Trying to hold it together

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Our youngest son just left to return to his home after staying several days. I am so grateful for the time we had together, but it is so hard to see him go. He is planning on moving across the country in March, so it's doubly hard. Our oldest son, Josh, is alone today. We have decided not to try to contact him, anticipating only verbal abuse in response. I'm trying to hold it together emotionally. I'm "talking to myself", reminding myself that each of our sons are not little boys anymore but grown men with their own lives; that Josh has chosen to be bitter and angry and to estrange himself from his family despite all our attempts to reach out to him; that we must go on with our lives and live them to the fullest even in the midst of the sadness. I will stay as busy as I can today, not allowing my thoughts to dwell on the distance between us and both our sons, whether physical or emotional distance.

    Just needed to vent a moment. I do want to express appreciation for those of you who have responded to my posts this past year. I wish you peace and joy today, even as you grieve for your Difficult Child.
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  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Beta, While it must be hard to think of this physical distance with your son, it is good to know that he has a plan for his life journey. It’s a good reason for you and hubs to get away for a visit? My Rain is on the streets with her extremely violent boyfriend, Tornado is in jail, and unfortunately sounding the same. I have had two phone calls from her, both which did not end well. She still blames me for the everything, in between “ thanks for taking care of my kids” which I guess I will focus on that.
    I am sorry that Josh is bitter. It is hard when our kids throw their anger at us, I know for me, it sends me down memory lane wishing that I had done this or that differently. We can’t change the past or even begin to know what goes on in their minds. It is painful and I feel for all of us who have endured this harsh reality. Especially during holiday times when we envision the Norman Rockwell dinner.
    We shall just have to create our own fabulous imagery with what we have.
    Lots and lots of prayer.
    Focusing on the good in our lives.
    Start a new tradition.
    Walk, sing, paint, do a super power clean before the New Year. (Talking to myself here)
    Continue to build up our armor for the next fallout. It’s constant training our hearts and minds to live our lives fully, despite come what may with our waywards. There will be times when we falter, who wouldn’t? Forgive ourselves for that, then pick ourselves up and trudge onward, upward. I have come to look at this as a learning curve, what is life trying to teach me? That is the only way I have been able to survive the heartache of it. What do I need to do to overcome the sadness?
    You sound strong Beta and resolved to live your best life. You gave your sons your all in raising them. The rest is up to them to draw from their past and to create their own adult lives. It is their picture to paint. Their journey.
    We have our own to complete. I am praying for both of us, all of us to let go and let God.
    It is a blessed new day.
    God bless and Merry Christmas!
    New Leaf
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Beta: When I first read this sentence in New Leaf's post I thought she was referring to Josh!

    Do we have the plans, or are the plans of something else?

    The three of us, you, I and New Leaf are spiritually-minded people. Whatever are our differences, do we not believe that our souls journey towards wholeness and connection? Whatever the material separation between us and our beloveds do we not in our hearts know connection? Do we not on some level believe that the "plan for (our) life" is something beyond individual intention and making? Do we believe in our hearts that we know best or is it some other force?

    I think that these moments of deep pain and sorrow can be reminders or signals to drop down to the connection that each of us seeks. And has.

    I am not downplaying the real sorrow and fear and conflict with which each of us lives. I am in this place too, as you know.

    I guess what I am trying to say here is that without this sorrow I carry, I would not know you Beta, and you New Leaf. Without this place. This place of pain. And this place, here of connection. And I want to tell you how very grateful I am to be with you in my life, in this place.

    Love, Copa

    Merry Christmas.
  4. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    NewLeaf and Copa...thank you for your kind and caring words.
    The bottomline for me is that God is in control and He has allowed this trial in my life. He knew when He brought Josh to us that this day would come. At the time, I thought the sorrow of childlessness would be the end of sorrow and that we had our "happy ever after" ending. I was wrong, but I have resolved that I WILL trust my God to do what is good and right and to use this heartwrenching experience to bring about good. This is NOT good; but God in His wisdom and goodness can use it to bring good out of it. I have grown closer to Him through this; that is one "good" that has begun. I have met others like myself (you all) and I have been enriched and comforted by you all, and I believe my compassion for suffering people has grown (at least I hope so). Suffering can either make you bitter and angry or it can create a heart that is humble and soft. If I have to go through this, I at least don't want to waste the suffering; I want it to produce good, in me, and to bring good to others.

    Yes, I agree that our sons (all of us) have their lives and their journey to make. I remind myself of this when I think of our youngest son moving across the country. I will not be a stumbling block to his dreams; I want to be an encourager and supporter of him.

    I think part of my problem, if I'm being honest, is that I am still struggling with "empty nest syndrome" to some degree. I loved mothering and nurturing my boys, and now I can't really do that. I miss that aspect of my life, that "mothering/nurturing" part of my life. I have been looking around and praying that God will bring other people into my life that I can "mother" and care for, and I pray that this year I will have opportunities to do that.
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  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Beta, your post is brilliant. In every way I echo your words and try to replicate your experience.

    I think of every hardship as a lesson from God to teach me something that will help my soul evolve. I trust God. Like you I have gained greatly in my compassion for others who struggle. I have made amazing friends in Al Anon. I have grown in my heart...and become strong as well. I am no longer suffering for all those years that I did.

    I am honored to be affiliated with such wise, bright ladies. Blessings to all on the day of God's birth, if you are Christian. Much love and gratitude to all.
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  6. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    Hi Beta! I could identify with you when you said your son was bitter and angry and has estranged himself from your family. That's how I feel about my d.c daughter who hasn't spoken to me in 5 years . Of course, she lies to condone her behavior to others. But, like you said we must move on although it is very hard to do. It helps, though, knowing others are going through similar problems with their grown children and you are not alone. I do hope things improve for you and you receive the peace you deserve.
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    So glad you are pulling away from J right now. I cannot bear to hear how he talks to you. You do not deserve that.

    Take peace in knowing that YOU love him. That is all you can do right now.

    Agree with giving it to God.

    Our pastor said on Sunday that it may seem that we are praying and praying for things that aren't happening. We seem to always be "waiting". He said to not waste the "waiting" time either and know that God is at work in their lives and ours. I do believe that. Know that God is working in your son's life right now even though you cannot see it.

    Blessings for a better 2020.
  8. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Thank you all. I send my "Happy New Year" to each of you as we continue this journey we seem to have found ourselves on.

    I have just begun a book entitled, "When Love Hurts, 10 Principles to Transform Difficult Relationships" by Karla Downing. She is a Christian psychologist who has a YouTube channel with brief videos on different topics. Here's an excerpt from the first chapter:
    "It's not in the best interest of the other person to allow him or her to mistreat you. Philippians 2:4 says, 'Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.' You're responsible primarily for yourself. You must attend to your interests to do that. 'Love does no harm to its neighbor.' (Romans 13:10) You harm others when you enable them to do things that hurt themselves or others--including you. It's hurtful to your loved one if you financially support irresponsible and destructive behaviors, cover sin, or react in ways that are emotionally damaging. As there is a time for compassion and mercy, there is also a time for tough love. Tough love is love that makes it possible for you to allow your loved one to suffer in the hope that they will be saved. Tough love allows you to draw boundaries, to speak the truth in love, to say no, and to allow consequences. Tough love is not administered in anger but out of a deep understanding of the needs of the person and a concern for his or her long-term well-being.
    There are a few other comments I'd like to share that are helpful to me in choosing not to communicate with Josh right now, but I don't want to overwhelm you all with too much. I'll post more later.
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  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing this Beta, I wholeheartedly agree. Our not dealing with unacceptable behaviors, setting boundaries is a teachable moment for our wayward adult kids. Self respect is as important as respecting others.
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  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Wow Beta!!

    That is totally speaking to all of the mothers here. The living words are the truth.

    Thanks for posting!
  11. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you for saying what I feel.
    In gratitude and compassion for all who come here to share their bleeding hearts, and lend a healing hand.
  12. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I don't know what I would have done the past two years without this website and each of you. It's terrible knowing that there are others out there who are experiencing this nightmare, but pain shared lessens it's sharpness just a bit. Thank you all for sharing your lives with me and with others on this site. Again, I wish we were within close enough distance to physically gather with one another for this special "club" we find ourselves in.
  13. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Thank you for posting this, Beta. I’m struggling a little at the moment and this has helped me.