Coming clean letter

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Wow! So... difficult child has been in inpatient treatment for 2 weeks now.

    During our family counseling session (done via speakerphone as we're 4 hrs away) today he read aloud a coming clean letter that he'd written to us. On one hand, I am completely shocked. On the other, I find myself seriously questioning just HOW MUCH of this is real!? He fessed up to everything that we already knew about, a little that we didn't. Admitted he has a problem with substances and that he was ashamed at how far he'd go to get his hands on something, anything to take.... He claims to have been born again, accepting Christ in his life... blah blah blah

    TWO WEEKS! I felt like I was listening to an episode of the Dr. Phil show where they check in with addicts after being sober for several years.

    On Tuesday night I attended a meeting where the speaker (the owner of 2 very well respected adolescent inpatient treatment centers) talked about the 3 different kinds of kids he see's. One of them, he described as the "Dancers." They dance along, tip toeing, following every step, every move along the way with absolute precision. The "Dancers" seem like perfect patients. As it turns out, they are actually the hardest to treat because they spend all their energy on building this facade, this false image of who they are. They aren't actually working on themselves and their issues at all.

    It was a viola moment, listening to this man speak...My son is a "Dancer."

    I sure do hope the treatment facility he's at acknowledges it. My husband thinks they must or they wouldn't have recommended 60 days of treatment right out of the gate? I don't know. It was nice talking to him though. I sure do miss him!
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad he is in rehab and I hope he gets real and stops dancing. The description is perfect for how some people handle things. I would not put a lot of stock in a 'coming clean' letter that does not have a substantial amount of things that you have not heard of. If they only admit what they got caught doing plus a small amount more, they are not coming clean at all. This is my belief, and i have heard addicts challenge each other over this and I have heard other family members say this exact same thing. Not my family members, family members at treatment centers and meetings.

    It is great that you are recognizing this. If you ever end up doing family weekend or maybe in another therapy session you could call him on this. Maybe you could discuss how to handle it with his therapist before a family therapy session or at another time?
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child was a dancer too. She said all the right things when we would go on parent day, but then when she got caught in her lies and people would no longer join in her dance, her true self came out. She came out in 60 days and relapsed shortly after, because she never did embrace the program and continued having contact with her old friends and the new ones she met in rehab that were also dancers. I'm not saying this to scrae you and it soun sliek you a;ready have your eyes open. You need to have a plan for after the 60 days. The program he is in should help you formulate this. They gave us options for sober houses she could go to and helped us learn the signs to look for.

    I hope he is one of the ones who truly gets it on the first try but I still remember how my heart sank when I was in the ladies room on parent day and overheard two other moms talk about how hopeful they were also but that they had heard the average number of relapses after treatment was 7. While my heart sank it did open my eyes to the reality so I was not blindsided when it happened.

    I am thinking of you and your family on this journey and wishing you all well.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered if it would be more beneficial for the difficult children to write a letter to themselves and then every week pull it out and edit the contents. Sigh! easy child/difficult child was and still is a verbal dancer. My thoughts and hopes remain with you. DDD
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Sounds familiar...

    My Oldest difficult child memorized the Big Book JUST so he could use it AGAINST staff. He wasn't there to work on his problems he was there to create more it seemed!
    And Yes I remember hearing some shocking stories too. Later (after Rehab) Oldest admitted that he lied about some things.

    I know you must miss your son though...You find yourself looking at their room with a heavy heart, maybe even hugging their pillows, reading things you find that they've written. Time to reflect but also time to look ahead as difficult child has alot of work to do on himself once he is released from Rehab.

    They will likely have you all agree to and sign a discharge contract...this will state things like house rules, AA meetings, etc. And then if you're like me you will feel like you have to watch every move and be a team player with difficult child in this whole messy situation.

    So rest up while you can...keep yourself strong.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Same type of passive-aggressiveness is typical also for my difficult child, though he tends to be viciously backstabbing at his worst, not just a 'dancer.'

    While with him for lots of things just had to be talked through, learned the truth and made amends, for the rest his treatment team, and also us, in fact advised him against 'coming clean' for us. According his then therapist it can be counterproductive if one asks a patient to 'come clean' early on to loved ones. If, and at least when it comes to my son, when one lies in big 'coming clean' confession, one easily gets stuck to those lies and has extra hardship get over that too and not just a hardship of admitting things first to yourself and then to therapist. So at least first lots of the bad stuff stayed between difficult child and therapist and even therapist was not asking him to come clean at once. It was a process of admitting those things first to himself, then talking about them to therapist (and with some things that too, took a long time, for example he apparently did tell the incident that pushed him to his addiction to his therapist before it came up last winter, at least some of it, but that was two years after he started his addiction treatment and the therapist was not his addiction therapist but one he had later started to work because of his trauma issues) and then later, maybe, telling others. difficult child told us more when time went on, but I'm sure there are things he haven't and some of them most likely never will. I'm totally okay with it. It is his process, only thing that matters is that he faces those issues and tries to be honest to himself.