Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We are all more than this

Faking it truly is exhausting, as Madyson said in a comment on another blog.  I keep trying to act 'as if'.  Because maybe, just maybe, they will stop acting like cranky two-year-olds and grow up and be financially responsible and think about the baby she is carrying and if they are using, stop, and certainly, both of them would stop drinking.  It could happen, right?

I've acted 'as if' ever since they got out of prison and for a long time, they acted as if they had a clue too.  Then they started just splintering right before our eyes.  It wasn't really apparent until after the wedding, but the tension, the arguments (discussions he called them, with a bit of a smile), the financial woes.... the cracks just started spreading as the hits of life kept coming, and then some.

I am trying to tell myself repeatedly that my happiness is not (or should not be) solely based on their sobriety, or their productiveness, or their ability to treat each other with kindness. 

Dammit, I am more than a MOTHER of one; I am ME, and I am a WIFE and I am a MOTHER to another, and I have FRIENDS that I can be a good friend to.  Without even going into the fact that I'm an employer, a business owner, etc, just that first set of things means that being the mother of my precious addict is only 20% of that first sentence.

Did that even make sense? 

But seriously, I need to start keeping the percentages a little more even.  I am so much more than someone involved in this particular heartbreaking issue.  For so long I have told her she is so much more than an addiction.  My list of positive adjectives for her goes on and on.  She is my precious, amazing daughter. 

I'm (sometimes) pretty amazing too.  I need to remember that.  There is more to my life than her success or failure with heroin, with alcohol, with her job, or with her baby. 

I am more than this.  My life is full of more than this.  I am trying to refocus my attention, and it is a slow process.  I am angry and tired.  I need to remind/convince myself that my fatigue should be the result of trying to squeeze in new adventures as I do cartwheels down the path into my sunset years..... I should not be exhausted because of repeated muscle strain from handwringing over her choices.  My head can know that, but my heart is awfully stubborn. 

I'm off to work on my cartwheels....  or at least, to listen to some music and paint a new birdhouse for my garden.  :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Time continues to go by....

I have not had a chance to read blogs in days, and today I found time to catch up and opened http://letgohangon.blogspot.com/ ...  I can't tell you how this resonated with me.  I know how to detach, and I'm getting better at staying in the moment and accepting life as it IS, not as I think it should be.  But I cry every damn day.

It's been a good year.  My daughter and LeBoyfriend worked hard, played hard, planned the wedding, settled into their apartment, initially with his daughter but then she went back "home" to her previous high school.  Life was good.  It's also been a tough year.  

LeBoyfriend and Daughter had a beautiful wedding.  She never once was a Bridezilla. It was probably one of the top five most perfect days of my life, and a memory I cherish from start to finish. 

They've had an emotional rollercoaster of adjustment to marriage, partly because 11 days before the wedding, she got laid off.  And this economy isn't doing quite as well as some would have us believe.  He got the urge to strike out and work in construction, leaving his driving job for his family's business...  hard feelings abound within his family, and it's been tough finding work...  again, the economy.  I wonder if he regrets the impulsive decision to leave that job with his family.... but I try to be encouraging and positive to him.

He doesn't understand why she hasn't been able to get another job.  His construction job is with a more distant family member in another town....  The "ex-felon" factor doesn't enter into things for him in that situation, as it does for every interview she goes out on. And when the gas expense became apparent with this job of his in another town, she quit looking until they could accomplish a move. 

To my knowlege, there have been no relapses to the exact "drug of choice" for either of them.  I could have sworn they might have slipped...  and in the past, it would have become glaringly apparent, and ended only when the jail door closed behind them.  What do I know?  But the bottle has entered the picture and that's the same thing.  Same illness. 

Add in my daughter's bipolar illness which is swinging in arcs that are truly spectacular....  and LeBoyfriend has sought that bottle even more often.  In exasperation or depression, she joins him.  He has never hit her, she said, but walls get damaged, hurtful words fly.  She has refused (for over two years) to take meds for her bipolar illness.  No one can force her to take them. And non-compliance is the most common issue with bipolar patients.

And then they are fine for another few days/weeks, wonderful even, glowing and happy.  Until they are not.

They have moved, this week, about 30 miles from us to be closer to construction work he has found.  I am hoping it helps them.  But with her illness, not sure it will.  I'm also thinking the wildness of the bipolar swings may be hormonally assisted.

Because, yes.  She is.  And it was unplanned, and it is a blessing(?) that they did not need yet.  She says she is not ready to be a good mom, and he is looking shell-shocked.  His oldest, from a teen-aged romance, just graduated with honors from the high school far away...  He has much guilt about not being a "present" father for that child...  he seems sort of stymied by this new development.  I wonder if she is "not ready" because she is using?

I feel guilty for wondering if it will be better, not having a front row seat to the carnage.  My husband and other daughter have detached beautifully.  They ask me for updates and shrug and move on.  They care, deeply, but they have figured out how to turn off their hearts.  That is why I cry every day. Not for long, most days, not loudly or inconsolably.  But I cry.  Because I just can't figure out how to make my heart stop hurting. 

I accept her.  I accept her illness.  I accept his.  I accept their inability to grow up.  I accept their inability to be mature.  I accept that their addictions will rear their heads, and that until they are ready NOT to, they will accept a bottle from each other, or from his family when it is offered as soon as they walk in the parents' home (don't ask me how I have not killed them yet [the family members offering the bottles, I mean...]  actually I love them to pieces, but the stories I hear about each family member, and Child Protective Services, jail, etc, and still, no one there makes the connection that the one common denominator in each crisis is a bottle being consumed)... 

I accept all of that.  I do not try to change it.  I am working hard at not being a helicopter mom.  I try not to overreact to the inflammatory or scary texts I get from her when things are not so good.  I offered assistance with packing/cleaning before their move and I did not push it.  When she did ask, I gave her a few hours assist and a crock pot with a thrown together spaghetti dinner since the landlord had gutted the kitchen while they packed, in preparation for next tenants, and her unemployment check has not only shrunk, but was late this week - I didn't spend days doing her job of packing and I didn't make a gourmet sit-down meal.  I tried to be kind, and do what I would have done for anyone.  No more.  I know how to act/behave in a healthy fashion.  I am trying to take care of me.

But my heart is raw....  And I don't know how to get around that pain.  Not trying to change a damn thing.  Just want to be able to keep on taking care of what IS my business: myself, my husband, keeping my equilibrium in front of my oldest daughter, my work, the dogs, my hobby when I can find the time..... without the pain rearing its head.....

We're counting down the time until our own move next year.  It's been our dream to move to the country, in the mountains.  It will mean even more distance.... from the bad times....  and the good times....   and the baby.   The grandchild I have always secretly hoped for, but that I do not want to have the responsibility of raising.  I wanted to be The Best of grandmothers. But I knew that remaining childless might have been easier for them. 

My family doesn't often see me like I sound today in this post.  I deserve an Oscar for my performance.  And most of the time, if I "act as if", my mood follows and improves a bit, for a time. I can usually hold things together until my husband totters off to bed early in the evenings as he counts down the last couple of months before he doesn't have to get up at 4:30 AM anymore, to work!  But it is exhausting.  And it never ever stops hurting.

Still hoping, waiting, loving...  and praying for all our precious loved ones.