Aspie needs advice re family crisis response

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
So, my adult kid's dad, is a weed dealer, has roped our kid's into his illegal activities, has been very narc-aly abusive towards myself and now, after years of blatantly doing what he does in our, very small village, he's been raided and while my youngest daughter is taking it matter of factly, my oldest daughter who is pregnant is devastated and scared that her dad might be going to jail.

I didn't respond with the distress and surprise that daughty seemed to require of me and I'm not too sure how to proceed. She, practically hung up on me after I said he might go to jail and I said there's no point being upset about something you can't do anything about.

I've already done years of grieving over his choices and behaviour and how that's impacted me and our children, but how do I support my pregnant daughter who's scared for her dad and possible loss of him during the onset of her becoming a mother?

I'm still mad at him, to be honest, but, I have to clamp down on my feelings because I don't want to negatively impact on our children who have suffered and still suffer enough because of his shortcomings and addiction and narcissism and criminal lifestyle. Yep, its only weed, but its still illegal and that's not my fault, I chose to get out and model a different lifestyle without the legal ramifications weighing down on me.

How could she not see this coming?

Why do I get ignored for all that he's put me through but when his choices get consequences I'm supposed to act upset and that this wasn't inevitable?

I can't react in a neurotypical way or like someone who isn't compassion-for-him fatigued, his actions and attitude wore that out of me and was never reciprocated, his excuse for never showing me the slightest bit of compassion was, supposedly, "I cried too much" ,(his words).

But I do have a huge amount of compassion and concern for my daughter, I just don't know how to communicate that to her, in a way that she feels it at the moment, as she doesn't want rational, factual, pragmatic, she wants something else. What does she want me to say and how can I help her through this?

We were supposed to have a girl's day out tomorrow, me and my two girls, but, I don't know if she wants to see me now, coz, she's upset with me for not acting more shocked, worried and upset about her dad getting in trouble wih the law (yet again).

I could have got him in trouble with the law myself. I would have been well within my rights to do so, and I feel pretty generous and nice that I didn't, so, and, but, my generosity toward him has been stretched so thin already, after the cruel, spiteful and heartless ways he's treated me, and I have to curb my hurt responses already so much, with my children, so I'm pretty flat and detached, it's all I can do to not spew bitter hurt and "well he made his bed, now's time he lies in it" kind of thing.

How do I put myself well out of the picture and just support my adult children through this, yet another, life and family crisis?
 
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Friday

Moderator
my youngest daughter is taking it matter of factly, my oldest daughter who is pregnant is devastated and scared that her dad might be going to jail.
How could she not see this coming?
Probably wiser not to tell her she’s being ridiculous because of hormones... but she’s being ridiculous because of hormones. Unless she’s just a drooling moron. But since you’re surprised by her reaction? I’d expect she’s usually not an idiot.

She’s ALSO probably brought to tears by bog roll commercials, and would lash out / pop off like a frog in a sock at someone showing up with a 50k lottery check, for not calling first or wearing the wrong shoes.

If you got super lucky and were one of the few for whom pregnancy smoothes everything out, & are calm/clear/happy? Most women aren’t that lucky. Hormones f*ck their world sideways, and 9 months isn’t long enough to get on top of the massive dysreg that keeps changing per trimester. Some women even go so far as antepartum depression (like like PPD, except during pregnancy) or antepartum psychosis. But most women? Lose the effing plot to at least some degree. So if she’s acting out of character? Keep a weather eye out for depression/psychosis, but it’s probably just normal batshit-crazy-pregnancy hormones doing their thing. 😫 🥰 😫😭🤬🤩
We were supposed to have a girl's day out tomorrow, me and my two girls, but, I don't know if she wants to see me now, coz, she's upset with me for not acting more shocked, worried and upset about her dad getting in trouble wih the law (yet again).
TBH... I’d just act-as-if (everything is normal).

Pregnancy mood swings are hot/swift/fast for the most part. Fine-f*cked-fine-sob-fine-enraged-fine-loooooove-fine-bawling-fine. 😵 I just ignore them, the same way I ignore someone having a panic attack. Yep, it’s irrational, but it’s also super temporary & will pass. If they WANT to cancel or alter plans? No worries, and no hard feelings! I sooooo get the “everything is too much” right now thing. But unless they cancel I just assume everything is good & shower them with bon vive! happy-normal, as if they didn’t just have a squawking lunatic moment 2 minutes, ago. As opposed to if they did they exact same thing not-knocked-up, where I’d take various shitstorms & bad behaviour seriously. <<< That doesn’t mean I put up with bad behavior/ if someone is being an asshole, I tell them that. (Oy! Not my fault he got raided. I understand you’re upset, and that’s fine. BUT? Stop taking it out on me. I didn’t do this to him). I jus5 don’t take it personally. Like having a toddler. With a fantastic vocabulary. And ability to drive. ;)
 
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Freida

Sponsor
Even if she wasn't pregnant this would be a tough one.

Can you approach it less about the who (narcissistic abusive asshat) and more about the what (someone your daughter loves is headed for jail)?

Yep...its a big ask because, well, hes an asshat who doesn't deserve her devotion
But right now she needs her mom to hold her and let her fuss and bitch and cry about the impact this is having on her....and that its made even worse by hormones.

And yep. That means biting your tounge each time she says he doesn't deserve to go to jail, he's a great guy, blah blah blah. Instead you will have to reassure her that she will get thru this (she -not him), she will be ok, you will be there for her because you are her mom and she is the most important thing to you right now, all that stuff moms are supposed to say when their kids are hurting - regardless of why.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks guys @Friday and @Freida.

I am taking both of your advices to heart. I think I will check in and see if she's up for tomorrow.

I think the problem is, I have too much emotional baggage where he is concerned and how his actions impact on our children, so I'm kinda crippled, emotionally, and came across shut down and too spockish and just totally clunked, more like emotionally overloaded and thus couldn't draw on the right empathetic and comforting response. My bad.

I'm the mum, but I'm still an emotional mess where he is concerned.

I'm gonna try to "go through the correct comforting motions" but that's gonna mean saying a bare minimum of how I really feel and what I really think.

Being pregnant she is way more raw and vulnerable , I think, when it comes to her support networks and family security being torn asunder.

Anyway, I screwed it up and I'm not sure how to come back from there, even though, once again, he gets all the consideration and sympathy for bad life choices and selfishness and I get zero leyway for being a tad too unsurprised and matter of fact, in a train wreck of his making.

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhh.

Just think of overly emotional pregnant daughter and how to be good mummy, mums ...repeat, repeat, rinse and repeat.🥵🤪😬😡😶🤗🤫😍
 
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Friday

Moderator
Anyway, I screwed it up
You didn’t. At least not the way I see it.

That you weren’t fallin to pieces over your abusive ex’s (highly predicitble / cost of doing business) misfortunes? Is a pretty durn healthy response.

That you didn’t throw a little victory party over the phone? Shows a lot of care and compassion TO your daughter, whether she knows it or not.

Tomorrow & onward? It’s no longer about your ex, but about your daughter. As @Freida said.

But YOU are allowed to have a response to the news you were told. And it really wasn’t a bad one. That your daughter is a little off the deep end, right now, doesn’t mean that you screwed it up. I think you did pretty durn well.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
I sent effusively "sorry" for not being more comforting and "I hope your feeling a bit better" and "no matter what happens, we'll get through this as a family" and so on and so forth.

She has calmed down towards me. She is being the pillar, the keep-it-all-together girl. Honestly? Her brother's are not real together and she's in rescue mode for next brother down, our middle child, who's just been dumped and has a court case, himself next week.

They are the one's liasoning with cops as their daddy has been taken into custody for the night. Supposedly, he thinks he's going down for 2 years.

I think I sent warm, humble, supportive and kind words as well as reminders to make sure herself and bubs welfare comes first, regardless of how much she loves and cares for her fam and dadda.

Oldest son is psychoticlly ill (yep, too much Ganga), next son down is developmentally delayed autistic, so it falls on my big girl to be the reliable one.

Sigh.

Yes, I myself went through extreme hardships while pregnant with all of my children, but, I really wanted an easier ride for my girl. At least her partner is an amazing, supportive and awesome dude, I'm comforted by that.
 

ms spock

Sponsor
How thoroughly shitty that you have to deal with the fall out of your ex's behaviour YET AGAIN! Feeling for you!

I think Friday covered the pregnancy thing and Freida covered the it's about her and not the moron, YET AGAIN. It's about her, and how sad for her that he has to bring this into her life at this time of her pregnancy.

This is just where my head is at. I am trying to learn new skills at the moment.

I have been learning TEAM-CBT and there are these two strategies

Thought Empathy
Feeling Empathy

Thought feeling is repeating back exactly what they say in the words that they say - you are not involved nor your ex is involved - it's about repeating back to her exactly what she said.

Feeling Empathy is then talking about how with what they are saying how you guess they are feeling. And then you can ask if you got that right.

I am trying to learn the "5 Secrets of Communication" and there's podcasts about all this here. There's a search function here. Earlier today I was texting someone who was suicidal and using my new skills I really slowed down and just focussed on that person, and it went well. Might not interest you at all but it's always good to have access to a few sources if you are stuck.

I can completely see why you have complete compassion fatigue with your ex though. That is tough.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
How thoroughly shitty that you have to deal with the fall out of your ex's behaviour YET AGAIN! Feeling for you!

I think Friday covered the pregnancy thing and Freida covered the it's about her and not the moron, YET AGAIN. It's about her, and how sad for her that he has to bring this into her life at this time of her pregnancy.

This is just where my head is at. I am trying to learn new skills at the moment.

I have been learning TEAM-CBT and there are these two strategies

Thought Empathy
Feeling Empathy

Thought feeling is repeating back exactly what they say in the words that they say - you are not involved nor your ex is involved - it's about repeating back to her exactly what she said.

Feeling Empathy is then talking about how with what they are saying how you guess they are feeling. And then you can ask if you got that right.

I am trying to learn the "5 Secrets of Communication" and there's podcasts about all this here. There's a search function here. Earlier today I was texting someone who was suicidal and using my new skills I really slowed down and just focussed on that person, and it went well. Might not interest you at all but it's always good to have access to a few sources if you are stuck.

I can completely see why you have complete compassion fatigue with your ex though. That is tough.

It is tough @ms spock, especially the way he's touted aa a local hero and service provider, being that this town is a "Cannabis Crusader" mecca, n general supa druggy town, 'n' all.

I just want to clean their place up, at this point and help them learn to work together, in an equitable fashion, as having been raised by someone as narcissistic as their father, there are a lot of shitty interrelational habits to address in how they function as siblings and normal life skills they have never learned. I was always undermined when I lived there. Never able to put in place reasonable expectations, functional routines or any leadership at all

So much damage control; they, my young adult children, are still consumed with, and trapped by, to prop up the image of himself and how they all have to collude with his narrative, or risk being the target, as they saw myself targeted, and, they have all experienced their own tastes of being targeted too.

Of course, there is no addressing such things head on. I have learnt, the hard way that that puts me back on the list of most shunned and vilified people, so all I can really do is model healthy boundaries and self respect and appropriate empowering and self responsible leadership. Very tricky.

My guy roused me for apologising to my daughter, as I'd done nothing wrong.

I'm still working on the too-fawny behaviours I haven't fully nailed.


An empathy like myself was such perfect narcissistic suppy for a very long time.

Like my newly-back-in-my-life fellow singer-songwriter friend said "He never thought you would leave" and truly, without the fear that I wouldn't last long enough to make sure my kid's get out ok, I, probably, wouldn't have left.

It's a fraught-with-much-raw-and-painful-emotion situation to wade back into, but, I need to be on board; the house is the worse nightmare you can imagine. It looks like a crack house slash tip and it's a big job to extract the skips and skips worth of rubbish in the laundry and out the back door of the house and to de-cockroach-poo-ify, general filth and pet dander rid, the entire place.

I'm really hoping the Housing cancel the lease soon. My adult children who still live there desparately need to be set free
 

ms spock

Sponsor
It is tough @ms spock, especially the way he's touted aa a local hero and servuce provider, being that this town us a "Cannabis Crusader mecca, n all.
:(
I just want to clean their place up, at this point and help them learn to work together, in an equitable fashion, as having been raised by someone as narcissistic as their father, there are a lot of shitty interrelational habits to address in how they function as siblings and normal life skills they have never learned.
That's really hard.

That is such a heart breaking thing all those normal life skills that they have never learned.
I was always undermined when I lived there.
Your generosity with your daughter is huge, given how hard a time that you had there.
Never able to put in place reasonable expectations, functional routines or any leadership at all
That is really tough.
Of course, there is no addressing such things head on. I have learnt, the hard way that that puts me back on the list of most shunned and vilified people, so all I can really do is model healthy boundaries and self respect and appropriate empowering and self responsible leadership. Very tricky.
Oh that's terribly tricky!
My guy roused me for apologising to my daughter, as I'd done nothing wrong. I'm still working on the too-fawny behaviours I haven't fully nailed.
No, no, no, no... It wasn't about doing anything right or wrong.

It was about supporting your daughter, it was about validating her feelings, it was about giving her permission to be herself, having her own feelings, during her pregnancy.

And that - letting her be herself and validating her feelings as real and valid - that hands her the key - to one day - walk away from her Father - because you let her be herself - which her Father doesn't do.

This is a very profound thing to do for anyone, but for your own children, that's intergenerational social change.

Giving Thought Empathy and Feeling Empathy don't mean you are saying what someone is saying is right - it 's about validating another person's feelings and thoughts. If you don't feel accepted for what you feel and think, then you can stay stuck there for a life time, defending that position. I know I have done it.

Your validation of your pregnant daughter's thoughts and feelings will assisting her healing and personal growth in ways we can't imagine.
An empathy like myself was such perfect narcissistic suppy for a very long time. Like my newly-back-in-my-life fellow singer-songwriter friend said "He never thought you would leave" and truly, without the fear that I wouldn't last long enough to make sure my kid's get out ok, I, probably, wouldn't have left.
You have been terribly brave, and haven't received acknowledgement for it. You have not received Thought Empathy and Feeling Empathy, and that's not fair.

And you did this all for your kids, and the sad thing is they may or may not ever understand this. That's terribly painful. I saved my sister's and brother's lives, no one would be here now, alive, if I hadn't done that, but hey yeah I am the bad guy!
It's a fraught-with-much-raw-and-painful-emotion situation to wade back into, but, I need to be on board; the house is the worse nightmare you can imagine. It looks like a crack house slash tip and it's a big job to extract the skips and skips worth of rubbish in the laundry and out the back door of the house and to de-cockroach-poo-ify the entire place.
Oh @mumstheword 😢😭😰😥😓😭
I'm really hoping the Housing cancel the lease soon. My adult children who still live there desparately need to be set free
I so wanted my sisters and brothers to be released from my Mother, and gosh I understand how overwhelming that yearning can be.

It's amazing you are doing as well as you are! Do you realise that?

And how terribly sad and what a tough situation you find yourself in.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Hey @ms spock, I couldn't reply earlier, your compassion and understanding had me undone and as I've been coming apart at the seams anyway, I thought today was a good day to respond.

@Deanna just replyed with a kind message on my journal and I'm crying my face off already. Compassion can do that to me.

Just rereading the above message really gets me going😪😭😢 I guess because I've needed to hear exactly that for some time now and you get it, you really do.

It's a relief, an amazing relief, and freeing, to be understood and validated like that.

My big daughter, preggie daughter, told me I was doing an amazing job, supporting them yesterday, but that was after she told me off for not being more open to her Daddy. I couldn't explain, of course and it amazes me the forgetfulness and denial she exhibits, because she's had a taste of that narcy abuse from him herself, wants all her sibs out and is sooooo grateful and myself and my partner helped her get out a couple of years ago.

Oh well.

He will probably only be locked up for a couple more months, but meanwhile, I just want to help them change it from living in a cockroach-infested rubbish dump to a livable house. The rest is out of my control.

I have asked preggy daughter if she can ask her ute-owning partner to come over and get rid of a load or two of rubbish on his days off, on the weekend.

I have got my youngest daughter's boyfriend on the burn off whatever is burnable job.

I have helped clean the filthy kitchen, and my second youngest son's live in boyfriend has taken that ball and run with it. It looks much cleaner and tidier already.

I have helped them figure out how to pay the rent without dad around so they can, possibly, keep that roof over their heads (hopefully) as long as they need to.

Housing have been very, very, lenient with my ex as he has been charged, multiple times, already, with unlawful activities with, technically, should null and void his lease, but, they haven't booted him out yet. I think because he has so many young people (my children and their partner's) living there.

My opiate addicted weed-growing and dealing brother tried to set up distributing out of there straight away and I put an immediate stop to it. All my children are on board with this.

None of my children want a continuation of that illegal lifestyle, even though some of them are still pot users themselves.

So it's been eventful and fraught, but, I am taking the opportunity to get in and give my children the parenting they've always needed but, with him around, was impossible, or at least, much less enboldened and empowered.

It's easier when they've moved out, like with my oldest daughter. She and I have a great relationship now, and yes, her pregnant sparkiness and volatility can handle, as long as I keep that in mind, she is pregnant, and our family is a stressful, dysfunctional messy thing for all of us and she has a right to sound off and even unleach a little on me. I'm the mum and I can absorb it, with compassion and understanding and the support she needs.
 
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