Holidays & Trauma, Holding Both

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Scent of Cedar *, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Maybe, if we can recognize there are layers upon layers in our recognitions and remembrances and expectations for the holidays, we will come more easily to a place of peaceful acceptance or even, gratitude, in the holiday we are celebrating with or without those we love.

    It is especially hard for those of us whose children are home, when the kids are so troubled. Or when we don't know where they are or whether they have enough food.

  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My pain for the holidays I cannot even write. To try to do so brings feelings, almost that do not have words.

    I am a person who has not had the apparent strength or loyalty or love to make the effort to be with my family, or such that I had was overridden by fear or mistrust or inconvenience, worst of all.

    When I think about it, I believe my life has been a casualty of our times. Granddaughter of immigrants, all, our family experienced the fracturing that comes to the readjustment to a new culture and place. And I ran with the possibilities presented by the emancipation of women that I met when I left home, I ran away.

    I believe that I was created emotionally to have stayed close in with my family. I cannot yet not feel the pain and the loss of it. I accept the why.

    I am grateful to be with M and the craziness of his family. And my animals. There is no anticipation, as with some other families. Just wishing it would be over.

    And the ever present awareness that I do not much enjoy being with my child, nor have I for a long time. Regardless of how the arrival to this day has played out.

    My life seems to have been a series of goals and of losses. I do not anticipate that this will change. I accept it. I hope I end strong.

  3. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    I wish I could skip the holidays this year too. My father had a massive stroke and the difficulties with Difficult Child is proving too much this year. Our extended family is also not honoring our wish to have a quiet holiday by ourselves and have invited themselves over to our house. Wake me up in January please
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am sorry about your Dad. I pray that he will recover. Lila, stick up for yourselves, regardless of the pressure family applies.

  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Anyone who "invites themselves" without consideration of the situation, deserves to have the doorbell not answered, in my opinion. You do NOT have to allow them to come.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Well I am working this Thanksgiving to remind myself what I am grateful for. Last night we heard that a school mate of my son, and his first girlfriend in middle school died yesterday of a heroin overdose.... so so sad. I called my son and told him. Last night he woke us up with a phone call (hate those wake up middle of the night calls) that he had been caught drinking at his sober house and is being kicked out..... so he is probably homeless as of today!!! I feel good about my response and at peace with it.

    So today I am thankful that my son is still alive.... that alcohol is his drug of choice and not heroin.... and I am thankful for my husband and daughter who are a source of support and joy for me.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I just could not get myself to a place of gratitude or thankfulness yesterday. I just couldn't do it. I was able to take some comfort in that imagery of holding both trauma and gratitude, but I could not manage to actually feel it, or find a place to balance in it, except for briefly, through making an effort not to behave like a jerk. It was so strange and difficult a holiday.

    Then, during clean up, the mood broke. Just like that.

    Could it have been anticipation of trauma that was creating that in us? Not only old trauma, but anticipation of new. There was a jaded cynicism to my emotional reality yesterday that was unusual for me.

    It still hurts me a little bit when I think about what it was like.

    And it was so strange that it broke just like that, between one breath and the next, almost. During cleanup. So, I was wiping up the kitchen floor, the very last piece of cleanup, when it broke.

    It was ten o'clock at night.


    This part is edited in.

    So, after cleanup was done, I was reading, and decided to begin sending gift certificates to the kids for turkey or for whatever their holiday dinner would be. I berated myself for not having thought of it sooner, but found it comforting as a balm on that angry place I had been balancing around for the past few days.

    So, these feelings really are about balancing trauma and gratitude, and make me scared silly about Christmas. I think part of it has to do with accepting things as they are.

    Hope must have kept me afloat, before.
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am kind of at an odd numbness right now Cedar. I think I am still in shock from events that have transpired.
    I really don't know what to make of it other than I must be in some kind of self protect mode. I am also really focusing on my boy and his right to have a peaceful home.
    My two have used us for so long, back and forth, promises of change, then no change.
    Dangling the grands in front of us like bait.
    So we helped and helped.
    When we put our foot down and said that's it, ( this has happened a few times) they will not call or share new numbers.
    So, again, we have no contact.
    But I am neither here nor there over it.
    It is what it is.
    Well, for now, feelings do change.
    It must be shock, Cedar, for me.
    Or the same old wound has been opened up so many times it has become calloused and hard.
    It's a strange sensation.

    I am glad you are feeling better Cedar. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is what it feels like for me, too. A shockey place; like I know the routine of how to survive the holidays, but after so many years of it, the raw places, the what happened of all those years when hope got me through it, shock me with how ugly it was, and how lonely; that lonely when you miss someone who should be at your table and they aren't and there is no way to address it.

    That's alot of loss that we all are trying to figure out how to incorporate into our holidays, and into our lives. How extraordinary that we have been able to do the holidays, to clean and make cookies and dinner and compare recipes and smile, instead of screaming and running away.

    I swear, I could be one of those women who doesn't comb her hair and dresses in sackcloth and ashes, today. Then, no one would expect me to be sane.

    Well, not today so much, but yesterday and for the past three or four days, for sure.


    We are carrying alot of trauma. Somehow, this is breaking through. But I wonder why it is happening now?

    We need to come up with a bracelet or an armband, with some way of externalizing these feelings. That might help them not to go global meltdown when all we are trying to do is stuff the freaking turkey.


    It has that flavor to it. I was unprepared for that excoriated feeling. It had to do with all the holidays that were the best we could make of them around those broken places at the heart of our family. I haven't felt this exact kind of pain before. It's a kind of rageful nostalgia or something equally bitter and crazy-making and it feels like I should be able to do this better. Like broken dreams breathing their last because no amount of hope can change all the holidays that brought us to this one.


    And I kept trying to be grateful and I


    I was so mad. And so shocked at myself about that.

    It has that feeling to it, and I am so used to charging through it and what we need to do, maybe, is find a way to acknowledge whatever this is and hold ourselves with compassion.

    But at the same time? I was too mad to do it!


    And like, one minute from crying the whole time.


    That would be the face, on our armband.


    I am sorry your children are keeping the grands from you, Leafy.

    Daughter has always been so generous with her children.

    Son uses his to punish and entice and berate us. And you are right, it...I don't have a model for how to do this. I mean, I know to love the kids of course, but I don't know how to be vulnerable to the hurt of the way our relationship to them is skewed, or to the feeling that ~ well, enough about that. It is a powerless feeling, and joyless, around gifts or conversations or birthday cards.

    I have been writing this post all day you guys. I am understanding the vulnerability piece, and the numbing piece, and the coming alive piece more clearly. But I will leave this in, even if I feel selfish and foolish and weak, and like I should stop feeling badly for myself already. We have had to be very cruel to ourselves, maybe, to carry on with our lives. Maybe, we have been numb for so long a time that we thought that was normal. And again, if I think back to holidays since everything became so troubled for us, I do see myself, frantic and numb and pretending everything was okay. Work was a good antidote to the pain.

    So, these must be years of pain we are processing now.

    Maybe this could be true.

    So, compassion for ourselves and our kids and all of us is where we need to get. I don't know how to do that, but I do know berating myself for feeling badly isn't it. Maybe, part of what is happening to us is that we no longer need to be so strong because these years when we had hope are passed.

    So, we are letting down those walls that enabled us to stand up and bake cookies and say the correct, happy things while our hearts were barely beating and time was at a standstill.


    Part of why this is happening now is that we (parents) do not think so much about how we feel and this year, for some crazy reason, I got all tangled up in self pity.

    Tangled up in blue, like that Bob Dylan song.

    It really sucked.


    I was going to use a bedsore analogy earlier in this post, but I thought I had been ugly enough already today. But it sort of is like that. I thought the pain body was resting peacefully, but there was this huge, festering bedsore the whole time.

    So I am alive, after all.

    And the answer to bedsores is re-establishing circulation. Caring enough to move or be moved. Caring enough to breathe deeply and well, and to have good nutrition and good personal hygiene.

    I actually do have medical training, you guys.



    I feel like a baby, and a little foolish. But this is true: I have never mourned what I lost. I have mourned the Hallmark holidays and so on, but in a general, and not a specific way. So, it must be that, as we are more present to ourselves through the work we have done on FOO Chronicles, these troublesome emotions are here in the open. Maybe, it was never a family of origin dinner I was all upset about at all, except as a marker for the pain I could not look at.

    Talk about your Inconvenient Truths, and someone should mention that to Al Gore.

    Maybe, these are the feelings that were tinging our holidays and making us frantic, all along.

    It could be that, in naming the hurt of it now, our Christmases will be better.

    Maybe, we won't be going through the decorating and cooking as automatons this year. We will have explored and named these feelings, and we won't have to protect ourselves from them, in future. Maybe, in future, we will honor these feelings, and admire, or at least, acknowledge, our incredible strength in loving, or in choosing to love whether we managed to do it or not.

    Certainly, we have not been loving ourselves. The pain was too immediate and intense. Now it is old, is over and done, and we can examine the parameters.

    Probably that plays its part, here. We have been so certain never to say "This is the worst thing that could happen." Every time we did, Something worse did happen.

    I feel badly for us! (Okay you guys. I feel mostly bad for me and a little bad for you.)

    That plays its part, here. We did not dare look. We functioned from numb and prepared and ever ready ~ and that's what we got, too.

    Every time.

    And then, there were grandchildren.

    And a vulnerability we never even knew existed.

    And we got through that, too.


    That would be good. To honor that excoriated place. It makes sense that anger would be our defense to the hurt of those places where we have been numb, and where we are now coming real. Otherwise, we would be crying through the holidays and everyone would think we were babies and we would think that, too.

    So, we have had to be strong for a very long time.

    This is what it feels like maybe, to open those gates and let ourselves feel what this feels like.


    I swear. I could not let go of that feeling of madness. Not even anger. Really, mad. Madness; anger tinged with insanity, with rage. It was that uncontrollable.

    Not that anyone else saw it. (I had makeup on.) But I could not not see it.

    It was the strangest thing.

    No wonder we have kept ourselves numb to it.

    But that means that somewhere, there are parts of us that have been suffering alone, and in the dark. If I think about it, there is a numbness, a feeling of automaton to the holidays for me. A dancing as fast as I can feeling, with smiling and kindness even when such bad things were happening and I did not know where one of my children was.

    That is enormous grief for us to be ignoring through the holidays.

    So, it could be that these are good feelings to acknowledge, for us.


    So, here is a secret. Yesterday, I found imagery to reflect my feelings in Maleficent. The wicked Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty. Did you know she was turned wicked through a hurt done her?


    I was going to post that but thought it would be rotten to do so on Thanksgiving.

    In any event, Maleficent is saved from herself by relearning vulnerability, by opening to love. Not romantic love, but openness and trust and letting that bitter, excoriated place heal.

    One of the pictures had to do with her wings, powerful and strong, that she lost when she was betrayed, and her sadness at what happened to her. One of us had posted about having felt strong and sure in her life before these things happened, and about feeling she had lost that strength, somewhere.

    So, I thought alot about that, yesterday. About Maleficent. It seemed to address that excoriated place for me.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    So, after I was ready and before our company came yesterday, I was sitting with D H and he said: "What happened to your lip? Do you have a sore or a pimple or...?" Leaping immediately to outraged rage at the unfairness of the world in general and of my life in particular (which was my go to position yesterday), I felt for whatever the rotten offending thing was and was my lip liner. So, (except for me) D H and I were laughing about how rotten it looks when really old ladies have applied their lipliner outside their actual lips.

    So, I thought I would mention that.

    I think I might have applied my eyeliner that way, too.

    Oh, roar. Sackcloth and ashes and hair sticking out everywhere would at least have looked like I meant to be crazy.

    HO HO HO

    I will need to be more discrete, in applying my makeup on Christmas Day.

    A warning for us all.

  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I wish there were a funny/sad button for that Cedar, I really do.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Like me, Cedar? Then you better buy the horse detangler I bought.

    Good idea. What about Victorian Mourning Brooches. They are so lovely. I cringe when I admire them...not wanting the pain of visit my house.

    Now I realize. It has already. It is here. Let me externalize it with a mourning brooch. Just the thing.
    Cedar, is that not adding problems to our already massive heap of them? We will all be on terrorist watch lists. Our few loved ones interviewed on CNN. I can see my son now. Telling Anderson Cooper that he saw the signs: particularly a certain lack of stability on the phone. And then Donald Trump would deport M. I vote for Victorian mourning brooches.
    Yes. That is why we are so vulnerable when the intent of her posts is questioned by other. It is not the content that is so important to us. It is the process. The opening. To ourselves and to others.

    M and I have are attracted to very different media content. Let me count the ways. The language difference is the least of it. Yesterday he was fascinated when he discovered that the Turkey pardoned by the president was named "Ernesto." That is the least of it.

    When we start feeling blue on Thanksgiving, think of Ernesto, and the lunacy of life will come to the fore. And you will smile at it all.

    We need to be prepared for Christmas with something equally ludicrous. Watch for it, ladies--and tell the rest. So we will have our secret antidote, at the ready. When one of us feels bereft we will have tucked into our bras (in my case, nightgown pocket) our secret Christmas Ernesto. In that way we will remember we have each other and ourselves.


    Ham Recipe
    I made a ham for Thanksgiving (to give away. I am Jewish). The most delicious I have had (and the first I have ever made). Mix together a glaze of 2 c honey, 1/4 cup apricot all fruit spread (not jam), the juice of an orange, (if you want, a little orange zest), maybe a quarter cup of pineapple juice from the fresh pineapple, 2 T (or more to taste) dijon mustard.

    (Instead of the apricot spread, I would think Apricot or Peach nectar would work.)

    Score the ham in a diagonal criss cross pattern. Put 1/4 cup glaze on ham. With toothpicks secure fresh pineapple slices all over the ham. Spike the ham with whole cloves. Maybe 20. If you want a nice presentation put maraschino cherries centered in the pineapple slices. Put the ham on a rack with 2 cups of water underneath in the pan. Baste every 10 to 15 minutes with 1/4 cup of glaze. For a 8 lb ham I baked maybe an hour and 45 minutes at 350. The last 5 to 10 minutes turn the broiler on to carmelize the glaze. (This part is important.) I bought a good ham from Costco: Smoked Master carve.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Or a cameo.


    Ha! Copa and everyone, I never thought of what Isis means, today! I was thinking of the goddess Isis, grieving and searching for the missing parts.

    Yes, and when Anderson Cooper interviews D H, he would note my external lip liner on Thanksgiving.




    I will remember.

    Thank you Copa. The ham recipe sounds delicious. I will make our Christmas Ham just this way.

  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member


    past tense: excoriated; past participle: excoriated
    1. formal
      censure or criticize severely.
      "the papers that had been excoriating him were now lauding him"

      damage or remove part of the surface of (the skin).
      synonyms: abrade, rub away, rub raw, scrape, scratch, chafe; More

    I had to look up excoriated, it is a new word in my vocabulary. So, is it definition 1. or 2.? For me, it is both, because, 1.) I know there are members of hubs family who are criticizing our detachment. Also, my d cs are out there bad mouthing and censuring us. 2. I think the feeling of numbness is also like when we first are wounded, and we really don't feel the damage. Like when kids get hurt and they don't cry, then they see the blood- WAAAAHHH! Excoriated, good word Cedar. You are like Readers Digest, with your vocabulary. Increase your vocabulary through Cedars postings. Thank you Cedar. I am glad for dictionary websites.

    We are at different stages in this, I think you have hit anger,
    "Dammit I am wounded and it f'ng hurts.
    "And I am at "WTF happened?"
    For me, a floaty, otherworld feeling.

    Good. I can't even send the grands stuff. It is not their fault, it is not their doing. Okay, I am mad about that. My eldest grand said to me, before "My mom owes me $80.00, Tutu, she took my birthday money and promised to pay me back." UGH. My #2,#4 buy them clothes and cut the tags off, so the parents cannot return the clothes for money, and spend it on themselves. UGH. When I think of these things, the numb turns to anger. UGH.

    Accepting, yes, it is hard, it sucks.
    Screaming and running sounds like a great idea.

    Me, too, except my hair doesn't need to be combed.
    Sackcloth, ashes, something that screams out the reality that we are dealing with.
    An armband, a tattoo, a branding, that represents the wound so deep, inside of us that we try so desperately to not let show, in our daily lives.
    We would become zombies, I fear.

    I am tired of it.

    Thank you Cedar, it is the same for me, with my grands.
    Then also, they are wild. I call them my "hooligans." When they have been with us, they are blatantly disrespectful of property, surroundings, and sometimes us. It is not their fault, all of their lives in such a tumult. Then I wonder Cedar, what have their parents spoken of us, in view and hearing range of our grands?
    A diversionary tactic. Numbing does not work, the baggage multiplies.
    It could be Cedar, hope has passed, it is what it is, so how to deal with the acceptance, that change is not happening for our d cs?

    Robot mode. Getting out of robot mode, role to real.
    Exposed, we are exposed.

    I think this is a goal point.

    Yes, explore the unknown, as if we were a recently discovered universe. After all the pie, I am a universe today.

    The armband, the patch, something to remind us of how incredibly strong we are.
    To be able to hold ourselves together, while everything fell apart around us.

    It is true, but now we have CD and each other, to share the real with. One cannot go around unloading on everyone. Sheesh, we would be the life of the party, then wouldn't we? But, here, it is safe. We understand.
    It is. This is the first time I have really been able to share my innermost thoughts. That is probably why I am numb, it is freeing, and yet exhausting at the same time. I am turning my insides out, like a pillow case, grabbing it from the end with one fell swoop "shippaaaack"...... except, I am doing the opposite, grabbing my deepest feelings from my toes, shippaaack, and turning them inside out.

    Excoriated, my entire body, raw, skinless, exposed. Huh


  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    With the ham, I forgot. I added a couple of tablespoons of melted butter to the glaze. To make it even more inappropriate for me to eat or even crave. But I do not think the butter is essential. This was a conglomeration of about 5 from allrecipes. Except I thought of the apricot fruit spread because I did not have brown sugar. I think the extra fruitiness and thickness helped. Chef John did his different, with rice vinegar. I could not find my rice vinegar. I like Chef John. His brisket (nobody wanted my recipe) is divine.

    Cedar, it was so impressive. My ham. Even cold. Except you cannot do anything really to hurt the ham, because it is already smoked. It is only uphill from there.

  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Excoriate is an excellent word for us, Leafy. I was thinking in the medical sense. I suppose it could work in the social sense, and would be called an adult version of abandonment, of shunning publicly and in place, replete with victim and victimizer and power-over and pointless cruelty. I think that for us, the physical version applies more, because our kids are ill or addicted or both. There is no one to blame or to call a bully, and we love them and ourselves and watch all of our lives play out and it is heartbreaking and we are helpless.

    But I read this morning that Leonardo da Vinci was a total loser until, at 46, he painted the Last Supper. So, we will just sit tight then, because my kids are not yet 46. Miraculous, unpredictable things happen every minute of every day and night.

    We need to not write the end of the story.

    Because literally, we don't know how this story will end.

    We will choose love, then; however we do that, which I don't exactly know how. But I do know there are hidden undercurrents that weaken us, so we are trying to make that visible and choose how to see and define those places and ourselves.

    Add in the information on brain plasticity Leafy, and we are good.

    This has me thinking about the way my mom would poison us against our grandmother, Leafy.

    It's almost like there really is some evil engine grinding away at the center of things, once empathy is destroyed.

    That is so hurtful a thing. I am very sorry this happened in your family.

    I love my grands too much. They are fascinating, with their complexities and their sweetness and anger and conclusions.

    I miss them most when I am cooking holiday things alone.


    More unspoken, indefinable until we define it, rage and pain and loss. These are elements of our lives every holiday brings, as the neighbors' kids and grands come home and ours don't (or worse yet sometimes, do) and we make our celebration with what we have left. The question, for us, is whether to name the pain or ignore it; if we choose to ignore and function around it, will believing hard enough that it doesn't matter make it not matter? Or is it better to name and know and incorporate and stop responding to cues that are no longer unconscious?

    Or, do we harbor memories of what we had, once, and let that sustain us in the face of what is?

    I don't know.

    Going North wrote in for us about addictions in a way that was helpful to me, Leafy ~ a way I could understand and name and refute some of the feelings.

    Because the hardest part about everything that has happened to all of us, and to our families, is that we don't know what to do with the feelings once we get them named and separated into neat, acidic little piles.

    So, we name the piles.

    There is sanity in the naming.

    Then, we can go on. We can choose to love ourselves and everyone else in place, where they are, which is actually helpful, to them and to us. We can see shunning for what it is and let go of the shame of abandonment.

    I don't know, Leafy. I believe naming the feelings and taking a stand regarding how to respond to what is happening to all of us is the way to do it. I could be wrong; could be wasting my time in depressing circling over territory of the heart that is not going to change. I know there are some parents who believe living the moment is the thing. So, whatever we need to do to be in the moment, and to make that moment a pleasurable one, that is what they do. In essence, they shower themselves with the love they have in such abundance for their child or children, the theory being that love begets love. Manicures, lovely things to wear or eat or drink, opening to the beauty in the world and refusing to entertain the darkness.

    I am not sure they are wrong.

    That too is a balancing act. We listen to meditations, we read positive, uplifting things, we cherish and pamper and appreciate ourselves. We find support systems and understand that our children being where and as they are is nothing we can control.

    We let go.

    It may be the only way to come through this happily.

    And I was able do that for a time.

    Until I could not.

    I sound like a drama queen this morning.

    In my opera voice.


    What kind of pie, please?



    I love pie.

    "As if we were a recently discovered universe...."

    This is how I think I am thinking today. There were feelings like guilt, and shame, and terrible grief and frustration too, when we thought about our lives and our children and grands. As we acknowledge what was so skillfully covered and hidden and carried in silence, the fear of the hurt in it will drain away. Not the hurt, because it is what it is, but we can walk through that upright and have done so for years. But the fear of breaking in public, or the fear of being honest with ourselves about why or how we believed this could have happened to our children; the fear of questioning our motivations in our responses to them, and to ourselves when we awaken in the night. Those fears, those nasty, hurtful questions we discuss here, those emotional tar pits will have been addressed.

    But even if they haven't, even if this effort to name and require real of ourselves doesn't work, then we will just do our best with what is left.

    Like Jung, with his talisman in the attic, safely hidden away so he could function with bravery and courage. Or when, in the fulfillment of Jung's life, he made sense of all of it with his carvings in rock.

    Like that.

    This will be mine, and ours.










    What we have found Leafy is that energy once repressed or coming out in splinters and shards is freed, somehow. Once we see it, we are clear there. Our internal realities become calmer, roomier.

    So that is why we keep at this.

    I have tried for a long time to be happy with what is, but there was that essential disconnect, a kind of frantic celebration I didn't get to attend feeling to my own life.

  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This was my first imagery for Copa. I don't know why it did not post.

    It still won't post. It is a beautiful cameo tiara, with the center cameo of a mother and son.

  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I think I will call the drugs the bully. They are. Drugs have taken my daughters. They have been abducted by Hades, like Persephone.

    This is true Cedar, miracles happen every day. 46? Oh my.

    There is no ending. The story is still being written. I will look at it as Frankl says, the spark, the spark is still there.

    Yes, Cedar, the brain is far more marvelous than previously thought.

    My grands, oh they are so beautiful. Chocolate brown skin, and bright wide smiles. Big lovely brown eyes. They hang on to anyone who shows them love. "Will you take me home with you?" My #2 grand said to a kind aunty. OUCH.

    I don't know either Cedar. It seems better to stay in this numb trance, but I know that is not living either. Maybe we are meant to write a rock opera or something, something to tell this story that hasn't ended. So others who don't understand may know. A movie, a book, something to share with others who know not this story.

    It is the drugs, of course it is. The abduction, is also a seduction. The potion that turned my children into night walkers. There must be an antidote. A kiss, a special cake, like in Alice and Wonderland. Something.They were lost in the forest and ate of the witches' bread crumbs. They are locked in the house of candy, not even knowing of the imprisonment.
    Circling, it is a cyclical thing. These emotions just pouring out of our excoriated selves, so much blood, then a weeping ooze, a messy wet scab. If we are enabling, infection has set in.
    The FOO work. We are their FOO. Have I passed my feelings on to them? Have I? The fact that I couldn't find myself, even in the deepest of loves in loving them, I still searched for myself. A wounded mother, birthing wounded children.
    Where and as, not up to us. They must find themselves, as we must find ourselves. I think this is key. A key to unlock the door of their imprisonment, is unlocking ours.

    Custard pie, homemade, sugar toned down to accommodate the sweetness of ice cream, so all of the simple intricacies are singularly tasted. A flavor explosion. Yum.
    Yes. My mindless rambling when the social worker called looking for my Tornado, or her number. How could she understand that I didn't know how to get in touch with my daughter?
    A hole, deep inside of me, all of the rawness, stammering, unfiltered, pouring through the phone to this woman I didn't even know. UGH.

    It is a remnant of my past, I fear. The disconnect. Celebration of my own life, or lack thereof. It is true, like Copa says, a party thrown but no one attended, not even myself.

    I mentioned in my post to Copa, the "C" word, co-dependence. I will have to explore that, because there are descriptives there that fit me. The endless unsuccessful attempts to fix things. The emptiness. The notion that I felt, I came out of my FOO, not mattering. I didn't matter enough to myself. Did I pass this on to my children?

    I fear so, Cedar.
    How could I not? Not intentionally, for I didn't even have a label for it then.
    I hate labels. I suppose if I shall wear an armband, or a cameo, signifying my pain with my d cs addiction, then I shall wear one, signifying my own destruction of self.

    Now I am sounding like a drama queen.

    We are speaking of coming out of our cocoons. Here is Madame Butterfly, but the story has not ended, I shall create my own ending. I will not commit the final act upon myself, I will, upon my low self esteem. My codependency. I will learn to be enough, to be more than enough.

    I will sing out my life's story, name it, claim it, write of it, understand it, learn and grow.

    It will be a papery thing, with my childhood history written in tiny script, the poor self image, that I will shed, to float upon the wind.

    Then I will be able to become my butterfly self.

    This is my goal, then,
    to reignite the spark and find my meaning.

    A quest, then, for the meaning.

    With my cameo, and my sword,
    sharp as can be,
    slicing through the emptiness.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I understand the theory of codependency. I think I glimpse and lose and so on with it. But here is the thing: There is codependency for control and power over. And then, there is what is happening to us. And it's real, what is happening to us and to our kids and grands. It's real danger, real loss, real physical hurt for our children and we are genetically hardwired to protect them I think, whatever their ages, until they are okay. Real life terrible sad things for our grands whether we are onsite or not. And doing nothing doesn't stop what is happening or defuse the power dynamic in what is happening between ourselves and our kids the way it does in a typically codependent relationship because we are codependent now with an addiction, and not our children anymore.

    I really like what Going posted for us about addiction, and about what that looks like from the center looking out.

    Thank you so much Going, if you are reading along, today.

    Here is what I say about co-dependence then, Leafy. I think it does not apply, when our children are using drugs. It is easier to get into power over when they are using drugs, this is true. But I think we are desperately beyond that with our kids. So, codependency theory cannot help us. Detachment theory can help us, I think, and learning about enabling when it goes destructive can help us know how to do this.

    But I think co-dependency theory can not help us.

    Choosing strong and choosing happy and coming real, which is very uncomfortable for me for sure, can help us I think. Putting space between the immediacy of the pain and ourselves ~ that can help us. I see myself so differently since we began doing our work in FOO Chronicles. I seem to be coming back into myself. I am still angry ~ ballistically angry, raw, down and dirty almost to hilariously angry, but so far, I come through it.

    I always wonder whether I will come through it this time, or whether I will be stuck, there.

    So far, I have come through it.

    Anger is an Inconvenient Truth for sure, for me and Al Gore.

    But true it is.

    Roar, as I usually say, sometimes.


    I remember when Serenity was where I am now. She was nicer about it, I have to say that. I am Temper Tantrum Queen, but that's okay.

    So, I think that is where we all will get to, too.

    Just a little longer.

    Serenity herself posted that to me, once. That it was normal to be so angry, and that I would come through it too, just as she had.

    She was right.

    I am probably like, really close to normal now, you guys.


    Leafy, here is a story you will understand. Daughter was seeing neuro specialists (so, brain people, right) and undergoing testing to determine healing versus healed versus maybe you will keep getting better. And she was still so emotionally up and down and laughing and crying and not able to control that so well. And falling asleep alot. And one of the Nurse Practitioners told daughter that if she did not want to be brain damaged, she should not let people kick her in the head.

    I was already standing beside you Leafy, when your daughter said those words about baseball bats.

    Neither of us knew it, that's all.

    So now, you don't have to be so much alone with that feeling of fading in and out during those words.

    We made eye contact then maybe, in that place between one heartbeat and the next where time stops.

    You were there for me too, when it happened to me, that fade to black.

    So was Copa, and Serenity and IC and all of us who have been in that place where the worst thing that could happen comes real.

    Maybe, that is how we were able to stand up again, at all.

    That hurt me for you, about the baseball bat.

    Very much.

    And about the brown-eyed grand wanting you to take her home.

  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Yes, one heartbeat
    and the next

    Oh my God,
    Cedar, my heart.

    Now I am Madame Butterfly.
    I sent my daughter out the door.
    And it literally killed me Cedar.

    It was the right thing to do.
    God, help me, it was the right thing to do.
    She does not want to come off this drug.
    She does not want help.

    She came to us and healed
    after the bat incident.
    then went right back to the streets.
    She was "bored".

    I can't save my daughter,
    she will not save herself.
    I do not even know where she is.

    My grandson-not me,
    he didn't ask me,
    although he has,
    he was asking someone who was kind,
    an acquaintance, my sons friends mother,
    who paid special attention to him for a few days
    "I want you to be my mom"
    he said
    "Can I come live with you?"

    There are not enough tears
    in the whole world for this.
    Will this agony ever,ever stop?
    Not in the near future, I fear.

    I have to create a space in my mind
    to hold the pain of it,
    and many more stories like this.
    A space where I can store them
    like old woolen clothing.
    I can pull something out,
    when I need it.
    I don't wear it,
    because it's uncomfortable
    and itchy.
    It has to go in the
    hope chest
    in the back of my mind
    covered in moth balls.
    when I am ready
    and the time
    is right
    I will take
    my scissors
    Like New England
    women of old
    and slowly shred
    the painful
    into woolen strips.
    Memories of faded
    an oval

    What is the reason for all of this craziness?

    It is absolutely unbearable.

    Detachment? Co-dependent? Interdependent? Family? Culture? Genetics? Addiction?


    What does it even matter, what theory, or terminology is used, when all of this is happening?

    How does one separate themselves from all of this?


    Go on living, when the world is falling apart for my two, and my grands.

    I have to.

    I have to go on. If I could not do it for myself, I have my own brown eyed beautiful son, who has waited all of these years, Cedar, while his sisters, took center stage with all of this CRAP.

    So, devastation turns into grief in all of its stages, then anger and determination to survive.

    There is nothing to say or do, when these two refuse to help themselves.

    Not even the State will help my grands.

    One day at a time. Lots and lots of mind work, heart work. Crying, not crying, numbing. Writing, working, cleaning.

    It is there, always, the devastation,
    and it lingers and lurks.

    But I cannot let it lead me by the nose anymore.

    So I push it way, way back.
    I have no control over this, the choices my d cs make.

    I will build myself up.

    I will look into whatever is going to help me be strong and rebuild.

    Dammit, I need to heal whatever it is, that led me over and again, to let my two come home and wreak havoc through my house, or have control over my feelings and actions.

    That is the part I am looking at, the codependent enabler.

    Taken From The Book: "Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls", Written by Robert Burney, therapist

    Codependence is a form of Delayed Stress Syndrome.

    Instead of blood and death (although some do experience blood and death literally), what happened to us as children was spiritual death and emotional maiming, mental torture and physical violation. We were forced to grow up denying the reality of what was happening in our homes. We were forced to deny our feelings about what we were experiencing and seeing and sensing. We were forced to deny our selves.

    We grew up having to deny the emotional reality: of parental alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, rage, violence, depression, abandonment, betrayal, deprivation, neglect, incest, etc. etc.; of our parents fighting or the underlying tension and anger because they weren't being honest enough to fight; of dad's ignoring us because of his workaholism and/or mom smothering us because she had no other identity than being a mother; of the abuse that one parent heaped on another who wouldn't defend him/herself and/or the abuse we received from one of our parents while the other wouldn't defend us; of having only one parent or of having two parents who stayed together and shouldn't have; etc., etc.

    We grew up with messages like: children should be seen and not heard; big boys don't cry and little ladies don't get angry; it is not okay to be angry at someone you love - especially your parents; god loves you but will send you to burn in hell forever if you touch your shameful private parts; don't make noise or run or in any way be a normal child; do not make mistakes or do anything wrong; etc., etc.

    We were born into the middle of a war where our sense of self was battered and fractured and broken into pieces. We grew up in the middle of battlefields where our beings were discounted, our perceptions invalidated, and our feelings ignored and nullified.

    The war we were born into, the battlefield each of us grew up in, was not in some foreign country against some identified "enemy" - it was in the "homes" which were supposed to be our safe haven with our parents whom we Loved and trusted to take care of us. It was not for a year or two or three - it was for sixteen or seventeen or eighteen years.

    We experienced what is called "sanctuary trauma" - our safest place to be was not safe - and we experienced it on a daily basis for years and years. Some of the greatest damage was done to us in subtle ways on a daily basis because our sanctuary was a battlefield.

    It was not a battlefield because our parents were wrong or bad - it was a battlefield because they were at war within, because they were born into the middle of a war. By doing our healing we are becoming the emotionally honest role models that our parents never had the chance to be. Through being in Recovery we are helping to break the cycles of self-destructive behavior that have dictated human existence for thousands of years.

    Codependence is a very vicious and powerful form of Delayed Stress Syndrome. The trauma of feeling like we were not safe in our own homes makes it very difficult to feel like we are safe anywhere. Feeling like we were not lovable to our own parents makes it very difficult to believe that anyone can Love us. Codependence is being at war with ourselves - which makes it impossible to trust and Love ourselves. Codependence is denying parts of ourselves so that we do not know who we are.

    Recovery from the disease of Codependence involves stopping the war within so that we can get in touch with our True Self, so that we can start to Love and trust ourselves."

    here is another good resource

    A lot of this rings true for me, it makes me want to delve much further into the subject.

    While I am at this impasse with my grands and my two, I want to fill my toolbox with as many resources as I can to help myself, and also resources that I can point my addicted daughters towards.

    This is my journey, I do not put my beliefs on others, I respect everyones perspective and opinions.

    I am still learning and struggling to come through this.

    I pray for all to find peace.