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Hi C and welcome to the site! I hope you have checked out our Forum agreement under the "Open Me First" page to be sure that we are a good fit for your needs.  We are a monitored website.

Your post sounds like you are absolutely stuck in your situation, a daughter with could anyone make her fend for herself?  Sad that you had to take on the boyfriend too but I trust your judgement about that situation. 

I have just one question.....What are you doing for yourself?  You are taking care of everyone else (even the boyfriend) but are you taking care of yourself?  I tended to put everyone else's needs and desires before my own.  As mothers we are actually programmed to do this.  The entire time we are raising children it is very important to put their needs first but lets face it, my kids are grown.  Their happiness is their responsibility and comes as a direct result from their decisions since they stopped listening to me. I now live by a couple of sayings......

1) What you focus on expands!  (So I try to keep my focus on the good things in my works!)
2) No news is good news!  (So I stopped worrying about what they were doing/thinking/blaming me for)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys   (a reminder that I could not "fix" their problems, they had to)

My life has changed in marvelous ways since I started using this approach.  I know that you have your DD living with you but I feel certain you could employ at least a little of this method.  Good luck!!
Woohoo!  The timer is a great idea!  I am so glad you thought of it and thanks for passing it along!  Way to go! 8)
Cookie, what a clever idea to use a timer to avoid wallowing in sadness.  Thanks for sharing that!  ;)
What an inspiring refection you are of the spirit of WWU!
This is MUCH harder and taking much longer than I though....I finally had to set a timer and limit myself to just 5 minutes of sorting through photos and discarding the ones that bring up unhappy memories at a time.  I was totally lost in the Abyss yesterday; my fault because I didn't set limits for myself and wallowed in regrets and sadness.  Not ever wanting to go there again (the Abyss)!!

We can DO this, people.  We (collectively) don't have to punish ourselves any longer for the choices our grown kids have made, nor for our past failures (real or imagined) as parents.

Thanks everyone for being part of my healing; hope something I'm saying can be part of your healing too.
Yay!  We're cheering for you  :D
Good for you! :)
Thanks Luise and Bamboo2.  I like the idea of keeping the happy memories and discarding the objects/photos that bring me grief and that don't make me smile. 

I see that keeping memorabilia that bring up hurtful memories is just another way of continuing the abuse that my son used to heap on me; well, no more.  I have choices!  And I choose good feelings and good memories (and good relationships NOW, with people who love and respect me NOW).  Small steps to growth. 

I think I'll look in one of those boxes today and throw out some negative junk....
Welcome, Cookie!  Very sorry to hear about your estrangement.  Although my experiences are not the same, and my daughter is back in contact with us and has made some positive changes, it has been and continues to be abundantly clear that there was a four-year period that is just not healthy to revisit. (She called me in the middle of the night last week, crying uncontrollably about an issue with her current boyfriend, and I realized how close to the surface my memories are of those four years). I have photos and journal entries from that period that I would read over from time to time, and they just served to bring me back down to "the abyss", as WWU moderator Still Learning so aptly describes it.  I've also figured out that I really can't spend any time thinking about the hurt and unfortunate choices we all made during that time---hers in isolating herself from family and living with an abusive boyfriend, and ours of trying so hard to keep her in our lives and convincing her to leave him.  I've intentionally chosen the path that is most peaceful for me.  I've even talked with my husband about not bringing up that painful time in conversation with me or others as it does not move us forward.  During that time, I kept a few items at hand that heartened me, like old Mother's Day cards she made for me or gave me, that reminded me of the heart of gold that I know she had.  I think the idea of keeping the things that bring a smile to your face and discarding the rest is great!  Warm wishes coming your way!
Welcome, C. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We are a monitored Website. Obviously this is a 'canned greeting' but necessary for clarity. There are many kinds of Websites, some of which thrive on debate and criticism. At WWU, we listen with compassion and share our experiences. We aren't professionals and don't advise.

I have personally had the issue you are pondering. I came up with the same solution you are considering. I went through my photos and selected the ones that brought me happy memories and put them in a scrapbook. The rest brought me deep grief and I discarded them. I haven't had any regrets and I did it quite a while ago. That doesn't mean you might not have regrets...we are all so different. For me, I didn't want to erase the evidence of the lovely times when my son was little and our relationship was a loving one. At the same time, I didn't want to be reminded of it's disintegration. Hugs...
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