i know it can all go more horribly, darkly wrong in the fraction of a second. and there’s not one damn thing i can do about it at this point… it is possible to get it behind you, i know that.

    middlesister – thanks for de-lurking again. round and round and round we go…. and seemingly get nowhere except dizzy. thanks. you did provide some comfort…

    unbearablebanishment – i don’t worry so much about the blame (in my rested, more rational moments). it’s the “what to do next?” that dogs me. i keep coming back to the statement “i don’t know what to do”. that, by the way, is the definition of “helpless”. not a good feeling.

    lynn – thanks. he’s smart, funny and has many happy adventures ahead of him. he has a lot to offer the world… he just has to get this behind him.

    kyknoord – not years from now. probably today. you see, i wrote this for him, to him. he’s a regular reader. maybe seeing the words. reading them. knowing how his sister and i are torn up by this… maybe. i’ll do whatever it takes to help him dig in and get to the “why”… including taking a big emothional dump into the ether.

    hisqueen – sorry to make you cry. this is the part of parenting you don’t get to read about in the gynecologists waiting room, in all those ‘baby’ magazines, with the soft focus photographs of mothers nursing contented babies. we can only do so much. after that? it’s up to them…

  9. Sometimes, it hasn’t anything to do with our mothers. It’s just ourselves.

    You’re a good mother, Daisy brown. And don’t you forget it!

  10. So sorry, daisyfae. My mother has said for years that the older she gets, the more she believes we are born who we are. The rest is happenstance and circumstance. But I know she still feels every little bump and disappointment we all suffer. Glad if my post could offer a little hope.

  11. blaiser – thanks. missed you on the first round…

    ginny – appreciated. i’m sorry too…

    dolce – rational brain knows that. sleep-deprived hormone ravaged brain? notsomuch…

    DP – i suspect you’ve been there and back again. thanks. i cross my fingers. and i wait…

    gnukid – i discovered today that if you drive 65 mph in a jeep while crying hard the wind blows the tears forward, and onto the inside of the windshield. fascinating.

    syncopated eyeball – thanks. it’ll all be ok. or not. and then it will go on…

    chris – my mom would still share the ‘downs’ if i gave them to her… but i don’t. the waiting, though. horrific. patience has never been a strength.

  12. Ah, its tough to read about what is to be wrestled with about motherhood for years, and years, and years to come. I worry about nature/nurture already and so far The Boy has only really demonstrated his ability to wail and scream like a banshee over a banana! I freak out at what is to come. Life long job this one.
    You make me think very fondly of my own mother….

  13. That’s why parenthood is the toughest job.

    I can’t add much more than anyone else has ….. but if I were there, I’d make us a nice big pitcher of martinis.
    Keeping you in my thoughts dear lady.


  14. Hang in there. He is past the stage when you can do any more than influence.

    Actually, I’m talking to the wrong person. “The Boy”, since you will probably read this, this is just for you. A little soul bearing. You may feel like you need to be 30, or 40. For the independence, for the ability to show that you are not a kid any more. You may feel the need to totally disregard all around you. Then feel regret for any harm or damage you may have caused the night before. There are consequences. You, if you are lucky, get older. And you no longer need to be 30 or 40 because you will have passed those milestones. And yet, and this is the “secret men’s business” part, inside, you will always be 19, or 23. In my case it is 23. 23 with maybe 30 or 40 or 60 years of experience. Experience and time to regret those moments when you have been an asshole and hurt other, important, people. Those regrets remain. Trust me. I too have been a asshole in my time. So I know about the regrets. I know you are immortal right now, for I too was immortal at your age. But Moms and Dads and Grandies are not immortal. Have fun but try not to mess up their lives. Because if you do, the consequences are that you will have those regrets for all of your life. Be kind to yourself and be kind to all around you. Ahh Shoot! I’m talking to myself as much as you, offspring of Daisy, and my words appear completely irrelevant to you. Carry on. But remember the consequences.

    (Totally removable if too presumptuous, df 🙂 )

  15. ruby – faith. you gotta have it. and if you never let go of them? they never learn and grow. trust your gut and cross your fingers…. that’s all you can do.

    blazngscarlet – thanks. although i don’t do martinis (plural). one is plenty…

    archie – thanks. i’m a mom. he needs a dad, or grand dad, sometimes…

    nursemyra – he’s a good human being. this is his demon – for now. we all have them. they must be vanquished. and he’s got to figure out where this particular demon is weak…

  16. I have a question for you that I was going to e-mail but I can’t seem to find a button that would allow me to just send you a message. I think mine (e-mail) shows up when I leave a message. If you’re ok with it could you send me your e-mail, so I could ask you something. If not, no biggie..I’ll still be by to read, lurk and occasionally comment.
    Thank you

  17. Oh, honey. As a parent who’s gone through a lot of this and come out the other side, all I can say is hang in there. You definitely should not blame yourself. You can only control so much. The rest has to be up to him.


  18. kono – i’m encouraging him to seek some professional counseling, however, it occurs to me that a week in bootcamp at The Asshat Lounge might be a good alternative. He’ll be ok. He’s smart. He’s kind. He’s a good human who is just figuring out what he’s about. Yeah. He’s a lot like you…

    hisqueen – ok to ask by e-mail. i shipped you a note from the trailer park account…

    texastrailerparktrash – it’s not about me. except on my blog, which is totally about me. it’ll be ok. when i got pregnant? all this stuff never occurred to me. i just kinda wanted someone to send to college. but as with everything, you have to take the crunchy with the smooth…

  19. This post is so raw and touching, thank you for putting it out here. My heart goes out to you. My parents just got into an accident where my dad passed away and my mom was critically injured. Your description of waiting was totally what I felt on the plane ride over, and during my mom’s month of stay at the hospital.

  20. carlae – he’s ok… and we move onwards…

    starrynightcoach – so very sorry about the loss of your father, and i hope your mom is recovering. the feeling of helplessness is horrid… he was ok this time. there have been other times… sitting for hours beside a hospital bed, wondering if he’d open his eyes again. there is no feeling in the world like that… take care, and thanks again for stopping by.

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