Happy New Year

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by newstart, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I sure hope there will be forward progress for all of us in the New Year.
    My 35 year old daughter has her boyfriend back. She tells me every couple of months that they have broke up. The off and on crazy cycle continues, and I am slowly learning how to detatch.
    The hard part about my daughter is that she can be nice and we can get closer and then she can turn deadly ugly. I have to realize it is part of her disorder and I have to find a way to not let it tear me to pieces. Once she turns mean, she makes sure anyone and anything around her is destroyed. I watched a video about toxic people and the ones that are mean all the time are easier to deal with because you know they are going to be awful but the ones that are nice off and on are the hardest to deal with and cause the most damage because you never know how they will act.

    My daughter called today to tell me she has a plan on how she will repay us for back rent and up coming rent. I think when she had time to think things through she decided that she could not find a better place to live.

    I am working through this last bout of PTSD. I have to work though it each time my daughter goes off the rails. I know by detatching a bit more I will not have such a severe case of it. I know she is capable of mass destruction so I have no idea why I go into complete shock over it.

    This year I will try to figure out why I need my daughters love so much. I really need her to love me. My son and I had ever flowing love, it was not off and on it was constant. He always thanked me for being his mom and thanked me often for all I did for him. If it were not for him I would feel like I was a failure as a parent. This off/on love from my daughter is painful, confusing and I just don't know where I stand most of the time. 2018 I am working on my health and mental well being. The hard part is that nothing or no one can take the place of a child. Wish I knew how to fill that void and God does help a lot but the void is so painful.
     
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  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Happy New Year New Star;

    You are not alone and we are in that awful place of the inbetween. We love them and it is so very hard to detach and not let the ups and downs of their interactions destroy us.

    I too suffer from PTSD in the most terrible way. The less I see of my son the better it is.

    Fortify tour tool box to take care of yourself. You are worth it.

    Don’t judge your parenting by your daughters behaviour. You are clearly a warm loving and giving parent.
     
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  3. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Littleboylost, Thank you for your support. I try my hardest and I try my best as I know you do. Happy New Year.
     
  4. sooooo tired

    sooooo tired soooootired

     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does your daughter have borderline pd, hon? If so I know of a forum, much like this one, but geared toward those who love somebody who has this maddening love you/don't love you disorder. It is very difficult because they have severe emotional dysregulation and can be sweet as honey one day or minute than seem almost evil the next. It is not a mood disorder like bipolar but a personality disorder that others deal with too. I think this is the right address, in case you are interested.

    It is called borderline central. The very first page will give you a good idea if this is what you are dealing with and what books you can buy if you are. I am pretty sure my mother had it. She could be happily chatting about my prom dress one hour than later scare me out of a sound sleep at 3am to scream at me about something she had been angry about three weeks ago that I thought was over. Think of the wire hanger scene in Mommy Dearest only she didn't hit me...it was just ugly words.

    She called me horrible names and seemed to deviate between seeing me as worthy then more often useless and she was cruel. Our relationship was not good partly because I dared to challenge her and borderlines don't handle that well. medications don't help much and most deny they have a problem. Often they use substances or do self harm.

    It is much worse than bipolar which can be treated and often easily controlled. But there are ways to deal with people who have borderline and "Walking on Eggshells" is a good book for anyone who loves a totally unpredictable person whether they have the label or are just crazily unreliable in their moods and responses to us. Wish I had had this help as a young person. My mother never went for help and had no diagnosis but she had many traits of this.


    www.bpdcentral.com

    Love and hugs. Good luck.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. sooooo tired

    sooooo tired soooootired

    WOW does this ever sound familiar! I too have a daughter that I have battled with since she was 18. She is now 41. At this point I have not been in touch with her for 2 years. She has 4 kids by 4 different men. I am close to the youngest, who is 5 now. If I want to see him I text his dad's phone, I go get him and he brings him out to the car. She stays in the house. She put me through hell until I got on this site and the wonderful ladies on here got me through ALOT of stuff. They let me know that it was ok to detach, It took me quite a while to conquer this but I have been verbally abused and taken advantage of for the last time. My daughter is the same, she can be sweet as pie one minute and turn into a monster the next. She has been diagnosed with a few different things, including Bi Polar. She wont stay on medications and wont talk to a counselor. I feel your pain! I am so sorry to hear about your son. I cant imagine!!! I do have another daughter and son that treat me well, and I thank god for them. It is so hard to not have a relationship with your daughter. But my life is so much calmer when she is not in it. At this point it is her move. If she cannot come to me and try to make things right and mean it and prove it, things will stay the same.
     
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  7. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Thanks for the link. My daughter is diagnoised bipolar but I think she has both bipolar and borderline and other stuff mixed in.
     
  8. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Thank you for your compassion. My daughter will not take medications and year after year she is in the same toxic pattern. I am wore out from it as I know you are. I know once I get more distant my emotions will get better. I sure hope your daughter can straighten out.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is a common combination. I think the forum would help anyone who has a loved one with crazy moods and unpredictable behavior regardless of official diagnoses. In spite of what they are called, these types are folks are so in predictable it can cause PTSD. I never did learn to get my mother to love me and I tried very hard. But they did not have the resources to help us that they do now. I think I could have been helped and detached a lot sooner if there had been better resources. I blamed myself, like she did.

    I WAS able to detach from my sister, and I have no idea what she has diagnosis wise, but she treats me similarly to how my mother did and I chose to stop trying. Of course, a child is different, but there are better ways to deal with people who are not nice to us that we still love than the methods we think will work.
     
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  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Newstart, I would imagine that to lose your son who was such a love to you and now to be connected to your daughter who exhibits such negative behavior towards you....would be very difficult to come to terms with. Perhaps it isn't that you "need your daughter's love so much" as it is that she is the only child you have left. And, she may not know how to love in the way your son, or other 'typical' people do.....she may not be able to fill that role for you. I know my daughter has a very different sense of love and relationships. My heart goes out to you.

    I have quite a number of mentally ill folks in my bio-family and over a lot of time I've had to figure out ways I can connect with them without harming myself or taking on their skewered, broken, dysfunctional, often toxic thinking. It's been quite the process. With some, I've had to disconnect completely. With others, it's limited. Perhaps it might be prudent for you to limit your time with your daughter. Remove yourself from the fray when it ends up being harmful, disrespectful, unkind, cruel, rude, harsh, deceptive or mean. When she lies, steals, cheats or is in any way manipulating you, take yourself away. I've had to do that with my daughter and over time she became aware of what I was not willing to tolerate and she stopped. I had to continue to set strict boundaries around bad behavior. Behavior you or I would not accept from anyone else. Why would we allow it from our daughters? We both deserve more than that.

    Last year I made a commitment to myself to only be in relationships where I felt compassion and kindness. We deserve that. There is no reason my daughter can't treat me with compassion and kindness......I had to stop allowing any other behaviors. You can choose the kind of care and love you want around you Newstart......and if your daughter cannot abide by your wishes....then it may be time to disconnect from her until she can learn how.

    Take care of YOU now.
     
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    RE, you have so much kindness and empathy in even hard messages. Thank you for being here.
     
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  12. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I hear you loud and clear about only letting relationships in my life that are compassionate and kind. And I do distance myself from my daughter when she is mean. When I distance myself from my daughter and she is highly manic she demands I talk with her. She will bust into my home and confront me with what ever or constantly call. I will tell her I am on break from her, she goes balistic and will not leave me alone. My mother in law was the same way, she would be horribly ugly to me and then call me all inappropriate hours, early in the morning and late at night and want to argue with me. This is so draining. It is almost like they want a fight and will not give you peace until you fight with them. I go into IGNORE because I know all I will get is belligerent mania. I know that I have to work on my strength to say Get out of my house or unplug my phone but it is so not my nature, but I have to start to protect myself. It is almost like she demands I fight with her and she is a dirty fighter. I can not go into my retirement years with this dirty fighter. This is the year I learn strong boundries. I would much rather spend time loving and laughing instead of placing boundries to protect myself.
     
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A therapist once said to me, "engage with crazy people and you too become crazy." Pardon the use of crazy, it's what she said and it fits for me in this context. Another visual I once saw was a samurai holding a sword about to engage it with a dark creature......the saying was the same, "engage with crazy people and you too become crazy." I felt that visual because I knew that once that sword touched the dark figure, the engagement would begin. You're then "hooked." The thing is, you can't start.

    Every time your daughter shows up manic and begins her tyrannical abuse of you, call the police, or get up, get dressed and leave, silently. Unplug the phone, turn off the laptop, remove yourself from all of it. If your husband will support you, ask him to deal with her when she gets in that manic place. He may be able to simply tell her to leave and cut it out. Then, do not engage with her until she calms down and acts respectfully. You should never reward that kind of behavior, ever. I know how it isn't your nature, it isn't mine either, but I learned how to take care of me. If you don't change your nature and build strong boundaries around this kind of destructive behavior, you will certainly spend your retirement years with this dirty fighter. They do not just stop the behavior, YOU HAVE TO STOP IT. They are relentless because they don't experience guilt, remorse, tenderness, compassion or empathy and in the past this kind of insane manic behavior has worked. When it stops working, then the behavior will end. The only one who can stop it from working is you.

    I had to do many 360's.....I had to learn very new behaviors for me......I had to get stronger and develop courage and a strong backbone. I wanted peace and joy more than anything else and that commitment helped me to learn how to detach from these bad behaviors and demand to be treated well. You can change this habitual behavior you've created with your daughter, it isn't easy, but it is doable. Continue stepping back. Get yourself a lot of support. Meditate. Pray. Put yourself as the priority and make sure your needs are met. Create the life you want to be living Newstart. We don't have the luxury of plenty of time anymore.......go grab your life and live it!
     
  14. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Recoveringenabler, I feel each and everyone of your words and I am working towards living them. My husband will support me, he does not like our daughter at all. His nature is very kind so being more aggressive will be a hard step for him, he usually just ignores her and is so tired and done with her. I know that I have to change to make the changes but I am so tired of the battle all the time but in reality I have to make the changes because she will not change. Actually I have made many changes but it is like she is one step above with more steps and I have to keep making stronger and more boundries. It's like being in a house and trying to keep the robbers out, lock the doors, check the windows, get ammunition ready etc etc. I feel like it is that on a constant level, contantly trying to protect myself. I am tried, very tried, I want so much to spend my days laughing, loving, doing fun things and having a clear mind to enjoy these things.. I feel as if I am haunted by my deceased mother in law through my daughter. So much of the same awful behaviors and then stalking me. I know it is all up to me to make it calm down and I feel so beat down and tired. I am fighting depression from this last bout of PTSD from being around her. I know things will have to get real ugly before they can get better but I am so wore out to get into the ugly. Thank you again for your wonderful words, I know they are truth because I have said them to myself and to read them written out gives me the push I need. You speak from experience and a great deal of pain. Thank you friend.
     
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Newstart, I can so relate to what you are saying. I uttered similar words a few years ago.....this path we're on can take our own lives down the rabbit hole,it is exhausting, debilitating and depleting. I had to get off the hamster wheel, it was slowly killing me. Now that you've made that decision,things will begin to improve.

    I understand how you feel. I had no idea how to remove myself from the front lines of my daughters chaotic lifestyle choices. I found a codependency course thru my HMO that changed my life. How I moved thru all of it was by getting myself as much support as I possibly could because I knew how hard it was going to be for me to detach. Thru that course, I had a weekly therapy group and a private therapist. I attended CoDa groups continually and read many books, which all helped. I shifted my beliefs about how to love my daughter and I learned how to set up strict boundaries. It didn't happen overnight, it was a process as we both learned the new landscape. But it all changed dramatically.

    The ugly part is usually as we change, our troubled kids up the ante to get us back into the position of saving/enabling them. To that end, they can be pretty ugly. That's where it's invaluable to have a good therapist, counselor or other professional to walk you thru those hard parts and give you the tools you need to change. I was so ready to change at that point that I listened carefully and then implemented the new behavior and the new rules ASAP. Slowly, I got my life back and slowly, my relationship with my daughter changed too. We have a challenging relationship, but now, I am considered, respected, listened to and all of those old nasty behaviors of my daughters do not happen (with me) any more. She may continue to act badly with others, I don't know, but generally not with me. She abided by all of my changes.That was really her only option in order to have relationship with me.

    This won't be as hard as you believe it will be because it sounds as if you are ready to change and when we are ready, it happens rather quickly because we now have resolve. But, get yourself a lot of support. A lot.

    Some books which may help you (they helped me) are Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie, The power of now or the New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron and there are a couple of excellent Ted Talks by Brene' Brown on Vulnerability and shame you can access by googling her on Youtube which are worth watching. You can also go on Youtube and search guided visualizations/meditations on letting go, grief, acceptance, etc,. I found listening to them quite helpful and informative and calming too. All of it helped me to let go and learn to accept what I can't change.......as well as learning to live in the present moment as opposed to the past or the future.

    Remember to do nourishing, kind and nurturing things for yourself now. Every single day choose you. As you fill yourself up, you'll feel more strength. You can do this. You're already doing this. It's time for you to have YOUR life now. It's time.......
     
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Happy New Year Newstart!!

    First I just want to say that you sound very strong. From what you have shared you are on the right path so now, just stay steady the course.

    I think you long to have your daughter love you the way your son loved you. I can only imagine the hole his death left in your heart. One thing I have learned is even though people we love die, the love they had for us lives in our hearts. It's there but to remember it and feel it can be painful.

    I have only one child and would love to know the kind of love your son had for you. You are blessed to have had that.

    I think you are very wise to start the New Year with thoughts of self reflection, to work on your mental and physical health. Focus on loving yourself and doing things that bring you joy.

    I've been here! PTSD from what our difficult adult children put us through can have a long lasting effect on us. I went through a period of time where I would open the curtains to my back sliding door in the kitchen and I would have a fear that my son would be on the other side of the glass. I played the "what if" game quite a bit going through in my mind what I would do if he showed up at my house.
    It's sad that we have to keep our guard up the way we do with our own children but we have to do what have to in order to be safe. To be safe emotionally and physically.
    Detaching and having firm boundaries in place is the only way I have been able to move on with my life.
    I have been through many valleys with my son. The main way I communicate with my son is via private message on FB. Several years ago he started slamming me for my faith. He was vicious and very ugly. He called me so many nasty names. I did my best to express to him that he was entitled to his own beliefs but to attack mine was uncalled for. He just wouldn't stop. I ended up blocking him from FB and did not communicate with him for over a year. During that year I did some soul searching and made some decisions about my life and that I was going to take it back and not allow my son to steal any more of my joy. I will not hesitate to cut off communication with him again if need be.
    I know that you too will get to this place, a place of peace and a place of happiness.

    This is what happens when our difficult adult children suck us into the vortex of their chaos.
    I know how tired you are but draw on the strength of those of us who have come back from that vortex. Feel us pulling you out!

    The most important thing you can do is to live your life for yourself. Find those things that will allow you to spend your days laughing and loving. Start with one little thing, it can be something as simple as buying yourself flowers or getting a pedicure.
    Take care of you first and foremost and the rest really will fall into place.

    Wishing you a year filled with a renewed spirit and energy.

    ((HUGS))................
     
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  17. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Thank you Tanya for you kind responce. Even though my son has passed I still feel the love we share. I believe he sends me his love from heaven. I so miss his kind loving nature and his deep sincere concern for me. I was so blessed to have him in my life. Before he went to bed I always told him that I was so lucky that God put him in my life as my son. I also told my daughter this before she went to sleep. The really hard part of all this is that she really was a sweet child until age 18. I did see some unruly behavior from her here and there but not anything to be alarmed about. Then she turned 18 left for college and the bottom dropped out.
    I am so sorry that your son is your only child and he grieves you the way he does. It is so important for people to walk peacefully with each other on this life journey that goes by all to fast. One of the words that keep coming to mind with my BiPolar (BP) mother in law is 'invasive'. I feel my daughter is invasive. When over at my home she opens mail that looks interesting to her, takes what she wants, reads stuff in my office. I tell her for the 100th time that she is getting into my personal space and boundries. Last time I was out of town she came over to my house and took a table without asking. I told her off about it and she said I was being too nit picky. I told her I would not think of just going over to her home and taking what I pleased without asking first. I want the same. These are things I have told her before. Next time I will change the codes to get into the house so I can go out of town with a clear mind.
    I know it had to be hard for you Tanya to not talk to your son for over one year. I also know that a lot of healing had to have happened since you did not have to ride that wicked roller coaster ride. I went 3 months and did not talk with my daughter, I did not answer the phone or door, I cut all communication even took my voice off the cell and home phone. But in the pain of not communicating it felt good to not ride that roller coaster or listen to the awful lies or protect myself from being ripped off. This last bout with her was hard and I was thinking of just doing another 3 month break but decided to leave the text open. That caused grief because she slammed me on FB saying how it is my fault that I interpret things wrong. How it is on me because I jump to conclusions. It is bad enough to argue but when someone takes their dirty laundry on FB it is horrible.. Each time I read someones comments it says so much about them. My daughters posts say what she does not want everyone to know, what a mean person she can be. Happy New Year.
     
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  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think the word invasive describes her behavior very well. It's clear that there is no respect for you. For her to say you are being nit picky is a manipulation tactic. She is transferring blame to you. This is a form of gas lighting.
    My response to her about being picky would be something like "This has nothing to do with being picky, this has to do with respect for my home and my belongings. This is MY home, not yours and you are not to go through my things and if you can't abide by that then you can leave"

    If it were me, there would be no next time. My son is not welcome in my house even when I'm home. He has completely destroyed my trust. The last time he was in my home I was so anxious. When I could not physically see him I would wonder what he was up to, was he in my bedroom going through stuff looking for money, what was he going to steal. That is no way to live.
    Your daughter opening up mail and reading stuff in your office is a HUGE red flag to me. Even though they are our children, they can still be conniving. I would worry about what information she is viewing, such as bank account information, or finding your ss#. Just because they are difficult adult children does not mean they aren't smart.
    One of the times my son was getting ready to be released from jail he said he needed my ss#. When I asked him what for he said it was to get a prison ID. I didn't believe him but called the prison just to verify. They told me this was something inmates would do and unsuspecting parents would give the information, it would then be sold to other inmates and used to steal identities.

    Oh FB and social media. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because it's a great way to keep in touch with people but when people use it to air their dirty laundry or as your daughter did, to just be mean and spew lies, it's not a good thing. My son has also posted ugly things about me that are not true. I learned that I needed to develop a thick skin. I know the truth and that is all that matters. As for what others choose to believe, I have no control. If someone chooses to believe the lies I have no room for them in my life.

    One thing I can say is having gone through all I have with my son I have grown stronger. I'm stronger than I ever thought possible. Surviving an adult difficult child is not for the faint at heart!
     
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would be afraid she was going to steal and that was what going thru the mail was about. My kids never thought to do this. That's totally against the law too.
     
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  20. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I agee with you SWOT, it is against the law and I will not stand for it ever again. I've already talked with her about it, several times.
    Tanya, You sure have been through the mill with your son. I remember my daughter calling me saying she needs $115.00 for a therapy visit. I asked for the phone number and address to the therapist. I called the number and the woman working there said the therapist is no longer in the building and has not been there for a while. I said 'oh my daughter wanted to rip me off again, and then this woman that just happened to be on the other line told me she has a very troubled son and he would have pulled something like that and also told me some other ways on how her son tried to rip her off. I do watch my daughter like a hawk when she is at my home. I have to remind my husband to keep an eye on her if I am not there. My husband is known to just get on his computer and ignore her.
    I enjoy FB because I get to see pictures of my relatives and keep up with their lives. Posts say much more about the poster than what they are posting about. I have noticed that when my daughter posts ugly stuff about me her friends come to my defense and I know that ticks her off even more. For this new year my goal is not not lose my cool with her and talk with her calmly and with strength. Last few months I screamed at the top of my lungs about her financial irresponsibilty, I am ashamed I lost it so bad but I just could not take how stupid things got and how she started to act like the victim after she stole and lied to me.. I know I looked and sounded out of control and I think I was, I think I hit a point that I do not want to be at ever. From now on I will explain what I am going to do, DO IT and not have a fit. I know she lies and steals, the problem is with me, I keep thinking she will grow out of it and that is really DUMB on my part, it is part of me wanting to see the best in everyone and I am so tired of fighting this battle. I knew for sure that when I got to be an old woman my son would make the best decisions on my care. I do not have that now. I have a daughter I cannot trust so I better make sure to take good care of my husband and myself. I live far away from my precious nieces and newphews and the years are coming on fast. I hear stories of parents getting sick and their children wipe them out completely.. I have to do many things to have legal documents in order to protect my husband and myself. I am just plain wore out.