The Angry Phase?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WearyMom18, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Alright, just a little over a week ago I joined the forum and was feeling really sad and worried and just sick about my 18 yo Difficult Child and the fact that we put her out for all the typical things we are all dealing with. Now...I'm angry.

    I got a tremendous amount of support from all of you and read the book 'Boundaries' and in a very short time felt very confident about our decision to kick her out. Great right? I think so but now I'm p $@#ed off at my Difficult Child.

    Haven't heard from her in several days which I was fine with, I finally had some peace from the nagging and yelling, etc, etc. I am headed out of town to my absolute favorite place in the world, our property that we purchased to retire on for some much needed rest and she texts me wanting $50 for food and gas (in her boyfriends car). I didn't respond. She text me 4 times in a row telling me to hurry up and wire some money. I responded and simply said no. She text me several more times making crappy comments about me not helping her, etc.
    Last week she said she had gotten a fast food job and was getting an apartment with her boyfriend. Well, both of those are lies! I still have a GPS locating app for her phone that we used when she was in high school and always skipping school and running away. Well I tracked her location a couple of times this week and she has been bouncing from house to house all over the place, I mean like 10-15 different places a day. None of those were fast food places and at night she was at her boyfriend dad's house. All lies!!!!!!
    So she is texting me today griping because she needs food money and is still just lying through her teeth! My gut says she wants money for meth or weed or whatever, I've been through this so many times before. I am far better equipped to handle it the right way now and I'm doing it but I am so frustrated and angry that she continues to lie and beg me for money! I just want her to stop contacting me at all, at least for a while. I'm feeling DONE and like I need a break from her completely. Her whole life it has been an absolute struggle to raise her. She fought everything tooth and nail her entire life and it seems like she did everything the hard way no matter the consequences and I'm just worn out! I want to scream in the phone that I'm done, leave me alone!
    I know this might sound horrible for a mother to say but that's honestly what I feel. I want to enjoy my trip so I have blocked her number...setting boundaries right?
    Is this anger a natural emotion in these situations?
     
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  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's very normal. And you will go through a cycle ranging from, well pretty much everything you've been through! Its ok though, just learn how to cope. Getting away for a while is a good idea. Oh, and speaking from personal experience, get rid of the GPS or at least quit using it all the time. Your daughter is an adult and on her own. Having evidence of her lies will prove NOTHING to her other than giving her a reason to rail at you about being a control freak and not trusting her. Granted, the trust thing is true but with good reason. Again, she won't see it but you do.
     
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WearyMom, anger is most definitely a part of this path. Mostly it follows the five stages of grief which is denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It is not in order and we tend to cycle through each a few times. You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here, it is helpful.

    You have had a lot on your plate and I support you getting away. If there is anyway to block her texts I would do that, if not, don't read them for intervals, perhaps, read once a day or every other day. They are unlikely to change in tone and if she really required immediate assistance, she could always call you.

    It's important to take steps back, as you are comfortable doing so, keep stepping back, refraining from responding, little by little, detaching from the 'drama tornado' as a friend of mine calls it.......the tornado will suck you in every time until you are strong enough to be in it and not react. Until that time, keep away from it.

    We form scripts with our kids. They act or say something and the script has always required we respond a certain way. Then we stop responding that way. The other, in this case, your daughter, will respond by upping the ante, threats, manipulation, anger, rage, whatever she believes it will take to get you back in the fold. That's why you stepping back is so important, with each step you get further away from the tornado and it's impact lessens. Not responding in my opinion is the best option. As the saying goes, "engage with crazy and you too become crazy." Refrain.

    The truth is you're doing a really good job. And, part of this journey is that it keeps popping up again and again in order for us to gain strength and the resolve we need to detach from our troubled kids and their dramatic lives so that we can learn acceptance, acceptance of what is, acceptance of what we can't change, acceptance of reality. It is a tough journey and it takes time, it is a process, just like the stages of grief. We cycle through and we cycle through again and then one day we say, "gee, I haven't felt any of that in a long time, I feel okay, regardless of what my troubled kid is up to." Acceptance has begun.

    You might read Codependent no More by Melodie Beattie, any books by Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle or Brene Brown, those books have assisted a number of us to learn how to live in uncertainty and to be okay in the midst of what we can't control.

    It is what it is, learning to accept what is where our kids are concerned is a big nut to crack, a really big one......but it can be done and you will gain your life back, your joy, your peace, your happiness.......it's one step at a time, sometimes up and down and sideways.......it is not a straight path. Stay the course, keep posting, keep yourself in supportive environments where you feel nurtured and nourished, that will help enormously for you to keep your strength and resolve. You're not alone, we're here with you. I'm glad you're here.....
     
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  4. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    I agree, I shouldn't look at the GPS anymore. We kept it around because we wanted to know if or when she got near our home because of the problem with the theft from our house, camper and barn. The folks she's running with have absolutely no fear.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Weary Mom, don't do the GPS, like the others say. It's just making her lifestyle part of YOUR lifestyle and upsetting you. It is enough to just know she is unstable and lying and of course she wants the money for drugs. There are plenty of places that feed those on the streets. Read books about the homeless. They don't go hungry. They need the money for drugs. My daughter did speed/meth...her drug of choice. We thought it was just pot...hahaha. Nope.

    I'd either change that number or set her particular ring tone and text tone to a seperate one and not answer or read her rantings. When she contacts you she just wants money. You already know this and you know she is still drugging and lying to you.

    Now...I don't like to have to say this, but protect yourself. Although my own daughter did not put us in danger when she was using drugs, her friends threatened us. We had to be mindful of our locks and put our valuables in safe places and go outside together if at night. You need to be careful too. You need to think that knucklehead boyfriend or even daughter may want to hurt your or steal from you to get back at you. It may never happen, but it is smart to be a step ahead. Drug use addles the brain. This boyfriend who may be a White Supremicist (shudder) probably has no fear of the law and may think you are the enemy and maybe even brainwash Daughter. Do be careful. And do say little to your daughter.

    Less is more. I love "No." It is a complete sentence.

    Be good to yourself. It is ok to be angry. We have all been angry. I still get angry sometimes.
     
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  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I agree with the NO. I don't give money. At this point I'm done giving anything, but I did buy groceries a couple times and a couple packs of cigarettes. But no cash. Give her the number and location of a food pantry and where she needs to go to apply for food stamps. I agree on the GPS. I made myself crazy with it until I finally just dropped deleted the app. You can always download it again if you really need to.
     
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    You are doing a GREAT job!

    Yes, absolutely block her number, as you have done.

    Been there. And...you have the power. YOu are away. You have blocked her number. You can make it so she has to leave you alone. The only way she can bother you is...if you let her.

    Of course if she is like the rest of our kids she'll call you from another number but....you can deal with that when it happens. In fact....let that anger ride with it. If she uses another number to get through,what does that say? It says she does not respect your choices. Her need to HARASS you, which is what she is doing, is higher than your right to a break, in her mind. Remember that. She is harassing you.

    She will contact you less as you make yourself less available. Even responding to say "we've been through this before, I won't give you money" is some kind of feedback and stimulation to her that will keep her going. Its like we were taught when they were little. even angry attention is attention, and some of our kids are happy to make us angry to get some attention. She likes to poke you. SHe is accustomed to it as a stress reliever for her. Make a sign "DONT POKE THE BEAR." and stick it to your phone. She has no right to treat you this way

    And...ditch the GPS. You already know she is lying. What she is doing with her days and nights and where she is staying and how she is paying for it? she has made it clear that you have no input into that. Listen to her.

    And..the anger...I remember that in disengaging, detaching, I would take these big steps (I told him no! I blocked his phone! I didn't bail him out!) and feel at some subconscious level like I SHOULD BE REWARDED. And my reward should be that HE WOULD CHANGE. He would see. He would magically "get it" or at least a little of it, because I was now handling things so well.

    Not.

    That is not a thing.

    All that you get out of handling it well is control and joy in your own life. If MAY teach them, over a long time, to manage their own affairs, but it may not. It seemed to galvanize COM's son into taking some responsibility. My son, on the other hand, is in prison now.

    All I got out of disengaging/detaching is the fact that his series of choices that lead him to prison has little to do with me. I am not scrabbling for advice and lawyers. I am not renting a car (I don't own one) and taking time from work to drive up and visit him (visiting hours if your last name ends in F are Tuesday from 10-3:30. How's that grab ya? talk about no rights...). I did wobble, but I didn't fall. It is HIS life. HIS prison sentence. I am OK. Thats what I got from detaching, and it is a lot.

    And I second what Recovering said on a different post...when I spent all my time arranging therapy and doctors appts and caseworkers and finding 12 step programs and getting him rides...he was dismissive. Now, if I accept a call from him, he thanks me for being supportive. When you give only what feels right to you it is better. Right now you are burnt out and have no give in you. Thats fine. Honor that. Block that phone. YOu go girl

    Echo
     
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    There is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling. I have been there more times than I can remember. Our Difficult Child are hoping that if they bug us long enough that we will give into them. You are doing a great job not falling into that trap.

    As for the GPS, you looked, you saw, you know she lied, now let it go. She has proven that she lies, you know this so don't add fuel to the anger you are dealing with by tracking her moves. GPS and FB can be useful at times but they need to be used with caution and discernment and that can take time to get to that point.

    Just know that you are not alone, and you are doing great by distancing yourself.

    Hang in there, ((HUGS))
     
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  9. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Thanks ladies. I deleted the GPS app so I won't see it and help me detach from that as well. She goes for days and days without contact and it's getting longer and longer each time. This weekend is about reconnecting with my husband and resting...not her dysfunctional life. I am on the right path I know, it's just not always easy as you all well know but it's better than where I've been the past 4 years for sure.

    Thanks everyone, again! Hugs right back!
     
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  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes. One of the things the anger indicates is that you are not in denial about what is happening, or who is responsible. Your anger is healthy response to an impossible situation. Good for you that you are able to face up to what is happening squarely and honestly!

    I go directly into denial.

    :O)

    That is why I come here.

    To keep myself honest.

    Cedar

    P.S. I love it that you did not give her money.

    That is a hard thing. You handled it well.
     
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  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    When our daughter was young (say, 14 or 15?) she would open her drapes, pull up her blinds, and wait for those people she was running with to coast to a stop in front of the house with their car motors turned off and their lights off.

    Then, out the window she would go.

    We lived in a split entry then, so the drop was considerable, though not what it would have been from a two-story house.

    The neighbors told us about it.

    When I went and sat in daughter's room? She was furious, refused to pull the blinds or close the drapes and the jerky people in the car stayed right there, brazen as could be!!!

    This is true. Additionally, if you become aware of the social services available to her, you will know she does not need the money for anything reputable. It will be easier to say "no".

    Er...our daughter has been homeless at times, too.

    Note I did not say easy.

    None of this is easy.

    Yes.

    You will know when you want to face her. That is when she gets to speak to you. She has forfeited her right to immediate access.

    I am sorry this is happening. As you become more comfortable with the theory of detachment parenting, your core beliefs about how to best mother your child will change. It will be easier, then. (That is how it was for me, anyway. I fought it so hard. I could not believe that more love, more understanding, less condemnation, better communication ~ all that stuff. I could not believe that I could not be the mom I wanted to be to my kids, because it was actually hurting them, keeping them dependent, preventing them from taking responsibility for themselves.

    I still get into that echoey place, sometimes.

    But that's okay.

    We have one another now, here on the site.

    After awhile? Everyone already knows how to comfort or instruct me. I always fall apart around the same issues.

    It is very hard to learn how to do this without destroying something intrinsic to our self images.

    I second this.

    Not that you need to live in an armed camp, but that you need to begin seeing where it might be easy to steal from you ~ this includes credit card theft. Some literally priceless things were sold from our house ~ old things with historical significance that had been given to the kids by their grandfather, that kind of thing.

    It never occurred to me to check whether these things were missing. I only really thought of it after cleaning the rooms and saying, "Huh. Where is...?"

    Gone.

    Threats had been made on our lives, to coerce daughter into doing what was wanted. There were people watching the house. They would tell her what they had seen, what we had all been doing, to prove they could have shot through a window.

    Funny, how you can live a life and never have a clue.

    There is a level of permission, a letting go of our own standards of the warm, understanding mom we all wanted to be that has to happen before we can bear to look at how we feel about the betrayals, the multiple betrayals, involved in loving an addicted kid.

    It's scary, because I don't want not to love them; I don't want to be disgusted, so sometimes I don't know how to see what is there. I have a numb place. What I have learned is that over time, we do fall back in love with them when it is safe for us to do so.

    So much of what we have to face is impossible to face. Convincing ourselves it is anything but what it is leaves us vulnerable...and we are targets, when our children are addicted.

    There was a thread here awhile back where we talked about (okay, I talked about) whether drug use destroys the sense of empathy.

    Nothing else explains how our own kids can do what they do, coldly and without remorse, to their own moms and dads.

    She is. And worse, she is manipulating you. In other words, she knows what this situation is doing to you and she is still pushing, still abrading your boundaries and your heart and pissing all over your rights and your rules with knowledge and intent.

    You are her mother.

    Where do these kids get off?!? These same little kids who loved us so much, and of whom we were so crazy-proud, to dishonor and horrify and sicken us this way?

    That is why I believe drug use destroys empathy.

    And that is why I say she has forfeited her right to immediate access to her mom.

    Things have changed.

    And she is the one who changed them.

    I am so sorry.

    Oh, wow, Echo.

    This is good.

    :O)

    Echo is right. Daughter has no right to treat you this way. She was raised better, and she does know better. You will be teaching her what will work with you through these next weeks and months.

    Her behavior will escalate.

    Try to be ready. We are right here.

    I am glad, Echo.

    I wasn't sure how you were holding up.

    Yes.

    We are teaching our children how to work us, what works with us, how to get what they want from us. It is up to us to set a standard. They may look grown up, but when the kids are addicted, they are like conscienceless little kids.

    Bright, and cunning.

    But especially dangerous to us because we love them the way mothers love.

    I know that is sexist, but I see a pragmatism in my D H that I have had to work very hard to develop regarding pretty much everything, but especially my kids.

    It's been really hard.

    We say we need to be wise and wary, where our addicted children are concerned.

    Cedar
     
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ooooh, if you know for a fact that she is lying, I would totally, absolutely be angry.
    But ... vindicated.
    Knowing that you did the right thing.
    You're experiencing Buyer's Remorse.
    I just made that up. But it makes sense, doesn't it? It's nothing more than second guessing.
    {{{Hugs}}}
     
  13. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    I'm enjoying my mini vacation but at the same time I can feel worry and sadness and a tiny bit of panic setting in after blocking her and deleting the GPS app. I suppose the newness of taking those next steps to detachment is strange and out of my norm so I'm feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Granted, she doesn't even try to contact me until she wants something so it's not as though I'm missing anything and Lord knows she has proven herself to be resourceful on her many runaways in the past 4 years. I'm feeling the finality of it I think.

    What happens next? I know that I don't want her to be a part of my life while she is drugging and hanging with a gang and being hateful and disrespectful but what if that never ends? Could it be that from here on out my daughter is just gone?

    I know there no answers or magic spells that can tell the future but the magnitude of this possibility is overwhelming.

    I am such an emotional yoyo these days...I'm strong and confident in my actions and feelings and then I'm doubtful and unsteady and it's so tiring!

    I suppose this will get easier to cope with eventually but gosh it feels like it's such a huge and steep climb to the top which I hope will be peace of mind, hapinesss, healthy boundaries and maybe eventually a happy healthy daughter....only time will tell I guess.
     
  14. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I honestly know that I'm only good for what I'm good for. It's is so very heartbreaking. I would love to be a great grandma. Instead I am a used person totally unappreciated and lied to for no reason, asked to babysit any moment I don't work l. Clockwork is when the get the call, Friday evening. Sure I can babysit. Oh and what else can I get then, I'm always here in the doghouse
     
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is the phrase that will help you be strong. Post it on the fridge, and keep an index card with this phrase on it in your purse.

    The phrase will give you strength because it is true.

    One of the hardest things about surviving a child's addiction is figuring out how to feel about ourselves and our children.

    Try not to catastrophize. That is torturing yourself, and there is pain enough, already. There is strength in taking it one day at a time. There is strength for you in the phrase "It is what it is".

    Has this child been in treatment, already? Has she graduated high school or does she have her GED?

    It helped me to develop new facets of self, to challenge myself in some way.

    It was the only time I could stop thinking about what was happening to my child.

    If you could try a new thing, explore a new facet of self, what might it be?

    Cedar
     
  16. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Cedar, yes she has been in treatment and ended up assaulting another resident and going to jail! Yes, she did graduate from high school, thank goodness. I guess I did those two things right even though she threw away several weeks of treatment.
    I'm trying to figure out what I can do that will make me happy and busy my mind but no real ideas yet. I know I need some distraction though.
     
  17. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    If you feel driven to help, buy bare essentials ~ no cigarettes
     
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    To a certain degree you have answered your question. The daughter you once had is gone. This is a painful realization to come to. For me it happened many years ago. I came to understand that all the hope and dreams I had for my son were dreams that would never be. My son didn't make it through school, he did eventually get his GED (while in jail).
    It is a pain in our hearts that is so hard to come to terms with, there are so many "why's" without any answers.
    I am so sorry you are going through this with your daughter. What I can tell you is there is life on the other side of all the pain and chaos our Difficult Child create. It takes time and effort to let them go but it is so freeing. Don't get trapped in the "guilt" mode, it's pointless. You have done all you can for your daughter, it's now up to her to decide to change or not. Focus on YOU, do things that you enjoy.
    You are not alone in your struggle and pain, I as well as many others have been there.
    ((HUGS)) to you................
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think what happens next is that you shift the focus off of your daughter and you place it on yourself. If our kids launched in a typical fashion that would be a natural trajectory, they become adults, we let go and put our energy into our own lives. It's a lot more challenging when our kids are troubled, however, it is a necessary shift.

    I think many of us need help to make that shift, in particular when our kids are difficult. I opted for a therapist, a therapist run parent group and a program for codependents. I felt I needed the support and it worked for me. I always suggest getting support in this process because it has so many emotional mine fields in it which blow up and have the potential of doing us harm. 12 step groups, counseling, NAMI which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.......they have excellent support groups and resources for parents.

    Your daughter is the only one who can make positive choices in her life. Letting go and working on our own happiness, our own peace of mind and our own well being, is in my opinion, and my experience, the "next step."

    Hang in there. Hugs to you.....
     
  20. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    All well spoken words of truth and they confirm the path that I am shifting to where I grt back to being me. As I expected and as you have all warned me abou, she text me today and said she's hungry and her boyfriend 'screwed her over' 2 days ago and she's back in our hometown. Yes, I unblocked her number this morning after feeling bad for blocking her. (A step back I guess). I told her I was sorry to hear about that. She then said she loves me and misses me (my heart hurt so bad). She asked what I was doing today and I replied with one word Relaxing. I told her I was sure she would find a meal commenting that I know she is resourceful. She said OK.

    10 minutes later I grt a text from my mother in law that Difficult Child had text her and told her she was hungry. mother in law told her she would feed her if she wanted to come over. Difficult Child told her she didn't have a ride. mother in law told Difficult Child that she has broken her heart with her choices. Difficult Child said sorry and stopped texting.

    So hard to hear that your child is hungry but my very first thought was that she was lying, trying to get money and that her boyfriend is probably still around.
    If she really needed a meal, she would've found a ride to get it right? I'm trying to stay the course, for me, but gosh it's hard to hear your child say she is hungry although I am skeptical that it's even true.

    I don't know whether she has come down off meth (I don't know for sure but I'm assuming)and now she's hungry? I'm trying to not let it worry me, she's always found a way when she ran away all those times before, she will find a way now. I'm proud that I kept the responses short and didn't fall prey to what might be another lie. I also coached my mother in law to give her no money and only if she wanted to, give her food. I know I'm going the right way but it was a tough interaction even without her yelling or anything. She was actually very calm and didn't harass me with texts.

    I just don't know how to feel.
     
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