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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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello from Sunny Sunny Florida

Hello my friends. We are here in Florida waiting to settle on our retirement home in a 55+ very active community. The settlement will be tomorrow. This is fun. This is definately helping me let go more. Distance lends itself to distancing. Why is that a surprise?

I was proud of myself today for hooking up the wireless printer and connecting to two separate PC's and an I Pad. Hah...... at first it did not work but then I looked it up on youtube and found a video tutortial. Five minutes later we were online. I highly recomend these youtube tutorials!

What do you say about your addict adult/child when you meet new people?
It would be easier to just not talk about her but we can't seem to do that. We also do not want to lie nor lay all those ugly details out there. We lived in a very small town up North. My husband was a local attorney and I was a high school teacher. Beth's escapades hit the newspapers several times so we have been there and done that as far as having the details out there.

So far, we have said that we have three children. We also say, if asked, that Beth has used her artistic talent to work with pets in her own grooming and pet care business. (She really does a lot of babysitting and grooming of dogs.) Then we say that our boy works in computers and our youngest girl is back in graduate school for speech therapy.

I do not feel particularly comfortable fielding these questions but these early retirees are not nearly as hard to deal with as the parents of kids just going off to college. In fact, many of them really have very little to day about their kids. They are much more interested in their grandkids and the latest activity at the club house!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How do I detach with love?

1. I do not ask too many questions.

2. I do not call more than once a week unless I have business with her.

3. I try really try to tell her things only once and not nag.

4. If I am with her and she starts getting demanding, manipulative, accusative etc I just change the subject or go home.

5. I do not pay for her mistakes with money or emotion. Emotion is a lot harder to control.

6.  I ask her friends not to tell me about her exploits unless they think I could actually influence her when they have more influence than me.

 7.  I do not stop what I am doing to go to her assistance unless it is a life threatening situation.

8. I turn my phone off at night.

9. I only invite her to my house on high holidays. I invite her about an hour late and she comes two hours late. By then, we are about an hour from being done. I have already locked up all the valuables and the relatives that do not want to be with her can make a quick exit.

10. I pray for her and miss her every day. When I go crazy thinking how good our lives used to be I think but that was then and this is now. Maybe someday, if she and I both live through this she will get better.

11. I remain willing to help with attempts at recovery but will no longer believe that she is clean without proof from medical tests done by a clinic.

12.  When she tells me she is clean I do not know what to say so I usually say good for you. Keep it up and all good things will come of it.

13. I take her phone call but I do not talk long or believe much of what she says.

14.  I tell her I love her because I do

15. I try to remember better days with her.

She asked me if I never really wanted to see her anymore. I said,  " I really do want to see you but the addiction gets in the way. Also, the lies get in the way. You can try and fail or refuse to try and I can live with it. But, when you lie about trying and try to make it my fault then ..... well it creates a distance."   

So, my friends, I share this list with you not because I think I am right or have found the way. These are just some of the things that I have learned to do to help me detach and survive. Sometimes I feel like a cold bitch for being able to implement these rules but oh have I paid a price when I let my vulnerability be exposed to her.

 How about you?  What specifically have you learned to do to detach with love?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Respite From Addiction

We had a nice weekend here. My youngest healthy daughter was home for the weekend. She works with severely handicapped children and really has a heart for it.

We hung out on Friday night when her cousins and aunts and uncles came to my house to see her. I did feel a little guilty not incuding Beth. Lately, I have only been asking her on high holidays. Also, I had spent a good part of Friday grocery shopping with Beth and emotionally it was all I could take. If she had called or someone had asked for her it might have been different.

On Sat DD2 had a wedding to attend so I surprised her by doing all of her laundry. She was delighted to see it and exclaimed that she had been doing it on her own since the age of 10. This is true but I was so greatful for the domestic tranquility that I actually enjoyed it.

Thank you readers for letting me know that many of you mothers of addicts still cry every day even after many many years. It made me feel less out of control to know that other mothers with productive lives also react this way so frequently.

One strategy I picked up in an Alanon book to help ground yourself in the present is to  describe what you are doing while you are doing it in your own head. Ex:  I am writing in my blog. I am doing the dishes. Next, I will start the laundry. etc. etc.

I know this sounds strange but it has really helped me when I start worrying about what will happen or replaying sad scenes from the past. That is why I am sharing it now. I hope it will help some of you when you get pulled in different directions. The concerns of one day are more than enough for that day!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Peace of Alanon

I went to an Alanon meeting tonight. I had not been there in more than a year. The old timers welcomed me back so sweetly without a word or even a glance of reproach for not having been there in so long. They really do know how to mind their own business.

It was an hour of decompressing for me. They speak the truth in those meetings. I do accept that my daughter will never have a normal life. I accept that because of her mental illness but I keep trying to change her choices. Only alanon seems to know that I am indeed powerless over her decisions.

I keep going over and over how I raised her to find the flaw that led to this behavior. I was not perfect but she grew up with lots of love, activities and family values. How can I know this yet still hold myself responsible?

I feel judged and humiliated because of her behavior. Children grow up to reflect the values and the homelife they were raised in. But not always. It is just not always true. When mental illness and or addiction is part of the picture the normal rules do not apply. I am sure there are children who go astray even without these huge challenges.

Alanon says...... I did not create the addiction. I can not cure the addiction and I can not control the addiction. I have to act like I believe this even if the general public does not.

Then, on some level I think that if she loved me enough she would stop. I worked with a teacher who had an alcoholic mother.  That mother left her sitting with a broken foot for three hours until her Dad got home. That teacher told me that whether or not her mother had a disease, she had a broken foot and needed to go to the hospital. Her mother chose to protect her addiction above her helpless child with a broken foot.

Our addicted loved ones see our pain. They are too wrapped up in their own issues to respond to our pain. Our pain means nothing to them.

A girlfriend of mine had surgery and therfore had pain pills for the post surgical pain. Her addict daughter stole her pain medication from the sick bed and left her mother to suffer acute post surgical pain as a result. (That particular addict is now  7 years clean. She was with my daughter at her third rehab.)

Oh well, I used to be better at detaching with love and still having a worthwhile life. Alanon helped with that so I will continue to read the literature daily and go back to meetings. I am also starting to treat my own anxiety and depression with some nutritional supplements, sleep and exercise. I just know that I can get a better handle on my life than I have had recently. I am perfectly capable of fighting for myself and that it what it has come down to. It is time to put myself first because I have been nearly drowning.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I CRY Every Day

I cry every day or almost every day eventhough it has been 2 years since it really sank in to me that she will probably not ever break this addiction. My mother and my mother in law also died two years ago. I loved them dearly. I think of them often but usually with pleasure not pain. I am sad they are gone but grief is mostly spent and I mostly think of them in fondness.

Beth said that I would have been better off if she had died in that car accident where she broke 6 vertabrae and was back to using 2 days later on her way home from the hospital. I told her to never believe that her dying would be better for me. Her death would be a lot worse for me. As long as there is life there is hope. That is what I told her.

That is what I told her but I wonder why I can not accept this and quit crying so much. I guess I will go back to Alanon tomorrow. It helps me to see other mothers deal with their pain and still have some semblance of joy in their lives.
I read Annettes words on her blog and they really help. I need to hear from people who have been dealing with this for years but have found some peace, some balance in their own lives.

How do you make the rest of your own life more normal when you have a loved one who seems like they will never see the light?

Don't get me wrong. I do not cry all day. It is usually just for a few minutes. I let the emotion come in and go out like a wave. Most of my days are productive in some way and all of my days contain some beauty, some humor, some pleasure. Maybe it is the best that I can do. I just do not know.