Sunday, October 25, 2015

We have choices....

Yesterday was an uncomfortable day with my girl. To protect her privacy I am not going to go into every thing that happened that disturbed me, but I am going to tell you how I got through the day.

First I realized that I had set up a day that was much too long for her to comfortably manage. So I set us up for failure from the beginning, by not acknowledging or paying attention to what I know about her and her needs. I had a picture in my head of the day. My pictures almost always get me into trouble.

I went into the day knowing that it could go either way and I decided, I chose, to be alright with however it all unfolded.

As the day played out and certain behaviors would transpire, I would remind myself, "You knew this was a possibility." I chose to not take her behavior personally....she is addicted to substances and she behaves like someone who is addicted to substances. I could have gotten into the whole realm of using guilt, martyrdom, and manipulation to try to get the responses I wanted, but I have learned better than that today. When she is able to do better, she does better. It made me sad more than mad. To look beyond the behaviors to the "why's" makes me sad. I also could acknowledge that this was one day. I can do one day. It helps to pace myself, to set time limits, so I know that there is an ending time frame in sight. I think she likes the parameters of a time frame also. "I have 2-6 open today.....want to get coffee and thrift store shop for awhile?"

By acknowledging that I knew what I was getting into, I took responsibility for being there. I chose to spend the day with her however it would play out, because I wanted to, because I love her. I wasn't a victim in this situation. I wasn't being mistreated, I was just having to watch what I don't like to see. That meant though, that when our time was over, I couldn't wallow in self pity, I couldn't blame her for my sadness, I couldn't be mad that there were glitches in my plan for a beautiful day. I knew the risks ahead of time and I chose to proceed.

Deciding that I am willing to accept her as she is, while in full blown addiction, understanding that our times together may be uncomfortable, but its what I have with her right now, and I don't know how much time we have left....I choose to take it. I have my boundaries in place, there are still certain things I can't or won't do. But as far as spending time with her....I will always be available for that. I will try to always walk in without my own agenda and just take the time with her as it is.

I am there with her in spirit and body. That is all I have to give her at this point. And she always always gives me back whatever she can. She has a good kind heart, my girl.

Today I ask you to please keep praying for us. 
Annette


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette, I'm sorry that the day with your daughter did not go well. It sounds like you were able to put it in perspective and deal with it the best way you can...I've had another rough day with my son today. I hope I showed some strength to him. Thank you for your writing and for your support. You will be a wonderful Parent Partner and Coach.

Holly

beachteacher said...

Annette,.....all I can say is that I wish your day went better,....but I admire so much how you handled yourself,...especially your own thinking. That is so damn HARD to do in the manner that you did it. I continue to pray for your daughter.

Liz said...

Annette,
I pray for your girl always... Always... God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that your visit didn't go that well, but you handled it beautifully. I just cannot be around my son when he is high, it gives me a lot of anxiety and makes me very nervous and it takes me days to get over it. I don't wallow in it but it does make me very sad and breaks my heart when I see him like this, I can't deny those feelings or push them away. I love him so much but I just have to avoid him when he is using. I give you a lot of credit for being able to handle this with such grace. Praying for your daughter.

Syd said...

Accepting what is without fabricating a fantasy of what might be is hard. I am glad that you could accept her and let go of the heavy expectations. Those get me in trouble and so I lower my expectations until I am okay. And I keep in mind that we all have character defects. And a load of assets too! Hang in there, my friend. You are loved.

Annette said...

Anonymous, good for you for knowing what you can and can't do and then doing it. In no way do I think other moms should do it the way I'm doing it. I've been at this for a long time now and one day it occurred to me that if I'm waiting for her to get well for us to have a relationship, that may never happen. It was a conscious choice to accept her where she's at and be able to spend time with her. Some days are better than others and for those I am grateful. On the rough days this is just how I get through it....I knew the possibility was there and I knowingly took the risk. That is just me. I admire you for being strong enough to take care of yourself and know what you need to be ok in a most impossible situation.

Anne Ainsobriety said...

I am thinking of you and praying for you both. Love is a hard thing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Annette. God bless you and your daughter. I have learned so much from you over the years. Sadly, we are in the same boat with long term addiction and mental illness afflicting our young adult daughters for many years.

I do not share my home with her, or give her money for drugs but I do spend time with her when I can because in spite of it all I still love her. I do not see that this is a simple choice for her as I think her bipolar disorder impairs her judgement.

The boundaries of time that you speak of are important for me as well. I also will not serve as transportation to drug areas nor will I listen to drug deals or possible drug deals which means she must not text or call others when she is with me.

Any verbal abuse or attempts to hussle some money out of me result in the immediate return of her to her own apt. Usually, she is happy to see me and treats me well. She does not act high so I guess she is not.

I, like you am constantly aware that this might be the last time we ever meet. It makes a difference.

Anna

Mrs. Dubose said...

I am still here and I am still reading. I signed in to tell you that I always pray for your girl, right along with mine, who just got out of her third treatment program. It's hard.

I have learned a lot from your grace. Many blessings to you and yours.

Christina said...

You were carrying the message of the 12 steps to someone who is dying to receive it whether she knows it or not. You are love in action :)

xoxo

Annette said...

Holly I'm sorry you too had a rough day. Take good care of yourself. ❤️

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Annette. -Holly

Anonymous said...

I admire you so so much. I wish I could get through a few hours with my son but it never works out well. The minute he sees me he goes into manipulation mode - no matter if I have ground rules or not. I don't think he wants to manipulate me but after so many years it is just habit with him. It's so so stressful and never ends well. I just let him be and pray each day that he grasps the help he's been given many many times. I've tried to have days like yours but they just never end well. It's so painful so I guess now I am just taking care of myself and limiting the harm done. I hate this disease with a passion as it has destroyed so much in our lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

Annette said...

And I admire you so much Anonymous for being strong enough to do what you need to do, despite how painful it is, to keep yourself safe and sane. ❤️