Another Letter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dear....... in the headlights.......not dear Mom, it’s a here’s what I think and I will run you over with my emotions kind of letter.....same old, same old. In a nutshell, how I abandoned her just when she needed me.
    I suppose it’s about not letting her back home for the umpteenth time, not bailing her out of jail, not visiting her.
    Impeccable timing as it arrived on hubs birthday, you know when you lose someone, those important dates roll through your heart with so many memories and the grief wells up again.
    Sigh.
    Typical. So very typical.
    Again, she denies being on drugs. Huh. Well, if she is not on drugs, there is something very disturbing going on.
    She has also “found God, and since nobody cares, at least He does.”
    Good.
    Keep reading the Bible.
    Hopefully one day she will come to her senses, but it seems it will take awhile for her to figure things out.
    Things like taking responsibility for her choices, empathy, and considering her own track record as a mother to her children.
    I am picturing myself nimbly jumping
    on the hood of her car, to the roof, over the trunk and standing on the road, watching her swerve away.
    Girl needs some help.
    I will keep praying, but not holding my breath.
    Just keep walking, one foot in front of the other.
    Leafy
     
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    New leaf. I am sorry. You don't deserve that.

    She's using you as her whipping boy. It's easier and less painful than looking in the mirror.

    You know this but I'll repeat it anyway. Whether or not it's drugs, or mental illness, or homelessness, or the illuminati she, not you, is responsible.

    There is no space here for you to make relationship. For now you are an object to be used, beaten or rejected depending upon whether you assent to her requests and needs.

    The choice is how much more of this you will tolerate. My vote is zero. No more. No mail. No calls. She is pissing me off.
     
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  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I am so sorry Leafy. I remember when N was in prison what a gut punch these kinds of things were. The blaming. The anger. Until they get past that it’s really hard to have any kind of relationship. I hope and pray she will get past this and learn to look inward. I know N did, but it took a while.

    Good reminder from Copa! I get caught up sometimes in trying to figure out the reasons mine are so off track. Then it’s easy to get into the if only game. If only he would stop drinking. If only she would stop drugging. But I know the truth is more complicated. That the substances are symptoms of, and self treatments for, bigger problems. And until they face those problems, nothing will truly change, even if they are sober. Their dad did not drink or do drugs, but had terrible anger and self control issues. I used to wish he was a drunk so at least I’d have something to blame it on, and some hope he could be better if he got sober. But the problem was just inside him. Our kids’ problems are inside them, too, and until they understand, accept and address that, nothing will change. It’s so much easier to blame us though, isn’t it?

    I know you’ll find the right response, which may be no response. I never went completely no contact with N but I did do letters only for a while and told him exactly why. I didn’t really respond directly to things he wrote, but sent him my thoughts, my hopes and dreams for him, my love. I ignored any blame he attempted to put on me. I don’t know if my letters made a difference. I think I was doing it more for me than for him. You do whatever feels right and meaningful for you.

    I’m sorry she’s putting you through this, especially while you are going through so much other grief. Hugs.
     
  4. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    I'm so sorry leafy, especially on that date. My heart goes out to you over the loss of your husband. I lost my very close mother at 25 when my difficult child was 7 months old, I know it's not the same grief but it has shaped my life so I get it. My son doesn't have children (yet), but I wonder if he will use our 'bad' parenting to justify his own. I've thought about this. Where does this stop? Is there one common 'bad' ancestor who is to blame for all of their mistakes in their mind, I mean it's not like I say 'I parent you horribly because my parents did a horrible job'. That's just not how it works, we don't get a pass. I've even tried to invoke empathy in my son regarding the grief his father (he lost a parent around the same time) and I were under during his early childhood, but he just looks at me with a blank stare. Obviously your daughter is not acknowledging your grief, just curious did she grieve for her father?

    My son's birthday is Monday and husband and I were buying my son a magnificent collection of toiletries (I am doing it for me). We were looking at the birthday cards and nothing fit except one with a kid on the toilet on the front and you opened it and it said 'See I do give a **** about your birthday.' Had a good laugh, reminded me of what your daughter said about God caring. Not getting it of course, don't want to poke the bear!
     
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi guys, thanks so much for your heartfelt replies.
    That’s the thing, I have been this object for so long, in her mind. Even if I did everything she wanted, it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s like a never ending bottomless pit of wants. What kind of relationship can be made with that?
    I am surprisingly not angry, just sad, for her. I know that growth doesn’t happen when one refuses to look inward. I don’t know if she is responding to my letter or before she received it, I wrote of how much I loved her and hoped she would forgive my mistakes as a parent, not for me, but for her so she could move forward. Sigh. My granddaughter wrote to her as well, asking her to stop being mad, stop using drugs, of how she longed to be together as a family. I suppose Tornado thinks I instigated this, but it was from her little girls heart, so I sent it along with photos she requested.
    I don’t know if I will respond or not, Copa. I will pray on it.
    I think for now, I will borrow from you and Cedar and put her in the motorcycle basket.....
    :mcsmiley1:
    My youngest daughter talked about her sisters version of “unconditional love” as a selfish “I can do anything I want and you still have to be there for me.” That she won’t hear what anyone has to say, there is no conversation with her, just her lopsided perspective. If anyone says anything contrary to what she wants to hear, she just shouts over them. Her world revolves around her.
    It is a dry addict I am dealing with....Or not? I realize that people in jail can get drugs if they want to. People have talked about crooked guards in our system, bringing in drugs. She has been in there since July. Still sounds all over the place in her thought processing. Obviously very miserable. Too bad. Make better choices. No, we are not visiting you.
    My focus is on where it should be, my son. Every single weekend is packed with activities. I am not taking off of work for her court case. I can’t afford to.
    Yes, it is easier to blame us. I feel my two are stuck at 13. I am lowering the age. Used to be 16.
    I have a few more photos that I printed for her that I intend to send with a short note. I don’t think I am ready to go no contact, for my sake. Not that I want to be anybody’s whipping post. I am not going to respond to her ranting. It is a toddlers tantrum. In fact, I think I will completely ignore it.
    I don’t think my daughter has it within her at this point to be empathetic. She has been for quite some time, just, wild. Recovering wrote of this as feral. I think that sums it up. Just unable to put herself in other people’s shoes. I don’t think she views me as a person, with feelings.
    Hubs was seriously ill a few times before he passed, bouts with Sepsis, twice recovered. During this time, both of our two were spiraling downwards. His illness did not faze them. It is too tawdry to even recount. They used him. He was soft on them, I was the “bad” guy, refusing to house them, done with the chaos. When he was hospitalized for the last time, they both did not visit until it was too late. I am sure deep down inside they grieve his passing. In fact, Tornado uses his loss as an excuse for her actions. I wrote to her that he would not want us to fall apart over his death, that he worked hard for his family to rise above the poverty he lived in. He wanted better for his kids.
    On the eve of scattering his ashes, she invited her cronies over to our home, and a drunken brawl ensued with her boyfriend ending up attacking her. Yup. Beyond Jerry Springer. My stomach turns writing that.
    Huh! Funny you should mention that, her birthday is coming up, she will be 30, 30 years old, guys. Does hallmark make cards for incarcerated adult d c’s?
    Okay that’s not funny, but it kind of is.

    When does this turn a corner? Geez, hubs cousins are in their late 70s, housing their 50 year old meth addicted son. He recently had a stroke, due to meth use. Not going there. Can’t see myself living through the craziness of that.

    The thing is, I have to maintain my own dignity through this, regardless of her response and ranting. I am not quite sure yet what that entails. One thing for sure, I have time to think about it, and she sure as heck does. Not dropping anything to run to the rescue.

    On another note, the city is closing out parks in the area that Rain frequents. I am thinking since Tornado took a swing at me, I will probably be hearing from Rain.
    It’s like a tag team.
    Oh boy.
    :oops:
    Thank you again ladies. Your help and kindness is a huge hug of understanding. I appreciate that more than you will ever know.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I just had to say how much this resonated with me, too! C's b-day is coming up soon, too. 33. Cards sound trivial, compared to everything else they are putting us through, until you're standing there in the card aisle faced with 300 variations of "I'm so proud of the man/woman you have become" or "I'm so lucky to have such a great son/daughter!" or "you're not just my son/daughter, you're my best friend." Something about picking birthday cards out for them when they are really struggling just brings home how crazy their lives are. Nothing seems to quite fit what I want to say, if I want to be truly honest! Where's the "hoping and praying this is the year you'll finally get it together!" card?
     
  7. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    So sorry Leafy, that had to be hard. You have to try your best to not take it personally, it is HER issue You have done your best, you knows that down deep. Hugs.
     
  8. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Yeah Elsi I hate those cards. I can't ever find anything for my father, we have a strained relationship and now my son. I know I don't complain about my daughter much, but I find it hard to find for her too. I mean she's a good kid, but I find I can't get overly gushy to anyone who is still growing up, lest they get lazy or think they have me where they want me. I guess that's something my lovely son has taught me. Maybe someday.
     
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  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Get a card with no writing inside. And say it your way.
     
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Leafy, I'm sorry you've had to feel any negative emotions at all in regard to your daughter.....but of course, we respond from our broken Mother's heart. It's so hard on us. The hardest thing most of us will ever do is watch our kids slip off the track.....for whatever reason.

    I would have written your exact words a number of years ago when my daughter was in jail, same old, same old, only with a jailhouse beat in the otherwise usual melody. It wrung me out the first time, gave me some clarity the second. FWIW, my feelings are that like my own daughter, Tornado has covered her heart, drowned out the empathy and compassion with drugs, pushed down her grief about her Dad and what she's done with her kids. An open heart cannot deal with that kind of disconnect from ourselves. I don't believe it's even personal to you (but of course how else do we experience it?) I don't believe there is even a real thought process behind Tornado's communication to you, it's driven by drugs, or the lack of drugs, but more so, it's driven by survival....no one lives on the streets as long as she has without it changing how they view the world, the level of safety or lack thereof, is paramount, it's only about the basic life saving issues, food & shelter......(and drugs). My schizophrenic brother was on the streets of L.A. for years and when he came to stay with me before we secured an apartment for him, he was indeed, feral.

    Leafy, I know this sounds kind of weird when we're talking about our precious kids, but Leafy, don't allow anything Tornado says to you to impact you because you believe what she is saying is her truth......it is survival, it is not about you or her love for you, it is about the most base human need to get what they need to survive. When I could get to that place inside myself, it was easier for me.....it stopped my judgements of my daughter & my anger at her....and I slowly began to accept her for how she showed up (with my massive boundaries intact). I was tired......I wanted to stop feeling bad..... it felt like a surrender to what is....I can't help but think of the quote by Eckhart Tolle..... which I know I say a lot, but it's a short statement which helps me remember how I don't have control over anything except how I respond to life......."Argue with reality and you suffer." I guess what I did was to stop arguing, stop expecting anything to be different......and honestly it was the single biggest shift I had with my experience with my daughter.

    From my vantage point Leafy, you never travel far off your own path of self love or self care......you have a monumental tool box which you are adept at using....for me when my daughter skates in and presents me with a 'unique to her' perspective, I now see it as a means to make a slight adjustment in my self and perhaps another boundary or another communication...... another life lesson I maneuver through.........and aren't most about acceptance?

    I hope this makes sense to you, sometimes it's tough to put into words the intricacies of our dealings with our kids. It's sure been the biggest lesson of my life......and remarkably, my daughter is doing ok, doing life on her terms, it doesn't matter what I think about it, it's her life to do with as she sees fit....now that I feel that and she doesn't feel judged by me, we are in a whole new ballgame. No one is more surprised and elated than I am. I felt like I gave it all up..... and once I did that..... my girl began her journey home.
     
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Leafy, I'm so sorry she couldn't send a letter of truth and love. Reading your post about what she wrote was daja-vu for me. Over the years, the different times my son has bee in jail, I have received similar letters telling me how it's all my fault his life is a mess, how I was never there for him, blah, blah, blah!!

    I truly feel that when our children lash out us like this, they are operating on emotions of self hatred. They hate how their life has turned out and it's much easier to blame us than it is to own up to their own choices. I think it's a mixture of pride and the drugs/alcohol that keep them from looking inward. If they look inward they will see the truth, the truth that we as the parents have spoken to them many times over the years. It would mean they would have to admit we were right and they were wrong. Their pride will hold them back. The drugs/alcohol will continue to reinforce the lies to them.

    Our children want to dictate to us how we should love them, how we should enable them. We as the parents have to stand firm with our boundaries and not waiver. Our love for them does not stop and is unconditional. They do not see that. What is conditional is how we allow them to treat us. They do not know how to separate the two.

    It's my hope and prayer for all of our adult children that have gone down a dark path that they will come to a fork in the path and see a light that will bring them out of the darkness they live in.

    ((HUGS)) to you!!!!
     
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Re, and all, I so appreciate you sharing from your experience.
    I am sure of this, Re. We have all at one time or another had to toughen ourselves to deal with life’s challenges, but for my two waywards, it is at a whole different level. Their choices and lifestyles have brought upon much misery, which I think they drown out with more drugs, more toughness.

    She called and I picked up. Of course, she wants money in her account, needs dandruff shampoo, toothpaste, doctors visits, which she said she has an amount due so they won’t see her anymore. Can’t work because she got into fights. I told her I received her letter, she said she got mine after the fact. “I was just telling you how I feel...but I said I loved you at the end.”
    Huh.
    Then, “You think you are loving me, but not the way I need.”
    Twice she repeated this.
    I didn’t say too much, mostly listened.
    The weird thing is, that I am kind of numb. So, I may be getting to where I need to be, not over emoting and worrying. But admittedly, I still don’t know how to deal with this. I am thinking this morning that I can set boundaries, but still be kind. I don't need to be angry, that is too much wasted energy. But, I do have to be smart and guard my heart.
    Acceptance. That’s key, for sure, how she shows up is the hard part. I do see where you are coming from. I don’t know how to wrap my head around this yet. I don’t want to cut off communication, she is still my adult child, but I also don’t want to reinforce her tantrums and manipulation. She called again today asking
    me to remember to put money in her account. It’s a theme.
    True. It is a “what is, is” sort of thing. I don’t mind that you post it, it is a good reminder. That is a realist perspective. I also contemplate Frankl’s theory of idealism, which does argue with reality, seeing a person for what they could be, not as they truly are. It is a fine line to walk, between logic and hope.
    Yes, most of life’s lessons are about acceptance, understanding that there are many things we have no control over.
    It does make sense. I am glad that your daughter is doing okay Re.
    Part of me wants to write a letter explaining why I cannot have her at home, why I won’t this or that, but I don’t feel it will make a difference to her. Maybe I will write one, for me, and not send it.
    :laugh: That’s funny. Maybe we can start our own card company.
    That is what I am aiming for, not to take it personally. At the same time, people do have to take responsibility for how they speak to others. Or treat others. Hugs back, CTM.

    This is a good idea Swot. Thank you!

    They are ......clueless. It doesn’t faze Tornado. She brushes it off so easily, then asks for money. Huh.

    If it is so awful, why keep at it? Stuck, I feel they are stuck. Drugs are the main focus. Tornado still denies it.
    I am trying to figure out my boundaries with this new scenario. A friend told me if I am inclined to put money in her account, 20 dollars is plenty. Enough for toiletries, but not for drugs.

    It is a pretty lopsided view on relationships. It’s been a long haul for us. I am a bit weary of it, to tell you the truth. I need to rehash my boundaries and strengthen myself and find my way through. I don’t want to overthink it either.
    It is her road to travel. She’s trying to draw me in.
    I have to be on my guard. I have much to focus on with my son graduating this year. Been so busy lately with work and activities, it took me a few days to write this. Thank you everyone for sharing. It means a lot to be able to hash this out and receive advice from those who have walked the walk.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Oh Leafy I’m all too familiar with how hard it is to maintain boundaries at a time like this. I agree that $20 is plenty for toiletries if you feel so moved. I also agree that you’re not obligated to do even this. I ended up doing it occasionally for N during his time, but only when I got to the point where I felt like I was doing it for love, not guilt or obligation.

    That’s the ultimate question, isn’t it? What I’m struggling with also. Acceptance is a very hard lesson. I’m not there either. Hugs to you as we walk this path together.
     
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I'm sad to read you are having to shore up your boundaries again, Leafy.

    I have been thinking a great deal about boundaries lately, as relates to your daughter, my son, Copa's son...well, all of our feral adult children here. I don't have any advice or answers, just letting you know that I understand trying to walk that razor's edge between logic and hope...and getting cut to pieces in the process.

    Acceptance is a hard one to master, that's for sure. Even trying to figure out what it looks like is hard for me. Falling on either side of that razor's edge is going to hurt too.

    But we are all here supporting you. May you find some peace today.
     
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  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, it was that initial misery which prompted my reactions of despair, anger, disappointment, judgement, deep sorrow.....all of it.
    The hard reality of that misery took my beliefs about how my daughter SHOULD be to epic heights. It had a lot to do with what my expectations for my only child were.....I watched as those expectations got shot down, one by one. Each time it devastated me. I had to go down that list for quite some time to eventually land in a place where I could even entertain the idea that my daughter was living a life SHE chose. It was very hard for me to get there. I needed a lot of support to break that cycle.

    Ultimately, that is how I chose to respond as well. As I progressed and my daughter didn't, I kept moving a little more away.....one tiny step at a time.....the tough feelings of anger, grief, despair rolled through me, I felt it all, it wasn't easy, but it definitely was a process of putting one foot in front of the other. Each step taught me something about myself and my own various issues which were preventing me from seeing the truth and being able to "see" my daughter for who she is as opposed to what my expectations of her were. Some of those expectation were hidden deep within me, hard to get in touch with because they had more to do with me, than with her. That 2 year long codependency course I took was enough continual support for me to have trained professionals keep chipping away at my reactions and inviting me to look at them and discover I had many ways to respond, not just the ONE way I always reacted. There is a difference between reacting and responding. Reacting for me had no thought behind it, it's an automatic response based on my own "stuff." I learned how to take a step back and respond to each incident....each incident required a new response.....so it required more thought, not just my immediate reaction. You're very good at taking that step back and then responding.

    I never cut off communication with my daughter no matter how out there she got. Over time I learned how to state my boundary with each one of my daughter's manipulations to get me to do something........one boundary at a time.......one boundary at a time.....it took awhile. Leafy, for me it had a lot to do with placing more value on my child's needs than my own. I needed help to see that I had every right to make boundaries around behavior that was hurtful, manipulative, deceitful, etc...no matter who the perpetrator was, it was unacceptable......I learned how to self care in a way I had no idea about before. Coming from my own dysfunctional background did not set me up to have a clear sense of where my daughter ended and I began......we were enmeshed in ways I had no idea about. I was the one who began the unhealthy enmeshment, I was the one who ended it.

    I understand. I had to take apart my definition of hope. For me, it was tied in pretty tightly with expectations & fear. I had to find the line where I could hold out hope for my daughter but at the same time recognize that my hope means little in the scheme of her life, it was about me. My hope now is that my daughter finds her way in life on her terms, for her to discover what that means to her, because my hope was riddled with how I believed it SHOULD BE for her. Those shoulds kept me tethered to unending disappointment & despair. I had to ask myself, "what am I hoping for?" Usually my answer to that was I wanted her to be like me, or like a "typical" person, I wanted her to be what I wanted her to be, not who she is. It didn't leave a lot of room for her to show up. My hope turned out to be judgement. Not to say that is the usual case at all, that's how it was for me.

    Just as an aside, the therapist I had when I was in that codependency course was the head of the substance abuse/codependency program. She told us that addiction and parental judgement are tied up in ways that can keep both parties stuck. The substance abuser feels that judgement continuously. It's a cycle that's really hard to break out of. I really heard that and I could see that judgement in myself with my daughter. Of course, I can get a lot of agreement for how right I was with my judgements......my daughter was the "wrong" one. But my position of being "right" in my judgements must have felt pretty crummy to her. How do we accept another when they are making such poor choices and in our opinion, ruining their lives? I had to make distinctions between the behavior and who my daughter is......that had all collapsed for me......I began discerning the difference (with a lot of help.) and communicating that to my daughter in ways that over time, began to take root. I never realized how judgmental and critical I had become towards her. It doesn't have to be words, it's the look on my face, the tone in my voice, the sigh....nuances that I think are quite loud when they come from a parent. It was not a pretty insight, believe me. I could see that my critical reactions to her set her up to continually have to defend herself and dig her heels in. As I learned to drop the judgement, she and I found new ways to relate, the cemented views we both had began to break up. I have to say, that was not my shining hour, but once I saw it, I could change it.

    I wrote a few of those letters and never sent them too. I don't think you have to justify your position by explaining anything to her at this point. I found over time that a simple no was my best strategy, no explanations, no reasons, nothing but a strong boundary. My explanations were for me, my daughter was not in a position then to hear anything but that I wasn't giving her what she wanted, my words were wasted. I got good at that "no", plain and simple......NO. As you always say Leafy, Love says no. I saw after awhile that I complicated it with my feelings, my own "stuff," my inability to say no, to hold my daughter accountable for her behavior towards me.....again, for me, it was more about me...... and I learned how to respond with no justifications. My position became clear. When it was not clear, was when I felt compelled to find justifications....for myself, so that I could do something that was hard for me to do. That clarity took a bit of time though. My daughter and I had to develop a new way of relating....where I showed up with MY power. As that happened the dynamic between us shifted and she began hearing that "no" differently because that "no" was now a strong statement without any doubt. Once my doubt was gone, she stopped trying to manipulate me. People sense when we are unclear and in doubt and they continue running their trips on us until we get to that point of crystal clarity within.

    My daughter is ok now Leafy however still lives an unusual lifestyle.....actually in a lot of ways, she continues to live the way she has for many years.....the difference is that I accepted it and she is clear about what I'm willing to do and what I'm not....our relationship made a 360 degree turn.....it didn't alter her choices in life but it completely changed our relationship. I don't think too much anymore about holding out hope for her to change or to live a different life, she is who she is......she may change, she may not, my well being is not tied to her choices. Nor can I save her from her choices.

    I was on the phone with her recently where she was telling me about a cool thing that happened to her. She is HIGHLY emotional and VERY intense which can be very difficult for those in her sphere......she knows how I react to that intensity.....so at one point when she was literally screaming.....I quietly said, (without judgement) " honey, would you mind speaking a little more calmly?" And before I could say more, she stopped, right in the middle of that level of intense emotion and said, "oh right Mom, I know how that makes you feel." And she took a deep breath and then quietly (for her) continued her story. We had a nice conversation after that....she respected my boundary and we both felt good about it. It was a sweet moment Leafy where I realized that after all these years, we arrived somewhere we both can live with.

    It feels to me that this new episode with Tornado is a turning point for YOU. In spite of your concerns and your worries, you're making difficult, but positive choices for yourself, your son, your health and well being. I think on the love line we have to move the dial just over the middle point to OUR side.....to fortify ourselves with our self care and self worth and hold the line for ANYONE to treat us in an unkind or disrespectful way, no matter what, no matter who. I believe when we make that shift, the changes we are looking for begin to occur.....perhaps not in the way our old selves would have wanted....but in ways that respect and honor us and our kids and can allow all of us to awaken to our true selves..... I believe when we hold our own counsel, when we accept ourselves, when we reside in our own power and sovereignty and let go of our self judgements..... which then lets us let go of the judgements of others.... we model that for our kids.

    Again, this is my story, my journey......take what you want and ditch anything that doesn't fit for you.

    And, Leafy, have a wonderful Sunday.........you have such a tender, loving nature...your words always touch my heart in deep and profound ways. Thank you for being here....your journey has touched us all in beautiful ways I can't even articulate.....you're a real gift to all of us.
     
  16. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Leafy,
    Hmmm..she proclaims to have found God. Then she should have been writing to you with forgiveness (since she blames you for everything) and love.
    They are professional at making everything someone (usually our) fault.
    I sorry she sent that letter at all, even worse on such a hard day for you.
    Thank God you have wonderful (grown) children in your life.
     
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  17. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    This has been a real problem for me. I know that when I make comments like, "I saw a study that says that people who delay gratification make more money" All my so hears is how messed up I think he is. I have a hard time not saying these things, I think maybe sometime something might resonant with him. It is very hard to know how to talk with him when he is telling me about the latest crisis . I want so much to tell him how to fix it and I know I can't. I really don't know what to say to him except yes that's too bad, etc.
    When my son has been locked up I just gave him a set amount of money a month and then he had to decide where it would go. It stopped the asking for money after a while. I never knew if he really needed the money to see the Dr. or just made it up. Always wished you could call and find out but they won't tell you.
     
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi guys, thanks so much again for your response.
    I am trying Albie, not to be cut to pieces.
    No good comes of it.
    You all have helped me get through the muck and mire of this.
    Thank you Albie. I am working through my boundaries and what I am able to do. My emotions cannot be tied to Tornados circumstances. I think I am getting better at recovering from the sting of it. I have to. I don’t want to live like a zombie in survival mode, just getting by day to day, waiting for things to change for her, or Rain, as if holding my breath. I have to move forward.
    Perhaps Tornado will figure things out and strive for better. Hopefully this stint in jail will help her. One or two things, she will either come out of it more hardened, or know that she does not want to go there again. That is completely up to her.
    That is a big gain Re. Even if it seems a small thing, it is not.
    No matter what, or who. I am thankful that I have my son, my love for him and duty to see him through his senior year has helped to solidify my decision to stick to my boundaries of not housing my two. The word harboring pops up in my brain. Harboring in the sense that we gave sanctuary to our two, while they were drugging. We had no idea the extent of it. All of the consequences of that, the chaos, are one big nightmarish memory. One that I do not ever want to go back to.
    I made a promise to my son that we would not be in that position again, and I intend to keep it.
    I realize that I can’t use that love for my son as an excuse, I also need to stand up for myself, make that promise to myself.
    I do believe the same, that this is a lifelong journey back to ourselves. For everyone, our kids included. Everything that happens to us, has a lesson, an opportunity for growth.
    I am grateful that you share this with us, Re. Your perspective is most welcome.
    Oh, Re, infinitely the same for you. I love your Einstein quote. Everything is a miracle. All of the kind souls who find themselves on this site have a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding to share and reap from members here. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. I am blessed.
    My Sunday was a beautiful, harrowing, strength and perseverance test, a 32 mile paddle race with 11 women, 50 and above. Strong athletic women, working together to move the canoe on the beautiful deep blue sapphire ocean, passing white sandy beaches and jagged lava rock cliffs. It was exhilarating and hard and I am thankful to have the health to participate. Through the training, I wondered if I would be able to make it. Tornados situation was on my mind, and I realized that I had to reconfigure my emotional boundaries to rise above the weight of it. I was starting to carry her burden, it is one that does not belong to me.
    She is not there yet, and that is okay. It is a learning curve. The initial shock of her ranting is gone, and I am able to contemplate that she has been through so much in her life. Abusive boyfriend, three kids, way too soon. Yes, all of her own doing, but I see her lashing out from deep pain. She is not ready to do that work of looking at her own mistakes. It is up to her what she does with her Bible reading, if she lets it sink into her heart, or not, I hope she does. The work I have to do is to not let her words effect me so deeply, to love her regardless, and draw the line. For me. And her.

    It was hard to read, but in the frame of things, not surprising. It is a repeat of what she has said before, and an indication for me, as to where she is at emotionally and mentally. I have to view that carefully, try not to get drawn in, or be judgemental. Hopefully one day she can look at the good memories of our family life.
    Oh, I am so thankful for my three, they help me tremendously.
    I think that is where I am heading Elsi, gauging whether I am moved by love, not FOG.
    Thank you Elsi, I am working on acceptance. Working on what I am willing to do, what would really help her, without enabling.
    I think I am getting there Re, one small step at a time. Those feelings still roll through, but they don’t linger as long, or touch me to my core.
    I developed this hyper vigilant state through years of reacting. Ready to jump to the “rescue” at the next beck and call.
    Plain and simple. No. It is true. No explanation. It wouldn’t sink in anyway.
    That is truth, Re. That is why it is so important to continue to shift focus on self care. Developing a strong sense of self is key, especially when we have a propensity to be “people pleasers.” There is a great difference between being kind, and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. It is something I have to constantly work on. That is where for me, not judging, but having good judgement, is important. I know, through these years of dealing with this, that my daughters can be quite artful in drawing me in, that way I become a mark in a con game. Phrases like unconditional love get caught up in the midst of it. Their definition of it is “give me what I want.” I have to be able to read through that. It can get complicated, that fine line. That one piece of web that tangles up around our heart between hope and reality.
    This is what I have to keep in mind. Not to fall on the sword. For me, it is where prayer comes in and faith that God will watch over them. Letting go.
    I have no idea what jail life entails, just through tv and what folks have written here. I sent photos to Tornado, but didn’t know there was a limit. I read five photos in a letter and took that to mean five at a time. It is only five. So, she requested a collage, printed on paper. I think it is a good thing, to want pictures of her kids. Maybe it will help her move forward.
    I am sending a check today. I can’t even begin to put expectations on what she will spend it on. Hopefully, what she is telling me is true, but that is up to her. Her court case was canceled due to the hurricane, so she will be in there a bit longer. Only time will tell where all of this is going.
    One day at a time. I put my trust in God, that all things happen for a reason. It is not only a lesson for her, but for me as well.
    Thank you all for your kindness in taking time to share with me and fortify my resolve. This journey is difficult, but not impossible to get through. Your words have helped immensely, your experience and encouragement have bolstered me. I am forever grateful.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  19. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    "I was starting to carry her burden, it is one that does not belong to me." That is exactly what our family therapist told us yesterday. It's not easy to do in practice though.
     
  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Leafy:

    I hope and pray that your daughter someday will see what a wonderful, loving and kind mother she has been blessed with.