I think the worst is over..... for now

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am doing pretty much everything all of you told me to do about keeping my home as safe as I can while we're gone. I've researched all I can and given my difficult child all the data I've learned about how to navigate the system should she choose to get an evaluation and start that process. My SO took the tent down and difficult child knows the cats must be removed from here ASAP. She worked out all the details of her parole/probation in a way that is actually doable and realistic. She has been staying elsewhere and knows being here is not an option. I saw her yesterday and she looks better and seemed as if she is on the case, at least in her own way, trying to find places to live and a job.

    I understand now what many of you have told me, that at some point along the way, we as parents must let go. I see that we all have a different path to that ultimate knowledge, and it's a journey not one of us would choose, but it's where we have unhappily landed. I have done everything I can, I turned over every rock, had all the right communications, protected my granddaughter, set strong boundaries, educated myself about options, learned about detachment, kept myself very well supported, listened to those who've been there and followed almost all the advice given to me and kept the stress level as low as possible. And now, my difficult child is out there in her own life, making her own choices, doing her own thing. I have absolutely no control over her and her choices.

    I am willing to help in limited ways. Now I know what those are, rather then the truckload of needs I thought I had to meet. You have all helped me understand where to draw that line and that has helped immeasurably.

    I can sit here and look out onto the creek and the trees alongside my home without that huge green obstruction called a tent. The sun can filter in and brings so much light into the living room, it seems like a metaphor for the darkness that took over my home for the last 5 weeks. I just said that to my SO and he said, "the light won."

    It's odd since nothing has really changed, my difficult child is still in essentially the same place, yet I feel liberated. I think it's an "inside job" where I had to go through all the feelings to come to my own realizations, allow my mothers heart to crack wide open and realize I actually lived through it.

    You all have been my guiding light through this journey, thank you. I'm sure there is "more" to come, but for now, it's ok. We leave in a week and I plan to do exactly what Star suggested, enjoy our vacation and put this all away, It will all still be there when we return.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Written For RA - Love Star

    My heart is oh so heavy...it's dragging on the ground

    With every step I try to take I can literally hear it pound

    You see you can not understand the weight I carry 'round

    I suffer most days in silence - I'll narry make a sound

    My roads traveled are so worn just like the lines upon my face

    Longing for a simpler time, the moments I'd embrace

    Those times seem so-so far removed as if they're lost in space

    For what I would not give today for some peace to take it's place

    Then in my darkest moment I dare not shed a tear -

    For the one I loved the most and longest is the one I've come to fear

    My secrets seemed so safe with me if I kept them gathered near

    Then one by one they all got out; and our future seemed unclear

    At last, At last I found the hope I hoped was there for me

    The answer to prayers I prayed alone - when I sat silently

    So many who would never judge but saw what I could see

    And now I see the light so bright and a new found destiny

    I told you - You are very understood, very loved, and very appreciated!
    THE CD Board is more than just a group -
    It's a collection of wonderful, caring people and anytime you think you are every alone?
    Just holla! lol.

    Have a wonderful vacation RA -
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star, that is beautifully written and so poignant, it so touched me, thank you. I am assuming you wrote that, and again I say, your writing skill is excellent. You mentioned you were not presently working, have you considered writing your story about your son.......a book of advice for parents like us.........a book/short story of inspiration and humor for parents.............??? The story of how your honesty brought losses........that's a story many honest folks deal with..........You've got talent girl, with all that life experience you have, it would be a great read!! You have the time now............just my two cents............

    I do feel understood here, it's almost addicting, I check in on this site a number of times a day, I've never done anything like that before, it's a lifeboat in a stormy sea, a calm respite in the chaos. Thanks Star, you've made a huge difference in my life and I want you to know how much I value your input and your wisdom and your wonderful humor and strength. You rock!!
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    - We ALL make a huge difference in everyones life. If everyone understood that to the core? And how what we do effects others? I think the world could be such a different place. Your writing about your feelings for your daughter gave me the words I needed to write my son about some things - I copied them nearly verbatim. Sometimes when we're at a loss for how to throw it all together someone like you comes along and says it just so matter of factly, maybe without even knowing what they did that day - and it's affect on someone they've never met lasts a lifetime. I've been so fortunate and blessed to have so much of that from the people here. I'm glad you are able to share the same.

    Thanks for the compliment.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star--yes, I believe that as well, that we all make a difference in everyone's life. And, yes, the world would be a different place if everyone knew that. I'm happy that my words helped with you and your son, thank you for telling me, it's always good to know one can help another.

    The other night in my therapy group we were talking about the ripple effect, how those of us who are healing from our various issues share our new found health and information around that health with others. And, then those folks share their health with others, and on it goes, one person at a time. That's how much power we each have to effect change. Look what Mother Teresa or Gandhi did, each making extraordinary differences in the lives of so many. Just one person, it's remarkable.

    Star, perhaps you and others already understand this, however, something shifted today with my difficult child and I, we landed in a new place together. I just this moment remembered the serenity prayer and it talking about understanding the difference between things you can control and things you cannot control. I think I unknowingly slipped into some serenity today because I am more aware of the difference now.

    My girl is packing her stuff, in between wandering around looking busy but without actually getting anything done. I am sort of directing her actions so she stays on task. She has found a place to stay WITH the cats. Amazing. She is leaving sometime soon, car, cats and herself. She is creating pockets of chaos with each move she makes. The difference is, I am completely ok. Helping when I can, letting go when I can't.

    I tell you, no one is more surprised then I!!! It reminds me of being in therapy when you work for years on one of your issues and then one day the issue is over, gone, you no longer deal with it, and it occurred to you in that moment that it's all ok, no marching band announced your new found health, it snuck in unexpectantly one day when you weren't looking.

    So, here I am, difficult child getting ready to go. I feel good. I did what I could. I let the rest go. Yikes. She has her path, I have mine and we can only intersect at certain times in certain ways. I know that now. She's my daughter, my only child, once a happy, healthy little girl, slowly taken over by a mental illness she inherited from my father's side of the family, Not her fault. But, she now makes all her own choices about how she wants to live her life, I have no vote in that. She will find her way in her own world, a world I can't gain entry to because the cost of admission, is your sanity. Sigh.

    difficult child is aware that we will be out of town. She believes someone is staying here while we're gone so she cannot come over. I think our home is safe. She will actually be in the next town, 30 minutes away. I believe she will be safe, but I am not sure of that. I have done what I can do. This chapter is now over.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child left our home today at 5 PM. She drove her car out with the cats in it. We spent the day together getting her organized and I helped her in ways I felt good about. I had a feeling when she left, it would hit me in an emotional way, and it did. I felt exactly the same way I did when she was 5 and I drove her to kindergarten for the first day. She was so little and I was having a hard time letting go. I went home and cried. Seeing her drive off today I felt the same way. She is ill prepared for the world and watching her go into it, just made me cry, for the same reasons I did when she was 5.

    I still feel sad. It's been a hard 6 weeks. I don't know exactly what she is up to, where she is going and for how long. There is nothing I can do about it but let it all go.

    We have our home back. The cats are gone. We leave on Friday for two weeks. I'm hoping after a good nights sleep I can begin putting my life back together. Right now I feel raw.

    Thanks everyone for all your help as I trudged through this darkness, looking for the light.
  7. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Sending hugs, good wishes and prayers your way.
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    (((prayers for you and yours)))
    It is so hard and scary. I think some people in the support groups I have visited have the attitude, 'OMG at his age, forget about him'.

    Your comment about being ill prepared for the world is exactly what ARLENE HARDER, MA, MFT wrote in her book. If a family therapist has to have counseling to let her adult son go, you know we need it lol!!!

    Letting her go with God's protection may actually turn her towards getting the evaluation for help. Let's hold on to that hope. We have no other choice.

    Arlene and Carol Kent both say they learned a powerful lesson going through the crisis with their families. I am determine to learn to 'let go, let God'.

    Thers is nothing more you can do.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    :Grouphug: you guys are amazing.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    "The cost of admission into your childs world of mental illness is your sanity. "

    Brilliantly put. I think I shall print that out and paste it EVERYWHERE. Thank you so much for that. Very deep.

    Don't ever underestimate the healing power of your tears. For as much as you may or sometimes feel like you failed her? You did nothing of the sort. It's sometimes hard to see that when your expectations for your only child are (raises hand up over head) and her accomplishments of what you see through your eyes are (makes hand wave around neck) here. Over the years? I've had to readjust and readjust and readjust to the point where at one point I finally just threw my hands up in therapy and said "Well just what SHOULD I expect of him? NOTHING?" I mean when they're born we all fantasize about how phenominal they'll be -Doctors, Veterinarians, Cure for Cancer - right here in my arms. Then they learn to talk, and walk and OH my gosh even potty train and aren't they genius? And so it goes until you really start to see things that are odd, out of kilter, and you at first chalk it up to a bad day, a fever, coming down with a cold.....mean kids a school, stress at home - growing pains. Then eventually those behaviors snow ball, and the next thing you know you feel like you have a dart board on your head and the school board is playing "cricket" on your face, with your childs future - and YOU ARE A BAD MOM.

    I swear to you I wish I could go back through school with my son NOW - KNOWING what I do NOW and do it all over again, because I sure wouldn't let the likes of them EVER set the bar for me or my son - OR My parenting skills -and they'd NEVER have gotten the chance to tell ME that I did a single thing wrong unless they had degrees out the wazoo. They didn't much after the 9th grade - but they sure did the best they could to make me feel insignificant for years. And I let them. And I let a lot of people make me feel that way about how I handled raising a child with issues.

    Now I look back and I think- You know what? I didn't do so bad after all. I'm still a nice person. I still have core values. I still have a son that despite all his disadvantages TRIES...every single day of his life - to be better than he was the day before...and he doesn't get a break from society to do it - so he's up against MONSTROUS odds...like trying to paddle in a whirlpool and get out - and he does it EVERYDAY - no matter what. And for that? I'm pretty proud of my parenting skills because quite frankly there really WASN'T a lot of help or advice or manuals to come to my aid and say "OKAY we've seen your son, and we know exactly what to do - and if you DO THIS? He'll be fine in six weeks. Nope - there wasn't ANYTHING like that - and there STILL ISN"T for parents that are STILL struggling. There's just support, and people like us that say - THIS worked for me, that didn't. This helped me keep my sanity - THAT will kill you slowly and it won't help YOUR KID one bit - trust us - we've been there. So for all that there IS NOT out in the world to help parents like us?
    For as many different individual seemingly endless combinations of co-morbids that seem to plague our kids and our families? ANd how we've managed to stay afloat and get by? And still HELP our kids AND each other?

    I think that qualifies us as one of the most unique groups of people on the planet. We've never given up hope, we've never given up encouragement, we've never given up support and mostly - we've never given up our faiths. Which to me is above all most important because without it? I wouldn't have anything to give because I give what I get,and from my prayers - I get a lot to give back, but only through Him.

    Maybe you think you haven't helped your daughter -------but maybe you could look at it like this RA -

    I helped my daughter so much in the last few weeks - that she's actually NOT living in someones back yard, in a tent, with her cats in her car - she managed to keep them all (whichin todays economy is a feat in itself for anyone jobless) She obeyed most of our rules, and when things got too tough for her? She wasnt' FURTHER disrespectful - she left. So she DID remember a great deal of things I taught her and was able to find shelter for her and her cats, remove her car, HONOR a time-line obligation of moving - find money for gas - and pack and leave - ALL WITH - a mental illness - and without YOU, YOUR HELP? YOUR SUPPORT? YOUR PUSH? She very well could still be - IN A TENT - sleeping 12 hours a day -

    So that's my look at the rainbow in the sky that is there - even if it hasn't rained and you can't see it lesson for today - YOU DONE GOOD MOM. (and now I need another English lesson)

    Hugs & Love
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hope you get the R&R you so deserve. You did good even though it was not easy. May the Lord watch over your daughter and steer her to a better life. -RM
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with everything Star said.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with what Star said to. I LOVE the poem, Star. it is amazing. I wonder if we could find the various poems Star has sent to us through the years. I bet we would have an awesome book if we put them together. They would touch a lot of people, and would help them. And help Star if we could get them published!

    This is an amazing thread. I am so thrilled, RE, that you found this new place in your relationship with your daughter. The loss and tears when she left were normal. They dont' change this new found place in your relationship at all. You have grown and changed enormously because of this crisis, and the changes are beautiful because you have more peace than you did before. You are a wonderful mom and a beautiful person.
  14. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Star, I love your poem too. Thank you so much for sharing it.
  15. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Sending you lots of support and love RE. Enjoy your time away.