Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by scent of cedar, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    There have been some changes (not good ones) over the past week or so. I think I know where I need to stand emotionally to cope, but I need a little strengthening / validation.

    Daughter was mandated into a dual diagnostic treatment facility in February. Lithium and Zyprexa were begun. For daughter, this phase of treatment would have continued until mid-April, at which point she would have been assigned a half-way house for three months to a year. Daughter left the facility AMA on Sunday. She is back in the same city, and with the same people, she sought out when all this started. The bright spot here is that the kids are safely away, and are doing well with their father. My area of weakness, now that I am certain she is with the bad people again (one of them answered the phone last night when I called daughter) is going to be staying out of denial.

    (Just a funny joke for a minute. You may have already heard it. Here goes: "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." :O) I think that is so hilarious! I don't remember who said it.)


    The thing is that daughter can tell me things that aren't true, and I give her the benefit of the doubt every single time. Even when I know better, I continue to funnel money and time and energy toward her. Not only do I not confront her, but I seem to convince myself that she has made correct judgments about how these people have changed, and how they are like family to her. (Interchangeable ones, so it seems).

    What I think I SHOULD do now is call my daughter on what she is doing and convince her to go back into treatment if she can. But, we tried to stop her before she ever left. Telling her to go back now isn't going to make any difference. She will just tell me not to worry about her.

    I am calling each evening...but I feel I am being manipulated into position for some plan difficult child has. (It's happened, before. I never even get it that I've been used until the whole thing is over. THEN I get it. I don't even mind, usually. What in the world is the matter with me! I think I need to learn the difference between feeling and acting like a normal mom would, and....

    Huh. There's that denial piece, again.

    So, that seems to be the problem, here. On some level, I am still refusing to believe what is happening is actually happening, for real.

    I am thinking about telling difficult child tonight that her re-involvement with those same people is a deal-breaker for me. *** What I would really like to say, given that we are trying to break through denial here, is that her re-involvement with those people is a freaking betrayal of me, of her father and her children, of everything we've ever done and of every value we hold dear. ***

    An amazing amount of anger there, beneath denial.

    Now I have to go and think about this for awhile.

    Sorry for the babbling and running on. It's so difficult to know what to do, how to think, where to go with all this.

  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Barbara, only you can choose or not choose to enable her actions. For me, i would choose not to enable anything that might harm her or her future.

    So, what is the impact if you believe her or let her think you believe her?
  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thanks, busywend.

    One impact is that I sort of front for her to the rest of the family. I tend to believe in difficult child, and to feel badly things are so confusing for her.

    Here is an example: Last summer, difficult child moved from another state. I would stay with she and the kids on days difficult child was working. When difficult child had consecutive days off, I would go home again, so she and the kids could adjust to their own routines without me there as a buffer. During one three day stint when I had gone home again, we didn't hear from difficult child. When I returned to her home, there was evidence of a party. Nothing wrong with that, except that, while difficult child told me it was two or three of her friends who had come to do laundry (danger signal right there, as laundry doesn't take overnight), my thirteen year old granddaughter was thoroughly disgusted with whatever had gone on. I did call difficult child on it, and on the people involved in it. But I sort of believed her when she said it was just her good "friends" who have "changed" and who are like "family" to her.

    So I am seeing my own answer. The woman who answered the phone last night is one such "friend". This really IS happening all over again.

    It is.

    The next time difficult child had days off (four days), we got a phone call early on the morning of the third day from an old friend of difficult child's. She had called him, and told him she needed him to come and threaten "meth heads" who had been invited to live with her in her apartment as long as they were clean, and who now would not leave. husband and I had co-signed on the apartment, so WE went and made them leave.

    And I really do think they were meth heads or something like that.

    difficult child's "explanation" was that husband had embarrassed her by yelling at her about having people like that in her home with her children present in front of her friends. Her other "explanation" was that they would have left on their own, even if I had not gone into their room (which she claimed she was afraid to do because of the drug thing) and made them leave. I stayed at difficult child's again, as she needed to work the day after that, anyway. She was quite cool to me, as I was to her. All the warning signs for what was really happening were there, then. husband and I considered calling Social Services for the sake of the kids, then. (We live in another state than difficult child. So, it wasn't just a matter of taking the kids. Two are in school, we don't have legal guardianship, that kind of thing.)

    Anyway. After all this, we believed in difficult child, and continued to help in every way. She was working, seemed to love and enjoy the kids, the kids seemed to trust her...except there were little inconsistencies. Never enough to justify taking that drastic step of calling Social Services.

    Though in retrospect, I should have.

    When it came time for us to go South, difficult child seemed to be doing alright. There is (real) family right in the neighborhood she was living.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Within two weeks of our leaving, difficult child quit her job.

    And headed downhill with a vengeance.

    When we asked real family to check on her, she would answer the door, but not let them in.

    We asked the police to check on her, and on the safety of the kids. Their report was that the kids were present and seemed fine. What they didn't tell us at the time (we have seen the police report since) was that difficult child was intoxicated.

    That is the kind of thing I mean. I never believe it is what it is. It just doesn't seem possible, and I feel like a poop if I think about mistrusting her motives. It seems that I should believe in her, believe the best of her, believe that whatever it looks like now, she will make the right decision. difficult child explained the drinking by saying she needed to drink to sleep. Which could be a part of mania....

    I feel so guilty that we didn't go back this winter when we suspected things were going badly...and what I should be acknowledging is that I feel so angry that difficult child did what she did that I can't look at it.

    THAT is what I don't want to know. THAT is where the denial comes in, right? I am so blindingly angry I'm practically speechless and yet, I feel that if I display that to difficult child, she might...what. Do what she's done and is doing, again?

    So, it's a control issue then, isn't it?

    I seem to be hanging on to the illusion of control. Like, "Boy, if I ever tell difficult child what I think of her for what she's done and is doing, she'll stop! She'll be damaged, because I'm the mom and I'm supposed to believe in her, but at least, she will stop what she's doing.

    Could that be it?

    Because, here's the thing. The nasty little truth I never want to admit is that, while an improperly prescribed medication could, indeed, push a person into mania and then, depression...difficult child probably moved back to begin with to be with the people she sought out even before she found her apartment. And we knew that, but we believed her when she said they had changed, and they were her good friends, and she could handle it. With the added piece about the prescribed medication (Cymbalta) having pushed her over the edge.... Like, you can't fault someone for a mental illness, right? But how much of difficult child's reaction might be due to other things she is taking? Drugs. Alcohol. Which, we've learned, were part of the picture, too. Again, the mental illness thing. If she's not responsible, doesn't she need to be protected until she comes back to herself? But...why those people. difficult child's choice of companion has nothing to do with mental illness. Or maybe it does?

    Here's the thing. It does me in to hear desperation in her voice about something bad happening that she didn't expect. I can understand and understand how these things could have happened. BUT. They keep happening. And they are happening again. difficult child's answer for going to this person to help her rent a room (which is where she is living now) is that she left the treatment facility without I.D. This person has I.D. and so, it was possible for difficult child to rent somewhere to live, for now. (difficult child left treatment right after she got her tax return. I never put that piece together either. husband did.) The truth is that family in the area would have done that for difficult child in a heartbeat. She CHOSE to go back to the same people. And you know? I have that same feeling that, somehow, I am being manipulated by difficult child again. She asked me to call the kids' father for her because she didn't have her calling card. What it turned out to be is that the father suspects this whole leaving treatment thing is a disaster waiting to happen, and doesn't WANT to take difficult child's calls.

    I am trying to put a better face on it for difficult child's oldest daughter, too.

    We're all so confused and sort of lost. No one knows how to think about all this, because it seems hopeless.

    It feels like a betrayal to admit, and act on, what now seems to be true. No, on what I now KNOW to be the truth.

    I am rambling all over the place, here. It is helping me to clarify things, though.

    I will try to be more focused in future.

  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Ramble away. Someway, through the rambling, you will arrive at the place you need to be. It is tough to not believe your child---protect your child---but your child is an adult who has put her own children at risk by her behaviors. Even so, she is still your child. It's a tough place to be as a mom. I have finally learned I can love my child but not love his choices. I can love my child enough not to support his unhealthy choices with my time, energy, and money.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Barbara, it takes us mom's quite a while to see the truth when it involves our kids. A therapist I know described it as a FOG we go into when they interact with us, a fog which keeps us safely in the dark, not knowing, not wanting to know and from his point of view, it is part of codependency, allowing another's reality to not only infiltrate ours, but to trump it. Even when we are trying to believe them, there is a part of us that really knows it's "creative truth" at best and of course, it makes you angry, it's insulting and violates our own code of integrity. But to actually admit that our kids out and out lie, manipulate, deceive, demonstrate such poor choices that it defies reason................that's a lot to ask of us. So, we have to lift that lid of our unwillingness to see and look directly in the eyes of someone whom we recognize, but actually don't know..........

    It took me a long time to be able to see the manipulations my daughter directed at me. I realized it had been going on for most of her life, it was our life script, it was the way we interacted. I would look at that now and call it codependency, enabling, rescuing, whatever words you want, but it was not a healthy connection, it was essentially me giving her everything she needed without demanding accountability. It was the opposite of how I grew up in a punitive and fearful environment, I thought if I did the opposite, that would be healthy. But, it wasn't, it is equally as unhealthy. And, my daughter also has mental issues, although not diagnosed, so I wondered about that too, how do you put a challenged person out there on the streets when they need guidance and direction? But, then a person on this board, a mother who is bi-polar said, "mental illness doesn't give you a pass on being responsible for your actions," I started to look at that very differently. Mentally ill folks can be highly intelligent and manipulative so allowing that behavior just serves their illness, it doesn't support the real person.

    You're in a very challenging place, it takes an amazing amount of strength and commitment to be able to see the truth of the situation. It sounds like your daughter is self medicating and is abusing drugs in which case any involvement you have with her will be crazy making and stressful for you and she will use whatever means possible to continue her rampage without you knowing. You both have an investment in not seeing the truth and that is what keeps you stuck in your anger, because you know it's not the truth and yet you allow her to continue. I'm not judging you, I'm just stating what I believe to be the truth because I've lived it. When the masks come off, and the truth is revealed, that's when you both have a possibility of health. But, for you, you can only control your own responses, you cannot control her or her choices, your work is with you, not her.

    In my opinion, the task for you is to take the focus off of your daughter, your grandkids, your husband, everyone else, and put it on YOU. You have the power to change your responses, but that will take work on your part because you have created a groove, a path which you and your daughter just slide on into. Changing that groove will take a commitment because it's hard to do. You will need tools to change into a different groove because the pull to stay in that one is tremendous. Part of that groove is believing her when you know in your heart it's a lie, so you are going against your own truth and that is a spirit killer. Lying to ourselves has consequences, it keeps you up at night, it makes you angry, it brings out lots of resentments.

    I've done ALL of this and more, I think it comes with the territory we live in. It sucks. But, it is what it is. It's the acceptance of that, the knowledge of that deep in our souls that will set us free. I think we accept that one bite at a time because it's all we can tolerate as mothers..........as you once said, it's a personal devastation like no other. It is. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is TRUTH, telling yourself the truth and facing it and accepting it, inch by miserable inch. That adage, the truth will set you free is absolutely true. And, conversely, the lack of truth will keep you in your own prison of deception. Get yourself out of there Barbara.........she is who she is..............you can't change her..............but you can change your responses to her.............I wish you so much peace and surround you with many many hugs.............
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. It is so hard to see what our kids are doing when they are destroying themselves and we cannot understand why they would make those choices. I cannot even fathom how much harder it would be to know your grandkids are in that environment and those types of situations.

    You NEED to focus you YOU. You cannot fix anyone ever except yourself. No matter WHAT you do, you still won't be able to fix anyone else.

    I think you need to work on immersing yourself in therapy, individual, group, and addiction. Why each? Group will help you see that you are not alone, not the only mom who really truly wants good things and keeps trusting even when deep down you know that trust means nothing to the addict in your life. Individual will help you deal with all those feelings you have stuffed down inside you for so long. You need individual therapy to help you access those feelings, and to help you figure out how to handle them. You need addictiont herapy because it makes the whole family sick. Your denial and desperate need to believe your daughter even when deep down you know she is lying to you, well, it s a parent thing and help for families of sub abusers can help you feel less alone, see hwo this started and what all it has taken from you, and help you cope with all of that too.

    It won't be asy, but it will make you the best Barbara you can be, and it will allow you to finally find your own peace and to react from that point of view. It will also hlep you to see how strange your actions can be, and how to help stop that and behave in more reasonable and effective ways.

    I am so sorry she is back Occupational Therapist (OT) her old ways. (((((hugs)))))

    Isn't it time that YOU found some new ways so that her problems can be HER problems and not yours?