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Crash Course on Addiction, Codependency and Drug Laws

Old 10-31-2012, 12:27 PM
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Crash Course on Addiction, Codependency and Drug Laws

I need to vent a little, I hope you all don't mind.

Well, this is my second post here. My first over 8 months ago was "I think my brother is an addict". Oh the adventures we have had and the things I have learned in those 8 months.

So yes, I did confirm my brother is an addict. I was in denial, I knew it, blah blah blah.

I have since found out that things have been going badly for about 3 yrs, starting with RX pain pills. I am not sure when he switched to heroin, probably sometime after he had sold EVERY item he owned (he was a high end carpenter with a trailer full of tools at one point).

Now, my brother sits in jail. He was arrested on two felony heroin distribution charges. I had a cop call me back in August looking for him on a warrant, I guess that explained why he was avoiding me for awhile.

There is a ton of relief knowing he is sitting in jail right now (3 wks). Not hearing from him for weeks on end while he was on the street, knowing he was essentially homeless and crashing in odd places, knowing he was stealing and doing crazy things to fund his habit.....amazing how jail seems great.

I am unfortunately the main contact for him with the family.

Me, with gigantic co-dependency issues that I am trying to reign in at all times. BAH.

Financially, once I found out he was addicted I stopped all assistance, but emotionally it has been a constant battle. It took me two weeks to finally tell him I was NOT going to bond him out no matter what bond was (its pretty high right now so he figured he just needed to get it lowered so I could get him out).

Since then, he has spent every second trying to convince me how jail is horrible, he will never use again, he would never fail drug probation and end up in jail again, etc etc. How he needs to get out and work so he can pay for a lawyer because public defenders suck and he is going to get screwed and spend years in prison, so on and so forth.

Thing is, this appears to be his ONLY clean time in three years, and that is just because he is sitting in jail. You mention therapy and he snaps at you and says his mind is fine, you talk about treatment programs and he calls them a waste (there is one in the jail he is in and some state sponsored stuff I have discussed with him before jail). He has some health issues which is why he was on pain pills....so no clue how he is going to figure out how to deal with those with no meds. He is 33, no health insurance, and none of us have the funds to put him in a private rehab, especially if he doesn't even want to go.

I feel like a horrible sister sitting here doing nothing. Not trying to scrape together 10 grand to hire a lawyer, not trying to find 6 grand to bail him out....argh! I almost feel like I am trying to control the situation by doing nothing for him! Like "Look, I have power over you by keeping you in jail". I am wondering if that is the enabling mind trying to step in? ARGH!

I keep repeating to myself that he is a grown adult, that we have tried to help him get on his feet many many times. That we paid for his methadone treatment when he was willing to at least do that (which I think turned into one day methadone, one day heroin sort of pattern). We offered to get him out of state to another family member in the country who had work (before we knew about legal issues). I even know of recovering friends that asked him to go to classes with them and he turned them down. We kept thinking he had hit his low, but he always seemed to push past it and find a new one.

So now he is in jail. I don't see that bonding him out will do him ANY good at this point. He has no money, no place to live, and none of the family members feel safe taking him in right now.

I personally am seeing an addiction specialist for the last two months. I have learned a ton about our family, our own addiction genetics, and of course my major co-dependency problems. On top of that, my husband and I have been trying to start a family for 3 years, are now in fertility treatments with stress being a HUGE factor in my problems. At 37, I cannot put off trying to get pregnant long. So I keep having to make myself a priority, which just feels wrong.

After reading a bunch of posts here, I think I am going to try going to some NA meetings to help as well.

Thanks for letting me vent!
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:49 PM
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((meadowsis)) - You are NOT a bad sister for letting him sit in jail. I'm both an RA and a recovering codie - I NEEDED to sit in jail, every single time I was there. I NEEDED my loved ones to say "you got yourself into this mess, you can get yourself out of it".

Then I needed to learn to apply the same things to the A's still in my life. I call the promises your brother is making "jailhouse talk". My ex did it all the time and he never followed through.

I hope you keep reading around and posting. I hope that you can focus on YOU and let your brother deal with the consequences. BTW, not sure if he's calling collect, but if he is, they charge a fortune on that. When I was in jail, I was limited to one phone call a week, collect, to my family.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:01 PM
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I have been in your shoes. My sister calls me from jail because I am the only one in the family with the means to get her out. You are correct that bailing him out won't help him at all, he will just go use. I won't bail my sister out, and I also won't pay for any rehab. She's gone through the state mandated variety, she has complained before that she has to have expensive private rehab or else she can't get better, and that's why she has to keep using for now - to that I say BS. There are many very strong, hopeful success stories on this forum that didn't have all the fancypants support of private rehab, that is just my sister's current excuse to buy time with her addiction.

The fact is that if she wanted help, she would seek help, not wait for me to spoon feed help to her. The same goes for your brother.

The only thing he cares about is his next fix. When he calls from jail wailing about the horrendous conditions and the murderers and rapists he's being housed with, all he is trying to get is his next fix. When he promises that he will start working recovery, and he needs to get a job to get started on that, he's only trying to get his next fix. When he says he understands that he has made a lot of mistakes, and hopes that you will be able to trust him again, he is looking for his next fix. Every single word out of his mouth right now is an attempt to manipulate you into helping him get his next fix. Every. Single. Word. I've taken those calls from jail, I know what that desperation starts to sound like, I have been scared by it, too, but it was all just the addiction talking its manipulative game. When the enabling stops, the calls stop so fast your head will spin.

I agree with your family on housing him. I wouldn't do that, either. The longer you support him in his addiction, the longer it will take for him to potentially decide he's ready to seek his own recovery. I know you know this. I'm glad you're seeing a specialist. My mistake the first time was not realizing that the therapist I sought needed to be specifically qualified in handling ACoA and Addiction.

Welcome back to the forum. Keep posting! You're not alone in this! I'm sorry that you're going through this, I really do know how much it hurts.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Impurrfect View Post
((meadowsis))
BTW, not sure if he's calling collect, but if he is, they charge a fortune on that. When I was in jail, I was limited to one phone call a week, collect, to my family.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
Thanks Amy, appreciate your comments on sticking to my guns. This is all so new, I am trying to educate myself everywhere.

In regards to calls, it is $2.35 for each call, luckily a 15 min max, lol. He calls 4-5 days a week, but there are days I just don't answer because I need a break. He hasn't attempted to call anyone else in the fam, he knows no one else has any funds/possessions to get him out. Guess I should take that as another reminder that he is only using people for himself still....calling other members of the fam would probably mean facing his issues with them.

Deep breath, keep moving forward....repeat.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:14 PM
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((meadowsis)) - You don't have to answer the phone. You have the right to do what you want in your life. It took me a while to figure that out, I was so focused on the A.

BTW, jail is not fun, it's not supposed to be. One of the officers told us, once, "we don't WANT you to like it here, we don't WANT you to come back..what we WANT is for you to get your shytt together and never, ever come back".

One more thing. If you ever bail out the addict, make sure that it's money you're fine with throwing away because there are good chances they will not show up to court, may get another charge, and that bail money is lost. My dad did bail me out, once, and I did get to court. However, the other times I got locked up, he said "nope" and my bond was less than $200.

I will forever be grateful to my loved ones for allowing me the dignity of living my life and dealing with the consequences. It's what led me to recovery.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:17 PM
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Interrupted, reading your comments about the 'jail lines' really hits home.

Its funny, when I finally sucked it up and told him NO I wasn't bonding him out period, I actually had a couple pretty reasonable calls with him. Then he met his assigned lawyer and it was all about how the lawyer sucks and is the same one another guy had in there who got X number of years, so he needs to get out to pay for a lawyer, etc etc. So I guess my couple good calls were just until he figured out a new manipulation technique.

Argh, I just need to stop answering the phone for awhile me thinks. I want him to know the family supports him when he finds a new path, but just listening to him whine is not working for either of us.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:27 PM
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Like Amy said: It's totally okay not to accept the calls. Once my sister was really in the throes of withdrawal behind bars I stopped answering, it was too jarring emotionally to listen to her. And that's exactly the thing: I was emotionally a wreck about it, and she was only worried about getting out, she didn't give a whit what I or anyone else was feeling. It's a very one-sided, draining relationship. It's definitely okay to take a break from it.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by interrupted View Post
I have been in your shoes. My sister calls me from jail because I am the only one in the family with the means to get her out. You are correct that bailing him out won't help him at all, he will just go use. I won't bail my sister out, and I also won't pay for any rehab. She's gone through the state mandated variety, she has complained before that she has to have expensive private rehab or else she can't get better, and that's why she has to keep using for now - to that I say BS. There are many very strong, hopeful success stories on this forum that didn't have all the fancypants support of private rehab, that is just my sister's current excuse to buy time with her addiction.

The fact is that if she wanted help, she would seek help, not wait for me to spoon feed help to her. The same goes for your brother.

The only thing he cares about is his next fix. When he calls from jail wailing about the horrendous conditions and the murderers and rapists he's being housed with, all he is trying to get is his next fix. When he promises that he will start working recovery, and he needs to get a job to get started on that, he's only trying to get his next fix. When he says he understands that he has made a lot of mistakes, and hopes that you will be able to trust him again, he is looking for his next fix. Every single word out of his mouth right now is an attempt to manipulate you into helping him get his next fix. Every. Single. Word. I've taken those calls from jail, I know what that desperation starts to sound like, I have been scared by it, too, but it was all just the addiction talking its manipulative game. When the enabling stops, the calls stop so fast your head will spin.

I agree with your family on housing him. I wouldn't do that, either. The longer you support him in his addiction, the longer it will take for him to potentially decide he's ready to seek his own recovery. I know you know this. I'm glad you're seeing a specialist. My mistake the first time was not realizing that the therapist I sought needed to be specifically qualified in handling ACoA and Addiction.

Welcome back to the forum. Keep posting! You're not alone in this! I'm sorry that you're going through this, I really do know how much it hurts.
Please elaborate on what you said. "when the enabling stops, the calls will stop.".
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunflower10 View Post
Please elaborate on what you said. "when the enabling stops, the calls will stop.".
In my experience, when I stopped providing resources to my sister to help her out of whatever predicament she was in (bailing her out of jail so she could work on recovery, getting her car out of impound so that she could go to/get a job, making sure she didn't lose her car to payday loans so that she could still go to work, helping her with rent so she wasn't homeless, etc.) she stopped calling me. When I was no longer providing the resources she was seeking, she wasn't all that interested in talking to me about my day, or life in general, or whatever. It basically feels like the only reason she was calling was for money, and the "I care about your life and how you're doing" part was all just a front so that I would be available to give her money. It's now to the point of her only calling me at all when she needs something - usually money - but she has even stopped that somewhat recently because I told her that I loved her very much but I could no longer give her any money.

My case may be different because I am the only person left in our family with the resources that would even make a dent in what must be a fairly serious heroin problem at this point. My mom will give my sister everything she has left to her name, but at this point that's not very much.

Don't get me wrong, my sister wasn't always like this - this is just who she is right now. I hope one day I will get to know her in healthy recovery, I'm not sure how far off something like that might be. I like to think that each day could be the day that she decides she is done.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:08 PM
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I always felt better when my son was in jail I knew that at least for today he had somewhere to stay, food, and was safe as for your brother getting a raw deal with his court appointed attorney I never hired an attorney for my son and the court appointed where I live work for the best interest of the client your brother will get whatever the court decides he deserves for HIS choice.

My son is currently sitting in prison a from a probation violation he stole pampers of all things.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:27 AM
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Sunflower10:

>>>>Please elaborate on what you said. "when the enabling stops, the calls will stop.". <<<<

I'll vouch for this one!! Cashflow=contact.No cashflow=no contact.

(wish I had cracked this code earlier!)
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:31 AM
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Ironic, about an hour after my last post here I got the mail and my brother had sent me a letter.

Three pages of how he is now clean for the first time and he is changed, that he was trying for months to get clean but couldn't get past day 3, how he is stuck in jail proving to no one he can stay clean and be useful in society again, how he will do anything and everything to get his case down and stay out of prison, which of course means staying clean, etc etc. Oh, and a mention that he needed some family to stay with when he got out.

He also called 3 or 4 times yesterday and I just didn't pick up, must have been a non lockdown day...woohoo.

He had court this morning, a prelim for the felonies where he was just going to waive his right to a prelim, so nothing spectacular there. Its 2.5 hours round trip for me to drive there, so I opted to skip it.

I am feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment. My mind is all over the place, and while I am not taking any outward actions that are enabling, my mind is still just a battle ground.

I also am staying firm with the family, giving some advice but mostly keeping them at a distance since some of them are active addicts in varying ways. Because I have been the only one taking an active role in my brother and learning about addiction, they default to me on what 'we' should do, which I guess is good in some ways (in that no one is bailing his arse out), but it also just aids in my own issues.

Yay codependency fun. I have come to realize in the last couple months my role in the entire family, and I am now peeling back those layers bit by bit, but my brother's issue is the one front and center at the moment.

I found a na anon meeting for tonight and told my husband I was going. I am not religious, but I am spiritual, so I am going to keep the 'higher power' concept in mind and go into the meeting with an open mind.

____

By the way, my brother only calls me and the obvious reason for that is I am the only one in the family financially stable. There are some more distant relatives, but I think he knows they would never help him with money, so he doesn't even bother. SO, he hasn't called his mother, or his brother, or anyone else...just me. Guess that gives more weight to the statements above:

No Cashflow = No contact

He whined in his letter about how alone he is, and I have to laugh because I know when he addressed the envelope to me two days ago, he had to look at the address sheet I gave him with 10 more family contacts all open to at least talking with him.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:54 PM
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meadowsis....my brother is also an addict. Fortunately (or unfortunately) he has not been arrested and spent time in jail. Although given enough time it might happen. I understand the guilt you feel and your desire to see him well. It has taken me a long time to come to grips with the fact that the only one who can save the addict is the addict. Even knowing this doesn't always keep my heart from wondering what I can do. Oh well, one day at a time.

In your first post you mentioned that you and your husband are trying to have a family of your own. You also mentioned that stress will be a factor. Having a child myself, I know the sheer joy she has brought to my life. As much as I love my brother, I would never have traded the joy my daughter has brought me in an effort to save my brother. I love my brother and want him well, but would he have given up his addiction if it stood in the way of my having a child? I know that the answer to that is "No."

Do not allow your brother's choices to rob you of the joy that a child would bring. He is an adult. Painful as it may be, he is the only one who can save his own life. Imagine the resentment that you would feel if you gave up the chance to have a child only to have your brother continue to be an addict for the rest of his life. Give your brother's future up to your Higher Power, and take control of your own future.

Best wishes to you!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SSHope View Post
In your first post you mentioned that you and your husband are trying to have a family of your own. You also mentioned that stress will be a factor. Having a child myself, I know the sheer joy she has brought to my life. As much as I love my brother, I would never have traded the joy my daughter has brought me in an effort to save my brother. I love my brother and want him well, but would he have given up his addiction if it stood in the way of my having a child? I know that the answer to that is "No."
Thank you SShope, so so very true. Its so hard when dealing with infertility to pinpoint everything, but I know the stress from this situation is definitely not helping.

I actually found out I was pregnant in August for the first time, that same week I got the call from the detective trying to find my brother for a felony warrant (Oh, and my husband was in the wilderness of alaska with no phone coverage that week too). Unfortunately I lost that pregnancy at 6 weeks, and I know that is fairly common when it comes to first time pregnancies like that, but alas, that doesn't stop the mind wondering.

Thanks for the perspective, you are totally right. He wouldn't quit for me to have a kid.
______

I went to my first Nar anon meeting tonight, it was good.

My brother called me today, the same old need to be out of jail stories so he can 'work' his case, hasn't gotten the message I am not bonding him out, he was obviously manipulating me (his stories were starting to cross again), so I very clearly stated I was NOT bonding him out or getting him a lawyer, period. He blew up, but he was being ordered back to lockdown so he had to hang up.

Surprisingly, he called back a couple hours later, and I almost didn't answer, but decided facing it was best and if he was just calling to yell at me I would not talk to him. He actually opened up saying he didn't want to talk about all that 'stuff' (bond, case, etc), and just wanted to chit chat. Told him I was perfectly fine with that, and we spent a reasonably pleasant 15 minutes just chatting and no guilt trips. Rare moment.

Another day in the books, lots of rollar coasters (I was shaking after our first call for a couple hours), but I feel like there was progress in some way, LOL.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:16 AM
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Sometimes taking it "one day at a time" is still too daunting. Sometimes it's "ten minutes at a time".

When my sister was in jail the second time (I think the second time?) her bond had gone up enough that my mom couldn't foot the bill, so the calls came pouring in. I was standing outside my doctors office when I got one call, and I took it. I had finally gotten an appointment with this doctor, he is one of the best fertility doctors in the region, and I was standing outside crying on the phone while my appointment slipped by. I was SO MAD at myself for allowing that to happen. Nothing was even accomplished on the phone call - I didn't bail her out, she didn't care at all about anything that I was going through. Luckily he let me reschedule after he saw my file that I had brought in from a previous doctor out of state.

I'm not trying currently, but I have health problems that make me a very difficult case, and I've had two surgeries already while I get ready. I'm 36 now so the clock watching is going on over here also. Anyway this is all just to say that I totally get it, and I also get how much even a phone call can completely derail the best laid boundaries and plans. You sound like you've got better boundaries defined than I did at that time, I had no idea what was going on and no support, all I was doing was trying to mimic what I had seen the interventionist do on the TV show. Yeah, wow, I have come a long way!

You need to put yourself and your desire to bear a child ahead of your brother. Not just a little bit ahead, but for right now, WAY ahead. Because the stress, like you said, is a major factor. When he decides to get clean (or if) he will need to focus entirely on himself for at least a year, so your role is really minimal in a healthy recovery, anyway. It's OKAY to not always be right there, waiting to hear what comes next. The best thing you can do is focus on keeping yourself calm, happy, and stress-free, and strengthening those boundaries - they are going to be an absolute necessity once there's a little one involved.

This was a novel. Sorry about that. It sounds like we really have a LOT in common. Feel free to PM me if you ever need to just vent or chat or whatever, I work on the computer so I'm around a LOT during the week.
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