Day by Day

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray
    To see thee more clearly
    Love thee more dearly
    Follow thee more nearly, day by day

    Every day brings with it so many different feelings as I sort through this pain. There is so much of it written through these pages for every one here. I have deep sorrow for all. I have found much relief here, been amazed by peoples strength, been comforted to know that I am not alone, relieved to see that there is progress in some of my cyber friends difficult children. Feeling blessed to have found a place to safely express my woes.

    Yet still there is that emptiness in having two children lost in their ways.

    I miss them. The real them. Not the drama infused, crazed them that they are now.

    I haven't spoken or heard from my daughters in almost a month now. It is a part of this roller coaster ride that I try to be tough about, but the feelings still work at me. Some days I can push it aside, other days the emptiness is like the slow drip of a leaky faucet, there, I am able to press on through, until the noise of it permeates everything.

    I am juggling with the silliest of things in comparison to some of your troubles. It is such a small thing, but such a big thing. A friend at work who knows some of my story suggested I text affirmations to my daughters. The oldest, I do not even know if she has a cell phone, the middle, I have not gotten past the sting of our last parting.

    It is not only the screaming tirade of insults and hurtful things, but the events leading up to it. I have gone through this many times, but this is the first time I have heard such abusiveness screamed at a decibel rate I would not think humanly possible, and prolonged. The words echo in my ears. The look on my grandchildren's faces etched in my memory.I know it was a tantrum from a 27 year old not in her right mind. But it was still wrong, and hurtful. She accomplished her mission.

    As I go through the motions of picking up the pieces, working, housekeeping (well, sort of) the last encounter with her is fading, but the wound is still there. I want to reach out to her as a mother, but at the same time, do not want to minimize her actions.

    Is it my pride? Am I stubborn? Am I weak? Have I fallen into the trap of her silent treatment, for I know this game all too well. It is a familiar road. It is a deep void.I do not feel that I should make the first move. Check. Checkmate. UGH.

    I am sad, but I am angry. I do not want to be the first to attempt contact. I feel that it will minimize her actions. I am waiting, waiting for an apology that will probably never happen. I am also allowing myself time to heal. I am also fearful of opening the door, rekindling a relationship that has been fraught with sorrow, troubles, blame and ugliness.

    I miss my daughter, not the person she is right now.

    So, today,please forgive me Lord, but I am not ready to pick up the phone.
  2. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I don't have advice on the question, but maybe if you sit with your feelings for a while longer, it will become more clear what you want for yourself (and whether that's healthy), and what you should give to your daughter (and whether that's healthy). Sometimes for me, there seems to be a split. Expressing my feelings, trying to find a basis for mutuality, all that, are things that are healthy in a normaI relationship, and are normal to want and need for yourself. But in a lopsided relationship, even that can feel like pandering for you, or taken as a sign of weakness by the other person, which in turn feeds their sickness. Sometimes you just have to let yourself do it anyway, as a little break to yourself, and as long as you understand that you might be rebuffed or betrayed at a later date again, then you're not expecting a different result from the same efforts to reach out and connect. In any case, I seem to have the most confidence in what I do after I ride out my impulses and the feeling of "why shouldn't I be able to do that" -- until after a wait a while. How long that is depends on the situation.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Maybe it is still too soon. Unresolved anger pops out at the worst possible time.

    I would not do this.

    We cannot know how our children will hear us.

    I wonder whether this feels right. If you begin looking through greeting card sections when you are out shopping, and find that one, perfect card, buy it. Once you are home, think about it again until you feel sure. Sign it very simply.

    Again, we do not know how our children will receive our words.

    We love you,
    Mom & Dad

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She was in her right mind, unless she is psychotic. She was for some reason trying to manipulate you into doing something that you refused to do. Maybe you set a boundary. At any rate, it is up to you, b ut if it were me I would not apologize for what SHE did. I used to apologize all the time for things I didn't do and I thought it would make people love me...members of my family who thought little of me and treated me badly. It didn't change one thing to apologize. Just made me look weak and they treated me even worse. Now I don't talk to them anymore. You don't have to do that, but if your daughter sees you as weak, she will treat you even worse.

    You are a valuable, important human being whom God (since you believe in Him) put on this earth. You do not deserve to have to listen to abuse and next time your daughter starts up, maybe disconnect the call or leave the house. You can say calmly, "I will speak to you when you have calmed and are respectful." Then do it.

    I had to do this with one of my adult children. It helped tremendously. I can't say it will work for your daughter, but if you let her disrespect you like that...well, I'd hate for you to felt guilted and useless like I did just because I listened to nonesense from disturbed people in my family. I hope you can empower yourself and do this.

    Hugs and more hugs!!
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think my situation was somewhat different but when we kicked my son out at the age of 18 (after he threatened to bash my teeth in) I was feeling pretty angry and upset. I was seeing a therapist at the time and I was of the mind that I would just wait and let him contact me. Her comment to me was that then he probably won't... you have kicked him out and his pride will keep him from contacting you. Her suggestion was that I text him every couple of days.... simple things iike I am thinking of you. Definitely not to invite him back home, but to open the door to communcation. I took her advice and did that. I did not hear back from him the first tew times but when he was arrested he called us. We have travelled many miles in this journey since then with many ups and downs.... but I am really thankful to that therapist for that advice because I think keeping the door open to our relationship I think was really important. So my thought for you is to think about ways you can keep the door open without giving up who you are, and without accepting abuse from her.
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your valuable input, yes you are right. There is time to sit with my feelings and think carefully about what happens next-on my own terms.

    This may be why the circle continues. I cave in too easily, trying to be the "bigger person". It is what we were taught as kids. I am learning I have set myself up sometimes, bent over to "help" and then treated badly.

    I have to remind myself to take deep breaths and to allow myself the time I need to heal. That is not a selfish thing. I think my friends comments triggered the mother instinct. She is in a different place with her adult children. One day I may be there, but not now. You are spot on Sam3-it is a very lopsided relationship, not healthy. Thank you so much for sharing.
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You are right Cedar, it is too soon. Another exercise in futility. I would be setting myself up. NOT going there. Won't put my head in the crocodiles mouth.

    I am going to try to redirect my thought process and focus elsewhere. I need to distance myself. I spoke to my friend today and told her I was glad things were working for her, but I was not in a place to be sending texts. I appreciate your thoughts to look at cards, but I am not even there!

    Think I will just wait a bit, and give myself some time.

    Sure do appreciate your thoughtfulness. It is a true blessing.
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I do not think she is psychotic. I do not know if her brain is damaged from dabbling with drugs. Not trying to make excuses for this unacceptable behavior, it is just so puzzling. I have never seen her act to this degree of irrationality?

    Heck no, not going to apologize!

    I, too have the over apologizing gene. Always concerned for how the other person felt. I agree with you that when we are over pleasing and apologizing without reason, it sets us up for victimization.
    I want to stop that, but still maintain kindness, not to be misrepresented as weakness.

    Thank you for these words. I am starting to think that she has done me a favor by this 'in your face" tirade. It shocked me and spun me around, it was an absolute eruption of venomous anger. Completely out of control. I have seen bits and pieces of this, but this was the whole shebang. Big wake up call for me. The veritable last straw.

    Big hugs back at you!
    I have mulled over my friends suggestion to "text words of affirmation" "she's your daughter and a daughter needs her mother". Then followed my patterned response, of trying to be the better person, maybe I should reach out as a mother -yadayadayada. I did think for a bit on it, it is what instigated my post.

    The truth is, we have not had a mother daughter relationship in a long time. Not to the degree of her explosion, but not a closeness, a lack of appreciation, she blamed her trials on me. The disrespect was woven in here and there, but not so blatant in your face, all out to get you and hurt you stuff.

    So, I will not be texting any time soon. I need time to recover and build myself up. I need to recharge my battery and get my mojo back. I need to analyze stuff without being consumed by it.

    Yes, I need to empower myself to stand up and show by my actions "Thats it. Enough!"

    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement.

  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you toughlovin. I think I will sit a bit with my feelings for now. It has been a long hard haul with my daughter being 27.

    It is a good suggestion to keep the door open, but I do realize I have to build myself up to be able to deal with whatever is thrown my way.

    I will keep this one in my back pocket for now, and when I am ready, I will be able to move in that direction.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi New Leaf

    I know the pain of not knowing where they are and aching for them. Wanting to hear their voice. Only that.

    Today my son called me to tell me he was kicked out as a patient in the University Liver Clinic. I was devastated. I felt, I cannot bear more. My SO reminded me that it is I who suffer, that it is I who cannot bear it when I am not in contact with my son. Agony for me seems to be a better alternative than absence.

    But then other times, when I am rational, I see that for so long I have played two parts in the relationship, and he takes responsibility for neither. What kind of a person am I who hangs on no matter what, even with my child; who has had no bottom line?

    I feel like the others that we all need to have a bottom line and that to abuse us, and disrespect is a form of abuse, is not OK.

    But we are their parents. A card, the perfect card, like Cedar suggests, might be the right thing. Maybe just a picture. And love. Whether or not there is contact, there is love. And love does not negate her responsibility for her words and conduct. I like that idea.

    But believe it. You are not alone. So many of us, most, have been where you are. Try your very best to take care of yourself.

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Copa I am so sorry for the devastating news. My heart goes out to you.

    You are his Mother, there is nothing wrong with you hanging on to hope.

    It is hard all of these years waiting for our difficult children to hit rock bottom, have some kind of epiphany, and begin to make better choices. All the while we are a part of this yo-yoing, trying to establish boundaries, our hearts are torn. What is our rock bottom as parents? What is our epiphany? I think as unique individuals, that will come to each of us in our own due time. For me, I have a young son and a husband with declining health. I have to be able to get up in the morning to face each new day. If not for myself, for my son. So for me, right now, I have hit rock bottom with my difficult children. I have realized that our household has been under siege, my heart has been under siege. For me, the way up right now, is to remain as is, to not have contact. It means to wall up my heart a bit, so it won't bleed so much the next time we speak.

    Even in my responses I see that I have allowed "subtle" (but really, not so subtle) disrespect. Watered it down to be able to try to help my grandchildren. Allowed my daughter to come home and shake up our house with her antics. I told my girls who are doing well that there will NOT be a next time. The youngest doesn't even want to talk about it, because she is upset. "Mom I am not mad at you, but I am frustrated that there is nothing we can do, so I don't even want to talk about it." That is her coping skill. Her boundary. I respect that and won't share my grief with her. My son is finally able to relax in his own home. He is glad the "tornado" has left. I have to take my cue from him and pull up my boot straps to get myself in a better place to take care of his needs.

    When I feel that I am ready, I will look at cards. I think we need our own category-maybe we have to write to Hallmark to put up a "Notes to Difficult Adult Children" section.
    "You been a little &%$#, but you are my kid and I still love you."
    "Down in the dumps from our last encounter, but I'm thinking of you"
    "I know you think I sucked as a Mother, but I tried my best."
    Sorry for being snarky, guess I've hit the anger stage!
    Thank you so much Copa for your kindness. I have so much appreciation for this site. It has been a blessing to read from others, post and process all of this. I will try each day to take care of myself, and I hope likewise you do the same. You have offered so much comfort to others. I see from your recent posts that you are in a tough place right now. I have been there too. So down, that I can't seem to get up and function. Sometimes I stay down, because then, when the next blow comes, I don't have that far to fall. It is not healthy.

    Somehow in spite of all of this misery, we have to get our joy back. I am at the tail end of my life, and wish to live it as fully as I can.

    The trick is, how do I do that with all of this hoopla, with my two?
    There within lies the big question.

    ((Hugs)) and wishes for brighter days. There are dark clouds, but the sun is still behind them.