possible relapse

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by rebelson, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    I am glad my post has helped you, Copa. Like I said, I am not the parent of an addict, so I do not have the same experiences you do. I share some experiences with the children of the parents on this forum. I post because I hope it is easier for you to handle your problems once you can truly understand theirs. If neither side has an appreciation for the suffering of the other, improvement is unlikely. Clearly, they must find it more difficult to understand you than for you to understand them. It also always bothers me when I read posts from members in which they feel either responsible, or not good enough. Some take it very personally, and it usually isn't. I mean, it is.... Personal TO them. Addicts can only truly care about one thing, their ability to get high. It isn't that they don't love or care about the people around them. Most intentionally ignore the pain we have to cause to maintain our habits. If you don't acknowledge it, you don't need to deal with it. But we can only ignore it while high. Forming a very viscous circle. The longer it goes on, the less hope we have about fixing ourselves, or making things right with others. We know what we do is wrong. We aren't ignorant or stupid. Every time we steal from you, we know it is wrong. Every time we lie to you, we know it is wrong. Every time we get behind the wheel in an inebriated state, we know it is wrong. But we lose our ability NOT to do these things. We destroy everything about ourselves in a futile effort not to feel feelings anymore. Another viscous circle.
  2. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    And yes, codependency manifests itself in a nearly identical manner to addiction. It is never intentional, but most people have no idea how to properly deal with a drug addict until they have dealt with a drug addict. Meaning that everything you did up until this point may have been wrong, but not intentionally so. It is this ignorance that gets people to a point where they literally are addicted to their addict and their drama. Disengaging is crucial. Disengaging is not being cruel, and it is not giving up. It is merely about getting back to a point where you aren't so fundamentally intertwined with their :censored2:. Of course you will be happy and proud when we do well, and sad and helpless when we fail. If you could just fix our problem for us, you'd do it. We know that. We wish you could just magically fix it all. But you can't. And we are adults. Not very good ones, I grant you, but adults all the same. Our mistakes are our mistakes, and the consequences for those mistakes are ours, and ours alone. That is how it has to be. If that isn't the case, you're doing something very wrong there.

    Christopher Hitchens explains it pretty well in talking about the concept of scapegoating, which is precisely what Jesus' sacrifice was. He says he could pay your parking ticket for you if he liked you. He could even take your place in prison if he REALLY liked you. But what he cannot do is take away your responsibility. Nor should he. I think that this applies here, as well. You can save them from the consequences, but you cannot take away their responsibility for their actions. And they cannot truly appreciate that responsibility if you save them from the consequences. Therefor, you shouldn't save them from the consequences. We get arrested, don't bail us out. Don't support us in our self destructive endeavors in any manner. Support us in recovery.
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  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    rebelson, this is just my opinion. But I think you should tell your son about your access to his account and ask him to change his password.

    AlAnon follows the same twelve steps as AA. Honesty is key in recovery whether it is AlAnon or AA. So is asking forgiveness. Telling your son what you did and asking his forgiveness would be working the steps. It would also make it impossible for you to keep checking up on him which you can't do on your own due to your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    As far as detaching with love, it is a learned process. I have said this before but it took two years of therapy for me to recognize how enmeshed I had become in my daughter's addiction and how co-dependent we were. SWOT is right, though. There was a moment when I finally realized it had to stop. My daughter's car had been impounded after countless other crises of her own making and she called me and said, "Mom, we have a problem. My car has been impounded." Something inside me just snapped and I said, "No, I don't have a problem, my car is in the garage." From then on, I was able to slowly start detaching with help from my therapist.

    I realize it will be even more difficult for you with your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but hopefully your therapist will have suggestions to help you with that.
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  4. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Seeing the kind of pain you guys are in serves as a great reminder for me. It is the most unfair, selfish thing we can possibly to do the people who love us the most. This forums serves as a reminder of that, and I am very grateful for it. And Kathy is right, honesty is the only way to have a mutually beneficial relationship with others, your children included. They may not be honest, but you still can be. As an example, if nothing else. And it may show him that honesty isn't a bad thing. We rely on manipulation and dishonesty in all its forms so much that we forget that it isn't normal, or natural for other people. It becomes second nature. All relationships based on lies are flimsy and superficial at best. We become conditioned to thinking that dishonesty is an acceptable tool to use in order to get what we want. Try to show him that it isn't the best way to go about life. Do it by being honest and open with him, and maybe he will start to appreciate the benefits of honesty.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Darkwing, do you remember where you read this--in which of his writings? I admired him, Christopher Hitchens.
  6. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    He was a truly brilliant man. Very few out there like him. Not to mention the best debater of our time. Probably all time. Even his opponents acknowledge that they lost to him.

    Not a writing. An argument he has made in a few of his debates. I can give you the youtube link.

    Christianity is False and Immoral. (Christopher Hitchens)
  7. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Most guys would name a professional athlete, their father, or soldiers as their heroes. Not me. Mine is Christopher Hitchens. I have seen every debate, read every book, and watched as many news appearances I can find.

    He is the only journalist to call Mother Teresa out for the monster than she was. Did you know that the Catholic Church invited Hitchens to argue against her canonization as a saint? Playing the role of devil's advocate. They offered to pay him for his time, but he didn't take it. It was his pleasure to do it. He obviously lost that one, and the church has since abolished that office/practice. Which means that he might be the only man to ever represent Satan pro bono.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I did not know this. I will google it right now.

    I know this is sensational but did you know his mother was murdered in a murder-suicide by her lover. I believe she had run away with him and left her family. Immediately he went to Greece to identify his mother and served to handle what could not but have been a horribly wrenching experience. Hitchens lived in Greece for a time and his first wife was a Greek attorney. What strikes me about him as much or more than his brilliance, utter conviction in his principles (self-confidence), and beauty, is his utter realism. Which must have helped him through everything he faced. Because he faced it head on.
  9. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Yes. He has no time for wishful thinking. He believes it is much better to accept reality as it is, since there is nothing we can do to change it.

    Yes, Mother Teresa was a monster. A horrible human being. She promoted suffering and poverty, believing these things to be a gift from God. And to get closer to God, one must suffer. All those structures she built all over the world were disease infected :censored2: holes where people were thrown to suffer. Not her, of course. No, she was too busy taking bribes, and living it up. She also urged people against any medical care, despite the fact that she was receiving cutting edge, expensive medical procedures. She was a liar, a hypocrite, and certainly no friend to humanity. Her canonization is a huge blemish on the already filthy Catholic church.
  10. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    I do not wish to alienate, but please do not post anti-Catholic or anti-religion things on my threads.
    You are entitled to your religious opinions, but this is my thread about my son's relapse.
    Thank you for being respectful of my request.
  11. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Good point. I think I exaggerated his potential reaction a bit. It's not like I hacked his account. Over a year ago, after his accident, he gave me access to his FB, email and bank account. He wanted me to check a few things. I had written them down and forgot about them. Then, a month ago, he was having issues with getting his 1st food stamps. The sober living office where he's living apparently misplaced an important letter that was time sensitive and that he needed to act upon. So, I found his email log-on info and logged on to check for any info on the lost letter, ebt status. With Google's 'gmail' email accounts, apparently when you log on to gmail, it logs your phone browser in to 'your' personal Google search engine. Hence the logging of past searches.

    I am going to talk to the therapist about this. If I decide to have son intervene with pw change, I will just text him something like: "listen, please change your email password, I still had it and last month logged on your email to check for food stamp info, which logged me in to your searches, too. I don't wish to have access to your searches.'

    And, I think, hope he'll be ok with that.

    Maybe I need the temptation of knowing the pw as I can utilize that (CBT) to help myself have some self-control?

    I have my 1st therapy session with a male therapist, Tuesday at 7pm. Looking forward to it.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The issue here is you, not your son.

    Nobody is disputing that you had no "right" to the access. What I hear others saying, is that you have the right and the responsibility to protect yourself. And you lose control with access to your son's accounts. They trigger your addiction. They trigger you to give up your sense of control over yourself and your actions. They trigger your illness.
    You lose yourself, rebelson. Your best self.

    You are responsible, first, to yourself. There is the possibility of a decision here, to either thrive and get stronger *yourself, or to continue to debase yourself in your own mind. That is the decision you can make about yourself. Not your son. You are the issue. Your welfare.
  13. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    First of all, my posts weren't anti religious at all. More political than anything else. The only negative thing I said about the Catholic church is that they have a very stained history, which is simply a fact. Has nothing to do with how you feel about God. And even that only got started because I was trying to give you advice, and happened to quote an atheist.

    That aside, we are trying to get you to see that much of the reason you are so upset is because you are making yourself so upset. You know you are going to be disappointed and hurt every time you go through his private correspondences, yet you do it again... Do you see what we're getting at here? You have not detached. You need to work on YOU, not your son. It is his responsibility to work on him. Not only that, the healthier you are physically, mentally, and emotionally; the better help you can provide for him. Codependency is a horrible cycle, and not an easy one to escape. Most of the parents on this forum have made great efforts in the detachment department. Nobody is telling you that it will be easy, just that it will be worth it. It will be more beneficial for you, your son, and the rest of your family.

    Just like a junkie needs to forget phone numbers attached to supply sources, you need to remove your ability to read his private correspondences. What you are doing is NOT how you begin to build a healthy relationship with your son when he gets better. SOMEBODY needs to start being honest, and it doesn't look like it will be him. Might as well be you. I promise you, the hard time you're going through will be less hard if you do.
  14. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Yes, I have not ever disputed that. You are right. I have humbly admitted that I have a problem. There must be some gratifying semblance of peace in knowing that I have access to his inner world, by seeing his searches. And I got in to this muck because I was 'enabling' him in the 1st place by checking his email for some ebt information that he is/was FULLY capable of doing himself. A perfect example there of enabling. Doing something for the addict that they can do for themselves. But, as a mom, I was concerned in making sure that my son had FOOD to eat.

    They trigger my O C D. I have little ability when under stress, to withhold my urge to 'check'. And, God forbid I see a concerning search as I did, 'liquor store'....that put me in a tailspin. On Wednesday when I first saw the one on 'how to beat a breathalyzer', I had an immediate onset of anxiety. However, there was NOTHING at that point, that I could do! I suffered another 2 days of numb, zombie hell, until he called me Friday and confirmed relapse....when those 2 days could've been peaceful had I not seen the searches.

    I think I have PTSD from his accident in early 2015. We were talking often, almost daily. Then, all of a sudden, I could not reach him. His phone would ring and ring. Hours went by, then a day went by. Then, it started going right to VM, which indicates phone battery dead or phone turned off. This went on for 2 full days, not the norm for him. I had a strong GUT feeling something was amiss. He had very recently lost his job which he was at for the longest time ever, for him(almost 6 mos.)....which he really liked prior to this. And he was not coping well with the firing. I think drinking a lot, among using other stuff. Anyways, I finally posted on his FB page for one of his friends to PLEASE HELP ME! Where is my son? Some wonderful guy messaged me that he 'heard' my son was in an accident. I was in my car the next morning and at his bedside 9hrs later. He had major surgery the next morning.

    That 2 days of not knowing, but knowing something was wrong, was just plain awful. Unless one goes through this, you will never know. Not saying that as an excuse..I have to get past this. But, still. It's still fresh for me.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    We are, each of us, trying to build healthy relationships with ourselves. That is the power of all of this, that because we love our children so much, we can finally treat ourselves well, and reach to become people we have not allowed ourselves to be, before.

    That some of us have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or are reactive or hysterical or what ever, can be an excuse to go places where we ought not go, but it does not have to be. I am way less angry than I once was with my son. It all came from one decision--this greater control. I allowed myself to not follow him to where he needed to or wanted to go. I said no.

    Just that one boundary changed everything.

    The fact that your son gave you permission to view his private goings on--does not mean it is in your interests to do so. My son invited me over and over again to follow him in his conspiracy theories. I chose not to. Because it was not good for me.

    When we begin to choose for ourselves, everything can change with our children. Because we have given them permission to choose for themselves. Or not.

    It is like a big deep hole opens up for them, when we step away. The abyss. Their choices come to have more importance, when we cease to take responsibility. They have the chance to step up.

    Those of us whose parents forced us to take responsibility for both themselves and for ourselves, never felt the safety to let go. There was so much danger everywhere that every single thing became fraught with danger. If we did not dance faster everything would fall apart. There was a movie, I'm dancing as fast as I can. We fear that if we stop dancing, stop holding on, everything will fall apart The abyss.

    What we do not know, is that the abyss is possibility and freedom. If you stop dancing, rebelson, you will be free. And you will allow your son the possibility of this freedom, too.
    I do not see it as a question of honesty or dishonesty. I believe it is a question of fear. As long as the fear dominates, and you keep believing in your power to control anything, your son will keep believing on some level that your dancing keeps everything going. And that he is minimally responsible. He will believe that his power lies in manipulating everybody else, to dance for him. He will miss the essential piece--that his dance for himself is the only one that counts.

    This is the learning that each of us missed, rebelson. Because we were too busy dancing to keep our parents afloat--and with that ourselves.
  16. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    I'm sorry for what you're going through. I only have my own experience to bounce off ideas from and since I agree with everyone here the only thing more I can add is my suggestion of looking into a Victory Outreach program for your son. They're International. My son has been there almost one full year and it's an amazing program if the addict wants to change. My son graduates at the end of August and I couldn't be happier at who he has become. There is hope rebelson.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    While it is easy to judge, I do not think those of us here are doing so, in the main.

    Nobody here is in the position to judge. We might, but if we do, we are mainly trying to shore up ourselves, because we know in our hearts how much we blew it, or fear we did.

    My son had a brain injury in 2010 and he has chronic hepatitis which worsened extremely in 2009. And in 2011 I threw him out into the street. I think I know what fear is. And extreme guilt. And the sense of responsibility.

    That we know their peril--and our own--makes it more imperative to confront ourselves--not less so. What would it take, for you to tell your son that you choose to bow out of access to his facebook, etc. That you need that--and is there some other way that the two of you can stay connected--if he chooses that, and you too?

    What would you need to know or do--for you to do that for yourself, and for him? Or do you feel that it continues to make sense for each of you, that you have this access?
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    darkwing, we try to be very careful about posting things of a political or religious nature that can be offensive to members on the board.
    There really is no other way to read that statement other than anti-Catholic and I am sure it would be offensive to Catholic members (and many others) on the board.

    Your insight on addiction has been invaluable but please try to refrain from comments like the one above.

    rebelson, my suggestion to ask your son to change his password was to help you keep yourself from obsessing over what your son is doing.
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  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    How about YOU now? Do you seek out help for your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? My son had no control over his counting. None. He had to leave college and ended up on SSI for a while. He found a gifted PhD Psycologist. I think the man did cognitive behavioral therapy. He was eventually able to stop counting, quit medications and get a job...he is now doing very well at a job he's been at for at least ten years.

    Not all is 100%. Mental illness, anxiety types, run strong in our family. He still needs therapy for extreme stress and rumination. He doesnt get it so his coping tool box is low..But he functions now. He didn't at one time. He even had to live with his father. He hated it and SSI. But he was really sick, in ER all the time for suicidal ideation...

    Seriously, you seem like such a good person. Your health matters as much as your sons. I have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) diagnosis too, which is more about non stop ruminating but I've gotten much better. It isn't as bad as my son, but I get your urge to check and the icky panic feeling.

    I don't mean your son is not important. He is precious and very important. But so are you
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  20. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member


    I get it. I don't have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and it would be very difficult for me not to read his searches if I had access to that type of information.

    My concern for you is that having the information seems to cause you more anxiety and pain than not having it. I guess there is something in the saying, "Ignorance is bliss." :smile:

    I guess my point in my post about parents vs. other family members is it is very easy to say, "You should" when you are looking at things from an outsider's point of view, but very different when you are actually walking in those shoes.

    I think it would be a good idea for you to have him change his password. Having it just seems to cause you so much pain. I am not sure how I would approach telling him, though.

    I'm glad he is rebooting himself. Dreading something really is worse than the actual something.