Having all of these mixed feelings

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GuideMe, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Hey my lovely friends,

    As some of you know, my brother offered my daughter to live with him last week. I guess my daughter accepted and is sent to move in on Wed (2 days from now) on her day off so she has time to move and everything. This is a blessing and a curse at the same time.

    My brother has severe anger problems (gee, wonder where my daughter gets it from). He is an a**hole to everybody, including me. This is how much I love my daughter, I never cut him out of my life for her sake. Even though he is a rotten little sob, we didn't have a lot to choose from. He is my younger brother and the only sibling I have. Even though we have our problems with each other, he loves my daughter and treats her good. The only problem I had with him concerning her is that he never spent a lot of time with her.

    Anyway, back to the issue, my brother treats me like dirt and has caused severe depression with in the last five years. I wish I could say it didnt hurt me or bother me but it really has, deeply. His girlfriend has treated me just as badly and right now we are not speaking to each other. So now with my daughter going over there, it's causing a lot of term oil with in me. Whenever she is with them, she treats me so different. The change is so drastic, that it actually traumatizes me. I know it's because of my brothers negative opinions about me and even though he doesn't express it to her, it doesn't take a psychic to see it. I know my daughter feels that she has to take this attitude against me in order to feel accepted by our family. She has even said so one time before and it cut me deep. This is our toxic family dynamics.

    But on the other hand, I know it has to happen for my own safety. When my daughter flies into a rage against me, I fear for my safety....my life..... and I fear she will hurt herself again. There is no doubt in my mind. It's happened a couple of times already since she has been out of the hospital. Going to my brothers is the only decent option she has.

    What I am worried about the most is, that after a few weeks, she's going to call me and beg to come home because she doesn't like it there. My brother has a few kids and they love my daughter a lot, but they also drive her up a wall. My fear is, she is going to call me and beg me to come home and that will cause a disaster between her and my brother. He will be so angry at her if she did that and then he will unleash his anger onto me, and then the whole situation will erupt with her having to move out. And with all the term oil of my feelings towards my brother, I am afraid it will send me into a nervous breakdown.

    The only possible way to avoid this is if my daughter didn't move right now, but instead moved in to my brothers two weeks before I had to move. Being in this place for another month may give her the idea that she could come back and that I will change my mind about moving.

    So while I feel relieved , like yes, she is moving and hoping for the best for her and myself, I can see what possibly awaits.

    This situation is so impossible, it's laughable.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well...this is a tough one. I would not have stayed in contact with anyone who treated me that way. I think my kids were all better off without knowing my batty DNA collection...lol. Sounds like you have one too ;) My kids, grown now, do not miss having my family in their lives. In fact, they don't want to know them. But here's the thing...

    You know you can't live with your daughter.

    It is possible she will flip out at your brother's house.

    For your safety, she can't live with you, if you value your safety at all, that is.

    So his house is her only protection from homelessness. And if she calls you begging to come home, you have the option of saying, "No, that will never work out again." And to stick to it. If you can't, again, this is something I feel therapy would help you be able to do...or it will help you resolve your issues with your daughter and maybe even live with her. But you aren't getting professional help so your interactions with her are unlikely to change. So you KNOW what will happen if she comes back. I find having a plan, even notes by the phone, help me know what to say when I know I am going to have a crazy or abusive phone conversation with one of my crazy DNA connections. I have learned to stick to one sentence and just repeat it, not engaging the difficult child. "No, I'm sorry, it is not best for you or me if you come home."

    Her: You'are a (fill in the blanks). I hate you (fill in the blanks)

    You: It is not in our best interests for us to live together.


    (now here you can hang up and call 911. I do. I don't take chances.)

    If she leaves off the "I am going to kill myself," you can say, "Let me think about it. I'm going to get off now." Then get off. Putting it off is very helpful. Things may resolve over there or you can think about your next move before making a commitment. I learned this on this forum, by the way.

    Again, I find it is best to plan for the obvious and roleplay it, even if it's just yourself. I would NOT talk to Brother about this, if he calls to put in his two cents. This is actually between you and your daughter, not him. His relationship with your daughter, and his offer to let her live with him, is between THEM. I would not talk to Abusive Brother during this time. You are sweet and easily hurt...why engage with somebody who will predictably hurt you and make you feel badly?

    The situation is not that complicated if you break it down.

    1. Daughter is dangerous to you.
    2. You want daughter to live elsewhere.
    3. Daughter has to leave.

    What your daughter does with this is up to her.

    You can always change your mind. You will probably eventually see that your first instincts were good and that doing the same thing over and over again just leads to more of the same. She moves in. She is scary. You make her leave. Rinse. Repeat. Things don't normally change until somebody decides "I am going to change." That's where the professional help can be so useful. Most of us may want our relationships to change, but we don't know how to change them so we need help.

    I am going to hope you have a good day today. I see you are up as early as me again :) We are the forum early birds!!!

    Keep your chin up. Stop worrying about what your daughter or brother will do and worry about YOUR needs and safety. And Good God, I would not have any unnecessary conversations with that brother of yours. He sounds horrible.

    Hugs! "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" ;)
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  3. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Yeah, I'm pretty much at that point of throwing my hands up and saying "what will be, will be. What is, is". The most important thing is, she will not be a danger to me or herself here in this home. If it means she takes on this attitude of I am nothing to her, then I guess so be it. I think in time she will get over it. I know there is a part of her that is saying "see mom, I'm moving, take that, I hope it hurts you" even though there is another part of her that does love me and wants the best for me. Again, demons inside of her wrestling around all the time when it comes to me. So yeah, she's somewhat doing it in spite, so I should expect that attitude from her. I won't let it get me down or break me down emotionally like I have before in the past. It's time we detached in certain ways. She is an adult now and I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I just pray she doesn't call me with drama. I am going to make it clear to her before she leaves to not call me. Pretend I don't exist for a couple of months.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A few helpful hints about drama phone calls:
    You can either say, calmly, "If you can not speak respectfully, I am going to gently hang up and we can talk later" or if you are not ready for that, just put the phone down and listen to the shrillness on the other end without hearing the words. Decide when to pick up again and say, "You know, let me think about this. I have to go. Doorbell." Or even, "Nature is calling badly." Then draw it out and you haven't heard the abuse. Oh, you heard the shrieking of your phone, but not the words. It's a lot better to hear the shrieking without the words, in my opinion ;)
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  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you great ideas. One thing that just dawned on me. My daughter has been great at taking her medications and is taking it very seriously. She says she feels better than she ever has before and is following up with everything the doctor says.


    My brother is anti-medications, big time. He made his girlfriend (its sad I have to say girlfriend still, his been with her for almost 7 years and has two kids with her) stop taking her medications a long time ago. She still talks about to this day how she wishes she could get back on her medication therapy. This is going to pose a huge problem for my daughter because she takes everything he says as gospel. He will do anything to talk her out of taking her medications. I don't know if she will be strong enough to fight him. More and more I think about it, he is going to be detrimental to her mental health.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, she doesn't have to listen to him.

    He doesn't sound like a really safe place for her or anyone, but your daughter doesn't have any other options if you can't live with her and I believe you when you say she is a danger to you. And it's her fault that she can't live with you.
  7. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Well, it depends on how far he takes it. He feels very passionately about this issue. I am going to advise her not to tell him, keep the pill bottles in her room in a little make up bag and take them in her room. If it does become an issue, I will just tell her to talk to my brothers girlfriend. She is ALL for medications and believes my daughter should be on them. She actually hounded me for years to get my daughter onto them. She just doesn't dare say it in front of my brother though. However, I know for a fact that his girlfriend would do everything in her power to help her, including even hiding the medications for her, in that aspect. So theres that.

    Yes, she is a danger to me big time. Everything I say in regards to her abuse towards me is true and you still can't imagine the half of it. If I sit and let myself think of the abuse I endured for the last five years, I would probably kill myself to know that I lived in such a horrible existence with my own child. Absolutely horrible. I could write a book just about what she has done to me alone.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    It will be interesting to see how your brother copes with her behaviour! Maybe it will be a wake up call to him about how much stress you have been dealing with and about how unacceptable his own behaviour has been.
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Anticipatory fear...that is part of the dynamic, too. Hold faith that you will be strong enough to handle whatever comes next and let go, if you can. Try to stop thinking about it. When you find these terrible thoughts creeping in, work on letting go, on thinking of nothing at all, until the fear passes.

    They call this kind of thinking "catastrophizing."

    Did you know there was a name for the way people who have been traumatized think, when they are confronted with the same traumatizing kinds of people?

    Though you have been hurt in the past, you are in control of your mind, of where you concentrate your thoughts, today.

    And we are right here.



    There is nothing here that you can change Guide Me, but the fear. Remember Winston Churchill? (I think that is who said this. But maybe it was Franklin Roosevelt. Whoever said it? Was exactly, exactly right.)

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    Fear, you can work with. You can feel it. You can lean into it, you can seek it out and sit with it. Fear is not going to hurt you. Being afraid of the fear ~ that is going to hurt you.

    Let this move be, Guide Me.

    It is what it is, and they will work it out or they won't.

    You may be very alone during this time and that's okay. As you heal?

    You will realize you have been alone, all of your life. Toxic family dynamics generally do not lend themselves to supporting or strengthening their members. It will not be easy to think about leaving your family behind you? But once you do it, once you begin standing on your own, your world will change.

    You are strong, and you are strong enough, to do this.

    I see it in your posts.

    MWM has given sterling advice about just what to say, how to think, how to survive these interactions with toxic family. This one, this "let me think about it", is the one that will enable you, that will make you strong enough, to carry through on the others and create change.

    And this is the other.

    You CAN always change your mind and do something different. You can change your mind ten thousand times.

    That is your right as a real, live woman who gets to make mistakes.

    We all get to make mistakes.

    That is how we learn.

    "People cry not because they are weak.
    It's because they have been strong for too long."

    I saw that on my FB this morning. You have been through terrible things, Guide Me. You have been taking in not only your daughter's hostility and accusations...but you have accused yourself. You have believed and taken responsibility for things that were never your doing, things you could never, in a million years, have changed.

    Then, someone taught you that you should beat yourself up for that, for failing to change THEM.

    Please set an intention of compassion for yourself Guide Me, and of kindness toward yourself.

    If you cannot do that for yourself yet?

    Then do it for us.

    So many of us have been where you are now, Guide Me. We made it through, and you will, too. Sad as this time is? It really is a new day, dawning.


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  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I really like the advice MWM has given you.

    Also what Cedar said.

    All I can add is own what is yours and forgive yourself, learn from it and move on. We all have made mistakes which is fine, that's how we learn. The trick is to not hold onto it, that's where forgiveness comes in. You have done the best you can.

    If you can't afford going to therapy I would suggest going to the library and reading some self help books. You need to train your brain to have a different thought process. Even simple things like putting a note on your mirror that says something like "I am a good person, I deserve happiness" You need to start countering the negative comments with positive affirmations. It takes time but it really does work. When you go to sleep at night say over and over I am valuable, I am worthy, I am loveable or something like that.

    Sending you hugs and hoping you will do something good for yourself.
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you that it wont take long for things to go down hill and difficult child to start calling you. difficult child wont be able to behave. Your brother wont tolerate her not bending to his will. The girlfriend wont appreciate difficult child needing to be taken care of when she already has two kids of her own. Plus if he pulls difficult child off medications without warning all heck will probably break lose.

    On a side note I wouldn't worry about your brother and his drama (ie: difficult child and all the others in his house). She is a grown adult he has chosen to take into his house. If he doesn't like the way she acts then he should deal with it. There is no need for him to call you about it or be mad at you about it. If he called me mad I would block the number and let it go. Honestly. You have done everything you can including getting your difficult child help. Why would he waste his time calling you for advice you are the bad one anyway right? (sarcasm there) Why would you waste time being yelled at for not doing something right? He knew you were the problem before he took difficult child so he should have been prepared for it since he is perfect.

    To be honest the day she moved I would detach at a mile a minute. She is a grown adult. She doesn't want to act like one around you. She can now go make a change or she can pay the price.

    Personally I think you take too much credit for difficult child's instability. The same things that happened at your house will happen elsewhere. Give it time and you will see. Your difficult child is still at risk of being a harm to herself and others you have just removed yourself from the immediate line of fire. Being around and near you is not the only reason difficult child gets angry or does stupid stuff. You are not to blame for all of it. No you aren't perfect but neither is anyone else and your difficult child will figure that out real quick when she has to deal with your angry controlling brother on a full time basis.
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  12. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    You nailed it dtsc and thank you ,(all of you) for giving me tools, confidence and even exact wording to use should any of these situations arise. You all have no idea how much you truly help me.
  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Cedar, I can't even tell you how much love and light this brings to me. (((huggssss))

    @Tanya M I want to say how much it means that you been supporting me in each post that I write. I don't get to respond to everyone because it becomes a lot for me to respond to everyone, but I want you to know that I have noticed how much you have supported me with every post I write since you been here and I am beyond grateful for it and it touches my heart. Thank you.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GM, you've gotten stellar support from the warrior mom's.......I'm glad you are able to hear what everyone is saying.

    Coming out of a highly dysfunctional background as you have takes a toll on our adult lives and leaves it's mark on us. A few of us have encountered that early abuse and we're here to tell you, although it 'ain't easy' it IS doable, you can overcome the past and learn from it and find your true joy.

    I also believe you would benefit from therapy, it offers you a place to feel safe over time and to learn how to trust, to value yourself, to have compassion for yourself and to feel safe in the world. Certainly healing and growth can take place without it, it just makes it easier and shortens the suffering as a trained professional guides us to health and well being, to a place where we can make the choices in life that keep us safe and healthy, loved, peaceful and successful in the ways we define that word.

    I have had a lot of therapy, with very, very good therapists and it has literally changed my life in a multitude of ways, all of which are positive.

    The problem with abusive childhoods is that it colors our view of the world, our inner core was not developed in a healthy, intact, loving manner where we learn how to feel good about ourselves, thereby making positive choices that enhance our lives as opposed to harming ourselves. To love ourselves is such an overused expression it almost ceases to have any meaning........but if we don't love ourselves, we see life through a very different lens then if we do. If one doesn't feel safe within, if one doesn't have self compassion and self respect, self love and self acceptance, the choices made out of that can be punishing......we can end up treating ourselves as the abusers did.......we have to find ways to fill ourselves up with the nourishment, nurturing and love we did not receive as children. Once our inner core self receives that love, our entire experience of life changes.

    I hear the heartache in your words GM, a heartache I am familiar with since I am a product of an abusive childhood too. I am so sorry you have had to experience what you have experienced. From my vantage point as someone a lot older then you, there are 'gifts' within our suffering.......which as we heal we become aware.......we learn a lot about ourselves and our courage, our strength, our resourcefulness, our resilience, our kindness, our compassion, our sorrows and our joys. It is a big ride GM, but one you are ready to take, and ready to come through...........we're here offering you our experience and a few signposts along the way.......to make your journey a little easier...........

    Hang in there GM, you'll find your way.........you'll make the appropriate choices.........just take it one day at a time, when the time comes, you'll know what to do...........we're all here for you...........
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    GM, thank you for your sweet response. It is a privilege to share on this forum.

    What RE says here is very true.

    The sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my bio-father tainted the way I viewed the world. It took a lot of work and therapy to work through my own self esteem issues, to be able to trust others and myself. I have survived sexual abuse, a verbally abusive ex (difficult child's bio-father), cancer, my difficult child and all the chaos he put me through, the death of my mother, then the death of my stepfather who I wish could have been my bio-father, plus an assortment of other life changing events. Just as RE said, I have learned so much about myself, my courage and strength, resourcefulness, resilience, kindness, compassion, sorrow, and joy.
    Never stop learning, never stop growing, never stop loving and never stop giving.
    Each one of us is the architect of our future, select the proper tools and build your life into something wonderful.

  16. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you RE and Tayna <3 <3 <3

    Tomorrow is going to be hard. She is moving tomorrow.