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Need advise - desperatly!

Old 11-24-2007, 07:11 AM
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Exclamation Need advise - desperatly!

Hello. This is my first post. I am glad to have found a site specific for family members.

My brother in law brings me searching for answers. He has been a cocaine/crack addict for about 30 years. He has been in and out of rehabs. He has been incarcerated in prisons twice. Mostly for theft to support his drug habit.

His latest incident (last week)- he took a single check from my in laws (his parents) and forged a check for about $1500. By Monday the family must decide whether to bring this to the banks attention - at which point the bank will prosecute. We figure he is looking at 15 years - given his age this is paramount to a life sentence.

If, on the other hand we help cover the financial losses - not contacting the bank - he would walk.

Currently he is unemployed - having been fired for no shows. He has no health insurance. He is probably been given eviction papers. He has no car (trades them for drugs). He is one step away from homelessness - unless one of us takes him in again. Trouble is he robs us blind.

I know the rhetoric about detachment - enabling - codependency. And yet - faced with this terrible decision, it is hard to put into practice.

I would love some advise to share with the family - before Monday morning - before we must decide to allow prosecution or not.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:21 AM
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Wow, I feel your pain. But if you cover for him, the cycle will continue. Nothing changes if nothing changes. I have had my 17 year old son arrested for selling drugs and stealing drugs (adderall) from my house. It was a horrible thing to do. I wish I could say that it made it all better, but it is up to them to make it better. My son has been in rehab 5 times and is now at a recovery home. If he has had the addiction for 30 years and he has committed this crime, you have to face facts. It is not working when you cover for him. Sorry for this difficult situation you are in.
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:21 AM
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"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results." That statement holds true for both the addict and for the people that love them. In the past when he was bailed out of HIS problems, did he show gratitude. Did it help him to become clean. Probably not. One of my boundaries with my daughter is that if she ever steals from me, I will prosecute her. Stealing is stealing and you have to take a step back and realize that it does not matter if it is from family or a stranger. The results are the same. You are not responsible for his stealing and you are not responsible for the consequences. They both are his to own. And his to deal with. I know it is hard so I will send hugs and prayers your way. Marle
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:35 AM
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Hi Golden Guru and welcome to Sober Recovery. You'll find many people here with situations similar to yours. Hopefully more will be along soon to share their experience, strength and hope.

In my situation, I realized that adult choices meant adult consequences. Breaking the law means legal consequences. It isn't something that "I do to him", it's the natural consequence of him breaking the law.

I have read many stories about loved ones in prison, and many times the family members are relieved that s/he is in prison where at least there is a roof over the person's head, 3 meals a day and opportunities for growth and healing if the person chooses them.

It's sad that your family has to go thru this. I invite the family to visit our site and to read thru the hundreds of posts and stickies here. The overwhelming theme is the sooner we step back and allow our loved ones to deal with their own consequences, the sooner our lives become calmer and richer... and many of our loved ones sought a program of recovery.

Hugs

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Old 11-24-2007, 08:05 AM
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I know of a spiritual teacher who works with prison inmates. She has been startled by the number of people who have found inner peace in incarceration, far from the temptations and the stresses of everyday living.

It's the last thing you would expect...but it's often true.

If you do not press this issue with the bank, you can only look forward to more of the same. Addiction is a progressive disease. You may think that he has hit bottom, but I can tell you from experience that it's far from over.

It is necessary for you to be so tightly involved in this? One of the dangers we all face here is getting drawn into the drama, feeling that our involvement is crucial to the outcome. This may not be so.

Peace to you and your family.

GL
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:15 AM
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Is it necessary for you to be so tightly involved in this?


Fair question. I'm afraid the answer is yes. My in laws are aging. They are vulnerable. They need support in terms of a decision of this magnitude. They also need 'perspective'. As you know - living with drug addiction for decades skews your view of reality.

This is a close family. Emotionally. In geographical proximity. Kinda hard to be non involved. Also, there is a family history of suicide - and I think at the back of all our minds we struggle with decisions out of fear of facing another suicide. Right or wrong - those are the cards we are playing with.

And what is the point of making a 'family decision' if all family members aren't going to abide by the tough love philosophy.

Thanks for the thought provoking responses.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:25 AM
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Welcome to SR!

Ditto what everyone above me says. I am a recovering crack addict and because I no longer wanted the chaos that goes with that addiction, I left behind my XABF. I was stolen from countless times, bailed him out of jail, only to watch him go straight back to crack.

I can understand that it's hard, but if he is not forced to deal with the consequences of stealing this time, I can assure you he will do it again and it will only get worse.

I heard "I'll get a job....I'll straighten up...I'll never do this again" so many times, it's sickening. The one time he was honest, he told me "of course I told you that....I'll tell you whatever you want to hear to get what I want". He has been doing this for 25+ years and has no intention of stopping...EXCEPT when he's in jail and is forced to be clean.

I truly feel for you and your in-laws. But as someone who's been on the "other side", cushioning his fall (not prosecuting) is only giving him reason to do more of the same. I often feel that my XABF is going to be killed when he steals from the wrong person....he would be better off in jail.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:53 PM
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(((goldenguru)))
Being in such a close family could make it a more difficult decision, but then again, people HAVE to suffer the consequences of their actions, or the cycle continues over, and over.


I know in the past, I have hesitated with my actions on my 2 addict sons, thinking they might hurt themselves, but somewhere along the line, you have to have faith that your BIL's H.P. will take care of him.

Your BIL is where he is now, because of his actions, by deciding to NOT prosecute him, will not help him in any way, he's already stealing from his family.


Hugs to you,
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:30 PM
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He is one step away from homelessness - unless one of us takes him in again. Trouble is he robs us blind.
Believe it or not, there are worse places than jail. And WE are not their only option, never were never will be. My son is an addict who also stole so much that he can no longer live at home and who has been missing for over 3 years.

We can't control how they are, only they can do that, but we can let them suffer the consequences of their actions. And we can control our own homes and having an active addict live there is just bringing the disease into our "safe" place where we all get to suffer the chaos.

I know this is a hard decision you and your family will have to make. Whatever your choice, I hope you each protect yourselves and your homes and stop making them a soft place for him to land.

I'm glad you joined us and hope you will stick around.

Hugs
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:43 PM
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there are alot of addicts that are not homeless when family memebers put them out.it seems most of them always have someone who will take them in.my son is my addict & know the pain addiction can cause.lots of cases prison,or homeless sends them to recovery.there are recovery houses free of charge.he should not be a family problem. he has the problem not you.read around & read the stickys at the top of the forum. it does not get any better. it only gets worse.i am saying a prayers for him & the family.WELCOME & keep coming back. let us know how all are doing.hugs,
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:31 PM
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Well - as the weekend has progressed I'm afraid this situation may yet create a family rift as big as the continental divide.

My in laws are arguing. Brothers are arguing. Everyone has an opinion. Everything from tough love to classic enabling.

The only person who seems unaffected by it all is BIL. Isn't that the way it goes?
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:27 PM
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I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this. It isn't easy and no matter how much recovery I have, I believe in your family's shoes I would be struggling too. I hope I would have the strength to do what needs to be done and let the loved one face the consequences of his actions. I had to make tough decisions with my kids, but never one that difficult.
No matter what happens, I hope you will stay around, perhaps try some Alanon and Naranon meetings and help yourself. As you are experiencing, addiction is a family disease. Hugs
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:28 PM
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its a difficult position............however
for those who think that saving him AGAIN or letting him continue to steal and not face the punishment............

think of these 2 things..........
1. what if the next 10 dollars or 1000 dollars he steals is the money that buys the drugs that FINALLY kills him?
would they feel responsible then?
I know the fear of suicide however......drugs kill to and every time he takes their money for drugs and they "let" him do it they are helping him kill himself

2. Jail, is better than dead anyday
and when my husband was active and out using I have laid in bed and begged and prayed for him to go to jail......at least I would know where he was and he'd still be breathing

You and your family will be in my thoughts....hang in there
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:49 PM
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(((((((GoldenGuru))))))))

I'm sorry for what you and your family are going through with your bil.
Sounds worse than a big, pink elephant.
Everyone had great thoughts, advice, and shared experiences before me.
I grew up with that elephant in every household that was related to my family.
It was tough. I've had 2 brothers, my mother, stepfather, uncle, and cousin, die
from addiction/alcohol.
At present I have 2 nephews, an ex-husband, and my son who are all addicts/alcoholics.
My son is 26, but when he was 22 I had him arrested for robbing my home.
He spent 6 months in the county prison. He kicked his heroin addiction there.
Granted, he's not in recovery and still smokes pot, but I am sooooo much better because of soberrecovery and alanon meetings.
I've learned and accepted the 3 c's, the 12 steps, and all that goes with codependency recovery. You and your family are more than welcome to read from the site, share your stories, join alanon meetings, and keep coming back.
What I'd advise not doing? Continuing to ignore the problem and continuing to enable your bil. He needs a rude awakening. Whether it be from his family or from the bank.
Sending prayers up for you, your family, and your bil.
I pray he hits rock bottom before he dies from this disease.
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Old 11-26-2007, 12:41 PM
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This is a little something written by one of our own beloved members, that has been a life saver for me!! Hope you find it helpful...perhaps you could print this out and take it to a family meeting??



You can't make me clean

I know it is what you want for me to be, but until I want it - I won't be.

You can't love me clean ...because until I learn to love myself. I won't be.

I know you must wonder how can I learn to love myself when I am caught up in a lifestyle of self-hatred and self destruction. I can learn from my own experience ... I can learn from the things that happen to me along the path of my own mistakes. I can learn by being allowed to suffer the consequences of my choices. Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need learn.

I know it devastates you to watch me hurting myself. I know you want to jump in and save me. This helps ease your pain, but I don't think you understand just how damaging it is to me.

You see although I look and sound like your loved one. Me, the person .. is locked away deep down inside my being. What you see before you is a addict ruled and reigned by my addiction. The main focus of a addict is to feed the addiction. Every effort you put forth in the name of helping me *the person* falls prey to my addict giving more power to the addiction to shackel down *the person in me .. a little more each time.

I feed my addiction enough ... please don't help me.


The only way for the person in me to get free is to be free .. to fall as far as I need to go in order to find the strength to fight back and break free.

How can or will I ever be able to get clean.

The same way I gave myself over to my addiction is the same way I can give myself over to my recovery. BY MYSELF

By allowing me to reach 'rock bottom' you move over and allow me to find the my own way back .. It is in the fight to break free that I will find myself .. it is in the fight that I learn to love myself .. the more I love myself the more I will do to better myself.

I am aware that when I use I am playing russian roulette with my life. I know this, but that is a chance we take when we use. The addict in me is willing to take that chance in the name of getting high.

Rock bottom is but a circumstance away. I can't get in if you are blocking the entrance ...

Please for the sake of the person in me .. move out of the way .. and let me fall as far down as I have to in order to reach the bottom .. and pray for me that when I do hit .. that is not with the impact that leaves me for dead (I know that is your greatest fear), but if it comes to that .. be sure to tell my story so that others might learn and live.

Passion
Recovering Addict
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