Need Advice on Abandonment Issues

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by stressedmama, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I'm taking GS to the doctor today. He's been wetting the bed and even wet his pants twice this week. He hasn't had an accident in months. He actually started doing better with potty training after difficult child was out of the house. Not sure if it's a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or anger issues or both. Asking the doctor for a referral to a therapist for him, either way. He's only 3 but he is really feeling angry at times, acting out and all. He'll talk about mommy every once in a while but he has no interest in speaking with her or face timing most of the time.

    husband seems to think more interaction with difficult child will help. I'm not so sure as every time we talk about her, speak with her, etc, he ends up getting in trouble at daycare for hitting friends and he becomes a totally different kid (not in a good way). husband wants to have difficult child start coming to the house every 2 weeks for 2 hours to spend time. He's hoping it will alleviate GS's feelings of abandonment.

    He's only seen her twice since she entered rehab in September. Unfortunately, she's not showing a lot of interest in him. I don't have much confidence she will be back for him, ever. So I'm a little torn. I really don't care about difficult child's feelings at this point. My only concern is GS and how to make life easier for him during this huge transition.

    Anyone been through this? How did you handle these issues?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm not a professional, and I'd be seeking professional input on this, but it seems to me that forcing face time with difficult child when she is unpredictable is not going to be in GS's best interests.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Coming from another gramma raising a grandbaby, I would seek help, too. I worry the same effects for Connor but Connor is still too young, yet. He spent the first week of his life with me while momma was still locked up and has been living with me since birth. So nana and papa are still the constant in his life and I think that helps. He was waking up screaming every night for a few weeks when she first left and I know that was abandonment issues - I couldn't even leave the room without him completely freaking out. That is gone now. So, my plan is to bring him to visit her and let them spend their five hours every other week but I think to him it will be like visiting a sister or someone. Not sure he will recognize her as his momma - I think he sees me as momma. But she misses him terribly and would LOVE to have him with her. Every time she sends me a letter, she sends him one, too along with either a drawing or a coloring book page colored in. :)

    If she showed no interest in him, I would definitely not be forcing any visitation. I would find out what I could do to help him with any abandonment issues. Especially if you feel that she won't be back for him. In my opinion, that would cause more abandonment issues later on. I would ask her to do some serious soul searching and think about whether she wants to be a mother or not. There has never been a doubt in my mind that my daughter is heartbroken without her son and is working hard on herself to be able to be with him again...
  4. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I am definitely seeking help for him. That's part of our doctor visit this afternoon. husband and I have been a constant for GS as well. He and difficult child moved back home when GS was only 7 months old and is the only home he's ever known.

    I'm hoping through some therapy for GS, husband will learn some more coping skills and perhaps even get a reality check on the whole difficult child visits/communication thing. He's just not totally ready to accept that his daughter would give up because it makes life easier for her.

    In the beginning, I said "OK, I understand she needs time to spend working on herself, without the distraction of worrying about GS." And she even said she knew he was in good hands and taken care of, etc. But after a while, it just became apparent she's taking advantage of not having him around to act like a single girl with no responsibility. UGH!
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Is she in rehab or a halfway house? I'm sorry I don't remember...
  6. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    She went from a rehab to a halfway house, then left there to go to a recovery house. Honestly I don't have much info on it at all other than from google earth it looks like it's a nicer house than I have in a nicer neighborhood than I'm in! Apparently there's several people in recovery that all live there together. They have a landlord. I don't know if there are rules or not. Doesn't seem to be very structured from conversations husband has had with her. She claims to go to meetings all the time, but I really don't trust her or anything she says so...
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Would you consider adopting him if she shows no interest in caring for him?
  8. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Yes. I'm not sure if his dad would go for that, though. He lives far away. The last time he physically saw him was Christmas 2013. We face time with him and he's paying for daycare for now. We do have Guardianship of him, with his dad's blessing.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope the father will agree to that for child's best interest. You sound like very caring grandparents, bless you for stepping up into this child's life.

    We adopted our daughter and she did feel abandoned during much of her growing up life. I'm of the opinion that most adopted children have some feelings of abandonment that they have to deal with and I don't have any idea how to prevent that or if there even is a way. We dealt with it along the way with the help of a lot of therapists and consistency in her life.
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    My husband had issues growing up knowing he was adopted...he had the greatest family that adopted him, but it did not change those abandonment issues...
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    All adopted kids have abandonment issues. Jumper, my biggest easy child, told me that being adopted should be considered a special need. That told me a lot. She is very bonded to us too and we have a great relationship. Still, she said that.

    I would NOT talk about or bring GS around difficult child. Talk to your therapist about it. He has training in this area, hopefully.

    Good luck with your situation!!! I think just having guardianship is good enough myself, if the father wishes to stay in the child's life.
  12. Mominator

    Mominator Member

    This isn't exactly the same, but maybe my story will help.

    I adopted 4 kids (siblings) through foster care. Three of them were almost 4 years in the system. My husband and I got to know bio-mom pretty well during the whole foster care process and kinda felt sorry for her. She has mental illness and substance abuse problems, but she tried hard. She just never got it together enough to get them back. My husband and I allowed her phone contact after the adoption on speaker on our cell.

    The baby never knew bio-mom- born and placed into foster care after the other 3 were removed. She was never interested in the calls. The next 2 children (from youngest to oldest) decided after a couple months they didn't want to hear bio-mom's voice anymore. Even knowing the calls were about to happen agitated them. The oldest child, who was parentified, wanted to continue contact. So, we allowed calls (still on speaker phone) with just the oldest. Bio-mom had a fit, but we told her she had to respect their wishes. She wasn't the one that had gone through foster care all those years. After another year, the oldest stopped talking to bio-mom at the request of her therapist. The therapist felt because she was parentified, she felt guilty being in a safe environment and felt she was responsible for ensuring bio-mom's safety. After 6 months, none of the kids asked about bio-mom.

    Because we had gotten to know the mom, however, we told her she could continue to call our cell and talk to us (adoptive parents) and could write to the kids and we would keep the letters until if/when the kids decided to start asking questions about her. We instructed bio-mom (and the bio-dads x2) to write to the kids about how much they were loved, how foster care wasn't the child's fault, but instead the result of the mistakes they'd made, how the bio got his/her life back on track (if it happened), how happy bio was the kids were in a loving, safe home, etc. To this day (8 years later) we haven't received a single letter. We do get phone calls a couple times a year from bio-mom and once every couple years from one of the dads asking how everyone is doing.

    In my situation, respecting the kids wishes made them feel listened to and empowered them. The older 2 of the kids tell me that immediately after the adoption, they felt safe. Basically it was the constant "what if" of her calling, of her visits, of her getting custody, etc. that created the majority of their fears, unease, and behaviors at that time.

    As their adoptive parents we openly acknowledge with the kids that it is a normal response to want to find their bio-family when they grow up. So, I have started a genealogy tree online for them of their bio-family and will give it to them when they are grown. We tell them that in a perfect world, their bio-parents will have their lives in good order and at best, the kids will have 2 wonderful sets of parents. However, we remind them that the world isn't perfect and at a minimum, they will have more than they started their lives with by having one set of loving STABLE parents.
  13. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Thank you all. Went to the doctor. No Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). All stress-related. Got the name of a play therapist from a social worker friend of mine. Calling this morning to set up an appointment. Not sure if this will be covered by medicaid or self-pay. Either way, we'll do it because he needs it and we need it to gain some better/different coping skills.

    His wetting the bed doesn't surprise me with the stress he's enduring. He doesn't understand and I don't know how to better explain things to him. Frankly, after everything, I'm surprised I'M not wetting the bed! LOL
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  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    How old was he when she went into rehab?
  15. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    He turned 3 on 8/29/14 and she went to detox 9/15/14. She was completely stoned on his birthday and subsequent b-day party at his other grands house on 9/14. Sad.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're doing a really good job stressed mama. I'm glad you're taking him to a play therapist. I took my granddaughter to one when she was 4, right after her Dad killed himself and my daughter went off the helped her. Abandonment is a big issue and they don't know how to express their feelings. Mine did sand tray. Throughout my granddaughter's young life, I tried to have an open dialogue where she could express her feelings freely, about her mother, her father, all of it. I think if your gs has that with you and perhaps with a therapist, at least all those pent up feelings have an expression. My granddaughter did not want to see her mom either. It's tough. Bless you for taking care of him.
  17. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Thank you RE. It's hard and it's stressful but it's also such a huge joy to have him. husband and I give him all our attention and it just doesn't seem to be enough for him right now. PatriotsGirl and I had a discussion not long ago about our grands being "velcro babies."

    I'm hoping with some play therapy he will, like you said, be able to express himself in some way other than anger.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stressedmama, when I took on my granddaughter to raise, I began running into adults who had been raised by their grandparents, it was so odd, I had not run into them before...........anyway, without exception, each one of them thanked me, each one said that they put their grandparents through the ringer as kids, but now, they saw what had been done for them, they were so grateful and each one of them really touched my heart. There's one woman I see a lot and she always thanks me, telling me how much she loved her grandmother. It's important what you're doing, I applaud you........and I also know what you're going through.

    It can be a thankless job for such a long time, and so stressful given that we are now a lot older then when we raised our kids.........but you're giving him all the opportunities you can, as I did too. And, then, they'll go out in the world and hopefully, utilize what we've taught them and turn into healthy, contributing, happy adults. I've am just now watching mine grow her own wings and fly on her own. Scary as it is to be on the sidelines sometimes, holding my breath, she is doing alright, so far. And, she'll be 19 in April.

    Saying a prayer for you, for PG, for all of us grandparents raising our grand babies..............
  19. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Thank you so much for the encouragement and congratulations on doing such a wonderful job with your GD. Yes, this was much easier 20+ years ago! LOL
  20. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Yikes, yeah, three years is a bit. I think that is one of the reasons Connor adapted after just a few weeks - he had only been with her a year here before she was gone. And she is not devastated being away from him??