Feeling guilty again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lou lou, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Lou lou

    Lou lou New Member

    I have been on the phone with my daughter for five hours now.
    Everytime she is in a fight with her boyfriend, (soon to be father of her child) she involves me. Everyday they fight break up, he begs her back and she goes back. This has been going on for two years now. I have used all resources I have to “help” them. She has now told me he is kicking her out of the house ( his fathers house) and she needs to come home again. Right now I am staying with a friend and I can’t do this anymore. I have given her all the info on shelters, she tells me they are all full and I just don’t care about her. She has never actually gone to one that’s helps pregnant woman, she just gets mad at me for suggesting it and not just helping her. Also, I really believe the boyfriend has enjoyed depleating her family emotionally and financially. It has been amazing what control and power he has over her and how he manipulates everyone.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lou Lou, I used to listen to my daughter's rages and continuing drama too. It was awful, it was endless and it robbed me of my life force, literally.

    Stop doing it.

    I remember being in a therapist lead support group discussing this very thing and the therapist said, "stop doing it." I was caught off guard, "what do you mean, she's my daughter, I want to be there for her." I was told I had a choice, my listening was not providing support, I was simply the wall that the battering ram was continually ramming into. It wasn't going to get better, it was going to continue. That was a rude awakening for me. I knew she was right too.

    There is no rule book that states we have to endlessly listen to this drama, what it really is is a manipulation to get us to do what they want us to do. Stop it. It's abusive. You have a choice here. You have the power. You've given the power to your daughter, as I had with mine too.......but you can take it back......

    That is all you can do. That is it. You've given her the info, it is up to her to take it or not.

    Her boyfriend manipulates her and she manipulates you. And, the biggest loser is you.

    You matter too. You've given enough. You've given your all. You've given her everything. Now it's time to give to yourself. Stop this onslaught of abuse and manipulation. Stop it today. When she calls say, "I trust that you will figure it out, I have to go now." Hang up. And, when she continues calling, don't pick up. That will be a step in the direction of her figuring it out herself, without you endlessly being dragged thru her poor choices.

    Take care of YOU. Nourish yourself. Hang in there. You'll get thru this. You're not alone.
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I 100% agree with RE. I listened for years as son regurgitated the same sad story about being alone where he lives and his ex constantly taking him to court to try to get custody over their son. She will never get more than the 50% she already has, but he has a ruined stomach, high blood pressure at 40 and anxiety over this that never quits so he calls me to "help me calm down. Youre all I have."

    But every suggestion I make...therapy to help him cope, places to go to make friends, divorced parent support groups...guess what? He cant do these things. Or wont. After all, therapy in St. Louis is 100% during the day (HE HAS TOLD ME NONE HAVE EVENING HOURS) so he cant go because of work. Plus his insurance sucks. As for making friends, well, nobody meets people at meet ups and he thinks its dumb to try to make friends by going to church. Plus he doesnt want friends who are "religious nuts." His co- workers are unfriendly so also not potential friends. Support groups? He is too shy to go to a support group and they dont work for him anyway (he has never tried one). I am very exasperated.

    He stopped threatening suicide when I started calling 911 when he did. He is no longer rude to me often because if he is, i will disconnect contact for several days. Five hours on the phone? The max he gets is 45 minutes and thats on a day when I am feeling very charitable. After all, we can talk 24/7 and nothing changes. And he never comes up for air long enough to ask, " How are YOU, Mom?"

    I love him dearly, but I dont want him to ever live with me again. He is two states away and fortunately loves his son a lot (maybe too much...he has nobody else) and he wont leave the state where his son lives.

    Your daughter is playing "I Cant" which really means "I Wont." There are good places for domestic abuse. They offer housing, therapy, job help, the works. But she has never gone, right? And how does she know shelters are full every night if she doesnt check? She wants you to step in, rescue her and support her financially. Probably wants a babysitter too so she can party and not worry about babysitters.

    I would limit what days and times you will talk to her, how long you will stay on the phone, and i would get off the first time she abuses you. It works if you are consistant. Yes, it is hard, but worth it. There is NO excuse for your adult daughter to abuse you. You can reject abuse.

    As for the baby, you can offer to take her, if you like. Or not. Perhaps Daughter needs to be brought to CPS attention. They will try to help her, but will expect progress from her. If she wont help herself, she cant be a good mother. It sounds harsh, but your mental health matters and the baby is helpless. Your daughter is an adult. She is 100% in control of her life. You cant change her. She needs to learn to stand on her own feet. Dont give into toddler adult tantrums.

    Hugs and luck!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  4. Lou lou

    Lou lou New Member

    Thank you so much for your words of support.
    I don’t know why it brought tears to me to hear someone say that I matter too. I think I am just an emotional wreck. I am very greatful for this forum and will keep learning from others stories and support from people like you. You are completely right, it does rob you of your life force. I work all the time, I feel every moment I have to breath I am dealing with them. They waste days on this drama instead of getting jobs and taking care of themselves and the baby that is coming in a few months. Sorry for my continued rambling thanks again!
  5. Lou lou

    Lou lou New Member

    That’s exactly what she says!!! “Your all I’ve got” I end up spending hours with her and she never does the work it takes to get help. This was happening even before she got pregnant, I let her come home to help but she would just do the minimum to get by. I even let her and her boyfriend move in to help them both, however he never did anything. When I told her he had to leave she went with him. Thanks again.
  6. Lou lou

    Lou lou New Member

  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You DO matter!! Your life, physical and mental health and well being matter as much as your daughter's life. I feel badly that reading this fact made you cry. I know how abusive adult kids can make us feel like dirt and I want to remind you that our feelings are not facts. We all matter, even if we have been so beaten down, it may not feel like we do. But we are all precious and valuable. I do not know if you have a higher power. If not, skip the next part until the very end. If you do, give your daughter to that higher power and trust that your higher power (or angels and spirit guides) love you and are always with you. This makes me feel very warm and fuzzy.

    If you dont believe in these things, find loving family and friends to be wirh often. Often!!! Positivity rocks, wherever/however you find it.

    Love to you! We all care.
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  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Awesome advice RE!
  9. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Loulou.
    I 2nd and 3rd and 4th...You do matter. RE- this is great advice from one who has walked it out.
    If there's anything I have learned here and at al anon, it's just this. I matter too.
    I would feel bad, thinking my son had no one else to rant to and be there over and over. It was killing me. Now I block his calls, texts, and call him back if and when I choose. I wait on purpose in order to decrease the probability of histrionics. Everything's not an emergency and it certainly is not my emergency. This pulling back was very hard but necessary if I was going to live. When you come to the point of wishing your life was over just to escape their poor choices, it's pretty bad.
    In our case, our son is in an abusive relationship for 7+yrs. Don't get me wrong, he certainly can dole it out too. but to keep going back to someone who takes such advantage of him (financially) and then continue to complain about it?
    Now, my go to comment is "I'm sure you'll figure this out", if he doesn't get the cue, I then say "I can't listen to your drama" He usually then gets loud and mad and that response simply fortifies my reasoning.
    You don't have to take it. You matter too. Hugs.
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  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You most certainly matter. You matter a LOT!!!!! It is 110% past time to disconnect from your daughter's everlasting conflama!! (conflict + drama = conflama. It is the best and only word to describe the garbage that gets tossed all over us like a bucket of vomit every single time the difficult person in our life thinks we might have achieved a moment of peace and quiet.)

    Follow the advice to limit the amount of time she can talk to you each call and each day. You have things to do. You were not put on this earth to run your life for her convenience. She will ramp up her conflama, but you need to hold steady. If you hold steady, she will realize you mean it and will eventually find someone else to throw those buckets of conflama all over.

    If she is old enough to have a child, she had better grow the heck up and stop dumping all her problems on you, hadn't she? She isn't going to change until you do. This is working for her. She is getting her attention fix from you. She gets all of the support you have given her, plus the attention and the knowledge that she is putting your life on hold with absolutely no notice every single time she calls. She gets you to drop everything for hours on end! That must give her quite the sense of power, even if she doesn't realize it.

    I would hang up at the first sign of abuse during phone calls. I would also give her a time limit for calls and let her know you have set a timer. Figure out how long you want to spend saying goodbye to your sister before the call. Then set the timer a second time after it goes off the first time. This way your sister cannot drag the goodbyes out forever. You will have the timer telling you that you must get hang up. If your daughter is angry that you won't spend 5 hours on the phone with her, isn't that her problem?
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This morning my son was reeling from court with his ex yesterday. I had no words. I was shocked myself. So after listening to him for five years and hearing my share of abuse, he exploded when I said that I wish I had answers but this time I am stumped.

    Him: "You are useless!! You cant even offer emotional support to your son! You put me in more despair. Im at work. Bye!"

    Um, useless?

    I was too surprised to hang up before he did. But he wont be able to call me now for three days since he got out of control. I wont answer his calls until I am ready. And when I do answer, I still wont have those magic words to make it all better.

    The truth is, I am his mother, not his rock. I am not Hercules. Although he has often stated that as his mother I need to be his rock, no matter how old he gets. What happened in court to him hurt me too as it affects my grandson. But there is nothing I can think of to do and its not my job as a parent to know, although he thinks i should know exactly what he wants to hear and to say it. And if it annoys him, when under stress, he will abuse. But there is no excuse for abuse. I know this now.

    I am a logical realist, not Pollyana. He wants fake good predictions and fake carnival outcomes from me. I dont think that way. And I am not a trained psychologist who could actually help with his emotions. He is 40. Time for him to find alternate ways to feel better because I am not the answer. The court system seems to still be female biased, but if I sympathize by saying that he will erupt. He needs professuonal help, not me.

    Your son needs to accept help from government services, therapy and HIMSELF, not you. We did not sign up to make it all better for our kids forever. We cant. Period. Once they are 18 we have no legal power and we dont have to give up our sanity and every dime they dont have due to their bad choices. Or refusal to get a career and a life sustainable job.


    The fact is for three days my son will have to cope without talking to me. That is good for him. He is 40. I am 64. I cant live forever to hold his hand and next year hub and I are starting to travel each winter.

    I have three other grown kids who accept advice or do things themselves. They are younger....34, 24, 21. My 21 year old has ten times the ability to handle her life than the 40 year old. And 40 has alienated all siblings...he wont have anything to do with them, and they are relieved. This was his decision so he cut out his support system

    The bottom line is we hurt them when we help because they dont learn skills needed to exist without us. Maybe they will refuse to learn anyway. That is on them. We can not be there forever and our parents did not give up their lives for us. They need the opportunity to learn alone.

    I can see giving up our lives for them if it helped them, because we love them so, but it doesnt help them. It holds them back. And it hurts up physically and mentally to no good end.

    I had a contentious morning. Sorry if I sound aggrevated. I am! But thankfully I am no longer unable to function if 40 cant handle life's tough realities. Or if he wont seek proper help, such as a real life psychologist. I am too emotionally involved to be a good therapist. We all are.
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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  12. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Thx swot.
    This is a perfect example of call between our son and myself. If only I had magic words, I'd use them to calm myself...it's the attitude that anyone else can and should fix all their woes...anyone except them. Loulou-the other thing that's been really helpful is to wait... they operate in emergency mode ie. "the police are coming, I'm being evicted" etc. I can stress over their dilemma for days to only find out they were over it in 15 minutes! Just another Tuesday, right?
    I get it. Be ever so kind to yourself today. Prayers.
  13. Lou lou

    Lou lou New Member

    Thank you! You are spot on! I will be stressing for hours trying to figure something out. I then will call her and she will ask me to leave them alone because they are sleeping!

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Incredible post. sounds like my 22 year old son except he has just progressively begun the guilt and depression and major drama the last 4 years since he graduated from HS. Your story makes me want to block his number. It's been non-stop drama and problems with drugs, DUI arrest and moving place to place and he has burned all his bridges with family and friends and says "I am all he has" . He calls me screaming and says how could I as a mom hang up or not listen to him. I can't do this anymore , it has sucked the life out of me the last 4 years. Your story has given me confidence to detach. I can't see him doing this to me another 20 years!!! Thank you for your post. It has helped tremendously. My son lately speaks very depressive and suicidal type insuations and when I threatned 911 also he straightened up for a few days. But right back to freaking out yesterday...God help us all. oxxoxo