Update on my difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We returned from a 2 1/2 week road trip through the south on Wednesday evening and the first phone message I received driving home from the airport was from my daughter, her car is 'missing.' Sigh. Over the course of the road trip, I could feel myself letting go of the stresses my difficult child brings to me. When home I am pretty much aware of what she is up to and the drama her life entails. I didn't tell her we were leaving until the day we left. That day, she called me at work to tell me the list of stuff she couldn't pay for, car insurance, car registration, car repairs, she didn't get her food- stamps because she didn't fill out the paperwork on time, her roommate wants her out....................the usual................I was involved at work and said I would call her back, she is adept at simply listing her issues within 2 minutes of answering the phone so I already knew what was up. I never called her back.

    We left town and after about 5 days I could feel myself returning to a peaceful place. We had a wonderful time. My granddaughter spent time with my mother while we roamed around the south, the whole trip was a success. Then, as soon as we are driving home and I check my messages, the voice mail from my difficult child comes in. When we got back to the house, there were messages on the house phone, I didn't listen to them until the next day. Another message from her. I didn't call her back. She left me a message on Facebook too. I wrote "call the police and report your car stolen."

    I thought about all of this all day yesterday as I did laundry, opened up all the mail, handled all the "re-entry" stuff. I just didn't want to talk to her and listen to the long list of what isn't working because she has no money. After some thought, I wrote her an email and expressed my thoughts and feelings about my unwillingness to listen anymore when nothing changes, it is always the same, the results of her life are the results of her choices, and I am weary of listening, offering advice which is never taken, and I told her that all of the help I gave her last year simply prolonged the inevitable losses she is experiencing now. The stolen car is not a surprise to me. I told her I do not want to know anything about her life anymore.

    I sent the email and felt as if this was yet another step in my own acceptance..........it is another limit on what I am willing to do. Each step is another step back, more detachment, more acceptance................ I cried. I felt sad and angry. However, those feelings dissipated quickly, within 10 minutes I was out the door to go to the market and feeling okay. That is a big difference from a year ago where it would take me out for days.

    My contact with my difficult child is so limited now, I just don't want to see her or have contact with her. Geez, that sounds so weird, but it's the truth, she is a vortex of negative energy which sucks the life force out of me and everyone else because the focus of her life is on each crisis she herself initiates with her choices..................... and yet she cannot see that connection.

    With the car now gone, her roommate evicting her, no job, no money......she is running out of options and it feels to me like the bottom is quickly approaching. I believe she is likely going to end up in jail since now she cannot even sleep in her car once the housing situation comes to an end. Sigh. It was strange but I felt a pang of relief when I heard the car was stolen. That car is a continuing source of financial drain which she cannot afford anyway. Little by little over the last 4 years, she has lost everything and then, instead of reacting with vigor and initiative to change and grow, she simply adapts to the new low level and learns to live there.............I held out a lot of hope for a long time, however now I think that the safest place for her would be jail, where she would be off of the streets and perhaps get some help.

    I'm settling in to my own new level now, not knowing what she is up to. This feels like a necessary step and yet, like all the others, it feels strange and odd and I feel a little sad today. This process of letting go of our kids, no matter how old they are, is long and hard.................and emotional.................. I think what happens is that each day is more about me now, even my thoughts have shifted so that my difficult child is not the star of my thoughts, I am. When we were away, I didn't think of her much, just fleetingly, which I see as a healthy shift. The vacation and how I felt while away really prompted this transition, I felt free of her life while away and I want to continue that.

  2. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Recovering, you are not deserting your daughter. You are not turning away from her, and you are not turning her away.

    You are surviving what is.

    There are no clear answers; there is no known path.

    Someone changed all the rules. Nothing makes sense, anymore. There is so much pain.

    You noted that your daughter lost everything in the last four years. And that now, her car is gone, too. These comments made me think of my own daughter. Of how it looks like she intentionally destroyed everything.

    Twice. Three times, four times.

    The summer before last, she was here with her new fiancée. She and her children (whom he loved like his own) were living in a truly stunning new house. Both difficult child and the fiancée were math teachers. In his spare time? The fiancée was the Coach. Bright, attractive, successful people.

    Life was good, and getting better.


    Math teacher gone.

    Her choice.

    She wants to move home.

    But I don't think that was ever what she wanted.

    I think she came home so she could do what she is doing.

    In a period of months, she betrayed her own children. Willfully, and with seeming malice aforethought, she destroyed her professional life. Mandated into treatment, where everything was turning around for her...she left, and proceeded to burn every bridge still standing. Blew through $6000 in less than a month. (No seed money to start over with, now.) Totaled her car. Broken noses, black eyes, repeated episodes of brain swelling. Malnutrition, disease.... Choosing to live homeless, when she could come home anytime, or could live with a lady friend in the city where she is.

    difficult child tells me things she does not tell husband. Horrible, hurtful, dangerous things.


    Why do our daughters go out of their ways to be certain we know what is happening to them, Recovering?

    It's almost like difficult child takes pleasure in knowing that what is happening to her is destroying me.


    Why would your daughter create the situation she has created and then, create the multi-faceted "I need you, mom!" façade she created for you?

    So here's the question, Recovering.

    Not why are our daughters doing what they are doing, but why are they making sure we experience the same pain, the same sense of bewilderment and confusion?

    Whatever the reason, your daughter wanted you to feel as you do, today.


    Once we throw that question around a little, the question becomes whether anything we do could ever make a difference, given that our daughters seem determined to walk this path?

    Doesn't that choice our daughters are making mean that our priorities need to change? Think about coming fully awake in an instant at the sound of your infant's cry in the night. Think about being in the grocery store and feeling your milk let down when you heard the cry of any infant, not just your own.

    Right now, we are operating from those same, instinctual responses.

    I don't know that we can ever change those instinctual patterns.

    But we can change the questions we ask ourselves.

    You are raising your daughter's child.

    husband and I are helping our grandchildren, sending money and love and belief in the good in them.

    Those are right, good, and responsible things. But what is it we're supposed to do about our daughters?

    How IS it we are supposed to feel?

    Given that my misery hasn't changed a thing, not for me, not for difficult child, not for husband or the children or the ex-husbands...I see that misery isn't the answer.

    So I say we need to reach down, open up, and give ourselves permission to feel joy, again. Not just to feel it, but to seek it out, to wallow in it.

    Your daughter, like mine Recovering, IS CHOOSING TO DESTROY THE VERY THINGS THAT WOULD SAVE HER.

    I don't know why.

    All the rules have changed.

    But I do know that if we want to change our mindsets, we need to start by asking different questions.

    My question (for now, for today) is...what does joy look like?

    Which are the images that question calls?

    I think that might be the way to heal, Recovering.

    What does joy look like?

    What does happiness look like?

    What would my face look like if I were able to accept the path my too-loved daughter walks AND LIVE IN JOY, ANYWAY?

    What would that look like?

    And the answers to those questions will come.

    And we will be strong enough to know how to help our daughters, if that time ever comes. And if it doesn't? We will have lived our lives in strength and joy and thanksgiving.

    In this place where there is no path, where there is no right and wrong, where nothing works and nothing matters and there is only pain and bewilderment and more pain... maybe we need to carve our own path through this jungle, Recovering.

    Joy will be a good signpost to watch for, along the way.

    Ready for the movie analogy?


    African Queen.

    Remember Katherine Hepburn? Falling into a hellish, unimagined life? Staying true to who she was, and changing the world?

    Remember them, cutting the path through the swamp?

    Finding the ship?

    Preparing to be hung?

    And declaring their own names, standing by their own values and understandings of what mattered?

    I will have to watch that movie, again.

    Too bad you don't live closer, Recovering. It would be an amazing thing, to see that movie with you.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry she is giving you grief, but happy you have learned how to detach from it. I hope she gets the message and stops contacting you for every emergency.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you Barbara & MWM.

    I haven't seen the African Queen in decades, it would be a wonderful treat to see it with you Barbara..............

    I'm not sure my difficult child wants me to know the details of her life to punish me or that she takes any pleasure in it, I believe, in her perception of things and her misguided interpretation of relationships, I am really the only one left who listens with any kind of caring, and as one of my first therapists told me, "negative strokes are better then no strokes at all."

    I talked to a very wise woman this morning, a healer, who is helping to guide me through this maze of other peoples dramas. She told me to always shift from feeling sorry for my difficult child or anger or whatever feelings I am going through, to switch to love, to holding my daughter in "the light" in a positive place, that the energy of fear I often feel for her, or sadness helps no one, but the energy of love is very powerful and to hold my daughter in love. I believe that but can easily forget in the drama of the moment. I am going to practice doing that again now.

    You make very good points Barbara, thank you. It's a practice for me, to turn my attention on joy and peace and happiness and turn my attention away from my family, my family of mostly mentally ill folks whose realities drag you with them into their delusions. For most of my life I've had to separate myself from all of that, difficult and yet it's given me a lot of compassion and strength..............

    Asking why my daughter is the way she is keeps me stuck in trying to figure out something I will likely never figure out. That is part of taking my focus off of her and putting it on me. The question for me is how do I remain joyful and peaceful in spite of the misery those I love bring onto themselves? I know what joy looks like, I feel that quite often with my SO, my granddaughter, just living...........it's the snags along the way that hit me off guard and take me away to another's illusion, delusion, heartache or suffering, all of which I have no power to fix. Each time I am pulled into that, the time spent there is shorter and I learn another piece about myself which will help the next time......................I imagine until one time, it will simply be a momentary glitch, I will re calibrate and move quickly through it.

    It helps me to write it down, here or to a friend in an email. I can see it, it takes it out of my head and heart and it's easier to understand. I call it telling on myself, making sure there are no pockets of denial. I always ask my SO if there are any holes in my thinking..............as time has gone by, the holes have mostly closed up. It's the surprise hits, like the stolen car which brings up my empathy and then I get caught in feeling sorry for my difficult child and that leads to my wanting to help................you know the drill...................I know what to do now when I get pulled out of my own center, I know who to call, where to go, how to work through it.

    Barbara if your daughter is sharing things with you that makes your hair stand on end, you must stop that, you must tell her you cannot hear it. I had to do that with my difficult child. It takes awhile, but they learn. It's up to you to stop it, it's her life, she likely isn't even aware of how much that horrifies and hurts you. You have to put strong limits on her behavior with you, take a look at the parts that hurt you and limit as much as you can. With each step a long that path, you will feel a lot better. My difficult child is under strict orders to leave me for the most part out of the drama. Of course, it slips in now and again, but mostly I am blissfully unaware of most of it except the basic stuff. The car theft was a biggie, but today I am back to myself and feel neutral and detached. Thank God. I am so grateful that for the most part, probably 85 % I'd say, realistically, I stay in balance. I'm still working on that 15%. And, I have a lot of help to do it too!! A therapist, an acupuncturist, a healer, a massage therapist, friends, this board, books, I have completely given myself over to the support I need to get to a place of complete acceptance............that grace to surrender all of it to a higher power, to God, to the creative source, to love..............when I do that, everything works.........Letting go of the illusion of control that we humans have is an amazing feat, it goes against what we believe we can accomplish, "I'll never give up!!" The battle cry of most of us..............however, it just doesn't work that way, at least that is what I have come to understand............it's more about acceptance and surrendering to what is, to the truth, to the parts of life we just can't control, which is pretty much everything except our responses, our reactions. Sigh. It's a tough lesson for humans. But, this whole difficult saga with my daughter has taught me a lot about acceptance.................for me, that's the only way through it all and the only way to find peace...........
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    RE I feel your pain, I'm happy for you, having all of the support and using it. The hard part for me, in having an older difficult child, is accepting that this is what they are. I had always believed mine would out grow the Peter Pan Syndrome. My difficult child would be perfectly content to move back in with me and live here forever, of course that includes girlie and any other friends he wanted to help out, with me supporting everyone.

    When my 33yo difficult child decided to quit his job and go to college full time a little over a year ago he became angry when I wasn't all excited about it. I kept asking questions about finances, I knew he would expect me to provide money each month.

    Fate did step in, I found out he was conning me, and the eye glasses I had paid for that were broken two weeks later because he had stomped them in a temper tantrum, made me question what I 'perceived' as helping.

    Now that I have cut off all financial help he has really showed me exactly what he thinks of me. Mine has lost everything, what few belongings he did have were stolen when girlie and her mother sat them outside in the rain. Even after that, and the time she spent in jail for coming after him with a knife in a drunken rage , her relatives telling him she was going to kill him. HE'S BACK WITH HER!

    My son always told me that I didn't know when to give up. Well, I have finally learned that lesson. I still watch so many friends and relatives throw money at the problem, as I once did, hoping that one day our difficult children will finally live a life that we want them to live.

    I thank you for sharing your experiences, your training, you have helped me very much. I'm not at the point where I can honestly say I am not upset by his actions, but I am also a lot closer to peace than I was a year ago. I also now except the fact that my son is an alcoholic and substance abuser - that was hard for me.
  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thank you, Recovering.

    I am still very angry.

    You are right.

    I CAN choose to work with those negative feelings.

    I really liked what you said about the 85%, and about recognizing and working with the remaining negativities.

    I can see what that would look like.

    It's pretty far away...but I can see it.

    Maybe to hold myself in that loving light, too. So much guilt and uncertainty and resentment....

    Forgiveness is a difficult thing.

  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning Barbara, I am in my morning drill getting ready to go to work, but I just read your post and thought of something a workshop facilitator once shared with me that made a lot of sense.........."what you focus on expands"............think about it, it's true. If you are focusing on laughter or joy or abundance or positive things, that expands. If we focus on fear, worry, dread, anger, all the 'stuff' our difficult child's bring to us, that expands too.

    So, when I get caught in one of those grooves of negative thinking, I have to use my strength and push myself into a different focus...............perception is everything.............what we perceive is our reality in that moment..............and with trauma, the brain actually creates a new pathway, FEAR, and it gets so deep and ingrained, the neurotransmitters simply get stuck in that ditch,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we have to create new pathways.............PTSD is that ditch, fight or flight............you can create new pathways with new thoughts by shifting out of what you are focusing on all the time.............it takes diligence because our minds go back to those thoughts so often, but it does work to keep changing our focus.

    Definitely hold yourself in that light of love too, we deserve that as much as our difficult child's do..............HUGS to you my friend..........
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Thank you recovering for a wonderful post response. It is very true about getting stuck in negativity and fear.
  9. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    This is such a painful thread to read-so full of bittersweet thoughts.

    Why are we given this burden? Why do we have to change our whole mindset and belief system? In a way that dictates we must separate from our own children and sever the parental and familial bond that is inherent in all humans?

    We have to learn to be so hard and to face horrible truths.

    Right now, for me at the beginning of the detachment process, it is just too hard to bear. I don't know how to handle what will surely come to me, as I know my son will make dangerous choices.

    My heart and respect and admiration goes out to all of us who are forced to go through this process.

    Love and support to you all. I only hope I can get to the same point someday. Or at least to a point where this **** doesn't HURT so much.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Blackgnat, I hear you when you ask the questions of why? I understand the anger and the feeling of being ripped off of a "normal" relationship with our children...sigh........most of us probably feel much of that, or have. It's been mentioned here a number of times, but it does bear repeating, this process of detachment and acceptance is very, very similar, if not the same, as the grief process. The grief process, as put together by Elizabeth Kubler Ross puts grief into 5 stages. They are not necessarily linear, although they can be, however, the stages are very real and I think it's a good model. The first stage is denial, followed by anger, then bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.

    No one chooses to be here, but we are here, so the journey for me has been to learn that acceptance. It's fleeting at times, it comes and goes, however, I've noticed that lately I am in a pretty good place a good amount of the time, the horrors I went through previously with my difficult child are thankfully, in the past. I wouldn't call it "learning to be so hard" that was not my reality, I had to learn to set boundaries against bad behavior and learn to make sure I am safe and free from stuff I didn't create and can't control, it didn't make me hard, it made me stronger, freer and much better at taking care of me. Oddly, what I learned about myself was healthy and ended up being important for my own healing and well being.

    My daughter makes dangerous, bad choices too. I understand your anguish. The very best thing you can do is nurture yourself, take care of you, get as much support as you can, read books, join groups, get into therapy, keep posting here, go to 12 step meetings.........do it all, it takes a VILLAGE for us to change this...............but you can do it Blackgnat, you can, you can actually get beyond all the struggles, all the suffering and find new meaning in life, you can find peace, you can find joy, there is life after our kids mess up their lives. ..............hugs............
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I have been so frustratingly, blindingly angry at difficult child lately. Of course, that alternates with kicking myself around. Or the ever-popular taking it out on husband.


    I so needed to be reminded of the stages of grief. Sometimes, I feel so stuck. Maybe what it is is that, as I begin moving on, leaving difficult child behind or really feeling the anger I've repressed, I feel more guilt.

    Not to make your post all about me (again!) Recovering. But you do have a way of wording things which so exactly describes what I am trying to figure out.

    I feel like a conqueror, making my way across the field of battle.

    How does that old saying go?

    For this respite, much thanks
    For 'tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart.

    Something like that.

    I'm such a drama queen!

    But it feels so good to have been reminded that we ARE going through a process, a hard one. Thinking it is always going to feel like this could do a person in.
    It's important to remember, Recovering, just as you said, that perception is key ~ and that the way we perceive a thing is one of the few things we actually have any say in, at all.

    And that what we concentrate on expands.

    I really liked that.

  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Barbara, I recall my rage at my difficult child, her actions, her choices, what she brought to my table............now I think that anger was very healthy, (although quite difficult to go through) it enabled me to blow out all that "stuff" I had been harboring underneath my guilt and my resentments and my sadness and my fear. I talked about that anger a lot in my group with other parents. I listened to their angers. It was very healing and cathartic. I found that my willingness to feel that anger made it dissipate more quickly, so express it as much as you can (perhaps not onto husband!!----I took long walks and stomped my feet a lot!)

    Once the bulk of that anger was felt and dissipated, then the sorrow kicked in, the losses, what I would never have, what my child lost. Sigh. It is very hard, you are not a drama queen, these feelings would knock the strongest among us right off their feet, you are a mother who has had to face the unthinkable and then learn to accept it. Good lord, what a journey. It's why I always, always tell people to get help, to get support, to seek out therapy, groups, whatever, because the intensity of these emotions can really damage us if we are not aware that it is a process and that we can overcome it with help.

    Sometimes I marvel that I am still intact, that those devastating emotions did not kill me. But, geez, I survived. I am thriving. I am okay. How we humans can adapt and find grace in the most difficult circumstances is remarkable. Think of those who survived in concentration camps, how some of them walked away with something inside of them that separated them from their circumstances and filled them with grace. I don't know how we do it, but we survive somehow........

    Many years ago I read a book called Man's search for meaning, by Viktor Frankl, who was in a concentration camp and his family was killed. While in the camp he observed the varied and devastating responses those interned had and out of it he developed a form of therapy Logotherapy, about finding meaning in suffering. If you get a chance, you might find it interesting.

    I am just now reading a book called The Untethered soul by Michael Singer, so far I am enjoying it, it makes sense. Food for thought for you anyway, if you choose to go that route.

    Sending you warm and caring thoughts....................big hugs too.............
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Frankl resonated with me too, Recovering. Elie Wiesel, also. There is something in the writings of both these men that describes what it means to lose a living child, though they are writing about other things, entirely. "Sacred horror" is how Elie Wiesel describes what it was to go through what happened to him. That fits, for me. I am horrified, fascinated, aghast; can't look away, can't look straight at it. I will get the Singer book. Thank you, Recovering. I have Brene Brown coming. Her observation is that choosing vulnerability, choosing to be open to our feelings and our failures, is the way to healing.

    I think it is Frankl who describes sitting in a velvet-upholstered chair in an auditorium after his release. Whatever honor he was receiving, whoever he looked like to the outside world...all Frankl was able to know is that sense of dissonance that comes when internal and external understandings of reality are so impossibly different. That sense of dissonance left him feeling like a performer, an observer in his own life.

    I feel like that, sometimes.

    It's always such a shock to be confronted with difficult child's real life.

    I do hold her in God's light now, Recovering. It was very good for me to learn to do that.

  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Wow, I'm sorry that I didn't start reading this thread earlier. The "Update on difficult child" title totally snowed me. ;) I thought it was a general update on GFGishness rather than such a poignant self-reflection upon the entirety of it all. I sat here and read every word, and want to start by saying "thank you" to you all, and especially Barbara & RE for sharing your thoughts and processes through this journey.

    When I read and write about us and our long-ago children I feel so many emotions. Hope. Grief. Anger. Fear. Guilt. Weariness.

    I am going from here to the Library's page to find the books by Frankl and Wiesel. From the time L was 5 until she was 14 I had a therapist who lost many family members in the Holocaust, and whose own parents had escaped Europe by the skin of their teeth. She told me that my history with L and her dad and stepmom were textbook right up to the point that they didn't exterminate me. Does that even make sense? I mean, I understand it, but so much of what we say about these things sound like we are absolutely insane. I'm not sure that I even know how to express it to someone who isn't "in the know" anymore. In any case, of course she was talking about PTSD. I know that Frankl and Wiesel can set an example for me of finding joy. How selfish I am that I have husband and my dogs and a nice home and new friends, and I spend my time lingering on something that is in the past and far away. I must learn to enjoy my life.

    One more week until I see the therapist. One more week until I begin to find a way to pack all of the anger and hurt and grief away to a more appropriate place in my life. It shouldn't be up front. I know it will always be there, but it doesn't have to be something I think of multiple times every day and dream of throughout the night. It's over a year ago I walked away from it all. It's 2,500 miles away. I'm so ready. Everyone needs to keep good thoughts for me that I can find some work here, too. I have FAR TOO MUCH time on my hands.

    I'm so proud of both of you for finding a way to leave your difficult child's drama behind you. RE, I know that this may not be possible, or even something you would consider, but is it possible that a move would make your home more your own? Not like me, so far away. But is it time to move to a different home? I lived so much hurt in my other homes, this one does not have that history. I don't think I could ever go back to those other homes. Just a thought.

    Sorry for rambling. I self edited so much of what I have written. I just want you to know that I am proud of you and I understand.

    PS - I did a search for the books mentioned here, and they are not available at any of our local libraries. I did pull out my copy of Miguel Ruiz' "Four Agreements". It should hold me over until my appointment, I hope.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witz, Man's search for meaning by Frankl and Night by Wiesel can be found used on Amazon if you're interested.

    You aren't selfish, you're hurt. You aren't lingering in the past, you are trying to heal from the hurt. When our hearts are so wounded, they need special care to become whole once again.

    Yes, your therapist making a comparison between you and concentration camp victims makes sense to me. It has sounded to me as if you were tormented, abused, lied to, manipulated, deeply harmed and broken...........at the hands of those who should have been taking care of you and loving you. I believe your pain needs to be acknowledged and "gotten" ........deeply heard by someone so you can begin to let it go. And, you certainly seem determined to make that happen, which is a necessary step.

    I am holding many good thoughts for you as you travel down this new path of healing.

    Thank you for the ideas about moving, my present home doesn't hold any negative memories. My daughter has spent little time here, we've only been here for 6 years and my granddaughter loves it here, so close to her school and friends. We do have plans to perhaps move when we retire, although that has more to do with moving towards something then away from something.

    Over many years I've read a lot about what happened during the war to those interned in concentration camps and I was always truly amazed and inspired by those who came through that horror without hate in their hearts, revenge on their minds and an extreme rage which would not be extinguished.................and then there were those who turned the experience into grace and their lives transformed us.

    Barbara, I have watched Brene Brown's video's many times, I believe what she is teaching to be the truth, vulnerability and an open heart are the tools of healing, perhaps the opposite of what we might have thought initially.

    We are all suffering in our personal tragedies, however, once we walk on that razor's edge of healing our broken hearts, I believe we emerge out of all of it, certainly changed from it, but with a deep knowledge and understanding of how much is out of our control.........control can kill life and by giving it up, I believe we gain life, peace, a "lightness of being." Does that make sense? I am still walking through all of this, but I do feel so much better then I did, all the struggles with my daughter ended up giving me these interesting "opportunities for growth." Perhaps being able to integrate the light and the dark within us and within life is what makes us whole.