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Housing a Young Coke Addict struggling with grief

Old 07-10-2012, 03:43 PM
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Anger is a common reaction to a death. There's five stages of grief, I think it's Shock, Denial, Bargining, Anger and finally Acceptance. Everyone processes at different speeds, forms. Sudden death is tough. for me, it was up and down, back and forth. I think folks expect us to get "back to normal" much quicker than we can. honestly, for me the second year was very hard.

I was seeing a psychiatrist but I really needed someone who specialized in bereavement. I found a one through a Life Transitions program at a local hospital. She worked with terminal illnesses and deaths. She gave me some books, some assignments, a safe place to vent my anger at my husband. She really helped me resolve my feelings and made it possible for me to let go and adjust.

I hope this helps. I know how hard it is for everyone involved.

Love from Lenina
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:54 PM
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Deuce, How is it everyone is so sure he never did any drugs when his dad was alive? Is it possible he could have been an occasional user and then went full blown?

For the most part, he seems to have a pretty solid respect for my husband, and they have somewhat bonded.

He broke the rule about coming there stoned where is the respect?
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:18 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lenina View Post
Anger is a common reaction to a death. There's five stages of grief, I think it's Shock, Denial, Bargining, Anger and finally Acceptance. Everyone processes at different speeds, forms. Sudden death is tough. for me, it was up and down, back and forth. I think folks expect us to get "back to normal" much quicker than we can. honestly, for me the second year was very hard.

I was seeing a psychiatrist but I really needed someone who specialized in bereavement. I found a one through a Life Transitions program at a local hospital. She worked with terminal illnesses and deaths. She gave me some books, some assignments, a safe place to vent my anger at my husband. She really helped me resolve my feelings and made it possible for me to let go and adjust.

I hope this helps. I know how hard it is for everyone involved.

Love from Lenina
I see what you are saying now. Its not the same as a regular therapist who handles grief along with other things. This is more of a specialist in bereavement. I will do some research on that in our area and see what I can find. I think they could both benefit from that.

Yes I agree, it is often presumed that people who suffer loss can take few days or weeks, or even months and just get on with it. I lost someone very close to me, and within a couple of months people assumed I was all healed. They made me feel like something was wrong with me because I hadnít been able to process my grief quicker and move on with my life in a more productive way.

Maybe that is why I feel empathy for him & his mom. Its not like I think I can fix them, but I can understand he has pain that may be causing his behavior to be this way, and because of that I think he needs a little bit more nurturing than would normally be given.

Thank you for all this information.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybabie View Post
Deuce, How is it everyone is so sure he never did any drugs when his dad was alive? Is it possible he could have been an occasional user and then went full blown?

For the most part, he seems to have a pretty solid respect for my husband, and they have somewhat bonded.

He broke the rule about coming there stoned where is the respect?
Funny thing is, my husband didnt even expect him to be able to follow that rule. But yes you are right. Maybe it is a testing of the boundaries?
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:42 PM
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Yes, I would agree he will test boundaries you have a point there hopefully he went to work today? I do hope you and hubby have a plan for if he continues breaking boundaries.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post

His father passed away last Fall of a natural illness and his son fell apart and started using cocaine and alcohol to numb his pain.
We codependents often assume we know exactly when substance abuse began and the so-called trigger event. We codependents are often mistaken.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:39 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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Deuce: Your emotions are surprisingly calm given how this story is unfolding.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:08 AM
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Dear Deuce:

I'm not sure if I can add anything to the experience and wisdom that was already contributed to this thread. However, I can relate to this topic. It reminds me so much of who I was when I first started my own recovery. I'm an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA) and I started to attend meetings when my life began to spiral out of control because I spent all my time worrying about what others (mostly members of my extended family) should be doing with their lives.

I've also been triggered by this thread. Just reading about the chaos between the mom, her son, and now you and your husband reminded me how awful it was when I was stuck in an orbit of codependency and dysfunctional relationships.

The last codependent relationship that I broke free of involved my brother. He is not an addict, but I believe that he suffers from a mental illness which was exasperated by growing up in an alcoholic home.

He is good looking, smart, funny, and well educated. Yet, he just can't seem to function well. He lost a high paying job and lived off savings for years. During this time period, my mother, sister, and I were determined to help him. We would tell him what he needed to do. We would read up on what we thought he had. We would feel bad for him. We would worry, worry, worry! We would talk for hours on the phone about what to do next.

You know what, nothing that we did helped him. If anything, I think all of our "helping" probably made things worse for him. It's not empowering to have people tell you what you should do. If anything, it makes you feel less capable. I started to realize that I was actually part of the problem, not part of the solution.

He stopped returning calls and I started thinking that a break would be good for both of us/all of us. We haven't spoken to each other in over two years, but guess what - he's still maintaining a part-time job and he's not homeless! I'm also hoping that he is gaining back some of his dignity by not having family members hovering over him assuming we knew what he should do with his life more than him.

So I say the following with the understanding that I have been in a similar place as you...

1) Your home is not a rehab center.
2) You're not a grief counselor.

You're not qualified to treat this young man and if anything you and your husband are just enlarging the circle of their dysfunctional family.

It's not your job to find books for them to read, groups for them to join, or therapists to see. This is extremely unhealthy behavior. Have they even asked you to help them with these things?

I would like to recommend a book for YOU - "Codependency No More" by Melody Beattie.

Do you have children? I just wonder what is happening with the people and things in your life while you take on this "project".

I think you said that your husband was also an addict. Did you attend Al-Anon? Is he attending meetings and working a program?

Wishing you the best.

db
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:20 PM
  # 69 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
Deuce: Your emotions are surprisingly calm given how this story is unfolding.
I hope thats a compliment. Ive never been one to swirl around in a lot of drama and make myself all crazy. Besides, after being around this kids mom and having her call me non-stop last week, I realize he needs CALM around him.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dbh View Post
Dear Deuce:

I'm not sure if I can add anything to the experience and wisdom that was already contributed to this thread. However, I can relate to this topic. It reminds me so much of who I was when I first started my own recovery. I'm an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA) and I started to attend meetings when my life began to spiral out of control because I spent all my time worrying about what others (mostly members of my extended family) should be doing with their lives.

I've also been triggered by this thread. Just reading about the chaos between the mom, her son, and now you and your husband reminded me how awful it was when I was stuck in an orbit of codependency and dysfunctional relationships.

The last codependent relationship that I broke free of involved my brother. He is not an addict, but I believe that he suffers from a mental illness which was exasperated by growing up in an alcoholic home.

He is good looking, smart, funny, and well educated. Yet, he just can't seem to function well. He lost a high paying job and lived off savings for years. During this time period, my mother, sister, and I were determined to help him. We would tell him what he needed to do. We would read up on what we thought he had. We would feel bad for him. We would worry, worry, worry! We would talk for hours on the phone about what to do next.

You know what, nothing that we did helped him. If anything, I think all of our "helping" probably made things worse for him. It's not empowering to have people tell you what you should do. If anything, it makes you feel less capable. I started to realize that I was actually part of the problem, not part of the solution.

He stopped returning calls and I started thinking that a break would be good for both of us/all of us. We haven't spoken to each other in over two years, but guess what - he's still maintaining a part-time job and he's not homeless! I'm also hoping that he is gaining back some of his dignity by not having family members hovering over him assuming we knew what he should do with his life more than him.

So I say the following with the understanding that I have been in a similar place as you...

1) Your home is not a rehab center.
2) You're not a grief counselor.

You're not qualified to treat this young man and if anything you and your husband are just enlarging the circle of their dysfunctional family.

It's not your job to find books for them to read, groups for them to join, or therapists to see. This is extremely unhealthy behavior. Have they even asked you to help them with these things?

I would like to recommend a book for YOU - "Codependency No More" by Melody Beattie.

Do you have children? I just wonder what is happening with the people and things in your life while you take on this "project".

I think you said that your husband was also an addict. Did you attend Al-Anon? Is he attending meetings and working a program?

Wishing you the best.

db
Hi DBH,

No we dont have any kids yet. Its just the two of us & two dogs.
So no one is getting neglected, and I havent changed my routine.

I mean I did take protective measures and lock up my good jewelry, and all of the electronics that arent being used, no cash lying around.

I have spent a fair amount of time reading up on grief and addiction these last couple weeks. Thats how I found SR here.

Yes, my husband used cocaine on a recreational basis for quite a few years. Before I met him, when we were dating, after we got married. Some here would no doubt call him an addict, but he used only a couple times a month; usually with friends, and although I never condoned him using it; his use never progressed. He didnt have true addict behaviors, didnt lie about it, or anything. It did have a somewhat negative effect on our relationship and on him though, because for those few days he would cop an attitude, and then he would crash and get depressed for several days. Moodiness I guess is the best definition.

He has not used in several years now, and I think maybe he just grew out of it. Didnt want to waste weekend time on it, and finally realized the upsa and downs were not worth the short high.

No, I never went to Al-Anon. I didnt really harass him about his using. I mean i knew he used when I got invovled with him. I just let him do his thing a couple times a month, and I would do whatever I wanted too.

I know most everyone here thinks its a mistake that we have let him come and stay with us, but you know I still dont really feel that way. Maybe I will as things go along and if I get burned by him, and exposed to lots of drama between him and his mom.

I dont want to fix him. I think my husband does want to try to teach him how to fix himself. I think he feels like he has some insight because he used drugs and quit. I think he feels compassion because his dad was a close friend, and a very loving and generous man. So if my husband needs to do this, then I think it is ok.

I dont see anything wrong with giving him a place to stay, and letting him eat with us, and having him hang out with my husband. I mean if it does happen to help him see things differently, and keeps him stable so he continues going to his counseling sessions, then maybe he wont have to reach a worse bottom where he really suffers becasue of his drug use and drinking.

Im also ready to accept, we could be doing all the wrong things for him.
In that case, Ill gladly accepta bunch of ' i told you so's '

I think I answered all your questions, not sure. Tried to. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and for the suggestions,
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:08 PM
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some of us are just smarter and more capable than others...so that when we enable an addict by providing shelter, food and a shower, even after they immediately break the "rules" of a homemade do it yourself rehab shelter...well, it doesn't count...because we're not as hysterical as the mother and we know that we're doing the right thing, and our husband needs to do it, and the experience of 99% of those WITH experience just doesn't matter.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:13 PM
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I have been following this thread and feel I need to add experience from an addict.

Deuce, my heart goes out to you. You don't have any idea what you are getting into. When us addicts are using we are liars, thieves, and manipulators. All we care about is getting our next high. We will do what we have to in order to get high. We don't care who or how we hurt a person.

You aren't doing him any favors. He needs consquences for his addiction. Does he even want to quit getting high? If a person isn't having any consquences, why would they quit? Does his counselor know he gets high?

My prayers are with you and your husband!!
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:35 PM
  # 73 (permalink)  
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The decision has been made and the young man is living in their home. The fact that most of us think this is not a good idea is more than evident. Can't we try to be a bit more supportive of the OP since it sounds like her husband is determined to do this?
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:35 PM
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Do whatever you are comfortable with.

Good luck with the boy and we're here if you need us.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by lesliej View Post
some of us are just smarter and more capable than others...so that when we enable an addict by providing shelter, food and a shower, even after they immediately break the "rules" of a homemade do it yourself rehab shelter...well, it doesn't count...because we're not as hysterical as the mother and we know that we're doing the right thing, and our husband needs to do it, and the experience of 99% of those WITH experience just doesn't matter.
Im sorry but Ive read this about 4 times and I cant make sense of what you are really trying to say.

I can only assume you are a mom, and your somewhat pissed because you think we are not doing the right thing that 99% of people do.

It would be helpful then if you could tell me what you did and how you know it was right? Im assuming you child had success ?
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Ive never been one to swirl around in a lot of drama and make myself all crazy. Besides, after being around this kids mom and having her call me non-stop last week, I realize he needs CALM around him.
This is a trap you are laying for yourself, and for the addict. It is easy for me to judge others and their behavior, especially when I have never been in their shoes. Sometimes, I set myself up to judge others so that I can feel better about myself, and I have found this to be especially so when I am closely associated with an addict. I try not to make the mistake of comparing myself with other people. Unless you are a cocaine addict yourself in Recovery, you fool yourself to believe that you know what this man, whom you call a "kid," needs.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Im also ready to accept, we could be doing all the wrong things for him.
In that case, Ill gladly accepta bunch of ' i told you so's '
Deuce, I hope everything works out the way your trying but if it doesn't I have never know SR to be a place of I told you so.

Everyone has different experiences to share depending on what they have gone through we are at different levels so too speak .
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:51 PM
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Deuce,

I took in a child also. He still lived at home, but spent most of the weekends, and weekdays with me. He would go home at night, except for weekends. He was 16 then. He now has a great paying job, about to be married, and thanks me for turning his life around. I have to say that I did nothing. I let him be who he wanted to be. Was always in contact with his parents.

Never really knew where he was, or what he was doing. To this day that kid thanks me for believing in him,even when he dropped out of h.s. For knowing his potential, for never putting him down, for treating him like a person. Yes, he was doing drugs, addicted, I don't think so.

So I suggest to listen to everyone here if he is an addict, but I can never caution to much about defining a person.

My "adopted son" is now doing scuba diving to repair nuclear machinery. He also now gets along very well with his family.

He just needed someone there with him while he was going thru changes.

I hope everything works out well with you also.

Just know that I am listening and do care.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:51 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
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Amy, thank you for posting this. I do sometimes think that I need to be careful not to become heartless and unwilling to help anyone. One does hear stories of people who were off track and then found one person that showed them the way.

I guess I pray that my son finds someone like your husband to show him the way.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:48 PM
  # 80 (permalink)  
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Thank you for the supportive comments everyone.

Amy55 - thank you for sharing your story. What you did was wonderful and Im so happy it had a good outcome.

Sunshine2 - thank you for the kind comment about my husband. I am actually proud of him that he wants to help. And I do agree with you that people need to be very careful about NOT being willing to put themselves out there and help others.

I havent read a lot about the codependency. I know it is BIG on this forum. I guess I feel that I am happy with my life, and I think I lead a healthy life, and so why do I need to make a change? If what we are doing by opening up our home to this young man whos life is currently in turmoil is a sure sign of codependency, then that is fine by me. Weve never taken in anyone before, so hoepfully it wont become a bad habit.

Back years ago, people helped each other out a lot more than they do now, and they thought nothing of it. People shared what they had, and they did it with a kind heart and good intentions. If they got burned, then they chalked it up to a lesson learned and maybe they were more careful next time.

Ive never been afraid to put myself out there and follow my heart. My husband feels a connection to this young man, and he wants to try to help, so I think it is a good thing. Hopefully it will have a happy result like Amy ended up with.
That would be such a wonderful thing.

Anyway, since the big scene the other night, things have been quiet. Our "kid" has been to work everyday this week, and he has ate dinner with us every night except the night his mom came over. Last night he didnt even go out after dinner, he was helping my hubsand clean on his boat. I think they are planning on maybe takng it out this weekend.

I did go online and find some infomation from the local hospital where they have berevement specialist, and support groups for wow so many varying groups of people . So I printed all that off, and Im going to talk to his mom about maybe she would like to try a support group at least. I dont think I will mention it to "kid" right now, beause he's at least been to his sessions 2x this week. Certain of that because his mom checks with them to find out after every one and then informs me. Im not sure why, I gues she is happy he goes and wants me to know. But she has reduced her calls since our chat.
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