Help me be strong!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kathy813, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We had our first visit with difficult child at the inpatient treatment center. She's only been there for a week so maybe I was expecting too much but difficult child was the same old difficult child. She spent the hour we were there working hard to try to get us to agree to let her come home after the month is up.

    We told her that we thought a half-way house would be the best option and she flat out said she refused to go to one. She threatened to check out of the treatment center if we wouldn't say she could come home at the end of the month. We stuck to our guns and asked her where she would go if she left and she said she would live in her car. I said, "well, if that's what you want."

    At one point she stormed out to have a cigarette and we asked the nurse if we should leave. She told us to go out and get some fresh air and she would talk to difficult child and see if she wanted us to stay. She came out a few minutes later and said difficult child had calmed down and wanted us to stay.

    Well, that was just to start the barrage again. This time we didn't love her if we wouldn't let her come home. Oh, and her counselor said that the best thing would be for difficult child to live at home and attend outpatient treatment, counseling, and daily AA meetings. It went on and on . . .

    Then she started on how half-way houses aren't safe and she would be afraid and her anxiety disorder would go through the roof. She even claimed to have been raped at one of the extended stay hotels that we paid for (this is the second time she has said this even though at the time she just said some man had knocked on her door repeatedly and then called her room and said very explicit sexual things to her). We moved her to a different extended stay hotel the next morning after she called and told us what had happened. She claimed tonight that because of what happened she only feels safe at our house.

    She was mad that we forgot the stamps she had requested but didn't thank us for the other things that we brought her. Nor did she thank us for the three packs of cigarettes that we brought her. Instead we heard how other patients' families had brought them cartons because they love them (implying of course that we don't love difficult child).

    I don't even want to go back next week. We drove three hours round trip for that??

  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sounds like she is reinforcing your decision not to let her come home!! Just imagine the manipulation and garbage you would have to live with again. It will get hard when she is sweet, remorseful and repentant...then it gets harder to say no. Did you get from her counselor that she should come home, or is that what your difficult child told you?

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry it was such a rough visit. I would be very upset too. Maybe you and husband need to talk and see if it would be wise to let her handle her treatment herself, and not visit her. You have spent YEARS of your live trying to help her cope with her problems, and a huge amount of money. You have a right to live your lives and not keep shepherding her like a little girl. I know it is hard, esp if she is making bad choices. There has to be some point at which you say you have done enough, and it is her job to handle things now.

    As for the counselor, BS. It is NOT better for difficult child to continue treatment at your house - not for the majority of people who live there and for the people who PAY for that house. It would be nice, and she would have few real responsibilites other than her treatment. But haven't you done that before? More than once? Why would it work now when it didn't before?

    Isn't it Fran who said that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result? I don't know what the solution is, but I am pretty sure that NO ONE in alanon would think that letting her move home was a great idea. Esp if she doesn't have a full time job and isn't paying her own way there. It would be letting her return to being a teen, and continue to take over your home and lives.

    Maybe alanon would give you some new ideas and coping tools?

    I am sorry she doesn't seem to change and still plays the "you don't love me" card. It has to be old and tired.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That was me who said the insanity thing susie.

    Kathy Kathy Kathy, I am so sorry that you had to sit through that session but believe me when I tell you it happened every single time we went to parent day while difficult child was in treatment, and that was nine Sundays sitting through that after a three hour round trip ride just like you. It is emotionally and phsyically draining. We had one session close to the end of the first 30 days when difficult child pulled the same thing, you don't love me if you won't let me come home, I won't stay here one day longer, I'll leave on my own, I'll go to IOP (intensive outpatient), blah blah blah. The counselor asked us to draw the line in the sand and we did, we told her she could not come home and that she needed to stay another 30 days. My only regret is that at the end of the 60 days we didn't insist on a sober house.

    Finally difficult child relented and stayed the 60 days, but each week another client was pulling the same thing on their family member and so it went. Some walked out, some stayed, some convinced their family they were "better" and were back in a few weeks. difficult child stayed 60 days and went to IOP for another 45 and she still relapsed right after. Every day you can keep them in treatment is one day longer that they are sober.

    I am concerned that this counselor said what she did in front of your difficult child. We had private phone calls with our difficult child's counselor to make sure we were on the same page. Her counselor pushed to have difficult child stay longer. Can you call her counselor and tsalk this over with her and let her know your concerns? She should know the dangers of letting difficult child come home, I am baffled by her stand on this.

    I know how devastated you are. Sometimes we would drive away thinking that she wasn't getting this at all. In the end I do think she got it, she understands the disease and has accepted it. Now it is a matter of replacing that part of her life with other things and that is the hardest. Stay strong, know what you will accept and what you won't. In the end she may be back on the street like our difficult child was for a while, but she may be closer to getting help the next time also.

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Kathy. I "think" I'd be likely to say to her "you are not in this program for us you are here for you". "Going into treatment was your choice for facing your problems and learning how to live a productive is not, and never was, a "deal" to include us." I "might" even add "We have chosen the life we want to live and have worked hard to achieve our goals. Now it is your turn to plan your goals and lifestyle choices."

    Do I think that would make a difference? Probably not. on the other hand, she doesn't "get" that she has to be the captain of her own ship and chart her own course. If she sees this as an opportunity for emotional blackmail she might as well quit the program and "do her own thing". At the last rehab difficult child#1 attended they used the phrase "you've got to look at yourself in the mirror". Obviously it was intended to get the residents to focus on self. on the other hand, most of them if they did look in a mirror were checking to see how their hair looked or their makeup. Sigh! DDD
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess I didn't make myself clear. I was still in an emotional state last night when I was typing my post. I don't know what the counselor is really telling difficult child. We have not talked to the counselor. difficult child told us that she had told the counselor that she refuses to go to a halfway house and that the counselor said that living at home was okay as long as she was following the aftercare program. The counselor doesn't know that it is not okay with us for difficult child to come home.

    I didn't know until last night that I could call the counselor and talk directly with her. I am going to do that before we go back to visit difficult child.

    Honestly, I don't want to go back next week. I guess I will calm down and relent but right now I really don't know. Feeling that makes me feel like the most terrible mother in the world. difficult child would probably agree.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are not terrible Kathy, you are human and you are a mom hurting. I'm glad you will call the counselor to get her take on this. It may be that you shouldn't go back next week. She needs to work harder on her sobriety that you are and right now she isn't, she is blackmailing you.

    Take the time for yourself that you need to get back in balance. You deserve to have a life that does not completely revolve around her. Keep telling yourself you are not a bad mom, you are a wonderful mom, but you will no longer be her whipping board.

  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Don't you love it when they quote some other person who says that what they want is what's best for them, as a way saying how hotrible you are for not letting them get exactly what they want? "See, even so and so thinks I'm right!" Youngest used to quote our pastor, saying he thought I was a terrible grandmother who was selfish and afraid to die alone. I never really believed he said that, but it still got my defensive hackles up. It's a diversionary tactic, though.

    I think her behavior is sadly par for the course here. Stand strong... we're all behind you here. I don't blame you for not wanting to go back, really. I wouldn't want to, either.

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey Kathy. I actually figured out what you were saying last I knew no counselor would say to you in front of difficult child that she should come home to your house at her age. That would be like telling me I should go stay at my Not happening.

    Im not surprised she is giving you heck at this point in the game. She is trying all her tired old antics. Lets see, if I threaten mom and dad with leaving rehab maybe they will cave...damn...they didnt. Hmmm..up the ante. have never loved didnt bring me enough cigarettes! You didnt bring me my stamps! You didnt blah blah blah! Everyone else's parents do blah blah blah! ( I love every one else!)

    When none of that works, she is going to still up the ante more and threaten she wont do anything anyone wants her to do right now....not go into sober living, no halfway housing, nothing. Only your house. What is up with that? Does she seriously want to be a child forever?

    You know I think I would look up sober living facilities around your area and then I would think about writing up a contract for living in your home. I would make it so unpleasant she would never want to live there. Bedtime is 8pm. No TV. No computer usage. You can think of things. Just make it really horrible. friends. Just awful. No what I mean. Nothing a grown woman would want to adhere to.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The problem with writing up a contract Janet is that they lie constantly so they would say anything to get back in and then just not follow it. difficult child never followed any contract that either she or we contracted, didn;t even make it look like she was. They are master manipulators.

    Kathy I'm sorry I didn't understand that it was difficult child saying those things and not the counselor. Did difficult child say those things to you alone or was there anyone else present? If that had happened in difficult child's treatment program when the counselor found out she would have confronted difficult child in group about it.

  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Contracts are awesome for PCs. For difficult children, though, they're not worth the paper they're written on. been there done that...

    Kathy - the very most important thing here is that I'm sending you gentle hugs. You're NOT a bad mom... If difficult child was horribly ill (physically, say appendicitis) and hospitalized, would you waver about taking her home before treatment? It's the same thing, in a way - just because you cannot see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Heck, I don't even know where my appendix is.

    A good parent does everything they can to help their child. That's what you're doing! Caving and allowing her to come home would just hurt her, so your standing firm is the best thing you can do. And if the counselor does say she's good to come home? Well, she's old enough to have her OWN home.

    I moved out of my parents' at age 21, and back at age 28... For 2 months, till I found a job (I came back from out of state when I left my XH) and an apartment. I wanted to continue to love and respect them, which wasn't going to happen living with them. I'd been on my own too long.

    She's saying that doing whatever she wants to do (being independent) is GOOD - but you need to do X, Y, and Z (as well as A through W) for her - which is NOT independence. It's manipulation.

    STAY STRONG! More gentle hugs, hon.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Kathy, why would not visiting her one week make you a bad mother? (I think that one must've zipped over my head or something)

    difficult child does have a rather rotten attitude for someone trying to get clean and sober. If it were me, I wouldn't go back to visit her. I'd at least skip a visit. If her attitude didn't change, I'd skip until it adjusted.

    difficult child is 26, not 16. At some point you have got to cut the line, which means no coming home.......she's an adult, she needs to figure it out. And yeah, she'll probably throw a tantrum because she expects you to cave in.

    If you've not done so already, you need to seek out a good al anon group and sit in on a couple of meetings a week. Because even if she makes it through the program, you're going to need the experience and knowledge they can give you.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed and difficult child in my prayers that she works the program and is successful.

  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We were in the visiting room where there are vending machines and couches and tables. There was another family there with a young adult daughter and a couple where the wife was the patient. Staff was walking around unobtrusively.

    The staff does know that difficult child was upset last night and why. When difficult child stormed out to have a cigarette, we talked to a staffer (not sure what she was . . . difficult child said she was not a nurse) about it and she gave us a list of halfway houses that we could contact. She then talked to difficult child and came out front to get us. She said that difficult child was mad at her, too, since she told difficult child that she had given us a list of halfway houses. She didn't seem terribly upset about that. LOL

    Another member of the staff saw that difficult child was crying and just walked over and set a tissue box down in front of her without saying anything. At the very end, difficult child picked up the list of halfway houses and refused to give it back to me when we went to leave. I went back to the original staffer and told her difficult child refused to give me the list so she got me another copy. As she walked us out, I told her that difficult child was still upset with us (not like she couldn't tell).

    So they definitely know about the situation. I hope it gets brought up today. difficult child kept asking that we wait until the end of the program to decide about whether she can come home and leave it up in the air right now. I think she is better off knowing now so that she can work on a transition plan with the counselor. Is that wrong . . should we have said maybe even though we know in our hearts the answer is no?

    by the way, I posted this in another thread but husband and I went to our first Al-anon meeting last night. It was part of the family education program that we are required to attend before we get to see difficult child each week. It was interesting but not what I thought. I thought there would be discussion and advice rather than just sharing stories. I will attend some more before I decide if I think it will be helpful.
  14. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My son loved the idea of a contract!!! Loved it. Totally agreed to it. We did the whole Dr. Phil (or someone) contract when he first started driving regularly, the summer going into his junior year. It was very detailed including repercussions, and drug and alcohol use were a total deal breaker. I can still remember him saying it was a "totally, great idea" and smiling as he signed it at our kitchen table. 2 weeks later he got a drinking citation and we found out he had been partying all summer.

    Kathy, you have 3 more weeks, right? I'd put on my Scarlett O'Hara bonnet (not the corset though) and "think about it tomorrow." Same thing with the visit. Honestly, I'd probably go. Only because I don't think it will make you feel better if you don't -- as brutal as it is -- I think not going will feel worse. And I would try to maintain the status quo.

    From what I understand, she SHOULD be bristling at treatment at this stage. I remember difficult children therapist telling me so when he initially got therapy his junior year. He warned me at an initial session (privately) that things would get worse before they got better and that I should expect some resistance. (which is why we had the therapy court ordered) While difficult child did balk at going to his initial sessions, I am pretty sure the therapist received the brunt of the resistance. And it wasn't pretty.

    I will never forget difficult child angrily asserting at an early joint session: "if we had let him stay out later without a curfew, he would not have used drugs or alcohol." Like that makes sense to anyone? I knew he was better when he laughed about it a few months later. "Can you believe I said that?"

    3 years later, difficult child is back to his old habits. But he got a solid 28 months or so of good clean living including his HS diploma. While he is totally ignoring or forgetting everything he learned in therapy, I have to hope that it is still somewhere inside of him and that he will draw on it someday.

    She's safe for now and she isn't home. Draw your strength from that. Plan something fun to do after the ride back or the next day. It will give you something to look forward to...
  15. Blondiesbf

    Blondiesbf New Member

    All I can say in regards to Al Anon is that it is for us. They don't give advise but support. We carry hurt and guilt and can't continue to do that. It is a place to have discussion and share stories and learn from the forward progress of others. They won't tell me what to do with my son for I certainly can't fix him, but they can provide the support and direction I need to deal with this better and learn to make MY life a happier life!

    At least that is what I have taken away in the two meetings I have attended so far. Tonight is the newcomer's meeting so maybe I'll have more insight for you!

  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Kathy, are you and husband united in the answer "No"? If you both are convinced that "No" is the answer then there would be no reason to give her false hope of using you as a backup plan. difficult child's love to live in the gray of life. This is black and inbetween hue. The sooner she understands that there is no talking you out of it, in my humble opinion, the better the chance that she will hone in on a plan for herself. Hugs DDD
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD, we walked into the visit with the agreement that difficult child was absolutely not coming home. But once we were there, difficult child kept hitting all the buttons . . . only feels safe at home . . . would follow through with all of the aftercare and would go back to DBT . . . why wouldn't we help her since she was getting treatment for her problems . . . if we only loved her enough . . .

    I swear, I wish difficult child could get her act together and finish college and go to law school. She would be an awesome defense lawyer. She could convince a jury that had seen the defendant murder someone that they really didn't see it, after all.

    Sheesh. However, we are still standing tall (for now). No, she cannot come back here.
  18. Blondiesbf

    Blondiesbf New Member

    Kathy, I saw this and thought of you...and all of us:

    "The best thing you can do for your child is to learn how to Love yourself - is to focus on recovering from your codependency.

    We must start recognizing our powerlessness over this disease of Codependence."

    I know it fits me because I'm tired of having my feelings manipulated by my difficult child!!!
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Signorina, now is the time to think about yourself and not worry about next week or three weeks from now. They are angry at this stage in their treatment and they pull out all the stops to get their way. They have not surrendered to their addiction yet. I was confused at first. I thought you were in a group family therapy type session. If this was just visitation there is no way I would go back. There were several family visiting saturdays that we did not go to because of difficult child's attitude. We did attend the family therapy sessions on sundays because they were structured and difficult child could not/did not get away with her antics in those sessions.

  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, they have not mentioned any family therapy sessions. I guess I will put that question on my list for the counselor. I'm sorry if I didn't make things clearer in the first post. Like I said, I was exhausted physically, and mentally, and emotionally last night. I am really leaning towards not going back for just visits. It is really hard to do on a weeknight when the center is so far away.