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Son and Daughter in-law are heroin junkies

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    Avatar of Tanya

    There, I have said it. It is true and it is painful. I have called CPS on them. The past month has been filled with calls to CPS, and today there are suppose to be served with a court order to go into rehab. This is a great day but I cannot celebrate because of the unknown. Because of the unknown is not known I have decided to go with what i do know: I cannot pay their bills anymore. I cannot live with them; because someone had to be sober to watch the kids. I cannot be their emotional punching bag. I cannot be the person they blame for their problems with CPS. I cannot be weak. I can be strong. I have to be strong for my two grandkids. I can do this. I can do this. I am not sure what will happen today, I am sure they will hate me, and I am sure they will tell their children that I called and had them taken away from mommy and daddy. I have to be strong, because there is no one else to do it.

    Avatar of Pernilla Burke
    Pernilla Burke

    Dear Tanya– I'm sorry to say but people who have not experinced up close the disease of addiction will never understanding and have compassion for what your going through. There is much understanding out there about what exactly addiction is and many still don't understand that it is a disease just like depression or anxiety. I've been in recovery for over 15 years and I am still very careful with whom I share some of my most personal things. I recommend just sharing what is happening with your son and daughter in law with only a few very close people, and hopefully you are a part of a support group or have a counselor that you can speak with. Thanks again for sharing, please remember the resource provided by the partnership which is the helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE- there are trained clinician there whom speak to parents like you every day. The call is free of charge.
    You are in my prayers,
    Community Mgr

    Avatar of happyjoy

    People can be so careless with their words and have no idea what pain they cause. I am sorry your boss is obviously one of those. I do hope you have some other people in your life that you can trust. I am actually new here for that very reason. There are not many people in my life who do understand or who I can be completely honest with. You are not alone and there are others who know your hurt first hand. Hang in there!

    Avatar of Patti Herndon
    Patti Herndon

    Hi I remember reading your original post about your beyond difficult challenge in Time To Get Help. It moved me, Tanya -what you shared.

    The website is being re-tooled. I was in the process of responding to you on ‘time to get help’, as a parent with a son in long term recovery, as well as a counseling student trained in a kind of counseling technique that was very helpful in creating momentum in my own son’s recovery -after having, for years, implementing, (mostly unsuccessfully), strategies common in the ‘traditional’ approaches associated with addiction treatment/recovery.

    On the website (time to get help) that you originally posted on; you were given a few links in the goal of, hopefully, inspiring you as you journey through the process of recovery with your son/daughter-in-law. You visited the website, again, in response to a link that you were given, that appeared to have spoken to your heart. What you posted after reading the link was something that I had written, as a comment, on the blog link you were provided. Now that we are caught up, Tanya, I wanted to share with you that you are making your way. You are…

    In fact, every thoughtful decision you have made and will make, onto every action you take that is geared toward the goal of encouraging your addicted loved ones’ sense of belief that they can problem solve for themselves, little by little, is born of hope. And, hope is the stuff that makes for momentum in the addiction journey. It is the thing that propels us on toward the destination, even when we can’t see the road ahead -even on those days when ‘that voice’ is telling us that the road ahead is a dead end that drops off into blackness. That’s a common voice that takes up valuable real estate in the exhausted spirit of a parent with an addicted child. We need to practice shutting that negative narrative down…putting a muzzle on it. It takes time and perseverance to cultivate and nurture hope. Most of all, it takes patience and consistent cultivation of realistic expectations of ourselves and our addicted loved one(s) regarding our specific circumstances, day to day.

    Tanya, you’re the most equipped person to support your addicted loved ones/your family collective when you navigate using hope as your fuel. And, when it comes to the most commonly parroted advisement offered to parents and other CSOs, “Take care of yourself…Take care of you, first”; Please consider that effective, consistent caretaking of self is, infinitely, more than a day at the spa, or a trip to the beach, or a hobby, or other tangible investments in the goal of ‘self-care’. And, besides, often it’s the case that parents with addicted children find they don’t have the financial resources for such endeavors due to the costs incurred from the collateral damage that addiction levies.

    Tanya, truest caring for self begins with a personal narrative echoing consistent hope and sense of self efficacy framing the current crisis/challenge, as well as any future challenge, as being ‘temporary’ –meaning the current situations’ intensity and seeming domination won’t last. Without that voice of hope guiding our interactions and decision-making, we lose valuable creative problem-solving ability. The most effective self care is that of cultivating, nurturing, maintaining a sense that there is ‘better’ to be experienced. We have the ability to advocate for ourselves. Our addicted son/daughter has the ability to advocate for themselves and facilitate increasing health. It’s a process. Often times, sustainable recovery is a much longer process than we could have imagined. But, we should focus on the reality that there is opportunity for recovery, for healing…everyday/always . “I have the ability to find resources/to create and engage options for increasing health, as well as my sense of peace about this challenge I face.” “My life, the life of my son and his wife and children can and will get better”. “Recovery happens every day”.

    Rather than speculating in the negative, (“catastrophic thinking” it’s called) about why your son and daughter-in-law are complying with CPS, I encourage you to follow through in your forecasting about the direction you’re heading/they’re heading utilizing the spirit of courage you so solidly demonstrate in your post about your decision. I know it feels risky/scary to hope. What if it all just goes wrong? (“like it always does”)…Again, that is an example of that voice that parents of children with substances use disorder are so often plagued by/conditioned to hearing within themselves. After all, we’ve experienced things that no mom/dad should in the wake of the addiction of our son/daughter. It’s been traumatic. It’s changed everything about life. But, it’s these negative narratives/it’s that voice we must challenge/ silence before it depletes our critical hope, having us convinced that little or nothing we can ever do or try is going to help. That’s why so many parents give up and ‘let go’ and ‘detach’ and ‘disconnect’, often in the name of ‘tough love’. And, studies show that this approach is not necessarily appropriate for facilitating recovery, and it can increase the risk of substance(s) use and ‘why try thinking’ by our son or daughter. And this can have very serious, potentially life-threatening consequences.
    Substance use disorder -especially when the substance of addiction is heroin- is beyond difficult for the individual challenged by it, and it’s unimaginable for someone who does not struggle with substance use disorder. It’s really, really hard for non-addicted people to truly empathize with their loved ones, friends, co-workers, complete strangers etc., who are challenged by substance use disorder. Empathy, like hope, is a critical component in facilitating sustainable recovery in our loved ones, and everyone else with substance use disorder.

    Anxiety will deplete our energy and eclipse our ability to engage critical empathy. Anxiety/catastrophic thinking keeps us wrapped up in ourselves –our resources zapped. And, unfortunately, until more recently, the frame of many a ‘peer support group’ actually reinforces our sense of ‘I can’t do ANYTHING to help my child. So I just need to ‘let go and detach’ -which only feeds our sense of ‘it’s hopeless’. And, that, Tanya is not ‘support’.

    So many parents of addicted kids -especially those in active addiction navigate, daily, with some amount of an undercurrent of anger (fear, resentments, too) about their situation/about their loved one who has substance use disorder … about addiction, in general. And, that is completely understandable given the scope of the challenges we face. And, while we may be saying ‘all the right things’ to those around us about ‘taking care of self’, and ‘one day at a time’, etc … When we, really, tune in and pay attention to words, there is, often, anxiety, anger, and ‘negative forecasting’ thinly veiled in our words -indicating that toxic anger/anxiety may be running roughshod over our spirit, over our energy resources. Again, those feelings are absolutely understandable …but they block ‘authentic’ hope and, therefore, creative problem solving ability, too.

    My heart goes out to you as you journey toward peace and increasing health on behalf of yourself, your son and daughter in law, and your grandchildren. It’s not fair -all that you have endured. It’s not fair, all that your son and daughter-in-law, and their children have endured, either.

    Addiction is a beyond difficult journey. But it is not an impossible one. In fact, it can be a journey that is filled with a depth and breadth of potential in intense personal/ post traumatic growth, as well as healthier relationships with our kids and others than is conceivable when in crisis. Your son and daughter-in-law are fortunate to have your influence and the advocacy you demonstrate for them in their life. They will come to recognize your dedication -the decisions you have made, and will continue make in caring for them, and yourself, -as undeniable investments in hope and love on their behalf. But remember: It takes a lot of time to resolve addiction into better lived moments and sustainable recovery. It’s a process. But, recovery happens all the time. Be patient…Persevere.

    Hope soars on our behalf when and where we cannot. Hope is our truest companion.

    Addiction is the journey. Recovery is the destination.

    Please guard your perspective, Tanya. Seek out resources that fill you with a sense of: ‘can get through this’, ‘can discover my own problem-solving potential, as well as options for recovery that fit my and my family’s particular strengths and needs’, ‘can model a hope-based spirit of problem-solving to my addicted loved one that will support him/her in developing/increasing his own problem solving skill set – Rather than engaging so-called ‘support’ resources that have you parroting hope-depleting clichés that are really, in effect, thinly-veiled negative narratives, andr clichés such as, “if his lips are moving he is lying’,’let go’, ‘detach’ etc. These are examples of common things you might here in traditional peer support groups. We have better help, now, though, thanks to evidence-based resources and treatment. So be picky about the support you choose to engage. Again if the support resources and tools do not fill you with a sense that you can facilitate recovery in your own family -while remaining remaining engaged- then you’re in the wrong ‘support’ environment.

    Tanya please check out SMART Recovery Friends and Family. Just google it.

    Godspeed to you and your family.
    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of support to you

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