Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scent of Cedar *, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Our 14 year old granddaughter is living with her aunt. (The sister of the male who beat difficult child daughter almost two weeks ago, now, and left her for dead.) The 14 year old is picking up in school, pulling her grades up. According to the aunt, granddaughter's attitude has changed 100%. I received a call from granddaughter last night, asking me to encourage her mom, my difficult child daughter, to sign the temporary custody forms so granddaughter could take Driver's Ed, and could do other things that require the signature of a legal guardian. Granddaughter sounded like a different girl than she has, in the past months while under her mother's (and her father's) influence.

    difficult child daughter's response to her own daughter is that she intends to bring her family back together, and that granddaughter will be leaving the aunt's home before Christmas. This is horrible in and of itself, but is more horrible still when you understand that there is a certain amount of money which goes to the person who has legal custody of this child.

    I am so disgusted and ashamed of difficult child daughter I could spit. At the same time, I feel disloyal. I remember Recovering fought for custody of her own grandchild, and that was the right thing....

    I think I am advising difficult child daughter correctly.

    The aunt cleaned the apartment of difficult child and the man who abused her. She found crushed pills, needles, and booze bottles.

    I called Social Services. Their policy is to reunite mother and child. I explained the backstory. There are no exceptions to their policy of reuniting mother and child. The social worker suggested that we continue to be supportive. She did give me the number of family intervention for the county granddaughter is in.

    I am adding things as I reread before posting. Hope not too confusing.

    I called difficult child. No answer. Sent her a FB, asking her to allow granddaughter to stay with her aunt. Not even permanently, but temporarily, for the sake of the child. Without addressing that issue at all, difficult child daughter sent me pictures taken of her in the hospital right after the beating.

    And though it was shocking, expecting to have received some kind of response about the custody thing and being confronted with those horrible pictures instead...all at once I could see, so clearly, just what Recovering Enabler had told me was going on when my daughter would tell me, in excruciating detail, when someone had hurt her.

    Just as those pictures, those horrible pictures of an unrecognizable difficult child were sent instead of the response about the custody thing I was expecting to shock and horrify me...so are the stories of abuse meant to shock and horrify and punish me.

    I was a nurse.

    I have seen worse.

    Car crashes, terrible surgeries, festering wounds that will not heal and eventually, kill the patient.

    So, difficult child's pictures didn't affect me as she had hoped. If that was her intention. I am not sure why I believe such terrible things. But it does seem that difficult child daughter...I don't know.

    I just talked to difficult child. She says she will sign the temp custody form.

    What I am telling myself now is that I knew this was not going to be pleasant. I spoke to the aunt, and to granddaughter, this morning, too. I believe this is the right thing. And, as we all say here all the time, it is the situation that is impossible. There is not going to be a good outcome. But we do need to take the responsibility we have to make whatever choices are ours to make. Right or wrong, I believe I made the right choice for my granddaughter.

    difficult child daughter was crying, angry, hurt. Tells me everyone is turning their backs on her. I encouraged her to think about the situation as temporary. To see it as letting the kids stay in their stable places for now, and for her to have these months to herself to heal, here with us.

    difficult child daughter began making veiled references to suicide.


  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh my..........Things are heating up now Cedar.............sending a prayer for all of you.........

    I got temporary guardianship for my granddaughter because I wrote all of the paperwork and expressed my concern that my granddaughter was in danger, at minimum of neglect. I was told that would never happen, but in the court room when the judge read my words, he granted me temporary guardianship. I then applied for permanent. I wanted my daughter out of the picture because I thought she might take my choice to take my granddaughter out on her own daughter if she had access to her.

    It is difficult to believe that there are NO exceptions to reunification in the state you are talking about. Unbelievable.

    I felt disloyal too Cedar. But geez, there are children hanging in the balance here...........Within a short time, I got over that feeling and realized I did the right thing. You are doing the right thing too.

    The pictures were a game changer Cedar, now the BIG GUNS are coming out. She will threaten and try to do whatever she can to get you to come back.................hold on Cedar, this could get even more bumpy. If she is using needles and pills and alcohol, you are now engaged in a relationship with the drugs. Do not give in to them.

    One thing that happens too Cedar is that all the suffering and pain that your daughter has brought to your doorstep is now in it's rightful place, on her doorstep. If she is ever going to choose LIFE over where she is, this will be the beginning of that choice. Stay strong. I'm glad you are seeing how she uses your feelings and guilt to get what she wants. It's an ugly, ugly realization for us parents, but Cedar, it is the truth.............and that is what will set you free from this nightmare................

    Your daughter needs to now face the reality of the choices she has made..............the consequences............real life.

    I am sorry you are going through this, but now you can see what is really happening here. Your granddaughter deserves a chance to have her life away from her mother.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I could hear you saying something similar in my head this morning Recovering, as I was talking to my daughter about signing those papers for the sake of her daughter.

    Harsh as it sounds, and painful as it is to acknowledge it...you are right about the pain our daughter feels coming round to the only person who can change any of this. That is a life saving thought for me, Recovering. I don't think I could have seen through my own discomfort to have thought that for myself. I am going to go and tell husband. (Who, now that we are actually starting to feel human again, has been out Christmas shopping and came so happily home to tell me he found the canoli I wanted. :O) It was as he was showing me the frozen clams and fresh grouper that his angry face came back. I will post about his response to your comment.)

    Your comments have given me strength and clarity, Recovering.

  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    It sounds like your daughter can't provide a stable environment for herself much less her child and what is important is that grand daughter is safe. The beating itself is proof that the people your daughter associates with are not "safe"...

    I would bounce the pictures back to her and ask if grand daughter was with her and her friends who use drugs how can she guarantee this isn't going to happen to grand daughter? Then I would add so what is your decision is she allowed to grow up and learn to drive or not? (or gonna continue to use grand daughter as a pawn in some stupid game?)

    Right now your daughter is being selfish and trying to latch onto grand daughter like a security blanket or meal ticket or both; and trying to play your "mom heart" against you to get what she wants. Stay strong keep posting and know we are all here for you always,

  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just a thought Cedar............once difficult child daughter signs the guardianship papers and you are clear granddaughter is safe...............it may be prudent for you to really think through your thoughts to bring your daughter to your home. She is a substance abuser stuck in that lifestyle big time. Perhaps making her somehow responsible for herself by a commitment of no drugs or alcohol while in your home. If she can make that commitment, even verbally to you, then if she breaks it, you have that broken boundary/rule to use as a reason for her to tow whatever line you and husband feel is the necessary next step.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is true, Recovering. I don't want to see that addiction piece...but I am going to have to look at that long and hard. difficult child daughter vehemently denies drug use. She does admit to infrequent alcohol abuse. Explains evidence found in the apartment as material brought in by the male after difficult child daughter had been hospitalized.


    And, though it was difficult? At the same time, it was incredibly right.

    Recovering's comment on the pain coming full circle was especially helpful. I cannot face difficult child suffering without leaping to change the situation.

    I feel blessed to have this site, and all of you.

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Ah Cedar. What a hard place. Not allowed to detach because there is your grand daughter. That is hard.

    One thing i've come to see with difficult child's is that today's 'my life is ending' crisis becomes tomorrows old story. I hope that that is what happens with your difficult child. She'll let this issue go. Your grand daughter will be in a better place a little longer.

    I get it about the pictures. She has to draw the focus back to her, to her own suffering. You've seen that for what it is now. Seeing that behavior will help protect you, be part of your armamenarium. You are stronger for knowing, and your grand daughter is in a good place
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I feel like such a poop, thinking about my own daughter the way I do. Surely, this can't be true.

    And yet, it is true. I had just posted to someone about the manipulative behaviors of his own child. It was so easy to see it, even in just a few sentences. There is a part of me that is violently opposed to seeing any of this. I feel like I am being knock-out punched.

    Interesting to note that my initial reaction is guilt. I understand that is not rational. But somewhere inside, this too feels like my fault.

    This must be one of those times we just need to sit there with the feelings until we can accept them.

    I made a decision a little earlier to choose a different emotion than tight and anxious. That worked pretty well, actually.

  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar my friend, that is what all the therapists called the FOG. I had all of those same feelings too, seeing who my daughter was and recognizing that SHE was making all of those choices took me awhile.

    This is NOT YOUR FAULT.

    Yes, sitting with the feelings is a good plan.

    I saw your post on another thread that you're a slow learner, well Cedar, when it comes to our kids, perhaps it could be said that we are all slow learners. Facing the truth and giving up our illusions of how we not only want it to be............... but facing reality can be so ugly that we just can't wrap our minds around it.

    In my parent group the therapist always told us, "you get there when you get there, there is no right or wrong, there is no game plan to follow that moves you into detachment easily." We have to go through the steps to pull ourselves out of the illusion, the FOG, so that we can see clearly things we DO NOT want to see. We parents can have a very strong investment in not seeing the truth because it involves not only who our kids are, but who we believe ourselves as parents to be too. It's a lot of "illusionectomies!"

    Rather then judge yourself, really feel compassion and kindness towards yourself and husband, you guys have been through a long war and I'm sure you are weary and wounded.............but as you posted yesterday, you are also feeling cleaner, stronger and steadier...........and that will continue and each day............ you will feel better.

    How is husband faring now? You mentioned he was smiling about the cannoli............is he feeling stronger and steadier too?

    Has your daughter signed the temp. guardianship papers yet? Has she upped the ante more?

    As always, I am thinking of you and sending you all kinds of good vibes............
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is helpful...........

  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Morning, Recovering :O)

    husband is picking up, too. I always tell him when you ask about him. I think he likes that. Men can be so stubborn about telling anyone the hard parts of their lives. Knowing that he is being thought of and asked about and considered with compassion and understanding has been so helpful to him.

    So, the magic of what happens, here on the site, works even if the person needing comfort and clarity is only receiving those gifts second hand.


    difficult child daughter does seem to have upped the ante, Recovering. She has gone no contact. husband and I were discussing, last night. If she has gone back to the streets, or if she has been hurt or whatever...all the more reason for us to have stuck to our guns regarding granddaughter's living arrangements.

    For those reading along? I would like you to know that detaching from the emotional blackmail that is enabling gets easier, once you are able to see that link between enabling and the adult child continuing to fall. All at once, I am seeing a cold eyed manipulation, where before I saw a helpless child, crying to be saved. It's a strange, strange feeling. I question that part of myself that seems to have come awake and that refuses to see anything but what is really going on. Truly, I am so shocked at what I see in my children. It is just as Recovering, and on other threads, MWM, Janet, Nancy, and everywoman have been telling us. Hard to see, impossible to acknowledge ~ but boy, once you choose to see it for what it really is? It is so easy to change it.

    difficult child daughter will probably need help to start over. The difference here is that if she goes back to the streets this time? Instead of falling apart, I am going to know that she would have done the same thing eventually, whatever we did.

    If she has gone back to the streets? husband and I will feel we have dodged a bullet.

    Thanks to each of you, and especially, to you Recovering, for staying the course with me.

  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Top of the mornin' to you too Cedar.........

    I am glad to hear husband is picking up too. I had such a strong visual of his smiling face above the cannoli and the angry face above the Grouper...............it was so real............our kids bring out so many emotions.............sigh............

    You may recall quite a number of our kids going no contact. For me with my daughter, it lasted a few months...............I do believe that once they are clear that none of their many manipulations and horror stories work.............they need their own time to regroup. She may surface with a new and improved version of a high intensity drama so she can use it to make you feel responsible again............or she may really stay away while she attends to her fractured life. The most important thing I think, is that you and husband stay strong and keep seeing the truth.

    If your daughter needs help to recover it really should be under completely different circumstances in which you don't supply any money while she is out there on the streets, but only if she is in a program or has in some MAJOR way made you deeply understand that she has changed and needs help to get back on her feet. Not help to continue being on the streets. You said she was going to go to a shelter up north, she could still be doing that, correct? She is probably so angry at you and husband that she will be stomping around for awhile. Good. Let her. I don't think either of your kids should come to your home unless they are in a completely different head space and you and husband are strong enough to keep up the detachment. Let's face it, adults of their ages usually don't want to live with their parents, so hopefully, they will grow up and WANT to be on their own.

    Cedar, you are so welcome. Being a part of your story has been very healing for me. It gives all of the suffering... meaning................if I can make some difference in your journey, then mine has meaning, it wasn't just me suffering...............

    ..............and, it connects us here.............all of us parents who are struggling, in such pain about our kids choices..........we find solace and compassion and the strength to go on............it's like SO's stories about being in Germany during the Vietnam War, how all those guys, 21 years old, away from home, joined in a unique circumstance...........those guys still communicate on FB, almost 50 years later................they shared a connection which bonded them forever............this stuff here is a human experience that is unique ............and we find, thank goodness........... that we are not alone..........and there is so much power and strength in that..............

    .........so thank you Cedar, for including me and the rest of us on your journey.........
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This was shared with with us at a NAMI meeting and I found it very powerful. I read it often to help keep myself from fixing things in my difficult child's life.

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar both you and Recovering make me want to be stronger. I am actually able now to see difficult child for what and who he is. I simply accept what I cannot change. I love him and its nice to see him once in awhile but I feel no need to try to fix his problems now. I think he went so far over any lines I could have drawn that it was easier for me to step away. It is more difficult with the kids involved but I am not getting too involved in that. I have my relationship that is very strong with the oldest and will keep her out of any issues but Im not taking on the younger one. If there are problems then someone other than me can step in.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In reference to some of our childhoods...........
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Janet, that's great! I feel so much better, even when I am not making a decision. When I had a decision to make (re: granddaughter and who to support) I did it, talked to difficult child daughter more than once about it without backing down, and did not suffer so much about what I had done, afterwords. Usually, I am sick about whatever I have done, just sick about the whole situation.

    I hope we can both stay in this place, Janet. It is true that the kids up the ante when we withdraw from the drama...it doesn't seem to affect me in the same way, though.
    It's like I can see so clearly now that they are making choices I should not have to pay for. Well, I am being a little bit of a big shot, now. We'll see what happens when she really needs something....

    I am happy for you. (And for me, too.) Do you think some of the emotional ups and downs you have been experiencing lately have been exacerbated by the underlying emotional stress of difficult child son? I cannot believe the number of times in the day that I don't experience that horrible anxiety response when I think about my kids. It seems like I just wish them well and that's all there is to it.

    Really, still very strange.

  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member



    I have been reworking so many things in my past, Recovering. I am seeing everything, every single thing, so differently, now. It's the same stuff, but I seem larger, brighter, full of breath and color. I have a little perspective, now.

    It's a very strange difference.

    I am still so surprised by how little any of it hurts me. I see the things that should hurt (talking about my sister, here)...but it just seems that she should be able to do whatever she wants to. I'm good with that. I just want her to know that I know what she's doing. I don't think I am angry. I don't miss her because, as husband is so quick to remind me, there was nothing real there to miss.

    Mostly, I'm surprised.

    It seems to have been easy. It keeps being easy. So far, nothing bad has happened. Looking back, the bad things that happened had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with who my sister wants everyone (mostly herself, because she is the only one being fooled) to believe she is.

    I like the way I see things, now. I am calmer in every area of my life. Even driving, I notice a difference.

    What to hay, right?

    Have you found the same kinds of things, Recovering? I know you chose to relive some very scary places and times, too.

    Part of this is that my anger is right there on the surface. But underneath, I am not so angry or stuck on things, anymore.

  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Kathy, that is just how this feels. I read that piece so many times, and thought I understood it. Now, I get it. I have a little way to go, yet.

    I hope I never go back to the way it was.

    It was horrible.

  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some of my pressure is about difficult child but a ton of it is still about Buck even though he isnt here anymore. He is only about 1000 feet away from us as the crow flies. Like he has been in the hospital at least 5 times since he left us with pneumonia or some other disaster that he causes himself. He has started to go to other hospitals than our local one because I think they are catching on to the fact that he is making himself sick to get extra pain medications.

    I have no doubt that the reason he is having pneumonia so much is that he is laying flat on his back in bed taking very high doses of pain medications. If you dont move, fluid will build up. I figure the next thing will be clots in his legs. He heard that I had embolisms in both my legs and my lung when I was so sick with the meningitis and couldnt walk at all. Im actually beginning to worry about my legs now. Im having a lot of pain in them which makes it difficult for me to get around much but I do make sure I walk around the house at least and I also have doctor's appts and have to go out about 3 or 4 times a week. I know from him living here that he would lay around and do nothing for days on end. When all this happens everyone expects Tony to come to the rescue. I told Tony to pretend he didnt exist and see how everyone fended then. No go.

    Of course the stress of having Buck in our lives for so long is taking me a long time to get over too.
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's good Janet that you got to this point. I think most of us wait until our kids cross the line in huge ways before it gets easier for us to step away. I also understand how you feel about not making a strong connection with the younger grandchild too. This is a tough path for sure, but.................we're doing it.............