Now from the inside looking out...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Umberlee168, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Umberlee168

    Umberlee168 New Member

    It scares me so much to be here but I feared it would happen sooner or later.

    As a teen I abused drugs indiscriminately and was really setting out on an unsavory path in life. I was arrested at 15 and somehow completed probation successfully but continued using this or that throughout my young adulthood. I drank occasionally and would always drink too much. It wasn't until I quit using everything that I realized how frequent and pervasive my substance abuse disorder was. I was never dependent or addicted physically but I always wanted "something" to kill the pain, boredom, stress, whatever. I have been clean for close to four years now.

    My ex-husband and I used to "party" together before we had kids. I tried to keep things straight a long time before ever getting completely sober--I stopped using street drugs years ago and would either drink or take pills to cope. My ex smoked pot daily and drank much worse than I did. Not only did he drink too much but he would do stupid things like drive or act like an idiot or get in other peoples' business at parties (not violent but just dumb and intrusive). After we split up he got his second DUI and this was enough to scare him straight for about a year. He's now back to daily drinking.

    It was hard for me to get completely clean. Very hard. The temptation to use is so seductive and it never goes away completely. It's still there and I still struggle with it daily.

    Statistically the children I have with my ex are at a 70-80% likelihood of also suffering from addiction. I've now reached the milestone of my son having his first (confirmed) use. He's 12. I'm obviously terrified.

    I have spoken to all my kids regularly about the dangers of addiction and how they are at high risk. They verbalize understanding but difficult child has been transparent in his "curiosity" about drug and alcohol use. He has been asking me for ages if I've ever done this or that drug, trying to get it out of me in some kind of "well you turned out okay" justification scheme, I gather. If history is any indicator.

    With this opportunity for use he did not just try alcohol. He got hammered. In the midst of a bunch of friends who were also curious and opportunistic my son went balls-to-the-wall and ended up hauled to the ER by the police.

    I haven't talked to him since this happened so I don't even know a lot of the details yet. I do know that the money he's saved from Christmas (which should go toward repairing carpet he burned) is now going to go toward more court fines (he had a prior shoplifting offense). With as close as I got to throwing everything away I've never had the impulsivity issues that Punch has. He has acted like a "crackhead" since I can remember--gluttony, self-indulgence, looking for a sugar or energy-drink rush. It's crazy. I hold out very little hope that he will keep things on the straight and narrow without taking things tot he brink first. I'm just so scared.

    It was suggested that I try Alanon and I think I'll bring that or Alateen up to him. Substance abuse services are incredibly sparse here.

    It feels so surreal to have this scourge come full circle and begin inflicting itself on my children.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Before I answer that...did you drink AT ALL while you were pregnant with Mr. 13? Fathers get off the hook. If they drink, it does not affect a developing fetus. But if a mother drinks, it can. That may explain some of 13s behaviors. Even one drink, I've heard, can affect a child's developing brain.

    I am not asking you this to make you feel guilty. What's done is done. I am trying to figure out if Mr. 13's behavior problems may have something to do with prenatal alcohol exposure. Clearly, since he is so smart, it has not affected his intelligence, a great thing. However, it could affect his impulsivity too and his ability to make good choices or to understand how to best take care of himself. Again, no blame game here. Just trying to figure him out.

    Tremendous kudos to you for getting clean. My daughter used drugs and drank. She still drinks does not seem to be one of her substances in which she abused since she can drink twice a year and no more often. However, I know how hard it is to quit through her words.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello Umberlee and welcome to our little corner of the CD board. I'm sorry you had to find us but glad that you did.

    I noticed in your signature that Punch is ODD with impulsivity. Have you taken him to a p-doctor? ODD with impulsivity often are signs of ADHD. Maybe medications could help him curb his impulsivity.

    Keep posting. We truly understand your fears as we have all been down this road with our loved ones.

  4. Umberlee168

    Umberlee168 New Member

    He is impulsive but not hyperactive. The scant diagnosis we have so far are just from his primary care. I'm researching neuropsychologist facilities now and it looks like it would be a good 4 hour drive so it will take some planning. We do have a psychologist here who does some very extensive testing and evaluations and recommendations for kids so I'm going to get him seen there (behavior health and wellness center).

    I never used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy. I mean, I turned 21 when I was pregnant and I drank coke on my first night in a bar. I had a tiny taste of champagne on New Year's Eve and tasted a friend's "Sex on the Beach" because I was curious. That was it.

    I was so excited to be pregnant and starting a family that I took really good care of myself aside from the massive amounts of stress I was under due to ex-husband's behavior.

    I met with difficult child tonight briefly and we talked a little about what happened. What scares me is his inability to take responsibility for his actions. Apparently at the sleepover he was at, they were bored and walked to a friend's house. I don't know this kid or anything about him and never gave him permission to go there. Over there were a bunch of older teens who, Punch says, "forced" him and his friend to drink with the threat of knocking them out if they didn't. I don't know if I believe this or not. Once they had a drink he says this kid kept on threatening them if they didn't drink more. It sounds pretty fishy to me. He kept saying that the ONLY reason he drank was because he was afraid this kid would seriously hurt him. I asked why he didn't just leave or call 911 or something and he then turned it into a tired old tirade he has about he needs a cell phone (which he had, but it was taken away because of an escalating series of behaviors related to it). He actually still has it for WiFi, he just doesn't have service on it right now.

    Anyway this was frustrating because it just speaks to the lack of insight and accountability he continues to express. He finally ended up getting upset when I told him that husband is planning on moving out. He said that if my husband wants to move out because my kid drank then maybe I married the wrong guy. And he's right. But then he messaged me awhile later and said he doesn't want us to get divorced because he doesn't want the two littlest kids to have a broken home. Man, talk about heartbreaking because here my "screwed up" 12 year-old kid has more heart and reflection than my 37 year-old man-child at home who would rather kick us all to the curb than share a roof with a struggling step-kid. Blows my mind.
  5. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    My easy child is not hyperactive either but she has been diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) not ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) back in the day that was a major distinction. Now a days they seem to skip over that part. ADHD is now her diagnosis but in the long run it doesn't matter since they tend to treat with the same medications.

    I have found ODD to be a wasted diagnosis. Basically my kids have other issues that lead to the ODD behaviors. If they other issues were addressed the ODD wouldn't occur. So is ODD real if it is caused by other stuff? I don't know but I know a lot of pediatric docs use it when they don't know what else to.

    I wouldn't buy that story from a 12 year old either. Have you talked to the cops who pulled him in? They would be better able to give you the lowdown. All of that is kind of beside the point since he snuck out of a house and went to a strangers home. He put himself in the situation. Alcohol was the least of his worries he could have been raped or kidnapped or worse.

    As for husband my opinion is regardless of his fabulous insurance that relationship isn't healthy for you. It isn't healthy for a 12 year old or any kid either. Knowing that people are willing to give up on you because you are a difficult child is certainly not doing anything to make things better.
  6. Umberlee168

    Umberlee168 New Member

    I wouldn't stay with husband just for insurance, lol. It is one of the things that would suck most about divorce, though. It's at no cost and his flex plan, which is paid into by the company, typically takes care of all our co-pays and deductibles. It's basically free insurance for all seven of us, including his stepkids. When I look at dollars and cents of being on my own, that would be a huge loss.

    husband desperately needs to develop some empathy, but there will be no changing him. He has never worked at a relationship in his life. He has two other failed marriages that he gave up on and an adopted son he lost rather than fight for (after bio mom was killed by a drunk driver). He is not a wonderful guy by any means. But what's more important to me is what else he's not: he's not a drinker, not a cheater, not a gambler, not an always-gone-with-friends guy, not a big spender, not a yeller or hitter or even argue-back-er. husband is dependable and predictable and lovable in his own way.

    One of my goals for this week is to track down some of the "paper trail" from Punch's recent escapade, but this is gonna be hampered by my van dying so I'm homebound til my battery gets replaced. I really want to know what the police report and hospital notes say.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As dsct99 shared there are two different types of ADD. I'm hoping you get the evaluation soon. He is at a difficult age. Good luck.DDD