The Appearance

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Thank you Mixed up Mom,
I so appreciate your kindness.
I'm so sorry you had to go through that. It is all so hard. My heart goes out to you.
It is hard. For all of us. For some reason we are on this journey, trying to process the choices of our beloveds, and maintain our sanity. You posted of the horrible guilt, I went through that early on, and work hard at not feeling guilty. My two wanted to keep me living in guilt, and would say that they are the way they are because of me. Hmmmmm. This is a pattern with addicts and mentally unstable adult children that is written throughout these posts. It is very hard to process this guilt, we are all human and made mistakes along the way raising our kids. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I would review the tapes and think “If only….I did this or that…”
We never imagined that they would be on the course they are on. I apologized to my two many times for the mistakes I made. It did not change their choices, and they will choose to project and place blame, because it’s easier for them to continue as is.
You know MUM, that is not what they want, for us to reckon with our mistakes and move on to a healthy outlook. It’s because it takes us out of the FOG ( fear, obligation and guilt) that leads us to desperately trying anything and everything to “help” them. We want so much for them to live better, we end up sacrificing our own time, energy and joy to try to fix the situation. It doesn’t work. We put more energy into wanting an outcome for them, than they do.
When my daughter was in rehab with her infant, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t even realize how far I had fallen into the rabbit hole, because I just wanted her to stay the course, for her sake and the baby and her three kids. I went to a couple of counseling sessions with her and she talked about the same old stuff, it was “all my fault”. She also went on about how all she needed to do was “come home.” (Live with me). That was tough to say no to, but absolutely necessary. Been there, done that.
It is amazing, the help that she would have gotten, if she chose real help. Counseling, housing, job, childcare.
She was moved up to a less restrictive situation at rehab and allowed to go on day excursions. She ended up getting into an altercation (baby was with her!) which violated the rules and she was kicked out of the rehab. I got the call from the social worker on Mother’s Day, she wanted my daughter to live with us, it was “The only way she could keep the baby.”
My two well daughters were over for dinner and overheard the conversation, they grabbed me and shook their heads no. I was besides myself because I had bonded with this baby and the thought of him going into foster care was so excruciating. I had already told his mother that I was too old with health issues to raise an infant, that if she did not stick to sobriety, I could not and would not step in. I would not take on her responsibility.
I said no. The social worker tried to talk me out of it, but I knew having Tornado live in my home was not possible, same issues as you, disrespect and violence.
I hung up and cried my eyes out. I felt so awful, MUM. I knew it was the right thing, but it was such a stab to my heart. Thankfully, my youngest daughter and her husband decided to foster baby and he is such a joy. He has been with them for over a year now, and meeting his milestones, despite his exposure to drugs.
So sorry for the long story!
I guess my point in sharing this story with you, is what guilt can do to us. For me, I start to feel cold and heartless. Especially with grandkids in the mix. There is nothing further from the truth. We love our wayward children. We want the best for them. Unfortunately, they use that love and twist it to the point where we bend in ways we wouldn’t imagine we would ever.
Guilt is a terrible state to be in. It stifles us from moving on with our lives. It stops us from progressing to an understanding that we didn’t cause the issues our wayward adult children have and can’t control their choices. Guilt keeps us awash in the ill conceived notion that we can “help” our wayward kids, when they have to want to get help for themselves. Guilt is a negative energy that transposes into us taking on more responsibility for our kids choices than they do. They feed off of this energy and rather than wanting to help themselves, they want to help themselves to whatever comforts we have, because of our responsible living. So it becomes a never ending cycle of us feeling guilty, them taking advantage of that and helping themselves to our funds, food, living spaces and our peace of mind. I have read many posts where parents are besides themselves feeling guilty having a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep in, when their child is on the streets. I have been at that point and have to fight my inclination to go there. What has helped me is saying a prayer when my thoughts turn to that dark corner. It’s because my two choose to live this way. For the life of me, I don’t understand how they could, but they do. We all have to process the path our wayward adult children choose in our own way, our own time. Even after all these years, I find myself struggling with each bizarre situation that comes along with having an addicted loved one. I have to be very careful not to let that old F.O.G. set in. The holidays are especially hard, so I have to pray harder for strength and that God watch over my two. This site has truly helped me get through some very tough times. Keep posting Mixed up Mom. It will help you sort through all the feels we go through as moms with adult kids on the streets.
Wishing you peace of mind and heart.
New Leaf
 

Acacia

Well-Known Member
It’s not abandonment, it’s self protection. I’ll just have to fill the hole in my heart with prayer.
Ouch.
Hi New Leaf,

I am on and off this site. Since I have stopped enabling as much, my two oldest don't have much use for me, and like with yours, what I would think are rock bottoms have not set them on healthier paths. I have always appreciated your posts - looking at things with clear eyes no matter how it hurts.

I, too, have chosen self-protection, which my two mentally ill/addicted loved ones label abandonment and meanness. They are the ones with holes in their souls, unable to see their roles in their own suffering. It hurts. Today is Christmas, melancholy and lovely all at once. I wish all of us on this site serenity with the storm and enjoyment of small delights: the lights on the Christmas tree, a puzzle, a cup of tea, quiet, a good book.
 

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Today is Christmas, melancholy and lovely all at once. I wish all of us on this site serenity with the storm and enjoyment of small delights: the lights on the Christmas tree, a puzzle, a cup of tea, quiet, a good book.
Acacia ~ my most favorite things, other than the good book, exactly what I did for myself for a bit today, although I do love a good book.

I also wish the ability to find serenity within the storm and enjoyment with whatever small delights anyone reading here finds most pleasurable. Sometimes we don't see the importance of or really can't find our way to the small things that are good for us in the middle of the storm. I know I couldn't for a very long time. But now I know it is in the middle of the storm, when it's most important for our wellbeing when these things are needed most for us.

For me, back when things were really crazy, I finally accepted I had no control of anything, well actually had that proven to me over and over so there was no choice but to accept it. And weirdly I kind of tipped over the edge and started to find delight things that surprised me here and there. My most favorite back then was standing outside in my bare feet, no matter the weather, grounding myself to the earth and nature. It kind of jarred me back to life, knowing that I, my life mattered, I am valuable, as a human, I matter.

Now though these days, I've been able to compartmentalize my life somehow. Not something I knowingly sought after, but it has happened. I can put aside my son's issues, his skirting with homelessness, his very dramatic ups and downs, the what will his future bring for him. We don't know much as far as our adult children go in general, we don't know so much, what they think, how they feel, what they will do or not do, can or can not do. It does affect me but somehow I can put it in a box separate and aside from me and now see the world again. A world I had lost for a long time, one I didn't even know I had lost.

I can tell from Acacias post here and of others who have been here for a long time, that no matter the situation we all can find our port in the storm place. And I do remember the days when I read others stories here wondering how they managed to get through the day let alone find peace within themselves while dealing with the reality they had no choice to deal with.

So back to the start, I wish for anyone reading here the ability to find your way to serenity within the storm and enjoyment with whatever small delights you find most pleasurable. You deserve it, you are important, you are loved.
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Aloha Acacia,
Thank you so much for your kind response and wisdom. I did not post for some time as well-busy with my grands and well children, going through different kind of storms than the ever present cloud that having addicted loved ones on the streets challenges me with.
Since I have stopped enabling as much, my two oldest don't have much use for me, and like with yours, what I would think are rock bottoms have not set them on healthier paths.
I don’t know what rock bottom is anymore to tell
you the truth. My eldest, Rain, does not try to communicate with me, I think she knows that I will not follow her down the rabbit hole, she is living under a bridge. Good Lord. 🤔 Tornado every so often attempts to connect, as she says, usually when in jail, or rehab. She uses all the 12 step buzz words, but twists them to her benefit. She came to the house recently one rainy day with a guy “friend”, did a load of wash (mostly his, which is a whole nother affront, besides bringing street people up to my house.) She was clearly high, chatty, so I sat and talked with her, since she seemed open to a conversation. She talked of acceptance (buzzword) but meaning that we should accept her lifestyle, because she is an addict, it’s an illness and relapse is common. I told her that the choices she makes taught me another form of acceptance, to stop the hurt and desperation I felt at having two daughters on meth, on the streets. I am glad that I was able to tell her how I felt. I told her that their addiction and the choices they made set me on my own journey, as a mother of drug addicts. I needed to learn how to cope with this reality, that I had no control over their lives. “I prayed and gave both of you back to God, and ask Him daily to watch over you.” She asked if I would put things on the side for her that I didn’t want, clothes and towels and such. I replied “ Why would I do anything to support your street life?” I’m not cold hearted, that is the facts. She has a bench warrant for an ongoing case from 2018 (she keeps violating probation, missing court dates and such.) I told her that she should get a hold of her P.O. and take steps to right her life. I don’t know if any of what I said will sink in. Hopefully one day it will, but I am not feeling as sad and awful as I usually do when in contact with her. It’s a giant heap of “It is what it is.”
But that’s today.
I have always appreciated your posts - looking at things with clear eyes no matter how it hurts.
Thank you Acacia, I have appreciated your posts as well. Posting here helps me work through this mess.
I, too, have chosen self-protection, which my two mentally ill/addicted loved ones label abandonment and meanness.
I’m sure my two feel the same of me. They would rather we abandon ourselves and slowly fade with the hurt of it all. That makes it easier to manipulate us into doing their bidding. No mas.
They are the ones with holes in their souls, unable to see their roles in their own suffering. It hurts.
It does hurt, Acacia. We did not raise our beloveds with this outcome in mind, that’s for sure. Meth is a horrible soul snatcher.
Today is Christmas, melancholy and lovely all at once. I wish all of us on this site serenity with the storm and enjoyment of small delights: the lights on the Christmas tree, a puzzle, a cup of tea, quiet, a good book.
Thank you Acacia. We wish for that Norman Rockwell Christmas dinner, with all of our loved ones there. Tornado actually texted me yesterday, apologizing for the stress she has caused. I told her that I loved her, that she has way more value than the choices she is making and hoped that she would find her way towards sobriety.
We all have to do what brings us peace. I am working hard at that, trying my best to focus on my well children and grands. I have spent many years in desperation for my two, that did nothing to change their ways. So, I had to change mine. I hope that you had a lovely day, even though there is that tinge of melancholy. I have found that when my heart and thoughts go there, a prayer really helps to calm me. I have decided to focus on being thankful for the joyous times I had raising my children. When they become adults they will do as they wish. May peace and joy be with all of us!
(((Hugs)))
New Leaf
Thank you so much for sharing, Acacia. You are a wonderful soul.
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Deni,
What a lovely post. Your quote is so appropriate and perfect for our situations.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.”
That is for certain.
I also wish the ability to find serenity within the storm and enjoyment with whatever small delights anyone reading here finds most pleasurable. Sometimes we don't see the importance of or really can't find our way to the small things that are good for us in the middle of the storm. I know I couldn't for a very long time.
Me too. That storm literally rocked my foundation many times. I was taken over by it and it effected me deeply. It still does at times, but I have found ways to find that beacon of light, and come back home to my center.
But now I know it is in the middle of the storm, when it's most important for our wellbeing when these things are needed most for us.
So true.
For me, back when things were really crazy, I finally accepted I had no control of anything, well actually had that proven to me over and over so there was no choice but to accept it. And weirdly I kind of tipped over the edge and started to find delight things that surprised me here and there.
That is the work to be done, understanding we have no control over another’s choices, especially our wayward adult children. Same here, it has been proven to me over and again.
My most favorite back then was standing outside in my bare feet, no matter the weather, grounding myself to the earth and nature. It kind of jarred me back to life, knowing that I, my life mattered, I am valuable, as a human, I matter.
I retreat into my mountain jungle. The work is strenuous and oft times redundant, but taming the wild invasive overgrowth and planting useful plants is my calling. We are valuable, we matter. It is an important mantra. The storm has a way of diminishing our self worth.
Now though these days, I've been able to compartmentalize my life somehow. Not something I knowingly sought after, but it has happened. I can put aside my son's issues, his skirting with homelessness, his very dramatic ups and downs, the what will his future bring for him.
I am glad that you have reached this point, Deni. It does us no good to focus on that which we cannot change.
We don't know much as far as our adult children go in general, we don't know so much, what they think, how they feel, what they will do or not do, can or can not do. It does affect me but somehow I can put it in a box separate and aside from me and now see the world again. A world I had lost for a long time, one I didn't even know I had lost.
It is true, we do not know. I feel like I can come up for air after feeling held down by this undertow of emotions. I do have to be cautious not to get dragged under, that is another step in this journey I am on. Learning to regulate my emotions and be mindful of my reactions.
no matter the situation we all can find our port in the storm place. And I do remember the days when I read others stories here wondering how they managed to get through the day let alone find peace within themselves while dealing with the reality they had no choice to deal with
We can find our port in the storm. I have come to believe that it is the only way I can truly help my two, by staying grounded and creating that peace within. It is after all, what I hope for them. I no longer feel that it is up to me to make that happen for them, they have to do the work themselves.
So back to the start, I wish for anyone reading here the ability to find your way to serenity within the storm and enjoyment with whatever small delights you find most pleasurable. You deserve it, you are important, you are loved.
I wish that as well for all of us. I am so glad to read that you have found serenity Deni. Thank you so much for your kindness and light.
(((Hugs)))
New Leaf
 

Acacia

Well-Known Member
One of the main reasons I come to this site is to feel less alone and to learn from the strength and wisdom of those who have traveled similar difficult paths with addicted loved ones. Because of the non-judgement and compassion of the members here and my own personal work, I am much healthier, emotionally and physically. I still fall down, but I now know how to get back up.

I so appreciate both of you, Deni and New Leaf, and all who take the time to post. Each word of encouragement and understanding makes a difference. Sincere thanks.

For anyone interested, one of my favorite people to listen to is Gabor Mate. You can find lots of his stuff on youtube, and his books are When the Body Says No (how stress plays out in the body), In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (addiction and harm reduction), and The Myth of Normal - his new book.
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Good morning Acacia,
We are definitely on a most difficult journey. I am so glad that you have found ways to find your peace in all of this.
One of the main reasons I come to this site is to feel less alone and to learn from the strength and wisdom of those who have traveled similar difficult paths with addicted loved ones. Because of the non-judgement and compassion of the members here and my own personal work, I am much healthier, emotionally and physically. I still fall down, but I now know how to get back up.
The same goes for me. When I was working, lunch conversations circled around coworkers young adult children finding their way in life, college, jobs, etc. All of the “normal” things I wished for my two. This site saved me from feeling so isolated, I had a friend that I confided with, but the woes of this saga was overwhelming for her to hear. I think I owe her some serious therapist payments. I fall down as well, we are only human and it is especially hurtful to see our adult children become virtual zombies. Strangers to themselves and family. I feel a bit stronger every day and try not to backslide. Posting here and receiving such kindness and understanding helps tremendously.
I so appreciate both of you, Deni and New Leaf, and all who take the time to post. Each word of encouragement and understanding makes a difference. Sincere thanks.
I appreciate you as well Acacia, very much. I remember when we were both buried in the thick of it, trying to make our way through the rough patches. You have come very far my friend. Thank you for your encouragement and example.
For anyone interested, one of my favorite people to listen to is Gabor Mate.
I think Copa mentioned Mate. I have not had much time to read (I was an avid reader once upon a time) but am intrigued. Thank you for the suggestion. Take care Acacia. I’m glad you checked in and let us know how you are doing. It is wonderful to see those on similar journeys finding ways to weather the storm and come back a bit stronger each time. Stay well and please do keep in touch when time and circumstance permits.
(((Hugs)))
New Leaf
Ps. Here’s to a healthy, joyous New Year!🎉
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
I too am intrigued by the mention of this Mate author and will be checking it out.

I too feel like I’ve been on a journey. A weird, long, difficult , slow and often insane one.

We have had decades of extra ordinary difficult Christmas holidays until the last two. It took a very long time before we said “enough!”

You see… One family member has been uninvited fir Xmas day due to excessively bad choices, abusive behaviors and lack of remorse.

This was our “unwell” adult child’s worst time. Yet, would not see a therapist, take extra medications, make any attempt to do better. Instead, we had years and years of being treated like garbage at the same time trying to make it easier and nicer for our child. At the same time ruining our holiday.

Of course we wish things could be different. It’s sad. But, we so enjoyed our peace especially this year. Ah. Peace. Joy. Hope, love. Quiet. Spirituality.

It’s up to our ADULT child to get help.

I recall a full decade ago mentioning to one of my doctors that because of this bizarre circumstance with our adult child, we haven’t enjoyed a nice Christmas fir twenty years even though sooo much effort was put into making it special. That day was always ruined by poor and crazy , self indulgent , self serving, uncaring behaviors. He mumbled (sort of…I could still hear him). “ xxx needs to go!” So obvious to him. But, you don’t give up on family. Right???

That was ten years ago. Ten more years of Xmas horror followed. Has it been thirty? I think maybe so. Sigh.

Of course it wasn’t just Xmas day…but Xmas day was always “over the top.”

And our ties are now remote/very limited …we are keeping our distance all days.

Is ten years of efforts to help enough? Twenty years of being patient? Is thirty years of abuse enough time?

I cant do it. We can’t do it. They have to carry their own ball and run with it. At times they are open to “an assist.” Maybe that’s ok. But they must have the desire to change snd the willingness to do real work.

Again…they need to make their own choice (s) to get healthier and certainly not be destructive to others…maybe especially their own family members.

What a slow learner I seem to have been. Sigh.

I grew. Life moves on. And it is good.
 
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So much hurt, pain, bewilderment, guilt, shame, wondering why, how, is this real? Not the picket fence life we all dreamed for ourselves and our loved ones. So many tears, fears, anxious moments. So many attempts to fix things, make things right, Ah we are warriors. Each and everyone of us. And if we could we would slay the dragons of mental heath, addiction, poor behaviours. The life lessons taught through all of these threads is that our adult children need to want to change themselves if they desire. We really are powerless Over others. But what we have in spades is love, courage, resilience, growth, kinship, faith, prayer and our own souls to tend to. I am honoured to hear your stories and the sacred threads of your life tapestry. And I am also amazed at the strength and love each of you possess. Let’s acknowledge that we are good people trying to find our way through this maze. And find it we will!
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Nomie,
We tried to deal with our two for a long time as well. It didn’t start off with daily issues, that crept up on us until the drama became unbearable.
I too feel like I’ve been on a journey. A weird, long, difficult , slow and often insane one.
Ditto, weird, long, difficult, slow and insane. Perfectly stated.
We have had decades of extra ordinary difficult Christmas holidays until the last two. It took a very long time before we said “enough!”
I’m sorry you went through that.
Of course we wish things could be different. It’s sad. But, we so enjoyed our peace especially this year. Ah. Peace. Joy. Hope, love. Quiet. Spirituality.
I too spent a nice Christmas with my well children and grands. There is that ache for my two, but what can I do?
That was ten years ago. Ten more years of Xmas horror followed. Has it been thirty? I think maybe so. Sigh.
Thirty years, geez.
Is ten years of efforts to help enough? Twenty years of being patient? Is thirty years of abuse enough time?
This is my issue. I read a bit of Mate, didn’t realize that I had seen a bit of his work on Instagram. He worked with addicts and what I read, he explains his theory on what makes an addict use- they are masking deep pain. I’m not sure if at this point I need to delve into that. What of the deep pain the family goes through? The drama, theft, instability and chaos?
Again…they need to make their own choice (s) to get healthier and certainly not be destructive to others…maybe especially their own family members.
Family members, we are an easy target unfortunately.
I grew. Life moves on. And it is good.
So glad for you Nomad, thank you for sharing your truth.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!
(((Hugs)))
Leaf
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Fairy Dust,
I wish I could just blow some Fairy Dust over my two and they could magically return to their true selves, that would be awesome. But, they have to want that.
So much hurt, pain, bewilderment, guilt, shame, wondering why, how, is this real? Not the picket fence life we all dreamed for ourselves and our loved ones.
Yup, that’s for sure.
So many tears, fears, anxious moments. So many attempts to fix things, make things right, Ah we are warriors. Each and everyone of us. And if we could we would slay the dragons of mental heath, addiction, poor behaviours.
It’s, true, we would slay those dragons. Lord knows hubs and I tried. While we were fighting so hard, our two just went further into the rabbit hole. So did we, in a manner of speaking, lost time, relationship and peace in our home.
The life lessons taught through all of these threads is that our adult children need to want to change themselves if they desire. We really are powerless Over others.
We are powerless over others. My granddaughter reels me back in, “Tutu, Mom has to do this on her own.”
Let’s acknowledge that we are good people trying to find our way through this maze. And find it we will!
We are good people who have suffered the living loss of our loved ones. A most difficult journey. We will find our center, while praying that our beloveds will too.
Thank you for your kind words Fairy Dust and have a Happy New Year!
(((Hugs)))
Leaf
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
(((Hugs))) New Leaf.

Dr Gabor Mate is excellent. Glad he was mentioned on this thread.

Also… I stumbled across a therapist referencing him. She said something he mentioned about caring for the addict struck her powerfully. About how being a caretaker of such individuals can be draining. About how vital it is to have boundaries, limits and perhaps most of all support. Folks under stress without support are highly prone to chronic and severe illness.
 

JMom

Well-Known Member
Dearest Leafy,

I am so very proud of all that I learned from you. Every time you post, I see your strength and a great command of your emotions. We all weep about our circumstances, but you sound so clear headed and warm. I know it must have been upsetting to see Tornado and watch as she requested a hug from your granddaughter. Your grand is very lucky to have this stable home with you. I stopped and prayed for all of you.

Reading your post brings back so many memories. Hang in there. Keep posting! Sending hugs!

JMOM
 

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Aloha JMom,
It so nice to “see” you here. Hope all is well with you and your family. Happy New Year! I am at home trying to calm my golden. Hawaii celebrates with a lot of loud crazy fireworks and my poor dog absolutely hated them!
We all weep about our circumstances, but you sound so clear headed and warm.
I do weep and many times I’m not so clear headed. Thank you for saying I sound warm, it’s so hard to see Tornado in the state she is, and not go into rescue mode in my heart and head. I have to work hard at not feeling cold hearted.
I know it must have been upsetting to see Tornado and watch as she requested a hug from your granddaughter. Your grand is very lucky to have this stable home with you. I stopped and prayed for all of you.
You are right, it is hard and really uncomfortable for my granddaughter that her mom doesn’t respect her boundaries. I see little setbacks with her after these encounters. But, she will have to learn to process all of this when she is ready. Thank you so much for your prayers, they are powerful. I pray that you are doing well and your son is still on a good path.
Reading your post brings back so many memories. Hang in there. Keep posting! Sending hugs!
Hard to believe it’s been almost 8 years since I found this site. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement JMom! Big hugs right back to you.
Leafy
 
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