New Here...Advice Please...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Cindijh, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    On the general forum they suggested I post this here since you guys have been there done that. Any help will be appreciated!!!

    I am new a bit on the forums yesterday. I have to say that seeing what everyone else is dealing with made me feel a little better. You guys seem like you know a perhaps you can give me some guidance, advice, empathy?

      • I am a 52 year old mom of 3, remarried for the past 6 years. husband and I met on a Christian message board. He had to actually immigrate from Canada to get great expense and effort. We thought we were perfect for each other...reality has set in. I am the liberal, he is the total conservative. We see spiritual issues differently. I think I evolved, while he stayed stuck in a fundie rut. I have overcome mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (needed a totally neat house) and was diagnosed finally with disthymia (sp) about 10 years ago...while on the edge of a major clinical depression. Take 300 mg of Welbutrin daily. Life is still hard, but it is in color now rather than varying shades of sad gray.
      • Ex husband (saw an acronym for that somewhere) married to him for 22 years...divorced for about 7. Definite..DEFINITE ADHD although undiagnosed. He has learned to control it somewhat but still was described by an ex girlfriend as "the most disheveled person I've ever met". Not a great match for my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He drove me nuts for years. However he is kind hearted and generous and I still have great affection (as in brotherly) for him and we get along quite well.
      • Wife-in-law- Physical Therapist for young, special needs kids. Married to ex for about a year. Still lives in her house in a town about a half hour from here. Ex goes there when I have the kids (kids go back and forth several times a week...joint physical and legal custody) She comes to his house about 4 or 5 days a month. Still very opinionated about how things should be done. "I have all this knowledge but no one will use it". I should add she is on her 4'th marriage and her son has numerous problems with addiction and has flunked out/quit college 3 times. He is 22 or 23.
      • Kids: Matthew-18. What seems to be referred to here as the easy child. Truly, the kid has given me next to no trouble. He is leaving for college next Saturday. I will miss him desperately although he has stayed mainly at his dad's over the summer and on weekends...and even with-o supervision at his dad's police were never wild parties that got out of hand, no speeding tickets, DUI's. We had a bout with bad grades over his junior year....which he learned a big time lesson from.

    Emily...another easy child...pretty much. 14, very involved in the church, pretty straight edge. Very outgoing, friendly, happy although sometimes obstinate and argumentative. Has been put in the middle knowing what my difficult child has done since she was Beth's confidante. She is sick of the turmoil in our homes.

    Beth...16....I am just going to list the sequence of events of her life and behavior lately....

      • Very bright, talked early. Did well in school until about 5th grade when she was assigned to a teacher with very high expectations who she has later told us made her almost cry every day. It has gotten progressively worse since then. Homework and schoolwork a source of constant frustration. Teachers always saying "not working up to potential" Failed two classes in her freshman year. Started to skip school big time the end of last year with her loser boyfriend.
      • Problem with stealing throughout her growing up. In kindergarten stole from a back pack several times, stole lipstick from the drug store. In third grade stole money from her brother (several times). In 4th grade, stole money from our new neighbors kids. Lately, I've found out she has been shoplifting cough syrup for the DXM (more on the drug issues to follow) She could have stolen from me...not real careful about my money and kind of jam it in my purse. Not from husband who is meticulous about his wallet and money.
      • Has leaned toward the dark side....hard rock, Kurt Cobain, bad language, questionable downright drug dealer friends. Smoked cigs. Drank at sleepovers which evolved to downright parties in the attic of one girl in particular whose guardians were old and unaware. This turned into sneaking out while staying with another friend, drinking at the riverlot parties, dating guys older than her and ended up getting date raped.
      • We had her in counseling after this was revealed (to me first and when her dad and my wife in law found out I knew and didn't tell them there was quite the to-do...which we worked through) and she started to do better. Her now loser boyfriend had just been released from boot camp (drugs/theft) she started to see him and seemed to have turned his life around. She hung out a lot with him and his dad. While he was on probation all was well...then he was off probation, got a car and they started to smoke pot etc. I didn't know it. She lied about it and she never looked stoned. Came in on time etc. It got progressively worse.
      • Sometime during the decline she was diagnosed by her counselor and a psychiatrist as depressed. She started Welbutrin. She started the pill at the same time because we found out she was having sex with her boyfriend. Unbeknownst to me she stopped the welbutrin...choosing pot instead. I found out when her sister ratted her out a few months later.
      • She forged a teacher's signature so she could go on a band trip (she was failing the class) She started to smart off to some of the teachers. She was, of course, lying to us right and left.
        [*]She got caught skipping school/smoking in the rr. Was suspended for 2 days, did not tell us and spent the days in C Parking lot smoking dope.
      • Her boyfriend broke up with her about ten days before school was out. That was the straw that broke the camels back. She refused to stay in class, lied to us, spent the periods she cut in the parking lot smoking dope with her loser friends. When we came down on her she ran away. Five times in about a month. Once she stayed away almost 5 days. We got CPS involved. Three times she came home on her own...twice we found her. They put her in shelter care for two two week stints. She stole her step mom's lap top with the intention of selling it. She did not and came home 12 hours later, with the lap top.
      • Since this last time out of shelter care she has gone before a judge who ordered her to be drug tested weekly, go to the shelter care school for at least the first 9 weeks and obey the rules of the household. She will get drug counseling with shelter care and possible court ordered "real" rehab if she tests positive on her drug tests. She did test positive for cocaine when we drug her to the ER for a drug test during the running away phase. Her caseworkers have been very helpful. During this two weeks she has sniffed paint thinner, is using DXM at least occasionally to get high, snuck out once in the night, snuck away a day we thought she was supposed to be at day treatment (a summer program she was forced to attend by CPS) but she had been told she did not. We caught her both of those times. She was trying to see her ex boyfriend who she loves and who now loves her. ("you're trying to keep me from the only person I want to see") He is a loser...thief...was recently caught trying to steal money from someone's bank account with his sister. They had the birthdate wrong so they were caught but so far no charges have been filed. Was caught taking "his" stuff out of someone's car. Stole $500 from his dad. Lost his license for several speeding violations.
      • She expresses no concern about this stuff and almost condones it. (Although she assured us she told him to never steal from us, I am thinking omg identity theft!!!) She says she only cares about herself. She is just doing time with us until she turns 18 and can get out on her own and get an apartment and do what she wants to do (which is to "pry open her 3rd eye with pot" and come and go as she pleases)
      • Her moods are erratic although they tend to be mainly sour because she is on lockdown almost. We keep starting anew with strict rules etc but let her know that if she complies we will increase what she is allowed to do. She keeps getting caught doing bad stuff. Back to square one. We have flat out banned contact with the boyfriend (loser, loser, loser) but I cannot continue to be her jailer. She has not tried to run away for about a month and prior to the five time spree she never ran away before.
      • She kind of lost it the other day when she was caught skipping out when she was supposed to be at day treatment. I locked down all the computers, hid the phones etc. and she flipped. Throwing stuff around her room, broke the mirror etc. I called the police...who did nothing but lecture her, although I think it scared her somewhat. That day was a bad day. She said some pretty nasty things to me...hate you...wish you would die etc. I went downstairs to her bedroom and she had pierced her lip three more times....big old needle through her lip. I tried to talk to her...not really flipping out about the needle or the other piercings which she had put earrings in. The next day her lip was swollen and she agreed if I let her keep the one she has been "sneaking" for a few weeks she would agree to skip the other three for now. It is her dad who is dead set against the lip ring. I don't care....although the four holes did kind of freak me out.
      • We made arrangements to have her tested for IQ, ADD and personality disorders. The testing began today. She did well and was very cooperative. She is somewhat up today.
    So to anyone who has stuck it out till now...I am thankful. Can anyone give me some advice, direction, empathy, words of wisdom about what is wrong with this child? Is it undiagnosed ADD run amuck with the need to self medicate from years of knowing she is very smart but cannot actually translate that to schoolwork (but only in some subjects), thus the drug use. She has spiraled downward exponentially in the past few months. Is it PSD from the rape? She was a virgin and although it was not a violent thing...she was too drunk to was a violation. Is it depression? Is it simply addiction and all these other things are a result of that. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Any...ANY words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, Cindy! I posted to you on General! I have a daughter who was a drug addict and also was raped. To see my response (which is sooooooooo please go to General. I'm glad you posted here.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Welcome Cindi, and {{{HUGS}}}
    Other, wiser heads will be along with advice and direction.
    I don't really have any advice for you, but just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. You've found a great forum here, full of support, advice and understanding.

    Sorry that your life situation caused you to seek us out, but so very glad you found us.

  4. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    MidwestMom said:

    I read through it last night quickly...but when I went to it this morning to read it again, I don't see it there anymore. This board is a bit "quirky" as far as navigation etc. Do you know where the message went? Am I just not seeing it?

  5. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    My husband moved her to PA from Ontario. He lived in Burlington, across from the Maple Street (?) Hill (?) Mall. He drove for Harmac (gas deliverers). His family still lives in that area...Hamilton, Oakville....

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Since you posted it here too they probably deleted it on the other page (or it could be on Page 2). Let me know.
    Also, you may want to post a quick synopsis on Parent Emeritus. Those parents have been through what you have too, and they tend to answer posts really fast!
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Your daughter is probably dealing with all of the issues she is facing. We are not here to diagnosis. only to commiserate. I have been there done that with my difficult child who is now 20 and is doing much better. 16 is tough. It's even tougher if you don't fit in, have dealt with the violence of a raper, are actively using mind altering substances, and are proabably depressed. It's a tough load to carry as a young teen---and as the mother of a young teen. My guess would be that inpatient may be your only choice if she continues to go against court orders. Hugs---I know it hurts.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has she had any specific sexual assault therapy?
    My other post said pretty much that no matter what is wrong with her, until she stops using drugs nothing will really help. medications mixed with illegal drugs and drinking can be very bad.
    An Residential Treatment Center (RTC) right now may be your only option, even though she has been in one before...
    My daughter also used drugs and was assaulted once. It makes things harder--I think the assault had something to do with her drug use. She didn't tell us about it for several years and after that would not go for therapy...she is doing great now at 24 :)
  9. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member


    CPS has been very helpful...with the shelter care thing for the few weeks. At least it gave us a break and we knew she was not running away...and away...and away...and away. It is not really theraputic, however. We were hoping it would jar her back to reality. Not. Part of her acting out the beginning of summer was because her loser boyfriend dumped her. Now, her acting out is in part because he wants her back and we are forbidding it and doing what we can to keep them apart. His activity is actually criminal and I am very concerned about identity theft etc. I am also worried about theft in general. He is a spoiled rotten, will not be denied jerk.

    When you say you mean a rehab facility? A mental health facility? It is my understanding that you cannot put someone into a rehab here in Pennsylvania unless they agree to it and sign themselves in. And a strictly mental health facility...wouldn't that require a doctor to admit her? And where does insurance factor in to all of this?

  10. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    Not specifically sexual assault although when we found out it was the reason we got her right into counseling. The rape was not violent at all...and she later came across him in one of those teen hard rock places and reamed him out. I thought that brought about some closure. Also, the rape was a result of her lifestyle. I don't blame her for the rape...we have all told her the rape was not her fault, however, the issues with wanting to drink etc. were there before the rape and her choices put her in the risky position to be raped.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cindy, I worked for a Domestic Abuse Center that had some Psychologists who worked with assault victims. Whether or not she put herself in the position of being raped, she WAS raped and in my opinion it would be smart to get her therapy specific to that. It has probably traumatized her more than you think. It is rare for the incident to come to a quick closure, especially if he wasn't arrested and is still walking around, able to do it again. I was told point-blank that kids who are raped have a much higher incidence of substance abuse (and if they were abusing before it can kick it up after) and hideous self-esteem and they do tend to think they deserved it. I hope sincerely that you didn't say "If it wasn't for your choices this wouldn't have happened." Even if it's true, it is a devestating for her to hear, something more for her to think "I deserved it, I'm not worthwhile" about.
    I hope you find a sexual assault counselor to help her with at least that one issue. Nothing good comes of not getting treatment after you are assaulted. "No" means "no" even if both of you are wasted. The boy violated her in every way.
  12. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    No...I have never told her it was her fault. I've told her the opposite. He was older than she was (20/15). And she did not say no. She said she was too drunk to say no at first...but she did summon up the sobriety to communicate she did not want to do it and to his credit, he stopped right then and there. When I found out I contacted the Y here in town that has a crisis center for stuff like this. Since she was engaging in the substance abuse prior to the rape and told me she loved that feeling of "being outside of herself" and since the services they offered were specifically for rape, they suggested we seek out a more "full service counselor". We did and neither that counselor or the pyschiatrist she also saw for a depression evaluation suggested we seek rape specific counseling. We left it up to her whether she wanted to prosecute since that was their advice. She did not. She was dead set against it.

    Our youth group leaders are suggesting sending her to Teen Challenge...and have offered to help us pay for it. Anyone here have any experience with Teen Challenge?

  13. So Tired

    So Tired Member


    Just reading your post left me exhausted -- I can't even imagine how you had the strength to live it.

    I think the most frustrating thing is that these kids have so much potential and the choices they make are so illogical.

    I am sorry I don't have any answers. I was facing some of the same issuses last year with my son and am as puzzled as you. I was, however, lucky enough to get him through high school. (Senior year he mananaged to fail every class that was not absolutely necessary for him to graduate)

    I'm so very sorry. It is obvious how much you love her and wish you could spare her from this painful journey she's on.

    I'll be looking out for your posts and people's replys. Maybe we will both find some answers that make sense.


  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome. I am glad you are here.

    First adn foremost, I suggest you drug test her on a regular basis. Weekly if you can, but NOT the same day every week. If you can have it done at the doctor's office you can ask for a test for more than the 5 or so drugs on the home tests I have seen. I have heard about a home test for more than that, but haven't seen it in my small town. Ask the doctor what they recommend. But if she was doing cocaine, chances are it wasn't just once. Chances are good that it also didn't stop just because you caught her doing it. I don't know if tests are available to catch DXM, but it can't hurt to ask the doctor.

    Once you know the extent of the drug problem you can decide if outpatient rehab is worth doing.

    I would do therapy for the whole family - but not at the same time. The other kids could probably use someone to help them deal with all of this, especially the younger one who is "in the middle". A good place to start is AlAnon or NarcAnon. AlaTeen is a good place for your younger child. Even if no one else in the family goes, I urge you to go to AlAnon. It is a great place to learn ways to cope with an addicted family member.Even small communities usually have several meetings a week.

    You may have to find an inpatient program for your difficult child to deal with her problems. A dual diagnosis unit may be a very good idea. Dual Diagnosis means the patients have substance abuse and mental illness, not just a mental illness. These are not usually for a set number of days. Rehab is usually for a specific number of days, but that can change if she is inpatient and making progress but just not ready to be released (I think).

    Have you discussed all of this with her doctor? This may be a good time to discuss the problems openly with her doctor. Maybe show teh doctor your opening post in this thread and ask for advice.

    What does her therapist think? From my experience, tdocs can be great sources of help in finding hospital adn program options.

    Have you and your husband thought about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement? It is something I would think very seriously about. (Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is residential treatment center)
  15. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    susiestar said:
    She is going to be drug tested weekly (at least for the first nine weeks of school) because she has to go to the shelter care school....ordered by the judge. She tested negative on her last drug test. I talked to one of the "caseworkers" she has through CPS the other day who knows about the DXM and she is going to check into a more comprehensive test. She has also admitted to huffing....did it in front of her sister a few months ago. I don't think she is doing it now because I've locked up all my inhalants...and she is with us most of the time. We don't leave her alone. She confided to her brother that she has done cocaine about 3 or 4 times late spring / early summer. For the most part he wants nothing to do with her...but this was one of the times she came home at his request while in her running away phase to attend his high school graduation.

    As far as rehab...the judge has ordered rehab through the shelter care school. I don't know how good it is. He also included the possibility of a more thorough evaluation after the results of this neuro testing she recently had done comes through. Her misbehavior of the past few weeks will probably earn her what they call "Bethesda weekends"....wilderness adventures....not something she wants to do.

    I did notice that there is a NarAnon meeting in a nearby town. I thought about going. As far as counseling...I've recently gone to about ten or so sessions and it helped. I have also been helped a lot by my faith and some of the principles in a book I read by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth (also the Power of Now) and some other things like CBT. I think I have the tools to deal with this and further sessions at the counselor are sort of redundant. This is causing huge problems between her step dad and me. He would never go to counseling...and his job offers no flexibility in his schedule. My middle child has a lot of support and guidance from her youth leaders. They are top notch...caring....wonderful people. She does not really want to go to a counselor, and truthfully, I think the youth leaders may just help her more. They are all professionals...several of them teachers...all with training in interaction with kids. Her bio dad has not had any counseling about Beth. I don't think he would be willing to go. Her step mom has been in counseling forever. Plus she fancies herself to be a counselor because of her PT training.

    With her therapist...her psychiatrist, her caseworkers...and everyone is kind of baffled....or are offering conflicted opinions. The psychiatrist is convinced she is an addict (but says that at the present time she may only be able to tolerate the shelter care rehab). Her therapist (who took a several month vacation) is not sure what's up with her and since under her care Beth got progressively worse we are going to discontinue using her services. The new doctor...the neuro psychologist who recently did the evaluation also does counseling. We are waiting for those recommendations and findings early next week.
    Thank you for your advice and concern....and for letting me "spew". :crazy2:

    Will work on a signature this weekend....
  16. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    sotired said:

    Empathy is great...thanks....:sorry::not_fair:Having a lot of fun with these smileys!!!!!

  17. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Welcome Cindi, glad you found us - sorry you had to. And can I just say....MY real name is BETH! So of course, instant bonding is happening! :D

    It sounds to me like you are doing all you can do, finding your way thru the jumbled quagmire of CPS, therapists, doctors, etc. etc. etc. Are you keeping a journal of some sort? Documenting dates & appointments, recommendations, etc? Some find that helpful in sorting thru the "too much information" that can be overwhelming.

    The only thing I might suggest....and you probably won't like it....

    Let her see her loser boyfriend. :bag:

    Only when they can be supervised, at your home. There is a rebel instinct that may be kicking in, you won't let them see each other so of course they really want to even more. I'm just thinking perhaps if you ease up on that restriction, it takes away one thing she can be oppositional about. Just an idea.

    I agree with those who said as long as she's using drugs, it will be difficult to make any progress. As far as how to get her to stop using drugs? My experience, TIME was the only thing that worked. My difficult child had to spend 18 months in county jail before it finally kicked in for him, and he's stumbled back into using multiple times since then, but he at least seems to understand the cause & effect thing that happens for him:

    Drug Use = Bad Thing

    Sixteen is such a tough age!! Keep coming back and spew, vent, scream, etc. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  18. Cindijh

    Cindijh New Member

    He is not only a loser he is a thief. I truly believe that if we let him in our home, we are in for identity theft...theft of property etc. My husband would not ever allow it. I have let other "losers" come here. It is the thief part (as recent as a week or so ago trying to steal $900 from the bank account of the younger sister of one of his friends. His sister posed as her...and if it had not been for the fact that she messed up the birthdate, they would have pulled it off. I really cannot trust him at all...or her when she is with him.

  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Mapleview mall, Burlington. (I used to live in Oakville, and know it well).

    Cindi, you've received some great advice from others.
    I agree that inpatient may be the best option for your difficult child right now. At least it will give her some time to clear her head, have some structure, go through any drug withdrawal, and be away from bad-influence friends.

    16 is a hard age, without any of those other issues.

  20. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I agree about the loser boyfriend. If he is a thief - it couldnt be good for your family. My difficult child has had plenty of thieves come in our home and steal us blind.