Thoughts on expectations?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi all,

    So my husband is going to be going to the family day at the rehab my son is at tomorrow... and then meet with our difficult child and his therapist. I decided not to fly down just for a two hour meeting and afternoon with difficult child.... my husband was already there on business. In many ways I think it is better if husband handle this than me... my relationship with difficult child is much more loaded than his.

    So the therapist wants him to outline our expectations and consequences if he doesn't meet them.

    I asked my husband to start with his ideas.... as he is the one who has to believe and deliver them. LOL. But I could certainly use your feedback.

    My feeling is it is really pretty simple. Our expectations are that he continue with treatment, live a sober life in a sober living place (once he is discharged), that he get a job and/or go to school and start supporting himself. We will help get started by paying rent at a sober living place but only one place, if he gets kicked out he is on his own again. And we will not give him any money directly for anything. We may help him get some clothes (he may have lost most of them) but forget us getting another bike or any extras.

    Does all that make sense?

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It makes perfect sense to me. You are entering the anxious stage, where he will be released and you have very little control over what he does. He can continue with his recovery or turn his back on it. Hopefully your husband will be able to judge where his head is at. I hate this addiction stuff TL, the road is so uphill. He has a lot of work to do, this is only the beginning. I hope he understands that and is willing. Our kids can get better and have a good life but sometimes I don't think they can see that.

  3. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Here are the expectations we set for our difficult child:

    I realize that your son is not welcome in your home -(and neither is mine) but I think these are adaptable with some wording changes to kids who live apart yet seek to be part of the family:

    We started out by stating that none of these things were meant as punishment. It was just the way it was going to be if we were going to repair and renew our relationship.

    The trust we shared has been broken. In addition, our hearts have been broken.You are our son and we love you no matter what. We will always welcome you into our family and we want you to be a part of our family life. Our home is open to you so long as you agree to respect and honor us as your parents and as homeowners.

    Drug use, underage drinking and the accompanying lifestyle is NOT OK with us and never will be. And we will not support your lifestyle financially so long as you are smoking weed and drinking alcohol. So long as we know you could test positive for marijuana, you may not drive any of our vehicles. You are not welcome in our home if you are drunk or high. You may never bring drugs or drug paraphernalia into our home. If we find either, we will call the police. Premarital sexual activity and pornography are not welcome in our home at any time. If you are staying here, we expect you home by midnight on the weekdays and 1:30 on Friday & Saturday. This is not a curfew, we don't care how late you stay out when you are at school, rather this is us choosing our need to have restful sleep. If you want to stay out later, you needs to stay with a friend and notify us before 10pm that you will not be home. There is no place in our home for disruptive or violent behavior. You will be a good example to your brothers and not promote drug or alcohol use. We acknowledge and accept that you are an an adult and we would never dream of telling you what to do when you are living in your own apartment and supporting yourself. In the same light, this is OUR home and we have the right to set our own standard of living here. If you do not want to follow these guidelines, you are not welcome to stay here. If you chose to stay here and do not respect our wishes, you must leave.

    this was part of the caveat had he wished to stay home & go to school locally (we know how that ended)

    We will not pay room or board or send living expenses so long as you are using drugs or alcohol. You are always welcome change your mind, to live at home, work and go to school locally so long as you get some professional guidance and agree to regular drug and alcohol testing.

    So, I think you could decide what your expectations are and tie your financial & emotional support to that - at the same time stressing that it's about expectations and performance - not about punishment and control. His privileges as a member of the family are in direct relation to how is handling his responsibilities as a member of the family. He has pushed your family too far and it's his turn to give back and he may have to work extra hard. He's lost the benefit of the doubt - and while your heads know that - your heart is still wide open to him. And the primary responsibility is to remain sober.Now we all know this did not work out for me.(not) I think if I had it to rewrite - I would add a huge phrase about honesty & integrity. Somehow, I thought "tell the truth" was mutually understood & agreeable. <snort> And at this point in our history, I would be clear that the trust needed to be regained, that it was completely gone because he abused our trust to the point of empty. And I would be clear that we would be verifying things.

    But he'd have to call me first in order for me to say any of these things. :-(
    Lasted edited by : Mar 15, 2012
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I think you have the right stuff TL. I might add that he get his GED. I think his life will be tougher unless he at least has that.(hard anymore without a college degree or vocational training) There are many school districts that offer very cheap adult prep classes through their alt. high schools or community ed.. If he had an IEP, he leagally has 2 extra years to graduate and could go that route for free. Maybe that is too much right now, but after 6 months of sober living, it might be something really good.

    I really like Sigs ideas. They would really be great for our difficult child once she hits 18. I like the wording esp.My only change is curfew is 10:00 on week nights unless working and 12:00 on weekends. We are early to bed people. We pretty much have those expectations now and she doesn't follow them-but at 17 we are stuck.

    Good luck to husband and I hope he finds your boy in good spirits and committed. We gave our difficult child a token every month she was sober while in residential (and the 3 months she didn't do pot on the outside). She use to have them on a chain and was proud of them. It was our way of saying good job and a very concrete way for her to mark her success. She still talks about that.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Actually I need to change my signature line... see if I remember how to do that. My difficult child actually did manage to get his HS diploma... wow that was a relief at the time. He didn't go through any graduation ceremony but at least he has a diploma.

    I talked to my husband tonight and we are on the same page and he sounds as convinced as I am about where we stand which is good. I actually think coming from him, without me in the room will mean more in a way. My husband was always the easy one that the kids could get around or manipulate into getting what they want. I was often the one setting the hard line... so for the hard line to come from husband without my even being there, and without him calling to check with me will hopefully make my son pay attention.

  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    TL- I have the same issue here-I get it. Sounds like you guys have a plan :)
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    TL-H was much better with difficult child than I. The 3 of us together was a nightmare. difficult child knew just what to say to push my buttons and engage in triangulation so that things would escalate or so that the subject would change...

    1x1 - mano a mano - was better. (until it stopped working - difficult child turned on H because I wouldn't engage and that was that )