Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CrazyinVA, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Things with Youngest are not good right now. After some back and forth Sunday about her being at the ER with kidney stones again (a consequence of her pregnancy), and my not helping her out with my grandson because I had plans, she began texting me about how horrible I am. When she said she couldn't believe I wasn't happy for her having this baby, and she was scared, and that she was sorry she was an embarrassment, I had had it. I called her and said, you're right, I'm not happy. It will take time for me to get used to this. That doesn't mean I don't love you and won't love your baby, but right now I can't be happy for you because I think it was irresponsible of you to allow yourself to become pregnant when you have so many health issues, are in an unstable relationship and financially unstable. She admitted she'd done this on purpose... because of the endometriosis and the doctor telling her that each year her chance of having another baby diminished. I told her well, now I really think it's irresponsible. I might have called her selfish too, actually .. but apparently I hurt her, badly.

    She won't speak to me now. She emailed me to say I'd hurt her and she'd cried for hours, and that she felt abandoned by her mom, and that my friends always come before her. I told her I was sorry my words hurt her, but when pushed, I couldn't lie about my feelings any more than she could. I've told her I want to talk this over in person, not via email or texts, but she says she doesn't want to have the same conversation, where I tell her I'm just scared and thats what I said what I did, and that the reason I'm scared is because of all the things she screwed up (or something to that effect).

    I want to meet in the middle here.. find a way to give her what she needs but also help her understand that I have my own boundaries that need to be respected... but if she can't even hear out my feelings on this, let alone take them into consideration, we are at a standstill.

    I love her without question. I want to be there for her during this pregnancy, even if I think it was a horrible idea. Yet, I don't want to be there at the expense of myself. I want her to become independent, and not call her mom every single time something goes wrong. I'm tired of being belittled for having a life of my own, or hearing "oh, it figures" when I tell her I have plans. Her reasoning of "I'm 22, I'm an adult" is exactly the point.

    To top things off, I've recently met a wonderful man and things are going well. That hasn't happened in years. The timing sucks.

    I guess I just need to give it time ...and I realize she is pushing major buttons here .. but it still hurts.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    CIVA, not DIVA -

    Hugs for your Mommy heart. Somewhere out there is a happy medium where our mentally ill kids actually emotionally catch up with their physical age and we're allowed to live our lives without every day being an emotional rollercoaster. Despite my best efforts to detach, walk-away, be void of Dudes problems? It still is there. No matter what I do or don't do it's like I'm danged because if I don't involve myself - I'm STILL thinking about the "wonder whats" and in some ways I think that's almost worse than being there and being involved (some ways not ALL ways). Then there's the "If I don't help it WILL be worse for him and he doesn't DOES NOT LEARN from his past mistakes 'thing' at all. It's incredible. It's very hard especially when they toss the guilt card at you and say "YOU SHOULD FEEL GUILTY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE FOR MY LIFE." and you know what? We shouldn't.

    The most incredible thing I learned this past weekend is that a lot of people make a lifetime of misery for themselves by continually being martyrs by beating themselves up over wanting forgiveness for whatever they did to someone else. Shouldn't it be as simple as "I did this thing, I am sorry, please forgive me?" and "poof" you're forgiven. It is. But as parents for whatever reason, or as people, humans or brothers, sisters, spouses, we just keep doing things and doing things and doing things to show that person that we're so so sorry - and it's not necessary. I know - I've spent a lifetime trying to show Dude how sorry I am for messing up his life. I'm not sorry any more. I have done my absolute best to raise him the best way I KNEW HOW. Suz' moniker by Maya Angelou says something to the effect that we did the best we could with what we knew and when we learned better we did better....if you think about that - it's basically a recipe for allowing yourself to give up the word SHOULD and eliminating it from our vocabularies.

    It's the best word I ever gave up saying. I should have...(fill in the blank). I should have spent more time with Dude, I should have sent him to a better school, I should have kept him out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I should have elimintated the word should a long time ago because I did the best I could and never purposely did the worst I could or did ANYTHING to my child that was the most awful decision I could....I did the best I could. So you have to ask yourself now - Is your daughter doing the best she can to make YOUR relationship work with you? Are you chasing her with your I shoulds? Are you begging her forgiveness after you've already told her you're sorry?

    You're human - even God only asks us one time to ask his forgiveness - and then it's done. No more lifetime of suffering - or being a martry. It's done. Just once. So many people just don't get that. Once and done - just like the furniture Not to say that you should do something bad and then go "Can I be forgiven? Thanks." then run out and do it again, but you're being don't let her make a door mat out of you.

    Dude recently said some very unforgivable things to me and they hurt very badly. Very badly. I've told him to get out and I was angry. Really angry. He did leave, and then DF told him to come back inside and he left yesterday and we haven't heard from him since. I've forgiven him for the ugly words and told him before I went to bed. The rest is up to him. But it will take a long time to forget the things he said. - I'm just not going to run after him and beg him to apologize.....he's got to figure that out on his own and in the mean time? I'm going to live my life, worry about where he is, keep him in my heart....think about him a him.....and let him live his 19 year old life. I hope he finds a good path and sticks to it. But berating me when I'm only trying to help isn't going to be part of mine.

    I hope you don't let it be part of yours either.

    Hugs & Love
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CIV...Im sorry she is hurting and that you are hurting. Personally, from my point of view, this is probably a major flair of her borderline traits rearing their ugly head. She is going to push you away before you can hurt her badly. Or that is what she is going to make you think she is doing. Truthfully, she needs mommy so very badly. This is all bravado.

    You do have a right to your own life and you do need to set some boundaries in place. Doing that is difficult I know. Between work and a new relationship and your kids is going to be hard. Just when you thought you were in the clear to have your own adult life, your adult kids decided to saddle you with more drama. Not fair.

    I really feel for you. Hugs.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Crazy, our kids are experts at diversion tactics and it sounds like your daughter has mastered the art. There's no better way to have Mom feel bad and come running than to switch the focus from daughter's bad decisions to Mom's (very understandable- and correct-) reaction.

    You might be at an impasse but don't budge.

    I don't mean don't budge forever but I wouldn't budge for now. Let this sit with her for awhile until emotions cool off a bit for both of you. Don't accept/respond to emails, texts, etc. You are right, this next conversation needs to be in person where you can both see and hear each others expressions and intonations...and there you can exchange a hug even if you continue to disagree.

    Now........................tell us more about the new man in your life :)

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet hit the nail right on the head with that one.

    I think you're both hurting and scared. Do you think it would be possible to brouch the topic starting from this angle then talk it out a bit better?

    Ok, so she had lousy timing. Odds are she heard the doctors prognosis and panicked thinking to wait may mean she'd never have another child. If I am to be honest......I'd have probably reacted the same way. Not that it was a wise decision at this point......but still, I could see myself doing the same.

    In my 20's my doctor told me to have another child would kill me due to my kidney's.....nor would the child have any chance at survival. My kidneys didn't have enough function to maintain during a pregnancy. husband got fixed. And a year later I discovered I was pregnant with Nichole.

    Since I'd been heart broken over not being able to have more kids....I'd always wanted a large family......I was thrilled that I was pregnant although it was not planned. Both ob and kidney docs were hounding me to terminate the pregnancy. My mother wound up screaming at me to terminate while telling me how utterly selfish ect I was being to easy child and Travis.

    I was thrilled and terrified. Having medical training I knew exactly what could happen. But I couldn't bring myself to terminate the pregnancy. Once I made up my mind firmly, the docs and husband did an about face and supported me. But my Mom road my fanny that entire pregnancy.

    I was super careful. I watched my diet and followed doctor orders to the letter. I had no issues while pregnant with Nichole, much to docs shock.

    To this day I've never forgotten my mother's words or the way she delivered them. Yes, I know it was because she was terrified of losing me.....of my kids being motherless, ect. I understand that. Both as a mother and as an adult. I understood it at the time. Didn't make what she said hurt any less. And it didn't make me feel any less alone.

    I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I guess just trying to help you see her side of it.

    Yeah, pretty irresponsible when not in a stable relationship with stable income. But there are times in everyone's lives when they've chosen the less responsible road for a reason they feel is justified. (difficult child or easy child)

    When Nichole announced she wants another child......circumstances pretty much the same as your difficult child's.....I was careful not to object. Ultimately it is her life and her decision. But did point out some valid things she needed to take into consideration. I made it clear....and she knew it already......the boundaries that couldn't be crossed, but that she'd have my support, love regardless of what she chooses to do.

    This in my opinion is what makes parenting adult children so darn hard. We've learned some awfully tough lessons by the time we've reached our age. All we want is to spare them having to learn the same way we did. But they're just getting started and usually don't have the foresight to see the Big Picture........and unfortunately have to make their own mistakes.

    I don't know if Nichole has changed her plans or not. Not my business, really when you get right down to it. But she does know Mom won't provide cash, sitter services, room and board, ect. She's the one who has to live with her decision.

    (((hugs))) I hope you and difficult child can get past the hurt.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    She seems to be having nice little hissy fit. I'm with you totally on this one. They want to be adults, they can't be babies who need us all of the time anymore. And to bring child into the world on purpose under these circumstances is appalling. If she has half a lick of sense, she knows that. I guess I would try to not put your own opinions on her, since she doesn't care what you think and expects the worst. I would ask her how she feels about it, then I wouldn't play into it. "I feel scared, I don't know what I'm going to do." "I'm sorry you are having a hard time. I'm sure you will find something that will help."

    I can't help but think of Jon Gosselin with his disinterested parenting. He had kids because he could, not because he was excited to bring someone into the world and help them be the best person they can be. Your daughter made the decision to have a child the way I might decide to change my hair color. Because I can now and I might not be able to later. She's absolutely selfish. I hope that she'll decide to put her children first from now on. I don't blame you at all for not being excited.

    And we would love to hear about your new beau!
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all SO much for your wonderful insights. Below is a long update:

    Youngest called me at 3:30 yesterday afternoon, from the doctor's office.. she was on her way to be admitted to the hospital with more suspected kidneystones/infection. This is pretty much what I figured would happen, she'd call when she needed me for something. She is quite sick, so of course I am willing to help for things like that. I picked up my grandson at daycare .. ended up also picking up Oldest to stay with him, since she is currently unemployed. She stayed last night and will stay with my grandson tonight, too, since Youngest's boyfriend is working nights.

    So, when I visited Youngest in the hospital, she brought up the issues surrounding her anger and hurt feelings, again. I told her I didn't think we should talk about them just yet.. but she persisted. She said she wanted to know why I would be embarrassed to tell people she's pregnant, and why on earth anyone would be anything but happy that she is pregnant. I told her that like it not, people still look at unwed mothers (especially ones who already have a baby by another man) in a negative light. Especially ones that are so needy/clingy with their mom, have health issues, and seem to be unprepared to have a baby. She asked how on earth people KNEW all that, unless I told them.. I said, because you call me all the time while I'm out with my friends, and at work, and they can't help but know these things. Her response? "Well I guess I need to stop calling you so much." (SIGH.. point missed).

    I told her I thought we need to find a way to meet in the middle on this, so that I'm giving her what she needs, but she's also giving me what I need. I told her I would really appreciate it if, when she knows I am out or have plans and something comes up, she tries to figure something out on her own before interrupting me and asking me to drop what I'm doing. She said, "but, you're my MOM!" (Sigh... point missed, again).

    I said, I'm a human being. I have my own needs and feelings. Are you telling me you don't care about those? She said no, of course not, but you're my mom, and I need my mom at those times. She began crying and said, "I will NEVER do this to Aidan. I hate it." She really can't see it, not at all. In her mind, this is what moms do, period. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, my job is to BE there when she needs me.

    She talked about her growing up .. and how she never felt like we had a normal mom/daughter relationship because of Oldest's problems and my focusing on those, and she said she understood that.. she didn't blame me for it, I had to take care of Oldest first.. but it still hurt and she didn't get what she needed from me. She said then she became a teenager and acted out to get my attention, and that still wasn't a normal relationship, and she still didn't get what she needed from me. She said she guesses that even though she's almost 22, she is still trying to get what she needs from me, and it's like it's too late.

    She is very wise.. even if she can't see it.

    I told her she was right, we didn't have a normal family life growing up. We still don't. But we have to do with what we have, and figure out how to make it work. I emphasized again that we both need to give a little. She is adamant about not giving in to my needs, they don't seem to matter at all. I told her part of my job was to help her become an independent young woman, even if it hurt sometimes.

    Lots of tears.. and then the nurse came in and the conversation stopped.
    Not a great time or place for the conversation.. and honestly I don't know if the pain medications will make her forget some of it.. but there it is. We'll see what happens next. I know I need to stand strong in my position, even if she hates me for it at times. The key will be deciding what I am and am not willing to help with, with this pregnancy and baby, and when. Guess I'll figure that out as I go along.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think you did good. And you're right, sometimes teaching them to stand on their own as independent adults can be a painful process for them. But it's one they have to learn.

    She's right too. She's still looking for what she needed from you growing up. Unfortunately she's not even sure of what that is..........and until she does, she's never going to find it. I have a feeling it's you'll be there for her like you were sib.......and so she expects you to drop everything to forfill the role/need she has for you. Which is unreasonable because it was developed thru a child's eyes......and the real world doesn't work that way.

    easy child had some issues with this. She eventually worked thru them once maturity helped her to be able to vocalize when she felt she missed growing up......and also helped her see that it wasn't done as a choice. It just simply had to be that way.

    One of the side effects of difficult child sibs.

    But you're still talking and that's a good thing. :) I hope her kidney's straighten out. Have they tested her stones to see if diet alteration can prevent future ones? Given her tips on how to reduce the chance for infections? Very important for preg mom with kidney issues.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are helping her way more than many mothers would. She's 22, you raised her, you can help her if you like, but it's your choice. Is she getting any therapy to address her issues? She and boyfriend made a very irresponsible decision. This isn't an oops child. It was on purpose and her second one and it sounds like she can't even take care of herself. She should not expect you to mother her like you once did for the rest of her life.

    I'm with Janet on the borderline traits. And if she has it, she wont get any better without a lot of hard work on her part. I would gently nudge her toward independence by not doing everything she asks, even if she tries to put a guilt trip on you.

    I'm a big believer in putting your own love life on hold while you raise minor children, because I think kids need your attention to be them, not a SO. But your kids are grown. You have every right to focus on the yourself and the man in your life. And in my opinion you have a right not to be excited about the new baby who you know will not be born into a stable home.

    (((Hugs))). I wish I knew something great to say, but I don't. Just live your life first, I guess. Be there when you want to and can, but you earned a happy retirement from parenting.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    {{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Please, tell me again that I am allowed to have a life of my own, and that my almost 22 and almost 26 year old daughters shouldn't have this insatiable "need" for me to "be there" for them so constantly? To constantly lament about how I am "not there" for them? And now they are GANGING up on me about it and throwing guilt trips x 2?

    They want my soul, I swear.

    I want to run away. Mostly, I jus twant to feel appreciated for what I do... more often... or at least, not to receive a "thank you" one day and a "you're not there for me" the very next day.

    I am sick and tired of hearing "you're not there for me" when I feel so emotionally drained by taking care of both of them for so many years.

    Thanks. I feel better now.
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I asked "when am I allowed to have a life of my own" to Rob's therapist as Rob was about to sign himself out of the program he was in. He was 19.

    The therapist said, "NOW."

    So I will repeat it to you over and over if need be.

    You are allowed to have your own life.

    You are allowed to have your own life.

    You are allowed to have your own life.

    You are allowed to have your own life.

    Now.........give yourself permission to have your own life. :)

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im not as good at the whole detaching stuff as Mistress Suz is. She has it down way better than I do. Im a (censor wont let me type it) think lollipop. I worry. Its my lot in life. I think its because I was told my entire life that everything that is wrong in the entire world...ok...western my fault. Obviously if its my fault I need to worry so I can fix things so I dont cause so much

    Just let me know when one of your kids is having a problem and I will worry about it. Im already busy worrying about everything and everyone else.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    LOL Janet. ;) I'll keep that in mind for myself too.

    Crazy, you're entitled NOW to have your own life. Giving your kids support doesn't mean being at their beck and call 24/7. But it may take a while before they understand that.

    I don't do guilt trips. I just ignore them. My Mom did it to me so much it doesn't phase me anymore. lol