Hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Just wanted to update you all. We picked up difficult child from the Mental Health Hospital and drove him just over 4 hrs to TX. We put the child locks on in the car and my husband wore his running shoes, but in the end difficult child gave us no problems. It was a long silent drive, he really didn't have much to say. His neck has almost completely healed. If you look close you can see faint red lines, but anyone walking by on the street wouldn't see him and know what he had tried to do nearly 2 weeks ago.

    The substance abuse inpatient program looked nice. Everyone was very friendly and the patients walking around the "camp" didn't look abused or anything, but I'm a pessimistic worrier by nature. I just keep thinking the worst. When they took him away from us right away and we would not see him again before we left (2 hrs later), it didn't help. We have a blackout period of zero contact for 7 days. It's going to be rough. I can't stop thinking about him. Wondering if he's being treated nicely, wondering if he's being his manipulative self, charming the counselors into thinking he's "fine."

    We were asked to write an impact letter, read the book 'Co-Dependency No More' and start attending Al-Anon meetings. I don't know that my husband will agree to attend Al-Anon. How do you get a spouse that is not open to the idea of a support group to see that it's necessary!?

    On the other hand, you don't realize just how much stress you are under constantly keeping tabs on your child, watching, locking everything up etc until they aren't around. Our household hasn't been so laid back in a long time. I think we are all enjoying that part of it.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  2. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That initial week or so when there is no contact sure brings out all the Mama Bear instincts. We have only dealt with s.a. programs so I'm sure it is harder with m.h. as the primary issue. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. DDD
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    <<<Hugs>>> It's so very hard, I understand. Perhaps your spouse can just join you for support, not say anything if he's not comfortable, then maybe he'll open up. It's just so much to process right now, and maybe he just needs some downtime to reflect. My heart goes out to you...
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thinking of you
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    comaheart it was the running joke in our daughter's rehab that the parents always said they were finally getting a good night's sleep wth their difficult children in rehab. I understand your concern, we had the same blackout period. I didnt understand it at first but it really is for the best. The staff needs time to assess them without any outside influences and they need time to assimilate into the environment. We were even told that when communication was allowed to make it short and sweet, not ask a lot of questions, and not entertain any of their woo me comments.

    Do they have a family program that you are required to attend? If so I strongly recommend you attend, it was invaluable to us. We were required to read the same book and attend al-anon meetings. My husband sounds like yours but he willingly went along which surprised me a lot. We were both committed to doing whatever necessary to support her recovery. Our family program was all day Sundays which we attended every week. It was very emotionally draining and intensive with the parents and their loved ones sitting in a circle and one-by-one a parent and loved one sitting in the middle holding hands and the parent telling the loved one what how their addiction has impacted them. We cried, both my husband and I and our daughter, every week.

    The impact statement is much like that, int hat it allows you to let your son know how this has impacted your life and how much you love him and want him well. He has to listen to it and it makes an impact.

    I'm anxious to hear how it goes, enjoy the time to recharge your batteries and your stress free home.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, I understand the feelings of relief and relaxation once your difficult child is safely in rehab. I don't think most us even realize the stress that we are under until after we know that our loved one is somewhere safe and being taken care of and we can finally breathe.

    Don't worry about your difficult child being able to manipulate and charm them. They are used to it and see right through it. The other patients farther along in the process are quick to call them on it, too. My difficult child is the best of the best at it but the counselors and therapists saw the manipulation immediately. In fact, they would call things to my attention that my difficult child was doing when I didn't even realize that I was being manipulated.

    I know it is impossible not to worry but remind yourself that this place was recommended by mental health experts. You've done your job in finding him the right treatment center . . . . now let them do theirs.


    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Years back I got my husband to attend meetings by bribing and guilting him. After the five he agreed to attend, he chose to continue as he felt it was making a difference in our relationship. This was at the very beginning of our marriage and it made a real difference to us both.

    One thing that may help is explaining that when the family gets help from 12 step meetings, the addict is 30% more likely to be sober after a year. While that may not seem like much, it is HUGE. If difficult child was in school getting a 59% and if you and husband spent one hour a week at the school then difficult child would get an 89%, would you have done it? I bet you would and husband would also. Sobriety is vastly more important than school could ever be because without sobriety all the education in the world won't give you a good life and won't allow you to actually learn what the teachers are teaching. So putting that effort into meetings really can be that difference between sobriety and active addiction.

    Many men respond more to numbers, so putting it this way may help your husband see the need for meetings. Even if he won't go at first, if you go and work the steps, he will see changes in you and that may get him to go.

    Remember that you may not like the first few meetings you go to. You don't have to say anythng unless you want to. It is recommended to do at least 7 in 7. That means attending a meeting every night for a solid week. Go to different locations and times until you find ones that feel right to you. Even meetings at the same time on different nights will have different dynamics, and this helps you find the ones that are the best fit for you. Lunch/noon meetings are different, and faster, than at other times, and some churches have very different dynamics than meetings in non-church settings. At first I didn't do this, or know anything about it, but about a month in I did it and was amazed. I understood why it was important. Some meetings were very by the book with little time to share anything personal and others were far more personal with people taking time to discuss their problems and issues and others giving feedback on this. Lunch meetings tended to be quite short, usually 30-45 min and only focusing on a short concept or reading and evening meetings esp closed ones (open only to those with addicts in the family for alanon and only to addicts for AA/NA) tended to have more time to share personal things.

    The changes that we made via alanon truly helped both husband and I build a firm foundation for our marriage and we each go back to meetings when we feel the need, recognizing that it isn't like an antibiotic that fixes the problem in one round of treatment. We don't make it a big deal, but it is a major factor in our still being together 22 years later (as of August 2013). Regardless of our love for each other and our kids, we had some serious difficulties in the beginning and alanon helped us understand ourselves, each other, and how we interacted so that we could work to meld our lives into a family that works for us. Maybe this will give your husband some insight into what happens and why it is important for everyone to get help. If you only maintain the tires, eventually your car will run out of gas, oil, and other essentials and won't work. Families are like that too.
  9. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Yes, I think the numbers will help. THank you for sharing!

    With his work schedule, 7 in 7 is impossible. I have high hopes that we'll be able to find one we like and he will continue to attend. Our son's counselor instructed us to attend, so I'm using that on my husband as well. Taking some of it off me "telling him to go", and more on the counselor, which he is responding to better.
  10. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    Comatheart, would you be willing to go to meetings without your husband at any point? I ask not so much to push the 7-in-7 idea, but because there may come a time when you need more support than he does, or different support, or a week where your schedules are incompatible and no meeting will work for the two of you together.
  11. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Yes, I think so. I'm very nervous though. I kinda want to do the first one together to get over that initial hump...
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You don't have to speak in an Al-Anon meeting unless you want to, but you can gain a lot of support and skills and even love by just listening. The others understand.

    Interestingly enough, at my Al-Anon meeting we are all ladies. When it is a child that is the problem, the fathers, like your husband, are unwilling to come with the wives. It's not uncommon for them to lag way behind. Look for an all male Al-Anon meeting. Maybe your hub would do better with that.

    My daughter never went to rehab, but we did make her leave and she talked her VERY straight arrow brother into letting her stay with him. Before she left our house she shouted, "I will hate you until I die! I will never speak to you again!" For three weeks she didn't and I cried. Even though she had created chaos and numerous police visits and drug-fueled tantrums, I was still her mom and my heart was broken. No contact is very difficult for some of us at first.