Update from the super slow lane.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I'm 11 months in to my retirement and 8 days away from my daughter's legal hassle's finally being over....life has sure changed dramatically in the last couple of years.

    I came on this forum about the same time my daughter began the darkest times, when she was arrested and became homeless........that's the point at which my life took a dramatic turn and I ended up living in a horror movie. What an incredible nightmare of massive financial output, continuing dramas and chaos, manipulations, angry outbursts, resentments, rage, sorrow, grief, powerlessness and the ever present fear. I look back on it now and wonder how I survived it. All of you know what I mean.......we're all living it or were living it.

    However, I sought help and things changed. For the last 4 years I've practiced detachment and it worked. Little by little I stepped out of my daughters sphere of influence, I never stopping loving her, but I clearly stopping enabling her.

    You may recall that in April/May, she was just finishing with the first legal case when a second one popped up. We knew it would be months before this case was finished and there was a lot she had to do to make it work. Her usual M.O. was to avoid, deny, manipulate or run. I told her if she did any of that, I would be stepping out completely, that this was her chance to show up and do the right thing, or she could do her usual without me. Amazingly, she showed up! She went to each appointment, each court date, she handled it all, it kind of blew me away too. I had told her that if she did the right thing and took responsibility for her actions I would help her, no money, but driving her to her various appointments and court dates. During this time she set up an appointment with a Psychiatrist to begin therapy and apply for disability. I had tried unsuccessfully to get that for her 5 years earlier but she was not ready and was not only mean to me about it, but refused to follow up so it turned out to be a dead end.

    She also began going to my acupuncturist and chiropractor since she suffers from sciatica and neck and back issues. The chiropractor told me that if she can get her physical needs met, get out of pain, clean up her diet etc. that she would begin to make better choices. She gave up coffee and started taking supplements. She is actively searching for a better place to live. Once she is through with the legal issues, she will be free to get a job which she intends to do. She has begun making better choices which are making her feel better about herself too.

    It's been a hard year for my daughter for as she has begun to dig herself out of the holes she placed herself in, it's not been a fun ride.....change is never easy and she had left her life unattended for 16 years since her husband died. She had and will continue to have, a lot of work to do. My role now is more like a guide, a check in point, someone for her to run things by and ask advice about and this time......she's listening! I see her making healthy strides in the right direction where ultimately she will be in a much, much better living arrangement, with a job, and a whole new lease on life. She's been in a 16 year nightmare and in the last 2 years she has awakened from it.

    Our relationship has flourished. I see her more because I offered to be her designated driver as she turns her life around, until she can repair her own car. We've spent a good amount of time together lately, which I see as an opportunity for us to change the pattern of our relationship, from enabler and victim to equals. As that shift has taken place, she has taken me to lunch (!!!!!) expresses how much she loves me all the time and how grateful she is to me.......is thankful and appreciative and concerns herself with my well being, which actually never happened before to this degree.

    She is and always will be an unusual person. I have to keep my strong boundaries, be very clear with her about what I'm willing to do and not willing to do.....but that way of thinking has served me in all parts of my life, I am quite good now at saying no, setting boundaries and making sure I get my needs met......I've learned A LOT and it's improved my life in numerous, important and meaningful ways.

    My granddaughter is doing exceptionally well, I am super proud of her as she launches out on her own. I am not responsible for her for the most part, she has taken the reins of her own life not only willingly, but happily!

    As this year progressed, there have been some bumps along the way..... retirement I come to find out, has a couple of interesting "stages" and thankfully, I am in the final stages of integration which means that I am now looking forward to what is next for me as opposed to going through the grief and letting go part. I'm putting together a new "vision" for myself. My husband and I are talking about taking long road trips, perhaps with a small trailer we can tow with our SUV......putting together a new adventure......it's exciting! We've even spoken about selling the house and moving to another country! There are so many options!

    I look back on this year and I see how necessary it was for me to rest.......like all of you, I'd been in a war zone for many years and I didn't realize how utterly exhausted I was......I needed this year of little to do so I could regain my energy, vitality and motivation. 8 months ago we began a plant based/whole foods dietary program, eliminated sugar, dairy, meat, processed foods & most animal products, and we started a hiking and exercise regiment. We're probably in the best shape of our lives right now which adds to my new sense of motivation and excitement for whatever the next step is. I wouldn't have done that, focusing my attention on my own health and diet when I was in the throes of enabling.......there just wasn't any room for ME in the old paradigm. I've learned to put myself first and as a result, life has changed so much for the better.

    It is not perfect, there are always challenges with my daughter, but they are small things, based mostly on how differently she thinks and operates, but I have accepted her as she is....before I was trying to change her, but I changed me instead and then she changed.......and then love blossomed in a different way for she and I......we accepted each other as we are......and that changed everything.

    I ask that you hold a good thought, a prayer, or warm wishes for my daughter as she starts her new life......she has a lot to do to get herself on level ground now.....thank you.

    Thank you all for your support, being on this forum for all these years has helped me to be able to let go, accept what is and begin my own new life....I am so grateful......
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  2. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    recovering, I am so happy for you! I hope one day that a light bulb will go on for my son as it did for your daughter. I know its on me to change so that maybe one day he will. It is so hard to cut the ties that bind. I am making baby steps.. god this agonizing journey, lol , But i will persevere. Love and best wishes to you and your daughter. she is in my prayers to keep fighting the good fight. hugs
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    What a beautiful post RE! Thank you so much for sharing.

    It's so nice to hear stories of a difficult adult child making efforts to turn their life around, it offers so much hope.

    Glad to hear you are settling into your retirement.

    Holding good thoughts for your daughter as she journeys along.
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  4. RN0441

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

    It all sounds wonderful! So glad you and your daughter have FOUND that light at the end of the tunnel!

    I hope that all of us here can find it too someday soon.
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  5. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Warmish if wishes for your daughters continued success.

    Enjoy all that is ahead for you!
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Re I love your post and hearing about her and about you. More later. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs!
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  7. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    Your post gave me hope. My daughter has stopped speaking to me because ii said no to her request. I also shared with her how the past nine years have been for me, which I'd never done before. It's been 6 weeks. I'm hopeful for a change in our relationship. In the meantime I'm living my life and enjoying the peace. I do miss my granddaughters.
    Best wishes and prayers for you and your daughter.
  8. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    What a lovely, happy ending, we all need to read these updates! It gives everyone hope.

    Thanks for taking the time to post : )
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  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Burn that hairshirt! (inside joke) :cool-very:

    Count on me to keep your daughter in my prayers - I'm so happy for you all!
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  10. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    RE, Your post is a comfort and encouragement. Because of what you have been through and how you have learned and found a certain peace and truth, you are enabled to comfort others with a deep understanding and wisdom. Truly, being on this forum helps us to be able to let go, accept what is, and see our losses as steps to a new beginning. Thank you for sharing this deliverance about your daughter. It gives us all a gleam of hope and gratitude. Best blessings ~ K
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What a great post!!
    I LOVE IT!!

    Big kudos to your daughter and your grand (she reminds me of Jumper...no drama or resistance, just a can do attitude). Sonic is like that as well, actually. It is such a blessing for those of us who had other loved ones that struggled and put us through so much.

    Biggest kudos of all to a wise person who always seems to know the best things to say...you!! Big hugs and love on a peaceful and fun rest of your life!! You have been an inspiration for many, including me. Thank you.
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  12. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hey RE,

    What wonderful news - about all of you! Your post put a big smile on my face for the day.
    And, I promise to keep good thoughts for all of you and will say a prayer this morning.

    Good for you and the new diet. I tried that kind of eating shortly after retirement. Lost 11 lbs and felt great (except for mid-afternoon shakiness). Hopefully, one day soon you can fill me in on how you guys pull it off successfully.

    As SWOT there mentioned, you always know the right things to say. You were one of the very first to respond to me years ago and I still remember feeling a first glimmer of hope as I read (and re-read) your posts.

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  13. Belle

    Belle New Member

    What wonderful news and very inspirational to read. Well done to you and well done to your daughter. It did indeed make me smile and also reminds me to not give up on hope! Hugs to you.
  14. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I am so glad your daughter is turning her life around!

    If you ever have time, tell us more about your diet and lifestyle change!

    Any great recipes or websites that motivate you?

    There are so many great times ahead for you! Keep us informed!
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    RE, I loved, loved, loved your post. I have so many questions, but the most immediate is this: how did you and your husband decide on these particular dietary limitations, and, if I may ask, what kind of a hiking and exercise regimen are you following (frequency, type, length of time, each session)? Did books, or medical advice or some other influence determine your choices?

    I would love to do something similar, but have not yet found either the motivation or the structure or the commitment.

    Bravo to you both. And to your next act: May you and your husband live it joyfully and contentedly.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you all for your kind responses, you all warmed my heart......

    CJ, I laughed out loud (once again) at your hairshirt comment. I'm hoping my hairshirt days are long gone! Thank you again for that image, when you first mentioned that years ago, I had to look it up, then it cracked me up...... and then it made a difference .......I hung that puppy up and life is a lot better without it!

    AppleCori & Copa, thanks for asking about our diet, that choice has served us well. Copa, I'll try to answer your questions......

    Okay, my intention once retired was to research and implement a very healthy lifestyle. This was for me.......the first real focus on myself and what I wanted. In addition, my husband developed a health issue which after much research, we realized a change in diet would make a huge difference......and it did. I've been a bit of a "health nut" throughout life, I've tried many different diets and over many years found that I personally do better on this kind of regiment. It may not be for everyone, but it works very well for us.

    The most important information I got that made a difference to me was watching a documentary called Forks over knives. That gave me the impetus and the information to begin. It was purely a choice to eat the healthiest diet for us. We watched a bunch of other documentaries, read books, but basically followed the Forks over knives regiment of a plant based, whole foods diet. Forks over knives has a website where they offer recipes. Netflix has the documentary. You can also google vegan recipes or vegetarian or sugar free and dairy free recipes, there are many, many sites which offer recipes once you begin. Another good recipe site is Cookie and Kate.

    My intention was to feel as good as I could and stave off disease. There is much evidence in the scientific community that this kind of diet serves one well with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, weight, stress and overall health. Being in our 60's seemed like a good time to really concern ourselves with how we want to age....this way of eating promotes a high quality of life and that is what we were looking for.

    Further research revealed that strenuous hiking (particularly uphill) is an excellent form of exercise for many reasons, so we hike at least 4 times weekly for at least one hour. The goal is to keep your heart rate up for an extended time. We live in an area surrounded by parks which have all kinds of hiking trails, from easy to very strenuous. My husband goes to the gym 3 times a week. I exercise at home with a favorite exercise video I've had for years which includes cardio, strength and stretching.

    My Medical Doctor is a sports Doctor and she recommends women of my age to exercise 5-6 days per week for one hour. That initially seemed like a lot, but now that is our new "normal."

    The lack of sugar reduces inflammation so our bodies have changed to be very lean and strong. I've lost about 20 pounds, my husband about the same. The weight loss is slow, but permanent. I sleep better, I have a lot more energy, I feel better, I don't have any cravings, I'm rarely hungry in the way I used to be, my skin and hair look better, our cholesterol numbers were significantly reduced.....and our blood pressure is healthy and low.

    I had a strong motivation this year to make my life better in every way. Having been a raging codependent meant that taking care of myself in every way had been challenged and I was determined to change that. The focus on myself lead to many different choices this year. The diet and exercise were paramount to the other changes. I felt a strong internal push to get things organized and completed. We're now in the process of cleaning out the garage, getting rid of stuff, getting rid of "clutter" in every way possible. We completed our wills. All those niggly things that sat on our to-do lists actually got done!

    It's felt important to clean up my life and get things in order as I embark on a new adventure. My belief is that I have to complete the old before the new can enter, so that has been my task for this year. I had no "distractions" of work or kids which made it all easier. All those things you say to yourself, "someday I'll get to that" got done this year......I've been quite motivated and I believe changing the diet inspired that motivation.
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank RE. Thanks for sharing. I am slowly trying to go vegan for the love of animals. Dairy is my downfall. I love fat free Greek yogurt. I also want to exercise more aside from work, which is an intense workout of its own. No sitting. Carrying heavy stuff constantly. Moving. Tiring but refreshing.
    I am working hard on spiritual stuff too so I am good to go on the road. You are probably good in this regard. I wasn't and was unhappy and angry a lot. This spiritual awakening has changed me to my soul. I feel so happy.Glad you do too.

    Keep sharing. I too feel seniors should stress less and have fun and try to stay healtjy. Im going to check out the fork diet. Sounds great! I'm also cutting out artificial sweeteners. That will be hard for me.

    I feel like the best of this life are still to come.
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  18. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    That is so encouraging, RE. I am so happy for you and your daughter. You must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. I can only hope mine follows in the same way {heavy sigh}.

    Good for you in your new healthy lifestyle. I have done the same thing, too and am trying to get hubby on track. I've been doing more of a Paleo eating lifestyle and have been active in the gym for about 6 years now (it's my go-to place for stress release). I always believed in the philosophy of "putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others" and I don't want to end up with a quadruple bypass like my mother. I'm hoping that the back half of my years can be positive and healthy.

  19. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    RE, I read your post when you first put it up, but I didn't follow up on your health changes...I so love what you have to say. I see a therapist with my significant other, and one of our issues is my commitment to the long term and his to the short term...the therapist once said that people come in two versions..."life is long, prepare well to make the best of it for as long as possible"...that would be me. and the the other "life is hard, do what it takes to feel good today because tomorrow will suck" and that would be he.

    I remain committed to the first way. My mom and my older sister were so wonderfully persistent with finding ways to remain active...rehab, stretching, strengthening, new consultations for new problems or old problems that wouldn't go away...diet, "use it or lose it" activity like a lot of walking, community engagement, participating in sports. and always always an emphasis on regular sleep and regular good quality in season food. My mom was a farm to table girl before that was a thing.

    I really believe that these things will solve a lot of our ills...those of our Difficult Child's too, except they seem congenitally incapable of engaging with them for any duration of time.

    Anyway, I am happy to hear about your mental, emotional, psychologic, and physical well being. What a journey. Is it weird to say I love you? Because, across the e-universe, I do believe I do. I am happy for your happiness.

    Good days for which to be thankful.

  20. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    What a wonderful update, RE! So happy to read about the positive changes in all of you. So much to be thankful for. Thanks so much for sharing. You inspire me!