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serenitysoul

New Member
Hello, I found the website and have read a few posts which feels good to know I'm not the only one. I have a daughter in late 20s and two still in high school. My adult daughter and I struggle with a non-relationship, or a bad relationship. She also has a child age 5, and it's all rather sad. She lives elsewhere, but the calls and stress from issues in her life are constant, always relationship issues with other people she has, money problems. I've tried many times to help her out hoping I was doing right to get her launched, paid for her schooling, and helped her with money, apartment downpayments, daycare bills the state didn't cover fully, etc. But, our relationship is like a cycle, it's terrible, then it fizzes, then it's a honeymoon, then she has personal crisis, and then the cycle starts all over again if I didn't solve something, call someone, or didn't want to keep listening to the negativity or agreed with someone else, or if I didn't send money. Currently, we are not speaking.

Her father and I divorced when she was 3, she lived with him. I have no excuse but I'll say I carry such great guilt from that choice afterwards at age 23, and today I blame myself. I was just young at the time with a crazy job, and he was planning on moving back to our hometown where both our moms lived, his sisters, uncles, cousins, etc. it seemed better for her to be around family, or maybe it was an out for me in my mind then I don't know, I won't pretend to justify. But anyway, we divorced. Anyway, her dad remarried another soon after, and I remarried another, time and years moved on. Her late teens were a nightmare with issues, I can't go into everything it was very bad, she moved back and lived with us for some of it, then went back to dads, and then left to live with a friend at 18. Her adult years were a struggle, she saw some jail time with two back to back DUIs and paying bills. How do you come to some sort of peace when a relationship isn't happening.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Serenitysoul

As you can see, your story with your daughter is much like the rest of ours with our children. We feel we are left holding the bag, when our children don't launch according to expectations or like others their age. We are left with guilt, fear, near-constant anxiety--and our own lives have become conflict-ridden because we find ourselves too immersed in them and their lives. It does seem cyclical. Either they (or we) are able to move away emotionally or physically for a time. And yet it begins again, and again, when their needs (or ours) overwhelm our best instincts.

After nearly 6 years on this forum this is what I have come to.

My serenity is in me. Not in my child. My serenity is not about him. And I have to work for my serenity. I take classes. I am involved in groups. I meditate and I pray. I exercise. I have interests, that I cherish. We are not defined by our relationships with our adult children, unless we permit this. I had to learn to no longer permit it. Sometimes it is easier than other times.

If I do decide to help him or engage with him, the situation requires crystal clear boundaries, which I assert over and over again, without the expectation that he either understands them, accepts them or complies. It is to accept 100 percent responsibility, myself, for this choice, to involve myself. If I can't or won't do this I shouldn't do it. There is the realization that we have zero control over another person.

Only you, not anybody else, can decide what is right for you in relation to your child. While others judge (and we may judge ourselves) judgment is not called for and doesn't help. We are mothers and we love these adult children with all of our hearts. I think a Mom who raises a child alone, has a special bond and special burden. And this speaks to the child as well. This calls for great compassion all the way around.

Finally, there are groups that help. Like Al-Anon. Some go to counseling. Some post here every day, all day (I did, at one time.)
By posting on everybody else's threads, I was able to hear my own voice, my own thoughts. It was easier to find clarity about other peoples' lives, other parents' pain.

We have to disengage from their craziness and the craziness that they make in their lives. This does not mean we have to sever our relationship with them, although it might. However, some do choose this, until their children are motivated to learn to treat them with caring and respect and to observe boundaries. But all of us recognize that we can't motivate or make anybody choose to treat well either us or themselves.

Finally. There are no perfect parents. As there are no perfect children. Let it go. Stop putting pins in the voodoo doll. It doesn't help. Welcome. We are glad you're here.
 

serenitysoul

New Member
Finally. There are no perfect parents. As there are no perfect children. Let it go. Stop putting pins in the voodoo doll. It doesn't help. Welcome. We are glad you're here.
Thank you, you give some great thoughts. There's been some positives along the way, she did finish school but doesn't do what she did school for. She's made costly mistakes with the law had two DUIs, some jail time over that, saw jail time, etc. I always think I want more that can be possible, I'm ready to love, help out, but then it falls short of being reciprocated and we enter cycles. She has relationship problems with exes, and with friends, always falling out, with her father, with her grandmothers, one is her fathers, and my husbands mother-mine passed, they don't want to tolerate the behaviors (sorry, I didn't mention it's not just the actions, she speaks very badly to family using bad language), problems with the aunts, her stepmother, my husband, and so on and so on.

I want to see her striving and happy, and happily raising her child, but it never happens. I've stepped in so many times but then a new crisis in her life enters either with a relationship, or with friends, or bills. All the times stepping in never worked, though I really wanted it to. I wonder if it's normal to feel I want a relationship more than she does. She struggles in happiness, and I struggle in guilt. I am also guilty of seeing people I know on social media with their kids, and things are great and smiling, and think why can't that be me?
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Hi. I'm so sorry. I also have a daughter who I don't see and it's horrible. She drinks and smokes pot and don't know what else and has had DUIs. We paid for her to get out.of trouble. Bad idea. She is in her 30s and still the same She is married to a lazy man, much like she is, and their son lives with our other daughter. He has autism but is doing okay. He has been through a lot for a small one.

Things did not get better for us until I and husband got.into therapy to learn coping skills and we also joined a twelve step program. If your daughter has a few DUIa most likely she.has a drinking problem. AlAnon could teach you skills and mindsets you never heard before. It was great for us even though it did not help her. The trick is to be good to ourselves even.if our kids struggle and our guilt just makes it worst. If God is.in your life that helps. If not there are still tools you can learn from Al Anon and therapy. Doing this without help, which I was loathe to do, made things much worse for me and the rest of my family. Help helped me so much although my daughter is homeless in another state and won't also get help. We can't control them. We only can control us.

We can't tell you what to do, only what worked for us. Sending you hugs and love.
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
All of this isn't your business. It's hers.
She has relationship problems with exes, and with friends, always falling out

problems with the aunts, her stepmother, my husband, and so on and so on.
Your responsibility is to learn to limit how much of this you let enter your radar. I think it's possible to school the people in your orbit to not bring all of these problems to you. I am doing better at this. Finally, my ex is learning that everything blows up in his face when he brings stories to me. I just can't take it.

This part is tough:
I want to see her striving and happy, and happily raising her child, but it never happens.
This is my weak spot. I want my son to change too. I want him happy. I want him stable. I want him productive. But I am only just now accepting that he can't do much better than he's doing. Now. He wants to change, on some level, too. But he has not until now had even the idea, let alone the motivation. You can bring a horse to water....Until your daughter comes to you and says, Mom, I would like your help because there are things I would like to change in myself and in my life....you have no place to stand, nor do I, with respect to change with our kids or helping their lives get better. Your potential control is over you. But gee whiz do I understand this wishing and hoping.
people I know on social media with their kids, and things are great and smiling, and think why can't that be me
OK. This is just self-torture. Do you really think people wash their dirty linen on Facebook? But the thing is, and I struggle with this too, there is only one REALITY. I am coming to see that the closer I can come to accepting reality, the less suffering there is for everybody. Our reality here, those of us on this forum, is that we have children who are suffering, and we suffer with them. Piling on with more suffering by comparing them or us to some ideal fantasy just doesn't help. Personally, I would stay off Facebook.

I am not judging you in any way. I understand every single word and I empathize. I feel your pain. I have felt it too and I still do, but less. The thing is YOU need to start protecting yourself. If you work at getting good boundaries, to feel less guilty and less reactive, seek out the things in your life that give you joy, you will grow in ability to hold onto hope and to love her as she is, and so will I.

I believe with all of my heart that you will begin to see rainbows and so will your daughter, if we begin first, with us, in us.
 
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