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A New Kind Of Conversation
Posted: March 11, 2013, 2:50 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



Text messaging with my daughter after I saw she put on FB that she was feeling 'down':

ME: Are you down because you work so hard and single parenting is hard? Or because you are lonely for male companionship? Or because things seem so different for your sister? Or maybe all of the above? Remember, despite having made a hard choice, you are only 25 and own your own home, have a new car and a beautiful son. All will be revelaed...time takes time...keep your chin up.

HER: All of the above I guess. The thought that my life is never going to be any different or easier or better than it is right now scares me. Treading water is exhausting.

ME: You have the power and ability to make it better...you are smart enough and have enough support. I can assure you that 5 or 10 years from now you will not be waiting tables at _________. You can further your education (you are not the same girl you were last time you went to school) once he is in school. Most people your age are struggling with rent, you own a home. You have always liked to do things backwards. You'll get there, but as usual you will take the long way *wink* You made it out of heroin addiction, you are a force of nature...it will get easier.

HER: Thanks :) I hope so.

ME: Have a little faith in you...I do.

Now, there are things to say that still pop into my head after all this time...things like:

"Well, you reap what you sow."
"These are the consequences of your earlier life choices"
"Maybe you should have listened to your father and me when we thought buying that new car was a bad idea."
"See, if you had just stayed in school...maybe if you ever finished what you started"

Yep, those things are right there on the tip of my tongue, but what good would they do? I actually had to delete some of what came so naturally and rethink what I was saying to her...what message was I conveying. Do my words come from a place of love or from a need to be right? I want to shore her up and give her confidence, not tear her down when she's already feeling overwhelmed.

It's a different type of conversation these days. She's got a hard road ahead and I don't want to make it any harder. I get NO satisfaction anymore from being right and all those old "I told you so"...I really just want all of us to be happy....I really just want all of us to feel loved.

I pray she gets what she needs, even if it's not what she wants. I hope she gets both.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on March 11, 2013, 2:52 PM

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: March 11, 2013, 6:08 PM


Posts: 155
Joined: June 6, 2012



It really sucks that conversations with our adult children have to be so thought out and we can't just be spontaneous or say what's on our mind. It's like treading logs on water. Getting them mature enough to see or understand reason is fruitless and just makes you want to beat your head against the wall. It's hard to mince words, act unsympathetic, or refrain from trying to be helpful. (((Mom)))

I also have to say that I really hate this new form of communication. It seems the best and sometimes only way to communicate with my adult children is through text or email. A genuine vocal conversation just doesn't seem to be doable anymore. Sigh..................it is all so impersonal and cold to me, but I guess that it's better than nothing.

This post has been edited by sing on March 11, 2013, 6:46 PM
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Posted: March 11, 2013, 6:59 PM


Posts: 962
Joined: November 19, 2005



Thanks Mom for sharing that. This is a big reason why sometimes it's best not to talk to my daughter. I can't keep my mouth shut. I can be positive with her, I did it before. I am so hurt by this last episode and it is too soon to fake having a smile on. I am so happy for you and your daughter. I hope you don't mind that when I do call her, I use this post as a reminder of the positive things I can share with her. You are a Godsend
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Posted: March 11, 2013, 10:59 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



Actually, I don't think it sucks at all...for me and my daughter it is a show of emotional maturity on both of our parts...not saying the FIRST thing, but the BEST thing. And maybe I would hate texting if it were the only way we communicated, but we do talk...sometimes for her it's easier to express her feelings when she can think about what she wants to say and not feel pressured by something I say...in the past my tendency was to talk too much and dominate. I love that I can 'chat' with my girls briefly any time I want. And it is clearly better for me to take a moment to consider the impact of my words...words have power and I choose more carefully these days and that is not a bad thing.

Dawn, you are doing great...time for a break is all, a little distance...you'll get there. I am a believer in not saying anything if you can't trust yourself...there was a very long stretch when I could not trust myself at all...I was so volatile and so in need of being heard that I used my words as a club to beat her over the head (for all the good that did). When I was in that frustrated place you are in now, I found it best to just keep the contact to a minimum...even though I missed her. Isn't it weird that we do miss them even when things aren't all sunshine and lollipops?

Hang in there...you'll talk when the time is right...a break is not a bad thing either.

Peace ~ M&M

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: March 12, 2013, 8:26 AM


Posts: 70
Joined: December 24, 2012



I know exactly what you mean M&M, it is hard for some around us to understand...
I am so glad you posted this!
It is something I have been struggling with...not me communicating with my son (65 days clean)
it is others in the family and his baby mama...he knows he needs to value sobriety above all else...put it first protect it...and yet when he trys express that to others what I get back from them is "he is arrogant" still the punk kid, not humble" I just don't see any of those things.

And my husband and myself are the ones who all these things happened too, not others in his family who are "afraid of him" who have not taken the time to go have coffee with him or go to a meeting with him...really talk to him.

Sometimes I am finding myself stick in the middle...when I talk to him he is the same...he is protecting hsi sobrity he is going to meetings...he still wants to change his life.

I guess some bridges take longer to mend and those who are not around can only judge and make judgements from a far.

One comment I got was "he has not told me he is sorry for what he did to you (meaning me)" I was like but he did...with us (my husband and me)"
I just don't know...but I have found myself saying more then once to others is "I do not want his recovery to be all about how much he hurt me when he was activily seeking and using"

And have since decided to avoid conversations with others who have not taken the time to go have coffee with him, or attend a meeting with him abut him.

When we talk or text now it is more like what you do M&M there are so many things you want to say...but those type of comments, are for us to feel better or justified...but not to nuture or support.


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"It is hard to watch someone you love fall to the depth of their "bottom" ...you can only hope it does not take them long to reach it, survive it...and begin the long slow climb out."
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Posted: March 13, 2013, 1:14 PM


Posts: 47
Joined: August 14, 2012



Hi helplessmom, wow, you sure have a lot of folks peeking into you and your son's business. I know how that feels. It is almost like we have to use al-anon like phrases, I'm sorry you feel that way, Why do you ask?, Why do you want to know? etc, etc. Why would your son tell them he's apologized to you? Doesn't make sense. Time to dust off your boundary training. I'm saying that to myself also. Good luck!
Busca

This post has been edited by Busca de Paz on March 13, 2013, 1:15 PM
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Posted: March 13, 2013, 9:52 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



Helpless, I can only control what I say to my daughter, not what anyone else says...hell, I can't even control what they say to me, and as they say in the rooms, "What others think of me is none of my business." That is by way of saying, I cannot concern myself over the words of others and the influence they may or may not have, though in the past I also felt hurt, or worried, or upset by them. Busca makes a good point about gently shutting down the conversation with a pointed remark or question..."I am not upset, why should you be?"..."Why do you feel he owes you an apology?"..."We have made our peace, perhaps you should do the same"..."You needn't be upset on my behalf".

Even after almost four years clean I still have a sister who treats my daughter differently than before...she is not unkind to her, but she is somewhat less kind than she used to be and treats my other daughter better in an obvious way, and feels compelled to remark on things and generally in a negative fashion...R will never measure up in her eyes again, never be good enough. I've accepted that and while it still troubles me on occasion, but I have a cry over it then let it go.

Pick your battles, most aren't worth the stress...and remember that nothing anyone else says has any power over your son's recovery or future...all choices belong to him.

Peace ~ M&M

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: March 14, 2013, 1:41 AM


Posts: 962
Joined: November 19, 2005



Mom,
My mother in law and sister in laws are like that. They treat my daughter differently. I used to open up and let them know what was going on. When I stopped sharig information about A and what she was doing, they would call and "look" for information. I can't control what my husband shares with them but I did ask him not to divulge any information even if they asked.
The less I know and tell, the better off it is. Addiction is heartbreaking and effects so many areas of all our lives.
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Posted: March 14, 2013, 9:35 AM


Posts: 70
Joined: December 24, 2012



thank you all for the wonderful support! I will have to practice making statements that close those type of conversations down :)
And I do feel like some are just seeking information to use against him or to be able to say "see, I told you so..."

This post has been edited by helplessmom on March 14, 2013, 9:38 AM

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"It is hard to watch someone you love fall to the depth of their "bottom" ...you can only hope it does not take them long to reach it, survive it...and begin the long slow climb out."
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Posted: March 14, 2013, 1:48 PM


Posts: 9129
Joined: December 1, 2005



QUOTE
She's got a hard road ahead and I don't want to make it any harder. I get NO satisfaction anymore from being right and all those old "I told you so"...I really just want all of us to be happy....I really just want all of us to feel loved.


Or, on the flip side, she's already been down the hard road, been to hell and lived to tell about it. As long as she's clean, the road will never be as hard, just more challenging at times. It's all about expectations, the ones we place on ourselves, the ones we place on others. I'm speaking from the addicts point of view. I understand where she's coming from, I've been in recovery for over 6 years but I still have days where I go "there" but, by God's grace, I have the support of other addicts to help me not stay there. As much as I love & adore my husband and my kids, they don't get it, that place because they're wired differently than I am. I really need to talk to my sponsor and other sober girlfriends in order to get "right" again.

It really sounds like R is going through a spiritual growth process right now. And it sounds like you are giving her the room & respect to do that and that, my friend, is huge for us codies. When Miranda is going through her growth spurts, I always try to keep my mouth shut and when the time is right, just suggest what has worked for her, her church group, journaling and then I leave it at that, I give the outcome over to God. And that was HUGE for this controlling, master manipulator of the universe.

Expections, outcomes, letting go & letting God. We have grown so much over the last years, and I'm so grateful to see all the healing & love that is your relationship with your daughter. I remember the not so good days.

Enjoy this day. It's all we've been granted.....

Much love,
Stacey

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Happiness is not in the bottom of a pill bottle. It's inside you.
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