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!

 

Overwhelmed

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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….

 

 

I Feel So Conflicted

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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?

 

It’s All About Me

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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…..

An Abusive Marriage

It’s crazy but about a year after Kae and W tied the knot in a visually beautiful outdoor ceremony she confided in me that on the day of her wedding she knew it was destined to be an unhappy one – for her anyway.  This news came as a surprise to me – sort of…..

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A marriage blown’ in the wind and it hadn’t even begun.  WTF? I went through a slew of emotions in that moment…sadness, anger, curiosity, compassion, and lots of questions began to go through my head.

Me: Why didn’t you say something?  Her: I thought it would get better.  Me: What would get better?   Her: He’d be happy that I was his wife.  Me: Why are you unhappy?  Her: He says awful things to me, he tries to control me, he puts me down.  Me: He treats everyone that way I didn’t realize it was so serious.  Her: It’s okay mom it’ll get better.

Needless to say I left that conversation feeling empty and worried.  What hadn’t she shared with me?  At that time she shared most of what was happening with his verbal abuse which translates to emotional abuse.  She didn’t share about the time he threw a margarita glass at her which luckily missed her head and shattered into the wall behind her.  Didn’t mention the time he walked out in a rage, got in his truck and bumped into her body with said truck, as she tried to stop him from leaving. Alerting neighbors who were quickly dismissed – calling it a misunderstanding – an accident.  She didn’t tell me about the times he told her to “get the hell out of the room” so he could concentrate on his video games.  Her drinking was just beginning then…..

Fast forward about 2 years.  Bottom line  – while throwing a temper tantrum W threw a plate of food along with his knife and fork at Kae.  Remarkably the fork impaled her hand.  I don’t imagine that W expected that exact scenario but that’s what he got.  Kae called for help – finally.

Feeling Guilty Yes Or No?

When a loved one is suffering I find it hard to feel 100% joyful.  You know if they’re under the weather, suffering a loss, had a breakup, lost a job.  I have been having a severely hard time feeling happy knowing where my daughter has been.  And by where she has been I mean, for the last couple of years she has been in a bad place.  A place of self-destruction, pain, falseness and fear.  Tell me how in the world a mother can feel joy knowing her daughter is in that place?  I feel guilty feeling fantastic when my precious daughter is passed out at 2 in the afternoon from the effects of too much booze.

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After I read the book about setting boundaries I begin to take a look at myself and question whether or not it’s ok to laugh, to take pleasure in an event, to take a trip and have fun.  I decided then that I had no choice but to do those things and do them freely.  After all I am not the addict and I do not make her choices for her.  I get to choose myself what I want to do and how I feel, how I react to what ever life hands me.

That is when I started taking long walks daily and enjoying those moments.  Stopping to smell the roses, literally, laughing at kids playing on a playground, petting someones’s friendly dog – if only for an hour a day I was finding some joy!  It felt good – kind of…

Since then I’ve said to my husband on more than one occasion that I refuse to let her choices affect every waking moment of my day.  My husband and I have an active and adventurous lifestyle.  Meeting friends for a cold beer, hosting a dinner party or hitting the local bike trails, we take pleasure in life.  Now does this mean I don’t think about her or wonder how her day is going…do I fret over when the next frantic or plastered phone call will come…Well yes, I do but I’ve made a conscious decision not to allow myself to be addicted to her anymore.

I do not feel guilty…I do feel sad when her day is miserable…it’s her choice.  I mourn it and move on.  I may mourn it more than once throughout the day but it’s not consuming my entire life.  That is one reason I decided to record this journey.  In hopes that it will lighten my load, take if off my chest and allow me to carry on with joy.  So for now I am throwing my guilt out the freakin’ window!

It’ll continue to be a learning process to stay in this mind set.  I know I am not the only one who is living this  – this life of loving a daughter who is an addict.  You know, that’s still really hard to say and I’m not too keen on saying that to just anybody but I did just say it to the entire universe!

I’ll be sharing more about Kae’s failed marriage and how all that came to be, soon.  What happened to trigger her need or desire to drink, then to drink too much and so on.  From the outside in it’s not that hard to visualize how it all came to be  –  in hindsight.

Always My Daughter

A Glorious Day

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This photo depicts what I would call a “glorious day”. Wouldn’t you?  Yesterday amid some struggles and heartbreak a good thing happened.  I look for any tiny glimmer of hope to label it a glorious day!

In the midst of my daughter and her addiction are the beginning stages of a divorce.  Is the divorce due to her use of alcohol?  Maybe…is the alcohol use attributed to a lousy marriage? Maybe…There was abuse in this union they call marriage.  It is sad that commitments are so easily broken when everyone settles into a marriage.  Everything is peachy before “I do” is spoken.  What happens after is another story completely.

My daughter and her husband, W are not trashy people.  They are an educated, white collar couple.  What goes on behind closed doors is appalling. Generally we don’t suspect that abuse goes on in a home such as this.  But boy does it!

One fall day my daughter, Kae called and told me this story. She said, ” I was getting ready to run to the grocery store and I threw on some jeans, a sweater and my new boots. I just love these new boots and haven’t had much chance to wear them.  When I went through the house to grab my purse and keys, W said, “you don’t need to wear those expensive boots just to go to the grocery store!”.  Now mind you these weren’t sexy stiletto heeled boots or anything – more like a riding boot.  She responded with, ” I know they’re expensive, but they won’t get ruined at the grocery store, and I don’t get to wear them much”.  Bottom line is he bullied her to the point she took off the boots, threw on some tennis shoes and went about her business.  W was pleased as punch – my daughter not so much. Don’t love you the way he knows what shoes she needs to wear to the store?

She felt depressed, unworthy and angry at her decision to take off the boots.  BUT…when you live with an abuser you do anything to keep down the chance of more bullying or verbal bullshit.  So off came those boots. Now W’s form of abuse is not the black eye -bloody nose kind.  NO – it’s the verbal and emotional kind – for the most part.   I speculate she picked up a couple bottles of wine while grocery shopping.

Deciding to move forward with a divorce is a messy and difficult subject.  I am sharing this story a little out of order but it’ll all make sense as the stories unfold.  I am claiming yesterday as a glorious one because Kae was finally able to take a big step toward separating herself from W.  She set up her own, individual bank and phone accounts.  She claimed it felt good but weird – weird but good.  “My first step toward an official separation”, she told me with a strong sense of worth in her voice.  One I haven’t heard for a long, long time.