What should we do?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, May 12, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As you all know, difficult child is back at home while participating in a nine-month DBT program. She has found another job working as a hair stylist assistant in a very upscale salon close to our house. They told her that they are willing to train her from the bottom up to refresh her skills and renew her license. They are also teaching her how to spray tan and do facials. So this is a great opportunity for difficult child.

    We've had some ups and downs including some slips with drinking. She has agreed to take Antabuse while she is here so that she can let her brain heal by staying sober and benefit from the DBT.

    We did have a scare yesterday when she developed hives/rash all over her body. Since she is taking a lot of medications right now I wasn't sure which one caused it but got scared that it was a Lamictal rash. I was ready to take her to the hospital last night but the rash started disappearing and was gone by this morning. All of the medications she is on (Cipro and a steroid for bronchitis, celexa, lamictal, and Visteril, and Antabuse) listed a rash as a possible severe side effect. Of course, the doctors are all off for the weekend so I am going to watch closely to see if the rash comes back and take her to an urgent care center if it does. She said that the rash was not painful or itchy. I guess it could also have even been a reaction to a chemical at the salon.

    But my real question is what do we do with difficult child when we leave for our week long vacation in Mexico at the end of the month. Last year when we let her stay home while we went to Hawaii was a disaster. She went on a weeklong drinking binge and kept calling us drunk. She managed to run up a $250 water bill for that week (we still don't know how) and doubled our electric bill by keeping the temperature down to 68 degrees (in July!). A basement window was also smashed and she claimed someone tried to break in our house.

    Needless to say, we don't feel comfortable leaving her here alone. We told her to find someone to stay with but the loser boyfriend lives with his parents who won't let her stay for the week (an occasional night is okay with them). None of her other "friends" will let her stay either. None of my friends have volunteered but I can't say that I blame them and we have no family in town.

    We told her that she would have to go to an extended stay hotel. However, the addiction counselor that husband and I have started seeing doesn't think that will be a good idea. She said the fact that we are leaving on difficult child's birthday (birthdays are a big trigger) and that she has anxiety and abandonment issues makes staying in a hotel alone problematic. She even mentioned cancelling our trip as one possibility. She didn't say we should . . . just that was an option. husband will be devasted if we do. We've had a hard year and have been really looking at getting away with friends.

    I thought of trying to find a housesitter but I am not sure how to explain a 27-year-old difficult child to the housesitter.

    Any suggestions?

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I really don't think you should cancel your trip. You both really really need and deserve the stress break. Why not hire a housesitter or a dog sitter to stay in the house and keep the dogs at home instead of going to a kennel? Then the simple explanation is that she is working a new job and doesn't need the added responsibility of taking care of the animals and the housekeeping. My easy child and her husband have an evening live in dog sitter I think when they go away but they are going to the V.I for ten days or so starting the 26th. Does easy child have any friends who need extra $$'s and might be happy for the opportunity? Good idea to brainstorm here. All of us want you to have a week off, my friend. Hugs DDD
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't have a good answer. Part of me wants to say leave her at home and try to put as many controls in as you can and then go and enjoy yourself. She will do what she is going to do. This would be a good opportunity to see if she can be trusted at all. I don't think you can expect that there won't be any problems but if she is going to go completely off the wall then what does that tell you about the chances that she is going to get it by the end of nine months? Maybe you just need to tell her that you are trusting her and that this is her chance to show she is serious about getting better.

    It seems like every other alternative is not good.

  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    This is a hard one. I am not sure what I would do. I guess my first question is what is concerning you? Is it the care (or lack of) of the dogs, possible damange to your house and property, or is it that she will feel alone and relapse? I think if it is the first two then you need to make sure she doesn't stay there so that you don't have to worry about your property. If it is the 2nd then ultimately that is her responsibility and you can't prevent that and should go on your trip. I do have to say that staying in a motel alone seems to be more lonely than staying in your house so if the 2nd is your main concern I might take my chances and leave her at home.

    Could you have a friend or someone check in with her and take her to dinner while you are gone?

    It does seem to me that it is important for you to take the trip, giving up our lives for our difficult children is the ultimate in enabling them and we all need to keep working on living our lives I think.

  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    You didn't mention it, so I presume it's out of the question - would easy child stay at your house for the week to take care of the house and the dogs and kind of watch difficult child, or is she going to Mexico with you?
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL said what I wanted to but I didn't do very well.

  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child is taking the dogs to her house so that is not a concern. She won't stay here with difficult child and I don't want to put that on her. It is not her responsiblity to babysit her sister.

    I guess my concern is two-fold. One is that she did run up big bills while we were gone with the water and the electricity. She also stole checks and forged one to fund her drinking binge.

    The other is that she will relapse big time. The addiction counselor said that having boundaries is important in addiction and that it was not surprising that difficult child went off the deep end last summer while we were gone. I am afraid of it happening again.

    As far as going off the rails being a predictor of what would happen nine months from now . . . difficult child is only now really starting to get into the DBT program. She has been seeing a DBT counselor for one hour sessions up to now but had to wait until a new module was starting to be able to start the group therapy component. They told us that we should start to see changes after two to three months so I don't want to derail things at this point before the therapy really starts. I hope that makes sense.

  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have often wondered what options there were for adult care. Could you call one of those inhome care places and find out if they could help? Maybe very expensive, don't know. Would the county respit people have ideas? This is a definite area of need for many families. This is a tough one. I do think you need to go, but I also know you will have no break if you are worried the entire time.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes it makes sense but you can put enough controls in to hide checks and credit cards even if you give them all to easy child to hold so that's not a worry. She can only use so much water and if you have someone drive by the house to check on it and let her know that the police will be called at the first sign of a problem you have taken care of that concern.

    The only alternative to the other concern is to cancel the trip. If you are the only thing keeping her from relapsing big time, it will happen sooner or later because you can't be with her 24/7.

    I still say go and have a good time. What will happen will happen.

  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Boy Kathy, that's a tough one. I think it's a good idea, as TL said to make distinctions about what you are most concerned about. Having said that, I had an odd idea, and please throw this overboard if it's too out there since I do not deal with substance abuse and this may not be a good idea. However, there have been times when I have resorted to what I like to call the 'incentive program', or as my friend says, it's really out and out bribery!!! How about just laying it all out on the table with her, your concerns about the house, the water and electricity bills, her relapsing, her birthday issues, etc. and then saying, If each of these issues is controlled and you make it through the week in good shape, with the house safe and no relapsing, then you will, for her birthday and as a reward for keeping it together while you go away on a MUCH NEEDED vacation, give her something you know is important to her. Something heartfelt and valuable to her which will give her a sense of accomplishment as well as nourish her heart. We all like to be rewarded when we do a good job, and I think difficult child's don't often get that. It might give her something to work towards too. And, if she pulled it off, something to be proud of since you would be trusting her to do the right thing and hold it all together. It may also be prudent to have a friend or house-sitter check up on her and take her out to dinner as someone else mentioned. And PLEASE if this is inappropriate for her, just chalk this up to someone offering unsolicited bad advice!!! These are always hard choices with our difficult child's, I know, and I feel for you and hope that whatever you decide to do, you can both go away and really have a relaxing and peaceful time. You deserve that. HUGS to you Kathy.
  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm not making a suggestion whether you should go or not...but just in case you decide to stay...did you buy trip insurance? If you did, then maybe you and husband could go in 8 months, (I know, it will crush husband), but at least it's postponed, not cancelled. If you can't go away with a clear head, and if difficult child interprets your leaving as an abandonment, then you have to choose the lesser of two evils. Having a house sitter that you don't really know just pop in now and again would not really cut it. Plus, difficult child just started her new job...if she goes on a bender and gets fired, you'll all be back at square one. The world of difficult child-dom is a universe unto itself.
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No trip insurance. I think we can still cancel the resort but I don't know about the plane tickets. Also, we are going with two other couples so if we postpone we will have to go by ourselves which wouldn't be as much fun.

    The job many not be an issue. difficult child texted me that the owner/stylist that was training her asked why her hands shake so much and difficult child told her because she has anxiety issues and stopped her xanax. difficult child said she told her "everything." I texted back asking if she still had a job and difficult child said yes and would tell me more later. She didn't come home immediately so I guess that is a good sign. She is not home yet.

    I think she is using this to get back on xanax or klonopin. At the last psychiatrist visit, I went with her and he gave her something non-addictive that she says doesn't work. She didn't take it today because of the rash.

    The addiction counselor and the DBT counselor both think she would be better off at a residential treatment center (halfway house or three quarter house) and we have been holding off because of this job thinking it was a chance for her to get back a career so she could support herself. difficult child says she flat out won't go to another halfway house.

    If she loses this job, that just may be the way to go whether she likes it or not. Of course, the ones that they highly recommend cost a fortune . . . $1600 a month in addition to the DBT cost.

    Here we go again.
  13. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest


    My insights on this are't nearly as good as the ones already shared.
    I just wanted to say that I am sorry you have to make these kinds of decisions and I know you will do your very best.

    Sending you some well-deserved peace....
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, she still has a job. When XX asked her about the shaking, difficult child told her that she has anxiety issues and had stopped taking her xanax. XX told her that she had been on xanax for years and if she needs it she should take it. Of course, difficult child didn't tell her the rest of the story about why she can't take it. difficult child just told her that she is going to go back to the doctor to discuss it.

    The addiction counselor has a psychiatrist that she really wants difficult child to see. He is an addiction specialist she thinks highly of. difficult child and I talked about it and I think we are going to have her go see him about the medications. The community health center poo-pooed Campral but I'd like to get another opinion. Especially after the rash incident. Campral is supposed to take away the desire for alcohol and takes away the high if they do drink. It also has an anti-anxiety component.

  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think I posted about Camprel a few months ago........was it a few years ago? It was not available for easy child/difficult child when it might have helped. I'm too tired to look for the post but it sounded like a reasonable option at the time I heard about it. Sorry I don't have "the" answer for you, my friend. DDD
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Contact a local university with a psychiatric dept. Ask if they have any master's students studying addiction who would be willing to come stay for a week with your daughter, just as a touchstone and to keep an eye on the home, for that time. often the dept secretary will know of students who need money and they or a prof who is teaching classes dealing with addiction can find someone to help you. I would NOT go for a bachelor's student unless it is non-traditional -older- student with much experience. A doctoral or master's student would be much better.

    You can also ask the therapist if she has any ideas or knows anyone with a long track record of sobriety that you could pay to stay there and keep an eye on the house and be there for difficult child.

    Otherwise a hotel has to be the best option. sobriety is difficult child's responsibility and not yours. She hs to be able to call for help when she needs it, and whle this is a strong trigger, it is still her problem and not yours. How much effort is she putting into solving this?
  17. vligrl

    vligrl New Member

    Kathy, will you be able to enjoy yourself if you go away, or will you spend most of the time wondering what is going on at home? If it is the later, I would delay the trip. Of course you deserve to get away and have a great time, but would you? Sounds like a pretty critical time in your daughter's recovery and sounds like you have many deserved concerns. If it was me....I would wait but I'm a worrier by nature. I would be calling all the time, having neighbors stop by and give me reports, let the police know I would be gone......not worth it to me.