My teen in recovery is struggling...

Old 08-28-2012, 12:45 PM
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My teen in recovery is struggling...


I am new here - and I desperately need a sounding board as a parent relatively new to Al-Anon and AA, and the whole thing really.

My 19-year-old daughter checked herself into 30-day inpatient treatment last spring, and has for three months after that been living in a sober-plus residence (much higher supervision and accountability than a plain sober house). In a week she is supposed to transition to a stepped-down sober house, but still one with significant rules about curfew, dating relationships, etc.

The problem is that I have been watching what seems like a backslide for the past five weeks -- she quit going to her counselor, has been lying (about the counseling, her job, other things), abruptly quit her job, has been compulsively seeking a boyfriend, isn't taking her meds regularly, etc. Her current house allows no boyfriends while in sober-plus. The new house has a rule of no relationships in the first 30 days - but now I understand she's joined a dating website and is planning to go on dates with someone (not sober) when she moves next week (she has admitted this to me and wanted to know if I told the new sober house that she didn't have a boyfriend.) Her relationship patterns have been and continue to be unhealthy - she has many, many pieces of herself left that need to be healed beyond her drinking.

I will not lie for her. I am the purse string for all of her treatment, and for the past four months I've borrowed and sacrificed everything I could to pay for her treatment. I would give absolutely anything I had in my possession up if it facilitated her getting well. BUT - as she is making these choices now, I'm feel like I have to express some boundaries to her about what I will and will not spend money on for her, and I've told her my boundary is that I will not keep paying money if she is cheating the rules, not going to counseling, and not holding down a job. While I do not want to 'threaten' her, I also do not feel like it is right to keep pouring money into treatment programs that she is not following. She is sliding back into some of the out of control behaviors that plagued her before she went to treatment, and I'm sure she has co-occurring conditions not yet fully addressed even if she is sober.

My question - my dilemma - is that I just don't know what my role is right now. I have been blunt with her about my concerns, and she has told me to get the heck out of her business - that I am wrong, why don't I have trust in her, and to let her work her own program and to go work mine.

This has been the most traumatic and painful year of my life - watching my daughter leave her family, fall apart, then finally come back for help getting into treatment. I want to help her, but not as an enabler - as a supporter. I just don't know what that means right now. As people who perhaps know Al-Anon better than I, please - I need help. I just don't know what to do.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:53 PM
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It sounds like you have a good boundary there, but the key is to keep it. If you have told her that you won't fund her recovery if she isn't following the rules, then you have to be willing to hold to that. Otherwise, it's just an empty threat.

If I was doing all that for my daughter and she told me to get the heck out of her business, I would do just that. I know how hard it is, but if she isn't willing to put her all into recovery, then it just isn't going to work and you will have spent all that money for nothing.

Welcome to SR! I'm sorry for what brings you here, but glad you found us. Please read read around the forum. You will find that you are not alone. We're here to support you.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:03 PM
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she has told me to get the heck out of her business
A dear friend of mine has a daughter about your daughter's age who's an addict. I don't have any first-hand experience of an addicted child, but seeing my friend struggle with similar questions, I've drawn the conclusion that it's more difficult to detach from the recovery of your child than that of your spouse. To me, from the outside, it has seemed like the entire detachment idea goes so contrary to everything your instincts say as a parent that there's one more giant hurdle you have to get over.

My friend made the decision to pay for treatment and stay out of how her daughter did treatment & recovery. She did tell her when she went into rehab that this was the last time she would pay for rehab; that she would stay the course until she "graduated" from a sober house and found independent living, but if she chose to relapse, she would be on her own.

I have no advice to give you -- on the one hand, I can see how you feel that if you are footing the bill, you have a right to know that she's utilizing the full spectrum of services you are paying for. On the other hand, there's the truth that you're already aware of that you can't do her recovery work for her.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:13 PM
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Welcome to Sober Recovery. I am sorry for what brought you here but am happy that you found us!

There is lots and lots of information in the 'stickys' at the top of this forum, and of course lots of info in all the posts to the different threads also. Please read around the site.

We/I know that this is not easy for you, however you said:

I've told her my boundary is that I will not keep paying money if she is cheating the rules, not going to counseling, and not holding down a job.
She knows your boundary. Since she feels as if she will have a boyfriend when she goes to the new Sober Living, I would suggest that you simply say:

"You know my boundaries, therefore I suggest you get a job as you will have to pay for this Sober Living facility."

I know that will be hard, but she has already broken your boundary, and we all know that our boundary's are part of our survival, not their's. She is an adult, now is the time where she starts to 'feel' the consequences of her actions.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing as we do care very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:29 PM
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welcome ((Cindirelly))

glad you have found us, but hate the reason ~

It seems from your post you have already learned much about what is healthy for you ~ that is great - I know recovery has helped me tremendously in dealing with my adult children that are addicts.

For me, I had to look at what could I do that
1. I would not be resentful about (especially if it didn't turn out the way I wanted)
2. My adult children couldn't do for themselves
3. was keeping them from facing the consequences of their actions
and most importantly robbing them from the abilty of finding their own self-respect and dignity to find their own way.

There are many parents on this site who have shared their e, s, & h (experience, strength and hope) that have helped me on my path - I hope that you will stick around, read and continue to post to seek help for yourself too!

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