A positive update on my difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Last week on another thread I posted that I had an interaction with my daughter via Facebook where she commented that she really missed me and her daughter. After pondering that for a couple of days, I responded by shifting the responsibility onto her by saying her daughter and I had been here all along, it was she who traveled into the dark place. Part of my daughter's issue is that she does not take responsibility for her actions and has magical thinking about things working out without her having to actually DO anything. I shot holes in that theory by telling her if she wanted to forge a connection with us, it would be SHE who would do all of the heavy lifting.

    When I wrote that here, I said it felt like the completion. It felt like I had reached the end of the detachment emotional ride. Not to say it is over and all is well, but that my part in it, my enabling, my engagement in my daughter's chaos has subsided, replaced by acceptance of what is.

    This past Monday, my one prayer that my daughter find a safe place to live so that she could BREATHE and relax enough to at least have the opportunity to begin the journey out of the dark place..........was met. She hooked up with a guy she used to know many years ago, not one of the "hobos" she usually connects with, a guy who has a good job, looks like a "normal" guy, looked me in the eyes and shook my hand and said to me, "I'm going to help her get back on her feet."

    He just bought a house and she moved in with him. The house is on my side of town, not the "sketchy" section of town where she's lived for the last 4 years. All of this is a shift in her behavior, the type of person she usually hangs out with and the bad choices she has been known to make.

    Where she goes from here is up to her, and after my FB clarity about it ALL being on her shoulders and now this new development with her move into a much safer and healthier place, has released me from the past and opened a new door for my own future. It feels good.

    Since Monday I have been thinking differently, that disconnect from my daughter opened up a new vista which I saw evident yesterday in how the whole day evolved. Rather then be in my 'trying to create a perfect family day', it all went so smoothly, I had spread all of the work around so I had much less and my attitude was much more accepting of 'what is,' so it ended up being a perfect family day without my trying or worrying about it, it just happened. My daughter was late, as usual, but I didn't care if she came or didn't come, so the fact that she came and it was comfortable and easy, was a bonus. I had no angst or anxiety, it was a free flowing, easy, simple and fun day.

    At one point, late in the day before we ate I thought, "well I guess she isn't coming." I smiled and thought to myself, "well, she may have moved, but she is still a difficult child.................and that's okay, it is what it is." And, I went on enjoying my moments. That's a big shift for me, I no longer have to have it all be a certain way, to have my vision of what it should look like prevail..........life happens and I'm learning to be happy with whatever shows up, which makes my moments WAY more peaceful and comfortable. Giving up control turns out to be the road to PEACE. Hmmmmm. Good to know.

    I woke up this morning with a very new sense of comfort within myself, that last piece of angst is gone, there are no shoes dropping or about to drop and if they do, they do, I'll think about it then, for now, all is okay. I am feeling much, much gratitude on this day after Thanksgiving.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am happy for you...perhaps your daughter is turning a corner. This would be great.

    And congrats on your inner peace and acceptance of the situation.

    Hugs and let us know more as this story unfolds.
  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I am so happy your daughter is on a healthier path, Recovering. As I was reading your post, I remembered you telling us something about your daughter's attitude toward herself seeming to change when, as you became healthier, your responses to her changed.

    In a way then, your daughter's success is a testament to the benefits of detachment. Not just for parents, but for our kids, too.

    Having survived another Thanksgiving with husband helping (oy vey), I read your description of allowing things at your house to flow of their own accord, and of relishing that experience. So, I am going to let husband off the hook. In fact, instead of harboring hostility over what was not perfect? I am, as you have done, going to celebrate that it was just as it was. Which, viewed in this new light, looks pretty wonderful after all.

    Judgment/justification is such a convoluted thing. The decision to celebrate just what it was wholeheartedly? This is the definition of the good life.

    Emotions are things of habit, too.

    And celebration feels so much better.

    Brene Brown is right.


  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM & Cedar, thank you. I will surely let you all know how this story unfolds.

    "In a way then, your daughter's success is a testament to the benefits of detachment. Not just for parents, but for our kids, too."

    Yes, I believe that to be true. That time I was in that Codependency recovery program, my therapist, who is also the director of the whole Substance Abuse & Codependency Program, kept saying that she has seen it over and over again that when the parents let go, when they really detach and accept what is, that the kids then shift and find a new path. I wanted to believe that, but for a long time that was NOT my experience. But, as time went by and I was systematically letting go, inch by inch, what I did notice was that my difficult child was also letting go inch by inch. As my boundaries got higher and thicker, her usual antics stopped almost completely, I did not take it on. It was absolutely a process.

    I don't imagine that outcome happens all the time, but as my therapist kept saying, it happens A LOT. Now from over here, I think it's like an invisible cord, something out of awareness, that masquerades as love but is really control.........and that morphs into enabling. I'm not saying this is what happens when our kids are young, although it may, but it can certainly rear it's ugly head as fear ramps up the rescuing as the kids get older.

    It's complicated and it takes time but as we have talked about a lot, it involves US and our own judgments, perfectionism, control and fears too. It's not just our kids. We have growing to do as well.

    SO and I are heading out to the ocean to have lunch. Staying far away from the frenzied shopping...........a peaceful afternoon on a sunny, warmer day.............as you said Cedar, a celebration of life..........

    (thinking about you Cedar and interested in hearing what is up with your kids.......)