After a week or two of not so calm & forced reflection .....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've made the decision to no longer be an active member of the tweedles treatment teams. I will work personally with psychiatrist & tdocs & mental health CM. In all other matters I bow to the individual teams decisions.

    This has been a long time coming ~ a recent health scare has forced the issue. I no longer can be a part non stop demands, the increasingly inpatient requests.

    Once I made that decision I cried as I felt like I've failed kt & wm somehow. I know it isn't the case but somehow it feels that way; just the way if felt today when guardian ad litem for wm wanted to know why I wasn't willing to be his legal guardian upon his reaching 18.

    I'll still attend mtgs as I can; I will sign paperwork when necessary. I may even suggest things now & then. I will no longer carry the caseload I've been carrying since day one.

    The stress has forced me to my knees one last time. I'm now enjoying a few new sketches that I'd like to paint. I'm fine tuning the last one. I'm scoping out a travel easel & practicing my piano with great joy instead of exhaustion.

    More importantly, I'm learning just what the injury to my brain has done & how I need to process things differently. What it takes me to make a valid & informed decision. When to just stop & nap.

    I've given the tweedles their individual team members telephone numbers if they have concerns that I don't need to address.

    It's a bittersweet thing....very bittersweet thing.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that this decision was forced upon you by your health and by those impatient team members who have no clue exactly what mountains you have already moved (time and time again) for your children.

    The decision is not "bad" for you or the tweedles. It will force them to learn to use other resources as they learn and grow. This will make them more able to handle the world. It will give them some independence from you, which is the entire point of the teen years. In many ways you may be able to have a more "normal" relationship with them as you will only be handling a portion of their issues, more in line with the way parents of neurotypical children handle them. The tweedles will have others handling those things that in other circumstances they might be handling for themselves.

    I HATE that the stress contributed so to the health problems you have, especially the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The way you are handling everything is amazing. The last years have been so terribly hard and you have been through so many difficult things, but you have always worked to do the best you could for your kids. Even now you are doing that. Others may not understand, but you truly are doing so much for the tweedles, even in this new division of labor.

    Your health concerns really MUST be your first concern. If you continue to place such stress on your body things will only get worse. There may or may not be a time in the future when you take a different role. There are plenty of people on the tweedles' teams to take over what you cannot do. It really will be OK for the tweedles.

    Even with your handicaps you still do more for your kids than a number of parents of difficult children that I know. Be gentle with yourself and don't let ANYONE give you a hard time over this. Why would you have chosen to be wm's guardian when he is over 18? It hasn't been safe for him to be with you 1:1 for years. Given the health issues it is only logical that someone else have that final responsibility over his adult life. It may finally let you have a relationship where you can enjoy time together 1:1.

    Many hugs - this does NOT make you any less a mother to the tweedles.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We have attended two meetings (offered by different agencies) regarding taking guardianship of a mentally ill adult child. The overwhelming consensus was that, as a general rule, we shouldn't. That even with guardianship, we can't force treatment.

    I think it is a very smart decision not to take guardianship of the tweedles. If their treatment teams feel that they need to have guardians, there are agencies that are set up for that purpose. You will no longer have to be the 'bad guy' to the tweedles and can just do the fun 'mom' stuff when you want to do it.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Linda, truly, you have gone above and beyond in so many ways...You left no stone unturned, you fought the hard battles repeatedly. You gave those two beautiful children the best chance they had at a life and a future. You have instilled in them a sense of what family should be (albeit not perfect, but what family is?) and what is right and wrong. You have championed for them, cried for them, celebrated for them.

    What they do with it now is going to be largely up to them.

    For now, it is time for you. Long past due, really.

    Love your children as we all know you do, but allow yourself this as gently as you can. You deserve it.

    Many hugs.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Linda, those of us who've seen you fight the hard fight all these many years know that you haven't failed the tweedles. Those who conceived them, birthed them, abused them, and allowed them to be abused were the ones that failed them. You've gone miles beyond what most birth mothers ever will be called on to do, and you've done it with love and determination. If the time has come to step back and turn over the reins in order to protect your precarious health, you know you can always look to us for support and affirmation in that decision.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Parenting & being a part of the tweedles life has never been traditional, Linda. This is just one more thing in the case of the Tweedles that needs to be different - not bad just different. I hope you realize you are still an anchor for them and the best thing that ever happened to either of them.

  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Linda - many hugs to you.

    I understand how sad this decision is. I understand that feeling of letting your kids down. It's not in your nature to say "no" in terms of being the conductor of the teams that work with the tweedles.

    I think your decision is a good thing, as hard as it is. Good not only for you, but for the tweedles and for their respective teams. I think the timing is right, especially for the various professionals involved. They need to understand that you cannot be the tweedles safety net indefinitely. It will take them time to really grasp your decision - maybe will take the entire next 2 years, but you've given them ample head's up... and I think it's a reasonable choice. Very few parents have the stamina to keep on doing the high-intensity interventions and treatment and planning into our kids' adulthood... and I couldn't agree more with- JJJ. In all our thrashing about with- the guardianship issue, at the end of the day, husband and I could not see how it would benefit or protect thank you... we could only see how it would continue to harm us and the rest of the family as we pounded our heads against the immovable object that is our son. Don't let anyone try to guilt you on that issue, Linda. It's not fair and it's absolutely *not* a reasonable expectation of you.

    You may remember the first time I refused to participate. I cried for days, Linda. I felt selfish, like I was without question the worst parent in the world. It was such an alien choice for me - how could I possibly refuse? But deep down I knew it was the right choice for all of us. And having the luxury of hindsight now, Linda, it *was* the right choice. It did not harm thank you - it let him know that he had to start taking ownership of his own life, in a far more concrete way than our words ever did. It did let the team know that we had our limits and those limits had been met, after 12 very long and painful years. It was kind of a landmark moment, Linda. The beginning of that difficult detachment. Can't tell you the last 3 years have been particularly fun or that our pulling back from the day to day grind of thank you's (non) treatment provided us with any emotional protection. We still worry. But by defining the extent of our involvement, and by learning to *not* ask questions that we don't really want to know the answers to, I think we're a bit less crazed than we would have been had we continued to be involved in the minutiae of his every waking hour.

    It's transition time, Linda. Not just for the tweedles, but for you and their teams. in my humble opinion, far better to get everyone accustomed to new boundaries now than for everyone to have to scramble in 2 years.

    You have been and will continue to be an outstanding parent to the tweedles, hon. You've been the Energizer Bunny of warrior moms. ;) If you look back at where you were all those years ago, and all that you (*YOU*, Linda) have brought together for your kids since, the teams you've pulled together, and the challenges you've juggled along the way ... you have done a simply amazing job of parenting your kids. No shame, no guilt.

    Many many gentle hugs to you. Take care of you, and be gentle to you.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Linda, I don't think I can say any better than what has been said already. I will add though that I think even without your brain injury, this decision would/could/should be a natural one as the tweedles aren't 7 years old anymore. They are at an age where they need to start doing for themselves or at least participate more in their own lives and/or treatments. You can't force them to do it but by backing off, it puts it on them. If they don't do something, it's their problem not yours.

    As for you not being Wm's guardian after he's 18.....I'm with Susie. WHY would you? Neither you or Kt can be alone with him now....why would you want to put yourself in a potentially dangerous position when he's a grown man? And if anyone expects you to do that then THEY need a treatment team. Son or not, in some ways he is a danger to you. Just because you are his mother doesn't mean you are safe or should put yourself in that position.

    I don't think anyone could ever say that you don't love these kids. It's obvious just by talking to you and you have literally nearly killed yourself looking after them and advocating for them. Brain injury or not, you need to focus on you for once. It doesn't mean you're leaving the kids in the lurch, it doesn't mean you don't love them. It means you are the mother of teenagers who need to learn to do for themselves.

    Lots and lots of hugs.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I know this is not what you expected or wanted to happen but it does make perfect sense. I have not walked in your shoes but last week I witnessed the love and bonding that was shared by my eldest grandsons caregivers and fellow family members. Bonds are formed away from home with people who start off as strangers and end up like family. Although I found the homefor him 23 years ago and knew it had a good reputation, it was heartwarming to see those whoserved as his family attending his service with emotional investment as much as blood family.You deserve a life that is not stress driven. You have been and will continue to be a great advocate for both kids. I'm sending caring thoughts of support. DDDPS: Somehow I missed the transition to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for your daughter. I hope that is going well.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Good for you, Linda!
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I think....or maybe I hope that what you are now going through is what we all have gone through with our difficult child's or will someday. In a normal world without GFGness? Slowing the parental involvement would be a natural process. As we know nothing with our kids is normal by anyone elses standards - so I think what you are doing is wonderful. Once again you are setting an example for the Tweedles to follow.

    Hugs & Love
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I really think you've made the right decision for you and the tweedles. I'm sorry it's come to this, but you have to do what's healthy for you and ultimately them as well. As much as it's bittersweet, there must be some relief inside, as well. Hugs!
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Awww, you've put forth so much effort and of yourself it is no small wonder that this is bittersweet. difficult children are not like your average child. There comes a point when the parent has to draw the line in the sand and say enough, this is what I am capable of dealing with and no more. The tweedles are even far beyond most difficult children given their background. That is not your fault, it is not their fault. They would not have come as far as they have, had it not been for your love and devotion. You are still their mother, you still love them, you are still involved with them. You just now have your line in the sand so that love and involvement won't consume you, which would not be good for the Tweedles either.

  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    It's been a long road to reach this point ..... I've struggled with this decision, well, since husband died. A year & a half ago. I had to change my role after various & sundry medical issues. The teams were all over the place with their responses ~ anywhere from irresponsible to understanding & everything in between.

    kt is ready to step up & deal with her team ~ "I'll train them, mom" were her exact words. wm was less understanding in that he already believes that I do little for him.

    I appreciate all the kinds words & encouragement from each of you. Sue, Susie, 'Stang, each of you are right in your thinking. The tweedles are of an age where it is time to pull back & watch what goes on. AND I will step in if necessary. However I will not be there to "save the day" if you will.

    SRL, Shari, busywend, I'm finally beginning to see (after scanning mountains of reports & such into my computer) the amount of time & energy it's taken to parent kt & wm. I'm recognizing myself as a good parent who hasn't failed her children because there is no "closure" in the tweedles ongoing, chronic mental & emotional illnesses. No white picket fence ending ~ I guess I was always hoping for that miracle.

    To the rest of you I appreciate the hugs & understanding. It's been a long ride that isn't over yet. I'm just taking a backseat & starting to enjoy life a bit more. A round of golf here, a new painting there. I'm entering one of my paintings into the MN state fair. Let's see if I'm one of the 385 selected to display their art.

    I'll be around ~ hopefully more as I understand the long term effects of my brain injury & new coping skills. I feel as though I'm having my own IEP & treatment plan written.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like kt has a pretty good grasp of the situation. I like her attitude. It is rare for a teen to see what a parent really does for them when they live in the same house. Wm's attitude is probably painful to hear but is pretty typical from what I have seen of teens his age. Esp boys who seem to have less of a clue of what all goes into having a home function. (Not all boys, just a generalization)

    I am glad you are not disappearing on us! We would all miss you terribly! Don't forget to ask for help and ideas for YOUR IEP and treatment plans if you need them.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can't add to what the others have said so well. As always you and the tweedles are in my prayers. You are one amazing person:angel2:
  17. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    We'll be here for whatever you need. You know you don't have to have the advice of the ages to post, right?

    Oh and figure out what works for you to keep track of things with your memory issues. THIS time I don't want you forgetting about the jelly I'll be mailing at th end of the summer! :tongue: