You know what's the worse?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GuideMe, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    The unrelenting hell that goes on for year, into decades. Not only from difficult child, but other things in my life. difficult child was just the cherry on top to hammer than final nail into my coffin when she turned 13. Even though she is doing so much better in every way, when she gets into her rage seizures, I wind up feeling the same way. Then the guilt, sorry and anger come into play. It just never ends.
     
  2. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    From your posts, if I am understanding them correctly, what you are describing are the domestic violence cycle - it is just not with a man.
    Domestic Violence Cycle
    Incident

    Any type of abuse occurs (physical/sexual/emotional)
    Tension Building
    Abuser starts to get angry
    • Abuse may begin
    • There is a breakdown of communication
    • Victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm
    • Tension becomes too much
    • Victim feels like they are 'walking on egg shells'
    Making-Up
    • Abuser may apologize for abuse
    • Abuser may promise it will never happen again
    • Abuser may blame the victim for causing the abuse
    • Abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims
    Calm
    • Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
    • Physical abuse may not be taking place
    • Promises made during 'making-up' may be met
    • Victim may hope that the abuse is over
    • Abuser may give gifts to victim


    The cycle can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time in a relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete.

    It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the 'making-up' and 'calm' stages disappear.

    http://www.domesticviolence.org/cycle-of-violence/
     
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually anything can and does get better with time and help. I mean, it CAN get better, but it does require reaching out and working on it. We can learn to cope differently so that we don't get into the same binds over and over again and we can learn to react to the same stuff in a different, healthier way.

    The hell that was once my life has ended for me. But it took a lot of hard work and learning a new way of reacting and thinking about things. I could not have done it alone, although I often augmented my therapy with lots of self-help reading. Don't feel like it doesn't get better. Then it won't. It can and does get better...just takes some time and work on our parts. Look at most of us...in much better places now than we used to be and keep that chin up.
     
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  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    How about, after you have moved and unpacked and taken a week just to unwind, you would make a commitment for yourself? Commitment to do your darnest to get yourself to best possible shape in every way.

    If I remember correctly, you have mentioned on the board you have your own health issues and are on disability. And you have implied your childhood family and background is not the most harmonious and wholesome. And according to your sig you were quite young when you had your difficult child. So I'm guessing that there has never been a time in your adult life when you would had been able to concentrate on your well being. Making the most of the cards that you have been dealt. Now could be that time.

    How about committing to the lifestyle change with one goal in mind, to make you as healthy and functional as possible? Making sure that you have all the basics (healthy diet, enough exercise and mental and social stimulus, enough quality sleep, regular schedule and so on) covered and everything you can do to make your health issues treated or managed. Avoid drama and negativity. Just give half a year or a year to see, how taking really good care of you would change you and your life.

    I believe it wouldn't make your life worse at least.
     
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  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you so much guys for all your responses and they are all so true. What I can't get out of my head is, I am truly at fault for the way my daughter is today. Of course not intentionally, but because I wasn't able to provide her an adequate up bringing, emotionally or financially because of my status. Even though I tried my best, it was no where near enough, plus she had to deal with my mistakes and my emotional unfitness. While it's over for me, it is no where near over for her and that's where all her rage comes from. I don't know what else to do or say to make her happy and to make her forgive me. I am not looking for pity, believe me I am not, I am just looking for a way to heal this , solve this and rectify this and I can find no answers. I think I don't have anything left after dealing with so many rages for such a long time. I know she loves me, there are a lot of nice things she does do for me, but the rages, when they happen, I truly feel like I can't live anymore. I feel like I am very psychologically damaged and I know she feels the same way about herself. This is truly a travesty and truly a nightmare I don't wish upon anyone. I wish God would come in and perform a miracle for us, a true miracle and heal us. Thanks everybody, I needed to vent because she finally left 20 minutes ago, so this was going on for hours, even after your replies.
     
  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member


    I love this, thank you. I am going to read it over and over again until it sinks in.
     
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thing is, you may well have contributed to your daughter's issues (I know I have contributed to my son's issues and I tend to think there are very few, if any, perfect parents out there, who wouldn't had done mistakes.) Maybe you even committed some big screw ups that hurt her. That too happens. But you can't make it better for her. She has to learn to deal with adverse things in her life on her own. Find her way to cope.

    It is appropriate, and healing to both of you, to apologise for mistakes you did. But just remember that you did your best, even if it at some moments that was not enough. And you loved her. Tell her you can't solve her issues or heal the hurt, that if you could, you would, but it is not possible. And advise her to seek counselling to learn to heal herself. Tell her you love her and you are in her corner, but she still has to do that herself. Like you will need to do the work with your issues.

    It may not be fair, but it is how it is.

    And for your own healing, while it is good to see what went wrong, what you would wished you would had done differently, it is also important to learn to be merciful for yourself, forgive yourself.
     
  8. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    GuideMe, I've often thought the way you did- that my own issues in many ways could/were have been damaging to both of my kids.

    Never enough money, procreating with guys who had -0- interest in their children so they grew up without a father at all.

    Family issues on my side, so my kids never had the typical 'grandparent' relationship with my parents.

    We were really and truly on our OWN.

    But you know what I've had to learn as I've gotten older and dare I say, wiser- I did the best I could. I dealt with the hand I had. I tried to do the right thing. I know I did. I sacrificed (as we do) my life to raise my kids. To the extreme - because I concentrated EVERYTHING on them- and didn't maintain friendships like I should have, or socialized or had fun just for me. So now I'm 43 and single and my kids are grown and guess what my life is now....my job. And it stings sometimes.

    But while our issues in raising kids may very well have damaged them in some ways- that does not mean that our children have to be "that". There are too many kids who grow up in abject poverty, with or without abusive caretakers, abuse, etc- and yet- there are so many who 'make it' and thrive.

    I've long told both of my kids that they do NOT have to be a victim of their circumstances. While I did some things wrong and created situations that caused my kids to both have some issues (daddy issues, mainly)- I know that I did some things right too. I'm lucky in that I have two kids, raised in the same house, with the same values - and those stuck on one but not the other. So I have to believe that it's not ME. It's not YOU. She uses the fact that you have guilt over those things to justify her behavior.

    I wish you sunshine and a virtual ((hug))
     
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  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My difficult child is my one and only so in the beginning when the trouble started it was very easy for me to take on all the guilt of what did I do wrong. None of us are perfect parents. A perfect parent is up there with Unicorns and Big Foot, you know a mythological creature. I have some friends that have 4 children, all raised with the same set of parents, stable home, all around nice family. 2 of their kids are out of control and the other 2 are as perfect as you can get. Being a good parent doesn't guarantee perfect kids.
    I certainly did not have an ideal childhood, my bio-father molested me and my sisters and according to statistics, I and my sisters should have all ended up as prostitutes. My sisters and I all have successful lives. Sure we had some bumps on the way but none of us ever played the "blame game". It would have been easy to blame or bio-father for whatever did not go well in our lives but we didn't. Each one of us took responsibility for our own lives. It's so much easier to blame someone else for what's going wrong than it is to look inward and see behavior that needs to change.
    What happens to us in our childhood does not dictate the rest of our life unless we allow to.
    Own what is yours, forgive yourself, forgive others and do your best to live your life, be grateful and happy.
     
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tanya, I really think your post is excellent and true. My kids have really had bad luck in the abuse department. My oldest daughter was raped at age eight, which still makes me feel like throwing up every time I think about it. Worse, she didnt' tell anyone because the grown man who did it said he'd know if she did and he'd kill her and her family and make her watch it before he killed her. He also told her nobody would believe her anyway. She sat on that until she was fourteen, long after there was any way to know who he was...he was a visitor at a party that her friend's parents threw and they didn't remember everyone who had been there so many years later. At first, Daughter self-destructed because of that, my older son's abuse of her in other ways, our divorce, her shyness, many reasons...but something inside of her was a survivor and she decided one day to stop the drugs, even the cigarettes and it has now been ten plus years, a long term relationship, her own house, paying for her own school, and a baby later and she is chosing to LIVE. Her life was not the best. She was also adopted, which is always another kink such as "Why was I given up?" But she is not only living, she chose to thrive.

    My two younger kids were sexually abused by an older child we adopted. The abuse was hideous and long term. Both of these kids have never done anything bad to anyone else in their lives. They are both thriving and, even more amazing, beloved by all. I can't count how many times strangers have come up to me and my husband to rave about my fantastic two grown children. One has autism. He is so brave, he is my hero. The other has LDs, but overcame them and is in school for criminal justice. She has always had a way with people and is such a kind young women and our pride and joy. They were both adopted too.

    The one problem child, ongoing, is our biological son who never had anything reallyl bad happen to him and who is entitled, judgmental, can be very, very mean, can get violent, has stolen, has alienated everyone in the family, has no friends, looks down his nose at anyone who may not make a lot of money and that is all backwards. He was a wanted child. Planned. He was doted on for six years alone. He was bright. And from infancy, he was clearly not your normal kid. He liked to hurt other kids and was not a sweet little kid. He was actually a bully and always in passive-aggressive type trouble. Although he was smart, his teachers despised him and my phone rang constantly. I tried getting him help and he never responded to it, including a stint in the hospital.

    How our kids turn out does not make sense. We can have many kids, like I do, and they can all be very different. I believe it is more nature than nurture. My family genes are not good, including mine. After my son, it is puzzling to me that I even wanted other kids, but I did. Just not any of my own DNA. It turned out to be a good decision.

    Do not blame yourself. Nurture is a part, but nature is in my opinion (and in the opinion of many in the psychiatric community) even stronger than nurture. Nurture is a part. Nature is the core. Many adopted kids are so much like their biological parents that don't meet until they are twenty or thirty that it is astonishing. Because of my experience with the adoption community, I have learned how strong nature is. I probably blame myself less for difficult child's behavior than most do. I don't look back at "What did I do wrong?" I did things wrong, but nothing that would justify a person who is as callous as my difficult child. However, many of my DNA relatives are just as callous as he is, even though we don't get along well and he has barely had contact with most of them. When I do feel guilty, and it happens, it is more like this: "Why was I so stupid to risk my DNA and give birth to a child? It's not like I was unaware of how crazy my DNA collection is...poor kid never had a chance." I have never stopped beating myself up over this. I was never naive or fooled that my family was in any way normal or that I didn't have problems too. So this is still an issue for me in the guilt department...I caused it by choosing to give birth. It's a tough one.
     
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  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GM, as you can see, many of us, who are older than you, have come out of similar circumstances, of abuse, neglect, dysfunctions of all different kinds.......we are mostly ALL wounded in some ways, some more than others................what ends up being important is how you perceive it........rather then self cruelty and blame for all you didn't do..........it makes a huge difference to start to let go of the blame and recognize, that we humans are not perfect, we ALL make mistakes and not one of us is a perfect parent because there is no such thing. We do our best. And, as Maya Angelou said, when you know better you do better. End of story.

    Beating yourself up is not going to serve anyone, especially you. What will help to bring you more happiness and well being is to learn to be kind to yourself and to forgive yourself for all real and imagined wrongdoings. You did your best. That's all any of us can do.

    Your daughter has mental issues and much of her raging may indeed be coming from that, as opposed to anything you did or didn't do. My father was an undiagnosed bi-polar rage-a-holic .....it was like growing up in an asylum, my siblings and I all coped in our different ways.........I sought out therapy and nourished a deep spirituality from a young age, both of which gave me my sanity and taught me about compassion for myself.

    I see the challenges in life as lessons. Lessons to learn to love, accept and honor the Self. Lessons to be able to see who we really are, above our own negative thoughts about ourselves.

    Many of us suffer from poor self concepts and it is not a life sentence, you can learn different ways to care for yourself and let go of guilt, shame, blame and the pain that goes along with it. How your daughter treats you is not an indicator of WHO YOU ARE. She is 18, in the best of worlds 18 year olds are self focused and for the most part, self absorbed. You can't rely on her for a good picture of who you are.

    GM, find ways to nurture yourself, to be kind to yourself, to see the positive and good parts of you. You deserve that. You deserve to be loved and cared for and to stop blaming yourself. Let go of that guilt........every day do something kind for yourself...........take care of YOU.
     
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  12. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I have such amazing support here. Even though I am in my infancy of detachment, I feel I have come a long way and that is because of all of you. Words can't express how grateful I am that you all took the time to write the words to battle the way I feel and also breaking it down for me. No one ever takes time like that for me in my real life and frankly, I'm not use to anyone caring this much. So again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I save all of these posts and I read them over and over again. Such valuable information and hits the nail on the head each and every time.

    I got some possible good news going on right now, my brother has offered my daughter to live with him after hearing about me and difficult child latest spat. Yes, even my brother has a heart sometimes. As we speak, my daughter is on her way over there to talk about it with him. This will be a miracle if it happens. I'm not getting my hopes up because my daughter always changes her mind at the end, but I think this time, she might be willing. We will see. This would be a prayer come true because I don't want to see her out in the streets and struggle when I move. My brothers home is safe, clean and a good environment. Oh man, this would be my dreams come true.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I feel this too, Guide Me.

    Especially, the heartbreaking part about it being over for you, but nowhere near over, for your child.

    But here is the thing: there is no parent, whatever their circumstances, who could parent perfectly enough that she (or he) could continue believing in herself when, over year and years, through choice after choice, a child chooses to go a wrong way.

    We start looking for where we went wrong. And for every one of us, there are instances when we, or when circumstances, were less than perfect. But here is the thing: those same instances (and worse) happen in every family.

    The difference is that easy child children are not wired, are not genetically programmed, like difficult child children are.

    What we need to do GuideMe is to put beating ourselves up for whatever parenting mistakes we made on the back burner for now. We need to concentrate on learning successful parenting strategies for difficult child children.

    Even, and maybe especially, when they are 40 year old difficult child children, like mine.

    They keep doing the darndest things, and they keep finding a way, a vulnerability in me, that finds me questioning myself and my intentions and taking the blame, somehow, for what the difficult child has done, again and again, against my advice and in spite of anything I could do to stop them.

    Over time, hearing everyone's stories, we see our own story with more clarity.

    ***
    Because you accuse yourself of not having been perfect enough in raising your child, I would like you to know that I am still married to the biological father of both my children. I have never been married to anyone else. We have been married over forty years, now.

    I think we might still be in love.

    I was the mom at home. I was Brownie leader, Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, PTA, Great Books ~ you name it, I was there. Blah, blah blah Guide Me, and everything looked so perfect that the only thing it COULD have been was me. A cadre of therapists could not convince me that my mothering had not been defective, somehow.

    So, this is what I know about mother-guilt.

    1) I am so happy that we have this site.

    2) Responsible parents do not like to place responsibility for the wrong things our children do on our children. We are used to parenting, teaching, celebrating triumphs or nurturing through times of sadness. As our children grow into adults, we continue parenting, loving, celebrating as we always have. For normal children, this is enough. For our difficult child children, who invariably seem to choose a wrong way and who do things, and who believe things, they never learned at home, who go ahead and do exactly what we cautioned them against AND THEN, BRING THE BAD PERSON HOME FOR DINNER

    Ahem.

    Where was I.

    Your daughter does know all the good things you taught her. She does feel the love you have lavished on her (and that we hear beneath your words, here on the site). Your child, like mine do too, has extra challenges to deal with. Over the times of their lives, these extra hardships will make our children stronger, just as our own challenges have made us stronger. But for now, for this time, your child is struggling to master herself.

    I am very sure she does not mean to hurt you with her words the way she does.

    Guide Me, I think you cannot make her happy. Happiness, so they say, has to do with the tides of mind. Forgiveness will come in time, I think, as your child matures. For now, for this time...can you find it in your heart to forgive yourself?

    husband said that to me once. Whatever I was going on about, he said: "You need to forgive yourself for not having been able to prevent what happened. You need to reach in and find that hurt little part of you who feels she wasn't enough, and who has believed that, all of her life."

    And he was very right, Guide Me.

    Not to be facetious at all, but I most sincerely believe the miracle is happening, is present, is here and now, for you and your daughter too, Guide Me. The parents here on this site have nurtured and taught and supported me so that I could come through what has happened, what I have lost, without bitterness or shame.

    That is the miracle.

    That somehow, we find a safe place when we need one, and that we are willing to learn, willing to forgive, willing to grow.

    Now, when your child is safe with her uncle and you are safe in your home, take a moment to bless yourself for what you have been through, and to recognize how intricately everything works together to teach and to keep us safe.

    We go where we are going one step at a time, I think, Guide Me. Honesty is the first step.

    You are there.

    Soon, you will be running through the rain.

    :O)

    She does. This learning is what will make her strong.

    I love this.


    Yes this is so true and I am only just now getting it. When we are hurt, we grieve, and then, we can't make sense out of anything and we blame ourselves. But when I see the way the nature of the accusations have changed over the years as I have healed and stopped blaming myself for something someone else has done I am finally seeing the nature of the game.

    I don't understand why, but that does seem to be what is happening.

    I can only conclude, now that I am not tearing into myself about it anymore, that this is what it is to parent a difficult child child.

    And acknowledging that frees me in some way, to love us all, anyway.

    True.

    When you explore your family generations, do you find mental instability? Do you see the same patterns, repeated over and over? I do. So, I believe there is much credence in the idea that much of what our difficult child kids are dealing with is genetic.

    It could be possible that if your daughter could see this too, she would have a tool to recognize that her anger is not justified, and that she can take steps to control how it manifests.

    That would be a beginning, for some other time. For now, your healing must come first.

    It isn't. No one could help a person who cannot control his or her emotions. With commitment and intention, the person can learn how to cope with the overwhelming intensity of emotion, and can heal from it, over time.

    As you heal, Guide Me, and as you begin telling the story of how you and your child came through it you will find, as we all have, that to tell our stories and to share our pain and our understanding and our questions helps us, too.

    I see myself in you.

    As surely as I am (finally, oh for Heaven's sake halleluiah) learning ~ really coming to see and believe that this wasn't my fault, you will come to know that, too. Where once you writhed in guilt over your daughter's pain and acting out, you will find that place filled with compassion for your child, for yourself, for the whole crazy, hurting world.

    And you will share, here on the site, and you will nurture the new moms (and dads) who come on, too.

    Cedar
     
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  14. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Cedar, you are amazing. It was hard yesterday night because after my daughter calmed down and talked to my brother she called me to let me know she will be making a decision on whether or not to move in with him by Tuesday. She also had a purpose in calling me last night on her way home and I didn't realize it until the end of the call. She was explaining what hurt her in the past and I sat and listened. Then she started telling me many good things about me. At the end of the call she said her whole purpose of our talk last night was to apologize for all that she has said to me and she couldn't move out without me knowing how sorry she was. She didn't want to leave me feeling like how she made me feel, especially after her aunt called her. I called her aunt in desperation yesterday and aunt told difficult child that she heard such pain and distress in my voice that she thought I was going to off myself even though I didn't say that. Aunt told her she can't cut me down to nothing and stomp all over me, that I am only a human being and can take so much before a human being snaps. difficult child says she is fully aware now that she has a problem and doesn't trust herself not to unleash her rage onto me again. I know she loves me, I know she feels like crap over what she says and does to me once the anger wears off, she said she knows I had really no control over anything when she was a kid, but it still leaves her hurt and angry regardless and I get that. She is still very young and wrestling with her demons.

    This is coming from me now. Someone has have the blame and being as I was the mother, of course the blame will be laid at my feet. It's just the way it is and I know that. A mother is suppose to protect their child from bad things, and I couldn't protect her very well from a lot of things. As another poster said (I forget who said it right now) I was young when I had her and should have known better than to bring a child into a world I couldn't handle myself. At that time, I really wanted a baby and someone to love, and love me unconditionally. I was one of the ones who had zero clue of how much work and responsibility it was to have a child. When I say zero, I mean zero , but I should have. I struggled the worse out of all the young moms that I knew. Anyway, hopefully she goes stays with my brother and it's breaking my heart but I know it has to be done. We most certainly need a break. Time to forget all the nasty things. This is a must, you know?
     
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GM, take a good hard look at that statement. Take it apart and recognize the remarkable illusion, the fantasy and the outright lie that it is. That lie has perpetuated mother guilt and mother doubt, self hatred and wrongful blame for probably centuries. GM, it is not true. A mother may WANT to protect her child, she may DESIRE to protect her child, she may PLAN on protecting her child, but because we are not super heroes, or bionic, because we are only human beings, our maternal powers are extremely limited. How does a mother protect a son who is doing battle in another country, a child who has cancer, a child who gets bullied, raped, killed, hit by a car, drowns.........bad things happen to children every single day and most have not only nothing to do with how the child was parented, or what kind of mother the child had, but is a random act which NO ONE has any control over. That one statement about what you believe you are supposed to do, will keep you not only guilty,but suffering enormous pain........pain which is not necessary, deserved, appropriate nor right.

    You can punish yourself forever about your parenting skills.........if you believe you were "supposed to protect" your child.........because guilt requires punishment......it will rob you of a joyful life, it will take all of your moments and twist them around so that you can't allow yourself to have a good life because you didn't do something you believed you "should" have done, when all the time it was out of your control.

    It took me a long time to come to this realization, to understand that my daughter is who she is, perhaps in some fashion because of some things I did or didn't do, but that she has her own destiny, her own fate, which she gets to work out, not me. I finally gave myself a break and realized I really did do the best I could at the time and when she became an adult it was now up to her to find herself and learn how to live in a way that brings her fulfillment and peace.

    GM, many of us here have come out of a very dark childhood. I know it may sound absurd from where you are presently standing, but if you learn to love and accept your self, what happens is that you also learn to see that all of those "bad"things that happened to you, put you on a certain path which provided ways to learn courage, strength, resilience, compassion, personal power, kindness and love. We can get knocked down and drown in the darkness, or we can rise above it, learn who we are, learn to love ourself and find our own path in the world which will fit well and offer us the fulfillment we are looking for. I never thought I would say this when I was a younger woman, but all of the "bad"things that happened to me lead me to a place where I am whole, where I accept myself for who I am and love myself..........so those "bad" things were the catalyst for change, for growth, for healing and ultimately for love. They were, in fact, gifts.

    There was a writer and humorist named Erma Bombeck years ago who said, "guilt is the gift that keeps on giving." And it does. It gives you massive amounts of unrelenting pain. GM, cut it out. Don't do it to yourself, it is self inflicted. It is because you believe you SHOULD have done something you didn't do. Change the should to could. You could have. But you didn't know enough. As you did know enough, you began to change. That is what we mothers do. We learn. We change. We grow. Give yourself a break GM. Not one of us here escapes that guilt, but many of us learn to let it go. And, that's when your life will blossom. You deserve that.
     
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    She does feel badly about hurting you, GuideMe. I believe that. But, just lately...I am wondering whether our difficult child children actually do feel badly about hurting us or not. I can see the wrongness in what other sons call their moms and so, I can see the wrongness in what my son says to me. What I cannot see? Is how he got to that place.

    That part, I don't understand.

    It's a scary little darkness for me, still.

    I don't suppose I want to know that part.

    ***

    Regarding your daughter not blaming you for whatever it was that was not perfect when she was little, GuideMe.

    Two things:

    Brene Brown, who researches shame, writes that we humans are hard wired for challenge. Hard wired. There is no one who has not been challenged. It is just that whatever it is we don't have enough of ourselves, we think if only we had that, life would be perfect. In reality, each of us, every single one of us, is carrying more pain, more confusion or guilt of shame than she (or he) can.

    But we do it, anyway.

    In this, we are amazing.

    Just lately, as I am figuring things out in a different way than I have been able to before, it seems to me that my children, and your child too, are using the ways we wished we'd been better, or are using the things we could not provide and feel badly for because we wanted life to be better for them ~ I think they might be using those things, Guide Me, to hurt us, now.

    I think that might be very, very true, where my son is concerned.

    It hurts me, to know it?

    But it is what it is, and it is better for both of us if we see it.

    I forgot the second thing.

    :O)

    ***

    You wrote that your daughter is still hurt and angry at you over whatever shortcomings she perceives and blames you for in her growing up.

    (Cedar suddenly remembers the second thing from the paragraph above. And here it is: Remember Roseanne? So, this is what she had to say about parenting, and about being a perfect mom.

    "If those kids are still alive at the end of the day?

    HEY! I DID MY JOB."

    ***

    I used to laugh and laugh about that.

    Back to your child's anger. My son is very, very angry with me, too. What I noticed, over time, is that though the accusations, or the rationalization about why he was angry, or why he did self destructive things like use drugs, or why it was my fault ~ all that stuff changed, all the time. The only thing that never seemed to change was that he was angry.

    Because it is so constant (like my son's), because it is focused on you (as is my son's anger) I think that your daughter's anger, like my son's, may be her burden.

    Maybe that will be her challenge, all of her life.

    Maybe, these kinds of irrational anger have nothing to do with us, Guide Me. We were parented ourselves in such a way that we feel responsible. We make it work somehow, whatever the bad thing was that happened.

    That has nothing to do with our children, either.

    That is who we would be, whether we were moms or not.

    But however we got to be the ones who make the bed and make the coffee and make sure everyone's laundry comes out white and clean...that same genetic mix that found us reacting to the anger of our parent with perfectionism?

    That same kind of irrational, unintentional anger our caretakers may have focused on us may be in our children.

    In their genetics.

    So, we need to learn to parent differently, to be stronger ourselves, to tell them true things.

    Not just you Guide Me. Me, too.

    That's why I'm still here every darn day.

    :O|

    ****

    The last thing I have to say is that a therapist told me once that a child (or an adult with anger problems) will dump the overwhelmingness of the rage onto someone they trust to

    1) be able to survive it, when they are so afraid of the enormity of what they feel, themselves and

    2) love them, no matter what.

    Here is a comforting thought. You ended that paragraph writing about how young your child is. And she is still so very young. How wonderful a thing would it be Guide Me, if you could (and if I could ~ better late than never, right?) sincerely understand that our childrens' anger is something we are beautifully equipped to help them cope with once we see that, though the anger is directed at us, though it may even be destroying us, it is not a real thing.

    You know how all the spiritual teaching are always saying love is the stronger thing, is the strongest thing, is the only real thing?

    :O)

    Cedar
     
  17. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I love this, Cedar. It makes me happy for you.

    My mom, who was quite a wonderful mom, used to say this as well. I used to be a springboard diver...in diving, the quality of the diving board matters a lot...you learn to work the board, and what you want out of it is to be flung as high in the air as possible, so there is as much time as possible to execute the twists and turns and final drop that go into a good dive. I think of my mother as that diving board...she flung me into the air, and the rest was up to me. I could go up and splat back down like a belly flop or I could arch and turn and drop into the water with pointed toes and not a splash. She was the springboard. And she too, was quite fine with "if those kids are still alive at the end of the day."


    Recovering, in another thread, wrote about self-soothing. I have to say, I was all over that as a parent. I helped them learn to suck on their fingers or thumbs to calm themselves instead of needing a pacifier, because I didn't want them to be at the mercy of some adult hunting down (or choosing not to hunt down) the thing they needed. I put the milk on the lowest shelf in the fridge in smaller containers so as soon as possible they could serve themselves. I left them alone and awake at bedtime so they would feel the pleasure of the day winding down, and the quiet that comes with that. I knew about self-soothing, which I still think is so important, and I helped them with that.

    I was a pretty darn good mom, actually.

    And still...there is difficult child. And the easy child's of course have their troubles and limitations too, some of which are heartbreaking to bear witness to.

    I am not totally off track...what I am trying to say, GM, is that..our love, our effort, our parenting, can only go so far. We have our limits. Our kids have their opportunities. I hope you can let go of the idea that it is your fault. I hope you can hear our chorus telling you "it is not."

    Echo
     
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  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    WOW!! There is so much good stuff here.
    RE I absolutely loved Erma Bombeck, I had forgotten this quote from her.
    GM no one is going to get through life without having some kind of tragedy. It's up to each one of us to decide how to respond. RE is so right in that protecting our children from bad things is an illusion.
    My bio-father sexually abused me and my sisters and my mother had no clue as he was very sneaky and convinced me and my sisters that it was a secret that all daddy's did with their daughters. I never blamed my mom. When my 2 oldest sisters had the courage, they told her what was going on and she got divorced him and got us away from him. She carried guilt for years even when I and my sisters would tell her that we didn't blame her, she would say "I should have known, I should have done something to protect you all" She was finally able to come to terms with it and move on with her life.
    She probably could have saved her self from years of doubting if she would have had access to an amazing group like the people here
    Keep reminding yourself that you are a good person, you have done the best you can and you deserve to have happiness in your life.
     
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  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tanya, you were very brave to share that with us. I also think it shows that you have found a way to accept yourself and like yourself in spite of the bad things your father did.

    There are so many stories here from all sorts of people and few of us have not suffered in some way. It is truly up to each person to find a way to get past it and not let it define us or else whoever hurt us in the past...that person owns you...or me, even if the person is dead. You aren't free. You are chained to a horrible person who doesn't deserve the evil power to ruin your life or you are chained to a ghost.

    To GM: I am gently going to suggest that perhaps you should try therapy again. Therapy has changed a lot. I know many of us have used twelve step programs, support groups and private therapy to help us heal. It was probably not a helpful plan to vent to your aunt. You may have frightened her and she is not trained to deal with a person in a crisis, especially a loved one. I think it is better to have a professional or a self help friend to call; somebody who DOES understand and can deal with you when your world is upside down and can teach you new coping skills too so it doesn't happen so often.

    Of course, I don't know your family dynamics, but it doesn't sound as if your family is warm, caring, loving or safe from spreading family gossip. There are safe people out there, but they are usually not in our extended families. Family usually can not help one another get through trauma, EVEN IF THEY ARE A FUNCTIONAL FAMILY. They aren't trained in how to do it. Most of us don't even have the functional family part. It is often much easier to have outside supports, but that means you have to decide you are going to trust somebody and try. And it's hard at first.

    Hugs and good wishes from me to you.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  20. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    MWM, thank you for your sweet affirmation.

    GM, I totally agree with MWM in seeking out therapy and preferably not family.

    Most of all believe in yourself.:)
     
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