Feeling Very "Human"....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HeadlightsMom, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Well, let me just start off by saying I'm pissed at difficult child. I have heard nothing more (I know he sees our messages because FB stamps the time he sees them) and he refuses to answer. We all know (and he knows we know) that this means he's back into meth and crime.

    I have been detached, but I'm not feeling detached right now. No Radical Acceptance at the moment. I'm mad. I'm tired of every damned Christmas since the day we brought him home with us in 1996 being a disaster with his behavior. I love him, but...........I do NOT like being treated like a doormat and I choose to stop it right this minute. And I just wrote him and told him so. No worries. He won't reply, so there will be no fight. I guess that's the upside of difficult child's in hiding..........they keep hiding.

    Sick of them thinking the whole world should stop and pity them every time they enter the room.

    Wellllllllllllllll............ that felt good to spout out! Not a lot of places I can do that, ya know. Some people "get it", but most don't. Well, I just don't give a rat's rip at the moment.

    We've been having a wonderful time with many events with friends and family (and that will continue) through the holidays and on into January (when we go to California for a family gathering celebrating a wedding, a birthday, and an anniversary (our 25th).

    Shoot. I made the mistake of reaching out. Such a damned yo-yo with difficult child's. I'm sorry they have problems, really...... I am. But I didn't cause those problems and I can't fix them, either. Fact.

    Thank you all for the little ranty. I meant to pop on here on Monday when I had some free time and I just didn't. But I'm feeling it now and do, very much, appreciate being able to vent it here.......with so many others who understand.

    I know the holidays are difficult for our difficult child's. But, by extension, they make them difficult for us, too.

    Sadly, the only answer is to just not spend much (or any, on occasion) time around them. We try.... over and over and over..... He ditched us at Thanksgiving, he'll ditch us again at Christmas. We had a nice Thanksgiving, ergo we can have a nice Christmas.

    I believe in love, peace and forgiveness. I believe in the examples set by Jesus, Siddhartha, Gandhi, MLK, the Transcendentalists, etc. I try. But sometimes I'm just so human. So very human.

    Think I'll go workout and get some of it out of me. Then snuggle up with husband and Mr. B (our black lab lap dog). I need a dose of nice.

    PS -- I think I'll wait until my head is a little clearer before catching up on your lives. Thank you all, again, for just listening.

    Very HUMAN being signing off now.....
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  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah, being human does have it's drawbacks and you just named one big one. Dealing with a difficult child can certainly make us feel extremely vulnerable to our tender feelings.

    I'm sorry HLM, I know exactly what you're talking about. It is so exhausting to be dragged around by another's behavior. You ordinarily do a stellar job of acceptance and like me, and I imagine all of us, there are moments when we slip into difficult child land and we get socked. It's the nature of the beast I think.

    So, we workout, we snuggle, we meditate, we take long walks, we take deep breaths and...............we move forward. And the next time it's a little shorter.

    I hope tomorrow when you wake up, you're back to being your usual self, able to be detached, able to accept, able to live in peace regardless of what your difficult child does.

    Sending big hugs.......
  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Headlight,

    Yep, this is a safe place and I am glad you have it to unload to. Nothing bad about you reaching out. It might bring pain, but it was a loving thing to do.

    We try loving; we get burned. But, that's on them, not us. You tried the high road. That has to be a good thing.

    I hope you had a sweet, loving, cuddly evening.

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  4. Childofmine

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

    We ARE so incredibly human and that is a gift and a blessing and sometimes a curse.

    Hang in there. The holidays are especially hard.
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  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    HM, your post reminds me of this song. I dedicate it to you. Listen to the whole song

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  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your kind replies and for the music link you sent, GM (good song).

    Last night I had a good, long workout. Then a good, long cry. Then a good, long sleep with good, long dreams.

    This morning I feel more refreshed. More able to step back onto the path of Radical Acceptance. I've been taking Yoga for a time now and really enjoying it on several levels. One of them is the concept of Radically Accepting my mind gently drifting back and forth between chaotic energy and homeostatic/peaceful energy. I used to try to throw big lassos on my chaotic feelings. That's still my tendency. However, I am learning that gently letting them return to a state of peace works better. Chaotic feelings don't need chaotic lassos to return.

    I'm reminded of MLK's quote, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness -- only light can." In that same way, I learn more how chaos cannot drive out chaos -- only peace can."

    So, it's an ebb and flow process. But it's pretty impressive letting the ebb return to a flow after a good sleep. I tell ya, I am so thankful to be able to sleep deeply. And that is my gratitude this morning -- for refreshing, cleansing, rejuvenating deep sleep.

    I took today off of work and am just gonna chill and pamper myself a bit. Feels like the perfect day for that.

    Thank you all for listening and encouraging. I appreciate your words!
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  7. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hugs HLM

    This radical acceptance is hard to maintain sometimes, especially around now.

    Yoga helps me too. It is a time to leave all the woe outside the door and focus on myself, finding peace.

    Om shanti shanti shanti
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  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I love this, HLM! I am glad you are feeling better today.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I read your words and thought wow, how many times have I had those exact same thoughts. Yes, we are so very human. I too believe in forgiveness which has helped me to let go of so much but I am not able to forget. As more time passes those awful memories start to fade which is a blessing.
    Hugs to you!!
  10. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    LucyJ, Albatross, Tanya M --- Thank you all so much for your kind words. Muuuuuch appreciated!

    Ya know, sometimes when I'm writing a response to a post, I wonder how my words might feel to the other person. But then when I write a cathartic post myself and come back to read everyone's supportive and insightful words (I get so many great ideas from you all!), I am warmed through and through. This site is quite wonderful. :)
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  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for that quote HLM. I've been thinking about that today ..............and I realized that when I was in the angry space with my daughter, the place of responding to her behavior in a confused way because I didn't know how to disconnect my enabling and still be present for her in a loving way.......I simply reacted. And, my reactions were filled with darkness.......... judgement, resentment, disappointment, grief, the whole ball of wax our troubled kids can bring out in us........Then I made it a point to stop the judging. I had gone through a long term of grief and disappointment and anger...........I had expressed all of that..........and all of it went away. All those nasty dark feelings..........went away.........I'd moved through them, like the 5 stages of grief............... and come out the other side.

    Then to use the dark and light theme, I only felt a lightness within and my interactions with her completely changed. I was peaceful inside. The darkness was gone. And, now she is responding in such a different way. Perhaps one could say the light drove out the darkness and the peace drove out the chaos. Hmmmm. I have to continue giving that some thought. I had not looked at it that way before. Thanks!
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  12. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    RE -- Yeah, it's quite a journey, isn't it? I know what you mean about reactions filled with darkness, judgment, resentment, disappointment, grief. It's a MONDO ball of wax. I have thought about MLK's quote many times in recent weeks due, mainly, to national and global news events.

    But then I took it another step, deeper.... Why was I judging? Resentful? Disappointed? Well, none of those can exist unless I was comparing something vs something....or someone vs someone. Hmmmm..... Comparison. The problem here, for me, is comparison. I began taking mental note of how often I was comparing...well, anyone or anything.

    Comparison is the polar opposite of Radical Acceptance. Aaaaaaand voila! Suddenly I see why comparison of situations or people can spin me into a trap of dark chaos if I let it. Truth is, I really don't need to compare anyone else's life or situation to mine. Not other parents, not other kids, not other anyone. My life is mine, their life is theirs. And that's the beauty of it. I think people are meant to intersect or intertwine with other lives -- not hijack them.

    This is a newer idea for me..... Comparison vs Radical Acceptance (or, Dark vs Light, Chaos vs Peace). It's a paradigm shift I like. And the more I just observe it (I was shocked how often I found myself comparing others and situations), the more I learn about it and am able to work through it faster.

    But I sure am still human and it can get the best of me at times. Yesterday was such a time. But today is another day.

    RE -- Thank YOU for sharing your beautiful perspectives of Radical Acceptance and Gratitude! I learn much from you!
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HLM, I've been studying the concept of finding inner peace by giving up judgement, comparison and the attachment to the outcome. I've been picking away at this for decades........how judgement is so intricately interwoven into our thoughts, so much so we don't even know we're doing it. And, comparisons, whether you come out on top or the bottom, are an egoic exercise is measuring our worth by being more than another, or God forbid, less than........and then our expectations of outcome, the desire for it to be a certain way, or else we can't be happy..........these concepts are such a part of me, to attempt to observe it and stop it is a real challenge..........and yet, honestly, when I can stop the judgments, stop the comparisons, stop the attachment to the outcome...........wow, I am feeling pretty darn good! And, man, it takes an extraordinary amount of practice and presence, I am working on this pretty much full time now.............like you, I can observe myself falling into any one of those traps, notice how bad it makes me feel and pull myself out pretty quickly..........

    I like it too HLM. I enjoy your ideas and your optimism, your ability to see the glass half full even when it appears empty........your take on things is inspiring and refreshing.......I like it a lot. I learn a lot from you too........keep em' comin' HLM, I'm always thirsty for new thoughts and new ways of seeing things...........
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Love the clarity of this.

    Comparison vs Radical Acceptance.

    This is how we learn not to judge. If I am comparing even though it may not be to something out there, but to my own interpretation of how a thing should look or feel then not only am I not present in the real time moment, but in addition, I am making myself vulnerable to the very feelings which will burgeon into guilt.

    Very nice.

    "Comparison is the polar opposite of Radical Acceptance." I am going to put that on the fridge. It's like the perfect clue, pointing me to how to monitor my responses in present time. For me, foolish as it sounds, the comparison is with programs like Father Knows Best and Eight is Enough and even, Happy Days. There was always a wise, older woman on the soaps, too.

    And though I understand intellectually that those people were never real...on some level, that is what I expect happiness to look like. On some level, this is how I believed everyone else was living while my family of origin whirled deeper into toxicity or, after I had my own children, while my children's lives fell apart.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  15. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    RE --- I can tell you're on a genuine quest and I love it! I think you're walking the walk (or posting the post, should I say? LOL!). You have been on it for a long time, indeed. Perhaps we are similar in some fashion. I had no clue difficult child would be part of my life (who does?), but my entire life has been a quest for greater understanding (the flip side of that is the the more I understand, the less I realize I understand about some things). But I grow more comfortable with not know -- more trusting of God, The Universe, The Big Picture (whatever one wants to call it).

    RE -- Thank you so much! I feel very much the same as you! Nothing more exciting than a new idea to explore, eh? And there's just so much we cannot comprehend until we've lived it. Fact. I find your heart and mind shining through your posts quite brightly.

    Cedar --- Well, thank you very much!

    Oh, Cedar, we may be more similar than you realize, girl! For me, it was The Brady Bunch. As I vacillated on which Brady I'd rather date (hey, I was 12, so Peter and Greg both looked pretty good to me!), I also realized how I envied their family. So many siblings (I had only 1 brother, they had 6 altogether), such great parents (always participated in the school play and had time to listen), and even had a maid (who was fun, to boot!).

    While I realized I couldn't be a kid from The Brady Bunch, I sorta had inklings that maybe I could be like the parents and raise my kids that way. Hmmm........... Welllllllllllllll........ let's just say that didn't pan out, either (nor did the maid portion of the program, mind you! LOL!).

    But somewhere along the way, I realized my parenting experience might more resemble the Lifetime Movie Of The Week than The Brady Bunch. Crazy drama. Sometimes I handled it well, sometimes not. C'est la vie.

    Oh, oh, and I also was like you in that there was always an older, wiser woman with sage wisdom at every turn. Only for me, that wasn't on a soap, but it was on Star Trek Next Generation --- Guinan the bartender (played by Whoopi Goldberg). I still can't look at Whoopi without wishing I had all of her sage wisdom as Guinan. :D
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member




    P.S. This is the thing that was so extraordinary about your posting "Comparison vs Radical Acceptance": It's simplicity.

    Stop judging; face into the wind.

  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    For me?

    That family movie my family actually was would be that program Ozzie Osbourne and family did.

    I kid you not.


  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I keep coming back to this thread.

    It opens and opens for me, this concept of comparison. That is the gist of so much of every single thing in my life. Not just the kids, though that is the focus for angst. (Picture German opera singer in one of those metal bustiers, here.)


    It's that somehow I can see it now, when I compare what I have to those stupid television shows. That's where the feeling of shortcoming originates. It has to be something to do with knowing my family of origin was just not right but not knowing how and so, subconsciously, choosing all those images of perfection as real.

    Intellectually, I get that they were staged episodes.

    Except that somewhere in here, I don't get that, at all.

    I remember when I read that Carol Brady dated the actor who played the oldest son on the Brady Bunch. I nearly threw up.


    I still think she's an awful person, interacting in that way with her own son.

    The same dynamic must be at work when I try to figure out how to put all the pieces together where my kids are concerned.

    When I think about "no comparison/radical acceptance" I get a feeling of clarity.

    How extraordinary.


    Which opens the whole question of who we think we are these days. Old people fall down and can't get up and need those stair wheelchairs. Plus, they have gas, they have denture odor, they can't think straight and they look just awful.

    They have like, really serious diseases, and depression and Alzheimer's.

    They run around having plastic surgery and dyeing their hair, not for fun, not something like purple, but to conceal who they are.

    What is all this doing to our young boys and girls, as they form opinions of themselves, of life, of their parents and grands, of other races.

    Radical acceptance of nothing more than what it is.

    That's a piece of this too.

    That comparison thing cuts both ways.

    Excellent thread, for me.

    Very nice.

    Thank you!
  19. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Excellent replies, Cedar! Now you've given me more food for thought. Thanks!

    For me, the word "contrast" (like contrasting vanilla vs chocolate) is neutral. But, for me, the word "comparison" (like comparing any person to any other person -- or scenario) is laced with judgment. When I really paid attention to it in my inner workings, was shocked how judgmental I am at times. Sometimes, perhaps necessary. But most of the time, I suspect not.

    Semantics....can make quite the difference, no?
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think it is true what they say, that we hear when we are ready. We are always hearing exactly what we need to hear because that is all we can decipher. The other layers remain a mystery. For me, it's a question of releasing defensive barriers. (?) If that is so, then I have to be healed enough to understand why I am hurting myself, why I am limiting my own choice of perspective, before I can open my hand and let go. (Here we go: Before I can open my hand and let go, leave my palm empty and be fine with that. I suppose that is what is meant by the Buddhist concept of the empty bowl, right? No more chasing around to find something that will fill the emptiness at the heart.)

    COM posted a Richard Rohr on silence in her thread on ~ huh. I can't remember what the thread is titled. Anyway, it was an extraordinary piece. That thread has something like 5,000 views. That is how you will know which one it is.

    I cherished and found the issue of comparison versus Radical Acceptance an incredibly healing concept.

    It is still in here, opening me and leaving me empty.




    How extraordinary that we are all here, pushing and following and teaching and learning and moving through barriers so few of us have even the opportunity to visualize, let alone confront and break through.

    I loved your Christmas greeting message, too.

    Merry, merry Christmas to you and to yours, Headlights Mom.

    We are doing it. We are healing and supporting and cherishing one another here in a way that enables incredible growth and healing.

    Thank you, most sincerely.
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