A step back for me....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PatriotsGirl, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    She texted me asking for a box of cereal. She has not asked for anything since she moved out, so I went to Wal-Mart and bought some groceries for her. She looked good - not too skinny and frail like I was afraid I was going to see. She didn't look drugged up - no dark circles under the eyes or anything. Her pupils were normal. She is staying with a friend of hers in a decent neighborhood but she tells me it is not permanent but that she refuses to stay at the other place she could because there are lots of people in and out of the house (obviously a drug house). She was very mindful that she couldn't have people at the house she was staying at. She was very concerned to not disrespect the owner of the house. Wish she was like that living here!
    I have never seen her so grateful for anything as she was when I brought the groceries. She thanked me so many times, told me she really appreciated it and how much she loved me. Broke my heart. It is so much easier on me when she is a raging B. But when she is sweet and respectful, ugh, I just want to scoop her up and tell her it will all be okay. But I know that is the worst thing I can do for her.
    I, of course, kept telling her the smart thing for her to do is to go in a program and then move on to sober living and start her life over. I still don't get it. It would be so easy. She has nothing to lose. I asked her if she was enjoying the way she is living - not knowing where you are going to sleep that night. She said no and I asked then WHY??? She still has hopes of finding her dog and she broke down crying about her dog again. :(
    This is now killing me again. I love her so much and I have missed her and it was so good to see her, but now I am completely heart broken again. I am finding myself still wanting to fix her and make all the boo boos okay. I cried when I left. I have tears starting now. Please give me strength. We are leaving on vacation tomorrow and I so badly want to allow myself to enjoy it and have a great time, but I feel guilty because of how she is living while we are living it up. All she has to do is say okay, I will go.... :(
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have nothing to feel guilty about, hon. These are her choices.... as painful as that is to watch. You can't make them for her. Right now, you're worrying more about her situation than she is.. so often that's the case with our difficult children. We think of all the things they *should* be doing to fix their situation, we make the suggestions, and they shoot them all down... and then we are the ones crying, and they're just going on with their crazy lives of not knowing what the next day will bring. It's just not worth the energy we spend on it, honestly. Giving her groceries was the right thing to do... I did that for Oldest from time to time and she was truly grateful, as well. It's a small thing you can do without enabling, I think.

    You deserve a vacation.. go enjoy yourself, distract yourself, and have a wonderful time.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Enjoy your vacation.

    You have done what you could do - and the groceries weren't required, but clearly she can see you care.

    If she doesn't want to accept the help of a program... There isn't much you can do. So no guilt.
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    I do not think it is a step back. In my epxerince it is loving detatchment. My difficult child has not lived with us since age 15 and she is now 18 but not stable enough to support herself. My husabns and I have been giving her medications and buying her food. She currently has 31 days clean and sober and we are taking her to AA/NA meetings daily.It is baby steps and up and down. What I have not done is not give her much cash. She is on SSI and has had a studio apt. since last May. She just finsihed her college prep high school diploma. She has kept a very part-time job for the last two and a half weeks. I am in the process of buying a condo for her brother and herself and another one for me so I can be close by as an advocate. She will be working towards a culinary arts degree at a community college. If a student, can earn 1000 a month on SSI-D She has Snap (used to be called food stamps) but for some reason stopped after one month and I have not goten sown to the office to see why. My experience, Compassion
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    She told me she applied for food stamps but was turned down. I asked her if they told her why and she said no. That makes no sense to me. There is not a reason in the world she wouldn't qualify. I even gave her the phone number and told her to CALL and talk to some one (she said she applied online). She claims she is looking for a job, but with no transportation, I don't really believe that. I have been to the house she is staying at and it is too far for her to walk anywhere to look. Ugh.

    You are all right. She knows I love her to pieces. She knows I will drop everything to get her to rehab when she says the word. Meanwhile, all I can do is wait...
  6. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    PG, please try and enjoy your vacation ... It is well deserved.

    You are doing all you possibly can for your daughter.

    Relax,rest, and unwind on your vaca ...
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    They know how to get to us that's for sure. When my difficult child would call or text me and be sweet and vulnerable and thankful I wanted to just say ok everything's fine, come back home. I had to keep telling myself that it wasn't sustainable and we would be back into the same old roller coaster very soon. As mom's we want to fix things, make it all better, like you say scoop them up in your arms. It's heartbreaking, truly heartbreaking.

    I do hope that she comes to you one day determined to get help, I know you will be there to help her when she does.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also get caught up in the "oh but he needs me" mindset. But he really doesnt. He might want me to fix things that he doesnt want to deal with but he wants to live his life on his terms in other ways also so it cant be both ways. He cant be 10 and 25 at the same time. Sometimes that makes me nuts.

    I have to just make myself stop and force myself not to succumb to that mommy rescue mode.
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    You are going on vacation because you choose to work hard and enjoy life. She is living the way she is living because it is what she has chosen for herself at this time in her life. I would have brought her some groceries also, but you should also contact the local food banks and see if there are any in her area that will give her food each week. I made some calls when my son was living in the hotel and hooked him up with someone that he stills calls every Friday and they make him a box of food and he is very thankful for it.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A member here, and I'm sorry I don't remember who(it may have been KFld, posted this to me:

    "We are living the way we choose to live, and they are living the way they choose to live. We didn't make them live this way, they chose it, and they are the only ones that can choose to do it differently."

    I needed to hear that on that day. I printed it and it is hanging on my refrigerator door where I read it every day.

  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I believe that was me. Wow, I feel famous that something I wrote is posted on someone's refrigerator :)
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Pats girl -

    Stop......take a moment between blowing your nose....and breathe. Deep breaths.....in, out...and for a moment clear your mind. More deep breaths. Okay now I want you to think about something for a moment so far outside the box it may take a day to sink in so hang on. Because when this was presented to me - it took longer than a day (trust me) I'm not a fast learner anymore, but once I get it? I've got it. (call it stress induced learning disorder)

    There is not a Mother or Father here, that would not -given the opportunity without consequences pick their child up and fix them for the better. Keep in mind I said without consequences. That is not reality. Reality is where we live, and what we have to deal with. So it means we as parents have to allow our children to live their lives, the way they see fit, with the highs and lows, making mistakes and along the way getting it right. Our kids just happen to be in a class by themselves of seeming to consistantly do things wrong over and over without learning as much as you would think they would with each lesson. This is the "WHY" that you speak of, and asked her about. The WHY that breaks our hearts, confuses us, and makes us literally nuts - ages us before our time -BUT can have it's benefits...and I'll explain in a bit.

    I want you to write down or copy and paste what you wrote to us - and print it out, and then I want you to get a highlighter and highlight the part you wrote about how you have NEVER seen her SO thankful in her life - as when you took her the little bag of groceries. Now she called and asked you for a box of cereal. YOU took it upon yourself to take her MORE. That felt REALLY REALLY good - and the reciprocation you received FROM her - FELT ----NORMAL, GOOD, EUPHORIC. WHY did it feel that way? What up to this point have YOU done FOR HER.....that a box of cereal and a little bag of groceries would ALLOW her to BEHAVE in a manner that is NORMAL? YOU DID TOUGH LOVE....and YOU STUCK TO IT EVEN THOUGH IT NEARLY KILLED YOU. You took that almighty chance that all your board family told you about---and LET HER GO....DREW YOUR BOUNDARIES, DID NOT RESCUE HER....and GAVE HER PERMISSION TO SEE WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE WHEN YOU DO NOT WIPE YOUR FEET ON YOUR FAMILY.....and look what happened. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. (just look back at the red highlighted words....felt normal good, euphoric, tough love, look what happened) and ALL THIS - is the beginning TO seeing the daughter YOU KNOW and GET BACK - if you keep up with TOUGH LOVE.

    SURE doesn't make sense - SURE DOESN"T feel like it will EVER work - SURE DOES NOT EQUATE and you think - ALL OF YOU ARE SO WRONG - she'll die before this happens, she'll disappear before this happens, and you know what? That could happen - but IF there is a single chance that you will EVER get to see your child the way that you KNOW they can be - after you have tried EVERYTHING? THIS IS WHAT HAS TO CCCUR - AND BECAUSE OF THAT? BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING? THOSE TEARS you are crying? Are good ones. That doesn't make much sense either right now - BUT you have the beginnings of Mothers' Tough Love success......it's not fool proof....nothing is.....BUT YOU HAVE A CHANCE - SHE HAS A CHANCE - and I say - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK - (wipes tear) BECAUSE THIS IS THE HARDEST THING YOU WILL EVER DO - AND YOU DESERVE THAT VACATION to go rest, recharge your batteries - and ALLOW YOUR DAUGHTER to reflect on what a wonderful Mother she has that has enough strenght and courage to allow her to fall, over and over and NOT pick her back up --------and then is strong enough to take her a box of cereal and simply say I love you - I am here for you - and leave her again. THAT is not for WOOSIES.......

    So take that vacation - now that you may understand why you need it - and that SHE IS going to be okay - cause she's on the right fork in the road.....and at the very least? She's been down the path she needs to be - so she knows which way is the right fork to go to.

    Huge HUGE hugs.....And maybe? After vacation? There could be .......a puppy for her? Something for each of them to hang onto.

    Love - Star
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I LOVE Nancy's quote....beautiful!
  14. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hope you enjoy your vacation and don't succumb to guilty feelings of "living it up while she is living how she is" - it was her choice to live that way, not yours.

    Very sad about her dog, I know it makes you heartsick to see her grieving - I remember you posting when she lost it, quite some time ago.