Mothering my 2 adult daughters

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by serenityseeker, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    I find it very difficult to get along with my two adult daughters. My relationship with my oldest daughter
    is probably broken beyond repair. I do still have hopes for my youngest daughter and I finding a way to get along in a loving way. I just don't know how to make that happen.
  2. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Perhaps you could share a bit more info...does one or both daughters abuse drugs? What caused you to become distant with the older one?
  3. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Never mind! Realized your story is under a different post...
  4. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    What do you mean that my story is under a different post ...
  5. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    God Help Me! I saw your name under a different post but it was a reply to someone else's and I mistook it for yours.

    Let's start again, shall we?! Sorry!! Now you can refer to my original response and tell us more about your daughters?

    LOL it's been a crazy few days and my head's not totally screwed on straight right now!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry about your daughters. Can you give us some background so we can maybe give better feedback?
  7. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    Well, it's a really long story. I had my oldest daughter when I was 16 years old. My mother was a child of an alcoholic father and enabling mother. So that meant she was very dysfunctional herself. That is who raised me and my 4 siblings and she did it with no husband because my father was absent and a chronic alcoholic.

    With all that being said should tell you that I was indeed a terrible mom when my oldest daughter was little and she was robbed of a good childhood. When I was about 17 or so I began doing drugs - a lot. I was heavily into hard drugs, mostly pharmaceutical though. My mother was very dominant in my life and she was in fact very controlling. So when I had my daughter, she tried and tried to take over and discount me as her mom completely which in turn drove me to doing more drugs.

    I'm going to attempt to make a really long story short. When my oldest daughter was 5 years old I met my first husband and he helped me as much as he could through my pregnancy with my second daughter. He took care of both my daughters just as if he was their bio father, however, he was on drugs too. I married him when about 3-4 years later.

    He consumed a lot of drugs, but he wasn't as crazy as I was. At least that's what I thought at the time. I thought of him as my Knight in Shining Armor. I felt he rescued me from misery. I thought we were going to have a great life together and raise my two daughters in happiness and joy. I was ever so wrong about EVERYTHING. I was very dumb and naive and just down right stupid. I had been isolated from the world growing up with no father, so I didn't know anything about anything. I ended up divorcing my husband because I grew up (finally) and he didn't. I got off drugs by myself and he wouldn't. He went to treatment, but he relapsed so I divorced him.

    By this time my daughter was pregnant by age of 16 (imagine that) and I did sign the papers for her to be married to the father of her child. I was hoping that would ensure of his presence in my grandchild's life - it didn't work. She was divorced by the time my grandson was 6 years old.

    My mom and my siblings just really trashed me to my children every chance they got and it caused a lot of turmoil in my oldest daughter which she still suffers from today. I have tried and tried everything in the book and everything not in the book and she just doesn't forgive me and I seriously doubt if she every does. I have given up on my and her relationship even though that too causes me grief, it's a lot less grief.

    Now to my youngest daughter, she was my second chance to do something wonderful in my life. Even though my first daughter was and is wonderful and intelligent and beautiful, I wanted to be successful in motherhood.

    I taught her everything. I loved and love her so very much. She too turned out to be gifted, beautiful, and wonderful as well. She loved me, too. My family tried to brain wash her too, but she had a strong enough mind to not allow that to happen.

    She ended up marrying a drug addict (I wonder why). She met him when she was only 11 years old and thought he was her destiny. She has her children by him and she still loves him deeply even though ...

    Now her husband is in treatment after several decades have passed. I am so happy that he finally made that decision, however, I know what's going to happen. More than likely giving the background he comes from, he will relapse and the saga will continue to my dismay.

    Today, I am an intelligent woman with grandchildren that I adore and nobody that I have met for the last 20-25 years knows of my past at least not to the extent it went. I like it that way. Both of my daughters are very intelligent beautiful women and do their very best at being a good mother to their children (much better than I was).

    My oldest daughter struggles with her emotional state and does not seek professional help. My youngest daughter is going through a lot with her husband and she is distancing herself from me and I do not handle it well at all.

    So many negative emotions come back and it's hard if not impossible for me to think and behave in the right ways. I stumbled onto this site because I was searching for answers to help me with my emotional breakdown I had yesterday. I did make an appointment with a counselor, but can't get in for 2 weeks.

    By the way I am remarried to a wonderful man for the last 11 years. I live a comfortable life and I feel grateful to be so lucky. Until now, I thought I was on my was to ... all things that are good.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you are hurting so badly.

    Your past is way in the past and you have changed. If your daughters are intelligent, they know this and, since they are now mothers, know how hard it was for you. The way they choose to deal with it, unfortunately, is out of your control.

    If your younger daughter is now in counseling or going to Al-Anon her distance from you may be due to realizing (in her mind) that you two are too enmeshed. Many adult children like their space and don't want to talk to Mom every day or hang out with her. I think that's normal. Not to mention, she is going through a lot with her husband and has her own life. But there is a solution that many of us have come to embrace.

    Although our adult children CAN be a source of joy and light in our lives, they aren't always and, even if we get along well, they do go on without us, if they are healthy. The best thing I personally can recommend is to maybe go to a Twelve Step Group, even though you personally are not involved with drugs anymore...maybe go to Al-Anon because your relationship with your daughter is different now because of her husband. It fits, in my opinion. You probably won't have to wait long to find a meeting, not two weeks. There should be one tonight. I gained a lot from Al-Anon, even stuff that has NOTHING to do with loving somebody with drug addiction. It helps everything in life, in my opinion. The philosophy in my opinion is very solid and would help anyone. It's lots of common sense. You don't even need a higher power for it to work.

    If you don't like that idea, I highly recommend private counseling/therapy to teach you how to move forward with your own life, even though your daughter seems to be pulling away from you. Her life is hers and she is 100% responsible for what she does. You have 0% control over her. But you have 100% over your own life and you can make it a good, full life, embracing your husband and your friends and non-toxic loved ones as well as your hobbies, your job (if you work), and anything else you love to do. Our kids are not obligated to keep us company nor share their children with us, although we hope they do. We can't force it. It is best to love ourselves and enjoy all the blessings we get, but not expect anyone from outside of us to make us happy. They can't. Only we can.

    I like these two opinions of the past.

    "The past doesn't exist." (It's true. It is gone)

    "The past is gone. Learn from it.
    The future is coming. Prepare for it.
    The present is NOW. LIVE IT!"

    If you are still in touch with your family, who has been so abusive to you, you may need to pull back yourself, go low contact, or even no contact, if they cause you pain. Nobody has the right to abuse you. Not Dad. Not Mom. Not Sis. Not Aunt Patricia.
    Not Kissing Cousin Lucy. Not next door neighbor Mr. and Mrs. Nosy. It is not necessary to carry on relationships with anyone for any reason if they abuse you. I've had to let go of my family of origin. My life got much better after that. Now you didn't say they are still abusing you. It's just that this "you-are-the-black-sheep" pattern usually persists unless we stop it. Sometimes talking to them works. Often it doesn't and we have to decide if we want to listen to abuse anymore.

    Unfortunately, our grown children can abuse us too and then we have to make very hard choices. I have one son we adopted at six that walked out of our lives. The one time I've seen him in eight years, he was so vile and abusive, I decided "this is over. No more groveling." I've felt much better ever since.

    By the way, you are not responsible for your daughters choice of husbands. Many daughters of drug users decide that they would NEVER get involved with anyone who used drugs. They learn from their past. Your daughters did not, but it's not your fault. Dwelling on the past, blaming ourselves for our ADULT children's eyes-wide-open choices does nobody any good, especially us and it does not help our grown children.

    Others will come along. I hope you keep us posted. We're a goodhearted group.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You know what SS, we all have a story to tell. No one escapes life's've certainly had your share and I'm sorry for that. You've had a long, hard road. I have a grown daughter who is homeless and I raised my granddaughter AND many of my bio family are mentally ill. I understand how tough it can be. And those of us who have lived through those kinds of things often have a lot of compassion and can offer support to others. I'm glad you found us. I'm glad you're here.

    You might want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. You also may want to read Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie. Some other books which really helped me were any books by Pema Chodron, Brene Brown and Eckhart Tolle. There is a lot to learn for us humans about living in chaos and uncertainty and finding our way to peace. A tall order but not an impossible one.

    I'm glad you are entering counseling, that helped me enormously. You might want to try Al Anon or CoDa and encourage your daughter to do so as well. Those 12 step groups have helped a lot of people.

    Our kids can go off the rails for any reason at all, even with the best parenting in the world. Like all of us, you did the best you could and when you knew better, you did better. That's all any of us can do.

    From this point on, it will help you a lot if you begin to focus on yourself, make yourself and your recovery and healing from your past your priority. From that vantage point, you will be a better support for your daughters. And, you will model for them a person who loves themselves, accepts themselves and honors themselves.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us SS, I hope the serenity you seek finds you.............blessings to you.........
  10. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    Both of my parents are passed a way 25 years ago. They died 11 days apart in my home - it was a journey for sure. My 2 extremely dysfunctional sisters are estranged from me and actually have been for most of my life, but I haven't laid eyes on them since my mother died.

    My two brothers are greatly dysfunctional too, but they do talk to me when I call them. One of them is getting ready to leave this world due to his health problems.

    So, I do not have those people around me to abuse me any longer. I was trying to get a long with my oldest daughter and therefore opening myself up to her abuse. I always feel like I owe her something for the way I was when she was a child.

    Yes, I am the darkest black sheep in my family. We have more than one, but I'm also the scape goat. Out of all my siblings' children, my children turned out the best of my family. They are educated, healthy, and very beautiful. I feel I did something right.

    It's been a long, hard road and I only want the best for my children and grandchildren. I want peace, serenity, joy, and prosperity for us all. I deeply regret everything I have ever done to make that not possible.

    Thank you for talking to me.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  11. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    An update of my situation: my son-in-law is home from the treatment center. My Daughter took him back into their home. I pray and I hope all goes well for them. I went to my counselor, but by the time the appointment was here, things had already gotten better. I wasn't as distraught as I had been at the beginning of my post 2werks ago. It's kind of funny how that happens.
    As far as my oldest Daughter, I haven't heard from her.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the update. I'm glad things have smoothed out some. Keep going to your counseling appointments, life with our troubled kids does seem to continue erupting and it helps so much if we have continuing support for ourselves. Hang in there. Our grown kids will do what they do, but that doesn't mean we have to be dragged around and held hostage by their behaviors. You have a life too. Go live it and have some enjoyment.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't just use counseling to help with crisis. I find it helps after the fact to learn about other possible responses, things to think about next time. I can never get in to the counselor once the crisis starts, but each round makes me stronger for the next crisis.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I started reading a book you may like called "When Parents Hurt" by Dr. Joshua Coleman. It's about dealing with very difficult young and ADULT children and those who refuse to talk to you. A five star rating on that book too. Very good so far, although I am skipping the early parts about toddlers and younger kids. the link will take you to the book.

    I'm glad you feel better.
  15. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    I'm such an emotional mess. I've been on the verge of crying all day today. I just don't understand how my daughter can be so cold to me. I'm not like that, but she is. I blame myself for this and I don't know how to make things better. I don't want to let go of her. I love her very deeply. But, do I sit around and wait for her to throw me a bone? That's basically how I feel when she does talk to me - its brief and surface talk then she doesn't call me for awhile. If I call her, she's too busy to talk to me and makes me feel like I'm bothering her. I don't think I should be waiting for her all the time, on the other hand, I don't want to play games either. So I don't know , I just don't know.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry SS. It's very painful. I know.

    I hope you're continuing with your counseling. I believe it would serve you to begin to put the focus of your life on YOU rather than your daughters. Whatever they are doing or not doing, you can still be having a fulfilling and peaceful life. You shouldn't allow your well being to be dependent on what your daughters do or what they don't do. I believe it is imperative for you to find ways to be happy in your life and whatever your daughters add to your life is a bonus but not a necessity or an expectation.

    Hang in there SS, get support for yourself, be kind to yourself. Keep posting, we're here.
  17. serenityseeker

    serenityseeker New Member

    I'm trying to fill my time with other things. I started counseling a week ago and I will go every 2 weeks. I'm just having a bad day today. It does hurt so terribly much. I know in time I will adjust and I will feel better. Its difficult getting to that place of serenity.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's really really hard SS, I know. It takes time and support. Bad days come and bad days'll get through this, keep breathing deeply, cry if you have to, take a bath, that always helped me...........tomorrow will be a new day and you'll be a little bit closer to that serenity you seek. Make that a goal. You'll get there. Hugs..........
  19. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    My daughter (non difficult child) treats me exactly the same. I've cried buckets and buckets of tears over her and my four grandchildren. They live 900 miles away. Finally...I've decided I can't let her rule every single day of the rest of my life. She can be cold or tension-filled to someone else. I've been married to my husband almost three years now and she's so petty that she's never uttered his name, much less met him or spoken on the phone. DONE.

    I'm so sorry, ss. I DO know that pain.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SS having grown up in a dysfunctional family I understand the hurt and pain. I have two sisters that I have not seen or talked to for years. I was fortunately able to break the cycle with my own family and the help of good counselors. I now only surround myself with people that are non toxic.

    I can't add more than what has been said here, continue with your counseling and make a life for yourself. Your adult children may come around when they get their lives in order and see you living your life to the fullest.