update on life in the slow lane

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Seems within the strange, upside down world of our troubled kids there is always room for change, for growth, for learning more about boundaries, detachment and acceptance. And, gratefully, we humans can adapt and change.......

    In the past couple of months I have stepped back more from my daughter's escapades and my granddaughter's choices......as I'm learning more about how our thoughts can hold us hostage and produce their own drama (worry, repetitive useless thoughts that go nowhere, making up stuff that "could" happen, getting stuck in the past.......etc.) I am able to disengage from them and stay rooted in the present moment. This has been one of the best strategies to keep myself in a peaceful, detached and accepting place. It's taken me awhile to really understand the concept, the phrase, "argue with reality and you suffer" has helped me a lot, it's simple and yet, for me, says it all. I spent a lot of time "arguing with reality" where my daughter was concerned......I just did not want to accept the way it actually is. That acceptance was so elusive, I would get it for a moment and then quickly forget it in my quest to have reality be the way I want it to be.

    There's been a lot involved in that acceptance, which turns out to be all about letting go. Letting go of how I wanted it to be, that image of perfection, or family, or how a mother or a daughter is 'supposed' to be. I had to throw all of that overboard and open my eyes and look at what the reality is. I may not like the reality, I may not understand it, it may even be ugly in my eyes, but 'it is', it is real, I can't change that fact.

    This past week I had a momentary relapse in to that worry place, not having heard from my daughter and watching my granddaughter's dwindling college bank account had me temporarily stuck in the old familiar place of fear. However, I used my 'tool box' and talked myself down from the edge. It was a short visit to hell, but a good reminder of how crummy it is to live there. After it was over, I talked to a friend who also has a troubled kid.....it always helps to feel heard. I realized that about 2 weeks ago I made a new declaration to my daughter about my boundaries, in essence that I needed to step back further. It felt weird to me at first and then she texted me that she loved me, understood and thanked me for always being there for her. It felt right to take that step back, but it also felt strange. It feels as if the negative, unhealthy, inappropriate enabling, or over giving or leaky boundary issues have been corrected and healed, there doesn't appear to be any more to do. She is there, I am here, there is a strong, impenetrable boundary between us......yet the love and acceptance is there......it feels right. We negotiated the challenging terrain and found a safe place to stand, together, but separate.

    My daughter handled all the things that spun me out the other night......so my worry was for naught. My granddaughter may have a lesson in handling money on her horizon, but she assures me that all is well and I needn't worry. So, I let the worry go.......

    And, with the arrival of 2 wonderful new moderators on this site, I can take a step back knowing everything is taken care of and in good hands.

    This recent stepping back from my daughter's life, my granddaughter's life and this site, leaves me in new territory........there is a lot of space between me and my old sense of responsibility.......turns out that worry takes up not only a lot of space in your life, but dominates a lot of what you think about, the choices you make, how you spend your time, how you engage with life. It's fear. And fear strangles spontaneity, freedom, creativity, fun, play, possibility, pleasure, fulfillment, satisfaction,.......it pretty much kills life.

    If something dreadful occurs, well, I can handle it then, no use working out the angles beforehand. All I really have is this moment now, to enjoy and relish and be present in........and turns out, that's where life is if I am not filling it with stuff I can't control anyway.......

    I am excited about the possibilities........there is so much space, an openness I didn't have before...........
    There's nothing to do......only to open to life, to enjoy the moment, to be grateful for all of it....

    Life in the slow lane........ a calm, easy, peaceful ride.......

    And, I wouldn't have learned how to get here if it weren't for the journey through hell that my daughter invited me on.........go figure.......
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    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  2. Esri

    Esri Member

    Love this. Every word.

    I can really relate.

    Good for you!! You can do this!
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is absolutely beautiful. What an amazing testimony of where you can arrive after dealing with a Difficult Child; a place of hope, peace, understanding and acceptance.
    My heart is filled with joy for you!!
    Thank you so much for sharing where you are on your journey.
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  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I"m looking for the "beautiful" button, but will have to settle for "winner"

    how lovely to hear about you being in this space. It makes me reflect back on all the lessons I have learned by sharing in your journey.

    This is so true. I sometimes think I am choosing to hide from life by choosing to stay in the place of worrying, engaging, managing, obsessing. When I let go of Difficult Child I move on to my stepdaughter, to my teenage sons and start the same patterns...it is rare to have just free air.

    but I know this feeling too. I have tasted it. You describe it so well..it reminds me to reach for it. Thank you for continuing to share with us, to show us what is possible.

    Hugs always, for this and all your other posts,

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  5. Childofmine

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

    RE, so glad to get an update on YOU. Your writing always contains gems.

    I used to be the biggest worrier. I think I have written here that one time my own mother gave me a little embroidered pillow that sat on a stand. It said: Worry is a fast getaway on a wooden horse.

    It was a gift from her, so I can only imagine how I must have been behaving.

    I guess if I worried about everything, maybe that was the first level of trying to control??? Just thinking about the energy I used on just about everything, from world hunger to my grades to whether I was going to have enough money to how to get a raise...what did I know of problems back then, I mean real serious problems?

    The whole idea of boundaries...then letting go---that outward flinging out of everything---just flinging it into the Universe to absorb....and now I am practicing actually leaning in to negative situations. At first I forget to do it---I react, then stiffen up and harden so I can buffer it, and then....when that doesn't work! LOL....then, I start to accept.....and then now, try to move toward the situation in an introspective way...what can I learn from this? What is the Universe trying to teach me here....

    I am even letting go of the feelings of sadness about distance and detachment and boundaries. They are necessary in life, for all people. It's just taken me this long to understand that.

    Warm hugs RE. You're the best.
  6. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    RE --- I could write a very big, long post containing all the beautiful thoughts I have about you. You are such a pleasure to read, to know and to learn from! <3
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RE your post was so relevant to me. I recently had a scare that brought me right back to that place of fear that had me strangled for so long. difficult child announced she was quitting her job (a job with healthcare and good weekday hours) because her friend there got fired. Of course I fell right back into the old pattern but caught myself before I got too far along. I let my woderful, patient, cool headed husband talk to her and two days later she figured it out, decided not to quit and was back on track. It was a serious reminder of how easily I could slip back into the same destructive patterns and how I need to work on myself all the time.

    Life is far too short for us to spend it worrying about what might happen instead of living in the present. I have slowed down a lot too and trying to enjoy the calmer parts of life. Thanks for the reminder.