RM please read

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RM your post made me cry because it is exactly how I feel. At times I think all we did the past 20 years was babysit difficult child, nothing we did changed the predetermined outcome of her life. Years ago we feared exactly this would happen. There were so many early signs of serious trouble ahead and we try to hard to deal with them along the way and once they become adults we finally have to give up. But we spend all of money and energy and love trying to change them at the expense of the rest of our family and our own health. There are some people who should just never have children. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I am soooooo angry right now at what we were left to deal with. If you could fast forward our lives twenty years ago to now, this would be it....nothing absoultely nothing could have changed the outcome. I feel like a fraud was perpetrated on us, like they knew and didn't tell us. I feel like we were used.

    I do think final closure is sometimes better, I know it would be for me rather than living in this state of complete panic and despair.

    I guess you can tell I'm having a bad day so I better go do something to try to change it.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Nancy, I am so sorry you are having a bad day. Twenty years ago the debate over nature vs. nurture was still raging. when I adopted I truly believed that nurture would win out (and it might still) but all evidence is pointing to genetics having more clout. The thing is we do not know what would have happened if we didn't intervene in our adopted difficult child's life. Mine was beaten starved and abused when I got him at 3 months. He had alot of medical problems and some mild deformities that we had surgically repaired. He likely would have been moved from one foster home to another and maybe tortured and maybe killed as a child. Instead he grew up in a loving home and was given much support and had many wonderful experiences.

    I fostered many abused children over the years and with those kids I always held the "port in a storm" philosopy. I knew their future was "ify". I also knew that I probably would not have any lasting effect on them and I accepted that. It was enough for me that, for the time they were in my care, they were safe and happy. It took a while for me to be able to apply that same concept to my difficult child. I find I can do that now a little more and hopefully will finally have total acceptance. I do not keep pictures of him as an adult around, only his childhood pictures. Those early photos represent to me what I did accomplish and they are healthy for me to focus on.

    This is all so raw and new for you. You need to take time to regroup and heal your hurting heart. We will always love our difficult child's. We will always wish things were different for them. BUT We do not have to like the person they have become and we are not responsible for their short-commings. When we truly believe that last bit we can move on. It is a process it takes time. Our happily ever after lies in the knowledge that we gave it our all... not in the outcomes. (((HUGS))) -RM
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Nancy - I so feel your pain as it is similar to mine. Our difficult children are so similar you wonder if they come from the same gene pool? Many years ago my son had a therapist who met with us and I made some comment wondering what I had done wrong... and he told me that we had been protective factor, that in a different situation he could easily be dead or in jail! I began to realize that was true, my difficult child was doing as well as he was because of us... because we did give him love and a stable home. Now years later after he has been in jail and I worry about him dying i have realized he might easily still end up dead or in jail... but I think I at least gave him more time..... before getting there... and maybe with that more time he has learned some survival skills and will somehow survive this stage in his life. I have no idea if he will.... at times I am hopefuly because I do think he has some gut survival instinct... and at other times I feel hopeless like you often do.

    I agree with RM I don't think your difficult child wants to die... if she did she would have done it by now.... she wants to have fun, she wants to feel better, she wants to drown out her pain and the only way they know how to do that is by drinking and drugging... it is so sad that they have lost the ability to have fun and be happy without substances. If they are ever to recover they need to learn how to do that again.

    But getting back to that will to survive.... my hope is that my difficult children will to survive will somehow get him to a place where he realizes he wont if he keeps on the same path and that will somehow get him off his current destructive path.

    All we can do is wait and see.... and keep on living.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hadn't thought about it that way TL. I suppose these past twenty years we gave her more time to get to where she is. But in the end it's the same place. I think she has the wish for the fantasy of dying. She has seen soooo many of her rehab and recovery friends die she knows it goes the way she is going. She has no illusions about where it leads. This latest young lady she was in residential with that died, I think made her fantasize about all the people that felt so horrible about it, all the comments she got on fb, all the attention her life got in death, so many people talking about it and saying what a wonderful person she was and how tragic it was. I think she is trying to come as close to that as she can, perhaps not really die but get to the edge.

    She's doing some really hard and dangerous drugs and she knows where that leads. She is also dealing. She has fallen deeper and deeper into that hoe and honestly I do see any recovery for her. She has always talked about dying from very early on. I think she thinks she will get the attention in death that she longs for in life but doesn't realize it's forever. I think she thinks her drug friends think she's cool beccause of what she will do.

    Maybe I'm wrong and she just wants to have fun but she has been in recovery long enough to knpw that only ends in jail or death and she is escalating her use.

    I don't know why I feel so much in despair today. I guess I see her doing more dangerous things every day and I know there is no return.

  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    It's terrifying what your daughter is currently up to. I'm sure I'd be going out of my mind in your situation - I think I'd have to be physically restrained in a straight jacket because I'd be climbing the walls. Question: if she's dealing drugs and taking very dangerous drugs, and you're sure of that, and if your instinct tells you she's got a death wish - can you snitch on her to the police so she will get arrested? I know, it's a stupid question and a crazy position to put you in, but you'd at least be saving her life, because she wouldn't OD and she wouldn't be beaten or worse in a drug deal/robbery/rape encounter.
    It's just insanity to be suggesting this, I know. I wouldn't want her arrested, but if that keeps her alive and would give her the oppty for rehab incarceration, you could argue it's the lesser of two evils.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    There are people who return from the depths of serious drug use.... I am sure you have met some along the way via the sober houses, recovery community. I have met a couple of people that I got to know well through my work and they do give me hope.... however like you I have no idea if my difficult child will be one of those who decides he can't do this anymore. I have to keep reminding myself we have done all we can, given him lots of opportunities and the only way it will happen now is if he decides to do it. And yeah they ended up in the same place which is so frustrating.... but that is better than feeling as i did for a long time, that I somehow could have done something differently to prevent this nightmare.

    I do think you might need to stop looking at her emails etc..... it is not helping you and there is nothing you can do to help her at this point. Check her phone records if you can to reassure yourself she is alive and don't do any more. Give yourself a break....you need it.

    My conversation with my difficult child yesterday left me feeling kind of angry too. I mean I fought my worry but I was worried that he was lying in a gutter somewhere dying all alone... but no he was doing whatever he was doing with no thought whatsover about getting in touch with us to let us know he is ok. He doesn't think about us... yes he called me back but I think he was hoping I would offer him something!! My husband talked to him about taxes and when he asked him how he was doing difficult child hung up on him. It is like he is angry at us for him being in the situation he is in.... like we should just keep paying for him to screw around, use drugs and party and not work??? I mean honestly it just bugs me when I think about it. LOL I guess I could just start venting here....

  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Nancy, I know what it is like to feel like they are going to die. I tried to prepare my self and my other kids for that should it happen. I know the terror, the cold sweats in the middle of the night, the pounding heart when the phone rings... I have managed to learn to keep that under control at least for now. Self talk is helpful as is meditation and/or prayer. The fear doesn't go away easily but you can get control over it with concentrated effort.

    I do not presume to know what is in your daughter's head. She is definately in a bad place right now and it is indeed scary. I still hold hope for her and our other SAing difficult child's. I know that seems odd given all that I have witnessed and gone through and my level of detachment, but sometimes, just when you totally give up on someone, they get it together and turn their lives around. I guess what I'm trying to say is that detaching and guarding one's heart does not mean giving up all hope.

    The daughter of a friend of mine was a difficult child who drank and used alot. She ran away to be with an older man (like twenty years older). She lied cut school, stole from her mother and sold pot. I have her to thank for introducing my boys to alcohol . She has had several therapists and a couple of long term hospitalizations in her life. She is diagnosis'd a borderline PD. Many of her friends died while still in HS. Some from car wrecks some from drugs. She expressed much despair as a result while in her late teens and early twenties. Although she said she didn't see any point in living, she never harmed herself beyond the drink and the drugs. Eventually the programs she went to did work and she stopped the drugs and settled down around her early thirties. She is now married and has a child. She did have to go back into the hospital during her pregnancy because she was having difficulty and feeling like she was going crazy but she recognized the symptoms herself and got help. So because of people like this woman I do have hope that even the worst can turn themselves around if they have the desire. What prompts that desire is different for each recovered addict. I pray that all of our difficult child's find that desire and act on it. because even though they have closed many doors on themselves they can still have a good life. I do believe that.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RM I wish I could have as much trust as you do. I know some make it, I do not think it is hopeless for everyone, but in my heart of hearts from everything we have been through with difficult child I just don't have much hope. Of course if she went into recovery I would support and celebrate it, but I'm very realistic about this.

  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I see people who do get into recovery and stay sober.... and it does give me hope in general. One thing I have a hard time though is people who try to comfort you by saying "Oh I know he will get there, he will figure it out" or some such thing. Because as much as there is hope there are also plenty of people who don't make it.... there is just no way of knowing which it will be for our difficult children. So those people who say that are not being realistic and it feels like empty hope to me. I feel like for my own mental health I need to be realistic and know difficult child might not make it but at the same time I have to hope that somehow some way he will. There is just no guarantee.

  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I've posted it before and will post it again - I know quite a few young adult addicts who are now in their 40s and have been sober for 20 some odd years and are pillars of society. In addition, my aunt fostered 2 young children - W was 6 weeks old when he was removed from his mother, a year later, she began to foster his older sister C who was 2 at the time after the state removed her from her mother's custody for horrific neglect. My aunt and uncle had those babies until they were school aged and brought them up beautifully, finding and working with their adoptive foster parents to ensure a smooth transition, employing lawyers to finally terminate the (neglectful, uncaring, drug addicted, absent bio) mother's parental rights. (bio mom never wanted the kids, never showed up to court but the term process took forever bouncing from case worker to case worker)

    C and W were delightful children being raised by a wonderful permanent adoptive family and they did well until adolescence. C became a runaway, drop out and heavy drug addict in her teens, giving up her own baby for adoption, and bouncing in and out of recovery programs. My Aunt and Uncle actually went looking for her at the behest of the adoptive parents- across states - trying to talk sense into her. (they were always in close contact with the adoptive family) She wouldn't listen. Tattoos, piercings, sleeping around, homelessless and all that went with it. Her younger brother was horrified, yet he too followed in her footsteps a few years later. C got pregnant again around age 20 and straightened her life out. She is now a married mother of 2- she must be 26-28(?) or so and is living an exemplary CLEAN life and I believe she has finished college or is close to it. She did get a GED and at least an AA and I think she has gone forward from there to work on her BA. She plans to teach. I am not sure how her younger brother is, but I know everyone was really dismayed when he went off the path. They had such high hopes for him since he had never been neglected-straight into state custody at birth and then to my aunts - but he was born addicted, so he probably became an instant addict as a teen.

    I have a close family friends whose bio granddaughter KK was mentally ill (BiP iirc?) and a HS drop out, volatile, drug addicted-she was a complete mess. Got pregnant at 16, did rehab, gave up the baby for adoption. Wilderness helped but she relapsed. Ended up in a military-esque HS boarding school/tough love recovery type last chance program of some sort (I am light on details) and she did ok. Graduated HS, joined the military and has stayed clean. Married a fellow military man, had a baby, re-upped (her H did not), the father of her first child (that she gave up) died of an OD and she went to the funeral with her 80 yo grandmother at her side for support. She had a third child and is now a civilian - her H completed school on the GI package and she is a CLEAN (10 years?) stay at home mom raising her two kids, attending college and is likely 30 or so. (I babysat for her when I was a teen, guessing to her age!) By the way, her older sister KT (bio, only 10 months apart) was a straight and narrow, straight A student who attended Ivy Leagues. KT was a perfect as perfect could be and KK was a complete mess. Night and day, same DNA, 10 months apart. Go figure.

    Be realistic, harden your heart, but keep the light on. We won't tell anyone but each other that we are nurturing that tiny flicker of hope.
  11. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Nancy: I know that you are in a lot of pain right now. You have a lot of friends here who will never judge you, and we all want to offer you some hope to hold onto for your difficult child. I am sending prayers to you for your hurting heart. (((HUGS)))
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    (((hugs))) I also harbor a lot of anger at the adoption agency for not giving us better warnings about what we were in for; and for not supporting us when we were desperate. Nature does set limits that nurture cannot overcome.

    I do think our "nurture" maximized the chances of success for our difficult children but they remain limited in their range of chances by nature. .
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I do think when you are in the adoption process you have no idea of the statistics.... at least we were not... the statistics that the percentage of troubled kids/teens are much higher in kids who are adopted then those who are not... for whatever reason. I had absolutely no idea..... and I definitely believed in my heart that nurture over nature would win out... I have to say my beliefs about nurture vs nature changed pretty quickly!!!

    And my easy child is also adopted and is so different and is a very easy child.... ha if she had been my first I would still believe nuture is what counts. :)

  14. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    It's a cruel joke because when you desperately want a child you're not thinking with your head, but with your heart. What's that expression? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Deep down you may know the warnings and statistics about adoption, but you never think it'll happen to "your" child because you have an extraordinary capacity to love which transcends biological uncertainty. We hit the jackpot with our first child, though, so I was so smug.
    But my nurture wasn't always on target either, to be honest. I made a million mistakes too.
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    TL, twenty-thirty years ago I am not sure there were many statistical studies available on how adopted kids turned out. I do know that I didn't read up all that much. I knew that there was a possibility my easy child/difficult child might be schizophrenic and I read a up on that and I read up on mental retardation and dyslexia but honestly before the internet, information was hard to come by. And I do not think that in my idealistic twenties and thirties I would have been much swayed from my beliefs that nurture would win out. I was 47 when I adopted difficult child#2. I really had misgivings about it but he had been in my home for over a year and husband was very attached to him. He campaigned hard for me to adopt our son and I agreed knowing that he might be retarded. I didn't ever anticipate what would happen it was not even on my radar. But if I had the information that is available now, I might have been more cautious and left difficult child for someone else to raise. My thought process at 60 is very different than it was when I was younger so I cannot say that for certain.

    I do find I avoid discussions of adoption now when a young person expresses intrest in it. I have become biased against it. especiall for young couples who just want a normal parenting experience and a family life. I think that with the availability of birth control and abortion the children available are from a compromised gene pool. It is not good girls getting caught up anymore. It is mothers and fathers who are more likely than not to have mental health problems and addictions. I do not believe the odds are stacked in the favor of a happy outcome anymore. This is my own theory from observation and anecdotal readings not anything I have researched thouroughly. -RM
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RM I have had many discussions like this with husband and we both agree. We also stay away from all discussions on adoption in our private lives because of what we have been through. We have dear friends who my husband went to high school with the husband and they adopted many years ago and have had so many problems over the years. Their difficult child is now living far away but when we get together with them we both know exactly what each other is feeling, we are soul sisters for sure. We both have some strong feelings on the subject and what we were told and not told and our own ignorance. I do believe that enough evidence is out there where some conclusions can be drawn and unsuspecting prospective parents should be made aware of. It ties in with some political and religious discussions so I will not elaborate but suffice it to say husband and I often say until you have walked in our shoes do not judge and if you don't want to walk in our shoes then be quiet.

  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Thank you all for being so honest. It is a relief to read here. I think it is more than just genes; often the prenatal care (read drugs and especially alcohol) has significant long terms effects on executive functioning and other things. Maybe adoption agencies are more honest now about things like that. Well, one can always hope. I too cringe when young people talk about adopting.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    RM... I grew up with adopted friends and adopted cousins. There may not have been "stats" 40+ years ago, but... the adoption agencies DID know, even back then, the difference background made. How do I know this? because I saw one family have to wait and wait and wait to adopt - they were considered a blue-ribbon family, and the agency made sure that the two they adopted came from "clean" backgrounds. The other family got quick adoptions... of problem kids, but they weren't told that... but of course, this wasn't a "blue-ribbon" family. This isn't new. And while mine are not adopted... I have very strong feelings about adoption, too. I just feel, so much, for parents who have been put through so much, by systems full of people who really did know better.
  19. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    You know I was talking to my sister who has been very compassionate and supportative over the years and is godmother to my adopted sons. She told me she was having this discussion with her daughter. (bio). My niece grew up closely with my kids and is a year younger than my easy child/difficult child. Anyway my niece said that she thought that adoption should be eliminated entirely and that we should bring back orphanages. Not the orphanages of old mind you but a new concept where lay people can advocate for, foster PT, and mentor kids after an indepth background check but not have to raise them up on their own. More of a team approach to parenting without the financial and emotional burdens of adoption. I found that an interesting concept. -RM
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RM I am all for this. My husband and I have talked about this a lot and tried to come up with similar concepts, but your niece's is the best I have heard. The way it is not just isn't working for either party.