Turns out it was a plugged gall-bladder and a stone. Values are improving.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scent of Cedar *, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    difficult child saw the doctor today. All values from the last labs are better. She had an MRI, and is to learn this afternoon whether this might have been a gallstone plugging everything up over the course of time and causing the symptoms / blood values. I am not sure, but passing that stone (or trying to pass it?) through the bile duct may have been responsible for the pain difficult child experienced last week. She will be talking to the person who interpreted her MRI this afternoon, and he will be able to give us a definitive answer.

    All values ~ kidney, liver, electrolytes, oxygen levels ~ better than the first test. She is still sick, her values are still way out of whack ~ but they are improving.

    The experience, the certainty that we were going to lose her, has taught me another thing about detachment. I remember a male posting here about not judging our kids for who they are. Facing what might be happening to difficult child found me ferreting out those last judgments I was holding against her. I learned there is a huge difference between seeing clearly and harboring judgments and resentments and seeing clearly without attaching to it ~ without writing a storyline to justify either condemnation or pity. One of us is always posting that what we support, we will get more of. I think that would be the only judgment call we have a right to make: This is a good thing, a healthy thing. I will support it. This is not a healthy thing. I will not support it.

    I will detach.

    It's hard to do that selectively, when the kids lie like they do.

    Holding faith with ourselves, with the good things we put into our children while we raised them ~ we parents need to remember the truth about how our children grew up. We need never to buy into drug or alcohol induced pseudo-memories because, while they are ill our kids don't know themselves what happened, why they are who they are, why they do what they do. They are addicted; they will compromise themselves at every level to get that thing they need. It was so strange that I should have talked to someone who had recently learned from a counselor that reformed addicts are ashamed and regretful at how they have treated their families, and at who they have become, themselves. Kids who are still using, or who are going back that way, do the same kind of blaming and justifying in their own causes that we parents do, in ours.

    As MWM's 36 does, though he is not addicted. As Strength's 32 does, as my difficult child son does. I think they may believe what they believe about us. But that is the illness speaking.

    We do need to realize that these behaviors are sypmtoms of the illness, whatever the scientists and doctors finally name it.

    There is something not right with our difficult child kids. We have known that all their lives, if we really let ourselves begin looking through their infancies, through their childhoods, with that in mind.

    We really do need to let all that self condemnation go. If the time should come when your difficult child is in imminent danger, those will be the things you regret. Not what the difficult child did, because they truly did choose those things against our will, and we probably don't know the half of it. It was like, all at once, I could see the waste of years and months and days spent condemning myself, spent blaming and second-guessing myself, making it all about myself. I was so happy I had let go and laughed with difficult child daughter over those past conversations, before we thought everything had changed.

    Let all that go.

    Condemning myself or the kids never changed a thing, except to create a vulnerability in me which one difficult child or another used to service his or her illness. In a way, other than that it is so hurtful, there is nothing personal in what our difficult child kids do to us. We are dealing with a thus far misunderstood illness. Maybe people are right about vaccines or mercury in the environment or some other something we just don't know enough about to treat correctly yet.

    But it wasn't anything we did or did not do as parents, as mothers (or fathers).

    There is something physically wrong with our difficult child kids. Maybe it's genetic, maybe environmental. One day, we will know what it was. Until then, the only thing we can do, the only hope any of us has, is to detach, is to stop enabling, to stop helping. Does anyone remember when autism and homosexuality was blamed on the mother's poor mothering? When PMS did not officially exist? When women were believed to have a tendency toward hysteria which could be cured by hysterectomy?

    When no one understood that the killing fevers new mothers were developing were being spread by doctors too arrogant to wash their hands between patients?

    This will turn out to be the same thing, I think.

    The day will come when this is all figured out. There will be help for kids like ours. In the meantime, we need to refuse to waste our energy blaming ourselves, because that isn't going to help the kids. Turning away, not investing in the bad things, the bad behaviors, and not feeling bad about that, not allowing that to destroy us...that is what will help the kids.

    A clear light, a way home, a place to come back to and a person to be ~ that is what will help the kids.

    I still believe detaching is a right thing, and is probably the only way to survive what life devolves into when we love a difficult child child. It truly does come down to not supporting the harmful things they do. Each of us must try to remember that, were our difficult child kids to turn themselves around ~ or even, if our difficult children were making a sincere try at it ~ we would be right there, supporting and celebrating them. But here is the truth about that one: If the kids were doing well? They wouldn't need a thing from us but love and respect.

    We are all in such hard places with our kids' paths, with their betrayals and downright meanness.

    But I don't know what to say, about that.

    I am grateful to have had you all to meet whatever this turned out to be with me.

    It makes all the difference in the world not to be alone with it, not to have to pretty it up or pretend to be better than we are.

    Thanks, guys.


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  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Well that is pretty great, and it is one of my very favorite operations, too...send her my way!

    In all seriousness, your insights are invaluable. Being offered clarity like that without cost (no death sentence involved) is priceless. I hope she got some of the same gain from being very ill.

  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cedar, I am so glad, sooooooooooooo glad, your daughter is better. What a relief!!! I think we all feel that with you.

    You are so wise. You say such smart things. Of course our kids skew reality and threaten us and bring up stuff that never happened because of drug use or because their minds don't work right. And when it comes to non-drug users whose minds don't work right, but who are clearly not psychotic, it is so puzzling...we just don't know a whole lot about the brain yet. Still...as you said, it is IMPOSSIBLE to live with the abuse, disrespect and sometimes danger of these thought-skewed adults. We can't. Until somebody can cure them, or the majority of them go for help with the real desire to learn how to untwist their thinking, then we have to detach. It is possible to have a relationship with a thought=-skewed adult child (like 36) and just not take what he says personally or seriously.

    I have taken years to get to that level where he can insult me and I can just get off the phone and forget what we talked about, moving on to another part of my life, certain that he is spewing nonsense. If I couldn't do that, I couldn't talk to him at all because he can not seem to stop himself from being stinging, mean, hurtful. Or CAN he control it? At this point, it doesn't matter to me because I am choosing to basically put it on disregard. I feel bad for him, in fact, that he is his father's least favorite (in spite of the monetary help he has given him) and that his siblings can't stand him and that he has no idea how to make friends and has no friends at all, which is why he always calls me.

    Anyhow....happy that things are better.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    that is the sad part. Or at least one of the sad parts. CAuse difficult children are kind of unlikeable. My friends used to ask me "what are you going to do about (ex husband difficult child's dad's) overt favoritism for the younger boys?"
    cause I can control everything, right?
    but it is true...no one in the family really liked him. They tolerated him to greater or lesser extents. No one lit up when he came home or came in a room. Not as a kid, and not to this day. It is very sad.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Whew. What a huge relief. I don't think I knew I was holding my breath!!

    Oh Cedar, you must be so relieved. When you and husband meet for your happy hour, please, have a Manhattan for me. I don't drink anymore because as it turns out I am allergic to alcohol, but PLEASE, have a cocktail for me!

    Life is funny sometimes, you got thrown a real curve ball and you had to face the ultimate fear all of us try not to really look at too much, what will we do if they DIE???? Well, you got a good hard look at that and you learned some very valuable things. There is something inside that lets go I think when we face that piece, awful as it is, but our holding on so tightly to our avoidance of it is almost worse then just facing it. As you said yesterday about forgiveness, it takes so much energy to hold on to our hostility and anger and when we let it go, it is such a release and a relief. And, now you just let go of another huge piece of fear...........and you get to decide that before anything dire occurs, you can let go of your judgments of your kids and yourself. You can do that right now. You don't have to wait for anything. Then what walks in the door?.......compassion. Remarkable growth Cedar, just remarkable. Life is giving you many gifts to learn and grow. As Pema mentions repeatedly, we can use all of it as a means to become awake. And, man, you are awakening in leaps and bounds. What did you say about me? At the speed of light? Well, I would venture to say that is true about you too.

    You know, at our age, we are so aware of not only the preciousness of life, but the futility of the "stuff" we place in our paths to keep us stuck or unhappy or ruminating, or whatever negative thing is right there.............there aren't decades and decades of time for us to "get it," so our intention to change, to grow, to heal is absolute, it is huge, it is very, very important. And, look at all the growth that's taken place for us older parents here on the PE board. We are not fooling around, we are serious, we are getting the job done! And, we are all old enough to be able to hear what another is doing and say, YES, I can do that, and throw over the old concept and bring in the new one. I am just not willing to argue for my own limitations anymore. I have no time for that!

    You've had lot going on Cedar, I hope you get to relax and enjoy your evening. I hope tomorrow's sunrise is a spectacular one. I hope you and husband are seeing the freedom you've just brought to yourselves. You've faced the worst possible outcome and you were/are both okay. Nothing can scare you like that again, you already faced it. We don't have to keep doing it and doing it, you did it!
  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I will add my relief too. We LOVE our kids. That has always been the bottom line for all of us on this board. I think that is why we are here, to learn to love them in a way that does not destroy them or us.
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  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    That is such great news!
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You know, Recovering, I have been wondering about that too. I think part of this for me has happened because I am aging. I am invisible now. Literally invisible. There is a time in a young woman's life when nothing she does goes unnoticed, a time when all she needs to do is show up. That time is so gone for me it isn't even funny. I am a little more used to it, now? But there was a time I felt literally invisible because what usually happened was no longer happening. (Oh, wait ~ I still cut quite a swath with the over eighty crowd. They fall at my feet, Recovering! husband says: "Coronary issues, probably.")


    Part of invisible is that I was thrown back onto my own resources, my own interpretations of who I was and what mattered, and how and why.

    I used that power instead of developing my own. But when we fly on reflected power, we cannot explore the things that matter, to us. We must find and nurture our own energy, our own powers of flight, to do that.

    Add to that the strange magic of this site, where none of us can see one another, where age, or race, socioeconomic status or weight just don't matter ~ and the wonder of what we have created here out of generosity and love and anger and pain for ourselves and for one another....

    I was thinking about this the other day. About how women go into nunneries to retire from the world and think. That always appealed to me. I think about becoming an oblate sister in the order of Benedictines where I went to school, should that opportunity arise, for me. The sisters there were so otherworldly calm, so accepting and perceptive, Recovering. But they were so sharply aware. They loved to laugh, to play, to ride that edge Brene Brown writes about with such confidence, Recovering.

    It was an amazing thing to see, an amazing place to be. I am so happy I was there.

    I imagine sitting with Pema Chodron would be like sitting with those sisters, in a way.

    Just a whole different level of concern.

    I forgot where I was going with this.

    I enjoyed your post, though.


  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    That is so great Cedar! I am hopeful for her.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar, I laughed out loud about husband's comment about coronary issues. It's good to laugh about it all. I actually adhere to a statement I heard Johnny Carson say one time.........."old age is ALWAYS 10 years older then you presently are." So, I always have those 10 years!

    I understand the invisible thing Cedar, I get that. I work where there are mostly older folks (older then us) and I see that invisibility every day, with women and with men. Our culture doesn't honor aging as other cultures do.

    This aging thing has losses in it that one doesn't even know until you are right in the thick of it. I remember a moment about 10 years ago when I was riding in the car and realized I had not listened to any music in the car for a long time. It seemed that just the day before I was rockin' out to Pink Floyd or Clapton and there I was tooling along in the quiet of my car. When I mentioned it to a friend, he said, "Yeah, we've gotten to an age where quiet is the new loud." Well, I didn't want to be at that age, I wanted to be standing in line all night at a theater in New York City waiting to see the Rolling Stones (yikes I did that about 45 years ago!!)

    The funny thing is that around the same time I went to a concert at a small venue in San Francisco and we got there really early so we could sit down because they literally only had about 6 seats, you stood up during the concert. We were in the balcony and throughout the entire time, the "younger" set was standing up, clapping, having so much fun and truthfully, I was sitting there wishing I were someplace quiet where I could find a comfortable seat. That's the night I realized my concert days were over and it was dinner theater for me. Sigh.

    I think I had a bit of a different experience with power Cedar. I've not been in a long term relationship as you have, I've been on my own a lot, out in the world fighting dragons with my own weapons, so I may have a different perspective about that. I've learned a lot about power out here in the real world and how to interact and stand my ground with the powers that be.

    Interesting comments Cedar. I always enjoy your take on things. Thank you.
  11. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Cedar, please keep the updates coming. Like everybody else, I am so happy with the latest encouraging news! Whew, that was scary for a time----
  12. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Cedar, I have been so busy dealing with getting my difficult child moved temporarily, looking for apartment, looking for a job, etc. after the suicide attempt/apartment move-out, that I had not read about your difficult child. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Three weeks ago today, I also went through the agonizing situation of maybe losing my child. You are so correct -it is important to see it clearly, but not to wallow in it.

    It reminds me of a Monet painting -if you are too close to it, everything is blurred and you can't tell what's what. If you back away, things begin to fall in place and make sense.
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love this imagery.

  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How is your daughter Cedar? How are you and husband holding up?

    Thinking of all of you and sending good thoughts.....
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh! Thank you, Recovering.

    We don't talk so much about that, anymore. She is here (on Earth, I mean), and I am glad. Still tired, but that's okay. Things have turned around. She sent pictures of herself and two best friends playing in the snow. Lifelong friends, everybody addicted at one time or another, each of them saving the other or shooting right down that rabbit hole together. One of them, released from prison and homeless just before difficult child daughter went down the rabbit hole, moved in with difficult child, when we went South two years ago. They lived together until difficult child was evicted. (All the friends are women. difficult child has a tattoo of birds breaking away. The tattoo represents the three women.)

    I see difficult child differently, now. I see the laughter in her eyes, not that she is wearing clothing from the free clothing center and running around with "those people".

    I imagine all the old, judgmental things will come back. For now, all that is gone.

    Life is good.

    husband seems to be turning into someone I don't even recognize. We had a huge thing last night over my mother and whether I ate too many of his strawberry shortcakes.

    I kid you not.

    At one point, husband threw what remained of the strawberry shortcakes in question into the trash. Then? He took the whole kitchen trash container into the big garbage can outside.

    That was like, the highlight of the evening.

    This morning? He was all big smiles, all "Oh, let's not do this."

    Then? He went out and rescued our kitchen wastebasket from the trash.

    What to hay.

    It was kind of fun, in a way.


    I don't know how entertaining the neighbors found it.

  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am VERY glad that your daughter is okay now.

    Your post made me smile Cedar. I thought to myself, 'well, Cedar is not judging herself so harshly now so she can see her daughter differently without that judgement............. with that new found compassion for herself, she can have compassion for her daughter's lifestyle choices. And, Cedar now has boundaries to protect herself and husband has to learn a whole new landscape to catch up with her changes.' I think his response is priceless................ and normal too. He has to figure out a new way to be with his new Cedar.

    Well, fasten your seat belts guys, it may be a little bumpy for awhile.

    We humans will find oddball things to express our angers about rather then be direct about it all.............sounds like the shortcakes did the trick!

    I see the changes mostly in my granddaughter's response to me over the last few months. Last night my SO's youngest son came for dinner and my granddaughter was telling him stories of how angry I have gotten at her. She was saying it so that the stories were funny and we all laughed, but I know the real history and as I was changing and setting boundaries and saying no and telling her she had to figure it out for herself, she wasn't at all pleased. It was rough going for a little while but she adapted. It was WAY easier then with my daughter, yikes.

    What is so wonderful is that as I become more REAL and speak my truth and express myself, what happens is intimacy grows, there's more fun, it's all light and airy and filled with space...........the resentments are gone so gratitude can move in................compassion for oneself, love for oneself emerges and everything looks a lot better all around. I feel more loved and more loving.

    Yup, life is good.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Recovering, thank you so much.

    You are exactly right about the underlying dynamic, I think. As there is more of me here, that part wants expression, wants to feel too...and sees oh, so clearly. Where before there was doubt or, worse, certainty that I had been insufficient, that I had to seek solutions, to find the place where I went wrong and fix it, now there is...I don't know how to describe it. A separateness, a bright watcher; requiring that I demand to see until I do see, this newness entices me to go further than where I believed the boundaries to the land of myself were.


    This brightness seems to stay with me, faltering sometimes, but always coming back. I imagine it to be the sure and certain sense of self.

    Such a thing would make those who feel it very strong, I would think.

    I am happy to feel this, now. This new beginning.

    I am going to try to post something for you, and for all of us here.

    Before I do that, I found this quote about love, this morning:

    "Love can be enacted but never earned. Respect and affection might be earned; love, like forgiveness, can be sought, but ultimately it is offered as an overflow of the heart."

    Rabbi Wolpe