Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by ksm, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    How does one separate the FOO from the child? We adopted our two granddaughters 10 years ago. There has been lots of difficulties, esp with our oldest. She is technically our step grandchild, as our son met her mom while she was pregnant. Ex daughter in law made our sons life, and ours miserable for a long time. Now, she has been out of their lives for five years as she moved across the country. But, she keeps things stirred up by contacting them thru FB and phone calls, bypassing us and trying to draw them back in with empty promises. The oldest will be 18 in March.

    Now, oldest granddaughter seems to be suffering from bipolar tendencies like her biomom. Also may have histrionic personality didorder. Probably has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Plus she looks and sounds just like biomom. It is hard not to compare, to have flashbacks of biomom, when Difficult Child talks to he in the same manner.

    They both seem to have delusions of how successful they will be in life. They both tell me grandiose plans of owning a farm with horses, pets, etc. One is 17, the other is almost 50. Ex daughter in law has been homeless most her adult life, except for the times she finds men who try to rescue her. Then she proceeds to destroy the mans life with her addictions and histrionics. Then moves on to her next victim.

    I am probably suffering from PTSD just from dealing with the two of them for such a long time. I don't want to view daughter thru the same lens as her mom. But she is her moms mini me... And I think bio mom has convinced her to view me from her perspective. So there is always conflict...

    I know in a few months daughter will like likely move out, but I had wanted so much more for daughter. And I hate it that things aren't better... Any one else in a similar situation? How do you cope? KSM
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Conduct Disorders, ksm. I am glad you found us. I wonder whether you would receive stronger support in Parent Emeritus? You have been through a lifetime of pain and broken dreams. You will find so much support there, from those of us with older children. You have had to be very strong. It is hard to make sense of things, when we are alone with it.

    Please consider posting on Parent Emeritus too, ksm.

    I will post there for you, asking for support for you, here.

  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I have posted there a couple of times, and they are supportive. I guess I thought since this was about FOO it might be a better place. I will try to copy and paste it later to the other forum. KSM
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You are very welcome here as well, ksm. If you were aware of P.E. and chose to post here, then we will respond from here, if you like. I was not sure whether you knew about P.E. What I can tell you is that there is research indicating that the propensity toward addiction and emotional illnesses have a genetic component.

    That our children or grands suffer in these ways has so little to do with how they were raised, or how they were loved, or with how they love us. It is very hard for us to see these intergenerational patterns. We feel helpless in the face of it, at the pain of it, at the way it feels like we've missed something or are somehow responsible.

    There is a hopelessness to it, a feeling of trapped.

    One day, as we unravel the genetics, there will be a cure. Another thing we know, or think we know, is that our differently wired kids would be heroes in a society requiring the skill sets they have. Our kids tend not to play well with others. They are wondering, curious, altogether too courageous for their own goods, in this time when the values are: Sit still. Sit still as long as I say. Sign this. Now sign that. Time is up.

    Our kids just don't do well with that kind of structure.

    They have to do the thing they were told not to, try the drug everyone told them to leave alone, sample every conspiracy theory, brazen their ways through, believing they can beat the odds. I think they come by this honestly. Most of our ancestors, here in America, did the impossible, too. took the hard path. Left home and family and made it or died trying.

    And they did it, for the most part, by choice.

    So, there is that, which seems to me to be a true set of facts. Or kids are not helpless victims, but they certainly are risk takers.

    They just are who they are.

    If we can understand that, we can stop judging them or ourselves. Our kids are wired differently. Brene Brown, who writes about shame, assures us that every human being arrives hard wired for challenge. From this, we can understand that our kids, risk-taking or addicted or mentally unstable or whatever it is that is going on with them, are strong enough.


    I will try to remember other things that were helpful to us as we all came to this place where we are learning not to judge ourselves or our kids, and to just love them where they are, and to love ourselves enough not to give in to depression, not to fall apart at the horror of it.

    We are very strong.

    That must be part of our genetic heritage. Most people, I think, would not be able to cope with the heaviness and the horror of what happens in our families.

    I really do believe that.

    I hear people sometimes, and they believe themselves to suffer. And they do.
    But having been where I have been, and where it sounds like you have been too, their suffering is something I cannot even really identify with.

    Isn't that something.

    I have to remind myself that they do suffer; that we all merit compassion. I am happy for them that they do not know where I have been. I pray for myself that I do not have to learn more, and more terrible, kinds of suffering.

    Most people have no way of understanding the agony we live with, the terrible uncertainty. It is so hard a thing to love ourselves and our kids and our lives when everything looks so wrong and so hurtful.

    I don't know how we know what we know and stay sane. One of the moms here described envisioning the painting "The Scream". Once she could name her feelings in that way, she could separate them from who she was. She could know there was incredible suffering, but she refused to let it define her. It was so many years ago that she told that story. She told it more beautifully than I did; she told it so I could see how she could choose strength and stay sane and take pleasure in all the wonderful things that were in her life, too.

    She was very wise, in the way she was able to tell me how to do this, how to survive it.

    I will try to think of other helpful things too, ksm.

    I am very glad you found all of us. Together, we are usually stronger enough. And when we aren't, then we hold one another up until we are through the worst of it.

  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi KSM, welcome and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. I am sorry for what you are going through.
    How much you have sacrificed. How brave and wonderful you are.

    You have taken in your grands, this is the ultimate sacrifice KSM, in the winter of our lives, starting all over again.
    The question you asked is a deep one, and the answer is, one doesn't. It is impossible.
    One simply does the best we can, under difficult circumstances.
    There are no promises in this. We try our best to forge the new path.
    Ultimately, the paths our children and grands decide to walk, is their own.
    Amazing how the influence continues, even from afar. I suppose it is what I have had to realize in doing the opposite, not taking my grands in again, because our circumstances are different.
    In that horrible realization that my grands were being raised to witness upfront and personal, the crazy their parents have chosen, came the realization that these grandchildren would always be tied to their parents.
    No matter what.
    That is life, and reality, that they would yearn to know their parents, no matter what.
    Whatever picture they could conjure up in their minds to satisfy that inner most need to connect with their parents, would always be there in their minds.
    I have no control over it, and neither do you.
    And so, with your granddaughter approaching 18, you are faced with this conundrum all over again.
    You made the ultimate sacrifice to raise her.
    You did the best you could.
    And she will still be what she will be.
    It is a double blow KSM.

    You are remembering KSM. In this second time around, you will do better I pray, to take care of yourself, to not be hard on yourself, to draw the boundaries sooner, and not lose yourself in the drawing of them.

    So much conflict, so difficult and unfair.
    My new mantra is
    The past a lesson, the present a gift, the future unknown.
    Who knows where all of this will lead to?

    The one predictable, controllable factor you have on your side is the knowledge that the only thing you can control is your reaction and response.

    Our hopes and dreams and wants and needs for our children and grands are not dashed upon the shore in the waves of their choices.

    We can continue to hope and dream, but realize that it may not happen in the timeframe we had imagined.

    I cope, by giving them all to G-d. I cope by turning my awfulizing around to wonderfulizing.

    By giving them back to G-d I have entrusted them to a most powerful being.

    Then I can work on myself, and take steps to work on my endless possibilities.

    By doing this, I am showing myself, and my children and grandchildren that every second of every day, we have the ability to change, to make things brighter and better.

    In this, they may, or may not, take those steps themselves.

    We have no control over their lives and choices.

    But we do have control over our response and reactions to them.

    I cope by realizing that our lives are fraught with struggle,
    but we are meant to continually work towards inner peace.

    We are meant to know our self worth and value, and through the knowing of it
    we emanate a grace and power beyond imagination.

    We show our loved ones by loving ourselves
    the importance
    of loving themselves.

    Good day to you KSM.
    Do something incredible for yourself.

  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Sitting in the ER... She took 9 trazadone after an argument. She should be physically fine. I am emotionally exhausted. KSM
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh KSM, I am so sorry. Glad that she will be okay, but sorry for your turmoil.

    Will this set in motion some ways to get help for her?

    Praying for you KSM. What a terrible, terrible thing.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Something has happened in our society whereby we feel responsible for the result which is our children.

    Like an experiment has a result. Somehow we have been bad scientists, if our result is not as expected. Like our child is our dependent variable, and that we totally control the independent variables that our applied in a pure context, that we too control. Like scientists, not mothers. If we give enough love, protection, stuff, discipline or not--there will be a good result who will obey societal rules and achieve in approved ways. And so on.

    Such is, I guess, living in a culture where life is viewed as such: if we do this or that and do not do this or that...we will get this: A child in college, on the road to a good job and a good life. And a good life and good job are so normal in the sense of the normal curve, with few outliers and the outliers are those that are either geniuses like Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton, or our kids, those on the tail side of achieving.

    And we label ourselves as failed. Others may label us as bad parents.

    What a mess.

    Lost completely is the mystery of life. Inherited biology. Longing and yearning. The wild side.

    The completely expected and natural occurrence from the beginning of all time of kids going off and doing there thing. The absolute knowing that there is no control over anything. That a child is not a product that turns out good or bad.

    They are their own person. What they do or do not do is not our business. There is no question of failure or success. Their lives to live.
    Our feelings, however horrible, are ours. Once we see them as ours we can make a decision about them. What to do. While we see and feel them as provoked by our children...and they may have been triggered by them...the feelings are our own. About us. And within our control. Our conscious control. We can leave them, once we own that they are ours.


    She will be what she will be. You did your job. You can be free. You did not raise her on the condition that she not become like her mother. You raised her because you decided to love and care for her.
    Our job as parents was really to love and to protect. That is that.

    We cannot control an outcome over which we have no control. We do not control genetics. We do not control the influence of peers and societal norms. We do not control all of the people and events they encounter. Any illusion of control we have had was just that illusory. You no longer have responsibility over any outcome. What will be will be.

    I know this must sound harsh. It is not. It is just true. We can only raise them by loving them and protecting them, and letting them go to live their lives. Their own lives. Not ours or those we envision for them, and hope for them.

    You did not fail. It was not in vain.

    You love. You were loved. Let us see what happens. Do not judge yourself. Do not think this is a measure of or a reflection of, you. It is not about you. You define you.

    I have done all of the things you feel. I have wondered what was the point of it all? Of all of the love?

    To love. I have loved. I love. That is the point.

    Keep posting. Take care. We understand. Or have the capacity to understand, if we have misunderstood.

  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    It is difficult to separate from the FOO. Especially when you see your child doing the things their bio parent did. Tay has a tendency to take no responsibility for the messes she makes in her life. Her bio dad was the same. I haven't seen the man in 20 years and have only spoken to him for about 1 hour in all that time. The last conversation was one where he ended the call after having a fender bender and said he would call back. Lets just say I am not holding my breath. That was 2 years ago. In those two years he has had internet and possibly phone conversations with Tay but has not seen her. He isn't invited to the wedding.

    It is hard not to draw the connections. I love Tay to death but to this day she doesn't take responsibility for her actions and that is something her bio dad was also very bad about.

    As for the overdose on Trazadone you have my sympathies. Tay used to choke herself. Don't be surprised if your daughter doesn't have much sympathy for the trauma it causes you. Also don't be surprised if the doctors don't take it nearly as seriously as you do. Their favorite question is "where you trying to kill yourself." If you daughter is smart the answer is going to be no and they will not hold her. Tay never seemed to realize that choking yourself was a big deal. She treated it more like I was stupid for overreacting.
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  10. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Difficult Child is getting admitted. We have to drive about 60 miles to another town, take her to another ER to be cleared for psychiatric admission. She is physically fine. Complaining that the charcoal drink was awful, and she got out of having to drink more. After the next ER visit, then on to the inpt facility. Oh, and chicken nuggets, she wants chicken nuggets, not McDonald ones, someplace like Burger King..
    Or Wendy's. SMH.

    This whole thing escalated because we had smoked turkey deli meat and not ham. Well, we had ham, but the slices were too thick and not deli sliced. And the microwaveable hot pocket had the cheese melt and come out of the sandwich. And it didn't even get hot enough all the way thru. So I touched the hot pocket to see if I should nuke it more. I got shoved for touching her hot pocket. Then my husband came in and got in her face for yelling and pushing me, and she spit in his face. Then ran upstairs and took the trazadone.

    Now she wants chicken nuggets. But not at McDonalds...

    Wow. KSM
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Atleast she is getting care. Sounds just like mine though. No thought to how difficult
    This is for you just worried about chicken nuggets
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This is good KSM, she will get help, and you will get rest, I hope.
    What a nightmare.
    Wow is right.

    Shoved is wrong.
    Spitting in the face is wrong.
    The whole thing is screwy.

    I pray for you all. Hang in there KSM.
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Still waiting in the ER. No more beds available. They may make us spend the night in a holding area. And then start the admission process tomorrow, KSMKSM
  14. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    The lack of beds and care for people with mental concerns is appaling.
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    It is so here as well, also a shortage of doctors.
  16. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    We'll, after being in the second ER we just wanted to take her home. The nurse seemed agreeable, as she had been monitoring hers and probably our behavior. Difficult Child was the kindest, nicest as I have seen her. I explained she has an appointment on Monday with her new case manager, our initial case planning wrap around meeting on Tuesday, and her appointment with the psychologist on Wednesday. Also, this coming week at school is the last week before finals. We are on trimesters instead of semesters. It us a critical time to miss school. They said I can bring homework... But the government class needs electronics to look up the info online. No real books...

    After soending 4 hours is our local ER, had lab, EKG, then we go to the larger town and yes, they repeat all the same studies. Spent 4.5 hours there... Then told no beds available, about the holding area, then thought maybe they would let us go, then they decided to go over their limit of admissions for her. Then had to wait for transport to take her to the behavioral facility. We drove her 60 miles, but we couldn't take her two more miles.

    Got home after midnight, then woke up at the same regular time...

    Will go back for visitation at 5pm. I had my whole packet of records on her, IQ testing, neuropsychologist testing, school testing, DNA for medications, etc... But they didn't want it! What? And no real doctor on Sunday, just a resident.

    Already have a bad feeling. KSM
  17. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sending hugs
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh my goodness, ksm, the intensity of it all.
    I am certain the hospital could not in the end, release her. The liability.
    The agony of it all.

    I pray you find answers and comfort.

    Deep, deep breaths.
    We are here, waiting in the wings.
    You are not alone.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers, ksm. You have had such a long day. I wish for you peaceful rest, and restoration, this evening.

  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think they know what they are doing, KSM. Nothing gets done on the weekend except barebones stuff. Tommorow the psychiatrist will be in. They will all meet as a treatment team.

    That sounds a bit right. They do not have time to evaluate historically. They will go on their own observations and her behavior while there.

    If this is a crisis ward situation they will seek to stabilize a crisis and make recommendations at discharge.

    Get some rest.