Cunning, baffling, powerful, and sophisticated

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is what the disease of addiction is.

  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hugs, Nancy. The temptation to fall back into old patterns is (near)irresistible. I hope J can call up the strength that she does absolutely have in her to keep on fighting. She and your family remain in my thoughts.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Sue, I get my strength knowing that so many are pulling for us. Everything is OK for now, but I am constantly reminded that this disease is very cunning, baffling, powerful and sophisticated. It's wise to not forget that.

  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I wonder if she (willingly) would get out of the area to avoid the temptation of old patterns. Maybe stay with your sister for a few months(not sure she lives nearby) but a thought. I know with dieting and food addiction that if I go back to the previous environment, I am guaranteed to not make a good choice. Fortunately, it isn't mind altering but it's not healthy.
    She may be better able to keep herself in check when she returns home because every day she stays sober, she becomes stronger. It is a cunning and devastating disease. I think it requires the strength of Atlas to control oneself every. single. day. She can never let her guard down. It's hard when one is 18 or 19 to avoid parties and socializing. She needs a sober group to do parties and socializing so that the temptation is minimalized until more time has passed.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She is home Fran and attending meetings and meeting people. She isn't in contact with any of her former drinking buddies but she can find unhealthy people anywhere and that's why none of us can let our guard down. I wish there was someplace I could send her, my friend who is Greek told me they send their troubled kids back to Greece to be "straightened out".

    She isn't drinking but she still has the underlying Borderline (BPD) and that will get her into trouble if she doesn't get a handle on it.

  6. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Nancy I'm glad you posted this. I have been thinking about you and your daughter since you wrote that her therapist said she was cunning and charming. When I read that I got a chill. I know what that's like in both my kids. It's dangerous because even though I try to maintain a healthy detachment and am suspicious of most of their charming behaviors, that charming stuff makes me want to run screaming from the room in fear.

    I was thinking and worrying about the Borderline (BPD) part too -- until the person with Borderline (BPD) starts to acquire tools for living, she doesn't have a core self to interact with the environment. But I think she can make some fairly rapid strides with the Borderline (BPD), especially with the DBT which will give her skills to verbalize those powerful emotions, and also to demystify those powerful emotions and make them do-able.
    Both my kids need to learn DBT -- our home-based case manager just mentioned it.

    Will the Borderline (BPD) be addressed along with her recovery plan? Can she read any books about Borderline (BPD) that are written by someone with Borderline (BPD) who understands what it's like, or get in a support group?

    Just some thoughts -- I don't even know if those are healthy ideas, or if she may be overwhelmed. Is there any info on the internet about recovery with Borderline (BPD) in the picture? She can't be the first.

    I can't forget the staff said they saw something special in her, that wasn't cunning or charming. That was hopeful. And many of her choices in rehab showed a lot of potential -- choices that were hard, and had to be made from a least some sort of an inner core.

  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo the therapist we found is very experienced in Borderline (BPD) and DBT which I was thrilled abou, we picked him because of that. And based on his initial session with her I think he will be very proactive with her so I am hoping that she will make those strides that you talk about. In all the years of her previous therpay noone has ever identified or addressed that. In fact looking back they were nothing more than talk sessions where she charmed them all into believing she was doing fine and the whole time. As a matter of fact, her last therapist just about six months ago was alerted to the fact that she was stealing items from stores. When I told her baout it she said "well I guess if that was my daughter I would take them and give them to the goodwill." She never confronted difficult child with that fact or tried to deal with it in any way. She may have found out that difficult child was stealing things to sell for alcohol.

    So many people have said they see something special in her but I'm beginning to wonder if that's the charming part she wants certain people to see and she saves the cunning part for others.

    Thanks so much for your ideas. They make me think.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, I have always told you she reminds me of me just from what you have told me. If you ever think it would be helpful for her to talk to me, just say the word. You know I speak the truth with complete honesty. I dont sugar coat anything. I really should be dead today. The fact that I am not is simply due to the fact that God looks after fools and small children.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I told you Janet, someday I am going to take a road trip with her and let you two meet.

  10. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Nancy -- it is hard to tell the "special" part from the cunning part. I think that's disconcerting for us as parents -- that our kids are charming and we still feel like we must be hypervigilant, even more hypervigilant (better read my Melody Beatty lol).

    When gfg17 was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) we were told in a family meeting "We wish we had ten of him." That alone made me want to run screaming from the room. He's doing pretty good so far, at home -- no duplicity or funny stuff of the kind we are discussing. To me, lots of the cunning and charming stuff sounds like attachment stuff, which probably resembles, in many ways, the addiction and Borderline (BPD) issues.

    All we can do is watch and hope. If I had to bet $100.00, I'd bet that the special part in our kids is real (for now). Your daughter is making surprising gains in rehab (I mean, not fussing over that cell phone could not be faked in my humble opinion) and now a good therapist who's wise to her. My gfg17 had a psychotic break in juvie, and now is in public school 1/2 days and getting all A's. Before his break, I never saw any type of "self" inside him. Now I wonder. It seems his psyche shattered into a million pieces when he was psychotic, and then re-settled back into a better place, like a kaleidoscope, when he started on Clozaril. But I still wonder.

    Maybe they are survivors. I guess that's my biggest hope -- that they are survivors. That they have some resilience. We can't give them that (which is kind of comforting because it really is up to them).

    These posts help me to think too -- thanks Nancy.

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    We have been told by therapists that difficult child does not have resilience and that's a big part of the reason that her self esteem is so low and she can't bounce back when she has a disappointment or loss. I am aware how important resilience is so I can only hope somehow through therapy and her treatment plan she learns some skills that can compensate.

    When gfg17 was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) we were told in a family meeting "We wish we had ten of him." That alone made me want to run screaming from the room.

    Every Sunday when we went to family day at the rehab everywhere we went we had staff tell us how wonderful difficult child was. The administrator himself told us how she was so different than the others and husband and I looked at each other and thought she must either be a multiple personality or the staff were all idiots. They were seeing a completely different person than her counselor or peer group. The same day they were singing her praises, the counselor was telling us how the group confronted her about her vulgar language and promiscuous behavior with all of the men there.

    I think you're right about the cunning and charming stuff being part of attachment.

    The past couple days have been iffy. While she's not drinking she hasn't been going to meetings and she has become attached to a 17 year old "boy" who looks like he's 12. She met him at the young people's AA club and lied about hanging out with him the other day. She wouldn't answer my phone calls and of course I figured we were back to square one. She finally did call and apologize and ask me to pick them up at the shake shop so I could meet him. When he got in the car I looked at her and said, you've got to be kidding. I mean I almost laughed in his face. He proceeded to tell me he's been sober for two years and he knows all about rehab since he was in it 4 times and his parents had to pay $2,000. I told him she wasn't following her program since she's been hanging with him and he said she had no program yet until she got into the Big Book. And when I told him she was not suppose to get into a relationship for a year after treatment he said the Big books doesn't say that and his sponsor said it was ok. I wanted to leap across the counter and shake him until his eyeballs fell out but instead told him with all due respect you are a 17 year old boy and know nothing about what she or we have been through and she certainly does have a program to follow that we are paying $400 a week for and his 4 times in rehab was really 4 times in a 5 day detox center and $2,000 was a drop in the bucket to what we spent and we were not willing to let that go down the drain over him.

    She is still so vulnerable and ready to attach to any guy who shows attention to her. Just three weeks ago she was in love with a 27 year old crack addict in rehab, then when she came home she tried to beg her ex to get back with her, and today she is in love with a 17 year old boy she met 5 days ago. She has a lot of Borderline (BPD) traits to work on.

    But I think today we pulled her out of whatever bad place she was in and got her into a better place. She went to a meeting tonight and is going to one tomorrow afternoon before work. She said she did her homework for IOP. It's so hard to always have to pull her back up and get her on the right path again, save her from her self destructive ways. She is trying but it is sooo hard for her to maintain that good place. I wish she could get resilience.

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    If Greece can straighten them out, I think we should lease a big plane and send all of our difficult child's there to get straightened out. : )
  13. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Nancy you won't be able to rescue her.

    You've been following your program. So things will work out as they will.

    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep."
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I went to Rome but I was a difficult child there too so dont count on

    If I counted on my fingers all the boys I thought I was in love with...well...I cant remember them all...sigh. The thing is, I used to be so proud of the fact (years ago) that I never slept with anyone that didnt tell me they loved me first. I actually thought that meant that they really did love me. Yeah I know. I was stupid with a capital S. They loved something but it wasnt me. Then I figured out what was going on and it meant that I wasnt worth squat. So I didnt care who used me. I had given it away so many times, nothing was important about me. I got to the point that I built a wall so no one could get inside to hurt me. I would hurt them/leave them first. It has taken me years and years to get over that. Im still not completely over it. I still cannot truly believe anyone can be trusted to not hurt me or to really love me. I have a huge problem in allowing myself to be vulnerable. It took me almost a year before I could actually let go and love Keyana fully because I was scared she would be taken from me. To be honest that is my biggest fear in the world. Now that I have let her get so close inside me, to lose her would kill me.

    I dont know why I am telling you this. Maybe to let you understand the trust issues we have? I dont know. You have known me a long time and seen how I have been and come around. Dont know...I think you get me.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do get you Janet. You have that ellusive resilience thing we talked about. If my difficult child turned out like you I would be thrilled. She went to an all women's meeting today and said she loved it and they were all so supportive and nice to her. She told them she's been slacking off this week but wants to get back to doing good and doesn't want to screw this up. I'm glad she admitted herself that she was going downhill. I just wish she could pick herself up insterad of having us tell her she's there. She's been very busy the past two days and that helps. This is certainly a roller coaster.

  16. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Janet you are generous in sharing your hard-won wisdom so simply and directly. Thank you for this. You are an encouragement to me on my own journey, and also in helping me understand my kids.

  17. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Nancy does she have ADD? I was just reading an article about kids with ADD and how that complicates their following a recovery plan.

    Not that I continuously sit around reading articles -- I have to get CE's for working with adolescents so I choose the articles that interest me.

  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo she has never been diagnosed with ADD and everytime we had her evaluated for that it came back negative. She hates to read and always has so any kind of classroom work or reading assignment never gets done. It's difficult to motivate her at times but if she's interested in the activity she can go for hours. She does well at work as a slaesclerk at a young girls clothing store in the mall and spends hours arranging the jewelry and accessories without a problem.

    Share any information you find with me, I read anything I think would be of value too.

  19. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Yes......Cunning, baffling, powerful........and..........Patient. My disease waits for me, always. (((Hugs)))

  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PonyGirl thanks for reminding me, yes it is very patient.

    Hugs to you too,