Please believe me when I say that thinking of my children as if they were children even after they had grown up was one of the biggest mistakes I made in this whole mess. By doing this I just perpetuated their adolescent personalities. For years, people were stunned when they caught the first glimpse of how my children where when they were at my house as opposed to who they were out in the world. For the most part they were cordial, respectful and kind to others. Even my oldest son has the reputation of being incredibly charming until you really get to know him (classic narcissistic trait). The minute they hit my door they would act like spoiled, disrespectful six year olds who had shed any thought for how their behavior or words effected others. Still locked in "mom" mode, I treated them as if they were little ones having a bad day instead of addressing them like adults that were acting like jackasses.
I would try to talk to them and "correct" the behavior instead of holding them accountable for it. I realize now this was just a huge sign that I wasn't accepting that this WAS their behavior. I was still thinking of it as something they were "trying out". In other words, I was still trying to parent them. Well, they are grown men. They didn't need parenting. They needed to be held accountable. It was a pretty hard shock to look back now and see that I was just about the ONLY person they treated like this on a consistent basis. Why? Because I had kept the dynamics of our relationship firmly in their child phase. So, when they got around me, they acted like children. They either ran to "mommie" when they needed something or wanted me to fix something, or they were mean, thoughtless, angry, vindictive, vengeful, hurtful children. It created a love/hate relationship. They loved having someone they could run to but they also resented me once they were ready to go back to their world because it made them feel less than adult.
Allowing the ties to be cut and walking away had two benefits in my mind. One, it will force my children to accept their adulthood totally. If there is no where they can run to and revert to being children with no cares, responsibilities or retributions then they will eventually HAVE to face the people they have become and the problems it makes for them. And that's generally the only way someone will change. And two, it has liberated me from constantly having to be in the role of "mommie". I don't want to be a "mommie" for the rest of my life. It's exhausting. I want to be mom and Gmom. So, as the final act as their parent, I've turned them over to the worlds their attitudes, prejudices, and actions are making.
I agree that counseling will help immensely. I came from an abusive home as well and having someone to talk to helped me realize the reason I kept "parenting" was because I was trying to make up for what I had lacked. I needed mothering. At least the child inside me did. And like most women, I tried to fix what was broken and hurt in my by turning all that focus and love on someone else. If you shop around, you can probably find someone who will fit into your budget and it is well worth the investment.
p.s. sorry it's so long. B.