Grieving the loss of my daughter not in death

by Reta Shaver
(Gainesville, TX)

I'm grieving and have been grieving over my daughter for years now. She got on drugs years ago and has made one wrong choice after another. She has a child now that is 8 yrs old and she is dragged into all this mess right a long with her. My husband and I have enabled her for years and now we are trying to stop and it is so hard! She doesn't have and can't keep a job and now she got kicked out of her apt. and has no place to live. We have been letting her and my grand daughter stay with us, but it was on the condition that she get a job. I have already asked her to leave twice now because she just doesn't seem to be trying. I have done all the wrong things by screaming and yelling and getting upset. I know I'm wrong and I just feel terrible, but I'm just at the end of my rope! I have told her now that Hannah, my granddaughter could stay with us, but that she would have to leave. I have offered to help her get on to disability because she is bi polar, but that hasn't gone anywhere either. My husband is very supportive and I don't know what I would do without him. We also have a young son still at home, he is 13. We adopted him at birth. My daughter is 36 and my only biological child. My husband has 2 biological children from a previous marriage and they are 32 and 35. They are doing fine. It is my daughter that we have constantly helped and put all our attention on. I just want to quit making the same mistakes I have continued to make. I put all my hopes and dreams in her and gave her every opportunity that I could when she was growing up and she has just turned out terrible. I am so disappointed in her and I know that I am a terrible mother. I'm so scared I'm going to make the same mistakes with my son.

Comments for Grieving the loss of my daughter not in death

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Aug 01, 2012
You are not alone
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I'm there myself. My daughter has no children but is bi polar and is an addict. She has come and gone three times now. Each time with new inspiring promises (all she has failed to keep). She also was asked to get a job (fired by 2 previous ones).
I don't know what or when or why these young ladies choose to continue to make unwise choices but they do. We are a hurting family as well.
It's not that misery "enjoys" the company, it's just that you may not want to be alone in the midst of it.
We go to Nara-non meetings now but the grieving is the hardest. Best to you and your family.

Feb 20, 2012
My daughter is sitting in jail for life but you might as well say it is over
by: Kathy

I know exactly how you are feeling my daughter, Myra started doing drugs at 13 it has been difficult and cost me my marriage and my other daughters grew up without a dad. It is amazing the fallout from when they use drugs because you try everything rehabs, counseling more rehabs and nothing works.
It was not until I took everything away from her which included my grandson, Manuel. It took about a year she got straight. Went back to college got her CPA and all seemed good. Try 10 years later married with 6 kids she for some reason went back to drugs. She got arrested sent to jail for 5 long years. The kids stayed with the dad he took on everything but I took custody of my grad daughter and already raising my grandson. Her husband will not allow me to see my other grandkids since. Well fast forward 5 years she got out of jail.
She went to a program because they change in jail and become institutionslized and stayed 2 weeks left with another girl and committed a crime spree using drugs and whatever else with it. So because she is a three strikes they gave her 151 years, life.
Our kids are not the same; they become manipulators, users and don't care about the people around them or how we suffer. The drugs change them. in hind sight maybe I should of been different but I loved my kid but don't be an enabler it doesn't work, you need to live your life and we have to set boundaries.
This is sad to say but at least in jail she won't hurt anyone else and safe from drugs. I do love God and without my belief in him I would not make it through this. Thanks I hope this helped you. Remember you are not alone just write here it helps all of us. Take care of yourself!

Feb 16, 2012
I understand
by: Judith in California

Reta, I know of the kind of grief you are experiencing. My son is 47 and but for the help of a friend he would be on the streets as well. I have let him into the home on so many occasions with the same stipulation , that he look for work or go to school to learn a trade but he was never eager to do either and he became verbally abusive on more than one occasion as well. So I asked him to leave. I so wanted a loving relationship with him and have helped him so many thousands of dollars worth only to be back to square one. the last time home he came in at 2:00 in the morning and without notice or a call. I glad I didn't own a gun because I feared what I would find when I went down stairs but it was him. He had been drinking and I smelled it form 20 feet away. I was so angry he would drive in that condition and knew if I said a word the abuse would start so I bit my tongue and asked that he pack his stuff and go. I think he i bi-polar too. But he is an alcoholic and refuses to admit it. (as usual). I told my therapist It's so sad we can't have the relationship we could but I accept it and must move on . I asked he return the key and gate opener when he left. he only left the gate opener. So I've changed the lock. It's a rough road and I wish I knew the answer to help you and me. It's just tough love and no longer enabling them to be irresponsible. So with you I'm grieving the loss of my son and know the worries you have. I read a book titled "Letting Go of Our Adult Children" by Arleen Harder. You can download it on line at no cost. It may help you a bit as it did me to stand up and not allow it to be my problem but let him be the person he is and accept that he marches to the beat of a different drummer. Good luck and God be with you to give you strength. We love them but we can't live their lives for them

Feb 16, 2012
You are a GOOD mother
by: SoSadDad

Reta, I'm half scared to even respond to you. I want to be encouraging but I must be honest, also. You have been a good mother. And you are continuing to be a good mother. The problem is that there just are no right answers. The monster, be it heroin, meth or some other ugly name, is very strong. It knows exactly what it is doing, and how to do it right. We don't know what is right for us to do. Do we love them? Yes, in every situation we continue to love them. But do we take care of them and give them a safe place to be, or do we tell them that they must make a decision on their own, and put them on the streets? I don't know which is right, and truthfully, no one does. I know how tough it is to live daily with the lies, the laziness, and the seeming indifference about their getting the monster off of their backs. I know how tough it is to live daily with the fear of losing them, the fear of doing the wrong thing, and the fear of not knowing what to do. The helplessness and hopelessness of each day is its own monster on your back. It's a long story for another time, but both of my girls died from overdoses, 2 1/2 years ago and 6 months ago. But at least they died knowing we loved them. I'm sorry, I know that is not what you wanted to hear. But it's our story, and we live it every waking minute. It IS NOT your story, and you must continue to try to do whatever you feel is the right thing, even when you don't know. But I can tell you this: Jenn spent her last year living at home with us, and though she did not make it, we are so thankful for that time. Had we kicked her out, a sad phone call might have been our only memory of that time. Maybe tough love would have worked, maybe. It was a chance we chose not to take. There were times we were close to booting her, because at times it was so painful to see her as she was. We thought those times were hell. I tell you, our hell is now.

God bless you!

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