Warrior moms how do you not let your difficult child consume you?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by StressedM0mma, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I need your help. Right now I have let mt difficult child and all of her problems consume my life. I realize that I let it in, but I do not know how to let go of it. I am seeing a therapist again on Friday, but would like some advice from the "front lines". How do I take a giant step back from all of this.? I am in a constant state of worry. Even when she is not home. I hate living like this, but I am at a loss as to how I can reclaim myself. I have gotten so bad that I do not like to be away from my house for too long. I think I am just worn out emotionally. I do not know how some of you do this. . At this point I just want my mom. A 41 year old woman wants her mommy. I just know that I can not continue like I am. Please any advice.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    It's so not easy!!! I know. I still worry, though not nearly as much as before... because I know she's not doing drugs/sleeping around/breaking laws/hurting anyone. Right now.

    What I had to do was temporarily become selfish. Think only of myself. There was a point where I would leave for work 30 minutes before I had to, and invent reasons not to go straight home. But... Then I couldn't leave for any length of time, because what might happen to my pets/stuff while I was gone?! When husband was not home I slept with the dog, the bedroom door locked, and a motion sensor at head-height just inside the bedroom door and prayed she wouldn't set the upstairs on fire. I tried never to be alone in a room with her. Car was OK, she didn't want to be hurt if I wrecked, in public was OK, witnesses. Never alone. When she was home I worried about what she'd do, when she was gone I worried about what she was doing. I barely slept listening for her sneaking out...

    So - when I heard her sneak out, I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. If I couldn't, I'd go lock the front door... I started turning a radio on a timer on low at night so I couldn't hear. I took showers first and used ALL the hot water (her or me, and I paid the bill...)

    I let husband deal with it. If she started to get upset and I was the target, I walked away or spoke in a monotone - "If that's what you think is best" "If that's your decision" "There are others in this house, and you're not the center of the universe"... And I let husband handle more and more.

    Where Jett was concerned, I was slightly more involved - but he suffered, too. I had to back off from all conflict - my normally almost-dead blood pressure was actually high and I was having panic attacks regularly (and for no reason, sometimes). husband and I fought a LOT. I just could not go on like that.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    For me, this is where faith comes in.

    I am not an uber-religious person, but I am a faithful person. When the times got really rough, I just had to tell myself that I can get through this, it will get better. Soemtimes I didn't truly beleive it, but I pretended to. It allowed me, at some level, to let go of the outcome. I have done all I can do, the rest is up to difficult child and whatever higher power there may be.

    Someone wise once asked me....remember back a year ago...what was your biggest worry on this date 1 year ago? 2 years? 3 years? 5 years? Sometimes, we CAN remember what thos giant worries were. Most times, those worries past and were replaced by new ones. My faith in that process helps me hang on when it feels like the world is crumbling around me. I just try to remember that a year from now, something else entirely different will be consuming my life, so just grab on tight and ride it out.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thinking back...
    2 things I did when I was in the midst of it all...
    1) I ALWAYS kept something on the calendar to look forward to. A camping trip, a dinner out with friends, a ride....SOMETHING I wanted to do was always planned, and if I had to, I could focus on that. I could always tell myself relief was coming, if only for one night.
    and 2) I made myself go to those things. If someone had a tupperware party, as much as I dislike tupperware parties, I do enjoy getting out and socializing, so I would force myself to go. When I got there, if I still wasn't feeling it, I made myself fake having fun for a set time (usually 15 or 20 minutes). If at the end of that time, I still wasn't truly enjoying it, I allwoed myself to leave. More times than not, the faking enjoyment lead to real enjoyment and I stayed.
  5. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Thanks Step and Shari. I am a stay at home mom so I think that is a big part of the problem. I do not have a place that I HAVE to go to each day. I would like to get a job, but at this point I am not ready. I also foster dogs for an animal rescue, but I have not brought a new one in due to all of the disorder. I didn't feel it would be fair to the dog. (difficult child loves animals and would never harm our pets or fosters) I just figured the foster has enough issues to begon with, I didn't want to add difficult child's tantrums in on top of it.
    husband said something similar Step. He told me that I need to find something for just ME. That I need something that I love in order to get better. I am trying to find that. Part of the problem is/was that I love(d) being a mom. I guess it is time for me to move on. I try to force myself out of the house everyday. Even if it is for just a little while. Tonight difficult child has riding lessons, and I will sit there while she is riding. I will be freezing, but I figure the cold air will be good for me.
    husband and easy child leave a week from today for her auditions. My mom is coming up then so I will not be alone with difficult child. I am looking forward to that. For some reason she knows just what to do. She will make me leave the house and do things, and eat. Thanks. I pray for strength everyday. If you have any other words of wisdom please pass them on.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am going out to lunch with my mom (funny you said you want your mommy... I felt that and here we go...) so I wanted you to know I do hear you. I will come back later to chat. In the mean time... I really do make an effort to do things if even once a week...and that includes small things like I rented an online movie (the last harry potter, not what you think!)

    You are in crisis right now...so it IS more intense. I went thru that too and it felt like forever, not being able to eat, was this the new norm etc.... but take it one step at a time. make ONE phone call then do something for YOU.
  7. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Thanks Buddy. I appreciate it. It does just seem as if the crisis will never end. I know in my head that this cannot last forever, it just seems like it. It is so hard when you feel like this is going to be your new norm forever now.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I hear you, SM. I'm a substitute teacher, so I don't have to work every day, but I don't have work friends to hang out with. I don't have good friends at church, and when Miss KT is stressed or upset, she calls and talks. And talks. I'm still supposed to fix everything for her, but with her being in the next state it's easier to detach. Kind of.

  9. Petunia

    Petunia New Member

    I am new to this forum, so I haven't really posted much in the way of advice because I don't feel adequate (and I don't think I meet the definition of warrior mom, I'm not sure). But your post really struck a chord with me, and I wanted to offer my support. I remember VIVIDLY the many times I have felt exactly the way you describe--consumed. Fully consumed by the drama, chaos, unrelenting anxiety, the feeling that a dark cloud was just over my shoulder and if I turned around too quickly it would "get" me. I, too, wanted my mommy. In fact, one day I drove to her house and laid my head in her lap and just cried. I'm so glad my mom is still here for me (although she somewhat meets the definition of difficult child as another thread discusses). I so miss my mother-in-law because she was the strongest woman I ever met and I always think if only she were here she'd know just what to do...the secret that I am missing. Even discussing my feelings with my husband was not enough because he'd always say, "Why worry about it? What are you going to solve by worrying?" Oh, that's helpful. Then there are the friends who offer the advice, "Let go and let God". Let God what? Set the curfew and enforce it? Protect the rest of us from the rages? Try to enforce the rules of the house? What? (I believe in Let Go and Let God, but I think it's hard to apply when your child is a minor). So it really just makes you feel so alone and helpless because NO ONE who hasn't lived through it can ever understand what you are feeling. This board is AWESOME! These people KNOW! I wish I had found this place years ago.
    So, here is my advice (I don't know all of your situation, so some of it may be irrelevant):
    1. You must (repeat, must) take care of yourself. You. First. Enlist husband to help (can he take the phone calls from school for a while? Can he deal with the doctors, insurance, legal system if you're involved with that? Can you lock yourself away somewhere while he deals with the rest of the house (if you don't have locks, may I highly recommend at least one on your bedroom door)? Better yet, can you leave the house for a while...night out with friends, maybe even a girls' weekend, maybe, just maybe, an overnight alone with husband (we never could do that because no one could handle difficult child overnight, but you may not be in that position)? Try meditation (I recently discovered this...they make an app for that!), I do it just before bed and I have actually been able to sleep a few hours each night. If you go with an audio version...GET HEADPHONES! You'd be amazed how much they make you feel like you are in another world. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I have a couple of favorite verses that I sometimes quote repeatedly to myself until the panic/crisis moment has passed (or at least settled down). There's an analogy about this. On an airplane when they go through the instructions, they tell you to put your own mask on first before you assist your child or others with their masks. Know why? You can't put your child's oxygen mask on if you're already dead. It's the same principal.
    2. There WILL BE an end to this phase in your life. My son will be 17 next month. I remember when he was 14 and I said so many times, "This will never end. He'll never be an adult. I'll be stuck living like this forever. I can't live through it. I can't." But so far I have. I realized at some point along the way that when he turns 18...he's on his own. It will no longer be my duty to provide for his day-to-day needs (by the way, there's an app for this too! It's called Days Until or something like that and I have mine counting down to his 18th birthday). We have done the best we could to provide him with the tools he would need to be a successful adult. Whether he chooses to use those tools or whether he abandons them and follows his own path, it is HIS OWN PATH. My path will continue on, and so will yours. Try to think of where you'd like that path to eventually lead and try to make plans to start down it. Even if you only plan. Research things that interest you. Sign up for an art/craft/knitting/writing/dance/yoga/whatever class. Something that you might be interested in (your community may have free offerings through the library or a local business or gallery). Who knows? Your passion for something may change the world. Or at least your world!
    3. Breathe (I'm serious). Inhale through your nose as deeply as you can, until it's almost painful. Let your belly expand while you do this. Hold for several seconds. Exhale through your mouth. Repeat 3 times. I know this sounds like the dumbest advice you have ever heard. I thought it was stupid too, and my mom almost held me down until I followed these instructions. It works. I find when I'm in anxiety mode that I tend to pant rather than actually breathe. It changes the chemical makeup in your blood and it really, really helps (OK, maybe only for a few minutes, but sometimes you can't even get that, so I 'm grateful for even short periods of relief)
    4. Eat. Regularly and healthily (including your water. Dehydration is an enemy). The worst depressive state I was ever in was when I quit eating and drinking. I was done emotionally, and I just quit. I ended up in a fetal position in bed for 2 weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if I sucked my thumb during that time. My husband finally burst in the bedroom one day holding a Lean Cuisine in one hand and a fork in the other. He said, "If you don't eat this thing I made, I'm taking you to the hospital. You think you feel bad now? You keep going like this and they're going to tube feed you and that will be worse. Eat it. EAT IT!" It's kind of funny now, but he force fed me that stupid Lean Cuisine and I felt better almost immediately. When I get to the point where I start feeling really dark and hopeless, I think to myself "Perhaps I should eat." and "Oh, God, if I don't eat he'll feed me a Lean Cuisine."
    5. Try to find real-life support. There ARE other people in real life going through similar things. Maybe even people you see every day. Sometimes you have to look really hard, and sometimes it falls into your lap. I stand by the fact that this board has made a big difference to me, but it is good to talk to someone else who can relate in real life. Their situation may not be exactly the same, but sometimes their emotions are.
    StressedMomma, I hope this helps a little. If nothing else, please know many here understand how you feel and offer their support and good thoughts to you, me included.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I think that sometimes you have to be a little selfish (difficult child's word, not mine) and think of yourself and only of yourself for a little while each day. I'm also a stay at home mom, so I understand what you mean when you say you have no where that you have to be. You have to find something else to occupy your mind. Do you have any hobbies? I spend ALOT of time working on my hobbies, both when the kids are at school and when they are home. Yes, I do put them aside when I am doing things with the kids, but I also think that it's important for the kids, especially difficult child, to see that I have other things to do and think about other than him.

    Being the parent of a difficult child can take a terrible toll on a marriage. When husband and I fight, for the most part, it's always got something to do with difficult child. Even vacation planning this year became a very loud "discussion" because of difficult child and how he can be while we're away. It's important to spend time with your husband on something other than difficult child. Go to a movie or out to dinner. Take a walk if the weather is warm enough.

    difficult children can be consuming and, while it's hard, you have to fight to make sure that you don't lose yourself in difficult child's troubles. I know. It's easier said than done. But it's also important that you do your best not to get dragged down in this. There are days when I think that this is just never going to get any better, but then I try to think of other things. If I get mired down in my own depression over my difficult child and his all consuming problems than I will not be much help to anybody.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Another thing that helped me stick to "getting out" was to join a group of people that would be expecting me. Or to pay in advance for an appointment. If I had already paid for it, I was less likely to skip it....
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My dear... IF we needed any evidence of your standing as a warrior mom (we DON'T...), that post alone would qualify!
    YOU, my dear, "get it".
    And around here, that seems to be the single most important qualification.

    Here... grab a warrior mom suit...

    Thanks for sharing.
  13. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Petunia thank you so very much for your words. You are most definitely a warrior mom. These are the things that I need to hear. I am going to look for a support group. I have a therapist appointment. tomorrow, and I am going to see if she can recommend any. The eating is so very hard at this point. I try to eat at least something every day. My mom is coming to stay with difficult child and me a few days next week while husband and easy child go to her auditions. And, I know she will make me eat. And make me get out of my house. I am so excited to see her. I really wish we lived closer to her. I have always hated being far away. I am going to try your suggestions. My husband said the exact same thing as your husband why worry? It has to be a man thing?! And, I feel like I am wearing out my welcome with my friends as I go on and on about difficult child. Thank you all. I really needed the encouragement. Each day is one day closer to a better life. I just need to remind myself.
  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Wish I knew. My difficult child is an adult not living at home and I still worry and obssess about her life....I need to detach in a HUGE way but it is SO hard.... :(
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-the others ... get someone to call you or show up at your door so that you are accountable to them, and get you out of the house and away from the drama.
    It has to be someone, or a group, that won't freak or chastise you if you're late or if you've got a hair out of place, Know what I mean??

    Right now, I'm being consumed by my cousin in assisted living, but I have a Visiting Angels caregiver with-her several days a wk, which keeps my sanity. I have searched and searched for someone for my son, but there is no professional svc that I can find. I'm still trying to get him to The Boys and Girls Club to play basketball. That will be my big feat of the year.
    It will only be an hour, but then I can read in the car, or go for a walk, or even have my husband pick him up and I can get some more time.
    Make it work!