Chicken/Egg

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , |

This is a response to a recent text from my ex-husband’s wife, Jill, to my daughter, Hayley, asking the question, “What can I do for you?”

I don’t know.  What I do know is that this has to end soon.  I can’t be a junkie forever. have to legally as well.  Good excuse to go to treatment. It’s hard to remember what life was like without having to do a drug in order to not be deathly ill, which happens a lot. And I have it relitively easy, I’m “taken care of” regardless if I have the money or not. Anyways, I miss my family and friends so much.  It’s almost too painful to bare, thus the drugs.  One big cycle.  Also funny just how many people you and I know secretly exist in this world too.  Some things I want to talk to you privately about sometime too.  I live in a nice house, big jacuzzi, been cooking a lot.  Gotta run, bf needs phone.  Love you guys. HHH

Huh?  She uses drugs because she misses her family and friends so much?  I thought it was the other way around.  I can testify that Hayley, over time, isolated herself from family and friends through her drug use.  So, what comes first – the chicken or the egg?  Hayley’s reality is totally distorted.  Here’s a tip:  get clean and sober, Hayley, so you can reconnect with your family and friends.

Very good friends, and even more casual friends, always ask me this question:  “How does she get her drugs?”  It’s a very insensitive question, in my opinion, somewhat naïve, and hurtful.  I mean – – – duh?  What do they think – that I’m sending her checks to buy her drugs?  That she has some kind of trust fund?  My daughter is somehow earning her ‘keep’ – and, it’s a knife in my heart.  She most likely has resorted to the oldest and most common means women have used to support themselves, prostitution.  Webster’s defines prostitution as:  the misuse of talent for gains;  to sell the services of oneself for low or unworthy purposes. My daughter and her 60 yo ‘boyfriend’, are ‘taking care’ of each other.  This is nothing new.  In some cases, marriage can be a legal form of prostitution – with women financially dependent on their husbands but trapped in an emotionally unhappy or even abusive marriage. 

My good friend, Cathy, remarked – “Well – at least you know she’s alive, has a roof over her head, and feels some kind of connection with someone.”  Yeah – but, this scenario is not very comforting – and is so disgusting to me.

I’ve been told by professionals, that any kind of texting chat with family members is enabling Hayley.  She is able to keep doing what she’s doing, but still hanging on to family – with a toe in the ‘real’ world.  What do you think?

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12 Responses to “Chicken/Egg”

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I just started reading all the blogs of mom’s of addicts. I am one, and feel such sadness reading the blogs, but I also feel I’m not alone. My daughter is trying to recover from heroin addiction, but since rehab she has had a slip of several days every 4-5 weeks. I had to rush her to the ER last week, because she was detoxing from heroin, took a seroquel and was couldn’t stand up. The doctors and psychiatric nurses told me to throw her out of my life that night. I couldn’t. I know it will probably come to that, but it’s incredibly painful. But you’ve all been there. She’s still clean right now and working, but I know the underlying problems are still there. I need to go back to Alanon, because I’m not able to let go. I’m still enabling in so many ways. I was just struck when Heather’s Mom questioned whether to call her daughter. My heart goes out to you. I never believed in a devil until my daughter discovered heroin. What a ghastly drug.

I agree with what Tom wrote. With Heather I have decided – for myself – in a conversation with her I will not tolerate (if I can figure out it’s happening… duh…) lying, manipulation or abuse. Whether or not it’s enabling – I don’t know – but I would think it depends on each individual current circumstance. If you pray in earnest, then trust God that your action (or in-action) is going to be okay.

I also agree with Dawn & Barbara about her not thinking “right”.

Sending love & huggs!

What a heartfelt blog about the difficulties in dealing with an addict. I hope you will get advice from someone you can see. I’m not sure if you have found Alanon meetings helpful, but they can be good places to begin finding help. Take care of yourself.

Thanks, Madison. I’ve gone to Al-Anon for 7 years, and find it to be a tremendous source of comfort and support. My favorite group meeting was this morning – and, as a result, I gained the strength to make contact with my daughter this evening. Read my most recent post about this. I’ll be posting about this phone conversation tomorrow. I appreciate your comments – – – it truly does help to share this tragedy with others who are going through similar scenarios. Take care.

In general, it is fine for a parent to communicate with their own child via text or any other means!

The issue to pay attention to is how healthy the communication is for both sides.

If the nature of the interaction is hurtful, or it is otherwise not healthy for one or both parties to the communication, that is a problem which needs to be resolved by improving communication skills, or choosing to discontinue communication until the quality of the communication changes.

Healthy and appropriate communication between an opiate dependent person and their parent can be a very good thing, and can contribute to recovery.

The parent child bond, even under the worst of circumstances, is very powerful. And that power can contribute to recovery.

It is very meaningful for people to know that a parent loves them and won’t give up on them.

I know an opiate dependent person who is about to lose his mother. She is in ICU and probably will not live much longer.

She is the one family member who never gave up on him. She got to see him with a year of sobriety.

Would his recovery have been more likely if she had refused to communicate with him? I don’t think so.

Thanks, Tom. This helps. In truth, communicating with my daughter is so painful to me, that I’ve essentially opted out. However, I think I may try texting her. Should I try to see her?

I don’t know if you should try to see her or not. I don’t know enough about the specifics of your situation to hazard to guess. And the outcome of any meeting is impossible to predict.

The message I want to convey is more general…keep your eyes open, reflect, use your common sense and be genuine. It’s ok to consult your heart and your gut.

There is nothing categorically wrong with a parent spending time with their opiate dependent son or daughter.

Texting is a little more controlled and removed, and might be a good way to test the waters.

I don’t have an answer to the question of whether or not texting is a type of enabling. I just don’t know. What I do hear you struggling to find is courage(and perhaps this is a huge part of Hayley’s struggle too). When my daughter was most desperately ill with an eating disorder, a teacher gave her a plush lion, as a symbol of the courage she needed to summon, in order to deal with the disease. At the time I didn’t appreciate the depth of understanding of that gift. I thought I understood the immense courage it takes to live life. But, I didn’t grasp the power of an addiction and the courage it requires to deal with it.
So, my message for you tonight, dear Peggy, is to summon up courage. Here is a quote from Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a woman whose life required immense courage.
“It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long, uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.”
Be well. Have courage.

It makes me ill to know some of the things my son did to get drugs…I just don’t allow myself to think about it since its in the past. I am so sorry you have to go through this. They (addicts) can’t comprehend what they put their friends and family through, its like Hayley is not really Hayley anymore. She’s been taken over by the drug. I don’t about the texting, if she says she missed family, maybe she should be the one reaching out?

Yes, Barbara – that’s a perfect observation – that if Hayley is missing family so much, all she has to do is make a call. I know it’s not simple, but to put this guilt trip of ‘missing family’ back on us, is a perfect example of Hayley’s manipulation skills. I dunno – I may try to text Hayley to open the door to periodic communication. I just want and need to know that she’s alive. I don’t want a running dialogue about why she needs to go to treatment, how sorry she is, etc. – – – just “something” from her to let us know she’s still alive. Is that too much to ask? She really has not shown any signs of wanting to change her situation – in fact, I think she may have found her ‘niche’. Horrible to say and contemplate, I know. But she’s never muscled through any kind of difficult situation in the past. I’m not very hopeful that she will find the will, strength, incentive to overcome her addiction.

wow. jill and hayley are BOTH in denial.

junkies don’t think right. so don’t put alot of anything into hayley’s text. they cannot rationalize anything except their drug use.

they use because they originally liked/loved the feeling, and they continue to use because they have (in their eyes) no choice. it’s either use or be dopesick.

yah. knowing your baby child is trading her body for drugs is really hard.

remember, i call it KING HEROIN for a reason. nothing is more important to them.

let it go. you can’t control jill, you can’t control hayley, you can’t control the situation, none of it. you just have to let go.

it will be what it will be.

{{{hugs)))

Dawn – you are always so dead on – and help me cut through a lot of the guilt and fear that can dictate my behavior and judgment. I always look forward to your wisdom and comments. How’s it going with Calamity and the kids? I think of you, and admire your energy and commitment to raise those little ones with some stability and constant/reliable source love and common sense. Cheers to you and your husband.


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