visiting my adult son in rehab.....advice needed

Old 04-10-2008, 07:57 AM
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visiting my adult son in rehab.....advice needed


My son is in rehab (since Dec.) and it is a long term rehab. He seems to be okay but we visited him for the first time a few weeks ago. To me it seemed awkward. He is 32 and has been exposed to situations I never thought possible. And I know he is a different person because of these experiences..really someone I find it hard to connect with him at all. We talked about his impending divorce and what he needed or wanted done since he cannot make phone calls. Near the end of the conversation things became a little tense especially when I told him his actions had gotten him to this stage of life. He didn't like that and he sort of stood up and that was my "cue" to leave.
With that said I want to ask these questions.....
1. I feel very little connection to him. Is that normal? Some days I don't think of him at all.
2. I am not saying I don't love my son I just do not feel an attachment
right now. Has anyone else felt like that?
3. If we ever get to the point of his making amends what are some acceptable ways addicts make amends? He has done so much I don't even know where he'd begin. As far as my husband is concerned I don't think a simple I'm sorry will do it.
Right now my family is fractured by the actions of my son and I don't see anything improving. When he leaves rehab he will have no car, no job, no money, a lot of debt, no place to stay, a divorce in how can he possibly succeed with all that stacked up on his plate? I am just wondering about a lot of things........
I know they say take it one day at a time but this is the reality of what he is facing and none of this is going to change. Oh and add to it that he has medication he MUST take and that is $200 a month and he has no insurance.
Just seems like a bleak picture............. if there are any thoughts on my ramblings I'd appreciate it..........dixied
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:53 AM
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I am totally on the same page with the whole "detachment" or "little connection" thing. I have said over and over to my AH that I don't feel connected to him right now (or when he was in rehab). I think it is just from getting hurt so much and trying to protect yourself... it is almost like I am numb. I think it is possible to still love your son without liking him very much.

As far as what will happen when he gets out, it will be up to him. Maybe he could live in a halfway house until he can find a place of his own? Does the rehab he is staying at offer options for future living arrangements for their patients? Do they have a work program to help him find a job? These are questions he should be asking. I think that finding a job and a new place to live should be part of HIS recovery.

I think it is totally normal how you are feeling.. just try to take this time for yourself and enjoy the peace while he is away. There is no doubt in my mind that you love your son, but it is ok for you to be angry with him.

Prayer and hugs,
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:03 AM
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does the rehab where he is at have family sessions? you certainly are not the first to have these questions which are very valid.

They say it takes a good year for the drugs to get removed from the brain and for normal blood flow to get going into the frontal cortex which is the part of the brain your son needs to address his social issues. Having said that, they are his social issues, and he is in the right place right now to address them and get good advice - not from you mom (sorry) but from the environment he is in.

So I would suggest going to the family sessions at your son's rehab. Even if he has not signed a medical consent for you to be in on his therapy, you can still go to the sessions and ask your questions. I think you'll be glad you did. They can continue to remind you of where your son's brain is at in this stage of his recovery and what you can say or not say that will not be a source of hurt but a source of healing for your son.

Remember, don't focus on the problem - focus on the solution! That is what your son has to do, and if he can do it, so can you!
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:40 AM
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Well I know in CA they have the worst programs for people that are court ordered rehab. My XAH was put in jail to detox then he went to live in rehab for 90 days and then they sent him to a Half way house and he has been there since, But they did not help him get a job, they do not check him at all for drugs, he is on probation for 3 yrs and has never been tested. He is using again, does not have a job, cannot get a job because of his crimanal past. He is driving without a license. He owes the state of CA over 40K just for the rehab not including all the fines.

I find out if they are going to help him out once he is out of their care. It is very important that they feel like they have some to stay sober for. If he has no place to live or a job soon after he is released from rehab, what will he do.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:29 PM
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I think the detachment is totally normal and also a good thing. To me, it just means that you are focusing on YOU and your life, and not getting dragged down with his addiction.

As far as amends, I can only give you my experience. I was fortunate enough, that when I got out of jail/diversion center I had a job. My first "amend" was to pay dad back for his paying my fine to get me out of the diversion center (they charged rent, limited the hours I could work there, and basically KEPT me in debt so they could keep making money, so dad paid the fine). I worked as often as I could, got a motel room on the bus route, since I didn't have a car, and I paid my dad as much as I could, as fast as I could....$2500 in 2 months.

He got me a phone on his verizon account, but I paid for the phone and a few months bills in advance. I could have gotten another type of phone on my own, but it would be twice as expensive and since I was being very responsible about paying bills and trying to save money, dad got me on his account (it's less than half what the other phone would have been).

I used income tax to get a car, at an exorbitant interest rate because of my credit, but it's rebuilding my credit. When I got sick, had to be in the hospital for a week and out of work for a month, I moved home. As soon as I went back to work, I began paying dad $100/week. It not only makes ME responsible, it helps him out.

I call and check in....I let them know when I won't be home (and which friend I will be with)...and I've saved enough money to get my own place, but can't right now because of legal issues (background check mistakenly says I'm a convicted felon and cannot rent any apt.).

I am being hit with collection accounts from 4 years ago and I've made arrangements with them and am slowly paying them back. I don't hang around anyone that does drugs. I do still keep in touch with some friends from my past, but it is by mail or phone, and only because they always looked out for me and are very supportive of me staying clean.

I guess, just the fact that I'm being responsible and dealing with my legal/financial consequences, that my family has complete trust in me. I'm 46, and a lot of things I do, make me feel like I'm being treated like a kid again, but I totally understand that my family has every reason to worry if I don't call, disappear, or don't answer my phone, which was always a clue that I was using.

I've had to borrow money from dad a few times, when my car broke down and I didn't have the $$...I always paid him back very quickly. I can proudly say that I haven't had to borrow from him in several months.

I don't know how your son will make amends, but I do know that when we are determined to be in recovery, we find ways. As always, our actions speak way louder than words.

The best thing you can do, is keep the focus on you. When I'm struggling, my dad says "I'm sorry" and I know he is. But he doesn't offer to take care of the situation for me, and I've always found a way to deal with it. It keeps HIM from getting dragged into my situation, and it gives me more confidence that I really can take care of things all by myself.

Hugs and prayers!

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Old 04-10-2008, 04:20 PM
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get it, give it, grow in it
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Try to stay in the day and not worry about your son's future. For today, he's doing well, he's working the best he can to get sober and change. Don't miss the good stuff going on today because of worry about down the road.
We can't change the past, and we have no power over the future.
When your son gets sober, the "wreckage of his past" will be his to clean up, one day at a time.
Not thinking about him ea. day and feeling detached seems extremely HEALTHY.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:56 PM
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Dixie, I am not saying that your feelings are not legitimate, but for a second take a step back and just try to be grateful that he is in rehab, that he is getting another chance at living a clean life and for now you can let go of worrying about him killing himself with his drugs. I know that it is hard to stay in the moment, but worrying about the what ifs are taking you away from the what is. Your son is clean. (Something we moms would give anything for.) Hugs, Marle
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:41 PM
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I think the numbness will go away over time. One thing that I have dealt with in regard to my husband's path to recovery is that me becoming distant from him and withholding my love and support from him does not help. He needs me, my love, my support, even if I have to bite my lip sometimes and give him a hug, even when I'm having a bad day and am dealing with anger issues. It helps me in the end, as well.

Just because you are giving love does not mean you are condoning what he has done. You are just telling him that you are there for him and you want to help him through this.

I think the more alone people feel through the recovery process, the harder it is. But, that is just me.
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