Grief Work

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by emotionallybankrupt, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    As I read through JJJ's thread this morning about all the chaos Kanga is bringing their family, it brought back so many memories. I thought I was the only Mom who had at one time counted the days remaining until the 18th birthday. Many of JJJ's circumstances are very different from what mine were, but defnitely the chaos, the CPS involvement at times, the lies/accusations regarding being vicimized sexually and otherwise--those memories are still very close but getting more distant little by little.

    I've struggled with whether I'm doing the right thing in distancing so completely at this time, but I can't find any other realistic option. If I crack the door now, I believe even worse chaos will come into our lives. I've discussed it at length with the psychiatrist, and his validation means so much. Although he is not going to "tell" me what to do, it's fairly obvious to me that he thinks the more reasonable thing for me to do is what I'm doing--trying to heal myself and take care of the rest of my family the best I can. The family that has to a great extent been lost in the cracks while difficult child has run all our lives. He agrees that, if I go the other direction, I'll likely have another child to raise--or at the very least to rescue in some way--in addition to taking difficult child back in, with all the baggage that goes with that. Based on the past, I'm likely to be disturbed by what I'll observe regarding the parenting of this child, and I'll be hooked into taking on the responsibility for making things better. I've been blasted by a couple of "friends" regarding my perspective on this, and so I've been reluctant to post here, but the truth is that I'm afraid to love this new child. That means I can't see him or hold him. I can't see my daughter either. Definitely this is not what I thought it would be like to become a grandmother. He's due to enter this world in about 3 months.

    I'm trying to taper on my anti-anxiety medications, and I've made progress, but when I tried to stop the ambien, the nightmares were relentless--waking several times crying each night. The psychiatrist says I'm just not ready yet--that I need more distance first. All nightmares, of course, were centered around difficult child.

    The door I have kept open is e-mail and, more recently, facebook. I've been working for the last couple of weeks organizing old pictures--sweet, loving pictures of difficult child's childhood. I'm posting them in albums on facebook. Just a few weeks ago, I couldn't stand the thought of facing those pictures, so I think this is progress. For whatever reason, I've just felt driven--very suddenly--to do this. Just guessing this is a part of my grieving/healing process. I'm really not sure. So far, only one set has brought me to tears.

    I've had a few comments from difficult child, who is able to access the albums since she is my "friend" on facebook. Interesting that most comments are of the, "I'd forgotten about that," variety. Sure does balance her claims of a horrible childhood with an unloving mother/family. Maybe a reality check for both of us. The question that lingers from the story told by the photos, however, is, "What on earth went so wrong?" I'll probably never know for sure, although I still think genetics are the primary factor.

    A poem I read in college comes to mind: "Traveling Through the Dark." That's me. It's going to be a long road, but I think I'm going the right direction finally. Getting healthier physically and emotionally. I hope I'm doing it right. I hope I won't get a tidal wave of regret later.

    I'm open to suggestions. I think I still need to be sure I'm not overlooking workable options.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It sounds as though you are putting things in order, and that's a good thing. It has been chaos for you lately, but there was a time when it was sweet and wonderful. You are coming to a time that you can remember those times as their own joyous thing. That's a big step. :)
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hear such pain in your post. It really almost brings me to tears. Having kids isnt supposed to be this hard. It isnt supposed to hurt this much. Certainly having a grandchild isnt supposed to be such a time of anguish.

    I think you are probably doing the best thing for yourself if it feels like the best thing. I know what you mean about going through those old photos. I had lost a lot of mine in a flood and then a year or two ago my dad gave me a packet of some he had and I was just a basket of tears looking through them. My kids thought I was

    I know you have probably seen me talking about my oldest granddaughter here. She is the love of my life now but it wasnt always that way. When I found out she was arriving I was very angry. Very. My son was 19. barely. He had only known this woman...who was 3 years older than him and known to be very loose for less than 2 months...and we all knew she had already been cheating on him. Needless to say all of us were sick about it. Even up to the day the baby was born none of us really though Keyana was ours. Baby momma wouldnt let my son in the delivery room either but expected him to sign the bc. He did. I was irate. They didnt even do a DNA test. They never have. By now, we are 99 percent sure she is and even if she isnt, SHE IS!

    But, in the beginning...I couldnt even hold that baby. I was so sure that she would be taken from me. I was so sure she wasnt mine and they would just leave. I was guarded. I was mad. I was everything. It took me quite awhile but eventually...the baby wore me down. couldnt keep me away from One of the reasons I think she is ours is she has my blue

    Your dtr is 17. I couldnt stand my kid from late teens until he was 22. He is 23 now and finally becoming human again. There is hope.
  4. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Although you have been through much more with your difficult child than I have with mine I wanted you to know I understand how you feel about your grandchild. My dtr has a little boy who is 15 months old and I've never seen him. I don't dare get too involved or too close. He and his mom live across the country from me so it isn't like I would see him often anyway but it is hard when people ask me when I'm going to go visit and they don't understand that this isn't a "normal" mother/dtr relationship.

    My dtr and I get along very well now but I have to keep my boundaries intact. I'm afraid of what I might find if I went to visit. I am not about to raise another child so I have to be sure I love my grandson at a distance. Back in August my dtr disappeared for a few weeks and left her son with a friend. She was out on a drug binge. I think she is in a better place mentally now but I can only go on what I hear in her voice and what she tells me. And she only tells me part of the story--I never know the real background story.

    Anyway, wanted you to know I do understand and my heart goes out to you. I think you are doing a fine job adjusting to your reality.

  5. Sending hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had to put away and turn around a bunch of photos 'cause I couldn't bear to look at them... they tell SUCH a different story from what my difficult child's have been telling around town lately!

    Sadly my difficult children have become quite the local celebrities with their false tales of abuse!!! (false allegations of abuse are part of difficult child's Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis.) We are holding our heads high, because we are amazingly wonderful parents!

    I love Janet's encouragement that her 23 year old is finally becoming human again.

    Here's to hope!
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    EB, I take alot of comfort in photos of my difficult child when he was a child. When I think back I guess I always knew he would become a troubled adult but we did have many good times when he was growing up and I like remembering them.

    The first time he went to prison I had to put away the photo I kept of him on my dresser. It was just too hard on me but after a while it came back out and took its rightful place along side photos of his sibs and my grands. He is my child and I will always love him but after they have put us through so much stress and chaos it takes time to put all our emotions in their proper place.

    I am sorry about the situation with your grandchild but I totally understand. No one should judge you and if they do then shame on them. They do not know you and all you have endured. -RM
  7. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Thank you so much for your responses. Yes, this is SO painful, and I'm finding myself crying again as I read your replies--just to be understood. The sting from the "arrogant wonders," as I now call them, have been especially painful, because they are "friends" who have been so supportive in the past. The first "hit" made me dissolve in tears; the second one made me buck up in anger, as I sarcastically (but quite seriously) replied that I am SO glad to know there is a caring place for difficult child to go in her time of need, and asking for a full street address to pass along when the call comes. The response was the information I requested, in a "name, rank, and serial number" monotone, along with the tag of, "I don't believe for a minute you're going to do that." We'll just see about that.

    Underlying it all, however, is the most raw pain, as I know you understand. I think I'll always be amazed that any "friend" could begin a sentence with "You should," or "You need to,"--or the dreaded, "If I were you, I would...." I'm more guarded than ever now, though. I'm learning I really don't know which "friends" will just add to the pain. You're right, RM--they don't know what it was like in this house.

    Yes, maybe change will come later. I've not lost hope, but I think it will take a lot of time. Maybe in time, Janet, ours can be a success story like yours. Thank you for sharing in such detail. It really helped. Jane--how do manage keeping the boundaries with your daughter? What limits have you set?
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I feel for you, EB. I've had to put away difficult child 2 pictures. They were the first thing I'd see when I walked into the house. Strangely enough, it was while I was reading The Lovely Bones that I rediscovered my intense love for my boy. I put his picture in an alcove and burned incense and lit candles. This was quite an improvement on wishing for a voodoo doll with his face on it, LOL!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Honey...mine is not a success story yet. My son still has some major problems. I am still guarded with him. I still have to use many of the lines we have here in the archives when he calls me wanting me to help save him from himself. Though he is doing that less and less over time. Lots of times now he just wants me to reassure him that he can do it for himself. Now its more like he just wants me here to kiss his fears away so he can go fight the dragons.

    Now he knows that I wont do anything that I dont want to do. I heard something that kind of clicked for me.

    "I will love him forever but I wont love him to death."

    I think when we do to much for these adult kids (or even older teen kids) we can actually be helping to "love them to death" in some cases.
  10. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Bad phrasing on my part, Janet. What I was thinking was "success story" in coming--not only to peace, but to JOY--regarding Keyana.