Hurt and angry...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Husband and I drove 50 miles to see difficult child in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) today. I thought I had told him we would see him on Sunday before we left the family meeting on Thursday. We show up for the family education session, which includes patients and families. difficult child did not share during the session. During the break he told us that he felt very uncomfortable with us there and did not expect to see us. He did not feel comfortable sharing his feelings in front of us. It came out that he would rather us leave, so we did.

    I plan to tell his counselor when he calls that unless we get an apology from him we do not plan to visit again. I will drive him to his next abode or around to get social services or to the doctor, but if he doesn't want to have a relationship with us, I am not going to put any more effort into it. If he wants another family meeting, we can do it over the phone. We are done.

    On the other hand difficult child was telling us the after care plans (program has waiting list, plan to send him to sober living till it opens up) so it sounds like he has resigned himself to go along with it.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry your son did that to you. Not sure how fat the placement is from your home but you can do the sessions over the phone I would think. When my son was in a psychiatric residential treatment facility, we were supposed to do weekly therapy sessions. I had to tell the therapist that this was a bit of a stretch for us. They moved them to every other week and we did one week were we went up in person and the other session was done over the phone. His placement was almost 2 hours away at that time. He was there almost 7 months.

    I would send him letters but I wouldnt go until you get letters in return that sound more hopeful. It doesnt take much to be respectful.

    Most kids in these places start off being real pains in the butts in the beginning but they turn around eventually. I cant say how long because some of them have an incredibly ability to hang on to the honeymooning at the placement but telling the parents that they hate them. It is really par for the course.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ny daughter is in a residential treatment center in Florida while we live in Georgia. We do our weekly/biweekly family therapy sessions over the phone. We recently went down there for a family therapy weekend which was intense but helpful. I would say our difficult child wasn't comfortable but was friendly and generally cooperative. The entire weekend was devoted to making the clients understand the effect that the clients behavior/addiction/mental illness has had on the family. It was not a time for difficult child to air grievances or complaints.

    One thing . . . the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) made it clear to our difficult child and us that difficult child's phone calls that were not family therapy calls were supposed to be reassuring to us and kept light and easy. They said that if she started complaining about treatment or a roommate or aftercare plans, we should direct her back to her therapy team and end the call if necessary. I think you are wise to refuse to go back until your difficult child makes you feel welcome and participates in the family therapy.

  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm sorry it went down like that. I hope he learns from it. Hugs....
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending hugs.........................
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Daze - gentle hugs to you.

    I have a slightly different take on this. When I visited my difficult child (and most of his placements were well over an hour away - in the lovely Chitown traffic, LOL), I went for *me*, not for him. If he was being a pill, I didn't hesitate to turn around and come home - one visit lasted exactly 8 minutes. But somehow, knowing that I was visiting for myself, that kept me from getting really angry over his gfgness. Of course he's not going to appreciate my driving an hour plus to see him. He just didn't operate that way. I never expected an apology from him, 'cuz it would either never come or (more likely) it would come when he wanted something that he could only get from me. I can't stand insincerity.

    When he was younger, we did trek up there for family therapy, but as he got older, and after some really nasty sessions that the sibs just didn't need to be a party to, we did most via phone.

    My advice would be to go see him when *you* want to, with zero expectations of his appreciation, and with the understanding in your own heart that if he's being a PITA, you can leave. The choice is completely yours. Puts you in the driver's seat (ha - a pun), lets you do what you need to do for you, and really takes the power away from difficult child - yes, you'll leave if he's being prickly, but it doesn't need to hurt and anger you if *you* made the choice to trek up there in the first place.

    I hope this makes sense - I really do understand how disappointed you must be, but (for me anyway) I found that putting a different spin on who was controlling the visits really did make that anger and hurt disappear when my difficult child was being a pain.

    Again, hugs.
  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I have to say I am on the other side to. It sounds like he was honest with you. He wasn't comfortable, maybe he had forgotten you were coming, and he would rather handle this on his own for now. While it is a pain in the :censored2: to drive 100 miles for not much I actually think you may have gotten more than you think out of it. The pain and anger is the immediate reaction but in the long run the question is did he handle this better than normal? Before the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he probably dealt with all confrontations in a volatile or unhealthy manner. IE: instead of telling you he was uncomfortable he might have lost it or smoked pot (whatever his vices are).

    Maybe he needs a little space and is getting it there. I would tell the counselor to let him know that you guys are fine with giving him some space and will be more than happy to visit him when he is ready. I hate to say it but it sounds like he may be growing a little.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry I did not follow your posts earlier. I am usually in the substance abuse forum and I try to check other forums for substance abuse posts but I missed yours.

    My difficult child was in a treatment center three years ago and it was 70 miles from our home. Every Suday they held family education day, sounds very similar to yours. The families were encouraged/expected to attend every Sunday while thier loved one was in the center. Of course travel restrictions prohibited some. Our daughter's counselor was in touch with us often and we could call her any time we had a question. That day was an important part of their therapy and it was intense. We left every Sunday completely drained emotionally and physically. Some days were good and some not so much. Saturday was visiting day so often we went on both days, that's about a 3 hour round trip. difficult child's counselor made it clear that it was not up to her whether we came. She didn't have to share but we were there for us ad it was important to our recovery. I can't tell you how valuable it was for us to experience the interaction between families.

    I would encourage you to talk to his counselor. I'm sure he will address the situation with difficult child in their group sessions where he can get input from others. But I also encourage you to continue to go to the family education days whether he wants you there or not. After all is said and done he will know that you are there to support him. We bought into her recovery completely, attending all sessions, AA meetings, al-anon meetings, supported her in every way, we changed our lives, got rid of all alcohol, changed who we socialized with, everything for her recovery. It was an adjustment for sure but we were commited to doing our part. Even though in the end she relapsed several times and is no longer in recovery, she knows anytime she wants to go back into recovery we will be there supporting her in that effort.

    It is difficult for our difficult child's to open up and share their feelings because for so long they have used substances to cover up their feelings. They have a saving in AA that in recovery you do what you are told by your sponsor, no questions asked, because their sponsors know what they need to stay sober. The longer he is in recovery the easier it will be for him to share his feelings. While he is getting there it is important for him to see you and husband share yours. My husband and I cried everytime we had our personal circle time, when difficult child saw that she broke down. It was the first time I ever saw real emotion come out of her.

    I'm sorry your visit was not as you hoped. I have been there done that and I did leave on Saturday visiting day because of her attitude, but the family education day was our chance to interact with counselors and difficult child and was extremely helpful. It is also important for your difficult child to experience all his feelings, even if they are uncomfortable, and deal with them in group. So the fact that he was uncomfortable sharing his feelings is something he needs to deals with and it's good that it came up.

    This is a difficult time for everyone so it is important to be patient. Continue doing what you need for yourself, it woudl be very helpful to find a support group in your area. I have found Families Anonymous to be very helpful, and there are some al-anon groups that have helped me also.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry that you are hurting so. Nancy's advice that the family days are for the benefit of the FAMILY and not just the difficult child is exactly true. If you see any benefit to visiting or further family therapy, then go. If you don't, that's okay too.

    Please stop and think about your 2nd paragraph and difficult child's age. You are willing to be his taxi around town but not to go visit. You say you are done. It seems inconsistent to be done with him and still take him to appointments, etc... This could send mixed messages to him and maybe it would be better to say you are done and he needs to find his own transportation from this point on. Each taxi ride gives him a chance to draw you into his mess.

    At age 26, he should be able to find his way to where he needs to be. Not going to those places has consequences, and you are NOT responsible for those. If he wants to be somewhere bad enough, he will find a way. Given that his words and deeds seem to show he does not want a relationship with you, maybe it is time to let him have his way and miss you and all the benefits of the relationship, including a ride home from rehab or to meetings. Or maybe you could set up x free taxi rides from sober home to y meeting/z doctor per month. This would reduce contact and still give you some peace of mind that he can get to the dr or meetings. I would see if the taxi co would let you specify that the card is only good to certain addresses.