Doing well detaching; but some days it is HAAAARRRRRD

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Things are much the same here...but I'm feeling frustrated and in need of some support.

    I/we had several weeks of weird difficult child related "stuff" and I had two or three unusual for me days of severe STRESS. I have migraines and autoimmune issues (Lupus/Sjogren's Syndrome) and stress takes its toll on me in a major way. My blood pressure is also an issue...been a bad year or two health wise, in general. Fortunately, I can say that I have largely detached and I don't have days like this nearly as much anymore.

    As I have mentioned before, difficult child moves, on average, every six weeks. She has been in and out of apartments for perhaps four years (since she first moved out of the home). Either she gets evicted or she evicts herself. She is constantly out of money, she is constantly in a state of emergency, she constantly wrecks things like her microwave or doesn't have clothing, because she forgets to pack her clothes when she moves...

    About two months ago, she went on a rampage, because someone in her building passed away and the police came and there was yellow tape around the place. I was unsure if she was using this as an excuse to move OR WHAT! She said the guy was murdered. We called the police and explained that difficult child has a mental illness diagnosis and is unwell and asked if they would tell us if the man was murdered or died of unnatural causes. They were understanding and assured us that it was natural causes. We had agreed to loan her deposit money for a new apartment if, in fact, the man was murdered; since we felt she might be living in a dangerous area. BUT, when I found out that he simply died of natural causes, I told difficult child that I would NOT give her any money. This is a fact of life and she needed to get OVER IT!

    But, of course, she did not listen. She left without her stuff and stayed with a friend for two weeks. The apartment manager was nice enough to store her stuff in a closet or something, but said would only do so for a week or two. She borrowed $100 from husband, who made her promise that if she moved or even talked about moving again before Christmas then she would NOT got with us to a family get together out of the city for Christmas.

    She moved downtown to some horrible hole in the wall. Then, against our wishes, she got a dog. :sigh: Then, she got warnings that she would be kicked out of this new place because the dog was crying night and day and bothering people. She had only been in the new place for about a week when this happened! Then she panicked and got paranoid that everyone hated her and said she wanted to move out (thereby breaking the Christmas agreement with husband). I was a little conflicted, as she didn't join us for Christmas last year. I think husband was secretly thrilled!!! Thoughts on this?????????????????????????????????? (by the way, all of this was for nothing, as she had a perfectly fine is just that someone died in the bldg.!)

    Then, she left that place...then all sorts of weird confusion back and forth, much turmoil, lots of false starts, COUCH HOPING, STRESS, and now she is in the mother in laws quarters of a home relatively close to our home. She has stayed at this home once before. We think they (the owners) have money problems. The funny thing is they have TWO difficult child KIDS OF THEIR OWN, but they wont have anything to do with them. We think the owners of the home think she is better than their difficult child kids as other than an occasional drink (which shows up on her big time, since it does NOT mix well with her medications), she doesn't do drugs. However, she is majorly difficult child! Maybe they like the fact that the know they will get paid since husband is the designated payee on her disability checks.

    All she has left to her name is a mattress, a few clothing items and a hot plate. She says someone stored her microwave for her, but there was food in it and it smelled so bad, she threw it away. What irks me to no end is when I asked her who was responsible for cleaning the food out before it was stored, she doesn't answer. And she omplies that it is no ones fault that the food was in it and it had to be thrown away. WTH?

    I told her that I have given her about four or five microwaves in the last several years and she says I have only given her one or two. (I give them to her as b-day gifts...or I buy them very cheaply from garage sales. She has no memory of us getting them for her repeatedly). We have also gotten her about two mini refrigerators. Have no idea what happened to them. This time, she will have to buy her own frig and microwave.

    We have offered to get her a social worker, but she says she will kill herself if one shows up at the door and she will not keep any appointments with one. I have thought of bribing her with a microwave and mini frig. if she would allow one to come periodically to help her, but I sense that unless she personally buys into the is a waste of time and money.

    As a side note; generally speaking difficult child is likable...but often has trouble living with folks. She refuses to clean up after herself and makes horrible decisions and has horrible mood swings, etc.

    I just needed a little vent; thanks for listening (reading).

    It's as if she is a vagabond and no matter what we do, she is perfectly happy living this way. It is so sad...but I move on.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 24, 2013
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    WOW! I dont even know what to say. HUGS!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What a mess, Nomad.
    Strange, now that look back on it, when I first saw your board name yrs ago, and now your difficult child is a Nomad.

    Anyway, it seems that you are in a lot of emotional pain, which is understandable ... and you talk about detaching, but I think you may need to detach more. (Easy for me to say, since I'm not in your situation!) I see things like the fact that you've given difficult child several microwaves (regardless whether they're garage sale), downpayments, loans, and offers for a soc. worker, and I see that you are still very much involved in her life.
    For all the good it does, does it really do any good? Except to stress you out? Would you be more stressed if you had less contact or no contact? I'm just wondering, because your health is really suffering. Sjogrens AND Lupus AND migraines? Sheesh! I'd be eating Valium like chocolates.
    I don't know how you do it.
    Clearly, your difficult child is suffering from severe mental illness and needs medications. She needs to somehow come to grips with-her situation and I don't know how she is going to do that. Has she ever been arrested? I'm wondering if the police or a scare like that would get her to wake up and smell the coffee. So sorry I have not been on the board much lately; I don't want to make you repeat yourself so you can refer me to old notes if you have links.
    I don't see where she is listening to you AT ALL.
    But as you said, this note is a vent so you're not really looking for a whole lot of advice.

    I can offer the info that my sister's daughter went through 4 drug rehab experiences before she came clean, and my sister almost lost her mind. No one knows why her daughter was finally ready, although we suspect that getting the feds involved because of a major sting, and her old boyfriend landing in jail may have pushed her over the edge. :) Not that your daughter is on drugs, just that these kids are into external and internal forces that we parents are not privy to, and oftentimes, they come around by themselves, or with-the help of others. They know that we parents will never "give up" on them, but also that we are not going to coddle them.

    I'm sending many hugs and healthy vibes your way.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Geez,Nomad, I am so sorry. I can relate to much that you're saying and feeling, since as you may know, I have my own difficult child.

    It appears as if you've given your difficult child as much as you can and at this point in time, she refuses any further help which might take some of the pressure off of you. Considering your health issues, it seems as if it would be prudent to distance yourself one more step back.

    I've found with my difficult child that with each 'dramatic event' that my difficult child created it was another 'opportunity' to detach another step. As that occurred, I felt better and my difficult child learned that I would not be available for that particular 'event' any longer. Maybe you are at another one of those steps in the detachment Terry mentioned, no more microwaves, no more front money for apartments and maybe a weekly check in and no other contact. Like a weaning process for your difficult child.

    husband and your difficult child had an agreement and she broke it, I would think that is a done deal for Christmas even if she didn't join you last year either. It doesn't sound as if her behavior warrants getting out of the agreement she herself made.

    My daughter lives in terrible situations, at least that's how I would judge them........and yet for the most part she is not phased by any of it so I decided to not be phased by it as well.

    This is all so sad Nomad, I completely agree, but at this point it sounds as if anything you do doesn't really help or change anything but does serve to upset you. Perhaps removing yourself from the various scenarios which cause the most stress for you and then moving down that same list until you are removed from all of the parts that create stress for you.

    This detachment stuff is so hard, my heart goes out to you. Sending big hugs and warm wishes for peace to return.........
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm much better now...I'm being honest when I say that I don't let it get to me excessively. I am doing much better than times past. I do have my moments, but I keep them brief. I do not have a choice....I value my mental and physical health.
    And HOLY COW with reference to the NOMAD name here and her behavior! Great observation! I simply got that from a water bottle when I joined the was sitting on my desk and I took the name off of it. But, yes, she is like a "Nomad," sadly.
    And I agree...might have to step back my involvement even farther. YES, I do see that. We plan on moving out of the city in 3 or 4 years. We will pull back before then and in a major way at that time.
    (We do greatly limit our help to her now...but I see we are probably too involved in general)
    And I totally agree she should NOT join us for Xmas. She broke the rule. Period. I guess I'm just a teeny bit surprised that husband does not feel sad about it in the least. Not a bit.
    i guess there is some part of me that wishes it could be different, that is sad for her as a human being, that sees her as "sick."
    But, enough is enough and our good health is paramount.
    We have to protect ourselves from all this drama trauma, turmoil and insanity.
    thank you for your understanding and letting me vent.
    i feel better/stronger.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you feel stronger, Nomad.
    And just because you feel sorry for her because she is sick, doesn't mean you can't still have appropriate boundaries. :)
    BE STRONG. {{hugs}}
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Nomad, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry this is happening. It's like we are being tortured, isn't it.

    Could you call Social Services and explain that you feel difficult child is on disability and needs some kind of supervisory help, but that she refuses to call, herself? At least you would learn whether there is such a program. Last summer, when we were all in a hot mess over difficult child and then, learned granddaughter was ~BOOM~ coming home to live with difficult child, I called Social Services and just told them I wanted to talk to someone about what to do, next. I was transferred to the right person the first time, and she was really helpful. I learned a lot. Just knowing how I would go about doing whatever it was I needed to do was a comfort to me.

    I was prepared.

    I think that desperate uncertainty we feel when we are up against the wall with our difficult children is the worst thing we go through because, when it is happening, our minds keep circling and circling the same issues, trying to find a better way to do what needs to be done. Detaching from the pain and the worry is almost impossible ~ at least, it is for me.

    As Recovering tells us, Nomad, it will help to picture your difficult child in the palm of God's hand. To that, I would add that I would often picture myself right in there with her...that imagery does help with the immediacy of the pain and worry.

    Are you using the Serenity Prayer? I will post it for you, just in case. I was told to read it until I got it. I read it and read it, Nomad...and it helped me.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The Courage to change the things I can
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    The other thing that I have found so helpful in just surviving the horror our difficult child kids put us through is the Joel Osteen materials. There is hope there, Nomad. And comfort.

    When I am really upset, music will sometimes change that for me. Here is a secret: I have been watching country western videos first thing in the morning. They seem to put a little space between whatever I have been dreaming about and the day. This morning? It was Miranda Lambert's All Kinds of Kinds.


    That one is about acceptance.

  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Disability does not offer such services. Our local programs are all for people with spectrum type disorders or drug addiction.
    Last night she called and said she was going to the ER for stomach problems. She does that a lot. We suggested she wait until morning and see her doctor. Then we turned off all our phones.
    Ironically, I bumped into her at the store this morning. She looked fine. She was with a friend. She was all mention of a stomach problem.
    I smiled and said I was in a hurry (I was). She was fine with that. A big positive is that she is usually respectful. And we do have excellent boundaries in place.
    I am concerned for my health and although our help to her is minimal, I see she needs to do much more for herself and although I have largely detached, I wish to detach even further.
    I'm not sure if we ever 100% detach...but I wish to be very very close to that.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nomad, I hear you when you say, we may never detach 100%................. and I wish to get very close to that as well.

    There are bumps in this road, days which are just weird as the Mom of a difficult child...........but thankfully, those days get less and less frequent...........I find it's a certain perspective or a certain lens I choose to look through...........if I look at it one way, it feels pretty bad, sad and dismal.............however, if I can maintain a certain stance and only look through that lens, then it is all pretty much okay. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but at this point, that is the way I move my perspective over to something which doesn't snag all of my maternal yearnings............and leaves me free to be in my own life and enjoy it.
    *I'm glad you're feeling better.
  10. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I am wondering HOW to detach. As Recovering posted, I can change the lens...but that other, darker understanding is still there underneath, making me sad and angry at everything that has been lost.

    Which would be my dreams for her, my certain knowledge of who she is and should be.

    Initially, I wrote "who she would be." But the belief behind it is a "should." And who we "should" be is seldom valid....

    So, does the pain we feel as mothers have to do with judgment? I have been thinking and thinking about how it seems that our daughters want to be where they are in their lives. As adults, they have the right to do as they is the difficulty we feel with detachment something about not fully giving them that freedom?

    Maybe, what our daughters want is for us to see, and to celebrate, the good things about the lives they've chosen? Certainly, my daughter is freer and is living her life more courageously than I ever did.

    And because of that, she is stronger, less fearful, far more her own person, than I am.

    But oy, the choices she's made!

    I wonder what would happen if we could celebrate those good parts about the lives our daughters have chosen ~ trusting that, even if it doesn't look like it to us, they are making rational choices about who and how they want to be.

    No judging, no worry, no horror at what she does, at what she's thrown away, at where she finds herself would mean I don't have to change it.

    So, that would be detachment, right?

    Not making a judgment about what she's chosen.

  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Would that be acceptance? Accepting what is and yet clarifying and setting boundaries around behavior that is harmful? Acceptance appears to be what happens after detachment........... and what really promotes peace of mind.