What's the matter with me?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Im a Believer, May 8, 2010.

  1. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    As you can tell by my signature - I deal with a lot ~ 3 difficult children.

    I have been trying to throw away my codependent coat and take control of the only person I can - myself.

    I am setting boundaries - have had to have adult children leave my house due to disrespect - on the outside it may appear that I am making progress - but - I feel like I am dying inside.

    I feel like a failure - I haven't been a strick consistent parent - I have raised my children without the help of their father and they were pretty old when their stepdad climbed aboard the train.

    I live with A LOT of guilt - guilt I caused these problems with my children and guilt there's nothing I can do about it.

    I've tried CODA - doesn't work for me. Going to counseling ~ taking an antidepressant - is it my attitude?

    Do I just need to pull up the boot straps and get on with it?

    I'm tired of living this way.

    Anyone else feel defeated? What did you do to beat it?

    Thanks for letting me vent - not a good day ~
  2. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You're not a failure. All we can do is our best, and you know you have. If raising our kids was only a matter of effort .... if there was just a recipe, the world would be populated with issue-free kids and adults. That's just not the real world. They come with their own minds, and they are only ours for a time. We do our best with that time.

    And, yes, I have (and probably will again) felt defeated. What do I do about it? I pray. I talk to friends. I cry. Pour a glass of wine. Take a walk. Take a hot bath. Cry some more. And, now. I come here.

    Hang in there. You're a good mom.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    You're not a failure, and you're not alone. I'm feeling the same way lately. I haven't worked for a couple of weeks, which doesn't help, but I don't really feel like taking a job anyway. Hubby is not being terribly supportive these days, either, so I just make an effort to put one foot in front of the other, and check in here several times a day, just to see what's new.

    Many hugs.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You're not a failure.

    What one of us hasn't made mistakes with our kids in one way or another? That's a part of parenting. I know I've been known to make some real whoppers myself.

    BUT regardless of parenting, I believe there is a point where the child takes on the responsibility for themselves. Period. And regardless of faulty parenting, they need to build their own life the right way.

    I came from a very abusive/neglectful background. Honestly, my Mom stunk as a parent. And I was a difficult child as a kid, as were my sibs. (at least 4 of us) But as an adult I chose the way I wanted to live my life and I chose to not repeat the mistakes of my Mom or to spend the rest of my life being a difficult child while placing the blame at her feet. Another sib did too. The other 3 chose to wallow in gfgdom and blame my Mom.

    We all do the best we can with what we know at the time. No one can ask any more of us than that, even ourselves.

  5. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Happy Mother's Day!

  6. helpme

    helpme New Member

    You ARE NOT a failure.
    It's time your older ones get on their own feet and you protect the others.
    Mom's have a lot of guilt no matter what. We all do. But I think some of
    your kids are taking advantage of that guilt, and that's not healthy either.
    it just continues to enable them.

    Hound dog said it best!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think we all have guilt and wonder where we went wrong and why things came out the way it did. I know there was some internet email thing going around awhile ago...and probably is still going around...that said something (and Im paraphrasing here) about how God had a hard time raising Adam and Eve so if He couldnt manage to raise perfect kids, how could we be expected to? LOL.

    I was talking to Star the other day about something related to this subject. Kind of how when we were younger and raising our kids we were so busy just raising them that we probably did make mistakes and we did fall into the traps of not stopping to smell the flowers with them. Thats life. We were talking about how we see where a parent could take the time for just letting a kid be a kid. Well its so much easier for me to do that with my grandchildren because I am not the parent. I can have the fun. We can stop the car and go pick flowers or investigate airplanes. We can stop in the grocery store for her to carry her own bag. When my kids were young, I was in too big a hurry to get them home and to school or to do homework or to sports or or or.

    Its so different. I wish it wasnt. Its like I get a do over. Im glad. Im glad my grandchildren have both parents and grandparents that can be both to them. I think that will help them.
  8. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Your are not a failure. As others before have said, we do have guilt too. What has always been said, and I don't recall exactly where I have heard it or read it before but it's so true, is "you did the best you could at the time with what you knew. When you knew better you did better." It's that simple. You can't beat yourself up for things you didn't know at the time. When you did your best as you could. We all make mistakes, pick ourselves up and move forward and try to do better.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I think you need to hold the thought that you might have 50% gsfgs....but you also have 50% pcs! That's more than many of us can say. I had one shot and he is a difficult child and always will be, even though he has *enlightened* moments. We've had numerous discussions on this board about nature vs nurture and in my humble opinion nature wins hands down. Take heart, that means no matter what you've done or not done, your kids are who they are anyway. :D

    The best thing you can do now for your kids is to help yourself be healthier. That means no more negative self-talk, among other things. If your therapist isn't helping you, consider changing therapists until you click with someone who can help. If the AD you are taking isn't helping, ask your doctor for a prescription for something different that might help. Most of your kids are adults now. There are many options out there and you deserve a good life and to feel good about yourself. Please invest the time in yourself that you've invested in your kids. It's your time.

    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  10. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Suz ~ Thanks! I needed that! I had a breakdown the day that I posted the original message and my couselor was going to drive me to a hospital.

    She gave me the name of a DR that is a specialist with depression and medications. I definitley need something more or something else.

    This site is such a Safe Haven and such a great place for the truth and encouragement.

    Here's to feeling better ~

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    It sounds like you are suffering from depression, so I am so glad you are seeing a therapist and might see a specialist (perhaps an MD?). The advice here is also very good! Hang in there...you are moving in the right direction. Perhaps as this change is in progress....there are growing pains. It kinda sounds normal. You've been through a lot of upheaval and are sorting through a lot. You are making your own changes, you are growing, you are coping with losses and setting boundaries. You need a lot of support and I hope you would consider being gentle with yourself.
    Don't forget that the detachment website gave you some strength. Re-read it 100x. Also, literature on boundaries. Work on a "mantra" for yourself. Something like "I can do this." Say it over and over again, especially when you feel weak. Like Suz said, concentrate on what has gone right. Are any of the kids doing well? Okay, well some things have gone right. Is your career going well? Do you have good health? A good friend? I bet there are things in your life you are very proud of. Concentrate on those things. Your difficult children are older now and are making these decisions on there own. Especially if they are older...you must detach. If you are able, you might consider providing mental health services for them. But they and they alone must do the hard work of making good decisions. You can NOT do it for them nor should you. What you can do and must do is work on yourself. AND by doing this, you will be a good role model for them. Control your thoughts. This will lead to more happiness. This will lead to better actions. Not always easy...but soooo much better. If you need to go to the depression specialist...I am sure you will do this and am glad you will do this. Again, you are taking control of your detsiny and making a decision for positive change.

    You asked if any if anyone else felt "defeated." I went through a similar feeling once or twice and it was related to living life with a difficult child. It was VERY hard. What helped? Therapy, keeping myself busy, re-discovering myself, medication for a brief time, exercise, vitamins, re-discovering my spiritual life and later detachment. It was NOT easy...but it was well worth it. My life has TOTALLY BLOSSOMED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS...I MEAN BIG TIME!

    Although you will DEFINATELY still need to take any medications recommended to you and still definately need therapy, some say that certain vitamins/supplements help with depression. They include: Vitamin B Complex, D3 and Fish Oil Capsules. You might think about trying these. If you have any health concerns or are on any medications, double check with your doctor first.
    Lasted edited by : May 10, 2010
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending supportive thoughts.

    No matter how many of us tell you you're not a failure, it is up to you to believe it. We all have felt guilty and defeated at many times while raising our difficult children. I know that I have had to go on antidepressants on more than one occasion to deal with the simple burden of facing another day, gone to counseling, etc. It stinks.

    But like others have said, your difficult children are adults and through their exposure to other families and friends, etc., they KNOW how to live their lives responsibly - it is up to THEM to take responsibility for their own lives.

    And now it's time for you to shed the guilt, recognize that you've done the best you could with what you knew/know, and focus on you. I know it sounds trite to some, but how about getting one of those tiny notepads and each day try to write down a few things you're thankful for? Noticing the small (and large) blessings in our lives helps to overshadow the other crud.

    HUgs~I hope you have a great week!
  13. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Nomad ~ Thanks for the reminder of vitamins ~ I use to take them years ago when I took care of myself. I will talk to the DR about them when I go in this am.

    Yesterday at Church - we had a special guest Nick Vujicic ~ He was born with arms or legs - he has a ministry called Life without Limbs.

    He has a body and is carried on stage - What an AWESOME reminder that regardless of our cicumstances - we can have a life and a good life.

    Not sure if it breaks the rules to post a link to his website so I won't but it was a life changing experience. I bought a DVD so I can be reminded of just how blessed I am and how things are allowed in our lives for a reason.

    One statement he made that sticks in my mind is - "If God doesn't answer our prayers - we can be used to answer someone elses." Although my prayers have not been answered (yet) for change in my children's lives - I can be used in someone else's life.

    Thanks to you all for being "used" in my life for encourgement.

    I did print the Detachment information you shared a few weeks ago - Guess I need to put that on the fridge! LOL

    Have a GREAT Day!
  14. Bean

    Bean Member

    I have a lot of the same feelings. I wonder where I/we went wrong. I wonder how terrible parents can have great kids -- makes me wonder if I've tried to hard or invested too much.

    It's hard not to question, but I agree that nature can be much stronger than nurture.
  15. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Dr put me on 20 mg Lexapro to overlap with the 150 mg I already take of Welbutrin. He also gave me Ambien 10 mg. I hate starting new medications ~ Wait & See ~

    Perfect timing! Just found out this afternoon my difficult child#3 just got kicked out of his Grandmas. I am actually doing well staying off the hamster wheel and I refuse to think about him but my whole family is codependent and my easy child#2 is not talking to me because I am not doing anything to help her brother and he is calling her ~ She said I am putting her in the parental role ~ She hung up on me and that is what bothers me - but - I will not allow her to "bully" me into doing something I know I can't do.

    Life - Gotta Love it ~ LOL