Holding Your Bottom Line?
Posted: December 24, 2018, 12:13 AM


Posts: 38
Joined: December 23, 2018



Do y'all have suggestions when your child calls in crisis, telling you he can't go on? This is what I thinking to say if my son calls "are you saying you are ready for sobriety?" or something like that.
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Posted: December 24, 2018, 12:30 AM


Posts: 123
Joined: November 9, 2018



Hi mntmom a suggestion I got from a therapist was very helpful. Always reflect the question back to them so they have ownership and have to solve. For example, when my daughter got kicked out of sober living she called me and said "They made me homeless" and was quite hysterical. My response was "Well that's a real problem, what are you going to do about it?". That way it's hers and not mine and she has to problem solve. So saying "what are your plans or what are you going to do about it?" hands it back to them where it belongs.
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Posted: December 24, 2018, 11:18 AM


Posts: 38
Joined: December 23, 2018



Thank you Sallyanna, I was thinking along the same lines but since this is the first time that he hasn't had a job, wife or girlfriend to lean on. He's not speaking to us at the moment (my husband told him to knock off the blaming, cursing & raging at me) so I expect he will call when he burns his EX wife..... again.

I tend to overthink things & make myself sick - I'm working on not doing that to myself anymore.
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Posted: December 24, 2018, 4:20 PM


Posts: 46
Joined: December 21, 2018



Sallyanna seems to have the best reply. It's your problem and what are YOU going to do about. A lot of people who "seem" suicidal are simply seeking attention and/or not serious about it from most of what I've heard or read.

The alkie/addict here tried the "I can't go on" routine several times over the last 10 years or so. He's still here. But it was an obvious ploy for sympathy then money & favors. He got tired of the word no so emotional manipulation became his next tact to preserve his self image and/or bait you into his request.

This post has been edited by samegame on December 24, 2018, 4:21 PM
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Posted: December 24, 2018, 8:18 PM


Posts: 123
Joined: November 9, 2018



Yes I think we can become so preoccupied with our addicted adult child or addicted spouse that we can lose ourselves and our life. I think self care and self love are really, really important to continually practice and be aware of for ourselves. There is already one person sick (the person with the addiction) we don't need to be sick too emotionally or physically. I believe in keeping our lives intact (emotionally, physically, financially, other family relationships, work, social, ect.) as much as possible. Im not being cold because I have empathy and love my daughter. I'm just not going to let her addiction negatively affect my life.
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Posted: December 25, 2018, 12:05 AM


Posts: 131
Joined: July 6, 2018



When my daughter would call crying that she wanted to die and couldn't go on,My reply was okay let's go to the hospital.
If he is threatening suicide, call 911 but be prepared to 302 him.basically its you saying why he isca danger.
Do not negotiate with him.Hospital or a rehab is the only help you can give him.
It's hard.really hard
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Posted: December 28, 2018, 12:44 AM


Posts: 200
Joined: November 16, 2017



Another thing that helps is getting to the point of actually believing you can do nothing and have no responsibility. I am not sure how I got to that point, but it changed our dynamic.

In the past, I really believed I SHOULD do something or that I could fix it or help or do something. I realize now I can do nothing. The last time my son was complaining, I think I surprised us both. I told him it was not my problem. And, I really meant it.
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Posted: December 28, 2018, 2:30 AM


Posts: 30
Joined: December 26, 2018



Parenting2 - I understand your sentiment. I have found myself in that space a few times. It’s liberating. I think it’s the only way I could survive when we kicked him out and didn’t know where he was. Emotionally I wouldn’t be able to tolerate it otherwise.
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Posted: December 28, 2018, 5:25 AM


Posts: 123
Joined: November 9, 2018



I have reached the same point as P2. It's totally up to my daughter. I have done what I can do and realize only she can change her life or not. I have seen her put herself into detox and rehab all on her own which has been positive. I think at some level, sobriety scares them. Its too real. They have to face reality and it's what they have been trying to escape through addiction for so many years.
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Posted: December 28, 2018, 9:59 AM


Posts: 38
Joined: December 23, 2018



I am there too - while I am constantly thinking about him & preparing for what I will say next time he calls, I DO realize that my past "help" changed nothing & he continued to use meth. This is the first time he has used us to do nothing. Previously he hid behind his wife & then they divorced. The advice I've received here in the past few days has helped me to wrap my head around this relapse..... if he even relapsed at all!! He may have NEVER stopped using...
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Posted: December 30, 2018, 12:24 AM


Posts: 38
Joined: December 23, 2018



So my son is no longer speaking to the family again. But posted on his Facebook page that he was at a concert last night.... no job, no home, no girlfriend, no reason to live, owes quite a few people money but yes, by all means - go to the concert......
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Posted: January 2, 2019, 7:25 AM


Posts: 2237
Joined: March 23, 2006



consequences of actions. Don't buy into it.

I work at a rehab and I handle the money. Soooo many times we have a resident up and decide to leave because they can't handle it, didn't like what somebody said to them, decide its not for them, they're ok now thanks, etc etc etc. I am talking volunatary discharges here - not being kicked out for not following rules. Staff, other residents counsel them to stay outline all the dangers out there and they are given EVERY encouragement and incentive to continue their treatment....but no they are outta there.

One, two days later I get the phone call, in hysterics or begging or whatever. i've got no money, you've got all my money (government pension), I'm homeless, I've got nothing to eat, you've got to help me what am I supposed to do.......blah blah blah.

Sorry, you had a bed, roof over your head, 3 meals a day and the opportunity for treatment and to get well. You threw it all away and you want to make it someone else's problem that you are now in a bad situation....no.

I never buy into this stuff, I never enter into any discussion about their situation. I only state the facts, when and how they will receive any money owing to them, what they need to do in regards to getting their pension transferred. I stay calm and i only ever refer to the facts. I don't berate and I don't give words of sympathy or any of that. I know that probably sounds really harsh, but I can say from experience that sometimes those very harsh realities are needed. Sometimes that misery is enough to make someone turn it around. Not always but it does happen. Being forced to deal with the reality, no-one to bail you out, no one to pat you on the back and feel sorry for you or say 'there, there' and sometimes those same people cal back a week, a month or whatever later wanting to try again - and nearly always we take them back.

And as a recovered alcoholic my hand is always out when someone wants help. But like I had to do, to get well you got to face the consequences of your actions, stop the self pity, take responsibility and take action....then and only then have you got a chance.
Idgie

--------------------
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27

May the Force be with you.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should just get used to the idea....Robert Heinlein.

You can spend the next 24 hours reaching your true potential or sliding down into your own particular hell. the choice is always yours.
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Posted: January 2, 2019, 4:33 PM


Posts: 46
Joined: December 21, 2018



One of the tricks or ploys addicts use is to create a sense of urgency along with garnering sympathy. Sometimes both go together. Many addicts realize a straight up request/question will probably be answered no. But throw in variables and emotion it's not a straight up request anymore. I've learned to view the alkie/addict as a grifter-what are they planning and when is it coming.
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Posted: January 2, 2019, 9:20 PM


Posts: 123
Joined: November 9, 2018



Idgie,
Thank you for sharing your post with us. It really helps me to hear the experiences of someone who is in recovery (congrats on your sobriety btw) and who works in a treatment program. I agree, it's really important they experience the consequences. Any other insights you'd like to share with us is much appreciated.
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Posted: January 3, 2019, 9:56 AM


Posts: 200
Joined: November 16, 2017



This is a good post. I hold onto to 2 main ideas to help me not be enabling. 1. Nothing I do matters. I cannot fix it. and 2. When in active addiction, my son is not able to be trusted. I have to detach from all conversation.

My son has had two times of being relatively clean and honest. When in those times he admits that he lied and manipulated and disrespected. He admits he was fully aware of what he was doing, but did not care at all. Some of his honesty really surprised me, like times when I was sure he was on the level, crying or whatnot. I could not tell he was lying at all. When clean he apologizes profusely and cannot believe he did it. I hold onto these conversations as a reminder that I cannot trust what he says/does when he is using. The drug rules him. No sympathy or financial intervention is healthy at this point. All I can give him is my unconditional love, but nothing else.

This post has been edited by Parenting2 on January 3, 2019, 9:58 AM
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Posted: January 3, 2019, 4:36 PM


Posts: 30
Joined: December 26, 2018



Idgie - thank you for your post. I appreciate your input as someone who’s “been here” and also now working in a rehab facility.

Parenting2 - your post hit the nail on the head. I try to remember those two things when dealing with my son, as well.

I’ve had a rough holiday season. I tried writing but I was too down. Working and sleeping are my saviours. I learned that my son was sleeping in stairwells with his girlfriend a few weeks ago, injecting there as well (of course). He was also injecting insane amounts of his drug of choice which has now resulted in organ damage (I’m not going to mention the drug publicly for the sake of anonymity - it’s not a common drug, especially IV). He is experiencing the physical effects of this organ damage now, and the only way to prevent further damage... which can be unreversible... is to stop using the drug. I’m devastated because I don’t believe he will stop using. He tells me he will, but he has said it many times before. If he really wants to stop, he will accept treatment.

We told our son his girlfriend was not allowed to sleep over and we reinforced the windows and changed the locks to prevent them from breaking in. He decided he would rather be with her, couch surfing in flophouses, than live with these rules. I haven’t seen him in 4 days and stopped texting him two days ago. I’m trying my best to stay sane.

Thank you all again for sharing. It helps.

This post has been edited by YellowBirds on January 3, 2019, 4:56 PM
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Posted: January 3, 2019, 11:07 PM


Posts: 38
Joined: December 23, 2018



Thank you Idgie - that is a great post!

YellowBirds - I'm so sorry! It hurts so bad, but continually remind yourself - these are all our kids choices!!

My son also was sober long enough for our family to see the man he could be & he admitted a lot of horrible behavior. Even then though, he had a bravado about him bragging that his dope was the best dope & other stupid crap.

He called yesterday, acting as if nothing was wrong. Brought his GF over to meet us (we have no idea what that was about). And called me today - I didn't answer, no message. I told him I have some crisis number available for him next time he "gets like he was".

We keep reminding ourselves that we didn't cause this, we can't do anything to "help" him & he's not going to swoop in like a tornado & uproot everything & disappear again.
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Posted: January 4, 2019, 10:13 AM


Posts: 123
Joined: November 9, 2018



Yellowbirds I'm sorry you are going through all this with your son. I think your situation is very difficult because he is so young at 16. Has he ever been to treatment for any length of time? Thinking of you, Sallyanna
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Posted: January 4, 2019, 6:58 PM


Posts: 30
Joined: December 26, 2018



Sallyanna - Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, my son has NEVER been to treatment. He agreed once but by the time the bed was available he refused. The waiting period for a funded bed was 1.5 years so we sold our house to get in sooner (3 months), but even that was too long - his behaviours only escalated as the date approached.

We’re considering hiring an interventionist to help us get him into treatment. She will facilitate the intervention and provide support to us by phone daily for up to 3 months (I.e: help us stick to our “bottom line”). Has anyone ever tried this route?
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Posted: January 5, 2019, 10:22 AM


Posts: 200
Joined: November 16, 2017



I really, really empathize with you. I joined this board after a year of total chaos with my teen son. I went on the warpath trying to get him help. He is 19 now.

I can't give advice on what to do and what not to do with treatment/rehab. I would say NEVER do anything that puts yourself in financial jeopardy. Never. It is not worth it. Because, as you experienced with selling your house, it so rarely works out.

My son was court-persuaded : ) into inpatient treatment. I did pay the deductibles on that. He wanted to go back and I said no. We were in a situation where he cannot get free treatment and I could not afford the deductibles again. Plus, I did not think he was too serious. I explained he could do meetings or IOP, but he was not interested.

Bottom line, if they are not asking for the help, it is a waste of time. I wish it were otherwise, but seems to be so. I used to think that maybe he would hear something or experience something that would reach him (even if he initially did not want it). I do think there is a chance something can reach the using addict, but usually it is up to the Universe to bring something like that. I occasionally will try free things, such as having a friend talk to him or invite him to a support group I attend. But, my claws are retracted and I have let go as much as possible. It is a losing game to stay emotionally invested in that frantic search for help when they don't want it. But, as I said, I totally understand. I have been there.

I am not sure what the right thing to do is, but never put yourself in a bind. Hugs, P2

PS-My son recently was reflecting on those early years. He said, "You know you were completely wasting your time. I did not want to stop and I was never going to."

This post has been edited by Parenting2 on January 5, 2019, 10:25 AM
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