Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This feels especially true in regard to our difficult child's...........
  2. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Such great thoughts, recoveringenabler. You'd better believe I'll be re-reading them. Couldn't sleep, so I just re-read all the validations I received here in early February when difficult child wanted to move home and I said, "No". Once again- I feel comforted. Words are powerful. Thank you.
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I think this is very true. Another way I have heard this is: Run toward the thing you fear the most.

    With my difficult child, I am afraid he will die.

    I also know there are things worse than death, and I am afraid that some unnamed thing I can't even articulate will happen to him. And he will suffer.

    Sometimes I let myself think about just the overall health deterioration that is going on with him right now. And how that will affect him over time, if he does have time.

    Sometimes I think about how much he is suffering right now in his compulsion to get drugs.

    I am also finding that as I face my deepest fears, they lose a lot of their power to rule me. I am still afraid, perhaps, like of these things I have just written, but they don't paralyze me like they once did.

    Step by step, on the path to acceptance, we deal with these things and so many more. We look behind us and see piles of fears that we have survived. Huge piles of them.

    We are still walking, RE. And many of us are walking together. I am grateful for that.
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  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am grateful we are walking together too COM. I have been afraid of all the same things you have mentioned. And, life has usually brought some part of that fear to my door so I could identify the fear, sit with it and realize it didn't shatter me. It's a terrible thing, to live in fear............thankfully, the piles behind are now much larger then the pile in front.
  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    We must accept that we are of a type to grow old
    We must accept that we will get sick
    We must accept that we will lose the ones we love
    We must accept that we will die.

    Those are the four sufferings of Buddhism. Once I settled into my seat on a plan and put my headphones on for some soothing guided meditation...and instead I heard Thich Nhat Hahn make these four pronouncements...I know now that they cross all religions, but at the time I had never heard them, or anything like them. I nearly ripped my headphones off and fell out of my chair...but it is so true. If we can face these things we can live in beauty and equanimity. I particularly work on "growing old"...I traded a lot on youthful beauty and sexuality, and it is has been hard for me to lose that coin...and I work also on "losing the ones we love." Because we will..some of them, and we can't know which ones, and we can't know how, and we can't really control or perhaps even influence it. All we can do is FACE OUR FEAR and accept it.

    Good thought for the day, Recovering. Thank you.
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    We must accept that we are of a type to grow old
    We must accept that we will get sick
    We must accept that we will lose the ones we love
    We must accept that we will die.

    This was very helpful to me. When I am particularly fretful, my husband will often say, "The story isn't written yet," meaning that we don't know how this is going to end. My biggest fear has always been surviving my children. But we have already lost him in other ways, ways I never thought we would be able to handle, and somehow we survived it.
  7. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    I'm so afraid of my difficult child dying but I THINK I have accepted that he is on that path. Once he gets out of jail (if he ever does!) I fear that he will just choose the way that leads to death. He really doesn't want to be alive, I think.

    But again, I have ACCEPTED that this is an event that could REALLY happpen. Other people who don't have difficult children feel that there's something so morbid and negative in my thinking, but for me it's a practical and realistic scenario.

    Doesn't feel like that fear has lost its power even though I feel I have faced it. Maybe it has just been diminished? Or maybe I don't understand the concept well enough?
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I use the concept of acceptance (radical acceptance, as MWM would say) when I start to feel the fear whirl up inside me like a gyre...then I say...Oh yeah, this is an unavoidable, unchangeable thing...it doesn't warrant this agitation, and the agitation won't help or change it, it will only tire me out. That seems to help. And the power of fear....when it sweeps up in me I try to hold it close, name it...it is a buddhist practice. Hold the fear, even picture yourself holding it in your hands near your heart, and talk to it by name...hello fear, I see you. I will take good care of you today for as long as you want to stay. Then let it stay till it goes...sort of surprisingly, it actually goes in 15 or 20 minutes if you just let it (and most other emotions) take their course...it is the engaging in battle with them t hat keeps them consuming us...a metaphor for difficult child's!
    Profound thoughts over morning coffee ;)
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "Fear is the mind killer." That is from one of the Dune series books. I don't remember the rest of the quote. It was about the necessity of envisioning fear and walking away, leaving it behind you, along with your tracks in the sand.

    The nature of the fear we face, here on the site, ignites basic maternal instinct. It's a genetic thing, a thing evolved over eons to preserve the race. Think for a minute about what you know of maternal instinct. That is the color, the depth, the scent of what we cope with here. We are the moms. Something is deeply wrong. We can't even name it most times. That is why we can't eat, can't sleep, can't think. That wild, primal urge to protect is loose in us.

    But to end the danger to our offspring, we would have to kill them, ourselves.

    Though my kids are ridiculously beyond infant or child stage, I still react that same way. When we learned difficult child daughter had been beat over hours, had been dragged into a back room and left for dead...I can't tell you where that imagery brought me.

    I can't tell you the helplessness, the protectiveness it awakened, the bottomless lust of vengeance it called.

    I still feel it.

    It drives me wild, makes me crazy.

    I don't think we lose that maternal instinct to preserve the life of our offspring at all costs until our offspring are successful. Until they are strong and able to care for themselves. Whether that happens at twelve or at forty, I don't think we detach from that instinctual response until the kids are okay, are fully capable of fending for themselves. For those parents like us, whose offspring lurch from one danger to the next, a kind of coping mechanism is evolved over time. But for those whose children are still so young, for those whose kids still have a chance, that primal maternal response to danger is all we know, all we think about, almost who we become.

    That is why it is mandatory to learn the skill of detachment. We are fighting a genetic imperative built into us to preserve the species.

    I will try to find the rest of that quote.

    I have found strength there, through the years.

  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to wash over and through me. And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

    Frank Herbert