Gosh - I Never Realized It...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DaisyFace, May 27, 2013.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I never realized how dysfunctional my everyday life had become. I never realized all of the things - habits, words, actions - that I had in place to cope with everyday life with a difficult child. And now that difficult child has moved out...I am having trouble remembering how to re-adjust back to "normal".

    Today, for example, I was washing a load of towels. And it suddenly hit me: I can actually use the linen closet for.....drum roll please....TOWELS! I can keep clean towels in the linen closet by the bathroom. Wow! How exciting!

    And how stupid - and outrageous! - that all of these years I have had to keep close tabs on bathroom towels as though I were guarding gold bars! All these years spent making sure that difficult child was not ruining towels, or storing wet, mildewy towels in her bedroom, or stealing DS's towels, or using the good towels for crafts, or hair-dying, or any of the thousand other ways that bathroom towels were constantly being destroyed to the point that having to "guard the towels" became an actual "thing" that I had to do in order to survive in this house.

    PTSD, anyone?

    Oh yeah....in spades!
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    DaisyFace, it is pretty astonishing when you start to unpack all of the difficult child-proofing that you needed to do just to keep your home functioning.
    It does get better the longer your difficult child is out from under your roof, but some things take a very long time, and some never go away.

    I remember the first time I didn't have to padlock the fridge. Or wear that wretched lanyard full of interior house keys around my neck. The panic that set in, and then immediately subsided when I realized a) I forgot to lock my bedroom door, and then b) it was okay because difficult child wasn't here to go in and rifle/steal.

    Hugs, my friend.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks, Trinity...

    I am surprised at how hard the "unraveling" is hitting me. I've had to be in "warrior mode" for so long...now that it's time to dis-arm...I'm finding it very un-nerving, and emotional.

    Thanks for understanding!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just read your post Daisy and realized it's not at all unlike a soldier coming home from active duty, the absolute shift out of survival mode into every day life must be astoundingly difficult and take some time to adjust, if adjustment really ever happens. You've been in a battle zone and now you're not. I hope all your days from now on get easier and easier and that now "peace" reigns in your home.........
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - that's it exactly!

    Parenting was never supposed to be something that one "survived" - and yet, that's exactly how it becomes for difficult child parents...
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thankfully, over time, a lot of that goes away.............the one leftover piece for me is now, when the phone rings very early or very late, a time when most people are not calling, I go into that "oh no, something bad has befallen my difficult child" mode...........I was just noticing that actually last night and this morning when two phone calls came in..............that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" sense of life goes away little by little, exactly as it first showed up, when you didn't even notice it happening. Hopefully, one day I will be safe from the phone calls too...................
  7. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Isn't life without a difficult child living with you just grand?

    We can leave our wallets and money lying around.

    We can open a bottle of wine, leave in fridge, check 3 days later, it is still there.

    No dishes lying around. No hogging of my laptop, because yours doesn't work because of your probably substance induced carelessness. No coming in whenever you feel like it, and then subjecting your family members to your moodiness and irritability. No finding vodka disgused as water in a plastic water bottle. No more picking up your half done laundry because you are too depressed to finish it. No more hiding your sleeping pills and ADHD medication because you cannot be trusted to take them appropriately.

    I personally adjusted just fine to life without him although like you, Recovering, I go into a panic when the phone rings late at night.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The late night calls AND the sounds of sirens not far away.......it's still there. My PTSD is based on fear. I have lived thru the "nightmare" of the late night call saying easy child/difficult child might be dying and hurry to the out of town hospital. Maybe it will go away in time?? I'm not sure with my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) easy child/difficult child but Lord I hope so. I "get it". DDD
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I know exactly what you mean about the towels! I put Meggie's upstairs... Finally. In the linen closet.

    It is a tad weird, hon. Not having to lock up random things like chocolate chips. Not wondering what will be broken or missing (or both) today...
  10. missyk33

    missyk33 New Member

    Not finding candy wrappers everywhere and our food is actually lasting us longer than we thought it ever could. Gas is lasting us a lot longer because we are not having to go to Walmart every freaking day for her to pick something up. I noticed last night we still half a pack of 12 rolls of toilet paper left and I do believe its going to last until I go grocery shopping on the 5th.
  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your post. The PTSD thing hit me in the face about a week ago. All the gut wrenching feelings that suck the joy out living a "normal" life. I am trying to find a therapist for myself before I implode.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Its been a long time for me so I am on the far side. I remember when I got to the point when I left dollar bills around the house as tests and they stayed there for months. When Cory had complete access to my pain pills and all he did was worry about me and what I was taking. He had heard bad things about certain drugs and was scared to death for me to be on them. He never attempted to take them. I remember so fondly the days that Cory would come to me to help talk him down when he felt like he wanted to turn back into his old bad self but he knew just seeing me would help him stay on the path forward to his new life. I thought that was very mature of him because we all need some way of centering ourselves and figuring out how to find our coping skills. Back then I helped remind him of his coping skills. Now he has managed to internalize them which is something we never thought would happen.
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Great thread.

  14. Loudad2

    Loudad2 New Member

    Yes, great thread.

    I feel guilty that I am enjoying the peace and quiet since difficult child left.

    No one to empty the fridge, go through my personal possessions, yell, scream, curse at and disrespect me and my wife. I still have not even cleaned out and repaired the damage ti his room yet. I don't want to feel all that negative energy.

    I still love him, but I don't miss all the fighting.
  15. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I still go into panic mode when the phone rings after 8PM. A few months ago we had a collect call message from our small 1 cell jail on our phone when we got home - hubby ran outside to get me - it was a wrong number TG! difficult child lives in another state and we still panic lol!!!

    I am finally understanding some of the advice I have read or been told - like stop tugging on my end of the rope. The peace is bitter sweet - but so much better than what I was living in.
  16. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I'm just... tired. Someday.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tired I had to laugh about the call from the local jail. About a year or so ago I got several calls maybe a month or so apart from our local jail on that stupid collect call system. I cant take a collect call on my cell phone and I didnt recognize the name nor understand the voice of the person calling so I just hung up. What was strange was this same person called back about 4 times! I did call Cory and asked him if he knew anyone in jail at that time but he didnt...lol.
  18. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I read this a couple of days ago and felt like I was reading "my" story. My son is due to come home on another theraputic leave of absence. On the first short one, we did not come to the house. This one will be longer and we will come to the house. I found myself going through the house hiding things that I don't want him to get into. I had just bought some new electronic gizmos and was thinking maybe my daughter could keep them for me. I stopped in my tracks and just started shaking. After not having to do this for the last 6 months, I know I can not go back to living this way but don't know what I can do about it until he turns 18 or winds up back in jail. Such ugly negative thoughts.