we had our first weekend visit in 5 months......


New Member
and it was very nerve racking. Has any one had their difficult child come home for a visit and feel like your house is just turned upside down??? I don't know how to explain it, but it was very hard to have him home. He didn't do anything wrong, he had a friend or 2 that I approve of come by a bit but not too much else. He didn't take off running, he actually stayed around here the whole weekend.
We "got used to him not being here" and then it was like walking on egg shells. Did I already say he did nothing wrong? Is it just me? And even though he was home we really had no time together he talked but also avoided in a way.
I know this letter sounds confusing because it is, but it hard to put into words how it was to have him home. :hammer:
He will be coming home every 2 weeks now until he completes his program (end of October) I did tell him the next visit is family only. I plan to go camping ( which he hated in the past-so I don't know how that will go)
ANY opinions PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Active Member

Yes, yes, yes. I do understand.

When my son came home, he couldn't have any friends over, as he really only had drug friends left. By the time he left for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he had even alienated all them.

The only people he saw while home on the weekend was his family, and his AA sponsor, who came and picked him up for meetings. After about his fourth visit home, the therapist from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) suggested letting him drive himself to the AA meeting.

OMG. I had a reeeeeeeeeeeally hard time with that. Give him the car keys? Let him drive away? Are you kidding me?

I realize now that it was because we had to establish trust, a little at a time. His sponsor called us as soon as he arrived at the meeting, and called us when he left the first time. It was a very gradual thing.

I understand about eggshells. The hardest part for me was in not dredging up the past. Our son stole from us while drugging heavily for those six weeks. It took everything I could muster when he'd ask about something, to not say, "Yeah, well that was one of the items you stole and sold for drugs". The therapist was very clear about that to us - that you can't go backwards, only forward.

Sending many good thoughts that as he comes home more, he will be able to integrate back into the family as a contributing, rule abiding member of the family. It takes time for him and for you to get used to it.



New Member
I, too, understand how hard these visits are. You love your child, you want them with you but you don't want the past behaviors. You're so afraid that if you say X then the old Y will happen. Sometimes you don't even know what X will set them off. You'd gotten used to being able to say what you wanted without fear of a meltdown. You got used to not having to hide your money or your keys or your credit cards. You want to live that way but you're afraid if you try it that way everything will be the way it was and that way was not good. You flinch if the phone rings and it is for your child because you're afraid of what "friend" is at the other end and what they want your child to do this time around. It takes a long time at home for the trust to come back and, if you do let it come back, it takes very little to lose it again.

I don't totally agree with Deb's therapist. My daughter's therapist had us sit down and discuss past pains -- things that had hurt each of us, things that could never be forgotten, things that could never really be forgiven. One talked, the other had to listen without saying a word and then apologize for those things done that we were truly sorry for. After the litany of past pains, we talked about what we had honestly forgiven and we promised to not bring them up again. We also agreed that the things we thought could not be forgotten or forgiven were only to be brought if they had been forgiven. It was a truly releasing experience. It let both of us let out our hurt, let us apologize for those things we truly regretted doing and let us being truly forgiving. I would not recommend doing it without a third party present. If it is done honestly, it can be extremely painful and it is hard to not interrupt and defend yourself (whether the child or the parent). A mediator can stop the quiet side from interrupting and help if there is still some serious anger.


New Member
Your feelings are very understandable. My difficult child hasn't lived home in 2 years, but over the past 2 years when he has even spent a few nights for holidays, or whatever, it was very difficult. You get used to not having to worry about what they are doing and then there they are. I'm glad the soberhouse my son lives in now is only 20 minutes away. Now he can come and visit anytime he wants and then go home :smile:


I understand too. My dtr was away (thousands of miles) at her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 8 1/2 months. She had a couple of visits home and it was hard to relax while she was home though nothing went wrong. Then she came home for good and it was scary and it did not go well. I was trying to micromanage her life so she wouldn't screw up and relapse and she thought she should just automatically be trusted now since she had "changed". Looking back (it has been 2 1/2 yrs) I see that my gut feeling that she hadn't really changed was correct, no wonder I was afraid to trust her.



Well-Known Member
The strain, I think, is multi-faceted. There is the discomfort
that comes from past experiences combined with the fear of a recurrence. There are two other factors that I think are also of
import. One is that your child is now company. When company comes things are not "normal"...and when company leaves there is
sometimes a bit of sadness but there is always a sense of relief.
The other factor is more important. "Your" child (the one you
raised and lived daily with you) is no longer the same. They are
changing into a different person and you don't really know that
person. You're not even sure who that person is going to be and
you honestly don't know if you will even like them.

We have adult PCs we love. Some of our adult PCs we wouldn't dream of spending more than a week with..lol. They might feel
the same. Every human evolves from their life experiences and
no two experience the same life. Enjoy what you can but don't
feel guilty about the rest. It's hard but it's life. Hugs. DDD


New Member
your right DDD. It sort felt like "company" I wanted him home and still do but it was such a relief when he went back on Sunday. He comes home again in 2 weeks for the weekend and I'm trying to figure out how I can handle this differently so I'm not so stressed.
Even difficult child's grandmother noticed how things were. (yes she's better now with all this) I did write him to tell him I want to go camping when he comes home again, I'm sure he'll say ok until he gets here.
I can not go away for the weekend and leave him here. That trust has not been reached and probably won't be for along time. Plus he has to be with me or a family member when he's home. I still feel like I'm putting my life, my family on hold for the sake of him.
How do I explain to him things are different now without pushing him away??????????????????????????????
ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes the other day my son came home for just a few minutes and he was back to his old self. Screaming and cursing and blaming everyone else for his problems. He wanted us to take himi to the doctor to get his mediciine which is Xanax. We could not afford it so he had a fit. I then thought that I was glad for that he was not living here. Sometimes I miss him so much and wish he was the person he used to be. It is hard for me but maybe he will come back. Right now the peace is what I need. :smile:


New Member
You have described what it was like to have N* home at first. First it was a few hours, then all day, then an overnight, and then the entire weekend. I've complained mightily about the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) N* was at, but one of the most beneficial services provided was "Intensive Family Therapy". It was a 12 session program, some done while N* was at Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and some for when she was released at home. N* didn't get it at first that during "family" therapy, she actually had to sit still and be quiet while I talked. I was able to tell her how bad it felt to be, as I perceive it, to be a "parent failure."

I've seen her through years and years of counseling, countless IEP meetings, numerous psychological and educational testing/screening (MMPIA, ADHD, anger, behavioral), doctor visits, medical tests, different drug regimines, contact with the police, lawyers, district attorneys, judges, protection from stalking orders.....you name it, and I think I've been through it, or have read and researched it. I told her about being EXHAUSTED.

I told her about being disappointed in her choices. I told her that reasonable expectations for a most children include attending school, turning in homework, studying for and passing tests, and one day, graduating from high school. Demanding that a child be admitted to the National Honor Society, a 4.0 GPA, and to be class valedictorian was unreasonable, but when we take our kids to kindergarten for the first time, we're all thinking about a day in the spring, thirteen years later, standing next to a graduate in a cap and gown, holding a diploma.

We talked about expectations when she returned home. We've talked about the struggles we've had since she's been home. It's been almost six weeks now that she's been home. We talked about the hesitancy I would feel when I would have to trust her to do or not do something when I wasn't present.

If you're able to put something like that into place, where everyone has an opportunity to discuss fears, what makes you apprehensive, that you'll want to take baby steps with him again, I think would be a benefit to all of you.