How long did it take you to finally make a change

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by strangeworld, May 28, 2018.

  1. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    I have been feeling extremely low again. Some of it is not related to my kid but it's always on my mind bc I am angry with myself for not expecting more of her. I'm just emotionally exhausted and it's so easy to just continue on keeping the peace by not enforcing things. My 19 yo daughter has neen home a lot. It is obvious she is not going to attempt looking for work or going to school anytime soon. She is depressed looking. I have cut off all rides to town unless I am going in for something. The thing that is weighing so heavily all the time is knowing this is probably never going to change until we actually kick her out but I just don't have the strength to do that yet. I might not ever have the strength. Just wondering, for those who have had to go this route, how long did it take you to finally do this. This will undoubtedly be the hardest thing I will ever have to do.
     
  2. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    It's so very hard. Sometimes it takes an event, ours was this past Friday. I don't know if it's possible, but seeing a therapist has helped me immensely. It's the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but I have to think about how hard the last year has been also. I can only hope that they come out of it stronger and more self reliant.
     
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    It is different for everyone. Sometimes it is an event sometimes it is just can't take it anymore. Sometimes it is finally recognizing that you can not help anymore because helping is doing the opposite ,it is not helping. It is difficult because you love them and because you need relief and you want to be happy again. Sometimes it is realizing that you have others that are also effected siblings or other family. It has to be your decision you will know. Prayers are with you.
     
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  4. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I agree with the others. Often times there is an event that finally triggers that enough is enough. Everyone's time is different. However may I suggest a couple of things? Please get yourself to a therapist for self care, boundary setting, and rediscovering what is healthy and what is not. Too often we continue in these scenarios believing that the new normal is okay only to discover that the normal we thought was normal is completely dysfunctional. This is what is making you so tired and is eating away at you. Somewhere inside of you , you know that this arrangement is destructive for all of you. I believe that you need to focus on yourself first and get stronger and begin the process of detachment. The status quo is no longer an option because then you are correct, nothing will change. Hugs. This is so very very hard!
     
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi SW. I went back and read your first post in September ‘17 for a little back story. What resounded with me was how you feel about having your daughter remain as is. Worn out and exhausted yourself. That’s the big indicator that something has to change. For your sake. It’s for your daughters sake too, because her life is in a rut, and that’s not healthy for anyone.
    My daughter was 18 when she first had to leave our home, she was not contributing, not following house rules and had this overall attitude that she could do as she pleased. That included treating me like she hated me. It was awful. It was not easy showing her the door, but having her stay and just existing “as is” was not an option.
    We all have our breaking points where we begin to realize that what we have tried is obviously not working. It is a battle within, too, especially if you see this pattern of unhealthy choices and consequences and you feel your daughter would just flounder on her own.
    I suppose you have encouraged your daughter to get help? Me, too, but my two would refuse. They didn’t need help, they said.
    I ended up seeing a counselor, even though like you, I resisted, thinking of a therapist as sort of like a paid friend. Then there are stories of sessions gone wrong, a bad match, etc. What I feel now is that with the right therapist, we can begin to untangle ourselves from the situation emotionally. They are trained to see the patterns in relationships that are unhealthy, and help us to work through that. That is important. With our own adult children, we are willing to put up with much more than we would from another adult. I believe it leads to them feeling entitled and stuck, and we are afraid of what may happen, if we make them leave.
    Then we are both stuck.
    That’s not fair to anyone.
    What I learned from years of the revolving door syndrome with my two, is that my home became a place where they would continue as is comfortably, three squares and a roof over their heads. Having them home, didn’t help them grow, they stagnated and had this expectation that we had to help them, when they were neither willing or ready to help themselves. I think that’s where we got stuck. Thinking that we were going to “fix” them. There is and was nothing further from the truth. When I let go of the notion that I could actually, really and truly help them, that’s when I said no more. It helped that my young son was sick and tired of all the shenanigans, I was able to see the pattern through his eyes.
    I feel that we get entangled so deep into what’s going on with our adult kids that we are afraid to let go. We are too up close to actually see what is going on. Like an artist painting a mural, every so often, one has to step away, to see the big picture. For me, a psychologist was able to help me step away, and really see what was going on. My son did that too, I could finally see how affected he was, and in turn, how it was affecting me. That having my two in my home was affording them to stay as is, my home was not my sanctuary, and they didn’t get any better.
    There is no one answer, SW.
    I will tell you, that finding a solution, starts with you. It’s because you only have control over yourself. We have absolutely no control over another human being.
    That includes our beloveds.
    You can’t force your daughter to get help, but you can take steps to help yourself. Reread your posts. Take a good look at how long you have been trying to find answers for your daughter.
    What we wish for our adult children is that they live productive, healthy lives and pay attention to their well being, self care, self love. I will write it again. We are their first mentors. We can change how we view things, how we react. Be the change.
    Oftentimes, we are so focused on what is happening with our d cs, we start to neglect ourselves. Try to switch focus to you. Find little things you can do to bring back some peace in your life.
    If you are thinking “How can I find peace when my daughter is not well?”
    That is a huge clue that you are in need of help. No amount of sacrifice on your part, will change what is for your daughter. This really came to light for me, when my hubs battled illness and passed. Looking back, even though he was very ill, my two continued as is. I thought his passing would be a pivot point.
    It wasn’t.
    It’s because my two will do what they want as long as they want, despite what my wishes for them are.
    Keep posting and find ways to get back to you. We can lose ourselves when our d cs go off the rails. That doesn’t help anyone.
    It takes time and little steps to gain strength and be able to look at the big picture. It starts with making changes from within. That can mean taking walks, creating a list of things you would like to do, start with little things and build from there. Find your way back to you. Living your life exhausted and frustrated, is no way to live.
    You matter.
    Your peace of mind and the sanctity of your home, matters.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    It is always a hard decision. A couple of the thoughts from my too many years of experience dealing with these issues. Think about what you need and is good for you and work from there. Kicking her out will not necessarily motivate her to get help. It might but it also might get worse before it gets better. Ultimatley she needs to get to s place where she wants help herself. It is hard to know what will do that. So think about your motivation in kicking her out. Do what is right for you. When my son was 18 he was flagrantly violating any rules we had and it was not good for me my husband or my 15 year old daughter. When we talked about it with him he threatened me and that is when we kicked him out. That was 8 years ago and it has been a rocky road since then. We have taken the stand we will help when be is helping himself and will not when he is not. Hes been in treatment several times and has also been on the street. He now seems to be working towards recovery himself but just had a relapse so who knows. I have no real answers except trust yourself and do what feels righ to you and what you can live with.

    TL
     
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  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My daughter was 19 when her drug use was so intractable I made her leave, mostly because it was toxic for my littles. My daughter is sweet and never acted like she hated us, but I was afraid she would die if we didn't do something desperate.

    She quit! She took out a loan and went to school. She bought a house with her boyfriend. She had my angel granddaughter. She is almost 35. No meth or cocaine since age 20. We are very close. If she had been hateful to me it may have been easier to make her leave but it was the hardest thing I ever did. I cried for weeks. I am so glad I trusted my gut. Her turnaround was quick!

    Do trust your gut. Don't give any one person too much power over you, not even your child. Your peace of mind is precious. You matter.

    Love and light!
     
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  8. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Thanks for your inctedibly thoughtful replies. I appreciate all of your wisdom. I do need to look into a therapist again but to be honest I just completely dread it. Magnifying glass on a broken heart, magnifying glass on our mistakes and our enabling and our deficits. But it is obvious I need support and a plan to move forward. A plan we can stick to.
     
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    When we went to see a therapist early on it was incredibly helpful and did not focus on our mistakes at all. The other thing that has been higely helpful was an alanon group for parents.
     
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  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    My therapist is also not critical. I was honest about why i came and she gave me good ideas and a lot of support. Sometimes she just listens which is what i need at that time. When i looked for a councelor i specifically looked for one who had experience with my sons illness. Have you read the article on detachment on this site? Also helpful is a book called copependent no more by Melody Beattie.
     
  11. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I too was very reluctant to see a therapist because I was so so broken, and so closed in, and so lacked self esteem that I thought I would absolutely bust open if anyone new were to judge me because of our "hidden secret of chaos". In fact my first few times I bravely put on a different face, didn't spill all the goods because I thought I must be the most screwed up mother any one could meet. After all how did I LET THIS HAPPEN? That was my bad gremlin sitting on my shoulder spewing out all of this terrible self judgement which created self hate. My therapist saw through me and was patient and finally I did spill the goods. She was gentle and caring, and helped me validate so many things . It was tough tough work. Many times I came home exhausted and just cried myself to sleep. Seeing this person, going on spiritual retreats, meditating, reaching out, saved me. And as I began to get healthier , oddly so did my son. Now my positive gremlin outspeaks the negative one and I have learnt to shut it down. You can do it too. It is so freeing to finally realize you only have control over yourself. No one else. Hugs!
     
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  12. RN0441

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

    Agree with all.

    I equate seeing a therapist with having someone in to clean your house. Many don't want people in their homes to "see their dirt" or a therapist they think will judge or "see the skeletons" they are living with.

    I am way past letting someone clean my house because I work full time and I don't want to spend my free time cleaning and letting my therapist see our dirt/skeletons was an experience that helped me heal and move forward and focus more on me and what I needed to work on for me to be okay. I do recommend someone that specializes in addiction which for me has been most helpful. Of course the first several times they just listen more than give advice but in time they are able to direct.

    I find it amazing that mine can remember everything I tell her without notes in front of her!
     
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  13. EarthIsHard

    EarthIsHard Member

    strangeworld,
    It is a difficult situation surrounding you. It sounds very familiar. We tried for 9 years to help in every way we thought was possible. The problem is, it was us that were trying. He tried too at times, went to rehab, suffered in jail a few times which was not a place to get help at all, in fact they drugged him to the point of drooling, not a help at all. What we thought must surely be the bottom, was never the bottom for him. Finally when he was saying, mom says I have to take drugs to be able to stay in this house, I had enough. In his mind this was his excuse to continue to use heroin and meth and not take responsibility. He wouldn't leave the house like he had the right to be here. Well, legally he did and we had to serve him with a 60 day eviction notice even though he never paid rent. He wouldn't leave. Why would he? He worked maybe 2 weeks out of the year, gave up on all help, went out and got drugs when he wanted and came home for us to put up with the insane behavior. At 60 days, my husband took him to a very good rehab and said it was his choice but he couldn't come home. He listened and talked to them for over an hour then walked out the door. We heard from him the first month and then nothing for over 4 months now. It's heartbreaking.
    I forgot what it was like to have a calm house again it had been so long. I miss him terribly and pray for him every day but it had to be done. He was truly getting worse the longer he stayed no matter what we tried. The point is, he has to try for anything to change. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I really wish we had done it earlier and it may have been easier on him but we always think we can show them the way.
    I wish you strength.
     
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  14. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Earthishard, I am so sorry about your son. It truly is heartbreaking . I know fear of estrangement part of the reason I have such a difficult time telling her it's time to move out. Also she is a female and I have serious concerns about her getting into dangerous situations.

    I really don't mind talking to s therapist it's just that it's expensive, time consuming and sometimes it just feels like paying to vent. And then the awful glances at her watch. It was helpful but the woman I was seeing was not critical or judgemental in the least, just quite a bit younger with two tiny kids...a baby and toddler. I just felt like it wasn't a match after a few sessions and things calmed down w my daughter for a while so I fizzled out. I made it to al anon today though so that is good. If only I could be consistent.
     
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Almost every county has mental health services that work on a sliding scale.
     
  16. RN0441

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

    Agree that some don't have insurance to cover therapy. I am thankful that I only have a small copay.

    Sending prayers to both of you ladies - EarthIsHard so sorry for your situation.
     
  17. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    I really shouldn't complain about the $ because luckily at this point in our lives we can afford it to some extent, but it adds up quuckly.