Update on my daughter and what I hope to be her new life

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, May 5, 2012.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I feel as if this long travail has turned around. Last time I updated you, my daughter was in the process of losing the place she had just found. I found out that it wasn't something she had done, one of the other roommates created all the problems. Some of the good news is that, as a result of the altercations, she had a realization about how she impacts others with her "abrasive" attitude. Insights like that have not been common for her over the last few years, she was stuck in an angry, righteous attitude with no personal responsibility. I viewed that self observation as a positive step in the right direction since taking responsibility for her choices will allow her to own them and change the behavior. If she can't see it, she can't change it. The new roommates gave her until Friday to get out, it was Wednesday. She was scared, stuck and so disappointed.

    After about a week of she and I talking about her options and me going around and around about how far I wanted to take my helping her, I had my own realization. She and I had an argument, and the old resentments surfaced for me about my own issues of enabling and rescuing her, so I over-reacted and in fact, got pretty angry. She said, "mom, don't abandon me like everyone else has." She is not a manipulator, bad choices, bad attitude, yes, but manipulation has not been her way to get her needs met. She was really talking to me and she was frightened. She hung up. I was at work sitting at my desk feeling so incredibly confused. I started thinking about how I raised my sister, am raising my granddaughter and how at a point in all of that there came a moment where they were up against a big wall and the only one left standing to get them over that wall was me. Each time I went against what everyone had told me, went against reason, went against logic and I offered one more chance. That was the time in each case that the kids turned their lives around. Sitting at my desk that day, I threw all thoughts of enabling, rescuing and codependency aside and followed my mothers heart. I called my daughter back and said, "Ok, this is what I am going to do, and this is what I expect of you." I made it very clear, I was direct and there was no more doubt.

    That night I went to bed at 8:30 which has been the case for the last couple of weeks, this has been a lot to deal with. Not only because of dealing with my daughter's situation now, but I believe mainly because so much has changed for me ABOUT her, that I've been exhausted because each encounter with her required me to react so differently, not in my usual tried and true way, but to really take the time and assess each incident in a new way, and not just react, but RESPOND without preconceived ideas, and that is very tiring. In really "seeing her" I now had to show up in a different way, one which was not directed by my angers and expectations, but simply the truth of the present situation. At 11 PM she called and woke me up. She said, "Mom, I found a place to live."

    In the 10 hours since we had the phone conversation, she found a place to live, worked at her volunteer job, talked to them about a permanent job, arranged payment for her storage unit, applied for another job, worked out all the details of payment and housing with her new roommate and a number of other things. I was astounded! This is a difficult child who for the last 12 years, has had trouble getting ANYTHING done due to her lack of motivation and stagnation. For the first time in I can't remember when, I said, "I am so proud of you." She was psyched.

    The next day I arranged to help her with moving her things from one place to the other. Her new roommate is a woman my age who has a chronic illness. My daughter's moving into her home will be a financial support to this woman and also part of the arrangement is that my daughter will help with the upkeep of the grounds. The house is very cute and my difficult child has her own room and bathroom and full access to everything. They are similar people and it turns out to be a win/win. This arrangement is a much better environment and fit then the former dwelling. And, my daughter can afford it, this one is $400 a month, another unheard of price around here. And, to my amazement again, she can keep the cats too! She really did do an incredible job of creating a pretty nice place to live.

    In my therapy group on Thursday night the therapist pointed out what a huge breakthrough this was for me. After months of going through so much internal changing, having to recognize my own part in the breakdown of my relationship with my daughter and then correct that, that moment at my desk I filtered through all that I've learned and fell upon self trust, the inner certainty of knowing exactly what to do without resentments and unhealthy expectations. One of the goals of the healing of codependency. It was as if a large solid mass of a certain kind of cemented, learned old behavior (which didn't work) broke up over the last few months and realigned itself within me. As a result of all of that breaking down, what happened was a breakthrough. And with the breakthrough, came new insight and the ability to see things quite differently. To see the truth, not filtered through my parental expectations, my attachments, or really anything, just seeing my daughter for who she is and knowing within me what the right thing for me to do was.

    My daughter is now in a new life. She needed help getting out of a deep hole she got herself in by some of her own choices and some life events out of her control. It took awhile to get through this in a healthy, productive way, but we did it. I learned a lot during the last 4 months, about myself and as a parent how I didn't really know how to accept my own daughter in a healthy and reasonable way. Granted there have been very bad choices, I am not condoning some of her behaviors and choices, that's a whole different story, it's been a journey of self acceptance and then acceptance of her in a new way, one which separates her from the behaviors and allows me to love the person underneath that. And, for us, in doing that, everything changed.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm so very happy for you both. Your daughter has come so far, and you - forget it! I'm in awe! It's almost like your daughter is "graduating" to another level - this is the season, too...maybe you should give her a Graduation card showing how proud you are of her. I'm beaming for you both. Continued success...
  3. Star*

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

    Dear RE -

    I saw this post yesterday and I thought to myself 'I KNEW she didn't cause the problem at her apartment! I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!" I swear I think I even wrote that. lol. I'm glad for you. I'm thrilled for her. I'm astounded by the miracles in your lives as Mother and Daughter, but not surpised in the least. These kinds of things always give me the goosebumps - but in a good way.

    You know that last little voice on the phone - the one that says "Don't give up on me like everyone else Mom?" Wow! I sat here and read that, and it literally took the breath right out of me. I mean I can't tell you how many times - How many, many times I've heard my son say that, and I think to myself - "well Star here we go again, and everyone is going to come at you from ALL sides and say 'OMGosh are you an IDIOT..or WELL you allowed him to do it to you again didn't you, or HE SVCKERED you again?, or HOW Many times do you need to be hit in the head before you realize what kind of a kid he is Star?" and It took me so many places in my past when I read that I think 20 minutes may have elasped before I came back to your post. Dejavu. Because the next thing you posted and how you felt about what YOU were feeling at THAT very moment and how you reacted? I sat here and thought - OH LORD she didn't. Did she- It was like being frozen in your chair thinking - Well you'd better read it - I don't know should I - Did she? What would I have done? Well I know what I would have done because I have done it - and then had to hear about it - but you know what RE? I'm all he has - In this whole, horrible, stinking world. I'm it. I'm THE only one that has never EVER let him down, always been there for him no matter what....and never turned my back on him......not really. I've thrown him out - to save myself, I've detached from his problems to keep my sanity. I've allowed him to grow up and become a man, and solve his own problems - which I feel are worlds apart from solving his problems......but everyone needs a hand UP sometime. And that hand - just like yours has been mine.

    The times I've picked to help my kid? Havent' all panned out to be the way I thought it would be.....and I've gotten a lot better at detaching from what I know to be helping and enabling. So I'm very happy to read how you explained your life and your assistance....because there IS a good time to lend our kids a hand - When they are willing to help themselves. And when they are not - When they want us to do it all FOR them. Knowing the difference and knowing when we can do those things....for them - and at what age and time in their life - sure makes you feel a lot better about YOURSELF doesn't it?

    Well good on you and GOOD on your kid. And great for the cats. WOW - I hope someday to hear that she's bounced all the way back to how you remember her...I think when she starts living her life for HERSELF? It's going to be a more beautiful day than anyone imagined.

    Hugs & Love
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, she is making great strides. The living opportunity sounds like a perfect fit . . . and she even gets to keep her cats!

    I will keep my fingers crossed the that the progress continues.

  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is just amazing. For both of you! I am so glad she moved, even if it was not her doing...these folks did not sound like a healthy emotional situation. I hope she can stay where she is for a while and keep moving forward. Congratulations on all the amazing personal growth. Really, really, something else.....smile.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all for your kind and supportive words. You all know, more then anyone else, just how lonely a road this can be, parenting our difficult child's, even when they improve and it looks good, others have long ago given up on them. Sigh.

    CJ, thank you, I have acknowledged my daughter a number of times, she deserves it and needs it too. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Star, yes, thank you for really hearing me. That little voice on the other end of the phone still rings in my ears and tears at my heart. I hope and pray that she has moved out into some new life, so I am cautiously optimistic, and yet, as we all know quite well here on this board, with a difficult child ANYTHING can happen. And, yes, I do feel good about myself, I'm happy I helped her and gave her a lift out of the hole she was in. At different times in life, I think we ALL need that. I've been fortunate in that I have had others help me at exactly the right time, so I pray that that time has come for my daughter too.

    Kathy and Buddy, thank you for your words of encouragement, it means so much. I've taken a deep breath and resumed my life now, I hope my difficult child is resuming hers too. THANK YOU!!!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sending good wishes, love, and prayers (if you accept them) that all continues to go well. Some of them DO make it and I wish, so very much, that this is the final turning point for her!