how much can one person take

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I seems like since I was little there has literally been one calamity after another. I have written a 150 page saga just about the first 24 years of my life - and then difficult child was born! I could write another 200 pages about all I have been through since - and although I literally don't see how my mind can take on more thing - I know it will have to. It just seems like at some point my mind will just stop, my spirit will decease, my soul will perish - it will have become used up, maxed out, trashed from the stress and strain of this life I am living.

    Last night was one of the worst nights, ever with difficult child. I cried more than I think I have ever cried. I just kept thinking that I could not do this anymore, but yet, there is nowhere to turn, no other option, nobody to lean on. So where do I go from here? I just continue on, and hope that someday I have something left when it's over? I just think, that instead, I am physically going to die. All of the stress will take it's toll, and I will just fade away.

    When I see little kids now, it rips my heart out. I want what they have. I want to start over, and have their innocence, and their daddy, and a chance at being normal. When I look at little kids playing in the park, it shreds my soul, because I wanted my son to be that happy pumpkin, swinging on the swing, being pushed by his daddy. I wanted my son to be invited to all the birthday parties, and have normal play dates, and to play sports, and grow up happy and fulfilled.

    Instead, the 2 of us sit in the house, trying to survive on a wing and a prayer. difficult child blames me for everything bad that has ever happened to him, despite my tenacious and unrelenting try at making a good life for us. And I know that I failed. I failed him, I failed myself, I have simply failed in every capacity.

    I cannot hope anymore, because I think it has been extinguished. And now I am just wondering if I can even survive, because it seems as if soon, something will just stop. My body, my mind, something will just cease, because it has been overused, overwrought, and overextended. It just seems as if something will need a break soon, despite my fortitude to keep me running.

    Thanks for listening, and yes I am in therapy and on medications. It is just not enough.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, if you feel that bad maybe you should seek some help. I can tell you that my daughter once did hard drugs and life with her was hell, but she changed her life and we are very close now. Please--I often felt my life was a big mess too--look at my diagnosis. I grew up with neurological problems and did poorly in school. On top of that I have bipolar/anxiety disorder/panic disorder/mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). My Mother hated me and disowned me--in death she left me nothing, not even a mention. But my life is still good. I have my five kids. Yeah, one no longer talks to have to laugh, right?) We adopted him at six, and he's thirty now and a fundamentalist Christian with a wife who I suspect encourages him not to speak to us and he doesn't, but I have all my other kids and I'm going to be a grandparent. I volunteer at the Humane Society, which makes me feel wonderful. Please, PLEASE don't give up!!!! I was a single parent once too. If you feel like harming yourself, go to ER. Your son loves you--he is just in a bad place now, but that doesn't help when you're only seeing blackness--please reach out and get help. If you e-mail me, I'll give you my number and we can talk, if you like, but it's probably best to talk to a professional. But I"m still here, and should be home for a few hours. (((Hugs)))
  3. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I'm so sorry for how you're feeling right now. I just sent you an email. Call me if you need to talk. I'll be thinking about you.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know it can feel hopeless at times. You are not alone in that.

    But, things do seem to keep plugging along and there are better days ahead for sure. Some will not be better, but some will. That is life.

    I think that is my learning from recent years - life is just that life. It is not going to suddenly turn into a fairy tale. You are living life right now. This is it. Make it the best you possibly can. If something is just not working than figure out how to make it work or change it. You will have to do this evaluation process for the rest of your life.

    Hugs! I know it is tough to parent a difficult child.
  5. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    Oh hun...I'm so very sorry. The low days are *so* very low, aren't they? I wish I could just wrap my arms around you so you could feel the warmth and comfort of another human's something that a raging child, therapy, and medications just can't offer.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh sweetie, sending comforting hugs right now!

    When you fell like you have run out of hope, come here. We have extra to share.
    If you feel as though you have run out of strength, come here. We have lots to spare.
    If you don't even have what it takes to pray, let us know, We'll pray for you.
    If your soul feels battered and tattered, tell us. We will comfort it too.

    Go ahead and grieve the childhood that you never had, and the childhood that your son never had. Then come back here.

    We will help you get through with the life you DO have.

    You are going to be okay.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending along some more gentle hugs - wish we were all there to rally around you and give you some great 'family' hugs. Often, this is the only place to reach out. Aside from here, please try and force yourself out of your house. Simple, small things can lift your mood. A walk near a lake or beach or the woods. Just sitting outdoors and soaking up some sun can help. Look around at the world outside of your house and see that there are things to be grateful for. Finding at least one thing to be thankful for each day, even if its something as simple as your morning coffee or the sun rising over your heads, give thanks for those things.

    It is difficult to see past your own misery (and I'm not trying to dismiss it). You need to try and step outside of it and do things. Go to the library, a town event, a movie. If you have a local coffee cafe or something like that, go treat yourself to a relaxing 30 minutes just enjoying a cup on the patio or reading the paper or a book alone. You can go to a place of worship - during off hours - and just sit and enjoy the serenity and peace.

    What were your personal interests before exh and difficult child? Try to remember things you used to do that you enjoyed or fed your soul and try to find a way to recapture that. Was it photography? Drawing, painting? Was it cycling, aerobics, yoga? Feed yourself with activities that nurture YOU and only you. Getting out there and enjoying the other parts of your life helps the unenjoyable parts of your life become more bearable. And you will likely meet other people who can become a source of pleasure and support.

    I'll be thinking of you and hope that you take some brave steps to improve your overall being. Hugs~
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    I know that feeling you are describing to the T. I've been to that place. It's dark and dreary and hopeless and oppressive and heavy and you feel helpless and you're in the tunnel, but you can't find the damn light that everyone keeps talking about.

    Lean on us. We're here. And we have flashlights.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    I agree, get out of your house. Go for a walk around the block.
    difficult child can be left alone for short times, right?
    Do you have enough $ saved up for a massage?
    I would consider upping your medications, too. I don't know what you're on.
    Do you have friends from church or anything you can call? Even a crisis hotline? They're free.

    I know how you feel about looking at other people, their perfect kids with-perfect smiles, perfect hair ribbons, perfect hugs, perfect pkgs of crayons, not a single one broken, and feeling that huge sense of loss, that "It's not fair!" feeling. It isn't. It will never be. Once I got over that (and sometimes it comes back, but not often) I did much, much better.

    Do you have anyone at all you can leave with-difficult child for just one night? So you can stay at a friend's or at a hotel?

    Sometimes I'd sit in the bathroom (even when I didn't have to go, but it's a small room with-a lock!), while difficult child was pounding on the door, and I just stared at the walls and did deep breathing, or I looked at a home decorating magazines or gardening magazines.

    Please take care of yourself.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    What you're feeling is normal. It is grief. You're grieving for the child you imagined when difficult child came into your life. Your grieving for dreams, hopes, and goals that might not be acheived. You're grieving for the "normal" life that it seems other people have.

    Been there, done that, got the tshirt. (several times over) Then came the acceptance. But it took me awhile to get there.

    If it doesn't seem that your medications are working you need to let your psychiatrist know. Have you been evaled yourself to be sure there isn't a chance you may be suffering an undiagnosed condition yourself?

    That said....

    The low times can be incredibly low. Often I had to force myself to do the simplest things. Sometimes I couldn't even manage that.

    You are a warrior Mom. No, you're not Super Mom. (she get's paid better and has hired help :biggrin: ) But you're doing the best you can with what you have, and in the end that's all that counts.

    No, difficult child doesn't appreciate it. Most kids don't while they're still kids. And blaming you, well parents make such a conveniant target. You should be proud that you've managed to raise a difficult child alone, work, ect. (I couldn't do it and wouldn't try) And millions of kids have grown up without fathers and turned out just fine. (myself included)

    No one's perfect. All of us just do the best with can with what we know and what we have.

  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, hugs, prayers, and flash lights, that is exactly what I need. Thank you guys. I gave my sweet, 3 month old puppy a big hug imagining a good cyber hug from you guys.

    I went and bought a coloring book, and some clay. I felt the odd urge to do things that made me feel young and happy. It's weird I was doing pretty well working thru my childhood with my counselor until my dad got brain cancer, and then I felt like I came to a stand still. I had to support him, and my mom, instead of process my issues.

    I am still cleaning up the bits of shards of glass all over the house from difficult children rage, and putting back together my computer he destroyed, and trying to pull out all the stops to find some glimmer of hope. Since the rage was once again about his father, I am not sure I am even going to continue to press charges now for child support. It just seems really not worth it at this point. But yet, now I will feel like I let my son get his way by bullying and manipulating me. But when is something just too unbearable, too much, and consequently not worth pursuing. I don't know.

    I also wonder about all of his medications now. It seems his behavior has become worse since the Lamictal that was started back in March. I feel done with medications, actually, sick of this merry go round of medication changes, side effects, tweaking, blah, blah, blah. Maybe he would do better on no medications.

    And I do have to wonder about why so many bad things happen to certain people. I have read The Secret, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Bible......I know all that positive imaging stuff, and about god and power of prayer.....but none of it has worked. I have tried to find a reason as to why my life has been so crazy. I kept thinking that maybe my purpose in life was to write a book about my experiences, and maybe I could change the world with my insight. However, now I am thinking maybe just some of us are destined to live these crummy lives, and all we can do is endure.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((((((hugs))))))) to you. We are here to support you, hear your rants, lean a shoulder, and offer some tissue for your tears. We are open 24 hours.

    Parenting a difficult child is one of the toughest jobs on the planet - when a parent of a difficult child is dealing with difficult child issues themsevles or some previous trama in their lives, the job is made even harder. At times I'm sure it can seem nearly impossible.

    We know you love your son; deep inside he loves you too.

    Keep posting and we'll keep listening :kisses:

  13. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    oh hun, I empathize and can relate in so many ways.

    I am still trying to figure out why I am so broken hearted over d/h when he was just a source of more stress and tension. I mean difficult child's give me enough of that with out him too right?


    Think of the last time difficult child made you smile and embrace it, those are the small moments that help us through the big trials.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sweetie,

    Sounds like a really rough one with-difficult child last night. I love that you went out and bought a coloring book. husband and I both do that from time to time.

    Remember as others have said that we are always here for you. Raising a difficult child is so hard and exhausting and different from what we expected as parents.

    I know it must be hard to find time for yourself but it is so important to take care of you. I know for me that means working out. When I don't my stress level goes through the roof and I don't deal well with the day to day of raising a difficult child (not to mention the rages). Another good release from me is reading. It sounds like writing is good for you. Keep writing if it is what you want to do.

    Many, many gentle hugs and prayers for you. :angel:
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry said, "I know how you feel about looking at other people, their perfect kids with-perfect smiles, perfect hair ribbons, perfect hugs, perfect pkgs of crayons, not a single one broken, and feeling that huge sense of loss, that "It's not fair!" feeling. It isn't. It will never be. Once I got over that (and sometimes it comes back, but not often) I did much, much better."

    She is right. But something to also remember - those perfect kids with perfect smiles, perfect manners etc - they are not real. They do not exist. Because I know WE were considered that, when I was a kid. A lot of it was fiction, spread by my mother who was desperate to prove herself a fit and capable mother - she had a lifelong sense of inferiority which I'm finally beginning to understand. Family secrets are beginning to come to light, although the full truth will never be known. But so much damage is often done, beneath the surface.

    Think again of the perfect kids, perfectly dressed, mannered etc. How do THEY feel? Do they ever play properly, or are they kept restricted in tidy clothes, neat manners and pitching in to support the family?

    Think of Bree in "Desperate Housewives" - the only way you can keep things so perfect is to be a fair bit Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and a great deal anal retentive. Life is not like that, for most of us, even with easy child kids.

    I think I do as well as I do, because I'm so darn good at denial and reinventing the truth. When it begins to hurt too much and I know I won't be able to resolve any of the pain, I distract myself from it and find something else to do, to completely take my mind off it. This isn't healthy, I know, because sometimes it all comes back and hits me in the face (as it did in 1994).
    If I sit down and list all the things that have gone wrong in my life I get angry, I get really mad, and then I get really, blackly depressed. But nothing is achieved by it - I can't go back and re-live my life. When I hear people talking about the good old days, about how wonderful their childhood was, I shake my head in disbelief. I remember a Peanuts cartoon, where someone is asking Charlie Brown, "If you could go back and live your life over, do it all again with no changes, would you?"
    Charlie Brown looks at them and muses, "Do it all again? As it was? No changes? AAUUGH!"

    I sympathise with him.

    I won't dump on you how my life has been. No point. At some level it would risk turning into a "my life is way worse than yours!" competition, and that's not what I'm trying to say.

    All I'm saying is, I think at some stage you've used the technique of, "Some day all this will be fixed and my life will be so perfect..." as a coping tool, and now its backfiring.

    As a child, the family that I thought was perfect, had the perfect life and perfect children - I can look back now and see that those kids were in one way, spoiled brats, but in other ways were starved of any real affection as their parents focussed on material possessions in a desperate attempt to pass the Jones's. When parents put all the importance on money and possessions, the kids never learn what to value about themselves because nobody has ever shown them. And while childhood is bad enough for them, it brings a certain insulation against the future. THEY are the people who sigh for the carefree days of childhood, because they never were equipped to recognise and deal with their own strengths and flaws.

    When life is tough, you grow up with a better understanding of what you can do, and what you can't. You can more easily find your talents. All you then need is the confidence and drive to use those talents to claw your way through life.

    You need perspective on your own life and you need some way of dragging yourself out of this emotional low which is feeding on negativity. Life :censored2: - I agree. But it needn't. There is beauty around you, it is there, even while you're too down to see it. It's still there, waiting for you to lift your head. It's patient. It can wait. But can you?

    We grew up poor and we're still not wealthy, materialistically. But compared to some of the refugees we've spoken to, life has been a breeze. I mentioned in a post last night of a classmate of easy child's when she was 11. This boy had recently arrived from Bosnia, evacuated out before it got REALLY bad. He was still struggling with the language and he told his new classmates what it was like to live in a town which had suddenly gone mad, with former friends and neighbours killing each other. He was walking down the street holding hands with his young girlfriend when a sniper bullet killed her instantly. They were children, being shot at because they belonged to a different group or different religion. How can you come to terms with that, when you're still a child? What is childhood, under those conditions?

    The only thing he could do, was keep going with his life. He will always have scars and they will run deep. But if he is to get the best revenge on his tortured childhood, success will be the answer. To rise above it and do well, IN SPITE OF IT ALL, is the best revenge on all those people and circumstances who held you back. And if you can look at ANY part of your life and see success, even a tiny speck of it, be proud of what you have achieved. Be proud of your abilities. So if you need anger to drive you, then use it. Use whatever you can, but make some movement forward.

    Finding this forward movement in yourself needs to be high on your list. Whatever is standing in your way here, you need to find a way around it. get help to do so - I'm freely willing to admit I've sought counselling when I felt I couldn't do it on my own. It's not weakness to do so, it is strength.

    You didn't tell us anything that happened with difficult child, but I can see several problems:

    1) He is in his teens and doesn't respect you; and

    2) You don't value and respect yourself, so how can he?

    You need to be able to show him how to value and respect you (and himself) by setting the pace here. Talk to your counsellor about this. You're so deep in it right now, you can't find the way out. But like everything beautiful, it is there waiting for you to find it. Ask your counsellor for the help to find it.

  16. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Man, you had a rough time! I wish to God there was something I could do or say that could convey how bad I feel for you! Sorry I'm not nearby, I'd bounce over and give you a break.

    Here's a couple of suggestions:

    1. make a copy of your original 150 pages. Make a nice big fire out of the copy - significantly burning the misery out of your life might open the shades on the windows for you! It's kind of a symbolic bonfire if you will.

    2. talk to your doctor about feeling so beat. You've been through the ringer and might need medications to help you out (if you're already on them, maybe a tweak could lift the clouds)

    3. the people with the bleached teeth and hair, perfect nails, happy looking children are just better at hiding it!

    4. get some chocolate, a movie and some diet coke (it has to be diet to get rid of the calories from the chocolate! :biggrin:
    and forget about everything. Give yourself a break - you truly deserve it.

    Is difficult child willing to talk? Has he talked to you about yesterday? Your ex sounds like a real gem. It's unforgivable that he could do this garbage to your son and to you. Karma will catch him in the end!!

    Let us know how things are going!


    PS: Write the book!!!!!
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Marg everything you said was quite insightful and helpful, except this part about me not respecting myself. I am a fighter, a tenacious fighter, that has overcome an amazing pile of adversity. I know that, and I would hope he knows that. Perhaps in my post I sounded weak, but I am not weak......I am just really, really tired of fighting the good fight without any end in sight.

    I have read and witnessed a thousand scenarios of people who have it worse than me........please do not think I am having a pity party.........because there will always be people and situations that are worse than I have it. I know that, and I am grateful that I do have what I have. Very grateful, I say it everyday.

    The problem is that I am such a fighter, that I cannot understand how I am not winning this fight. I cannot understand how, that no matter how much I give, and how much I do, nothing changes. That is the problem - not that I do not believe in myself, or respect myself, or like myself - it is that I have beat my head against a door for 16 years and it has not opened.........and I do not know what to do anymore.......except give up. However, there is not a way that I would ever give up......because that is not me, which leads to my depression. Perhaps if I did give up, it would be easier, more humane for me. Instead I persist, and perseverate on how to solve this problem, to my demise.
  18. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I think its that he knows he is safe taking it out on you. You are always there, you are the one he can count on. He cant count on your ex and even though thats who he is mad at, he knows if he takes it out on you, you'll still be there. Teenage years aren't easy, thats all I ever hear from anyone who has teenagers, easy child or difficult child. Knowing easy child teenagers aren't easy makes me cringe to think about my life when I'll have 2 easy child teenagers and 3 difficult child teenagers all around the same time. You have every right to have a bad day and you have every right to vent about it. Its okay to feel bad for what you've been dealt, you got shafted. But I honestly believe God only gives us what he knows we can handle. He knows you're strong and that you will make it through this. He made you your sons mom because he knew you'd be the right mom for him. I'm sure tomorrow will be a new day and you'll pick yourself up by your boot straps once again and head out to a new day. Each day is different, some stink from the moment you get out of bed (remember my youngest peeing on me and it going downhill from there? I wasn't even out of bed yet!) and some days are good days. Your son loves you and feels safe with you and thats why you get to deal with all the cr*p. Now, its your job to remind me of this when I vent about having a bad day! I'm still breathing, which then of course means, I will have another bad day, so will you.

    Have a :smile: and if you need to restock, I have a wine fridge full of wine, give me a call.
  19. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Oh...I so know how you are feeling. Been there several times. Get out. You and difficult child have shared some great memories I am sure. Focus on those and what a great kid he really is. Take a walk together. YOU did a great job. YOU gave this child life, You raised him, you supported him and you will always be there for him. You are much stronger than you are giving yourself credit for. difficult child needs you more than he knows.
    Now look in that mirror and see that strong person. Go out for a walk, and appreciate what you have and all you have accomplished.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    WW, I hear you on the respect thing. If you do feel you have confidence in yourself and value yourself, I'm glad to be wrong. But if I can misjudge you, is your difficult child also misjudging you? My excuse is, I'm far away. He's a difficult child, even though he's there with you. Plus, these kids will tend to "let it all hang out" when they feel safest and most secure.

    You certainly didn't sound weak in your post, but you did sound very introspective and negative. That may have simply been because you are, with us, allowing yourself the luxury of sharing these very deep feelings with us. I know if I began to do that, I would be wallowing in a sea of apparent self-despair in very short time. It's like, I avoid going to funerals, because all my pain surfaces and I'm such a blubbering wreck, I make it even worse for the bereaved families. Some people say, it's cathartic to get your grief out in the open; it does you good to cry. And for a lot of people this may be so. But not for me. I've learnt this one.

    What I felt from you was a sense of despair that you don't seem to be able to change or prevent the bad stuff in your life, and you don't seem to experience (or notice, when you DO experience) any good stuff.

    That really has me worried for you. I have felt that bad - especially when I first had to face having become permanently disabled, crippled because of some stupid, selfish accident by a lazy lout where I worked. And he never had a clue what damage he had done to me. I had a toddler sitting on my lap and tears pouring down my face as I talked to my doctor about how I felt - it could have been your initial post. And he said, "What about this little treasure?" She had at this stage climbed up on his lap. I told him that I could care for her and I loved her of course, but it took none of the pain away, nor any of the sense of utter failure.

    I have managed to move on. But in my situation, it was triggered by a crisis. In your case it sounds like you've been slowly brewing for this, not having the emotions suddenly hit you as a result of a sudden major life change. And if it's built up slowly, that's not good. You have adapted as it's built up, it's a lot harder to find normality when you've forgotten what it feels like.

    Try and think back ten years. Five years. Picture your life as it was then. Make an effort to remember good times as well as bad. Write them down, if it will help stay on task. Then project into the future. Be sensible, be realistic. In 10 years' time, will difficult child still be living with you? If so, why? Will he have a job? Will he still need to be dragged out of bed to go to school? Will he still need the same level of care?

    I would venture to suggest - no, he won't need you anywhere near as much. Nor should he. Our difficult children often need us for longer, but even those who may never be able to leave home and live independently (difficult child 3 being a likely example) will still be in a routine of sorts and living with some degree of mutual interdependence, rather than needing laces tied and noses wiped at random intervals.

    Your life will change. Better? Worse? I don't know. Different? Almost certainly. You should be able to put some strategies in place to give you better quality of life. of course you probably won't be living a Paris Hilton lifestyle, but neither will I. In ten years' time, I will still be living here (I hope), pottering with my herb garden, killing my vegetable seedlings and maybe getting a bit more writing done, without needing to spend so much of my day supporting difficult child 3's education. I won't be tied to the school term any more. I'll only have me, difficult child 3 and husband to cook for. I might be able to get a part-time job, without worrying about phone calls from school or will I be home in time to be there for difficult child 3. I might get involved again in local politics, helping in a tiny way to bring about change in local issues. Or I might not - I will have the choice.

    I don't know if this will help or not - it's something my parents had hanging on the wall when I was a kid. I'll see if I can remember it. It's a bit kitsch, but it MIGHT help.

    "To each is given a book of rules
    a shapeless mass and a bag of tools.
    And each must fashion, ere life has flown
    a stumbling block or a stepping stone."

    Yes, I grew up in a home with texts on the walls. For my mother, the book of rules was a rigid hard-cover one! And she was determined to guide our hands very early in our own attempts to carve our own life work - she was terrified, deep down, that we would lower the standards somehow and make the worst mistakes possible. She would talk about ploughing a straight furrow, having the courage to hold the plough true. Be true to yourself. And all the time, the fear had come from her own sense of failure, imposed by others because of impossible standards to which she had been held.

    So one more thing to consider - your personal standards. Are you asking or expecting too much of yourself? This isn't necessarily a need to lower standards, merely to adapt them or change direction with them. A change in priorities.