Codependency and Good parenting where is the devide

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Littleboylost, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am trying to find a balance between being a good parent and not being codependent.

    I have made a list in my journal of terms of codependency and parenting. Needless to say there is a tremendous overlap.

    Where does parenting and good guidance end and codependency being?

    I grapple with this. My son is young and he is also delayed in his maturity due to his past years of drug use.

    With each recent encounter I see him progress like a violent tango. He is progressing in some ways and resistant in others. He appears to be moving along the continuum of acceptance that he has a problem with his drug use. He is still bargaining and attempting to manage his substance abuse on his own. This is progress from violence and blatant denial.

    That is about him, now about me. Am I trying to control his disease? No. Am I willing to provide him with a home and shelter if he is accepting of the fact that he will need to adhere to the ground rules and go to rehab if he fails to control his drug use on his own? Yes.

    Do I obsess about his well being? Yes. Does this make me codependent, a parent or both?

    I am caught up in this tango. I see progress in myself. I behold my son with compassion and love but the times where I am gutted and paralyzed with grief are less frequent. His life his choices. My life my choices.

    He is 18, he is struggling and trying to do the right thing. If he was ill in any other way would I help? Yes.

    He knows he can not break the rules and live under our roof, this has not stopped him before. So I ask what has changed. His attitude seams to have progressed and it is baby steps, We are not rushing to him with open arms. A contract with zero tolerance for drugs, theft, lies and certain house rules is in place.

    Are we being duped? Who knows only time will tell.

    I am trying to Focus on me and do what I need to do to be healthy and well.

    Where does parent end and ME begin. It is a continuous process of give and take and self preservation.

    This is not easy.

    I do notice in my reading that I recognize codependency in other parents who have successful children and adult children. I have to ask myself is this a good thing. In the long run is it going to be beneficial for their children. Obsessing over their grades and their school choices. Running them everywhere posting everything but their bowel routine on face book.

    So where is the devide? For me today it is a choice of good parenting to allow my son yet another chance to prove himself worthy of living in our home and being an active part of our family. I shall endeavour not to obsess, hover, advise and prompt.

    I will continue to offer ride to court but as he has chosen to take a different direction for this process than one that leads him to rehab; I leave him to sort this out on his own.

    I will provide advice and guidance only when asked.

    I will adhere to the living contract and the zero tolerance agreements.

    If he acts out he must be put out. If it is cold I will Uber him to a shelter. I won’t drive him become he will cause too much Drama in the car.

    My parameters are in place. I will cease communications with him for a period so I do not cave on my agreement. I will not allow him into the home and if he does make any aggressive attempts we will get a restraining order.

    He is clear that his will be his last opportunity and if he can not manage to shake the drugs on his own he must attend rehab or leave.

    He must attend the meeting for intake interview this time “Zero Tolernace”.

    I will focus on my and my life. I need to get back on track with my healthy life.

    It’s an hair splitting fine balance. Son is now 18. We have been at this since he was 15.

    Nothing changes if everything stays the same. He agrees to this. So do we.

    Progress: husband and I remain a united front.
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  2. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    LBL, I have not been able to log in here in ages as I forgot my password but have been following along. I ended up creating a new account with a new user name (old one was up and down) so all my info and saga is under that. Anyhow, your post just struck me. You articulate the struggle so well and the agony of it all. The struggle with enabling and where does one draw the line. These are gut wrenching questions that I ask myself every single day. I am just amazed at your ability to get it all down so clearly on paper and the love you have for your son is evident. He is lucky to have you. My son tends to do very well and then just when you think you can breathe, he falls several steps back. And it seems every single time, I fall into the deep dark hole of despair and fear and sadness. Then he slowly climbs back and I do too. Its as if I can not be ok if he isn't. The impact that watching someone you love destroy themselves can not be described. It takes a very strong person and constant effort to not go down down down with them.
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  3. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    In the end, the answer to all of these questions is "It depends.". It depends on how far and hard your child pushes it, how long it takes for them to hit rock bottom, how much you're willing to put up with. The one thing that we must all remember in this struggle is that there is no magic pill, no magic program, no magic whatever that will fix this. Only time will tell if we're doing the right thing for our children and its painful to wait to see if that seed germinates years down the road yet all the while our children are doing their damndest to implode their lives and do as much damage to us as they can in the process.
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Great insight LBL.

    None of us know the answer to any of this. You have to do what feels right for you and your family.

    If it turns out to be the wrong decision, then you have a back up plan that you put into effect. Nothing is written in stone.

    What else can we expect out of ourselves as parents? Nothing.
  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thank you. I hope you all k ow what it is like to be in such wise company.

    This impact has affected us all. I have been down that deep dark Rabbit Hole and I have no intention of being pulled back in. I have gained so much strength and knowledge here.

    That is just it. It depends and we do what we feel is right and what we can tolerate.

    I wish oh how I wish there was an easy button.

    Parent, wife, sister, brother. Parent stand our so much more. Our bond is so unique and seemingly indestructible no matter the cost to our hearts.

    I suppose the trick is to do what we can endure, depending upon our instincts to support but not enable; and not lose ourselves in the process. Profound wisdom from each of you. Thank you. It is activating this wisdom that is the nerver ending challenge. I do feel that hollow place I call mother filling with compassion and fear. Compassion to help, and fear of being swallowed whole by the potential for another dip in the addiction roller coaster.

    It is what it is, I am who I am. I can’t fix it I can’t control it nor can I cure it.

    I can offer to guide my wayward child and protect myself with good boundaries in the interim.

    I have looked back through old posts of mine and others seeking guidance and wisdom. I am seeing a pattern of strength and growth in myself and my husband as we carry on with this dance of ours with our son.

    Someone wisely said (I am sorry I forget who) that detachment was a process and a continuum of actions not a hard and fast action. I see that now.

    Onward wirh yet another challenge and faith and hope for enlightenment with our son.
  6. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I’m moved by the image of you with pen and paper trying to wrestle this out. These are all difficult questions the parents with facebookable lives don’t have to ask themselves. So, to heck with them.

    We get it though. Personally, I’ve filled many pages with rallying principles and wisdoms, many from here, so I can get to the right place and make the right decisions. I’ve also written down his logic salad over the years to see if I can separate the sincere from the manipulative, and promote only the sincere.

    Searching like this can be soothing for me. It’s a way to spend Mom energy without outwardly trying to fix.

    But we both know, ultimately, that sobriety doesn’t depend on us setting up the exact obstacle course that will lead to it.

    Even normies this age pick colleges based on whether there is a Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on campus.

    It’s just unthinkable that logic and consequences don’t inevitably lead to them making the right decisions, when the stakes include not just their future earning potential but their health, safety and freedom, and their loved ones’ well being.

    That last bit is the only one we can safeguard with our own choices.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  7. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    It is soothing because I am focusing on me and how I shall manage this. It is about me. This I have learned to pay attention to. That was a tough lesson.

    Logic salad. Excellent visual! All the right ingredients tossed together and look good. But is the key ingredient duper’s delight or manipulation? The end result is that is his to own not mine. I am genuine if he embraces this wonderful! If not,, his choice, his path, his story.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    When our kids are 18, legally they can thumb their nose at our parenting. We can suggest, not parent. We can set rules on behavior in our homes. We can NOT force anyone to do what they need to do to be allowed to stay under our roof. We cant make them follow those guidrlines. They are legal adults.​

    To me it is all about seeing progress. My daughter was 19 when, after her drug use from age 12, we found her having a pill party in our home when she had lied about being clean and was supposed to be only watching the dogs as we were on a short vacation but came home early. Surprise!!! Shock!!! Horror!!!

    We made her leave. These thoughts went through my head

    1. Is she progressing here?

    2. What about her younger siblings? Are they okay with this?

    3. How many times has she lied to us about being clean?

    4. Can we help her here?

    5. Is it time for her to break the rules somewhere else? What may change her?

    I was in Al Anon. Tough love, which can work well or not at all, made the most sense to me. I knew my daughter. We know our own kids best. I gambled that my daughter would hate being out on her own. Although she was able to talk Goneboy into picking her up and letting her live in his house basement, with more conditions attached than she ever had in our house, she was on her own. No emotional support. No car, but had to walk to and from work in Chicago cold. No smoking anything. One cigarette in his home and she was out and she knew he would do it. She had to pay rent, clean and cook for Goneboy and his tenants. She felt alone and hated it, but she quit. My gamble paid off. Twelve years later...cocaine and meth are long gone.

    At eighteen we cant legally parent. We cant. We can make decisions in our home and set boundaries. We cant force them to do anything. You know your son best. You know what is most apt to help his path, as did I. You do not have to do anything for him that he can do for himself. You can set boundaries in your own home too. You can seek out help for your ability to cope. You can make YOU more functional in this dark midst. But you cant really parent him as if he is a minor that you have control over. He is on his own, deciding whether or not to do what he needs to do in order to live in your home. That is the max any of us can do. Take our power back and force respectful behavior and rules under our roof and stick to our guns. Notice we can affect us, not them.

    You know what works best for your son (and there are no guarantees). All of our kids who bring us here are immature and sick. All.

    But it is not the same as, say, cancer. Cancer patients dont steal from us, hurt us, tell us we are dirt, say we caused the cancer or behave unaceptably. Addicts lie, steal, abuse, some even kill.

    Its a balancing act for us with no manual. What works best for both of you without his hurting you or other loved ones? Thats what we asked ourselves.

    If something feels wrong in your probably is. Trust the way you feel.if you frel uncomfortable, you are not sure.

    Hugs and so much good thoughts and love to you and your son.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    SWOT I agree it felt wrong in my gut not to make the revolving door swing one more time. It was something in his presence and it felt honest. That is not saying that he won't be able to manage and this will all go to hell in a hand basket. I have my armour on and I am prepared to enforce the rules of the house and the agreement to go to rehab should he not manage to meet his own expectations.

    We must stick to our boundaries regardless of the anger and FOG we face this is not easy.
    I appreciate the wisdom and support so much it has made me so much stronger when I face my son.