A thought about detaching....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    My new therapist & I have spent a great deal of time discussing all the tweedles issues; how it affects me & my emotional & physical well being.

    I told her about detaching - pulling back emotionally from the antics & letting consequences help kt & wm learn.

    She asked me a very pertinent question. "What do you do after all that detachment? Where do you go with those pent up emotions?"

    I had to think hard & long about this. I'm good at detaching - I don't know what to do with the harsh & negative emotions after all that's gone on with kt & wm over the last 9 going on 10 years.

    We are working out different scenarios including not detaching so much - showing kt & wm that I'm human & have feelings but not to the point where it leaves me vulnerable.

    So, where do you go with all those detached moments? All those emotions you shove down to remain detached when dealing with rages, meltdowns, hospitalizations, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placements & the like?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Wow Linda that is an excellent question I cannot wait to see what others have to say. because I never thought about it... Always assumed if I could truly detach then it wouldn't affect me the same. BZZT wrong answer.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    The short answer? I've been coming HERE...

    Here, to a place where other people understand what it is like to live with your family as though you are living in a war-zone.

    Here, where no one accuses me, or tries to make me feel guiilty about my choices.

    Here, with others who have been there and are willing to share their views...and help me see the situation from a more experienced perspective.

    I find that after I "hash things out" a bit...and get some validation or a few second opinions...I can let those emotions go.

    After I've had a chance to express them to SOMEONE...I don't have to hold onto them any more.

    Of course, then something else will happen, and then the feelings and frustrations begin to build anew...

    But, that's life, I guess. Thank you are for being willing to share yours with me...

  4. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    I had a good friend give me some advice that helps. It was to set aside a certain time to dwell, think, rant about issues in my life and when the time was up it was up. Put it aside and get on with life until the next appointed time.

    I use my 30 minute drive time to and from work to vent. I say all those things I wish I could say in real life. I let out that primal scream that builds up...and does it feel good to scream bloody murder once in a while. I let the pain out. And during daylight hours, with a blue tooth in my ear, people driving past me think I'm on the phone. (I only scream when it is dark out)

    I have had some amazing ah-ha moments during this time. Sometimes its a "oh, is that what I'm really feeling?"... or it's seeing things from a different angle. It was during my drive time that I realized that I don't want to go to mother in law's (EGs) on Christmas Eve, but I really don't mind if husband does.

    And I use this time for more than just difficult child issues. Dealt with husband issues, work issues, new boss drama, rude people, all of those things I would otherwise stuff. I call it my "old-faithful" time. I regularly let off the steam so that I don't have the Mt. Vesuvius momements of life.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I don't think you 'go' anywhere with those detached moments. You learn in thearpy and with time to cope, readjust your value system, learn how to draw YOUR line in the sand, learn how to tell the world I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS BECAUSE IT AFFECTS ME so I will not bend to your will any longer, and you won't be bitter, afflicted, angry, rage, ridiculous, spiteful, mean, vindictive, pouting, hateful, depressed, emotional...you'll just be.

    This is NOT to say that you won't have days where life won't get to you. Or that memories won't creep up on you, or you can't shake off a bad day, or you won't ever have a sad day. But I'm living proof that if you work hard with a good therapist that you trust you can overcome a lot of issues. Being totally serious here for a moment. I had issues about adoption, abandonment, abuse, torture, mental, emotional, physical and things that it took me five years or better of meeting with a therapist I actually LIKED twice a week after having ten years of meeting with other therapists I kinda liked...before I could talk about some of the issues I had. Once he and I started working seriously on things from adulthood backwards and forwards again? I felt so free. I'd leave the therapists office in the last few years like I was so able. Able to do things I thought I could do before - but felt I had been held back from for what reasons I had no idea - self esteem or lack of it mostly.

    Therapy for everyone is different. Some here will like it, some won't. Some are comfortable with it because they find a doctor they like. Some just never will be and never do find that one person they click with to empty the load on - or maybe you find someone to empty the load on but they seem uninterested. I had plenty of those - Clock watchers - phone texters. Ugh - I said crazy things, then said "you know?" to get their reaction. One woman I said "And the monkey went up the flagpole...you know?" and she said "Yes, I know." and I got up and left. I told her what I had said. She apologized, it was too late. Her life, was before mine in that 45 minutes and in that time slot I needed just one person in a week to think about no one else but me, and help ME come up with solutions for my life. I was living on the edge and going home to a killer...I didn't need a woman who was checking her phone...I needed someone that gave a damn about how I was going to make it in the next week and to tell me what to do, I needed someone in the early years to tell ME how to survive the madness.

    THEN ......I was all alone.

    Now? I have all of you. And I have said before I paid quite a price to be this educated. So. Have. YOU. So when you are detached from it? Share. Educate someone else. Help. You're wise, you have gifts, you have knowledge. Don't keep it to yourself. You have one of the kindest most loving hearts I've ever met and I've learned and still learn so much from you. That's a wonderful thing to share with others.....new people come here every day - hurt, angry, and starting out. Think of where THEY are, and how far YOU have come. Amazing isn't it? What good is pain, and surviving any of it, overcoming the majority of it, and leaning on friends through some of it, and learning to depend on yourself in a lot of it if you can't tell anyone else that they will be okay. Not perfect? But Okay!

    I figure all the stuff I've been through - has a purpose. All the stuff that you are going through? Has a purpose. So when you detach from the kids - it doesn't have to be hurtful.....it needs to be ----peaceful. To get there? You need to find what will allow you that path. To get to that path? Takes time and patience and work.

    None of us are perfect.....None of us walk on water, unless it's frozen.

    Find out who YOU are, the rest will come in time.

    Many hugs for you and here's hoping you accomplish the next leg of your journey - peace. I wish it for you in enormous abundance.

    Hugs & Love
    (and you thought I couldn't be serious)
    :tongue: oops there I go again.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Before I got sick and was doing cardio kickboxing, I would envision my ex when I did the punches and kicks. It was amazing how much stronger they were when I did that. It made the exercise that much easier, more effective and I felt emotionally relieved as well.

    I say when you're in PT and it's hard and painful, that you focus on those negative emotions and put them into your PT. Turn them into something productive.

    For me, it's always had to be a physical outlet. I remember walking into my mom's house and breaking out the vacuum. I was so angry at the kids (whatever antics they pulled on the way to her house) and I had to get it out. Imagine someone walking into your house and vacuuming ferociously without saying a word. LOL
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    For me, balancing detachment is a fine line, and one that I walk carefully, with thought. It isn't an automatic, because when I tried that, I had all kinds of buried pain, resentment, anger, rage even. It wasn't working for me.

    Now, I cope through things with a two step approach. I work to not make something bigger (or smaller) than it is. As in, I don't allow any drama to add to a stress situation. I face it head on, give it the weight it deserves (no more, no less, either can be so damaging for me!). If I have an emotion, I don't bury it. I allow it. If its tears, or a vent or whatever, I do it. Then I move past the emotion and get to work on the stress problem. Then I move on. Sometimes moving on means another good cry, or a good whine session to S/O. But move on I do. I just honestly tell myself, Its over. Move on. You coped. Congratulations! Life throws curveballs and you dealt with another one. I mentally pat myself on the back, and then the next day is a new day and I try to not dwell.

    I can't bury things. i did that for so long. Acted clinically detached. It led me to a point where I had so much going on under the surface emotionally I was literally suffocating. The other way I coped was letting all my emotions out. But I could get caught up in the anger, or pain, or tears, or whatever. Also not healthy. It isn't condusive to problem solving to drag that all on and on. It isn't helping anything. So I let out what I must to not explode or implode. Then I buck it up buttercup (my term for myself lol) and keep on keeping on.

    I don't want to live wallowing in buried pain. I don't want to live with so many emotions under stress situations that I incapacitate myself. So this balance works for me.

    I also lose myself in a good book and that escape is like heroin or something I swear. I forget my world, my stress, i lose myself in a great novel and another world with characters that aren't in my own life. When I put that book down, its like I had a mini vacation from my brain allowing me to dwell on my stuff. I've even cured major stress headaches and anxiety attacks that way.

    Its so odd, we all have our own ways to get through things, to detach. I wish there was a magic formula for everyone.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a good topic. I do think that there is healthy detachment, where one still works thru those feelings somehow, and an unhealthy approach- which would be more like denial or refusal to deal with it, leaving negative stuff to come out some other way. But I also think that detachment has to be different if the difficult child has become an adult than if the difficult child is still a minor. Maybe I'm wrong- I just haven't figured out yet how it could be the same if the difficult child is supposed to return home and I'm supposed to go back in parent-mode.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Where do I go?

    Here or the barn.

    My husband does not come across as a very "deep" man. Ok, I'm pretty sure he's not at all. But every once in a blue moon, he'll say something profound.

    He told me, after the first 6 months living here with difficult child 1, that he listened to me vent about difficult child all those years, and he thought he was being empathetic and understanding, but nothing I said prepared him for what life was really like under the same roof as a difficult child. Then he said he didn't think there was anything I could have said that would have made him understand.

    The other profound statement he made was close to 20 years ago. He said "there's no problem in the world so big that time in the saddle won't solve it".

    He was right about that one, too. You can only stay p*ssed on the back of horse for so long...
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Or snuggled up to your dog!
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

  12. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My take on detaching is a little different. To me detachment doesn't mean I don't feel the same emotions--I still get angry, sad, frustrated with my difficult child. The difference is I am detached enough to understand the his choices are beyond my control. And trying to micromanage his choices is not something I am willing to do now that he is an adult. It means I allow him to face his consequences without running to his rescue when he messes up. I still cry, yell, scream, beat my fists against the air. I still care. I just don't "own" his choices. They are about him.