Is this how it usually goes??

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ksm, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    17yo Difficult Child has 9 days left of residential treatment. But, her attitude has gotten worse instead of better. husband and I drove to the first two Sunday afternoon visitations, stayed over on the first Sunday so we could have a meeting with Difficult Child and the clinician. She pretty much shut down when the therapist asked about future house rules.

    Then I drove up two Wednesday evenings, the first to take her older sister who she wanted her to visit, and then the next week, I drove my son, her bio dad, to visit. He has had two spinal fusions and it's hard for him to drive long distances. It is a 400 mile round trip.

    On Thursday, we had a phone conference with Difficult Child and the clinician. She had asked us to make a list of expectations. I made it short and sweet... I thought.

    Be truthful
    Our home is a substance free area
    Be willing to communicate... If necessary, take a cool down time if you feel upset.
    Be willing to admit mistakes, take responsibility, make amends.
    Be part of the family. Pitch in. Communicate. Have fun together.

    I guess I set the bar too high? Just kidding...this is what I would expect of anyone living in our home.

    Some issues we have had so far. On our second Sunday visit she had asked us to buy/bring two more tops as she had two that turned pink in the wash. There are strict V necks, liw or scoop necks, sleeveless, cropped, tears, questionable words or advertising. So I found two simple teen tops that I thought she would wear, one grey one black. Then she wasn't happy as they had no designs on them.

    Then she kept going on about everything she wanted... Nike or Jordan shoes. New clothes for school (it's an alternate school with less than 10 students) wanting to drive the car, on and on. I said that driving was a good goal to work towards, and she got angry and said "I am spending 28 days in this place! what are you doing??" I was shocked. I didn't respond and soon a tear ran down my face. I was composed, not crying, trying to be composed as we were in a room with other clients and their family. Then she said, "well, if grandma us going to sit here and cry, I will just go back to my room" then she got up and left us setting there. We left and started the long drive home.

    To give her some credit, she did call us that night and apologized. She said she was afraid she might cry and hates for others to see her emotional. That she did return to the room, but we had left.

    Then this Wednesday, she needed another pair of jeans, as one pair ripped in the back. She described a pair at home...dark denim, skinny jeans, kind of brown stitching on the seams, no holes, not faded. I only found one pair that fit that description. Well, after my son and I got there, those weren't the ones she wanted. Of course, she had waited to the last minute to wash her clothes and pack before heading there. We even found a hamper of clean clothes hidden under the stairway so she didn't have to put them away.

    Difficult Child hasn't called us since our phone conference. Besides discussing the rules, the therapist tried to get her to agree to a few activities with us. She shot down everything I and the clinician suggested. Like going out for a meal, going to a local play, going for a walk, volunteering together, work on a project together. The clinician suggested going to a coffee shop, pedicures, sporting event, etc. Nope. So she told Difficult Child she needed to come up with 5 things of her own, since she didn't like our ideas.

    Earlier she had mentioned wanting to work out (since not using meth, she has put on weight) I told her she still had a Y membership. No, she didn't want to go there. husband suggested suggested Planet Fitness, no, that place was too busy and she wouldn't feel comfortable. She wanted Genesis. I said no, as it was expensive and they require a long term contract.

    She also told the clinician that she had no bond or attachment to us. When we try to give her a hug or a pat on the back, it is like she cringes. But she is affectionate with her friends...even ones who don't treat her right or uses her.

    I don't see how any of this is going to turn out in a positive manner. I know she will manipulate most situations. She told the clinician she needed a couple days to "get settled" before starting school, because she can't work on her sobriety and school all at the same time. First she said 2 or 3 days...then said 2 or 3 weeks.

    She doesn't want to give up she can't give up cigarettes AND meth. Uugghh! Still trying to get everything, and not do anything!

    Sorry so long. I just wanted to express what we are going thru, but to also give a back story of her and siblings being removed from parents, going to foster care at 3, living with us at 4, having her older brother sent to his bio dad. She has gone thru a lot. I get it. Then a boyfriend from hell who killed her self esteem, got her started on cigs, weed, alcohol, and then meth. Would pursue her, then cheat on her, even calling her to let her know who was in his bed. And she would wait for him to "choose" her again. For THREE years! Even when the court had a no contact rule! She had ran away 3 times and found at his moms house with him. I got him jailed for helping her skip school. Then Difficult Child despised me more. She cleaned out her savings account for him. Luckily, I think he is finally out of the picture. But mentally, for her, he was her one true love.

    Anyway...I am very conflicted. Disappointed. Angry.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    On my way to work. I hear you and I will answer later. Just wanted to reach out and send you a huge hug.
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It sounds as if she still wants to call the shots. The only thing you can do is stick to your guns. You decide what it will look like when she gets home. You do not have to let her drive, buy her cigs., or buy the mos expensive clothing. It appears that she views you as a walking ATM since there is no attachment to you.
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  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Pasajes...that's exactly how I feel! I even mentioned to the clinician that I felt the only time she wanted to spend time with me was if I took her shopping. Of course, Difficult Child protested that wasn't true!

    9 more months...and 2 weeks...
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Goneboy, who we adopted at six, was bright and articulate and was able to explain his own attachment issues, which he fully understood and acknowledged. For him, since peers had been there for him since birth, it was easy for him to bond with them. Us, not so much. He said he tried hard, but that it didnt work. He was not rebellious, but had been damaged by his early years which were not stable and where he never had one steady caregiver to attach to. Eventually he gave up trying to be in our family. He sees snd speaks to nobody but ex, and not often and only on his terms. Ex is very detached himself...not affectionate or emotional. Maybe thats why he can deal with him in small increments.

    The damage of chaotic first years is hard to reverse. Infants can literslly waste away and die (once called failure to thrive) without normal hugging, being held, knowing he/she will be fed on time, being consistrantly loved. Being exposed to substances in utero can also cause many problems, including lack of attachment and other impulsive behaviors. Alcohol damages a developing brain. It is brain damage and not reversible and impedes major issues such as common sense and learning from mistakes. Memory tends to be very poor.

    Even so, your house, your rules. Period. What is okay with you? They are what daughter needs to abide by. Or she can find a way to live on her own dime somewhere else. Or apply for ssi and get community support.
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  6. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I don't think the house rules are hard at all. It's not like you're giving her a 9:00 curfew on the weekends or not letting her talk on the phone. If you feel like you can trust her, go ahead and let her drive. See how it goes the first two times.

    I think she sounds like she is dealing with a lot of anger and resentment. I also think it would be good for her to volunteer at the battered women's shelter, since she has been emotionally abused by her ex-boyfriend. Being in that environment would improve her self esteem and help her realize that she matters and doesn't deserve to be treated badly by men. Explain to her that the guy got her started on drugs so he could control her. When addicts bond by using drugs together, it's s very dysfunctional relationship. He wanted her to feel like she is nothing without him. He is poison. He will probably give her a story about how he is getting clean and realizes how badly he hurt her, but tell her not to fall for it.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I deactivated her phone while in rehab. My plan was to wait one week, and if she follows thru, and is clean, reactivate. She can have the phone and use on wifi. We have a second phone that is just for tespxt and calls she can use if she is away from the house.

    I thought after 4 clean weeks she might occasionally use the car... Like to school or work. After that, maybe some additional. We do have GPS on car...but I am sure she will know how to disable. I can't check mileage, as it is older and doesn't show up all the a short in the digital mileage gage. Sometimes it comes on, but not often.

  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I should say that we have always expected our kids to pitch in to help cover the cost of adding them to the insurance. Usually by having a part time job, or doing extra chores around the house.
  9. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I would insist on a clean drug test before and after the use of the car. I would hate for her or anyone else to get hurt,
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  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Sadly I agree it looks like she is still calling the shots and resenting her time in rehab vs really working with it. I am dealing with a CD AS myself.

    Down and done well said SWOT! I lean and gain so much strength from these valuable words. Someone said the other day; No is a complete scentense.

    Unfortunately if she is calling shots and placing demands; she may well be holding her recovery as ransom, and use you as the excuse to don't own it, you can't change it, and you can't control it. That is hers to own.

    I have learned with detachment practice that I can empathize with my son and explain to him my love is unconditional but my boundaries and living agreements are NOT. I owe this knowledge and so much strength to many on this forum.

    It's messy and ugly and hard, so very hard to love and not enable. But as we know nothing changes if nothing changes.

    I would reccomned seeking support for yourself and putting a disaster plan in place; so you have the strength and support to love and not enable when she returns.

    Is an interim residence a possibility?

    AS SWOT once taught me, if your addict is Pd off at you, your probably doing something right.

    Hang in here keep posting and love and strength to you.

    We are still in the process of getting our train wreck into the shop for repair. Ugh!
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  11. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    She is going to push the limits and test you when she gets home. Is there aftercare plan? Counselor? Stand your ground
  12. seek

    seek Member

    Gosh, I feel for you. I know the one tear thing and being abused and rejected for having hurt feelings.

    Since she is calling the shots, it is probably going to be a hellish nightmare - I don't know if you can get a social worker to come to the house and draw up a contract - seems like you really need everything spelled out so she is not demanding this and that - it will wear you out.

    Is there any such thing as a girls sober living facility? If so and you can afford to pay for it until she is 18, it might save you a lot of heartache and grief.

    Her lack of empathy for you seems like a very big problem in hoping for a peaceful living situation for all of you. Until she is invested in your relationship, why "should" she be nice to you? Right now, it's all about her - and even though she has "issues" and there are reasons for her behavior, doesn't mean she gets to abuse everyone else and live any way she wants to . . .

    She has all of the power and leverage. You need to take your power back somehow.
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I found a sober living place in TX and they will take a 17yo in that state. But, since we are already involved with the court and DCF in our state, the odds are slim that they would let her leave the state and pretty much live in a sober living home with adults. It would cost us $550 a month, not including food.

    They expect clients to get a job, and start paying their way. Or be in school or volunteering. Also 4 meetings a week. Random drug screen. But it is basically a place you want to be, not have to be...

    I think our local judge would opt to put her in foster care... Maybe out of our town. I don't feel the system is judging us...I think we have proved we are jumping they all the hoops, and then some.
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  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She is suppose to go to outpatient rehab twice a week for several weeks, then one else a week for several more. We had been doing three times a week for two months...and still testing positive for meth.

    Plus the out pt rehab place is 100 miles round trip... And each class is for three hours.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Like always it surprises and scares me that anyone would allow an addict to drive, even after a short four weeks of sobriety. It is not just about them, but a risk to other peoples lives. I could not have stood it if I had helped my daughter drive because of a few good weeks... what if she chose to get high and drive and killed herself or somebody else. We chose not to be a part of that and I am so puzzled that parents will participate long before sobriety is established.

    My daughter had one mishap in our car. After that any driving she did was not becsuse of us. She got "friends" (we know about the good sense od our childrens friends) would sometimes let her drive. One of her two horrible accidents severely injured a woman and she was paying money for this for years, even after she got sober. Finally ex paid it off two years after she obviously quit.

    At least it did not make us feel guilty. It would have if we had funded this ride. Or paid insurance or even for gas. Or if it had been in our vehicle with our permissuon. We werent stupid. We knew the odds.

    Parents, this isnt a reward for two weeks or months of sobriety. Many examples right on this forum of how a quick return to driving id peralous. A car with a driver under the influence is a guided missle. We know they are likely to use again after such short times.

    We want to show them to make hard decisions. We set an example. If we cant make hard choices, how can we expect them to do hard things? Its hard to say no to driving but it is the safest. And shows a willingness to stand firm. How eould you ferl if your own child were hurt by a young drug filled driver who had just left rehab?

    Am I judging? Yes!! That is a safety issue. I judge it! It is no different than allowing our three year kids to run in the street and play chicken with cars.

    We live in a small town with no public trans. Daughter got rides, walked, rode her bike. She did tje same after to moving to cold Chicago. She also quit drugs because drugs were "too hard."

    In the end, driving is your decision, but I will never understand. And i will never stop cringing. This is not just about our kids...its about every sweet soul on the road and their own kids.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  16. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    One again exhausting the care givers. I feel your pain.
    And that is the crux, to get well you have to want help.
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with SWOT. Four weeks is not enough time to prove sobriety. Driving is not a right. It is easier on us if they can get around on thier own. She will find a way to get around. It does not sound like she intends to stay sober when she comes home.
  18. seek

    seek Member

    How was she financing her meth addiction? Just curious.

    I agree on the driving thing - and I know for me, I easily go into denial because I WANT my grandson to be "normal" and he "looks" normal - and I revert back to thinking of him as a teenager (and I know you are dealing with a teenager) and then I want to "reward good behavior."

    DON'T DO IT! Don't let her drive until she has been sober for a very, very long time (or finances her own car and pays for everything).

    Foster care sounds like an excellent choice for someone who is willfully difficult. Your health, and the health of other family members is just as important as hers and she should not be allowed to abuse you or cause you difficulties for one more day!

    Grandmas don't live forever and this stuff is not good for anyone's health.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It should not be a reward for a month of sobriety. Expensive gift if the person is killed or kills someone.

    How do you feel about alcoholics who are not your child getting behind the wheel of a car, ready to kill somebody on the road? Are you ok with this behavior? What if he has been sober for six months with one or two slip ups that includes a DUI? Do you want his parents to feel sorry for him and help him get back on the road because he says he is sorry? Could be you next that hevcrashes into. Or your grandbaby.

    If its not okay for a stranger, it is not ok for your child, even if it is inconvenient for us or if the grown child has to get places in inconvenient ways or wont go at all. I can not think of of a way to defend putting our addicted love one out on the road. Not one.

    The statistucs shout at us about vehicular homicide and intoxication. This is way different than the other things we sometimes allow them to get away with because it could lead to a death and often does lead to a death. Yes, if we help them drive, we are responsible. Sorry, but we know better. All of us knows better. We just hope it doesnt happen, but too does.
    Reward them, if you must, in a way that does not endanger others.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  20. seek

    seek Member

    I don't know who you are talking to - I said not do "reward."