How you deal with other's opinions or judgement

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by strangeworld, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Feeling very low today . I was at a meeting with some moms regarding something in scouts (conduct problems and solutions of all the ironic topics) which my younger son is in. One of the moms works at the college campus in the building right where my 19 yo difficult daughter and her fellow peers hang out. I mentioned to this woman, who is also somewhat a friend, that I was embarrassed to have seen her while dropping my daughter off one morning. She knows my story and also is aware of the homeless...downtrodden people who hang out there. She mentioned something like "you guys must want her home" and I sort of laughed "no we don't"....she started mentioning how my daughter was circling the building she works in. My daughter has told me there's a bathroom in there that she uses. My friend mentioned she saw my daughter talking to a man for a long time in front of her building one day....he didn't look homeless. Wasn't young. I don't remember the exact words but she made me feel guilty and second guess myself for not wanting my daughter home. Like I could possibly control this if she would just stay home. It was something like "you don't want to know what is going on....she's safer at home". Like maybe she's prostituting or something. Or selling drugs...I really don't know. She doesn't know either.

    People with "normal" kids do not understand how hard this is. I said I can't rescue my 19 year old if she doesn't want to help herself. My friend sort of agreed while looking at me like I have three heads.

    I pray my daughter is not doing that. After our meeting I drove around for a while trying to see if I could spot my daughter. After a while I did. She was with a couple guys in a spot she goes to by the creek on campus...she saw me too :( She was easily visible to everyone. I was slightly least she wasn't alone in a dark room with who knows. At least for that moment she was alive and with "friends". Not sure why what this mom said got to me so much. It is possible she is prostituting. Makes me sick to think but reality of drug life is brutal. Whether I know or not doesn't change anything. Whether I cry and worry myself into an emotional paralysis doesn't change anything for my daughter. Keeping her home usually only ruins our peace....our one place of sanctuary.

    I realize the only ones who understand the constant mental torment of knowing there's nothing you can do to fix this broken person is God and other parents with out of control, toxic kids. I still have hope. I still allow my daughter to come home if she asks and if it's convenient for us. I told her "no" the other night wjen she asked if someone could pick her up. It made me feel physically ill to say no. Because I wonder where she will stay...will she be safe? Of course she's not safe. I have a long way to go.

    She has never stolen from us. She does not ask for money. She's acted fairly decent when she's home lately (since xmas fiasco). No drunkenness in my presence. This is her saving grace right now and the reason we still have not told her she's not welcome here. Yes I still smell weed however. It's her "medicine" in her mind. Her old clueless parents don't get it. I'm sure this is what she truly believes. Gah.
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  2. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I’m so sorry. What’s going on with the kid is always the elephant in the room. I have been there often and have had every possible reaction.

    I’ve avoided, deflected, laughed it off, worn the “thuck fem, they couldn’t possibly understand” armor. Mostly I’ve limited my interactions to good people who want to understand and help. It’s a small circle in real life.

    But virtually, it includes this forum. I’m grateful for that.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    "What you think of me is none of my business"

    And it's true. We don't owe anyone our story either. Except for my therapist and here I tend not to tell personal stuff about my kids to others.

    To me that is the best way to avoid judgment of the clueless. If they suspect and fish for info you can say "I would rather not discuss it" or "I hope you aren't offended bit I don't talk about family personal stuff unless they are here and allow it."

    Do you see a therapist? I suggest it and also suggest talking to only the therapist.
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  4. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Yeah I tend to over share with people. Thankfully most people are accepting and non judgy (but some are not) and even have family members in similar or odd situations. I think I over share because I feel like a fraud otherwise. Not sure why...maybe necause I don't have much else going on these days. I need to look for a therapist...or maybe go back to my old one.
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  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    People with "normal" kids do not understand how hard this is. I said I can't rescue my 19 year old if she doesn't want to help herself. My friend sort of agreed while looking at me like I have three heads.

    People with normal children don’t get it. They don’t get it because their kids don’t challenge them. I like to take them through a scenario or two and then they either get it or shut up and don’t bother me any more. It kinda goes like this.
    E should be in school you should make him go.
    Me: your absolutely right. How do you propose I do that?
    To which I get a barrage of tactics that I have of course tried and rhey have failed. So the. I ask what would you do if your son
    Won’t get out of bed
    Won’t go to school
    Won’t stop taking drugs
    Won’t stop stealing from you.
    When I have done everything you have me rubbed abive.
    I often get I would make him go to rehab to which I respond what if they refuse to go what then, please tell me “I am so happy for your help and guidance”. You see I love my son and what ever you can do to help me help him I all for it”.

    This tends to go on for several minutes and they smart ones get it and begin to see the difficult situation we’re in. I have had a few smug ones who round out this conversation by saying “Well my child would never do that” like it is some form of superiority. I then look at this person and say “Well Bless Your Heart” I wish we were as fortunate as you. Conversation over!

    I believe most people don’t get it because this have simply never been through what we have been through. I look at the roller coaster and learning curve this situation had taken me through, and I get it.

    And there are some who are truly judgemental. These people I let go of th y serve no purpose in my life. As SWOT says wha other people think of me is none of my business.

    Being here is a safe and comfortable place. Here I know everyone understands and I know I am not alone.
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  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    The other evening, my nephew and I were chatting. He is a "dabbler" (according to him), uses drugs, but holds a job. Lives with his grandparents across the road. He knows of my Tornados recent hauntings and frenetic partying behaviors (meth). "She is trying to find herself", he says.
    Thinks I should house her while this is going on. Thinks I should "build a little place for her, and her homeless older sister. Of course he does. He’s living with his grandparents.
    This is from the other side of the coin of your story, a users opinion versus a horrified parent, who thinks in her mind that "she could never allow her child to be on the streets." A drug users opinion, that I should look the other way, allow my drug addicted adult children to live off of me, while they "find themselves" drugging and partying their lives away.
    Of course, I have also had the look of horror from other folks at my daughters situation, and the forehead ticker tape, unspoken, or spoken exclamation of “Why aren’t you doing something to help them?.........”
    I don't care what other people think, or say. It is none of their business. They have not been in my shoes, have no clue of the history and disruption addiction causes, the turmoil in my home, the desperation, sleepless nights, all of it wrapped up into a "horror-go-round" of an insidious nightmare of gut wrenching reality. I can be an "over-sharer" as well. I believe that there is a lesson in all of this, that drug addiction can happen within anyone’s family and silence about it only perpetuates ignorance. But, I am cautious about who I speak with. I have enough to deal with and don’t need to add to that load with worrying what others think.
    SW, I have the same issues. I have had to give it all over to God, because it is too much for me to bear alone. You sound well grounded and resolute. For me, this came after years of dealing with the drama and chaos for my household and realizing that nothing changes, if nothing changes. I finally had to let go and realize that the change, had to come from me.

    We all have a long way to go. This is the toughest thing to deal with. I am sorry for the heartache of it. It hurts to say yes and it hurts to say no. The yes means more drama and chaos in our homes, and the no means additional worry and catastrophic thoughts about "what could happen".
    When my mind goes to worry and stress over my two, I say a quick prayer. I pray for them and my family on my morning walks. I have found tremendous help in this. It is because I have no control over their choices.
    I try not to picture the absolute worse case scenario, this only makes it harder to bear. I try to project what they can be, if they want. It may seem silly to do so, but I do have hope that they will wake up and find their true potential one day. I think we mothers learn to run the tapes through our minds of what could happen, just in case it does, so we are somewhat prepared.
    People that have never dealt with this, have absolutely no clue of how difficult the journey is. They don't know how many times we have tried to help, how many sleepless nights we have, the incredible toll it takes on us. They just do not understand.
    Hang in there SW, we are here with you and know how tough this road is. Keep building your toolbox and working on you.
    Know that you deserve to have peace of mind, despite what others think or say.
    You matter.
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  7. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    I hate to hear that you are going through this. Setting boundaries with our adult children is the toughest thing we will ever do. I am with you every step of the way. Keep your sancuary. You deserve it!
  8. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Strangeworld, I was just thinking about this the other day. I was telling one of my good friends at work how hopeful I was for a good outcome from my son's rehab. She is a former social worker who's worked in addictions counseling. She told me to research the Pink Cloud, and that my son's newfound well-being is probably just a temporary thing. I told her that I understand he's not out of the woods, and he could relapse, but "Hope springs eternal." To that, she said, "To you, maybe."

    I decided then and there to share only minimal things with her in the future, as I don't need that negativity in my life. Her children are young (ages 5 and 8), and her husband is seemingly perfect (according to her), and I get tired of hearing about how great everyone is. Of course, I don't wish that she has the kind of problems that I do, but my kids were perfect at those ages, also.
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  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    So sorry you are going through this. We all get it here.

    I tend to overshare also and wear my heart on my sleeve. I have toughened up considerably though.

    I am fortunate to have many close friends that have been very supportive. I'm sure they feel sorry for us and I hate that but I have been so blessed in every other way in my life and I focus on that. I cherish it and I appreciate it more than most people I think. If one thing this has taught me, it is compassion for others. I had it before but never like I have it now. It also taught me that life is really about helping others.

    Origami I do so hope your son gets a lot out of his program which is similar to the program our son is in. It's sad that your "friend" is acting that way about this. I almost want to say that I would probably keep my distance from her. She is a social worker and MUST know this hurts you! If I know someone is intentionally hurting me, then that is not someone I want in my life. You don't need that. Just saying!

    You have gotten great advice here and you will continue to get great advice. No one knows our pain. They will never get it. But they may have things in their life that are different but just as painful. No one is spared.

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  10. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    It is hard to hear negative feedback & I am sure you beat up on yourself enough. I think you are doing the right thing by keeping your distance. She probably can't relate and thinks nothing like this could happen to her.
    I am a counselor myself & I was always so proud ( and probably seemingly haughty) that MY son doesn't do drugs and I would say & " boy am I grateful." I never said this to anyone in a haughty way ( but may have thought that way on the inside.) So now it has come out that he has gotten involved (and probably adducted) to porn. We have to realize that unless we have experienced something ourselves, it is difficult to relate.
    You have an opportunity to set boundaries with someone you are not involved in, so that will be good practice. You are a great person & you deserve to take care of yourself. Hang in there & keep posting! (((HUGS)))
  11. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    She could have sent the same message with “one day at a time.”

    (Hopefully it’s her lady days.)
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  12. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Origami....what on earth!!!? I cannot believe someone would actually say that. How deeply insensitive to say that to a struggling parent. There is always hope, nomatter what.

    I think I will not share with this person anymore even though what she said wasn't really that bad. It just really sent me into depressed zone thinking about all that could be going on with my daughter. Since my post my daughter has been home a couple days here and there. Husband broke our rule of not picking her up in the evenings anymore on Sunday. She didn't ask...he offered because she texted him "hi Dad hope you are enjoying the suoer bowl" This is the first time she had reached out to him in a very long time. So he asked if she wanted a ride home. It's always ME she texts. She seemed normal and not high...yay. Dropped her off again the next day with her portable keyboard....happy she was going to be doing something while hanging around at least.
    Been gone since Monday. Today I get a text asking if I can pick her up when I pick son up from school....ok.
    Today she looked high and very, very tired. Backpack which now goes in trunk, wreaked of strong weed. Tomorrow I make it clear...again...if you are drunk or high don't ask to come home. I hate thinking she has nowhere to go but I just can't take this emotionally. It's a slow process for us...setting boundaries.
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  13. Tomorrowtoday

    Tomorrowtoday New Member

    My son is the same not because of drugs but because they made him responsible for his own medications and he won't take them. I don't even recognize him right now. Honestly if she's not stealing or asking for money then you should be there for her. At 19 I was your daughter. There may be issues you don't understand or that she's trying to protect you from.

    I'm 37 now and a business owner. My husband works full time. We have a house. The ideas people had about girls who live on the streets nearly ruined my life. I'd go to job interviews and hear "didn't you used to be a hooker?"...I've slept with five people my whole life. The guys I was surrounded by back then were trying to protect me. We were trying to protect eachother from police officers, teachers and social workers who see a kid alone and desperate and try to exploit them.

    I would literally be dead now if my dad hadn't ALWAYS without question come running when I called and said I needed him. Always. He'd drive me to the hospital or a friends house or home, helped me get an income an a place to live, called me an idiot and said I was making terrible choices. Slipped church brochures under my door and drove around the city just to make sure I was safe.

    I was awful, cruel. He didn't deserve it. I was also the first person to run to his side when he was injured and in the hospital. I ran errands for him and made sure when I bought things for him he got all the change. I took him for walks in his wheelchair and visited him long after everyone else got bored.

    The cool, amazing thing about those of us who have been through some things in life is that we don't run away the minute something becomes a challenge.

    There's an old Chinese proverb: lots of food, little flavor. Little food, lots of flavor.

    If you've had nothing, you learn to appreciate everything. So be there for her and by be there for her I mean tell her every day that what she's doing is stupid and harmful and she could get sick, or worse. It means something especially coming from the person who gave her orange juice when she had a cold and chicken soup, and brought her clean towels and read her stories at night.

    Addicts are like people possessed by demons and there are very few small windows of opportunity where the demons clear and the real person inside thinks, with clarity "I done messed up". You'll want to be there for that.
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  14. Tomorrowtoday

    Tomorrowtoday New Member

    A lot of social workers I've met were just very manipulative people who lied about how perfect their lives were because they either had something horrible to hide (like their own addictions) or because, as social workers, they know what to be afraid of from the people who are supposed to "help" our families.

    Invariably they're people who like to make themselves feel powerful by making others feel small, and that includes boasting about how amazing they, their children, and their lives are.

    The more human ones still spend their lives around other social workers who will make their existence hell at the drop of a hat, so they're more guarded than the rest of us and scared to say anything bad lest their colleagues seize on it and they lose their jobs.
  15. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I really appreciate hearing your perspective
  16. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Hell yes you are right I want to be there for that . Wow, I truly appreciate your perspective. It's not the typical "you're enabling". It's hard to know what to do. She called last night and it was date night sort of for my husband and me (usually Friday's we go out). She knew this. I knew she was wanting to come home but she didn't ask at first. I said I would be happy to get her tomorrow (today). She was sober and respectful in the car. She has never stolen and doesn't ask for money so I guess that's something . Didn't smell weed today either but I'm sure she has some tucked away in her backpack ( which I know she has convinced herself is her medicine).

    'm so sorry your son is in such a bad place. How do you convince someone to take their medications? You just can' one can. So, so hard and heartbreaking. I hope someone can help him. I think a lot of my daughter's friends are in similar situations.
  17. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Yesterday at a scout function I mention my daughter to a different friend. "She said how are things going with that"...she's somewhat aware of my situation. I said "not good". She said "you need to tell her....either you live here or she don't. If you decide to live here it will be by our rules. It's your choice". All very cut and dry. I said it's not that easy when the heart is involved. She said "she's taking advantage of you". She does not have any kids. Well....if it was as simple as that I would have done it already. Someone without kids telling me what to do was a bit irritating. She's a "step mom" but not married so I guess not even step mom.
    From now on I only talk to a very few.
  18. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I have a good friend who sees "my world" this way, also. She's sympathetic on the one hand, but tends to hand out black-and-white advice. She also doesn't have children. Maybe it's easier not to enable when you're looking in at a situation from the outside. It always seemed to me that people who act like it should be easy to manage this kind of situation forget that your child is not just an addict, difficult person, rule-breaker, etc., but is a real person with feelings and a history. Maybe I haven't reached the point of detachment yet where I can distance myself from all of this (still working on it).
  19. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I no longer let myself question what we did and will continue to do for our son. I don’t expect anyone to actually understand our situation or for me to truely understand another’s. We all have different situations and people are not all the same, even addicts are not all the same. I will never judge a parent who has had to distance themselves but I also don’t want my choices to be judged either, however I’d not let it affect me if someone did (or does). I feel at peace with how we have continued to support our son, even when it looked like he didn’t care or maybe others thought we shouldn’t.

    I appreciate your personal story tommorowtoday, we have chased our son around and picked up the pieces more than once the last four years. We have lectured and loved. Some days I didn’t think I could do it anymore. Then one day he decided he couldn’t do it anymore either. And he called me crying saying “I need detox”... it wasn’t a smooth road , and he slipped a few times and needed an intervention but he has slowly pulled himself out of the gutters. I am so glad we never gave up on him, even when he gave up on himself. I told him almost daily I loved him. He wasn’t always very lovable.

    I know my story is not the same as anyone else’s and that is why what we did worked for us but may not work for anyone else.

    I know until you have lived this horrible horrible life with loving an addict there is no way anyone can judge you. It’s not something anyone could imagine when their sweet hold is young and still so protected. The loss of being able to protect your child is traumatic . It is the scariest thing I have ever experienced.

    Son is doing great, he had his moments when I worry but he seems to be navigating his way. I am so very thankful to not be worrying about his life on a daily basis. He is home every night and goes to school every day. This is a miracle. I could not invision this a year ago.

    Please do not give up hope on your kids. There is always hope when there is love.

    Hugs and peace
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  20. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    That’s a terrible thing for someone to have done to you Origami. Hope with no expectations but don’t let anyone rain on your hope.