Feeling a little melancholy........

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This afternoon my daughter called me at work. We chatted for awhile. I asked her what her plan is for when she gets out. Not the drill sergeant Mom, or the invasive Mom or any of the inquisition type behavior, it felt like a natural inquiry without an emotional component to it. I felt neutral. The conversation was easy. We talked about shelters, the cats, the fact that it would be prudent for her to be in another town. I did not feel any responsibility for what may happen.

    Last week I had agreed to pick her up in April when she gets out. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon when I was telling SO about it that I realized that I had made it clear, without saying it or asking a lot of questions, that she would NOT be coming back to our home. She said she would call me back because she had to go to the bathroom and we got off the phone. She never called back. SO said, "she was likely expecting to stay with us for at least a little while until she got her cats and retrieved her stuff and found a place to live." I hadn't even been thinking along those lines.

    He and I talked about how we are not adverse to her staying with us for a small amount of time, but we would have to know that she is on a new track, has an intention to get a job, make changes. She stayed with us a little over 2 years ago and although she said she was looking for a job and changing she never did anything differently and ultimately she left because "we had too many rules." It was also VERY uncomfortable because at the time her energy sucked up all the air in the room and she was so intense and bitter and weird that the rest of us could not relax.

    Things are VERY different now.

    As the afternoon wore on, I felt this new kind of sadness, not the uber sorrow which difficult child's bring to us, but a more removed kind of sadness for her, for me, for all of us, a clear kind of "global" sadness about the whole situation. I talked to SO about it and he said, "you really made it clear that she is on her own." The strange part is that was not at all my intention, but I can see how that was the message.

    I'm left feeling a little odd, she seems far away from me, I feel that light sadness, I feel bad for her and the predicament she finds herself in, and yet I don't have that internal angst about figuring any of it out or even the angst of worrying about her figuring it out.

    I don't know, but it seems as if I have taken another step back. And, it happened naturally without my even really knowing it!

    Another odd sense I have right now is this inner peace, I feel very calm. All of this continues to feel "right" even if it feels a little weird right now.

    I have been accustomed to jumping into my old habitual behavior, and I didn't do that...........I'm not even sure what I did exactly, but whatever it was, it felt right.

    I'm practicing not fueling the feeling with the past or the future, or my fears...........trying to stay here in the moment where I am hanging out on the couch and SO is watching college basketball, it is warm tonight, the house smells like the stew I made for dinner, granddaughter will be flying through the back door momentarily with her youthful enthusiasm..........I am a bit tired...........right now, I feel really comfortable in my own skin..........and oddly, peaceful too. Go figure.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I aspire to reach that place.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is all so new, Recovering. It is best to take it slow, and you are doing that. It is best to be clear without being judgmental, and you are doing that. I think the uncomfortable part is staying present with the understanding that you don't know how this is all going to look. For me anyway, that need to bring a sense of order and rightness to difficult child chaos has been a key piece of why I enable. Clearing those feeling of somehow Responsible, of Guilty, of putting things right again before something worse happens, along with undoing the old habits of anger and blame, of shame and frustration is a really, really hard thing, Recovering. You must be processing information at the speed of light, down there in the psyche where the earth meets the sky. Could it be that the sense of melancholy you feel, though the conversations have been good ones, has to do with the strength it takes to let go of so many things basic to who you are?

    You are no longer consciously holding back, and therefore, distracted by, anger or any of its components. You are holding steady and strong in the face of a gently but insistently rising wind. That takes oh, so much continual energy.

    It's a fine, fine balance point, Recovering. Like a dancer on pointe or a ship in full sail, every smallest part of you is balancing, balancing....

    Courage, bravery, time and more time, with no comforting, rebalancing release of emotion.

    Though it feels so deceptively calm, this is a time of intense pressure for you, Recovering. You are still requiring yourself to balance all other things in your life too, without allowing that steadily rising wind to make a ripple on the surface.

    What you are doing takes almost super human strength, Recovering. Like that dancer on pointe we mentioned earlier?

    It only looks easy.

  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Oh, RE. I feel your sadness, and I'm so sorry for it. I so get it, it brings tears to my eyes. We are sad. We just are. Being clear that our own child cannot come here, to the homes they grew up in, in many cases, even for a few days, That. Is. Sad. Profoundly sad and there is just no way around it. We have to live through it, and feel it, and accept it (somehow, someway).

    With my older son, he and his fiancee come into town (from where they live right now, which is five hours away) every six weeks or so. He always calls, and says, Mom, we're planning to come _____, is that okay? I always say, Of course, honey, whatever works for you two is fine with me. I have learned that when they come, I don't need to do a whole lot because they like to go to their favorite restaurants, and they are running in and out with friends, going to parties, shopping, getting their hair cut, whatever. I try to have a few snacks, and I always see if I can cook dinner for them one night and we can all sit down together. They DO take over "my" spaces, sometimes, but I'm so glad they are here that I am able to deal with it. They don't suck all of the energy out of the room. They leave the room and the bathroom they use just like they found it. They ask me if they can do and use certain things (which they really don't even have to ask about). They are both sweet and kind and respectful. They will probably be here for several days when they move back in the summer and I'm fine with that. They don't want to stay here for any real length of time and I don't want them to either (lol).

    It's not that way with difficult child, RE. You know what I am talking about. And that is sad. We would love to throw open the door to all of our adult children for a few days or even a week or so if necessary. But we're not dealing with another mature, responsible adult. We are dealing with a big (read: adult-size) three-year-old. And that just isn't right or comfortable or "normal" in any way, shape or form. I would rather have a real three-year-old here (lol), because then we would have all of the cute perks that go with that. I wish it could be different, RE, and maybe one day it will be, but for now, it is not, and we are just as important as they are. I don't know about you, but I would have tremendous anxiety right now having difficult child in my home to spend the night. I have often (when awfulizing) thought about what in the world i would do if he got hurt or sick and had to be in the hospital and then needed someplace to recover for a few days. I never could figure out what I would do, because I don't like what I was thinking---that he would have to come here. That thought was so stressful to me that I just forced myself to stop thinking about it. I hope that situation is never presented to me in the near future.

    Yep. And I don't want to live that way for any length of time. SO and I were talking last night about a friend at church so we learned "isn't safe in her own home." We don't know the details but others are asking for help for her so SO took $75 to help with a u-haul to another friend's house yesterday. We will help her move, possibly, as well. We talked about how our own home has to be a place of safety for us. That is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual safety. Even when I was married, RE, my home became unsafe for me. Not physically, but I was so traumatized and distraught and sickened about our relationship toward the end, before we separated, that my throat would start closing up before he got home from work. I got myself all worked up (I can now take responsibility for that). I could barely be in the same room with him. By that time, I had fought within myself for so long and so hard about not breaking up this family---that was the last thing I ever wanted to do and I was willing to sacrifice myself (wrong, wrong) for it---that my physical body was telling me and forcing me to do what the rest of me could not.

    We can't go back there, RE. If people can't even have the basic common courtesies that must occur when people live---even temporarily---in close proximity, then we can't participate in that. Even if we love them so very much. I can't live in a house, even overnight, with someone who I believe will steal from me. He has, multiple times. And he has never admitted it or said he is sorry about it. I just don't trust him. And That. Is. Profoundly. Sad. Trust must be the basis of any relationship, and that is why our relationship is still so tenuous today. Every time he lies to me, I tighten up. And my boundaries get more solid.

    I agree so with this from Cedar. You are calm, but a lot of things are stirring under the surface. It is in these Great Times of Change that we need to bump up our self-care, write more, meditate---use all of the tools at our disposal---to help us live as well as we can as we move to a new place we have never been before.

    Be extra kind to yourself, RE. Allow that melancholy because you are once again cycling through the stages of grief about this new change. That is necessary and right. And RE, you can change your mind at any time. What freedom is in that statement.

    Hugs and blessings and prayers for you this day, RE.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Recovering, I have begun a practice of watching the sun rise. I just sort of fell into it, naturally enough it seemed. It is the most amazing time, Recovering. While I watch, while I wait for the light, I practice not thinking. It sounds so corny, but it feels like I can feel the rhythms of the whole sky, of the earth turning, of the light, coming so sweet and strong and clean. Is it possible for you to watch a sunrise, Recovering?

    I am not sure, but I think this sunrise time may be the best gift I have ever given myself. It is so quiet, Recovering. No words in my head, no thoughts even. Just the slow, glorious rising of the light and then, the sun. There is birdsong and there are subtle morning breezes, Recovering.

    If you have not already begun this practice and you begin it now, I think that sense of melancholy will disappear.

    The time of each sunrise, those few minutes as the dawn comes or the hour of watching the light pale and rise changes the quality of the day ~ probably, even of our lives. I wonder why I have not done this in the past? You know, I think it has to do with choosing mental clarity over mind chatter. In the past, I think I always chattered on, in my head, about the beauty of the sunrise and missed the whole thing, though I was sitting right there. Strange, to know that....

    As the sun rises. That is when I practice the meditation of not thinking Pema Chodron suggests. It is a perfect thing, Recovering. A perfect gift.


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  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Cedar, I love your post. What a beautiful, simple thing to do----watching the sun rise---that is available to each one of us.

    Thank you. You give me new tools!
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all SO much. You are ALL the greatest!!

    I don't feel that pressure Cedar, I feel sort of "normal." But, perhaps as COM says, things are stirring under the surface, I don't know. Maybe as the date approaches, things will be different. I don't want to be way out THERE now though, being HERE feels right.

    I talked to SO about all of this before I wrote here the other night. I 'emptied' myself to him and the relief I felt was apparent. Then I sat down and wrote it out to all of you.............. more emptying. By the time I finished writing, I was in that calm, peaceful place. I was thinking of that statement about how feelings have a life span of 90 seconds, the rest is our infusing it all with our habitual patterns, story line, past, future, all of it. I felt okay once all the expression was completed. That feels valuable in that the feelings come up, I honor them, express them and then they dissipate. Of course, they can return, but I can repeat that process until the feelings hold no validity for me anymore. Practice, practice, practice.

    Yes, thanks! OK, so my list of self care is growing daily. I had a massage yesterday after work.............today I have an acupuncture appointment after work. Tonight I'm meeting my 'best' girlfriend for dinner (YAY)............I just bought an iphone and granddaughter is teaching me how to use it, and it's FUN. Next week I have a reflexology appointment with a very special woman whom I've developed a real connection with. More and more things for relaxation and enjoyment. Tomorrow I am buying myself a new Mac laptop.............(I am not a big retail 'therapy person', but I am learning to "treat" myself more lately) SO and I are planning another weekend jaunt soon...............SO has been so tender and kind to me during this time............I am so grateful for his continuing love and support. We continue with our weekly drives/hikes. I've stepped up my diet to an even healthier place, stopped drinking coffee, eliminated gluten, reduced sugar to a tiny minimum, I don't drink alcohol so that isn't there, I began juicing every day and I've lost 12 pounds! I'm probably in the best shape, all around, of my life!

    All of this self care, support and my own newly developed compassion and love for myself has made a pretty big difference in how I am feeling today. I have continued for many months now to continually increase my focus on myself............as I heal and recover from the enabling stuff, that focus has grown and grown and grown. What I thought was remarkable self care a year ago, was really........so little by comparison. I think that is making a huge difference in my ability to recover quickly from these difficult child assaults. They still occur, but the time I spend in a weird place is quite diminished. That relentless focus that used to be on my daughter is now on me, where it belongs.

    I haven't heard from my daughter since that last conversation. I imagine she has a lot to think about if her expectation was that she would be staying with us or that I would somehow offer her options.

    I called the Social Worker from the NAMI offshoot organization who had worked with her and I a year and a half ago and left a message asking if they had an outreach program for incarcerated folks who will be released from jail with no where to go, no money, no job, etc. I looked up shelters in the town she is in, and there are quite a few. The town we live in is very small and doesn't have the resources. But, where she is in jail, that town has a lot. I plan on putting a list of shelters together and sending it to her. We start her car periodically to make sure the battery continues to work, SO put gas in it yesterday since it was so low. These are the things I am willing to do. These are the things that feel right to do. Knowing the distinction (at least for today) between giving which feels good and enabling is very important to me now.

    As each day goes by, I am feeling more resolved with the way things are. It feels as if I have accepted that this is how it is going to be. I think about how terrific it would be if this episode in her life would spark some initiative to change, but right after I have that thought, I realize that I felt that way many, many times before and nothing changed. For me, hope is mostly gone now and I think that is good for me, healthy for me and keeps me in the present moment. Today, I feel pretty good and that's all I have...........today.

    Your sunrise meditation is so beautiful Cedar, thank you for sharing that with me. I love your imagery. I love that you clear you mind of thoughts..............I love that you are doing that for yourself each day. We are moving along nicely Cedar, don't you think?

    In the midst of such chaos, such pain, one can still find peace, find beauty, find joy. That means so much. For those of us here on this site, to be able to do that is miraculous. One can find peace and joy when there is no turmoil, when there are no relationships, when one keeps oneself apart from the human experience, but to find that in the middle of a war zone is indeed, a miracle. I feel quite blessed.
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This is so important, Recovering. It is true as the old song says..the knee bone actually is connected to the hip bone. Our bodies are connected to our minds. Moving towards a healthy body is moving towards a healthy mind...they exist in a beautiful synchrony together. Fresh air, activity, day light, hot and cold, movement, and intention with what we ingest, what we ingest in liquids, foods, smells, and conversation, what we introduce into ourselves by reading on line or watching tv or by the company we keep. It is all integral to our health, all of our health.

    We can't control our difficult child's but we can control ourselves and our reactions. And we can strengthen our minds and stabilize our emotions by choosing good health.

    Good for you, REcovering, good for you Cedar. I'm happy for you that you follow that path.

  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RE, of course you do not want her there when she gets out. Why would you?
    How would that be fair to granddaughter either?

    There is a very good and valid reason you do not want her to come there. You practically said it yourself.......YOU!!! Your focus is on YOU finally for the first time in your life....and YOU LIKE IT! Of course.

    sent from mobile phone
  10. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    You know not to let her back because the old patterns will re emerge. Husband and I have talked about how it is so peaceful at home since he left and how we can never go back to that chaos and stress again.

    I try to follow your advice, Recovering, and do things that make me feel good, like a manicure, girlfriend visit, trip, etc. when son is driving me nut/getting me down. It makes such a difference!