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Yeah. If you use it because you were not there for me. There are millions of these on the knuckle of fanatic either through about 20 months. And for 30 years and those with her full name thing me 17 years have done it right. I started when I was 14 years old and my covering addict OK names their. 15 year old drug addict. But I'm still a
drug addict. I'm married I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. I'm going to cover for almost 11 months. And. I'm 15 and I started using drugs when I was about a thing goes about above and for the parents found out about it. They got really led a double life because when I was around them I was a nice little kid. As we know it in my past was about. I was around 13 years old I was a nice little kid. So long as I didn't show them any outrageous behavior or anything to give them any hints that something was wrong and I could still get away with it and I was out of the house. I could do whatever I really felt like doing I lied all the time to my my family that I want and then that I used. There was times there were times when I'd come home in an overdose in my bedroom and I wouldn't tell my family that I don't want their house. One time I WANT TO MY MOM SO and I wanted someone to come and say hey it's OK but I was too scared to tell her that I was drunk and
you know that's the price I guess I paid I'd sit there and and overdose and I wouldn't ask for help because I didn't want to do that and hide it. I stopped caring. You know it was like to the point where I thought my dad No that's right then my mom's going to my brother you know I just didn't care I just wanna get high and get away from the family and do what I want to do than care about them or spend time with the family with them. I've done something dumb things and never imagined myself doing. I was turning into something that I didn't want to be and I had really I didn't really have much control over it because my my disease and my drug problem seemed to be one in my life at that time. It was other people trying to change me and control the way that I was and I wanted to. I thought I was like destined to use drugs or something. I thought that I wasn't supposed to be sober in the first place. I suppose I was just do that kind of person that made me better or something and that was half the fun I thought was I was.
Getting away with something that was half the fun. I'm so worried. We just came from the school and had a meeting about our son Paul. You know he's had something to drink once in awhile didn't like it but. Well the school told us that. And I had some pretty good evidence that he's into drugs I mean really into drugs. I don't I don't know how this happened. Ick. I don't know. I don't know how this could have happened but we have to fix it. We have to fix it this is our kid. We are responsible for this. And Jeff Jeff he sat in the meeting like almost stone face. I know what's coming. I know Jeff he's not going to take part in this at all. He's not going to care to be involved. He's going to run away from it. You know he's going to get stuck handling it me.
Well as far as I'm concerned that school meeting was a waste. You know I don't know who has the bigger problem here whether it's Paul and his drugs or whether it's Bobby and her being so over protective. From the moment this kid was born and he let out his first scream she's been hovering over him. The pediatrician almost fired her. She's interviewed every teacher that this kid has had and any advice I have to give her. She discounts it. Like I'm not knowledgeable enough. After 17 years I'm still not a very knowledgeable person and she doesn't hold this kid accountable for anything. I give him some discipline. He squeals a little bit and she just kind of like takes it off. You know it's really upsetting to me because what's happened is Paul and his drugs have become her latest cause. And me where do I fit in. I don't think I fit in at all. Hey you know I think I don't know about you but I know I'm I'm
absolutely positively no and I'm pissed. I am so angry about that meeting. Wonder why. I mean I'm angry I'm angry at the whole situation condoms eating who can't see that the guidance counselor of the teacher. They had no hard evidence whatsoever that our kid is using drugs and by the end of the time they almost had us believing that he's a drug user Jets ridiculous Jeff. Believe it I know my kids leave it. I know my kid. I know but it's they are the evidence is there and I am scared to death you know kids die from drugs you know that not my kid and the school I get to what it's really about and it's not my job to keep my kid in school. They have school principals to do that the school is not the issue the drugs is the issue and I don't know what we're going to do but we've got to do something we're responsible for it. This job and what concerns me is your overreaction to it. Oh Paul is not alone I don't hear it anymore. He you know he's an adolescent he's OK he's a big kid and he's in
trouble. OK. I think you're overreacting to it a lot and not overreacting. Why don't you pay attention to things when they're right smack in the middle of your face. Well I am. And as far as I'm concerned if you let him Paul is like every other adolescent. Unfortunately he got caught with a beer in his locker instead it was not easy for everyone else not beer. This is heavy drugs and I understand they clearly if they couldn't prove it to me Bobby. No they couldn't prove the tape they couldn't prove it to you know. Yeah I wonder why I wonder why I don't know I should have to. Yes you do you know why I don't know what you do. You do know why and that's because you were into alcohol when you were young too. Right. Bobby I outgrew it. And here is what this kid needs is a swift kick in the ass. Wait just a minute. That's typical of what you do whenever it comes to something with Paul. You run away and you run away from me too much and it's not because I'm not that's all you
want to do is you want to get in there goes that hope he gets there you know he needs your attention. I think really if you're up that shit how do you know Dante I want to know I said to me too. Why do you rule me over so much why don't you listen I want to I want to set some limits for him. I want to I want to keep him in that room Och take your car away. Bobby you're the one who gave them wheels. I was against giving him a car. We gave him a car because I am so overloaded with carpool and everything else that comes up with this kid. I handle it all. Jeff you can ride a bus like every other kid in this nation. You came a car. You gave him a phone and I was a guy getting him up from only his waist because you're sorry and it's just a minute on the phone just a minute on the phone. You were always griping because you could never get to use the telephone. Why don't you get that care over the phone so I can use the phone Fabio I got on the phone you know you want to use it what's your point. My point is I don't want to be having secretive conversations of people on the phone it was again your
idea not my idea. I want to set the limits on this Can't I make me so powerless. I get so much faster and didn't listen to me you will not be involved in a good way. That's why our kids are in trouble. I count on this to be bball Fabiani I try to put my hands on him Bobby and you won't let me touch the kid. You want I mean you have turned me around enough to catch him and I'm going to tell you something. We are going to get some help risking their money probably right my own money my money. Yes. Too bad about your money. That's always the most important thing you think about how you can give money to fix it. That's what you think I'm going to get professional help for this kid that's it. I'm not. Nothing's wrong with me. I don't even know when I was in Paris I want to gamble when I don't. Listen Bonnie Paris too bad embarrassed we need help Jeff. Bobbie if you need our hand you a towel if you need to take them to a shrink you take him but leave me out of it. There you go. There you go. Leaving me holding the bag just like you always
do Bobby. I can't help you. I mean it's impossible. I mean I try my best. My kid is not a druggie. She has a new cause. Well what do you think. Don't sit there. What do you think I'm right on her night. What do you think. Nobody listens to me. Somebody say something help us out about Saddam. We both know why. Because neither one of you are listening to the other. She's saying you're not listening to me. I'm saying neither is listening to the other. You need somebody who can mediate in between. I don't I don't think I would survive it to be honest with you. Yes they were you had if you had a point isn't on my side or what is not on your side. I think you're in denial that there's a problem. I think Say you realize that as a problem you're going to be in trouble. The problem she has was the plane could be OK. She has messed up every part of his life. Why does he always walk away when I need him.
Why does he do that why do you want to hear what you always have to be a chaperone at his school dances. Why can't you take your eyes and I get a little fun out of doing something where there are people because we don't do very much together do we. That's right I don't come for anything I am the last person in this family. All right. Help me out. Help us out. Neither one of you are looking at the problem. You're looking at each other so much that you can't even see that your child has a problem because you keep blaming each other for that I've got to tell you from my heart. My kid our kid has been the focus of our lives. You know he's been the focus of our lives since he's been born. We don't have time for us. It's always something about Paul this way or something about that. I'm running out of energy about Paul. What do you need to fix bugs so she needs to fix something I think I need to fix. I'd like to I'd let them turning on me. I mean here we got this kid and our kids got a problem. OK I think we need to get help. Would you agree with me for our kids.
Yes. Ok i can we make that again but it's like a great chorus you want them to repeat it. That sounds pretty good to a orchestra didn't want to get you was being a marshmallow you're being a bit of a marshmallow toward him. How how how how how long. OK because Freddy is following him all the time always late to school. PAUL Yes and doing all of that. He's denying there's a drug problem and he wants to do when he's around be too forceful. So what you have to do sometimes is change your roles. I could help him I could solve the problem if he would just trust me for a change. He's never let me pin and be involved in his life ever you know and this is my get together then and you're going to have to set down rules. You said you said that he was priming the primacy in your life. That's the problem. You have heard fella tell we have to get together first listen to him
please to stop being so noxious I'm nothing I'm not and I want to begin to turn a corner. Go ahead you have to solve your problem first. What you have to be prime a husband and wife have to be primacy first before you can ever help to solve the kids problem but I can't I can't get him to even listen to me like you were saying I you know I don't have to examine new ways of behaving because what you've done so far obviously hasn't worked and is not working and you have a crisis and it's time you put aside your petty differences and concentrate on your problem which is your son is in a bad place right now. Hello can I I shan't harm so are we. I'm going right go ahead. I think that's what you need to work on at this point is you are selves you're relationship with each other first I think that was said earlier and that's the best the first thing is you want to for yourself. Why don't you trust me have a relationship outside of Paul. OK I don't trust him that sounds good to me but I don't know how to get there. Like
why I don't like what's to you why don't you trust me. I guess because you've never been there enough to try. I would like to be there. Well then why are you. No no I'm telling you now. I would like to be there. So what is that going to mean. I want to be there with you. I love you and I love our son and I just get so whacked out of shape. I get so angry when I feel like I'm being pushed away he pushed away I WANT TO BE THERE I'M do you hear me saying help you need to be involved here when I am you're not sharing anybody telling us what I hear is neither of you are sharing your feelings with each other you're pointing at each other and you're telling each other what the other person needs to do. But you're not saying what you need for yourself and what your own feelings are one one point where you might start is looking for a good support group. And I'm not talking about going to shrink or psychiatry. There are a lot of people out in this world that have the same problem that you have that experience that have been there. So how do you then go find a support group you can look in the
phonebook under tough law. You can look under. Go to your church pastor he will give you information and you can go to county health services and they will give you information on where to go. You don't have to go see the shrink have to say I like what he's saying. But again it just feels like I was being pulled away from having to deal with with each other and going on to something else and be with someone else. I want you to be able to trust me I don't know if I want you to be there for him. I'm trying I mean I'm not sure if I trust you as Jeff Either you're giving mixed messages to Bobby but what about what I say because I'm going to be there I want to help you I want to support you and then when she says I think we're responsible for our child getting into this mess which I don't agree with you dump on her and say you know your right you gave me the telephone you gave in the car. I said almost all of the deanery on hand and comforting her with the other I said no but with that I just you know you are sounding to me very defensive I may be when I am listen OK I am defensive but maybe I don't like what you said. Program I think you
have been saying excuse me it feels that way to me I'm getting mixed messages from you Jack. You seem to start from today. When you just keep blaming for the past which is already done which cannot be changed you will not go for it. Why do I do with the feelings I have about 100 times you have to put them away to write about him that I love the life you will not progress. You hear that now but I can't just. I don't blame me when you can you need to change that. You have to tell him how you say you write down what is it that you're really feeling. You may be confused you may be frustrated Hold up hold up before you give her answers right. How do you feel other than angry at me. You mean in relation to us not in relation to or just all the way around. Just trust me. Go ahead. How do you feel. Trust. OK. I feel alone you feel alone I feel
frustrated because you're not there at least that way. Me OK I hear you feel lonely frustrated. Now do you know that I feel dunked on I feel like because I lay me on the outside and blaming me all the time I feel I feel punished by your dumping. Like everything that's going on is my life. Someone asked me how I feel when I am I think I feel lonely I feel real separate from you I don't know I feel lonely I feel separate I feel inadequate I feel on use I've got a lot of potential as a as a parent and I just feel put upon so much of the time and you keep saying to him that you want him there. What do you mean when you say you want him maybe he might have been physically present that maybe what you're missing is his emotional comfort. Yes I think I said that a little while ago in a way and in relation to I want you to listen to him I want you to be there for him other than to be this
way with him and I guess I want the same thing for myself I want him to stop being critical John. I figured for both of you don't you want your way and Jeff wanted his way and I don't think you want to be here talking to each other. One of the things I picked up in when you're sitting in the chairs over there is you said Jeff said I didn't want to have a car and you said we gave you the car. These are your we and I don't like either one of you are talking to each other. Yeah I think you're also both feeling a little bit of guilt the guilt is getting in the way and that's the value of support from other people. They can help you strip away well I think we're getting some really good stuff here that we can we can just put into our relationship. I like this business of dealing with feelings and being able to just join give me a chance get me one too. OK I think and a few minutes we're going to be taking some phone calls and we invite your telephone calls very much either to talk to Jeff and to me or to ask for our reading list we'd be happy
to send it to you. Our number is 1 800 2 2 2 1 2 9 2. You know right now Jeff is going to talk with a couple that's here in our audience a couple who lived through the trauma of a chemically dependent teenage girl. David and Deborah Jeff you know David Deborah. What was the impact of your daughters and your step daughter's use of drugs on your intimacy on your couple relationship and what was going on between you. At first you know a kind of blind might complain myself I kind of felt that maybe she wasn't getting involved enough. You blamed her. Well yeah to some extent as is our daughter's You know behavior got worse. She withdrew more for away from the relationship and that was a real frustration for me and and I felt I had to have I was making choices all the time between you know my daughter's behavior and my wife's reaction to it. And and I knew that if she
pulled away from the relationship that I couldn't put them together and I didn't know how to be balanced in the in the whole triad of issues that you feel like you have to balance it all. Well yeah I guess is part of it like you're controlling that you're continuing to get out you know and the father and you know I have to you know have the answers and that sort of thing and you don't have the answers I'm never there what about you did you feel some pressure here. Oh yeah we did in the beginning. We both had different ideas about how we should deal with the problem and I was real strong for rules and you know we've never had rules before and we let a lot of things slide by and then when we try to change our behavior. There was a lot of friction between us and like he said always Drew because I felt like you know obvious only the stepparent you know and she wasn't listening to me anyway so why should I really play a role maybe he can handle it on his own. That but then after we got involved with that tough love group you know we realized we have to have a strategy together you know we have to be together in this thing and we can't let her see that we're separate
because she'll only use that can manipulate us even more. And I blame myself on the basis that I wasn't consistent all the time I didn't have the rules way down the north and what I'm wondering. DEVORE I'm wondering who do you think was more into denial about about your daughters your step daughter's disease Oh I think David definitely was because I had only been into the family like a year and a half and so we were kind of on a relationship really hard that there wasn't as much of emotional bond between our daughter and me as there was between her and Dave and so I think I was more able to recognize the problem for what it was where is he you know was kind of more in denial about it didn't want to accept the you know the his own flesh and my daughter had I had her. How long I wanted to take from the time that she began using to the time when you were really aware that she was chemically dependent. I guess I could say rhetorically too long but more specifically that about it. About a year 15 months or so is our best guess about how long she was using before we actually came to grips with it how could that happen.
You know you don't want to believe that that you're your son or your daughter's involve a particular problem. You want to say that it's just a phase or it's their friends influence and if you know you could you know get them involved in more activities or watch them close or establish rules and you go through all these these these your own phases of trying to to reparenting and then really learn how to be a be a parent in this situation and they don't work because with jugs and alcohol do they completely throw out all the problems. All rules they throw out all standards all guidelines of parenting don't exist anymore. Tell me the two of you try to take charge of the situation with her. What were some of her behaviors that kept you from being able to get control. Well I mean we actually during our tough live group we started establishing rules such as you know she can go out with people unless we had met and that you know if to get around that she would just sneak out of the house right away. And so it was really difficult because she was completely out
of control and that her being out of control might as feel this helpless and like that years and inadequate its appearance. And so the only step we could take was to get her into a treatment center. Did you talk about with each other the pain that you were feeling or did you each try to be strong and control what was going on. And I mostly tried to you know I've stuffed a lot of feelings I tried to you know be the you know the strong central figure of the family that sort of thing. I didn't see any use you know in you know in talking about you know feelings and emotions very much not to say that there wasn't you know manifestations of our own frustration. You know there was you know that was you know anger and lashing out often too often but mostly just trying to control. Thank you both for talking with us I think that's very helpful for us to understand that you know and what I'm wondering about Bobbie.
You know what I'm thinking about here is just how how how painful and difficult it is when you're trying to work on an intimacy as part of a couple relationship. They have to deal with this whole extra variable of a kid pulling it apart and a lot of druggie behavior. Yeah it takes. I should think an awful lot of commitment to each other as a couple and a lot of sharing of your feelings and and touching base all the time. You know every step along the way. That's right. Really. Well now I think we're going to have some phone calls a minute. Want to thank our guests. For my part as well just now and also to again invite your telephone calls 1 800 to 2 to 1 to 9 to either to talk with us or to ask for the reading list. I think we have a caller. Hello. Or is this it's Ronnie I don is on the line. Come on Ronnie where are you. Any trouble hearing you Ronnie get him better
now. OK here you are better Ronnie go ahead. I just got out of a drug half weeks ago to try to help them they were that there were power where they go out of town so your parents really were powerless over this. All right your parents were powerless over it and you had to take care of it yourself. But what was the impact of your addiction on on your your parents relationship with one another. Well that is probably going to work out what they were confused. I just got away from my family. Oh you isolated from them OK. They quickly ran around in a half. Hour event and were to go out and say I'm going to the drug. OK so so we have an example of a situation where parents were powerless and didn't know what to
do. So we have another phone call we do can go ahead. OK just distribute a word. Them. War is not what i family failure. My favorite oh my gosh yeah ok i got we got we got a moan here in our audience. When you say family failure. All right a lot of families here would be very disappointed to hear it if it was a family failure when you say Jeff. Well I think that we would say and I would say that it's a disease. But I would also say it's a family disease because the family plays a role in that whole process. The kid has a responsibility for his or her recovery that's for sure. But the parents play a part in it in terms of how this whole issue of feeding into it rescuing denial all of that kind of thing. Thank you. Yeah you're welcome thank you for calling. And we're not a caller. We do we do. Who is this. A corner. Go ahead another question on divorce and not really think it's right
to share with the other partner she really doesn't want to hear from me and I'm not I we're no longer able to communicate my son 30 years old. I see him maybe once a month and doing drugs. I'm sure that he'd want to be my son that you had. OK. I can't recall right now can you get your point for his place. What do what why do I feel powerless. I have I have. OK next I can't talk to her like you communicate with him. Where do I go. You know what I would suggest I would suggest that you be in touch with a support group like tough love or an Al-Anon group and get some advice from them. Because everyone in that group has experienced the denial of a partner. So that's what I would recommend that you would do and if you'd like some more specific information you can hold on and one of our operators will give you a referral but really appreciate the phone call you got good questions I think don't I think so. Well one of the things that we're aware of and that we're learning about is that that recovery is a
lifelong ongoing and bumpy process and relapse means either slipping back into drug behaviors like lying to yourself or lying to someone else or creating distance in a relationship that you care about or are stuffing feelings or not dealing with issues. Or it can mean getting back into drug use. Either way relapse is a painful reminder of how powerful this disease is and once again your life becomes unmanageable. Watch. It was really humiliating because I gave up. I think I had sobriety is something I had worked for for a long time. I put a lot of effort into it and then just given up like that really made me feel anger anger at myself and just the world. Me I'm trying to think about in front of my my friends. It was really embarrassing because it wasn't the same I wasn't the same person I was sober and I had gained some qualities
I gained care and I was in here I could share the way I felt I didn't have to act different I didn't have to act cool I could just be myself when I was around my friends it wasn't that way I had to I had to be a tough guy again and I couldn't show any form of weakness or anything I could really be myself. That's when they learned to let go of me. That's I mean they tell me that that's when they had to say you know I cannot do anything right now. You know and the most they could do was try to get me back here try to get me help most I could but they're completely powerless I mean I was in relapse like the first time I left I left the straight program guide. I left when they want to get away from presser and rebellion like want to do what I wanted to do and I ended up going back to the same exact behaviors as a past like sleeping outside. I slept outside one day one night and I see I was in a lot of the same places and I wanted to get high you know and I mean the first time I left it was just it was a messed up is exactly like my past I thought about it
was exactly the same as the last time I passed. Being selfish or having an ego or things like that does. There are forms of relapse not really so much as I use but just things I see in myself that have to stop so I don't come back. Bobbie Bobbie was right we had a problem. What got a call from the police. The Poway Oh yeah the phone call has been arrested for possession. We have found we have to get out of jail right now. Tell me what's new I'm not going to happen to me when I told him he couldn't go to a party he said on the phone that you gave him permission to go to a party. What happen. No no he came to me he said I want to dance is it OK if I'm going to party down the street OK I said I guess so if dad said so but it seemed awfully strange to me. I did not I said no and I said no absolutely no he there was no confusion about that. Now I'm also missing $40 from my wallet. Did you borrow 40 dollars to go food shopping little graph I didn't you know I wouldn't just borrow 40 dollars like that no way. You're studying together.
Yeah it's Paul. This this kid is not working whatever he's supposed to in his reading have called the program and all of the time and money for this drug use on drug. Don't say that don't say drug to me. I want to hear a druggy and I don't want to hear it I don't want to hear druggy you can say you can say he's got a problem that you can say OK and you can say we're working on it. But to say he's a drug you don't say that to me don't it. It scares me to bribe me. All right and furthermore I want to tell you something. What. He's working on. OK he's going nothing. How many weeks has he been in this program. Doesn't matter how many wins six seven. How many times have you been to Al-Anon Jeff I think it's irrelevant. I was at one time I traveled by so much or you know family was a big excuse about everything he's trying Jeff and I'm trying and you're not and we're right back to square one. We sure are and I'm scared I'm scared because this kid of ours is buying into short cuts short cuts to live you know he's not willing to play it straight I'm
afraid because he's lying to us. And believe it or not it hurts me. It will just make it hurts not to. Don't you think it hurts me too. You're the only one I know but what I see happening is that you are just kind of like into rescuing this kid I mean he lives trying to I mean working on now I'm trying to he lies to you like he lies to me. He calls you a bitch all right and you still get on the phone with him and you still rescue him and you know he calls you up on the phone and he's in tears I think. And before I know it you're you're you're a blubbering. You're a blubbering person and I was going to say you didn't I don't mean that I'm not I'm not. All right I'm you're just blubbering really upset and you give him everything he wants I don't give him everything I want like I did all right I give him too much I love what I do but anyway right now we've got a problem to solve and you're not helping. I just got to inform you of one thing. What. All right I was talking to him before this I did I didn't share it with because I don't want to upset you
and I know that wasn't right. But we were talking about relapse. All right and we were talking about rehab programs and he said he didn't need one. He said that he could go to AA meetings and AA meetings by him self. And this kid of ours has never ever finished anything that he has started. Never. Well I don't know what we're going to do but we're going to have to do something or we're going to have to fix it and I don't know what else to do about you in your fix it. Yes I got to tell you something. I am sick and tired of this rule look coaster existed on when this all you know are my Antero. Don't you think. No I don't. Why can't I want to know. We're right back to square one just like I said. Well the roller coaster is making me sick. I feel OK when it when he's doing all right and I feel lousy when he isn't ok. I was hopeful for this kid. I thought he had been cured. I thought he was through the worst of it. I really believe that he was going to be alright. The things were part of his past. This kid is my future. And now forget it.
I'm scared to death. I'm just scared to death. I don't know what to do my kid. Mike raised him always life. I had such hopes here. You're going to get better. And now it's down the tubes again. I don't know what to do and I'm just so scared because what happens happens he really is a drunk dad who I don't think I could do that. Bobby Bobby Bobby. I've had it. I can't live like this. I mean I am so sick. You know I feel I feel really awful about this. I really hate to put you in the middle. Sure. I honestly I do. But you know this kid has got to get out of my house. It's not your house it's our house. And it's Paul's house and he is not leaving. I hate to put you in the middle but you can have to make a choice between between him or me.
I'm fine. Doing what you usually do Jeff. Put me right back in the middle. That's typical. I'm out of here. I'm out of here. I love you ok. It feels to me like the same old stuff we're fighting again. I really thought that this kid was cured. Can any of you really I mean I thought this kid's problem was finished. We can't really get it happen overnight. So it took him 17 years or whatever however long to get there. It's not going to get cured in six weeks. It takes a long time. Nobody is ever cured of a drug addiction. Bobby You scare me because you still seem to be into your child's illness in a drug rehab and you can't face the fact that he's an addict and he'll always have that problem and always be an addict and you will have grown coasters until you can let go. I used to be going on I'm having such a problem with.
I just know that they're going to have to carry their their handicaps their allergy that there are disease that that affects the whole family that we have here we have to try and have our own self-reinforcing things to deal with you know step back when they happen. Having that relationship with that individual person is affected. Help us understand how can how can it feel so hopeless when so we're arguing in old ways. That's the part that's so scary to me and one of the things you have to to really take a look at is that the only people that you can change are yourselves. You cannot change your son's behavior I can all you my next change that behavior is here I want to me why didn't we do something wrong to get this going in the first place. No I don't think you can. You can't sit there and blame yourself. You can sit there and with yourself all night long and I can do is believe. Do we have to keep going through this over and over again how do we deal with
this many times that your son is responsible for the decision that he has made to use drugs. He has a problem he has a disease. He became addicted but he chose to use drugs. First place would have been helpful if it would be and I think just something that you are saying about that next car dependency and maybe it would be helpful if when something does what. What do you mean by codependency I hear that what do you mean when you when you support your son. You don't mean financially. Sure if you mean you're an enabler enabling him to continue to use drugs. If he's using drugs in your house you take a stand and tell him what he's doing well you. You feel OK when he has a problem and you feel awful. You what are you doing for yourself. If you have do you have a problem. He's in jail. He's been
picked up by the cops. You haven't broken any laws you haven't done any terrible deeds. But you you made today and together separate from Paul. But you mean to tell me your heart would make if your kid was in jail. Yes it would it was but it wouldn't be anybody else's fault. But isn't that a strong program for yourself you went to one Al-Anon. Why don't I want alimony. Right you know work the steps. You know that's what it's a 12 step or 12 steps of AA. Yes began to get acquainted with him. I didn't have time to go but he say that's it he's making excuses and that's hard to get right back to my feeling that you know me you know when they talk about this kind of fantasy thing I saw some quick reading about it on the airplane. You know your dad I think they said that he would tell me and I think well we just get so distracted by everything that they say that when when you put all your energy into taking care of someone else you don't put any even taking care of yourself and you feel good about yourself depending on how the other person is doing. It's kind of like codependent stuff for like you when I feel good about ourselves and how about us as long as he's doing all right. He messes up
and we go to hell in a handbasket. Yes that's the kind of stuff I've been talking about and Al-Anon but it's not been quite that clear to me. What might we do about our if you want to call it. Well kind of and you know I think that if we do first taken to a position I mean this kid in this rollercoaster is tearing up my guts and I really want out of the house. But but you know I push your buttons when I say that. One thing though that was very interesting I think after these eight weeks have passed now that Jeff has been picked up and he's been in this program is that you too were starting to talk to each other. You were talking on how you felt at the beginning you were blaming and then all of a sudden you got into this. It's your fault it's your fault. So you've made some steps and that's important but you've got to keep building on those blocks. So many older houses built one brick at a time maybe it's better to say count the little step where you play and certainly doesn't take my thing and I feel like our relationship has a perpetual flat tire can really start.
To express your frustration and how you felt just a few minutes ago and Barbara really didn't pick up on that encourage you to share with her how you were feeling. I think I scare her when I get so. Because you had not done that in the past. Yeah that's true. He does scare me and I jump right away to think. I you know I was beginning to feel very defensive like oh when is the next shoe going to drop he's going to start blaming it on me again. Thank you. Being a mother. Mothers tend to many times be what we call marshmallows because you know not my baby. And I mean even I did that not my baby. And that's difficult because you have somebody who wants to be an authority figure and you want to protect and what you have to do. And I was saying it before the thing about role reversal is if you switch roles you say you will be an authority figure. You work on how to set rules and consequences and let the
other person back OK you know what don't I like what I like. This is like one humongous support group. That's right. When you get really sick that's a good point yeah. But you have not explained why you didn't stay with your support group that's what you get into that a little later on I am OK. Islip cancer I am sure that what we want to do is to encourage more people to call us. We're anxious to hear your phone calls. It's 1 800 2 2 2 1 2 9 2. Talk to us or to ask for our reading list. But right now Bobbie is speaking with Karen and Charlie about how their son's relapse affected their own relationship as a couple. Hi and welcome. Karen thank you so when Jeff and I were doing were we on target he was very familiar to me. Wasn't it brought up a lot of feelings when my son relapsed. We both thought we had the answers and we had a real hard time letting up control of the problem.
I wanted to control it my way and Charlie want to control it his way and it created tension and I felt that sense of distancing from caring at that time and wanting to do it. You know that this was so serious that it didn't matter what she thought it was she felt I knew I had the answer and I knew what I was going to do and I was going to forge ahead my way. Had you been involved in a support group when this the relapse occurred. You know our son had been in a rehab for 30 days and we had not been involved with a support group. We were very naive about drugs at that point and thought that basically just normal tional problems that led him to it now that he was working on his emotional problems his drug problem would go away. We've learned a lot since then. Again how did this manifest between the two of you how did you go about taking it out on each other. Blaming I blame her I looked at all the things that she was doing I mean a lot of what was said tonight about. About you gave him the car and you give him the phone I mean I remember saying a lot of things to Karen about how she would have she had
treated Jaman and let him get away with so many things and he had too much freedom and I really felt as Jeff did to control it. How about your care. I was afraid of Charlie's anger I thought because he was so controlling and so angry to traumatize my child and made him need drugs to escape from his own fears and thought that he needed more love and more support and more caring than that would that would help me. When we were just talking with the audience here a few minutes ago you said something about to us as a comment that that he is in jail or not in jail you did not do it. He did it. How did you come to that I mean if you've got a relapse pattern going through that which must be very chaotic take from what the folks here are saying relapse goes on and on. Well how did you get to the point of letting it go and went. What we've been and we've been in a program for 15 months and we
have you know parents that we've been you know especially I know for myself I've been able to talk to people who have felt the same thing and going over and over with other parents and other people who are experiencing the same thing. It's very very similar experiences and people who are who are tough they're not going to stand by and let you get away with with denying it or explaining it or getting into a lot of reasons but making me focus on my part to play in it and that I needed to have something that we needed to have a relationship. One of the things that helped me we put our son in the straight 16 months ago and we still have relapses they're not relapses of doing drugs but they're relapses of controlling behavior and selfishness and separating and we catch ourselves at it at this point and we see in the thing that helps me is using my steps and I use the steps for myself my son can use him for himself and his drug problem. And Charlie can do for himself and his codependency and I use them for myself and I use them every day and I turn over my will
because I don't have any control of my son's drug problem. And when I do that things work a lot better I have. And also I've learned now that relapse is part of recovery and every time I come out of relapse I feel that much stronger and that much more in touch with my program. So it doesn't scare me as much as it had the same little energy with it and it's sort of two steps up and one step backward. And do you share these feelings of of being concerned with each other as you go along for that. Yes we do. OK. Yes we do one question for each of you if you answer the same question. If you had one thing that you could say to folks that may be watching us who have kids that are into drug use and who as a couple are taking it out on each other. And it's making a rift in their relationship. What would you tell them to. How would you tell them to if you relapse what one thing would you say a relapse. Relapses is a stage of recovery it's part of recovery and that you can't go through recovery and just recover it is a rollercoaster and you need to take care of yourself
so that when your child falls into relapse you don't fall down with them. Charlie it's. It's a mirror it's a mirror of what one of your own. For me it's a mirror of myself and it shows me who I am again when I go through relapse I get an A new vision of myself and I look again at what I came from in my past you know realizing that it is serious and I do want to continue and I have to keep up with an AK. Well I thank you both. Thanks very much Karen. Charlie Young thank you Karen and Charlie. Right those of you I think really go ahead quite a personal hearing about that personally it's very important and it adds a certain power to it's not powerful experience and you have to work as a team if you're going to survive that. Yes yes. We're encouraging people at home to make phone calls and and a call 1 800 2 2 2 1 2 9 2. All right if you want the reading list or you want to ask us a question to share an opinion. We really would like that and we
have Debbie on the phone. Debbie go ahead. I have a real big problem. My son started using when he was eight years old thanks to him and it's been a 10 year addiction and their whole rehab and relapse. What do you do. We almost went from I don't know of course I mean it comes through the argument. What do you do with your beard. Back on track. But the family beat the brother and sister my brother sister and my parent. He has an uncle what do you do when they try to get the child and are you not an addict. You don't need anything. You don't really have. What do you do any good people. You're an educator. Again like all of you. But they're telling me the model of making that decision for you. Ok we get the gist of this I mean it sounds like the family is
into a lot of denial about this kid's drug use and there's a lot of splitting going on between you and your partner and a lot of relapse and it is discouraging very very discouraging. And what what would you suggest do you think that she said I couldn't hear quite clearly did she say that she's in a support group. Are you calling. Oh yeah I mean several adult children of alcoholics. Hopefully Al-Anon. But it still is not good. Helping me but not getting rid of the pain that. My son is having and we're having. The family might not have to deal with that anymore I've been wanting to go out every single member of my family you know as people here are our relating and they're very supportive of what you're experiencing with that. And it's almost like you have to let go of your family if they can't be there and be support for you in their extra baggage that you're dragging along and you have to let go and I think you're hearing a
lot in your support groups about this whole process of letting go. Unfortunately the family goes to the rehab where you help me not an addict you don't need to be here. You know it's hard to let go when they force them to wait you know becomes a real complex process certainly does and as far as I'm concerned this is like testimony to how difficult it is not only for your your son to get off of drugs but to get the family to work as a group in support of his recovery. And if you can't then as Jeff says you may have to leave the family behind and let it go. I think we have another phone call don't we now. Phone callers name is Barbara yes Barbara. Hi hi. I've got one and read it and then generate the fact that a couple. You have to be strong. My husband and I if it weren't for my husband and I being a together and loving couple this child would share
the family grandmother and accept her and so forth. Just to appease the but I cannot. Help but say unless you have that wrong you in the tape with the mother and father you cannot help the child. But my problem is we have the that down pat but I don't know how to convince the child that he will go to counseling room. He's gotten into trouble with the police now and beat up young and they found care for an alienist car he says he doesn't do the drugs but he is guilty of the very drunk or drunk driving. Can you suggest something for us in that brief that you know this. But boy it sounds like like they're being a bit too easy with this sudden take a more tough love approach with something I was thinking exactly the same thing. Yes because there's nothing like a good support group for you to come over and
confront you. And a caring and loving way. Especially if you're brought back into that codependency I support but I think I get in and take charge and get a little tough with and I think that's the best idea with now and there are no easy solutions and I think we want to stay that fresh to our callers. OK now. We are going to start talking a bit about recovery here. Recovery is a continuing process and I guess we've already indicated and in reality it has its ups and its downs its rollercoaster you might say. Well for the teens and for the couples to handle it well it takes insight and it takes discipline for everybody watch. My name is Ken and I'm 19 years old. Our recovering addict an alcoholic. I started using when I was 14 years old 13 or 14 and. I've been 7 now for 14 months. OK Jason I'm a recovering alcoholic and addict and I've been in recovery for 15 months.
And I'm from New Jersey and I stay a little bit of my drug list I've done pot aka cocaine rush masculine and trash drugs drugs drugs anything that you can get high off around the house. I love it. I love recovery itself. Before I came into any kind of treatment or wanted to recover my life was hell. I hated people I hated my surroundings everything. And I thought a lot of suicide but I was too much of a chicken to do it. And recovery has been since I came into a treatment center. And decided that I wanted sobriety. It's gone you know uphill ever since. There's been struggles and some days it's like I said it's not easy but. The reward is if the effort is worth the reward is what we say and I think recovery is all about responsibility. There was to learn how to live life without being on drugs. What I think is all all about being strong to
be strong as a unit and I think as my family you start to be there. Now you know there was I think about my family during the day my recovering now as this is it's over right now because you know I'm only 11 months sober and that may seem. You know when I think about it it seems like a lot but then in other words I think about I have my own life you know to stay sober. And so I'm just kind of like a baby or whatever and that time that because in my past there are so many different walls I had to be a tough guy. I had to I couldn't show any sign of weakness or any sign of feelings. And now I have friends that care about me if I start to slip and fall into the same attitude start acting the same way tell me about what I need to do right now. I know that if I don't recover you know there's nothing out there for me and I struggle but it's awesome to know I'm going to have fun when I go out with my friends or. You know just being with my family sometimes that's a lot of fun because before I can be with them.
And so it has its ups and downs but it's ok. It is hard it's not it's not always easy yourself but it takes like a conscious effort. It takes me doing things every day like talking to my parents talking my friends and read stuff and I mean it takes work it's not like I can just kind of sit back and and I mean it takes work. I think those are critical words. It takes work and it's an ongoing process certainly is let's take a look at Jeff and me in the recovery process. We're just returning home from a parent support group meeting. Why do you think I have energy. Yeah that's what I think I'm so glad you liked it. Yeah I like that the part that I like you know that first step. Right. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and drugs. Yes our lives had become unmanageable. Yes. Well you know when when I started telling my story and I listen to those other folks out there in that support group I felt really accepted. I fell apart and then I felt like that's where I belong I'm so glad that you did I was worried about that
especially when they were kind of standing up to you or confronting you a little bit I don't know how you feel about that. You know what I. You know what I'm feeling like I'm going lightly I'm I think I have finally it's gone like what's in my head and I realize that I my job with Paul and yours too is to help Paul be responsible for all that I have to be responsible for me. I can't do it for him. It's a wonderful feeling it's sort of like like a weights been taken. I bet you feel better now than you have in months. I do yeah. Maybe and yours. Yeah and I feel like you and I are sharing and honey that means so much to me. I want you involved and I want to be and I know that I need to be I know that I didn't know it from my own work you know it would help me right now. What can we say the serenity prayer. I sure can. Maybe you guys out here will help with say it as well saying come on say it right along with God. Regret is a very silly said today. Change
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Couples In Crisis
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Maryland Public Television
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Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
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Couples In Crisis #103 - Master
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Social Issues
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Chicago: “Couples In Crisis,” 1989-11-15, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022,
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APA: Couples In Crisis. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from