Taking a break

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Steely, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    After my last post it has become evident that I need a break. I need a break from many things in my life right now. Actually anything that brings me negative energy, doubtful thoughts, or judgment - which at this time is the CD Board. I am all about learning and growing - and being called out on my poo - but I am not about feeling defensive, unheard, or misunderstood. You guys are all awesome, and I love you - but since I am not sure what happened in my last post - I need to take a break.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I'm sorry you feel that way. I know that some of us out here are trying to help and are pulling for you and Matt. Please feel free to lean on us if you need to.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Steely, I understand that you aren't sure what is going on with M and this program right now and that is leaving you with anxiety about the whole thing- and I don't blame you for that. I would be, too. I think that leaves us reading the threads in a position of speculating, though, and we are coming out with a lot of different opinions based on speculation. Really, none of us can possibly know what the program is about, how they are treating M, or what M is doing or thinking. I know you are wanting really good advice but try to see the different opinions as just opinions based on that speculation because that's really the most anyone can give in the advice dept. under these circumstances. The caring, support, hugs, and listening ears though, are here and is not based on speculation.

    You've been there for me with my son and I really appreciate it. As we talked about before, M and my difficult child are similar and we both are single moms. I PM'd you.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Steely, you made this decision/wrote this post 12 minutes after you responded on your thread, not giving either Witz or Susie the opportunity to respond to your questions on your thread. I know you are fragile and I'm so sorry you are hurting. I hope that you will give your friends Witz and Susie a chance to further the conversation. I am confident they both spoke from their heart in what they felt was in your best interests and that neither one intended to hurt your feelings.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I will post here, because I don't know if you will read the rest of the other thread.

    Star wrote very eloquently about the situation. I cannot connect that emotionally in writing. I do try, but it always sounds very businesslike when I write. I don't mean to sound judgemental, and I truly don't think or feel that way. I do feel worried though.

    I wrote in my post that things will probably seem less dire after a good night's sleep. It is true. What I wrote about my dad saying it is also true. When your mind and heart are trying to handle a problem like this it is just human nature to not sleep well. Stay up late because you can't stop thinking about it. Then you are short on sleep and have to work. Then you are exhausted and still trying to work it out, so you can't get to sleep on time or even early because you cannot stop thinking the worst.

    Even a day or two of that cycle will make things seem far worse than they are. More ways to handle things will come to mind after a good night's sleep or two. At the least it will make you recharged enough to cope reasonably well.

    I still think this is reasonable advice. It doesn't mean that I think you are over-reacting. It doesn't mean that it is not a serious problem. It is just a suggestion to help you cope.

    Matt is at an age where you can give him all the tools in the world, the ones that will best help him make his way in the world. but NOTHING you do can make him use them. You could give him 3 different shovels, a backhoe, and every other digging tool that exists. Not a single one would help him dig a hole unless he chose to use one. If he insisted on using his hands and a hand trowel it is going to be an enormous and overwhelming job to dig that hole. Even knowing that you STILL cannot make him use a different tool.

    Matt has probably been taught a lot of ways to cope. Lots of ways to handle his mental illness and his life with all its problems and challenges. No matter what anyone says or does, if Matt won't use the tools then you cannot force him to.

    I am sorry you felt I was judging you. I understand the need for a break and I hope you can recharge your batteries and find new ways to face these challenges.

    I hope at some point you write down a list of all the major stresses you have gone through in the last few years. Your sister's death, the way her death was handled by the police and your family, Matt's illness and growing problems, Matt attacking you, and the job change with the big move. It is a huge list when you consider the stress of each event. All of them hitting you in a relatively short period of time.

    It is just a lot to deal with, even before the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) called you with this latest thing. THAT is why I worry about you and why I suggest seeing a therapist.

    I did not say anything with the intention of hurting you and I am sorry if I did hurt you.

    Many hugs,

  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think its true that we can more easily take in information, especially information that is different than what we are use to hearing, when it comes from a gentle and empathetic source. Perhaps this goes double when we are hurting or under tremendous stress.

    Perhaps this goes both ways.

    So, when we give advice we might want to give it gently. And when we don't give it gently and hear that we have missed the mark in that regard, we should be willing to take in this different information.

    IF our goal is to help one another and helping one another goes further by being kind and gentle, even if it is hard, we need to make great efforts to assume these traits.

    And likewise, if a person is taking the time to write out and answer and is also making their best effort to be kind and gentle, then we might want to listen to what they have to say and give it some consideration.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry if anything I said hurt you. Not my intention. I really hope for the best for both you and Matt.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to hurt you, but you are hurt. I called you out on your poo, and it wasn't the poo you were expecting to be called out on. I don't see anything that changes what advice I would give you.

    You have many stressors, as Susie said, and YOU need to take care of you. Susie's analogy regarding digging tools is spot on. The only thing that I would add is that it seems that since Matt has not picked up the shovel or the backhoe, you have picked them up and gone to work with them. Sadly, you are finding yourself in Matt's hole. It's not where you should be. You should be digging and laying your own foundation of happiness. Still and all, just my opinion.

    I hope you will get some help with the overwhelming emotions that you are feeling. I know that you are aware that asking for therapy is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. And for what it's worth, I'm really hurt that you took such offense at my advice, but I'll remember that you are overwhelmed right now and hope that you will reconsider it in the light of day.

    In the long run, it is as Fran always said, take the advice that helps, and leave the rest. I'm taking a break too.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank you guys for responding. I truly was not offended so much as baffled by the advice given. Witz you didn't really call me out on my poo, because what you said did not make sense to me. It just felt like it came out of left field. In retrospect, and after re-reading the whole post, I can see better where you came from - but not totally. I truly felt like you guys were saying it was stupid to keep Matt in his group home, and that he just needed to man up and grow up. If that is not what you were saying, than I over reacted. I guess it is not what you were saying, obviously. Maybe I am under so much stress things are being perceived by me in a jaded manner. I know at work I keep thinking people are mad at me, and they are not. I think that goes double for the board. I cannot see you body language or hear your tone - so it makes it really hard. Like Nomad said, if we cannot be gentle in our delivery than sometime it is worthless to give advice because that person cannot hear it. I am that example.

    Anyway. I realize people are worried about me, and I value your love. I am probably more worried about me than anyone, which just seems to make this harder. Believe me, I know myself well enough to know when I am in over my head - and Sunday I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. The really really crummy thing is that I chose this town with no health care. I really did not think this completely through. Anyway, I also know that I am a super strong person, and I will get through this.

    I think the other thing is that I know in my head what I need to do with Matt. I am doing it. I am just panicking about doing it.

    Anyway. Thanks again for you support. I really know everyone is coming from this in a good heart place.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Steely, Thank you so much for posting again. I think this thread has done much to clarify many things. For one, you made it clear that what is bothering you probably more than anything is how you feel right now and that Sunday was particularly bad. And I think I "get" where you are coming from with- reference to having limited options in your city for therapy. I do hope that somehow, someway, you can find a mental health counselor or therapist...even in a nearby city or by telephone to help you through your heavy duty stress.

    I know it is been my personal experience and I am learning through my classes, that empathy and gentleness goes a long way in terms of helping us humans learn a new concept, especially when under stress. I have made this point before here at PE...perhaps this time it will stick.

    This does not mean that the points made were not good ones and ones to be heard.

    The folks here are bright. Often, nothing speaks louder than experience. Esp. repeated experience. So, I do hope you can open your heart and mind to what has been written. And when an apology is offered, that is a great thing. We are only human beings.

    Also, I think you are wise to focus on yourself and your feelings. Like I said before, it might be good to identify your goals. You know what you want for your son (safety, better mental health, etc.), but what do you want for yourself? Sometimes, it is really tough to separate ourselves from our children. I mean REALLY tough. You said you are worried about yourself. Why? You had such a bad night Sunday, you fear for a nervous breakdown. What might you do to help with your anguish and anxiety? Therapy? Exercise? Talk with- a friend? Medication?

    Sometimes the inability to make a decision is a sign of depression. When husband and I were confused about something at our son's program, we double checked with a professional in town. Could you go to someone at a nearby university and run your questions by them and then make a final answer and stick to your decision? Perhaps a psychology professor with a lot of experience with young adults. If you already know what you need to know, what is it going to take to get you to feel a sense of calm about it? Are there other parents at his school who you can email now and again? What else might help? What about parents who have sons who have graduated from the program?

    However, in my humble opinion, perhaps the most important thing is being able to find your happiness separate from the goings on with your son. Consider re-reading the information provided on Suz's link (bottom of her posts) on detachment.

    You do not deserve these crummy feelings. When you are in the midst of heavy duty nervous breakdown type pain, can you reach out for a better thought? Are there any action steps you can take that might help? No one deserves this type of anguish.

    When I was really down about things, I use to watch uplifting TV shows and read positive literature and tapes. Anything...to get me in a better frame of mind. One book I really liked was "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem." I also like Joel Osteen on TV, but he is not everyone's cup of tea.

    I do hope you are able to put one foot in front of the other and inch by inch start feeling better. It is not easy, we understand. We care for you and are thinking good thoughts on your behalf. Please take that first baby step toward wellness. Gather tools to strength yourself. Wishing you a good day and a good Thanksgiving.
    Lasted edited by : Nov 25, 2009
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I like Nomads idea about trying to reach out to parents of others at this placement or other parents who had kids who graduated from there. Did you get any recommendations from such folks when you placed him there? I know some places give that sort of info. If not, Im betting it would not be that hard to put up a facebook or myspace page looking for such people! Maybe there are others just like you hoping to find you!

    Or...maybe one of us could be sneaky and call like we wanted to send our kid there and wanted names of people who had kids who graduated the program to make sure it was legit. LOL.