Finally ready to start detachment phase: attending my first Al Anon meeting today

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by recovering doormat, May 13, 2010.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Hi everyone, I haven't been around for months.

    My difficult child 1, just turned 20 this week, has been in a psychiatric treatment facility in New England for the past three months and it is working out beyond my expectations. She bottomed out in January, smoking weed daily and binge drinking, was sexually assaulted (date raped) at a hotel party around the holidays because she was too drunk to fight off the guy who wanted to have sex with her...and didn't even recognize it as an assault until weeks later. Not many places for young adults with dual diagnosis: substance abuse and emotional disorder. But I found one, and thank God, it is exactly what she needed. She was willing to go, and I promised to pay for it as long as she was willing to do the work. It's very expensive, her dad refuses to help out (didn't think she needed to go), and it's not covered by insurance. However, I had money in my IRA, so off she went Feb. 15 and we are hopeful that by August she will have her drivers' license, a place to live in a sober house not too far from her community college, and will be on her way to independent living and a fresh start.

    She has detoxed, started an internship working in a local public school as an aide to the kindergarten teacher (she wants to study early childhood education), started horseback riding lessons (she was a complete stoner couch potato when she left), has lost about 20 lbs. from the healthy diet they feed the clients at this place, but more than that, she has met bright young people like her who enjoy ideas and want to get better. I'm really proud of her.

    While she's transitioning from her current setting to living pretty much independently, I am in desperate need of detachment training. I found an Al Anon meeting for today and I'm going to check it out. I'm afraid of getting sucked into old patterns of trying to control what my kids do and worse, attempting to motivate them to do things they should be doing on their own.

    I'm in even greater need of detaching from my son, who smokes weed, refuses to get a job, and thinks I'm his personal chauffeur and errand girl. He lives with his dad who is less than useful as a parent, and banks on my feelings of guilt over "abandoning" him when I left his dad nearly six years ago. Son stayed with dad because of his history of oppositional/defiant behavior and physical aggression towards his younger sister and me.

    I'd be interested in hearing from those of you who have made progress in detaching yourself from your older teen/young adults' drama, and what worked for you, and what didn't work so well.

    Wish me luck! This has been a long time in coming.
  2. compassion

    compassion Member

    Great!!! Families Anon (TABW) and Al-Anon online are great resources. I read the lit. a lot each day and it helps so much with detatchment. Compassion
  3. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Thanks, Compassion. I went to my first meeting and left feeling like I had found a very safe place. I'm going to a parents meeting tonight, different location. I think I need to read the lit too.
  4. maril

    maril New Member

    RD: I hope all is well for you and your family since your last post. Have you continued with the meetings? Indeed, it is a process to detach and I am making progress slowly. I think I have become more realistic with my expectations of what will be, learned through the process of my son's treatment/recovery/subsequent relapse but I still slip occasionally slip into enabling behaviors.

    I plan to go to a local Nar-Anon meeting this weekend and haven't been to a meeting in awhile.
  5. maril

    maril New Member

    Follow-up to my above post: I went to a meeting and am glad I did. I read, re-read, and even highlighted some of the text (want to show husband some points made about the "user's weapons") in literature I received.

    During the meeting, it was emphasized that the illness of addiction is ongoing (lifetime), which is a point I need to remember.