Anyone been in this place?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Gran2Angels, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    The past week has been really hard. I'm trying to detach from difficult child and coping with a lot of emotions. I miss the 4 grans. I worry about them daily.

    The worst thing for me right now is me, my life. difficult child problems have sucked the life out of me. Literally. I am coming to terms with the fact that I allowed that. I have been operating under the premise that she would get it together and all I have done (and done without) to limp her along would pay off. I don't really have that much hope anymore that she will get it together, at least not in the near future.

    I don't have any "close" friends anymore that I can just call up and go out with or talk too. I gave those up, due to difficult child chaos, a long time ago. I attend church, but I have slipped in the back and out so quick the last many years that I'm not that close to anyone there either. I stopped going to Sunday school, women's lunches, business groups and shopping with friends many years ago too......why? Because it was just to hard. I was always the one with difficult child struggles, while on the other hand my friends had nice lives, husbands that loved them, vacations that went smoothly, on and on.... and it was just too painful. Painful to always have such major problems and painful that they for the most part did not. Yes, they had the usual life stuff, as we all do. The past 15 years has been one big blur of awful with difficult child. Also, most don't work or work part-time. I usually work overtime or two jobs, to finance all that has gone on. So time and energy has become an issue as well.

    So, here I sit. Fat, alone, about to turn 50 (April). It has hit me hard that I have not taken care of me, that I am to blame. I have allowed this to happen. And now, I have a long road ahead of me to try and build some sort of life for me. In the mean time, it's very painful detaching from difficult child, dealing with her anger and ugliness.

    Sounds like I'm just feeling sorry for myself doesn't it? I guess I really am. I'm tired, lonely, sad and really don't know where to start. There is just so much I need to change to climb out of this pit. I started my diet today, so that's something.

    Thanks for listening. Gran
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I can tell how badly you miss the grands. I would miss mine horribly.

    Hopefully that will only be for a short time.

    Now, you have started the new diet. Way To Go girl! Hop over to healthy living for some support on that one. I am no one to be advising on that...lol.
    I bet you can find other things to do to get busy and make a friend or two. Bookstores or the library, taking a walk in the park, join a gym (ugh!), maybe a singles club in your area that does something you are interested in?

    Do you have a pet? Maybe adopt one so you can take it out walking if you dont!
     
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I know you're missing your grands like mad. (I sure did mine!)

    But maybe if you look upon this moment in your life like a grand adventure to rediscover yourself, it wouldn't seem like such a downer time. Maybe you could take up something you've been wishing you could do for years but were just too bogged down with gfgdom to even consider trying. Those books stores that have the little coffee shops seem to be a pleasant social gathering spot. (I've yet to have the time to try one out) Spoil yourself with a makeover. And if you're like me and don't want to do that while carrying a few pound extra.......then maybe start an exercise program to help boost your energy level and overall health.

    As for the grands........I don't remember the back ground, but could you send them little somethings in the mail occasionally? Maybe keep up with them via photos on facebook or MySpace?? This is what I do for the grands in Mo. It's not as good as being there or them being here, but we make it work for us. And it does help to take the sting out of missing them when I get an envelope in the mail of pictures drawn or colored for my frig. lol :D

    ((hugs))
     
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's very hard when you've spent so much of your life with your focus on everyone except yourself. then all of a sudden you realize your focus has shifted, and you have to figure out who *you* are. Been there, done that (still doing that, in fact).

    I think creating a life for yourself is vital. One thing I discovered a few years back was a site called "meetup.com" that has social groups for every interest you can imagine. You register online, and join groups that meet OFF line. Everything from singles groups, scrabble groups, book clubs, groups for dog lovers, movie groups, restaurant groups. I had so much fun that I eventually became involved in organizing a couple of groups and their events. So, there's one thought. Meetup is worldwide, and there are bound to be groups near you.. just go to the site and plug in your zip code to see what's out there.

    Hugs.
     
  5. judi

    judi Active Member

    Well, I'm still married but the chaos with our son has taken a toll: I'm fat and past 50! lol

    Suggestions:

    1. Go back to school. I went back to school when our son was at his peak of difficult child-ness. Didn't really want to but had to have a better job. I'm currently in school for yet another post-grad certificate so that I can expand my scope of practice. (I'm an advanced practice nurse).

    2 Volunteer. I'm very active in my rural fire department and absolutely love the guys - many are young enough to be my sons!

    3. Do something else that is just for you: a new hairstyle, new outfit, etc..

    4. Church is important to me and I do attend when I can. If your current church isn't meeting your needs, look around. I actually belong to two churches: a smaller, traditional church where I live and then hubby and I belong to a large, very active church where he lives.

    5. Change careers if that is possible. Has there always been something you wanted to do but with the kids just never considered? Explore that option.

    Finally, never sell yourself short. My husband and I are both professionals who are well-known in our community. It was brutal when our son's name was in the paper and/or when the schools were calling on a daily basis. It did stress our marriage - not because we didn't agree on what to do but rather what could we do?

    And....no it hasn't gotten EASIER in the sense that everything is beautiful in my life: my husband and I live 165 miles apart because of a job situation and our son hasn't had ANY contact of any kind with us in almost 2 years. We don't even know where he is.

    However, we are both healthy and we both have healthier outlooks on our relationship or lack thereof with our son.
     
  6. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Thank you Janet, My town is rural/small and the book store a small one that mostly orders in what you might want. Our library is in a small temporary area in the mall while the city plans for a new construction in the next few years, very uninviting.

    I do not have pets. A walking and hanging out companion might be a good thing. I should check out our shelter Saturday. Thanks for the suggestion, I hadn't thought about that.
     
  7. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Judi, I am really sorry for all that you have and are going through with your son. I can not relate to not knowing where he is and the worry you must feel, as I have not experienced it. I can however, imagine that it can be terrible at times. I would think it to be very hard being seperated from your husband. I hope you can be under the same roof, enjoying the closeness of one another real soon. I admire your strength and attitude. I hope to regain mine. The words and encouragement of you and others here has meant a lot to me read these past few weeks. Thank you for pressing on and continueing to be here for us. Truly.
     
  8. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Thank you.
     
  9. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Well, CrazyinVA, I took your advice and went to this site to see what I could find within 25 miles of my zip code. I got ONE hit.... A regional Athiest group...... :(

    I did check out other areas and there were some nice groups. In more populated areas there were suppport groups as well as interest groups. It just didn't work out for me. Thanks very much for suggesting it.
     
  10. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Thanks to everyone for your replys and suggestions. I want to do what it takes to approach my life and difficult child in a more healthy, managable manner. Your efforts are not in vein, as I take to heart your sincerety and wisdom. I just wish I was more positive and enthusiastic in my replies. Please forgive me for that. I know I must come across as a very negative, self-centered person. That is not who I have been in my life.

    I've said before in my short time here, it is very helpful to be connecting with others that understand. I have gone it alone for so long.

    Thanks for sharing your personal stories. Opening your hearts helps me to see hope, even if I don't feel at this very moment.

    Gran
     
  11. judi

    judi Active Member

    For me, its helped to know I'm not the only person in this same place. Doesn't make the situation any better but it does put it in perspective. One other coping that has worked for my husband and I: humor; sick though it might be....lol

    We laugh at things we never would before - its a humor that only those of us that have been there, don that can appreciate.

    When I came here 9 years ago, I was at my wits end. No one has any magic formula to get our kids to behave. We all come from different backgrounds but the one commonality that we all have is the love for our children.

    Please take care...once our kids are adults, it really is THEIR problem.
     
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Gran2Angels, I think you ARE taking those first steps that will see you reclaiming your right to your own life. You recognize your daughter's behaviors for what they are. That is a huge first step for all of us, I think. Acknowledging that our son was less victim than opportunist was a personal devastation for me. As I think may be happening to you now, I couldn't reconcile the dream child in my heart with the real, grown-to-adulthood man who seemed to hate me, who swore I had never done enough to help him, who accused me of stringing him along to keep him dependent, and who, while gobbling up incredible amounts of money, time, and emotional currency, threatened continually never to see me again.

    I had always seen my son as a child (even when he passed his thirtieth birthday) and as an innocent victim. Excusing behaviors I should never have allowed, I fought for my victimized child with every ounce of energy I had. It was horrible to understand that the enemy I was fighting for the sake of the child of my heart was the person that child had chosen to become.

    Horrible.

    My heart goes out to you, and to your grandchildren. It may help you to start a bank account for them. Nothing much, nothing more than you can afford, but over time, when they are old enough to come to you on their own, there will be proof of your love for them, proof that you never forgot them. (This part is really important. Use the money you would have given your daughter to start and add to the account. If you normally would have bought the kids school clothes, stick that in there, too. When your daughter calls for money, say no. But put it in the account for the kids. In this way, you are reclaiming yourself. When our children are monsters, one of the things that happens is that we can never be generous, like other grandparents. We can never love our families freely, without having the child change it into something awful, something that wasn't enough, or that came too late.) In the interim, you can send cards ro your grandchildren with McDonald's certificates inside, or pieces of gum or quarters taped inside. Children remember. Especially if their lives are difficult, those acts of kindness from someone outside the chaos who loves them will mean everything to them.

    I am using one of my older screen names, as the most recent "Scent of Cedar" would not come up. I think there will be a link at the end of my posts to a detachment site that will help you see the dynamics of your relationship to your daughter more clearly. If that listing isn't at the bottom of this post, I know that Suz has that link at the bottom of her posts. However we do it, we will try to post that link for you. It helped me more than I can tell you.

    Know that we wish you well, Gran2Angels. Everyone seems to think that when a problem child hits 18, the worst of it is over. But that is not true. Part of a woman's life (and a man's, too) is loving her children's children. Generosity is a part of that. We can so easily give the things we could not afford, for our own children. We understand life differently, we love differently, by the time we have grandchildren. These things, this growth and fulfillment, are taken from us by our monster children, our difficult child children.

    That is a sad and terrible thing. Nonetheless, that is our situation. We must face it head on and deal with it through choice. Refuse to be a victim to your daughter any longer.

    It will take time for you to recover from the violence done you by your daughter. But you will recover. There will always be a missing place at the table, a place in your heart that echoes because it will never be filled with the images and memories other parents and grandparents are so fortunate to have.

    I know you are strong enough to accept and go on, from here.

    Barbara
     
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Yep, the link is there.

    :)

    Barbara
     
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