Post Christmas/end of year update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I was thinking how different this Christmas was, not only compared to the last two years where difficult child daughter has been in a dramatic upheaval, but really, from ALL other Christmas' throughout my life. I am still sorting it through in my mind and I do believe it has almost everything to do with having learned to detach from my daughter's life's drama.........and in fact from my entire family's life's dramas.

    Yesterday started with opening gifts with SO and granddaughter. Because granddaughter asked for and received a few expensive items before Christmas, she herself told us to limit our usual vast array of gifts for her. So, even though that was difficult for me (I have been the QUEEN of 'over-giving') I adhered to that. I also consciously limited my giving to my daughter as well. As the gift giving evolved I ended up with a stack of gifts for ME. This is the first Christmas granddaughter has her own money from her job which she used to buy everyone gifts. She was so proud of herself, it was very cute. She bought me a lot of stuff. As I sat there on the couch opening all my presents, I felt a little weird since I have not been in that position before, where I was the one with so many gifts. I had to stretch and open up to be able to receive so much. SO also went a little crazy buying me stuff. .......................I think when you have spent so much of life being a giver, being a 'receiver' can take some getting used to. I am reaching a balance point in that.

    After that, the day was so easy because I had the main dish and dessert catered. I had the entire day free, another unusual experience since in the past I have made myself responsible for everything and everybody, so often I was a tad stressed................yesterday? NO STRESS AT ALL.

    My daughter arrived on time bearing champagne and gifts. She was pleasant, helpful and generous. She gave me a thoughtful rather expensive gift..............the first time in many years she has shown up at a function and contributed. I forced the issue of her bringing something and she did. She looked better then she has in years and was low key.............and easy to be around..........I was starting to think I was in an alternate Universe.

    My granddaughter and my daughter made every attempt to be open and kind to each other, another new experience. They talked freely and I could see my granddaughter warming up to her mother and my daughter was trying to really be present.

    In addition to the family stuff, I received a substantial salary increase and starting in January I will be off on I have been threatening to retire, they are offering me a lot to stay. And, it has indeed made a difference in how I view continuing to work. So, even in my work life, things have gotten much easier and better.

    This last two years, as many of you know, have been monstrous to go you all know from your own experience of learning how to detach from the people you love the most in the world.............this process is like no other, it can take you to the brink of utter despair and keep you hanging there indefinitely.......HOWEVER, if we can learn to accept what is, that acceptance changes every single aspect of our lives because it is giving up control, control we really never had in the first place.............and in doing so.............everything changes.

    The internal shifting that has taken place within me has now begun producing results externally which I could not have predicted. Setting boundaries on bad behavior, insisting on being treated with the utmost in respect and dignity, learning to DO NOTHING in the face of scary stuff with my daughter, speaking my truth to the source of my discomfort, being quiet and not offering answers, sitting in my own pain and allowing all of those feelings to surface, putting the focus on ME and taking it off of my daughter, not 'over-giving,' practicing letting go on so many levels, removing myself from quite a number of unhealthy relationships...........has all brought me right here...........more balanced, more accepting and much much happier and calmer.

    For those of us here in this combat zone, we are learning to be that peaceful warrior in the midst of the war. I know some people who have disconnected from intimate relationships to spare themselves the pain and hurt that can go along with loving someone...............which assures that you don't usually get hurt, but of course, what you forfeit is the human connection, the love, the pleasure and pain of having your heart blown open by LOVE. We, here on this site wage that war right on the battlefield, keeping our hearts open as we learn to love in a different way.............but love nonetheless. I think that is a major life accomplishment..................which all of us here share...............

    I know some of you are still struggling...........I paused writing this because I don't want to be appear callous to that struggle, but I wanted to share a possible positive outcome to that struggle. We work so hard to learn to detach, to accept what is.............and I think it's very good to know that it works. I feel healthier and better then I ever have...............I am as much in awe of that as anyone...............and so, so very thankful...................
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  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Truly awesome, RE!!
  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Thank you so much for explaining to me that inner peace thing I had going on the other night (actually it was Christmas morning) sat up all night surfing the net, listening to music, watching the cats play and drinking wine.

    I was totally at peace but between purse & checking had less then $5 any other time I would have been freeking out, when I looked around realized I had everything in the world I wanted at that moment and it just doesn't get any better then that.

    I did make a new rule for myself though when I pour that second glass of wine I disconnect and put away the keyboard; I didn't get into trouble but got an email from a moderator on a different site checking to see if I was OK? and wondering why I was drinking alone and posting online at 4am on Christmas. Without meaning to I caused a little drama for someone else.

  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    that is a nice post that doesn't appear callous at sounds real, and deep, and generous as are so many of your other posts. You stood your ground in life and became like a solid oak tree..strong, secure, still sheltering, and beautiful in your pose. It's a good story, Thank you for sharing.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am glad you had such a good time. You are much further along in the detaching thing though I am trying very hard. I am very irritated with Cory right now because he took the keys to my car that isnt working. Billy caught him preparing to drive it but managed to stop him. However, Cory took my keys to his house and even though I have asked twice, he hasnt brought them back. I will bet he has lost them which will be a major problem because it was the only set I had. It is one of those expensive keys too that have to be specially set at the dealer. I dont know what I will do if he has lost them because I think I have to take the car to the dealer to get a new set. Or at least that was what I had to do when I lost my second set to my Ford. I feel rather stupid because I thought I put them in my purse when we left but they must have fallen out at the last minute.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    A thoughtful, positive post Recovering. For me, right at this time, there is a certain quality of whining impatience in my posts. A sense of having been put upon, a sense of resentment and fear. What you posted about seeing and simply accepting what is has helped me to see my own patterns.

    You are right.

    It is simple.

    You are right again, in saying that turning away protects us from hurt but destroys us at the same time.

    What I've taken from your posting has changed my course just a little, Recovering. husband and I were in the angry part, in the whining about how unfair it is that we should be in this position. But the truth is that we are not in any position ~ not once we let go of the outcome and concentrate on what it is we expect. What goes on around that position may be chaotic, but it is not wrong or unfair.

    It is what it is.

    Growth and change do not occur in the safety of insisting that nothing change. Growth and change occur in the midst of the fray as we practice decency, honesty, seeing clearly, speaking our truth, as you noted, and letting go.

    Just...letting go.

    Sitting with the pain. Sitting right there with it and, at the same time, celebrating the wonder of being here in any capacity, at all.

    Just breathing, just watching the Earth turn and accepting what is to the point that we realize celebration of what is, just as it is.

    And somehow, after all of that, we understand that it really is true that all will be well.

    I had forgotten to practice my fledgling detachment skills in my heart and in my mind, where it matters most. Flexibility is a difficult thing. It is hard to recall that the only power I have is the power to clarify my own thoughts, so that I can proceed along the same path and still, arrive at a different place.

    Very timely post for me, Recovering.


  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, funny you personally consider your posts as whining. I have read them all, even if I didn't have anything to post in addition to yours, and am finding them very helpful and enlightening. It is so wonderful to see you reaping the benefits of your new insight and changed behavior. I have been told that when we change, those around us change toward us. Perhaps you are seeing a new respect for the way you are taking good care of yourself. Maybe that entices others we love to also respect us??? Seems that way in your case and I'm so happy for you. Also, how wonderful about your job! You must be very important to your company! In this day and age of laying off and firing long time employees, you are being rewarded for your importance as a needed and valued worker. I just love this entire post! It is a story of love, respect, and victory.

    Your post has made me determined to try harder to take even better care of myself, so your saga is empowering others to go where you are going. I am so glad that you are a member of this community. I love every community on this board, but my personal favorite is Parent Emeritus. Such wise people we have here, and you are certainly one of the most intelligent and wisest among us.

    Keep "whining" :) :) :)
  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Cedar your posts have helped me to the point I actually took myself to a doctor a month ago (after blowing it off for 5 years) haven't gotten in for mammogram yet but have the orders. Whine all you want you probably saved my life.