A very bad day

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by BusynMember, May 5, 2019.

  1. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I am trying so hard. Hit Al Anon twice last week and Nami once. Tried to stay busy and work on my Recovery.

    But in the darkness of night, when everyone sleeps and the world is so still, I was restless and not tired and kept seeing my daughter and grandson's pictures all around me. I am one who surrounds myself with hanging photos of those I cherish.

    With weird, manic energy I walked around at 2am taking down my many pictures of them, trying to replace them with my other kids pictures, even my pets. And I did it.

    But I am broken.

    I dont feel like it is safe to be a mother to my two other adult kids. How on earth do I knowt will not get mad and leave? I difnt think this daughter would do it. Anyone can leave. I am afraid to risk my heart. And I feel those who love me is dwindling. I dont yrust anyone to stay except mu hisband. Thats not enough!

    My husband being a man does not quite understand my lonliness and defeat and need for some version of grandchildren. He nixed the idea of fostering babies or reaching out to a rather troubled teen we know who has two babies. He says she is trouble and she is but my desire for a grandchild in any way means everything to me.

    So today evolved into a dark day even with the sun out. I feel so alone and like my solutions are being disregarded.

    I dont know that the emptiness will ever be gone or that I will ever recover. Sometimes I want to go to sleep and never wake up. Its too painful.

    I am a walking shell of a person. I cant wait for my next Al Anon meeting.

    I cant think of anything that willl make me feel whole again so I sm.taking a nap to rscape. Trust me at nearly 60 pot has crossed my.mind! That may happen. If it takes the edge off.

    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have no wisdom. But I have this: I am you and you are me. While I am gratified (selfishly) to not be alone with this, I would not wish this on anybody else.
    I have been a highly successful person. And now I believe that was a shell. That the real me was this empty soul, except for my yearning.
    I know that AA, if I keep going all of the time, will help me understand and to fill the void with something other than "self."
    I believe that I will never be the same as I was before. Which was operating as competent and fearless and whole. I feel a great loss for that persona but at the same time gratitude that I am coming to know and experience the real person who I am who is anything but competent, fearless and whole.

    Rather, sometimes, I feel lost and alone and helpless, and I want to escape from this feeling in any way that I can.
    This is a tough one. I am seeing that I cannot depend upon ANYTHING or ANYONE outside of myself to give me the feeling of security that I require. Only a higher power (and a true relationship with myself, through a higher power.)

    There is an old saying "like a bat out of Hell" that comes to mind.

    In my case the primary trigger was the death of my mother. I had no idea that deciding to take care of her until she died, and her death, would undo everything in my life, turn my life and me with it upside down until I smashed into pieces.

    The thing is, this is a reality of life. Anything can come at us and upend the security we feel. The security we feel that is based upon other people or things is false security. Anybody can leave. Anything can be lost. Life itself is ephemeral.
    I have been thinking like this, too. I am living alone now. I do not believe I could bear fostering babies, because I would lose them. But I have thought of teens. Or even exchange students.

    I understand in such a deep way how you feel. I believe truly that the 12 step groups will help. I am going every single day. If I had time I would go twice a day! I also believe that there are people such as us who need to have people to love as a way of feeling that we are loved. For us, to love is to be.

    On Friday I told my son's best friend, "tell him when you see him (my son) that I am through with him." He had dropped out of site after saying he would soon come home. After several days of not hearing I called and called, and texted and texted. And what? He just did not bother to respond. What kind of person does this? What kind of love is this?

    There are people that want and need my love and care. My son will be better served by learning what it is when you are alone. It fills me with pain to write this, but I feel this now.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Copa, you spoke to my heart. Thank you.

    I think I can count on my husband. What is.it. Mostly I have to count on myself. So we think alike.

    I tend to cycle. Maybe it is grief. I go to Al Anon ad much as I can. We are not a huge town.so meeting times are limited. I never thought if going to because I dont abuse anything, but I doubt you do either. Does it help? Do tjey sccept you? Know your story?

    I am less concerned about what makes Kay tick than how to feel better about her. I think I know her almost too well already! She has suffered much trauma, but will not go for help so she self medicates with pot, with Kratom, with rarely booze. She is never herself, clearheadef.

    This may make you laugh or horrify you, not sure which. As I walked around in.the middle of the nigjt removing all my beautiful picturrs of Kay and my grandson, both big triggers for me, I was thinking that I should smoke pot too. Why should I have this raw, fresh, awful experience while Kay blurs the edges?

    Was I serious? At the time I was dead serious.

    I just dont want to deal with this pain a ymore.

    Hoping today is a good day for us both.
  4. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Your posts about feeling so empty make me sad. For me my daughter's issues forced me to take a long, hard look at me. Why was I only feeling good if I was in relationships with some people? Why did I define myself by others and if they needed or wanted me in their lives? That's not living to my fullest potential. That is living for others. So I started working on me. What do I like to do? What am I interested in? Have I sold myself short in my career, not believing I could do more? I moved into a house on a lake and started interacting with nature every single day. I spent time just exploring with my dogs. I spent time just being with my dogs (in fact I did that today). If I didn't feel like doing anything, I didn't do anything. If I felt like having a drink with friends, I had a drink with friends. If I didn't want to clean my house, I didn't. I started doing all kinds of puzzles. I started working on photography. When I have my granddaughter I completely indulge her and do whatever she wants. I did home projects I never thought I could do. I became vegetarian. I started saying no. I became really invested in my career and got a major promotion. Mind you, all of this has happened over a period of the last 10 years, not all at once. But I used my problems with my daughter to improve my life. In fact, last week she asked me to help her with something but I didn't want to get up early, so I told her if she wanted help it would have to be on another day and later in the day. She said OK. Mind you, years ago I would have bent over backwards to do what she wanted. I feel like I've had a lot of bad things happen in my life. But I have tried to learn to use them in some positive way. That is my wish for all of you. To use this time of conflict with your adult children to learn about and care for yourselves.
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  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Eliza, you are amazing and a hero. But it does not seem that your daughter threw you out of her life. My daughter is threatening to, meaning I may have no more time with her or my grandson. I can deal with her isses as long as I can still see her and my grandson sometimes, but she is calling tje shots. This is her story, not mine. A cruel story.

    It is a living death.

    I havent heard from her in two weeks, a long time for her.

    I don't know how my husband and I are going to do having never anticipated this nor been through this before. We so wanted to enjoy retiring. Now I hope we stay healthy enough yo enjoy it. This is hard on the body; harder on the mind.

    Today is s very hard day. I am pushing forward the best I can. My husband is too. But it is doing damage to us, no matter how hard we try.

    Al Anon tomorrow.
  6. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Actually there was a time where she moved out of state with my granddaughter (a baby at the time) and I had no idea where she was. We were out of contact for many months- maybe even a year. That was the longest. There have been a couple of other short breaks in communication for us. But that first one was the one that made me realize I was codependent and needed to learn to focus on myself and how to make my life one I enjoyed. I started focusing on my health and happiness instead of anyone else's.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    There are open meetings and closed meetings. At the website in your area it will be noted which are open. At the open meetings it does not matter if you are an alcoholic or not.

    When I started in no way did I identify as an alcoholic. I didn't drink except for a glass of wine at restaurants once a month or so. But then, as I began to go, I identified so much with the other people, I began to believe I was kind of an alcoholic too. An emotional alcoholic....
    Except for one thing. This raw, fresh, awful experience, which I relate too all too well, is where growth comes from. I believe we need to feel these feelings. I feel them when I go to the groups. Being with the people there, gives me courage to feel them. I think these feelings are our growing edge.
  8. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Eliza, may i ask you what methods you used to be okay when your daughter was gone for so long? I am looking for helpful hints. Thanks!

    I agree with you. I would never really turn to drugs. It does stunt growth. My drug of choice is God, as I see and know God. My best wisdom is The Serenity Prayer. So powerful.

    Copa, but what can you learn/ share at an AA meeting since you are not an addict? Can you please share how AA helps you? Do they mind that you are there?
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    If you read the AA website it will say that anybody, family, professors, students, etc. can attend open meetings.

    I can't explain it. I learn EVERYTHING at the meetings. The people there feel like they are ME and some share that they identify with me. The focus is upon belonging, the submerging of individual differences, of ego, of becoming one with the group. And this I feel. It helps me move beyond who I am. They know very little about me, all of the things that I have done. All of the things, that I believe set me apart and make me feel special. Because that's the point. The things I identify with that make me feel special, are empty and false things. It's very hard to explain.

    You could say what you've shared here. That you have come to feel empty and fragile, and have lost your strength. That what brought you here is the fear of rejection by your daughter. That you have come to feel powerless in your life, because of this (this is the first step, of 12 steps....) And that you are searching for a way, for a place, to begin to feel whole. (All of which I have read in your posts.) You can say...I don't think I am an alcoholic, but I have surely felt addicted to my daughter's love.....I am here to learn who I am.

    All of this, I have read in your posts.

    As to what I share: Friday I shared that my cat is very sick. And I cried. I said that I came there because when I do I felt happy and supported and I that I belonged. And that even if I felt afraid, that I could imagine the possibility of feeling safe by coming.

    The day before I shared that I loved coming and I felt whole there. But that this was a double edged sword because by coming, I brought my whole self, and my whole self felt fragile and afraid, and afraid that they would not want me. I just tell the truth.

    It takes guts. But I feel good knowing there is somewhere I can go to be with people where I can seek wholeness. And for that hour feel whole.
  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    How wonderful. And now you shared this with me.

    I may try it myself now. Thank you very much.
  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    All of us have felt the way you are feeling. I too removed photos. I am fortunate in that i get to see my grandkids. When i reached the point where i was feeling that way i sought personal counceling. I think you should consider it instead of pot. You need to find one you can connect to. i chose one who specialized in bipolar because that was my sons most prevelant diagnosis. It really helped. This is hard stuff and sometimes we need help to deal. They may suggest an antidepressent i also take that. There is no reason to believe that things won't change. I don't know if you are religious but prayer also helps me. Maybe meditation. You need to concentrate on you feeling better right now. Prayers are with you.
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Thank you.

    After my very bad day, it is now a peaceful night. I cycle between extreme sadness and being able to let go and move on. I am reading a book that I guess was once very popular called "Love is Letting Go of Fear" by. Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD and it is a most powerful book that is resonating with me on every level

    My mission in this life is to learn to control my mind, what I tell myself, and to just let go and let God. I am trying every day. I will beat this, with setbacks, as I.am addicted to being unkind to myself. So this is probably much like beating any addiction but I am determined to win and to have those lovely golden years, with or without Kay and my grandson.

    I am giving Kay too much power over me. She will do what she does and my husband and I must as well.

    As you can see by my posts, Kay's real threat to leave has me vacillating between extreme despair to hope at least for me. This is an improvement. When it first happened, I never felt hope for me.

    So as hard as it is, I have gone from total despair all of the time to large patches of time in peace and moving on mode.

    This is a good thing. I am very relaxed right.now. My dog is in my lap. She is such a loving soul.
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It took me a couple years to get to where I have more good days than desperate ones. Keep going to AlAnon, and therapy. Ksm
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Definitely will. thank you!
  15. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Sure- like I said it didn't happen overnight, and I have to admit much of it is probably my personality. I'm incredibly stubborn and I don't like feeling like someone else is controlling my life and/or emotions. So much of it is sheer force of will. I started by keeping myself incredibly busy. If I started feeling stressed or anxious I would go walk my dogs. For me walking in nature with my dogs works wonders in unraveling my mind. I would also go to movies, which is a great way to immerse yourself in something else. I also read everything I could get my hands on about dealing with difficult adult children, codependency, boundaries and self-care. That helped me think about my own issues, unhealthy ways I engage in relationships and how it affects my life. I had a toxic childhood, so I spent a lot of time working through that and really learning to believe that the way I was treated was not my fault. Once I believed that it was like a huge weight was lifted off of me and it really helped me reframe how I deal with other people. I also did big projects like being one of the main planners of my h.s. class reunion, painting my house, and I put tons of time and effort into my dogs. I am very proud to say many, many people have asked me to train their dogs because of how well-behaved my dogs are. I also spent time learning to just be still and observe things. I really enjoy watching how my dogs react to the world, and I learned so much from them about accepting things as they are and living in the moment. For sure, I had (and still have) bad days. But I refused to let myself fall into a black hole and kept moving forward. There were plenty of days where I literally felt like a robot- just doing what I was supposed to do and getting through the day. But I was also very thoughtful and understanding with myself, so I didn't beat myself up over the bad days. When I found myself talking to myself in my head in a negative way I changed it to how I would speak to a friend who was going through something similar.

    I have worked really hard to create a peaceful life for myself, so now I don't let anyone or anything disturb that. A couple of years ago my mother had cancer surgery in a different city than they or I live in. My father has early stage dementia, so I said I would stay in a hotel with him. Both of my parents have pretty intense issues of their own but they have a lot of money, so they get away with a lot of poor behavior. My brother and his wife are very similar to my parents. I was dreading this, but I also felt like it was something I needed to do so I didn't regret not doing it later. There were several times that my father and brother were unkind to me. In the past I would have cried and raged back at them. Not anymore. I just calmly stated how I felt and walked away for a short time when I needed to. I refused to let them destroy the peace of mind I have worked so hard to cultivate. And I was successful. For me, that was like my final exam. And I passed. As I stated, it's not easy. It's literally changing your entire way of thinking and interacting with people. But it's so worth the hard work. I hope you find peace in your own way.
  16. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member


    I strive to be like you. I am stubborn too but also way too soft when people I love mistreat me. Now is the time to just do what is best for me.

    Thanks for answering.