Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
I would like to help you with your question.
I am sorry that your daughter is living in such a destructive relationship. It is understandable that you are distraught and upset and that you want to do all you can to be there for her. However...if you are not healthy - emotionally and physically - then you will not be able to be that support person she needs...and that you want to be.
You wrote that you have seen a therapist for your panic attacks. That's good...yet I think that you also need therapy to deal with the tremendous pressure you have put on yourself to care for your daughter and the fear you feel about her life.
And absolutely...you need to be able to enjoy life...and that is a goal you deserve to pursue.
It is important for you to set some goals for yourself...and then to take steps to meet those goals.
I see that you are offline...when you come online I will be notified.
I await your response.
Thank you for your response. Hoping you can lead me into a new direction in my life. So hard to concentrate on what my goals would be. I think I am searching for a way to distract me form this situation and I need to let her take on the responsibilities of her choices. As a mother, who has dedicated the majority of her adulthood caring for her, it has been extremely painful for me to let her go, especially to the hands of someone so destructive. I want her safe, independent and confident, but I know I need to let go for my sake. I just hope that me wanting to let go is not selfish and she will not feel as if I am no longer there for her. Feeling like I,m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I love her so and not sure which way to go.
This may be too long and complicated, but I needed for someone to hear me because I am at my wits ends.
Looking forward to your suggestions and advice. Can not focus.
Yes...you are between a rock and a hard place. You want to protect your daughter from any harm the world might visit upon her and that's the goal you have worked toward her entire life. But now she is an adult and you must trust that you equipped her with all the skills and smarts to lead a rich and fulfilling life. She will never become the woman you raised her to be...if you keep holding on to her. She needs to make her own way in life now...with the knowledge that you will "have her back" when and if she needs that.
At the same time...you need to pursue YOUR life...the one in which your main focus is not parenting but living for you. Your daughter needs to see this side of you as well. She needs to know that parenting is an important role..but that there is more living to life. Without showing her that you are able to transition from mother to person...she may struggle in her own life with these changes.
And absolutely this "letting go" process is painful..it's lonely..it's confusing...it's down right sad! Most parents do have a difficult time with this phase of life...that's why we call it "empty nest" syndrome...
Here is a link to a good article by the Mayo Clinic on this:
The one thing you must realize is that what you are feeling is normal and natural. You devoted your life to your daughter...what are you going to do with the time and energy you put towards that "job"? Truly you are grieving...and that process is quite painful at times. You do need to find other ways to direct your energy...doing those things that you put on a waiting list while you raised your daughter...or finding new interests or hobbies.
In a way...you have the wonderful opportunity to re-create yourself. To follow long ago dreams, to return to pleasurable activities, and to see life with a wiser set of eyes. I imagine that your daughter will be thrilled to see her mother happy in life doing things that she did not have time to do before.
Here's another helpful article to read over:
Please let me know if there is more I can help you with...
Thank you doctor for your time and advice. It was much appreciated. It is indeed a struggle, but I will work each day to change my focus toward me.
I wish you the best!