Searching~

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by newstart, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I have been on this site reading and searching and then searching some more. I appreciate each and everyone that has voiced their opinions. I have a busy life yet I find myself on this site constantly trying to make sense of the last awful thing that was done by my 35 year old bipolar daughter.

    I have not cut all communication with her YET. We still talk on the phone and text. I get a headache each time I get off the phone with her, I am ok with the texting. I guess why I am on here so much is because I am looking for direction and answers that feel right for me to make a positive move forward, a move that will benefit my entire family. My husbands new job is demanding and I do not want to burden him with our daughters nonstop bad decsions. So I tell myself not to mention her when he gets home, to just enjoy him and this beautiful weather, just give him a massage and try not to burden him with this huge problem. But then it bursts out of me like uncontrolled agony. His words to me are 'I have the A in the hole, she will not be able to rip us off again, I have it figured out. And yes I know we can get our money back from selling the house but where my deep pain comes from is the betrayal and lies and the disrespect and entitlement that I see coming from her. I see this ugly stuff coming out of my own daughter. There are periods here and there that I think she is coming around and going to get better and then she hits us with an axe like this last stunt. I also need direction on how to get rid of the feeling like an idot. I think back at myself and remind myself that I am not perfect, that I make lots of mistakes but there is no way I can justify my daughters mistakes, they are all on a level I have no idea about. I am getting chest pains and weird infections and I know it is because my immune system has been harmed by the shock of my daughters behavior.The pain is unreal, like deep soul pain. Even though I had a shift in thinking I still struggle with this awful feeling that I have a daughter and then I don't have a daughter. I certainly do not have a friend in her. Betrayal hurts horribly. I also believe strongly in KARMA, what goes around comes around and I just hate to see her have to eat her own self made B.S. I have also noticed a smirk or grin when she thinks she has overpowered me with pain. To say my heart is broken in an understatement. I am devestated at her latest attack. I did see it coming yet I just hoped it would blow over and start to get better, it just did not this time. I did notice in the past that when she started down an awful road she would slowly get out of it but this time she went down that dark alley all the way.

    I exercise and eat right which is on my side but still this pounding agony is something I really have to work on. The holidays are coming and I miss my deceased son so much. He was an active child but he had a heart of gold. He was honest and kind and helpful around the house. He was loyal and protective of us. I have asked myself many times if his death is making my daughters behavior feel worse and the answer is NO, I have actually cut her more slack because I am a bereaved mother. Cutting her slack does not help her, it just makes her take that much more advantage over us. My daughters live in boyfriend was a piece of work but I feel sorry for him. He started developing hard knots in his chest from the stress of living with her. I am sure his mother has had it with both of them and told him to get out of the relationship. He lives with his mother some of the time when they fight, he is 43 years old. Both my daughter and her boyfriend are the babies in the family.

    I have friends that have absolutely NO contact with their adult child. I see the pain and agony on their faces and the grief in their walk and how they hold their bodies. I see the broken spirits and questions on what went wrong. I see the raw pain as they cannot hardly talk about it. I know way to many parents like this, it is an epidemic. I do not want to be one of those parents yet I have been one of those parents. The void is huge. Busy does not fill that void. Just like nothing I can say or do can fill the hole and void my son's death has left me. In many ways her behavior is more grieving than my son's death because she has a choice, she can make it better but she chooses to live on the dark side, doing ill things. She uses her brothers death as an excuse to continue the garbage. Today is a new day and I will do the best I know how with this grief.
     
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  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry newstart. I understand the deep pain you're experiencing. You and I have a similar background in having to deal with quite a number of relatives who are bi-polar whom we've had to detach from because of their toxic behavior.

    My parents both suffered from mental illness. The cruelty and skewered thinking took many years of therapy to move through to a point where I could truly let go and begin accepting what is. My sister (whom I raised) is bi-polar and threw all of the family to the curb many years ago and has recently resurfaced as she faces death with cancer. My daughter (my only child) is undiagnosed but fits bi-polar or some form of a conduct disorder. My brother is paranoid schizophrenic. My daughter's husband committed suicide 17 years ago and his family, the most toxic family I've ever encountered blamed my daughter, and me by association and made both our lives a living hell. I raised my 21 year old granddaughter who at this point appears to be ok.

    I too was close to my grandmother, who was the only normal, healthy adult around me. Everyone I was surrounded by as a child lived in their own reality and used fear and cruelty as a form of parenting. Being surrounded by folks whose thinking is skewered, cruel and often without any kind of consciousness as to their responsibility in it wreaks havoc on every level.

    7 years ago my daughter's life spun even more out of control when she became homeless and went to jail. Her attitude towards me was unrelentingly hostile and nasty. I took it believing that's what mothers do. I had no real role models and I had always enabled her. But, like you, after finding this site I began to see things quite differently.

    At that point in time, I made a commitment to myself to find peace of mind, regardless of what the circumstances of my life were. I think that commitment was the beginning of my own healing and the beginning of my (new) life in many ways.

    I believe what finally set me free of the intense pain of it was a codependency course I took at our HMO. It was a two year course lead by therapists. In addition to private therapy I also attended a group there which ended up being parents of mentally ill adult kids or kids who were substance abusers. That is what really made the changes in me, to sit there weekly and see and hear the anguish and the disappointments, the pain and the intense suffering these parents went thru. And, I heard the therapists point out our own skewered thinking, our own false beliefs, our own negative choices. I heard myself more than once say in the group, "I can do that? " As if I were bound by some parent law that states what the rules are which cannot be broken. I was often astonished by my own choices and behaviors, but I kept listening and growing. At the end of that course, I had changed dramatically. The next couple of years were about me enacting those changes with my daughter.

    For me, this has been a process of letting go. It didn't happen overnight. I believe I had to develop a strong and impenetrable commitment to myself, to stop all of the negative, bad behavior directed at me. I finally came to the conclusion that I did not deserve that behavior and I wasn't going to accept it in ANY form whatsoever. Including manipulations. All of it.

    At some point last year I realized that simple kindness and compassion was what I yearned for in life, from everyone in my sphere. As my therapist pointed out to me, that was me realizing I deserved kindness and compassion and I was now going to implement that. I think that commitment to myself shifted something deep within me. I went thru my entire support system and told everyone, nicely, that this is my intention, this is my commitment to myself. Opportunities arose to make that commitment to myself a reality. I believe what happened is that I opened my heart. I became vulnerable. It's hard to have an open heart when you are guarding it from an onslaught. A lot changed again after that.

    Through all of this, my relationship with my daughter kept changing and evolving. It was one step at a time. I let go one step at a time as it felt right to me. I had an enormous amount of professional help, which I believe not only is necessary for most of us, but it hastens the process considerably. I needed others to point out my own faulty thinking and offer me other options. I was so ready to change, I had no opposition to any of it, I was ready to stop feeling the intense pain of something I had absolutely no control over. As Eckhart Tolle so aptly states, "argue with reality and you suffer." Well, I was ready to stop arguing.

    I hear you when you say many parents of these troubled kids often are like the walking dead, it's the most difficult thing we parents do, to let go of our wayward adult kids. Some of us never get over it. And, yet, moving through this is doable. You CAN get to the other side of the pain and have a life of peace and joy. It doesn't feel like it right now, but if you put the complete focus on yourself and make choices based on your well being and your own love of yourself, with each one of those choices, you will get better and you will cease to simply be surviving and you will begin thriving.

    I have had to let go of almost every single person in my bio family. As you have with your bi-polar in laws. And then I had to do that with my daughter. She is still couch surfing. She's lost everything of her former life. Our relationship is limited but not negative. She will join us for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She will join us in certain family functions. All of my boundaries and rules around her behavior have oddly induced in her a love and appreciation of me which did not exist at all when I was enabling her. As I removed myself completely from her sphere of influence and she was on her own, the gratitude she began feeling for me was heart warming. She has adhered completely to my insistence on kindness and compassion towards me.

    In all of this I maintain that this is an inside job. Our kids will do what they do, but our love of ourselves is what will change our own lives to ones which include peace and joy. I believe in love. And, it has to start here, with us. Not with our kids. We have to love ourselves enough to insist on being loved and cared for, having kindness and compassion, having people we can trust around us to support our highest good. As I made all of that my intention for my own life, everything changed. I had to accept the powerlessness inherent in letting go of what I can't control and that acceptance set me free. It is so not easy. But it is SO doable. And necessary if you want to have a life worth living.

    I feel for you newstart. I know exactly how you feel. And, you have the strength, the courage and the commitment to move yourself out of this pain and onto the next chapter in your life. You can do this. If I can, anyone can.

    Today, go do something just for you. And, increase that daily. Focus all your attention right now, on you.
     
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I am so sorry for the passing of your son. Sending you ((HUGS))

    Moving forward starts with one little step and then another. It takes time to process all you have been through, not only with your sons death but with what your daughter is putting you through.
    Try doing one thing each day that is just for you! Something as simple as buying some flowers and arranging them in a vase. Going to the park and feeding the ducks. Going for a walk in the woods. Rummage through an antique store. Eat a pint of ice cream!
    You are at a turning point where you are ready to take your life back and that is a good thing. It can feel strange but it's a positive move in the right direction.
    Find something you enjoy doing that will bring a new purpose to your life.

    There is nothing like being betrayed by your own child. My son has broken my heart and trust more times than I can count. For me, I had to forgive my son. When I say this I do not mean that I literally spoke those words to him, I mean that I had to let go of the pain by forgiving him. This does not mean that I will ever forget all the chaos he caused.
    There's a wonderful saying that rings so much truth.
    Holding on to pain and anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
    Forgiveness is for ourselves. Letting go of the anger and bitterness allows us to move on.

    Your health must be your top priority. Allowing toxic people to hold our emotions hostage is no way to live. Detaching from my son was the only way I could move on and live a peaceful, healthy life.
    I had to come to accept that he's going to live a life that I do not agree with and that's okay. It's his life to live. I however do not have to participate in it.

    If it wasn't her brothers death she would find another excuse. Many of us here are blamed for how horrible our kids lives are. The truth is, our difficult adult children have no one to blame but themselves for the mess they have made of their lives.

    I think you are a very strong person and I have no doubt that you will not only get through this but find a wonderful and happy life for yourself.

    So very glad you are here with us!!
     
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a controlled mood disorder. It took me trn years to find mefs tjzt worked and I had many bad reactions but I never gave up.

    I think your daughter has more going on than a mood disorder. Bipolar doesnt make you steal, abuse, not work (most do work) or mooch off Mom at 35.

    My suggestion is to let this go to your higher power if you have one. You are allowing this not so nice daughter who is unwilling to get help to overtake your life. And what changes for the better have hsppened because of your close contact with her?

    Nothing.

    If you can, limit contact with her. Maybe three times a week for ten minutes on the phone only. If she gets abusive or starts telling you what is wrong in her life say "i love you, but i will talk to you when you are calmer." Then disconnect your phone gently and put it in a drawer. Do not answer her calls or even read her texts for three days. Try again. Rinse, repeat. Your turn to rinse, repeat. I forgot if she still lives with you. If she does, you will sink with her and not help her at all. You need seperation badly. Now.

    I hope you take steps to hold her far away. Dont blame your husband for being done with a 35 year old woman's child like nonsense, his kid or not. He is doing the right thing in my opinion...detaching. His life doesnt depend on her behavior and yours should not either. You are not her.

    Right now in my opinion she needs to have space and decide what to do with her life. She may continue bad choices. But your listening to her whining wont make those choices better. Get out of her self created nightmare please. You deserve to be happy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  5. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Thank you both for your wisdom and insight. I have so many negative emotions and feelings that I need to feel and do away with. I have so much hurt and sadness but I do not wish my daughter any harm, I just want her to stop the abuse. I will take a good cry and calm these hurt and harmed emotions.
    Tanya, I got tickled when your wrote Eat a pint of ice cream. I could eat a gallon in one day in days past. I have been off sugar now for over one year. All refinded sugar. I think that my emotions are more stable and I am much better off since I have quit eating it. I can't imagine how much harder this last punch would have been had I been eating sugar.
    I had thought that my ignoring my daughter for 3 months had straightened her out enough to not try any more crap. It did make a difference for a long time. I remember how hard it was to ignore her. I am forced to be someone that I am not and you are right recoveringenabler about only letting people in my life that are going to treat me with kindness and respect and I do deserve that.
    My husband told me today that he might get a job offer to another city..Let's see what the next few months will bring. It would be nice to get away from the knuckelheads. I remember when we first met our daughters kuckelhead boyfriend, we bought him tickets to a show, it was an expensive show that we thought he would enjoy, he never said a word, not even a thank you. We let that go and bought him another ticket to an outing and he never said a word to us and no thank you. That was the last time my husband had anything to do with him.. I had tried several other times but there was nothing there. We are done with him and my daughter is glad because then she can keep the lies seperated better. I can't do this anymore, I can not include these kinds of people in my life, I do not want to see or be around that type of lifestyle, it is grieving and sad.

    Maybe a move will give me the fresh light that I need. Who knows what the future will bring, I just know that I can't live with this type of pain. And I will let it go, working hard on it. Today I will let the tears flow until my well runs dry. I will go outside and look at the blue sky and stick my hands in the soil to connect with mother earth. I will pray for my daughter, send her good vibrations and as I do that let go of the grief she has put on me.

    I have learned how to let go of intense grief and it is a process. I got comfortable with my daughter the last few years and in reality she wanted me to be comfortable so she can stick it to me again. I need to let go of feeling like a fool, a used foolish fool that feels used and abused. I will feel those emotions and ride them hard and then do away with them. I know I can't keep trying to stuff them I need to face them head on and then let them disolve naturally. Thank you for guiding me.
     
  6. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Update. My daughter and I had to go to a baby shower together yesterday. I did not want to miss this over her behavior. The mother to be was a special friend to me and my daughter. My daughter picked me up and we rode together to the party. The party was so nice with many friendly kind people. My daughter thanked me for going and said she was glad we had a good time. My husband took pictures of us as we left for the party. I studied the pictures. I look sad and wore out, she looks ok, a bit ill. No light behind her eyes. I woke up last night with several nightmares. I have learned how to keep myself away from depression. Years ago before I knew what mental illness really was, I spent a week in my home with my manic mother in law. Being with her for one week sent me into a depression that I had never felt before, I thought I was going to die. I had no idea the level of PTSD a person can get from being around someone so highly toxic. After that I cut my bonds with her and to this day have never feel into that deep of depression, even after my son died. I got deep sorrow and grief but it felt different than depression. I feel very broken right now but will not let myself fall into the deep despairs of depression, I know now the triggers and I pull myself up from that. I am activly working on not falling into that hole. This past week I have told my daughter several times that I was to busy to do anything with her. I have to limit my time with her, I will not allow her to suck my soul dry. Her journey is HER journey.
     
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