We've taken an interesting turn......

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, May 13, 2014.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As you know, my daughter is in jail.

    Today, the huge storage unit that stored most of her things from her marriage and when the children were growing up............(before the suicide 14 years ago, which destroyed it all)..........went up for auction for non payment. My daughter, in her mentally skewered state which included hoarding, refused to allow her daughter and her 2 step daughters or anyone to have any of their fathers pictures or sentimental objects.........the kids have asked her for years and years, to no avail. Today, the 3 girls went to the auction with their paternal grandfather, my SO and their Dad's cousin and purchased the unit for $100. The other auctioneers found out the story and not one of them bid on it. The girls were all crying. I cried when I heard that. My SO said, as the guy asked for bids, the other participants all just looked at the ground.

    They opened the unit to find their childhood before them. Their Dad's kitchen things, he loved to cook, his cookbooks, his pictures from elementary school, all of it. I was at work, but my SO let me know how happy the girls were to go through the stuff and retrieve the items from their Dad.

    My daughter knew the auction was today, but has no idea who purchased it.

    After 14 years, this feels like a completion for my granddaughter and her sisters.........and for my daughter as well. I'm sure she is having a bad day, I have not spoken to her in over a week. I asked her not to call me with drama.

    You may recall, we took her cats to the local shelter, so the 2 things that have kept my daughter spinning in circles for years and years, trying to keep those cats and that storage unit........ are now gone.

    It has been an odd day.

    When we talked about this auction, I was very supportive but I didn't want any involvement at all and my SO and granddaughter understood completely.

    I have a very real sense of an emptiness, it's a strange feeling of being so comforted to know that the girls are able to find pieces of their childhood and their father which is bringing them a real completion..........and to know that my daughter is alone in jail, having lost her cats and her belongings. She has often been cruel and lacking in empathy for what others go through and today it seems she has received her just due. I am in the middle of all of those feelings of elation and sadness and oddly, it's as if they all cancel each other out and I end up feeling empty.

    I am 'being' with it all........just allowing the feelings to be present. It's such a strong feeling of an ending of an era..........the good, the bad and most certainly, the ugly.

    Everyone is respecting my wishes for non involvement so I am interestingly on the outside, not a big participant, observing from a safe distance. Perhaps that's the distance which is the right one for me now........I don't feel embroiled in any of it............watching with a good dose of neutrality.

    This feels like a demarcation, a crossroad in the journey where the major players go their separate ways.....today was also my granddaughters senior presentation which marks the end of a year long project and ushers her into the final days of her High School years.

    After I left work I went for a massage which was planned before I knew about the auction or jail time......somehow it seemed so fitting to be in a serene environment being nurtured.......exactly where I wanted to be.

    We all seem to have turned a corner........I'm not sure which way we are all going............. but we are clearly on our way.
  2. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    I read this, and will re-read a few times, soaking it in. This is big and i am happy for the daughters and how that came about with others not bidding...they had hearts.

    Want you to know that I am with you in spirit. What a day for you and your loved ones, family and extended family....a lot here and what needed to happen at basic level to move on...
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  3. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Recovering, what an amazing story. I felt as if I were watching a movie as I read your vivid description of the day. I felt happy for the girls but sympathetic for you over what seemed to be such an emotionally draining day. I'm sorry that you had to deal with so many conflicting feelings. So glad that you had that massage. You deserved it -you're always giving comfort to others on CD -like me. I hope you slept well and will wake up to a new day filled with positive things.
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  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    that is it. That is the process in a nutshell (if i can be put in a nutshell). All your reading your contemplating your therapy your time on the forum and heaven knows what else work you've done to get...here. You were present. You allowed the day to be what it was...that must have been SO important for your granddaughter and the others. You did not own your daughter's reaction. You were you, whole, complete, living in the world, seeing it exactly as it is through a vantage point that is uniquely yours.

    I love that.

    I rejoice for you.

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  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    It is so fitting that this happened this way.

    I see so much healing and positive indications for the future in every line of your post.

    Empty is a good and apt word here, for now, RE.

    It is just amazing---this journey. It is filled with so many different twists, turns, steps, surprises.

    I am so grateful that we can't know the future. We could not deal with it. We could not even begin to assimilate it.

    In your story, I see the reason for taking things as they come. We just can't know outcomes. We just can't.

    Thank you RE, for sharing so vividly this story.

    I just pray that good things come for all involved from every line of it. Most especially you.
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  6. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I've been out of it for a couple of days and only just read this thread.

    What an emotional upheaval you have been through. I'm so glad that the children retrieved their father's belongings. It sounds like this has been some sort of closure and I hope that you, your daughter and your grandchildren can turn this into a therapeutic experience and find a way to move on. You have such huge strength RE to be able to absorb all this emotion and drama and just "be with it". Your grandchildren and step-grandchildren are so blessed to have such a strong grandmother. Their journey is so tragic.

    Sending peace to you all. x
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  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you.

    I had a long talk with my granddaughter last night. She believes this is a completion of major proportions for her, her sisters and for me.

    The two older girls managed to get everything out of that unit yesterday. They found pictures of my daughter and of me and some things that they want to give to me. My granddaughter found childhood objects which are important to her. We talked about her Dad and I told her some of my memories of him. He killed himself when she was only 3 years old, so her memories are minimal. We talked about her mother and how her mother's behavior is not personal to her or to me, it is how her brain perceives the world. She seems to really be able to understand that. I have been telling her that for most of her life. She and I are feeling similar feelings about all of these recent events representing an ending.

    I can't explain this in any logical manner, however, the opening of that storage unit seems to have brought the light of sun into all of our lives. It seems to have opened up a dark, closed space to allow grief and joy to surface for the girls and for me too. It's as if a part of all of us was locked away in that dark unit. I could feel a difference in talking to my granddaughter and in the ways in which my own viewpoint has expanded.

    I haven't spoken to my daughter in quite some time, it appears she is respecting my wishes for no drama. She goes to court on May 29th to find out what is next. Like many here, I hope for her to stay where she is. At this point, all she has to get out for is to go live on the streets, or if she were willing to make phone calls, a shelter.

    That empty feeling remains. I like it too. I am now so removed from any feelings with my daughter that it is becoming my new normal. All of the trauma from these last 14 years since the suicide of my son-in-law seems to have slipped quietly into the past. It feels so remote to me that I can't bring any of it into view anymore. This feels healthy and timely. It's time to move on, for all of us. If my daughter makes the choice to remain stuck, then from this point forward, she will be doing that completely on her own.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it is beautiful that the other people at the auction didn't even try to bid on the unit. Truly a beautiful thing. It is a great thing that your grands were able to access these items. I am sorry that your daughter is so stuck, but maybe not having these things and learning that the world did not end when she was forced to be rid of them is something she also needs.

    It sounds like an important and good day, and I am glad you did not have to be involved at a level you would be uncomfortable with.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is perfect. The girls are together as sisters surrounded by the males in their families. They are learning a kind of strength, a way to see and respond to uncontrollable events in a positive and strengthening way.

    This is a wonderful story.

    After all the pain, all the denial and power plays, the girls have those things that are priceless, to them.

    This was handled so well, Recovering.

    I feel that way sometimes too, Recovering. Part of it is that we have run the gamut of feelings for so long. Storage units represent our children's capacities to reclaim their lives, to reclaim who they were. We paid for our daughter's unit, for her credit cards, her rent...and then, we decided to take some action, to create some change. When we decide to stop paying, we are deciding so much more than just to reclaim our own lives.
    We are giving up that part of us that never gives up on our kids. It has to do with protecting them, with saving their lives for them to reclaim...and with letting that dream go.

    For us, it felt like a willingly undertaken betrayal. A betrayal of ourselves, more than of our daughter. It was like she played no part in it. That storage unit had come to represent old ways of believing, for us. We had to face the truth that we no longer believed she was going to make it.

    She was not coming back.

    It was hard to let that belief that this was all temporary, that belief that difficult child had fallen but was going to be fine...it was so hard to face that, and to let it go.

    I'm so sorry this is happening, Recovering. It is a crossroads. But you are making room for something new to happen.

    It was time.

    In a way, that storage unit may have represented to your daughter that she was choosing to behave as she has willingly. She may somehow have come to believe that she was just fine, that she was just exploring an alternate way of life, and could come back to herself any time she wanted to. Losing her things may be the best thing that could have happened. Now, she has nothing. She will be who she makes of herself, from this point.

    But she will not have the things that she accumulated in another life to bolster her identity during the dark times.

    I'm so sorry, Recovering.

    But I think this needed to happen to your daughter.

    Yes, Recovering. Cherishing ourselves through impossibly hard times is the one way we can keep ourselves focused. During the worst of it, I would imagine looking behind me to see my own footsteps. And I would know then that as bad as it seemed, I was moving.

    That I was present, and functioning, and that this too would pass.

    Excellent point, Echo.

    This almost made me cry.

    I hadn't looked at it that way.

    If we could have known what was coming, where would the strength have come from then, to survive it?

    My grandmother made a wonderful difference in my life. Though there has been such tragedy in their lives Recovering, Lucy is right. Your grands have been blessed to have you and the rest of your remarkable family in their lives to nurture them through it, to model strength and resilience and acceptance.

    And honor, Recovering.

    Honor and love and cherishing for the fallen ones.

    There are too many families who would choose hatred, who would hold the fallen ones in contempt.

    I love the strength I see in your family, and the simple decency.

    That unit has represented secret things, painful things. Opening it, facing the pain and claiming and cherishing the treasures represents closure and allows new beginnings.

    No more fear of the pain those memories would bring.

    When it was finally opened, there was more love than pain, there.

    I like it, too. I like it that you are not rationalizing or justifying or doing anything with the fact. It is what it is.

    A thing that happened.

    The end of the story of the storage unit and all it represented.

    Now, there will be a different kind of story.

    It is being written, already.

    It's as COM posted to you, Recovering. It is a gift that we cannot know the future. But what we do know, what we are all learning here, is how to manage to live our lives beautifully, honestly, with honor, through whatever the future does bring us.

    Holding a good thought for your daughter this morning, Recovering. She sounds so much like my own daughter. It isn't that they did not know better than to choose, time after time, as they did. There is something wild in my daughter. Something that wants that edginess, something that feels stifled when she is being "good".

    It is as you told me, once. Each of us has our own fate, each of us is here for a reason. Maybe the blessing here for all of us is that everything that happens to us or to our kids presents, exactly and tailor-made, the challenges we need to develop into the people we are meant to be.

    When I cannot understand anymore, that thought helps me accept what I cannot change.

    You are so special to all of us, Recovering. I am sorry for your pain.