Who Is This Girl?

There are days where Kae seems like the person I know – have know all her life…other days….I scratch my head wondering who is this person?  Lately it seems she has a handle on her alcohol use…I don’t live with her so I guess I’ll never know for sure but she seems lucid and sober.  What baffles me is the choices she makes and her lack of self motivation.

It’s almost impossible for me to believe that she is actively searching for a job.  Is she too picky?  Her Dad and I can’t imagine that she won’t get a job that brings in some money and would still allow her to search for that perfect, big dollar dream job.  Ok – one day a week she has a lovely job that could turn into more…meantime there are 6 other days in the week and that leaves plenty of opportunity for another part time job.  Sadly, I don’t understand.

My daughter has always been self motivated but lately she doesn’t seem to have it in her.  I know with a sentencing date for W approaching – like less than a week away – that is weighing on her mind.  A divorce that has just begun and still only a very, very part time job…She has waaaaaay too much time to think about everything.  Maybe she simply can’t find the band-width to get up off her butt and take care of filling out forms for attorneys, picking up her house, folding laundry, finding a job…..

I love her the same as always and am hopeful that the day will come when she is 100% back to being the girl we raised her to be…..maybe she’ll never be “THAT” person again though.  Possibly, having an abusive husband took so much of her that she’ll be different.  Of course, I’d never want her to be in that situation again and so there would need to be changes.

What I really think is that I have no idea exactly how she is coping with all that she is going through.  What an emotional rollercoaster she is on.  I try to tell myself that she’s doing the best she can under the circumstances…but I’m not always successful in convincing myself of that.  Part of me wants to go visit for a few days…part of me doesn’t…

Today I’m scratching my head – tomorrow is a new day!



Why girl crying

I think about parents who are going through something similar with an adult child.  Alcohol abuse, drug abuse or other addictions that are crippling to a family.  I wonder if their child has other issues creating havoc in their lives?  Like an impending divorce, a domestic violence dispute and no job.  Yes, Kae found a very, really part time job but seriously y’all she needs more!

My heart stays a little clinched up at the thought of all she is going through.  The domestic violence charges against W will come to an end later this month.  What will  be his punishment?  We don’t know at this time, of course, but it’s impossible not to be on edge about what the final outcome will be.  You know, my heart breaks for him too – sort of – not that I think he should slide away with no consequences but I’m sad that this person chose his actions so poorly!  He has stated that it was an accident that he hurt her….I don’t agree.  Objects do not fly on their own.  I’ll discuss it after the final court date because I’m sure regardless of the outcome it’ll take me a minute to digest it.  Kae, well depending on what happens may feel confident that he was served the correct punishment. What if she doesn’t feel that way?  Will it send her spiraling again?

Now this divorce – well for starters it’s freakin expensive just to get an attorney on board.   My daughter pulled together the necessary funds with some creative thinking and a little help from her dad.  Just a little.  They say he will be hit with refunding that money to her – since he started the process – time will tell about that one.  They also say there will be some spousal support for a short time.  I can hear the anger in her voice that has been pent up for several months.  Angry that he became too physical, too hateful, too controlling.  Angry at herself for not putting a stop to it before they said “I do” or at least shortly thereafter.  I pray her anger doesn’t get the best of her..She told me her attorney is black and white – this is the law – we can’t worry about feelings!  I completely get it.  I think she does too!

A large question looming over her and her family is what will happen when they put the house on the market and it sells?  Where will she go?  Wouldn’t it be comforting to know there was a regular paycheck coming in?  It is scary for me and I know for her to be living on this edge…..

Arrrggghhhhh! When will it all end?  I can actually see the light at the end of her tunnel.  She told me she is seeing it too.  The alcohol use and abuse remains a question for her family and for her too.  When it’s all over will she be able to drink socially – normally?  Or will she be considered an alcoholic?  If you have some ideas – please share them in the comments.  It’s the one unknown that weighs heaviest on my heart.

Can it be that a person goes in a downward spiral when things are out of control?  When their husband is abusive, demeaning, hurtful, controlling.  When they’ve been laid off and for a year can’t find employment.  When their confidence and self worth are nonexistent …could it be that one turns to substance abuse to numb the fear and feelings?  Could it be that when life becomes stable and safe and happy that the abuse goes away?

She is always my daughter and time will tell….



Hoping Not Knowing


You know I was having coffee with a friend and we were discussing Kae’s situation in terms of the impending divorce.  I mentioned how many times my daughter has said to me, “all I want is a marriage like you and dad have”.  That comment got me to thinking about how you get a good, solid, respectful, safe and happy marriage.

It also got me to thinking about how when Kae and W took their vows I’m almost certain she only hoped that it would be a solid marriage but she didn’t know it would be!  She wasn’t certain, but she pushed those thoughts aside.  Now there are many contributing factors to a “good” marriage but when abuse is already taking place I think we would all agree it’s not going to be one of those!

Had she shared about W’s abusive behavior before the wedding I’m certain her dad and I would’ve seriously had her reconsider going into this marriage.  You know her alcohol use was normal before she was in this relationship….I wonder, of course if it will be normal when the divorce is final and she can move on…..And as of now she is doing great!

So what makes a good marriage? Trust, respect, a sense of humor, honesty, flexibility, kindness, generosity, willingness to help, understanding, compassion. To me those are all important.  Feeling safe too, and she didn’t, but we didn’t know.

They went for counseling before the wedding day – a few times and had the priest convinced that they had their act together and were good candidates for marriage.  W had us convinced too….I mean there were occasional smart ass comments, or odd little things but we had no idea what was to come.

Now I am thinking she was hoping and she did know….she knew it might not last….but hoped it would.  I am hopeful that the next time she finds a man and is proposed to (I am confident this will happen sometime in the future) that she will know for certain it is right and good and can simply hope that she doesn’t trip going down the aisle!

So much to think about.

Miracles Do Happen




When I last posted I mentioned that I hoped when we returned from our trip that some good stuff would have miraculously happened in Kae’s life.  I am pleased to announce that two of the things I’d hoped for came true. 1. She was served with a divorce summons!

Not something that a mother would normally be happy about but under the circumstances – domestic violence – this mother is happy!  Of course this summons comes after W cut off the water, electricity, internet, cable, cancelled credit cards, changed bank accounts and ceased contributing to the mortgage payment.  He wrote a clause in the papers stating that from the day she was served “both parties are restrained from making any changes to any insurance, bank accounts, etc….. So calculated!

2. She also found employment one day a week with a law firm – not the one she will use to finalize her impending divorce.  I do not know if it’s these two facts that contributed to her decision to halt the alcohol use again – but she has been sober for several weeks now.  Crossing my fingers that she can continue down this path.  Like….crossing my toes and arms and legs too!

In the last few weeks – actually it began to happen while we were away – my conversations with her turned for the better.  I didn’t hang up wondering, “is she drinking?” . I hung up knowing she was sober by her voice, her words, her laugh.  You may not have any idea how good this feels.

Today I remain hopeful!



I am less than a week away from leaving the country.  For real!  My husband, Kae’s Dad and I are traveling abroad for a couple of weeks.  A much needed vacation for the two of us.  We are calling this “Our Spontaneous Trip”.  It is really to celebrate a big anniversary but we plan to be super impulsive.  It sounds like fun!  We need rest and relaxation while taking pleasure in being on vacation!

I pray that while we are away Kae doesn’t have any mishaps or disasters.  I pray that when we return to the states that she’s miraculously gotten her self together, that a fabulous job has landed in her lap and that divorce proceedings have begun.  Is this too much to ask?

Time will tell.  Meantime I may be a bit absent again….cross your fingers that I am having the time of my life!  Sound selfish?  Maybe…but I’m going for it! And I promise not to feel guilty!

Bon Voyage!

I Feel So Conflicted


I cannot allow Kae’s fight to affect my physical well being but it seems it has and is trying to continue doing so.  At this point it is mind over matter for me.  You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent in my journaling on Always My Daughter.  It totally helps me to share my trial on this path but there are days where I simply have to back off completely.

I was experiencing pain in my lower left hip and back and booty – where our emotional stress tends to settle.  After multiple trips to the chiropractor and masseuse I finally realized I cannot let Kae’s fight become mine too.  She is after-all a grown woman – yes, always my daughter, but a grown up!

My conflict comes from the pull to help her.  The pull in my back tells me to let it go.  Not let HER go but let her fight this battle in her own way.  It is ridiculously hard to do but I am slowly backing away from the thought process of fixing her!  I can’t.  I can only hope and pray that she chooses to “fix” herself – for real – SOON!

When one cannot bend over to put on their underwear or tie their shoes and there is no other apparent reason other than stress, that person has to make a change in how they are handling the stress.  That person is me.

Lately our conversations are a couple of times a week – this is still an adjustment for me.  I suspect that when she’s drinking – which she is again – she doesn’t really want to call me.  It’s getting easier to determine if she’s sober or not.  Remember I told her I wouldn’t be able to continue “drunk” dialing conversations!  I will however give credit where it is due – she has been honest and admitted it if I ask.

The conflict within is getting a bit easier yet at times I feel so heartless.  I am not heartless – my heart is however, broken!  I do not want to enable, harass nor ignore her.  I am doing my best to put boundaries in place while still loving her and letting her know I am here for her.

What else is there?


My Biggest Fears

Why girl crying

In my last post abut Kae’s self-centeredness I mentioned how her Dad said one night, “she’s going to die”.  Do you know how shocking it was to hear him say that?  His voice cracked at the words.  We are afraid.  We love our daughter deeply.  We feel helpless – we are helpless.  We cannot “fix” her, control her or punish her for her bad choices.  She’s not 4 anymore.  Boy was she something when she was 4 – smart, inquisitive, funny, cute and talented.

What happened?  A parent  – me – my husband – cannot imagine how she ended up on this awful journey.  Why?  Why did this happen – why can’t she get a grip on her life?  SO many questions……..

I used to imagine her life – happy, vibrant, successful – for a time it was.  What the hell happened?  I mean I know the marriage sucked, she was laid-off from a great job….but why did she choose such a self-destructive manner in which to tackle these circumstances?

Now when I think about her future I don’t know what to visualize. Will she recover or be  homeless, dead, down and out?  I try to picture her coming out of this and going back to the beautiful, smart and talented young woman  – the one that is still residing in her – somewhere….I desperately want to love that girl again.

I feel empty and sad and fearful, but I love her so very much – she will always be my daughter.

It’s All About Me


Kae has taken on a copious amount of self pity and self absorption.  It’s pathetic at times. But she will always be my daughter and I love her no matter, it just makes it hard to like her at times.  Her self-centeredness seems to often cause her to be somewhat of a bully.  Yuck!

The fact that she has been drinking again certainly exacerbates this behavior.  It’s interesting when she is under the influence she seems to have little or no interest in what anyone else in her family is doing, how they are feeling or what is happening in their day. Not only does she seem completely disinterested in anyone else but seems to be somewhat of a bully – making snide comments or laughing at one of us.  Trying to set up a conversation whereby she can laugh at the other person.  It’s mean!

Her younger sister has gotten to where she pretty much never answers Kae’s calls as she seems to always be the brunt of some nastiness.  Some self-righteous holier than thou remarks about her education and maturity…which I am sad to say is laughable at this point.  That education and her level of maturity aren’t doing her one bit of good today.  Jobless and stuck in a rut I’m clear on this fact – she has no room to laugh at anyone else, put them down or criticize.

My heart once again breaks as my baby girl is so disheartened to see her older, role model of a sister going down this harrowing path.  She can no longer look up to her model behavior of the past.  It makes her so sad and yet she can’t bear to be belittled and tortured by meaningless, hateful, drunk conversations.  She wants to “fix” it.  I remind her we can’t.

Just this week Kae called me twice and I didn’t answer as I had just sat down in a restaurant, alone to enjoy a meal.  When my phone rang a third time I decided I’d better pick up. She had connected the three of us to a conference call and thought it was hilariously funny when I couldn’t make sense of who I was speaking with.  When I finally realized we were all three on the phone call and heard my baby girl say, “I’m at work”, I knew she could not stay on the line.

Kae started a ramble about some pain and swelling in her jaw, with complete disregard to little one being at work and no idea what Mom was up to.  Recently she had tripped and fallen – landing on her chin and splitting it wide open – requiring 6 stitches.  It pains me to write this as I know she’d been drinking when she fell.  She tried to blow it off by saying she’d tripped over some tree roots and fallen, perfectly sober.  Perfectly a lie!  Drawing all attention to a possible medical issue – with not one concern for what her sister or her mom might be in the middle of.  Baby girl hung up – I stayed on for a few minutes and encouraged her to go to the ER if she was concerned that this was something serious.  Then I got off – feeling empty.  Always worried that I could be the one being self-centered.

My stomach goes in knots – yet I remain perplexed as to how she can go on like this. Tell me, how can she?  Marriage down the drain, jobless, stitches in your face, friends and neighbors – OH and family concerned for her safety and well being yet she continues on this crazy path of destruction.  Her Dad says, “she’s going to die”.  He doesn’t say this without a break in his voice – but at this point he can only imagine what else could possibly happen.

Remember she lives across the country.  Should we try to go get her?  She’s a grown woman…I’m not sure we can force her to do anything.  Her Dad did call her the next day and plant a seed….she can come to where we live for a while and try to find work in our area.  Is this the answer?  We don’t know but it is about our last straw in reaching out and offering a better life.  She cannot come and stay forever, for free.  She can come and seek work, save a little money and then find a little place to rent……ahhhhhh…I wish!

We are afraid she will never recover from this life of madness if she remains where she is – in that house, that town, that state of mind.

She will always be my daughter…..




Not only is there a physical distance between Kae and me but I am feeling a heaviness of emotional and conversational distance now a days too.  So sad for me……It varies from day to day but most days our conversations feel strained.  My suspicion is that she is hiding something – possibly the fact that she is back at the booze!

It’s impossible to know for sure but on the other hand it isn’t.  Sometimes our conversations start out ok and then before we hang up she sounds drunk.  I can’t help but be confused.

In the past we spoke daily…now the calls are more like every few days.  I got another 2 a.m. call this week.  She was crying when I answered and blurted out how she was “all alone”.  She is…she is choosing this.  She ranted about how she is the “one” person in our family who is a f*%k up.  Getting a divorce, been to rehab, jobless….I took a moment to remind her of how many people in our family have been divorced.  Out of 11 adults – 5 have gone through a divorce, 2 of them through multiple divorces.

She apologized for calling at such an unGodly hour and told me it was either call or go buy a bottle of wine.  By the end of the conversation, as I said earlier, I’m uncertain if she was drinking or not.  Not falling down drunk, slurring her words smashed but tipsy…I don’t know.  It is hard to decipher between tears and tipsy over the telephone.  If indeed calling me and having me on the phone for 1 hour and 45 minutes in the middle of the night kept her from getting a bottle of booze and drinking until she passed out well I’m happy to accommodate!

It didn’t feel distant then.  But for the next couple of days I didn’t hear from her.  When I finally did she clearly was drinking and rambling in such a way I had to cut the call short.  Remember I set a boundary regarding drunk phone calls.  I hate it but it feels better than struggling to converse with a plastered person even if she is always my daughter.

Does It Ever End?


Secrecy….is evil and I don’t like it.  A friend who happens to be an Episcopal priest once told me, “secrets will destroy a family”.  Kae’s dad and I have found ourselves in a position to be secretive – lately…well for the last couple of years since this whole alcohol, abuse, divorce, mess began.

First it was her wanting us to be secretive.  “Don’t talk to W”.  Then I would end up in a conversation with him.  He’d call me to complain about her alcohol use and we would discuss ways he might be able to make changes that could possibly affect her behavior.  Frankly, none of those suggestions were ever put into practice.  Notice I didn’t say he ever discussed his contribution to the nastiness that was their marriage!  Then he and I would decide not to tell her we’d talked.  This wasn’t a constant battle but one that always made me feel like such a louse.  I don’t like to lie and I don’t like liars!  So I don’t like myself when I lie either.

Lately it’s been her wanting us to be secretive from her one friend who lives close and knows pretty much what she’s up to.  When I realized she was drinking, again last week I didn’t automatically contact that friend but remember I said she went ballistic on me wondering if I was going to call.  I didn’t – her Dad did.  Read this post to clarify.   Truth of the matter is…she was so drunk that night that she doesn’t even remember what was said!

Yesterday I received a text from her neighbor asking if I’d spoken to her.  I had not but hadn’t thought much about it, and I was at work.  I took a short break and called her.  She answered, said she was folding laundry.  After a couple minutes of a rather awkward conversation she asks, “so did you call because Jackie contacted you?”  What do you think I did?  I lied….sadly.

What all of this means is, I care about her well being.  When a friend who speaks to her daily contacts me and expresses concern I become concerned.  Jackie doesn’t want Kae to know that she’s checking up but in reality she is – we all are.  Every time I call or text, even if I have plenty to chat about I feel like I am weighing in on her state of mind and soberness.

Jackie asked me not to tell Kae that she’d contacted me.  So I lied.  What Kae doesn’t seem to understand or grasp is that we are all concerned for her safety and well being – that is all!  She seems paranoid about a phone call or text between Jackie and me.  I think when she’s screwing up she figures I won’t know if I don’t hear from her friend so she gets freaked out thinking we might “talk about her” behind her back.

When will this end?  Part of me is grateful for a neighbor who is a friend and who keeps in contact daily – but part of me hates the secrecy of our conversations.  I truly have no one else to turn to or to contact, besides the police if I couldn’t reach Kae.  Yeah, W did a great job of convincing the friends they’d made when they moved (only a handful) that they should stay away.  Clearly they aren’t true friends or they’d have given her an opportunity to express her side.  So sadly she is alone.  Her friends live in another state- should she move?

Guys, I am pulling my hair out.  How can I come to terms with lying when it’s at the top of my list of “NO NO’S?  Ah ha….as I wrote that a thought came to me….maybe it’s time I level with Kae and tell her – “like it or not I will talk to whom ever I need when the need arises – especially if that person is reaching out to me”.

What do you think – is that a legit boundary?  Thoughts?