Charles Spurgeon Idol Worship

Sometimes when I’m truly bored, I take a look at my former church’s Facebook page. It’s good for many laughs.

Not too long ago, I wrote a review about them and gave them one star. I didn’t write about uncomfortable seats or music or how no one greeted me when I walked in the door. Nope, I wrote real concerns. And so like the caring church that they are, they took down all reviews which deleted mine. Gotta keep up with appearances, ya know.

So when I went to their page the other day and saw a once baby faced pastor now with a beard… I laughed hysterically. Maybe you don’t think that’s funny but I do. Why?

Because they all have a hard on for Charles Spurgeon in that church. I’ve even seen one guy with a shirt with Spurgeon on it. Gag.

Charles Spurgeon this. Charles Spurgeon that. And now 2 of the 3 pastors and several congregants look like him. Oiy. If that doesn’t cry cult, I don’t know what does.

I truly don’t understand how church even remotely resembles the Bible. Pastors like these are trying way too hard to look important. It’s basically like their egos are so fragile, they must do all they can to feel important. Is church really about saving souls or is it more about saving their egos?

What tiny, silly men they are. I wish i could go back in time and give them shit for how they treated me. But, that’s rather childish I suppose. Instead I just laugh from afar.

I honestly don’t think they’ll ever get it. They got all their fans and money and their own religion of Spurgeon to keep them for a lifetime.

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I should’ve been a cow

For the last weeks, every other day, I’ve been at the gym doing cardio and strength training. I joined a woman’s gym and they offer a training plan then you meet with a trainer and adjust the plan after 12 workouts. This is included in the membership fee which is great. I’ve lost 12 pounds since April 1st by eating better and then later adding in my workouts & sticking to them.

But some days I tend to really get sick of the routine. Sometimes I want to eat fast food or stuff my face with cookies and not workout. It’s especially hard because my family isn’t on any special diet so they eat whatever they want. I sometimes have to sit there and smell chocolate or cinnamon rolls and not have one. I’m not about deprivation but I know I can’t eat just one so avoid it like the plague.

Yesterday I decided to eat one cookie. It had m&ms and chocolate and lots of sugar. I ate it, feeling rather guilty but reminding myself it was just one. I got sick. And that was the end of my fun.

I have dairy issues and I tend to get stomach problems if I eat it. Today the inside of my ears itch like crazy which is also from dairy.

I honestly hate dairy if it wasn’t for chocolate. The only thing I seem to tolerate is butter. Not sure why. Maybe it has less lactose. But most foods tend to make me sick. And the cookie kind of ruined my digestion after I had it working well. Damn cookies. Damn temptations.

It feels a bit depressing to eat a limited diet and then bust my ass at the gym. I’m trying to lose 40 more pounds, maybe 50. That’s like the weight of a child. Ridiculous I got this big. Thank you hormones.

My sister asked me to be in her wedding and I cringed. This is the dress she wants me to wear.

Moo.

I’m excited to be apart of her big day but honestly dreading wearing a dress made for a tiny framed person.

So every time I’m at the gym, I think of that dress and think I’m one step closer to not looking like a fat guy in a little coat.

Anyway 12 pounds is a great start for now. I’ve leveled off and I’m only losing 1-2 pounds a week. I might be able to lose 20 lbs by her wedding. I’ll still be fat, but less fat.

Working out is a lot of work. Eating well is even harder. How do people enjoy this lifestyle? I know I don’t.

Friends are friends forever

I sometimes miss the idea of church. The idea goes something like this: you belong to a group with built in activities. That group, whether feigned or not, seems to care and give you a sense of support. Your kids automatically have a group to be in. And if you need prayer or advice, this group will listen and pray, even though most of it is obligatory.

I just miss being lied to I guess.

My daughters’ graduation party is on its way and I was thinking of who I’d invite. Besides the people I still talk to in my own family and my in-laws, really only one set of friends will be there. My daughter is on the spectrum so she’s struggled to make any friends. And we lost touch with almost every “church person” I’ve known. Kind of a sad celebration, but it is one even with a limited show of people.

I think of all the churches I’ve attended and the people I no longer talk to. Sometimes I get sad. Maybe I don’t really miss church but I miss feeling like I belonged, even if most of the time it was fake. People were surface level and the minute we left, our relationship ended. I still feel sad like it was my fault. But they could’ve tried too.

Now I’m 40 and have really one friend only. She lives a ways from me. I have another friend I reconnected with but she’s in another state. We interact through text messages mostly. Otherwise, I run into people sometimes. Our interactions are friendly but distant.

I ran into a homeschool mom tonight and although I enjoyed her company and I laughed alot, I felt sad. This is all the relationship will ever be. Me bumping into her. Joking about odd things. Then, the end. In another life, I would have gone out of my way to have friends and make it work, but now I just appreciate the small pleasantries and joy and then move on. I don’t force friendships.

I guess I figure if someone really cares about me, they’ll do more than just offer open ended invites to coffee. They’ll actually set a date or connect and plan one. Most people these days say “Hey, we should do coffee.” That’s nice. Now what?

I guess church gave the impression that I always had friends when I really didn’t. And that I had support, but it wasn’t real. Of course mixed in with that was a bunch of bullshit, but sometimes you feel an emptiness and you try to search for what’s missing. Then you pull at threads, forgetting how the last time you unraveled a mess.

I don’t have any intention of returning to church… Not with all the horrors I’ve seen swept under their rugs. I guess I don’t miss church or church people but I do miss the feeling that I’m not alone. I miss people asking how I’m doing even if it was forced.

Sometimes I just wish there were more people on my team and I didn’t have to fight so hard for them to stay. Maybe it’s because I fear there is something inheritantly wrong with me. Isolation is a hard way to live.

I’m not really sure where to find friends or what makes a good friend anymore. I used to think a good friend was a Christian but now days, most Christians are on my shit list. I really just prefer a genuine person who doesn’t hide behind prayers and Bible verses and platitudes. Of course, there are good people who are Christians but it’s difficult to keep hanging on when my belief is almost gone. I know I don’t believe in church or lumping myself in with homeschoolers or church peeps. I think about God but not sure who He is to me anymore. Most Christians aren’t willing to endure someone like me. And non Christians don’t understand my faith and struggle.

Either way, it’s lonely. Maybe I’m just meant to struggle alone.

That’s why it’s called medical practice

I am not a fan of the medical community. I don’t like popping pills unless I’m dying or feel like I am. I prefer to make my own soap. I love essential oils. I try to go the natural route whenever possible. Recently I went crazy and cut out sugar, dairy, and caffeine. So when the doctor told me I needed 1) a vaginal ultrasound to rule out fibroids and 2) a mammogram, I wanted to run away.

Didn’t I do my time with giving birth?

Honestly, as I get older I feel more and more like my values to live naturally and healthy get shoved aside in exchange for what seems to me like an alien hijacking & probing. Why do I need these tests done? Maybe so the doctor can make an easy buck while I suffer the embarrassing and humiliating exams and endure having my privates manhandled. Fun.

I literally started swearing last week at the fact that turning 40 requires I lose my mammogram virginity. Then I saw that some cancer association said 45 was the usual. So now I got my trigger finger on the phone to cancel that shit. Plus breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. Heart problems do. I’m a few French fries short of a heart problem with all these damn tests.

I recently read that doctor visits actually caused unnecessary stress. Instead of helping with health problems, it seemed to actually create problems that weren’t there.

I’m all for going in every year and getting checked on, but all this other stuff like mammograms the minute I turn 40 seems ridiculous. And fibroids? Well the solution is the same with or without an ultrasound–birth control pills, IUD, or hysterectomy. So why get tortured with an ultrasound when you can just do one of those without the test. (They don’t usually remove fibroids).

And of course, there’s the whole other side the medical community refuses to acknowledge: diet and herbal remedies. For instance, Flax seed contains natural estrogen and balances hormones. Ashwaganda and other herbal teas balance your hormones too. Some foods and diet changes can actually shrink your fibroids if you have them. But doctors will never explore these things. And I’m a quack for thinking they matter.

At this point, I think I’m going to wait on the tests and pills and IUD and see what I can naturally do. If that doesn’t work, then go ahead. I’ll be the Guinea pig. But I’m still gonna swear and point my middle finger in 40’s face.

Getting old blows.

Fear of the Unknown

I told him that sometimes I see how fast the last 40 years has gone and I feel like the next 40 will fly by too.

He said he feels that way too sometimes.

I said when I was young, everyone dreamed of 1) getting married, and 2) having children. Now in a sense, that dream is over. They are growing up and will be gone before I know it. No one dreams of being old.

But old we will be. It’s hard to believe I’ve spent my entire adult life with him. It’s hard to believe that one day one of us will die first. Will it be me? Or him?

And what will become of the other who is left to hold the family together?

Families change when parents die. This, I cannot control nor will I try to. But it is a sad fact of life. Death of your parents changes so many things.

But being left here without him scares me too. I usually try not to think of it. But lately I do. It’s so hard for us lately. It would be even harder if one of us wasn’t here to help the other.

Of course, I can’t think too much of that. Because he is here. We still ARE. But it’s that unknown road ahead that I struggle so much with. Will I outlive him? My kids? Will I have to face some scary disease? I don’t think I’m brave enough to handle more of life’s blows.

There’s such a false sense of security when you are young and able to do almost anything you want. As you get older, you realize life is a fragile thing. It’s hard not to think of death sometimes. I know it will come for me. For him. For people I love. It already has taken my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, my brother, and friends. You never pay your dues until it’s your turn. Then it is the ones left behind that face it.

But why do I think so much about it? Why is there so much fear? This life is still here. I’m alive. The day is come again.

I have no idea what today will bring. I’m just thankful I am here to love those around me and shine like a light in someone’s dark day. I keep believing and hoping when hard things come, all the love we had will be enough to conquer the darkness of death. But I take one day at a time and am grateful for the people in my life.

He says to be thankful for the moment… To not look too far into the future.

I say I’m thankful for him–yesterday, today, and for however long we are.

Is the Bible Problematic?

“The Bible is problematic.”

This was something I recently read. To deny that is to put your head in the sand and never grapple with your faith and belief system.

It’s true. The Bible consists of what looks a lot like misogyny, rape, incest, slavery, child murder, as well as Christians and even God murdering other humans. The old testament is a baffling display of these things. The new testament is less so. Most seem to think that the new testament wipes out the need for the old. Then why read it? Yes, problematic.

I’ll be honest. I can’t seem to read it. Maybe it’s PTSD from my last church and all the ways they used it against me. Maybe it’s that I’ve grown tired of trying to understand what theologians can’t even agree on. Maybe I get sick of hearing as a woman how I don’t matter and then contradictory, that I do. It’s confusing. And for 38 years, every problem was solvable with a verse. It’s a lot like going to a doctor and being told to take a pill without really hearing the problem. Problematic is correct.

I’m not saying I’ve dismissed the entire thing. I just feel like my experiences have often led me to some sort of berating that included the Bible. So much shame. It brings little comfort because it feels more like a list of ways I don’t add up. And I never will.

Over Easter, one of my in-laws was trying to convince the rest of us with brains that the earth was flat. He claimed science was evil and kept insisting our belief in a round earth meant we didn’t really believe in scripture. I’m not exactly sure what verse lends itself to a flat earth, but it made me wonder a lot about how each person can think so differently about the words in the Bible. Why is it so debatable?

In another lifetime I used to say that I can’t know the mind of God. His ways aren’t like my own. I still believe this. But I also can’t seem to let things slide so easily. I find this so called “life giving” book… The words Christians are to live by and be conformed into the image of God by… I find it a bit of a mess.

I think if God wanted us to truly understand how to live like Him, then the Bible wouldn’t be so hard to understand. Christians argue about election, salvation, heaven and hell, homosexuality, church, roles of women and men, and even what love looks like. Why is it so complicated?

And in the meantime, I struggle because I am not “one of them”. I am not a mousy, perfect looking wife. My kids struggle with depression and identity and definitely don’t make me look like a good Christian mom (and I don’t care). When my husband does something stupid, I don’t sit on my hands and pray for him. I use my mouth to express how I feel (something I’ve been told is not becoming of a proverbs 31 wife).

I grow tired of all the ways I see Christians hiding the truth. If Christ came to set us free and to live in truth, why do so many try to stifle hard things? Why do they cover up evil? Why do they see disagreement as a threat?

It’s the fact that they claim to live by the Bible but seem so unconvincing in their belief… Because their actions just show hostility and hypocricy… That I have grown weary of reading it. I don’t want to be like them. And being so influenced by the Bible, I just see something I don’t want to be.

Is the Bible whatever you want it to be? Is it anti-science or pro-wisdom? Is it against evil yet promoting it? Is it supporting love and honoring each other while demeaning your wife? Is it freeing you from shame yet holding you responsible for not being perfect? It can mean anything you want, is my guess. And so it keeps on going so long as one has a pulpit in which to spread their own personal interpretration.

It just seems to me that God is entirely elusive if the Bible is the one and only thing we have to know him. Are we all just cast under a spell and only some get to understand this enchanted book? It would seem so if you listen to some Christians. Apparently they have the inside scoop. How is that proof of a loving God?

I guess I don’t get it really. But at the same time, to believe in nothing seems rather depressing. These are things I question. Of course I want there to be a connection to the holy and divine but I fear that all I’ve known is just a story.

Problematic? Yes it is.

When Marriage is a Mirage

My marriage is in the crapper these days. It’s been there for awhile but I tolerated it much better when my stress level wasn’t through the roof. Once upon a time, I had a lot of grace. These days, I need it more than most.

There’s really three roads you can take when this happens.

1) Take advice from men hating divorcees who claim you’d be better off alone

2) Take advice from conservative Christians, doormats, and conflict avoiders who convince you the problem is all you

Orrrrrr

3) Get professional help.

I’ve tried door number 2 first and hated myself. I listened to door number 1, but decided that door was not for me. They advised me against door number 3 stating that my husband would just manipulate the therapist.

I entered door number 3 well aware of the fact that it might end in disaster. I was the one who dragged my heels into counseling when he asked me to go. I didn’t want to meet with another male who could possibly blame me for everything again and I didn’t want my husband, who is the better conversationalist, to make me into the bad guy.

But I went. It was my last try, I told myself.

The first meeting I walked out mad but wasn’t sure why. Maybe because I felt like the advice he gave was too simplistic: go home and take turns discussing our feelings. I thought that was stupid considering the entire problem was that my husband refused to actually communicate with me, shutting down every time I had a negative emotion. I felt as if I wasn’t allowed to feel. He felt as if my feelings were too out there for him.

But we tried. We attempted to communicate. And things got a little better. But in the midst of the weeks between our next session, more stress happened. And when I tried to express my feelings, he said I was abusive (later apologizing for using that word) and shut me down again.

So I dragged my heels into counseling again. I didn’t expect much really. But the counselor got to the root of things, surprising even me. He talked about how I’m more reactive and how my husband is more logical. He said I’m logical too but emotions usually win. And it was my husband’s job to make me cry. Not by insulting me but by getting to the heart of what hurts. And instead of running away, he needs to embrace my feelings and validate them. He also talked about how my husband personalizes how I feel when he shouldn’t. My feelings aren’t judgments against him, but my own feelings. I own those, not him.

My husband, confused as to how talking and validating would help, asked the counselor what the point was if he couldn’t fix it. The counselor said because then I’d feel less crazy and less angry (i.e. abusive) and would feel understood. So we were to use “I feel” statement. It was my husband’s job to “pick a fight” or draw out the emotion. I was supposed to not say “I feel like” because “like” masked the true emotion. “I feel like crap” instead would be “I feel angry” or “I feel depressed”.

I will admit this is awkward. For years, I’ve not been able to truly say how I feel for fear of him calling me overly sensitive or telling me I’m wrong. So it is foreign to say how I feel out loud to someone I don’t trust emotionally. And I still feel hurt by the things he has said.

But working it out with expert help is better than the alternative. Granted both of us are trying. If you have one who gives up and won’t try, then door number 1 or 2 might be better.

I’m still not sure where all of this will lead in the end but at least it’s progress. It’s slow but it’s moving forward.

Defense of negative feelings

The other day, my husband told me i was abusive. It took me back because although my anger can get the best of me, I’ve never been told that before.

The comment came about after I had told him I was angry that he kept something from me. Lying by omission is still lying. And he seems the master of hiding all kinds of things from me, even rather unimportant things. So in an effort of telling him how I feel, he insisted he didn’t tell me because it involved my daughter and that he shouldn’t have to endure my abuse.

Abuse.

That’s a heavy handed word. I know what abuse is because I’ve endured it. To be fair, he later apologized and said that was the wrong word to use. He doesn’t care for conflict or negative feelings. So when he hears me get upset, he assumes it’s terrible. And then his reaction causes more anger for me.

So I wondered if maybe I was abusive.

To top it off, my kids all said they didn’t want to tell me about this incident (everyone but me knew) because I’d get mad.

So the question became am I a hot headed, volatile bitch?

Or

Are they afraid of feelings and conflict?

Well I never thought my kids were afraid of me. I’ve always prided myself on having a good relationship with them. So when they said that, I was hurt. I further questioned them and asked if I made them afraid or I was cruel or mean and they all said, “I just don’t like when I make you mad.”

I’m not saying I don’t have anger issues but it’s bull crap that I’m abusive. Maybe I act like a crazy when I’m mad because someone is a Hector projector and likes to gas light instead of deal with hard things. That’s not my problem.

Life is often riddled with conflict. Choosing to avoid it by telling me I’m abusive so I can’t express emotion is, in and of itself, abusive. I feel at times like I’m losing my damn mind.

I called my husband an asshole at one point during this debate so he said that was proof I was being abusive. I reminded him he WAS being an asshole, so not exactly proof.

It’s frustrating to try to communicate a negative feeling and then to be told you are the problem. I wonder if there’s any chance for change. Seems like I’m often defending my feelings. And I’m tired of it.

Mid-Life Changes

I decided to start up a new online biz. I create digital lead magnets for blogs and small website owners to attract readership. I know it seems a bit silly considering I’m using a free account at WordPress and don’t even care that much about readership–I basically did this intentionally. I am OK with not being famous or in any way remarkable on this blog. But, I did create another website with the intent to start a career.

My days of homeschooling are about over. I am signing my youngest up to school for next year. My oldest graduates. My middle child is off to public school. So I figured out an idea, tossed it around for 4 months, then finally launched myself into my own job. But after being home for several years with limited contact with people besides my own family, I’m feeling kind of lonely. I tossed out some resumes to some places in the hopes to get hired and have a real job. And today, I should have been excited when I got my first website client, but instead, I feel sad. I’m doing something I love–graphic design. So why am I feeling so lonely and sad? So detached? So blah?

I’ve always wanted my own business and to be an entrepreneur. But lately, I’m realizing that I’ve isolated myself to the point of where I hate being an introvert. I have one friend that I never see. I rarely see my family (intentional as they all are dysfunctional butt heads). I talk to my husband and kids, but my life is ALWAYS about them. And part of me wanted something that was just mine. But still, having my own website with paying clients (which is a dream to most people) seems lonely.

I’m not exactly sure what my problem is. Maybe I need to find more friends or be in groups or something extroverts do. Maybe I’m just depressed. Maybe nothing really fulfills me these days. Or maybe, I’m just mourning over another change in my life. What should be exciting and great reminds me that I had to close a door on something I used to love. Maybe I’m just sad that it feels a bit like failure in the mom department.

I used to curl up on the couch with my kiddos, reading all kinds of books, exploring the world, talking about whatever I could with them. We drove to interesting places, talked about fascinating topics, and for a time, it felt like “this is where I belong”. But then stuff happened. BIG stuff. Like mental illness, autism, and bullying. Like negative body images, church abuse, and rejection. And ever since then, I feel like I fit in nowhere. My kids are no longer small and cute, but have their own personalities which often voice their disagreement with me. I take them to counseling and I’m told how I could have talked better, to create a safe place for my teen. I guess how I talk isn’t “safe”. Since when? Disagreement is no longer OK. It just feels like 1+1 doesn’t equal 2. You can do all the right things, but in the end, you have no control over what your kids do or if they will be in your life forever.

So I leave behind the years I taught my kids, the lessons I tried to instill (I will continue doing this, but won’t be the only voice in their ear once they go to school full time), the cuddles on the couch reading about Charlotte’s Web. It’s just a change that is hard to embrace sometimes. To go from full-time mom, homeschool teacher, principal and spiritual guide to taking a back seat and doing what every other mom got used to in Kindergarten. And then to find a career after homeschool was your entire life–it feels like imposter syndrome.

I have skills…no doubt. But I don’t have a work history to back up those skills. And so I feel like I’m competing with my own self worth now. I know I have skills and people have told me how much I helped them and how they are so happy with the outcome, but yet I doubt myself. I feel like I’m just winging it. I never went to college except for a brief semester and I don’t have a degree. I’m self-taught through and through. In a sense, I’m homeschooled too!

I’m not exactly sure how to feel at this point. I should be happy to have clients (or a client at this point). I should be excited at the new journey ahead. I can let go and let God and know that I did the best I could. But there is a nagging feeling that I battle as I go. It reminds me of the years I could have worked, the college I do not have, the lack of real world experiences I sacrificed to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom. And I wonder if the world will be graceful with that fact.

I think an online business is great if you can network with real people, but right now it’s all online. I might pick up the phone to ask questions or skype a client, but it’s still hands-off in the day-to-day. This makes me feel isolated still. Except now my kids are gone too. And that makes me feel even worse. Maybe I need to think creatively about having real people time and not blame my online website biz for that problem. So this change involves a lot of moving parts and maybe I’m feeling ill equipped for what’s ahead. I know it’s where I need to be–doing something else and letting go–but sometimes that feels so daunting.

 

 

Entitlement or Depression

So yesterday I had an epiphany of sorts. It happened after another high emotion incident with my teen.

She had been saying she was suicidal so her dad and I contemplated sending her to the hospital. After the last time, I wasn’t overly impressed with that option. It’s basically like an expensive holding area. So I opted to watch her like a hawk, hide all sharp items, and wait until her counseling appointment.

She seemed to lighten up and engage with us the next day so I took her shopping and we were chatting. She also was laughing and playing with her siblings earlier in the day. I asked her if she still felt suicidal and she said more so yesterday.

We went to her counseling. In what I think was an attempt to look sad, she put her hoody on and covered part of her face. Her entire demeanor changed. I went to tell the counselor what was going on. Then my daughter had her session and I waited in the waiting room.

The counselor wanted to speak to me at the end and said, again, she was concerned for her safety and I probably need to send her to the hospital and gave me a pamphlet to a nearby hospitalization program. I said, “so this is what we do? Just keep putting her in the hospital?” Yep. Until she gets better.

From my perspective, all this has done has made things worse. I’m not saying this is true of all kids, but I’m saying it’s true of mine.

This news upset me, of course. I had a few words with her but sat in silence all the way home. It was dejavu. I had done this once before and I wasn’t happy about uprooting my life, her siblings life, and doing this again. Last time was hard enough.

I honestly wanted to smash my car into a tree and do us both a favor.

I went home and I was angry. My husband and I argued. I left the house while he babysat her. She continued with her hoody, sad face.

While I was gone, I realized 2 things:

1. My mental health was suffering because of the stress.

2. I was giving her too many of my emotions, so much so, I had none left for anything or anyone else.

I hate to say it, but I think I’m dealing with an entitled brat.

Over the years, the pattern has been that if I didn’t jump high enough to make her happy, she’d run away, leave suicide notes, cut herself, or generally make everyone else pay. My response has always been to try to fix it. Especially the suicide stuff. And she eats it up.

I’m not saying that she doesn’t have depression and I shouldn’t take it seriously, but the thing she’s always had is me. All of me. My time, my energy, my emotions, and even to some degree my marriage. We fight more than ever about her and how my husband elevates her in our relationship.

I feel at this point someone is gonna give me crap, so let me just say that I have run myself ragged trying to help her and I’ve done everything I was told to get her therapy, put her on meds… The whole gamut of help. This is not my first rodeo.

She refuses to help herself. She refuses meds, eating healthy or eating at all, blames all her problems on depression, refuses to take accountability. I rush in and help her.

But yesterday I said no more. I didn’t tell her that but I told myself that.

I will not be sucked into her emotional vortex.

I will not let my day be ruined by her moods.

I will not put my other kids on the back burner.

If she wants to walk this road again, I will admit her to the hospital for a 72 hour hold but I will not cry, plead, beg, or sit up there coddling her.

I’m done having my emotional state resemble hers.

She will lose her job, her ability to get a license, and will be behind in school. She will not get to enter classes where she could have made friends (something really important to her). She will lose her family relationships to a degree. But she will not find the same amount of emotional energy as last time. I refuse to lose myself and my values to help her. I will still help her, be a good parent, but I will not sacrifice my mental sanity for hers.

I will literally emotionally detach. That doesn’t mean I will be mean, but will treat her like a stranger that I met in a grocery store. I will afford her pleasantries and kindness and help, but I will not be her savior.

Why? This might sound a bit harsh to people reading. But here’s the thing. Yesterday she told us she was mad we controlled her. I only did two things that could be viewed as controlling: took her phone away for a time (she got it back) and told her she couldn’t engage with an unhealthy friendship. Oh I’m so controlling!!

Right after that, she started this downward spiral. When I continued to put my foot down, she brought up suicide. Who is controlling who?

I’m not playing her games but I will get her help. Just don’t expect much from me other than rides and more debt. It’s gonna hurt her more than me when she realizes I won’t play into. The only worry I have is she is good at getting therapists to see me as the bad guy. Last time she convinced them that I was to blame and I had to sit through 45 minutes of them asking questions about my brothers suicide. If she can’t control me, she controls how others see me.

I love my daughter but the past five years have sucked me dry. My other kids have suffered. My marriage has too. My husband said to me last night that she seems to want to tear us apart. She is an emotional vampire. I hate saying that about my own child but she’s learned how to fill her pain by manipulating and attention seeking tactics. I won’t give in to them any longer.

I will only own what is mine. I will not go down like this. I’m important too. I hope someday she realizes that self pity and manipulation never works. But until then, I will protect myself from it all.