Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 817746

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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.

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by Phillipa on March 13, 2008, at 18:05:54

In reply to Distressed and depressed on several fronts, posted by ClearSkies on March 13, 2008, at 15:52:42

CS ouch!!! I can relate to your life as the same things happen around here but kind of reverse as my Florida Daughter just called and everytime a phone call from my kids it's not good either. Today it's that she divorcing her husband as she succceful and doesn't want to lose everything to a husband that has a drinking problem and DUI's as well and lies about the drinking. I always thought when kids grew up it was a great thing and set you free no not at all. She's offered to pay to send him to addictions and he refuses. This babble hole has left me empty as well and depressed. Guess what I found out I've never really been depressed always anxiety which has now turned inward. I sincerely wish you the best and your DH in seeking help for him and that she accepts help too. Too be locked up and no keys is a jail sertence for your step-daughter. She went to a couple of sesssion with a T was it a good fit for her. Sounds like her Mom is in a position to finanacially contribute. How does she feel about what's going on. Very painful week. And yes babble is real. And so is depression. Didn't you once offer that she attend conselling with her Father? Guess that didn't pan out. Sometimes a man feels he doesn't need conseling they like to fix things for others but he can't fix the situation nor his Daughter. Glad you have the good relationship with your therapist you do and may she help you accept or offer suggestions . I don't know what else to say except sorry for your pain. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Phillipa

Posted by ClearSkies on March 13, 2008, at 18:31:16

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies, posted by Phillipa on March 13, 2008, at 18:05:54

I don't know how to tell when my step daughter has been honest with us and when she's been fabricating in order to get <money> <attention> <approval> circle which appropriate. The few sessions of therapy she had last summer with my DH she said she knew she was in an abusive relationship, and that she feared for her safety. When she left that time, it was with her tires slashed, and her windshield broken by him in a rage. She later said (in one of her Bad News letters to us) that she had brought this upon herself. This I know is a maladaptive measure that victims of domestic violence use, when they tell themselves that it's actually their own fault that they've been attacked.

And so much has happened since then. She tried to detox herself two months ago, and that's when she admitted to me that she had become addicted. She wasn't able to stay clean long enough to get into a suitable program - there had been a wait of 10 days or so - and at that time, returned again to the abusive man.

So, really, at this point, we've done everything we can to help her - we tell her at every opportunity that we are still prepared to get her to help. But she simply isn't at her own personal bottom; isn't ready to start to turn her life around. Perhaps she never will be ready.

And I think that is where my sorrow lies. That she is OK living the way she does, except for the brief periods when it gets to be too much, and she escapes to the arms of her family. I sense that it's time for the arms of the family to close to her, to force her to face the consequences of her life decisions on her own. And I fear what those consequences will ultimately be.

I just have been carrying this around with me for so long now - since January, really. And I haven't been posting because I've been so very upset by it all. But now it's bubbling over in every waking minute that I spend. I wake up in the morning feeling OK, but after I've been up for an hour or two the depression returns like a brick sitting on my chest. I don't want to do anything, but I'm forcing myself through the days.

CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by Phillipa on March 13, 2008, at 20:24:48

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Phillipa, posted by ClearSkies on March 13, 2008, at 18:31:16

CS is the remeron not helping? You yourself have come so far. I just don't know what to say as I know right now one of mine is still strong enough emotionally to handle chaos but for how long? I was too for many years. What do you do to help? Yourself that is. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts

Posted by Daisym on March 14, 2008, at 0:43:57

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies, posted by Phillipa on March 13, 2008, at 20:24:48

My family has been through something similiar, many years ago. It took extreme measures to have my little sis finally get clean - and even after it has been a life-long need of hers for drama and attention. I often feel helpless to help - she doesn't really want real solutions, just momentary rescues.

So - I live MY life. I keep my children away from it. I try not too much of myself over to worrying about her.

I know your situation is so much worse - and a child is different, no matter how old. But I think you need to begin to protect yourself and your life from the onslaught. Dreading the phone, knowing something else is about to happen must be very hard to live with every day. Is there anyway to give yourself "worry time" for a little while each day and then otherwise put it away?

I'm sorry things are so tough. It must feel so hard to have this always hanging over you. I hope you get some relief soon.

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Phillipa

Posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 7:23:40

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies, posted by Phillipa on March 13, 2008, at 20:24:48

> CS is the remeron not helping? You yourself have come so far. I just don't know what to say as I know right now one of mine is still strong enough emotionally to handle chaos but for how long? I was too for many years. What do you do to help? Yourself that is. Love Phillipa

I don't expect a pill to remedy a situation that brings heart ache, Phillipa. My therapy appointments and women's support group meetings are my saving graces at the moment.
thx
CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by LlurpsieNoodle on March 14, 2008, at 9:19:50

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Phillipa, posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 7:23:40

Clearskies,
I'm so sorry to hear of this awful situation. I know that you are so caring, so warm and that's why this hits you so hard. Your h has been paralysed into inaction and so you feel you must take up the slack. Because of your own history you feel uniquely responsible for the outcome of stepdaughter's actions.

I wish I could send you away from the pain, even for a brief respite. I wish so many good things from you, for you have helped so many on babble and elsewhere.

I'm glad that you are able to keep up regular therapy and w. support group meetings. That can help ease the pain in the dark moments.

((((((((((((((CS))))))))))))))

sticky hugs to you
ll

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Daisym

Posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 9:38:06

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts, posted by Daisym on March 14, 2008, at 0:43:57

> My family has been through something similiar, many years ago. It took extreme measures to have my little sis finally get clean - and even after it has been a life-long need of hers for drama and attention. I often feel helpless to help - she doesn't really want real solutions, just momentary rescues.
>

This is what I sense my step daughter is after. She has these crises and doesn't really want to take a close look at what she's done to get there. She just wants the immediate fix, and then she goes right back to her chaotic ways. While she's looking for the monetary, emotional, or practical help, she'll say anything to give the impression that she'll comply with what's necessary in order to get it. Then, after a few days, she bolts back to the familiar, leaving us all poorer in every sense.

> So - I live MY life. I keep my children away from it. I try not too much of myself over to worrying about her.
>
> I know your situation is so much worse - and a child is different, no matter how old. But I think you need to begin to protect yourself and your life from the onslaught. Dreading the phone, knowing something else is about to happen must be very hard to live with every day. Is there anyway to give yourself "worry time" for a little while each day and then otherwise put it away?
>

I don't know how I can schedule worry time when the phone calls are random, but I would love to put the young woman entirely out of my thoughts at the moment. It's all pervasive.

> I'm sorry things are so tough. It must feel so hard to have this always hanging over you. I hope you get some relief soon.

Thanks, Daisy. I take comfort in your words.
CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts LlurpsieNoodle

Posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 9:39:50

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies, posted by LlurpsieNoodle on March 14, 2008, at 9:19:50

I have never before wished so hard that I didn't care, but I do now. And even that is folly. The fact is that I do care. Can I release the outcome? Now that's a hard one.

Thanks for the hugs. I am going to use one now.
CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts

Posted by rskontos on March 14, 2008, at 11:13:24

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts LlurpsieNoodle, posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 9:39:50

ClearSkies, I am not sure if sharing this will help but to just show that sometimes children through no fault of the parents will choose what they choose. My stepmother's daughter who is certainly old enough to know better has too choosen the use of drugs and thought it would be manangeable and has been in detox so many times I have lost count. She has just gotten out of prison now twice. She decided to help one of the husband's or boyfriend's sell the drugs and got caught or was in the wrong place at the wrong time. (depends on whose version you believe nevertheless there was enough evidence she was convicted. each sentence was longer.) And she lost custody of her children over it. My stepmother recieved custody as the children's real fathers (yes the two girls had different dads and neither of them were willing to take them). And still the girl cannot clean up her act. Two prison terms and she is not allowed by the court to see her children as a result. It is sad to me how low she has sunk in this addiction. She has received counseling, de-tox all the help she can get, and still lost her children. Gone to prison, yet still has not lost the desire to turn to drugs. It is hard to understand the hold the addiction has on her. I don't think or rather I know my stepmother doesn't truly understand all of it and just raises the children and probably enables her. At some point, though the girl involved is around 36, she has to be the one to break it, she has the help needed but the cycle is still is not broken. My sister was done visiting not too long ago, she said she saw her and thinks she is doing drugs again. My stepmother denied it when my sister asked. Which since my sister at one point did them she would know better than my stepmother. The fact she can hide it from her mother doesn't help, IMHO

Anyway, my point is no matter how hard everyone around them tries, it remains an issue at the core for the person at the heart to want the help. I know how much help this woman/girl has received from her mother my stepmother and her exteneded family, it is breaking their heart that she keeps going to prison, not jail but actual prison because she can't or won't try to stop and stay stopped. She has been in several abusive relationships as well.

I, also remember a presentation I had by a man that worked for the American Red Cross who had an addiction to Alcohol and Cocaine. He estimated he snorted up his nose 2 million dollars worth of cocaine, suffered 3 grand mal seizures, lost his wife, and children before he decided it was time to get clean. He said he was lucky he did not die. He hit rock bottom before finally decided to kick everything. He said he could not have one beer, he would have 24 -30. He said that when his wife finally left him taking the children and re-marrying it finally set in, damage he had done with his addiction. And he got clean. Now she never came back, but he did clean up his act and stayed clean. But he said it took HIM decided to do it.

I truly hope for your stepdaughter's sake she will decide she is worth it and does it.

But for your sake and your H's don't beat yourself up over. You can only try to support her. But there is a reason that Tough Love is sometimes the only thing that works for addiction. The man I told you about said he and his ex-wife are friends again and she told him it was the hardest thing to do was to walk away and leave him knowing he might die left alone.

My heart goes out for both of you in this struggle of watching a child struggle in a web of addiction . Try and take care of yourselves and each other if you care.

rsk

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts rskontos

Posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 13:14:15

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts, posted by rskontos on March 14, 2008, at 11:13:24

Thanks so much for your reply, RSK. I spent a long time talking with my T about her today, and so much of my anger and frustration has been directed at trying to find the reasoning behind my step daughter's random actions. I kept feeling like I was getting glimpses in through a closed window, whereas I wanted the whole house tour...

And my T helped me see that the glimpses are probably all there are - that there likely isn't any reasoning going on behind her actions. I'm making myself a little bit crazy trying to find what's behind all this, when maybe there isn't anyone hiding behind the curtain at all.

I feel better than I did a week ago, a bit more detached. I'm hoping that I'll continue to be able to let go of the outcome of this woman's choices, even as she continues to make them.

Thanks again
CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by seldomseen on March 14, 2008, at 15:25:50

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts rskontos, posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 13:14:15

Well, I think that is the thing that is so nasty about addiction, it's really not the person making the choices - it's the drugs.

If your stepdaughter is abusing, then the drugs are in control

As harsh as it may sound, rskontos is right in that it is going to be up to her to reassume that control when she is ready.

I hate drugs and alcohol - I really really do

Stay safe yourself

Seldom

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts seldomseen

Posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 16:00:05

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies, posted by seldomseen on March 14, 2008, at 15:25:50


>
> I hate drugs and alcohol - I really really do
>

So do I. Sometimes seeing someone else struggle with their addiction makes me uneasy in my recovery, and at other times it makes me grateful for what I've been able to achieve. She is pretty busy right now denying that she's got a problem (she said she'd consider going to a treatment program if we found a couple for her to choose from - but that was last week. This week, she doesn't have a problem. Right....). And I think it's been all the starting and stopping with her that's been wearing me down - she wants help, she doesn't need any of our f*ck*ng help, rinse and repeat. And it's that dance that I'm trying to disengage myself from.

Right now I'm thinking that the more inclined her family is to come to her rescue, the less inclined she'll ever be to see that she has a serious problem - because she keeps getting bailed out (literally). I think we might have to sit on our hands the next time she falters.

CS

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by Phillipa on March 14, 2008, at 18:42:36

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts Phillipa, posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 7:23:40

CS I wouldn't expect to it. It's good to see people who recognize the difference between what a med Can do and what it can't. I'm thankful you that you found that wonderful T and women's group. I wish they had one here. Finding a good fit is so hard. Phillipa

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by rskontos on March 14, 2008, at 18:48:18

In reply to Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts rskontos, posted by ClearSkies on March 14, 2008, at 13:14:15

Yes, CS that is the Tough Love thing. It is so hard to get out of the YO-YO entanglement and this is where is she right now. She is yo-yoing and taking her loved ones with her. It is hard on her but so hard on you guys(you and H) because you don't have the addiction hazy to view it from you are in reality and she doesn't get that. She can still float between the two realities.

I am glad your therapist helped:)

And of course it makes you uneasy but you are strong in yourself and you have the relationship with your t to bolster your strength. I am sure you have overcome all that and left it behind where it belongs.

I wish her family luck, it is a tough situation.

rsk

 

Re: Distressed and depressed on several fronts ClearSkies

Posted by fayeroe on March 15, 2008, at 12:58:58

In reply to Distressed and depressed on several fronts, posted by ClearSkies on March 13, 2008, at 15:52:42

I am so very sorry that you find yourself in this family situation.

Speaking to you as a mom who went through this with a daughter and her boyfriend and I know how devastating it can be.

I would suggest that if you can quit bailing her out, she'll probably hit bottom a little quicker. she has to really want to go to rehab for it to work.

I worked in the field for years and the people who came to satisfy others usually didn't do well.

Let me know you want to talk. My babblemail is on. xoxox pat


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