Feeling Anxiety over Children

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jodiehooks, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    Today I have a therapy appointment, but after being on this forum, I don't feel quite the same urgency to go as before. I am amazed at how much this site has helped me. I tried AL-anon before but apparently became associated with an older group (not age wise but in duration), who the members seem to not want to reach out unless at a meeting which was ran strictly on time and in format. I tried to get a sponsor but none of them wanted to have phone calls or contact after the meeting. I was disappointed since my therapist had recommended going, and I know there may have been other meetings that may have been different, but that was closest to my home during the high gas prices of 5 years ago, so I stuck with therapy. As I listen to all your stories I am amazed at how many other people are dealing with the same stuff I am. Someone on here said that what we have to do is the opposite of what the natural instincts of a mother/father would be and that is correct. I fight the urge daily to conjure up ways to "fix" both of my difficult adult children, all the while knowing that at my age I should be paying attention to my own needs (which I do most of the time except during a crises when everything gets put on hold). Someone also said (TanyaM?) that grieving for the child you used to know is hard and I know that letting go of what you wanted for them is one issue that I share with others. I can see in my mind ways that they can overcome these problems, but when I pose these suggestions to either of them I get all kinds of statements which all resemble indignance at my thinking they should have to do THAT, what ever that is. So, I am going to therapy today and continuing on this forum, trying to take care of myself and do the best I can to have a nice life in spite of all this. Update on my daughter: she is working, has an apartment, running vehicle and seems ok for now. I am feeling very grateful for that today!!
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  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I'm the one that said that what I (we) are trying to do does not come natural to us parenting wise. I am trying to learn it now myself and it is very difficult.

    Sorry that your Alanon group was not what you were looking for but as many have said, it depends on the group.

    I go to therapy myself now weekly also. I started to go when my son first started having issues five or so years ago and then just started going again after he overdosed because I knew I was emotionally in over my head. She is helping me to cope with his issues, support and love him but also set boundaries. She is helping me to focus on having a good life for myself because let's face it, me not enjoying my life isn't going to help him in the least. I look forward to going. You really have to want it (or anything) to help (in my opinion) for it TO help.

    You have been through a lot yourself already with the untimely death of your other son so obviously you are a very strong person!
  3. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    Thank you Tanya, I really do want to go, but it seems that at one time I really really needed to go and could not manage without it, now I am doing better with the help of this group and do not plan to stop, even after 5 years. I started going when he was first arrested for manufacturing meth, and his 5 year old child was with him, they took the child to a hospital, stripped his clothes off, and then tested his urine and hair. Hair test was positive, so my son had not only a meth mfg. charge but a neglect of a dependent charge too. I was nearly hospitalized because it was me that caused a welfare check to be done out of concern for the child, never expecting them to actually find a meth lab.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I have learned the hard way not to share my thoughts or suggestions with my son. Without fail, he will try and use it against me. He will go into a dissertation of how none of what I say or suggest will never work and that I obviously do not care about him or I would help him.
    Jodie, do what you have to do for YOU. There is no need or requirement that you share with your son. The only thing you need to share with him are the boundaries you will set.

    I know that must have been hard for you but you did the right thing.

    Glad you are going to therapy today and even more glad that you are here with us.

  5. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    thank you so much, I am glad I am here too and yes it was soooo hard. Afterward I felt so remorseful and guilty, it took a long time to accept that it was ok that I was the one that called the welfare check, but for a long time I thought I should have talked to him and tried other measures before calling them. But now I realize that isnt true, and both of them could have died and then I would have felt worse. Positive on a hair sample means he was making it and using it while the child was present.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You were a champ and a hero, Jodie. Your grandson was a little child and you rescued him. It's too bad your son made dangerous choices even around his child, but he did and you are that child's savior?
    May I ask what has happened to the child that you saved? Jodie, you deserve a gold medal for the grandparent olympics. It was so hard but you still did the right thing.

  7. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    What happened is this. The child's mother and my son were not married, she being pregnant with their second child and due to deliver 1 month after his arrest. The woman was not a nice person either, and was abusive, but they lived about an hour and a half away during the several years they were together. So when he was arrested, I kept in touch with her and allowed her to come to my home and stay when she came to town to visit him in the county jail and I tried to help her as much as I could. But he was transferred to prison, and eventually she found another relationship. At that time she quit communicating with me and refuses to this day to respond to any of my attempts. But we also had a very bad falling out after he was arrested the second time due to her attempting to confiscate his vehicle, which I did not allow. So, after this long story, the bottom line is that the child is now 11 and is in a home that may not have drugs but surely is not a good place either for him. My heart aches for him and I have a photo of him on my fridge to remind me daily of him. I pray that when he is old enough he will come see me and I believe he will. At that time the mother and father will have no say in what happens and I can at least be a loving person in his life, I feel he will need that after all he has been through.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is so sad.

    it is still better he isnt around drugs snd I hope he does contact you when he can or, heck, you can contact him too.

  9. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    I look forward to it and hope and pray he manages to overcome all the life issues his parents gave him. He was really a sweet kid and I care for him a lot, but do not have the emotional strength after all I have dealt with in my entire 66 years, to fight any more battles.
  10. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Jodie, you did the right thing. I spent my early years in a drug-filled addicted home, trust me, that alone does emotional damage, I can't even imagine what physical damage is done through exposure to meth.

    The internet and social media are quite a tool. When your grandson is older you will be able to find him.

    Try a different meeting. Try Nar-Anon, too. It is a matter of finding one that feels like home.

    I did a little reading. There are very few studies done on children exposed to meth manufacturing. Based on the chemicals and process used here are the potentials:

    Exposure to methamphetamine manufacture
    The immediate dangers that home-based methamphetamine labs pose to children move beyond the violence, neglect, and abuse associated with drug-abusing and selling activities (Figure 1). Children who live in home-based methamphetamine labs are exposed to the toxic precursor chemicals, waste, and filth associated with methamphetamine production, as well as to the highly psychoactive stimulant itself. Psychoactive compounds can cause psychosis, seizures, and death from accidental ingestion (NIDA, 1998; Perez, Arsura, & Strategos, 1999). Consequences of exposure to the toxic precursor chemicals can include poisoning, burns, and lung irritation; damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, brain, and immune system; cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia; bone marrow suppression resulting in anemia and increased risk of infections; and developmental and growth problems (Drug Endangered Children, 2000; Irvine & Chin, 1997; NIDA, 1998). The conditions of the typical methamphetamine home environment can further increase a child's risk of infection and illness. Lack of cleanliness is customary, providing an atmosphere for bacteria to thrive. Domestic animals contribute to the filth. Commonly, animal feces, ticks, fleas, garbage, rotten food, cockroaches, and discarded drug paraphernalia are present in the child's living areas (Manning, 1999; E. Mendoza, personal communication, 5-15-2004). Lack of parental supervision contributes to a high percentage of children ingesting spoiled, rotten, or chemically contaminated food, as methamphetamine solutions are often stored in real food containers (Department of Justice Information Bulletin, 2002; Manning, 1999) (Table 1).
  11. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    Thank you for sharing. I do understand now and after hearing from this forum that I did the right thing but at the time it nearly killed me. I merely asked for a welfare check, and upon doing so he was found to have what they called a meth lab in the home although in reality it was not active, rather it was the remains of one that had been used elsewhere and disposed of in his trash, which doesn't make it any better. And I do pray that my grandson is ok. He has been through so much. He was exposed to his father's meth mfg. for a prolonged time since they were very close and now I don't know how he is. It breaks my heart.
  12. Childofmine

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

    Hi, JH...

    I used to spend literally hours thinking about (obsessing) on what they could do, and then what I would do, and then what they might do...and then what I would do...on and on and on. I was living in an alternate reality...because literally NONE of what I spent hours and time and valuable energy on ever happened. Ever.

    It was literally time completely wasted. Time and energy I could have done something productive with.

    Maybe---you and I have to go through this...in order to get to the other side of it all.

    Like Tanya said above, I learned over a long period of time to just stop talking. Just to stop offering all of my so-called valuable solutions and advice and ideas. I came to see...over time...that my best ideas for another person's life were actually quite ridiculous. My Difficult Child would look at me like I was nuts...or ignore me...not respond...get mad....walk away...but still I kept on talking.

    I just thought this: Maybe I can find the right combination of words to break through to him.

    It. Never. Happened.

    Today, I see all of those great ideas I had as arrogant and presumptive. How could I possibly know what is best for another person's life? Even if that person is my own precious son.

    I came to see that I needed to turn all of that energy onto my own life. To deal with my own stuff. As hard as that is...to let go of him and all other people, places and things...and to take care of my own business.

    They said that in AlAnon: Mind Your Own Business. And at first that really insulted me and made me mad. Well, wasn't MY SON my business? After all, I AM his mother. Well, actually, no...his life isn't my business. It's his business. My life is my business. After a lot of stubborn push-back from me, I finally began to see the truth in that. I had to admit I was wrong...and I had to work to change myself. Al-Anon helped me...over months and years...do that. My sponsor helped me. The workbooks helped me. Writing and talking about it all helped me. It was real work.

    Hang in there JH. Find another Al-Anon Group or a Nar-Anon Group. You can't believe the change that is possible in you if you can find a good place for yourself in one of these groups and then...just keep on going and going and going. and working to open your mind and hear what is offered there.

    I was the slowest learner in the world! I resisted a lot of it at first...so there is hope for everybody! : )

    Warm hugs this morning.
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    COM you took the words right out of my mouth. That was ME too! Exhausting. I finally "got it" after years of saying everything I could imagine to him and then some!! Thanks for telling me to "mind my own business"!! That is an easy one to remember!
  14. jodiehooks

    jodiehooks WEARY MOTHER

    yes you said it all that I have experienced. I am learning all this as well, but at times I seem to forget so thanks for that reminder and for sharing!!
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    when are you going to start having fun?

    I'm almost 63 and I feel its my turn now. I don't want to think I never lived.

    When do you allow yourself to let go and do the things you like? Your kds certainly know how to behave and ways to get better. if they dont, your life can still he happy.

    By 60, I think our concern for our grown kids should turn to ourselves. This is an age where normal adult kids start to worry about us, not the other warly around.

    You may not like the choices your adult kids make, but honestly this is how they want to live or they woulnt be. What do you see for yourself in retirement? My hub and are going to buy an aRV snd live in it while we travel. what are your dreams that dont include hoping your kids see the light? They will or wont, but you can still enjoy these golden years. Depriving yourself and focusing on them wont change them and will rob you of happy golden years.

    If you stay busy, you'll think about bad things less.
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