Detach or Hang On?

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: |

It’s getting cold.  All of Hayley’s warm clothes and jackets are here, hanging in my closet.  AlAnon tells me to detach.  A close personal friend, who is an addiction counselor, tells me that I’m working harder than my daughter is.  He says that if I continue to text and communicate with her, I’m enabling her – allowing her to still straddle both worlds.  Other resources tell me to “hang on”, and never give up on my daughter – always let her know I love her and believe in her.

So, what do I do?  I haven’t seen my daughter since Monday, August 24th, when I drove 31/2 hours to take her to medical detox.  Four days later, she walked out of detox AMA (against medical advice), and talked a cab driver in to driving her the 170 miles back to her “home” town.  The crack house where she had been living didn’t want her back.  Can you believe that?  So where she landed, I didn’t know – – – and didn’t care, at that point.  $6,000 down the drain (4 days of medical detox), agonizing hours of making elaborate arrangements for her detox and subsequent treatment program, all vaporized.

I have since learned that Hayley is now living in town with two coke dealers – who are “decent” guys, believe it or not.  Should I text her and try to meet her somewhere and deliver some warm clothes?  Should I maintain my most recent approach of “hands off”, so that she really feels the isolation and consequences of her decision to reject “help”?

There are as many “experts” and friends/colleagues who expound opposite points of view regarding contact or no contact with Hayley.  But in the end – – – I am her mother.  I miss her and worry about her.  There is a huge hole in my heart when I think about her so far away, yet so close.  Does she just sit in her “friends’” house all day, nodding off, watching mindless TV, smoking cigarettes, planning her next fix?  Does she remember it’s my birthday tomorrow?

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5 Responses to “Detach or Hang On?”

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you might want to visit blogspot. we have an entire community of parents over there who have kids on a variety of drugs, primarily heroin and crack.

i wish you well in your journey with your daughter. my daughter has been using for 11 years and three kids. it’s rough.

Take hope, Peg, there is real hope. It’s really the addict who knows if this is his/her bottom, some can tolerate far worse then others. Sally’s bottom was realizing that in order to have money for cocaine she’d have to turn to prostitution, that was a line she refused to cross. (Amazingly, when I come to think of it.)

I always told Sally to never call me when she was using – but of course had no real way of knowing if she was using or not. When she was weeping and crashing, then no, she wasn’t using, so I always knew that much. One thing we all need to really, really understand is that addicts are never honest; they can’t be honest, they are protecting their habit. While Sally is a hugely honest person, she lied like a trooper when it came to her drug using. It took me ages and ages to really get that, but I did get it finally. Addicts always always always lie to protect their habit, that’s a given. Of course there were moments and days and even months of honesty, but not when she was using. Never then. No way an addict will be honest as long as they are actively using. It’s almost not their fault, they can’t be honest when they’re craving. I used to plain walk away from Sally and refuse to listen to her when I knew she was lying, but trust me, that took me a long time to get to. It also took me a long, long time to fully grasp that when she was cheerful, calm and seemingly together, it was because she’d had a fix. The falling to pieces Sally was the one who was crashing and/or craving.

… “living in town with two coke dealers – who are “decent” guys, believe it or not”

No, they are not decent guys. They are no doubt charming, even loving, but decent they are not.
After years of being told (about dealers) “He’s really decent … She’s really nice …” I could happily turn every single dealer in.

So true. I guess my point was that Hayley’s current living situation, with the 2 coke dealers, seems to be a safer, less sordid arrangement than the crack house where she had been living. As I mentioned, the crack house didn’t want her back – can you believe that? Everything’s relative.

Sadly, Peg, I can understand that. I got to the stage where I would have felt some relief had Sally been in jail for a while.


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