Al-Anon - better late than never

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by katya02, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I went to my second Al-Anon meeting tonight and daughter came along (sort of had to due to carpool arrangements). Near the end of the meeting daughter opened up about how she sees our family situation and how it feels to her. She's very realistic, much more detached than I am. Her maturity blew me away. I came away determined to take the next step in my life for her sake ... to advance beyond my perpetual state of upset/grief/tears/anger/sadness in order to be HER mom, and MY self. I know it all in theory but still get consumed, just submerged in difficult child's dramas and behaviors. For example, I realized tonight that I forgot to send flowers and a get-well gift to a woman I know who had neck surgery in late September - I called her, but I planned to send some nice things and then, as always, a big difficult child drama erupted and I thought of nothing else and clean forgot about sending things to let this friend know I was thinking of her. I wasn't!! But I wanted to, and I should have been!!

    So my goal from tonight is to not only know about detachment but to live it - before my life, and everything I ought to/want to/need to do in it, slips away.

    Honestly. I can't believe I just forgot about this friend. And then I think about the time lost, over the years, to my other kids. It makes me feel sick.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Often, when the drama ensues from the difficult children in our life, we tend to want to run, save them from themselves, even if it means giving up everything else. That's the parent in us---however, after years and years of enabling, I, too, was able to step back and realize the disservice I had done myself, my family, and most importantly, my difficult child. It has taken almost 2 years for him to realize that I will longer take responsibility for his actions. There used to be a list of responses to help you learn to react to your difficult children's crisises. Things like: I'm sorry to hear that. What are you going to do to change it?
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Katya, that Al-Anon meeting sounds like it was a real eye-opener for you.
    I'm glad that you have a renewed determination to detach and get your life back. For your sake and that of your husband and daughter as well as your difficult child, it's a good step to be taking.

    Everywoman mentions a list of detachment phrases to practice and have ready for when your difficult child wants you to bail him out of trouble. You can check the archives to find it. Also, Ant'smom (a long-time poster) posted a link to series on detaching from your child with substance abuse about a year ago or so. I think it might be in the Teens and Substance Abuse archives. The articles were written by a mom coming to terms with detachment, grief and the lost years due to dealing with difficult child drama. Very moving and insightful.

    I will poke around in the archives and see if I can find the links.

    Your daughter sounds like an amazing young woman. Her maturity will stand her in good stead, but I agree with you that it's her turn to have your attention and focus.

  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Thanks for the reference to the detachment phrases - I found them and daughter and I had some giggles reading them to each other. She especially liked the 'fake your cell signal breaking up' one. Today she and I have been getting things ready for her party tonight. What a difference a responsible child makes!! She has set up the ping pong table, cleaned the areas and bathroom they'll be using, brought in soda from the car and put it in the fridge, has picked out bowls for the chips and snacks (which will remain in the car until the last minute, otherwise difficult child would eat half the stuff), and has helped me with baking (cookies, brownies etc.). It's been a great day. I'll do whatever it takes - read the Al-Anon materials ten times a day if I have to - to maintain this peaceful feeling. Wow.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Katya, the link to the detachment article is in my signature. :)

  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    So glad the meeting was helpful for you. Hope daughter enjoys her party!
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm glad you and daughter got alot out of the al-anon meeting. :) They can be so helpful when it comes to putting things into perspective.
  8. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I use this often.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member