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Help me understand family week at rehab

Old 01-23-2019, 12:47 PM
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Help me understand family week at rehab

Well it's been probably 7 years since I found these boards. Back then it was because my girlfriend, now wife of 6 years, was barreling toward an alcoholic rock bottom. Back then people said run away and they were wrong.

I figured out about halfway through why Al-anon meetings made me feel a little defensive and today I'm in AA after 3 years as a dry drunk led to a breakdown and in the three years since I have come to understand myself and how to get through life despite being me pretty well.

The last year was tough, just as it seemed we were getting to a great place my wife discovered a whole flood of childhood trauma she had buried and began getting treated for PTSD. Long story short the rollercoaster from that hid the bigger problem until in December I found the THC oil she was vaping and then on 12/31 I found the syringes and I can't quite describe the shock I felt when I learned that she was injecting cocaine.

Fortunately my therapist is the brother of hers and we have Hipaa releases all around (or did) in case of problems and 12 hours after I learned of it she was on her way to the airport for rehab. Her last comment on the way there was that our marriage is over. Happy f---ing new year lol.

So it's been an interesting 3 weeks. I'm working on my codependency issues, going to my meetings, did not resume drinking or even give in to the temptation to get a can of skoal which I gave up a year ago after 30 years of a can a day and, well, sure I fell apart a bit but I kept it together and am getting back into work, taking care of our autistic six year old and working the hell out of the program so I don't have much time to fret.

...then there is next week. It's family week at the treatment center, she will be right around 30 days. So far I have heard no sign of surrender or remorse or much of anything other than why it is all my fault and how I need to change so she is not triggered into a relapse because next time she will die and it will be my fault etcetera. I may be madly in love with my wife but I don't care for the addict and I've had the privilege of watching three guys I sponsor in AA get annual chips and one of them got two years recently so I know what recovery sounds like. So does she so the fact that she's not even faking he words is scary to me.

So I go up there next week for four days and I'm not sure where I'm at. Those first 15 days she was pissed so she pulled me off her HIPAA release so that I could not know if she was alive, dead or even there until she started calling and boy when she did she was pissed.

Now she wants out. She very much wants to see our little boy and frankly I get the feeling she'll tolerate me since I'm the one who has to fly him there. She's talking about coming home and I'm not so sure that's a good idea.

This scared me. I found so much crap around the house once I knew what I was looking for that it isn't funny. I'm a bit nervous about going up there and getting cornered. Yes I know it is a family disease, yes I know I have a part in everything but y'know what? It is not an equal part and the lying, deception, betrayal and generally treating me like crap has broken my addiction to my drug of choice - her.

The only thing more frightening right now than losing her forever is having her come home before she gets well. I don't want to go through that pain again but if she's finally ready to get honest and work for our marriage I've got one all out try left in me.

I know I don't control anything but me and then only on a good day with a lot of help from god and the guys he has stuck around me in AA. There's a lot of hurt and betrayal and the selfishness of not even letting me know she was safe on purpose bugs me. A lack of remorse is one thing but actively seeking to inflict pain? I don't get that. Who does that? Coke addicts I guess.

So it is a 4 day program, I am basically to the point where if she is all in for working on ourselves and our marriage then that sounds good to me but I don't have any interest in lies, outbursts, being gone for 7 hours when you go out for an hour... I'm hoping the angry, defiant attitude is gone because for three weeks I had to swallow some really blistering retorts because as much as I wanted to verbally smash that addict ego I know my baby is in there somewhere and well, I'm not willing to hurt her just to make a point. Either she'll get it, or she won't.

Hard part is that I'm not so naive any longer and I know what it looks like when the switch flips and someone finds the gift of desperation and I am not seeing any sign of it.

So I am hoping some of you have been there on both sides... in rehab or visiting a loved one there. I don't know where to start so I think I may just shut up and listen.

Is the nastiness and shamelessness typical early on? I mean seriously, she is ready to forgive me and come home if I promise not to travel for work and do all the housework and take care of our son and I'm sure there are other things. If she thinks her recovery depends on anything I do or do not do she's dead already. This will be between her and God and I need to get out of the way.

So... advise me oh been there done thats... I don't really want to go hear about how this is a disease (yup, gotit, thanks) and I don't need to tell her how badly she hurt me - if she's already feeling like crap and hiding it behind bravado then why hurt her. If she really doesn't give a damn that this has been brutal on us then why mention it?

The bigger question is whether to be ok with her coming home. I'm pretty much going to let the counselors and docs tell me that because who the hell wants that job? No honey, you can't come home because you are not safe for us.... I'd rather slam my hand in a car door.

FWIW the alcohol stopped and AA started when I dropped her at a relatives house at 2am freezing her butt off 7 years ago and told her I loved her enough to do damn near anything to help her get well but too much to watch her die and I drove away meaning it.

How to balance "I love you and want to let you prove that you are ready to change" with "But until you get honest that can't happen and I ain't seein it"

How can I best show support without my inner enabler rolling over and playing dead? Funny that a grown ass man who is a competent sr executive at work gets run over by a princess but she is kryptonite for me and I suck at holding firm.

THanks for letting me vent, not sure I had a point but thanks to AA I have tools. Write, don't isolate, go through it and not around it, there is no kinder gentler path....

I'm scared. 100 forms of fear are kicking my ass got a week to do the step work and get that under control so throw a prayer or two my way. My biggest fear is not her leaving, it's her dying and man did she come close.

Oh well. Gotta get the kid from school, do some step work with a sponsee and get caught up at work because that's my job and I can do it today because I did not drink or decide to play with needles or take any other shortcuts. ...and I had nothing to do with that whatsoever because I am not strong enough to handle this stuff so well. That's all God, may she find him now.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:26 PM
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I am not sure what you want. Your thread asks for help understanding Family week at rehab but your post indicates that you are far from ready to have her come home.

First, Family Week varies from rehab to rehab, perhaps the rehab itself can give you more information about how it works there. Often it involves family counseling and sharing and sometimes puts a plan in place for "after" rehab. They can tell you best.

Your post indicates that you have a lot of responsibility already and are not ready for her to return and go through this all again. The thing is, there are no guarantees with rehab and that is often what happens.

I think setting your boundaries, about what works for you and what does not, and deciding how you will enforce them or if you are even prepared to do that, should she cross the line, is important.

You don't want to leave, but wishing things were different or even insisting that things BE different is not going to change the outcome.

For everyone's sake, I hope she comes out of rehab after full completion and stays clean and sober the rest of her life. Really truly, I do wish that for all of you. I just think you need to prepare yourself for if it doesn't go well.

Congratulations on your own recovery. Your children need you to stay strong and keep them safe.

Good Luck
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:09 PM
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You nailed it precisely. I have no idea what I want ;-) Well OK, I want to wave my magic wand and be able to fix everything but that is unlikely.

I put it in the God Box this afternoon - that's my way of telling myself to knock off the mental masturbation and get to work on stuff that matters then come back to it later in meditation.

What came back was that nothing changes unless and until something changes. I don't want to get into a power struggle over this, if it's about power it's not about love and my job is to show her patience, tolerance, kindliness and love even when.....no especially when she is not feeling or acting very lovable.

I don't want to be responsible for playing warden so maybe I just won't - work out the accountability plan with your counselor and sponsor and tell them to call me if I need to be aware of something that puts our son at risk.

Meanwhile I need to practice saying "yeah...I'm not willing to be responsible for that, maybe that's one for you and your sponsor honey".

I don't particularly want to deal with all of the wreckage here but it ain't my wreckage to clean up.

Detachment takes me a while. My brain wants to run down every single street on the map looking for a way out of the maze sometimes until I get tired and realize that the reason I don't have an answer is because it isn't my question to answer.

Thanks for letting me ramble. Just tired and worn out and not feeling up to another round right now but whining is not terribly attractive or productive so maybe I should try some step work instead ;-)

Say a little prayer for her. My bride is in there somewhere and when she fights her way out of this I hope she can say that after my initial panic I settled down and did what I'm supposed to do - be dad, keep my job and don't relapse.

Oh well. So she's a little complicated. Haven't been bored in the past 7 years and after 40 years of laughing at guys who got all goofy over a girl God laughed and said "Yeah? Watch this..."

Ok, ding ding, next round.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:03 AM
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Now she wants out. She very much wants to see our little boy and frankly I get the feeling she'll tolerate me since I'm the one who has to fly him there.
Then why are you going? How long of a program is she committed to completing?

Just my 2 cents, maybe that environment with an addict who really isnít showing signs of wanting recovery isnít the best for a 6 year old.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:47 AM
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I find it interesting that you are asking here on a forum where you believe people were wrong in suggesting you get away from this person. It doesn't sound like she is committed to her recovery , how can she be committed or capable of a healthy relationship ?
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:11 AM
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Well three weeks into rehab with three left to go I would not expect someone to be at their best or the program would be three weeks not 45 days. Expecting her to commit to much more than doing what they ask her to do today doesn't seem practical. She's sounding better each day and the anger and resentment seems to be going away, her tone is different and I know she's not very happy with herself right now.

I got my answer - going there is about supporting her, it ain't about me. If her docs say that my coming and participating increases her chances of staying sober then that's an easy decision. My initial feelings of "I will support you IF" aren't healthy thoughts. That's about power and control, not love. I will support her because she is my wife and that is what I committed to - whether or not she commits back is her deal. Getting out of her way is and letting her figure out how to do that if she chooses to is better for both of us. I don't know how to be a good wife, figuring out the husband thing is hard enough.


Let me ask a better question - does anyone out there have actual experience with this sort of thing - you've been to family week/day/weekend or you were the one in treatment and your spouse came in for it... how'd it go? What'd you learn? What would you do the same or differently?

Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:52 AM
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You are under no obligation to go. The thing with rehabs is this, their interest lies in two things. One, their client. Two, getting their client to a stable place after rehab, which is your home of course.

Neither of those things is necessarily good for you or your child.

Big hugs to you.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:40 PM
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Set expectations low. Be honest and open. You can't say XYZ and end up with a predetermined path. I've been there. I've said you can't come home this time until you live at a sober house for awhile.

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