adult children

My whys


I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I joined WW (formerly Weight Watchers) mid-September this year. I have a laundry list (Why “laundry”? Wouldn’t “shopping” make more sense? I think so, too). Correction, shopping list of whys. Not the least of which is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, a rare disorder of the ankle, similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here’s the complete list:
Family – I have two adult children (32 & 25), three grandchildren (4,3, & 1), and a nearly 10 year old on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum and who experiences ADHD.

Physical Health – Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, Type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, High Cholesterol, and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.

Mental Health – Bipolar 2 Disorder, PTSD, Depression, Binge Eating Disorder.

Because I’m worthy of self-love and self-care.

I’ve spent nearly five years of hard work to reach this point. I had been a toxic person in a toxic relationship. I had severely broken relationships with my two adult children. I was so overwhelmed and depressed I was barely functional. I was so consumed with self-loathing that I hid from the world, making myself sicker and sicker, consuming all the food and media I could numb out on.

Now, I’m working on staying centered in the here and now, continuing to heal, grow, and build relationships with my children, engaging with the world and people around me, and learning how to treat myself with the care, compassion, and love I have and want to have for each person I encounter.

It’s past time for me to become the best version of myself.

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Writing Prompt: Skylark Challenge 151, 2nd Entry


Poison, Scent, Fluid, Shattered, Pale


The fluid had a pleasant scent, obfuscating the poison. He turned pale, as it went to work. The cup shattered as it hit the floor.

She came into the room, horror evident in her eyes. Right then she knew. He had framed her for his murder which was a suicide.

Cold fear gripped her heart. Squeezing her chest, it made her forget to breathe. Pain shooting up her arm, she collapsed to the floor, beside the one who had made her life misery. She gave up on her life, knowing he’d achieved his goal.

“Mom! Dad! I’m home and I’ve got a surprise,” their son announced later that day, as he unlocked the front door and entered with his fiancé…never imagining their life together was over before it had begun.

They could never get past the vision of a marriage of such hidden unhappiness, ending in in such horrific and tragic darkness.

His death certificate read: Death by poison, suspicious circumstances. Hers: Death by heart attack, natural. The headline read: Wife poisons husband, dies of a broken heart.

On NOT Being a Creepy Stalker Mom

I may have mentioned on several occasions that I’m a bit of a tv hound. During depressed period or times when I’m in a fibro-flare, often the two coincide, playing on each other, or days when I’m so sick with the flu I can’t sit upright, I may watch an entire season of say, Desperate Housewives or Warehouse 13. Don’t judge, the psyche needs what it needs, when it needs it. I don’t have a Netflix account, but what I do have is On Demand and a DVR to record shows. On Demand shows are often programmed to where the fast forward feature has been disabled to prevent viewers from bypassing the commercials, but DVR? Now that is the ideal for those who want to control if they watch a commercial or not.

I don’t generally mind the commercials. I tune them out and do something else for the three to five minutes it takes to get through seven to ten commercials. Sometimes, I’m even captivated by the humor and inanity of some commercials, especially the ones which use incredibly talented actors in interesting ways: an Allstate commercial with Dennis Haysbert’s voice coming out of the mouth of a woman, James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell performing Jenna’s Facebook Friend Request, Samuel L. Jackson espousing the benefits of the Capitol One Quicksilver Credit Card. However, some commercials just weird me out.

Like what I call the “Old Spice Creepy Stalker Mom” commercial.

I posted my response to this commercial on facebook the other day and my new friend, Janice, from crazygoodparent.com, shared how she completely understood the message behind this commercial from her own personal experience.

The thing is, I get it too. All too well. Having a 27 year old son whom I’m so estranged from that he decided to get legally adopted, as an adult, by another family in order to change his name, effectively cutting all legal ties to me, before he got married and started his new life was kind of the ultimate “cutting the apron strings” experience.

He approached me in April 2012 to inform me that he and the other family were investigating and contemplating taking this step. I understood it then and I knew that while part of the underlying motivation may have been to hurt me the way I’d hurt him over the years, that the true motivation had very little to do with me, my wants, my needs, my desires, or my feelings. His decision and theirs was about them, their relationship, the love and care they have for each other, the sense of belonging and family they experienced with each other, the sense of love, safety, and acceptance that he was finally able to receive and internalize because of the relationship he has with them. Things which I have never experienced in my own life as a child or adult and things I didn’t know how to provide for him.

I was happy for him that he finally had that.

I was heartbroken for me that I hadn’t been able to give that to him myself. However, I was also proud of myself for having done what I could to facilitate and encourage that relationship between him and them, so that when he needed it most and I was least capable of being that parent for him, that he got to experience that kind of unconditional and redemptive love.

I told him that he would always be my son and I would always love him and that I was going to do my best to heal and grow so that when he was ready to have a relationship with me, I would be ready and available to be in relationship with him in those ways.

In the almost two years since that conversation, we have had several periods where he has chosen not to have anything to do with me. Throughout it all, we’ve had several stilted phone conversations and guarded, cautious face to face encounters. We’ve also had moments when there was acceptance, love, forgiveness, and happiness between us. Each time one of the latter moments happened, my inner being was flying high in exultation and hope that this would be the breakthrough moment that restored our relationship. Without fail, those moments were soon followed by the periods of rejection and avoidance.

Those periods of rejection and avoidance are the periods when I feel an itching desire to become the creepy stalker mom of my nearly 30 year old son. I get it. I really do.

Here’s the thing: My validation, purpose, and sense of self is not the responsibility or purpose of my son or my other children. It is not his/their job or responsibility to fill my life with meaning by including and inviting me into their lives. Even if everything was perfect between us and we didn’t have the history we have, the child is now an adult, with a wife, a job, a faith community, friends, and new family members which have nothing to do with me or my life. He does not define me or my life and I do not define him or his.

This Old Spice commercial is about enmeshment and the emotional and psychological immaturity of a mother who does not know who she is without the context of her son being the center of her life and her world who craves and needs him to make her the center of his world. It’s an exaggerated and distorted picture of the dysfunction of a woman who believes her only identity and purpose is to mother her son.

Genesis 2:24

24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. ~ Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

As moms our jobs are to figure out who we are as individual people so we can help our children figure out who they are as individual people, in order to prepare and equip them to leave us behind and create their own lives and relationships.

Life update and seeking a sense of safety

It’s hard to believe it’s only 15 days into 2014. I feel as if it’s already been three months, so much has happened in such a short period of time. I feel a need to decompress. This means it’s time to just write about the stuff that’s been going on for me in my life.

On New Year’s Day, I was alone again the way I had been on Christmas Day. I also wound up being under attack from the toxic texting that tends to happen when Keith is on his roller coaster of emotions from the way things have gone and his feelings about the choices and decisions I have made regarding our relationship and us living together. It’s hard for him to see and understand that although I still love him and that I do recognize and understand he has made efforts to grow and change, the reality is for me and for our daughter at least, the way things were between the two of us, was dysfunctional and having negative impacts on our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

I do not place fault or blame solely on him, his anger, or the critical atmosphere which he grew up internalizing. It’s only half the story. The other half of the story is my depression and my seeming inability to develop, maintin, and grow in self-esteem and doing the things I need to do for my self-care when I am in relationship with him in the midst of the tension, conflict, anger, and criticism. I have a complete lack of self-will and self-determination to do anything other than to enable him in his anger and emotional dysfunction and that depth of codependency is mine and much like the impact of an alcoholic who cannot function and drink at the same time, to the point that he sacrifices all else in life, in my codependent state and relationship with Keith, I have sacrificed everything on the altar of his dysfunction. I am powerless over it when we are living together, which is something that others in our lives cannot understand, accept, condone, or approve of because it means they are not treated well by either Keith or myself and has caused them harm, whether we intended harm or not.

Hand in hand with the codependency is my habitual self-harm behavior using food. Both the codependency and the food have been ways for me to distract, detract, numb out, and avoid dealing with the unresolved emotional and psychological traumas I’ve experienced in my life. Things which I have accepted in my life and thought accepting was enough to deal with them. However, true acceptance doesn’t happen if there are false beliefs attached to the acceptance. So, the acceptance of the childhood abuse, neglect, and abandonment which led to three years of domestic violence abuse by my son’s father in my late adolescence, all was predicated on the false belief that I was responsible in one way or another for any and all of those things or that I somehow deserved or that I wasn’t worthy of having experienced anything other than what I had.

Monday of this week my son showed up unexpectedly and unannounced. After having spent the previous week sick with the flu and having just come from being in the home with Keith during his weekend time with Luna because I was too sick to go anywhere else and it was his time to be in this space with Luna, there had been some predictable negative interactions and I was feeling raw and emotionally vulnerable. So, I really wasn’t prepared to interact with my son, especially since the last communication from him toward me was to announce on Facebook in response to a comment I’d made on his sister’s status update that I had given up my right to have an opinion or some such thing then unfriend me a little over a month ago, after the precipitating incident that caused LaLa and her SpiritLove to move out and me to leave three days later. I just really didn’t know how emotionally and psychologically safe we would be with each other once I opened the door and allowed him to come inside. But, I love him and I’m committed to being able to have a relationship with him, so I took the risk and opened the door anyway. I’m glad I did.

He shared with me something that another family member of ours, my younger cousin who is about 2-3 years older than he is, had told him. She’d let him know that when she was growing up and going through the things she was experiencing, I had been her safe person and given her a safe place to come to in her childhood when she didn’t have any other place to go to and feel a sense of safety. It was the first time he’d ever encountered anyone having that kind of perspective on me and the kind of person I have been. It was certainly not the way he has experienced me in his life and not like anything he remembers from his childhood. Apparently, it made him consider me in a different light and he was able to come to the realization that I attempted to give him and his sister safety and be a safe person for them as much as I ever had attempted it for our cousin. It was such a relief to hear him tell me that.

It also triggered more grief and realization inside of myself because I now understand that I never had a safe person or a safe place while growing up and I have carried that lack of safety with me the entirety of my adult life. Even when I am in safe places with safe people, I do not experience a sense of safety. I think that sense of safety is that sense of homecoming I’ve only ever experienced with one other human being and I think that lack of sense of safety is one of my biggest barriers in my relationship with God, myself, and others.

Hypomania is breaking my brain…

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I started writing this sometime late last night, I forget exactly what time. Then, midway through I finally was able to go to sleep – fitfully, intermittently, for several hours. The hypomania is over, but it triggered the fibromyalgia and I hurt everywhere and have a lot of fatigue in every area of my body’s core. My brain is foggy and disorented. I want to try to get more sleep, but it’s 8:30 a.m. and I want to try to capture these thoughts before they disappear in the midst of the hustle and bustle after everyone else wakes up…they just woke up, crap. Well, let me try anyway.

___________________________________________________________

I know I need to finish the story I began about managing hypomania, but to be perfectly honest, I think it’s managing me at the moment and today, erm yesterday by now I guess, was a a hellofaday.

I can’t quite remember what time I first woke up on Tuesday morning, but I’m pretty sure it was some time between 3:30 and 4:30 am, after not getting to sleep until well after midnight. I guess that should have been my first hint, huh?

I got so much accomplished with my writing and organizing the online and digital aspects of what I’m trying to do with my life that morning. I picked up a number of balls I had kept dropping and started getting the guest blogging project a little better connected. It’s still kind of in the organization stage, except, it really isn’t. Although, I have taken steps forward to make it happen.

Anyway, since then I was pretty much awake throughout the entirety of Wednesday, until I catnapped off and on some time between 1:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. then it was time to get ready to go walk almost a mile to pick up the Zipcar to get Keith back on the truck so he could get back on the road and hopefully start getting consistent miles and loads that will start supporting our family and let us catch up on the bills again…but that’s all supposed to be in the other post I started writing yesterday and couldn’t stay focused on. I will get to it, I promise. Unless I don’t.

So, anyway, I think I slept between 3:30 – 5:30 this morning…again with the dozing off/on. I crashed listening to my iPod with actual headphones, on this uncomfortable excuse of a couch the cat destroyed at the beginning of February. It wasn’t much of a sleep because I remember being semi-aware off/on during the time trying to tell myself to take the headphones off because the music was not helping me sleep and the headphones were uncomfortable to sleep in. Yet I was in such a state that I couldn’t actually take action on those thoughts.

I use actual over-the-head ones instead of ear buds because earbuds hurt, are uncomfortable and make me feel a bit crazier than I already feel. But I digress…again.

Thankfully? LaLa and her SpiritLove were here Thursday night because I knew there was no way I was going to get to sleep and Luna, having had to say goodbye to her daddy would be clingy and needing to have that physical contact with me to get to sleep or stay asleep. I knew there was no way I would be able to stay in bed with her and that me leaving the bed would eventually cause her to wake up. Since she had been woken up at 5 am so we could take him to his truck and she’d had a VERY busy day and needed rest. So, I had them lay down with her in the bedroom. I figured those who can actually fall asleep should be in one room actually sleeping on a bed, while I was awake in the other room, otherwise I was going to be lying awake, fidgeting and fussing inside of my mind all night and resenting not being able to do anything because all the rooms I could be in had to be kept dark and quiet so they could get the sleep I couldn’t

Sleep envy isn’t pretty. Just sayin’.

I did wind up napping off/on for a couple of hourse between 3:30 – 5:30 but don’t know how much actual sleep I got then either.

I guess the basic point is that from Tuesday morning around 4:30 am until about 1:30 am this Saturday morning, I had barely any sleep at all.

Yesterday was spent with me trying to stave off the bitchy irritability and stress reactions that come with sleep deprivation. On top of it, I discovered that some REALLY IMPORTANT PAPERS, I thought I knew where I had put them for safekeeping needed to be taken to the management office of our apartment, and I couldn’t find them. There was some relational tension happening between LaLa and her SpiritLove and the combination of their tense energy mixed in with my frustration over not being able to find the papers and I wound up tamping down on the rising feelings of panic and anxiety in order to not overescalate any of it.

The combination of all of that with the sleep deprivation and the hypomania I was still experiencing meant that as the day got further and further along, my ability to stay focused on what I was trying to write about diminished. So by the time the five o’clock hour came that evening I was hyper irritable and feeling rather explosive.

Luna was tired and crabby, and as kids tend to be, the emotional barometer of all the frenetic and negative energy that had been building up. So, she was basically acting out, not listening, climbing over everyone and everything, whining, demanding, and just generally acting like an exhausted and stressed out little kid.

I wound up snapping at her and yelling. When I yell, I don’t use harsh words or statements, but my voice booms and pierces. I try really hard not to go there, but I did. LaLa told me to stop yelling and I got really angry. I got up and walked out of the room. I can’t make the quick exits I wish I could, so the agitation further increased. After a couple of minutes I came back in and got Luna and carried her into the bedroom and told her I was sorry for yelling at her and explained that mommy wasn’t feeling good right now. I told her I loved her and asked her for a hug. Then let her go back to the living room.

Then, I went and took a shower.

When I got out of the shower, I grabbed my phone and went an laid down on the bed and just let go of the fight to hold up the wall against the overwhelm of everything and allowed it to take me under a wave of exhaustion.

Luna came in and tried to tell me something – I think they were finally leaving to go to the park – but I was non-responsive. I couldn’t. I didn’t have it in me. They left and I slept.

They came back and I woke up. I thought I’d slept for a couple of hours, then realized it was only an hour.

I was wide awake again and it was before 8:30 pm. I prepared to be up all night again and told them I would be in the living room again. About 1:15 this morning when I completely misinterpreted what a friend was saying with her commentary on her blog link post, I realized that hypomania was breaking my brain.

Compassion for Kitty

After nearly losing my mind and my humanity in the same day when I sat in cat poop, I was on the verge of animal abuse and traumatizing Luna. I’m not proud. Quite ashamed to tell the truth. When LaLa showed up while I was still working to let go of all the negativity and rage and I told her what had happened. She told me, “Violence against animals is still violence.”

I know this. I believe this. I never could have imagined that I would EVER be capable of animal abuse in anyway, shape or form. I’ve had the same harsh and judgmental thoughts toward those who abuse animals that others have. “They deserve their own personal level of hell along with child molesters.” Yeah, THAT.

Thank GOD I didn’t actually abuse him.

However I was overly harsh and nearly out of control and Luna witnessed it. It scared me.

It scared me.

I had a REALLY rough night last night in conflict with Keith via text and private message after a Head Start Parent Policy Council Meeting where I was approached afterward and informed I had communicated in a way that possibly made others feel as though I was correcting them and treating them as inferior. In the middle of the conflict with Keith, the cat pooped on a blanket on the couch. I felt sick . . . for multiple reasons. The cat was not harmed in ANY way shape or form.

Insomnia reigned. I reached out privately to some supportive people.

I don’t have the energy or the will to go into details. We just need prayer, I need a lot of prayer. I feel like the plane is taking a nosedive and the oxygen mask I’m supposed to use for me never dropped but I’m supposed to be administering the ones that dropped for everyone else. Not a pity party and I know God will carry me through, but I’m having a hard time breathing.

After receiving private, one-on-one, compassion, encouragement, and support from one of them, I was breathing easier. I was able to work through the conflict with Keith, somewhat. Definitely feeling the powerlessness and unmanageability of the co-dependency. *sigh* Process. ODAT.

3:30 am scooping the box and cleaning up someone’s barely digested, regurgitated cat food. yay.

3:45 Sweatshirt on and out to smoke a forbidden cigarette.

4:30 Oblivion shuts my eyes and switches off the brain for a few hours.

7:30 The slight vibration of the silent phone from a text sent by Keith, “Are you still awake?” Interpreted by my bleary eyes and muddled brain, “Are you awake yet?”

Um, no. Roll over. Close the eyes. Drift in the zone trying to regain oblivion, didn’t happen.

*sigh* Walk out the bedroom door sniffing for the telltale scent of a cleaning task. Nothing new. Gratitude.

Into the living room, switch the lights on and look around. There he is: Big, beautiful, silent, beseeching. Carefully, gently, calmly I pick him up and cradle him in my arms.

I’d forgotten how soft he is. How steady and low the thrum of his purr is. How gently he reaches his paw to rest on the back of my hand. Claws too long to sheath fully, barely pressing against my flesh.

I rub my face against his fur. “I’m sorry buddy. I guess we’re both broken, huh?”

He needs my compassion and empathy as much as I need yours.

Later….

Luna comes out of the bedroom. “He’s not a bad cat anymore?”

“He was never a bad cat. Mommy was just wrong.”

“Yes.”

If you or someone you know in the Portland, Or area can help Jade, please send an email to humaninrecovery@gmail.com. We love him but cannot provide for his needs. We don’t want to take him to the shelter where he will likely wind up euthanized and don’t want to turn him loose to fend for himself and we risk eviction by having him in our existing housing situation. He’s been part of our lives for over 12 years and it’s breaking my heart to not be able to give him the care he deserves.20130130-091953.jpg

Suckerpunched ~ warning, this post is extremely long

I feel completely shredded, like my heart and soul are being ripped out from the very depths of my being.

My physical pain cannot compete or compare to the pain in my heart and soul.

Rejected

Betrayed

Pointless

Futile

Rage

Grief

Useless

Fridays are supposed to be good days, you know?

LaLa, my oldest daughter just told me she’s discussing being legally adopted by her godmother, my friend from this post a few days ago.

Let me back up a bit. Sorry if this post is sketchy and all over the place, that’s how I feel right now and I just have to let it out somehow or my head is going to explode.

My day started sometime after 1 am when I woke up coughing from dehydration and dessicated night air that sent my back into a shattering explosion of pain and almost caused incontinence. So, as silently and calmly as possible I slid off the bed and hobbled my way to the bathroom. I didn’t want to wake Jerry or Luna up and they occupy 3/4 of the king size bed we share.

No hope of getting back to sleep with that kind of pain. So, I maneuvered couch cushions and lay down with my knees and legs propped at one end and my head and neck propped at the other and managed to doze a little. Then sometime after 3 am Jerry woke up. I tried to go lie back down, but he couldn’t settle back to sleep himself and I gave it up for a lost cause and went back out to the living room where he was reading his Bible. I logged onto the laptop and did some blog reading and worked on organizing my blog a little. He turned on the tv and caught up a little on White Collar.

We had this parenting class to attend at 11 am and we missed last week, so I thought it was really important we make it to this one. Jerry told me he didn’t feel like going; partly because he wanted to focus on his job search but mostly because he doesn’t like feeling put on the spot and being forced to talk. Since the attachment/bonding difficulties seem to be between Luna and myself, he thought it would be good for it to just be her and I together. I reminded him that the leader said no one should feel that they were being forced to talk, but because of the configuration of the room, where he sat and she had been standing it just felt like she was pointedly looking at him to speak. He could sit somewhere different. I also told him that I had really been hoping we could go through the class together in order to improve our communication and cooperation with each other as parents working together. He made some kind of agreeing, but non-committal sound and the conversation was over.

Around 5 am Luna woke up, came out and climbed on daddy. He turned on last night’s premiere episode of Elementary, and we watched that. When it was over, he went back into the bedroom and I turned on the Disney channel for Luna. She watched it for a few minutes then realized daddy wasn’t around and followed him to the bedroom where they both went back to sleep for a couple of more hours. They got up a little after 9 am.

Since I didn’t have a clear idea of whether or not he was going to the parenting class with me, I asked him about it. His response was something like, “Why do I need to have this conversation again when I already said I wasn’t going.” So we had some conflict and tension from that. I finish getting myself and Luna ready to go and we go outside to wait for the pick-up bus. Just before we went out the door he let me know he had a bad headache. The bus was running late, so we had some pleasant, low-key playful and loving interaction. That was the best part of my day.

I got a text from my friend who is still in the hospital recovering from her latest surgery and this is what ensued:

Friend: Whatcha doing?

Me: Getting ready to go to parenting class.

Friend: What made you decide to take a parenting class??? Is Jerry going with you? [I immediately felt defensive]

Me: It’s part of Luna’s program. He went to the first class. Not today, bad headache.

Friend: I’m glad you are going. I hope this will also help you with Marco (25 yrs) and LaLa (19 yrs) [An increasing feeling of defensiveness and agitation]

Me: Thanks. As far as Marco and LaLa go, it’s mostly out of my hands now since I can’t change the past. It’s up to them to seek their own healing and decide if, when, and how to be in relationship with me and Jerry. Since they tend to lump me & him into the same category and avoid dealing with him and thus with me, I have little control over anyone besides me. I try to communicate to them that I love them, I’m proud of them, and I will be here for them. I try to give them as much space as they need and allow them to decide their next step.

Friend: You can still parent them. I believe the reason you and Jerry get lumped together is that you have always put him before the kids. You have not stood up for the kids and protected them the way they needed. I am not trying to be mean, just honest. I think owning up to the past and taking responsibility without talking it to death and making excuses would also be a good thing.

At this point class was about to start and I was feeling all kinds of being attacked and like somehow I was expected to explain and justify myself to her. During the break in class this is what I responded with and haven’t gotten a response back yet.

Me: I understand & know that you are trying to be caring and honest and I appreciate it. That being said, you have not been present for various conversations I have had with them where I have acknowledged the truths you pointed out and accepted responsibility for them Regarding talking things to death, I have made the effor to make changes. All of that being said, this is not a subject I am willing to discuss with you or anyone other than Marco and LaLa.

The thing is that she and I were never as close as she thought we were, I guess. We met in 1989 when we attended a teen mom school. We had a complicated relationship and a crazy history in and out of each other’s lives until the mid ’90’s. Due to some really unfair and crazy things that happened in her life, she basically had her sons permanently adopted out from under her because she “came out” and left her addict, abusive husband and stood up to her manipulative and crazy mother. She was present for the birth of LaLa and named godmother at that point. After that we lost touch until the end of 2001 when we reconnected at a time when I was crazy, unbalanced, over medicated, dealing with a rebellious and acting out teenage son and grade school daughter and having conflict with Jerry. I packed up, took the kids, and left Jerry without notice or warning and moved out of state with her for less than two months before we moved back home with Jerry. Again, she and I fell out of touch until 2009 or 2010 when she found me on Facebook. Since then she has latched onto me as her oldest and only friend who knew her when she was still a mom and had her kids. For a long time since she came back in my life I have felt like I’ve been in a tug of war between her and Jerry. She has proprietarily inserted herself into my life in ways that are uncomfortable, but I have done my best to not reject her because I don’t have many friends who have known me or seen what I’ve gone through in ways she has. I have talked with her and tried to set boundaries and tried to show her compassion, understanding, tolerance, and acceptance. I have tried to help her understand me and Jerry, our history and the history with the kids. But somehow, every conversation I have with her I feel like she’s judging and talking down to me. I understand so much about what she has experienced and the woundedness that is in her life and when I do push back and constructively set my boundaries, she seems to respond. But, in her own way, she’s as much of a draw and drain on my emotional energy as Jerry is and I love them both. Oh yeah, LaLa has spent the last month with this friend while she was recovering from reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy, radiation, and chemo treatments for stage IV breast cancer. ANYHOO…

The topic of the class was stress: what the triggers are for us and for our children, the development of the brain and how that plays into stress reactions (tantrums), prevention, and tools for prevention and deescalation. The most important thing I was reminded of is that the frontal lobe development of logic, reasoning, and self-regulation occurs from between ages 5 through 25. This is the developmental area that I think was impaired for Jerry. This is the development area that doesn’t exist yet for Luna, although we are building the foundation. This is the area that got forcefully overdeveloped for me, with significant gaps, as I was growing up and becoming a parent at 17 years of age. I cried a lot and processed a lot about what had transpired between Jerry and I this morning and my feelings about the messages my friend had sent me.

When we got home, everything was “chill” at first. Then when I was giving LaLa a hug and telling her how much I loved and missed her she told me that she needed to talk to me, and amended to state Jerry could be included.

She and my friend have decided that LaLa is going to be adopted by her. Last month Marco’s adoption into another family was finalized. She assured me that she didn’t want to hurt me, even though she knew it was hurting me, that wasn’t why she was doing it. She was doing it because somehow the interactions she’s had with this friend in the past month have made her feel like she has someone there for her in a way she claims I have never done.

I brought up the text conversation between my friend and I and we discussed it, briefly, in Jerry’s presence. I admitted that it did hurt, but that it would never change the fact she was my daughter and that I would always be her mom. It would only change the legalities. She’s an adult and able to make choices and decide for herself.

It took every ounce of everything I had inside of me to not break down and rant, rave, and wail.

My heart is broken.