Why am I suffering

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Love never ends, May 15, 2016.

  1. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    After picking up my daughter early evening just because she hates the refuge where she is and says she is bullied ( which there has been evidence of but minor things ) I finally thought it's better to just get her out for the evening as I only get messages all night saying this that and the other is going on and I live on my nerves.

    We had bite to eat .. Then basically we had a drive to kill some time as I picked her up at 6pm ... I can't take her back to mine as my husband her step dad have fallen out over her past behaviour and amount of stress in the last few years. So I managed to get to 9 o'clock and she could see I was exhausted I've not slept for weeks or maybe years properly but the last few days I've literally had two hours max a night .... She then says I'm not going back yet can you carry on driving I want to stay out till 12 at least. We spoke about a few things like her partner she is seeing and she said she is not seeing this person anymore because other things in his life are more important and that she always comes second by everyone .. Then went on to say you put me after your husband ( my husband leaves as 6 in the morning and returns at 7 in the evening I see my daughter most days as she won't give over and has no real friends .. So I think what she means is when I drop her back at around 5.30 -6 PM so I can at least get my husband some dinner and be in when he is home that's putting her second .. By 11pm I had to park the car I was so so tired mentally and physically but still she looked at the clock and said its not 12 yet ... We got coffee and I had to just sit in car park. She talked some more saying how her real dad and step dad are useless and why I'm with my husband she doesn't know .... I feel like I spend my days pleasing her then my nights pleasing him ( not in a nasty way but no one cares if I am tired or would like a dinner ... I feel totally miserable and angry that I can't say no I just want to run away and find peace in my head ... I'm 37 and literally have no real life I look a wreck feel a wreck and don't eat or sleep and suffer constant tummy ache and I shake a lot. My daughter might be getting a room in a shared house on Wednesday and I'm just waiting for the next thing to be wrong in there I don't think I can take one more problem on board my head is a mass of confusion.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok..this is my opinion only.

    By the time your adult child is of adult age, yes, your partner should come first. Sounds like your husband is not wanting her home because she is toxic to you both. He is actually protecting you.

    I think a good solution to all midnight harassment from an adult child is to turn off your phone and stick it in a drawer. You could set "phone hours" like 10-8 and refuse to look at anything at night. You can even, as you walk this path longer and get more fed up, only read daughters messages four days a week, or two, or even take some break. If she calls you to get her or to complain in the middle of the night you really can't help her. See, it may seem like you are helping her to drive her around all night, but you are inadvertently hurting her and not teaching her to be age appropriately dependent and to figure things out herself. So what if she is angry at you? She is expecting the ridiculous of you considering she is an adult.

    You also in my opinion should take care of yourself. You need to sleep. We all do. You need less stress. You need to for once focus on yourself and maybe kick up your relationship with your husband. He is not the bad guy herself here. He is the reasonable one, seeing that it is a bad idea to let this daughter live with the two of you. Do you think she would do right in your home? Do chores? Pay rent? Be respectful to all? Clean up?

    in my opinion it's your time to be good to yourself. Stop driving daughter around and letting her boss you around while using abusive words. She is NOT your boss nor should you say how high when she says jump..you are giving her way too much power over your life. in my opinion everyone will benefit if you start setting boundaries. Remember, you won't be here forever. Our adult kids need a push to take care of their own problems.

    Hugs and take care of YOU. And listen to your husband. in my opinion he's right.
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You are here with us now, Love Never Ends. We each have been where you are, and have helped one another understand how to come through it. I am glad you are here.

    When I was new to the site, one of the other moms posted the Serenity Prayer for me. That prayer is one of those things we all know so well that we don't really hear it. That mom (Suz) told me to read it and read it again, until I got it.

    I did that.

    It helped me.

    Here it is for you, Love Never Ends. Please read it over and over again until it helps. It is a beginning way for us to recenter.

    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    the Courage to change the things I can
    and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    I agree with SWOT that your husband is protecting you, but I would add that you need his support as well as his protection. You need his strength and his perspective. Are you able to talk with him about how you feel about what is happening with your child?

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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Good Morning Love,

    I appreciate you wanting to be there to help your daughter, however you are not helping. You have crossed the line to enabling. I understand that it hurts to see your daughter struggle but it is that struggle that she grow. You are allowing her to manipulate you, she is using your emotions against you.

    Again, this kind of comment is pure manipulation. Your relationship with your husband is just that, it's YOUR relationship. She does not have a say in that. As parents, when our children are small we put their needs first but then they grow into adults the dynamics of the relationship change, or it should. Our children are supposed to launch on their own to live their own lives and take care of themselves. We the parents are now able to turn our focus back to ourselves, to do those things that we may have put on hold while raised our children. This is YOUR time. Your daughter is an adult.

    More manipulation. She is trying to make you feel guilty for choosing your husband. Do not allow her to do this.

    This my dear friend is where you have the power to take control of YOUR life. Your energy reserves are like a bank account and you my dear are overdrawn! You cannot continue to give and give and give without depositing something. You have to yourself first and take care of yourself.

    You are having trouble saying NO because you do not have clear boundaries set.
    This is something you need to do for yourself and in return this is a behavior that your daughter can learn from you.

    If you are able financially I would suggest you get some counseling for yourself. A good counselor (unlike the one your daughter went to) will be able to help you learn how to set healthy boundaries.
    If that won't work for you then there are numerous youtube videos that can help you. Today is the day you can start to take your life back. It won't happen all at once but if you do a little each day you will get there. It all starts with changing the way you think and see things. I know it's possible because I and many others here have done it and you can too.

    Here is a link to a video on setting boundaries.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is one of my go to stories. It's a great way to understand how life's struggles are necessary to grow.
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  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    So sorry you are going thru this. I agree with what others have written and you need to set healthy boundaries. I think you can inform daughter that you will take no calls after a specific time, that you need a days notice (or more!) to drive her places, but it will not include driving her around to kill time. Help her get a library membership, gets some books to read, or headphones for books on tape, or some simple hobby supplies like crocheting or counted cross stitch to fill her time. A journal would be a good thing too. Then, maybe set up a standing dinner date for one evening a week to spend time with her.

    You are going to slowly disappear...no time or energy for your self, your spouse, other friends if you keep this up. Maybe find a place to volunteer occasionally. Maybe your daughter could do the same. You shouldn't sacrifice your life for hers...as you have no control over what she does.

    Keep us posted. Good luck! KSM
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  7. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Thankyou for the butterfly story what a lovely way to understand helping with kindness only to achieve the complete opposite..... I really do need to sort my hours out as your right I have no time for anything else I don't see friends and have no interest in anything anymore. I've bought my daughter books, puzzles , therapeutic colouring books , just about everything I can think of to occupy her time it seems to last two seconds then she is back to just wanting me in front of her physically taking her places or doing things for her ... I tell friends only little things about her but some of it seems so far fetched I honestly don't think they would believe me as they seem to have run of the mill kids who maybe stay out once all night and that's about it they wouldn't understand these kinds of problems as the few times I've told just the not so bad things they all say oh she will grow out of it or oh my daughter gets stroppy ... It's a bit more serious than stroppy or a grow out of situation, I don't blame them as I wouldn't have understood had I never had suffered some of the most awful years and problems we have been faced with. Thankyou for all your replies even if I am to weak to say no to her it's helping me see things differently which may in turn spark that courage I need to care about my own life xx
  8. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Thankyou for the prayer it's very true words .... I have tried talking to my husband but he finds it hard to watch me support her after the things she has put us through ... His answer is he paid for private schooling and she did nothing with it apart from being trouble to our door .. Then he tells me let her father deal with it ( he knows her father is useless and won't help ) I know he's frustrated but going through things alone is making the whole thing so much harder on me. Xx
  9. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Thankyou for your opinion it is very much appreciated as right now I'm confused and can't see straight, so sometimes when it's written down it makes it easier to understand .. Your right on all your points and one of them I've tried ( the not answering the phone sticking it in the drawer .. Then she starts the home phone and I started ignoring that, so she phoned, messaged anyone who knew me, mum dad, aunts uncles , friends , the family know what she is like but the friends don't or only know a little bit .. I started to feel embarrassed when people who didn't know my situation were contacting me saying oh your daughter was worried she couldn't get in contact with you, these people have families and it's embarrassing that she contacts them so I gave up and answer her to stop other people getting hassled as its not there problem to deal with ) I think I've got to the point where I've been piggie in the middle with her and my husband for so long I've lost interest in him now as I'm always tired and frustrated as I feel I deal with things alone or rush around so she is happy and he is happy and that way there is no arguments to deal with .... If I could run away I would because I long for a feeling of complete emptiness in my head where I don't have to sort anyone out or deal with anything Xxx
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    And so it begins....................................

    You have already taken the first step, you have done that one small thing, your thinking is starting to change.

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  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I agree with everybody else.

    Especially this:
    All of us were where you are now. Exhausted. Desperate. Afraid. Lost.

    Coming here changes everything. We have hit our bottom and we find a place to rest, while we begin to think instead of react, and identify and try on new ways of thinking, acting, being. Let me tell you. It works.
    Most of us were too enmeshed with our kids. But we did not know how to live any other way.

    We did not allow ourselves to know anything else. Whether fear, or guilt, or whatever.

    Have you read the article of detachment which is here on the site? Cedar, below her signature has a helpful link?

    There is nothing wrong with you. Remember that. What you will find is options, and with those you will find strength.

    Now is the time to rest. First, that. Try to think about a way that you can live the next few days, to replenish yourself.
    Your daughter is manipulating you. If she has feelings of insecurity or inferiority it is the age where she needs to find a self-help group or therapist and deal with her feelings. Or not. Her choice.

    You are neither her punching bag, her savior or her Mommy. You are the mother of a grown woman. Whether she accepts that or not, now, is secondary. In time she will. The important thing is that you begin thinking this way, little by little: you and she now are both grown women, equal in responsibilities. Her needs are not more important than your own. The reverse are true. Your needs and wants come first.

    You need not, and I believe must not listen to her criticism and whining. It is abusive to you and it is very hurtful to her. She needs to find a way to deal with her own problems and to handle herself and her life.

    It took me about 5 months on the site where I was able to take control of our communications. But I did.
    I tell my son. I will not hear xx or xx. If he crosses that line, I stop the conversation.

    Loveneverends, I am so glad you are here with us. Believe us when we tell you it gets better. For you and for your child.

    I do hope you keep posting. It helps. Sleep tight. (I read mysteries, fluffy old lady, cozy mysteries. And drink tea. And I keep the dogs near. Somehow this helps me.)

    Take care.
  12. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Your all so kind feeling blessed I found this site with such lovely people xx
  13. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Thankyou for your reply it seems you have a much clearer head than me and that gives me real hope as you say you was in my place not so long ago ... I think I get lost in the society that tells you your kids must always come first and you should always be there for your kids and you chose to have them .. I hear these sorts of things come from mothers who have saintly kids that all they need to do is phone once a week to see how there working week has been or the saintly kid rings to properly take there mother out to lunch on day of etc .... I've got myself in a real muddle I'm tired mentally and physically which makes everything seem impossible ... I'm sitting here now thinking it's Monday I don't think I can get through another week, will try to break it into one day at a time I think someone put step by step which is good to remember. She is an adult in years but seems so behind mentally but also very clever to say just the right things to make me feel this guilt .... She says to me when I have kids I will give them my last penny or my kids will always know they are loved ( I tell and show her everyday she is loved I don't think I've missed a day telling her and I've given her thousands of pounds and still giving ) She gets her benefit money and I top it up and buy her food as she normally runs out, but buys a pack of cigarettes a day ! When I say it's smoking or eating she says mum smoking is all I have and it's an addiction ! ( I know it's hard to give up I'm not a smoker but I do know it's a drug so is not easy to stop, however if your determined or hungry enough you can go to the doctor to get patches or some help ) But she doesn't bother and I won't see her hungry it makes me upset and nervous ... I can only relax when I know she is happy this is madness I know as in return she ends up happy ( for 5 mins ) and me I end up so unhappy for years. I hope I get to these boundaries you have reached with your son as reading them seemed so good and I'm pretty sure you and him benefit. I'm clearly at my lowest but with all these replies it helps to know I'm not mad or a bad mum or a wicked mum I'm just maybe a mum who has set no boundaries due to being manipulated for so long. When setting these boundaries did your son flare up into your this that and the other as I know my daughter will and the thought feels me with dread as that's when she gets into everything is my fault and I have very little self esteem and I crumble thinking I'm wicked and an awful mum and have wrecked her life. Her life growing up was so comfortable I never missed a day picking her up from school, she had friends home, went to after school activities, we always sat and talked about her day through dinner, I played with her thousands of games and always read her bedtime story kissed her and told her I loved her. Her room was always beautiful warm and changed through her ages so it was always up to date, she had own bathroom and beautiful doors leading to a balcony ( which later become an ashtray ) Writing this down I know I was not a bad mummy but the minute she starts I forget all this and think it's all my fault yet I've done nothing. Can you give a child too much I wonder or is it just in them regardless, as the more stories I read the more I think its nature not nurture Love to you and I hope I find the strength you have xx
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Love and welcoe to the forum...

    Of course you're not a bad mother. Just like all of us here, you are a mother who thought just giving a little bit more...and then more...and more....just a little more should be enough to help her get over the hump....just a little more and she will get it....just a little more and things will surely change. More and more and more until we have nothing left to give and we are running on empty.

    This is not about us. This is about an adult/child who has serious problems and doesn't/can't/won't stand on her own.

    The more we do for them, the more they want.
    The more we do for them, the more they don't have to do anything for themselves.
    The more we do for them, the less we are for anybody, even ourselves. Especially ourselves.
    The more we do for them, the more we are literally killing them. We are not giving them a chance to learn about life on life's terms. To grow up. To be an adult. To stand on their own.

    Oh. yes. When you start setting boundaries with anyone, they do not like it at all and there will be tremendous pushback, anger, rage, hurt, emotions. So go ahead and expect it.

    Start very slowly setting new boundaries. Start with the phone---let the calls go to voice mail.

    Take the house phone off the hook. Don't worry about her calling other people---you can't control that.

    Start thinking about what you truly can control, and start working to let go of the rest that you can't.

    Then your response time to her---let a few hours go by before you call, text, answer.

    Then, when you do call or answer, start saying new things like: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That sounds ____ (hard, sad, interesting, etc.). I'm sure you'll figure it out. Stop jumping in to solve her problems.

    Then, stop the flow of money. You can do it slowly. You can say things like: I'm not going to buy any cigarettes for you any more. This is the last week I'm giving you money for _________. Put her on notice that all of the money will stop within a certain time.

    As you work to make decisions, ask yourself this: What is reasonable? If you can go slowly, without anger or frustration or impatience, you can be very proud of how you handle it. You can speak slowly and calmly (I find that what helps me speak slowly and calmly is to write everything down that I have decided to say before hand and stick to my script as much as humanly possible). You can look in the mirror every day at the end of the day, and say this: I handled that pretty darn well...not perfectly...but well. I can be proud of what I said and did.

    Making a plan, and being flexible with yourself about your plan will help you as you go forward with her. You didn't get into this situation with her overnight and you won't back out of it overnight.

    But the goal is this: For her to learn how to stand on her own, as messy as that might look and be. And the way to do that is to get out of the way. Not overnight. You are her safety net. Pull the net away slowly.

    This is more about you than about her at this point. She is going to do what she is going to do. The question is this: What are you going to do? You need to reclaim your own life. You deserve a life, a happy life. It's time.

    No more nights driving her around until midnight when you don't want to do that. I call this the 51%/49% rule. I am 51% and she/he is 49%. I love him and he is very important to me, but I am just a little bit more important to myself.

    I know this is counter-cultural but especially with DCs, this is where we need to get to. That way, we have a chance to live, and they have a chance to live.

    Warm hugs today.
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Another manipulation tactic. My son pulled this on me so many times. I've heard them all.
    "when I get a job I'm going to have a nicer house and car than you do"
    "when I'm a dad my kid will have everything and I'll never make them do chores"

    My son is a homeless drifter - so much for the nice house and car.
    My son abandoned his two children - so much for giving them everything. He did get one thing right, since he's not in their lives he can't make them do chores.:eek:

    I'm sure your country is like mine in regards to there being many places for people to go to get a meal.
    My son has contacted me before saying "I'm going to starve to death" to which I replied "get to a shelter, they will give you something to eat" My son chose to go hungry because he didn't like the rules at the shelter.
    Something you might consider is making a list of the places your daughter can go for a meal or shelter. This is something you can do for her that does not enable her. Give her a list of resources.

    Your focus needs to shift to your own happiness. You cannot rely on your daughter's happiness to make you happy. Is there some type of hobby you used to enjoy, reading, gardening, something...... Find something to do that is just for you. It's okay, it's not selfish, it's healthy.

    You are starting to see things clearly. This is a good thing!!

    You can count on her to flare up. Here's the thing, our Difficult Child come to understand that they can manipulate us by using our emotions against us. They are counting on us to feel guilty so that we will give into them and give them what they want. This is where you have to be prepared.
    Many here have found it very helpful to have things written down, almost like a script. Also, it is vital to keep your responses simple. Do not allow her to draw you into an argument or debate.

    Okay, you know that this is what she does BUT you now know and have confirmation from all of us here that you are not a wicked awful mum and you did not wreck her life. When you start to feel like you are going to crumble I ask you to close your eyes and imagine all of us here, we are forming a circle of protection around you, we are there holding you up.

    You know the truth of how good she had it growing up. She has chosen to forget all the good and focus on the bad. That is her choice.
    You have done nothing wrong and have nothing to feel guilty about. Don't allow her to erase in your mind all the good you have done and continue to do for her.

    COM has given some excellent advice here.

    Again, it helps to have it all written down.

    You are doing great Love! You will grow stronger and will take back control of your life. We are all here to help you.
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  16. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Thankyou really good advice even if it seems impossible now it makes very much sense seeing it in black and white .... It's amazing how our kids all use the same manipulation I thought I was just this unlucky mum who had the only daughter in the world who could treat her own mum this way ... I will try so hard day by day little by little to make small changes as I know everything I'm doing is feeding her manipulation lots of love and Thankyou xxx
  17. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Once again Thankyou for all this support I feel overwhelmed that so many of you give advice and do not judge but encourage that I'm entitled to a little bit of happiness .... My daughter thinks she is the only girl in the world that had house rules and that no other parents treated there kid like this ( I feel like shouting like what like a princess as that's how she was treated any children that came to our house after school when she was younger didn't want to leave as they said our house was fun ) so goodness knows where she was growing up ! I honestly thought before I found this site I had no choice but to keep plodding along giving and doing ... For the first time in years and years I see that although I'm a mum I'm a person too and still have over half my life left God willing .... I'm still weak but each day more is making sense that these kids know just how to play this guilt game and it's very hard to see unless it's pointed out by people like yourselves who have had it done to them .. Lots of love xx
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  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I've said it before, I swear our Difficult Child have some kind of secret handbook on how to manipulate their parents.:runcirclsmiley2:
  19. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Hi Love, just wanted to add my Welcome, and So Glad you Found Us! Keep coming back, stay plugged in with these wonderful Warrior Parents! It's such a strong circle of support for us, battle weary parents. No one understands us like WE do! Such a warm comforting place. Granted, all our troubles don't magically dissolve, but here for the first time we can begin to see a glimmer of hope.

    Welcome, welcome to our little corner of the internet :)

  20. Love never ends

    Love never ends New Member

    Haha yes the handbook we are yet to work out or find .... I sat today saying to myself why me i was watching another mum with a daughter my ones age today, it was so normal they got lunch and coffee the girl was talking about work and just normal things ! If I take my daughter out I have to be careful what people hear as our conversations are what she has done, what she is about to do , and anything else that involves chaos or trouble .... I must stop starting at other mums actually as it looks so rude but I'm just envious of normal conversations and normal life I guess
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