feeling anxious

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I guess my new post will be feeling anxious. I have decided it is not a good idea to bail hiim out. I wish it was never brought to my attention - it tends to make me feel guilty - that I am leaving him in the worse place and not trying tohelp him get help!!!!! Anyway, I feel I am an addict just like him - except I am addicted tohim - when I feel like I am about to give in or buy into his chaous I get this anxious feeling - almost like a panic attack! I hate that feeling - it is between fear and trying to fix. I am a lot better than I used to be. I have detached and am trying to rise above the chaous. We cant do it without our Higher Power (God to me). When you feel like you have risen above the chaous - it feels good. Sometimes I have felt that way - but then I relapse back into trying to come up with a solution so everyone would be at peace. I wish I didnt have to feel this way - especially when I talk to him. I just want to be normal and talk to him because he is my son. I think I am just crazy. :crazy2:
  2. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    YEP! I know how you feel. For some reason, it's 'easier' for me NOT to help him when no one asks me! Hard to say what I mean, but a lot like when you said. I'm fine detaching and not worrying so much, until I get asked for something! Then I get all anxious and wobbly. :rolleyes:

    You are not alone. It's a process. And yes, you ARE better than you used to be!! And no, you're not an addict, you're a mom. :warrior:

  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks PonyGirl! I believe you understand me!!! :flower:
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    The fact that you feel good when you can detach and rise above the chaos is great! That's a huge step forward.

    You have been taking care of your son's every need for a long long time, and it's a very hard pattern to break. I think it's hard enough to let go of our PCs, and even harder when we know that our children have so many struggles ahead of themselves.

    But...it's not fair to your son to keep fighting his battles for him. If he doesn't learn how to fend for himself in the world, what on earth will he do when he's 50?

    I have a friend whose 55 year old brother still lives at home with their now 80s-and-ailing parents. The brother has Asperger's syndrome just like my difficult child does, but his parents never let him develop the coping skills he needs, so now he can't function in the world. Now they are old and sick, and forced to make some terribly hard choices for their son. If they had let him out into the world to learn and grow himself, he would have a much easier time of it now.

    When it came time to decide whether to struggle along with our difficult child at home, or put him in a long-term Residential Treatment Center (RTC) with a transition program into adult assisted living, I looked at what my friend's parents are dealing with, and jumped at the chance for Residential Treatment Center (RTC). This way, my difficult child at least has a chance at learning the life skills he needs to survive.

    Your son deserves the same chance...to succeed or fail on his own.

    And you, Stands...you deserve to have that good feeling that comes from not owning other people's problems much more often.

    Hang onto that feeling. Learn what it is that makes you feel that way, and do more of that. If it means volunteering, praying, weaving baskets or whatever, you need to look after you.

    All the best, and gentle hugs.
  5. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    You are doing everything just right, Stands.

    I agree with Pony and Trinity ~ these are the feelings we need to confront, and dominate. Moms whose children are not in the kinds of trouble our kids have gotten into can respond to these so-intense feelings. These are the normal responses of a parent whose child is in pain or needs help.

    For parents like us though, helping is not helping.

    It is enabling.

    That is why I find comfort sometimes in remembering that addiction changes everyone in the family. It makes everything so much darker, once we understand that loving our children without reservation, loving them the way normal parents can, loving them the way we used to, is not safe for us or the best thing for the child.

    But if we are strong enough to do this part, we may be strong enough to function as a guidepost, a sign, a way for our wayward child to come back.

    Thinking like that helps me, sometimes.

  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    True and it helps me too! Today I was at school and another teacher was talking about a prospective teacher coming into a position at our school. she already has children at our school and has been very involved in the PTA, etc. The teacher that was talking about her said Well her children are just wonderful and that speaks a lot about her! Well her children are very young maybe under 5th grade but I kept thinking does the fact that my child did what he did make people think the opposite of me? That I just wasnt up to par as a parent? It really aggravates me when I hear someone say that and everyone around them agrees! I just want to say so - just because her children are ok now doesnt mean they will be ok 12 years from now and does that make you a bad parent then? I guess I just dont like politics and all the stuff that goes with it. No one knows at that school where my son is today! Thank goodness. :smile:
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Susan, this JUST NOW popped into my head.

    Please do not be offended, I just am wondering.

    Are you (or have you been) toying with bailing him out, possibly, because if he is not in jail, then you never have to tell anyone that he is in jail? Because you think that you will be judged by the actions of your children?

    That's not politics. Sweetie, that is low self esteem. If you are worried about what some lady with grammar school aged kids thinks, don't be. Her kids have not even hit puberty yet. In the meantime, she is allowed to think that her kids are perfect.

    Didn't you, when your kids were little?
  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes - I am sure I did. Especially him because he was the first born but I guess I feel somewhere along the way I didnt measure up = I know that is stupid and I cant believe I am saying it but being in a school where teachers and people are political and I know it and just because my wonderful son is where he is I feel like I am less of a mother. But I know that I was a good mother a lot more doting than many I know. I cant go on like this - I know I have to stop feeling this way. Anyway he didnt call tonight. It hurts me to thinnk that really the only reason he calls is to see if I got his Xanax filled and who I have talked to. I want to believe he wants to hear my voice and really see what we have been doing. Maybe somewhere in there he does but it doesnt seem like it. I will try and hang in here. I just dont really want to be judged by anyone.
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Some people will judge by how well-behaved a child is. Most won't. They understand that a child can be well-behaved because that is the way the child is and has nothing to do with the parents. Some behave out of fear. Some behave because of lucky/good parenting.

    If you have doubts about your parenting, look at your other two children. They are doing well. Sometimes a child is what a child is out of choice.

    I do understand how hard it is if someone asks you to help your child. If you don't, you're afraid they'll think less of you, wonder what kind of mother wouldn't help her child. If it is the child asking directly, the child usually has no hesitation in telling you what a rotten parent you are and how much you don't love them.

    Susan, the best thing you can do is remember that your son is basically free of drugs in jail. He is safe for now. Make this your mantra and don't worry what others will think of you. Just know that you are doing the right thing and what is best for him for now.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I gotta tell you, people are "political" wherever you go. In families, at work, in neighborhoods, at school. Wherever you go there is going to be a pecking order. What kind of house do you live in? Where does your husband work? Where did you go to college? Or did you go to college at all? What kind of car do you drive? Who did you vote for? What's your religion? What's your heritage? How well did your children grow up? When you decide that the people who think you aren't good enough for them, are actually not good enough for you, it won't bother you as much.

    I would also consider taking this clod aside and telling her "I don't know if you realize it, but your comment about good children coming being a testament to good parents really hurt me." I bet she'll say something stupid like "I didn't mean you!" People are idiots. All you can do is help them understand how ignorant they seem when they make generalized statements.
  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I agree with witz. Bottom line - people ARE going to judge. Especially those who have young children or those whose kids are 'right on track'. Many people will assume that our kids troubles are the result of poor parenting. Many people will have all sorts of critical attitudes toward us as parents. No getting around it.

    I am of the belief that life is a great equalizer. At some point, life dishes us all a serving of heartbreak. No one is exempt.

    I am also of the belief that when those around me face struggles, I desire to be there to help them - encourage them.

    Stands use this opportunity to grow in your faith and to grow stronger. Opportunities will present themselves to you to share that wisdom and strength with others.

    Like witz said "People are idiots". But I like to believe it's because they are ignorant. Life just hasn't taught them the hard things that it is currently teaching you.

  12. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    I'll be honest, I'm guilty of making these assumptions too! When difficult child was school-age, and getting in with the 'wrong crowd', I was pretty upset about those other parents! Why couldnt they control their kid! :hypnosis:

    But I began to realize, some of those parents were exactly like me; doing the best they could with little success. Sure, there were some who sat in bars and didn't give a rip. But there were others who were struggling just as much as I was.

    Parents are individuals, just like our kids are.

    Parents get too much blame when their kids do something wrong, and take far too much credit when their kids do something good, too. Double-edged sword. :warrior:

    The things I learned out of my experience was: Hold my Head High. Look people in the eye. Fake it till I make it. Don't take on that guilt. Be honest. The other parents who knew me, they also knew it wasn't my fault. Parents who didn't know me, too bad for them.

    Personally, us parents of difficult children are more firmly based in reality. I joke about my boss, who raised 3 perfect children, she has no clue!!

  13. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I get a sort of secret glee when I can turn people's assumptions upside down. If I am around people who are bragging about their kids sometimes I will mention how happy I am that my dtr managed to get her GED while in rehab. It bugs me that people will assume I am responsible for what difficult child 1 chose to do or assume that I have 3 easy child's because I am a well educated, middle class person who looks like a "good person."
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    And you know, just because we might not feel like we're happy at this very moment with what our kids have chosen, even at 24 years old it doesn't mean that we can't be hopeful that one day they will turn their lives around.

    The key word there being that it's "they" who turn "their" lives around, and "we" turn our lives around. "We" don't ever turn "their" lives around. Stands, you have to keep telling yourself that. As long as you question his sincerity, I'll guarantee you he is not sincere. You'll know it when you see it.
  15. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Those are the feelings I meant, Stands.

    Separating them out and naming the feeling is an excellent first step. This will enable you to couteract the psychic and spiritual damage.

    Refuse to entertain the feelings.

    Elect to feel nothing.

    Do your best job, be your own best self.

    If you can, hold the intent that there will come a time when you will be able to be happy for those other mothers, those who have never had to know what this feels like.

    It is small comfort, but the only one I have found.

  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Ok - all of you are right as usual. Tonight he calls again I guess when he was done with kitchen duty and they were going back to the dorms. He said the guy from the mercy ministry came to see him. He said he told him we were going to get him out and send him to rehab. I said that we had talked about it but I wasnt sure he was ready and I didnt have $500. - my difficult child told me $250. but now he says the bondsman wont do that. Anyway I kinda got upset when Iwas talking to him and told him how was I supposed to believe he was ready and what will happen if he blows it - he said he woould go back to jail and that he would be responsible. My husband says under no circumstances are we bailing him out. And then we get attitudes with eachother because I am so tired of him not understanding my emotions every now and then. He gets so irritated that I even entertain the idea of getting him out and doesnt understand what I am even thinking! I just hate to leave him somewhere where he can get worse instead of better and not have him go somewhere that is better. He says that they are not giving him anything for his nerves and that he cant sleep. He says he stopped taking his Tegretol because it made his kidneys hurt. I go back to that thinking and it gets me crazy trying to "take care" of him again. My husband says he needs to do it. He can sit in there until his court date. How will that help? He can probably still get drugs in there. He said well MOM if you cant get me out and send me to rehab just bring my Xanax and put them in my property. Even the ministry guy told hiim he couldnt take Xanax at the faciility. They would give him seomething else. Should I call the jail and ask them what they are giving him now? I just hope they offer him rehab and I hope I am not making a mistake by not trying. I just wish someone was sympathetic to my emotions every now and then. You all understand because you have been there and you are women. Well most of you anyway!
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    He's 24 years old. You shouldn't call anyone about anything.
  18. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    "I just wish someone was sympathetic to my emotions every now and then. You all understand because you have been there and you are women"

    Lordy lordy Susan, Yes we are woman and we do understand the emotions of having to detach from our children and all we want is for our children to succeed and become productive citizens in society. It is tough being a Mom and having to deal with the what ifs and what if I don't... But you gave birth to him 24 years ago and raised him up. Where he is and whatever circumstances he is having to deal with was created by HIS BAD CHOICES. They have staff within the jail systems even if it means a trip to the county hospital escorted by the sheriff that take care of any necessary medications, Yea it might take a while but I am sure that he can put in a request to see a Dr or something.

    " I just wish someone was sympathetic to my emotions"

    You are not a victim, You are a Mom that needs to know that you have done everything to raise up a son that for whatever reason has chosen his path and you are in no way responsible for his bad choices.
  19. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member


    It's not that we are unsympathetic with your emotions. We are. But, we have the wisdom of hindsight and the objectivity of being removed some.

    SO - what we are encouraging you to do - and what husband is encouraging you to do - is allow your son to figure this out for himself.

    What I most often hear from your posts are strong emotions.

    We can't be ruled by our emotions. They are way too fickle and unpredictable. In these difficult circumstances, you need to allow your intellect and brain to rule your decisions.

    What does your intellect and common sense tell you?

    It is okay to recognize emotions - sadness, despair, fear, etc. In fact it is good to recognize emotions and to name them.

    It is NOT OKAY to make decisions based on those emotions.


  20. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    :warrior: Well said, goldenguru! You've nailed it.

    Susan, maybe you want to think about 'not being home' the next time difficult child calls? Just for a bit, it might be good for you to avoid conversations with him.

    And try to give your husband a break. Men are wired up differently than us.

    I for one don't think jail is making your difficult child worse. In my own experience, jail was the only thing that did make my difficult child 'better'. He even told me once, "I needed to be in jail. I needed to be stopped."

    Also in my experience, everyone feels anxious in jail. That kinda means it's working! :flower: