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Guilt tripping

Old 09-06-2017, 07:25 AM
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Guilt tripping

There is a lot of guilt tripping that goes with addiction. From the addict, from family members, from co-dependents, from yourself....
How do get past the guilt? What are your coping mechanisms for that?

My stepson (meth and heroin addict) has been in the methadone program for a month or so now. Maybe more I lose track of time. I saw him the first weeks in, he didn't look anywhere near good. I haven't seen him since then. He's living with his mom who claims he's doing fantastic. (I hope so) They are going away and husband has been asked to "babysit" him over that weekend. He has decided to take him camping. GREAT. (Otherwise, I was going to get a hotel for that weekend. But we didn't really discuss it, he saw my reaction when he told me had agreed and I guess that was enough.

So, slowly the guilt trip (from husband) has been increasing.
"my son is still not good enough to be allowed here" " I don't know what I am going to do..." I have to take him somewhere else, with money I don't have...." etc etc.

I have not responded at all. And just let it ride with no comment.
But I am fighting with guilt. I know its manipulation. I know he just wants whats best for his son, and an easy way to do it.

But it's not easy. I am too jaded to believe everything is "fixed". I hate feeling like the bad guy. But am tired of going down this road again and again and again.

I thought since he jumped to take him camping that we were going to avoid this crud. But I feel like I am still paying the price.

So how do you NOT feel guilty.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:59 AM
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>>So how do you NOT feel guilty. <<

Sounds like you want what is best for both your step son and husband. Why don't you try camping with them? Getting involved on your part would go a long way to dissuading your guilt?
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:00 AM
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I can completely understand why you feel guilty, however, you are absolutely correct to stand by your own boundaries. I am sure he just wants to believe his son is doing all good and well. However, you require actions over the long course to believe that, and that is your right.

I hope your husband is not hurt by his son, but only time will tell.

Gentle hugs.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:39 AM
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I know it's hard not to feel guilty. (I still struggle with it years after the fact)

In my opinion, you don't have anything to feel guilty about. You are entitled to protect your personal boundaries, that should never be a source of guilt for anyone.

If your stepson is in such good shape as his mother claims he is, he wouldn't need a "babysitter", you are right to be on guard if he still needs to be watched like a hawk. He has a long way to go to earn back your trust. Your husband should understand that, unfortunately he is still obviously codependent, this is shown by how he has tried to manipulate your physical space as well as manipulating your feelings; causing this guilt you are allowing yourself to feel. Try and fight those feelings, it's unfair to yourself.

Hang in there Sephra. You are doing the right thing by protecting yourself from an addict, since your spouse isn't on board with that.

Hugs
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:17 AM
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It seems to me that this could be a good time for father/son bonding and some step-mum relaxation time.
Truly don't allow his behaviour to dictate how you feel.
Take the time for yourself and keep yourself protected with your necessary boundaries and try to turn those guilty feelings on their head by stepping back from the emeshment and allowing yourself some freedom from the troubles.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:57 AM
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I don't know, but recognizing and acknowledging that someone is attempting to use my guilt to manipulate me into relaxing my perfectly reasonable boundaries goes a long way towards helping me let go of it.

Even without anything to do with addiction involved, if my husband made plans for our home without consulting me first? That would be a problem, and I wouldn't have a drop of guilt over enforcing my boundaries. But at that point, it is no longer about the plans he made, but the lack of respect shown for our partnership. That's a bigger issue that can't be swept under the rug by a weekend at a hotel or camping.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:39 AM
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I discovered that there are 3 different kinds of guilt…….

Guilt used as an emotional weapon in order to get ones way. This is what your husband is attempting to do to you in order for him to get his way.

Guilt as a self-inflectional punishment for having feelings/needs and wants of your own that are separate from others around you. You have a need to keep your home as your own safe sanctuary away from reminders and possible repeats of addict behaviors that took away those safe feelings.

Guilt because you have done something wrong, something sham full, something embarrassing that makes you feel guilty. Like say you saw someone ahead of you in the grocery store line drop a $20.00 and then you picked it up and put it in your pocket rather than inform the person who dropped it, this may make you feel guilty. If you have purposely done something wrong then we do in fact own the guilt we feel.

However, in your case, you have done nothing wrong. Your husband is merely repeating his own pattern of denial and codependency with his son.

Let’s say 6 months to a year from now your step son is continuing to follow the methadone program and is showing signs of real recovery, you can revisit the issue again. If this were me I’d stick to my boundaries.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:05 PM
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I agree, it is perfectly okay to have healthy boundaries and stick to them. I hope all goes well for the hubby and son camp out. Whether it does or does not, you are able to have your home as your safe zone of peace.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:28 PM
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Even without anything to do with addiction involved, if my husband made plans for our home without consulting me first? That would be a problem
This recently happened to friends of mine. Both the husband and wife had said to their own respective friends "Sure, stay over at our place this weekend!" without consulting each other. Imagine everyone's surprise when two families showed up at the doorstep. It was very cozy.

My friends really couldn't get mad at each other, because they were equally as guilty for making plans without consulting the other spouse.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:51 PM
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That is too funny, Puzzled.
Sephra, is it possible that your husband, in his own codie way, is attempt to enlist your help with his son for the weekend? That maybe he doesn't want to deal with him solo?
Not saying you should change anything up. Keep your boundaries.
Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:20 PM
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could he stay over at the mom's house with the son?
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:03 AM
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good stuff and lots to think about Thanks!
Somethings that really struck me were the 3 types of guilty. I grew up with a guilty conscience, and often take on guilt that is not mine. Hmmmm... The first two types atalose listed are definitely my problem, and the self inflicted guilt is MORE a problem I'm thinking.
I went to a therapist many years ago who told me I need to learn how to "be more selfish". I have a hard time asking for what I need, never mind demanding it. haha. I tend to think other peoples feelings are more important and I should just adjust to make them more comfortable.
As far as them staying at the moms house, well her husband would not be so cool with that. But moreso (maybe in my jaded mind) I see it as his mom having a way to get his foot back in our door. I have over the past decade watched them pass the problem back and forth and I think (again maybe jadedly) that things are maybe not as good as she is portraying and maybe she is looking to get him back over to us, and has to start somewhere? (Again if he was doing that well why the 24 hour babysitter?)
Could husband not want to do it solo? GOOD POINT! many times he offers to babysit the grandkids and then gets quickly frustrated and we tag team it. I think probably what he really wants is to just pretend that everything is good and that there is no longer an issue. Support him while he's doing good? I dunno. I WANT him to be doing good, and when I express doubt that he is, it's like they think I am picking on him. Neither here nor there I guess. It is what it is.
Husband has come so far with codependency and boundaries from where he was. I know its a process. I just can't get myself to believe that the problems are done. (He's still not working. Over a two hour journey for the methadone everyday. Not supporting his son. etc. etc. etc.) It's gonna take a whole lot more than that to make me think this kid is on the right track.
On the last go round with a counselor she said to me... maybe whats "doing good" in your eyes is unattainable, maybe "doing good" (right now) is not doing as much drugs as before, (switching to methadone rather than shooting up.)
Maybe... but... He's doing better than sleeping in the woods, shooting up, being found psychotic and naked in peoples homes but *I* still wouldn't term it good.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:32 AM
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This is only my opinion, but I think your home is your place. I would not let anyone who I don't deem a good productive member of society be part of my home. Again, just my two cents.

You don't have to be the landing pad for this kid.

Hugs.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:39 AM
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Neither would I, Sephra, but the counselor makes a good point.
With addicts, we can't get "normal." We get what we get.
My husband, bless his heart, will start projects, then request my help to finish them.
After many years together, I have learned to say, "This is your deal. If you don't think you can do it solo, say so now and we will work it out."
Working it out either means my help, or hiring someone.
But...at least I have given myself the option to buy in or out.
Does he get annoyed with me for doing this? Absolutely.
But, on anothere level, he understands why I do it.
He is a truly lovely guy, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:42 AM
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I too agree with the counselor that with an addict, you may just get what you get. However, that does not mean you have to let them be in your home, babysit them, or be responsible for them.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:43 AM
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And you are likely right about son's mom wanting to shift some of the burden of care back to you and your husband.
She knows her ex spouse very well, and, well, taking care of an addict is hard work.
Sounds like HER husband has put some boundaries in place as well.
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