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by white knight
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Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

Space for sharing tips on supporting a partner, family member or friend with a mental health condition, and seeking support for your own wellbeing with other carers.

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Relationship and family issues

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Anxiety

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by smallwolf
13 hours ago
Depression

Space for discussion of major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic and dysthymic disorders, and BPD (borderline personality disorder).

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Space for people aged 12-25 to discuss life and wellbeing issues. If you are aged over 25, please be mindful that this forum is a space for younger people to connect and provide peer support for each other.

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by Isabella_
5 days and 17 hours ago
Grief and loss

Support following the bereavement of a family member, partner, spouse or someone close to you.

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by Christina S
4 days and 18 hours ago

Topic: My estranged daughter turns 21 today

  1. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    20 October 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Oh dear J*, those are hard and sad thoughts. Hugs. Such a difficult time :-(

    You're so brave and loving buying presents and sending cards.

    Yeah I get it, it would be difficult to face a hostile environment. I hope it wouldn't be that way. You truly don't deserve such hostility.

    I hate even changing the subject!
    If you want to talk about it more then do that.
    Whatever you need, just do it.

    I'm very proud of you paying for your own dentist bill!
    That's a massive achievement and is going towards the independence you crave. Nice work :-)

    Yes absolutely I can feel the anxiety / depression "out there"... so even though things are supposed to have opened up, not alot seems to have changed. Increased traffic at school times, probably not liking their kids travelling on public transport IDK. I don't expect anything much change will for me in my world anyway lol.

    All good. I'm quite happy tbh. Getting stuck into Interior Designing (if you could call it that lol!). Mainly rearranging furniture, CLEANING thoroughly etc. "Styling" things to the best of my ability hahaha. Wasn't going to spend ANY money on the re-designing adventure BUT Yvette and I bought some pretty things in the dollar shop today lol.

    Things are looking so much nicer now. The windows are sparkling! Well in SOME rooms lol. So many windows... yah on and on.

    Oh the financial issues are what they are. It'll probably be another year before one massive bill is paid for, whatevs lol. My mental health is holding up, that's the most important thing.

    Are you still enjoying your work?
    Your workplace is back to a new normal?

    I go back next week, one of the last to go back on site.

    Yes I take solace in my garden. It's a sanctuary for me. How bout you guys eating your first blueberry!! WOW!
    Alexa joked with me the other day as she saw our nectarines ripening. The tree is about 15y old now. She asked "How many nectarines has our family actually EATEN from that tree?"
    I said "about 6 lol"... out of hundreds, we're lucky to eat any!

    Maybe one day I'll get pernikety and wrap them in bags.

    I'm happy for you that H is becoming more reasonable and less paranoid lol, rereading that it sounds funny but it's GREAT! Improvements are always great.
    No one's perfect.

    Love to you
    EMxxxx

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    21 October 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em,
    Oh so true! No one is perfect. And getting to know the particular brand of weird that someone is is always an exercise in appreciation....speaking of which I'm learning that one of my gifts to H is helping him to appreciate others differences, in answer to his judgements. Instead of arcing up I can now share a different perspective, (sometimes) which is really useful.
    Oh Em, it doesn't feel like I'm doing very much. I'm holding myself back, expecting to get hurt, which then rationally I know will bring exactly the thing I fear. Its all so eff'd up and I feel I'm only now growing the skills I needed long ago. Still, better late than never!
    My friend has been such an awesome part of this. Just tonite I was able to talk something thru which had me twisted up and second guessing myself, but came away feeling....clearer about fwd action, if that makes sense. Funny also because my mum was over for a cuppa (which almost never happens- well, once a year, to be exact...) and my twisted thoughts had the potential to go south quite quickly, even tho she was only semi involved....BUT IT DIDN"T!!! YAY!!!
    Hence I can sleep tonite, and not spend the time self flagellating....

    We didn't bring up d tho.....

    Oh I'm pretty sure it would be hostile. With mum ignoring the tension, and my sister being superficially nice but everyone aware that they'll get on her bad side if they talk to me, and considering I haven't heard from d yet re whole wedding saga or anything else. I can see that the best I'll get is maybe a thankyou note for my presents. That would be a huge breakthru!
    Her father will be there, covid permitting...the man who did weekends when it suited him, and not much else. And Me, the mother who walked the floors, scrimped and saved, worried and cried and educated and clothed...nothing. It hurts sooo much! But really I'm just indulging myself. I blame society for the way it takes mothering for granted. I mean, no-one ever taught me how to be a mother, apart from my own. And no-one ever seemed to consider that being a mother was actual work. Which is so weird, cos being a mother is the hardest work I've ever done!
    But thankyou for saying that I don't deserve it. To be treated with hostility. Perhaps I don't. I wish I'd known THAT right from the start.

    Oh to have that period of time again! To do it differently!

    I think I see the world with different eyes now.
    Thanks Em. Thanks for giving me permission to speak.

    Love you loads,

    J*

    1 person found this helpful
  3. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    22 October 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Dearest J*

    It's such a hard hard time for you with the most important people in your family (life?) doing these things.
    So confusing.
    So discombobulating.

    We can't know what we don't know.
    When we DO realise specific things about our past, well I guess we can be grateful for that awareness?

    It's SO important to keep "regret" at bay. I've met far too many people who are riddled with regret and it literally drives the person crazy, esp in their old age if it gets hold of their minds.

    I always go back to anthropology lol and us being "mere" mammals.
    We learn what we learn when we're young, mostly by modelling from our parents.
    So we kind of act like in "auto" mode alot. It can become a default mode when we're not even aware of it, esp in parenting.

    THEN those of us who are HERE, or in therapy, or reading alot or doing the introspection necessary, can begin to change our thoughts and therefore (hopefully) our behaviours.

    We can be free of those "ropes" of our past but it's never achieved without a tonne of hard freaking work lol.

    With H, what you say makes 100% sense to me, how you're feeling.
    If you haven't felt SAFE with this person in the past ie emotionally safe, then I wouldn't EXPECT you to give 100% openness to H. In fact it's best you don't IMHO.
    I'm certain marriages can survive without 100% investment lol.

    Keeping a focus on your own independence will ONLY ever be good for you.

    I completely agree about society's views about mothers. I bring it up with my C ALL THE TIME.
    It's part of the destructive force threatened by the power of women.

    And the never ending love and compassion of women also.

    Nice that your mum visited and it went well. Hugs.

    It would be wonderful if D sent you a thankyou note.

    Something inside says maybe.... just maybe.... as she may be a mother one day also, new realisations will occur to her. This happened with Alexa when she became a mother but it took a while!
    Now after so many years, going through hell, things are far more open. Mind you, she has her own psych now too lol AND is studying Psychology! So I'm grateful for these things lol.

    Thinking of you, love you tonnes too!
    EMxxxx

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2221 posts
    25 October 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    Sorry again for lengthy absence. Same deal, energy is still very very low. LM is at the stressful end of uni semester so I don't have much help with household stuff, and changes with my roster and meds are wearing me down a lot.

    The detox continues. I like the sound of you being able to just sit and not do anything. Honestly, I'd love to have the capacity for that. Sitting still isn't really in my make-up, unfortunately, I'll have to live vicariously through you on that one. ;)

    Yeah, not just the past few years, it's been at least a decade, maybe 15 years by now (I dunno, bad sense of time), of high stress on the regular.

    I see you sent the card to your daughter since you wrote to me. How are you feeling about it and everything?

    Great to hear your husband is continuing to make an effort. I wonder if your growing financial independence is contributing to that, the realisation you can stay if you want to, not because you have to. That can really change the dynamic of a relationship, I think. It's completely understandable you're holding back and expecting to get hurt at this point in trying to heal - the precedent was set long ago and a few months of things being a bit better won't undo years of the cycle you've lived through. It's reasonable to want proof - for more than five minutes - that he can take responsibility for his actions and take their effects on you seriously, i.e. actually try not to hurt you. Please don't beat yourself up for feeling that way.

    I understand how you feel too about how society takes mothers for granted. I'm not a mother myself (not to humans, anyway), but I see the BS my sister has to deal with, trying to raise a little tribe of kids on her own, all of them including herself on the autism spectrum. She doesn't get how I manage my situation with work and birds and a partner with his health as it is - honestly, I'd take it over her lot in life every time, being a mother is hard, even without the barrage of extra stuff she's dealing with. No-one gets it perfect, especially when it hasn't been modelled well by their own mother, I don't doubt you've always done the best you knew how.

    Kind thoughts to you, J*.

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Jstar49
    Jstar49 avatar
    824 posts
    23 November 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Discombobulating....

    what a word lol!

    but it describes me perfectly atm. I feel like no one has really soothed them angry beast which is lying hidden, after news of D’s wedding, and her birthday .... and now, of course, my mother is unwell, because it’s been a tough couple months on her.... do I sound sarcastic? I feel it. Perhaps if I could be more empathic where she is concerned I would be a nicer person. But I’m not that nice. I’m actually really blinking angry about all this. Guess I just realised that hey!

    Really angry. And trapped in having to be ‘nice’

    Guess is better work with this anger some more. Now that I know it’s there. I don’t really want to spew it out at the first poor sod who crosses my path. Altho maybe I did, over a bowl of rice bubbles being eaten in my freshly vacuumed lounge room this morning..... 🤔

    Its an awful feeling, being really flipping angry with no one to vent to about it. No one who can look me in the eye and say ‘I get it’

    Anyway folks, been MIA for so long you’ve probably forgotten about me. Sorry bout that. Just too much hassle sometimes. The whole paranoia with H, and just being tired after work. But it seems like I’ve been bottling things up and that’s not healthy.
    Painted my toenails blue! Wave to Blue, hi Em xxx

    cheers

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2221 posts
    25 November 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*,

    I think we've all been MIA a lot, lately. I would hope none of us are forgotten. Sounds like you're really exhausted with everything at the moment. Boy can I relate.

    Personally I can't blame you for being angry. You've spent more than your share of time with your family being overlooked or outright shunned, it's not your lot to give them empathy in my opinion, they stomped on what you had for them to begin with. Your anger is heard, and it is most certainly allowed, even justified. Bollocks to being nice.

    Fair and reasonable that you don't want your anger coming out anywhere and everywhere, there are definitely good and bad times/places for it. Expressing it here among those who understand is healthy. Good on you for doing so.

    Nice work with the toenails, I approve!

    Blue.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    3 December 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey J*

    Sure I've been MIA too, but it's all fine, we do what we do.

    You are allowed to be angry J*, anger is a perfectly proper human emotion and you have done your darnedest to make things "right" in the branches of your family tree for so freaking long! No wonder the anger is coming up.

    LET IT OUT.
    I brainstormed a few ways to let anger out with my psych friend the other night.

    I'd seen this "thing" on a closed FB group years ago and after thinking about it for years now, there's no name for it anywhere that I know of, so we need to come up with a name for this strategy....

    SO it goes like this... eg: when we feel anger (or anxiety or frustration or more possibly)... then we DO an activity that matches this level of exertion but in a physical sense.

    My FB friends called one of these activities "angry cleaning" lol. We all began to do this AFTER our Court hearings.

    I also did angry window cleaning, angry gardening with heavy labour (my garden forgives me btw in case you were wondering).

    My sons did angry archery ewww but with targets in the garden.
    Also angry digging holes to nowhere (thanks boys ugh!).
    They also did angry gym workouts.

    My thinking is that our physical activity needs to be as BIG as our anger.

    I think it also needs to be paired with TALKING about our anger.
    Please J* you CAN talk about it here.

    On a softer note, I watched my mother go through waves of emotion at pinnacle times each year.
    I incidentally did the same thing approaching Christmas, approaching mother's birthday and approaching Mother's Day, for YEARS before I saw a pattern. Once I was cognizant of the pattern I could mentally pull this apart and change things.

    Your pinnacles are being created by the very special events you've been missing of eldest D's.

    Hugs and more mama hugs.
    This feels like a void that can't be filled. Love from self and others will help you.

    No "one person" can take your wholeheartedness away from your life. Unless you allow it.

    You are far too strong to succumb to all this strife.
    You are far too loving and sweet to not have it affect you.

    Love to you always!
    EMxxxx

    2 people found this helpful

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