Advice from fellow members needed.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by mom_in_training, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    I am in need of some input regarding my now 18 year old difficult child. The latest is that she has been living on the streets and is doing Meth and word has it Cocaine and god knows what else. I have had no contact with her since the 6th of March. My thinking was that knowing that she has really never been gifted at getting away with things that her time on the streets would be shortlived either by her simply coming to her senses or by getting picked up by the local police. Well neither has happened so far but I have been pondering calling the police dept and giving them heads up that shes been trolling the community and is doing Meth. You see all of the police officers know her as the decent person she used to be because she was a police explorer. Recently I have learned that she had taken a lightbulb from a friends front porch that is used as an aid to ingest Meth. Just learned last night that a lightbulb is considered to be drug paraphernalia. I also have been told that she has helped herself to ciggarettes that were left on another porch of somebody that we know. Regardless of how minor these two things are I see at as leading to bigger things as far as her breaking the law and wonder if I should try and head it off before it gets worse. She has already been given the opportunity to go through rehab but opted not to. I truly believe in tough love and as a parent know that enabling a troubled difficult child (Like in my case) is not the way to go along with knowing that some will have to hit rock bottom to even have that wake-up call (Although its no guarantee). I say this also knowing that its wise not to always rescue a person in certain situations as well. Although tough I have continued my everyday life anticipating that one call from either her or the police dept hoping that she would get the desperately needed help. Geeze I really did not think that she would be out there for so long. I guess what I am asking is should I speed up that (possible) wake-up call by alerting the local police dept before the worse happens. Or just keep doing what I'm doing?
     
  2. judi

    judi Active Member

    My own personal opinion is to let things go the way they are going. MY son has not contact us since Feb 5th (except for one very brief visit to pick-up his W-2s). He too is (probably) doing drugs, maybe working, etc., but am not sure.

    It is a very personal decision. I figure the police will eventually find out what my son is or isn't doing and then he will be in trouble. However, if you think you can speed her up to her bottom where she will seek help, it might be worth it.
     
  3. TYLERFAN

    TYLERFAN New Member

    She is a girl on the streets. My daugter was on the streets for a long time. You do not want your daughter doing what my daughter was doing!!
    For your personal peace of mind, file a police report and list her as missing. That way she may get lucky and get arrested. Believe me she is safer in jail than being a girl on the street on drugs. It is almost too painful for me to bear as I write these words.
    You do not want your daughter on the street!
    I know you can do nothing for her at this point.She has to be detached from and you have to detach yourselves from her. I felt that a police report would keep my difficult child safe, if she got unlucky. She was arrested many times.
    In extreme cases, you have to work behind the scenes sometimes.
    I don't mean to sound alarming but I am scared for your child.

    God Bless,
    Melissa
     
  4. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Oh believe me Melissa I am scared for her to under the circumstances. I want to pull her back in but not by enabling her and certainly do not want to pull her back in when I know that she has not hit rock bottom, It's a fine line. You are right, We at times do have to work it behind the scenes and I guess that is pretty much what I want to do by consulting with the police dept in the hopes that she will get caught with an illegal substance or breaking the law to give her that wake-up call.
     
  5. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    MIT, I don't have any advice but just want you to know that I'm thinking about you and your daughter.

    I'm VERY lucky (it took the ladies on the forum to make me understand just HOW lucky) that my son was court-ordered into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before he got to the point that your daughter is.

    I've thought many times about how difficult it must be to send your child away, ESPECIALLY a girl, knowing how dangerous it can be out there if they end up on the streets.

    But, if I've learned one thing here, it's that "saving" your child just doesn't work in the long term. That said, I totally agree with Melissa that working in the background to help them reach the point where they want to help themselves is NOT saving them or enabling them.

    I think that's really what tough love is all about...loving them enough to try to help them by NOT helping them, despite the pain it causes us, in the hopes that, by losing everything, they will hit their personal "rock bottom" and MAYBE look in a mirror and not like what they see enough to make that climb back up.

    If your police force is anything like ours, they will be happy to help you by doing whatever they can to get your daughter into a safer place.



     
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    MIT, what you're living is my greatest fear for my difficult child son. We put up with a lot of crud from him to keep him in the house and "safe". So far, while disrespectful and disobedient he hasn't been abusive, thieving, or anything that would FORCE me to put him out (much as I've wanted to) :grrr:

    It's different for everyone, but wife and I have talked about this several times. While our difficult child is under 18, if he disappears for too long we're going to call the police and get juvie cops involved.

    Once he's 18, though, if we ever try the tough-love approach, it would be for the same reason as you: expecting that he'd hit bottom and eventually either end up at home asking for help, or in jail getting help. But, if that didn't happen, and he was truly out of his mind wonky on drugs, we would try to have him committed against his will.

    Don't know if that would work, but it's the only plan we have. Seems like I'm surrounded by former difficult children at work who came out of the shadows to talk when we started having problems. Lots of them went to rehab; some voluntarily, some against their will. Some "woke up" and saw how bad things could really be, and some simply found out better ways to acquire and ingest drugs.

    Our decision, if it ever came to that (fingers crossed that it doesnt), is if difficult child is out on his own and doesn't hit bottom bad enough to get help, then we're going to "help" him a bit. I've said several times that having him love and care about me is third on the list of things I want him to do. If he finally gets help, but hates me, then at least he got the help he needs. As a parent, my concern for his well-being is stronger than my need for his love and acceptance.

    So, I would have to agree that if the tough-love approach didn't cause her to bounce off the bottom, then it's time to rope her back in and try a different approach. But, that's only what I would do, and I'm just a newbie here so YMMV.

    Prayers for grace for you and yours.

    Mikey
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Each of us has to have a plan and figure out what makes sense for
    our own family. If I lived in a different community perhaps I
    would be able to trust the policemen, the sytem and the Judges
    to help my child. I don't. I regret ever trying to use tough
    love in conjuntion with their help.

    on the other hand..some people have been able to work in tandem and found
    help.

    Whatever your choice is, you will be supported and prayers will
    be offered for safety and success. Hugs. DDD
     
  8. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Before I filed a "missing persons" report I would first ask some questions of local community rehabs and your police dept.

    What exactly happens when you file this? Get both viewpoints.

    If filing a missing persons report means they will bring her back to you...is that what you want?

    Otherwise, as hard as it is....and I am in no position as we've not experienced this yet, but I would just let things be and let whatever happens...happen.

    The only thing I do know for sure is that posting helps and that I absolutely despise drugs.
     
  9. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Thank you all for your replys. I am awaiting a call back from an officer that basically trained my difficult child through the Explorer Program, I am sure he along with the others will be quite shocked to hear about the path that my difficult child has chosen but I feel that if anybody will assist at pulling her back in it will be them considering that they know my difficult child as the person she used to be. As far as now though I will remain behind the scenes and appear when needed. I suppose the biggest thing that I need to remind my self of is the fact that I am not dealing with my daughter, I am dealing with a person that looks like my difficult child without the mind that my daughter once had due to the drugs taking her over. I will keep you all posted.

    And Mikey, I so know where your coming from, Its amazing how much we learn about others that are among us everyday that have been there done that. These would be people that you would have never thought had been down that road. I am learning about things and people in my area that I don't even want to know. Its been an eye opener for me. It does not matter where you live middle class, upper class are in no way unscaved by drugs, Drugs are everywhere and unfortunately their just waiting to get ahold of its next victim. I have done everything that you are doing with your difficult child with preserverence and consistancy (Save Mode!), Some worked and some did not. I will say that in my case it did pull her back and did keep her drug free(From Marijuana<< That is what she started with!) for almost two years and she was doing well. Although here and there she would come home drunk. What started this ordeal with my difficult child was a friend that is fairly new to our area that evidently introduced her to a group of friends that are heavy drug users and unfortunately my difficult child joined the group. She also decided that she did not want to finsh her education. She does not want to be at home because she does not want to comply with any rules at all, School, Mutual respect, Being home at a certain time. Your fears are completely understood and I am praying that you will never have to face what I am having to face today along with other fellow members that have had to face the difficulty of drugs taking over their young teen or young adult difficult child. Just stay tough and keep doing what you are doing.
     
  10. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    "I think that's really what tough love is all about...loving them enough to try to help them by NOT helping them, despite the pain it causes us, in the hopes that, by losing everything, they will hit their personal "rock bottom" and MAYBE look in a mirror and not like what they see enough to make that climb back up."

    Camom, I totally agree with what you said, I guess thats the fine line that I speak of. You want to help them but not to enable them in the hopes that they will decide to do something different. We all know that we as individuals or the parents do not have the power to change another person to include our difficult children. All we can do as parents is provide the proper tools in the hopes that they grasp them in a positive way to make a difference for themselves. Geeze what a battle....

    SunnyFlorida, I am awaiting the call from an officer to discuss the very options that you mention. I have not filed a missing report on her at this point because I am aware that she is in the community although I could not say exactly where. (False report?) And I most certainly do not want them to bring her home under the circumstances. I am in no way willing to compromise my well being and safety or her brothers. My guess is that she may be picked up by the police and if found with drugs will be taken to jail followed by rehab.
     
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    MIT, re: "I am awaiting a call back from an officer that basically trained my difficult child through the Explorer Program, I am sure he along with the others will be quite shocked to hear about the path that my difficult child has chosen but I feel that if anybody will assist at pulling her back in it will be them considering that they know my difficult child as the person she used to be."

    That's one of the things we're trying to do right now, "just in case". We're building up a support network of people who know him, care about him, and are aware of what's going on. If he ends up "in the system", my hope is there will be plenty of people there to help (besides us) that know him as the person he used to be, instead of just another stoner loser who got caught in the meat grinder of justice. Teachers, parents of friends he hangs out with, the youth leader of the only group he'll get within a mile of, his therapist, etc...

    The only people I haven't involved yet are the local juvie authorities, because I don't want him on their radar unless it's absolutely necessary. Others here talk about how bad of a decision that ended up being for them and their difficult child's, so it's last on my list (but it's also still there).

    If he ever strikes out on his own, I also think he's likely to eventually call one of these people for help. Maybe I'm doing too much, but in the military we always learned to overplan - "better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it". Of course, there's the other old saw about "the best laid plans of mice and men"....

    Mikey

    PS: In Stephen King's book "The Dark Half", the main character describes the criminal justice system as a "meat processing plant that takes humans in on one end, turns out ground meat on the other, and once you're on the conveyer belt all you can do is sit and watch it coming at you". It's a system, and one that is the last resort for my son.
     
  12. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    I hear you on the system. It could in some cases make things worse. I had thought of going to the juvenile system in my efforts prior to my difficult child becoming 18. It can be a long drawn out process to even get what help that is offered up (Deeming her unruley). In my case she would have been almost 18 by the time things were said and done so I opted not to go there and figured at the time that if juvenile hall was going to become involved I guess it would be due to her getting caught doing something stupid enough to put her there. Some here have had very bad experiences going that route with their difficult children and wish that they had never gone there. The closest my difficult child has been to juvenile hall was when I put her in a program called Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge offers the scared straight tactic if that is what you want to call it. They have a three hour tour of the facility and are not treated much different then the prisoners minus the cuffs. The tour included two follow-up meetings of drug and sex education along with the offering of counceling if desired. My difficult child did do the counceling for a short time and I can say that it did delay the worst from happening for quite a while. Although I know my difficult child is responsible for her own choices I am still very angry that the new girl in the neighborhood introduced my difficult child to her heavy drug using friends, It certainly did not help matters. You are definitely on the right track as far as having all of the support lined up. And you are right, Your difficult child just may call one of them for help when he has a crises. I know my difficult child has in the past and yes they were there for her in a heartbeat. You know, I somehow think she just might find it a relief (Maybe not at that moment) if one of the officers showed up because she knows that they will get her the help she needs. There is nothing better then having a run in with somebody that you know that is genuinely concerned when your in a crises and knowing that they will be there for you.

    As far as you doing to much.... Not!!!! When it comes to doing what we have to do as a parent to save our children from ruin there is no such thing as going overboard. I have said it before but I call it save mode. I have been there just like many here on the board and its not a fun ride to say the least. I was grasping for anything that I could find (Tools) in my efforts to save my difficult child.
     
  13. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mom_in_training</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As far as you doing to much.... Not!!!! When it comes to doing what we have to do as a parent to save our children from ruin there is no such thing as going overboard. </div></div>


    this is my current struggle. I don't know where "helping stops and enabling begins". I don't know where "inability starts and laziness/foolishness ends." I don't know where mental illness begins and choices end.

    I do believe we can help too much. It just angers me so much that my difficult child cannot do more for himself.
     
  14. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Geeze SunnyFlorida I guess its a tough call depending on the person requiring the help. And you are right we can help too much to the point of enabling. Its a gamble, You provide all of the tools to aid in helping another but at times do not see much effort on their part and want to just throw your hands up. I know there will be a time when I will have to let go when I feel that I have done all that I can, I suppose that will happen when I see no effort on my difficult children part along with her having no desire to be a decent human being and a productive citizen. I do not underestimate the fact that my difficult child has the ability to make better choices considering that she has been and will again be given the tools needed to use to her advantage. If she chooses not to then that unfortunately will be her choice and it will be devastating.
     
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SunnyFlorida</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mom_in_training</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As far as you doing to much.... Not!!!! When it comes to doing what we have to do as a parent to save our children from ruin there is no such thing as going overboard. </div></div>


    this is my current struggle. I don't know where "helping stops and enabling begins". I don't know where "inability starts and laziness/foolishness ends." I don't know where mental illness begins and choices end.

    I do believe we can help too much. It just angers me so much that my difficult child cannot do more for himself. </div></div>

    It just so happens that my son's therapist has something of an answer for the first one: "Help" occurs when your actions result in positive changes or outcomes; not necessarily what you want, but postive.

    Enabling, on the other hand, occurs when your actions allow your difficult child to perpetuate his/her destructive behaviour, with no positive progress.

    Sometimes, it's hard to tell the difference. And, as I've found out the hard way, what starts off as "help" and causes positive changes somehow morphs into enabling, where my beloved difficult child reverts back to his nasty, manipulative alter ego, but still wants all the "help" he got in the past.

    It's a process, one destined to try the very depths of our patience and souls.

    About the other stuff, I don't know how you tell the difference between true inability (or disability) and laziness. Nor do I know how to tell the difference between mental illness and poor choices, although with the second of those two I believe seeking good medical and professional guidance is your best bet.

    Mikey
     
  16. KFld

    KFld New Member

    It's a really tough choice, because sometimes stepping in can make things so much worse then you regret it, but then if something happens and you didn't, then you are going to feel you didn't do enough.

    This brings me back to the alanon slogan, let go and let god. I repeated this many times to myself when I wasn't sure what to do with information I knew about my difficult child. There were times I tried to fix a situation that I later knew I should have stayed out of. I did learn after a long time to let go and let god. I placed my difficult child in gods hands and stopped trying to fix any situations for him, and so far so good!!

    I really wish more people would get to alanon because it does help. It places so many things in your head to refer back to when you are questioning your choices. Just the slogans alone help me so much with many different situations.
     
  17. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    It is a tough choice and a fine line at the same time. But either way I will stay in the background and only appear when needed. Although very hard I have tried to not allow this all to mentally consume my thoughts every minute of the day and have been doing my usual everyday stuff and staying tough so that I can care for her brother. As far as I know she still has her cell phone and I have not one time tried to call her and have seen her at a distance in the neighborhood on one occasion but kept going and she did the same, It was hard not to just go up to her and grab her up for the save but I know that the chances are slim that it would have made a difference. With all of the advice and thoughts given here at CD to include friends I have come to the realization that you cannot fix somebody elses problem including a difficult child. From what I have read sometimes its just not the answer so with that said I don't see myself trying to fix anything that she creates. I will leave that up to her knowing that she will ultimately be the one to have to deal with the natural consequences for her bad choices and hopefully she will learn from it and choose a good path. Calling the local police and alerting them to my difficult children bad choices considering that they all know her is my way of grasping for that one last chance at saving her. I have no clue as to what the outcome will be but am hoping that it will be the wake-up call that she needs and if it is I suppose I'll collapse at that point with relief that there is hope for her to become drug free.
     
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    My heart goes out to you because I remember what it was like for me when my son was activeley using and I didn't know where it was going to end. I pray I never have to feel that feeling again as I know how awful it is. Hopefully something will happen soon where she will hit bottom and seek out the help she needs. You are in my prayers.

    Have you gone to alananon at all. I don't mean to preach, but it helped me so much and I wish everyone who is going through this awful experience with their child would walk through those doors and just give it a try. I know it's not for everyone, but you'll never know unless you give it a try. I went to the parent alanon group for a year straight and everyone in the room knew exactly how I was feeling.
     
  19. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Thank you Karen for your kind words and prayers. I'll tell ya I am praying right along with ya. This is a road that I wish on nobody. As far as alananon, No worries about preaching and I don't even take it that way. :) I have thought about it and would consider going to meetings. There is nothing better then being around others that have been there done that for their support. And for rock bottom? My goal is to speed it up a little with her fellow officers help. I am getting impatient and although trying my best not to let all of this get to me its the unknown of her safety and well being that is very trying. I honestly did not think that she would be out there for so long but then again she had never chosen the path of heavy drug useage before this either.
     
  20. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    MIT...one of the "slogans" that I remember well in previous years came from the Teens/SA group. It was "crisis creates change". If you can create a crisis (ie utilizing your resources with the Explorer program leaders) then you might see some change. Not sure what that change will be.....but it will be a change.

    Addiction is such a stranglehold. It reminds me of a big 'ole man-o-war fish. It has such long tentacles that extend forever that catch you from afar.

    Thinking of you.
     
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