I made the decision to help my daughter with shelter. This is after about 5 rehabs and more than a year of her being off and on the street.
Being off and on the street has not helped her. I almost went crazy when she last disappeared for three weeks. I reported her missing and called the morgue.
We have never been enablers. We let my daughter loose her car. We did not bail her out of legal problems. We do not allow her to live at home. But after all that we have been through and she has been through we still can not tell how much is the addiction and how much is her bipolar disorder or post traumatic stress disorder from a gang rape.
All this tough love has not changed a thing. She was often willing to go to rehab. She really tried but simply could not keep clean out of rehab. I now see my refusal to help in any way as a punishment. I was trying to punish her into choosing a clean life. What if she can't? What if she is too far gone?
An interesting thing happened. I called her ready and willing to pay for her to get into an apt. in Florida. She said for me not to worry she was going to live with and clean for a spiritual family. She said that they wanted nothing from her, just to help her get well.
The next call I got was from Beth's attorney. Her hearing for social security disability has been scheduled for May 10. The attorney gets nothing if she does not win so she must think it is a good case. If she wins and gets total mental disability she will get 674 dollars per month. That and a little help from Mom will provide shelter.
I felt like God was talking to me for this to be scheduled at this time. I had been grappling with the question as you know. The phone rings and the hearing that we have been waiting for more than 2 years is scheduled.
I will tell you the truth of weather it is better or worse. Do I think that this will cure her? NO
Do I think it will hurt her? NO
Society is much better off with her in shelter. It is cheaper and safer for society.
I function better without the extreme guilt I lived with for 3 years doing what was completely and totally unnatural for me to do. Throwing a sick person out never felt right. I did it for my own protection. I also believed the party line that she would improve if I stopped enabling her. I am here to say that it got a lot worse not a bit better for her.
Tom, over at recoveryhelpdesk wrote a great post about this. He could not get it to post on this site and neither could I. I do not know why. He is a former addict with an MD. He practices medically assisted recovery treatment. They believe in harm reduction as does the National Alliance for the mentally ill.
Canada and most European countries also follow this approach. It might not work. Very little works in this field. But, there again I think it is worth a try.
Andy Reeves was greatly criticized for both supporting and for turning out his sons. He also tried both. He and his wife did a great interview about it.
I would have disagreed with myself a few months ago. But, I have come to believe that since witholding supports from her has not cured her that I am now part of the problem. I am her mother and I will keep a roof over her head from now on if and when she accepts it.
I hope that you all do not reject me even if many of you disagree. I have come to rely on your support. You have helped me and I hope that I have helped you through some long nights of the soul.
On Being Afraid
1 month ago