Sunday, 7 June 2009

Help please

I am sooo sick of this. Sooo sick of being miserable. So if you sick of me too, then I apologise and please, I wont be offended if you just move on right now.

OK, if you are sticking with me, then I will try to explain -

I am trying hard not to wallow and to see what is going on here and for the life of me I cant figure out how to rewire my thinking here.

Or even if I need to.

I is connie confused.... sigh.

My problem stems from several places. First and foremost, is my marriage, which is seriously on the rocks after twenty six years. We are not only on different pages re most things, but we are in totally different books. Communication just doesnt happen and support is non existent. We dont argue much but when we do it is usually quite unpleasant. I dont know what is going to become of us. We have so much else going on though, that right now we are just existing side by side.

Next is our daughters, our eldest mainly. She quit school after 1 term of Yr 11 and has been working full time at McDonald's, where she had held a part time job for the past couple of years. She is working until next year when she will do a TAFE course apparently. I am not holding my breath on that one though. She has always been the intense brooding type, and has always only had one good friend. She has had (endured) social issues since she was about 9 years old (now almost 17) and has been quite introverted for many years. Well hasnt that changed since she quit school. OMG. She is a social butterfly, going out almost every night. She has a huge circle of friends, most of which I do not know.

Then we come to my husbands and my respective upbringings. These are colliding in a huge way re the eldest and her social antics. My husband was virtually an only child who was very quiet and music oriented. He used to sit in his room and play music, either that or play footy or go surfing. His father took him and a couple of mates up to a beach about half an hour from home, quite deserted in the 70's, with him about age 14. He pitched a tent for them and left them there for a week with a box of weet bix and a few cans of baked beans. I am gobsmacked at that. He was given free rein to do anything he wanted to do when ever he wanted to do it and never abused the privilege. Myself on the other hand, was ruled with an iron fist by parents who would watch like a hawk every thing i ever did. I was not allowed to do anything so had to push against the many boundaries in an effort to do anything even remotely like what my friends were allowed to do. This created a vicious circle where I was continually bombarded with questions and accusations and was forced away and kicked out when I was just 17. It took quite a few years and my fathers death to bring me back to the family at around age 20.

These contradictory parented styles have created a scenario where my husband is of the impression that our eldest has left school and is working so can do what ever she wants. He just lets her go wherever and does not worry about her in the slightest. He says its her life and its up to her what she does. I do not want to control her as such but dont really want her in compromising or dangerous situations. I dont feel she has got the 'street smarts' to be able to look after herself properly and I think she is naive and will give money or things to whoever wants them.

On the other hand, she has proven herself to be very resourceful and I think these couple of months has grown her up enormously. (a bit too much sometimes). She has gotten herself into a group of kids that go into town and watch the hot cars go by. They dont drink very much at all, however they smoke. (grrrrrrrrr). They sleep over here regularly and most of them are quite nice kids.

My big big problem is my inability to let her go. I am constantly thinking about her when she is out and 'indulge' myself in what I have discovered is called 'catastrophic thinking'. I can easily imagine any and all disasters that may befall her and if she doesnt call when she says she would my brain brings the whole list up into the front of my mind much to my horror. By the time I hear from her I am a wreck. Its not good.

He on the other hand is cool as a cucumber because 'she will be ok, she just forgot', or when she was gone for 48 hours with a flat phone battery for the last 20 hours and I was convinced she was dead or worse, he was just like, 'her phone is obviously flat, she will be fine'.

I have always assumed that he doesnt care. I have been looking really hard at it over the last couple of days or so and have realised that he is actually of great faith. He does not believe that anything COULD happen to her. And she WILL be fine.

We are at total opposite ends of this polarity too.

I think he takes it a bit too far. But I can understand that my attitude is just as extreme. I wish I could meet in the middle somehow. He thinks I am just being a control freak but that is not it. I just am absolutely terrified, not exaggerating here, terrified, that something will happen to her.

I dont know how to change.

I dont know how to find the trust and belief that will allow me to let go gracefully.

I need help with this.

Thank you for sticking with me this far - maybe if you have older children of your own you may be able to advise me of what the 'normal' reaction to your child growing up and becoming so independent. This has been sudden too, maybe that has had a bit to do with my inability to cope. I shouldnt say 'inability'. I am coping. I am even sleeping when she isnt home. I just get random panic attacks and these happen when my brain runs through the 'worst case scenarios' for me to view. When she comes home after I have been reallly worried, I often just go to my room and cry and cry with relief.

Please, if you can, help me to change my thinking and attitude. Help me to let go. Help me to accept her growing up and becoming more independent.

Thank you


¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´Lotsa luv from


dark wings said...

I really don't know how to advise you, as my husband and I have no children of our own yet....You are a very loving parent, and I wish my own had been that concerned over me..What I can offer you is a big hug, my thoughts are with you..Roan.

Sarah Lulu said...

Hello there ..... breathe.

I'm the Mum of 3 ...from 30 down to 18 ..I'm also a children's counsellor and a case manager for adolescent foster kids ...(the worst end of the spectrum the ones seen as too hard to handle) ..

First you are ok ...and so is hubbie.

(Your marriage is a seperate issue, I recently left a 30 something year marriage myself) ...

Different parenting styles are fine. Your's is not wrong either. The MAJORITY of Mums panic ...fear ..worry ...and have to be beaten into a pulp (emotionally) especially with their first child becoming independent.

It will take time and whatever kind of belief system you have to arrive at trusting the Universe to look after her.

Your daughter is working ..and has her own life but she's only young and still living with you can't just turn off how you feel like a tap.

Get some help perhaps? For you ..I mean. A doctors referral to a psychologist is covered by medicare...

If you are overwhelmed reach out (like you did with your blog) ..

Sending you MUCH love,

Sarah Lulu

Jen said...

Thank you so much Roan, I appreciate your sentiments, and wish you all the best.

Sarah Lulu - your words resonate with wisdom and i can relate to all of what you have said. I guess it is the 'taking time' thing that i despair of, because I intuited that also. And generations of mothers have survived this before me and so will I. I have help in the pipeline, am awaiting a phone call with an appointment time.

I have thought some more regarding this 'catastrophic thinking' business. I remember when I had my babies, I could not sleep without watching them, fearing that the minute I took my eyes off them they would die of SIDS or something. I was beside myself. So I took myself off for a psychic reading and listened to the reader describe their life in the future and then could relax that the baby would survive. Maybe I should go for a reading for my own peace of mind again. I do have a reading in mind that is still in play with the elder daughter.... I have tried to trust that one, but it was almost a decade ago and .. well .. seems outdated. I cant 'trust' it any more. Sad I know. Pathetic even..... I just need to do whatever it takes to get us through. Sigh.....

Sarah Lulu said...


try not to beat yourself up for being you. *smile* ...

all you need is a little more faith in everything ...

it will come.

it will.


Michelle said...

Oh jen, I can empathise. I agree with Sarah Lulu.....and also want to say that as hard as it is to let go, it has to be done, for both of your sakes. Since Josh went to Germany, a huge breaking away on his part, we have actually developed a relationship, same with Tahni. And even Shelli, given a little rope, has not hung herself with it. They will grow away regardless and they need to. You will not encourage her honesty by clinging to her, going by my young self, who she sounds like, the tighter my mum held on, the further away I ran.


This is the real issue here now isn't it.

Love you


Jen said...

Sarah - faith. Yes. It is faith that i need to cultivate. You are very wise.
I have been working on that and think that I have got a huge amount of faith - except in this one area. I dont know why.

Michelle. As always your words are exactly right. I have been very very conscious of not pushing her away with my fears, that is what my mother did to me so I have been aware of it. I try to contain my worry but sometimes it overtakes me. I do not let her see the worst of my pathetic worrying - and yes. Trust.

Trust. Faith. yes. hard. but necessary. I think I knew this. I dont know why it is so hard to trust and have faith when it comes to my kids. I believe that they have incredible futures and big missions in this lifetime on this planet. I believe they are not destined to perish young. I do. Truly. I honestly believe this. Yet I cannot stop myself from thinking 'catastrophically'. Sigh

thank you so much

Hippy Witch said...

Oh Jen, it is so hard to let go, especially the first one. But as Sarah & Michelle said, trust, you have done your part, I cried for a year when Lorena left home, I still cry for Shannon because he moved so far away, but it is a part of motherhood that we have to let go, and it will never be an easy thing to do, we love them so deeply, you can't just turn that off. Breathe deeply as you cry my Love, she will be fine, she is spreading her wings, which is a natural progression for her to take at this stage of her life. Let it be and sit back and send her Love and Light, imagine a big bubble of protection about her.
I Love you and I completely understand your pain, I still feel it, just not as often as I used to.

Myst_72 said...

Jen I can totally relate to what you have written.

My husband and I had the same extremely different upbringings, his was over the top controlled/severe to the point of ridiculous.
My parents, (well Mum mostly) was a little before her time I guess for the 70's/80's.
She wasn't perfect but she gave us freedom to make our own decisions (good or bad).
I have had a few things come up with Z17 in the last few weeks.
He has been totally honest with me about a few things that have happened, which has given me the opportunity to give him advice on some street smarts (especially when he told me some of the people at a friends flat were smoking dope).
His father on the other hand would have gone off his head, tried to 'ground' him or something, and in the end Z17 would have had his back up to the max and not tell us anything.

I think it's good that the friends come over and stay, at least you know who she is with.
Also working full time is a way better option to sitting at home :)

If you get a quiet/nice moment with her and it's the right 'mood' tell her how you feel, it's not that you are trying to control her but that you worry if you don't hear from her - because you love her so much.


Evil Twin's Wife said...

I haven't been through this yet, but I am sure I will feel exactly as you do. I'm a worrier by nature. You've gotten some great advice above. I guess we're both going to need to learn to "let go". {{{Hugs}}}

Natalie said...

Looks like you have some good advice there, Jen. Coffee sounds great.xx

Just for the record, I would feel like you do. Maybe not to the extreme, but certainly very anxious until I got used to it. :(

Kerry said...

No wonderful words of wisdom here Jen.

Just sending you love and a hug, and wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts.



Wendy said...

Jen, you're a wonderfully loving person and your family know that, even when their actions reflect more of their own issues than they do to acknowledge and support you as much as would be ideal some days. Look at ways that you can treat that love as a verb, not just as a noun, and also perhaps gently guide your family on ways they can do the same in accordance with your needs.

Even though things seem tough at the moment, if you look underneath the difficult issues there are a whole lot of wonderful feelings and personality traits amongst you all that can also be honoured.

Blessings to you always, Jen.

Kathleen said...

I cannot advise you regarding your children, but I can back up what everyone has already said xxxx

You could get out your SoulCollages and do a full reading with all suits ... asking about yourself - how you can begin to let go of some of your strong mother responsibility and let your daughter take on more responsibility for her own life.

My wish for you is to come from a place of peace, knowing that you have done a great job bringing her to this point.

Bless you my friend xxxx

Susan said...

My goodness, do you ever have your hands full. I know you are worrying about your daughter and that is normal. I worry about my daughters too and they are 30 & 28 & 15! Some will never grow up and some will grow up sooner than others. I would just take a deep breath and let your daughter know that she is loved and that you worry about her and don't want her to get her or ruin her future. Tell her it is just the mother in you that wants the best for her.

As for your husband, it sounds to me like you both need to try and communicate and maybe spend some quality time together doing something that you both enjoy. Hopefully you will be able to find some common ground and be able to reconnect with one another on a loving and supportive level.

I will keep you in my prayers - clear over on the other side of the world in North Carolina, USA!

Over at "RaisinToast"