Thursday, March 3, 2016

Emotional resources

I have limited emotional resources. I have other limited resources too.....time and money being the other main two. I think we all have limited resources, but it's hard to admit that. I have many involvements in my life with lots of people on a day to day basis and those are all incredibly important to me. I have constructed a life for myself that is filled with what I can manage, what is my comfort zone. However, every now and then something out of the ordinary gets thrown in and I panic.

My son announced his engagement and while I am so beside myself with joy for them, it occurred to me that I am going to have to help with a wedding! I'm going to have to dress up, mingle with strangers, be in lots of photographs, make a good impression because these people are going to be our family now... And my son deserves to have a beautiful day, his bride, who is the sweetest most patient person alive deserves to have the day of her dreams. I am trying to find a way that I can nurture that from behind the scenes. (And losing 50lbs again would be nice too!)

Weddings are hard for long time readers will remember the last wedding I went to a couple years ago. I ended up having a mini nervous breakdown afterward and having to go into therapy. I am not kidding either. You can read about it here.....

The thought of it all makes me tired. My emotional resources are tapped out. Having active addiction in our lives, in my life, is matter how close or distant it is to us. Recently my girl said, "I don't really see how this has all even been that big of a deal to all of you. It's not like I'm here dragging you through every upset that I go through. I keep my stuff away from all of you." 

I was speechless. 

Her addiction has changed the structure of our family, it has changed the very fiber of my being, my whole faith and belief system have been challenged and transformed. Doesn't she know that even if I don't have to watch every horrifying event, just seeing her not being who she was created to be, in some very high risk and dangerous and painful ways, breaks my heart? How could she not know that? 

This is new coming from her. This is not her norm. Have we moved into some new place of denial, where the reality is too painful for her to look at? I don't have the answers. I have decided to continue to accept her as she is, where she is, until one day it changes. Which way it will change is not for me to figure out or know. 

So back to my limited emotional resources.....remember my trip to Chicago. That was totally out of my comfort zone too. But I did it, one day at a time, step by step, each day I mustered up what I needed to do and I did it and it was a wonderful experience! I am going to approach this wedding the same way. I will keep day by day chipping away at the things I need to do, and by the time we get there, it will all be fine. Thank all that is holy that I am the mother of the groom for my first offspring wedding. LOL 

What underlies all of this is the fear.....that I am not as good as they are. That I will look frumpy and old in my mother of the groom dress, that I won't be funny enough, that I won't know what to say, that my covers will be pulled and everyone will know......know what? That I'm not perfect? That I'm not good enough. That in some deep soulish way, I am flawed. We as a family are broken. This is such a deep soul existential fear. I think it is sometimes some of what leads substance abusers to use and another good reason I have never chosen to numb myself, because the potential is all there!

Yes, I just shared that publicly! It's ugly, my own personal glaring, insecurity at its finest. And now I have laid it out here for all to see. Somehow that strips it of some of its power though. I am afraid. But I've been afraid before and survived. I've been afraid and gotten mid-situation and realized that all was fine and I was actually having fun and no one was paying attention to all of my self perceived flaws. Because really, aside from me, who cares?! 

Pray for me... I'm a little cray cray.


Anonymous said...

Yep totally can relate. When my non addict daughter got married I saw a therapist to get me through. I had all the same fears you described. But the biggest was the talk going on behind my back as to why her sister was not her maid of honor or didn't even come. She was in active addiction at the time. I guess you could call me a closeted POA. Ive never discussed her addiction with anyone: shame that I will be viewed as a bad mom I guess. I saw my therapist and kept busy and I got through it, medication free I might add lol
Trust me, if I got through it, you will too.
As for how your daughter doesnt see how her addiction affects you, I believe she knows but it's too much guilt to take on so maybe she works hard at making herself believe it doesn't. I keep waiting for my daughter to work the program where she makes amends. I dont want an apology, just her recognition of what her addiction did to our family.

Annette said...

Change, I can't tell you how much your comment meant to me. I almost took this post down because I thought I sounded like a whiny baby. Lol I too don't know if "my girl" will be able to attend the wedding. And if she does what will that look like? so much to figure out. Thank you for "getting" it! Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...


I'm right there with you also. My son who is in active addiction just texted me last Sunday that he's engaged to a girl he's known for 3 months. He was married and divorced once before. I went through the motions knowing very well what a life of hell his wife was going to go through. I told him at the time he was in no condition to make that kind of decision. Somehow, that got translated into me not liking his fiancee/wife. I couldn't have an opinion either way ... I met her probably 4 times and two of those times were at 4 am when she was wandering around my house looking for something to eat :)

I'm not sure how I will handle this one. I haven't as much as responded to his text. I'm still thinking about it ... and also trying not to think about it.

Anyway, congratulations to you and your son. I know you'll do just fine, you will have a beautiful day and you will make the best kind of mother in law.


Lolly said...

Oh my goodness gracious! First of all you don't look like you need to lose 50 pounds, even if YOU think you do. When we met you were gracious and kind and beautiful. You were open and talkative and so full of confidence. You were warm and welcoming and that hair was fabulous. I can't imagine that all of those qualities would just up and leave on the day of your son's wedding. Here's a thought... What if your soon to be daughter-in-law's family has the same thoughts themselves? What if they are thinking "Annette has it so together. Look at her!! We are going to look like Hillbilly's next to them. Gosh I hope Uncle So and So doesn't act like the ass he is at the wedding." Can I tell you to relax and enjoy yourself? Can I tell you that their wedding and reception will be done and over with in a flash and you will have worried and stressed for nothing? Would you believe me if I said you are strong and beautiful inside and out and that you should really stop stressing about things that haven't happened yet? Just be you Annette. You are perfect just the way you are. Their day will be perfect for them too.

donohuli said...

You are one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL people out there. I find it sad that you feel so uncomfortable on your insides that it prevents you from doing things that ultimately should make you hapy. I have never met you, but there are a few souls out there that their faith, compassion, generosity of spirit just shine through and I just know that you are one of them. I am so sorry also about your daughter - she is definitely in denial. However, your strength of spirit, your faith and your joy in your son's wedding is what you need to remember. They will be joyous that you are there with all your inner beauty shining through. Isn't that what beauty is really?

Grace-WorkinProgress said...

Before I checked out I use to have the illusion that I some how I was responsible for the happiness of others. I believed if I stopped managing everthing that things would fall apart and the lives of others would be ruined. What I found out is that life goes on and everyone found new growth without me. What a blow for me that people could survive without me.

It doesn't mean they didn't love me or want me around it just made them more reliant on themselves. I have always took on a big load whether anyone ask me to or not this was the way I felt valuable and how I measured my worth in this world. I was not worthy of receiving love from myself or others if I wasn't exhausted with the business of others. This was my truth down deep.

This has made me less controlling and only participating when first I am ask and second when I can find joy from the situation. When I can love myself because I am me I can show up and be at peace where I am being who I am even with my extra pounds. I am at my best when I don't judge myself and know that it is only my own judgement that hurts me.

Lori said...

I would be so freaked out if one of my kids decided to get married in the midst of all the addiction drama. Mainly because my son would probably want to come to the wedding, and I wouldn't want him there. Is that wrong of me? I don't think so. He is an opportunistic feeder, as we say in the zoology world, meaning he would be there to get what he could for himself....the wishing well (money drop) and the gift table would be terrifying for me. I would probably have to hire a guard to watch it. Plus all the pictures of him loaded would be a heartbreak forever captured. I would rather have him missing from pictures vs in them high. I have a way of blocking out reality when it isn't in my face. Maybe I feel that way because I don't have a single family photo of him sober since 2009....and possibly before that when I was unaware of his addiction.

Mostly, I would be worried that the day would be somehow ruined for my child who is getting married. I would never want for that!

I'm sorry. This comment is not doing what it was intended, which is to uplift you. I will change directions. lol

Congratulations to your son and his girl! I understand your concerns and in no way shape or form find you whiney or anything of the sort. As for why your daughter is not recognizing the destruction she has caused, I am at a loss. My son has always recognized his roll in the chaos, he just has never really done anything to correct it....and the band plays on.

SoberMomWrites said...

One day I was saying something or other to my son about not being good enough blah, blah, blah and he just stopped and looked at me and said, "I wish you could see you like we see you." It stopped me cold.

So to you I say, "I wish you could see you like we see you." Because if you could you'd see how wonderful and beautiful and kind and gracious you are and how that pours forth over the internet and email and texts so I know it's pouring out of your very soul. That's what your family sees. That's what I see.

That's what they'll see too.

You not cray da bomb.

Mark Goodson said...

Will pray Annette, yes. Congrats on your son's engagement! That's really cool. Your post reminded me of something an old teacher said to me one time. Everybody is impoverished in one way or another. Poverty comes in a lot of forms. I tend to agree with you. If we have more of one thing, we'll naturally have less of another. We are under-resourced. Take care Annette and take it easy on yourself!

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for years and am on Moms Can with you. You are a beautiful,person inside and out. You have the kindest soul,and the most beatiful smile. I feel the love that flows from you which anyone around you most feel. I can't imagine you wouldn't brighten any function or the love you feel for mankind doesn't shine thru. I bet people who come in contact with you wish they had your insight into life and the ability you have to love others as God loves us. Please remember we all are,living this life to be able to live in eternity with God. Don't get caught up in what the devil wants us to...our insecurities. Having children with addiction I think puts us in a spiritual battle that we will win with God by outside. Enjoy your children and the beautiful wedding! Leave the rest

Birdie said...

Oh, Annette. You are truly one of this planet's beautiful souls. I heard this song today so I am giving it to you. xo

There will always be someone better than you
Even if you're the best
So let's stop the competition now
Or we will both be losers
And I'm ashamed I ever tried to be higher than the rest
But brother I am not alone
We've all tried to be on top of the world somehow
'Cause we have all been losers
I don't wanna be laid down
No I don't wanna die knowing
That I spent so much time when I was young
Just trying to be the winner
So I wanna make it clear now
I wanna make it known
That I don't care about any of that shit no more
Don't care about being a winner
Or being smooth with women
Or going out on Fridays
Being the life of parties
No, no more, no
There will always be someone worse than you
Sister don't let it get to your head
'Cause you won't be on top of the world so long
In constant competition
This ain't about no one in particular
But I could list a few
I'm removing myself from the queue
Don't care about being a winner
Or being smooth with women
Or going out on Fridays
Being the life of parties
Don't care about being harder
Or being Daddy's favorite
Or if you think I'm a mimic
Or if I am a loser
Don't care about being a winner
Or being smooth with women
Or going out on Fridays
Being the life of parties
Don't care about being harder
Or being Daddy's favorite
Or if you think I'm a mimic
Or if I am a loser
No, no more
No more
No more
No more
No more
No more

I think this...
Your imperfection makes others feel safe. Being as you say, "not good enough" helps others open up. Your flaws make you a person others want to be around because you are real. Your broken family helps others to realize that all our families are hurting and we need each other. Your vulnerability makes you a light in this world.