More of my mother's musings..........

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was reading others posts this morning and it dawned on me that my difficult child's attitude towards me has shifted in recent weeks...........a certain sense of entitlement and a certain anger she seems to have had AT me, is gone. I haven't seen much of her, yet when I do, she has kept the drama away as she said.......but it's more then seems to me, at least today, that as I have moved into my own life, met my own needs, put the focus on me and really, have become for the most part, content and happy in my own world.............she has changed too...............I wonder what will change if the entitlement and anger really are gone from her. It "felt" different when I saw her Monday night.............a certain angst between us was gone.............

    As I've stepped away and detached from her lifestyle choices, we've both made strides in different directions. It's almost as if in my enabling her, I had pieces of her which I controlled or thought I did, perhaps we both thought I did and as I gave back those pieces, she has grabbed them and is trying to figure out how to use them. I think first she was angry that I wasn't going to keep those pieces, but as I kept insisting she take them, she really had no choice. Like a puzzle...........I should not have had those pieces of her life, I thought I was helping.........however, as most of us find out, enabling simply keeps everyone those pieces are back in their rightful place and it remains to be seen how she will fit those together and if she can put them together in a way that makes a whole and complete life.

    That imagery makes sense to me today............I can see her attempting to make it all fit and it's new to her. And, my life pieces have been new to me too..............daily I am maneuvering my own pieces into different placements as I figure out how my own life works without someone else's pieces dominating my puzzle. It's an interesting thought to me. I am struck by the absence of the entitlement and anger though, that seems like a big thing.

    I can look back over the last few months and see how much I stepped back. One interaction after another. That last interaction where she was whimpering and asking me to write a check if she gave me cash summed up what had happened to us..........I had such impenetrable boundaries around myself that she had absolutely no ability to enter, it was very clear to everyone. I had safely arrived in the fortress I had taken 1 1/2 years to build. The fortress of detachment. Love was present, but ALL toxicity, all drama, all negativity and darkness were kept beyond the walls..........

    She wrote me an email saying she was glad I had a nice birthday. Lately her emails or FB messages have been simple..........mostly saying she loves me..............nothing about her. I hadn't realized that before, she is not dominating all of our connections, she has said on numerous occasions that she misses me and wants a relationship with me but understands she has to put her life together first.

    As I take my own puzzle pieces for myself, my life gets richer, more fulfilling, with so much space, so much vitality and possibility................I have the proper amount of "pieces." I am not burdened by anyone else's. My daughter has many more "pieces" now, she'll have to learn to negotiate her own life (or not) and put them in her own puzzle in the way that works for her.

    I see her in my mind's eye standing on a precipice with a sack full of puzzle pieces she didn't have before...........will she maneuver her way down the cliff, utilizing her new found skill or will she dive off thinking there's still a safety net provided by someone else, a free fall back into the darkness?

    I hope my difficult child can put her life's puzzle pieces together and form a satisfying life................however, I am not counting on it, my own detachment process has taken me far enough away from her to realize her life is her own and she will undoubtedly make her own choices one way or the other..............I just found this shift interesting and it goes along with what many of the professionals have talked to me about as well.

    I've also noticed, just keeping the puzzle imagery going, that my SO, my granddaughter and even my colleagues at work have all taken some pieces from me ...............pieces I thought were mine, but no, they weren' much has been removed from my plate...............and here's the really interesting thing, everyone around me seems happier knowing I don't have too many and they can help me while they incorporate their own pieces back into their own lives. Everyone wins. And my life's puzzle is so much LIGHTER and more FUN!

    SO and I are going away for the weekend. To the ocean, to a beautiful, quaint little village by the sea. Granddaughter is staying with a girlfriend's family. Daughter may be homeless, I don't know. All of this feels auspicious. Life moves ahead for all of us, one way or the other.

    Well, we'll see where we all go from here.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad that you are in such a happy place. Hugs. DDD
  3. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I love the puzzle analogy--makes so much sense to me! Thank you!
  4. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    This is interesting, Recovering. It makes sense that the nature of the emotional exchange would be determined by the mother. Resentment, however well-concealed, will call certain responses. Anger will call certain responses, protectiveness, overwhelming (smothering?) love....

    Worry. Worry, and the "you should feel bad for how worried I have been." Which is something I heard myself stressing with difficult child daughter until I was certain she had heard me....

    If we mirror one another's emotions, and if one of us begins reflecting clearly...the other reflects more clearly, as well.

    There is something here too about old habits, maybe having to do with our own mothers, and about fresh air.

    And I think you are right that the only way to get there, to get to that place where the air is clear, is to develop ourselves without regard for who we were supposed to be. Or who anyone else (say a child) was supposed to be. What if there were no suppositions?

    And isn't that what is meant by forgiveness?

    Not something dark and secret that we have to transform, but a brightness, an easy letting go....

    It is interesting that you see your daughter recognizing, and becoming familiar with, missing pieces of her own puzzle.

    Changing one piece of the system changes the others, so Bradshaw said.

    Thank you, Recovering.

    No guilt.

    Healthier, and better, for all of us.

    Without resentment.


    So this is an interesting way to think about all relationship. The emotional tone involved in reflecting clear, happy light.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bravo RE!!! You put that into words like I never could. Thank you!
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Nice post, RE. You are both doing well. :)