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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Contact with Addict

Have any of you ever gone no contact with your addicted loved one?  I have read about it but I do not actually know anyone who has done it for any length of time. Right now I talk to my daughter when she calls me to handle her financial matters. She tells me she is doing fine on suboxone for heroine but is considering aversion therapy for cocaine.

I love her and encourage her when she seems to be seeking encouragement. I pray for her every day but it looks to me like her diseases are way ahead in this struggle to the death.

Once......... when she shocked me beyond my capacity to endure I told her I could forgive her actions if they were in the past but I could not live with them in my life at present. I would not talk to her at that time but my husband did answer when she called. Neither of us gave money or shelter. She got beat up and entered rehab. She stayed as long as the insurance would allow which was 6 weeks and then it all started up again. That was at the same time that my father in law died.

I wonder would it make any difference to her meaning would she actually try to get better if we totally cut her off. My husband who is usually much tougher than me thinks that this would be cruel as she is severely mentally ill and her capacity to judge is diminished. He thinks we should keep her at arms length but do nothing to add to her pain which is real and palpable. I agree that she is mentally ill as well as addicted. It was evident way before she started doing drugs but the drugs make it soooooo much worse.

I do not need to cut her off to control my own suffering.

 I can usually maintain enough distance to manage a fairly normal life. I would only ever consider this in order to help her. Besides, I know that a cut off creates a different type of suffering.  Did I mention that the last time I took a break from talking to her she disappeared for 6 weeks and we were calling morgues looking for her?

Tell me about how close you have come to cutting off the addict completely and how it turned out.

18 comments:

  1. When you say mentally ill, what do you mean? My son, also a heroin addict, was always one beat off and just doesn't seem to "fit" in and is so lonely. I kicked him out the day after Christmas for showing up high at his brothers. My older son is zero tolerance, as he has a new family and I support that 100%. I was so shocked he did that after missing Christmas the year before. I lasted one week and let him back in. He is working and is stable again (back on subutex. It was the first time I put him out with no car, no home and no money. Think it hurt me worse.

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  2. I'm looking forward to hearing some responses to this because my response is: I don't know. I can see the good and bad in both and I am not a person to go to for pearls of wisdom on this one! I wish I knew for sure. I do remember many wise parents reminding me that sometime's its what it takes and that makes sense for a lot of addicts. But for Beth? I don't know....I think YOUR GUT INSTINCT is probably right because you sound very rational and have been through so much with her already you can kind of predict the outcome.

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  3. My daughter has been diagnosed by various psychiatrists and judges as being unable to work due to severe and persistent bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.

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  4. I have gone no contact, as in I do not seek her out. If she calls me though, I do answer and talk to her. For me to give up checking on her all the time was huge. I used to walk around with my phone in my hand trying not to call her. When we have had those times and it is always during times of active addiction....she can call me, but I don't call her...it has actually been far more peaceful for me and enables me to be able to let her go and trust that God has her because I certainly can't do anything to keep her safe out there. I have to believe that a power greater than myself is in charge and walks with her.

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  5. My 28 year old son has cut contact with us since the week before Thanksgiving. His drug of choice is oxy and he has sworn up and down and every which way that he no longer does it but his bizarre behavior and that of his live in girl friend speaks for itself. He moved about a thousand miles away from us in June 2011. We did see him in Sept 2011 and he looked good but my alarms started to go off in October after talking with him on the phone. He had lost his seasonal job and the GF didnt have one. I'm very worried and really dont know what to do. I left him a message the other day about how much we love him and want to help but he has to start the process and just quit this downward spiral and find a place to go for rehab. He also has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and mood disorders but will not do anything that has been suggested by doctors, etc. We do not give him money or really anything anymore but we would fix him a meal if he was hungry and here. So at this point in time I don't want to cut contact with him and neither does my husband.

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    1. When you are enabling them, I think it's time to cut them off.

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  6. You are not talking about enabling. I think you are asking if you cut off all contact, including taking her calls, will that push her to stop drugs.

    The answer to that is no.

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    1. thanks Lou. I miss you in the blogging world. Please let me know if you blog again. It was not just your insight into addiction but your world view that I miss.




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  7. I am not one to give advice on this. I will say that with my son I believe had I cut off all contact it would have been worse for both of us. He has told me several times that if I had done that he would have felt no hope, that I didn't love him and would have tried to kill himself or at the very least would care far less because during his active addiction in was the only person (other than grandma) that he knew believed in him and wanted him to get better. They are surrounded by other people just like them. I did need to take a break from him several times and try to limit my contact with him. There would be a few days where I wouldn't hear from him and I would just text him that I love him. If anything I needed him to know that no matter what i loved him. I dont believe cutting off all contact will stop them from using we just need to remember to take care of ourselves.

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  8. I wouldn't cut off all contact, I don't think that is stopping enabling. You know what enabling is and how not to do that. She needs to know that she can come "home" to you, and still not use you.

    Have you looked into Teen Challenge? It isn't just for teens and I just keep hearing so many amazing things about their program. I know you have tried everything, but if Caroline was living this kind of hopeless life, I would call Teen Challenge and just talk to them.

    Blessings on you , my friend. You inspire me, you really do.

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  9. I came across this blog post via a google search.

    I just saw my therpiast yesterday to try to come to terms with my father's predicament, who is a gambling addict. There are two important points I gained from that meeting.

    1) I need to establish boundaries. As long as my father is gambling, he is hurting me. And when he hurts me, he is violating my boundaries. I decided I needed to do whatever it took to keep that boundary intact even if that means cutting off contact.

    2) I need to let the consequences of his actions play out. This is the hard part. You said you were calling morgues looking for your daughter. My dad isn't far off. He suffered two strokes over the last three months because of his refusal to take care of himself. His addiction has completely taken over his life. His left arm and leg barely fucntion anymore, and his heart only pumps at 20% capacity. He has lost 60% of the vision in his left eye, and he is morbidly overweight. His next step is death, but I've come to the conclusion that if that's what's going to play out, it is his decision. Nothing I can do at this point will stop that from happening.

    Your daughter may end up in a morgue if you cease contact with her. She may end up in a morgue if you continue to have contact with her. Either way, that end result is not your fault.

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  10. My parents, my sister, and I cut all ties with my older brother in 1988. He was addicted to narcotics, both prescription and illegal. He was addicted until the day he died in 2008. None of us had spoken with him, other than my father on one brief occasion, in the entirety of the twenty years.

    His actions caused us to end our relationship with him. We did nothing to deserve the pain he caused.

    There were times when I missed him, but I never once missed the addict he had become. He might as well have died that last day in 1988. The funeral was just delayed for twenty years. There seemed to be a great sense of relief the afternoon we buried him. The addict that took my brother from us so long ago was gone. I loved my brother, not the addict.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss. My husband is an addict but when his family cuts him off completely it does not help him at all. It made him feel worse than he already felt and it did not make him stop. It created family conflict between our children and his family . When they cut him off, they unknowingly cut off the children who are still hurt . He is in rehab now.

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  11. I have an adult daughter who is now addicted to Heroine, she has been addcited to something since she was 17...I have decided to cut all ties with her. She came over yesterday to pick up her Birhtday gifts thats all she cared about. She was high I asked her not to come over high, but as usual she has no respect and lies about evrything, she says I owe her she blames everyone else for her choices she has made. So she came over demaded I give her money or purses or clothes after giving her hundreds of dollars in gifts. In front of my 7 year old son she screamed and cussed me out. walked out in front of our home screaming to the neighbors I was a selfish bitch who owed her. She said to me and my son I love Heroine I love to shoot it in my veins!..I can't let my son be around her ever again, I have decided this is not the person I raised she has become some kind of monster. I have to protect my son who is innocent, she carse nothing for me or him just herself. Good for the parents who can maintain the Toxic Relationship I can't any longer....after she left here she posted on FB that I wished her dead and that never happend!! I have tried to call her she continually hangs up on me. I need to tell her to her face that she can no longer contact me. She refuses to check into any kind of Rehab. She lies constantly about even having an addcition only uses it to her advantage to gain sympathy for something. She is very manipulating. Fed up Mom!

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  12. Well I have dealt with this problem with my daughter age 26 for over 3 yrs, she is a married adult whose is addicted to prescription pills, maybe more than that. But we have tried to give her shelter help her financial, they lost everything home, belongings due to not paying bills using them money to support their habit, we have tried to get them into rehab, both refused, cut her hubby off from staying here, but she did, living under other peoples roofs, do not do anything to help around the homes to make their way.She started stealing from my home, money and locked up pain pills that was prescribed to me. So we are trying to disconnect from the situation, I kicked her out of my house and told her she is no longer welcome unless she is ready to get some help with her addiction, and now I do not talk to her, all I can do is pray for her, and the relief of the what we was going through worrying about her is huge, this is the best thing we could of ever done was to cut her free, SHE IS AT ROCK BOTTOM, no home, only living with others, but when they are addicts they think they are doing fine. She lost her brother in her life several years ago and it didn't seem to have an affect on her. So now she has LOST her parents grandma and her brother in her life. Hopefully one day she will wake up and realize that PILLS are not worth what it has taken from her life.....She lies, steals, so I am so done....GOOD LUCK

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    1. NO CONTACT is the last recourse, after everything has completely failed. It is the hardest thing you can do but after you have tried everything else for 12 years!! It is like you buried your son or daughter. He has died to all possibilities offered in a silver platter. And he is calling from the valley of the dead, asking you How are you? The addiction is brutal AND it is so much stronger. But he will try to call from other numbers, or unknown numbers so we had to not answer those unidentified calls. I told him I will only talk through his rehabilitation counselor, but he is not going to go to any place of help. I believe this no contact strategy is only for your protection against the abuse and the tyranny addiction will bring to your life through your love one. They are so committed to continue ignoring the consequences surrounding them, and really this no contact strategy it is just for you the parent. Only God can do the miracle, you cannot intervene anymore, just pray so he or she can have a true encounter with the supernatural real God of Heaven. Its beyond human possibilities. Pray and wait. I believe my son will be completely restored someday and will impact millions trough an incredible drug rehabilitation ministry never seen before or after . Just believe and keep praying incessantly. Don't answer that call and perhaps change your number and move far away!!! But still believe she can get out if this horrible burying nightmare!!

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    2. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing expecting different results. No contact for me, the mother of our drug addict son, was for years unbearable for me to even entertain the thought. But after trying everything humanly possible, from meeting him at some random parking lot to bring him my homemade soup to helping him move into yet another buddy's couch or basement situation, in and out of treatments (even Teen Challenge which is amazingly successful at 75% long term recovery rate) and counselors that were all "stupid and inept", I finally came to the decision at my husband's prodding to have no contact until there is some sort of a professional rehab counselor between us. That was two months ago. He is still alive and we, his parents, and brother and sisters constantly pray for him to wake up and get help. The pain of a hope so long awaited makes my heart sick, but I am determined to go for the long haul and wait until God moves on him and delivers him from this evil habit. There's nothing too difficult for Him, so I wait. I will not enable my son, I will not pay for anything or give him money or anything. If he shows up at home, we call the police. If one of the siblings weaken and give him the garage door code, we immediately change it and keep it secret. The house is up for sale and we want to leave town as soon as possible so as to not be reminded at almost every corner of a bad memory. It's a sad story, but our son has all the tools he needs to live a happy, successful and meaningful life. He has chosen so many times to bite the hand that feeds him and blame us for all his mistakes and poor decisions. We can't change him, only he can change himself. We must trust completely in our Almighty God and continue on the best we can. Very hard, but totally able as we receive fresh grace each day.

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  13. I totally understand..ive been going thru a nightmare with my son for 8 years with his heroin addiction..he currently is in prison for 2 years, been in 8 months, but already getting in trouble for drugs:-\ ..i was sending him money, cause i thought he had changed, but he was lying to me like always telling me what I want to hear..i sent him a letter telling him i have to let him go, hes killing me, that i just am tired of being tired..that this is his choice of life not mine..he has two kids...enough is enough

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