48 hours

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by newstart, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Since going through another bout of PTSD and depression, I try hard not to watch shows that will make me feel worse. I felt restless so I turned on 48 hours and watched the story of Todd Kohlhepp, the serial killer that murdered 7 people in South Carolina.
    Todd's mother Reggie was interviewed by the press, asking her all kinds of questions about him. Reggie was defending him and also she was horrified at what he had done. The love for him poured out of her and the disgust did too, she died shortly afterwards. I read the comments on the story and was appaulled.
    Todd was born a psychopath and no amount of help, therapy, drugs or counseling would help him.
    Reggie was an outstanding woman in the community, giving, loving and rescued animals.
    The public was awful to Reggie, saying she should of done more, and it was her fault for bringing someone like him into the world.
    Reggie did the best that she knew how. She did all she could for him, she did not just ignore the problem.
    I have had very angry parents call me about things my daughter has done. I have been told off and talked ugly to.
    I know I did not ignore the problem, I did my best, I spend thousands of dollars, time, and gas putting my life on hold, making sure no stone was unturned. I tried, I tried very hard to set her straight, she was raised in the Church, she was a youth leader, we tried to give her a moral compass, we tried hard, both my husband and me.

    I walk around broken and pale from the grief my daughter causes. I want to hide somewhere and not talk to anyone. My friends have a scared look on their face when they see me.

    My heart aches for Reggie. I wanted to hug her and give her support. I wanted to explain to people what a psychopath is and the damage they cause. I should say the damge IT causes because they are truly void of a conscious and demonic.

    My heart aches for the good people that have given birth to a bad seed. It is almost an unbearable road.
    These parents that give birth to psychopaths that do horrible things, where do they go for support? They can't really talk about the crimes because of being shunned. My deepest prayers go to people like Reggie, a beautiful contributing member of society, with a deep love for animals and she happened to carry the bad seed.
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    It's really a shame that people will pass judgement upon the parents without knowing all the facts. I remember when my son was 13 and I had to endure the wrath of angry mother telling me that she did not want my son hanging out with her son. My son and her son were throwing ketchup packets at cars. They were picked up by the police. I didn't blame her for being angry. I felt ashamed. What this mother did not know was that my husband and I had been going to family therapy trying to get help for our son. We raised our son with strong Christian values, went to church every week, both my husband and I worked at the same jobs, we provided a stable and loving home. The mother of my sons friend did not know any of this, she only knew that her son got in trouble with police because he was with my son. I get it. Had the roles been reversed I probably would have reacted the same way.

    One good thing that has come out of all the chaos my son has caused is I have true empathy and compassion for other families that have difficult children.
    I have been able to take something so ugly and negative and turn it around by sharing here on this site. I will forever be grateful for this site and what it offers.

    There will always be people who will blame the parents. We as "those" parents have to do our best to rise above it. We have to own that we did all we could for our children and accept that it was enough. We have to develop thick skin when it comes to what others think about us. It took me a long time to get to where I am in regards to not caring what people think about me as a parent and with that came a great freedom.
    I do not have time in my life for those that want to judge or condemn me. The old saying "walk a mile in my shoes" is so true.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    "What you think of me so one of my business."

    I love that saying.

    Why angst over what people who don't know our story think of us?

    Some of the best parents on earth have challenging adult kids. Strangers don't know how much we have done to try to help them. Maybe one sad day they will learn this, but we wish this on nobody. Often what others react to with the most venom is what they fear.

    Try. Try to turn away. They are ignorant.
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  4. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Tanya, This walk is hard. I remember my kids had run in with other kids that got them into trouble. I would never talk ugly to the parents or get confrontatinal with them or make their life harder. I would talk calmly and respectful because I instictivly knew that we are all our own individuals and only we are in control of ourselves. My neighbor across the street was the worst about getting into my face when my kids did something wrong. She saw how much I worked with them. Years later her kids, all 3 of them grew up to cause major grief..She does not talk to me, too embarrassed at how much she harrassed me during my hard times.

    I have met a woman recently and I believe her son to be a psychopath. He is 8. She told me that something is very 'off' with her son. She is a beautiful sweet woman and she now has this hard journey. Some of you will say for me not to give him that diagnosis, I am not a medical Dr but when a kid as young as 8 makes the hair in the back of your neck move a foot you know something is very awful there.
    I do not trust most doctors. My daughter has every diagnoisis in the book. So which flavor is it?
    SWOT suggests by my writings that it is borderline and I agree.

    Tanya, I am learning to get where you are!
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  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    newstart.....you've been blamed for your daughter's actions and choices for a long, long time....it's so hurtful, I'm sorry you had to endure that.

    On top of trying to do everything we can to save our kids, it's insulting to then be blamed and judged.....likely most of us have been there.....it hurts. We can't defend ourselves. We live in a culture that often blames the parents......I recall a boy here in CA. who shot a bunch of kids in the area where my granddaughter went to college. It was horrific. His Dad got on TV and talked about all of the years the boys parents tried to get him help......the guilt and sorrow on the Father's face was heartbreaking.....he felt he had to publicly defend himself from what was likely already occurring, the public blaming the parents.

    I've observed in myself that when I began letting go of the guilt, fewer external judgments made their way to me....I believe that those outside criticisms hooked my own guilt......but they also clued me in to still having that guilt so I could work on letting it go. Guilt is a biggie to let go of, particularly when our kids are mentally unstable. Keep telling yourself that you didn't cause this, you can't fix it and you can't control it. It's a tough nut, I know, but in the acceptance of what we cannot control, lies that peace you're seeking. You're doing a very good job working your way thru this....this is just a part of the process.....letting go of our own self judgements and the judgements others impose on us.

    You've done all you can do for your daughter. Give that beautiful compassion, understanding and empathy that you felt towards Reggie to yourself.

    Sending you big hugs.....I know just how you feel.
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  6. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Recoveringenabler, Your words once again touched my heart. I have had such a hard time with the lastest BS my daughter has caused. I was so miserable yesterday. I was walking in the sunlight and trying hard to enjoy the day and then a wave over took me and tears were falling. I know some of this is depression and most of it is from spending a few minutes around my toxic daughter and her toxic boyfriend. Even less than 5 minutes around them is sometimes too much.

    I am learning to let go...After my son died I had to learn to let go of him. Took me a long time, he is in my heart. Letting go of a person that is alive is really difficult for me since family means everything to me. Family connection is the most important thing in my life but I have to realize not everyone feels this way.

    I can't get that image of Reggie, the mother of the serial killer out of my mind. Her words and pain in her face were so raw and real. I wish there was someone or something that could have helped her with that intense of pain but as we all know pain from our children is on such a high level. I have been in this battle for many years but still feel I do not know what to do. I am feeling my way around, if it feels right I will do it.
    Thank you for your compassion, I appreciate you very much.:love-very:
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Not to negate the enormous, devastating grief of losing a child to death......however, I've read quite a few times on this site parents stating that they considered letting go of a person who is alive to be more difficult.

    What you've had to let go of newstart is beyond comprehension.. ...your mentally ill in laws, your son, your daughter.

    I'm so sorry.

    Some of us know grief more intimately..... it's been a part of our lives for so long. I think that's why I relate to your story so deeply, I too have had to let go of most of my bio-family because of mental illness.....it can tear your heart up in a million pieces from the sheer powerlessness and profound sorrow.

    That's been my experience around grief as well, it comes in waves, it's intermittent, sometimes more intense than others. My best advice, which was told to me too, is, lean into it. Go with it. Express it. We here have an ocean of grief within us because of our troubled kids.....let the grief out, don't harbor it, it's much healthier to express it.

    I think Tanya said it well. We can find meaning in our suffering. We can share our stories. I've unwittingly become someone well versed in how it feels to be around mental illness.....I can offer my story up to those still struggling.....as you are doing....as we are all doing.....healing ourselves as we support others to heal themselves.

    I think you do know what to do ......and you're doing it. This is it. Setting boundaries with your daughter and practicing detachment. That's what we're all doing. It's a whole new ball game and it takes a lot of practice to learn the rules of this one.....when I look back at when I first arrived here, I felt much as you do.....I actually could not imagine feeling any differently.......but.....I do. You will too.

    Hang in there. There's light at the end of this tunnel. You're not alone, we're here with you.
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  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    NewStart, I have come to believe that family is who loves us and nourishes us kindly and let's us do the same. My beloved family only includes one child of DNA and he is kind of a problem. I am close to him but feel warmest around my husband and three very special loving adopted kids (very beloved kids) and have had one friend who was a sister to me, the one my biological sister never was. It is not about DNA. Trust me.

    You can make your own family. My family of origin scapegoated me. I was not close at all to most of them. I plan to never talk to my sister again. I can't. It was a long time for me to cut the ties even after she called the police on me simply to get back at me for emails she did not like
    .....at least twenty times and across state lines too.

    I was never arrested of course because I never broke the law against her. She would call them to say I was contacting her after she told me not to....she was my DNA. But she did not love me. My mother didn't either. (Shrug) That's life. There are ways to find love. I am not alone. She is not in a healthy relationship and never has been.

    I did adopt a six year old child but he did not bond and got married and took off. That felt like a death to me. I grieved for two years but the grief faded with good therapy and again I was able to get much comfort from my husband and adult kids. And being nice to myself.

    We can not choose our genetic family, the one we were born to, but we can make our own family.

    I will never again allow anyone who hates on me into my world. It isn't good for me. I matter. You do too.

    I totally understand why you want to be in your daughter's life. She is your child. Just helps in my opinion to stop having higher expectations of relationships than the other person can give or is willing to give.

    My spiritual life which is not the same as religion is also extremely comforting to me. I do strongly believe in a higher power, the Universe, the healing aspect of nature and the belief that nobody can shake that we are all souls in just one of infinite lifetimes and that earth is a school.

    I send you love and light.
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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    New Start
    I can not add much to the wonderful and wise words you have received here.

    I know the pain of sadness and depression. This is not a lie mood that will pass. I have be in that pit. I truly love the meditations and writings RE introduced me to by Pima Chödrön

    Her story is amazing and she is a very down to earth woman.
    Pema Chödrön - Shambhala
    I am not a religious person but I am very spiritual. Her writing and lectures have helped me theough some very difficult times.

    Be kind to yourself. The blame of others is often fear misdirected. I too have been on the ugly end of that blame.

    SWOT is right what others think of you is none of your business.

    Don’t let the blame grind you down. Bad things happen to good people every day. It is what it is. No fault no blame.
  10. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    What a horrible story. I'm going to have to look it up and watch it. Our local news had an article about the 28 year old who shot his mom over a gaming headset yesterday or day before. I always read the comments. So many people blaming the parents. Without knowing a damn thing about this family. The mother is dead. The 81 year old father wrestled the gun away from the kid. They will be suffering enough then on top of it society calls them bad parents. Sad.
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  11. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, I do agree about family not being DNA. I think it is special when you do have someone with DNA and they are your friend. Takes me back to my grandmother. She was my best DNA friend. I miss her so much. I too am spiritual and not into religion. I was raised by a Catholic grandmother, married a dyed in the wool Catholic and raised my children Catholic but now attend a dynamic Unity Church. It is casual and the pastor is very funny. I walk away with a good lesson each time. I will work at not having such high expectations. I agree, I too will never let anyone into my world or life that will hate on me. Such a huge waste of time. I send you love, light and good vibes in abundance.
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  12. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Hi strangeworld, Yes the story is very interesting on 48 hours and it reminds people that they just can't be too careful who they allow in their life. Such a sad story about the 28 year old that shot his mom. My heart breaks for all that have to endure such grief.