Split Personality
Posted: April 12, 2018, 2:37 PM

Posts: 27
Joined: March 11, 2018

My precious little daughter is thirty four days into her rehab program. She made it to phase II which means she got her phone back. She's called me every evening, recounting her perfect day of being drug free. She says she's the happiest she's ever been in her very young life of eighteen. I am giving her my utmost attention and support, but deep inside, I don't let my heart really believe. I wonder if she'll come home and disappoint me yet again. It's so hard to support someone with what I call addiction split personality. The sober twin is so genuine, and I can tell she means everything she's telling me. She never wants to use again. She cannot believe what she's put everyone through. She's on fire for recovery. She's met some great mentors who are taking her under their wings. The addicted twin, which is lurking at all times, is the most vile person I've ever met in my life. She's much more controlling and cunning and seems to be able to manipulate sober twin so quickly. I just wonder how long before the other side comes roaring back.

I've had my heart broken three times with relapses. I know many of you have been disappointed far more times than that. I suppose many of you have become rather robotic in your support to the recovering addict. I'm afraid to let my heart go "all in." How do you support your loved ones when they are seeking recover when you've been deceived in their prior attempts? I hate to be so selfish in protecting myself. I just can buy into her recovery right now.
Posted: April 12, 2018, 11:44 PM

Posts: 229
Joined: November 16, 2017

Join the club,

I am going through this right now with my teenage son. Exactly. At this point, I don't even know which way is up or down with his intentions or where he is at.

He did great in treatment, for 2 weeks was a totally different kid. He changed so fast, I was NOT prepared. I anticipated problems and relapse, but he went from hitting nightly meetings, acting better than he had in 4 years, looking GREAT and healthy, hanging out with the family, interacting with the dogs. to....overnight, back at it, looking horrible, cursing, as you say...vile. vanishing at night. DEVASTATING.

He is somewhere in the middle now. The school is convinced he was lying the whole time, and we found out there was some drug use in treatment. But, I don't know. I think he was somewhat sincere, but decided he did not want it at some point. I think coming back around his friends, he felt like a goody-2-shoes.

I am just trying to maintain my boundaries and keep myself healthy. He does not make it easy on any of us. At the rate he is going, we probably will have to kick him out when he graduates, but he is improving in certain areas.

One good thing from having your heart broken so many times, is that you get a little tougher. Don't feel selfish. That is a healthy nudge from your soul. We have to take care of ourselves and addicts are manipulative when they are using. In the end, they have to want it and they have to go after it. Even if we did NOTHING, it is up to them. Detach, detach, detach.

Right now, I try to weigh every decision carefully. I sometimes do not know what the right thing to do is, and I trust nothing coming out of his mouth. I have been burned too many times. I did pay for pants for a new job (trying to keep the expectations low, as I believe he is still using), and trying to find an effective therapist ( I constantly do this-I have no idea why. I guess it is hard to totally give up while we have a few months here). But, really, I keep reinforcing that the time has come. Time is up. So, time to move on with your life, whatever you chose. Can't use drugs here, can't lay around and do nothing. So, get your crap together or move in with these people you idolize.

HARD stuff. The whole thing is depressing. I stumbled upon an old assessment from a therapist when he was 13. OH BOY, I had no idea what was coming! It makes me very sad to read that assess, and remember the hope that I had. I had no idea drugs were already in the picture. His graduation gown is hanging up in the closet and it makes me sick. Who knows if he will make it to graduation. I can't even think about it.

In the end, we have to let them go. We do no good by enabling and it is so hard for parents to stop. I keep telling myself that I cannot provide him a nice, comfy bed with food, health insurance, etc, if he is going to sneak out to the drug house. It is either here or there. He still sees himself at about 12, I swear. He acts like he is a little kid sometimes.

So sorry for the long post. I feel your pain, and I have been struggling so with this myself. It is hard to have them with us, and then have them flip to the dark side. So hard. Big hugs. Welcome!
Posted: April 13, 2018, 12:58 PM

Posts: 1370
Joined: June 27, 2016

thank you both for sharing. I have been in the same phase of my son's addiction, or holding pattern for 5 years.... always on the fence, on the brink of what will happen next - will we see the good son emerge, or the drug son.... we have gone 'all in' on supporting him, to not supporting, to minimally helping to put gas in car to go to work. Knowing that he is blowing a majority of pay on drugs, but his pay at the job for last 3 months is about 280 per week and he has to drive his own car (ours) from location to location... and he does not eat here, so it is always a black box.... yes we can see he has expenses, but we are pretty sure he is still using.

he is so believable when he says he does not do drugs, only the prescriptions. he is very clean about not leaving any evidence. this week there was an incident --- his dad blasted him with bottled up rage - loaded w F words - bc of car, bc of his lack of interest in helping himself, bc every week there is a new problem..... my husband works lots of overtime - we are trying to pad our nest for retirement. I lost my job a few months ago, lost 10 lbs, feel horrible, trying to find new job while son is whirling around in the background..... overwhelming.

Currently, my goal is to get my son to be self sufficient. Independent. hubby and I want to work, save for ourselves and peacefully retire. I am seeing it as - one way to save myself is to get son independent so he will not be nagging on our backs.

Recently I found a recovery center who treats family members - I started going bc I needed it and also as a hook to get my son in. 3 months I have been asking him to go. a few weeks ago he met my counsellor - he did like her. (I think he wants to see her! but that's part of the program, get him comfortable so he comes in on his own) he would see someone else. weeks passed, finally he went this week for intake, has to go back for more intake information, then will see a counsellor.

this is the piece that was missing. Continued out patient care. once a week w therapist WHO HAS A BACKGROUND IN RECOVERY. my mistake - about 6 months ago, at my urging, he started seeing a mental health facility - I thought any doctor would be a good start :( - see a different doc every month - different therapist every month - and he has not told them of addiction background!!! they just giving out meds!

finally, we have gotten to our last straw - when he says 'I don't know what to do' I say - go to the recovery center - it is your only option. theres only one path you have not followed.

this recovery center follows a smartrecovery.org type of a program. they approach a person at the level they are at, even if they are using. he went yesterday, said it was a joke, but did not say he wont go back. so I will hold my breath another week, see if he goes back.

hope this helps... I have informational posts in the General.Misc tab.

You can search for some of our horrific crisis stories by searching in the search box at bottom of page.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on April 13, 2018, 1:01 PM
Posted: April 13, 2018, 1:04 PM

Posts: 1370
Joined: June 27, 2016

Read these posts --

Ways Family Members can Help,
What Not to do,
Let me fall all by myself,
Will you learn to say No

set up your boundaries - you don't have to tell them to her - be firm - unemotional

I have always been hesitant to be too firm and to say no to reasonable requests... problem is - reasonable is OK for non-addicted child - addicted child takes advantage.

at times when I have been more firm --- he has acted better and accepted limitations.
even now at 28 yrs old.

Posted: April 13, 2018, 1:16 PM

Posts: 1370
Joined: June 27, 2016

PS -- I feel our only option is to guide our son into recovery where he can become the independent person he wants to be, or sell house and move away and not answer our phones. heck - not even have a phone!!!

my husband has not been patient, our son does not live here, but lives w gf close by. we cant tell how much she is part of the problem, I assume she is. I hear her telling him what to say. and I hear him being mean to her on the phone. she is dysfunctional. I think my son would have a chance if she was more functional.

this week my husband lost his temper due to car problems and over working. yelled into phone to son for 10 minutes non stop. the part that hit home for me and hopefully for son was " I have had it! I am ready to divorce your mother and get the F out of here!" he really isn't going to divorce me. but that is exactly how we both feel most of the time. deal with the stuff on the surface while thinking " How can I get the F out of here!"

I don't feel that I am enabling in a bad way. I give minimum cash for gas. 20-40 each week. I will buy food if he asks - rarely asks - when I do buy he does not show up. hate that. We are enabling him to hold a job. having a job and paycheck is important to him and we would rather he be working than sitting around house. he at least has to be present and socialize w society. if I did not give a bit for gas, he may resort to stealing, and that would be worse.

Just trying to keep our heads above water, while getting a life preserver on the kid.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on April 13, 2018, 1:17 PM
Posted: April 13, 2018, 1:31 PM

Posts: 521
Joined: August 28, 2016

"finally, we have gotten to our last straw - when he says 'I don't know what to do' I say - go to the recovery center - it is your only option. theres only one path you have not followed"

We have gotten to our last straw so many times before, only to feel sorry for him or believe him. Then we enabled him once more and now here we are retired and have a 47 y/o addicted son that is probably never going to be free of his addiction.

Now we are stronger, but I fear it is too late! We, also, say to him when he says "he doesn't know what to do"--go to salvation army. He never does because he uses his two dogs as an excuse and they don't allow dogs.

Last encounter with him was a month ago and now no contact. Actually it is better this way for us because as much as we love our son --we despise the person he has become. I do not know this man!

Only advice I have is to stop this craziness now while they are young enough that, just maybe, they will choose to change and get help. If you don't you will be old and have an addicted adult that has minimal chance of being drug free. Statistics have shown that the earlier addicts are forced to change their lives and parents stop the enabling --no matter how much or little the parents enable or help--the better chance our kids have of being drug free and having a "normal" drug free life!

As hard as it is--being tough and giving our son NO help is our only chance- at this late age- of possibly helping him. I just wish we had done this when he was a teen!

Posted: April 13, 2018, 1:38 PM

Posts: 1370
Joined: June 27, 2016

split personality - I hear ya! reminds me of my son long before we know about the drug use he never saved from payck to payck. we assumed rent, food, gas, that's what he told us... but so consistently never saved a dollar.... most of these years he was living away from home. I know he did drink alcohol, and the labor crew he worked with- was typical thing to do after work.

His answers to my questions were always vague - don't know where the money went. I have no idea. so serious..... I once joked about his evil twin spending the $$ or question him if he had a family hidden somewhere that he was supporting....

Hey - help your daughter WHILE Saving yourself.

PS - my daughter was 17 when we found out about her addiction. we did kick her out after two rehabs at 19 yrs old and still relapsing. she went to live w and addict friend, in the city. I still helped her with about $50 per week of groceries. she did finish her asso degree. tried to get a job in the city in February - using public transportation - climbing over snow banks - getting on wrong buses - cabs don't show up.... while watching tv saw army commercials - she called and went thru a recruiter - she said to me "I have not been doing a good job with my life, how bad can the army do" it also gave her the means to stop using. that was 5 years ago. still clean, found a great guy. going to be leaving service this year.

It takes 6 months to a year for the cobb webs to get out of their brains after they stop using.

my daughter was not happy in boot camp or for the first year. it was after the first year she became grateful and remorseful and apologized.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on April 13, 2018, 1:47 PM
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