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Walking away - (For now)

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So last Wednesday was the last straw, and I've decided to walk away (for the time being). I feel like a heartless human being, but I also feel a sense of relieve. Very mixed emotions, but I cant do this anymore. I don't feel like I'm admitting defeat, more that I have an understanding that things need to change drastically, because the endless circle I've been in the last 4 years plus is affecting my mental health and that of those around me.


To cut a long story short - Myself and my Husband adopted out daughter when she was 4 (she's now 20). She had a massive impact on our lives from day one. She was a delight as well as a difficult youngster. She was and still is very defiant, and goes against anything you say, think, or feel (when there's no need). Don't get me wrong we have had some really good times, but these are often short lived, almost like as soon as she realises she's happy she sets about destroying it. However her behaviours were only evident in the home, she was and still is very charming to others (especially adults - in authority). School picked up on her manipulation within months and wouldn't stand for it, we tried our best to work at things, but I know I've made mistakes. I've never been one for punishments, I'm more of a 'lets talk it through' sort of a person, or 'lets look at how this can be different', and I actually think this has made things worse.


Anyway, at 17 just 2 months before her 18th she walked out and hasn't 'been home' since (that was 2 and a half years ago). We have been in contact, and most of the time our relationship seems to be ok, but that's my opinion, because to her she sees things very differently. I spent a lovely day with her last week, we laughed, we had food, we talked about the future. She told me on Wednesday that all I did that day was criticise her and not support her in any way. I was gobsmacked, and I just do not get it. She as had it tough with her health, and I've been with her at the hospital, spent time talking to her about how she feels etc, to be told that I was never there and never supported her. When I think about things now I can see that I've been kept at arms length since she left home. She's told her boyfriends family (who I've never met) that she hasn't spoken to me since she was 17, despite me taking the pair of them out for coffee and them coming here and me going to theirs...his family believe her and the boyfriend goes along with it.


Everything's just a mess, her life is full of contradiction, her thoughts can change within minutes, and how she feels one min to the next is exhausting to be around. I feel there is a lot more going on, but that maybe I'm stopping her getting the right help by trying too hard to help and be there....hence I'm stepping away. She as a knack of getting by and seems to be able to get what she wants by controlling the boyfriend. Its difficult to explain everything here, and whenever I have tried to talk to her in the past about getting some help its met with the fact that actually I need help. I've actually got to the point of thinking it must be me, there must be something wrong with me otherwise she wouldn't be this way, but then no one else thinks its me.


I'm scared for her future, and I also feel very let down


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Hugs. So sad to read this. You know you have done everything you can, don't be hard on yourself. You are right to feel all you do.


I don't know what advice to give so I will give you another virtual hug and assure you that we hear you and try to understand.


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The thing with attachment disorders is that when you have lived with it in your home you end up doubting everything ! Even your own name somedays.

It is hard to explain but as you have said you end up believing their version of events even when you know with your logical mind that it is not true.

It leaves you feeling like an empty husk , drained of all positivity and exhausted by the constant effort of trying to help them and keep your own mental health afloat.

It sounds like this is some of what you have experienced and those who havent lived it have no real clue because as you say they can be v charming and engaging with others and it leaves the parents feeling they are a failure and are to blame.

At least that has been my experience and i agree that you need to step back and look out for yourself for a while at least .

You sound like you have been wonderful in your support of her no matter what spin she puts on it to serve her own ends (whatever they may be ).

I dont feel i am making myself v clear but just want to say that those who have lived with these issues themselves totally understand where you are coming . I hope you can find peace in some measure moving forward and send a hug of support xxx


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I have just been browsing online and found a post from jan 3, 2015 on a website called outofshemind. I dont have a clue how to link sorry .

Anyway it was about adopting a traumatised child and she puts it so much better than i can. Might help you feel less alone with it all. X


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Thank you for your kind words. It hurts like hell to not make contact. I've asked her what it 'looks like' for her to feel supported by me, what do I need to do...she can't answer, she dosent know. I've said I can only do what I feel us right. I get scared to talk to her or pass comment on anything, it's one of those what ever I do or don't do is wrong, and what ever I say or don't say is wrong...it's so sad. I have definately questioned every little thing about myself over the last 4 years or so, to the point of isolating myself from people because I feel so crap. I feel like a door mat, and maybe I've been one, however the intention was to help and guide (kinda back fired).

I need her to hit her rock bottom so she can get some help, but well ever people are proping her up she's getting by. I holding out for a happy ending, but I think it's going to be a long road. For now I need to claim my life back.

Thank you again for your kind words x


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http://outofshemind.com/2015/01/dear-adoptive-parents-hard-lonely-road/


Here's the link to what you were talking about wizzywoo. I can definately identify with a lot if this xx


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Oh thanks Blurry! Really must hone up my tech skills x


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Again, I know how you're feeling. Attachment disorder messes people up for their whole lives. I have an AS,19, who fits the description to a tee. You just feel that all the effort was for nothing. You won't get the benefit of a relationship with an adult despite all the effort you put in. I look longingly at others with older children who have a decent relationship, even at my own siblings who barely made any effort with their kids and still get to be in their lives. It's a pain few others will ever understand.


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Agree that Attachment Disorder can hurt so much. If it is time for you to have recovery space then do this and build up your strengths.

Hugs and warm thoughts.


Johanna x


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I understand only too well.


I won't discuss my background or my family, but I will say that it's probably time for you to pick yourself up and start to rebuild your life. It's hard. It's not easy but it will happen in time. Start to consider yourself and your needs along with your other family. Our children are survivors and they will always find their way in the world. It may not be the way we had envisaged for them, but they will and do cope.


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gentle hugs coming your way ((((())))) I know, its hard, its not nice and it is not what we thought our lives would be like. you do need to look after you now, yes re-build your life, do things that you want, a friend recommended that we set our own personal boundaries and only do what you are comfortable doing.


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Blurry Eyes:


Please contact


Thepotatogroup.org.uk


It's for those parenting traumatised adopted teenagers (and older ).


They can be of great support and help.


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Dear Blurry Eyes,


Just wanted to say you are not alone. My AS has not lived at home since he was 15 (now nearly 18), we gradually re-built our relationship and met up regularly for food/shopping trips, then a few weeks back he suddenly decided he wanted no more contact with us - reason given was really obscure and then he said he felt he "couldn't be himself" when around me. I have no idea what I had done - still don't and now accept that actually I hadn't done anything wrong.


Like yourself we have faced challenges along the way (he came at age 4 too) and we have had good times, but as you said he seemed hell-bent on sabotage when he realised things were going well.


You are not alone - sadly it is a common pattern of behaviour. I'm keeping the door open, sending him the odd message to say hello, I'm still here if you need me. That is all I can do for the moment and I'm not waiting around for a reply. I'm in touch with his SW so I know he is OK and getting support.


Take care, get on with life, plan nice things to do with lovely people.


Hugs


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Thank you. It does help to hear I'm not alone.


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