It is one thing to share thoughts. It is another to go into detail about how what we use doesn't work. That's arguing, not sharing. I do not need to hear from others that they don't like my ideas that have helped me greatly. I would prefer to stick to helping ourselves survive our difficult children.
There is a fine line between shooting down things that help us, and offering alternatives, and plain arguing to stir the pot.
I love this group of ladies. To me, the wisdom of Recovering Enabler, Scent of Cedar, Child of Mine (a newbie but what a SMART lady...far ahead of me), Witzend and so many more have given clarity and sense to my sometimes crazy life. I do not need an alternative way of handling this and if I do, I will certainly reach out to my friends and ask for it.
I don't really care what research says as I doubt very much that anyone can get a good sample of a variety of people going through this horrible walk. Most of us do not share with researches and very few people even know of our plights. What I read is mostly the experiences of other parents who have lived through it. I prefer real life advice to theory, which is why I value the members here. They "get" me (most do) and have not condemned me and I have honestly told more about my life here than I have told even some close friends and relatives and certainly no researcher has ever heard what has happened in our house.
Yet what my husband and I did has worked, regardless of research.
I see this as a support group, not a place to debate semantics of words.
I also believe we all love our children as much as one another and that each of us is valid in what we do to help both our difficult children and ourselves. I do not think that my ideas are better than anyone else's and I am not interested in hearing that my ideas are thought of to be worse than somebody else's.
I can not say we all feel this way, but lately I feel like this is more like a debate forum, which saddens me because we were having some really good discussions from detachment (sorry, I like the word and what it means to me) and enabling (ditto) to Buddhism and meditation and exercising and what we do to make it another day.
I hope the board goes back to it's purpose, being supportive of one another without criticising somebody else's chosen path.
All of you have taught me so much. Literally, without this board, I do not know how I would have manged to handle my own emotions when 36 went through his custody battle. I also felt safe enough to share many horrible instances that shame me because they happened in my family. Please...I don't ever want to feel embarassed or ashamed for what I've shared or for what I may want to share. None of us should feel that way.
This is a safe place to land, right?
Thank you, my friends, for letting me learn from your wisdom. And I know I will keep on learning.
Yes it is. MWM, you have taught me so much. I love your direct style. I can almost hear you talking. Your words, coupled with Cedar's, coupled with RE's, then Echo's and Albatross'---so many people, each has her own tone and style and ways of saying things.
Reading each person's unique combination of words is good for me. I often have blazing insights here from so many different people.
When I read the words of support that each person gives a new person, especially, I am grateful for each person's unique voice. Regardless of how we see "the next right thing to do", we are all together in giving warmth and hugs and support to a new person.
We may be battle worn, but we are here! And we keep coming back because we are all getting something of value here.
I have learned so much in Al-Anon about taking what I like and leaving the rest. Meeting after meeting after meeting, I sit and listen and always come away with so much more than when I walked in the door.
To be honest, I am so familiar with the people there and there are some I love to see come in the door and others that...well...not so much. But that's okay too. Sometimes I find, when I am listening to each person talk without interruption (like we do here) I can learn amazing things even from those who aren't my personal favorites. I am grateful for Al-Anon's style that requires listening without interruption. It has taught me a lot about respect and silence.
You're very kind in your nice thoughts of me. I don't know how smart I am, I don't think it's about being smart in this battle for recovery and equilibrium. I am very grateful that I am where I am today, right now. I realize life is tenuous and there are no guarantees, for any of us. I have fought hard to get here, and I want to keep on living into this state of gratitude, acceptance and letting go, with love and connection. This board has really moved me forward in the last few months, and in no small part, your voice is one of the main ones helping me.
I wish my son were doing something different right now, but I also want to accept him right now, tonight, where he is and who he is. He is a good person and I pray that he makes some good things happen for himself.
MWM, warm hugs for you tonight. You're a warrior. You have battled and you are a winner. I don't think I am far ahead of you at all. I think we have each walked through fire to this other side, and we want to stay here and build a life on this side.
I too have enjoyed our conversations about other kinds of thoughts and feelings, acceptance, meditation, our perceptions of our spiritual lives, how we are all growing and learning and healing......it's been a joy to participate in those discussions and to learn how others are going through this strange territory we find ourselves in.
I agree with COM about almost being able to hear each person because the style becomes apparent, the nuances, the tone, the way it is expressed. I think we are all teachers and students here, there is so much to take in and once we learn a way that works, there is so much we want to share too. It's a nice blend, I think, of sharing and listening, taking in and giving back............ and receiving.
For many of us receiving is a relatively new thing because we've been giving and giving to our kids and often to others as well.......so to be able to sit back in the comfort and safety of our own homes and simply allow ourselves to take in the wisdom, caring, support, empathy, compassion and non judgmental offerings is a real delight.
MWM, I know your personal journey has sometimes been a harsh one, and like many others here you volunteer your time, your support, your energy and your compassion to the rest of us.......and for that, I am grateful......... for you and for all of those here who make coming here a priority to not only receive support but to give support for the sake of others.
Adding my thanks to all of you who listen when there is really no one else in the world I can turn to with these issues and have such complete understanding and unconditional acceptance.
I may not be on here every day, but the wisdom you all have imparted does STAY with me every day, both while I am fighting my battles with difficult child and while things lie dormant. I know you're always here. I am not sure if I have impacted anyone's thinking with "words of wisdom", but I am certainly one who cares and listens and feels your pain. As I just posted under "Recommendations?":
One thing that helps me when I wake up in the middle of the night is to come to this website and sometimes reread the good advice people have given me on my old posts! The wise words apply just as well the second, third, etc. time around.
COM, you are very wise and have taught me a lot. Take that for what it is. You are ahead of me because, when my son was twenty-four, while I wasn't exactly in denial, I didn't even know what codependency meant or that I did it.
Although I knew it was ok to put a wedge between myself and abusive family members, I did not understand that it was ok for me to have fun while my loved ones were suffering. I felt it was a betrayal for me to laugh when they were struggling. Looking back, it seems crazy, but my walk was long and quite a learning experience. I continue to learn. I am certain that I will never allow anyone to abuse me again.
I have learned that boundaries are ok and that rational people will accept them with grace.
I'm glad you joined us, COM. I also think BITS is a great addition. There are more...it's early...I can't think of everyone's handle. But we do have a very compassionate group of newcomers who have a lot to offer.
Your warrior spirits shine through your posts. Your willingness to share your journey has helped me feel a little less lost.
This is an open forum. If someone feels that people on here are not being supportive of them or that the advice given is not to their liking, they don't have to continue visiting the site.
I don't usually post in this forum because sadly I'm over in SA and it's sometimes so overwhelming it's hard to get out and about but I wanted to first thank RE for her compassionate and thoughtful responses to all of us who come here for support and all of the members for your unwavering support of each other.
I was recently reminded of some of my early days here when I was in the throws of young difficult child behavior that only got worse as she got older. There was a great deal of discussion about attachment disorder, remember that MWM? It was not one of my shining moments here as I was stubborn and convinced that my difficult child was suffering from this and MWM was just as convinced that she could not be because we adopted her at birth. I wasted far too many hours trying to prove my point and not feeling good about any of it. Looking back now and having the advantage of years behind me, I realize how foolish that all was and counterproductive to my own moving forward and "detaching" if you will from her behavior. Which by the way was another of my stubborn positions. I use to say I could no more detach from her than cut off my arm. How foolish. Years later I have been able to detach from her difficult child behavior and stop feeling responsible or that I had to fix it. The meaning behind that word was so different years later.
This is a round about way of saying that I finally realized it didn't matter what I or anyone else called it. I grew and my thinking evolved and I saw MWM do the same. I am grateful this board was here throughout my many years of growing and accepting and learning from everyone here and teaching me that I don't always have to be right, that everyone's experience makes them who they are.
When I first found this forum I felt no one could possibly understand my pain. I couldn't see any alternatives to ramping up my efforts to try to boot my difficult child from my emotional radar completely, because the alternative was to get back on that insane seesaw of guilt to anger, guilt to anger...and I just couldn't do it anymore. The moms who post here explain and model a healthy way of coping with what I had all but given up as an impossible situation. Your wisdom and compassion have helped me immeasurably in finding a middle way, where I could forgive a little, see the situation with a little more complexity, and step back with a little kindness and faith instead of resentment and cynicism.
Like Try Again, I too like going back to read some of the older posts in the wee hours, when things start to pile up. It helps a lot.
Someone told me once: "There is no such thing as a bad ballet lesson." It's stayed with me the rest of my life. Our experience of a thing ~ of anything at all ~ has to do with who we are, with how we see, with how we interpret the meaning of a thing. Wherever we are in our process, however we interpret a thing, if we show up, if we give attention, we will learn, we will reach and surpass our own personal best.
Great wide words, Cedar. BUT.....somebody has to offer something other than a negative. Nobody learned a thing by hearing "You are dancing wrong" without showing that ballerina (no matter how uncoordinated) how she SHOULD dance. It empowers and lifts people up when they are shown how to do something better and to learn that THEY CAN DO IT. It causes depression and resentment if you simply told, "You did that dance horribly" and don't try to help make it better.