Need advice on Tough Love

Old 04-05-2007, 04:15 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Need advice on Tough Love

I have just learned that my 25 year old daughter has been using meth since last June when her best friend was killed in Iraq. Recently she has become secretive, lies a lot, avoids family, and hangs out with meth users. Her husband, who loves her and wants to help her, has allowed her to move out and live in an RV a few miles away. He paid the first month's rent, but now is going to do the "tough love" thing and cancel her credit cards.
She is totally dependent on him, and will have to get a job to support herself.He has asked us to support him in this and we have agreed not to give her money or let her move in with us. What else can we do to help her? We love her dearly and will give her as much emotional support as we can. She refuses to think that she has a problem, and is in complete denial. She is going to go ballistic when she learns he has cut her off from all finances. He wants her to "hit bottom" and to have to depend on herself to get a job and get straightened out.He wants her to succeed at this, and believes that the sooner she hits bottom, the sooner she will face facts and make an effort to help herself. What should we be doing to help her? What should we NOT do?
Please, if you are a recovering addict, or the family of one, give us some advice- we are babes in the woods when it comes to dealing with this!!!Thank you!!!
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:39 PM
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Welcome, Marianelaine, I'm glad you joined us.

My son is an addict and you'll find many many moms here as well as others who love an addict, and they will all be happy to share with you.

What I learned and what most moms learned is that no matter how much we love them, how much we try to protect them, how many times we bail them out of jail or' just doesn't help. No matter how much we beg, plead, cry, threaten or manipulate and try to control, it just doesn't help.

I learned the hard way and was as sick as my son before I finally let go and let him find his own way. All the things that I thought I was helping by doing just prolonged his journey. I was robbing him of the lessons about how to take care of himself, I robbed him of the lessons that there are consequences for our actions and we can't hide from them.

I think you all are doing a good "loving" thing by allowing her to find her own way. What many of us have done is just let our children know that we love them and just cannot support their disease. We provide them with a phone list of detox's, rehabs and NA meetings.

My son has been missing 2 years, but he knows where help is, he knows how to find it, and he will when he is ready and not a moment before.

I get through my days by saying a prayer each morning, asking God to take care of my son. Then I spend my day in faith and live a happy life today, finding beauty in each day.

I learned to do this by going to meetings, getting a sponsor and learning to work the steps. If you can find a Naranon, Alanon or CoDA meeting near you, please go and try about 7 meetings before you decide if they are right for you or not. Meetings saved my life and I know they can help you stay sane in the midst of the insanity of addiction.

My prayers go out for all of you. It's a long journey but we walk it together here side by side, and together we can do what we cannot do alone.

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Old 04-05-2007, 05:30 PM
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Welcome to SR

I think Ann said everything I was going to.

The addict (who I also love dearly ) is my 20 yr old daughter.

Tough Love has been a challenge for me. I kept falling for my daughter's guilt trips, but now I am better and have my guard up.

Our addicts seem to catch us off guard and we sometimes go back to the enabling ways of the past. It seems that your son-in-law is on the right track as far as the tough love.

What we say here at SR is do what you feel is right for you to do. I certainly didn't manage to get the tough love attitude over night. I had to take baby steps in order to finally "get it".

Good luck and keep posting here. This site has literally saved my life. We all value from each others' experiences.

Hugs to you
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:36 PM
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My 20 year old daughter is my addict. My husband and I enabled her addiction for over a year while making all kinds of excuses for her behavior. When she started living with a 37 year old man that I knew was a crack addict that is when we stopped trying to save her. Even though we no longer enable her, he makes a lot of money and buys all her drugs. With such a good deal, we don't expect her to hit bottom for a long time. In the meantime, we do not give her any money or any kind of material support. We tell her that we love her and will offer her a ride to rehab if and when she wants it. The biggest thing you can do for her is to take care of yourself. Let her take responsibility for her own addiction and for her recovery when she should want it. I think it is wonderful that you are supporting your son-in-law in this. Many parents still enable after the spouse gives up. Sending mom hugs and prayers, Marle
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:25 PM
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Welcome to SR.

Finding this site was the best thing I ever did for myself. My son is a 22 year old addict. When we found out over 2 years ago he was using, we thought it was that he was just hanging with the wrong crowd. So we helped him get better, sending him to rehab, waiting on him hand and foot. He was out of work for awhile, then as soon as he got some money in his pocket, he was back to using and has been using off and on for 2 years now.

We finally had to throw him out over 4 weeks ago, after realizing that there was nothing else we could do for him. He is on his own and needs to hit bottom. I cried for days and felt like I would go out of my mind with worry. But now that it's been a month, I'm starting to realize it's the best thing I ever did. He was ruining our family life, always chaos. I also have 2 daughters to consider. He is now living with a friend and has been clean for 4 weeks now. I pray it stays that way, but I won't have him back until I'm convinced.

I know it's hard, but her husband is doing the right thing.

Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:45 PM
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I don't have any more words to share besides what has been said, but wanted to welcome you here to SR. You don't have to face this alone- there are many here who understand. Have you read the stickys at the top of the forum page yet? There is alot of info there for you.
Keep coming back!
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:05 PM
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Welcome to SR. I dont' have any kids, but I am totally sorry you are having ot go through this. Read the stickies at the top and try to find some meetings in your area (nar-anon, al-anon). And come back to talk right here whenever you need to!
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:58 PM
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You have a good plan. Follow thru. You have to stand together. Our 27 yr. old son is in a mission-halfway-homeless place that we drove him to on Tue after his 3rd detox. Told him this is it, last chance. We will see. Keep giving the love, and let her know that when she makes the right decision all of you will be there to help.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:32 PM
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hi welcome to sr, this place and these caring people have literally saved my sanity. my husband and i both are recovering addicts.

addiction is a very hard habit to kick, for me it took for my family to cut me off, they left me alone to my own misery. they allowed me to suffer the consequences of my own actions. i had no one to manipulate into helping me, so i finally decided that i had to save myself so i checked myself into rehab and i now have a few yrs clean.
at first i thought that was the meanest thing my family could have done to me, they turned their backs, i thought. after i found myself clean and sober, i realized that it was the best thing and i'm forever grateful and today we have a beautiful relationship.

unlike you and your family,for 20 yrs of my marriage, my mother in law has been a very good enabler, she always welcomed him to live with her, got him out of jail, gave him money after he spent his paychecks on drugs, and bailed him out of everything he could get himself into and blamed me cause he did it. it took for her to become homeless and when he no longer had her and her home to run to, he ran to rehab and as far as i know, hes clean today and no is able to be home with us one day at a time.

i think think the more you help her, the longer it might take, i totally agree with what the others have said. if you can go, alanon and naranon meetings will help a lot, posting here and reading too. do all you can to prepare yourself so that you want be caught off guard, i know how hard it is, to not help. i'll keep all of you guys in my prayers.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:32 PM
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I'm Linda and my addict is my 25 yo son. I found out about his addiction to heroin when he was 19. We struggled together through his illness and I became as sick as he was. I've done things for my son, no mother should ever have to do.
After I pressed charges against him for robbing our home, he spent 6 months in jail and kicked the dope habit.
Once released, I felt the need to give him "just 1 more chance".
As long as he was under my roof there was no way either of us were going to recover. He from drugs, and me from him.
He has been living with his alcoholic dad now for about 6 months. He was drinking alcohol and smoking pot until recently.
My son has been sober for 4 days now. That's a long time for him. lol
He's gotten 2 cats, a dog, and an older woman recently that he claims makes him want to stay sober.
I love him dearly and we talk daily and I pray that God is leading him down a good path. It's all I can ask for. Life on life's terms.
You've come to a great place for support, prayers, and feedback.
There are many people here that can relate to your situation.
Start by reading the stickies at the top of the threads page, learning what you can about enabling, detaching with love, and codependency.
For starters, you could have names, addresses and numbers near the phone for rehabs, shelters, detox centers, and salvation army centers.
When she calls, tell her you love her, give her this info, tell her you'll pray that she makes a good choice and gets on a good path, and that you'll be there for her when she's ready for recovery.
Until then, find support in your area for you and your family. Alanon/Naranon meetings will help you so much. Keep coming back here and read, post, and start focusing on you. This is a hard road that we travel. With support and friends along the way, it's alot easier to deal with it.
We're here for ya, and support whatever you choose to do.
Your new sr buddy,
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:42 PM
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(((Marianeelaine))) Both my kids are addicts, but it was my 17 year old daughter's meth addiction that got me here.

That is a horrible, nasty, awful, scum of the earth drug. It takes them down fast... but down further than I could ever imagine. There is, in my mind, no such thing as a recreational meth user. Anyone who believes that well, sadly, they will likely find out different.

There is much to learn about addiction. It is a HUGE condition. Letting her be an adult and support herself, especially when what she is WANTING to do is just sit home and use drugs, is the right thing to do.

What I found was that attending Alanon helped me more than anything else I've done before or since. I also got the book Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie, and I registered here and come here every day. I learned what I could about addiction, and continue to read everything I can find. There are "sticky" posts at the top of each of the forums here at Sober Recovery (SR), they contain a lot of good information.

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Old 04-05-2007, 10:56 PM
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Marian...Welcome...Everything said before me is so on point. I just wanted to add my welcome and send some hugs and prayers for you and your family. I also had a daughter who was an addict and the downward spiral is so tough to see. I was a babe in the woods too, but the disease makes us get up to speed pretty quickly. Keep reading and posting and if you can, please find a meeting. I am fortunate to have a wonderful Naranon group within a reasonable distance, but if you can't find Naranon, try Alanon. These are programs for us...the families of addicts. I hope your son in law will join you. Hugs and prayers
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:58 PM
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Hi! Just want to say "WELCOME". I'm a Mom of an addicted daughter. I'm fairly new here too but find support and even a few laughs. Keep posting and let us know how things are. ((HUGS))
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:21 AM
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I'm HOME!!!!!
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Just wanted to add my welcome!!! Another mom of an addict here. My 29 year old daughter started with prescription pain meds, and now is a down and out junkie. 1 year ago, I had her son taken from her. She has lost her job, she was an RN, her home, her son and last wkend, was sent to jail for 3 days for shoplifting!!!

You'd think that was bottom? Apparently not!! At least not yet. I also pray every day. She was missing for my grandson and I for 7mos last year, when we found her in December, we were sooooo happy to see her, we were having her for dinner, just trying to stay in touch you see!! But I'm having to rethink even that, because nothing is working for her to get clean yet, and it's breaking our hearts.

Her beautiful face is covered with sores, she weights 90 lbs and it's heartbreaking to see those skinny arms covered with track marks. She has been my drug of choice since Dec. I've been sleeping, dreaming, crying, breathing HER!! Am just realizing how much she has been taking over, even though I thought she wasn't!!!

Read the sticky's at the top of the page!!!


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Old 04-06-2007, 11:17 AM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Already I do not feel so helpless and alone!

Thank you all so much for your helpful words, thoughts, and prayers. I now know where to come for support. I read all the stickies- very helpful.
I am going to find a Nar-Anon or Al-Anon here in town and see if her husband will go with us to the meetings. We really need to focus on "Detachment", which is going to be SO difficult. The other difficulty is going to be to tell her 95 year old Grandma, who dotes on her, that she must lock up her money, credit cards, and checkbook, and turn a deaf ear to the pleas which are sure to come. I wish there were a way NOT to tell Grandma, but I know she will be approached for money right away, and it is going to devastate her- we have never before had any drug problems in our family;(although we certainly are not a perfect family!)
I am hoping we can reach a point where our every waking thought is not about our daughter and her drug use- How do other people cope? My husband and I are separating emotionally, and he is very angry with our daughter, although he loves her.
Again, thank you all for your welcoming words-they are much appreciated, and I will be checking back in-next week, when she learns she has been cut off from all financial support- I fear a violent reaction.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:14 PM
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grateful rca
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you ask how do others cope with the obsessive thoughts, it helps me to force myself not to think about my addict, i have to find a way to replace all negative thoughts with positive ones and a lot of prayer. i pray that your daughter finds her way soon.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:07 PM
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I agree with Teke. You are in control of your thoughts. At first it is very hard to turn them off, but with time and practice it can be done. Hugs, Marle
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Old 04-07-2007, 02:44 PM
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I think her husband is doing the right thing. She won't learn that she has a problem until she has to deal with the consequenses!
It is terrible to watch a loved one do this to themselves, but unless we wish to get dragged into overwhelming debt, emotional upheaval and insanity, it's best to let the addict discover that they have a problem by letting them feel the consequenses of their actions.
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:44 PM
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welcome to S.R...i am glad you found us.there is alot of info here,lots of caring people & sounds as if you have a very smart son in law.i hope him & your husband joins you in a f.t.f. meeting. make sure you turn them both on to S.R. you have a hard road to toe with your daughter.ypou are blessed that you have found a program is not really tough love, it is learning to take care of ourselves & not let ever waking moment focus on our addict because there is nothing we can do to "save" them.they have got to do that addict is my son & like you we had never had to deal with this before.i will say a prayer for all of your family & your daughter.please keep coming back.hugs,
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:51 PM
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How do I detach myself from an alcohol and cocaine addicted husband when we have two small kids together? I am trying so hard, but everytime he calls, I secretly fall apart and the pain starts all over. He is in total denial and living with his enabling mother. I am currently filing for divorce. He wants to sell our home because he can't afford to support us and himself. Why do our lives have to change because he won't?
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