Loss of hope, mostly venting

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ckay87, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    I have no real topic here, I'm just going to vent. This week, for some reason, I just feel like I'm falling apart. During all of these years and of all of this BS with my sons, I've always had a sliver of hope. I don't know why... maybe it's a mom thing... but I've always felt with both that they would make a turn for the better at some point. There's been, between them, numerous failed attempts at higher education, depression, rehab, an overdose, jail, car crashes, a psychiatric ward, and a complete unwillingness to work (I'll bet I'm even forgetting something). And still.... hope.

    And for no particular reason at all, it occurred to me this week that the chances that either or both will come around ANYTIME soon, are mostly non-existent. My youngest has opportunities right now that he's just wasting. I'm not quite sure how he's managing to tie his own shoes. My oldest turns 27 next weekend, doesn't leave the house (he doesn't live with me), and won't talk to me.

    All opportunities are thisclose to coming to an end and I see them both destitute and homeless. Because that's what happens when you don't take care of yourself, at ALL. And it's hitting me hard right now. I'm tearing up even now, but that is mostly because I haven't slept all week. I'll sleep from about 10pm-1am, wake up and think about these things, stay awake and then go to work. I have a headache that won't go away.

    I know it's not a permanent solution, but I may see a doctor for a mild anti-anxiety medication. Anyone have any experience with this? I've always been emotionally healthy (not bragging....purely lucky), so I don't know much of that. But I'm feeling these things physically now and I need help.

    I know the error of my thinking and I come here probably every day to look over the detachment article at the top of the community. I recite that stuff in my mind as I try to sleep. I don't understand my feelings right now and the disconnect to all things logical. I'm a fairly smart, and very reasonable person and I know my feelings are neither of those things. I can't control them.

    Thank you for listening.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I decided to always have hope.but it is not necessarily for Kay because I can't control her path. I tried that over and over again.

    But I have hope that I can live happily no matter what Kay does. I have hope that my other loved ones will shine. I have hope that maybe one day, whether I am still here or not, that Kay will make better choices but I no longer attach her outcome to myself. I am living in the here and now and not thinking too far ahead of myself.

    Yesterday was history,
    Tomorrow a mystery.
    We only have today.

    I love the Al Anon idea of one day at a time. For me, depression sets in when I think about the unknown future. I can sit with anything for 24 hours.

    My Mom used to sing this old song to us.

    "Grab your coat and grab your hat. Put your worries on the doorstep. Just direct your feet...to the sunny side of the street."

    God bless you.
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  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Sorry for how you are feeling. I am feeling a bit like that myself this week.

    I too am very emotionally healthy considering all that I have been through (alcoholic mother, abusive short second marriage, two divorces, son off rails). I did take Lexipro for a year when my son first started his descent. It helped me to "take the edge off" and honestly other than that, I could not even tell I was on anything. It makes you not want to cry all the time, is all it did for me.

    I think my feeling comes from the time of year - holidays always make us think why things can't be as they should be.

    My son has done well but has definitely been in a hiccup for the past few months. I sometimes wonder if he'll ever be on his own and be self sufficient and happy. Right now he works at Dunkin Donuts part time with school starting in January. My husband took him past the campus yesterday and he said it looked old. Really?? It's a junior college and it's in an older town a half hour from our home in a very luxurious area. Who cares how old it looks is all I could think to say!!!

    He is going to college because we suggested he do something to get a degree of some type so he can someday support himself! He also needs to meet people because he never goes anywhere except to work or else he's home with us. I don't even look forward to the weekends right now with him just sitting with us. UGH.

    I continue to look to my higher power and pray that my son turns his life around and finds his way. That is all I can really recommend.

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  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I started taking an anti anxiety medication years ago it helps. I have not had side effects. I am glad i did it . i also saw a councelor when it was prescribed and at a later date when he was at his worst. I recommend both.
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  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I took benzos. Yes. Benzos.

    Not to get high but because Kay was driving me close to having a nervous breakdown and I had to be okay for my other loved ones and for work. And my anxiety was off the roof. At one point I would have shaking spells. I would run to the restroom at work or home and throw water on my face to stop the shaking. Panic attacks. And crying spells when I hid in my room.

    I took Clonazapan .5 twice a day and weaned off of it with a doctor's help after three years. It did not make me a drug addict and I was able to function with more clarity while taking during my hardest times.

    My husband takes pills for diabetes.We both take high blood pressure pills. To me there is no difference. You do what you must.

    Don't feel badly or let anyone else make you feel badly for needing medication. None of us can afford nervous breakdowns.

    Blessings to all!
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  6. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I could have written parts of what you just wrote. I'm having a terrible time detaching from our oldest son. I can't understand why I continue to try to reach out to him, knowing I will most certainly be abused, as I was today. I messaged him just to remind him that today is his younger brother's birthday. Oh boy--bad idea. I received abuse after abuse. I don't understand why it's taking so long for the truth to sink in to my thick head---he really does hate us and really does not want anything to do with us. What is wrong with me that I would allow someone to do this to me?

    Yes, I know what I'm doing is unhealthy for both of us, and yet I keep doing it. It's so sick and dysfunctional.
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    For me I always hoped Kay would suddenly transform and be kind when I reached out to her. She only acted nice if something was offered.

    My therapist and Al Anon and family held my hand while I gradually quit trying to reach out to Kay. Today we have no contact (her choice which I'm sure would turn on a dime if we offered her something) but I am more peaceful.
  8. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I feel such a "sister-hood" reading your post. I share many of your feelings. Our healing takes time and it takes work. I've been in Al-anon for a little over 2 1/2 yrs., I have a sponsor, I've been seeing a therapist for two years and I pray, meditate and read good material to enlighten and uplift me just about every day. I also try to exercise and do things for myself.

    Until you (by the grace of God, I feel) can start little by little to put yourself first, you will continue to keep your sons as the focus of your life. So what happens when we do this (in my opinion) is those foreboding, gloom filled, despondent, heart wrenching thoughts become dominant in our thinking. WE MUST CHANGE THAT. And how do we do that? You just do it (as a "Wise" woman once told me).

    You make the decision to control your own thoughts. Don't let the hurtful, painful ones get the best of you. It almost hurt my brain doing that when I first started. It helped me understand what this "mindfulness" stuff was all about. To say over and over in my head things like " I am good, I am loving, I have peace", or things similar to this, is to help us replace the old negative pattern of thinking and make the good pattern more dominant. It's very difficult because the other pattern of thinking became so strong for me. It grew and grew the more I nourished it with more gloomy, hurting thoughts. It is not easy but it can be done.

    I've heard people in my Al anon group say, "you are not responsible for another person's happiness". I take a deep sigh (do I really believe this?). That's been part of my journey. I've always felt that my sons happiness depended on me. WOW! What a huge burden I place upon myself. So I try to turn them over to God every time a thought of them comes into my mind. I cannot possible have all the answers for the multitude of things that would need to take place for them to get their lives together. I couldn't possibly orchestrate that even if I tried my hardest. Too many planets have to be aligned!

    I recently read something that resonated with me. It said something like, "prayer is not giving direction to God, it's asking God to show you His will". I'm working on that because I tend to give very specific directions on how I want things to play out for my sons when in reality I probably don't have the "right" plan. I'm trying to leave it up to God and let him change "me" so that I'm better able to handle the situation.

    ...work in progress going on.
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  9. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    Jaypee: I liked your response to Ckay. Lately, I've been feelnig those negative feelings buried deep within not only for my d.d. daughter but for my sister. My sister isn't well and has stopped her medications long ago. She imagines things that aren't so. She was hospitalized many years ago for her illness and told she had to be on medications for her entire life, but went off of them when her doctor retired. This sister never drank or took drugs - this all happened after she graduated from college. I know while she was in college, the few times I saw her, I could tell she wasn't in a right state of mind. Back then, people held things in and there wasn't that much help available as far as mental health went. I don't know how this sister managed to graduate from college but she did and then got very sick. She was hospitalized for three months and underwent serious therapy. It was very traumatic for me to see my sister like this. Anyway, getting back to the subject of not being responsible for another person's happiness - I always felt responsible after this sister was sick.I talked to her a few times over all of this and told her she had to get a doctor and get back on her medications, but she didn't. She was so much better when she was on her medication. It took me many years to know you can't force anything on someone if they don't want it. I just felt like venting a little - I've got to remember this - you are not responsible for an adult's life. But, when it's a family member you love, it's even more difficult.
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I learned that in my bible study as well. We cannot pray for what WE want for our children. God has a plan for them and it is not our plan. That gives me a lot of comfort and takes the stress off me. I am constantly trying to figure out HIS life. That is crazy when you think about it!

    It is so very very hard to sit back and just let things happen.

    I was talking to coworkers the other day about how OUR parents did not guide us at all - to college or what to do with our lives - or just in general as young adults!! So we, in turn, have taken more of an active "guidance" role with our children and they don't want to hear it!! Go figure!
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  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I find it very interesting that you should bring that up. My ex husband of thirty years who is an alcoholic was diagnosed recently with paranoid schizophrenia. He also has issues staying on his medications and sees things that are not so. It is like what we learn in Al anon. We are powerless over the disease. That does not mean we are weak. It just means we didn’t cause it, we can’t control it and we can’t cure it. This can apply to a lot of things beyond alcoholism.
    I think for myself I think in my mind I have the right answers when in reality that is far from the truth.
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  12. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    So sorry Beta. I am getting better at asking the right questions to come to terms in my relationship. I grasp for logical answers. It's the implementing of the plan that goes awry when I let my emotions in. Having all of you here keeps me on a much more stable, saner, path.
  13. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you for sharing, CKay. I feel like your story lives at least in part of all of us who come here.

    Hope to me is the opposite of despair. So, I still cling to it. What has changed is what I hope for. I started hoping for my daughter to get the help she desperately needs. Now, I hope to have a peaceful relationship with my daughter before I die.

    I have had anxiety flares through the years that affected autoimmune thyroid disease negatively. I have a sleep disorder that prevents normal sleep waves from occurring. I have established a firm sleep hygiene plan. I take clonazepam at night for severe leg movement in my sleep. I know it helps me. I thought I should try to stop it and I was reminded what that was not an option. I believe we need all our eggs in the basket, medication and behavior changes. I am so glad you see that self-care should come first.

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  14. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    if you care to. Read posts from Copa and others to me about three months ago. My oldest son physically threatened me and constantly verbally abused me because I would not give him anymore money. Day after day I would open his emails only to receive a dagger in my heart. Copa said something along the lines that I likely did this because each time I did, I was hoping that he had changed and instead, nothing changed. I set myself up for pain each and every time. Almost like I deserved to be hurt. It was almost compulsory that I’d view them knowing with 99.9% surety nothing pleasant was waiting for me.

    Maybe I felt I needed to be punished because he was hurting. But the bottom line was I finally stopped reading them.

    It is sad that I haven’t heard from him a few months but he has so much healing that needs take place, that a day or two would not suffice. I have realized that this separation is what I needed to begin healing myself so that even when the time comes in the future that we connect again whether or not he’s made sustained changes, I will have been focusing on me. I will have changed. I will have changed because I value my own self worth.

    I think for so long I felt worthless because my sons didn’t value me. But I am a good person and I have other people in my life who support me and care about me.
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  15. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Ckay, I just want to reach out and give you a virtual hug. I have been feeling much the same way for the past few weeks. (Different situation but same feelings.) I don't have any great advice. I just want you to know you are not alone.
  16. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I've been on Zoloft in the past, and am on it again. I take .25 (half the dose), and it's not given me side effects, and my anxiety/depression is not where it used to be. I've also taken Clonazepam for horrible anxiety at night. I don't take it every day (a bottle lasts me a year or so), but some days have been really hard.

    I also take vitamins.

    YES. This has been part of my focus lately. It's literally been like trying to stop a locomotive from barreling down the track (for me). I've immersed myself in books and articles, journaling... stealing little pieces of time to focus on ME. It's going to take me a while, but I really do feel a shift already. I'm allowing myself to shift my thoughts. Allowing and forcing.

    My sister-in-law gave me a book called Resisting Happiness years ago. I never read it. I started it this month. It is a faith-based book (Christian/Catholic), so it isn't for everyone. Beyond that I do some daily reading, journaling, etc. to help me keep the focus.

    I so much feel you on the fleeting hope. I've been feeling that a lot. Then I dip into the what could/can I do thoughts, and that's not helpful, either. Enough of that. My life isn't going to change unless I start to focus on myself. The people I admire in my life have said time and time again that their life changed when they started focusing on them. It seemed selfish to me, in a way, but I think I'm starting to understand it now a little better. Baby steps.
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  17. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I used to find it shockingly selfish to put us first. I couldn't do it.

    I have now come to realize that we have to put ourselves first....for them as well as us. Some of the best advice I ever got.
  18. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I’m so glad to hear you have God in your life. We have to remember this battle is not for us alone to handle. He will give you the courage, strength and healing you need.

    I learned in Al anon that I too got “sick” from years of living with the insanity of it all. What I’ve learned is it will take time for me to get better too. We can’t think even in a day, week, month and or a year that we will be all better. (As we say in Al anon no one graduates from it) We can only hope that day by day putting work into our own healing, that after awhile we’ll notice good healthy changes in ourselves so that we don’t feel it our obligation as parents, of our adult children, who continue to make poor choice after poor choice, to deny ourselves of peace and happiness because we feel we should also be miserable, hurting and suffering like them.

    There’s no logic in that but I think it’s more of an internal parent mindset we have.

    I thought (and am still working on this) that I should not be living my life to the fullest. That I should deny myself feeling moments of joy and laughter and should constantly be fearing what poor circumstances my sons might be in now.
    I'm realizing that’s a sure bet for sickness and depression and I don’t want that for me.
    I must learn to value myself.
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  19. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    I, too, used to feel that I needed to know everything hoping maybe that I could help, but it just made me worried, anxious and depressed. It took me a while but I've learned that you've got to take care of yourself and treat yourself good. You can't change anyone as we all know. My oldest daughter once told me that she can't handle others problems - that she has enough of her own and to get involved with others who are troubled only gives her stress and anxiety. Of course she didn't mean this as far as her children went - they are still young but at times I'm sure they do give her stress too which is normal. After thinking this over, I realized she is very wise in taking care of herself.
  20. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    All of your loving responses mean so much, I'm serious. Who else would listen to this nonsense?

    I feel like I sounded a bit pathetic. I do have a lovely life and I'm grateful for all of it. I have love, romance, adventure and gainful employment. But it's often hard to enjoy all of that with all of this other junk lingering in the back of my mind. But I'd venture to say that nobody has pure, uninterrupted happiness. So I'm thankful for what I have.

    I had more drama phone calls in the night, this morning... it's all too ridiculous to document. Checking in here has been helpful and I feel stronger.