Whew/Phew . . . I have my empty nest back.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kathy813, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Or I could have titled the thread . . . A little difficult child goes a long way.

    easy child left to visit friends on Christmas night and then went home from there. difficult child was here until today. I took her shopping yesterday for a winter interview outfit and a few other warm things. She was appreciative.

    However, I still don't think she has had an epiphany about her lifestyle. She is saying more and more that she doesn't think she was an alcoholic or addict. She says that her counselor at the sober house and others have told her that they think her mood disorder is the real problem and it triggers substance abuse as a way to self medicate.

    I reminded her that she wrote us a letter in rehab that she realized that she was an addict and she shrugged that off with "I was in rehab . . . they basically forced us to do that." I also reminded her that she said that she was unsuccessful in school that last time that she went back because she had been drinking and she said that was due to her mood disorder.

    I don't know what to think about this. It is true that she is able to stop drinking and using pills very easily for long periods of time. Maybe there is truth to what she says but that means it is even more important to get help for her mood disorder. I reminded her that we had offered to pay for DBT and that was supposed to be very helpful for people with emotional triggers because it taught them how to recognize the triggers and think before they act. She, of course, said she was going to call "after the first of the year." She just never calls to get started.

    I think husband and i are at the point where we are ready to set a date to stop the financial support. As much as she says she hates the half-way house, she seems content to live there and let us pay for her support. I don't think she is out every day looking for a job although she says the director makes her to go looking.

    I did make her call about a posting I saw on Craig's list about a hair assistant and I sent her resume to a salon looking for a receptionist. I told her that I am going to start sending her resume out to a bunch of salons and she said okay.

    On a positive note, if you read my post on Nancy's thread, difficult child had said that she had loaned her car to a suite-mate who in turn had loaned it to a drug dealer who kept it for two days and difficult child was scared to go back because she had reported him to the police. She left today without any fuss and called me when she got back. She was very excited because she said that she had a long text conversation with the drug dealer on Christmas Eve and told him that he needed to turn his life around and that it wasn't too late since he was only 23 years old. The kid told her that he had nothing left including his family and she told him that he could get his family back.

    When she got back to the sober house, her suite-mate said, "Guess where XXX is." difficult child replied, "Jail." The suite-mate said, "No, he checked himself into rehab." difficult child was excited because she felt that she had reached him and that he had checked into rehab because of their conversation.

    I told her that she may have saved a life and that she should be proud of herself.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathy, thank goodness she went back willingly. I know the relief when they leave again and all you hear is the silence in the house. About the addiction thing, I wonder what her angle is. Does she think if she gets her mood disorder under control she can drink? My difficult child for a long time thought she was not an alcoholic, just a teen who liked to drink. Well she also has a mood disorder, probably most all alcoholics have a mood disorder and they drink to feel normal.

    I know you shouldn't have to do this but have you given any thought to what I said about having her make a list and you driving her to places to actually go and drop off her resume?

    I'm glad the drug dealer problem seems to have resolved itself. They often make more drama than it really is. Glad he went to rehab.

  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, I don't know what her angle is. I got upset with her because I felt like she didn't see the big picture. She defended her suite-mate who gave her car to a drug dealer as a "good person" when I pointed out that she shouldn't still be communicating with a drug dealer if she was in recovery. difficult child also keeps telling me that "everyone" there is still doing drugs. When I call her on it, she backtracks but insisits that some are still doing meth on the premises.

    I think a lot of it is to try to get us to let her come home. I keep telling her that her goal should be that she can support herself and live on her own. Then she brought up getting government disability or housing. That's why I said I don't see a fundamental change in her personality. She is still trying to figure out angles.

    On the other hand, she was much more pleasant to be around and didn't steal anything. I guess that is a positive. She seems to think that it "proves" she has changed and should be allowed to move back home. I pointed out that she would have long periods before and then steal something so I have no way of knowing it wouldn't happen again.

    She did say something interesting. I asked her why she stole from us and she blamed it on being intoxicated or high. I pointed out that the last time she took my credit card to go get beer and cigarettes she had been sober when she did it. She agreed so I again asked her why. She said that it was because she blamed us for being so strict with her while she was growing up and that we had caused her to be the way she was and therefore "owed" her things. She added, though, that she had been told in rehab that she had entitlement issues and that she didn't feel that way anymore especially since she had things stolen from her in rehab and didn't like how it felt.

    I told her that it upset me that she was blaming us for her problems and she said that she was just being honest and that is what she thought we wanted. I replied that part of the twelve step program was supposed to help her stop blaming others and take responsibility for her actions. She said that she knew that and didn't blame us anymore.

    I have a lot to process here.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish we could get inside their heads. She sounds like my difficult child when she explains herself. I'm not sure there is an explanation for why they stole or did any number of other unscrupulous things they did while using other than addicts lie, cheat and steal just because. They don;t have to be high or intoxicated at the time, it is part of their addictive mentality. I still remember difficult child's treatment center counselor telling us that's the way addicts behave. They can try to justify it or explain it but they do it because their values and ethics are all screwed up.

    The fact that she didn't steal anything the few days she was home is hardly proof she has changed. husband and I hid all our money and valuable before difficult child came home for christmas. There just isn't enough proof for me that she wouldn't steal if given the chance. I don't think a few months of sobriety changes things that much. If difficult child asked to come home I would remind her that things would go back to the way they were with us because I would still be suspicious and watching her every movement and she needs to grow in her sobriety.

    It sounds like your difficult child is scared and she wants to come home because it would be easy for her, you would be there to take care of her and she wouldn't have to do it all on her own. In a way I feel bad for our difficult child's. It's not the way we hoped our kids would go off on their own. I think if your difficult child found a job she would feel differently about things. Right now she is looking for someone to take care of her instead of figuring out how to take care of herself.

  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sorry she is trying to rationalize and figure out a way to use again (or at least that is what it seems like). I haven't experienced drug use first hand, but I did have an eating disorder...not sure how you separate a mood disorder from your addiction? If my mood disorder caused me to use that for coping, I still had a problem with it.... I got medications and tx for the mood issue but still also had to 100% stop the behaviors. I realize it is not exactly the same, and if in the middle of tx and not fully identifying as having a problem, that the whole thing is pointless to discuss. She will rationalize to be able to use I suppose, that is probably the bottom line. Sorry. Must be hard to hear. I hope she works through it because she sure sounds like a great kid. Really good heart.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    An empty nest is a good thing. Boy oh boy do our difficult child's ever keep us guessing and on our toes. I am glad she was able to get through to another difficult child and he went to rehab. My difficult child#1 is like that she is so good at talking to others but cannot see herself.

    As far as the other stuff...Trust does not come easily once we have been abused repeatdly by our difficult child's. it doesn't matter why she did what she did to you... the fact remains that she broke your trust. That takes a long time to mend. Enjoy the peace of your empty nest.
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    When difficult child first flirted with substances as a 16yo, he was assessed and found to be a substance abuser but had not crossed the line into addict. As far as I can tell (for now) - he has not crossed that line YET.

    Frankly, it doesn't matter to me. An addict is someone who has become physically dependent. You don't have to be an abuser to become an addict. Chemical dependency is not something that can be chosen. I always tell my kids - you only get to choose to use drugs or alcohol the first time. After that, drugs or alcohol may choose you. No one starts thinking they'll be an addict and you never know if it will be your 2nd time or your 222nd time that will trigger dependency.

    Long story short, I tend to think of substance abuse as a far greater "sin" than physical addiction. Honestly, I long to tell my difficult child "the fact that you superiorly state that you CHOOSE smoke weed and CHOOSE not to stop (when it's clear that it has a negative effect on your life) makes you less respectable than an addict as far as I am concerned." But of course, I won't say it. Not today anyway.

    I hope i am making sense. Its late here & I am a bit punchy. As an aside, no news here. Just playing nice, biding time until the inevitable "hash it out" (no pun intended) talk to clear the air. We are putting it off until the pcs are back in school. Don't want to ruin their short break if it gets stormy. And I am still emotionally spent from my extended family Christmas where my bros & SILS acted like entitled brats. Ugh hohoho
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok I may get long winded here because I can probably explain some of the why's you moms are looking so hard for and maybe it will put your minds at ease.

    Your kids are stealing from you because you are easy targets and they simply dont care as much about your items as you do. Your jewelry? It doesnt have the same sentimental value to them that it does to you. Your spouses HS ring means nothing to your dtr when she needs money for pot. She/he will lie to you about anything to get the money for pot or drugs. I once told my dad I had a bad tire and needed the money to replace it and he never batted an eye as he handed me a hundred bucks. These kids just dont care. They have no moral compass at the time. Cory couldnt have cared less about what he was doing to me when he was taking my checks and writing them. He didnt know how much was in my account and what I had planned for that money. He just wrote the checks on a whim and figured I owed it to him. He wanted it and he wanted it now. I dont think he ever expected I would find out. Maybe he thought there was so much money I wouldnt notice, I dont know. He was wrong.

    Eventually either a person will grow up and figure out that this lying and stealing isnt what they want in life because it is wrong and can land a person in jail...or they continue the behavior until they reach some sort of bottom which can be jail and they decide that this is the life they want. Some continue on this way and it takes more and more times in jail and prison before the lesson gets through to them. I am hoping my intervention with Cory has brought him up short so his short time in jail worked. So far he has stopped stealing anything from us and anyone else as far as I know. I have now been able to leave money out in my house and it doesnt walk away. My medications are sitting out and they dont disappear and that was a major issue before because a neighbor lady taught him to bring him my pills when he was 14. Before that he had no clue my medications had value.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Amen Janet!

    Signorina you speak with such understanding of addiction, where does that come from? I like what you said about choosing only once and after that the drug chooses you. That certainly describes my difficult child.

  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Several thoughts here. First Kathy I see some real positives in the visit.... and am glad she went back without a problem.

    Janet I think you are right about the stealing... that describes my difficult child pretty well... he has stolen from us for years, even before the substance abuse but of course that made it much much worse. It is hard for me to imagine ever really trusting him again.... but who knows where he will be in the future.

    As far as the mood disorder underlying the substance use. I think this is true for many addicts. I think often there is an underlying issue such as depression etc. It certainly complicates things. I know this is true for my son as well... but what I have come to believe is that he needs help on both fronts. I don't think he will be able to conquer his drug addiction without also dealing with the underlying issues of why he feels he needs drugs to numb his feelings or to avoid the world.... but what I have also gotten from his stints in rehab and in psychiatric units is that he can't really deal with underlying mental illness while he is still using and is not sober. You can't really figure out the underlying stuff if you are not sober. So first you have to get sober and then you have to face the reality of what is going on with you.

    So yeah my son has been told and says the same thing, he is not really an addict, it is his underlying issues that are the problem... and there is some truth to that BUT it does not mean that he can casually use now and then without a problem because he can't. He has to get sober and stay sober before he can deal with the other stuff.

    So it can be a bit of a catch-22.

    Also I do consider my son a drug addict. By sigs definiition he is really a substance abuser because as fara s I know he is not phsyically dependent on any drug... I don't believe he has gone through true withdrawel.. he has been in "Detox" but that was a program where everyone who goes there goes through their detox program. However he will use or try anything to get high and has. I think it is has been pure luck and lack of availability that he did not become phsyically addicted. It came up once and I asked him and I think he told me the truth that he has tried snorting heroin twice. We all know how addictive that can be and I think it was just luck that he did not use it more and get addicted to it. I think if he had been able to get it and it was all he could get he would have been hooked on it in a flash. This is what scares me so much I know he is only a small step away from being a full blown heroin addict.

    So to me although he is not physically addicted he behaves like an addict. He will steal or do whatever he can to get something to get high (including OTC drugs that he can swipe off a drugstore shelf).... and he has been thrown out of one sober house for stealing and then buying spice.... and had to stay longer at one place because someone else used and so he did too......

    I am hoping (and seeing some reason for hope) that he is starting to realize himself that he really is an addict.... and i personally don't want to soft pedal it to myself that he is not really an addict becuase he hasn't gone through physical withdrawal. He is an addict and he will only be able to get his life together if he stays sober.... not sure where he is on that realization but at least for now he is sober as far as i know... and we are seeing some signs that he is going in the right direction.

    It really is a process and we have to look at the positive steps... and maybe early in their recovery they can't see the big picture but really can only see being sober for one day at a time.

  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I hear what you all are saying but I feel like it is splitting hairs. In my opinion anyone who uses a substance to either escape or to deal with his problems (whether he can stop without going through withdrawal symptoms or not ) is an addict. He may not be physically addicted but he is emotionally or mentally addicted. Remember, denial is one of the most obvious symptoms of a person in the throws of addiction.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rejected I agree with you. I don't think my difficult child ever went through physical withdrawal symptoms other than being in a bad mood or physically tired and yet she is every bit an addict as the heroin addict going through tremors. She also went through detox in the rehab center and she basically just laid there for three days because insurance covers detox seperate from rehab so we got three extra days paid. But if she drank one beer she would never be able to stop, it would turn into a case in a matter of hours, each and every time.

    I have always felt that if alcohol is causing a problem in your life you are an addict.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with you guys.

    Mental illness has always been my problem but I used drugs as a teen because I wanted to fit in with the only crowd that would accept me. If the nerd crowd that got all A's and studied hard and prepared for college with a vengeance had accepted me, I would have done that with all I had. I would have been on a totally different path. But I was this very socially awkward 12 year old who was thrown into a big Jr High after being in a small private school for elementary school. Even there I was smart but awkward kid. My mom made all my clothes and I just stood out like a sore thumb. Out of pity more or less, one girl in the stoner crowd took me in and my fate was sealed. However, when I became 20 or so, I simply stopped. I didnt know about my mental illness though until I was much older. I knew I was very different along the way. I had issues along the way that worried me but didnt know what they were. I knew I had anger problems and I knew I thought I was depressed sometimes but I had no idea about bipolar because I thought that was stuff about meaning I thought I could fly off buildings and I certainly didnt think I could do that! But looking back after I found out what bipolar really is...oh boy...yeah...I have always been bipolar...lol.

    I would have never had to use any sort of drug if I had medications to treat my bipolar...or maybe if I actually had parents to parent me correctly all those years. We also have to remember that there are some kids like me who have bad lives. I begged my parents when I started drinking and smoking pot to send me to boarding school because I knew that this wasnt the life I needed to live. I knew it was wrong. My parents didnt listen to me. Now granted I didnt come out and say "I am smoking pot so send me away" but I did tell them that I didnt think going to the big HS was the right place for me. They were having so many problems with me it should have been clear. Instead my mother just watched me having sex in bedroom week after week. Got her rocks off that way. If I went away, that would all be gone.

    Ok...rant over..lmao. Im sorry. I dont know why I do this. I just try to help but then I dont know if I do?