Exhausted and overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Cindy1104, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Cindy1104

    Cindy1104 New Member

    I am new to this site but I really need some help detaching from my 31 year old daughter. She is addicted to meth and lost her parental rights to her 5 year old son who I am now raising. She is homeless and its freezing outside. She is also a master manipulator who tries to guilt me into helping her constantly. I am just so tired and its getting hard to deal with all the stress. Its physically making me sick. She has been like this for the past 13 years and shes destroying my life and marriage. How do you make the worry and guilt stop...
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  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi, hon. I am so sorry. You are not alone.

    Are you doing anything for yourself? Al Anon? Private therapy? I think one or both would be a great start. Do NOT let your daughter ruin your marriage. He will be there for you when your daughter heads for the hills. She is an adult and needs to either dry out or accept living in bad places, maybe in shelters, because that is what drug addicts do if they refuse to get clean. Her situation is 100 percent her own doing and fault. Not 1 percent your fault. Her words of manipulation have no logical meaning...I call it verbal vomit. Don't listen. Disconnect your phone if she pleads or abuses. Nobody should listen to abuse. This fully grown adult child abusing you is domestic abuse. Would you put up with it from your husband? Anyone else?

    You can't help her stop. You have a little boy to raise and he will be better off if you nuture your marriage and provide him with stability from now on. Mom is chaos but that is not his fault. It was super kind that you took him in and he needs your attention. Your daughter is choosing her path.

    The rest of you deserve a quiet, drama free, safe home and the money needs to stay with the three of you, not the addict. We all know how they guilt and whine and abuse us...that certainly is no reason for us to feel we have to treat them as if they are little children who do t know what they need to do in order to do better. Your daughter knows she needs to quit meth, but she won't, even putting meth above her son. But she CAN quit if she really wants to. But you can't make her do it. You can not.

    Others will come along. I hope you start learning to detach. I loved Al Anon and my therapist too. Give resources a try???
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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am sorry for your troubles. Many of the people here have been in very similar places including myself. My son is 36 bipolar and uses drugs. Until last oct when i had him 302ed i was paying rent buying food helping with his business on and on. Then found out he was using cocaine among other things. He has 2 children both with their respective mothers. I will not allow him at my home. He is currently in jail. There is an article here on detaching and also a book called codependent no more by Melody Beattie both are good resources. There is also a post about 7 ways you know you are being manipulated. All that aside your daughter needs to take care of her own life. You have the right to a peaceful home and so does your grandson. You need to understand that you are enabling her by continuing to give her money and other things she is most likely using it for drugs. She needs to hit bottom before she realizes that she needs to change. One story that helped me was about the butterfly. There are other stories with the same theme i will see if i can find it for you. Also it might help to get yourself counceling not for her but support for you. I am sure others will follow.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    [​IMG]Struggle is Good! I Want to Fly!

    Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

    The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

    One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

    The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

    At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

    The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

    As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

    But neither happened!

    The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

    It never was able to fly…

    As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

    As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

    As instructors our gift to you is stronger wings…
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  5. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness, so sad, but so true.
  6. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Just want to extend a warm hug your way, Cindy.

    Will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.
  7. Cindy1104

    Cindy1104 New Member

    Thank you for the advice trying very hard to disconnect even though i know i can be weak at times. Im just so tired and want some peace in my life.
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Cindy. I'm so sorry you're struggling with your adult daughter.....it sure sounds as if you've been on the hamster wheel.......and it appears it's time to move off.

    Your daughter is the only one who can decide to change. You cannot do it for her, it is up to her. You didn't cause it, you can't control it & you can't fix it.

    Detaching from our adult troubled kids is one of the most difficult things we parents have to do.....however, for some of us, it is the ONLY choice left for us, it becomes necessary for our health & well being. To that end, it's often imperative to seek professional support in a private therapist or parent group or a 12 step group like Narc Anon or CoDa.

    For me, to let that relentless worry and fear go, meant I had to address the situation differently. Instead of enabling my adult daughter, I sought help to figure out what I needed to do to detach from the behavior, life choices and dramas that I was being pulled into on a daily basis. I had to change. We often believe if we do this, or do that, or pay for this, or try that.....we will find the magic answer to how to get our kids back on the rails. However, it isn't our journey, it isn't our responsibility to enable our adult kids, to provide for them when they continue to make bad choices. They must suffer the consequences of their behavior which will at least offer them the chance at a change.......but if we continue enabling them......they will likely not change.

    Detaching from my adult daughter and learning how to accept what I cannot change was the most difficult thing I have ever done.......it took a village......I had private therapy, a therapist run parent support group, I attended NAMI classes, 12 step groups, I read books, I found this board, I posted all the time.......and gratefully, over time, I learned how to set boundaries and I got my own life back. Interestingly, as I healed from my codependency tendencies, my daughter began making better choices. She continues to make better choices..

    It may be helpful to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. As Tired Mama suggested, a good resource is the book, Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie.

    I would encourage you to set a strong boundary around your daughter living with you, you already are fully aware of how that will turn out, you've been there, done that. As many of us here have done, offer her a list of shelters and food banks. If you do not react the way you usually do, you will likely be met with serious manipulation, guilt and blame....which is a common response to our stopping enabling and setting boundaries. You do not have to engage in continual conversations about your daughter's shenanigans, you can make whatever boundaries that work for you. One mother here, whose son was a homeless drug addicted young man, only permitted herself to see him for 15 minutes once a week, with a limit on texting or calling as well. It was hard, but over time, her life improved dramatically.

    YOU matter. YOUR life matters. YOUR needs and desires matter. You've done enough. You've been at this for 13 years and you're raising a 5 year old. That's enough. Get yourself as much support as you can. Continue posting. Put yourself as the absolute priority. Figure out what you are willing to do and what you aren't, communicate that clearly to your daughter and then......step away. There is nothing you can do for your daughter until she discontinues her drug use. That powerlessness is very hard, which is why we often need professional help.....we have to go against our natural tendencies to give, to nurture, to protect......we have to learn a very different way to parent.....we have to let go.......and accept what we can't change.

    Hang in there, this is hard, but it is doable. There are many of us here who have gone thru similar situations with our adult kids and come out the other side with our own lives intact and our peace and joy returned. You can too. It's a process, it takes time, you'll need support......but if you are committed to changing, you will get where you want to be. Get yourself some real support. I'm glad you're here. You're not alone.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son was in a sober living. All 13 guys except my son were either meth addicts or alcoholics. It was free, unless the guys had ssi, like my son. Housing free. Free food. Support. Treatment. They had houses for women too.

    When your daughter is willing to stop she will have support and assistance. Right now she is choosing to be cold. With the meth.

    What more can you do? Your suffering is not changing anything.
  10. T Yatess

    T Yatess New Member

  11. T Yatess

    T Yatess New Member

    I am so glad you are raising her child. Give the rest to God. I know it must break your heart knowing she is out there suffering, I couldn’t imagine. Just look into your Grandsons eyes and know you are doing the best you can. Big hugs!
  12. RN0441

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

    Welcome Cindy

    You have gotten great advice here. I 100% concur with Recovering Enabler. I have not been in this exact situation....but she has. You don't need to reinvent the wheel.

    I totally identify with her mention of finding the magic.....there is no magic that will fix them that we as momma's hold. It's in THEM.

    Tired Mama thank you for posting The Butterfly. I printed it out just now and mailed it in a card to my son. I have seen it before and I love it.

    Keep posting. It will help you and we get it like no one else really does.

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  13. Cindy1104

    Cindy1104 New Member

    Thank you so much it does feel better to talk about it with people who understand. I feel alone in the struggle sometimes.
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Cindy. I am so sorry for your need to be here but glad you found us.
    My two daughters are on meth.
    It has been many years of going through a disaster go round with various addictions (denied) leading up to meth (denied) and all of the crazy that goes with that.
    The younger of my two has three of my grands. They are with their paternal grandparents, and a lot more stable than with their off the rail parents.
    I have not heard from my two for months now.
    You asked about dealing with worry and guilt.
    Guilt is part of the fog we go through when we are in this situation with our adult kids.
    F.ear, O.bligation, G.uilt.
    When we start to understand that the years of trying to help, didn’t really help it is a sort of grieving like no other, because we realize we have absolutely no control over their choices.
    It takes a lot of effort to pull up and out of the swamp of it.
    I put my foot down after a series of Jerry Springer like episodes that brought me to the point that I realized the addiction and drug use was destroying the peace in my home and my heart.
    They tried to guilt me into thinking it was my fault, that I didn’t care, etc., etc., on and on.
    Never mind that they stole from us and completely used us so they could keep using.
    It’s no way to live for us, or for them.
    I resolved that they could not come back into my home.
    That was not easy, but it is the only way I can survive.
    I rely heavily on prayer to help me when that worry creeps up.
    Worry won’t help me, or my two.
    It is life sucking.
    The guilt.......you know none of us are perfect. I made mistakes raising them. So I worked through that.
    The guilt over living with a roof over my head while they are using meth and homeless because of it?
    This is their choice.
    The choice to use meth and have street friends as family.
    That is on them.
    I am not cold or heartless. I wish they would find their light and potential.
    As far as I am concerned, as long as they choose meth, they are unpredictable and cunning.
    They would sell out their own family for the next high.
    In fact, my daughter has pretty much abandoned her children.
    Left in the care of their paternal grandparents, she is out there partying, using. She has EBT. A pretty good amount. The kids became cash cows for the EBT. She has not had them in her custody, but as far as I know, she still has the EBT.
    What kind of mother does that?

    I used to think “This is not them”..... before they were drugknapped they were so different. Loving, caring and kind. That thinking, that this was not them, kept me in limbo and still enabling. Helping over and again in desperation, wanting change. The problem is, they didn’t want to change. They just wanted to take advantage of our hard work so they could live comfortably, three squares, a roof, shower, and continue as is.
    As soon as I looked the reality of drug use and addiction square in the face and said “This is them, on meth”, I was able to think more rationally and see that nothing I did all of those years, actually helped them.
    They didn’t want help to get clean.
    They wanted a safe place to stay to keep drugging.
    All of those years of watching their demise to meth use, took its toll on the whole family.
    Especially hubs and I. My husband battled illness for three years, then passed.
    There was no epiphany or change for them.
    This woke me up big time.
    That they could see their father's failing health and death and continue using.
    I began to see the toll on my own physical, mental and spiritual health this journey took.
    So I switched focus.
    Self care is what we wish for our adult children. We want them to see the importance of it.
    Yet, we neglect ourselves.
    It is difficult to face any situation if we are not healthy.
    That's what my focus became, becoming whole again.
    I realized that I was so caught up with what my two were doing, that I had lost myself, all tangled up in their issues.
    I started this post to you this morning before work and have been thinking throughout the day about it.
    Forgive me for the length, and my being all over the place. I think it is because that is how it feels, drifting from worry, to guilt, to depression, exhausted and overwhelmed.
    It is a hard place to be.
    Especially for you, raising your grandchild.
    Please know that you are not alone in this struggle.
    There are many like us, who are grieving over the senselessness of it all.
    The key to surviving this, is reviving yourself.
    Climbing out of the rabbit hole.
    It takes work, and understanding that YOU matter.
    I liken it to the scene from the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland.

    I lost my muchness, dealing with my two. I had forgotten who I was, what my needs were, and how to look after myself. I could feel myself getting smaller and smaller, weaker and weaker with despair.
    This is what addiction seeks to accomplish, that everyone gets tangled up in its web.
    Addiction is the Jabberwocky, a terrible monster that seeks to devour everyone in its path.
    It was devouring me, and I had to do something.
    I didn't want to lose myself to my twos addiction. I didn't want addiction to win.
    I didn't like the idea of detachment, but really, it was just the word because I felt that I would always be attached to my children in some way.
    I started to use the word disentanglement, it allowed me to see how wrapped up in my twos drug use and consequences, I was.
    So I was thinking today, of how we use the acronym, FOG, to describe what happens to us when our adult kids are using drugs, and using us.
    How about WEB? W.orry, E.nabling, B.ewilderment.
    Then, there is that horrible empty feeling when we decide that we have to find a way to disengage.
    It feels like cutting off an arm.
    There is a void.
    V.exation, O.ver-thinking, I.solation, D.epression.

    There are ways to get through all of these emotions to the other side of finding ourselves again.
    Finding our muchness.
    It takes work, like untangling a big mess of string.
    Sometimes we need help.
    Face to face with a therapist, or a group like Alanon.

    Posting here, has really helped me. As I write to others, I am reminding myself too, of the task at hand.
    Fortifying myself to keep taking one step at a time, sometimes one moment, one breath.

    What I really believe is that by switching focus to self care, to strengthening myself, I am leading by example, showing my two that if I can escape the grip of addiction, (their addiction and consequences) so can they.

    You can do this Cindy.
    It won't come all at once.
    The fact that you are here, shows that you want things to be different, you need change.
    The key is to understand and acknowledge that we cannot change our adult children's course, or choices, but, we can change how we react and what direction we take.
    It takes work, but you are so worth it.
    Everyone here is pulling for you, and each other.
    We know how difficult this is.
    I am so sorry for your heartache.
    Please take care, and let us know how you are doing.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Beautifully stated Leafy.....as always, you are an inspiration ......and I always gain strength from all of your posts....thanks for being you Leafy.....you are AWESOME! I'm so glad you're here...
  16. RN0441

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


    You could have your very OWN forum.

    You have a way with words I'll say that again and again.

    You are truly an inspiration!!
  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You guys are too kind.
    I feel I owe Cindy an apology. She has come to us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, in need of respite and help.
    I am sorry Cindy if I added to that feeling by over sharing.
    I was on my walk this morning, remembering being right where you are at and thinking to myself that you need chicken soup and I came with the whole dang turkey dinner.
    I am sorry.
    There were times on this journey, and still are times when I feel the same, exhausted and overwhelmed.
    There is no shame in this.
    We are all in such an intense battle.
    All at different places along the pathway.
    Oftentimes, we are so caught up in the day to day tasks, putting on the brave face, we forget to let ourselves feel what we need to feel.
    So please let me clear off that turkey dinner and start over.
    Honor your feelings.
    We are at the frontline in this battle, soldiering on. Soldiers need R and R.
    Rest and recuperation.
    It is so important to recognize that we just need rest, and honor that.
    When things were so so hard with my two, my grands and when hubs passed, some days in my deepest grief it was all I could do to just get out of bed.
    I felt such a heaviness, a dark cloud hovered over.
    One of the things I learned here on CD is to slow way down, when those feelings hit hard.
    Embrace the sadness of it all and process what you are able to.
    No matter where you are at on this journey, please know that many of us have been in similar situations, and we understand the grief of it.
    It is hard. So, very hard.

    My heart goes out to you. Please take care, and take time to heal.
    Ps. Rn and Recovering, I thank you so very much for your kindness and encouragement. I would not be where I am at without the loving support of my fellow warrior sisters. Much love to you all, for the help you have given me. It is truly a bright light in the darkest of nights.
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Leafy, what a treasure you are. I carry some of your posts around with me. I’m going to need a bigger purse now.
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Leafy, you should NEVER apologize. Every single post could help ANYONE...they are so thoughtful and profound and could help anyone who has a problem, not just the problem of a difficult child.

    You have an amazing writing gift and should pen a self help book for those struggling with hard issues!!
  20. Cindy1104

    Cindy1104 New Member