Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Seeking Peace, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Seeking Peace

    Seeking Peace Member

    I decided to go do a little Christmas shopping today. I decided I would definitely purchase some gifts for my daughter, but will not go overboard on gifts this year for her. Not with everything that's happened. While I was looking through clothes for her, I caught 3 young ladies discussing a Halloween party they were going to. They were easily my daughter's age. I instantly felt broken hearted because THAT'S how her life should be right now too! Not bouncing from one home to the next day after day, suitcase in tow :(

    As I went along thinking that, I then started feeling guilty for spending more on my 13 year old who's still home. I dismissed that as silly as daughter received the same treatment at that age too...but still...

    Maybe it's just the holidays
  2. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's just the holidays.

    Love and parenting isn't about how much money we're spending on them. My troubled son detests Christmas and all the commercialisation and money-driven guilt-ridden unhappiness. He's got a point.

  3. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you're feeling so sad. I have felt the same way & even posted about it not too long ago. These are not the lives we ever wanted for our difficult children. I frequently wonder why? But, honestly why doesn't even matter to me so much anymore. It is what it is. I'm trying to be supportive, but not enabling with mine. As for your 13 year old, you have every right to spend what you want on her. I also have a teenage daughter & am trying to spend as much time as possible with her. All these problems with our difficult children take a toll on our other children too. When I start to feel sad, I try to remind myself my son chose this life despite everything I did to help him. Hugs to you, I know how hard all this really is.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi SP, I'm sorry you had a tough time with that.

    It could be. This is the time of year that the emphasis is put on families. It's also very commercialized. Everyone is supposed to be happy and there should be lots of parties to go and should decorate your house and on and on. That's ok if you live in a snow globe but I live in the real world.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the holiday's but I don't allow myself to be disillusioned by what some say it should be.
    I do what makes me happy and you should too.
    I understand how you feel in that you wish your daughter's life choices would have been better but that's not what she has chosen for herself. You have done all you can for her.
    Now is the time to focus on your 13 year old.

    ((HUGS)) to you...............
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Fair doesn't mean equal.
    Your 13 year old who is still at home, deserves to be treated as a 13 year old.
    Your adult child deserves to be treated as an adult child - and too often, for challenging adult children, treating them "equally" means doing something that is actually wrong for them.

    You are doing what is best for the 13 year old, and you are doing what is best for your adult daughter. THAT is fair. And right. And appropriate. (and whatever other positive terms you want to add...)
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Seeking Peace, (sigh) I know how you feel when seeing other young ladies your daughters age...our wish as mothers is for the best for our children, but, alas, they need to wish for that themselves.

    When I feel this kind of sadness hitting me, I say a quick prayer. I have spent many a year and precious time trying to fix things, then realized that wasn't working.
    Commiserating over what would or could, or should be does not help me move forward. My daughters have chosen a path. I pray that they will learn what they need to, and hopefully choose to live a better life.
    As time passes, the pain eases.

    Your 13 year old deserves your undivided attention. My son was waiting in the wings for so long, while we tried desperately to help his sisters. It helps to focus on that. He is a kind and gentle soul.

    I hope that you are feeling better. This whole thing can be quite a roller coaster ride.

    Instead of buying presents for my G-F-G's, I will be lighting candles for them, in hopes they will see the light.

    Please take care of yourself, you matter too.

    Give lots of hugs and kisses to your 13 year old.
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi SP,

    We on this board often talk about how hard the holidays are when our DCs are off the rails. I remember hurting a lot due to "what ifs" and "whys" at his birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving and even my birthday when I didn't hear from him.

    I'm a Cinderella-story kind of person so I take that type of thing particularly hard too.

    What helped me was establishing some new traditions "in his name." One thing I adopted (I think Cedar gave us this idea...??) was lighting a white candle for him. Somehow that helped me, to signify him.

    This is true. And not only the truth of it, but I tried to understand that there were things about my son's life (on the streets) that he really liked. In fact, he preferred it. That was hard for me to wrap my head around, but that was a good thing to spend time on because a lot of my recovery was around realizing that he and I are different. We are not the same person. We don't want the same things. We value life differently. That was helpful for me in detaching from him with love.

    People make choices. Choices have consequences. I would get out of my Cinderella thinking and focus on these things, the realities of life, as much as possible, through writing and reading and learning new ways of thinking and behaving from great authors here, in the book Boundaries, in Pema Chodron's writings, in Brene Brown's writings. Those things helped me change my wishful thinking.

    It still hurt, make no mistake about it. But I think part of this is feeling the pain, honoring the pain, still realizing we can't change another person, and changing our own thinking and behavior in full light of it all.

    Yes it our minds. We had a plan for them, and that plan has been seriously derailed. But it was OUR PLAN, not their plan. That is the problem and the disconnect. Now, I don't think my son's plan ever involved being in jail or being homeless or being addicted to prescription drugs, but his plan did involved doing life his own way, regardless. So.....okay....that comes with consequences. It took him between five and six years (long, long, long years for me) of the worst possible times to decide to do life differently.

    I had to get out of the way and go through multiple holidays, birthdays and family times without him. It was really sad and I cried a lot. But I survived it, and you will too.

    Warm hugs right now. Enjoy the people right in front of you. Enjoy yourself. Be kind to yourself, especially at this time of year. Wrap yourself in warm, gentle practices like taking a nap, buying flowers for your kitchen table, sitting and reading a magazine in the sunshine, taking a bubble bath.

    You are worthy of all of this.

    And we're here for you.
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I detest the hoopla that goes with Thanksgiving and Christmas. The truth is that many people have miserable memories stemming from these two days of the year.
  9. Seeking Peace

    Seeking Peace Member

    Thank you everyone for responding. I don't think my daughter prefers living on street, and thus far, she's been lucky to land some place. But, I do know she prefers not to work, not to attend therapy, and not to make different choices.

    I also know every time she claims to want to do right or/and is - is always false and just a way to secure what she wants or needs. Never genuine. Like a play written and orchestrated by her to gain the most for herself. Going so far as to pretend to go to a job for weeks at a time. Amazing how far and eager she is to do things when she wants it or doesn't want to do something.

    I also know what she says about me. How she uses smear campaigns on me even when we are doing everything possible to help her. That truly angers me. More at myself for continuing to help her while she does that. Do I think so little of myself? She thinks solely because she's my child that I am obligated to help her...time to raise her is done! The time to carry the full responsibility for her is passed.

    She's 20 years old. Certainly old enough to understand and know how her actions hurt people. She truly doesn't care. I really am starting to believe she's incapable of feeling...more like plays the part that she feels people expect from her....and always for her own benefit. And reality is there's zero respect and zero trust. Not a relationship by no means. I think I'd trust a stranger more.

    My heart grieves for what will never be.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My #1 is the same, but will be on the street (in a park, etc.) from time to time, because she chooses to be around people who live like that. They are her family now.

    Who knows what motivates them?
    Drugs, addiction.
    The behavior is all so foreign to what we raised them to be.
    You are astute, Seeking Peace in realizing this.
    This will help keep you from being manipulated.
    Our adult d c's have an amazing ability to transform themselves to our memories of them as children, to tug at our mother heartstrings to get us to give in to them.
    Stay strong.

    Ahhh, the smear campaign, "I am like this because my mother is......"
    Yup, very familiar with it. In fact, the last words I heard from my #3 were screamed in my face, the stuff she was probably saying to her friends, came out in a fit of rage, at the top of her lungs. In front of her children, my Grands, whom I had been caring for. Ouch.
    She actually did me a favor, for that devastating, agonizing, insidious, hurtful moment in time that seemed to stretch on endlessly as if in slow mo, plays over and over in my head and strengthens my resolve to stop the insanity. NO MORE ENABLING.
    I don't know if it's Halloween, but Edgar Allen Poe comes to mind and a Raven pops in my head saying "NEVERMORE!"

    Yes. Good for you Seeking Peace. You are worthy of much more, and so is she. Do not allow her to mistreat you, and through your own example of self respect and self value, she may learn to love herself better as well.
    Give her her wings and let her fly.

    20 is young, there is time for her. At 20, I had my first child, and had to be responsible. For others, maturity takes longer, the brain is not ready. If the brain is on drugs, it is worse.

    Seeking Peace, you are doing well, your eyes are wide open. That is good and it is also painful. Keep posting and sharing, it helps to let it out and this is soft, safe place to do it. Whatever is going on with your daughter is happening now. Now does not mean there will not be change.

    But, we do have to stay in the now, to have effective responses to unacceptable behaviors.

    Seeking Peace, there are many posts here, where parents are seeing change.

    There is always hope.

    Sometimes, in order to do the hard thing, and detach, we give up on the hope, in order to stay strong and see the reality of the present circumstances.

    I rely on my faith to focus. If I find myself grieving over my two, or dwelling on things, I say a prayer. It is tremendously helpful.

    It has been two months since I have seen or heard from my two. I do not know what my response will be when I see or hear from them, but I am working on it.

    I hope for you, that you find peace. For yourself, and for your 13 year old. There is much promise for the future.

    Stay strong, do something for the both of you!

    You are not alone