What we do to accept there is nothing we can do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I could use some things that help YOU.

    I appreciate any ideas. Deeply.

    I will share what I do.

    Remind myself I cant do anything and give him to God.

    Take time off from him.


    Exercise, socialuze, focus on my loving family members.

    Hug my dogs.


    All this helps, but when things get harder it always helos to add new ideas to the tool box....
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I don’t know if acceptance is where I have come to. Maybe it’s just avoidance. I stay very busy. I focus on my kids doing well. I do things with R. I am not very social, but i make sure we get out with other people every once in a while. When I’m working around the house or in the garden, or exercising, I keep my mind busy with music or podcasts. I bury myself in work. Basically, just keep moving. For me, sitting still is an invitation to rumination and depression.

    Writing things down here and getting validation and acceptance helps a lot. I don’t really have others in my life who get it. R is sympathetic but also gets frustrated, because they aren’t her kids and there is way more drama than she can tolerate.

    I try to meditate and pray but I’m afraid I’m really bad at both. That’s when my mind wanders into bad places.

    The animals help me a lot. I can sit with a cat on my lap or sit on the floor and hug the dogs and be ok. And they need a lot (we have some special needs animals) so they help to keep me busy. Sometimes I think I pour the love I can’t give my kids into them.

    What I struggle with is the line between acceptance and giving up. I have a room full of furniture, kitchen stuff, and other household things I have accumulated over the years in the basement. I have a bed frame and a mattress, a kitchen table, a drrssser. Lots of linens and dishes. I keep waiting for either S or C to be in a stable enough place where I can give it to them to help get them set up. I’ve been waiting for years. It hasn’t happened. It may never happen. R would really like to turn that room into a workshop but I just can’t seem to let this stuff go. Because it feels like giving up, admitting they will never be in a place where they have a spot for a real bed and can use some dishes and pots and pans.

    It’s crazy, really, the way they live. They’ve been couch surfing for years. C lived in his car when he had one and seemed to prefer that to having roommates. Right now I’m not even sure if he’s on a couch or on the streets. I don’t expect either of them to ever own a house or hold a professional job, but I want so much to see them at least have the stability of a place their own, or with a roommate, where they have a room for a bed and a dresser and a place where they can cook a meal. Right now they show no signs of getting closer to that point. But I still hold onto this useless room of furniture and stuff - I even moved it with me when we bought our house!

    I haven’t talked to either of them for a few weeks now. They both tend to go silent for weeks at a time until they need or want something from me. I usually reach out by text and just try to stay connected but this time I haven’t. I think I’m afraid to know, and afraid of inviting them to dump their problems on me. I’ll probably reach out today though. C’s Birthday is coming up, and the holidays are just around the corner.

    But for now I’ll just stay busy and focus on other things. My grandson turns three today and we will FaceTime later when he opens his presents. I’m hoping they will be able to come for the holidays again. My grandson was born with a heart defect and they weren’t sure he would make it, so seeing him strong and healthy at three is such a blessing! I will focus on that today.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I totally think its great that you can Face Time your Baby and I pray his little heart is able to heal. It is so cool that we can now watch these things from afar!

    I love that you journal. That is one thing I have not done. Good idea. And I too hope you can one day give what you collected to your child, one at least.

    You are an amazing mother and person! I wish the world had more of you! You truly deserve the best.

    We are in different places. My son is older. I have come to terms that this is him and I dont ruminate over him. But when I talk to him its hard not to want to tell him what to do to feel better. He is not on drugs so this is who he is. And it is hard for me to admit that people to him are only vsluable if they can serve him in some ways. He does not go out of his way for anyone except his son and in that capacity he does TOO much BUT in return expects a little boy to be his best friend snd ally, which does serve him. But he is obsessed with him. In a very sad way he expects his child to be his best buddy for life.

    And J. Is actually a normal kid. Or he started out that way. Sweet, very smart (top of his class), likes to hang with his friends, actually is or WAS (circumstances are changing him) easy going, sweet and funny. Now he is fighting abuse in one home and being made a parent and confidente in the other. Poor kid.

    Like you, Elsi, I have a busy life. Two of my adult kids live right near me and we are all very close and interact often. I keep in close touch with Princess and Baby who are in Chicago.I volunteer four days a week which is like a job for free. My husband is retired and we hang like best friends. We get along great.

    But I have moments when I wish Bart would enjoy people, know how to love others and join us. In a healthy way. We have so much fun.

    But it is just a wish. People who think they are fine and dont seek help don't change. At times I wonder if he is on the spectrum, but I think he is too aware and able to plot for that. He isnt innocent. He is very sharp and aware and knows how to play people. Autistics dont have those people skills and the ones I have met are naive and kind. So I don't think so.

    I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    Have a great day. Our dog trainer for our Rescue is coming soon and then Jumper and Sonic are going out with us....so I am sure that for now Bart wont be on mind. I have my phone on vibrate.

    Love snd light,! And many thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    SWOT, you are amazing! You have stayed strong through so much, and continue to do so much for all of your family. Even Bart, even though he doesn't seem to appreciate your insight or advice. You bring an important long-term perspective for a lot of us here.

    Thank you. He is doing great! He had multiple surgeries as an infant and the last one right before he turned two but all looks good now. His cardiologist thinks we may be able to go to annual visits after this year! It is truly amazing what they are able to do in surgery now. He is an incredible little guy and is growing up trilingual. He's already learning that he needs to speak English with grandma Elsi, his mom's native language with his other grandma, and Spanish with his daycare provider and buddies! I wish they lived closer. I don't get to see him nearly often enough but at least he will FaceTime with me now!

    I know what you mean. I wish S would join in with mother-daughter stuff with E and me. We made applesauce with my mom last weekend and had a lot of fun together. S would think it's stupid. C at least I think has some self-recognition, but S I think is so far into her dysfunctional world that she can't even comprehend that there are other ways to live. I know their lives are very different, but I think they are all the same in being unwilling to change their behaviors to get along better with other people around them or achieve goals they claim are important to them. And S in particular also seems to see people primarily in terms of what she can get from them. It breaks my heart. Oddly enough, she also thinks she is fine and doesn't need to change, in spite of what I would think would be overwhelming evidence to the contrary based on her life circumstances. But she thinks of her life circumstances as bad luck that just happened to her, rather than something she is actively contributing to.

    I've always journaled in one way or another, even as a little kid. I need to process things through words and language and explicit analysis. I don't think I'll share anything with any of my kids, though. There's some dark stuff in there. I'll probably burn them.

    My heart goes out to J. It sounds like the custody battle has been horrendous for him, and I hate that he is still in an environment where he can be abused part of the time. I hope that Bart can see eventually that putting too much pressure on J for his own emotional wellbeing is damaging in its own way as well. And that going overboard with presents and toys won't help either. Poor J just needs a consistent, loving adult presence and a peaceful, predictable environment to be in. I know you don't get to see much of him, but I hope you can find ways to support him from afar and still be a presence in his life.

    I hope you have a great day with the trainer and with Jumper and Sonic!
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    SWOT.....in the worst of times the thing that has gotten me through is saying the serenity prayer to myself over and over...... but really I think what has helped me the most is building a life I enjoy for myself. Finding things I like to do, living my life, not focusing on my son. And there are times when I get hung up on whatever is going on with him.... and it catches me sometimes.... and sometimes I have to go with it for a little bit and then I just have to find a way to let it go and remember he has to live his own life and make his own decisions. Sometimes, like at the moment, I need to be able to tell him what I am thinking to just put it out there so I can let it go. He might not like it but so be it.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    TL, that Serenity prayer is POWERFUL. At one time I bought a Serenity Prayer necklace and wore it all the time. Thanks for reminding me!

    Like you, I have a busy life of my own and dont think about him all the time. When I do it is strong for a few days, then I get over it (again) until the next time. It only gets bad maybe twice a year. This time was bad because his court case ended and he didnt like the way it did and he cant handle stress and has no outlet for it. So he gets loud and nasty. I hang up but wish he would act nicer...but that isnt who he is and I cant change it. I do sometimes slip in my advice....get professional help for stress, join a divorce support group, get a hobby etc. But then he hangs up on me for giving stupid advice that wont work (shrug).

    I so appreciate the reminder of the Serenity Prayer. Maybe I will order another necklace. Thanks again.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I get it. I do. I am the same.
    How is he doing, SWOT? Is it "basic training?"
    I am getting glimmers of this. I had a hard time because the feelings are so baseline for me. Before I woke up I was in dread about where and how my son was. In my subconscious. Little by little this is better, and I am building a circuit of activities which are centered upon self-care and faith. Thank you for modeling these choices for me.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  8. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I have noticed, it seems we all have pets. I don't think I could have gotten through ds without my kits. Last night I went o sleep , no problem. I woke up at 4:30am having nightmares about ds. Dear Lord. I wish my mind could just rest. He seems to be doing pretty well. Luckily kitten felt me move and came up to snuggle into my neck and just puuuuur. During the day when some thing gets to me my coping strategy is to run or walk, if not outside I use my elliptical. Tonight i spent time in my artsy space and did a watercolor, so relaxing. As I was painting I had an audio book on my head phones. Listening to an audio book keeps my mind from wandering. At the moment I am listening to the "Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher. Some of the stories have gory bits that I don't care for but they are suspenseful and keep me listening.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry this is happening. This is what happens to me, too. Around the same time. I wake up depressed and frightened and I cannot go back to sleep. I am doing better, though, because I am taking a sleeping pill, which I do not like.

    What a nice post! Yes. That is true. I have animals and between feeding them (the cat every couple hours at least) and letting the dogs in and out all day half a dozen times) they are a full-time job.

    Tired out I have a hard time with self-care. I am working on it, but basic stuff is hard for me (like a hooked up TV, knowing how to listen to audiobooks on an IPOD, watching movies, which I love, I deprive myself of these basics--I don't know why. I, too, have loads of art materials but don't let myself do this, either. For now. Until things got bad with my son, I had a TV hooked up (I have 4, so it is not farfetched that one would be hooked up.)

    But am walking and signed up for Pilates.

    I am thinking of getting a new dog. I am thinking of either a Staffy or a Golden Doodle. They are vastly different dogs. The staffy is the English nanny dog, that looks like a small pit bull. Loving. Adorable. kissing machines. The Golden Doodles are a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. Adorable. more sophisticated. Friendly. Brilliant. Require more exercise.

    I would also like a lap dog. A small lap dog that is loving, intelligent, sensitive, a sense of play, devoted, loves to lay in bed with me, kisses me, who won't mind being left alone at home 3 hours at a time 3 times a week. Anybody have any ideas?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  10. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    A cat! :D
  12. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Why do we do this to ourselves? I do the same thing with creative hobbies, reading, etc. A therapist once told me it is because I internalized the message that my worth is tied to my productivity and I am only worthy of love if I am being useful. I still struggle with this.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I love animals. I find comfort in them even when all is well. They are such beautiful souls.

    My Rescue has a trainer because he was afraid of everything and would nip. We needed to know how to teach him we are safe. He us doing great now. Tail wags (it didnt at first) and he engages with the family happily rather than hiding away like he did at first. The trainer really heloed with giving us good advice. working wirh Jackson and teaching us dog body language. Because of his spinal/neck surgery he cant move his neck well and his dog body language has to be different from other dogs. Plus he spent two years on the streets of San Antonio as a tiny dog with an injured spine. Poor little boy. We love him so.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  14. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Bless you for taking in Jackson and getting him the help he needed! I think rescues are the sweetest. :love_heart:
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Jackson is the sweetest dog ever. Not the easiest due to his past and medical isdues. But he is a little angel in fur. You ever see the saying "Who recued who?" :)
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    And she's right here with me. And her name is Stella!!!
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    Thank you Caretoomuch. I will go look them up. To my knowledge I have not known one.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Jackson is a little stand offish still. I have a yorkie/bichon (Borkie they are called) that is very loving and loves to fetch baby tennis balls. She is also a bit of a diva! To her she is the most important thing on earth.

    I hear toy poodles are exactly the type of dog you want and poodles are the second smartest breed.

    All dogs, unless they have seperation anxiety, are fine alone for three hours. Thats not a long time.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT. Thank you. What is the smartest dog breed? I thought it was poodle. German Shepherd. One attacked me this year. The first time in my life a dog attacked me. I am very afraid of them now. I will not go on the block where German Shepherds live. Some people in my neighborhood let them out unleashed. They are very protective of their family's territory. I walk.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I get very angry at owners who don't keep their dogs in a fenced yard or in the house. That is unfair to people who the dog could attack ,(usually because the dog is protecting his people and turf) and many idiot owners set up dogs to be euthanized because they dont make sure the dog can do no harm. We never even leave our dogs out in back without us and we have a secure six foot fence with a locked gate and three little midgets who would never attack anyone. Bad dog owners! Grrrrrrr!

    Shepherds are guard dogs. My dog trainer for Jackson is proficient with all dogs but just this week she was explaining that she takes extra caution with dogs who are bred to guard because they may GUARD!! And she has to approach them carefully as most were strays anyhow...which makes them have more risky behaviors. She is awesome with dogs, has a thriving dog daycare with another trainer and helps out with behavior problem dogs at the shelters. She sdopted two street dogs. One is a pitbull. How do I get off topic do much??

    The smartest dog breed, and these dogs need tons of mental and physical activity or they can get destructive out of boredom, are border collies. They really are not for quiet older folks like us! Borders are herding dogs and thrive on farms with kids or with anyone who can keep them working and busy. Toy poodles are perfect in my opinion. Poodles are the second smartest breed, behind border collies. They are known to adore and shadow their owners in a very loving way
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018