Need Advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by momseekingadvice, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    I don't even know where to begin, my daughter recently started getting involved with drugs (meth), she's 20 years old and my only child. She went to rehab and was doing really well, but unfortunately, after two wks the insurance would not cover her anymore, once she got out she found a job and was doing well for about two months, and then she was fired from her job, that's when everything started going down hill again, she relapse and now there's no talking to her, she's pushed every one that cares for her away, including me, and blames me for her problems. I have tried offering therapy, rehab, support but nothing has worked. I finally, had to cut communication with her because, it became to be too much to listen to all the hurtful things, she would say to me.

    I got married (3 yrs ago) and she accuses me of caring for my husband more than her. Prior to her heavy drug use, I had to kicked her out of the house because, she had dropped out of school, was not working and was bringing strange people in my house, and things started disappearing. It got to the point where I felt uncomfortable leaving her in the house for a long period of time.

    I have a lot support from my family and friends, but I know it's hard for them to relate to what I'm going through, I just need a different perspective from someone who's been there, that can share their experience with me.

    This is all very knew to me, and I don't know if I've done the right thing or am I doing the right thing by cutting her off.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to our journey, although I'm sorry you have to travel it.

    Yes, in my opinion, you have done the only thing you could do. You can't let her live with you at her age while she won't work, won't get her GED, doesn't help around the house, uses drugs, probably verbally abuses you, steals from you (likely for drugs) and intimidates you. You have every right to be safe in your own house and you also have a right to love and enjoy your husband. Your difficult child is doing what most of our difficult children do. "When there is no offense, go on the defense."

    Example: difficult child says "When I was five years old, dad hit me and yelled a lot so what I'm doing is all your fault. You were the worst mother in the world. ******(fill in the blanks with swear words)."
    They normally attempt to make their chosen bad, illegal behavior into our own faults in an attempt to guilt us into letting them stay in our homes, while doing nothing to help and even being dangerous, stealing, swearing, etc. They divert the problem (which is their behavior) onto us because they know how much we love them and want us to feel bad. I mean, if the money stops, hmmmmmmm...they have to find more creative ways to get drug money, such as possibly getting a job, although most don't do that while they are still using. jj

    Part two of a difficult child's strategy is that when you finally take back your own power, think about your own well being, and set boundaries, they fly off the wall and their toddlerish behavior escalates. This is when some of our difficult children become actually dangerous and we have to hear all of their baloney accusations at new levels. Some may break things or even come after us physically. Usually, they need to leave and we have to change our locks. We didn't sigtn up for this when we had our children, but it is what it is. I've learned that for me I feel better when I accept that my child isn't what I'd dreamed of, and to go with reality. I can't change him. Only one person can change my son and your daughter...themselves. What we CAN do is change our reactions to how they behave.

    You may want to read the excellent article on detachment at the top of the page. If you haven't done it yet, do get some real time support for yourself. I like Narc-Anon meetings. If you don't, you can get a therapist to help YOU (not to help your kid) or join The National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI) as they have classes for those who love the mentally ill. You don't need to feel alone anymore, or misunderstood. You have us. We have been there or are there right now and we get it. Most people don't.

    Your daughter is an adult. You don't have to buy her cigarettes, her junk food, her trendy clothes, or anything else for her. She can apply for food stamps, public housing, and other entitlements, but if she chooses not to follow their rules, she may find herself on the streets or panhandling. If she does, that is all her own decision; it is how she is choosing to live her life. You didn't cause it. She is the cause.

    Detach, detach, detach. Enjoy your life in spite of your daughter's self-destruction. She is not you and you are not her. You can still live a happy, productive life with the people who treat you with respect and love, even if your daughter is making terrible choices about her own life. In time, perhaps her perspective will change, but you can't force it to. So in the meantime, it makes no sense not to do the things that you enjoy with the people who are nice to you. Nobody, not even your child, has the right to abuse you, steal from you, lie to you, use you, hit you, get in your face, etc...nobody.

    Wishing you a peaceful rest of the day :)
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  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    MSA, I am glad you are here and hope you will find help and strength here like I have. I've only been on this board a couple of months but I find it invaluable, along with my Al-Anon program.

    I have made a lot of progress, using both tools to the fullest extent I can, even in the past six weeks. I am able today to make decisions I could not have made before, for the benefit of myself and my son, who is 24 years old. I don't know where he is right now.

    One of the first things I had to work on was the statement above, made by MWM.

    I actually somehow believed we were one and the same---my son and I. I couldn't separate us. If he was sad, I was sad. If he was happy, I was happy.

    You know that saying: You're only as happy as your most unhappy child. ??

    It doesn't have to be true. As enablers, it is true. But it doesn't have to be, with hard work.

    Once they are adults, even if they aren't difficult children, we have to learn to let our children go. I have a 28yo son who is a easy child. I have had to learn how to let him go as well.

    And it's all a process. It's a back and forth, up and down, two steps forward and five back process. It takes a lot of hard work and using available tools on a daily basis. Here are some I use:

    1. Al-Anon ---I go to between two and four meetings a week. I read Al-Anon literature (lots of great books, daily devotionals, a monthly magazine). I have a sponsor. I talk to other AlAnon members by phone between meetings. I work the program of Al-Anon. AlAnon is free and there are meetings in virtually every town in the U.S. and in other countries as well. It is incredible.

    2. This board. This board has helped me a lot. I read a lot on the board and I post a lot myself. Telling the truth is cathartic. Hearing others' stories is the same. I get so much reinforcement and strength here. Take what you like, always, and leave the rest. You are the only person who can know what is right for you, today.

    3. Prayer, church and meditation. I do all of them. I want to do more work with meditation. That is one of my goals.

    4. Doing something for somebody else. Getting outside my own situation, my own head, my own little pity party, and remembering and realizing that many other people have much more to deal with than I do. I make dinners for other people who are going through a hard time---one thing I do.

    5. Exercise. I work out five days a week.

    6. Reading other books like Melody Beattie's CoDependent No More. Beattie is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. She lost a child some years ago in an accident. She is a great writer and tells it like it is. She also has written daily devotionals and other books. I have several of her books. Another book is Cloud and Townsend's Boundaries. I go back to this book over and over again. I have given it to a lot of people as well.

    I hope some of these tools are things you can try. Prayers and strength for you from me today. Keep coming back. There is help, and there is hope.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I am glad you found us.... sorry you had to. You have gotten some excellent advice here, all of which I agree with. She is an adult now.... no matter what mistakes you made as a parent (and we all make them) she is now responsible for her own life. Her drug addiction is NOT your fault and dont buy into that faulty way of thinking. Sometimes when I go down that guilt ridden path in my head I have to just remind myself to stop it... and the past is past and we can only look towards the future. She is responsible for her own future and she is the one that will make (or not) her path.

    I agree with the need to detach..... but that does not necessarily mean cutting off all contact forever. One of the best pieces of advice I got when we kicked my son out of the house when he was 18... was to stay in touch with him, let him know we love him but that does not mean letting him come back. And so that is what I have done.... when he has been using then I have stepped back and do not help him.... when he has wanted help and been willing to go to rehab then I have helped him.

    Its a long journey... and we have had many twists and turns but when my son has been in trouble and wanted real concrete help he has always called me. And I have helped him get help. For me that has been important because i know he knows we love him no matter what happens. He also knows now, after we let him be on the streets for several months, that we will not help him do the wrong things.

    And when he has been verbally abusive to me I usually leave the situation.

    So no dont take her abuse.... if she is telling you how this is all your fault and harranguing you then tell her you wont talk to her until she is respectful to you and hang up the phone.

    Do take a break from her and wait awhile before making contact with you....but after a while when you are ready it is alright to let her know you love her. I know for me I did want to make it easy for my son to reach out to me when he was ready for help.... and if I had cut off all contact with him completely I think he would not have done that.


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  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    You did not cause it, you cannot control it and you cannot cure it. Remember that.

    Special hugs from me - I am a mom of a former meth addict. She started in her teens. It was hades. We, too, tried rehabs, psychiatric admits, etc. None of it worked. We had to give her the ultimatum of going to rehab if she wanted to remain in our home. She chose to leave and be a homeless drug addict for years.

    The ONLY thing that ever made any difference is her getting pregnant, spending most of her pregnancy in jail and then giving birth while incarcerated. She was taken from the hospital in shackles while I stayed with her baby. A few days later, after her mourning and crying the entire time, she called me and told me she was done with drugs forever. Something in her voice told me she was telling the truth. I knew. And I was right. She came back home and it has been over five months now. There is no trace of the person she used to be. She does not have cravings, nor does she have any trouble staying off of drugs. She is a loving, devoted mother to her son and we are loving the family time that we missed while she was an addict.

    My point is, there is nothing I did that made any difference. I tried. But in the end, natural consequences were much more effective. Yes, you are absolutely doing the right thing. I am convinced had I let my daughter stay here on drugs, I would have found her dead one day...(oh and I cannot count how many times I used to hear that I loved my husband or her brother more...ugh. They will say anything to make themselves the victim in an effort to manipulate you. It is the addict talking - not your daughter.)
  6. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    Thank you all for the great advice. This past month has been really difficult and I blamed myself alot, I thought maybe if I had let her live with me after she got out of rehab the first time, she wouldn't have gotten back into drugs. In a sense I feel like I was being selfish, but I just couldn't have her in my home anymore, I felt and still feel exhausted and drained of life and energy, but I was still willing to help her.

    This time things feel different than before, she's not taking my phone calls or responding to any of my text messages. I texted her names and numbers of different Shelters and rehabs, and left her a few voicemails, but she hasn't answered any. I also, recently learned that she's living with her drug dealer, who is a 40yr old man, she's only 20. I have an idea of where she is, but I've been advised not to go or send the police, because my family and friends fear that this person will retaliate against us, and send people to hurt us, they believe that she'll probably end up going back anyway, and that it has to be her choice leave. I feel really conflicted because, I don't know if I'm doing the right thing by letting her stay there. I don't know what to do?

    I also, disconnected her cell phone, I left it on because I felt that was the only link to her and her to me, but when I check her phone records, she's calling and texting people all through out the night well into the morning. At this point I feel that is probably causing more harm than good by giving her access to everything bad.

    I fear this is going to be a long journey.......
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are doing the right thing. There is nothing you can do to make her leave the drug deal. You know this right? She is twenty and is making her own decision, which she can legally do. There is nothing, nada, zilch you can do to make her leave him and your friends and family are right. What if this causes a retaliation against other family members? Do you have other, younger kids? Do YOU want to deal with this drug dealer? I can almost guarantee you that if he is dealing and she is living with him, she is helping him deal. It's not unusual. As my daughter tells me (she used to be a big drug addict) "If you use it, you sell it. It goes together." They can both end up in prison if the cops go there and find out they're, say, cooking meth (did I use the right terminology?). I don't know that jail/prison is always a bad thing for our adult children, but think about how it could be a possibility and ponder it.

    You are NOT selfish because you don't want your daughter in your home. She is not safe nor is your health, physical and mental, safe if she is there. If anyone else lives with you, same with them. SHE is the selfish one. She thinks she is the only person who matters if she is like most of our difficult child adult children.

    Your daughter would not be any safer if you gave her the comfort of your home. First of all, YOU wouldn't be safe and she'd likely steal, disrespect you, and even maybe get dangerous. Secondly, she would still hang out with her druggie friends. My daughter lived with me for a long time and after we finally made her leave, we found out that some dealer wanted to kill her over some money he thought she owed him...but she didn't tell us any of this until after she was safely out of state and no longer using. Trust me, they put themselves in peril no matter who they live with and we never are told about it. You can't protect her anymore. She has to decide to quit using drugs and dump the drug using friends and go back to rehab...and to work the program. Only one person in the entire world can motivate her to quit and that is herself.

    Like patriot's girl, my daughter's drug of choice was meth. It was not something I wanted to face and I never did face it until she told me about it after she quit. I should have gotten a clue. She looked so skinny and ill I thought she would end up dead or in prison. Yet she DID quit. And now that she has told me the details of her drug days, I am shocked at how little I really knew about her during that time.

    I agree that natural consequences are our difficult child's best teacher. Whatever we do is usually used against us. I'm sure you have family and friends who adore you for the kind, caring person that you are and don't want YOU to get caught up in the dangerous drug world...they need you and want you in their lives, and you should love yourself enough to take good care of yourself and do the things that give you joy and be with those who appreciate your kind heart. No matter how much you obsess about your daughter, it will not make her life any better. You can not do don't have the power. You do have the power to make your own life much, much better, in spite of having a troubled adult child.

    That's a hard lesson we all had to learn, but it gets easier with time.

    Have a peaceful, serene night and if you want to chew on something that may make you feel better, I would put "radical acceptance" into your browser and read about it. This helps me a lot, in every way. Hugs to you and stay strong.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    This is the absolute truth. The more you can focus on this truth, and accept it (and all that comes with it), the more you will start to feel healing. It is an inch by inch process filled with potholes and mistakes---so accept that as well---and be gentle with yourself.

    No, it wouldn't have, unless and until she was completely sick and tired and completely ready to change. And then, relapse is an inevitable part of the disease for some 9__% of addicts and alcoholics. I have heard different numbers but they were all in the high 90s. Of course you could not have her in your home anymore. Many of us have been right where you are and we do and do and do and do and do for our precious child/adult addict but there does come a day---for many of us---where we just can't do it anymore. That is a good day for us and for them, because usually, it is the true beginning of substantive progress (we have so many beginnings...) of detachment, our own recovery and moving toward a more peaceful, joyful, serene life---whether or not the addict or alcoholic is still using or not. We are always willing to help someone who wants to help himself or herself. Especially our own child/adult whom we love so much---no matter what.

    Feeling conflicted is part of this. It is an ongoing part of this. The key is this: don't act on your feelings. Acknowledge them for they are true and real. But instead of reacting to them and taking action (which most of us are compelled to do for years and years and still even now sometimes), wait. Sit on it. Don't act. Don't react. Feel the fear and do other things to distract you from the need to act. Sometimes it helps me to make a "rule" for myself: I will do nothing for at least 48 hours.
    Another rule I try to consider is this: I will not react to anything that is not an emergency. Of course, then you have to decide how to define emergency---and I will tell you that most things are not. An emergency is a call from the ER and as somebody recently pointed out to me, maybe that is not even an emergency. Being homeless is not, not having a cell phone is not, not having any money is not.

    Good decision. It took me a long time to do this as I felt the way you did. But they have an interesting way of finding ways to communicate that you and I will never even think of. A cell phone is not a necessity, even for OUR peace of mind. We can learn to live peacefully and even joyfully when our adult child does not have a cell phone.

    Bless you. I am thinking of you today and of your daughter. Just start walking forward on this path to recovery. Realize that a mistake on your part is okay. It's not defining for you OR your daughter. You will make mistakes because you are human. Wait. Let time take its time. Just for today---do something nice for yourself. Take a nap, light a candle, take a bubble bath, read a book. Focus on YOU. God is in charge. Let him be, just for today. Keep coming back. Many hugs and prayers going up and out.
  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Glad you shut the phone off - I could never bring myself to do that and I would incessantly check her phone records - sometimes even several times a day.

    Meth brings BAD people - you are not only right in having her out of the home - you cannot and should not let her into your home while she is involved in that koi. I ONLY let my daughter back in to my home after she gave birth to her son and I knew in my soul that she was never going to do drugs again. If she ever chose to fall back into that life, I would throw her out and take custody of my grandson in an instant - NO doubt.

    SHE has to make the decision that she is done with living that way. Sadly, we never know what will make them make that choice. :(
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I also always let my difficult child have a cell phone because sometimes the only link I had to knowing if he was dead or alive was his phone records.... however I think shutting her phone off is a good move on your part.

    One of the things I thought about when we kicked my son out of the house a t8... is what is he learning if we let him stay.... that he can flagrantly violate all rules and do whatever he wants? That was what he was doing when he was living here... and making the rest of us feel like home was a place we did not want to be!! But reality says that society does not let you do whatever you want and break all the rules. My son has had to learn that the very hardest way with several arrests and some time in jail (which was better for me than when he was on the streets). But in the end that time in jail and the courts have gotten him into a good long term treatment place which is what he needs.

    I think if I had let him stay at home he would probably have died from an overdose at some point....if they are using you cannot protect them even if they are home.... and in fact if you allow them to use in the comfort of your home their using will only escalate and get worse. That does not help them.

    You are definitely doing the right thing.


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  11. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    Thank you all for the advice and for sharing your story with me. I know this is difficult, but I do appreciate all your kind words, you have no idea how much this has helped me!

    Everyday has been a struggle, but I'm trying to take it a day a time. However, that has been difficult.... My daughter will do just about anything to get our attention.

    Last night she sent a text from a random number pretending to be someone else, the text said that she (my daughter) had passed away of a drug overdose, and to contact our police dep. for more info. She sent this text to me, my sister, two of her friends, ex boyfriend and step mom. All the people that have been trying to help her. My heart sank when I got text message, and I had people calling me crying, but several hours later we learned that it was not true, she actually called one of the friends she sent the text to. However, she (my daughter) acted like she didn't know anything about that when her friend asked her about it, and today she starts sending pictures of herself (my daughter) posing with a gun in her waistband, the message didn't say anything there were just pictures.

    She continues to do this, we don't hear from her for a few days and then does something or fabricates a story to get our attention

    My husband (her step-dad) is so upset and wants nothing to do with her, and is pushing me to get a restraining order, he fears that next she will resort to violence once people stop paying attention. We have no idea what she's capable off. I really feel like I don't know this person at all, and her behavior is really scary.
  12. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    I was doing the same thing, checking the phone records several times a day. Even when I was at work, I also started calling the numbers pretending to get the wrong number, and see if I can get them to tell me who they are. I was driving myself crazy.
  13. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    You're right, it was hard for me to make the decision to kick her out, I felt better knowing she was here at home sleeping her room, but I knew I was just making it easy and convenient for her to do what she wanted. She had no sense of responsibility or no worries. Either way, I knew that I had no control over her and she just used the house like a motel, she was gone all day until the night. We gave her a curfew and she always broke curfew and had plenty of reasons and excuses why she couldn't get home on time.
  14. momseekingadvice

    momseekingadvice New Member

    Thank you for all your kind words. I took your advice (previous post) and I started looking for a support group in my area, I also made an appointment to start seeing a therapist.
  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    MSA, I did the same things, obsessively went through his room, his car, his phone, his computer, called numbers back, etc. etc. etc. I was like a crazy person, doing all of those things.

    MSA---I WAS a crazy person. I was like a wounded animal, howling and running in circles, trying to get away from the pain.

    One time I left my car running in a bookstore parking lot while I sat in there, looking for more books about addiction and alcoholism so I could understand THIS MONSTER. I left it running for 45 minutes. I was crazed with my needs to control this disease.

    It doesn't work MSA---and you already know that and are doing the hard work of change in yourself. If we can change just one thing, just one thing, a ripple effect of change will begin.

    Then, tomorrow or the next day, maybe we can change...just one more thing. And the ripples get bigger.

    This is what our difficult child addicted loved ones will have to do too, if and when they choose recovery. None of us can change it all overnight. It's too big and too hard.

    But we can change one thing today.

    You are walking on your journey, MSA, and you are doing the very best you can every day. That is enough.

    Take care, and be kind to yourself. Your daughter is ramping up. People ramp up when things change and they don't get what they want. Boundaries (book by Cloud and Townsend) talks about this---about people getting mad---really mad---when new boundaries are set in relationships. Because that means THEY have to change, regardless of whether they want to or not.

    Stay the course, MSA. You are moving toward the light, toward peace, toward joy, toward contentment. Keep doing the hard work.