When people ask, what do you say?

Old 03-23-2009, 07:43 AM
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When people ask, what do you say?

When people ask me about my Abrother, I sometimes wonder what to say.

What do you all say (how much or how little info), some are just casual acquaintances, so it's not meant to be a deep conversation. How do you handle people who have a genuine care and concern?

I ask because one of his old coaches sent me an email thru facebook asking how he was doing because he hadn't heard from him in awhile.

It seems like I have trouble telling people I shouldn't tell, and then choose not to say anything when perhaps I should.

For instance: My Abrother's old college roommate offered to relocate him, and a nice job in his business, on the opposite coast from where we're at. I thought my brother was more or less up front with him about his addictions and recovery. He was not. Early on, I sent this friend an email thanking him for helping my brother, just a general note. I thought to say something like, has he found a good AA group, etc., but then I said to myself, getting into all that is my old codie meddling. Now that my brother has taken advantage of this man and his family, I feel guilty like I should have said something so the man would've been cautious or at least had an honest assessment.

So I suppose I'm asking 2 questions along the same vein:

What do you say to the various people that say "how is your a-loved-one?"

What do you say to people who are helping them but might also need to be cautious because our a-loved-ones can harm them in various ways (stealing, slander, abuse) relating to their addiction?

Or do you say nothing?

Last edited by BohemiMamaof3; 03-23-2009 at 07:48 AM. Reason: corrections
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:10 AM
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Every once in awhile I come across someone who asks about my oldest AD (now 31 and still a raving mess). I simply reply "She has her struggles." I don't expound anymore than that, even if they persist.

As far as forewarning someone, they are an adult. If they make the choice to 'help her (and Lord knows she's run through her share of people who've learned the hard way), then that's their choice.

I don't need to be Superwoman in my trusty cape flying around thumping people in the head and spouting my message of impending doom and gloom should they decide to become enmeshed in her lies, deceit, and addictions. I've got enough in my own life to take care of.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:50 AM
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I think it is a personal thing and depends how much you want to tell someone. For myself, I wear my heart on my sleeve so when someone asks, I tell them. Now I don't tell everyone, but the people I know care about my son I tell them the truth. I have never felt bad about telling and everyone seems to be very supportive of our family.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:53 AM
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I agree with Freedom

It's not our job to warn the world about our addicts struggles and actually, we don't know what they'll do in each circumstance for sure anyway.

I do think that asking the question is important, though. I found that struggles like this help me identify my boundaries better - which as a codie, is always a good thing to think about.

Good Luck
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:12 PM
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I too say, "He has his ups and downs. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you directly."

I am not my A brother's keeper. His relationships with other people are not mine to manage. I stay out of his business in the first place so I never have to doubt whether I "should've said something." Not my life, not my business.

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Old 03-23-2009, 12:26 PM
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it completely depends upon the person and our relationship on how much i tell but i dont ever lie to anyone about my son. i'll never cover up who is he is to protect him. this is just one more consequence of the lifestyle he chose.

As for your friend - he made a choice to help him and that has nothing to do with you. if he was asking your opinion that would have been a different story. dont take on guilt for his bad behavior.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by winnie12 View Post
As for your friend - he made a choice to help him and that has nothing to do with you. if he was asking your opinion that would have been a different story. dont take on guilt for his bad behavior.
Thanks for that, I needed to hear it. And Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:48 PM
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I really don't say much to anyone anymore. They have all gone through this with Chris and I now say...He's doing fine~~for today!! and thats it. Even my mom. She's 85 and I don't want her involved anymore. When we all get trogether I want the family to enjoy Chris..... Man I pray he stays clean and keeps up with the meetings....
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:01 PM
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When my process began with my AD, I was open with people who were close to me and that were part of her life.

They for the most part were part of the team of people who helped keep me going, (I detoxed her and her BF and helped them have a chance to find recovery). I needed that support.

Some people surpised me a vanished.

Now when people ask me how she is doing, I say well today she is fine.

I think for me now getting too much conversation going keeps me trapped in that time when things seemed so dark.

So I like the for today she is fine.

Really that is the reality anyway.

And unless you have been that close to the fire most people dont understand it.

This is the best place to come and share thoughts, issues, and get support hard advice and love.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:34 PM
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I only share with the people that I know who truly care about AS. After 6 years I have realized it is not my place to fill other people in on his life. I still have difficulty at times when someone has tried to help him. I want to say " hide your purse" or "he will con you". I have learned to take a step back.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:07 PM
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I find the human being to be a more noosey person than a true caring person. so when asked how my son is I always just say "good" and then ask them how one of their loved ones are.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:19 AM
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You don't know how much this little thread and all of your replies have helped me. Thanks! I ignored the first email from his old coach. Then he emailed me again a few days later. Instead of saying anything vague about abrother's substance abuse problems (which I almost did), I just said, "I don't know how he is, I haven't heard from him in awhile. He moved to such-and-such state." Which is true.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:34 AM
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I am very selective who I talk to about my son. People in recovery understand, people untouched by addiction have no clue and my prayers go out that they never find out first hand.

I have two standard responses to "How's your son doing?"

"He's doing the best he can" is one and then I change the subject.

And if they pursue it, or want details, they get #2..."I'm sorry, this is a topic that is too painful for me to discuss right now". Anyone who tries to get by that one is just showing their insensitivity and validates my choice.

We get to choose who we discuss any of this with. For me, trusted friends only and others in recovery.

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Old 03-28-2009, 01:09 AM
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I almost always say "She's a drug addict, and she's struggling." and then I ask them to please keep her in their prayers. that's my biggest motivation for telling the truth when people ask. the more people praying for her, the better. Some dont' know what to say and others are more comfortable with the subject. I do find that sometimes if i talk too much (too many details) I find myself getting down/negative and then I just say something like, "I know she will get clean one day." and try to change the subject.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:34 PM
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when people ask about my a.s. & i know they just don't really care i ask why do you want to know. that usually shuts them up. i do not feel any guilt about him since i found recovery. that is a good thing.
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