I have to admit, that being a mom is one of the hardest jobs anyone can ever have. You hear people all the time say how rewarding it is, and how they (whoever THEY are) wouldn’t trade it for the world. I believe those things too. You don’t hear as often though, how draining it is, how easily it is to have your heart broken by watching them making mistakes that change the rest of their lives, by seeing others sabotage their progression of change and success and by having to sit back and let them take their own path.
My mom says I should write a book. A book about all the things we’ve gone through, or should I say that I’ve gone through. That would cover most of the WE part, because I certainly have not had to endure this all alone. Sometimes it’s felt like it; ok it does feel like it…daily. But I’m not alone; I just try to bare the burden myself. I don’t think anyone else should have to.
Life is just like they say (again with the THEY), a rollercoaster. Up and down, spinning in circles, making you sick enough to want to throw up and at other times laugh so hard you spit and pee. I sometimes I wonder if I’d rather be on a slow moving train across the country. Patience however is not my virtue. It never has been.
I am the extreme hands-on parent, the “just let me do it” parent, and the “you’re not doing it right” parent. It’s not right, because it’s not MY way. I have serious control issues, and I am an expert at micro managing. I get so frustrated, when I’ve tried so hard to stand back and watch, and it’s not happening the way I think it should, I completely lose it. Crazy breaks out into a whole new level. This doesn’t make for a very good productive and balanced relationship. I don’t know how to stop. They say (who the hell are THEY), that control is an addiction. Well, if I’m not the poster child for that one…
I wrote a ton of notes the other night, before a meeting with someone I thought might be able help me understand some of the double standard we are experiencing. I wanted to assure myself that I was not completely off my rocker. In that conversation I didn’t want to play the name game, the victim, or make excuses for anything, so I wrote down what I thought might be worth sharing. And during that time of reflection and searching, for the right and most politically correct words to express my frustrations and anger, I actually was able to define how I felt at that very moment as a mom.
Need me; I’m a mom.
Ask for guidance; I advise.
Trust no one; I’m a friend.
Manipulate and lie; I’m gone.
That says it all. The lady I met with validated my feelings, shared her frustrations as well and gave me suggestions that I didn’t want to hear. None of it was immediate, and none of it was a guarantee. It could potentially do more harm than good. I was thinking more along the lines of plotting revenge, and was hoping for a partner in crime.
Isn’t there always a BUT?
But, as a mom…I can’t be “gone”, I can’t just “walk away”, I can’t just “give up”. Mothers don’t do that. My mom never ONCE gave up on me. She didn’t always (and still doesn’t) like some of the choices I’ve made. She’s let me fall, and been there to help pick me up if I couldn’t manage it myself. She has always been my rock. I need to be that too. But damn it, sometimes these situations feel like they are impossible to turn around.
Why do people (as a whole) not just my daughter…manipulate? Lie blatantly; leave out parts of the truth. Everyone has done it. No one is perfect. I don’t expect perfect from ANYONE. I can’t. That leaves too much room for disappointment. But then I’m back to thinking it has to be MY way. No wonder my daughter is afraid of me, and doesn’t want to share with me, tell me the horrible truths she keeps locked inside…and why she doesn’t want to disappoint me. Because in her mind, based on my actions, she can’t be “perfect”. So why try. My God. I feel like a monster.
For 22 years, I’ve struggled to teach her the truth about everything. The most important of those truths is to expect only the best of herself and for herself, because she deserves it. To realize that life just isn’t ever fair. (That is the lesson in life that NO ONE really can get his or her head around.) I guarantee I have told her entirely too much about my past, in hopes she would not make the same mistakes I’ve made throughout the years. I know I’m not the first person to say, that specific kind of parenting, no matter how you slice it, does NOT work like you think it should. Where is that Parenting Handbook, hasn’t it been written by now? I think there is a niche for it, and it would be a bigger success than the Crock Pot “Fix it and Forget it” cookbooks.
Going back to the thought about writing a book describing the multitude of learning experiences that have happened in our lives, to share with others, the battle scars and the successful achievements…I wouldn’t even know where to begin. And honestly, what a depressing read.
The last 22 months have been literally just like a puppet show. The puppet masters are holding the strings, dangling their control to the audience of life. Watching it is like being in the middle of a B rated horror show and having the chainsaw being waved in front of you, while you’re begging for them to just kill you and get it over with. Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it? YES! It’s pretty accurate, and I want my money back.
Whoever said life is like a box of chocolates, is a liar. Real life is like being a bug, just waiting for someone to poison you, just after you’ve gotten your family all settled in somewhere safe, left to die a slow death. Or, I suppose it could also be like constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop and smash you into the serrated concrete, only to be thankful you went quickly. Even the roses that smell good in the spring and summer eventually rot. I’m sure that’s why “take time to smell the roses” is such a well-known reference. They won’t always smell as sweet or look as pretty as they do in that moment.
And there again is that imaginary roller coaster that I want off so badly, because I constantly feel like vomiting. Instead of “you must be this tall to ride”, it should say “you must not have children yet”, so the other laughing passengers can enjoy the ride, without having to change their clothes afterward.
My daughter is “The Center” of my universe. Some may not think it’s healthy, for either of us, but until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes…
I’m learning from her every day. I’m watching her grow stronger every day in her sobriety (22 months!), watching her use her newfound tools to break through the doors that keep getting closed just as she’s trying to walk through them. Watching her setting boundaries with others, and someday she’ll be confident enough to set them for herself, and trust them. These are things that I struggle to do myself.
She’s so much like me. Some days we are able to step outside ourselves and see the future in the sun and clear skies and other days, stuck in a shit storm seeing no shelter in sight. Unfortunately, we feed off each other. I know I’m supposed to be the strong one. That’s somewhere in my non-existent job description I’m sure of it, but is also one piece of parenting I feel very unqualified for.
Obviously, in our situation, running away is not an option. And truthfully there isn’t anywhere that would actually take away all of the difficulties that are going on forever. I wouldn’t want anyone else’s problems, mine aren’t life threatening, so I’ll just stick with what I have and keep trying to start each day with a good attitude and quit looking at yesterday. Most times that is easier said than done.
All in all, though the past several years have been heart wrenching, terrifying, frustrating and sometimes even unbearable, I have a great support system of family and friends that help keep me out of jail and out of a straight jacket.
Today I will continue to be thankful that my daughter is alive, clean and sober and above all still loves me despite my extreme level of crazy. She is my center.
We got this YO!
My head has been a non-stop, unfocused, overthinking…circle of emotions. My only comparison? A hamster wheel. I’m tired.
For the past two years +, my life has been beaten down, broken, hopeless at times and then attempted to be glued back together with broken promises, lies and manipulation. As each day passes, some things do feel like they are falling into place, but then…my head starts spinning again.
I lose it. I lose my ability to be concerned with myself because I’m so focused on everyone else. Wanting to help. Be there to catch them. Be the fixer. The caregiver. I feel like I am the only one who can do it all. I don’t want to let go.
I want to be the one who keeps the friendships together, but why when the majority of them aren’t putting in any effort? The one who checks in on Family who has no one else to visit with, to share with. I don’t want anything in return. Just to know my presence is welcomed.
BabyAm is no longer my “baby”…that’s a hard chunk to swallow. She has put herself in the shitty situation she’s in, all by herself. As a Mom, I can’t stand watching her learn the hard way. I gave her the easy directions but they must have been misplaced somewhere along the way. I believe in her. I have blind faith that she will continue to work through the mud and guck that got her stuck here in the first place. She’s beautiful and smart…although sometimes to her detriment, but I know she can succeed in anything she puts her mind to!
She has been living at the Women’s Mission for about 7 weeks now. That does not feel right. Though we set a date for her to move out, the courts took her out 1st, ordered her to the Women’ Mission and among other things, placed a no contact order on our house. We can still see her, just not here. That makes things almost impossible. She’s working a full time day job, has Drug court classes 4 nights a week, AA meetings and strict curfew rules at the shelter. Did I just say shelter…ugh. No parent should have to go through this. I rarely get to see her and even talking or texting is hit and miss with her schedule. Sober friends usually get her free time, which breaks my heart but I try and understand she’s trying to grow up and help us both let go of each other. I hate it. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t have a daughter…I feel an empty spot where she’s supposed to be. She’s where she is supposed to be tho. She will get the direction she needs from others to grow and flourish in this big world. The world that needs her experiences to pass on to others who need comfort and encouragement, from someone who KNOWS and understands just where they are, loves/accepts them for just who they are until they can love themselves. I know this all has happened for a reason. I can’t wait to see what great things come out of this!!
As for me, I’ve been to counseling off and on, been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, BiPolar II, and been re diagnosed with ADHD. Fun stuff. 2 years of taking my mood stabilizer for the BiPolar, I began having tremors. Gradually getting worse and worse. So much that my beautiful hand writing looked just like a 90 year old man’s. Very rough. I felt as if I was going to go crazy. Not being able to text, to type on the laptop keyboard, not being able to hold a fork steady enough to get it into my mouth, or keep my legs from bouncing up and down (in public no less).
All of this happening while changing med doctors 3 times, and counselor twice… No fault of my own. The newest med doc started from the beginning with me, and immediately took me off the medicine she thought was causing the tremors…6 weeks later…90% better! Writing like my own self again. Some days are worse than others but anything is better than it was! She changed up my meds and decided that I needed to feel all these emotions right now. That it’s healthy, and I’ve been so numbed up the past couple years that it was time to experience the reality of hurt, concern, anger and to feel happiness when I’m able. I didn’t like hearing it, but I understood and accepted it.
Add into my own issues…KKs cancer returned, in her lungs this time and into her brain just as quickly. She started out with 5 tumors in her brain…it’s now up to 8. Some of them are new, some have grown, and a couple stayed the same. She has two new lymph nodes growing in her lung in addition to the cancer mass. In January (2014), the doctor gave her 6-12 months. It’s now August. Her daughter GI Jane is expecting a little boy the end of Dec/1st of Jan…her 1st grandbaby! Today started her 3rd round of radiation. Possibly a third round of chemo as well…hoping for a few more months. I want to be there for her again at every appointment, every radiation etc…but sometimes I don’t feel welcomed by others in her family. They weren’t the ones sitting with her all day during chemo, watching the nurses pump poision into her body..so some days now are harder than others, but I manage. Crying after almost every appointment once I get to my car.
Selfish moment here because I’m not the only one feeling this horrible heartache…but this is my best friend. She’s only 44. Why her? Watching this happen for the past 4 1/2 years has been devastating. Seeing her sick, lose her hair, have blood clots in her legs, develop steroid induced diabetes that put her in the hospital for 3 days. Her family…my heart just aches for them. A daughter who is also going to lose her best friend and mother, a Grandbaby on the way, 8 year old little man and a husband who just got told that he needs back surgery ASAP…and his career is over. What more can be throw at this precious family?
And on the home front here…well my rock, my wonderful…loving…patient…kind husband has his hands full at work. He has been out of town so much this past year, and this month we have figured he will be gone 20 out of 31 days. Tough. We are trying to get used to the “Empty Nest” again but it’s even more empty without him. I know that’s how he supports us, so I support him and his job. It doesn’t make it suck any less tho. This man is my world. I love him dearly.
There’s still more to share, but another day.
Overall, things are ok. Very up and down. Just like me every night. But it’s just still gotta be “One Day at a Time”. Right? Sometimes one hour, one minute, one second…
I am so interested to know who of her “friends” were really there for BabyAm when she was at her lowest. I would like to know who of her “friends” profess they support her and how her recovery comes first but still find it necessary to drunk text her. I know of 4 that checked on her, one out of state, one that stole her underwear and violated the privacy of her phone, another who isn’t doing so well either and then one that has shown he too…is a tool.
Interested to know how someone she cared about could put her in a potentially life altering position by taking her back to a place with so many triggers, used her and tossed her in the trash.
Interested to know why would anyone do those things to someone who is obviously vulnerable and in need of being supported and loved for who she is and where she is, without ANY temptations including but not limited to drugs…alcohol…or sex.
Interested to know why some of our friends have drifted and or are hiding from us. Do they think we have something they or their children can catch? Idiots. It’s not the common cold or a rash. It’s addiction. What are YOU ADDICTED TO? Porn? Oreos? Control?
Reminder to myself: It’s not about me.
But I would have loved to have been there to see you get your chip, and share in that moment.
Congratulations 6 months is great. I’m proud of you. I hope when you get your ‘year’, I will be invited.
You can do this.
I was given an assignment by a temporary sponsor this past week to make a list of 10 Things I am Grateful For. I have been trying to do it for months. So, here it is, in all it’s glory. I don’t know if it’s right, I don’t know if it needs tweaking but at 4:45am on Sunday June 9th, 2013…these are the things I was grateful for.
- Husband who loves me, and puts up with me…treats me like a queen.
- Mother who loves me unconditionally and has helped me grow by learning lessons she couldn’t teach me, because I needed to do it on my own
- Divorced first husband, but got my darling daughter out of that marriage, and ultimately out of that atmosphere.
- Though darling daughter has chosen the rocky path, she still has both feet on the ground and is trying to get back to the junction where the more smooth path lies. And she’s alive, clean and sober.
- I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, clothes on my back, and amenities I don’t need because my husband works hard to take care of his family.
- That I’m not alone, there are others who know how I feeling, how I have felt, and how I am going to feel…they are there for me to encourage me, and offer strength and hope.
- That finally after several years I have a medical diagnosis and am taking the proper medication, and have someone monitoring my progress. I am more balanced.
- I am free. I am free to go for a walk, to make choices, to say yes/no with out explanation. I am free to be myself, and have myself shine through inside and out.
- I am loved unconditionally by my family. That is amazing.
- My problems can all be solved with acceptance, once I am ready to admit, and give in to being powerless over everything…except myself.
It has to be my new medicine. I am cranky again and headaches galore.
I had to change one because last month it was $15. This month $104….because THEY CAN.
My sponsor flaked out.
My shrink took a new job.
My Psych PA took a new job.
My General Practioner PA left as well.
I have a head full of crap and can’t let it out. Nice.
BabyAm is 137 days clean and sober. So proud of her.
Yesterday I started to write this:
Today we face adversity. I hate it. I don’t handle BS well. UGH.
So BabyAm finally after 35 days got to come home Wednesday night. She’s 63 days sober today (maybe 64). I think that’s awesome. I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling for her to be able to have that much time behind her.
The court system blows so much of the time, but in her case…with the Judge she has, wow did she ever get a second chance. A blessing. (And like I said, I don’t say that anymore in quite the same way.)
Today has started out rough though, and she was told she needs to have a plan B regarding her living arrangements. This is not cool. It’s so frustrating for all of us. So now we wait.
Last night I had the first real breakdown I have had in a couple months…partially because of all the shitty events of the day, partially because I got another taste of what it feels like to be the “cancer” of the family…or that our friends might catch the family “DISEASE”…
Now add to that the bold face lies that Hubby’s ex-wife told him, and that the company we were going to have for the weekend, in March, decided not to stay with us for whatever reason…ok, it’s a total SHIT reason, and it broke my heart…and I was a wreck.
I had just started feeling like I had things together, or at least that I was doing better. I suppose we all have setbacks. I just didn’t think mine was going to happen within 48 hours of BabyAm being home.
I gave Facebook the finger last night too. At least for a little while.
She came in to my room last night and rubbed my head and hand while I cried, and just loved on me. It was nice. I fell asleep feeling like someone understood me.