nervous! speaker phone call Wed @9am...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by rebelson, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Son has been 2wks in residential treatment as of last Friday.
    Support system there is VERY thorough: between psychiatrist, psychologist (his therapist), ARNP's, etc.
    They are also very concerned about the addict's parents, too. I have basically been told by ALL of them, that I need to attend Al-Anon and/or NA. And continue to use/practice detachment.

    Psychologist called me this morning and asked me if I was available tomorrow morning (Wed.) at 9am for a 20-30 minute 'speakerphone family (son and I) therapy session'. Of course I am.

    Now, I am scared to death of saying something wrong and ticking son off. Because I excel at that, lol!

    Can my friends here help me?

    What type things should I 'not' say and what are some 'good' things to say?

    Do I bring up things that son has not expressed, admitted to them..which are important (like how he goes on wks long binges...etc.)? Or, would that be like 'tattling' and tend to tick him off? He is not forthcoming with the staff there, when they call me, I tell them things and then ask them if son has told that and they always so NO:cautious:. They all say he's been fairly 'guarded' and private.

    Well...he is not going to get better unless he unloads some heavy stuff, which he's keeping inside. This frustrates me, but then again, he in the past, has gotten ticked off at me if I open my mouth and spill stuff he doesn't 'feel like' talking about. So, zip it?

    Should I do less 'talking' and more 'listening'? And I want the call to be successful. I have never done this before....thanks! :nervoussmiley:
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes, zip it. Unless he opens the door a crack, you will do no good trying to crack it open with a crow-bar.

    This isn't about HIM. It's more likely about how the two of you relate to each other - "family" stuff. So, you are welcome to talk about how certain key behaviors impact YOU. But you walk a fine line.

    (I hate family therapy - but I understand that sometimes it works)
     
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Take your cues from the therapist. Don't bring up things you aren't asked about. Answer truthfully. I would tend to talk about how I felt, instead of the facts...Difficult Child might just argue about facts, but he can't argue about your feelings. Those are your truths.

    Good luck. KSM
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Like Like x 2
    • List
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yes - I think this session is more about your relationship with your son. So answer questions truthfully and openly. It might help you to think about the positive things about your son before the call.

    As far as information you think the staff there should know.... I would try to have a call with them to fill them in but I would not do that on the speaker phone call.

    So follow the lead of the therapist. Good luck.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Praecepta

    Praecepta Member

    Be truthful if asked any questions. And listen/answer as things move along...

    But if they ask if you have anything to say - hand you the microphone so to speak, I would discuss your question above. That is say you do not feel you can openly discuss things as you are afraid your son will get upset.

    Therapy is not to have a pleasant time, rather it is to work on difficult things. If you are uncomfortable talking about certain things, talk about how you are uncomfortable talking about those things!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  6. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    IC,
    That comment made me laugh out loud. That would be me. Trying to crack it open with a crowbar. :slap:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lets just call it the voice of experience ...
    :rofl:
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  8. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    So strange that you ask this today, I'm in the exact same boat. My son is in rehab and he has written me a letter. The counselor wants to have a family session on speaker phone with me this week and he is suppose to read me his letter. She told me that the letter addresses all the things my son is upset with me about, she said that I need to have an open mind that probably most of these things are not true but that it's his perception. She said I shouldn't argue or correct him but just say that I understand and I'm sorry for things that hurt him and that he felt that way. She did tell me one thing that hurt him was that I got married and had other children when it was just the two of us until he was 9 yrs old. Guess he wanted me to be alone forever. I'm nervous about it too. My son has totally not been honest with the rehab, he acts like he had a horrible childhood and that's the farthest thing from the truth. It will be very difficult not to defend some of the untrue accusations I'm sure I will hear. It's my understanding that addicts have to justify their addiction.
    I hope you will keep us posted so I will know how your session goes if it happens before mine. I don't know when it's happening yet. I'll keep u posted too. I definitely needed to hear to Zip It!!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree, take the cue from the therapist. I'm anxious to hear how it goes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Alanon is a great program. Addiction is an unhealthy way of life for all parties involved, not just the addict. It affects the entire family. In these meetings, you can be completely honest, and open. Many of them are kind of like normal AA/NA meetings, so confidentiality is a big thing. Not that it should matter what your son might think about what you decide to talk about, but the only way he will know is if you tell him. They will teach you new ways of helping your son. And a big part of it is stopping codependency. Where his actions will have less impact on YOU. It is a great support system, and the better educated you are about all of this, the more helpful the help you give your son will actually be.
     
  11. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Oh, wow! Very similar story. My son is also very upset with me about a lot of things. A few are 'legit', but most are not. He loves to throw these zingers, legit or not, in my face every time he's 'in the mood' or wants something from me and uses this as guilt, leverage, manipulation. I also have had an immensely patient and open mind when he spews this stuff. I 'zip it' & let him verbally have at it. Let him get it out. Only once in a blue moon, will I dispute anything. Because sometimes, the things he brings up, are just soooo not true or are just ridiculous. Usually, I just listen and typically when he's in this 'special' mood, he will spew the venom at me and then will hang up. So, no response needed from me. This has been ongoing since he was 15, so I am used to it. Often, I will tell him to 'put the bowling ball down' and that holding all that weight, is not healthy for him. Of course he doesn't want to put the bowling ball down, because it's one of his 'tools' he keeps in his back pocket. I'm sure Darkwing knows what I mean. :eek:

    This is crazy, the similarities with your and my son. One of his therapists, last week, also told me that son has resentment and jealousy from me getting married when he was 8, and having 2 more children. I guess he also wanted me to be alone forever. I was only 22 when I had him. With time, I ended up meeting my now husband at the gym. He was super good & loving with son (my REQUIREMENT) and a great role model for a boy with an irresponsible, partying and out of picture bio father. Never had an iota of a thought that my then 4yo sweet son (4yo when we met) would end up to be so resentful due to me marrying! Who knew? :frown: I thought it would be best for my little boy to be a part of a loving family, father and mother...even though it couldn't be his bio father. To this day, when he asks how his siblings are, he phrases it: 'so how are your kids doing?' :cry:

    My son thus far, from what I can surmise from talking to various staff there, has not been forthcoming with the therapists, MD's either. Grrrr. He also acts like he had a horrible childhood and again, it's the farthest thing from the truth. Perfect? Nope, but horrible? No way. I slathered him with extra love because I am super empathic and did not want my little boy to feel left out or jealous. It had been just he and I until he was 4ish when I met hub. Yep, I slathered him with love, maybe too much. Hence the entitlement and grandiose attitude that he now exhibits?

    He's been repeating the same type of complaints about his childhood for so long. I tried multiple therapists, he would go and either 1. be rude to them, or 2. refuse to go to appts. Way back when he was an older teen, & it was becoming quite apparent that he was 'using mj', I sat down with him and apologized for anything parenting-wise, that I might've done to hurt him. I sort of begged him for forgiveness. Not sure, but maybe that admission from me, gave him a feeling of power & a reason to grip on to those complaints as he then realized that he could use as leverage-since I (by apologizing) admitted to them?

    I once read, when googling, that when a grown son (or dtr) has anger from these perceptions of exaggerations or actual occurrences from his childhood, to let him express them. Uninterrupted. No matter how painful to hear. That it is the only way for him to heal. To get it out. And for him to know that you HEARD IT. This is what I've tried to do and, I guess what I need to do tomorrow morning.

    The advice that you were given and shared above, is invaluable to me right now. For tomorrow's call. I will 'zip it' for the most part, and mostly listen, unless prompted.

    "she said that I need to have an open mind that probably most of these things are not true but that it's his perception. She said I shouldn't argue or correct him but just say that I understand and I'm sorry for things that hurt him and that he felt that way."

    Praying for both of us on our calls. :praying:
     
  12. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    It is called disengaging. To stop the pity parties and useless excuses before they even start. Engaging him when he does that only reinforces the idea that those things are acceptable, and that it isn't TRULY his fault. When it so clearly is. To argue when he chooses to blame you for :censored2: serves only to further convince him that he is right. Or why else argue? If that makes any sense. Those are the typical healthy answers to give him when he does it. It expresses the fact that you do care about him, without giving weight to those ridiculous claims.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  13. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Darkwing, we posted almost at the same time. Read my post above yours:).
     
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My son sounds similar as well although may be farther along in the journey..he is 24 and been in many programs. He was angry at us for years for various things...some of which were silly and some which were understandable (although also things we had to do). He has bee in lots of rehabs, spent time on the streets, been in jail. In his travels he has met many folks and we have stuck by him so I think he has come to realize that we love him and are good parents. I don't think he is angry with us in general although certainly he gets mad over things.

    I think it's important tor us to look at the past, accept our mistakes (all parents make them), realize we have done the best we can....and then let them have their feelings, process it with their therapist and not take their anger personally. It is part of what they have to work through in the process of recovery.
     
  15. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    I thought this was worth repeating. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. All parents make mistakes. The sooner we acknowledge our mistakes to our children, the sooner we can move forward with a different and more mature relationship. For those of you who have children complaining about second marriages and half-siblings, if you had chosen to stay single, the adult kids would be complaining that they always wanted a father figure and more siblings. This is less about the actual choices you made and more about acknowledging that you are not perfect.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  16. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    pigless, you are so right. I told someone this morning that since he's been inpatient the past 4wks, it's come out that he was resentful and jealous that I married my husband when son was 8 (I think he's also resentful that I had 2 more kids?). To me, this is a huge revelation and one that my son has been unable to verbalize to me all these years. I always wondered if this were the case...jealousy, resentment. But, now I pretty much have my answer. I feel sad about it but if I had done the opposite and stayed single (I was young when I had son.), I could very well still be sitting here writing on this forum. As he still very well could've gone down the wrong path, right? And yes, what if then he was resentful that I did NOT remarry and provide him with a traditional family environment?

    I am way beyond being 'hurt' by son's sometimes stinging words. Angry at times with things he says? Yes. Tired of hearing the mantra? Yes. And arguing or trying to disprove him does no good, I stopped that years ago. His perception is his, no matter if true/accurate or not.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  17. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    So, I had the phone session, it lasted 25 minutes. The psychologist did take the reins, thank goodness. Son started by updating me on 'him'. Said he is clean 30 days today..and that the other day, he was voted 'leader' or some such in one of the group sessions.

    It went well, I guess. I was asked to kindly & honestly elaborate on how "I" perceived our relationship, past and/or present. So, I did. When he was given his turn to talk in response, you could definitely tell what I said agitated him. And he proceeded to 'correct' the record of what I had just said. Of course his version, made me sound that much worse than my version.

    We got off on a fairly good note. Pfewf! :)
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad that it went well.

    ~Kathy
     
  19. Praecepta

    Praecepta Member

    Don't worry about what he says in these sessions. The psychologist can see right through him! So just be yourself and answer truthfully. Don't hold anything back. Sounds like you did just fine! (Pat yourself on the back.)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  20. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    I believe there is something positive to take from the times your kids exaggerate and/or flat out lie about their childhoods. The fact that they are doing it shows that they do know that their actions are wrong, or else they wouldn't feel the need to justify it in such ways. And KNOWING that what they do is wrong must occur before they desire to change it. I have personally seen a lot of people do this. People who's childhood's may as well be Leave It To Beaver when compared to my own. Always making excuses. And, when there are none to be made, make some up. The longer they repeat these... delusions, the more they delude themselves. Until they almost believe that the :censored2: they know they made up are true, or fair.

    I am glad that you don't let it hurt you as much. It is just another kind of mental gymnastics designed to escape responsibility, and therefor facilitate repeating the behaviors. Addiction is a hell of a thing. Just about EVERY conscious and subconscious action or remark serves to protect their ability to use. The mind is addicted, and it will do some incredible stuff in order to get more. Convinces you of things you know to be false, and develop ways in which to skirt responsibility. Addiction is a mental issue. Withdrawal is NOTHING compared to the mental aspect of it. It is very unreasonable, and the person who is addicted becomes unreasonable. In a viscous, insane circle. Drugs make you do and say bad things, doing and saying bad things make you feel like :censored2:. To avoid feeling like :censored2:, you take your drugs. Which makes you do and say bad things. Etc. etc. Really messed up part is that, at least in that moment, it is normal. After a while, it stops being senseless and becomes the ONLY sense.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
Loading...