Coping / Detaching
Posted: April 17, 2017, 4:45 PM

Posts: 96
Joined: November 13, 2015

I am so confused with everything I have been reading. I set boundaries & I won't allow my daughter to live at home, but I have been reading that tough love isn't always right. I don't exactly call what i'm doing tough love. I set boundaries & I am sticking to them. I didn't see my AD for Easter & I feel terrible. I just didn't have the strength to drive so far to get her. I told her I would let her stay the weekend if she would go to inpatient on Easter. She told me no. So I didn't pick her up. It is so hard that this is what our close relationship has come to. Am I doing the right thing? I feel like maybe if I see her my love would get through to her. I just don't know anymore.
Posted: April 17, 2017, 5:42 PM

Posts: 454
Joined: August 4, 2015

Refresh my memory, how old is your daughter? I'm assuming she's 18 or older. Feel bad if you need to and then let it go. It's perfectly reasonable to not want to share a holiday with an addict, especially if there have been issues in the past (as with me) where things turn out to be a fiasco because of someone being wasted or violent or nodding off...
I think once they're adults, it's not really tough love. You're right, it's setting boundaries and it's normal. You wouldn't let any other addict share dinner with you, would you? We're conditioned to think differently because they're our kids. It's very easy, as a parent, to forget that you're a person to. I know it hurts, because you probably thought that once you started setting boundaries and following through with what you said, that your daughter would change. When we stop enabling and start setting boundaries, it's for our sanity, not to change our addicts.
Now, here's what I will say too, you can't use her getting sober over her head. "I'll pick you up if you agree to go to inpatient". Ultimatums won't work. You can tell her however, "I can't pick you up and bring you over here as long as you're still using drugs because it makes me feel too bad" or something like that.
You're doing the right thing if you have made the choice that you cannot accept your daughter using drugs and you want sanity in your life.
I hope I didn't come off as harsh. I didn't spend Easter with my son either and I know, it does hurt but for me it hurts less than me having to deal with him being on dope at my house.
Hugs to you!
Posted: April 17, 2017, 9:45 PM

Posts: 29
Joined: October 10, 2016

T, it is so very difficult especially when its your child. For me there was so much tied in to being a "good" mother, that setting boundaries and sticking to them felt so wrong to me. sure is. I continued to enable my son partly because I didnt want to go through the consequences of not having any contact with him at all. It's like negative contact is better than no contact at all. But I had come to the realization that all of my helping, fixing, letting things go, etc. was doing nothing but helping my son to stay crippled. He ended up being dependent on my help and then I felt like I had to continue or else how was he going to survive?? Well Survive he did. I really was very codependent with my son and I had to change my behaviors if there was any chance of happiness for me and any sustainability in our relationship. My son will live his life the way he wants to and that is just how it is. If he decides on a different path, it will be his idea and his desire and abilities to do so. I have immersed myself in Al anon recovery meetings. They have given me a new mindset and a new set of eyeballs in which to look past the fear and anxiety of it all. You can find meetings in every town and they also have Al anon online recovery boards where the focus is on how one can be happy and whole whether the alcoholic/addict is still using. Be well.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 9:24 AM

Posts: 96
Joined: November 13, 2015

Thank you so much for your input. It has helped me. Well, my daughter text me yesterday & took herself to detox. We have been down this road so many times, but I am hoping that this time is it. No expectations though. I know all to well how it feels to have your hopes high & then they relapse. Each time I have had to let go a little more. It isn't easy, but I am learning. I want to be happy & live a good life. I want that for my daughter too, but her happiness is up to her and my happiness is up to me. I am trying & learning. THank you both for your wisdom & kind words.
Posted: April 22, 2017, 12:02 AM

Posts: 1623
Joined: June 27, 2016

T - It sounds like you are doing the right thing. It seems like a grey area or a fine line between enabling and helping them understand the boundaries of acceptable behavior. I think when we are 'helping' them and they are sucking the life out of us and not getting better - that is enabling.
the fine line is how to support them emotionally so they may see that there is a better way to live - while keeping our distance so we don't get sucked in...
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