Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My sister got her daughter, C, into rehab again today. I think this is her 4th time.

    This is the email she sent me:
    Spent the day getting C. ready and into rehab. I think everything will go well and she really wants to get better. It's hard.

    My first thought was, why did she spend the day doing that? Isn't that part of the co-dependency issue? This is a 21-yr-old woman who is living in her own apt. (Okay, she got kicked out for not paying rent and was living with-a friend ...) But isn't she supposed to pack her own suitcase or something?

    Maybe my sister meant that it took all day to talk to C., and soothe her, and do that paperwork once they got there.

    Any insights on this?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't have any insights really. Is there any chance your sister would go to alanon or family anon? Narc anon family groups? It sounds like it might really help her.

    When my bro went into rehab he went straight from jail. Mom had to do all the arrangements, take care of his home, etc... because he couldn't pack a bag. My dad was not much help because he didn't want to take much time off work - he was a teacher and had a very difficult schedule.

    I hope the daughter really does want to get sober. It is so wrenching for the family, addicts really put everyone around them through the wringer.

    Hugs adn prayers,

  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    once I spent a whole weekend getting ant into rehab. he was under 21 but still on my insurance-probably about age 18. he had overdosed on heroin on a friday night and called me from a payphone. I drove there, a good piece away with the promise from him that he would go right to the ER.

    I took him to the ER and they spent hours evaluating and doing paperwork before they told me they could not help him at that hospital. by that time it was sat morning.

    then I drove him 45 mins to the other hospital and spent 4 or 5 hours doing paperwork, having a case worker call and work with the insurance details and having him monitored. by the time he got into the inpatient rehab and was settled, I left, went home exhausted and fell into bed.

    an hour later he walked out of the rehab and went to a pay phone begging to be picked up. it was the middle of the night by this time. I got him with the promise that he would go to outpatient rehab the next day instead.

    so the next day he did.

    he met a guy there who was in the outpatient program and they left together to do drugs while I was in the required parent mtg in the next room.

    yes, it is very hard. your poor sister.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    It may be slightly codependent, but if the daughter wants to get better then she needs support. I think it is ok to support someone who is doing something good of their own choice. It is unhealthy to do everything for them. I think it just depends on the circumstances.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I have to agree with crazymama. The daughter is trying to move in a better direction. I tend to think of enabling more in terms of spending the day helping a kid who is still drugging.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If my daughter was still using drugs, and asked me for help preparing her for rehab, I'd spend all weekend helping her and giving her 100% of my emotional support. It's when she got out that I'd let her go and learn. Sure, if she needed a little support, and was still SOBER, I'd do the Mom thing, but eventually you have to cut the strings.
    My daughter is clean now (and your niece can get there too). She gave me advice once: "Never trust a drug addict."
    But we have to try. There comes a point, though, when we also have to detach. If this were me, this would be the last time I'd help her.
    But she'd get this one last time.
    Good luck to your niece AND your sister. This has to be hell for her. I lived it.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    I'm trying to be supportive ... my sister tells me a few things here and there but then clams up. My neice is so adorable. It's such a shame.
  8. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I'm thinking back to the different times my difficult child entered rehab and I think a lot of my day, and maybe the day before was kind of consumed by it at the time. I know with him, he was going because he wanted to and knew he needed help, but he was usually high as a kite in the days before going, thinking it was going to be his last day of using, so he wasn't really capable of doing much to get himself ready. I guess I just looked at it as helping him get to the place that was going to hopefully help him.
    It's different then if I was helping him pack for a vacation where I knew he was going to be going and getting high.

    I guess the way to look at it is the part of detatching when you say, when you are ready to help yourself, I will be there to help you.

    Another way to look at it is, we all handle it in different ways and at the time it's happening, we do what we feel we need to for them and ourselves.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    it is SO hard when you get bits and pieces of the story.

    Your sister may very well want to vent because this is so hard for her to deal with (and who can blame her) but then when she starts to, she thinks, I'd best candy coat this, I don't want to be judged or sound pathetic. So you may be getting half the story (or an altered version of the story) because of that. Or maybe she feels like you are sick of hearing it. (hey! some family is like that.)

    Get her when the both of you have time to talk, and tell her that she call tell you everything, and that you want to help. That is, if you really do. Then suggest the alanon, the detaching, etc.

    Good luck to you, and your niece will be in my prayers.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If stepgfg wanted to go to rehab I know I'd be helping her.

    I think BBK made some good points. Your sis is probably seeking out support herself but not sure how others, including family will react. (how well we know)

    Is sis close by where you could invite her over for coffee? Then maybe find a way to let her know that you're willing to listen and support.

    I have to do this sort of thing with my oldest sis. Our family is always so neg in their responses over her difficult children and her abusive exdh that she is afraid to open up to anyone. Plus she has this whole "tough guy" routine going on since we were kids.

    I usually have to draw her out by offering up a few opening questions, once she sees my responses are supportive she'll usually unload. It's like she forgets I've always been her sounding board and biggest supporter. (doesn't help we live states away from each other now either)

    Just had that type of conversation with her the other day. I know the family has no clue of the stuff she has on her plate. :rolleyes:

    I'm sure this is so hard for your sis.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    For whatever reason your sis seems to feel unable to open up. Maybe she gets too many suggestions from others, maybe no one will listen, maybe people say ugly things to her. I know you don't do this, and that you want to help.

    Personally, I got so careful with telling my family ANYTHING that it got to the point that my life was in danger before I asked my parents to help. It was AFTER the first call to the sheriff.

    You really can't know what is going on but you can let her know you will listen with an open heart and mind. It may take a while, but if you are willing, maybe she will be able to talk to you someday.

    It is so hard when a family member is in such pain. I truly think it took my mom a very long time to help my bro get ready to go to rehab. I know it took a HUGE emotional toll. And he was over 30 years old.

    Sending hugs and prayers to all of you,

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    Maybe she's just tired of talking about it.
    But she gave me some more info today that was very gloomy ... I doubt that anyone else in the family knows that this at this point. (I posted at the watercooler, too.)

    She lives in a diff state. I told her I'd fly up after Christmas to help out with-Dad, and she said that would be great.
    I'd love to have him come down here, but he's so out of place, and doesn't get to see his friends, the few friends he remembers... when you get to a certain age, routine is so very important.

    In the meantime, we're hoping to see her at Christmas.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    No advice - been there done that and I'm too hard to comment.

    I just wish the best for your sister, and your niece.


    ps. Midwest Mom's daughter gave her tremendous advice - words to live by.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes ... "Never trust a drug addict."
    Horrifying and sad. My niece is/was so sweet and adorable. What a waste of a good life. A life with-potential that is still there.

    I told my easy child today about niece's rehab and what she's been taking and easy child was aware of the drug use in general (niece has a picture of herself using a bong with-a friend on her MySpace) but easy child wasn't aware of any specifics. I filled her in and told her that in case niece spends Christmas with-us (at a hotel in another state) that we should keep our purses and $ away from her. Sad but true. Niece has to prove herself over and over and has failed each time.

    by the way, someone broke into my sister's house this summer and husband and I are convinced it was niece's friends. Some jewelry was missing but nothing was otherwise disturbed ... as though the person knew exactly where to go and what to look for. Too much of a coincidence. I still don't know if my sister and her husband would believe it... sometimes you can say things to them and other times they argue and get defensive. It's too hard to know. So we usually just express sympathy and nothing more, ea time something happens.

    I know for a fact that my sister will never let go. I would personally be in the process of having the locks changed and cutting off all payment for bills, rent or whatever, because there is too much enabling going on. This is not something new. It's been going on for yrs but getting progressively worse. I can clearly imagine how it tears your guts to have to lock out your own child. I have put myself in her place a zillion times, trying to shore up my resources in case it ever happens to my kids. Because it could ... my risks are pretty high, or I wouldn't be on this bb!

    My nephew, who is 13, takes it all in with-big eyes and bigger ears. He pretty much writes off everything his sister does as something he should not do. I was the same way with-my older sisters. They were always in trouble and I would think, "Why would one be stupid enough to do XYZ?" I had no desire to do any of it. So at least he's got a horrible warning to gauge himself by.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    It IS hard, for everyone. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the situation and how to handle it for your family's safety.

    Your sister probably is having a very brutally tough time. I think you are doing what you can from several states away.

    If your sister needs advice let her know she can ask for it. Otherwise, just try to be there with a sympathetic ear for her. And maybe for your nephew, if you are close enough relationship wise.


  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    She would never ask me for advice. She thinks I'm a mean mom and too strict. But she tells me a lot of things and I'm a pretty good listener.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending some prayers that your niece (and your entire family). Hugs.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, they let my sister take her out to go to the dr. I don't like that idea ... I thought they had doctors on the premises. They said they want her tested for ADHD. And my sister said C. wants to go to AA, too. Okay. Whatever works!
    Can AA be used for street drugs as well as alcohol? I thought it was another name. Or perhaps--too obviously--my niece has been doing both.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    All of the 12 step programs are designed with a certain addiction in mind. Believe me if she starts going to AA instead of CA there are people there once she opens up that will encourage her to go to the other programs. She will either get something out of the program or she won't - it works for some and in the words she can substitute (street drugs) for alcohol.

    I'm glad she even wants to go - and somewhat surprised.

    I hope your sister realizes soon that she's being an enabler - but your niece will learn about them in AA too.

    Glad to hear a positive report - keeping her in my prayers
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hope your sister realizes soon that she's being an enabler - but your niece will learn about them in AA too.

    Ah yes, my hope too! But will my niece have the guts to break free? Freedom means responsibility.