Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Boundary enforcement sucks.

Since she relapsed, she has moved back to her previous sober home.

She had stayed out of work for a week (I’m not sure it was necessary for her to do that, but I will grant you, having seen him, that he was in no shape to work that week). They came by and I could not believe his appearance. He had a huge scab on his neck and several on the back of his hands. He looked tired. She looked perfectly normal to me, except for the tears.

He paid for this past week for her at the sober home, and she went back to work. I believe he is back to work also. He tested clean for his job, if that is the case. Otherwise, he’d have been fired by his dad. On the spot.

He has to move to a new place this weekend. He had been housesitting in a place his sponsor owned, until the short sale could take place. His time there is up and he’s looking for a sober home. Actually, they hope to talk their P.O.s into a couples sober home. The rent would be cheaper and they would like to be able to support each other in a sober environment.

More information about the relapse has surfaced. They made the mistake of having a drink. It was all down hill from there. Apparently, they were on a good one…. And it was a real mess.

An email from my daughter stated “we just built a lot of wreckage in ONE F&#KING NIGHT. So it sucks. We just cry alot. And its hard. He might have to do jail time - we don’t know yet. We are going to ask our POs if we can do a couples sober living. It is kind of a compromise. They will probably say no but we will see.”

We’ve tried to be positive and supportive emotionally. We said she could not come and stay with us at all (as we had previously stated she could, when she was sober). She says she is clean now, and I’m sure that is between she and her P.O. If she’s not, someone other than myself can be concerned about it.

Yesterday she asked if we could loan her the rent for the sober home this Friday. For seven days. The following Friday she would pay us the week we loaned her, and pay the sober home for two additional weeks, thereby putting herself one week ahead.

There is a piece of paper in her files here somewhere, that used to hang proudly on the pantry door. She paid off a car we sold her and she paid off different debts, early in this decade of addiction, by having her father pay a bill to avoid interest and then she made regular payments to him. Over the stint of sobriety last lasted almost two years, she paid off the $5,000 used car, and then started on several thousands more of debt. When she relapsed that time, probably five years ago, there was a fair amount left on that tab. She had made great strides on her debts, but we have not seen any more of that money.

From that point on, we didn’t loan. We gave. And only when she was freshly out of jail. We paid sober home fees until she could get a job and her first check, and each time, we considered it a gift.

I did recently loan her money, two months ago. I bought tickets for a concert she wanted to take him to, for his birthday, and two weeks later when she got paid, she paid me back the $40.00. However, she was 8+ months clean at that time.

At best, right now, she has about 10 days clean.

My husband and I talked about it. My heart wanted to say yes and loan her the money. I had told her I thought the answer would be “No”, but that I would talk to her dad about it, and not attempt to sway his decision.

He said “No.” I did not try to change his mind. My heart is aching. I am really having a hard time with this one. Her dad said, “it sounds like consequences to me.”

(At one point he also humorously pointed out that he thought my blogging friends would say to step back and let her find her way through this. That’ll teach me to share posts and comments from other bloggers, right!? Just kidding!)

As much as I want to loan her the money, I feel like she can at least explore other options.

An advance on her paycheck? It’s a small company and her boss is not only a former drug user, he has full knowledge of what is going on with her, and he has been giving commissions early this month, to those who want them for Christmas shopping. She is not on commission, but since this is money for work she has already done and will be on her next check, perhaps he could advance the money.

A loan from someone else?

She says she’ll have to go to a homeless shelter. I wonder why she can’t go to the sober home owner and ask for one week’s grace, and then promise to pay three weeks with her next check, just like she had planned to, if we had made her the loan. It’s a business, and I know the homeowner probably has been burned in the past.

But she could lose a week and possibly gain three?

Or she can lose a week and possibly never get my daughter back there again? If she leaves she has also voiced trying to get into a studio apartment of her own, alone. Bad idea, from previous experience. The sober home has open beds right now, so it's not like its a bad gamble. Girls are not in line at the door.


I don’t know if we are doing the right thing or not. I have no way of knowing if she is really working as much as she says she is, or if she would make good on a loan.

I just know that I’m so very very tired, and so very very sad. If I loaned her the money, I’d be doing it for me. Because for one more week, she’d be housed, and in the best possible situation to try to continue fighting for her sobriety.

I know that bottom line, if my not loaning her the money, and her having to move to a homeless shelter for a week is used as an excuse for her to relapse, then I guess she’s not “done”.

If she decides to give up and use, then she doesn’t want sobriety more than anything. She wants sobriety if it’s not too much work.

The problem I have with all of this today, is that my daughter is broken. And it's never EVER going to go away. And I’d take having her in my life, BROKEN, over not having her at all. I can still see glimpses of her in there.

The mom I know in Alanon who lost her daughter this past year? She regrets the stand she took. Yet, another mom (I have met two more in my Alanon/Naranon Parents group who lost a child in the past year or two and are now going through this again with another child) is sad but okay with the decisions she’s making. This is such a crapshoot.

Main Entry: crap·shoot
Pronunciation: \ˈkrap-ˌshüt\
Function: noun
Date: 1971
: something (as a business venture) that has an unpredictable outcome

I had to look that up to make sure I was using the word correctly! Sounds like a good description of life!

I just went and re-read Madison's post (Its-not-that-we-wont) two more times! It helps!

I will sincerely try to make a more positive post soon.... I'm pretty much a messy pile of raw emotions right now, and that's probably augmented by things like hormonal imbalances and the "joyous" holiday season.... But THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
I will work on my attitude and my gratitudes.

And as always, we have HOPE!


  1. I found that trying to solve the problems of others through financial loans only perpetuates the problem. There are consequences. If there is enough money to buy drugs or booze, then there will be enough money at some point to have a place to live and food to eat. Just my $0.02 worth.

  2. Yes, we do have hope. I'm sorry you have to go through this. I wish I had something really wise and helpful to say. I don't', but I do care.

  3. Reading this just makes me wish I could give you a hug. I'm so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

  4. I don't have anything wise to say. I will share what the family counselor who oversees my group on codependency said, "boundaries can move; and helping an individual active in recovery is not the same as enabling an addict who is active in addiction." That has helped me a time or two when I'm debating upon whether I'm helping my son or enabling a drug addict. We sent my son to the street and it was the most painful thing we did. And I don't regret it. I still don't regret our decision even though he overdosed just 3 days later. But doing the right thing still can hurt so much that your entire heart and soul aches. Hang in there. Of course you and your family are in my prayers.

  5. She WILL find a way to pay her own rent and she will feel really good about herself. Recovery and staying sober is hard work...much harder than finding someone to borrow a couple hundred bucks from. If she WANTS to stay sober, she will find a way. Sending you hugs. Stay strong...the miracle is just around the corner!

  6. I admire you for your stance and to sticking to your boundaries with your husband. I know your sadness so well. I like the last paragraph in Madison's post that says when calling 911, put your hands up, not out, because we have to do the same...it is not that we wouldn't, it is that we can't. It does seem that your daughter bounces back at a much quicker rate when she slips and she has a great amount of tools, with several years of sobriety time over the years. That is a good thing and I think will only assist her in moving forward in her recovery. You are an awesome mother, I can just tell!!

  7. It has always been amazing to me that addicts can come up with a lot of money on short notice if the purchase is drugs. But, rent? Not so fast. Having a child who is suffering from an addiction forces a parent to make a series of nightmare decisions. To us, love is a helping hand and relief from pain. Yet, here we are. Doctors and recovering addicts tell us to let go as the ultimate loving act. I watched my mother live as an addict her entire life because she found someone who would provide her with money, food and a home. She was a wonderful person with few reasons to stop drinking and doing drugs. She lived a very unhappy, tortured life - well-fed, well-clothed. That's most certainly not what most of us want for our kids. My brother (who destroyed his life for years with his addiction) says that he did not even think about walking in true recovery until every single door of every single person shut in his face. He had absolutely no other choice but to make a decision about whether he wanted to live or die. Most of the recovering addicts seem to write that the same type of pain inspired them to begin recovery. Take care of yourself. Sometimes when things seem darkest, it's a good thing. I will pray for you and your daughter. Many people remember the pain and trauma that descended on their lives when high and do whatever it takes to make sure that door is never opened again. Addiction is like a room you walk into and someone beats you up, throws you on the floor, kicks you in the face and stabs you. You stagger out, ill, vowing to never go back into that room again. Then, when you're all healed, you get to thinking, well, that really wasn't so bad, maybe if I go in there again I won't get hurt. So, you go in again and that guy is still there ready to beat you up again. Finally one day you realize getting high=pain. Sorry for the long comment. You never know which time will be the last time or if what you're doing is right, wrong or indifferent. But, it sounds like love to me. (However, I still hope she ditches the addicted boyfriend.)

  8. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I can just imagine the conversations going through your head. All the dilemma and questions. Stay strong.

  9. Borrowing the money IS an excuse. When the addict has to learn to do for themself..guess what..they find they are capable, worthwhile human beings. They begin to feel better about themselves. They begin to feel they are NOT losers. They begin to think, maybe--just maybe--they will be OK without drugs.
    I know what you say about being broken. No, they are not the same as before the years of abusing their bodies and minds. But, I'm not the same person I was at 18 either. We just have to love and accept who they are today.

    Joy, thank you for your email. I cried with hope and optimism when I read that prayer. Now..take a few minutes for yourself and say that prayer. It will change your day.

  10. even though you will say no, try to be aware that in your mind YOU ARE PROBLEM SOLVING FOR HER.

    first step to continued enablement...LOL. I know, i have done it SOOOOOOOOOOOO many times.


    hang in there

  11. This could be me. How easy it is for me to pay his debts. I've done it three times, and he's paid me back...only to get right back into debt. It's all so crazy.
    I'm so supportive of your strength to say no. It hurts, but it's what we must do. I hate it.


  12. I kicked my child out of the house with tears on my face. She discovered she had to support herself, and she had to stop partying to do that. She chose life instead of death. What a turnaround in three years! Thank you, God. It ultimately comes down to putting the child into His loving hands.