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Sober, Relapse, Rehab...when is it safe to break no contact??

Old 10-22-2010, 10:24 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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My younger son is turning 7 in just over a week. I had told him and his Dad that they could visit close to his Birthday. Wishing I hadn't already said that. Although, honestly my son may not notice....and his Dad has broken many promises to me, so I shouldn't really feel guilty about changing my mind. I really have to work on my feelings of guilt!
you are allowed to change your mind, should you so choose to.

i also want to encourage you to consider yourself. of course, there is the weighing of emotional damage to the children regarding their father, but that aside, what about you?

what do you want?

do you want to be drawn back into his recovery? do you have the emotional reserves to give him yet some more?

you are raising these two boys alone in tough circumstances. you have the threat that he will loose his job, and you loose your income, you have just been through a divorce.

i find myself wondering, what about you?

prior to recovery, it was habitual of me to take care of everyone else, to the detriment of myself.

i am now learning to consider myself too. i am learning i can say "no". i'm learning i don't always have to be availalbe to people. i can take the phone off the hook, i can not answer my door, i can decide not to get involved with people's personal dramas.

i am learning to protect my serenity, my peace and quiet, my own space in my own house.

for me, this was and is a tough lesson, but i am reaping the benefits in that i feel healthier, drama-free and well-rested.

one other thing for you to consider is that all your caring of your XAH did not heal the problem. it is only after you divorced him and stepped back, that his life became unmanageable and he sought help.

it is possible if you step even further back, that that will assist him in hitting his bottom and getting serious about his own recovery.

however, totally independent of him, please consider yourself and if you want to go through the ups and downs of his rehab. and possible relapses. even if he is successful in quitting drinking, many do not overcome the deficiencies of characters and just become what we call "dry drunks".

just putting that out there so that you can consider it while you make your choices.

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Old 10-22-2010, 12:52 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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"it is possible if you step even further back, that that will assist him in hitting his bottom and getting serious about his own recovery."

Yes, it is totally possible that my stepping back and his girlfriend being away for a couple of weeks has assisted him in hitting his bottom. I knew things were getting bad for him....I could tell over the last couple of months. Stepping back was difficult for me...but I did step back. I spoke to him about the kids, but nothing else. Told him I was working on myself and wanted contact to be limited to discussion regarding the kids and visitation. I know I weakened with his admission of feeling suicidal. I realize that he may have sent that email knowing full well that I would have to respond to it. I allowed myself to be manipulated again and now I have to find a way to step back. Again.

I guess I have another question then. If I am able to step back and have no contact and he continues to work on his recovery, how will I actually know if he's getting better? He needs to prove he can be trusted eventually with the boys, but how do I accomplish that with no contact? I really do want to ensure my children's safety.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:58 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I skimmed through your posts to see if there was any sign of your H being in AA...I know he's in rehab, but that's just for 28 days. What's to happen afterwards? If he is serious about his recovery, he should be in a support program for a long while, and you'd definitely see the signs of this. Also, were I in your shoes, I'd demand to see 6 months of sobriety before making any changes to visitations or putting any further trust in him.

Sadly, there will probably be quite a bit of "booze policing" on your part to make sure that he hasn't fallen off the wagon or isn't drinking while caring for his children.

I also wanted to speak to the suicide threat...if it ever happens again, call the police, and send them to his house. If he is serious, then you are not equipped to handle that sort of emergency. If he isn't serious and is using that threat as a means to get attention, then he'll think twice about doing it again.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:00 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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One thing at a time..don't get overwhelmed with future what ifs.

No, it wasn't easy for me or any of us I daresay to learn to let our loved ones live with the dignity of their own choices. (and consequences)
And to take care of the only thing it is our responsibilty to..ourselves and children.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:08 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Noday - He's been telling me since February he's been in AA, but I know it's been sporadic. I guess I don't really know anything for sure, but in this process I'm learning to above all trust my gut. If I don't believe he's in AA he probably isn't...if I think he's drinking again...he probably is. Part of the treatment he's getting right now requires he use his free time by going to AA meetings. He's told me many times that he's struggling with the concept of accepting a HP. He doesn't believe there is a "God" therefore tries to tell me he can't move on in AA. Hopefully he's figuring it out, but I understand there is nothing I can do or say to convince him otherwise.

One of our struggles lately has been how to allow supervised visitation. The only person he has that can supervise is his girlfriend, who I do not know or trust. I've tried to suggest (actually pushed) having regular contact with her (at drop off and pick up) so I can get to know her a little, but she is not willing to have that kind of contact with me.
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:24 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Do you have legal custody of the children? Are the supervised visitations court ordered? If so, there are centers that offer supervision during visitation so that the parents are removed from one another.

If not, then perhaps it's a question of finding someone neutral, like a family member of his to supervise visitation.

Your gut instinct is right though; he should not be allowed near the children while not in recovery. If he were going to AA regularly, he'd get a chip after 1 year of sobriety and attendance...I'm sorry this sucks so much.

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:31 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I have "Primary Care and Control" of the children and he has visitation "on average twice weekly". This is what we agreed to with lawyers years ago. Things have gotten much worse since this agreement was made. I enforced Supervised Visitation on my own and he didn't fight me on it. He doesn't have any family here that can help. I have suggested a couple of his friends that I know but he has reasons that they can't help. Claims the only person who can help is his girlfriend. I have let it be her up until the last couple of months when I knew things were getting worse as far as drinking.

More recently I suggested public places as long as my 16 year old wanted to go. This really meant short lunch or supper visits and maybe shopping for an hour.

Time to make the appointment with the lawyer I think. I've talked to one a few times over the last few weeks and I think I have to make an appointment and have a letter drafted. Time to make sure his alcoholism is documented.

Ugggg
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:19 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I thought a lot about canceling the visit I had let him plan for our youngest son's birthday, but in the end I couldn't do it. My son is so excited to be seeing his dad, and my XAH has been calling to talk to them and give me updates about his recovery. I'm listening to his updates and steering the conversation only to the fact that when he gets out in a couple of weeks that visitation cannot change right away. All my concerns for my boys are still there. He's saying all the right things right now, without a doubt. I'm completely positive he's not drinking right now and that he's taking the right steps to get better, but that doesn't change the fact that he can relapse at any point.

This is all very scary! I still want for him to get better, but luckily I'm aware now that he needs to do all the work on his own....I can't control it....I get it. I can however ensure the children are safe until I trust him 100%.
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