Does anyone else find themselves pulling away from friends?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Iwantpeace, May 27, 2015.

  1. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    I don't know why but I feel myself really pulling away from some of my really good friends.
    Well I probably know why, I think it's so hard to hear the gasp and the reading between the lines of what they are thinking. I know it's not fair but I want to be able to share some of this without them thinking my son is a monster. (Crazy I know). I know the things he's done are terrible and I don't know why I it bothers me, I know they love me. I'm only talking about 2 really good friends. One I've been best friends with for 40 years. I have always been extremely private, never even hit the like button on fb. (Which I have deactivated), because it has just become too painful to watch the family post that are not like mine. I do feel myself going inward almost like a recluse if I didn't work. I know those few that I confided in are curious but I can't bring myself to talk to them because I don't want to give updates, so I sit in silence other than this site. My siblings and I are totally dis functional especially since my mother passed. I feel like they don't really want to know because it stresses them out too much. I am my own worst enemy. I don't know why I'm posting this, I have no clear thoughts. I've said this before, this has become my face book! For some reason I can take the advice and judgements made of my son on this site but in "real life" it hurts more.
     
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  2. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    I understand. I do that too.....

    It's like, yes, they're sympathetic but they don't know and can't really relate.

    Here, everyone is going through the same thing. Everyone can relate.
    We're all our own worst enemies lol, when it comes to everything from Difficult Child's to diets.
    All we have to say here is OMG HELP and everyone rallies. I just love it.

    Now, I go to my friends when I want to get away from it. I don't even talk about it. The Difficult Child stuff.

    You need to force yourself sometimes to have the outside interests and contacts. I find myself doing that at times...the recluse thing. Like you want to be alone with your thoughts, your sorrows for your Difficult Child. I understand.

    xo
     
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    JulieAnn, when stuff was going on with my kids, I did not pull away, but did not talk about it either. Few knew about my son's problems because they had been when he was in his 20's for the most part and many didn't even know I had a son at all. When my daughter was doing drugs, I did not bring it up. It was not a part of our friendship. We do not owe our friends every detail of our lives. Our children are separate from us.

    If they already ready know a good response is, "I hope you don't mind, but I'd rather not discuss it." That usually works well. You should not lose friends because of this. You shouldn't be ashamed either. You are doing nothing wrong. You are not your adult child.

    I don't engage much in FB and find it helpful not to. Nothing says gossip like FB and people who are all "friends" and gossip online. There is a "do you like FB" thread on the Watercooler. I really don't. It is drama-inducing.

    Chin up!
     
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I relate absolutely to this. I have always been private and guarded.

    I guess from the beginning I had secrets. A secret life that I knew nobody around me shared. From the time I was a little girl, I have been like that. I remember I did not let friends' parents drop me off in front of my house. Instead I got dropped off on the corner.

    Years later I realized my Mother did the same. She got off at the streetcar stop after her house so that she could see if finally one or another of her parents had killed the other. She would know by the ambulance in front of the house.

    Even before things got hard for us, I trusted few.

    My life has proven to me, damage and care come from others in equal measure. I preferred to avoid the damage. Thus forfeited the care.

    I forgive myself for this.

    I miss friendships...and will in time, seek them....

    This I understand now: Few others will willingly go where me must.

    And this is the select club in which we find ourselves. It is a blessing, I now believe.

    When we are stronger, we will again seek the light of others. For now, we lick our wounds, restore are strength. And we have each other.

    For now, for me, it is enough.
     
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    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  5. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    SWOT, I know you're right....I think sometimes I tend to just want to avoid it all. That way I'm not the Debbie Downer. That's a good response though. Will be borrowing that.
    I'm like that, most casual friends don't know I have a son.
     
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    husband and I too, did this. Only two friends did I share much with and one is deceased. I miss her so much, because J was so un-judgmental, so understanding and empathetic.

    Anyway, the other close friend called me on my cell one morning, while i was at work, to let me know a story about D C was in the town newspaper. I went limp and frigid at the same time if that makes a lick of sense. A few co-workers approached me that day; most said nothing. I remember one kind soul told me later that she would always be nice to Difficult Child if she met up with him because she knew others would most likely have nothing to do with him. That cut me to the quick, although I knew she was correct.

    A few days later, a co-worker dropped off about $100 of gift cards to restaurants. husband's and my co-workers had pitched in money. It was touching, but we were also embarrassed. It was difficult to write thank you notes. We felt so shamed.

    To this day (and it has been 10+ years), husband and I feel the effects of those days. It is much easier now, but yes, we definitely pulled back. We really wanted to hide under a rock.
     
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  7. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    I almost smiled to myself. I wouldn't willingly go where we must, wish I didn't have to. It's such a dark place.

    Earlier tonight, my Difficult Child threatened suicide. He knows that button. My sister committed suicide, (I hate that term committed, like committed burglary or murder - I like that better; Committed Self Murder) to manipulate me into 2 nights in a motel. Yep, I'm a Grade A weakling! I caved.

    IWantPeace, After I read your initial post tonight, it really hit home with me, I went online and found my first Al-Anon meeting in the area. I know that since I've been withdrawing into myself, I think that it would be a good step. You could see if you have them in your area too. I wish I didn't have to do it but I do.
     
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  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I tell people ' I don't want to talk about Difficult Child'. After a few weeks of this no one asks anymore.
     
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  9. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Iwantpeace, thank you so much for your post. I feel exactly the same way. It was as though you wrote that for me! I feel very "guarded", afraid of sharing with my normie friends. I think they must be tired of it and they can't possibly understand. It's easier to just say that I don't want to talk about my son but that he could use their prayers. This leaves them feeling like there's something they can do for me to offer support. It's comforting to be here with you and others in our own little world of acceptance like no other.
     
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  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I remember the first time someone mentioned isolating in alanon and I thought "I don't do that"...I'm the gregarious extrovert, always ready to go, seeking groups of people and then within a few weeks I realized I had started doing exactly that.

    There is almost a formulaic process that we go through when we are dealing with this type of situation...the pain and suffering and fear
    And helplessness that goes on and on for years watching....powerless...someone we love so dearly self destruct.

    The good thing about this is we are not alone and we can learn about what we are going throw and allow ourselves to just...go through it...and then when we are really ready (completely sick and tired of living this way) we can decide to change.

    It is a decision.

    And then it takes committed hard work every single day in order to make progress. Thankfully there is a pathway.

    Isolating is necessary periodically for us all. I came to see myself like a wounded animal who drags itself into a corner to rest, lick its wounds, get a little stronger and come back again. Isolating is a safety measure but it is not "the answer". The answer is to get help and support and tools and start the daily practice...when we are ready.

    Like our loved ones, we have to be ready first.
     
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  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think it's very normal to feel this way considering what we have all been through. It's not like you're excited about sharing the news, "hey, guess what, my Difficult Child got arrested, is homeless, is on drugs and tried to commit self murder"
    I think it's just something that takes time. Like COM said:
    For me there was a time when I was just flat out ashamed. Once I started to really identify my emotions I learned that the shame was because I felt like such a failure. Surely I must have done something wrong and my Difficult Child's poor choices are a reflection on me and that is what EVERYONE will see. I mean don't they always blame the mother. I had to step back and really look at how I "mothered" my son. Was I perfect, oh I hope not that's too much pressure to keep up with. That's just it, none of us are "perfect". I had done nothing to warrant the chaos my son brought into our lives.

    I still don't openly share about my son. I will sit and listen to my friends talk about their children and all the wonderful things they do and I'm happy for them. I'm happy that they don't know the kind of suffering that can happen as a parent. Don't get me wrong, there was a time that I was jealous of them, they had what I wanted. Again, self reflection, identifying my emotions and peeling them back like an onion, each layer disclosing something about myself.

    I am a much stronger person for having gone through all I did with my son.

    There are of course times when I meet new people and the questions will be asked, "Do you have any children?" I will respond, yes, I have one son. Then comes the second question, "What does he do?" I will respond, with my head held high and confidence in my voice, "My son is estranged from me" and if they continue to ask questions I tell them I'd rather not discuss something so personal.
    I have gotten to a good place where I do not care what others think of me. I know I was the best mother I could be and I live my life with integrity and focus.

    IWP, I think what you are feeling is just part of the process and it won't last forever. It's good that you are getting your feelings out here on this site.

    We have no control over what others think of us or our kids.

    ((HUGS)) to you........................
     
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  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    :angry-very:
    This made my chest tighten with anxiety, with pain for you and pain for me.

    This is a hard one.

    I have three other kids, including Difficult Child's twin sister. She just graduated from college last week, and has moved to a different city to live with her boyfriend and start work. IT is a phase of life where people are full of questions..."where are the older ones in school? are they graduating this year?"

    I used to say "my son is a schizophrenic street person."

    My SO made me stop saying that. I was fine with it, but it did kind of make everyone uncomfortable.

    Now I say "I have 4 kids" . If I am supposed to be reporting on them, then I say what they are doing and just say "my son is on a different track." and end it there.

    It is never easy.

    My other kids suffer with the answer to that as well.

    It is OK to say the truth.

    I am most grateful to those generous people along the way who normalized my son's sad trajectory by sharing their own stories of their "hidden" kids...stories I would never have known had they not volunteered. I think sharing can be very kind, very generous...but it does leave us open to being judged or wounded, so finding a few benign stock answers and using them is fine too.

    Its all fine, as it turns out!!:nono:
     
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  13. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    JulieAnn, I joined in Nov but never posted. I think I started posting around the same time you joined. You are so right when you said everyone here rallies around you. So true about needing to force myself to go to my friends to get away from it. So glad we found this place....
     
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  14. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member

    Oh me too. SO glad I joined. I don't know what kind of feral mess I'd be right now....That's funny you say that....I lurked around here for almost a year before I signed up. "Better late then never" I always say!!!
     
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  15. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    husband recently responded to a person who asked about our Difficult Child, Well, we aren't seeing eye-to-eye right now. They nodded and said something about understanding. I'm gonna use that line in the future.

    It is a major understatement, while not untrue.
     
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  16. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    SeekingStrength

    I love that!
     
  17. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I understand this IWP. I've done this. I do this.
    I also pull away from my non-difficult children. I understand this less.

    I often feel that I want to be alone. I often choose to go out alone, sit in a cafe alone, walk on a beach alone.

    Alone has become my condition of choice.

    I wasn't always like this. I used to seek out company. I don't know when I began yearning for solitude. Everything's easier when I'm alone. There's nothing to say. Nothing to explain. I feel exhausted sometimes when I have to have a conversation about my son or about his father or about things that happened long ago that are still weighing me down.

    How's Difficult Child? people ask. "Still living in his tree" I say. That stops them. It's the end of the conversation. They're not capable of continuing a conversation that starts like that. They have no idea how to.

    Then I crave the power to pull away. To find peace and solitude.

    I disappear inside myself.

    H asks what's wrong. "Nothing" I say. "Yes there is" he says. But there's nothing wrong that can be put right. I just want to be a recluse sometimes. It's easier.
     
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    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    No ending to this place, this sentence without an end.

    Thank you, Nij
     
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  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    With people that I don't know well, I just make a joke that Difficult Child is still finding herself and if she doesn't do it soon it is going to kill me. Then I laugh and change the subject.

    However, I found long ago that when I did share with someone that I had a daughter with substance abuse issues, almost every single one told me about a brother, sister, parent, or other loved one in their families that also had substance abuse issues. I believe that there are very few families that are not touched by this hideous disease.

    I also found that there were eager to have someone to talk with about these issues that would understand what their families are going through. I think there are a lot of people with these problems in their families that are suffering in silence.

    ~Kathy
     
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    Last edited: May 30, 2015
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