A Personal Note – Letting Your Addicted Grown Child Have Her Own Life Can be Really Tough
This week for a personal note, I want to talk about how letting your addicted grown child have her own life can be so hard. This is one of the areas that I personally really struggle with, and probably always will. I’m guessing you feel the same way, and it’s really frustrating, isn’t it?
I try to remind myself that part of what’s happening is just like if my daughter were to grow up without any addiction issues. If she were to grow up and get married, I wouldn’t step in to take care of things if I trusted her husband to do right by her. I would trust that he could handle things like rushing her to the hospital with a broken limb or get that extra job to help cover the cost of the mortgage.
Okay, so I’m old-school, right? The thing is, it doesn’t matter. I’m a mom. I’m my addicted daughter’s mom. No matter what. It’s really hard to feel this way when your child has made it clear that she no longer wants to be mothered. It’s even worse when she doesn’t let you get close enough to do what you’ve been trying to do for so very long.
When There is a Crisis, it’s Worse
Right, so I live this way. I try and try to step back and let her do what she needs to do. She’s damaged her precious body that I made from scratch. That beautiful, unblemished skin that came from me, that was my gift to her has been run through the ringer, but still, I try to let go. That healthy body and all those days and nights of making sure to be as healthy as possible to give her a wonderful start have probably all been for naught by now. And still, I try to let it be.
When there is a crisis, though, I struggle. Take last night when she told me that she fell on her wrist and that it was swollen, she could hardly move it and it was a little bruised. Take the fact that it happened a couple of nights ago. Take the fact that fractures are sneaky, and she still hasn’t had it looked at.
Now, I’m stressing. There is the potential for significant long-term damage when you don’t get these things taken care of. If I had my way, she would have been in the emergency room as soon as she told me. I would have gone to get her and take her myself if I had to. Her husband was working, she said. So, she ignored my pleas and still hasn’t gone.
Hopefully, it’s nothing, but it could really be something. Or, take the time that she had pneumonia. It was bad. I told her she needed to go to the doctor because she was really sick. I guess it’s common in those who abuse or are addicted to opioids. You don’t breathe like you should, so pneumonia is fairly common.
Why do I worry so much? Well, very simply, because if she is married, and something bad happens to her, her husband gets the call as to what the end result will be. What if she is in a coma and he has the final say about whether or not she lives? What will he choose? I believe that her husband would rather just pretend that we don’t exist than respect our wishes, so what would happen?
I would say that it keeps me up at night, but these days, I’m pretty tired, so there isn’t much that keeps me awake, but during the day, it worries me more than I would ever let on.
What About the Day to Day?
The day to day operations of life might seem a little different, and I try not to get too involved in her decisions. She doesn’t ask me anyway, so that helps in many ways. However, there are those times that she and her husband show up high as anything spouting off about the big plans that they have to change their lives, and that’s about the time that my husband and I look at each other, my stomach clenches, and I look down or away in an effort to keep my mouth shut.
I tell myself that it doesn’t matter. That it’s not my life. That she is grown and she has her life to live now.
And at night, when everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet, I pray. I pray with such a fever and desperation that you would think I was the one on the chopping block. Because I really have nothing else that I can do.
Feeling Helpless Sucks
I’m sharing my story in the hopes that you’re reading this and thinking that finally, you aren’t alone. Because if you’re not alone, I’m not alone. If you struggle to turn a blind eye to your grown addicted child’s behaviors, while all you really want to do is make things change, but you know you can’t, I want you to know that I do it, too.
I’m a person of action. If I can’t make something change, at least I can take care of things that are within my control. If I can’t make things better, I can cook and clean it away. I can make a phone call to make things easier. I can help. Until I’m not invited to. Then, I hit a wall, because I don’t know what to do.
The bottom line, feeling helpless sucks. Especially when it’s your kid. You can’t force them to seek medical treatment for something that might be wrong. You can’t heal them yourself, and if you push too hard with your opinion, you might get pushed right out.
What do you do? My mom has this saying that has gotten me through so many tough times, “Everything has a way of working out,” she says. She’s right. Sometimes, worrying is pointless. Sometimes, when you can’t make your grown addicted child do what you want, you really do have to just have faith that they will manage to work things out on their own. Then, failing that, you have to trust that the Powers That Be are protecting your child for you.
If you still Feel Like You Need to Do Something
Here’s the thing, if you still feel like you need to do something, you can call Elite Rehab Placement. I work with them, but they are still truly amazing people. Everyone in this company believes that anyone who struggles with an addiction deserves to get treatment that meets their needs, and that is affordable.
When you call, the first thing you’ll get to do is review your insurance. I don’t know about you, but my daughter is still on our insurance, so that helps. If not and you can get a hold of your addicted child’s insurance information, this will be helpful. It will let you know what type of coverage you can expect, and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket. On its own, this is really comforting, because, like me, you’ll probably be the one that winds up paying the bill – or at least part of it.
Once the insurance professionals are done, an addiction treatment expert will get in touch with you. They’re going to talk to you about your grown addicted child. What are they like, what is their addiction, and what type of treatment would you like to see, and most importantly, would your child be willing to embrace?
With all this information, you’ll have a list of rehabs that are a likely match for your child’s personality, addiction, treatment needs, and insurance. You can hold onto it, or, you can do like I would and let your grown child see what you’ve come up with. I call it food for thought, and my daughter gets mad at me, but it’s a quiet thing. But she knows that when the time is right, and when she’s truly ready to get help, it will be there. She knows that with one call to Elite Rehab Placement, she’ll find an addiction treatment program that helps her to change her life forever.
It’s not much, making a list and giving it to her, but it’s something. Until she’s ready, I’m comforted knowing that there is help when she decides it’s time.
For now, thank you, as always, for reading my personal note. Thank you for being there and reading this week after week, and helping me to feel that I am not alone. I hope that these help you. I hope we’re healing together. Until next week, chin up, and be well. There’s a big life out there – don’t forget to live it.