Words Cannot Begin To Describe

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Jen, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Jen

    Jen New Member

    I am so physically, and mentally discouraged. I am so disppointed with where my life is, and my children. I know we have all been there, and we all say what did we do to deserve this? I really beleive I have been living my H-- on earth.
    I have good support from family and friends but I just cannot shake this.

    My difficult child son continues to be a disappointment. He is trying to be responsilbe in work, but everything else he is not still over shadows it. Irresponsible in paying bills, keeping up things at home, not taking care of tasks at hand. I see it, I here it, and it makes me sick and so" I want out of this place attitude".

    Then there is my 21 yo easy child daughter that WAS my pride and joy that is so hormonally off kilter, and I beleive depressed, adngry, irresponsible that has chosen to go into the Army and leave behind her husband, and 2 yr.old son with us.

    I dont care what age they are now, adn how they are responsible for themselves, I still feel it is a reflection upon us as parents. If I would have known then what I know now, I would never had children. This isnt how it may look to someone else, it is how it makes me feel, and how so tired I am. Never thought in a heartbeat...

    I am so tired of putting up a fake front as if all is well. I am tired of complaing to Doctors, that dont want to here it, adn I feel slighted because"Oh I am not to feel this way cause I am a nurse". They dont say this to me, I just feel this way.

    I feel I have done good things in my life and never get acknowledged, li8ke being "Black balled"

    I feel the only thing I have control of or have a right to is the feelings I am having. Dont call it being depressed, because it is so situational, I cant even own this.

  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Jen, I am sorry you are feeling so low. With our difficult child's it is all about baby steps. You so are right that it often seems like changes either never happen or they are so miniscule the good is just obliterated by the bad. As far as your depression being situational goes...well yes it probably is but that is no reason to not seek out help. Yu say yu cannot own the problems that surround your difficult child. Can you own yourself? You do have a responsibility to you. You can get to a happier place in your life even with nothing changing on the difficult child front. Please reconcider getting help. You owe it to yourself. You deserve happiness and it is possible even in your situation. While life with a difficult child is never ideal it doesn't have to be a living hell all the time. (((HUGS))) -RM
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    You sound so wrapped up in the decisions your kids are making. Nothing they do is a reflection on you. You cant take credit when they do good things so you dont have to take the lumps when they make a bad choice. Its all on their shoulders. Thats the nice part of having adult kids. Yes we can be proud of them but we dont have to bear their burdens any longer.

    Cory makes quite a few bad decisions but I dont feel anything he does is a reflection of me. I dont hang my head or hide because he is being a jerk. I may shake my head at some of his antics but he has to deal with them.

    Jamie has done stuff that makes me proud but I cant own any of that either. It was his moments in sun. I was on the sideline just proud to know that I had raised him. It wasnt about me.

    Once they grow up it becomes all about them. They move on and we take a backseat to their lives. We move on with our lives. They shouldnt be so intertwined.

    If you are so depressed and upset about your kids decisions and life that you cannot deal with it, you need to step back and detach from the daily drama. They will handle things...or not. But its up to them now. Your job is done.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I don't know if this will help but when my adult children are doing something that I don't like (and both are not making me particularly happy right now) I think about my relationship with my mother.

    If I do something stupid at 52 it certainly has nothing to do with my mother at this point. My mother finished raising me many years ago and at this point I own my decisions ~ good and bad.

    And so it continues with the next generation. I have finished raising my children. I did the best I could and tried to be a good role model. I taught them right from wrong and offered them tools they need to be successful.

    Now, it's on them. Anything they do, right or wrong, good or bad, successful or not, depends on them.

    Step back and let them live their lives. Shake your head and bite your lip but know that what they do at this point is a reflection on them ~ not you.

  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I am also 52 and I do the same thing! I think of my mom and how nothing I do is a reflection on her. I also think of how I was as a 17 yr old and the dumb things I did and how I was not giving my mother a second thought except maybe to be sure she didn't find out what I was doing!

    You and Janet both gave excellent advice, so true. They are now adults and we did the best we could. Also, it isn't even fair to them to not let them own their own lives--it is a burden to have to live your life trying to meet someone else's expectations or trying to please someone else all the time. My best friend's mother is so attached to her and invested in her life that my friend feels smothered. I have always appreciated that my own mother made it clear that she was her own person and her happiness did not depend on me or my siblings and whether we were successful or not, happy or not, etc. She is a very caring person but I don't have to worry that when my life is not so great that she will be miserable because of it.

  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    What your children are doing is not a reflection of you. My 20 year old son is a recovering heroin addict and believe me he didn't get his behaviors by following our examples. It took me a long time, but I know now that they were his choices he made for his own reasons and he has to own those choices, not me. I never did heroin, I never stole and pawned my parents belongings and stole every cent my brother made growing up and I certainly didn't teach my son to do these things.

    I hope you can see that you didn't cause where your children are, they chose it.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference, Amen!!

    This seems to be something many of us need this week.
  7. AliceLee

    AliceLee New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Kathy813</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think about my relationship with my mother.

    If I do something stupid at 52 it certainly has nothing to do with my mother at this point. My mother finished raising me many years ago and at this point I own my decisions ~ good and bad.


    Thanks, Kathy for this perspective...I never really thought about applying this "logic" that we all use from time to time to our own relationships with our parents! I think this will definitely be helpful to remember the next time I'm thinking that I have in some way caused difficult child to make the decisions that she does.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm another one who looks at my own relationship with my Mom and grandma for guidance with my grown kids. And it really does help to view it that way.

    What I do or say now is no reflection on who raised me. I am a seperate being with my own mind, intelligence, and will. It was up to me to follow the path I was taught as a child. And so I look at it that way with my own kids.

    You have a right to the way you feel. And you also have a right to be happy. You may not want to believe what you're feeling is depression. And maybe it isn't. But I can tell you that I felt pretty much the same way you're describing when I was depressed. And you're right, it is he-- on earth. Depression distorts our view on what is going on around us.

    I hope you go to the doctor and ask for help with the way your feeling. You deserve to be happy, Jen.

  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Jen, I agree with the others. My heart aches for your pain. Somehow or other I wish for you to learn and ACCEPT that your children's actions are NOT a reflection on you.

    I still don't understand why you see your daughter's enlistment as a bad thing. I guess that since I come from a military background (my Dad was a career Marine) I see enlisting as an honorable decision to join an honorable profession. There are many thousands of women who are military when their husbands are not. It offers a decent wage, great benefits, job training and a future for many who didn't have those opportunities before. I do hope you come to terms with this and support your daughter's decision whether you agree with it or not.

    But good or bad, your kids' decisions are theirs. I hope that you can find something to give your life some other direction...another challenge (in a good way)...some FUN...and if you can't, I hope that you will find the resources via medication or therapy or personal support to help you have a better quality of life.

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I agree wholeheartedly on your daughter enlisting in the service. I have two nieces who were in the SC National Guard who both got called up to serve in Iraq and both left husbands and kids behind while doing this. They both served one over 8 years and one 10. One earned quite a good college education thanks to that. The other is a happy stay at home mom now. I think the one with a college education is working on her MBA now.
  11. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Jen, are you raising the two year old until Mom returns?

    And is your daughter's husband living with you, too?


    Now, here is something interesting. MY mother very much reflects and takes her sense of self, negatively or positively, based on how the lives of her children are going. It is the same with her sisters, my aunts.

    And then? There is this kind of competition between my mother and her sisters.

    When we brought our daughter in for the first time, my mother's immediate comment was "Well (long and drawn out)...I guess you weren't such a good mother after all, were you."

    It was a devastating comment for a mother to make in that situation, and it set the tone for all the years to come. What I said was that no, I must not have been a good mother, of course.

    Anyone recognize that from my posts?!? :hammer:

    Jen, what did your mother say or seem to think about what was happening to your children?

    Is that what is fueling this sense of hopelessness now?

    Is whether or not our mothers took their senses of self from our accomplishments (good or bad) the difference between those of us who cannot seem to shake the depression that attends having difficult child children and those of us able to gain perspective and move on?

    This is an incredible post, Jen ~ and for me, it could not have come at a better time.

  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This was a quick quote that I thought was applicable for this thread:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. ~ Anne Frank </div></div>

  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    If your daughter is leaving the responsibility for her 2 year old
    (or even the oversight of her 2 year old) in your hands, then it
    is NOT a patriotic duty that she is responding to. She may feel
    warm and fuzzy about serving her country BUT her kid needs her more than the armed forces does! She is a cop out!

    Situational depression sounds accurate. I can relate. DDD
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Maybe I missed that, D3. The daughter has a husband who could/should be caring for their child. I read that sentence differently, I guess?

  15. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Jen - I'll start by saying been there done that.

    When our difficult child surprised us and came clean last year, we spent a lot of time wondering what we did wrong. How we screwed up. I still spend more time than I should worring about that. Personally, I think that if you're human and normal, then it's natural to to look back and and ask "why"? If you're a parent and you're normal, it's natural to feel responsible for the ultimate outcome of your children's lives.

    I can find a million reasons of my own making for my two difficult child's problems. My dear, dear wife spent endless months asking that question - "what did I do wrong?". And we don't have an answer, probably because there isn't one. The feeling of failure can break your heart and your spirit, especially if you're still in the middle of that sad play and have to watch it through, not knowing the outcome.

    But as others have reminded me here, at some point you can only provide guidance, and only if its wanted. I'm still new to this whole thing (my easy child son morphed into a difficult child overnight for us), but I'm learning quickly that I can only control how I react. For me, that means good therapy, good medications, improving the bond with my lovely wife, and trying to keep the lines open with difficult child. He'll either respond or he won't, but I can't control that. All I can do is love, keep the doors open, and try to find some way to get through the day with my sanity.

    Are there things in your life that you can look on with pride? Are there reminders that you can show yourself that not all is bad, that some good remains? I had an episode of depression in college where I continually had my heart broken by a succession of girls. Felt like a fool, felt like a failure, felt like dying. But then I started reading the letters from my friends back home, friends who cared for me and saw the good in me that I didn't see in myself. I eventually thumbtacked those letters to the corkboard in front of my desk at the dorm, so every time I sat down to study I saw reminders that not all was lost.

    I also learned that my moods were affected by the time of day (nightime was worst), and where I was (alone in the dorm was really bad). I coped by not being alone whenever possible, visiting friends or studying in the library, anything to keep me away from those situations that deepened my sense of dispair. Coping skills.

    Do you have anything like that in your life? I bet if you looked you could find lots of evidence of success, goodness, and love. Also my dad was an ER doctor, and I know that docs and nurses are trained to compartmentalize their feelings - otherwise they couldn't deal with many of the situations they end up in. That's good and bad. Don't do to yourself what you have to do for other people at work. It's like an overpressurized bottle, and will eventually come out and cause damage (I watched my Dad break down and go to the hospital for two weeks for just that reason).

    My humble suggestion is to find ways of reminding yourself that the road hasn't been all bad, and see if you can avoid or mitigate situations that cause or enhance the bad feelings.

    As my pastor says, "Hope always remains, even unto death and beyond. You have but to look for it."

  16. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Jen.....I hear more frustration in this post than other's you have written.

    Granted your difficult child son is not what you had hoped he would be. Welcome to that club. Isn't that why your here also?

    Your easy child daughter? well, if she joined the service...something must be going ok. It's now up to her to finish her training and get to that first assignment.

    If you are kindly offerring room and board to her husband and your grandchild, well I hope they are thanking you by contributing to your household bills. Your son-in-law should be working and parenting his child. He should be assisting with the running of the household and sharing expenses. If not...then you really should have a talk with him.

    We've all been on that wagon of shoulda, coulda, woulda. It's over now...our difficult child's are grown somewhat....we can only guide and offer suggestions when asked.

    Please don't take on anyone else's responsibility or their burdens. Yes you may be having situational depression, it can also advance to something else. There is no shame in talking to a psychiatrist and taking medications for it.

    When are you and your hubby taking another vacation? You too seem to travel frequently. How is hubby handling all of this?