I make myself tired

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tishthedish, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Nothing good has happened since I last posted under "My son threatens and hounds'. My hubby and I have become better at detaching from my younger difficult child 2 and he has found a new place to live and is supposedly sober. He still hasn't found a job but was getting by on unemployment and was able to enroll in junior college. Now his former employer contested the claim and the ruling went against my son. My husband says it's not fair, but I gently remind him that we do not know the whole truth, only what our son tells us. The employer may be in the right.

    difficult child 2 will run out of money in a month. My husband said we'd help him and I don't think we should. I told hubby if he wants to give difficult child's landlord one month's rent, ok, but that's it. I've known this child all his life and I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that he is faltering. How can I tell? He pulls away. Even as he knew he was under scrutiny and awaiting a hearing and appeal on unemployment he made no effort to find a job. None. He dropped by today with our grandson and said that tomorrow he starts his job search. What about tonight after he drops the baby off at his mother's? He is an enigma. I have hope for him, but don't see anything worthwhile coming to fruition for a long, long time.

    My beautiful grandson, almost 4, has been given an initial diagnosis of a 4q22 chromosomal deletion. It's very rare and means that he may never be able to talk or live on his own. We had puzzled about this because he would say things and then never say them again. They ruled out autism. "Losing speech" is one of the symptoms of this condition. Both parents (my son and his ex-girlfriend) have to get blood tested for a definitive diagnosis. So far they haven't gone. They are in no rush as it is an inconvenience for them. I could scream. Grandbaby goes to school full-time and I am going up to observe him this week. Neither parent has made the effort. I want to know what they are doing to help him and what we can do to augment their efforts. My son said he would go with me. I told him no. We have been encouraging him to go since he was fired from his job in late December. He hasn't found the time. Having both of us there would be a distraction. He can go on his own.

    My elder difficult child 1 is still in a state mental institution. I don't know the status of his case. I did call the hospital and was given a phone number that the patients can answer. I asked for him and someone went to get him. I said his name and he hung up on me. He then called right back and said that he didn't want to have anything to do with his father, me or my batshit crazy family. He also said he wanted us to have a good life. This is a quirk of his Tourette/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that he could never hang up the phone angry or without saying I love you. I will respect his request and was glad to see a that even the smallest glimmer of his sweet nature still existed.

    The main problem I am having is with me. I don't know if I will ever see these situations resolved in my lifetime. I see no progress. I feel frozen inside. It takes monumental effort to go out of the house. I can be out and feel perfectly fine and then feel the need to get home as soon as possible. There is very little that makes me happy. I put on a brave face, but I just keep getting quieter and quieter which is contrary to my nature. I was seeing a psychologist weekly and it helped but she was recently hit by a car and will not be back until August. I am setting up consultations for a new one in the interim. My psychiatrist is keeping my medications the same. I have been trying to exercise, eat better, do yoga, pray, be outside...anything. But I can't shake this feeling of dread or hopelessness that my son's will not get better, my grandson will not get the care he needs, that the life I hoped and worked for is out of the question given circumstances and that I am forever changed by the stress and isolation I am experiencing.

    Do any of you feel this way? I have faced other daunting challenges in my life and after a time have always felt a spark of hope or fight that would shore up my strength and have me figuring a way out whatever predicament or despair. This blueness has lasted a long time. My father died in 2009. I feel worse that after losing him. Things have gotten worse since then. Can this go on forever? I am really frightened. And really sad.
     
  2. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    I have those same feelings. Except for work, I have isolated myself. I do find I am better if I read Al Anon, Families Anonymous, etc, daily readings, attend a mtg, etc. I, too, am on medications. Have been on an SSRI for 20+ yrs, they dont work anymore so psychiatric added a new booster that is helping, I think.

    The people on this board are so wise, keep posting and reading. You're in my thoughts!

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
     
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My ex-mother in law worked for Unemployment and she said that if you contested an unfavorable ruling, eventually you always get it. Maybe they deny you more than once, keep fighting. I don't think it matters whose fault it is, my dad fired people who were horrible workers, he showed up to hearings, but the workers always got Unemployment anyway even if they were at fault.

    I am sad your son doesn't care to take the time to help his son, especially when he seems to have nothing but time. Do to get. He should do things in order to get things, like money for his living expenses from your husband. My own husband is the same way, it causes all kinds of problems here. I would never help with money, it just becomes the norm and he doesn't help himself. In fact, you become some witch for not giving more.
     
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tish, I understand your feelings and I have absolutely felt that way. I think most of us here, at one time or another have met that wall of despair and stayed stuck there for awhile. Tish, there is a lot of loss here, not just the loss of the dreams you had for your sons, but the loss of the relationships you've lost with them................the loss of any control over a situation which is sad and heartbreaking..........and you have to stand by and watch it. I know exactly how you feel.

    I think we all have to ask ourselves what are we willing to do. In my case I fought for guardianship of my then 11 year old granddaughter and then learned how to detach from the wild ride of a life my daughter lives................not easy choices. We all have to make the choices for US that we can live with. As you walk through this, you'll see each step has a choice........you make it..........it leads you somewhere. In the meantime, there is a lot to let go of..............in my belief and in my experience you will need as much help as you can muster. Not only therapy, but Family Anonymous, or a parent group, books, posting here..........you have to look at it from every angle and learn a new way to be, a new way to parent. In this world, it's a lot of letting go........ you need support in doing that.

    There may indeed be no progress with your sons.........it may always be this way, or not. We don't know. But what you can do is to learn how to have your life so that it doesn't get pulled into every rabbit hole your sons go down. My intention was to find a way to have inner peace regardless of what is going on with my daughter........or anyone. Nothing is accomplished by our worry or our letting our lives go because our kids make poor choices which negatively impact themselves and those around them. We can learn to place boundaries around their behavior in ways that are healthy for us and that they can abide by. It may mean you need to back away, only you know the steps you need to take.

    Your fear and sorrow is real. I think this path we find ourselves on is filled with those two emotions. In particular because these are our children. And yet, they are grown adults making choices.........at some point those choices must be theirs to make and we need to step back and in my case now, step away. I think we all have to figure out for ourselves if we need to create a distance and if so, how far. There is no right or wrong, only what works for you.

    All your feelings are part of this landscape...........it is what it is. We can't change it.We have to learn to live in it.......with as much grace, compassion, strict and unbreakable boundaries and I think most importantly, to love ourselves enough, to respect ourselves enough and to honor ourselves enough to make choices that take care of US. Our adult kids can drag us through so much that after awhile we forget how to identify our own needs and wants. It is important to ask yourself what is it you want and what are you willing to do with your sons and what are you NOT willing to do. It is up to you, not them. Their needs do not supersede your life or your needs. That time is over, they are not children, they are grown adults.

    That despair is being caught in the middle of having no idea what to do and recognizing that you can't go down any "normal" parent pathways.................. this is going to require a whole new skill set. The skill set requirement is the serenity prayer.......to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. It's a little dicey. We aren't taught how to do this, we have to learn how to do it.

    And, you can learn how to do it, one choice at a time. You have us, we're here. We know exactly how you are feeling Tish. Hang in there, it will get better.
     
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    RE said it all.

    Have you ever joined a twelve step group or gone to NAMI to get in touch with other parents who have walked your path and managed to survive?

    At some point in time we have two choices:
    1/We can live poorly based on how our children are doing
    2/ We can learn to detach and love them without becoming overly engaged in their lives and go on to live great lives ourselves. We can only control ourselves, not them. You can not control either of your sons or your grandson. If you like, you can try for custody of Grandson. Otherwise you will have no control over the care he gets or does not get.

    It is very liberating to realize we have no control. It actually lets us breathe.

    When was the last time you did something just for you? Do you see your friends? Do you have hobbies? Can you try to go back to doing the things you enjoyed before you even had kids? You may have given birth to your kids, but you are separate from them and do not have to suffer because of their choices. You are a loving person who did your best and now this is a new phase of your life...and hopefully the BEST phase. But it takes help getting there. We are here for you.
     
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  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Bless you for the effort you are putting into staying mentally and emotionally well. Its hard, and you are doing a lot to try to maintain or achieve that.

    MWM and RE having given you so really important, serious , and good advice. Try to read it with an open mind and heart.

    And to answer your question..yes, I have been there. I guess I'll be there again sometimes. It is so scary to feel overwhelmed and hopeless, we try to hide it, we try to fight it, we try to push it away, to run from it.

    I didn't get better until I started accepting it. I allowed those fears their place..when they come over me I paused and let myself really feel them, felt where they landed in my body (my throat? my heart? my belly? where does the pain land) and then I would let it sit with me, not fight it. Amazingly, it passes if you do that...quickly! It goes in 20 minutes, half an hour..those fears just need their time with you...its like a toddler demanding attention..if you push back and push it away they get louder and louder and more demanding. If you sit with them a minute and give them their full attention...they go away, back to what they were doing.

    It is a part of meditation that is called accepting, or allowing. Some people call it Radical Acceptance, which you can google or read about. It helps a lot with the "the problem is me" part.

    I will hope for you and pray for you .

    We are here with you.

    Echo
     
  7. Childofmine

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

    Tish, it sounds like you already have some good habits to help yourself. Keep them up and look for more. There are a lot of book recommendations, "tool" recommendations and good practices you can add to your everyday life to help you achieve some peace and contentment.

    The plan works if you work it.

    And like Echo said above, lean in to your fear and your pain, not away from it. The bad moments pass more quickly, you will feel much better inside yourself and it won't kill you. I used to think it would, but it doesn't.

    I believe running toward what we fear the most, instead of away from it, is again a pathway to peace and to a better life.

    Reading your post, my heart went out to you. I am so sorry that you have two sons who are sick. Plus a grandson with a chronic disease. I am so sorry.

    I don't know how old your two sons are, but it sounds like they are both adults. I hope you find some peace in the fact that your #1 son is "somewhere". I always feel better when my difficult child is in jail. That is sad to write, but it is true today.

    I hope you are ready to work toward detaching from your second son and stopping the things you are still doing to prop him up. You can't control what your husband does, but you can control what you do.

    Perhaps your husband would be willing to read this site for a while as well? It would be a good way for him to begin to see that enabling doesn't help anybody, really. Not them. Not us.

    A couple of quick book recommendations for starters: Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend.

    Hugs to you and please keep sharing here. It will do you good. It will do us good.
     
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