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rayofsunshine 03-10-2007 05:00 AM

Loved Ones in Prison
Just read another thread that says it looks like our old threads are
lost forever, so wanted to start a new one for "Loved Ones in Prison".
I'll start by re-introducing myself.

Been married 18 1/2 years, 3 children, ages 16, 14, 10. My husband
is the addict in the family. DOC Meth. Currently in prison since March
of last year, due to be released in late Dec. this year.

He seems to be doing OK at the moment. Going to NA meetings, bible studies, and church services every week. He gets to work road crew through the week. (Makes about $2 week.) I try not to focus on him too much. He has been to 3 rehabs previously. He always did well, followed the rules, etc. I always thought "this would be the time" he would change. I'm not allowing myself to think this , this time. No expectations.... no expectations .... no expectations.

I'm working on me and my recovery now and enjoying a break from
the drama and chaos.

dakotaboyd 03-10-2007 05:33 AM

I see babs and I have found the new thread at the same time.

Babs 03-10-2007 05:46 AM

I'm Babs. Was married for 31 years.....the last 17 of which were with active addiction. His DOC was meth also. Nasty stuff, meth. Anyhow AH went to jail for the 7th time in August. I divorced him in November.

I will never, I repeat NEVER, live like that again.

Through that 4 month process of emotional chaos, this forum was my lifeline.
It's funny, a week or so ago, I went through our whole long thread, parts 1 and 2 and downloaded all of the stuff I had written about my feelings. I found that it was an amazingly accurate trip through my head for the last six months.......a journal of my journey through his addiction, my codependency, his imprisonment and my divorce.

And then the site crashed....... Hmmm.

I know that the insights I had gained through this forum were very important to me, and I am so grateful that I found this place when I needed it so desperately. I am so grateful, too, that you were all here to help me through a very difficult time.

I love you guys,

dakotaboyd 03-10-2007 05:54 AM

Hey sunshine, thanks for kicking things off. I have missed you guys but had no idea how to start a new thread, so I patiently waited for one of you guys to get the ball rolling.
Ive just come back from the hospital with my father. We were working on his boat and decided we had had enough, so we pulled up the anchor and decided to go for a quick lap around the Island that he lives on. It takes about 2hours. When we were about half way around we got a little choppy weather come in and we had to take it side on, which is not what you aim to do, but we had no choice. Well when one of the waves hit us, the door loosened and slammed shut on his little finger and cut the top clean off to the first nuckle. We wrapped it up and I made him drive the boat, to try and take his attention of it while I cleaned up the mess and found the missing piece of finger and put it in the freezer. It was so gross! Didn't like it at all. I think I felt a bit of shock over it. It took us an hour to get back to the Island and then another hour to get to the mainland and to the hospital. They cut the bone off clean at the joint and sowed him back up and we were out within the hour. We got hame at ten thirty and are both feeling very tierd. He just went to bed and I am not far behind. So that is my excitment for the day. Sows how such a little thing can be so dangerous. I am just so glad that things were not worse, they certainly could have been.

teke 03-10-2007 06:39 AM

ooOH! sorry to hear this dakota, glad to hear that things did work out ok. i know that you said that they sewed him up but were they able to save the finger and sew it back on?

loveon2legs 03-10-2007 10:41 AM

Hi there all!!
I am quite a new member here, but you guys have really really helped me along my new path, you have given me strength and courage to let go.... I thank-you all for your posts!! and feed back...
Just a little about my situation... Was in a common law relationship with a man who was addicted to crack/cocaine,alcohol,pot,porn, life was pretty crazy to say the least...I phoned the police on him almost 2 weeks ago(although it feels longer) because of his drinking and driving, and he got arrested... I haven't spoken to him since, he had called last weekend and left a message to arrange a time to pick his stuff up, but haven't heard from him since..(no surprise)
These past two weeks have been good,I've felt a few moments of panic, sadness and loneliness, but they are short lived, it just feels sooo good to have the chaos gone now.. peace and quiet...I appreciate it so much.... We were together for 7 years, and I think maybe one year out of the 7 was good....why I stayed??? we all have our own reasons..mine had to do with fear....on all sorts of level.....he abused me physically and mentally throughout our relationship and somehow deep inside I felt I deserved was almost like I was in some sort of mental prison with him...and now by the grace of God I have been released, I still have a way to go, the codie issues are still there, but I have been learning to recognize them....and just keep living for today...
Thanks for letting me share, and I look forward to our friendships here....


dilanafan 03-10-2007 10:53 PM

Hi meth has touched my entire family. My father is in prison for manufacture has been there since 2005. I have a 4yo son, the only grandchild in the family thus far too. Its so hard. I dont see my dad. He goes up for parole in April and i dont know how to feel about this. He feels abandoned by the family and we have abandoned him. I hate myself for turning my back on him. I am an addict in recovery so i am no better then he is.

dakotaboyd 03-11-2007 05:39 AM

She's a hard life to break free of when your roll models set the standards so low. I too come from a family of drugs and have spent most of my life following in there footsteps, not knowing any better. What remains of my family, I no longer seek to change. They seem to be who they are whether I like it or not, so I must find exceptance with it somewhere along the track or have no relations at all. They are the choices left to me.
Is it wrong for me to dismiss who they are and turn my back to find peace of mind. No, not if they are a threat to me. If my wife took up the needle again, regardless of where she was, she would pose a major threat to me and defensive action would have to take place.
I am in my late thirties and have done this **** my entire life and I will let no man or woman come in the way of my recovery, and that is a fact. Your old man has choices as do you but we can not make that choice for others. I have indeed tried to many times in my life and met failure. It is your Dads choice to be where he is in life not yours....but it is your choice now to follow him or break free from that life and set the bar higher than he set it for you.
I imagine you would feel guilt sorrow regrett or adandonment issues that would be natural from where I see things. There are woman here on this thread that have had to place boundaries to protect themselves and there recovery from husbands in prison to sons and daughters in the same boat,and I imagine they would have felt how you feel right now so please keep sharing with us you are not alone. Dakotaboyd

dakotaboyd 03-11-2007 06:02 AM

No they could not put the piece back on. They actually had to cut a bit more of. The door didnt cut it strait accross like you would expect. It pinched the finger print side of the finger taking the whole print off, leaving the top side with the nail on it intouched. The underneath side of the finger where the print was, was just exposed bone. It looked really bloody saw.
When he got to the hospital they talked about putting the piece back on but said there was a big risk that it would not take and the old man didnt want to take the risk so they cut it of at the first joint. It is a very small hospital that he went to and they are very understaffed so I got to watch them cut it off and helped the Doc by passing a few things to him. Pretty shoddy hey considering we were working on the boat before hand and I was still covered in paint. I thought it would be this big operation, but within fifteen minutes the fingers on the bench and we are on our way out the door heading back to the island. Ive never seen a finger being chopped off, It was a very unnerving experience that left me feeling a bit odd. When we got back to his house the pain started to hit him, and by midnight we were in a water ambulance and on our way back to the hospital to get him some better pain releif. We ended up staying on the mainland and went back to my house. We didnt get in until 5am so I have been really tired today and cant wait to get to sleep.
Nice trip out on the boat turned into a bloody little nightmare.

Babs 03-11-2007 06:42 AM

Wow, Dakota, you watched? Shoot, I have passed out cold every time my kids even had stitches! I know I could NEVER be in the health care profession......but I sure admire those who can.

Life for me is plugging along very calmly. My XAH sent a couple letters telling me that he couldn't make it through rehab without me, and asking me to be his sponsor and bring him home for furloughs. He is using that old ace-in-the-hole GUILT to try and manipulate me. Not this time. What I read between the lines was that he had already decided he didn't need to try to get better because when he failed he already had his scapegoat picked out--me! Poor guy, still the victim. This time, if he makes it, he makes it on his own. If he fails, he fails on his own.

It took such a long time for me to learn that I was killing him with kindness.........and an even longer time to stop doing it.

But actually, life is good right now. I have worked hard to pay off all the bills he left me with, and I am almost there. My house is clean and calm and (dare I use the word?) SERENE. I have my sights set on some new exciting goals and am finding that my gratitude list grows longer and longer.

I love you guys,

frankie_b 03-11-2007 07:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
It's great to see this thread continuing on. Thanks ray.
Big hugs to all the wonderful people here. cmc, dakota, Babs, sadness, ray,
cinder, teke, loveon2legs, dilan...all who stop in here...sharing experience, strength and hope with all of you is very special to me.

I'm the mother of an addict. He's been in and out of jails/prison for 18 years.
He's 36 now and I never imagined in his growing up years his life would be
as it is. His Dad, my ex, has enabled all along....seems he feels guilty/ responsible which has kept him enmeshed with son. They both maintain I am the reason for son's problems....yeah riggghhtttt. I embraced recovery in Alanon 18 years ago and found a way to break free to detach, let go, live in harmony with this one life I have and to give back to others what was so freely given to me. I've been through heartache and grief in the letting go process and today when I think of AS my thoughts are loving, kind. His life has been so very sad and hard. Not what I ever wanted for him and yet it is what it is.
I"m in love with early spring and have been rejoicing in Nature's glorious life is everywhere and I am lifted up and awed as I feel at one with earth's miracle of abundant life. I've been working in my garden and will
be soon involved with my volunteer work at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
We'll have a new crop of baby birds, baby mammals to raise and then set them free. The opportuity to be up close with wild creatures, to nurture them is worth all the hard work. It's an incredible rush and privilege.
Take care all. I wish you all the best. :Val004:

dakotaboyd 03-11-2007 09:24 PM

Pretty tough hey babs. I am, in the norm, a bit of a softy when it comes to the blood sarga's in life, so I opted to stay and watch to see how I would go.
It was a bit surreal more than anything else. A feeling of being distanced but there, If that at all makes sence.
Later on the next day Pip served up a bit of KFC for dinner, and by the time I got to the first bone and saw the joint exposed, well I settled for a peanut paste sandwitch instead.
I've come back to the island today to stay with the old man for a few days untill he adjusts. He is feeling a bit worse for wear but is already wanting to go and finish up the painting on the boat so he cant be to bad.

Whats furloughs babs?
You are right there babs when you say he will either make it on his own or fail on his own, that choise is yours and he, as you know, wont make it under your steam.....Its amaising how an addict can turn their failings into your guilt isnt it. I still have that tendancy to do it myself. Controll with guilt or fear, whichever allows me to continue bad behaviour and meets with success. You are far too wise to these old ways babs and he will be starting to know that by now. Keep strong my friend as I know you will.

rayofsunshine 03-12-2007 08:07 AM

Wow Dakota. Glad your dad wasn't hurt worse. You're one tough cookie to "watch" also.

Welcome to everyone sharing on our new thread. Glad you are here. Hope we can learn alot from each other.

I was at the ER earlier this week. My youngest daughter (who's 10) got something in her eye at school. By the time I got home from work she had laid on the couch for 3 hours. (Unlike her, she is always on the go.) So I took her to the ER. She had a cornea abrasion. (Scratched the top part of the color on her eyeball). We spent 3 hours there before they sent us on our way with antiboitic eyedrops. Had to go back the following night for "re-check in 24 hours" for another 2 hour wait. I was very tired by the end of the week. So when AH called on Friday night (his usual night to call collect from prison) I didn't have a lot of patience. I think I was stressed and angry that I have to do everything alone. How do you handle the anger and resentment in a positive way?

rayofsunshine 03-12-2007 08:14 AM

Originally Posted by dilanafan (Post 1242190)
Hi meth has touched my entire family. My father is in prison for manufacture has been there since 2005. I have a 4yo son, the only grandchild in the family thus far too. Its so hard. I dont see my dad. He goes up for parole in April and i dont know how to feel about this. He feels abandoned by the family and we have abandoned him. I hate myself for turning my back on him. I am an addict in recovery so i am no better then he is.

Thanks for sharing, dilanafan. You are an addict in recovery, so right nowyou are doing better than your father. You are taking steps to change before something happens that may send you to prison. So, be proud of yourself. From reading around here on this forum, sometimes it takes turning your back on the addict in order for them to "want" to seek recovery.I hope that will be the
case with your father, and that he may see it as such, that if he wants the support of his family, he'll seek a recovery program. Sending ((HUGS)))) your way. Please share with us anytime you need to.

Babs 03-12-2007 11:15 AM

"I hate myself for turning my back on him." Yes, and he is counting on that!

You are not turning your back on him. You are stepping back and giving him the room to grow. You are letting him feel the consequences of his actions. You are taking care of yourself instead of enabling him. He will do his best to make you feel like sh*t for that, but IMO you are doing the right thing. If you keep enabling him, you will just have to go through the same scenario again later on down the road.

Search your heart. Know in your deepest self that you are not doing this to hurt him. You, of all people, know that recovery comes from within, not from relatives.


Babs 03-12-2007 11:29 AM

Dakota, a furlough is a day out of the rehab center. They have to have a sponsor who is cleared with the Dept. of Corrections and their rehab counselor who signs them out for the day. The deal is that the sponsor has to take them to their home and monitor their going anywhere else, no phone calls, no unsanctioned substances, etc., etc., etc.

I can not do that. I will not do that. My clean, calm, quiet home is the LAST place I would want him to be.

Sometimes I feel like I am turning my back on him, too......but then I just have to read the above.


cmc 03-12-2007 11:33 AM

Hello old friends and new ones too.
I'm glad the thread is still going. Since we lost all the rest of this, I'll update on myself a bit.
My son has been using over 10 years now- I've been in anon recovery since pretty much the beginning and have gradually learned the hard lessons of letting go, detaching, not enabling, taking care of myself better etc.
It was a year ago last month since we last asked our son to leave our home. He had been staying on a day to day basis while recovering from an injured ankle and had been using since at least a year ago October when he graduated from the program at his halfway house. He has been in and out of the halfway house many times and has successfully completed their program twice. He is now in jail (since May) and due to be released sometime next week, when they will send him to a different government run halfway facility.
He sounds good at our visits and on the phone and we are hoping for successful recovery. I'm not sure I can take one more 'run' but am placing my focus on keeping what serenity I do have despite what occurs.
It's so nice to hear from you all.

You should have been awarded a medal for staying around through all that!! (you did exactly what _I_ would have done though!) I guess you might be eating more veggies these days! It's traumatic to watch that but you did it and that takes some moxie! (do you say "moxie" down under there?) btw 'furlough' is the same as 'leave' or a pass home.

Now you have got me all curious...what are you up to? A new job? A new man? lol....tell us!

Thanks so much for the wonderful ESH...Happy spring planting!

I'm glad her eye is okay. Re the anger: I try to use it for positive things and not allow it to eat away at me. Forgiving when and where necessary or use it to realize a boundary has been broken or needs to be set. You were stressed from all the medical issues and that's more likely why you felt that way. Remember HALT: hungry, angry, lonely, tired... you probably were at least a few of those when you felt so mad!

dakotaboyd 03-12-2007 03:44 PM

Sometimes things around here just go BANG, and everyone steps up to the plate and gives all they have learned, and I love it!
I echo both sunshine and babs 100percent in their last posts. It is aparent that they have been their done that and are prepared to give it to a stranger. You have both become so well focased and direct in your recovery, and in your abuility to pass it on. I am so glad that that strength is there for me to see as it enforses beliefs within myself that the track I am on is the correct path. To have had the privilage to watch both of you grow over the last eight months has certainly been a blessing for me.
The word I am left with is 'respect'. I respect you both. You are indeed woman who have overcome and will no longer be used as doormats to clean anothers dirty mess. I do not respect people who do not respect themselves. You have both taken possitive steps in your lives, making a consious effort to promote change. If my pride in you both has any bearing, then it is yours to take. Dakotaboyd.

rayofsunshine 03-12-2007 04:53 PM

Thank you, Dakota. Watching you grow over the past eight months has been a blessing to me as well. You've helped us see things from the addicts point of view. (former addict that is, LOL) Your stories
have been an important part of our growing process and for that I am thankful!

Frankie, the working in the flower gardens and the wildhab rehab work you mentioned sounds so relaxing and rewarding. How wonderful!

CMC, Sending prayers that your son will do ok when released, and you and Mr. CMC will continue to live peaceful without any new chaos!
Thanks for the HALT advice. I hadn't thought of that, and looking back, I think I was all 4!!!!

Babs, I'm glad you are so strong in your recovery to be able to say NO
and mean it, for your sake, not his. Your posts give me inspiration to work my own recovery to grow stronger.

dakotaboyd 03-12-2007 07:16 PM

I thought I would throw this in for dicussion.
My only brother, two years older than I is in an extreamly co-dependent relationship. Although seperated, they still maintain this dependance on each other to the point of it being unhealthy and distructive to their two childrens development and their own.
My brother, unlike I, has no real relationship with drug dependance, although he is a social drinker and spends most hours in the day stressed down with work, he has never gone to the same places than I have. From a different world.
He is a conformist by his nature and tends to always do what is right and expected of him. He is a very predictable man, but outwardly a good one by his actions.
His wife is an extremist. Highly strung and highly emosional in every sence of these words. She has never been brought up with any restrictions, so even the most common of boundaries, being the word no, she has never learnt to respect. No to her, means tantrum untill I get my way. My brother, already being a conforming natured person has no defence to this. It is, for him, indeed easier to just give in and keep the peace. He works so hard in a stressfull position, when you get home you look for the easiest way to find solitude, so you tend to give in.
Before their seperation she progressed to levels of violents in order to get her way, using fear to maintain control. If he could not handle it and decide to leave, she would use the kids to guilt him into staying....and the visious circle continued.
Every time he placed a boundary down in order to protect his identity, she would find a way through and take it. She became a victom and he became her carer. All her emosioal needs had to be met by him. If she was angry, so she would not react, he would calm her down. It became predictable.
Every saturday, being his only day off, she would create an argument in order to storm off to her room and sleep, while he looked after the children.
I used to wonder what my brother got out of this relationship outside of being emosioaly sucked dry by an all consuming vampire. But I have seen recently he does indeed get something out of it, but I will explain a bit later on.
My brother has always been defensive towards me, with pretty good reason. I have never been able to give him advise for these reasons. His mind, though past experiences with me, has been set up to take me as being a negative influence so he has a block in his thought filters to anything I say and rejects it. Although he sees my recovery, he feels it beneeth him to take on advice from an ex-crim and drugaddict, recovered or not. There are other dynamics to this but too long to explain.
A year ago this changed. He called me over to his place and when I arrived he was sitting underneath his house with a blank exprssion on his face. Very haunting, perhaps an equvilant to a drug addicts 'rock bottom' is what I saw.
She was out of control and threatening suicide. My brother and I both witnessed the after math of several attepts and one succeful suicide attempt from our mother starting from very young ages, so suicide is not a threat we would treat lightly. She knew this and decided to use it too as a means of control.
I immiediatly called her parents and they were there in no time at all. It was good to see them in action as it explaned a lot to me. They treated this as normal behaviour. They did not seem too surprised and justified it by saying "all couples fight". This was exceptable to them. They then went about taking on 'the carer roll' for their daughter catering for her every whim.
My brother being on 'his rock bottom' with no answers left to him became receptive to me for the first time in our lives, and we talked with no illusions.
He began to listen to my advise on the nessesity to place boundaries and to enforse them with consiquence. It is a hard task with my brother as he does not really have an identy. He does not know who he is nor his honest assesment of his place in the world....He doesnt know where he should be.
An easy target for an emosioal vampire to consume. He has always conformed and done as he was told. It avoided beatings when we were at home, now it avoids confrontation.
The next weeks events were a rollercoaster ride. One day he called and when I arrived they were standing on the street with her yelling she was again going to kill her self, with a two year old in her arms.
I told him to not engage and get into his car and drive to my place. When he got in, so did she. I told him to again, not engage and get in my car, so she got out of his. This went on for ten minutes, still screaming and still holding the child. You guys here would know by now I still have issues with police and to call for their help still goes against the grain for me but I told her that that was the only choice left to me and I would make it if progressed any further. She allowed him to drive off taking the baby with him.
I got in my car and went to drive home when It occured to me, what if she does kill herself, so I went around the block to check on her. She was not there. As I went home I saw her car out the front of the hair dressing sallon so I stopped to investigate. As I peered through the shop window I could see her sitting on the chair laughing and giggling as she got her hair trimmed.
Not 5 minutes before she was on the steet corner screaming suicide and looked as though she was out of control to the point of exploding.
It then become apparent that she was loosing control in order to gain control,,,,,,,of him.and she could switch it off at a moments notice. If you do not conform I will go to any lengths is what she was saying. My brother and I set his first fundimentle boundary that day. No violents of any discription, the consiquence would be seperation.
Within two days of going home, she kicked him in the groin and bit a chunk out of his chin. The boundary was crossed, so he left enforsing the consiquense. That is where this journey really begins but I will leave it here for now and continue in my next post. This is not a story of triumph but in their failings I have gained so much personal knowledge.

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