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Heroin Addicts Wife

Old 03-06-2012, 06:03 PM
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Heroin Addicts Wife

My husband of five years is addicted to heroin. He injects it. I don't know how much or how often he uses. I don't know how long he's been using either. I found out in Oct 2011. I kicked him out & he moved in with his mother. He had lost his job and began stealing from me and lying to me and pawning all of our stuff. (right before I found out and kicked him out) He is still living with his mother and we have been talking on the phone alot recently.I love this guy so much. I don't know how to help him.
He tells me he wants to quit and he tells me he's slowed his usage and doesn't need that much anymore. He tells me that he can go a week without using, and he tells me that he doesn’t use it to get high, he tells me that he uses just enough to stop himself from thinking about it. He started working again about a month ago. He was supposed to start paying me back all the money he owes me, but he barely ever has any. He's paid me back very very little.
I am honestly not even concerned with that at this point. I miss him. I want him back, but I don't want the heroin back. Our son really misses him. I am not sure if I should let him back into our life again. I know he is still using, but I just want to be able to help him quit. I don't know how, I can't afford to put him in rehab, and neither can anyone else.
I want my husband back, I just don't know if it can ever happen.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:25 PM
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Good luck. As a recovering addict and yes that includes heroin. I would tell people what ever they wanted to here. I had to have my dope at all costs. He will never get clean until he is ready. I would like to see him go a week with out using. For me heroin was a 5 day detox. So if he can go a week without using he would be clean by the end of the week. Sounds good right. I bet he could not make it 2 days without using. Good luck on your journey. Logo
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:34 PM
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Thanks, logo.
I just still don't understand some things...
After a week he will be clean? But how long will he want to use? I don't want him to go thru the withdrawals and then him be clean and everything seem so great & then relapse sometime in the future.
When will he stop craving it? Never? Will he always be on the verge of calling up his dealer? I want to help him & I love him so much but I just don't want to struggle along with him for the rest of my life.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:35 PM
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elle, I'm so sorry. Others will be along soon to comment. My son is an addict. It hurts terribly. One thing I have learned, chances are they are not being truthful. Be strong. Insist he go into a treatment facility and be clean a while before coming home. He has to want it. Subjecting yourself and your son to an active addict isn't a wise thing to do.
I'm the last in line of slow learners, and after over 20 years of wanting and believing, I know now, I can't change it. I didn't cause it. I can't cure it. Neither can you. Please read the stickies at the top of the forum. There is so much good informtion there. God bless.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:44 PM
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Thanks, washbe2, those are really some helpful words.
It's hard for me to think that he is still lying, lying even about how much he is using. Lying about being ready to quit.
I see that he could be, & probably is. He is so good at lying to me, though. He seems so incredibly honest.
I remember times where I would accuse him of something and we would get into this long argument & I would end up feeling guilty and apologizing to him. And a few days later, I would find out I was right.
He is so good at lying, and I know that, and it depresses me when I think about it.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by elle88 View Post
Thanks, washbe2, those are really some helpful words.
It's hard for me to think that he is still lying, lying even about how much he is using. Lying about being ready to quit.
I see that he could be, & probably is. He is so good at lying to me, though. He seems so incredibly honest.
I remember times where I would accuse him of something and we would get into this long argument & I would end up feeling guilty and apologizing to him. And a few days later, I would find out I was right.
He is so good at lying, and I know that, and it depresses me when I think about it.
Hi Elle -- Welcome to SR. I'm glad that you found us.

What you have described above is so very, very typical of both addict behaviors and or own responses. Many of us have been down that same road--for me it has been 6 years with my son. He's now shooting heroin, too. I can tell you that after 2 days he goes into terrible withdrawal symptoms and I really don't think that a heroin user can just limit it to once a week. I could be wrong, but I do know this one thing: even after detox the urge to use remains VERY strong for a VERY long time. "They" say it's one of the hardest drugs to kick. My son has detoxed in medical facilities, rehab, on his own, with the aid of suboxone treatment....you name it....but he can't go more than 4 days and he's back at it (unless he is institutionalized).

Please....stick around SR and read all you can about heroin addiction and addictive behaviors in general. Unfortunately the stories are all pretty much the same even though at first we want to believe that our addicted loved one is unique, or that they're not "that bad".

Heroin's addictive qualities are extremely powerful and the withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable. My son has been using many drugs over the years but I've never seen him totally consumed like he is with heroin. He can't stop using because he can't get past the withdrawals and cravings. He just can't. He's lost everything now and he's only 21.

Please let us know how we can support you. We are concerned about how YOU are taking care of YOU. Again, welcome!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:04 PM
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Thanks, I have been browsing through some of these posts and I've found a few that can almost exactly describe my husband and the way he makes me feel. There were some posts that I really could have wrote. It brought tears to my eyes, it was me. I am soo incredibly thankful that I have found people that are going through, or have gone through, what I am going through right now. I can't talk about my husband's problem to anyone, well, except his mother, but she & I aren't really that close.
I sort of feel stuck right now, just not knowing what to do. I can't let him come back home, I can't believe him if he tells me he is clean(which he hasn't told me that, but he tells me he is "getting clean", and not using very much and tells me that he will be clean soon), but when he does tell me he is clean, I can't believe him. I can't do anything. I can't help him. I cannot do a single freaking thing.
Right now I am not feeling sad, like I was earlier, right now I want to beat him with a freaking baseball bat. I want to punch him and scream at him and I want to somehow get it into his head that he is hurting me and he is hurting my life, and his childs life.
I still don't want to divorce him, though. I've never felt like I wanted to divorce him. I always want him to still be my husband, because maybe one day he won't need heroin. Maybe he will need to just eat & sleep, & breathe and that's it. Like I do, like normal husbands do!! Like fathers do!!! Like the guys that love their families enough to stay away from things like heroin!! I still, even after these months, I still think "Why would he even choose to do that to begin with?? What in the world made him think it was ok?"
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:22 PM
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Hi Elle,

It was important to me to understand that the addiction, and the lies that allow for it, were a systematic illness. I think that unless you have been an addict it is really hard to wrap your head around the lying and manipulation. It is crazy making in a very painful way to try to make any sense of it from the outside. The best you can do is take care of yourself. If he decides to get clean he will eventually maybe just maybe figure it out, but it will take a lot of dedication and work on HIS part. In the meantime pat yourself on the back for beginning your journey of discovery for your own well being. I am attaching a link to an article about addiction, lying and relationships that I found helpful.

Addiction, Lies and Relationships

For me it was important to separate my breaking heart from his lies...somehow they were two different things. It allowed me to grieve for the love I was losing, to feel the pain of my heart and love and yet hold my boundaries strong that I would not allow my heart to be broken by his lies. We all find our way...whatever works best. Its all about self care and doing everything you can do to grow strong and healthy and peaceful. We all are given the precious gift of one life. Peace to you. I VERY MUCH suggest face to face meetings...we love you but we can't give you a hug.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:47 AM
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Lesliej,

Thank you for attaching that article. It should be a sticky
Ive never seen the whole cycle depicted so clearly.
Very insightful.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:20 AM
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Elle, what are his parents doing now that he is living with them? I'm guessing enabling him.

My son came home after 28 days in rehab from heroin addiction and though my husband and I wanted to do the right thing, we had no clue what the "right" thing was. Living with an addict or a recovering addict is not something any unsuspecting person should take on without outside help (Al-Anon, addiction specialist/counselor, etc.). My husband and I have learned a lot in the past eight months. We wanted to believe our son was on his way to total sobriety, and perhaps he is (time will tell), but we were lost in the beginning and fell for our son's lies several times. We fortunately quickly caught on to the lies.

One of the first things that your husband must do is get ongoing help for his addiction--and it will be something he will need to work on for the rest of his life. My son, before rehab, tried to get clean on his own from his pill addiction but couldn't. He would be clean for a few weeks, but he'd always go back, and eventually graduated to heroin. He was fighting the battle in his own strength--and addiction is something that requires more than will power. If your husband chooses to do this battle on his own, that is a recipe for failure. So watch and see what he does in battling his addiction. Is he seeking outside help or doing it alone?

One important realization is that we who love an addict must watch their actions more than their words. Addicts are very well practiced in the art of lying and manipulation--even after they are clean and sober. It will take effort on your husband's part to leave behind the actions that served him well as an addict. That's why it's so important to actively work at recovery because there is so much so set right in the mind of an addict. The physical addiction is only one part to heal.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:28 AM
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Elle, I'm so glad I found your post!
I hope you read mine. I'm dealing with my boyfriend's addiction to heroin right now and my story is very similar to yours.
My boyfriend just finished a 5 day detox program, and is now living in a sober house. I know the anger you feel. When this all first came to the surface, I was miserable. I was so depressed, I'd have these breakdowns at random times of the day.
Then I would get so angry at him for doing this. And I'd get angry at myself for allowing someone to uproot my life with THEIR problems.
I'm still very new to learning how to cope with this so I have a lot more learning to do still. However, I too feel helpless and powerless over him and his addiction.
My source of strength has truly come from this site. The people on here understand, because they've all gone through it. I've also taken a look at some of the posts in the forums from the addicts themselves. It helps because you begin to understand what the addict is going through.
It's widely accepted that addiction is a disease, and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, it can't be cured; only controlled.
He needs to WANT to get help, he needs to WANT to fix himself. No amount of love or support will cure him. Unfortunately, you can't love the addiction out of someone. It's their disease, and it needs to be their recovery.
When all of this first happened to me, I read everything I could get my hands on about addiction. I read letters that addicts have written (they're all over the internet), I read just about every post on here that was related to my situation, and I started attending Nar-Anon.
I know it's hard to focus on yourself because you're so worried about what your husband may be doing, or whether he's lying, or worrying if your relationship can make it through this. But you really need to understand that if you don't take care of yourself, you become part of the problem, not the solution.
I'm staying with my boyfriend through this, we're still very much together. It's the hardest thing I've ever gone through. If you're going to stay with someone who's an addict, just prepare. You need to take care of yourself. You need to come first. You have to set boundaries.
One of you has to have their head on straight!
I recently wrote my boyfriend a letter. I haven't given it to him, but it was a great healing tool for me! Sometimes I felt like it was hard to really talk to him about how I felt so writing it in a letter to him really allowed myself to deal with how I was feeling.
Also, there's a GREAT letter called "A Letter From Your Addiction" that you should absolutely read! I believe you can just Google it. I saw it somewhere on this site as well.
Keep posting, keep updating. This site is truly a life line for me, as I'm sure it will be for you too.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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elle88, welcome. tjp's post could have been written by me about my AS as well. So your AH says he's only using h once a week? That may be true. And I'd venture to guess that he is shooting oxys/roxys on the other days of the week when he's not using h. To him, technically that would not be a lie. When they shoot oxys/roxys and take (or sniff) benzos (xanax, k-pins, valium) with it, they get the same effect or better as heroin. Only some addicts actually prefer the oxycontin/roxys over heroin.

If he's been using for a while, he'd likely need to use at least every 24 hours. At least. Within 48 hours without an opiate, he'd start getting sick. Getting sick because of the drug is not a bad thing. Negative consequences because of the drugs is not a bad thing. Unless your addict husband suffers, and suffers a lot because of his drug use, he will never have a reason to think about not using it. Otherwise why would he give up the euphoria that heroin and/or oxy/roxy produces? If his family members help him, and make it easy for him to continue using, I'll venture a guess that he will choose the euphoric state of mind over everything else. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. And I'm still learning it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:22 PM
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Yesterday we talked again. He confessed that he needs to use every 2 days to feel normal. He said he has to.

His mother knows he does this stuff. It seems as though she doesn't believe he is addicted. She seems to act as if he does every once in a while because he is a stupid guy. I don't like to talk to her because she makes me mad. We both know what he is doing, she just seems to pretend that it isn't a big deal, or something. I mean, if she were to find it in her house, she would throw it out. Just like if he were a teenager and she found a playboy magazine or something in his room. She would throw it out and be like "ugh, that boy".
That is how she is about this. I have never ever been close to her at all, and I don't want to discuss anything with her because she doesn't understand.
Maybe she is just blocking it all out so she doesn't stress herself out, I really don't know.

Yesterday, when we talked, he told me that he has to use it, to feel normal. I get that, he is an addict and he needs it.
He also gave me a date. He told me that he was quitting on March 31st.
What I don't understand is, if he is still saying that he needs it and he knows he is going to use it and he knows he needs to stop, but yet he keeps using it...what the hell is going to change on March 31st?? Why is he going to feel any different on that day? Why is he setting this day? If he is going to freaking quit, he needs to quit now. That is my opinion. Of course, I don't have any idea what he feels like when he feels he needs it, I don't have any advice for him when it comes to "how to quit".
I swear, I just want to lock him down in a room and hire armed guards to stand outside of it while he feels those awful cravings and gets over this stuff.
Ugh, but then I read stories about how your never "over" it, you just live without having it but your always "addicted".
I feel like I need to go back to school and get a degree in this field. Become a drug abuse counselor, or doctor, or something. Just so that I know how to help him.
I talked to him about some clinics & centers that I found, I cannot really afford them but I can get a loan. But he says that he doesn't need me to waste money because he can do this. He says he wants to. I just don't really believe him.
Will I ever believe him? If he ever gets clean and moves back in with me, I just have no trust in him at all right now. All the insane, huge, drawn out lies that he has told me. He has gone to GREAT lengths to try and validate a lie.
I just know that I am going to want to remove all locks on all doors so I can bust in on him whenever, I will want to take extreme measures like that. While he was still living with me and I was suspecting something was up (he had denied anything I accused him of) I was already starting to act like this.
I would pretend to hug him so that I could put my hands over his pockets just to feel what might be in his pockets. I would count his money in his wallet daily and keep track of it.
I don't know how the hell I will ever trust him again.
Gah, why do I love this man so much? He makes me crazy.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:21 PM
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He probably uses every six hours, Elle. That's the way it is with heroin. Two days is too long. Every six hours. This means he is drug-seeking or drug-using all day and all night, and his world is heroin. That's all he wants.

He is delusional about March 31st.

And yes, he is making you crazy.

Are you getting help for yourself? Meetings? Counseling?

His mother has locked her brain. She is a perfect enabler and he will be very comfortable there with her for a long time. Before too long they will both be completely insane.

If I were in your situation, I would separate for an entire year. Most codependents cannot do that. They are too hooked on the addict.

But that's what I advise anyway, when things are bad.

You'll need some help for yourself beyond this forum. Is Nar-Anon in your area?

While you are reading this, he is either on dope or getting ready to be on dope.

You have a hard road ahead, being married to a heroin addict. Please get some help for yourself, you need it and deserve it.

And your son needs a mother who is present emotionally.

NA meetings for your husband are free, whenever he's ready.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:50 PM
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From everything you have posted, it is time to start working on yourself. You must leave what your husband does with his addiction to himself. You are the only one you can change. You can not make your husband want to be healthy and whole nor can you make him do the work it requires even if he does want to be healthy and whole. Get yourself to Al or Nar-Anon right away and start rebuilding your life. They will help set you on the right course--for you. Otherwise you'll be digging yourself a hole deeper and deeper. When you come to realize the best way to relate to your AH, then you'll start to see light at the end of what is now currently a very dark tunnel.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:09 AM
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elle: March 31st is nothing more than a stall tactic. By April 1st, he'll think of something else. Maybe by the start of summer? No way is he going 2 days without using, he'd be sick. And his mom cannot acknowledge it because if she did, then she would somehow feel some sort of responsibility to "do something", so by simply denying it, she doesn't have to do anything at all. Everything is just peachy. A lot of pretending going on in that household. That's crazy-making, in and of itself.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:51 PM
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I know I need to be focusing on myself, but I can't. I keep focusing on him. I keep dreaming of the day that this will all be over. I keep dreaming of the day when he can come back home and we can go back to how it was before heroin. I feel like my family is broken and I have to find a way to fix it. And it's really painful when I realize I can't. My little boy had a wonderful dad. And I keep hoping that man will come back to him, and come back to me, just as he was before. And if he doesn't, I don't know what I am going to do. I can't even stand to think of losing him forever.
But I can't be like this forever, I have to separate myself from all of this, but I can't, this is my family.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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As the wife of a recovery heroin addict, who gets it..

This is his addiction, not yours and you know nothing. And this isn’t about that constant they lie or any attack on your intelligence…It is about the fact that it isn’t yours so how could you know what is the truth or what is a lie for that matter…you will drive yourself nuts if you look at things through him.

Also try not to lose faith, again all about the above. They can and do get out, intact. It isn’t easy but it can be done and is all the time.

Your words in this thread show you are looking for answers, but there will be none if you gauge this all on him, and what you want of your past together. Honestly the past is the problem. It will keep you chained in memories of the good times leaving you to dismiss today’s reality and how bad it has or is getting. And in the end what you should want is nothing of the past but a future in which not only you are healthy but he is as well…the past is always part of the problem.

Heroin addicts get clean, especially if they are allowed to run it out. And they are well known for chipping, which means he might just be using every couple days, again you won’t know and you don’t need to…he is the one that needs to know, to learn about himself, and they do learn using as well as not using…your learning is different.

I know he told you not to take a loan out, listen to him and please keep that off the table for you, no matter how much you think it will help When he is ready he will be more than capable of finding help on his own and will go to the ends of the earth to get that help. He does that for his addiction doesn’t he? And he will for a chance at recovery.

Also understand that you can not help him…but you can not help which is good thing and let him live it his way, let him learn from wherever his addiction takes him, don’t bail out or jail to calm your own fears. Stay out of his pity parties and the blame game, and don‘t feed into them...

And the best gift you could give him is to spend your time working on your recovery, and leave him to work on his or not…why would anyone want to change or do the work if everyone around is doing it for them…fixing, managing, smoothing over, saving are all bad things, avoid like your life depended on it cause it does and so does his.

Know also that you will have no control of who does enabling him, just as you have no control over him so try to get hung up there, it is just another trap to keep us stuck.


Fix you, accept that he is an addict, and know that today is never set in stone.

Take care of you and your son and let life happen, because it will, it never stops, we just stop living in it …don’t stop living!
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:33 AM
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When my son first came home from rehab, I wanted to believe that my son wanted to be clean and sober more than anything in the world. Some people here said having him move in with us was not a good idea, but we wanted our story to be different. It's not so much that our son didn't want to be clean and sober because I believe he does--but my husband and I were not detached enough to institute boundaries and enforce them. Your husband's mother may be where we were (without the rehab)--wanting to believe her son's promises. Perhaps she'll eventually see the truth. One thing about addiction, it is progressive so the blinders she has on now will not shield the truth of what her son is doing for long. She wont be able to ignore when her valuables begin to disappear. The day will probably come when she'll see the truth and will send your husband packing. He'll want to come back home to you. What then?

For my husband and me, our son's girlfriend took him in. We're waiting to see how long that lasts. He's not actively using as far as I know (he relapsed a couple times while living with us) but he still has a lot of baggage--not working being one. I wonder how long the girlfriend is going to put up with our son not working. He says he's looking for a job. He lived with us for seven months with only one brief spell of working. As long as he has someone to smooth over the rough waters, it appears he has no real motivation to take responsibility. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

There are things you can do now to protect yourself. For example, does your husband have access to your bank account?
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by kmangel View Post

When my son first came home from rehab, I wanted to believe that my son wanted to be clean and sober more than anything in the world. Some people here said having him move in with us was not a good idea, but we wanted our story to be different.


I resembled that remark.

It was a long and self imposed painful journey to the realization that what I wanted meant nothing- that I had no control or influence over my daughter's choices.
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