Something good for us to remember

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scent of Cedar *, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    A quick post about something good for us to remember.

    :O)

    Each of us has been in that shocky, optionless place when something terrible has happened with one of our difficult children. As many here know, husband and I had the news about the repeated beatings and then, the nearly terminal beating our daughter survived right around Thanksgiving. And the difficult child granddaughter thing right around Christmas. The past weeks have been such strange, out of focus kinds of things ~ like some dark, discordant music has been thundering away under the everyday jumble of life. I wanted to post that for both husband and I, that darkness seemed to have begun toning down about three days ago. (And I swear, even our dog and cat seem remarkably less high strung and more affectionate ~ which would make sense, as they are not picking up on our anxiety vibes.)

    I thought it was important to post about this because I know how it feels to get those sucker punch shocks.

    It feels overwhelmingly like things are never going to be okay, again.

    So, given that both husband and I are feeling this changed-for-the-better outlook at the same time...I am thinking that it takes four to six weeks to incorporate whatever the latest trauma is and regain our equilibrium.

    We are all so often rocked back into that traumatic place where we can hardly stand up where our difficult child kids are concerned. I think it is helpful to be able to place a time limit on the worst of it, and a beginning time limit on potential reclamation of our emotional lives.

    So, I would say that four to six weeks from the date of the traumatic event, things begin to look a little brighter.

    I just think it is helpful to understand that no matter how bad it feels? We do heal, we can heal.

    While I have been engaging in every activity to heal myself? husband has not. Both are feeling better to the point that even the animals are calming down four weeks after the lastest trauma.

    What does anyone think about this?

    Maybe, it will help us survive it, if we can understand a time limit for the worst of it?

    Cedar
     
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Cedar,

    this makes sense to me. I work in medicine, in surgery to be precise, and I can testify that it takes 4-6 weeks for people to start to feel themselves after surgery, which is a trauma, an assault..even after seemingly minor surgery like an appendectomy. So I can imagine it is the same. We are traumatized, assaulted, all the catecholamines and adrenaline go nuts and set off their own metabolic cascade, and then....our bodies and therefore our minds (because the knee bone is indeed connected to the thigh bone) start to recover. Along with the recovery from surgery is depression, a feeling of loss of control, hopelessness...we all know that with our difficult children.
    Ain't nature wonderful???
    The work you've done, the work that your husband didn't do...I think they tell more in lessening the likelihood of a fall, and in bringing you to full recovery. YOu get resilience, so something like a simple phone call from difficult child doesn't bring you low...that is what I find, anyway.
    Thank you for that post.
     
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Cedar, I think that's good information. I'm so glad you and husband are feeling better these days.

    I do believe with your new outlook and all the healing you've recently done, your recovery time will shift considerably now. You are out of the FOG for all intents and purposes and once we can see reality as it really is, we are not sucker punched anymore, we know the truth and there may be some bumps, but recovery is WAY less in time. At least that has been my experience.

    As in life in general, we humans adapt very well. And also, in giving up so much control, it isn't necessary any more to hold on so darn tight, we can let go easier which of course, allows us to spring back to health quicker. Our attachments to the way we want it to be and our efforts to keep it that way create an energy of fear and tightness..............which is not exactly going with the flow...........I think when we are healthier, being less controlling, being more in the moment, seeing the truth and making caring for ourselves as our first priority means the time spent being overwhelmed and suffering is greatly limited.

    As I endeavor down this path and learn from my mistakes, heal from my own traumas and learn how to let go and accept what is...........each event gets much less dramatic and much less intense. The intensity was how the old game was played...........it included judgement, feeling right, enabling, the need to control, attachments to the way I thought it was supposed to be.........all of the stuff we've discussed before...........when all of that dissipates, life events with difficult child daughter are severely less dramatic since my view of them is severely less dramatic. It is what it is. That acceptance changes the entire playing field.

    Is the bad guy in jail now? Are difficult child daughter and granddaughter doing okay in the shelter? Are they planning on staying the course there so difficult child daughter can receive the appropriate health care? When you return after the winter, do you return to where difficult child daughter is?

    As always, sending you and husband caring thoughts............
     
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  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I agree with Recovering that we might be able to learn to let go more easily, that the impact isn't so hard.

    I was walking home last night and saw my difficult child begging in front of McDonalds' again (I have not spoken to him since he got out of jail on New Year's EVe and promptly abandoned all the promises he had made me once I paid his $1800 in restitution. IN fairness he has tried to call me frequently...I just can't take his calls right now. My SO told him I wasn't in a place to talk to him now, so he stopped calling about 5 days ago)

    I crossed the street to approach him...he jumped up and ran inside (this dance has happened before). This time I followed him inside. I said "difficult child, I hope you make sure that the people who give you their money, the people who give you their hard earned money, who pay the taxes that provides your SSI, understand that you are a petty crook and that you already get $700 from THEM, from the governemnt, in SSI and foodstamps". I didn't yell it, I just said it. I've been wanting to say it for a while. I looked at me in a combination of anger, accusation, and shame, and walked out of McDonalds. I followed, and walked home.

    Cedar, my heart was pounding. IN the past sometimes I have had what is called (even in medicine) "broken heart syndrome", where the adrenaline cause heart malfunction and I feel like I"m dying, gasping for air, even falling to the floor. When my heart started pounding I felt like I was going there...but it slowed down. I walked home. By the time I got home I forgot to mention to my SO that I had seen difficult child until I'd been home for 30 minutes or so. SO was politely interested, but I told him the story and then we moved on to other events of the day. Neither of us could rally oup the intensity, the anguish, that such an encounter would have caused 6 months ago, a year ago.

    I even poked the skunk of trying to rally some feeling again this morning...I had breakfast with my high school boys (I make them eggs on exam mornings...my mom called it brain food...and they are having midterms). I told them I had seen difficult child. They looked a little anxious, I told them the story, and we moved on to talk about wrestling, exams, and which of them would have been considered more handsome in the 1950's.

    I felt an impact but it didn't linger. I hope I can stay in that place. I also felt OK but having an unsolicited conversation with difficult child...those are things I have been wanting to say, and now I have said them.

    Sometimes I avoid the walk past McDonalds, sometimes I deliberatly choose it. I think I will get to the point where I do or don't walk that way, that it isn't all about difficult child.

    I learn a lot from your posts, Cedar, and I feel a lot articulated or reflected in myself, which is a major way of learning for me.

    Thank you, and you too, Recovering.

    Echo
     
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ha! Echolette, this is major! I love it that you spoke to difficult child son in person that way. I love it that you faced down the anxiety response, the conflict between what is and what we can face.

    I remember Recovering posting about speaking to her daughter about true things, too. At the time, I thought I would never do such a thing. And then? As I healed and got stronger? I spoke the truth to my sister, my daughter, and my son.

    And my husband too, now that I think about it.

    I felt so clean, so right, Echolette.

    Like you, I expected that crash, that "How could I say these things?" It never came for me, either. I had like, echoes of remorse. BOOM. Anger at what had happened and positive determination to see what I see.

    I am so glad this happened for you, Echolette.

    And for me, and for Recovering, too.

    For Recovering and for me? It has been something like thirty years of difficult child twistedness.

    Freedom, clear vision ~ these things are so good. I am seeing and behaving so differently in all areas. I find myself engaging in so much less self-condemnation, too.

    It's amazing, really.

    Cedar

    P.S. I love the part about which of your sons would have been considered the more handsome in the fifties. You must have so much fun with your kids! And you know? That is how it is supposed to be. I am so happy for you, Echolette.
     
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Echolette, congratulations, great post..............I couldn't read it fast enough to find out what you did!! Good for you!

    As Cedar mentioned, when we can tell them OUR truth, it lifts the fog out of our sight and we can see clearly and now that we told the truth and got that all out of our system, out of our minds and hearts.................we are liberated. I totally believe that to be the truth. In all areas of life, not just with our difficult child's.................but here is where we've really driven that point home.

    There were various steps I took along those lines with my daughter..............each step with more and more truth in it. I wrote her a long email about a month ago and it was what I always wanted to say to her..............how it felt to be her mom, all the pain I was in, what that felt like, how difficult she is to love, how as her mother, even I wanted to distance myself from her antics................but all said with love and compassion, I was passed the anger and resentment of all of it and I believe I had accepted it................and then I got to calmly say what was in my heart. She may not even have read it, it didn't matter, I had to get those words out of me...........it was immensely freeing.

    Great job Echolette. I'm sure you are feeling a lot calmer now.
     
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am finding these things to be true too, Recovering. I am recognizing the FOG in my day to day life, too. Not as overwhelming as what happens with the kids. I am realizing that FOG descending is where people pleasing begins. I remind myself of my new "practice" (ala the Vietnamese monk whose name I cannot remember right now) of riding the edge Brene Brown writes about. I see differently, now. Always before, I was so conscious of my own pain that I wanted to protect others from experiencing pain or discomfort.

    I wanted to fix that for them. In the same way I tried so hard to prevent the bad things for myself and my sibs as a child, I suppose. Now, I am coming to understand it is of primary importance to value what is. In the normal, sane world of everyday life, there is a reason for pain or discomfort, there are things to be learned, there.

    In a way, it is through pain that we respect ourselves and those we love. We have lost something of value, to feel the pain of its loss so keenly.

    In letting go of the reality of the abused child, where the parents' discomfort meant something traumatic for me or a sibling...I am finally turning into a real person, Recovering.

    Like Pinnocchio? I had to stop lying to become real.

    :O)

    I like myself alright. I am surprised to be here with myself, to be present in this way. I am becoming conscious, just lately, of all the pointless mental noise I engage in. Or of no longer trying to manipulate situations so things don't go bad, so my fraudulence is not exposed.

    I don't mind so much, about fraudulence, anymore. I think I interest myself, now. I want to see what I do, what I think, how that all feels.

    Such a tiny risk, for such an incredible wealth of presence and time.

    We had discussed the way Providence seems to work just right ~ right timing, right experience, right people ~ for us to learn what we need when we are ready. This is so truly what is happening for me, Recovering. In all these years, I have never really believed there was a purpose to all this. I wanted to be compassionate. I did not want to cause further pain. That was pretty much all I knew. All at once, I see the pain, and find it beautiful, find it a worthy response to loss, find in it the true value of a thing.

    Isn't that strange, Recovering.

    Sometimes, we think we know everything we are going to learn and this whole new thing opens to us, welcomes us in, and nothing is ever the same, again. I think this must be the normal human progression, Recovering. (And Echo, and all of us, here.) We were stopped for all those years, turning back for our lost children, like...Isis or Persephone.

    Here is an interesting thing: We so often use imagery of the FOG. This morning, there is what can only be described as fog here, but the sun is burning through, changing that darkness and dankness to brilliant mists and glittering droplets.

    So, I was thinking of you, and of the FOG this morning, Recovering. And of how beautiful those things which seemed so dark and heavy and insurmountable can be, once our eyes are opened and the light shines through.

    Cedar

    Oh! The bad man is in jail, still. We are thinking an eight to thirteen year sentence. He has not had his trial yet. difficult child daughter continues to improve physically. She is talking to the man who beat her almost daily on the phone. I don't know how that works. Apparently, he can call out? He has asked her to wait for him. She still thinks she is in love with him. We talk alot about how the brain works to protect us from knowledge of terror, and how the sound of his voice pops her back into terror. She has blocked out the whole experience. She did have a flashback a few days ago.

    She talks with Shelter staff, and with the other women there, all the time about these kinds of things. She is in the best place she could be, I think.

    difficult child granddaughter is...well, wait until you hear! So, she was required to begin school in the city where the aunt left her with her mother in the Shelter. Soon after Christmas break, it was the end of the semester for them and they were having finals. Granddaughter was required to take the finals, though she had never taken the classes. (By law, she had to attend school. She has been skipping classes, being generally reprehensible and resentful all year ~ and last year, her life was even more chaotic. Nonetheless, she had to take the semester exams in all classes.) Ha! Turns out, she did so well on everything ~ including math ~ that they popped her back into the advanced math class she would have been taking at this point if she'd never missed so much school, at all. The true miracle here is that she was excited enough about that to tell me about it herself instead of letting her mom do it!

    With so much joy, Recovering. She told me about it with so much joy and pride....

    So, I don't know what difficult child daughter is doing with difficult child granddaughter, but both are doing so well, and are doing so well together. difficult child daughter was an amazing (unconventional, half-crazy, but amazing) mom before all this happened.

    So, we are waiting to see whether difficult child and granddaughter will be coming here or not. If they do, it would be as a vacation, and as a time for difficult child to think about relocating, here.

    She will need to relocate.

    difficult child has one more surgery in early February. She will have some pretty extensive brain function tests in March, when healing should be complete and an appropriate assessment can be made. difficult child is doing so well. She says that she feels reborn. (As well she might. He dragged her into a back room and left her, thinking, so we believe, that she was dead for something like thirteen hours.)

    No telling what really happened, there. That difficult child daughter is recovering to the degree she is, as quickly as she is, is a miracle in itself. There was a time, shortly after the beating, when difficult child was emotionally labile and seemed to have no capacity for judgment or true thought, at all. Then, talking to her seemed like talking to a high school kid. Lately, she is talking about real things, making real connections. Critical thinking skills seem to have returned.

    The shelter environment has been very good for difficult child and for granddaughter, too.

    husband and I are good.

    Recovering?

    I am so glad you were here with and for me through this. Thank you so much for asking.

    :O)
     
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I especially like the telling a jerk what I think part.

    That's my whole journey right now. Acknowledging that people (even me) can be jerks sometimes, and should be called on that behavior.

    When we expect more...I was going to say, we get more. But the truth of that one is that when we expect more, we just expect more. Nothing more or better actually happens. It is so strange to be in the observer's position regarding my own behavior.

    Well actually, I keep going back?

    The whole thing is my journey at this point.

    Hear us roar, right ladies?

    Cedar

    P.S. Okay. Favorite part? "Laugh at stupid jokes." You know that little offensiveness you get when someone tells you a stupid joke? Yeah. Let's get rid of that.
     
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    " I am realizing that FOG descending is where people pleasing begins."

    That is such a good point Cedar. I had never put that together in that way before, thank you. I have been fighting that fog for a very long time............as you said, not only with my daughter, but in all my relationships, interestingly, mostly with women. Mother complex. I did not play this out the same way with men. In this last year, I have made significant changes in my relationships.........the most difficult and sad for me was the demise of two of my closest friendships. Both going back 40-50 years, so the patterns that began in childhood were certainly embedded in these connections............subtle and yet harmful to me. Had I been healthy all those years ago, the likelihood is that I would not have initially entered into these relationships in the first place, I would have not entered the fog..............

    "Always before, I was so conscious of my own pain that I wanted to protect others from experiencing pain or discomfort."

    For me that was disappointment. I was profoundly disappointed as a child and when confronted with another's disappointment, I would try to fix it, change it, give them what they wanted to make their disappointment go away. I did that big time with my daughter. She did not experience much disappointment in her childhood...........at least that I could fix. Taking that away from her or anyone, takes away their ability to deal with life's disappointments. I have a lot of empathy so even today that is difficult for me, in particular with my granddaughter..............but now I override my angst about HER disappointment and take deep breaths and move on.

    "'Or of no longer trying to manipulate situations so things don't go bad, so my fraudulence is not exposed."

    I tried to manipulate situations so things didn't go bad because I was terrified of doing something wrong which would effectively evict me from my family. That fear was placed in me when I was 5 years old when my mother made it apparent that the actions demanded of me had to be met or I would be cast out of the family and delivered to a monster. Fear. It's taken me a lifetime to unload fear.

    "In all these years, I have never really believed there was a purpose to all this."

    I am very glad you now believe there is a purpose to all of it.

    I think Providence assisted my lonely childhood self by supporting my learning early (7th grade) about life being about lessons to be learned, that karma existed, spirituality, reincarnation............I had already read everything in our local library by the 7th grade that had to do with alternative religious/spiritual/philosophical practices in other cultures. (I was a weird kid!) And by the 10th grade, I did a report on Mental Illness and identified my family..........that's when my commitment to get into therapy as soon as I grew up began. I have been on this road of learning, healing, becoming conscious for over 50 years, so for me, thankfully, I always believed there was a purpose for everything. I think that has kept me sane a midst all of the insanity.

    Thank you for sharing that story about your granddaughter. I was smiling from ear to ear to hear that. I could FEEL her joy and pride. Oh my, we can thrive anywhere can't we? The human spirit is a remarkable thing. I thought of the flower that grows in the crack in the concrete right in the middle of a ghetto.

    It reminds me of a wonderful documentary I recently saw about a couple who fell in love in a concentration camp and all they could do was write to one another for years.......on scraps of paper...........until the war ended and they were separated and he found her. They are still together to this day and do speeches all over the world about their experiences to keep the knowledge of the camps alive.........he is almost 100 years old now. It was such a touching and oh so tender story. Like your granddaughter, not just surviving, but thriving. Wow.

    I am glad to hear your daughter is also thriving. Cedar, who would have thought it would have gone in this direction after that horrible beating? But look where it has gone now. You are detached, your daughter is healing,( in every sense of that word), your granddaughter is thriving, husband is doing much better and so are the cat and the dog!! It is a miracle. Sometimes dramatic life events occur to wake us up. Appears as if your daughter has awakened as you detached. You were able to see that beating as stepping up the game, you didn't have the same response...............so perhaps your daughter can release the need to put herself in such risky environments now. Both our daughters removed themselves or were removed from risky environments when we detached from their lives.

    Cedar, I think about you and your family throughout my days.........you are a dear friend with a similar experience of life which connects us on deep levels............we are simpatico. I am happy and honored to be with you on this journey out of the fog.

    "Acknowledging that people (even me) can be jerks sometimes, and should be called on that behavior."

    Yup, me too. Very freeing indeed.

    I am pretty happy Cedar................as you sound as well. One can survive trauma and come out the other side, as long as we face it and feel it..........we are so fortunate...............and it's never too late to have that happy childhood..........go with husband and play...........I do that as much as I can now.........play.
     
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  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for the pain you feel when contemplating the loss of those relationships, Recovering. Growth is...well, growth is growth. We are nourished as well by what we lose as by what we keep, as we go about celebrating and cherishing newly created or freed aspects of self. There will come new relationships, relationships as rich, as complex and real, as you are now, yourself.

    I agree that every relationship was predicated on whatever it is that passes for values in that blind, half depleted FOG state which was our only reality. Looking back? I am so glad I had anyone at all, Recovering. There was just so much of me that wasn't here, yet. So much fear, so much self centered fear.... When I become angry about how my childhood defined my life, it is that stupid terror, that fear of my own fraudulence ~ as though there could be such a thing! I am not sure whether I am more angry that it happened or more grateful that I have broken through it. My locus of control was not my own. I am so surprised by that understanding, Recovering.

    So surprised and so angry!

    With the right and the capacity to define myself beat out of me, I could choose to live only out of defiance. Poor judgment, off timing ~ all those things would be part of that.

    I am moving very fast, now. As I did in the dream. Roaring through the dark.

    Good.

    That is just how it felt in the dream, too.

    *********************

    Pain is necessary for growth, I know that now. The compassionate response becomes silence. Respect, for someone else's pain or fear or learning time. It is just like that Vietnamese monk said, Recovering: We can listen. And that is gift enough.

    I never knew that.

    You know who else always fixes everything, is always smarter than everyone, is forever judging, calculating, estimating?

    My mother.

    Good for me, to have learned so valuable a thing.

    ***********************

    You were delivered to a monster, Recovering. Only it was a worse monster than a real one could ever have been. You were delivered to a wordless kind of terror you could never address because it was wordless.

    But you did address it, Recovering.

    Defiantly, against all odds, you did address it, Recovering. Good for you and good, good, good for me.

    The core of my fear, the core of the feeling of fraudulence, was that I believed myself to be who my mother could not help but teach me I was. Until I could see and taste the nature of her illness, I could not know those feelings were not mine, were not real. I could not know that this certainty that I was cowardly, intrinsically wrong, rotted somehow...meant nothing. (Coward was my interpretation of the flavor of my mother's condemnation. Something I could understand, something I could hold myself in as much contempt for as she held me in contempt.) Only...none of it had anything to do with me or even, with her. Whoever hurt my mother hurt me, too.

    So, good for me and for her and good for you and good for all of us, that I was, that you were, able to find and heal some of that. Healed is better than wounded.

    I am angry, so angry, at the pain of it, and at the waste. How many generations touched and twisted by whatever it was.

    Grrr....


    ******************

    Oh, I know what you mean, about my granddaughter, Recovering! I love and admire her so much. It was so hard to tell her I would not take her, that she would need to go to foster care.

    But look what has happened, instead....

    difficult child daughter and I were talking about the way granddaughter fought to get to her mother. When seen in that light, every action granddaughter took that seemed so wrong and bull headed...turned out to have been the right thing.

    I don't like it that she is in a Shelter. My whole idea of children was the education track, the then you will have money and stuff track ~ the then you can buy grandma a condo in Hawaii track. (I have actually been known to say that.)

    :O)

    This granddaughter was born on my birthday. Oldest granddaughter and I were there throughout the labor and to cut the umbilical.

    Life is strange. How does that go, Recovering? Something about life not only being stranger than we know, but stranger than we can know.

    Yep.

    ***************

    I feel that way too, Recovering.

    We have been fortunate, but we have been possessed of great courage too, Recovering.

    And this is only the beginning. That's the amazing thing. We are so amazed at the difference in what we see and hear and know now...and we've only just opened our eyes.

    Thank goodness.

    I am reminded of what Buddha was supposed to have said when someone said his eyes had been opened and now, he was awake. The response?

    "So you believe."

    Cedar
     
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really do enjoy reading your posts Cedar.

    "There will come new relationships, relationships as rich, as complex and real, as you are now, yourself."

    When I read that line Cedar, I thought of you.................MWM............ New connections forming with Echolette, Backinthesaddle, Childofmine..........those of us battling the forces to find our peace.............it reminds me of how guys who face battle together form life long friendships..........they've been in places others just don't understand and that bond is very strong.

    I went through a lot of pain in the midst of my decision to remove myself from those unhealthy relationships............but the pain was in the deciding, once the decision was made, I felt freed and the pain subsided.

    Identifying traits which are similar to your mother's is a big realization Cedar. I believe that is a huge part of our healing.........otherwise we respond as they did, with our own personal twist on the way it's done..........but nonetheless, there it is. I have been in relationship with women who, like you and I, had mother issues, and as I got healthier, it became pretty obvious that without recognizing the part of themselves which inherited their mother's traits, they were destined to repeat them...................on me!! So, my exit strategy would then become quick and determined! I worked through much of my mother stuff with various connections with women over the years............choosing women who, like my mother, did harm to me...........until I woke up and attempted to heal it or leave it.

    Relationships are the gateway to our growth. Without them, we may not have the emotions and the pain, but we forfeit the intimacy and growth in favor of perceived safety in our isolation.............

    I love the image of you "roaring through the dark." I had such a great picture of it in my mind, a streak of brilliant white riding the current of change through the night sky............a smile on your face and a glint in your eye.............ready full tilt for whatever life has in store for you............

    When I realized that my grandmother did the same monster scaring thing to my mother............it changed a lot for me. I could see how my mother shut down in fear and never regained herself..........she didn't face it, she is very removed from life.......I see it as very sad now, she lost her whole life and never really participated in life............now she is 88 years old and for all intents and purposes, alone. No intimacy, connections, she kept herself isolated from all pain which meant she kept herself isolated from life, from joy, from all of it. As Brene Brown says, you can't just cut off the pain, you cut it ALL off.

    I imagine it was very, very hard to tell your granddaughter no.............my oh my...........but look how it turned out! Allowing them to live out their own fate empowers them. WE don't know what their fate is. Just as my granddaughter's therapist told me 14 years ago, right after her father killed himself..............I was so distraught and so filled with sorrow...........my precious little girl hurting for her Daddy................and the therapist said, "we don't know her fate, she may have gone through this tragedy and someday be a therapist who specializes in children whose parents committed suicide." I still think about those words when I see my granddaughter being there for her peers in such a compassionate way................we just don't know Cedar, and now we cannot interfere..........

    I have been told I have courage and before I didn't really look at it like that because I was just doing what had to be done or what I thought to be right. Now I can see the risks I took, the courage I've had to face all that I've faced. As I have said to you a couple of times, YOU have great courage Cedar.............it's good to own it, it rounds us out in important ways..........

    I am discovering a wonderful newness, a real sense of abundance and gratitude all around me.................without the FOG, one can see so clearly, so far away, so well............it's a delight to be making this journey with you and the rest of the gang here..............as my SO always says to me, "we don't know where we're going............but we're on our way!!"
     
  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This conversation makes me happy.
     
  13. Childofmine

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

    Is there anywhere else where people speak such raw, real truth about their own lives and journeys? I think this is very very unusual and so very healthy and beautiful.

    And I also feel gratitude for the authenticity that has grown in me since I began this awful, painful path.

    It is truly the silver lining of the most ferocious storm. And now, often, I can even see the lining as the storm is descending. I can hold those states within myself at the same time, often: the pain of watching my precious son continue to self-destruct, and the growth in myself as a strong, real, truth-telling person.

    It does change all relationships, it can't help but change them, because WE ARE SO CHANGED.

    I have changed for the better, and I am finding when I am in challenging situations that have nothing to do with my difficult child, in business, whatever, I feel a centering calm and certainty I have never felt before. I know who I am today more than I have ever known it before. I am proud of who I am and where I am. I am proud of the honesty in my life.

    I continue to struggle on this path, and make mistakes, and I am kind with myself about those mistakes. I am doing all I can with all I know...today. Maybe tomorrow I will know better, and then, I will do better. I will continue to work hard on this because I get so much back.

    I wish people I love didn't have to suffer to teach me these lessons. Thanks to you all for the outpouring of truth.
     
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  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Beautifully spoken.

    Thank you.

    Cedar
     
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    These are wonderful posts....so very thought provoking and helpful. I have another ailment, one which I've had before. It seems to hang around for four to five weeks...kinda fell in line in a certain way to the discussion here.

    Our difficult child threatens us with the idea of her panhandling in our own neighborhood, where it is forbidden and if the cops have time, they will remove them from the area. I tell her if she does this, I will simply call the police myself, report her, and request that they remove her. This gives her pause. I have apparently scared the bejxsus out of her a few times.

    I'm so glad you are feeling a bit better Cedar. I'm sure I will be on the mend physically relatively soon. This conversation makes me happy as well.

    :)
     
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I like to savor you over time.

    :O)

    Clarity.

    Still very hard to see.

    Cedar
     
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Amazing.

    Cedar
     
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Isn't it a remarkable thing to understand that, in recognizing the true reward to ourselves in enabling, in forcing ourselves to turn away from that and to practice whatever detachment skills we've managed to accumulate, in requiring right action from ourselves...we are all becoming that strong, so wise mom I always wondered about? That mom whose children know a right way to go because she does not enable out of some false sense of intrinsic superiority. Whatever the situation they've gotten themselves into, she trusts them, she absolutely trusts that they have what it takes to figure it out, never once requiring of herself that she know something she has not prepared herself to know.

    That question never occurs to her.

    Imagine that.

    Fraudulence. The essence of that fraudulence thing I am always talking about. (Only talking about me, here. Not you, Nomad.)

    Judgment doesn't even enter into it, for a mom like that. It's like: "Ew! Sucks to be you, today."

    When I am more healed, more centered in myself than I am today, I will be able to do that for my kids, too. It seems to me that (for me) the crux of the enabling thing has to do with confronting that belief in my own inefficacy. In covering all the bases, I protected, not difficult child, but...myself. It was a way of comforting myself, of knowing I had done everything I could. I covered all the bases and then some. In that traumatic events with my kids reawaken traumatic conclusions I drew about me, about the who that would ever be all that I am in relation to the all powerful abuser as she taught and reinforced this reality...I actually responded pretty courageously.

    But I covered the courage in diving so deep with a weak patina of "They need me. I am responsible. I can fix this. If I can find it, I can fix it."

    Martyrdom so sucks.

    :O)

    I don't know how many years I was in therapy for just exactly this issue, this response.

    That explains the depth of the FOG response to a crisis. I'm looking right into a chasm, right into the where and how I learned to survive, to be prepared, to hope to be perfect or at least, perfectly acceptable. I fall apart, babble and shake and fixate not for the child's sake but for my own, as I confront old trauma.

    And it isn't working. (Like in that movie Christmas Vacation. When Chevy tested every light and finally got them going? And the father-in-law says, "The little lights aren't twinkling."

    Yeah.

    This was a difficult thing, Nomad. But it was truly the right thing. There is no fear in that answer to your child's threat. Maybe it is the lack of fear in us, along with the unspoken (for once!) understanding that the kids will have to figure things out in some way that doesn't involve blackmailing us that lets the kids know what is true and what still needs to be explored.

    So maybe, detachment boils down to holding strong in the face of our own emotions once we decide to stop the blackmail. Which is beginning, the more I look at it, to seem like a thing fueled by both sides....

    So not fair to the kids.

    Best to do it quickly, then.

    And maybe that is why kids sometimes turn their lives around when we get it, stop enabling, and begin, however feebly (talking about myself, here) our detachment practice.

    I learned so many painful things through responding to your honesty, Nomad.

    Cedar
     
  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

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