Archive for parenting adult children at home

My Crazy Unsexy Wild Toad of a Ride Life

Dear Parents,

Guess you are a bit frustrated at being bombarded with all the bad news and little of the good news.  There is good news.  And there are strategies.  Believe it or not, I think my kids are doing pretty well considering their early childhood and the slightly misanthropic ways of their adoptive mom—me.

For example, my daughter turned 21 last week and there was zero rowdy alcoholic binging.  My son, who lost 10 pounds in out of home care and brought home bed bugs, is looking forward to getting to work at the California Conservation Corps and with his sister part time while he waits.  My daughter and boyfriend, admittedly with my help, started a handyperson business—Handy Humans.  They are working blistered-hands hard every day.

My kids are doing it their way.  It is nothing like my way, but it is creative and geared toward the level of skill they have. Given how hard it was for them to get through school and figure out how to be productive in society, I am dazzled and deeply proud of them.

Last week I purchased a serious fixer house in a less than beautiful neighborhood for them to make their own.  This is a big step for me and for them.  We will see how it turns out.  This is y thinking: if I own the house, they cannot get kicked out.  I have spent thousands of dollars on deposits, firsts months, and last months to know apartments are not living solutions for my children.  They have a hard time following other people’s rules.  They have to live and work on their own still.

Attachment Help

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Maybe one day when more prefrontal executive function kicks in, it won’t be like this.  Until then, I will continue to coach them (by request and sometime by parental necessity) on how to live on their own in the world.  I will continue to pick up the pieces that sometimes fall around their ankles.  I will continue to love them with all my heart.  They are my life–my crazy, unsexy, wild toad ride of a life.

Love matters,

Ce

Attention regular monthly support group attendees:  

Our Monthly Support Group for Therapeutic Parents will not be held on the 2nd Wednesday in September, 2016.  We will have an alternative group meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of September, which is September 21st at 6pm at our office at 3406 American River Drive, Ste D, Sacramento, CA. My apologies for not realizing this hitch in the calendar until just now.  

You capicture of covern find my book on Amazon.com or on my website. Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon.

To sign-up for free Wisdom for Adoptive Parents blog delivered regularly to your inbox, click here.

Follow on Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

Next Therapeutic Parenting Class is scheduled for October 8, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.  Sign-up on attachplace.com.  

The Ugly Strings

Dear Parent,

Being of the bootstrap type, I am not one to wallow long in disappointments.  Brush off, jump back up: my motto.  Then, there are times when my relational failures with my children break my heart.  I am disappointed to the core that I cannot intervene in the whirlwind that is my child at this point in her young adult life.  And, I have to face the fact that it is not in my control.  She has her own trajectory.

For the last four months she was back home, I wondered when my feelings of hope and faith would run out.  How many times could I be manipulated, lied to, and used before I would wake up with nothing in my heart?  It turns out that love does matter, and it persists beyond reason.  I am disappointed to find that my ability to hang in here with hope and faith for a different outcome has pooped out.

Once again, I am the bitchy, bad mother; the adoptive mother who never had anything to offer except money and defective parenting.  Once again, I am rejected and cutoff for setting a boundary that I felt had to be set.  In the process I took the low road a couple of times. I am not proud. I am, however, continually humbled by the deep-seated effects of trauma and abandonment on the psyche of young children.

Eventually, down the road, my daughter will come back in need.  Her glasses will break; her ankle will twist; the system will be unfair; she will be hungry, homeless, helpless.  She will come back to my doorstep in tail-tucked, desperation, calling me Mommy.  I usually meet the need because she is my baby, my heart.  I love her dearly and it rarely goes well. She feels ashamed, a failure, beholden for needing me.  My expectations for her to use my help wisely scares and burdens her until she lashes out.  Heads or tails, I may or may not lash back; and around we go one more time. That is our well-worn dance.

I always want to take a different path with her, but it is tricky for me.  I am kind of twisted up.  My husband in frustration asks, What would you tell a parent in your office?  He thinks I have magic words there that I don’t apply to myself, but I don’t really.  I honestly cannot unravel enough to get a clear thought.  That is the way of attachment entanglements. For awhile, one cannot think.

I do, however, know the path; it is just freaking hard to walk it.  Here it is: only give love and other stuff freely, without strings of expectation for my daughter doing right by me.  My child does not have the personality structure to do right by me.  Why does she have to do right by me? That is my thinking that keeps the entangled dance going.  Those are the strings I attach to my love and my financial support.  If I cannot cut those strings, we marionettes will continue doing what we do.

My emotional work is right in my face.  I might need a chain saw to cut these strings. Come hell or high water (I have no idea what that actually means), I am going to get it done. Brush off, jump back up.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily emails of Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for June 18th and 25th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

 

Disorganization Nation

Dear Parent,

I live with four young adults with extremely disorganized brains.  That, of course, is not the science.  Neuroscience tells us that the executive function–the part of the brain that governs organization, sequencing, cause and effect, logical thinking–of traumatized children has been delayed and in some cases damaged by long term exposure to stress hormone, cortisol dumps.  Whatever the reason, the result is hard to live with.

I thought the following might help some of you with older attachment challenged, trauma-brained children living at home.    They live at home long into adulthood, so prepare yourself. Here are some ways I go about helping everyone participate in the function of the family:

  • Every day there is a chore list waiting with a 24-hour time frame.  There are usually two chores assigned to each person. Some days there are no chores. Yippee.
  • When a chore is not done well, it appears again the next day for a “Try again.” No one gets in trouble over undone chores.  Just a reminder or a little lesson on how to do it better.
  • Bedroom cleaning finds its way onto the chore list, if necessary. And it is always necessary with some.
  • I give them all a full allowance on Friday to support a sense of relationship, family, sharing and cooperation. I don’t nit-pick or take money away for missed chores. I just give them a do-over, training, or reminder for mistakes and accept that they are human.
  • Everyone is responsible for doing their own laundry, and I let them decide how to cooperate around the use of the washer/dryer.  I could organize it for them, but I think they need to learn to collaborate with others.  One day I will not be here and they will still need clean clothes.
  • I talk about cooperation when things lag–like using the last of the toothpaste, TP, paper towels, wash clothes–and encourage them to take initiative to make sure the next person has a supply. No one wants to be on the one sitting down, staring at a bald paper roll with one square of TP.
  • There is a list on the frig when someone uses the last of something, like butter. Everyone writes on the list.  Sometimes frozen waffles gets written four times a week.  I just can’t seem to remember to buy them.
  • We all have established shower times, and exceptions are often made.
  • The main living area is always clean and presentable, so guests are welcome any time without a fuss.
  • I pay for a housekeeper every two weeks to do the deep stuff.  This saves my life. Disorganized brains are not usually deep cleaners, and I have a job.

    The Attach Place

    The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily emails of Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for June 18th and 25th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.