Update on difficult child

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello my friends,

    I had to take a mini break from the board while I tried to figure out what we were going to do. I truly appreciate you all and took all of your opinions into account. I think you all had very valid points . . . from kicking her out and let her sink or swim (and I truly believe it would have been sink) or go with our heats and see if the DBT program could help her.

    We have decided to go with our hearts and try the DBT program. She started the program once before at our insistence but stopped going after 3 weeks . . . not enough time to tell if it could have helped. Even our insurance company recommends the DBT program for personality/mood disorders. Of course, difficult child is now too old and it will have to be private pay.

    The difference is that she wants to go now. She is saying things like "I want to have a family someday" and "I am afraid I will die if I don't get help." Ever since that night where she broke down sobbing in my arms, my feelings have gone from anger that she doesn't stop drinking and using to believing that she won't be able to until she gets help with the mood disorder.

    She is at her first session tonight and is meeting with her new counselor. After this, she will go once a week for an hour private counseling session and then a three hour group session where they work on changing behaviors that lead to bad decisions. I found that they have a DBT program that specializes in substance abuse and I told difficult child she has to be honest with them and make sure they work that program with her.

    difficult child has given them permission to talk to us about her therapy. We have agreed to go to the parent program to learn about her disorders and give us strategies for dealing with her. Last time I just kept saying it was too expensive and she was the one with the problem. I spent 10 years being angry at her and that wasn't healthy for either of us.

    In return, she is writing up a contract with her counselor about the rules for her living here while she works the DBT program.

    Yes, I am well aware that his could all be her just playing us one more time. But honestly, at this point, what's a few more months and more money in exchange for the possibility that we could help our difficult child lead a more or less normal life. Yes, she will always be mentally ill but if they could give her the tools for handling her moods and learn to live a productive life while being bipolar or borderline or whatever . . . it would be worth every penny we have.

    If not, at least when she is out on the street or dead, I will know in my heart that we have done everything we could possibly do to give her a fighting chance.

    husband's brother was a bipolar alcoholic that drank himself to death while alone in a hotel room at the age of 42. They found him surrounded by empty bottles. That may well be how my difficult child ends up but if I can do anything now to avoid that, I am willing to take that chance.

    So for those of you who feel like we are infantilizing her or just rescuing her from her bad behavior one more time, I am sorry that I am letting you down. For those of you who offered your support for whatever we decided to do, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will never know how much your support means to me.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Kathy - it would be impossible for you to let any one of us down. You and husband absolutely positively must do what you feel in your heart is best. You have to be able to live with *your* choices, and it sounds like you and husband made the very best one for your family.

    If there were "right" and "wrong" answers to this horrific problem, none of us would be here - we'd just buy the book. ;)

    I hope with- all my heart that difficult child sticks with- the program and benefits from it.

  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    No one will feel like you are letting any one down. Although we all share the same basic problem the dynamics are different for us all. I agree that you need to do everything you can to help, we carry enough guilt. I even tried hypnosis with my difficult child lol!!! You will be able to tell if she is playing you or not.

    I think the fact that she is going to let you talk to the therapist is huge! I'm looking forward to your posts about the program, I wish my difficult child would go into counseling.

    Sounds like you and yours will have a wonderful Easter, you all deserve it.
    (((blessings to us all)))
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That would have been my bottom line, too. Hope it works...
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ditto Kathy, you aren't letting anyone down. You are following your heart, there is help out there for difficult child and you are providing that opportunity to her. Quite honestly if my difficult child came to me asking for help I would move mountains to get it for her too. The bottom line is she is willing and that is the key. You will know if she is serious or not, it will become very clear.

    Hugs my friend,
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Kathy...you could never let me down. I think you are doing the right thing. Trust me......the bipolar borderline one! This could really be good. I have done some DBT work and that individual and group work is very good. Im glad they have one that is specific to sub abuse. That should help a lot. It is quite possible that once she gets her moods under control, the sub abuse will fade away. She could just be self medicating her complete self hatred. Believe me, until I went through therapy, I could only identify about 3 or 4 emotions. Literally. And that was in 2006. I have come a long way and your daughter can too.

  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I am behind you all the way. I think you are doing the right thing. Hopefully, things will click for her and she will be on her way to a better lifestyle. Keep us posted.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I know I have no clue about SA issues, but as a parent, oh my gosh, if this is what you feel is right for your daughter then how could I not think you are amazing? Not like you are saying oh come and live with us and we will support you while you use.... you are talking about THERAPY for heaven's sake. Her frontal lobe is not mature yet. We know (as others have said here too) some kids just take longer to cook. You know what to look for, you know the signs and you have therapists along the way to help you out.

    I am with you all the way, you have ONE chance to be a parent to each child. Follow your heart and your head....Please let us know how she is doing.....
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think this sounds like a good plan.

    (((hugs))) to you and difficult child!
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I think you chose wisely. If your difficult child knows about this board, you can let her know we're all pulling for her. I pray she sticks with this and sees improvement day by day. Isn't this what we all pray for, as parents of difficult children? I'm glad she really wants help, and DBT seems to be very helpful. God bless.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Kathy, I admire you as a mother and a person and you could never ever let me down. I hold you in the highest esteem and you are truly a blessing to me and this board and to your daughter. And I typed daughter - because I KNOW she was your daughter long before she was a difficult child and even as a "gift from god" she is still most certainly a dear daughter.

    I will be pulling for you both. You are absolutely doing the right thing!
  12. wantpeace

    wantpeace New Member

    You are making the right decision because you would have always looked back and wondered if this would have worked. To be honest, I had never heard of DBT programs before. I just read about it and it sounds very interesting and promising. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  13. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Kathy: It sounds like you have a good plan for your difficult child, and I really hope that this is the start of good things for your whole family. You know your daughter better than anyone in the world, and it is only natural to try any therapy or counseling that will help her live a better life. I am sending many HUGS to you for a peaceful and calm week-end.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    Definitely not letting me down!!! To me all of us are in process of figuring out how to deal with our difficult children and their substance abuse issues as well as their mental health issues. There is no one answer or one right way... if there was we would all be doing it and our kids would be all be thriving!! I think the bottom line is you have to feel you are doing what you can, that you have done what you can....and hopefully this will work for her and she will find a way to stop using too. I will be very interested in how it works out as I think my son eventually needs to go through some kind of DBT program too.

  15. enzo

    enzo Member

    Our difficult child just finished a 28 day inpatient DBT program and we were very pleased. He acquired some very good tools, but was hard to get him to "buy in" at the front end. One needs to be honest with themselves and be willing to look at their behaviors and how to adjust them in the future. I think its a very good program for difficult child's who have difficulties regulating emotions. For our son, it helped us understand that his anger was the result of frustration and depression.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you want to know more about dbt, there is lots about it online and there are yahoo groups.
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    "Yes, she will always be mentally ill but if they could give her the tools for handling her moods and learn to live a productive life while being bipolar or borderline or whatever . . . it would be worth every penny we have.

    If not, at least when she is out on the street or dead, I will know in my heart that we have done everything we could possibly do to give her a fighting chance."

    Thanks for the update Kathy, I have been thinking about you a lot and wondering how you are and what you decided. Your post warmed my heart, I really understand your thought process, in particular the above quote, which I have lived myself. It is tough, given our histories with our difficult child's, however, our love for them rises above the history when we can see that they are being real, when we can see them beneath the mental illness or substance abuse, AND our anger subsides. You said you were angry for 10 years, well, I can completely relate, I was angry for about 15 maybe 20 years, always expecting more then she could do. Yikes.

    I applaud you for being so thoughtful in the process of decision making, reading through all the posts, really looking within and trusting your heart. It's not easy, but it is, in my opinion, worth it. I admire your willingness to go through the challenging choices we face as parents of our difficult child's. Bravo!

  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Kathy, I agree with the others. You're not letting me down either. I think you're right to follow your heart. You have to do what feels right for you and your difficult child, and it sounds like you have a plan in place with clear expectations. Helping your difficult child to make better choices, and setting clear boundaries as to what is and isn't acceptable to you is far from infantilizing your difficult child. It's asking her to live in the world and be responsible for her own actions, while at the same time allowing her to be supported due to her illness and addiction.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers that the DBT works, and that difficult child gives it enough time to "take".

  19. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Kathy I 'm glad she is going. She is at an age where it may now make a real difference. She also asked for help. I don't believe for 2 seconds that our difficult children want to be addicts or in the place they are in. For some of them it is the easiest way to avoid reality, for some it has a choke hold on them, others act as if it is "fun" because the reality is just too painful.

    As for the mental illness-I believe it puts a whole new spin on how we help them. It will be a life long problem. Noone goes through life alone very well. Someone who sufferes with personality disorders suffers in ways we cannot understand-at least as my daughter describes her anguish. How do we turn our backs on them when they are willing to be treated?

    I'm proud of you and noone will be dissapointed-at least noone who has even an inkling of the situation you are in. (((Hugs))) to you dear mom!
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Kathy... You're not letting me down either.

    The thing is - all of our difficult children are different - some have the same problems but they don't all stem from the same reasons, Know what I mean?? So what's right for you might not be for someone else. And the only way for you to know is to try it!

    I'm sending LOTS of supportive hugs to difficult child, husband, and you, too. I'm behind you 100%!