With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.
Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.
I have been 'creeping' here for the last few months and would like to thank everyone for sharing your stories. I have gained so much from the experiences shared here.
My 19 year old AS is currently in rehab. This is his third rehab and has been in 4 psychiatric facilities plus a sober living since March. It has been a long road. He is not happy about being in rehab because he doesn't feel it is necessary, he has already heard it all, etc. He had legal problems and I made it a requirement for my help with the attorney costs. The thing is I do believe that he is serious about wanting to stay clean. I know it is HIS recovery but my boundaries for my help is that he complete the program. He can leave whenever he wants but he is not welcome back to my house if he leaves AMA.
Today was visitation and I went expecting a stressful visit so I was tense and of course he was negative and of course the visit was unpleasant.
It is so hard trying to figure out manipulation verses legitimate concerns/issues. My son and I have always had a strained relationship and my controlling behavior contributed. I do want us to have a better relationship and am trying hard to not be controlling yet maintain boundaries for me and my daughter. Today he was particularly upset that all we talk about is his addiction. He said he really just wants to be treated as a human instead of constantly being reminded of his failures. The problem is his addiction has defined our relationship for so long I don't know how to have a normal conversation AND he is often the one who initiates the subject. I feel like he just wants me to pretend this isn't happening yet I do want to be able to have a conversation with him about other things!
The other day I was reading someone's post/response and realized that everything I have been doing that has been 'right' really was just a manipulative effort on my part to get him into recovery (letting him be homeless for example. I didn't do those things in my recovery... I did them with the purpose of getting him to change his behavior. I am just having a hard time making sure my motives are purely about my boundaries/ recovery and that he isn't trying to manipulate the situation!
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- Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:23 am
Welcome ... and you sound so much like me!
I manipulated my son into 6 rehabs using his legal problems to keep him in treatment .... do I regret it? No .... I bought time for him to get clarity in thinking .... I was terrified that my son would not live to see his 20th birthday. But shortly before he turned 20, he came home from his last rehab ... There have been some bumps in the road, but just for today, he lives in recovery. He will be 22 in a few months.
My son too was tired of talking about addiction. And like you, it had defined our relationship for so long. But when I started listening and respecting his right to not talk about it ... we did find other things to talk about. I stay out of his recovery and he stays out of mine, and it works for both of us. After all, I couldn't "talk" him into recovery ... and I was not his sponsor or his HP. I may have been paying the bill but his addiction and recovery did not have my name on it. I also went several months without seeing my son during his last stint in rehab .... And then we went out to lunch, and it was so nice.
If I had hung on to my son's addiction and contined to allow it to be the centerfold of our lives, I likely would not have my recovery today or the relationship with my son that exists today. I had to let go.
- Posts: 3365
- Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 1:31 am
Hard to figure out my own motives and impossible to figure
out the motives of my son.
Mine were easier when I began to really get honest with myself.
I learned that I had to do the right thing for ME. Not to force an
outcome from my son. It wasn't the action....it was the motivation
that was important.
My son was not welcome in my home while in active addiction. I made
this boundary to protect me in my own home. No motivation except to
protect me....the right thing to do for me.
I had plenty of failed attempts with boundaries....you can stay here if you
are in recovery....sounds good, but it is manipulation from me in trying to
force an outcome for him. Never worked.
Keep Coming back! Find a meeting near you at nar-anon.org
DianeB“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwinhttp://nar-anon.org
- Posts: 5607
- Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:04 pm
- Location: Southwest Georgia
Thank you for your insight. I stopped worrying about motive and minded my own business and this weeks visit went much better. He did a lot of talking about his addiction and I just let him. I did not offer advice or my opinion (which is definitely new for me!).
- Posts: 2
- Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:23 am
Welcome to the forum! I know how hard it is to just let go of the past. Sometimes it feels like I'm letting my ALO 'get away with it' if I forgive him. I don't think that's true in our situation. My husband knows what he has done and he is taking responsibility by working his program and making amends each day he isn't using.
One of his problems all along has been not expressing his needs and feelings so when he tells me, 'I feel even worse when we always focus on my addiction' (which he has told me), I feel that I can respect that request. It doesn't mean it goes away, it doesn't change the past but it makes room for the opportunity to build a different, healthier relationship.
This program helped me heal my relationships. It has been such a great help. Knowing I didn't have to go through this alone any more took a lot of pressure off of me too. We are all this together. I hope you keep coming back. So glad you found us.
With love & appreciation,
"Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know."
- Pema Chodron
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- Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:34 pm
- Location: Vermont
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