"Mom can I please come home"

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yep got that text message yesterday as I was leaving my doctor's office. I told her to call me. She was crying and said she has never been so depressed and wants to come home yadda yadda. I calmly told her that coming home wasn't going to fix anything and that she was unwilling to do what she needed to do to change. She swore she would go back to IOP and meetings and therapy. I reminded her that we have no more money for IOP or therapy and all the therapy in the world wasn't going to help her until she wanted it badly enough. She sobbed that she didn't want to live like this anymore and I asked her what happened to her fb post about being the best day of her life and she had her future all mapped out. She said she didn't want anyone to know she was depressed because it's embarrassing. I told her depression is not embarrassing, prancing around fb like she was with disgusting pictures and vulgar language was embarrassing.

    Then she asked if I could drive her to her 7 am class today. I told her I would do that and bring her back to potheads house. She asked if she could come today and talk to me and husband and I told her I would let her know if husband was going to be in town. I picked her up for class, she looked and smelled horrible, lots of smoke and either pot smell or pipe smell. I know everyone in that house smokes so she is covered with it. As I was driving her back she asked if I would stop at home and let her get some energy drinks (I hate those things but everyone in AA drinks them). I told her no I was not providing refreshments for potheads house. Then I drove her to potheads house and suggested she take a shower and clean herself up.

    So I'm waiting to hear if husband has to go out of town today before telling her whether she can come and talk to us.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Nancy. Perhaps it would be better not to meet her in your home. If you and husband agree to listen to her I'd suggest sharing a Happy Meal or a cup of coffee away from the house. Besides the obvious advantage of not having to worry about drama at home it would reinforce the message that she is not a resident there. No reason for your furniture to smell, either. Hugs. DDD
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Ugh, I feel for you. I really do. I have gotten that text before and you know what ended up happening? Yup, same stuff, different day. Sure, she would be good for a little while but then she would be back to her old tricks again.

    I can't offer advice, but I offer (((HUGS))).....
  4. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Oh boy!! it's funny I asking myself this morning why it can't be that easy. I wish my son could get back on his suboxone, work a program, come live with me, go to work, save his money and make the right choices in life, then everyone could be happy!!
    I know this isn't possible and that it doesn't work, because if it were that easy, none of us would be going through this.

    I don't remember how old your daughter is, but is it possible to tell her that she can come back home once she has done what she needs to do to straighten out her life and be a productive responsible person? My son hasn't lived home for 6 years and will be 24, so that would never be an option for me, but I don't know your situation that well.

    It just never ends, does it??
  5. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Nancy -

    Many hugs. It is sooo tough when our kids put us in the apparent situation of choosing to refuse them help. We are biologically programmed to help our offspring in addition to any conditioning we got along the way and the just plain love we have for this child we nurtured for 18 years so refusing to help them when they ask is about the hardest thing a parent can do. It isn't just our children who are separating from us - it works the other way around too.

    I have found that it is much easier to see other people's mistakes than it is to see my own. We are struggling with this same essential question - how to separate from our difficult child 2 at the same time he is separating from us. I'm afraid we are not doing that good a job. :( So the following questions really are very similar to ones we are asking ourselves right now and I hope you will not feel criticized or hurt.

    But, if it were me, I would be thinking long and hard about the choices I made and the way I wanted to proceed. Some questions I would be asking myself would be:

    1. Why was I willing to deliver her to the home of people who I believe are condoning and even promoting her addictive behavior?
    2. Why was I willing to rescue her from having to find her own way to school when she would have not needed this help if she were clean and sober, still living in your home?
    3. Why was I willing (I assume) to pick her up and transport her when she was showing obvious signs that she was continuing to use illegal substances?
    4. Why did I call her instead of texting her back "are you clean and sober? if not then the answer is no" since we all know that talking to your child on the phone engages both of us emotionally in ways that an exchange of information through e-mail or texting simply doesn't do? We are biologically programmed to respond to our children's cries from birth and it is a powerful impulse to respond with caretaking when we hear our child in distress.
    5. Why am I willing to discuss her returning home when she is clearly not clean and sober given that just the previous week we told her she couldn't live in our home unless she met that basic rule?
    6. Am I sending her the kind of consistent message she needs in order to make sense of her world?
    7. What do I get out of this? All human interactions are exchanges of some kind. She gets to prolong her separation process, to feel nurtured and safe regardless of her behavior and self-destructive choices. I am hurting so much right now - am I expecting that I will hurt less if I bring her back home and let her engage, prolong and repeat the same destructive dance we have been going through for years?

    You are a great mother. You will make good decisions. You will make the best decisions you can in the moment. If you are like me, you need to take time to ponder these kinds of questions because they are not easy to see when I am in the middle of an emotional and stressful experience. You can always take time - delay can be our best friend I think. It will not harm her to wait for your thoughtful response. It may harm you both if you make a hasty one.

    Many hugs,

  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    This is a very very helpful suggestion. I know if my son asks me something in the middle of a crisis my first instinct is to protect him and do whatever it takes to make him feel better, and usually what I end up doing in the end is just enabling and not healthy, where if I tell him I'll get back to him and take the time to really think about what I should and shouldn't get involved in, my answer is usually a much healthier one and because I took the time to think about it, I'm comfortable with it and not kicking myself in the behind for once again giving into something I shouldn't have.
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Patricia, that was a really awesome post. I related to and agree with every word of it.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Excellent questions Patricia. Thank you for your very thoughtful and heartfelt post.

  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Patricia that was a very thoughtful helpful post.

    Nancy first big hugs..... it is good she is getting to the point where she is begging to come home... she is on her way to bottom. Don't rescue her too soon (said from someone that always wants to rescue when her son is hurting). I like the question which asks why would I let her come home if she is not clean and sober. I think difficult child's can make all the promises in the world to get what they want....the proof is in the pudding so to speak. So maybe think about letting her know she has to be clean and sober for a certain period of time (a few days, a week, longer?) before she can come home.

  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We would not even consider letting her come home until she proved she was clean and sober.

    husband got called out of town so I texted her and told her we could not talk tonight. He won't be home until Friday and supposedly she is going to an AA meeting Friday night. Then she works all day Saturday with a couple hours off and works again until 3am sunday for a girl scout sleepover at the mall. It looks like it will be late Sunday before we can talk, so that will be a good test to see if she is still serious by then or if she's found some more fun along the way.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I hate to sound this, Nancy, but right now after all she's done and said and done and said again only to end up right back at the same place, I doubt that you and husband being there for her or helping her is going to turn her around. Whether she has any intention of really trying or not, every time you step in and give her another chance, she blows it. Think of it this way- since she got out of treatment it appears that the only time she means it is when she isn't living in your home, you aren't giving her money or rides or whatever. And what do you expect to hear from her when you have this big talk- other than if you and husband do ABC for her, she'll give sobriety another shot? It doesn't work that way. It has to be non-negotiable. I know she hasn't been saying that outright but she knows you well enough how to turn it into that and knows that it has always worked in the past. Chances are potheads told her she needed to leave after a couple of weeks and she has no place to go so she'll tell you what you want to hear. If she has to go to a couple of AA meetings to get you back where she wants you and it buys her a couple of more months, well that's good enough. At her age and after all this, I doubt seriously that she's had a major revelation and the sudden power to turn herself around on her own after what- 2 weeks? JMHO.
  12. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    From your post 5 days ago.

    You can make it this time.

    She needs you to hold firm. Without that she has no way to find the boundaries of her world because they keep moving when she pushes against them.

    Just my 2 cents.


  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a great statement for all of us on the board. I had a tought time distinguishing between consistent, clear, helpful boundaries and being flexible enough that I wasn't continuing to use methods that had already proven ineffective. This statement also helps me distinguish those two concepts. Maybe we should have a thread somewhere with "food for thought" statements or just general suggestions that can help all warrior parents- this statement should definitely be on the list, in my humble opinion. thank you!
  14. KFld

    KFld New Member

    That is great that you can't meet with her until then. Gives her some time to think about if she's really serious about at least starting the process of what it would take if you were to say yes. Hope she uses the time wisely :)
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry that the merry-go-round just keeps on going. klmno, rlsnights and Kfld have super great advice. If she truly wants to change she will have at a MINIMUM made some calls to people to find out what she do to get the support she needs to sober up. It will be terribly hard to see her face to face and tell her she cannot come home. I am so very sorry that this is even a remote possibility for something you may need to do.

    PLEASE go back and search for all of your threads about her getting sober, doing treatemnt, relapsing, leaving, calling home for rescue, detoxing for a very little while and then starting to abuse her position in the family and your love, using, leaving, ad nauseum. Read ALL of your posts and maybe even create a timeline. NOT to dwell on her problems but to give yourself a real, visible view of the cycle she is in. When all you have is the upset phone call or the meeting where she begs for help and promises this that and hte other, it is easy to say "OK" - after all this is your child and no parent really wants their child to be so miserable and upset. When you have a graph that shows you exactly what "help" and her promises have meant in the past it is easier to hold firm on your unwillingness to enable her addictions and unhealthy lifestyle.

    Have you discussed this with your alanon group? Do they have any ideas that could help you make this decision? Will you be helping her or enabling her addiction if you allow her to come home? What are the odds that in a week or so she has truly hit bottom and is truly ready to surrender and do the hard work necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety for more than a couple of days or weeks.


    I know this is breaking your heart. Don't neglect yourself or let husband neglect himself.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie all of the alanon groups I have attended (and there have been many) do not discuss specifics about your situation. They hold to the mechanics of the meeting and I am usually left unfulfilled. I am still trying to find one that I can relate to. There are no naranon meetings in our area at all.

  17. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Is it possible for you to get a sponsor? I believe one function of a sponsor is to help you with your personal situation.

  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. The meetings I have attended have a time where you can share information about what you are working on/ struggling with and then others can help you see other perspectives/options. big groups don't always have time for everyone to share, but it is very important.

    There are other groups that use the 12 Steps to treat addiction issues. Some of the churches here have what is called "Celebration Recovery" which gives a more religious slant to the process. It is my understanding that they have family groups also. It might be an avenue to find meetings that work better for you.
  19. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Nancy, I so wish you lived near me!!! We have a wonderful parents group. They do stick to a 12 step format and try to keep the focus on us rather than the "qualifier" but most people when sharing do tie it to their child and share a little about that....I have found it very comforting to find other people who understand about the addiction, about the middle night phone calls, about jail and in general what it is like to have a drug/alcohol dependent child. I would say the meeting are about 20 people or so... different ages, different age kids. Some are newer to this like us, some have been dealing with this for years and years. The focus is not the kids but rather our reactions.... I so wish you could find a group like this. Hmmmm I wonder how you go about starting a parents meeting because i think there is a huge need for parents.... and I do think the situation for a parent is slightly different than other family members.
  20. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Nancy, I experienced the same thing with the parent alanon meeting in my area. You had a few minutes at the end of the meeting if you wanted to speak or were in crisis, but nobody was allowed to give you any suggestions, but rather were just able to let you know you aren't alone. After the meeting many of them would get together and talk about their situations, but I never got a warm and fuzzy feeling from anyone as it seemed like there was a group of them that had been attending for a long time and were pretty clicky. I went for quite awhile which enabled me to apply the tools I was learning, but I have been hesitant about going back.
    My best friends son ended up in the same situation and she tried the meetings and felt the same way. It was been many years since her and I went, probably about 4, so we are thinking about going next Monday and see if it's the same people or if we get any different feeling because she is once again going through the same thing with her son. That is my biggest support. My son became an addict before hers and though she was always very very supportive, didn't really understand until a short time later her son had the same issue. This is the first time we are both going through it together, so we lean on each other daily.