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Distressed and depressed on several fronts

Posted by ClearSkies on March 13, 2008, at 15:52:42

I haven't been posting at my regular volume because, well, I've been too depressed and more recently, too distraught over the administrative black hole into which we've collectively fallen. (Note to self: forget about checking the Admin board for posts from Dr Bob until further notice to reduce self-induced stress.) And, meanwhile, IRL (you know, just to digress, Babble IS real life as well, and I don't want to lessen its importance to me just because it's a message board and not face to face communications with people - we're real, these are our lives, and so this is real life too!) there are some major stressors our family are dealing with that have led me to change my therapy appointments to once a week, from the every other week or even less frequently, that I'd been muddling by with, for months.

It's still my step daughter. She's got a drug addiction problem, and now a marriage to an abusive, drug dealing felon, who every now and then picks up the phone that he shares with her, and makes life threats against my DH, or my step son, or whomever else he perceives is not on "their side" at any given moment. The consequence of these calls is that we don't call them - for pretty obvious reasons. And she doesn't call us, except when she has what she considers to be Good News. Bad News has usually been given in the form of a hand written letter, with no return address. We have no idea where they live.

The last Good News that we heard from her was that she wanted a divorce from her new husband (they'd just picked up a marriage license on Valentine's day). She wasn't happy to find that he had taken to locking her in the house, stealing away her car keys, and shutting himself in the bathroom to ingest some illegal drugs.

So her mom picked her up and (being a lawyer) said she'd be able to file a quickie divorce - and my step daughter could, for the third (or is it the fourth?) time get her life back on track and try to become self sufficient. She went for a couple of counseling appointments made through a friend of her mom's.

We waited for the other shoe to fall, and yesterday, it did.

Her husband was arrested on a DUI charge. So she packed up her belongings, and went back to him. Now, I have some understanding about women in domestic violence situations, and how they are reassured that it "will never happen again" and so are lulled into returning to the relationship that, as bad as it's been, is at least familiar, and at times can even be supportive, like when they make up after a fight.

The stakes just get bigger and bigger every time she tries to leave him. And she'll say anything, anything to her family, to recruit their help, when she's in a panicked situation and feels that she's in danger. Then, she sometimes recants her story, and says that she made it worse by her own actions.

At this point, my DH has been stunned into inaction, and paralysis in the relationship with his daughter. He says he's emotionally bankrupt by the escapes, the returns, the assaults, the threats, and the reconciliations over the last year. The calling of the cops, the restraining order, the stop to the restraining order... it's left him an empty shell. Our only standing offer at the moment is to pay her way into a drug rehab program; but she hasn't admitted except for one sober moment with me, that she's an addict.

My heart has a chain around it, and it weighs heavy inside me. I try to distract myself, but it's really all I can think about. At this point I'm not even worried about her wellbeing, but just want her to go on about her troubled life without constantly asking the others in her family for their approval for her actions. And for this I feel terribly guilty; that I wish she would get on with it.

I finally suggested to my DH that he seek counseling for himself, for all the good that advice will do him (I know that he won't). It's all I can do to drag myself through the days, and dread the ringing of the phone, and wonder what the next chapter will bring.




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poster:ClearSkies thread:817746