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Old 07-12-2017, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New and needing advice-explaining parent addiction to spouse


Hey all! I'm new here (found y'all through a google search-"is it ok to disconnect from an addicted parent") and grateful for some of the advice I've already read through. But I'm in a weird situation, because, while I'm the child of addicts (one in recovery and one, not so much) my husbands parents are the cleavers. (No joke, they're the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful, faithfully grounded and family focused). He is having a hard time understanding what I'm going through and I'm just tired. The backstory:

My mother is an addict. She spent time in jail for forgery (stole prescription pads to forge scrips for darvaset) when I was 4, my parents divorced when I was 5. My dad struggled with narcotics and alcohol, but got clean (and has stayed clean) just before my mom went to prison. I lived with my dad after she got out of prison (my brother, who was 6 months when she went to jail, lived with her) until I was in high school. I can remember finding spoons with burn marks and powder and knowing exactly what it was. Which brings about a lot of anger. But regardless.

About a year ago, my mother called me in tears. My aunt had kicked her out of the house she was living (my aunt owned) and she needed a place to stay. Honestly, I thought she was over the bull, so I let her stay with us. She got to know my children. I helped her get a job. And then I found the needles and pills. In my bedroom, where my children could have found and touched or eaten (I have a 2 and 5 year old). I kicked her out immediately.

So here's where I'm having trouble. My husband wants to talk about things. He thinks I shouldn't be so hard on her because "she's your mother", but I want NOTHING to do with her. It's been almost a year since I kicked her out and she's tried to reach out to me and he doesn't understand why I'm so disconnected from her and why I won't "at least try" to have a relationship (she's claiming sobriety, but has yet to acknowledge what she's done wrong or apologize). I feel like I'm fighting myself and my husband. how do you explain to someone you love, who has no experience with the hurt addiction has caused, why you want to disconnect?
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AlcSis (07-12-2017)
Old 07-12-2017, 03:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And to clarify (I wrote in a bit of a haste). My husband wants to constantly talk about how I'm feeling about her. He'll say things like "well at least we know she's safe" and it makes me mad because, for one, I don't care if she's safe. And two, I don't want her occupying my thoughts, feelings or life.

I've been in therapy for years (since I was 5) but I've found the most peace completely disconnecting from her. My husband just does NOT get it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Perfect

I am an ACOA. I understand. Completely.

Your spouse is not an ACOA.

Sadly, he will probably never be able to completely understand your life. Your story. Your parents.

Although, he does sound like he is a loving, compassionate person. This is a good thing!!!!

My suggestion at this point: continue with the no contact. And just tell him that this is what is best for you at this time.

Because as time goes on, MORE SHALL BE REVEALED.

And then, your spouse might be able to understand you and your family situation.

Hugs to you.

p.s. You might try Alanon or ACOA . (Unfortunately, there are many more Alanon meetings than ACOA meetings. Still, Alanon is a wonderful support resource.)

And Keep Coming Back to this site! It is a great place!!!
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tromboneliness (07-15-2017)
Old 07-12-2017, 09:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Perfect

First of all - hugs to you. You have been through a lot.

If I could reach through this site and hug you I would!

I am an ACOA. I understand. Completely.

Your spouse is not an ACOA.

Sadly, he will probably never be able to completely understand your life. Your story. Your parents.

Although, he does sound like he is a loving, compassionate person. This is a good thing!!!!

My suggestion at this point: continue with the no contact. And just tell him that this is what is best for you at this time. Tell him you need to limit the time you talk about your addict(s). Set boundaries. Take care of yourself!

You might consider couples counseling with someone experienced in addiction.

Because as time goes on, MORE SHALL BE REVEALED.

And then, your spouse might be able to understand you and your family situation.

Hugs to you.

p.s. You might try Alanon or ACOA . (Unfortunately, there are many more Alanon meetings than ACOA meetings. Still, Alanon is a wonderful support resource.)

And Keep Coming Back to this site! It is a great place!!!

SORRY for two posts. Edited first one. Posting from a Kindle
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectsurvivor View Post
He thinks I shouldn't be so hard on her because "she's your mother"... doesn't understand why I'm so disconnected from her and why I won't "at least try" to have a relationship (she's claiming sobriety, but has yet to acknowledge what she's done wrong or apologize).
This is what the "normies" can't understand. You HAVE been "at least trying" -- your whole life! The fact that "she's your mother" is an accident of birth.

The reality of these situations is completely backwards from the way most people think of family relationships. That's why it's so hard to get away from the toxicity and dysfunction. Everyone give you this "blood is thicker than water" nonsense, meaning that you're somehow supposed to put up with abuse, lying, and all sorts of harmful, unacceptable action, just because someone happens to be related to you.

That's why the "family of choice" is so helpful, in recovery. People we choose to associate with -- our friends. We associate with them, because they've done something to deserve it, not just because we happened to be born into their family.

I had the same problem with my extended family, when I was locked in a power struggle with my Dad (now deceased). They totally didn't get it, and basically allowed him to manipulate them into doing what he wanted -- to the point where it felt like I was the only sane one, and it was the whole family against me. I'm still here -- because I was 47 and my Dad was 90, I used to say, "I don't need to win this game, all I need is a tie," so I kept dribbling the ball around until the clock ran out on him. You may have to do some of the same thing -- and it will look, to your family/spouse/etc. as though you're being unduly harsh/heartless/thoughtless -- but an addict is likely to keep lying, cheating, and stealing (or whatever they do). You have been "at least trying" to do the right thing, your whole life -- and look where it got you! So you're sticking up for yourself now. You have the right to do that!

Good luck!

T
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi, Perfect. Welcome to SR. Glad you found us.
You must do what you must do. Mom is an addict, and will use everyone in the fam to get what she needs. Cutting ties at this time may be the best and only answer.
From your post, it seems that your husband is troubled by your attitude toward mom without understanding why. Maybe he is uncomfortable with what he sees as coldness toward mom, but that you see as necessary to protect your family.
I'm not sure how much explaining and giving the backstory will help.
Brings up a lot of past hurts for you.
I agree with another poster that simple is best. Just say this solution is best for you at this time, but that you have hope that if mom finds recovery, things could be different.
Peace.
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