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Extreme AW - when should she be able to see the kids?

Old 12-18-2010, 11:41 PM
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Question Extreme AW - when should she be able to see the kids?

AW - tenth round of treatment this year, she had about forty days sober but relapsed today in a Women's recovery home. My question is when she relapsed last she said her motivation to stay sober were her kids since she had not seen them in about a month.

My question is how long should I keep her from seeing our four children? Is this enough motivation? What should I do?

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Old 12-19-2010, 12:32 AM
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Dear Lostfamily

How old are the kids? Mine are now (after 16 rehabs) saying that they want to wait a bit before they see him. They are 9, 17 and 19. They use their own voices. And I respect it now. Regretfully I have to add that I forced visitations with them before- when they were not ready to see him. I chose to rescue him rather than the children.

If they are younger it is more difficult as you must be their voice. All I can say from my experience is that visitation or not cannot keep the alcoholic sober. It cannot be used as motivation. Nothing can - but for her wanting to get better for herself.

Maybe work with her therapist.

Sorry for your dilemma

Hugs
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:10 AM
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IMO, there aren't any hard or fast rules, unfortunately. I had to admit that nothing I did or said made any difference to whether XAH stopped drinking. Wanting to see our son was also not enough to keep him from drinking. It is not enough to keep him from drinking. What I could do was try to make sure DS's visits with his father were safe.

I hate this disease.

Hugs for you and your kids. Please remember to take care of yourself, too.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:10 AM
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What should you do?

In my personal opinion, based on my experience, stop listening to her words and look at her actions. She has not been able to stay sober for anyone's sake this year.

She is quacking.
She is an active alcoholic.
She will lie, blame-shift, deny and manipulate to protect her addiction.

I believe she is manipulating you.

Detach from her words and recovery.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:57 AM
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Dear lostfamily, It is better to build children rather than to repair adults!

The people hurt most by drugs and alcohol don't even use them; they are the CHILDREN of alcoholics and other drug dependent parents. It's the innocent children (1 in 4 under the age of 18) who suffer when their parents abuse alcohol and other drugs. The worst part is, they can't help themselves. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) believes that none of these vulnerable children should grow up in isolation and without support.

Children of alcoholics experience daily turmoil, violence, and trauma during the time when most children are carefree, and during the critical time when identity is formed. As a result, they experience life differently from other children, and often have difficulties in school and with social relationships. Children of alcoholics have to grow up too quickly, and often take on the role of a "parent" both within the home and outside of it. They take on an excessive amount of responsibility by trying to be the peacemaker.

According to Drugs and Society by Glen R. Hanson et. al, there are 28.6 million children of alcoholics in the United States, with 6.6 million being under age the age of 18. Later in life, they will be known as Adult Children of Alcoholics, a label with its own characteristics.

They often have difficulty forming trust. Alcoholic homes are battle grounds where arguing is constant, and this can have a severe impact on the children who witness it. They feel anger towards their alcoholic parent as well as towards the sober parent for being unable to stop the alcoholic parent from drinking. They feel an excess amount of guilt and embarrassment, as they blame themselves for their parent's or parents' drinking. Subsequently, children of alcoholics are more likely to have depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and often have difficulty making friends, and tend to be loners. They have difficulty coping, and are more likely to be aggressive, violent, and impulsive, and to take part in delinquent behaviors. Children of alcoholics are perfectionistic and overly self-conscious, and can develop phobias. Young children of alcoholics often exhibit excess crying and bed-wetting, and have frequent nightmares. They feel that they are different from other children, and that they have no one to talk to.

It is important to get your children help. Support groups and therapists will help your children develop healthy self-esteem and coping skills. It is critical that you get help for yourself as well. Alcoholism affects everyone in the family, and it does so for life.

While accurate, age-appropriate information and skill building help children of alcoholics immeasurably, perhaps the most important gift is the bonding and attachment children attain in healthy relationships with the caring parent. You have the opportunity to build trust with your children. As children learn to trust, they learn to feel good about who they are and what they can become. They develop the ability to make better decisions, which helps them to exercise control over their environment. Children build strengths and resilience as a result of the conscious modeling provided by a caring parent.

Check out the The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA). www.nacoa.net The website is full of helpful articles on children of alcoholics.

Just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,

Phoenix
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by freefalling View Post
Dear Lostfamily

How old are the kids? Mine are now (after 16 rehabs) saying that they want to wait a bit before they see him. They are 9, 17 and 19. They use their own voices. And I respect it now. Regretfully I have to add that I forced visitations with them before- when they were not ready to see him. I chose to rescue him rather than the children.

If they are younger it is more difficult as you must be their voice. All I can say from my experience is that visitation or not cannot keep the alcoholic sober. It cannot be used as motivation. Nothing can - but for her wanting to get better for herself.

Maybe work with her therapist.

Sorry for your dilemma

Hugs
I also chose to protect my grown alcoholic wife at the expense of my minor child for several years. I hope you are able to save yourself this shame and guilt. Protecting kids from their own mother defies logic.

My daughter had a therapist who gave me the advice to not force contact, mainly phone contact in our situation. I'm glad I took his advice and let LMC use her own voice at 6yo.

In my experience a mother's love was NOT enough to keep my axw sober.

How old are your children? Do they go to therapy? Do you? I believe it was very beneficial for LMC and myself. This is all just too hard without outside support.

If you focus on what's best for your children instead of what your alcoholic wife wants, these difficult decisions should become easier.

FWIW I believe you are doing a fine job so far.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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