Need hope I can be happy and free

I'm a empty nester now... being alone is awful... I'm not working bc I injured my back in 2007...I wake with either anxiety, worry, (about everything) or depression, feeling hopeless like I will never feel joy in life again.  I'm  scared of everything.  I have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. I worry about them, I feel their pain intensely, they trigger me, I'm def. over sensitive to their pain...  my heart breaks for them... friends say let go let God.. easier said then done... they don't really come to me very much with all their stuff cause they try to protect me, which I beat myself up for too,  wishing I could be "Stronger" to help them,

but still I know what is going on... I blame myself, and beat myself up, for their struggles. Back in the day with that awesome counselor we did inner child work, she taught me to forgive myself, and allowed me to feel compassion for little Dawn, (that's me)  but grrrrr    Sooooo I have a counselor and we talked about PTSD and my trigger, I hope she can help.....   I would appreciate some suggestions on where to start.... thanks

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  • Hi alliswell, 

    You already did healing work so you are already on that path.

    A change of circumstances might trigger things and each change is difficult to find ourselves in it. 

    I think that for now if you focus on your well being and recovery then you get more energy and better mood to help your children and grandchildren. But you need to start from yourself first. I know it's difficult because I was living for others, to take care of them and taking care of myself is like a foreign concept.

    You need to assume that everything is all right with your family, that they will be okay and that you take care of yourself first. I am pretty sure that they would agree and understand...

    There are different approaches to healing ptsd. On Michele's website you can find some more information about different methods to get some ideas to discuss with your therapist. I started from reading books and listening to podcasts to learn about ptsd. 

    Wish you success in your recovery...it is possible...

  • I relate to your post so much. I too have struggled with self blame. That because of my  choices, they suffered. They grew up & had issues of their own. Forgiving myself has been the hardest thing but I have made progress. I started out working on self forgiveness because I knew it hurt them. It kept me from being the mother I wanted to be, so I had to let it go for their sake. That was at least a starting point for me. I have 2 children, no grandchildren. The oldest one was a major trigger for me  but I could not step away from him. I felt he is my child, I can't walk away from him. On mothers Day 2 years ago he sent me a terrible text blaming me for all the problems in his life. Some of it was true some of it was not. He said he loved me but that he needed to not have contact with me anymore. It broke my heart. Nothing can break a mothers heart more than seeing her child in pain & being helpless to do anything. Being completely rejected by him I felt would almost kill me. But as it turned out not having contact with him for 1-1/2 years was the most healing thing that could have happened. We were in a perpetual cycle of triggering each other & separation did stop that. Somewhere in there we both began to really heal. I had no choice but to let go & let God. We've been back in touch since last Christmas & we're still finding our way but things are heading in the right direction. My relationship with the younger one is now one of being so close & for the first time, putting issues aside & truly enjoying getting to know each other as 2 adults. We can spend hours on the phone just talking about all sorts of stuff. Although my situation is different from your in some ways, I understand your pain. It's the worst. But I wanted to let you know that when you get to the point (and yes, you will get there) of watching your children heal & developing truly healthy relationships with them, it brings so much joy & happiness that it makes all the past pain fade away. There is just gratitude and hope for an even better future. You will get past all this. Just keep going one baby step at a time. Things get better.

     

  • Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with me.... trying to keep my hope up.... my oldest daughter told me she has a broken heart everyday for the past 2yrs because her son is not responding to her, he is 19... he has told her why... her drinking and his stepfather, but she wont admit it to me(or him) that he said he doesn't want to be around her cause of her drinking, she is getting thinner and thinner ... I'm so scared for her, but I'm powerless to fix her, I pray for her constantly... I cant even look at a pic of her without her life of heartaches running throw my mind, I burst into tears, I beg God to carry my pain, cause its to much for me.... :(

  • If you are in contact with your grandson you can suggest he attend an Adult Children of Alcoholics Meeting. He'll be around other people who have the same feelings as him & are in the same situation which I think would be so helpful in his not feeling alone or different regarding this. You can look up on line where the meetings are in your area. Or you can go to the official website & get some info or a book to send him.

    He'll at least know he has your support & hopefully this will get him on the road to recovering from his home situation. If you have trouble finding the right sites let me know & I'll send them to you.

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