Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jodiehooks, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Hello, today I am hopeful and am trying to move forward and am so grateful for all the support on this forum. I had an incident over the weekend that nearly put me back in the sad category. But due to this forum and good solid comments for me, I was able to limit the suffering to a minimal. The incident involved by 28 year old granddaughter, my difficult daughters oldest child. She is herself difficult and has been all her life as well. So, to make it short, due to the horrible things that happened between the two of them this summer neither are talking. And my granddaughter now does not want to speak to me because she does not even want to hear about her mother. This is her bitter way of asserting control over everyone as she always has. I do not force conversations about her mother, however recently she was planning to take her kids to Missouri from here) Indiana, to spend fall break with grandma (my daughter). For some reason she changed her mind then said she was unsure when she would do that and maybe Christmas but not sure. So, I asked her to let me know so that if she decides to do that she could take her mothers stuff which is in my garage, to her. And I did say I thought it was good to allow the kids to see her because no matter what happened they love her. Well that was all it took. So after thinking it over, I am removing my contact with my granddaughter as well due to the unnecessary drama that she puts into this. Her life needs a lot of work and so until she comes back to earth, I refuse to be in her line of fire. Any thoughts? I have sent the short version of this, there is a lot of unhealthy living going on between both daughter and granddaughter for years, this didn't just happen out of the blue. But what happens to me was I ended up feeling all the old feelings again of rejections, fear for all, sense of loss and being adrift as this has resulted in me having no family contact. My oldest son was killed at age 25, both my daughter and remaining son have drug issues, son is currently in prison, daughter spend summer homeless and has signs of continuing drug use but is working and barely making it.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jodie, you're doing really well. I was just reading on another thread someone's therapist told her, "you can love your children unconditionally but you have to have conditions". You are developing conditions, which it seems you didn't have before. Those around you don't have to change because you do, but if they are going to change, it will likely be.....because you do.

    I think this is a big step. Remember, we train people how to treat us by what we allow. Don't allow disrespect, abuse, manipulation, or any form of rude or discourteous behavior, from anyone.

    There is clearly grief, fear and loss involved when we change dysfunctional behavior.........you have a lot of loss, so it is certainly understandable that you have those feelings. And, you're starting to focus on your own needs, which is a very different dynamic for us old enablers.......there is a period of emotional stuff that comes up.......hang in there, you're really doing very, very well.

    I can't recall if you have a counselor or a group, but if you do, utilize all of your support systems. Take care of YOU. Each one of these steps you're taking leads to big changes......keep choosing YOU.
  3. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    recoveringenabler: Thanks, I really am trying. I have seen on here people tell me that at my age I should just move on and enjoy life because it is too late. But, the pain of knowing that my 28 year old egotistical granddaughter is arrogant enough to think she can have a one sided relationship, dictate when she becomes unhappy enough to remove people from her life, including her grandmother, does hurt. I refuse to allow it to hurt long, but that is the problem the way I see it. A relationship should be two sided, communication back and forth with some respect. I had a grandmother who was very irritating, and hard to deal with. But I had many happy times with her growing up, playing solitaire, getting into her makeup and other things. I never would have thought even at age 28, to remove her from my life just because she was doing something to irritate me. When she died I was 47 and she was nearly 90, and I grieved her passing and still miss her even though she was not perfect. Granted this is a different type of thing, but it is the same respect or lack of it preventing my granddaughter to interact in an adult way. So, yes I do have a counselor, I see her several times a year and I have been seeing her for over 5 years. I saw her weekly for a long time, then monthly and now I am seeing her a few times a year and feel that it is working well. I could write a book on how much she has helped me. When I started going to her, my son was just imprisoned for the 1st time and I was devastated. As the time went on by, our sessions expanded to my childhood and other things that were driving my pain. My father died at age 55 after spending a lot of time in prison in his life. He died on the streets in Phoenix Arizona with nothing to his name and back in 1983 we did not have the internet or stuff like that and the police could not locate a good number to contact any of his family, so his death was not known to family and even though his name was known they could not find any family and was buried in a paupers cemetery. When I finally found him in 2012, I was devastated. So all this new stuff with my son in prison for a 2nd time, daughter on drugs and homeless has played into what happened with my own parents. But I am better and know I can survive this too. But the grandaughter just blew me away with her cold hard calculating attitude, thinking that she does not owe me the minimum of at least a discussion before eliminating me from her contact.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Well done Jodi!!

    There is no reason for you to be in the middle of your daughter and granddaughters drama and chaos.
    You are setting some clear boundaries and this will help to keep your emotions safe.

    ((HUGS)) to you..............
  5. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Thanks Tanya.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your granddaughter sounds a lot like her mother, which makes sense. Did you know that the newest research indicates a genetic link for personality disorders? I was thinking of your father too. There is nothing you can do about your DNA, but you can decide to alter how you are living and go to intensive therapy. You can change even if you got a bad deck of cards with genetics.

    Both women sound borderline. There is good psychiatric help for this now, but the person has to want badly to change, be willing to admit they have problems and be determined to work very hard. The type of therapy that has proven to work for borderline is called dialectal behavioral therapy. Until recently, borderline was considered incurable. It still is if you dont admit you have it and don't want to change.

    Since these women have not asked for help,you can't offer this. They will flip out on you. But if, say, granddaughter ever asks for help, now you know how she can get it.

    I am sorry for how they hurt you. Stand strong and live YOUR life. You still have one!
  7. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Thank you Somewhere out there: I have determined to stay our of the drama and do just exactly that. I agree with your post and appreciate it.
  8. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Well, I have been doing ok up until today. I am leaving tomorrow for a long weekend to Tennessee which I am looking forward to. But my son in prison, who is doing ok, is writing with concerns over being homeless when he gets out and asking about possibilities of going to a local homeless shelter and doing it on home detention. ( I have refused to house him). I have searched the internet just to see how that works and in the process just ended up crying looking at all the homeless people and thinking of how sad it is for them and my son. This will pass but it is a moment of intense grief for me to know his life has gotten to this point. I know I am powerless, but it still makes me so sad to see this happen. On a good note, he says he is attending services at a chapel there, walking and going to the excersize facilities and seems to be now thinking of what next. While waiting to enter the drug program he is being allowed to go out and work hanging siding on homes. He was removed from the general population and placed in a building outside the prison, very low security area of the complex and when he gets to the program he will be in drug rehab all day so cannot work. I know it is possible for him to be ok and he may be ok once out, but the grief of this overwhelms me at times. thanks for listening.
  9. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    I think you have said many positive things just now. He is acting like a productive member of society in prison. Ok, yes, the prison part is sad, but it sounds like he is utilizing what is there. Trust me, my husband ministers in prison....not everyone wants help.

    Perhaps he will enter a half way house when leaving...he can have support, work and start his life anew.
  10. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    MOF I hope so, our area has very little in the way of help. We have some ministries and homeless shelters but no halfway houses and no rehab unless you have funding. And I feel terrible that I can't take him in, but my life is at the point of not being able to do that at my age. Don't get me wrong, I love him and am able, but at my age I think it is time he relied on a different support system other than family for a lot of reasons. And yes he is applying himself more than I expected. I pray this works out, my heart is so heavy for him.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    The first time my son got out of prison he went to a halfway house. He was told he had to find a job, which he did. They would then help him transition into other living arrangements via a program to help former inmates get their life back on track. It worked for a little while. My son was able to move into a low rent apt. He was still in Colorado and I was in the Midwest so I went on a big shopping spree to Big Lots and got him dishes, pots and pans, towels, utensils, etc...... I got as much as I could that would fit in reasonable sized boxes and shipped them to him. He was so happy to get all this stuff, however his gratitude lasted about a week. He started complaining about the fact that he had no bed to sleep on. I countered with "you have a roof over your head, save your money and you will be able to buy a twin sized bed" Then he flew into a rant about he was a man and wasn't going to sleep on a twin sized bed. I told him fine, save a little more and buy a bigger bed. He lasted another couple of weeks then broke parole and took off. He was found with some other characters a few weeks later and thrown back in jail.

    I'm not telling you this to discourage you but simply to let you know that there are programs available to help people after they have been released from jail / prison. It's not ideal but it's better than nothing. It is up to the person to decide if they will use it as an opportunity to start putting their life back together.

    I have read and shared with my son many stories of success for former inmates who have turned their lives around. It very simply comes down to choice.

    I really hope your son will embrace what is being offered to him in the rehab. With a clear mind he may really start to see things in a different light.

    Safe travels and I hope you have a great time in Tennessee.
  12. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Tanya, well how short lived things can be. My sin had asked in an email recently why in the 8 years I have have been seeing my boyfriend that I haven't introduced my son to him. Are you ashamed if me or what he asked. So I replied that you have been in jail or using drugs or running from the law and that his behavior was scary and I felt it was not appropriate my friends to subjected to his scary behavior. Well he fired off a response that he would not email again and he is sorry that I think he is a piece of crap and that I am embarrassed of him. I just give up!! Help.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Typical. Attacking us for what they do. He isn't exactly somebody who enhances the lives of other people but he doesn't want you to point this out.

    Stop taking his emails as things you said or did wrong. Maybe it will be good to have a break from him. Enjoy your boyfriend without bringing your toxic son into the mix to cause drama.

    If he wants to be included in your world of normal folks he has to be one in my opinion. You have a right to happiness that does not include him and his problems.

    Please please keep being good to you. Your son's email is teenagerish and meant to cause guilt. Yet all you did was gently tell the truth.

    Your son can turn his life around if he likes. Then he can meet your normal friends. You need a life separate from your kids. Good choice in my opinion.

    Jmo.big hugs.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have nothing to feel bad about Jodie, you didn't do anything wrong. Hopefully at some point your son will stop blaming you or anyone else and begin the difficult task of taking responsibility for his own actions and behaviors. As long as he blames you and you accept the blame, then he is free of it. Don't accept any blame for his actions or behaviors.

    Allow your son to stew in his own juices as his old blaming techniques cease to work on you anymore........go live your life, limit your contact with him, practice disengaging and refraining.......let go, use all your tools and put yourself FIRST. It is YOUR time now. Go have some FUN.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Jodi, I'm so sorry you had to endure that. Your son is not seeing it for what it is, he's no seeing his role in this. As long as your son holds onto the role of being a victim he will always blame others. This is very typical behavior. Please do not buy into his rhetoric. You replied to your son with an honest answer and he didn't like it. You know the old saying "the truth hurts"
    Jodi, you did nothing wrong. You are living YOUR life and you do not owe any explanations to your son as to how you live your life.
    ((HUGS)) to you...............
  16. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    Tanya/Recoveringenabler and Somewhere out there: I thank you all for your input. I went to Tennessee on friday and just returned today. I admit I was irritated by his email and also at having to even be in this stupid situation. I did enjoy my time, and did not send an email, however this has a tendency to rattle me and even if only slightly, alter my feelings. I have seen him completely loose everything in his life, friends, jobs, family. When he got out the first time, he did not even have time for his dad or me, and blew off anyone not his girlfriend, who he spend all his time with. My mother who is now 84 used to be his proxy for food bank, and she would go stand in line (he was on house arrest and could not leave the house) and then take his food to him, and not even get invited in. We now know it was because he was making meth with the girlfriend and almost shut everyone out in the process. The horrible emails he used to send to me, his dad, or anyone while he was high were gut wrenching. He has had support of people only to tick them off by getting mad when we ask him to put into the relationship, care about others. I am trying to blow this off, it is taking time. I think your right, let him stew in his own juice.