Another argument

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Herewegoagain

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Another argument
« on: August 08, 2017, 05:09:52 PM »
... over me trying to defrost the fridge, no less.

A short synopsis. My 38 year old daughter moved back home because she was facing going to jail in Colorado for identity theft and needed an address so she could qualify for probation. Within 24 hours after she arrived, my husband went into a coma from kidney failure and died six months later. So now it's me and her. Almost immediately we started arguing, even while my husband was in the hospital, over the most petty things that quickly escalate to her accusing me of being a bad mother and why did I even have her and it's MY fault she's had to move back home. Her reasoning is, if I had continued to pay all her bills like I had been doing for years, she wouldn't have ended up homeless.

She takes no responsibility for anything whatsoever. She's a master manipulator, and strung me along for years, with her claims of I'm getting myself together, I got the next big idea that's going to make me a millionaire, blah, blah, blah. Once I stopped paying for everything, things went downhill quickly. I just couldn't afford to pay all her bills anymore and I explained that to her. She attempted to get a couple jobs in call centers, and only worked for about a month, and quit for one reason or another. Now she's on probation here and has manipulated everyone to where she isn't working, and just plays on the computer all day. When the probation threatens her about her supervision fees going into arrears, she manipulates me into catching it up.

Fast forward to the latest argument. So I had to manually defrost the refrigerator because the defroster wasn't working. The freezer is cold but the fridge part isn't and that's because there's a block of ice blocking the vents in the freezer because she had about 24 half empty bottles of water in the freezer. She wants to argue with me because when I cleaned all the bottles out, I took out two bottles that were in the freezer door. I can't talk to her like a rational human being. She always tries to drag in the topic of how I was such a lousy mother. When she was a child, I left her abusive, alcoholic father several times, and she loves to bring up that she has been to 10 different elementary schools in as many years, trying to make it sound like I dragged her from state to state, which wasn't the case. We moved four times, and during those times she was going to different schools like everybody else. I don't see why that's such a big deal to her, but she thinks so enough to try to guilt trip me over it.

I know it takes two to argue, and I'm working on trying some of the things I read about here, but it's hard. She slams the doors and yells at the dog and goes from hot to cold in the blink of an eye. I realize that it was a big mistake to let her move back. Since my husband died, I have been struggling with maintaining this old house, and she won't lift a finger to do anything. All she does is complain if things aren't the way she thinks they should be. I'm finding myself once again walking on eggshells, and after having done that for many years with her father, I refuse to go through another 30+ years of this, if I live that long. I really need some peace in my life. I would move if I could afford it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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momnthefog

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Re: Another argument
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 06:49:35 AM »
herewegoagain,

AUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

We try to do the right thing and provide a safety net and often it backfires.  Whether it's bc there is mental illness, personality disorders, or addiction.

I've been in your shoes.

You are right, you need peace and you deserve peace.  It sounds like you have been through the wringer just in dealing with your husband's death.  Having her around, must make it difficult to process any emotions.

There's a good book I recommend .... When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us by Jane Adams (check out the parental guilt thread).  The author writes from the standpoint of her experience with addiction.  But I think it applies well to dealing with PDs as well.

If you don't make changes (and you probably know this) you could spend the rest of your life supporting her and being her emotional punching bag.

You are always welcome to vent here....and if you want suggestions, I'm sure there are plenty who would offer some ideas about what works for them.

momnthefog
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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Falling Up

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Re: Another argument
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 06:53:57 PM »
herewegoagain, I'm so sorry.....I don't even know what else to say.  I am in wholehearted agreement with momnthefog (who is, by the way, an incredible support all on her own!) - changes are necessary to break patterns.  The thread I started what feels like years ago in the parent forum is "Sad Mom To Adult BP daughter"......I think if you read it you will be able to see the transition I went through as I set a hard boundary with my diagnosed borderline personality disordered daughter.  It went on for a long time, and was the end result of a long series of stressful experiences that were causing me physical problems because the emotional stress was so acute.  I don't blame your not wanting to take 30 more years of abuse from your daughter.  I feel exactly the same way.  On the surface my life is "together" - I am an active volunteer in my community, have a stable job, a wonderful partner who has acted as step-dad to my daughter, and a terrific church in which I'm also active.  Inside, I've walked around feeling like a human butter churn.  The boundary I recently set (about 8 months ago) was that my daughter needed to move out, and begin fully taking care of herself financially.  She's done that, and while I don't want to jinx anything, and while I also know that the phone could ring any day with her on the other end in some sort of mess, I'm taking one day at a time, enjoying the peace in the house, and my new-found sleep-filled nights.  I don't take *anything* for granted, and it has taken me a super long time to get here to this place.  If you don't want to be responsible for your daughter anymore, and you want her to begin being responsible for herself, it's time for you to start setting the wheels in motion for that process.

A great and hugely trusted counselor helped me through the most difficult parts of things, so that might be something to consider for yourself - something you do JUST for you (it was something I considered solely mine, and a process I protected the entire time I was in counseling - it was my sacred space).  Finding one activity besides counseling that brings you joy, peace, and comfort (for me it was painting - large, wild canvasses) might be something else you can do to disengage from the high emotions your daughter brings to your life.  And beginning to set really clear boundaries for what is tolerable for you to live in peace is REALLY important.

I realize I'm offering advice here, when you are just venting, but I've been exactly where you are.  And my first post to this forum was part vent, part seeking commiseration.  So I hope I haven't overstepped, or offered something you weren't looking for.  Just wanted you to know I'm out here sending support and a huge  :bighug:  Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries - the hardest word in the English language.

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Herewegoagain

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Re: Another argument
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 09:03:18 PM »
Thanks everyone for your support and advice. It's just so hard when it's someone you really care about betrays you. I never had a close relationship with my own mother, so I feel like I've overcompensated to the extreme and unfortunately this is the end result. I know I won't ever have that type of bond that I hear some other mothers have with their daughters. It's a sad reality.

I appreciate any feedback, so please don't feel like you're overstepping. And thanks for the hugs!

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Falling Up

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Re: Another argument
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 08:33:05 AM »
You know, this forum is the one place I feel completely understood - and what you wrote about the "sad reality" of life with PD relatives (especially our children, as mothers) is truly sad.  There's not another word to describe it.  I wrote a post here once about the holidays coming and how just plain sad it is for me.  I see all the holiday cheer around Christmass-time, the bustle and music and twinkling lights, and the families together, enjoying each other, and it is so difficult for me - I'm soooo sad.  And the best thing I've done for myself is to acknowledge it, and just "be" with it (if that makes any sense).  There isn't a cure or treatment for sadness.  It just "is".  What I've also come to realize is that while I carry around that sadness, I also carry with me, simultaneously, a great propensity for joy.  And there are days when I must CHOOSE joy (today, by the way, is not a good day for me, so I'm saying that and wondering, "how???").  My partner and I were at a party a few weeks ago, and someone he was standing with asked him, about me, "is she ALWAYS this happy and fun? I've never seen her down."  My partner smiled and told this man, "No, she's human...for the most part she's happy, though.  But that's because she's learned to dance in the rain."  (I burst out laughing when he told me this later, because I didn't even know he KNEW that phrase!!!!!  Seemed mighty evolved from a man who seems a bit neanderthal most days! :bigwink:  )  Choosing joy doesn't mean I don't cry. Choosing joy doesn't mean I'm in denial - it just means that living in the sadness makes me feel like I'm further enabling my daughter's illness, and allowing it to harm me and my own future potential happiness.  And I *refuse* to allow that to happen.  I've moved toward acceptance of what "is", and my sadness comes from a place of what "isn't", and that's not productive or helpful for *me*.  As mothers we are genetically predisposed to put our children's needs before our own, and some of what I've been doing internally feels selfish to me.  But really, I'm not in any way denying my daughter, or giving up hope that someday there might be a miracle that changes her interactions with the world, including me.  My choosing joy is a way to empower myself.  Nothing more, nothing less.

This is an awful lot about me.....and it honestly isn't meant to be that - I guess what I'm trying to say in my extremely wordy way is that you aren't alone in your sadness - I, too, see other families, other mothers and daughters who are so close and loving, and it truly hurts.  And yes - I cry.  Choosing joy denies nothing - it is, in fact, a full acceptance of what "is".  At least, for me.  Now go find my post about sadness at the holidays (I can't remember which area I posted it in - maybe the dealing with elderly PD parents section?).  That's how I feel as well.

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Herewegoagain

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Re: Another argument
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 09:23:47 AM »
Thanks Falling Up, for your response.

You know, I like how you said you "Choose" Joy. Choice is something that has really resonated with me lately. I CHOOSE to get sucked into her drama. I CHOOSE to engage in arguments with her (after all, it takes two, doesn't it?). I realize for my own health and wellbeing, I can choose to just walk away. I'm 60 years old, and I really can't afford any more negativity.

I can accept the fact that I'll never have a Hallmark relationship with my daughter.

I agree, this forum is great!  :thumbup: