I am snapping in two - or should I say into

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member


    I am so broken that I can barely articulate what is going on. I mean, really, after 3 years of this - you would think something profoundly good would happen - but no. It just steadily gets worse.

    Last week I flew to Dallas to help my Mom pack the remainder of the family house of 38 years. The house was on the market and it sold in one day. I had already spent 2 weeks at the beginning of June packing up or giving away 3/4 of it, then the house sold, and I was right back in Dallas to help my Mom do the rest. So many memories there. All my childhood memories of my sister and my dad, flashed before me every 5 seconds as I packed the last iota. One day I just snapped and told my Mom to take me to the hotel. I cried for hours. I wanted it all to stop. I wanted my Dad and sister back. I did not want to say goodbye to the house that held all their memories. I got through the ordeal, being as stable of a force I knew how to be for my Mom. Now the moving van will deliver 1/4 of that house to my 2 car garage for me to sort through, look at, use? I don't know.

    I have spent the last year in Hades. I had the boss from down under until I got fired in Sept - then every 2 weeks in Dallas or Portland to help my mom as my Dad died - and the last 6 weeks in Dallas helping my Mom sell the house.

    Meanwhile Matt has taken the roller-coaster to Hades himself. Going from a calm, conscientious, caring son (for the last 6 months) - to a disengaged devil. While I was in Dallas he has had a myriad of physical problems with his back. He has yet to find the right care in our small town, so I agreed he will move to a bigger city that actually has a psychiatrist, a therapist, etc. He wants to move to Portland where we spent many summers with my sister - and where much of my family lives - and where they have some of the best mental health care in the US. However my mom tells me today that she really does not want the issues of Matt to default to her if he moves to Portland. OK? Really? Me neither. Its a big city, I doubt that will happen - I will tell him not to call you!!!!!! "On no, don't do that - I love him she says"! Welllll..........what then. What do you want???? What about the last 9 months I spent helping you take care of my Dad????? I guess the road is not 2 ways when it comes to mental illness.

    I feel so alone and rejected for the millionth time by my family over Matt that I am still crying. I guess it just re-opened old wounds. My sister said the same thing about Matt when she was alive - and my Dad said the same thing about Matt when he moved to Dallas - and now my Mom says the same thing when he wants to move to Portland. Don't worry Mom - he really does not need to "be cared for" - he needs to care for himself. Yet - I will move to be right there in case, god forbid, there is a situation that comes up that you don't know how to handle. Because that is apparently what I do. I am the buffer between Matt's situations and my family and friends - god forbid anyone else take a step into the ring.

    In the last 3 weeks Matt has reconnected with his best friend from his program in Idaho. They are beyond inseparable - they talk for 10 hours a day on the phone. So last night he calls me when I am asleep and says he wants to go see 'M" Friday. I am half asleep, and I said we will talk about it. Today after my Mom telling me she doesn't want the responsibility of Matt being in Portland, and me just snapping - Matt becomes devil difficult child again. Telling me to shut up and %off. He keeps saying he wants to go see 'M' until July and then go to Portland to find a place to live. WHATEVER. You know what? I don't care anymore!!!!! So I bought him a one way ticket to Idaho and said good luck. I am done. Don't care if he is mentally so unstable that I think he should be in a phoshp - it will never happen. And, I can't deal with anybody or anything else right now. I am SO done - that all I can do is cry.

    I am left with taking care of Diesel and Steele, while he is gone. I am hoping I can get Diesel to calm down around Tesla so we can all be together. She is such a submissive good girl, I can't imagine that Diesel won't get over himself - than again - who knows.

    I think there is a time when a person just snaps, and does not care anymore. Yet when that happens, they will never have love again. They have no feelings, no hate, no sadness, nothing. I want love someday, and that is why I have held on. But you know what - I think it is done. I would rather never feel pain again, than hold on for love. I would rather live in a bubble than live exposed, and be stabbed repeatedly.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I can only imagine how awful you are feeling. Grief is so painful, and you have tried to be strong and supportive for everyone else and not gotten much emotional support from anyone else. You must feel terribly used by your family. Maybe even by Matt in some ways.

    The numbness you are feeling is probably the only way you can find to protect yourself. Matt is acting out partly because his own grief and also because he has to feel how the family has rejected him. No way could he not have picked that up over the years. He is likely pushing you away before you can push him away, on some level at least.

    It is time to start living for yourself. Let Matt figure things out for himself. Let your mom handle her own stuff. She is an adult too. You have been so hurt for so long by so many people that you were due to snap. Start being "selfish" and putting yoruself first when you make decisions. If Matt's dogs are too much to handle, tell him to find a place for them and ship them to him. He is an adult and they are HIS problem. If he cannot take them, find them a new home. He is the one who got so attached and then decided to go take a trip wtihout them. That is a logical consequence for cursing out your mother - she isn't willing to babysit your pets and your stuff. Maybe he needs to learn that lesson. If he really loves and wants the dogs, he will find a way to care for them and get them to wherever he is.

    Stop buffering him from the family. It is NOT YOUR JOB. He is now an adult and so are the other family members. They need to tell HIM how they feel and work out their own relationship. WHen he was a child it was your job to buffer, but it isn't anymore.

    Stop and think about what would make YOU happy? Or content. Find a place to live that has access to a good psychiatrist and therapist. Get some help for yourself and put yoruself first. You are a wonderful person and I have been awed by your strength. I would have had a breakdown long before this, as would many people. Start caring for YOU first and others down the priority list.

    We love you and we won't throw you out if you cannot do for us. No matter what anyone else demands of you.

  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you Susie...........You are so right. That is what my therapist keeps telling me. I have to start living for me. Period. I have to take care of myself and no one else - or I am aiding in my own demise.

    The dogs are also mine. We have had Diesel and Steele for 5 years - there were mine for most of that. I let matt have them when he moved here a year ago. I cannot ship them anywhere, or let matt deal with it. My dogs are really the only thing I have any love for anymore. They are so innocent. I got Tesla because our other dog Chester died, and I was so lonely - I thought because she was a female and a baby, Diesel would be OK. Anyway - the dogs are the only thing I love anymore - so they have to be ok.

    I know, I have to stop buffering and being the liason. He is an adult. Why am I responsible? I have sacrificed everything to do what it right for my family ---- and I get nothing in return. I am done. I don't care if my mom is upset by him being in the same city - whatever - it is her problem. I was going up early to Portland on the first of July to help my mom AGAIN - and to scatter my Dad's ashes - and now I don't think I will go. I asked my Mom to scatter his ashes when he died in March and she wanted to wait until now. To hike 7 miles to the top of a mountain where my sisters ashes are also scattered just because that is what my mom wants to do doesn't jive anymore.

    Thanks for understanding.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I completely agree with susiestar. It is time to take care of yourself! Your job as "the good daughter" is done, finished. Mom is an adult and it is not your JOB to take care of her or make sure she is cared for. Your job as "the good mother" is done, finished. Matt is now an adult and it is no longer your JOB to take care of him or make sure he is cared for. If he NEEDS your help at some point and he asks respectfully, give what you want to give.

    Now, your only JOB is to take care of Steely and make sure she is cared for. That is all you are responsible for. Time to let go. Your jobs are done and you have done them to the best of your ability. That is all you can do and you did it.

    Time to put Steely first and foremost now. I promise you the grief will pass if you allow yourself to go through it instead of getting hung up on it. That was the hardest things for me to do when my dad died. Except for the fact that my difficult child's are not adults yet, our situations sound very similar. The hardest thing to do is put ourselves first but that is what you deserve and need to do. Susiestar summed it up great: BE SELFISH!!! (I know, easier said than done)
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member


    Now...you have done everything, and then some, for everyone else in your family for as long as I've known you. It is time to take care of you and the furbabies. Period. Whatever it is that you need to do, you know we're here cheering you on.

    More hugs. And some extra strength.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!


    Take care of you.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *hugs* and yes, take care of you. I know that breaking point, and as much as it feels it will be forever without love or feelings, it generally isn't. Especially if you have some furbabies depending on you. Sometimes it's a reasonable choice to help the rest of you recover on your own natural schedule.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It's time to step off the roller coaster and take care of you for a while. Focus on your own healing and just let the rest go.

    You don't have to be the buffer. You don't have to be the fixer. At least not all the time for everyone, and not until you're up to par yourself.

    Take care of yourself.

  9. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member


    Just sending you a big strong gentle hug. At least here on the board you can receive without anyone expecting anything from you.

    I'm thinking of you.

    Love, Esther
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    WELL FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMEN!!!!! and GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!

    Steely - I can't see this as a (((((((BAD)))))))) thing. I mean.....(scratches head) (exhales) You know when you are in really deep trouble like - your car breaks down in the middle of the night on the side of a dark and stormy road, it's raining cats and dogs sideways and you are left without a spare tire and you have like three life lines left on your cell phone and you think 'okay I need - a tire, a tire iron, some gas, a flashlight, possibly a rain suit, some reflective triangles, and I could use a Pepsi and some crackers I am hungry a few dollars to stay at the next motel - nothing fancy. I mean you have sat there in the worst possible scenario and you have REALLY put some thought into exactly WHAT you need in YOUR situation, and you know you have to call the THREE TOP people that would SURELY come to your aid - because In the past????? YOU have been there for THOSE three people - NOT NOT NOT that we do favors FOR favors - but you just figure - people would want to help you because you helped them and it's the RIGHT THING TO DO - (RIGHT? RIGHT!!)

    So you start calling on your cell phone.......and it's thundering and lightening - and you are afraid and getting scared as you sit there on that mountain road in your car - worried about never getting off that mountain in that car of yours and you call the FIRST person that will surely help you. AND????? NOPE. They can't, they make excuses, and you say "Okay, okay thanks anyway." But in your heart and mind? You're like - "ORLY? Well you jerk - lets think about all the things I've done in the past for you and let me think about the next time YOU call ME for help - I mean I have two chances left I'm scared, I'm worried out of my mind - I'm in dire straights here@" So you call the NEXT person that came to mind after careful, CAREFUL consideration.....and "NOPE----they have "SOMETHING" that well - they just can't get out of....."And the same thing about helping them and when YOU needed them they just can't get out of a DINNER? TO COME HELP YOU ON A MOUNTIAIN ROAD IN A STORM WITH NO GAS AND A FLAT? OMG ARE THEY SERIOUS? WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT A DINNER OR YOU SITTING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD ARE THEY REALLY SERIOUS DO THEY NOT GET THAT YOU ARE BEGGING FOR HELP? So with your hands shaking? You call the third and last chance you have ------and well - they say no too and at this point? It's not even anger that you feel, it's betrayal, and lonlieness because as you hang up the phone - you sit there and think - (just like you are now about your childhood home, and Matt, and your Mom, sister, and Dad) -----HOW can I be there for EVERYONE else and NO ONE ELSE is EVER THERE for me???????? SO I'm sitting here in my car, on a mountain, out of gas, flat tire, and WHO IS HERE FOR ME??????

    YOU! You are there for you. You are going to figure out - HOW to get down off that mountain.....You are going to figure out HOW to fix that flat. You are going to figure out HOW to get back to your car with gas, and fill it up, get a tire on that car - and get that vehicle back to your house. YOU. NOT the people that YOU have helped...I mean it would have been nice if that HAD come to help you, but in the end ? What this whole thing (life) is teaching you is that the one person that YOU can rely on when everything else around you is falling down is YOU. Does it make ya a little angry when you think - Well this is my family and those are my friends and I THOUGHT I could depend on them to help me with - X,Y.Z? Well sure.....because we just assume that everyone we love, or help - would want to do so in kind. In theory that would be great......but in reality? The one person you can depend on in this world, the ONE person that you can rely on? The ONE person that will NEVER EVER let you down, and the ONE PERSON THAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU TO TAKE CARE OF ABOVE ALL OTHERS - MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY and EMOTIONALLY FOR HOW LONG NOW?????? IS........Y-O-U.

    I don't say the flat out blunt things I say to be mean and callous.....I say TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST - because - YOU HAVE TO. Because NO ONE ELSE IS going to - and NOW? You are seeing this first hand. When I tell people to GO to therapy and STAY in therapy - It's not because I think they're nuts. Or go to a hospital and get tests - I don't think they are crazy....It's because IF SOMETHING is wrong with SOMEONE........WHO ELSE IS going to take care of you? BUT YOU? People are selfish beings. They want what they want for THEM......not necessarily for others. To find someone in this world that genuinely cares about others and their wellbeing is rare. So when I tell you or anyone else that I wish you would appreciate YOU as much as I do - I mean it. There is only ONE OF YOU - and you need to start realising what a WONDERFUL unique incredible empowered person you are - WITHOUT ANYONE ELSE......all by your onesies - no drama - no conflama - and for the first time in ....UGH ------like forever that I've known you??? This is the first time I've seen you frustrated enough to admit -



  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Ps....you do not adopt this dog. Lol
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Sweetheart, I am echoing all here. Do something for you. Let everything else go. Matt is an adult, and you have done more than most would for him. Your Mom is an adult too, and while it may be hard on her? She also needs to understand that it's hard on you, too. If you have to tell her that in so many words, don't worry about hurting her feelings. YOU need to do for YOU right now.
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Steely, unless the fixer fixes themselves, they will be always broken (coming from been there done that experience and something I still struggle with). Hugs.
  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I agree with every one else - time to start enjoying YOUR life!!!! This is a new chapter. :)
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Once again the CD family give a unanimous vote. There's no reason to doubt. It is time for focus on you. I would suggest, however, that you decide in advance exactly how you're going to distance yourself...like a rehearsed conversation. I have spent a lifetime taking care of family and from experience I know that "how" you communicate changes is as important as "why". Particularly with your Mom I think you need to express yourself clearly that "you need" to take some time off in words that she can not interpret as ill will. It can be a little tricky but after your conversation you won't feel guilty and will be able to focus on you. Hugs. DDD
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you all (and my therapist) for finally pounding this concept into my head!!! I seriously am the most giving, throw myself down on the rail road tracks for you kind of person - that it is hard for me to imagine that other people, especially family, are not that way. I do it for strangers, dogs, friends, family - it is intrinsic and second nature - yet it is obviously not healthy. I am not sure if it is just some dysfunction I have - or maybe I was born with this "gift" and all along I should have been using it in a profession rather than my personal life. Not sure - at this point it does not matter - because I am so burned out I cannot use it anywhere.

    I cried so much yesterday that I have an emotional hangover - but I did decide one thing. I am not going back up to Portland on the first. My mom wanted my help to unload boxes, and wanted me there to celebrate the fourth, and really wanted me there to scatter my dads ashes. I am not going. You know what - I said goodbye to my dad as he took his last breath, I helped put my dad in the body bag, I stood at the memorial and read a poem and said goodbye - that is enough closure. I do not need to also scatter ashes too. Period.

    Matthew will supposedly take a bus from Idaho to Portland to find a place to live - and if that is the case - again I am not going to be there. If my Mom cannot help find him a place - then well, I don't know. Matt is my Achilles heal in this scenario - because someone is going to have to help him move his junk from AZ to OR - and it is just me and him in this world. Someone is going to have to facilitate finding him a good psychiatric, therapist, and spine dr - because he gets information so confused. He really has a truly significant processing disorder - and I don't know what to do about that. I am hoping once in Portland I can find some sort of wrap around services that can come in and assist him - so that I can be removed from this equation. I also can't really tell what he is truly capable of, because he is so co-depedent on me. I think the next month will truly tell all.

    I kind of feel sick - and lonely - but also free. I don't think this will be easy as I cut away from doing, giving, etc. Because everyone expects it, and I am easily pressured and guilted. It is going to be a true act of self discipline.

    PS - Star* it is so funny that you said that about the dog - because of course what was the first thing that ran through my mind when you posted that picture. LOL.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Steely -

    Sometimes? There are things about ourselves that we're not able to see, and others can see it so clearly - but maybe we get afraid or we've just felt so kicked that one more thing we feel wrong with us is all we can take. The fact that you sat and had one good cry? Good. Now that is over. No need, no more. Done, fini. It's over, put it away, file it however you do in a mental file called - Things I needed to do, did and am over with. Then later when you get done doing all those things? You can go back, take that box (mentally) and have one big shredding party - and clear that space for GOOD things in your life. It's so peaceful and freeing. All these little things that roll into big things? Eventually won't matter later, like they do now. You won't forget them, and you won't forget the people for which they represent - but instead you will learn to replace the pain with happy thoughts and better memories - and that comes by drawing boundaries, taking control of YOUR life and learning how to let go of other peoples issues. YOU dear - are on the path to becoming a healer and letting go of being a fixer. It's an awesome journey. Along the way - you find enlightment - peace.....representation as an example for others. Think about how you would want others to view you and what you would want them to learn from you - THATs what this new adventure is about. Self. You can't drag an anchor and put wind in your sails successfully.....

    And I think someone will look out for that pup! lol - She's a blessed creature! I blessed her this morning when she trimmed my pothos!
  18. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you Star - I believe you are quite correct:)
    I will be so much happier as I draw boundaries, and let go of other people's issues.
    When I can move from being a fixer to a healer.
    I already feel that today. This show is about me now, and no guilt or random sense of obligation is going to make me do what I don't want to do.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    It takes years.......it's a process.....but little by little? It happens and the groovy thing about it all? By the time that you realize you aren't a fixer? You don't care to be one anyway. Those thoughts are replaced with a lot of wisdome about self, and awareness of things that you THOUGHT were shortcomings in others. It's a really intricate process, but the longer you develop your relationship with your therapist? The better you get to know yourself. THAT is the real beauty of all of therapy. It's just a process that takes time. You didn't get 'this way' over night - and you are not going to fix yourself fast track over night either. Forgiving ourselves takes much longer than forgiving others. Just go with it. Hugs -