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User Topic: I am not strong
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 9:50 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

I don't know where to start. Not at the beginning. How about the middle?

Weekly therapy for the kids today. We've been going for awhile. I got the sense last week that it was looking like "me" more than the "kids." I got that again today. A lot more bluntly.

Ok, what he said was that I "vibrate." That I have so much anger (whoo, he should have seen me a year ago, or two!) and that my constant need to correct, fix, undo, compensate for the absolute train wreck of a father I picked for my kids is causing them anxiety. They are trying to "protect me" or they go into sympathetic mode/anxiety in response to my moods.

I got that the "wonder woman" syndrome is literally draining me dry and that I can't keep it up and I should stop trying. That it is a classic trauma response.

I got that "I am a phenomenal parent, with a highly successful career and I survived hell" and I put a "but" after it. He said I heard a fix it message and it was not a fix it message.

So this middle followed the soccer tryout day for DS12. He was slow. He was "last" in all the running and there was a lot of running. He was sopping wet and noodle legged when I picked him up. And we went straight to therapy.

Tomorrow is day two of tryouts and he doesn't want to do it. I gave all the "don't quit" and "it gets easier the more you do it" messages. He argues that it isn't fun and he has assessed his ability and he is out of his league.

I don't know if he is afraid to fail? If it was too hard? He did not condition any this summer. He elected not to do a week long soccer camp. This may not be important to him. He wants to continue with Y soccer but does not want to suffer through this particular team/practice regimen.

I showed him the "don't quit" motivational clip from "Facing the Giants." I cried through the whole thing.

I managed to choke out that sometimes others see in us things that we don't see in ourselves and wondered if that was a message we both needed to hear?

He is crying because he doesn't want to disappoint me. He doesn't want his friends to be let down. And he doesn't want his dad to be mad. What is the difference in those concerns... hmmm?

I left it at bedtime with "I trust you to make the right decision." And I do. I have put the work in with that child. At 12, he has the right to make this call. He said he wished I could comfort him with his decision. He is not going to stay tomorrow afternoon.

I asked him if he wanted to take his gear and call me if he changed his mind. He said he did not want to be indecisive and worry excessively over it like he does everything.

Back to therapy. DS9 wants to quit. He told therapist. And we both think it is because they are getting to close to something "uncomfortable." But therapist to let it go and to leave the door open. That the kids are "okay."

He also said that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. We all heard that when we were getting over dday right? But he meant my kids. He said they are mostly indifferent about dad and that is part of why dad is pushing so hard right now.

He also said that the kids only need one safe parent/adult. One solid grounded caring adult. And to let go and breathe. Not "wonder woman" through everything.

So pretty much I have been teary and weepy for the last four hours.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Sparkles
Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 10:13 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

You are strong. The way you are handling the situation - work, you ex, your son's soccer worries, therapy - is amazing.

I know that some days after dealing with all the fall out of my stbx's behavior it seems like on top of doing everything for the kids we spend so much time doing damage control. Its inspiring to see there are still people like you around. Not only are you strong, you also seem quite thoughtful, loving and compassionate.

((caregiver9000))


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: In a better place
Take2
Member
Member # 23890
Default  Posted: 10:23 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

{{{{{Caregiver}}}}}}

Just lots and lots and lots of hugs and a song for you tonight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8rtJRlLdI8


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell...So, If fear was not a factor - what would you do?

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2009 | From: New England
Nature_Girl
Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 10:23 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

It's exhausting being everything to everyone. You're not supposed to do that. Your kids will be okay if you step back a bit. I know it's a struggle to deliberately dial back the panic & trauma responses which, for us, are normal and automatic. It can be done, though. I'm doing it. I know you can do it, too.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9476 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 10:31 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

(((((caregiver)))))) Sweetie - you are SO strong. You really are, even if you don't feel it.


You can call me NIK

"Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand."
-Hayley Williams


Posts: 24789 | Registered: Aug 2011
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

((((((((((caregiver9000))))))))))

Oh sweetie

What a hard evening!

First, trust DS12. He wants to love the sport and for whatever reason he thinks that the team he tried out for today will not contribute to his love of the sport. I respect that.

As for the messages from the therapist, I don't know what to say. I think all of the things he pointed out are very typical response to a spouse who has been mostly abandoned. We ARE angry. We DO want to protect the kids. We DO compensate for the dickheads who sperm-donored our kids. We ARE on double-triple alert to "fix" things. We ARE wonder woman because we HAVE to be wonder woman.

Trying to put a positive spin on this, well at least he pointed out some things you can work on?


But he meant my kids. He said they are mostly indifferent about dad and that is part of why dad is pushing so hard right now.

I think this is the absolute truth. When my DD hated X, he avoided her like the plague. Now she could not care less about him and he is kinda pushy in his once a month emails (I know that sounds funny...) But now DD just strong arms him like Bo Jackson going thru a defensive line (can you tell I love college football?? and football season starts on Saturday??!!!)

My only advice to you is that now that your kids are indifferent towards the x asshole, let it go. There is not longer a "need" to try to encourage their relationship with him, because they just don't care anymore. The way I dealt with this is to never even mention X (or his family) unless DD brings it up. And even then, I usually just respond with bland pleasantries like "That's nice".

Get some rest. Try not to think about this until you can carve some quiet time out for yourself.

And (((more hugs)))


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17605 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Phoenix1
Member
Member # 38928
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, but you are right that you don't need to be Wonder Woman all the time. You will exhaust yourself trying.

When I filed last week I was an emotional mess and simply couldn't hold it together. I tried to be alone, but both DD22 and DS20 ended up being home at separate times and I couldn't hold it together. My DS20 told me that I didn't have to be strong all the time, and just hearing him say that made me feel a little relieved, even if the tears kept flowing. Let yourself have some emotional down time.

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 10:38 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)]


BS - Me
XPOS - too many OW/OCs over 20+yrs
Kids - DDs 22,17 -DS20 Deceased
M Dissolved 2013

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet


Posts: 1029 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Rising out of Hell's ashes!
CheaterMagnet
Member
Member # 33581
Default  Posted: 10:53 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

((((((CG9000))))))

Sweetie, you've got to cut yourself a break. You sound like an amazing mother and you are doing everything humanly possible to help your boys through this. The key word being, "HUMANLY." That's all any of us can do. If you keep trying to be super-human you will flame out. And it can get ugly. Trust me. I know.

Hang in there doll. Lean on us when you need to. We can carry you for awhile.


If Happy Ever After did exist, I would still be holding you like this.
All those fairly tales are full of shit.
One more fucking love song I'll be sick. ~ Maroon 5

Posts: 1008 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Kailua-Kona, HI
ruinedandbroken
Member
Member # 29250
Default  Posted: 11:03 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)

(((caregiver9000)))

You are a great mom and you are stronger than you realize.


“People who cheat feel that life is for the taking, and that everyone deserves happiness no matter what the cost. I must remember these tricks if I ever have my soul surgically removed."
Me: BS 42. Him: WH 41 2 Kids 6&9
Married 14 yrs Together 21

Posts: 1563 | Registered: Aug 2010
SBB
Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 12:16 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

Strong doesn't mean unfeeling mamma. I course you're going to have feelings about your kids!!!

Mother guilt mixed in with your own grieving healing. I understand it all too well.

ICs are supposed to be the impartial observer - they are making observations, not judgement.

Whatever it is we think we do 'wrong' it comes from a place of love and good intentions. We grow and learn on the job. Neither we nor they are born with manuals.

You're learning on the job. Your learning what your limitations are (v. important!), you're seeing the green shoots of who your little boys are becoming - the men they will be and you're getting to know them.

Nothing negative here mamma - all good stuff. Learning, growing, developing, emerging, healing - all of you. All good stuff.

((CG)) strong feelings are good too.


Buzz- The word you are searching for is 'Space-Ranger.'
Woody- The word I'm searching for, I can't say, because there are Pre-school toys here.

Posts: 5527 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Kajem
Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 12:27 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

It's ok to trust his decision even if you don't agree with it. He's growing up he may love the sport, and love to play. But he may also not like the competition that comes with a school team. There IS a lot of pressure on school teams-if you screw up the school knows. It is anxiety provoking.

You are a great mom. I hate to say it, but he's teaching you (in small ways) to respect his decision to decide something you don't agree with. It's going to be one of many decisions he will make that you won't agree with. It sounds like he is realistic in his assessment of his skills. It will be a strong kid at 14, who can go against his friends and not join them in a group setting.

I'm thinking the lesson he learned was not to let your skills get rusty over the summer.

Hugs. Mama -you want them to grow up to be independent. But we never are ready for when they take that first step toward it.

I think you're raising an outstanding young man.

K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4996 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
Griefstricken25
Member
Member # 29183
Default  Posted: 12:38 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

((((caregiver))))

Take your therapist's words to heart. There is no "but". You are doing amazing. Period.


Me!
3 amazing kidlets
To WXH "Now you're just somebody that I used to know." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
D-day and separation - June, 2009
Divorced - December, 2011

Posts: 2504 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: A better place
Compartmented
Member
Member # 29410
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, August 29th (Thursday)

Caregiver,

I read your thread title and said, "Oh, Caregiver, you are too strong!" You've posted some amazing stuff on here!

Regarding the soccer, I'd say respect ds's decision. He's younger than my children were when the ddays started coming, but I still think he's old enough to decide this, based on what you've written. I've seen kids go in and out of playing soccer, and I've seen some who just don't want to play on the highly competitive teams based on what they've seen.

Back to therapy. DS9 wants to quit. He told therapist. And we both think it is because they are getting to close to something "uncomfortable." But therapist to let it go and to leave the door open. That the kids are "okay."

He also said that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. We all heard that when we were getting over dday right? But he meant my kids. He said they are mostly indifferent about dad and that is part of why dad is pushing so hard right now.

He also said that the kids only need one safe parent/adult. One solid grounded caring adult. And to let go and breathe. Not "wonder woman" through everything.

Regarding quitting therapy, my one bit of advice there is not to quit completely, but reduce it a lot instead, if that's the right direction. My sons both had a therapist who told me they were fine and could come back to him when they wanted, but they needed to go back and did not. So reduce, vs. stop, because they can still just "check in" that way. This is especially important, in my opinion, as their father continues to push.

As for the rest, I've had to step back and let my children grow up faster than I'd like. I've been told that my children are at risk of repeating what they learned at home, which is addiction/co-addiction and abuse/denial of abuse. So that scares the crap out of me. I've been told the best thing I can do is model healthy recovery for them. So I work at that with a passion, which is actually great because then I benefit as well. I keep reading and going to therapy, and I go to Al-Anon at least weekly. I don't know if you have ever had any alcoholics in your life or not, but the meetings are all about how to deal with the chaos in your life in a better way, regardless of why you show up. Sometimes people are affected by a grandparent's drinking, because their own parent was raised by an alcoholic and thus affected. At any rate, this is a wonderful place to hear how others are learning to cope in a better fashion. Most of the time what we are coping with is general life shit, not what an alcoholic is currently doing. You don't have to share; you can sit and listen. Many's the time I sat and cried and said nothing. They just pass the Kleenex and give you a hug after the meeting.

Here's a virtual hug {{{ CG }}}.

You're doing GREAT!!!

edited to add another thought

[This message edited by Compartmented at 8:24 AM, August 29th (Thursday)]


Posts: 1230 | Registered: Aug 2010
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Y'all....

I stayed awake last night long enough to have a good ole bawl fest. I mean hard crying, until my head was all swollen and my eyes were red. Every comment here has moved me and I love you all for it.

Something has cracked and between being exhausted and having emotions pulled to the surface, I have cried quite a bit in the last 24 hours. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I tend to have a lock on the vulnerable side.

I second and third guessed my decision today. Of course there were plenty of people who believe I should not have allowed him to quit. That I let him "give up." DS will encounter some of this as well, and he knew it when he was trying to decide.

Kajem,
I have returned to your words over and over. THANK YOU. Because this is the place I need to be with my son. I do not want to put him in a place to "fake" sick or injury to get out of something he doesn't want to do. I don't want him to fail to try next time because I have taught him that trying is committing.

He did not quit. Quitting would be sitting out after the first mile run. Maybe he was saving face or peer pressure made him keep going but he kept going.

And I watched him struggle with what to do. He did not just decide it was too hard. At one point he said, "I want to quit, but I might need to see it through." He agonized over this decision and it was hard to watch!

We talked about tough choices being a part of growing up. And DS9 muttered he might just want to stay 9...

I work with teens. I know that we are delusional if we (adults) think we can control them. The best we can do is model, inspire, bribe, and lay the groundwork for smart choices. We can talk and listen. We can form relationships that involve respect and caring and a desire to live up to the person we think they are. And then trust/pray/hope they make smart choices.... most of the time, in the face of very challenging counter influences.

All in all, what to do about a soccer team tryout is a low risk place to let him learn some independence. To see what making a hard choice for yourself feels like.

DS was well aware what my choice for him would have been. It sparked a deep concern that I would be disappointed in him. I got the chance to tell him that I would love him no matter what choice he made. It really was his choice to make. I made sure he had all the angles, had considered the risk/benefits as I saw them.

I picked him up after school today. He thanked me for letting him decide for himself. I asked him what he would tell the coach if he asked why he didn't come out today? DS said, "the truth." I asked what the truth was. "I didn't think I was ready." Interesting truth. And not what DS is prepared to give his father. His first choice is to avoid it. His second is to say he didn't make the team. His third choice is to say he didn't feel well today.

All in all I want to continue to be the adult he respects enough to give truth. This gives me some way to frame that letting him quit was ok. Because it wasn't letting him quit. It was letting him choose his own path. And telling him I knew he was qualified to make that choice. I feel good about that statement.

Compartmented,
Not stopping therapy vs. cutting way back is very sound advice. Thank you. I will try to implement this strategy when we get to that point.

I asked DS12 if he would quit therapy if DS9 quit. DS12 countered with "what do you want me to do?" I think he was trying to accommodate me, sort of giving back what he got yesterday. I said only he knew if it was helping. DS12 said he was going to keep going. I think he might be trying to please me, but he got to choose again, and if his reasons are sometimes because it is what mom would want, those can be valid reasons.

I asked DS9 what he was going to do while DS12 and I both did therapy? Wait in the lobby the whole time? Seems like given those options, DS9 thinks continuing to "talk" is preferable to "waiting." But we might cut back the frequency to make it less intrusive on their time and to give some space for processing and to let stuff happen they want to talk about.

Thank you ALL for carrying me. For encouraging me to lean. For the kind words and reassurances. I have read every response more than a dozen times. I might print them and carry them in my purse for awhile.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 5:56 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

(((Care)))

First, you are an amazing woman, mother, friend.

Second, you are still holding onto some pain from your past. Totally understandable, but at some point you are going to have to work on letting go...without perfection.

I think we all go through cycles, bumps in the road, and many of us are carrying the big loads on our backs alone. We were supposed to do parenting with a partner, and we aren't. We are mother, father, friend all rolled into one. Just showing how much you care about your kids proves what an amazing parent you are. This isn't for sissies.

I read somewhere, "Behind every great kid is a parent who thinks they are screwing up." You have great kids. You do.

Cut yourself some slack, my friend. Maybe there is something coming to the surface for you too. Time to face it so you can let it go.


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4107 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
hexed
Member
Member # 19258
Default  Posted: 6:27 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

(((CG)))

you're an awesome mom. you're listening to your DS12 on more than just a superficial level. you have really heard him and given him power over his choices. My son was EXACTLY the same way with soccer. He loves rec soccer but the super competitive leagues weren't fun for him.

I like how you handled the therapy with DS9. I've stopped and started IC several times over the years. Sometimes, a pause to process things or to build up strength for the next thing is needed.

You might feel like you're cracking but it seems like you're really doing great to me.


But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler


Posts: 8435 | Registered: Apr 2008
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 6:32 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

First, you are an amazing woman, mother, friend.

thank you. But I wish someone would tell me WHY every comment I read in this vein makes me instantly cry?


Time to face it so you can let it go.

This statement terrifies me. I can literally feel my eyes shuttering, my brain sliding sideways.

I no longer know exactly what "it" is? But I do think that my reaction to all of this has become who I am. I don't know how to be other than this reactionary being. I can see emotionally bruised children and I can empathize and rationalize and GIVE my care to their situation. But I can't turn that on myself. And I can't accept it. When I get that level of care and kindness, praise and hugs... I FALL APART. Every time.

I can receive praise for what I do. My job. What I say. Teaching or parenting. But I can't BE praiseworthy. I do some things really really well. But I am deeply flawed.

I am making my head hurt. I want to "bounce back" and put this bump behind me. Round here we call that "rug sweeping right?"


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 8:07 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

You know how you can tell that you are an amazing mother? Your son had the skills and ability to voice his concerns and make a very adult decision--and he was able to do this because you taught him well and you gave him the resources that he needed.

I wish I could say your work is done...but we know that never happens


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 19968 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
kernel
Member
Member # 27035
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Because it wasn't letting him quit. It was letting him choose his own path. And telling him I knew he was qualified to make that choice.

This is so amazing, CG. Your boys are lucky to have you.

I imagine the crying and emotional outbursts you are having are a reaction to stress overload. Sooner or later, you just have to release some of it and crying is a good way to do it. And part of it is being told that your kids are okay - that's got to be a relief, even when you are still so worried about them. And of course some of it is parental guilt because we never frickin' get rid of that, never. Maybe a little of it is because your boy is growing up and it's so stinking hard to let go, even a little. And because you are an awesome parent, you know you have to do it even if it hurts.

I still remember, and always will, the day my youngest DD insisted on riding the children's carnival ride BY HERSELF. I put all caps because that's how adamant she was about it. So, that was one little letting go that simultaneously makes you so proud and so sad. The same kind of letting go that you just went through with your son.

You're doing great CG. So cry a little more, let it out. You are strong, but you're also human - not super human.


"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% - and that's pretty good."

Posts: 5032 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Midwest
cmego
Member
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 8:22 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Maybe it is time to dig deep into therapy. I believe that we deal with "it" when we have the emotional ability to really...deal. I think you are tired of being this way, the reactionary, and you want to change. I think the tears are clueing you in to a "soft spot". Dig, chick!


me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings


Posts: 4107 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Kajem
Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 8:36 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

(((((CG)))))

He didn't quit. To quit, there needed to be a commitment. He stopped trying out - because he realized he wasn't ready. I am willing to bet you a glass of wine that next year he will do the conditioning in order to be ready. That is IF soccer still holds his interest.

You have given him a huge gift. The gift of responsible choice. You helped him by discussing all the angles and accepted his decision and HIM with love, compassion and respect. And he now knows you will love him even when he makes choices you don't agree with. Unlike how he thinks his father will feel. But that is for dad to own.

You won't realize the foundation you laid in your relationship with DS until he is older. You've done well mamma. Be proud of yourself and him.

Hugs

K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4996 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 8:50 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

The tears are because we are friends,
sitting around laughing at our sorrows,
there is a place I promise,
where this never ends.

I think my tears are where something touches something that is missing inside me.

My brain goes sideways too.
Have you seen my posting history or what?
It is when the deepest thing we need to see,
sees us.
And we're not ready to look that,
in the eye,
back.

It's nudging from an angel's wings I tell ya - now I know your eyes are wet from seein this written thing. One of the saving graces of SI that's not talked about alot is its ephemeral nature, we'll be on page 5 soon enough, but I feel like telling a story.

I puked. The same day I quit freshman football. At my 10 year HS reunion, someone stated; "I never understood why coach never started you on offense, he must've hated you."

It was my choice to quit (I ended up playing defense). I will always keep that comment in my pocket.
Keep this in yours.
(stop cryin and face this bitch)
You done good.


Posts: 6489 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
jjct
Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Am too harsh dear cg.
Cry away.

Posts: 6489 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
rainagain
Member
Member # 14917
Default  Posted: 9:09 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Oh care just saw this. Great words and friends here and that has something to do with the tears. Those of us - all of us here - have hurt more and lived more because of the pain. I think this causes the big emotions. The reaction to it is wanting to protect yourself.

You gave your son another lasting example of unconditional love that will last him a lifetime and counteract what he gets from his dad.

Don't doubt yourself and your decisions and actions. It's how we get through. And I promise you that you will one day get to a more peaceful place that doesn't hurt so much. When I figure out how I got here I'll give you the directions. But I do know you and your little guys are headed there.

[This message edited by rainagain at 9:10 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]


Now, faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see. Heb 11:1
I done been through the pain and the sorrow the struggle is nothing but love. Maino
Me: Divorced BS 49
DS22, DD19, DS17

Posts: 1292 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Massachusetts
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 9:18 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Your son had the skills and ability to voice his concerns and make a very adult decision--and he was able to do this because you taught him well and you gave him the resources that he needed.

Thank you. At some point in the discussion with him, I recognized that he was standing up for himself and defining how he felt and what he wanted. That it was not easy, made it an "adult" moment and I imagined the endless road of tough choices in front of him. THAT was when I knew I had to let him make this choice. In some ways it would have been easier to decide for him, to be the bad guy for making him do it, or to take away the angst by saying I thought he should quit. So to step back was hard for both of us.

I DO think there was that moment of realization that he is NOT my "little" boy anymore, but becoming quite a young man. And that is cry worthy for this mama!

You know, it wasn't on the calendar that this day was so momentous and important. All it said was soccer tryouts until 5pm.

K, I started to highlight and copy parts of your post, but it would be the whole thing. You have walked with me in wisdom and kindness for awhile now and I appreciate every syllable and moment. There is a difference between stopping trying and quitting and I will give him that because it might set a bit easier for him.

jj. As always. Thank you for the gift of your words and the way of them. (eta: Harsh? there was no comma so I assume the harsh was at the trouble. You are too dear to me to offend.)

ephemeral indeed. Sometimes I post because I muse. Sometimes I post because I must.

I am always amazed that the response seems to meet the need. I will be ok.

eta: rain, you always find me in the darkest moments. Thanks for the light of hope and directions would be great, but I suspect finding our own way is part of the directions anyway. Glad to see you as always.

[This message edited by caregiver9000 at 9:23 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
tesla
Member
Member # 34697
Default  Posted: 9:19 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

((((CG))))

If Teslet turns out half as grounded and centered as your boys, I will count myself blessed. DS12 needed to make that decision about soccer. He needs to know that you are ok with him making the decision. You did that. You work with kids, you know how instrumental that is for them.

You are an amazing mom. I love your posts...they've helped me walk my own path.

You know...back in January, I went back to IC for a tune-up...went back to work through some work issues I was having. Ended up finding a piece of unfinished business from the betrayal. It was still there, just under the surface, until I had to say it out loud to another human. Balled my eyes out that day. But finally, I made the jump where I wasn't feeling like I was faking it anymore...like I finally gave myself permission to live *my* life.

Maybe there is something inside that just needs a voice so you can let it go.


"Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch." --King Lear

Posts: 4608 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
Kajem
Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 9:21 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

I no longer know exactly what "it" is? But I do think that my reaction to all of this has become who I am. I don't know how to be other than this reactionary being. I can see emotionally bruised children and I can empathize and rationalize and GIVE my care to their situation. But I can't turn that on myself. And I can't accept it. When I get that level of care and kindness, praise and hugs... I FALL APART. Every time.

It's ok (for now) to give all that kindness and care to others, we have enough love and care to give to you. Being reactionary is a by product of dealing with the NPD in your life. Be careful, I think some of your talking with DS was more proactive than reactive.

You are a good person, you cared enough about him to ask our advice. How many other parents would dad ask? Then you LISTENED to the advice took what you thought would work and left the rest. Yeah I'm not going to bet that your XH will do that when faced with a similar issue. This was huge, it's hard to ask for help. You did it. That's what makes you an awesome parent-you're not afraid to ask for help in order to give your boys something you might not have seen. It makes you a better parent and your boys even more exceptional.

Self care and self nurture start with baby steps and maybe some angels to help along the way. The peeps on SI are angels. ...,

More hugs
K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4996 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 9:59 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Sometimes I wonder if I "need" Stretch to consistently prove how lousy a father he is to "justify" my continued anger with him... That is a dark truth from a place I don't look at inside of myself. Because that is so awful a thing to need, as I can see how his actions and his lack of attention to the boys hurts them. It is like hurting my own children by proxy.

I type that and I can see the flawed logic. He is who he is whether I hate him or not. The kids are hurt at his hands not mine and my frantic need to compensate for their hurt comes from this.

I don't have to hold him up as awful to be awesome... right? That is hard to type.

I listened to DS talk this out with his dad. That son of mine is a smart cookie. He calmly told dad that he didn't feel well today and missed tryouts. But that it was probably for the best because he'd been stressing over playing for two teams and he'd rather play on his dad's team. His dad humbly thanked him. Then DS talked about how much homework he has every night and the level of stress he was under and the subject was changed. Just like that. And his dad has no idea of the monumental milestone and struggle and moment of pride and growing up that happened here, in our home. He missed every bit of it and he doesn't even know enough to know he missed something.

Next week I have an IC appointment courtesy of the kids' therapist. He's bringing in a trauma specialist, some Domestic Violence guru that he thinks is really going to click with me. I think even the IDEA of THAT was a big part of yesterday's reaction. I have reread this entire thread sooooo many times. And I managed to leave that fact out until just now. huh.

I have also downloaded the song. I have been told to "breathe" by so many people so many times, it may have been written by someone who knows me!

tesla, what a nice compliment! You inspire me. The idea that you walk your path at all with my journey in your thoughts humbles me. I needed this and all of you.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
AppleBlossom
Member
Member # 38541
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Speaking from experience, it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and allow ourselves to see and feel the pain. It is okay to show the children that you are struggling and having moments where the hard times are challenging you, because the kids then see you overcome them, and there is a valuable lesson in that.

Please don't mistake fear and tears and a lack of courage or strength. True strength comes from continuing even when we feel weak.

I was abused as a child, and my life has been a constant cycle of showing the world how amazing I was, hoping to stave of criticism and then the logical next step - hurt. In letting myself be human and flawed, I am learning that those that really love me will catch me when I fall and if I am alone I know I can take care of myself.


Posts: 154 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Australia
woundedby2
Member
Member # 18522
Default  Posted: 11:10 PM, August 29th (Thursday)

Oh, sweet CG, you are so strong. You are amazing! Caring, smart, intuitive, and damn funny! I second every compliment you've already received on this thread.

This therapist sounds really freakin awesome. I hope the trauma expert will be able to help you further.

I love the way your boy navigated the soccer issue with his dad, but I can imagine the amount of anxiety that he faced in preparation for the conversation.

Our poor kids are really stuck in the middle of a mess. They've got the traumatized NPD-survivor mom going into hyper-drive trying to make up for the fucktardness of the X. They have their own trauma wounds, and still have to deal with the NPD who continues to wound them. And as the therapist pointed out, they are doing a dance in the middle trying to keep everyone happy and not make waves. They are really in a unenviable position when you think about it.

I don't have to hold him up as awful to be awesome... right?

I love this. No, you can put him down now, CG. He'll prove himself to be awful regardless. You are awesome. Really.


Me: BS
2 kids: DD15 and DS18
Him: The Assclown NPD
OW: "friend" of 15 years
Divorced! Feb. 2010

Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson


Posts: 7791 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: SoCal
tryingagain74
Member
Member # 33698
Default  Posted: 12:16 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Sometimes, I think that we are strong in ways that never occur to us. Clearly, one of your strengths is with communication-- some people can barely get their preteens to talk to them, let alone work through a difficult decision with them. You have a strength that many people wish they had.

(((CG)))


BS (Me) 39
Happily liberated!
Two DS and One DD
It matters not how strait the gate,/How charged with punishments the scroll./I am the master of my fate:/I am the captain of my soul.--"Invictus," William Ernest Henley

Posts: 3571 | Registered: Oct 2011
cayc
Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 6:54 AM, August 30th (Friday)

I usually avoid posting in threads that are mostly about relationships with kids since I don't have any and don't feel qualified to comment.

But I also always read them from the perspective of what was missing in my childhood from my parents and how much better off I would have been if I had had [insert thread topic here] in my life from them.

This is one of those threads. Those children of yours are fully aware that they are the most important thing to you. They know that you are solidly in their corner, always there to back them up and bail them out. And now it seems you've passed the hurdle where they know they can choose based upon their own felt needs and that you'll support that too. What a wonderful gift you are giving them. If this doesn't define what a mother's love should be, I don't know what does.

CG, if I go back in time, can you be my mom? It's just bittersweet to read all that you are doing and how deeply you feel about your responsibility as a mom. What a strong, boundary setting, no shit taking woman I would have been from the get go if I had had a presence like you in my life when I was a child.


((((caregiver9000))))


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3045 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Kajem
Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 8:25 AM, August 30th (Friday)


Sometimes I wonder if I "need" Stretch to consistently prove how lousy a father he is to "justify" my continued anger with him... That is a dark truth from a place I don't look at inside of myself. Because that is so awful a thing to need, as I can see how his actions and his lack of attention to the boys hurts them. It is like hurting my own children by proxy.
I type that and I can see the flawed logic. He is who he is whether I hate him or not. The kids are hurt at his hands not mine and my frantic need to compensate for their hurt comes from this.

I don't have to hold him up as awful to be awesome... right? That is hard to type.

No you don't. I used to think the same. Then I started thinking about parenting my kids, and I am grateful they came to me preprogrammed the way they were. I think they guided me to be the best possible parent I could be for them. they certainly taught me a few things. I don't think I am an awesome mom, but I do have awesome kids-they get the credit for navigating the NPD father and divorce crap that's been thrown onto their life's path. I can give suggestions,directions, and even in some cases remove them from the path(for a time)- but they alone walk it.

Your awesomeness comes from raising and loving those awesome kids you have. You can be flawed and still be awesome.

The Chinese used to repair cracked porcelain pots (typing cracked pots just seemed wrong ) and fill those cracks with gold. The pot was stronger with the gold. Much like we talk about scar tissue on the NPD thread. It is stronger. YOU are stronger.

Being a student of NPD ( and if you lived with one, you were a student no matter how unconsciously). You were tuned into his moods so you or the kids wouldn't set him off. you not only navigated the eggshells, you did what you could to stop the duck muppet from creating more! From that You have learned to be in tune with your kids, That skill will serve you well as you navigate the teen years.

Sending you light, love, and

Hugs,
K

[This message edited by Kajem at 9:33 AM, August 30th (Friday)]


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4996 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 4:09 PM, August 30th (Friday)

I feel quite a bit better today. More stable.

I certainly feel blessed and humbled by the overwhelming support from this SI family.

cayc....

CG, if I go back in time, can you be my mom? It's just bittersweet to read all that you are doing and how deeply you feel about your responsibility as a mom.

I had moved past crying at every kind word, but this comment got me but good. This may very well be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. (((hugs))) I wish I could go back in time and hug that little girl and tell her what a confident kick ass woman she'd become.

The Chinese used to repair cracked porcelain pots (typing cracked pots just seemed wrong ) and fill those cracks with gold. The pot was stronger with the gold.

Thank you. For the crack pot giggle and the reminder that cracks can be filled. I think many of you are the gold.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
inconnu
Member
Member # 24518
Default  Posted: 7:19 PM, August 30th (Friday)

(((cg))) I hope you realize you are far stronger than you give yourself credit for. I also hope you know that doesn't mean you have to be wonder woman, or never have a bad day, or never doubt yourself. It just means you have to be you.

If you haven't checked it out, and need a little inspiration every now and again, take a look at bravegirlsclub.com.


Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out...honestly
I wanna see you be brave

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect


Posts: 12144 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: TX
Helen of Troy
Member
Member # 26419
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, August 31st (Saturday)

Sometimes it hurts more just before another leap in progress happens.
I hope today is a good day for you.

Posts: 4693 | Registered: Dec 2009
caregiver9000
Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 3:59 PM, August 31st (Saturday)

Sometimes it hurts more just before another leap in progress happens.

Well, if that isn't optimism I don't know what is?!?!

I got enough sleep finally. So today has been less physically weary, but my head is tired and my heart is tired.

The boys are with their dad so it is quiet and I have been very thoughtful. I am now MAKING myself go out, to be with people, for a few hours.


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5753 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Topic Posts: 37