Interesting experience

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, May 4, 2012.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi all,

    I had an experience last night that I have been thinking about... I play cards with a group of people. Some of the people know what is going on with difficult child... and in general I am a very open person and probably tend to say too much. There is an older couple there (the man is in his 80s) and I have not shared much with them. They both have kids from previous marriages. I have heard about how wonderful her kids and grandkids are. He doesnt talk much about his but then often men don't. Anyway I have not really felt comfortable sharing with them but I don't hide much either.

    So I was playing cards and one of the other people there always asks about difficult child. So I told her he was in treatment again and I was happy about that. The man asked me what was going on so I told him. And he was like and you tell people? But aren't you ashamed? The other woman who I had told kind of jumped in and said no she has done everything she can and has totally been there for him etc. I said something like I have nothing to be ashamed of, this is his doing not mine. Well then the man looked at me and said we should talk... turns out his son is an alcoholic, he has been through it, and although his son is sort of doing ok now his kids are now a mess. This is obvioiusly very painful... and of course he lives with someone whose kids are doing just great.

    It just struck me how many people are affected by this issue... and how hard it is to talk about it... and how by keeping it inside you think you are alone.... anyway i was kind of glad of my big mouth because it may have helped someone else.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I tend to talk a lot too TL and have never hidden what was happening with difficult child from my friends. Growing up we all talked about our kids so I could hardly just not say anything when they all know her. Anyway I'm sure you helped this man. Being 80 that is the way they did things back then, people didn't talk aboout such things. Aren't we lucky now that we can share experiences and learn from each other and don't have to be ashamed. Heck my own family, dad and sister, don't talk about these things and that is a big part of why we are estranged.

    I am so grateful that I have this group to talk about difficult child with.

  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you for sharing TL. I have struggled with sharing vs. not sharing. I think you have to be careful about where your "pearls" get tossed (You know the old pearls before swine thing). However, when you are too closed, you miss opportunities like the one you had. This pooor man may have been suffering for years and ashamed to boot! Who knows what healing may have opened for him?? I also think that people get placed in your path for various reasons. I can't tell you how often an "angel" has come to me- a well timed person with a well timed lesson. Just like finding this board at the right moment. :)
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I held in things about my difficult child for years. I was embarrassed to admit that we were having those kind of problems with her. I finally just started telling the truth when people asked me about her. I was amazed that almost every person would then tell me about a child, parent, or brother/sister that had issues with substance abuse and/or mental illness.

    difficult child hated that I told people about the things that she was doing but I told her that it was too bad. . . if she was embarrassed about her behavior then she needed to change it.

    I was done covering things up and it was very freeing for me.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it is too hard to keep this all closed up inside. This poor man probably has been suffering for a very long time, possibly decades, and your sharing may have helped him see another way. I hope that you can make some time to talk with him privately and help him see that he isn't to blame and he should feel no shame. After all, he isn't the one who is addicted.

    I was always pretty open about Wiz' problems and even somewhat about what I went through with my brother. He often has let me know that he thinks I am totally out of line for telling ANYONE, even the docs and tdocs, about the various problems. He usually says this is about Wiz, but I know it is because he wants people to think he is just soooo wonderful. he got super angry when he learned I knew someone he worked with at a literacy center. He wanted her to think he was perfect, and she overheard me speaking about something awful he had done the night before to my kids. Apparently she started supervising his literacy students far more closely and it was 'all my fault'. It turned otu to be a good thing because he was found to be encouraging some of his students to do some illegal things. She was able to keep them from doing those things which would have resulted in them being deported to a very dangerous country.

    You are a very caring person and you probably gave this man the first glimpse of a bit of light for the first time in many years.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I talk about it with TRUSTED friends and family. But I limit the amout of time devoted to talk about difficult children and try to keep it from getting too heavy. I need my friends and family for happy times and do not want to make those times about difficult child. -RM