difficult child is an alcoholic

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been posting in Parent Emeritus but realized I really need to post here too as my difficult child is a full blown addict.

    She is suppose to be admitted to a 30 day treatment inpatient program, today. Last night she had her drinking friends take a ladder from our neighbor's yard and put it up to her window and take her out until 4 this morning. I don't know how we slept through that.The deal was if she went out at all this week and drank we were not paying the $13,000 for the treatment program and she would have to leave our house immediately.

    She is upstairs sleeping, husband is at work trying to decide what he wants to do, I went to the police to report there guys, but they can't do anything because she invited them. Although if they ever come near our property again I can have them arrested for trespassing. I texted two of the men and told them and was threatened with a lawsuit. Haha go ahead, I can't wait.

    So today she either goes to treatment, which in my heart believe is a waste, or she goes out on the street.

    by the way I asked the police if I had to give her 30 days notice to leave and they said nope, I can tell her to leave and if she doesn't they will come and stay until she does.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Living with the stress and the drama right up to the final moment......that has to be heartbreaking for both of you.

    The night before admission is traditionallly a "blow out" night for young addicts. That happened at our house the night before I drove easy child/difficult child to his first rehab. (GFGmom was his paid babysitter at my house so I could get a good nights sleep before the emotional drive 2.5 hrs away from our city). She
    didn't wake me up and let three buddies bring pot to
    the bedroom window. :sad-very:

    In family therapy sessions (two nights a week) the other kids shared details of their "blow out" too. It's
    a bummer.

    Some of the kids ended up going straight,. Others got
    worse. Ours stopped pills and limited himself to pot
    with a little alcohol. He's 23. He's still an alcoholic.
    He did learn some information at the rehabs and he
    did learn that he definitely wanted to stay home.

    I don't envy where you are now. It's an expensive
    **** shoot. I continue to keep you in my prayers. DDD
  3. Bean

    Bean Member

    So since she drank, you're not going to fund her tx now and throwing her out? Or are you giving her a chance to still go?
    I don't envy you. Has she been to tx before?
  4. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Sorry this is happening. Ugh! Is she showing any desire to be sober? If not, rehab may well be a waste. on the other hand, it may be that "one last fling" mentality.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well we took her. She told us that if she didn't go to rehab she would be on the street dead. I believe that. But I dont; think this program, or any rehab program, is going to give her the kind of dual treatment she needs, both for addiction and her psychological issues.

    husband and I are both still so angry at what she did. I went to the neighbors to tell them about the ladder and gave them the guys name, address and telephone number and told them they were free to press charges. husband made her help him carry it back there when he got home. I deleted all her friends from facebook and left only family memebers and then deactivated the account. I deleted all her contacts from her cellphone and had theline suspended. If and when she comes back home she will have to start her life over. She told me yesterday that I should have blocked her frombeing able to text these guys. I told her I would have to block her fromtexting anyone because if it weren't these guys it would be different ones and I'm tired of being her babysitter. Then she said she was sorry she was such a disappointment in my life. I told her don't you dare lay that on me, be sorry you are such a disappoinment in your own life.

    We left her with $6 to buy a phone card so she can call us. I'm sure the admissions person thought we were horribly unsupportive because the tension just permeated the room. Visiting hours is Saturday 2-5 and we are suppose to be there all day Sunday for family program. I really have no desire to go since it is mostly educational and I know more about the disease of alcoholism than one person should ever need to know, besides I also know the low success rate for recovering especially in such a young person.

    But for now I'm going to try to use this time to recharge and find the person I use to be and help lessent he stress both husband and I are under.

    My heart is aching.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The ongoing sacrafice of required visitations and mandatory family visits (especially when a four or five
    hour drive is involved) is hard to cope with when you are exhausted and want peace and quiet. I'm sorry.

    Trying to look at the bright side :confused: the experts do believe that since it is a family problem that everyone
    should be there. Your rehab program may differ from
    the three we tried but none of our programs taught anything about alcoholism. All had group sessions so everyone shared feelings. Some had obstacle (sp?)
    courses for "family team building". Some included
    individual family sessions with a therapist to discuss personal issues. Driving four or five hours two or three times a week (one night session was included at all facilities) was exhausting. What we did learn from the sessions was how many commonalities existed &
    that most of the parents had done every possible thing
    they could do before turning to rehab.

    I don't mean to be redundant but I feel your pain and fear and ehaustion. I will continue to say prayers and
    send caring thoughts. When the program is over you
    will absolutely know that you have traveled to the end of the line with difficult child. by the way, two of the programs had
    adolescnet psychiatrists on staff who did individual therapy and prescribed medication when deemed necessary. Many more hugs. DDD
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD I know you are right and you have a lot of helpful information. I pray that our family program is like that. From what I read it looks like it is mostly educational but I am hopeful it deals with family issues and there is a chance for group and individual cousneling, which I think would be beneficial.

    I know I sound skeptical, I suppose that's because we've been through counseling of some sorts for twelve years now and nothing has worked and most counselors have no idea how to help her. She smiles and tells them what they want to hear and they think she is getting it and all the time she is planning her next move.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me, it helps a lot. I am amazed at the lengths you have goen to to help your grandson. Does he have any idea how lucky he is?

  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Nancy... you don't sound skeptical - you sound realistic based on experience. It's disheartening because we've dragged resource after resource to our kids' feet, and they don't do anything with- it. I hope that this experience opens her eyes. I'm glad you put this back on her shoulders, it *is* her own life to be disappointed with. She also needs to grasp the concept that rehab isn't going to keep her from ending up dead on the street - she is the only one who can prevent that. I'm just so very sorry that you and husband have to go thru this heck while you wait for her to get it.

    Do they have any programs available after the 30 days? A sober house, voc ed, anything to get her on her feet without your involvement? Sorry, I know that looks really cold, but I've just found that as long as thank you knew we were a safety net, he was about as uninvested in his life as could be. It was only after I finally said "no", and meant it, that he began trying to figure out how to live. It's a marginal existence at best, and I very consciously don't ask questions about his life because quite frankly I'm sure it would make me ill... but he's surviving. Not a life I would tolerate for long, but... it is his to do with as he pleases.

    Many gentle hugs to you and husband. You are such good parents to her. I hope that she is able to put this time and treatment to good use.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Nancy. I'm glad I didn't include too much in my posts.

    Regarding your question "does he know how lucky he is" the answer is a bit complex. Yes, he does is the short answer. That is why I always refer to him as easy child/difficult child and not difficult child. husband, easy child/difficult child and I are very very
    close....especially the two of us. Each counselor, as
    well as easy child/difficult child, has stressed that without us he would
    be a lost cause. Every day includes spontaneous hugs
    and "I love you"'s...even at 23 and when surrounded by his peers etc. That is "our" kid.

    on the other hand his impulsivity, need for peer company, the side effects from his brain surgery and his alcoholism do not bode well for a happy future. He has paid a very
    very high price for his addictions/behaviors. It's sad.

    This week he moved into an apartment with his difficult child brother. Our fingers are crossed that they will both use the loving family skills they learned sharing life with us. We hope for the best but stay prepared for the worst....and recite the Serenity Prayer. DDD
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy...I keep hoping you can somehow keep her safe from herself until she hits 23 or so. Even 22 might do it. I know I keep saying it but these kids just dont ripen until then. Really, they are making dumb choices for themselves with brains that arent fully cooked.

    After knowing what I know, and seeing as many 18 and 19 year olds...it is ludicrous to me that the military allows them to drive/fly/command very expensive vehicles and aircraft but they dont have the common sense to ride a lawn mower! 18 and driving a tank! I wouldnt let him drive my Yugo...lol. I know I was stupid at 18. You couldnt tell me nuthin. By 21...well...I started getting a whole lot smarter! By 24, I had to be smarter because I had 3 mouths to feed. Now that isnt the perfect way to gain intelligence but if it saves a life, well, I guess it isnt so bad.
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Nancy, prepare yourself well for the journey you are taking. Hopefully it works for her. Unfortunately, nothing ever worked longterm for my difficult child but allowing him to face the natural consequences for his choices---jail, homelessness, helplessness, until he finally understood. The difference was he was never mean and hateful to me---always charming, remorseful, manipulative...Age has helped. Things are better with him now....of course, at 22 he is now having to backtrack in his life and work twice as hard to catch up with his successful peers.
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Nancy, she really is a challenge. I feel for you and your husband.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet in the back of my mind I always hoped you were right but honestly she is an alcoholic, and let's face it there is not much chance a young person is going to understand that or accept sobriety for the rest of her life. In less than two years she will be able to legally drink. I don;t believe she will ever understand that she can't. The chances are very good that she will end up on the street.

    I hate to sound so pessimistic but I just don't see any way she can overcome this.

  14. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I'm so sorry, Nancy. This sounds so familiar. My difficult child 1 is an alcoholic and has continued to drink since his rehab program. He has always denied that he has a problem, even while stealing wine and liquor and drinking himself to unconsciousness. You will always be able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you really offered everything you could to help your difficult child. Whether she steps up to the plate is up to her.

    Our difficult child 1's rehab program was filled with educational stuff, but they did offer individual counseling for difficult child and optional family counseling for husband and me. It was very useful and the counselor helped us draft a contract with rules and requirements for difficult child 1 to continue living at home (he decided home was intolerable and moved out). She was a great support. I hope there will be something helpful to you in the program there. Best wishes and lots of hugs.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you Katya,

    Actually I talked to her counselor yesterday and she had me write up a bunch of stuff they can use to confront her with, specific facts that she can't deny. It took me hours but I think I did a good job and it will be hard for even her to deny them. So it does sound to me like they are doing actual individual counseling.

    The doctor who was doing the assessment called me yesterday to verify some facts and I was able to fill him in more also. He told me that she is a classic alcoholic, but that she was participating and interacting with some of the other girls that are around her age.

  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Nancy, my experience is as a sibling of an alcoholic. 22 or 23 did NOTHING to help gfgbro, not even after spending 2 years in the Army. the Army did help some, but it was not lasting. He was in his 30s when he went to rehab and that was only because he got caught in some felony charges and it was the only way to get out of jail and avoid prison. My parents were in London while he was in rehab, but did do some family classes afterward. At least Mom did. I had already spent a couple of years in Al Anon and went back for a while. I completely refused all of gfgbro's attempts to take me to family week at his rehab, up to and including this year (the place he went lets you go back with family or alone at any time you need it, usually for no extra charge). My family still feels that this is the reason I am "holding grudges" against him.

    If you have done this before, and you are exhausted and worn out and ready to focus on your life instead of rescueing difficult child again, it is okay to give yourself permission to not go to the family sessions. in my opinion it might actually make her see that saying it is a "family problem" is a crutch when the rest of the family is working the program and the alcoholic difficult child is not. I know others may not agree with this. So much of therapy puts heavy weight on alcoholism being a family problem and it lets difficult children like ours take the focus off of what THEY have done and put it onto what mom, dad and sibs have done. Not all alcoholics are difficult children, and for many they are able to see the family problem and their own responsibility. I just don't think many difficult children can or are willing to do this. You and husband have already done so much and been through this so often.

    It may very well be that until you and husband step away and say that you have done all you can, exhausted all the resources you have to invest in her treatment for this, that you will go through the steps and the therapy with her no more, that she will actually SEE that she must take responsibility and change.

    I am not telling you that you must do this, just offering that it is okay to tell the rehab that you have been there done that and this is her time for rehab, not yours. You won't be the first, or the last. What the people there think really is none of your business, so don't worry about their judgement of you.

    I am so very sorry it came to this.
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie, thank you. We are going to go to this Sunday's program to see where she is at in her recovery. But on Aug 22 husband has a business trip to Vegas and he was going to take me. We have not been anywhere in six years together because of difficult child and I just won't give up that trip. We need that time away and I am giving myself permission to be absent from her program. I too agree that she needs to take complete responsibility for her recovery. We have supported her for 19 years and it's time she step up and support herself.

  18. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Nancy, remember me?

    You and your husband have been wonderful, steadfast parents for your difficult child. I'm sorry it's come to this -- who knows what will happen down the line? Maybe something good.

    Have fun in Vegas. Nancy don't let your heart break completely in two -- it's too early for that, and even if it wasn't, I want you to save some of your heart for yourself and find some ease.

    Some things you can't change, but you already know this.

    Take care of yourself and your husband. I can't believe your easy child is a teacher already!

    I'll pray for your difficult child
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Nancy, I am so sorry.
    I hope she gets at least some groundwork laid so she can see straight and start making better choices.
    I love your reply to her about being a disappointment and totally agree with-it:
    Then she said she was sorry she was such a disappointment in my life. I told her don't you dare lay that on me, be sorry you are such a disappoinment in your own life.