What to do?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Cherokee girl, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Cherokee girl

    Cherokee girl New Member

    I am the mother of four plus three step-kids. I am at a loss as to what to do anymore or how to start doing whatever it is. I was in an abusive relationship for 17 of 18 years and even towards the end became abusive myself...back to the abuser. I call it defending myself and my sanity. Either way, it was all wrong. My oldest kids suffered from watching their mother in this relationship, from so much, so, so much. They all went through their bad times. None graduation school. They all got their GED's or graduated from a help school. They all suffer emotionally. I see this even now in their lives. I have two still at home. Ages 17 and 11. I feel like they suffer the most. They have grown up in it completely. I am so upset with myself for staying. We all love "him" and make excuses but there is none. My 17 year old hasn't gone to school in years. Since the 7th grade. He is smart and can pass a GED which is his only alternative now. But there is so much he has missed out on and so much he doesn't know from not having gone to school. He used pot daily and I just found out cocaine sometimes. I don't know how frequently. He will steal to get what he wants. Anything he thinks he can get by with. He gets defensive and yells real loud (just like his father does) in order to try to control the situation and intimidate. He cries when he sees he's not winning which use to hurt me so bad. I felt so guilty and awful inside, it's almost like another form of constant punishment. The thing is his dad has smoked pot since the day he was born and around all the older kids too. He is like a big rebellious teenager himself. I have tried for all these years to change him but can't. I am not financially able to change my living arrangements. I blame so much of our kids faults on us. We are the blame. Me for not having any backbone, me for not walking away years ago, me for living this life. Their father for being so selfish, so childish, so mean, so ugly. So many reasons. I now have an 11 year old who doesn't try in school. She's not rebellious at all, she's lazy. She refuses to try in school. They have only passed her to mover her along. She is in the 6th grade and only has a 3rd to 4th grade education. She doesn't know her math facts. She doesn't care. She doesn't know how to tie her shoes. She refuses to try this stuff. She only eats about 4 things so if we don't have those, life is over. Again, a lot of this is our fault. She was born so many years after all the others and 6 years after the last one. I spoiled her, protected her more. At the same time, she won't join in any game. She won't learn to roller skate. She won't learn to swim. She won't go to birthday parties...even for her niece and nephew. She doesn't do anything. Ever. I don't know how to change this. I don't know how to change anything. I work full-time, for the first time in 17 years. That is such a big change but it seems to affect all. My son does what he wants all day (nothing). When I try to talk to him or lay down the rules he throws at me all I've done wrong and where he got all this from and how he can't change, etc. I know I have failed as a mother in so many ways. I don't know how it all got started. I was a good Mom in my first marriage. I got so lost after the divorce and then married my second husband. Now 17 years later I am trying to find my way out and make some positive changes and I fear it's too late. Anyway, my daughter does nothing all day but browse the computer and watch TV. Oh yes, she can't do much manually but she can type, text and use photoshop on the computer. There is so much more but it would take days to write it all, maybe weeks. I am barely skimming the surface. I just need some help. Does any one know where I might find some?
  2. keista

    keista New Member


    Congratulations for getting yourself and your kids out of a bad situation. You may think you have valid reasons to feel guilty, but the reality is that you have taken the first step in saving yourself and your kids - you should feel proud of yourself!

    Are you and the two still at home getting any therapy? If not, that is the first place to start.

    Does your daughter have an IEP? Has she ever been evaluated for fine motor skills issues? My son can type 60 word per minute (self taught - 6 fingers not 10) and can write long stories and essays on a computer. If asked to write something by hand, it will take him an hour to get out one very lame paragraph. Just because she functions well in one are/capacity, doesn't mean she can function in all areas.

    If I got the timeline right, the two still at home are the children of this abusive man who smoked pot all the time. I'm not making excuses for him, but offering an explanation. in my opinion drug addiction and abusive behavior are manifestations of a mental illness. So, this man has some sort of mental illness. Unfortunately most mental illnesses have a strong genetic factor to them, and these genes are in your children. What you did or didn't do is not the only factor affecting your children's lives. Even if they lived elsewhere under "perfect" conditions, they would be predisposed to having some serious issues.
  3. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Cherokee Girl,

    Have you left the abuser? I wish I had some advice for you. I am at work and will post more later. Hang in there!!!! A lot of the people here have gone thru some pretty bad things, I am sure that you are not alone. Everyone makes mistakes. Does you state not require that your son be in school? Children have to go to school in Illinois. I did not know that was allowed. Hugs,

  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    You reached out to someone - us - and that is your first step....You should feel really good about that.

    Next you need to pick ONE thing that you want to change. You have a lot on your plate - so picking the most important, pressing thing to change is all you can do. Taking one step at a time, and one day at a time you can change this.

    As Jody asked, have you left your partner yet?

    You asked where to find help - the first place I would suggest is your local Domestic Abuse Shelter. Call them, and ask about what counseling they offer, and how they can help. Getting you strong, in my opinion, is the first step towards stopping this avalanche of malfunction.

    Welcome to our board, we are here to help.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I saw your post yesterday but did not have time to respond. I have a couple of minutes and wanted to first of all welcome you to the board. It's always sad to see new members, because it means another family in turmoil. At the same time, it always feels good to see a new member because that means they too have found this place and it is a fantastic place to ask for resources, talk with anonymity, share with parents who've heard it all, seen it all. We may not always have a magic answer, but we do try to lend support and offer ideas that might help each persons situation.

    You are in a very complex situation, having your own issues after years of abuse, then there are the kids that carry with them their own complex issues. I'm sure you know that it took years for your family breakdown of sorts, so it will also take time to get things back on track. The key is to start each day motivated to keep working away at things so that eventually you can see concrete differences in yourself, the kids, and the family dynamic.

    I too wonder if you have been able to leave that abusive relationship. Next I hope you can share more about the kids, especially those still living at home. What kind of counselling if any is in place for you? For your kids? I hope to hear another post where you can share a little more so that we might be able to be further supportive and perhaps have ideas that you can implement as a starting measure to get things rolling in the right direction.

    Take care and please do post again.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. It is a great thing that you are reaching out for support. Reading your post I get the impression that you have left your abusive spouse and now live with the two children you referred to. Am I correct?

    Have you reached out to anyone else? Any organizaton or agency? There is help out there but you can't hope for any instant cures. Your pain is obvious and your guilt is overwhelming. Have you explored what your community offers? Has the school or any agency reached out to you?

    Many of us have made mistakes...alot have made major mistakes. You are not alone. Once you accept that mistakes have been made and get support for yourself, there are alot of steps that you can make to help the situation. You can no undo the past. on the other hand, you can take steps to a healthier future for yourself and your children. Share a little more with us and we'll try to guide you through this journey toward healthier living. Hugs. DDD
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, welcome. You have done enough blaming of yourself - you can spend a lifetime blaming but it won't accomplish much. So be kind to yourself, know that you did the best you could with what you knew how to do. you did not EVER wake up and wonder "How can I destroy/ruin/mess up/upset/ wreck my child/my child's life today?" Since you did NOT do that, you need to be gentle and kind to yourself.

    I urge you, strongly, to feel really good that you reached out here. It is a first step. You will get a LOT of ideas/advice here. Please know that we don't expect you to do all of it or to do it right away. We know that not all will be appropriate to your situation, and that you won't be ready to handle all of it. Some days you won't be able to handle anything but reading and thinking about things. It is OK. We understand.

    Have you ever contacted your local Domestic Violence Center? You don't have to move into the shelter to get help from them. The therapy and other types of help - and they have a LOT of types of help - are free. At least in the US. You can call or go in and set up an appointment to talk to someone. They will help your kids if the kids want it. I would encourage you to do what you can to demand your 11yo go. The 17yo is basically an adult, and you can't really force him to do much. Please remember, as you make progress, that it took many years to get to this point and will take many years to get out. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

    I also think that alanon or narcanon might be a good real-life support for you. You have lived with substance abuse for a long time and have learned ways of thinking/acting that are specific to that problem. You do not ever have to speak up at a meeting, or can speak at the first one. It is about what you are ready for, but it can help just to know that you are not the only one with problems of that nature, and that there are ways to change.

    The others are right - pick ONE problem and work on it at a time.

    I hate that you have problems but I am glad you are here.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree that we need more clarification? Are you still with bio. father?

    I'd be looking into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for your daughter who "won't do anything." As for the others...we need more info.

    Hugs, and welcome to the board :)
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. Are you a therapist? Do you have any children? I'm not quite sure why you are here...of course you are welcome, but this is a support forum, not some place to point fingers...