grieving my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I am changing my post again. I will change it forever it I have to! I am trying so hard to be what everyone else is. I want to be that strong. I dont want to go visit my son and it makes me feel guilty. He wants me to come but when I see him I just want to cry instead of be angry. I have to really prepare myself. My husband doesnt go. He is tired of going up there but I feel he needs someone. I just cant go yet. My emotions are so raw that I would just crumble I think. I have to take care of myself. I wrote him a letter telling him I would come visit but not right now it upsets me too much. I do grieve. I am trying to get my husband to go somewhere. He is locked into deer hunting! Sometimes I feel I just get left out. What do I do about that? :smile:
     
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Susan, each new thread is the start of a new thought.

    Grief is something we have all experienced and can all relate to. It is devastating. When my Rob was sent to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I went into a deep depression. What you are feeling is perfectly normal- how could you NOT grieve and feel sad and angry?

    I'm sorry for your pain.

    Suz
     
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susan,

    So much of your happiness is dependent on others. I know that you love your family and that is great. But how about you? What do you do for you?

    Have you thought about new interests that you would like to pursue? How about going back to school for another degree? I did it during my difficult child's crazy teen years and it helped take my mind off the drama. I liked it so much that I am now working on another graduate degree.

    Or how about volunteer work? Put your need to nuture and help others to work in a hospital or humane shelter.

    Or take up a new hobby. I went on a scrapbook craze when easy child was a senior in high school.

    I think that your husband needs his deerhunting. It gives him a chance to get away from the difficult child chaos in his life. I also think that you would benefit from something that gives you a chance to focus on something besides your difficult child.

    Sending hugs.

    ~Kathy
     
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Try to take a page from your husband. He's found an escape in deerhunting. I doubt he cares if he gets one and I'm willing to bet that a lot of that time sitting and waiting is spent in thought and pain, but it still gives him something that isn't family, isn't chaos, isn't grief. You truly need to find something to occupy you. Not something for your family, something for YOU and you alone.

    If you like games, find others and organize a game group. If you like to work with your hands, take some classes and learn a new skill (crotcheting, knitting, sculpting, painting, whatever). Join a book club. Take a creative writing class. Volunteer. It doesn't matter what you do so long as it is something that you will enjoy.

    It is okay to grieve the loss of the little boy who didn't become the man you thought he would. It is okay to be angry at your son for throwing the little boy out the window, for tossing your dreams for him away, for his stupidity. It is okay to have pity for the man he isn't but could have been. In many ways, you are going through the stages of grief:

    Denial (it isn't his fault)
    Anger (how dare he do this to me, his family, himself)
    Bargaining (if I do X and Y for him, he'll quit using)
    Depression (the sadness for his bad choices and mistakes)
    Acceptance (he is a man now, he will make his own choices, I will love him regardless but I won't watch him destroy himself)

    Unfortunately, you have to go through it more than once -- the first time to accept he had made his choices; the second time for the loss of who he could have been; the third time for his betrayal of your love, beliefs, values. I don't think it is in you to put it all into once category. I truly believe you have to do it in steps and that's okay, we all do what we can, how we can. That, too, is part of acceptance.

    If you feel that seeing him will draw you back into enabling him, then don't see him. It is painful, but it is the right thing to do at this time. As you get stronger, you'll be able to see him. Just not yet.

    (((STANDS)))
     
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    What you're going thru is normal. Meowbunny hit it on the head.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Denial (it isn't his fault)
    Anger (how dare he do this to me, his family, himself)
    Bargaining (if I do X and Y for him, he'll quit using)
    Depression (the sadness for his bad choices and mistakes)
    Acceptance (he is a man now, he will make his own choices, I will love him regardless but I won't watch him destroy himself) </div></div>

    It's also normal to waver back and forth between these stages of grief until you regain your strength and begin to heal. One day you may feel like your heart is shredding with grief, the next be so enraged with difficult child you want to throttle him, and so on.

    It's a learning and healing process. Even to people seasoned to the process it can be difficult to be sure at times if what you're doing is supporting the addict or actually enabling them.

    If you're not emotionally ready to visit difficult child yet, don't push yourself. It might be a good thing for difficult child to realize that his actions/decision can also affect others in his life.

    ((((hugs)))))
     
  6. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It's also normal to waver back and forth between these stages of grief until you regain your strength and begin to heal. One day you may feel like your heart is shredding with grief, the next be so enraged with difficult child you want to throttle him, and so on.

    It's a learning and healing process. Even to people seasoned to the process it can be difficult to be sure at times if what you're doing is supporting the addict or actually enabling them.

    If you're not emotionally ready to visit difficult child yet, don't push yourself. It might be a good thing for difficult child to realize that his actions/decision can also affect others in his life.</div></div>

    so true, lisa! Amen.
    also, until some of the grief and depression passes, it is hard to get up the gumption to start new projects and a new life for yourself.
     
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I personally think what you are struggling most with is your identity. You identify yourself through your family. I think most moms go through this. But, a time comes when you have to re-identify yourself.

    I think many people said this in the 'do you miss being needed' thread that Suz started. I think she recognized a common theme for us all. That need to re-identify ourselves at a certain point in our families' lives.

    I think I qualify to re-identify because my difficult child is just so resistant to parenting that I am left with few options of responsibility left. She still goes with the flow for some rules - like time to be home, where she is, who she is with, etc. Which is just amazing to me. But, most other parenting things get met with a brick wall.

    So, how to re-identify myself?

    I need to discover some interests that are just for me. Not boyfriend or difficult child. Just me. But, I still have responsibilities at home so it can not take me out of the house every night or for hours at a time. I still have to keep up the house, laundry, groceries and meals. These are the things that I feel are standing in the way of figuring out how to re-identify me.

    How do you all do it?
     
  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Right now my re-identify is my teaching. I have waited to go back to teaching for a very long time. I got that kindergarten job I wanted this year. It is a lot of work. I am enjoying it and getting compliments from the parents - which is what it is all about. Right now I dont think I have enough sense to start something else. Before when my difficult child was in the correctional facility I went to two Bible study groups. I was gone about 3 nights out of the week. It was good but it took me away. I love to read and shop! I dont have much money but I like to just look. I guess I get upset over my husband hobby only when I feel like he is ignoring me! I asked hiim if we could go somewhere tomorrow and he said yes. I guess I just get caught up in the whole thing - the not knowing what will happen to him. The knowing that this time I had nothing to do with him being locked up. By that I mean I didnt call the PO or the police this time. I feel like I cant negotiate anything or advise anyone about his needs. I know that is crazy but that is my heartfelt feelings. I lilke this board. I like everyone on here - they have all been helpful because like Alanon everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. No one is judging someone else. It takes people longer than others to go through the process. I am still taking baby steps I think even after 6 years. I will take my difficult child some money today to buy long underwear. It is his money. He said he is freezing. I hope he doesnt trade them for anything. I hope he is learning his lesson.
     
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    you are doing a good job. baby steps, going thru the process taking as long as you need.
     
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susan...

    I have to almost laugh when you talk about your husband and deer hunting! I am also a hunting widow. As I type this, mine is getting ready to go back out again. He goes out early saturday mornings and then comes in for a few hours and heads back out again. He also goes out at least one afternoon a week if he can. If he can make it on friday afternoon, well that is a plus in his book too.

    ARGH!!!!

    I feel your pain!

    Sometimes I think I could stand naked in front of the door with a bow on my head and unless I smelled like doe pee, he wouldnt notice during deer season!

    As far as the whole thing about a new Identity, well, my therapist and I have been talking about that lately. She thinks many people could use a workshop on finding a new identity even if they dont have kids like ours. People like stay at home moms whose kids have now grown up and gone to college or got married, widows/widowers, people who have had to change careers, people who have become ill, etc. There should be some sort of place we can go to learn how to overcome this change in our lives. It seems to happen to all of us but we are all so surprised and devastated.

    We are going to be working on figuring out how to figure out how to find me an identity. I seem to have lost mine somewhere along the way.
     
  11. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I guess I managed to re-find my identity after my husband died (10 yrs ago). I kind of went wild for awhile but I found out I love to dance and in fact met my present husband at a contra dance. We took swing dance lessons together too so dancing has been a big part of our lives together as a couple. I also took a belly dancing class and that was really fun, just for me.

    A few years ago I got up the courage to join a singing group, called Mostly Motown. I had seen them perform before and thought it would be fun but was scared to try since I haven't sung as part of a group since jr. high. I have been with them now for several years and have so much fun and have had to get out of my comfort zone (performing solos and having lines to say in skits). I have found I love the "acting" part--I love performing--never knew that!

    I think it really is important to have something that is just for you that you feel good about and where you are just yourself. I love being just "Jane"---when I am with my group I am not a mom, a wife, employee, I am just myself. People don't relate to me in those other roles, they relate to me as a singer and comedic actress.

    I expect it also is good to be role models for our kids. I remember how much happier my mom seemed when she started working when I was 9 yrs old. I didn't like it that she wasn't there all the time for me but as I grew older I think I saw that she was a person, not just a mom. She also had her own interests she pursued. I really admire her--she is 85 yrs old and goes to her aerobics class 3 times a week, takes many trips since she loves to travel, gets together with friends often, loves the Dallas Mavericks, and til just this past week was continuing to substitute teach elementary school a couple times a week. I think I learned from her how to be a person and not just a role.
     
  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    HI stands~

    I too am a hunting widow. Have been for almost 25 years. Instead of dreading my husband being gone, I have come to look forward to it.

    I get the bed all to myself.
    I don't cook.
    I read good books late at night.
    I rent chick flicks.
    I take bubble baths while I drink red wine.
    I sleep in.

    Treat yourself to some girl things while hubby is gone.

    Do you find it hard to be by yourself? Do you enjoy your own company?
     
  13. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    lol GG that sounds like my life this week while boyfriend was away for three days at a seminar.
     
  14. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes! That does sound wonderful! Actually I enjoyed my day alone yesterday. I went all the places I love to go and didnt spend any money! My friend that I usually go with was out of town so I just hung out at Barnes and Noble and the mall, etc. That is what I like to do. Sometimes though I wish my husband would like to do those things with me. He does like to but he likes to have money to spend and we dont have it right now. Today we actually went out and got breakfast and walked around. It was fun. I guess I am so used to someone being here or feeling needed all the time that I feel that feeling and dont kknow what to do about it. I will figure it out. I am trying hard not to feel guilty about not going to visit my difficult child - but that is part of taking care of myself and right now I am important. :bravo: I think I am going to make it - I just dread the court date whenever that is - someone told me I shouldnt go?
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I feel for you because I'm grieving too. If you read "When is it time to give up" there's my story. I'm a little luckier as I have other kids to focus on, but I agree with the others that all of us need to learn to take care of ourselves first. Our grown kids are out of our control. I decided that I'm going to spend the rest of my years enjoying myself more and worrying about other people less. I think you have some good ideas where to take your life and I hope you are good enough to yourself to do them! (((Hugs)))
     
  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Well got a letter from difficult child. He says he is doing alright but wants to be out by christmas. I am not bailing him out. His public defender says it is probably not possible. Anyway, I am just remembering how the holidays used to be and feeling sentimental also. I cant believe the horrible way things are now. I dont know what lies ahead or what to dread. It is a scary thing but I will hang on to God. I had a good evening with my daughter last night! I do miss ant's mom. :rolleyes:
     
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I hope that you will start to look ahead with hope instead of dread. I'm sure that Janet would be happy to get an e-mail from you.
     
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I'm sure the holidays won't be easy for you, but you should think of how hectic they would be if he was home. I'm sure your vision of a beautiful relaxing family holiday would end up being just the opposite.

    Enjoy the peace and quiet and be thankful for what you have and do everything in your power to enjoy it.
     
  19. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    I well know the pain of the holidays when a son is in jail. I am sorry for your hurting heart.

    I tried to tell myself, even tho it was horrible that difficult child was in jail on Christmas, that it was better than him being in the graveyard.

    One Christmas, my difficult child was on the streets. Can't begin to describe how awful that was for me. So, when he was locked up, it was almost better for me.

    Try to stand back (with courage :wink: ) and gain some perspective. It is hard, no doubt. But remember there really are worse places to be than in jail. (((HUGS)))
    :flower:
    Peace
     
  20. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I agree with Pony even though my daughter has never been in jail. I've spent one complete Christmas without her and one partial. The first one, I had no idea where she was, if she was safe, sheltered or anything. That Christmas almost destroyed me.

    The semi-Christmas was when she lived with friends but wanted her presents. I told her if she couldn't even bother being here for Christmas dinner, I certainly couldn't bother giving her her gifts. She came for dinner, I gave her some of her gifts. Maybe it was petty, but I kept several of them for me or returned them to stores. I could think of no reason to give them to such an uncaring person even if it was my daughter. It truly hurt a lot.

    Jail would have been better since at least I would have known she was safe and getting a Christmas dinner of sorts in the first case. In the second, she wouldn't have had a choice where to spend her Christmas and I don't think I would have been so hurt even though I would have been incredibly sad.
     
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