What happened to my beautiful, magical, happy, perfect family?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009

Where did my beautiful, magical, happy, perfect family go?

My name is Lynn, I am a codependent and my family is full of alcoholics.

I have been goggling my bottom off trying to find anything that will help me figure this out.

I ran across a blog http://howismyson.blogspot.com/ that has inspired me to try blogging. Debby is writing my story, although it is a tad different.

My son is an alcoholic and has pancreatitis which will kill him if he continues to drink.
My husband is an alcoholic, he is not abusive in anyway, doesn't drink to get drunk but he drinks 6-10 beers a night.
My mother was an alcoholic and was suicidal; she died of cancer when she was 45.
My step-father was an alcoholic and abusive, he died of a heart attack when he was 58.
Most of the rest of my family are social drinkers, some more heavily than others. I think that a few more of them are alcoholics. I don't drink; I use to drink once in a while socially up until my Dad got sick. When I was younger I drank a little bit more, going to the bars and what not and typical high school stuff.

Our family started changing about 7 years ago when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I like Debby am in the middle of our journey with my alcoholic son. I am at the beginning of my journey on managing my codependence. I will attempt in the future to bring my blog back to my ugly childhood. Really the beginning is starts when my parents were divorced when I was six years old. I am 52 now.

After reading a couple of postings from Debby, I decided that I should try this.

Ryan, my son, is pushing me beyond my limits. He is 22 years old and lives at home. Everyone really likes him a lot. He has a great personality, is kind of shy. He gets along with everybody, except my husband. It's not that they fight, they just don't communicate. I love him very much.

The last time Ryan was in the hospital was in June. He has been admitted 3 times and spent one other time in the ER for about 10 hours. One of the times he was in the hospital, he was in ICU for 8 days. I thought he was going to die. He had problems breathing, his heart rate was all over the place. They stuck a tube down is nose into his stomach, so his pancreas could rest. Pancreatitis is a very painful experience. There is really nothing they can do except no eating or drinking and pump a lot of pain medication. When the pain is manageable he leaves the hospital. He has been told by the doctors that he has the worst case of pancreatitis they have ever seen.

Every time he has gotten out of the hospital he stays clean for awhile then goes back to drinking, especially when he is around his friends. In late August I was a mess. He was working part-time as a bartender -which I hated. He does not pay any of his bills; I was/am paying his health insurance. I paid his deductible for last year and most of it for this year. Thankfully we had that; we now have two policies’ I am paying for. I really need to rethink that. I pay for his cell phone and for anything else he can con me out of.

Ryan started drinking in high school, I was so involved with taking care of my Dad that I did not notice, and if I did I ignored it and thought it was just something he would outgrow. I am still having problems wrapping it around my brain that my son is an alcoholic. From what I have been told and what I have read, it is very rare someone of his age gets pancreatitis. Did he drink way more than I thought or was he just unlucky to get pancreatitis? I know he has a drinking problem because he would have quit the first time he got out of the hospital if he didn't. Am I still in denial - probably so.

I was my father's caretaker when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; it was a very tough journey. Something I would go through again because I think we were closer to each other when he became sick than we were before he was sick. Alzheimer’s is an awful disease. Daddy didn't live in my home, but it was still an ordeal in the many places he lived - when I was able to find him a place to live, but that’s another story for another day. He died 3 years ago on November 2nd. I hate Novembers. I don't want to do November this year. I dread it; I know something bad will happen. This is what my Novembers have been - my mother died, my father died, my grandmother died, my stepmother died, and my son went in the hospital for the first time with Pancreatitis in November.
I will just bypass November this year.

He lies to me. Everything he says is a lie. I cannot comprehend this. Some of the silliest things he lies about, things that don't even matter he would rather lie than tell the truth. It makes me crazy; I think sometimes I am losing my mind. He manipulates me and makes me feel guilty.

Although I am learning it’s not him that’s doing this to me, it’s me. I have gone to 5 Al-Anon meetings and have been reading Codependent No More, Melanie Beattie is writing my story too. Most everything she says is me, down to almost every sentence.

My marriage is a mess. I don't pay any attention to my other children. Between my husband and me there are 4 kids altogether. Everyone but Ryan has a son. Ryan is my youngest. My daughter is 32 and has a 3 year old and she is expecting twins. She will have a C-section on November 30th or December 2nd. I don't know how I feel about this considering how I feel about November, maybe it’s a good thing. My step-daughter is 27 she has a son who is 5, and my step-son is 31 and he has a son who is 10. My grandsons don't receive a lot of attention from me either.

I am pretty pathetic right now, but a little better than I was.

I was to the point where I didn't care about anything, mostly myself. I don't like being around people, especially anyone that drinks. Anytime there is a family gathering you can bet there will be alcohol and drunk people.

I knew Ryan was drinking but he denied it. I took a big step and found a residential alcohol treatment center for him. We live in a fairly large town, 80k people, but there is nothing like that for him here. I found a place 4 hours away. And like Debby, it was a fight with the insurance company, but I was able to get it done after many tears and phone calls. The only reason they would pay was because of his pancreatitis.

I told Ryan he either had to go or move out. He wasn't happy but he chose to go. I don't think I would have followed thru with kicking him out, I am sure he probably knows this. I am a codependent.

He was there for 45 days; I drove over every other weekend to see him. He came home a week ago yesterday. The facility called me after 30 days and said the insurance company would not pay for him to stay longer. I spent 2 days on the phone and was able to get another 15 days. I did not want him to come back to our home, not because I didn't want him here, because my husband is an alcoholic and I am codependent.

There was a discharge plan in place but I did not know what it was. I had hope that Ryan would take care of it, silly me. I was hoping that he had changed and wanted to take conrol of his life. Control away from me.
Two days ago I called the facility to find out what the plan was. He had appointments for Intensive Outpatient treatment; I got him to that one because it was set for 2:30 on the day I called. There was also an appointment for him to see a job counselor. He missed that, we went there after the counseling session and got it rescheduled. He is supposed to be going to AA meetings almost daily and finding a sponsor, that hasn't happened yet.

Ryan doesn't have a driver’s license. He lost that 3 years ago when he got a DUI.
He relies on family (except for his Dad) and friends to drive him where he needs to go.
He was to do 24 hours of alcohol education and 40 hours of community service, he would be able to get his license back after a year. That was two years ago. He sounds just like Debby's son.
I took him down to the DMV today and he got an ID card.
He relies on me anytime he needs money. I am a codependent. What money he does get from his part-time job goes to clothes or eating out, probably alcohol and any other toys he thinks he wants. He is out of a job now.
I would like to set boundries. This I really need to work on.

I am going to go read now, Codependent No More. Hopefully I can forget my son is downstairs either playing games or downloading music. Hopefully he is not drinking. Hopefully I can forget that my husband is sitting in his chair watching TV drinking beer.
Where did my beautiful, magical, happy, perfect family go?


Cheri October 22, 2009 at 3:30 PM  


My heart broke as I read your post. You have taken the first step to freedom, by admitting that you cannot get through this on your own, that you have a problem and need help. Many adult children of alcoholics are codependent; it is learned bahavior, to cope with the chaos around them.

You and I have quite a lot in common, both coming from a families where alcohol was abused. I do not drink myself. My oldest two sons abused drugs, and I am familiar with rescuing my kids from consequences and from themselves.

Finally, a little over three years ago, we told our second son that he either had to get help or get out. It was the best thing we ever did. He agreed to go to Teen Challenge, and he has been sober since he went.

If you'd like to read more about our story, go by our blog and click on the first item in the right-hand column "Freedom to Live, Nothing to Hide." The blog address is: www.glasshouseministries.blogspot.com

I just want you to know that I am adding you and your family to the Glass House Ministries prayer list.

Hang in there,

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story October 22, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

"He relies on me anytime he needs money. I am a codependent. What money he does get from his part-time job goes to clothes or eating out, probably alcohol and any other toys he thinks he wants. He is out of a job now.
I would like to set boundries. This I really need to work on."

This is what you wrote, and I pray that you will learn that giving your son money is enabling him. You say you are a codependent, but please don't believe that means you are not worthy of recovery from this. You are a mother.

Please, never ever give him money! He needs to pay rent. That's what I did. You can choose to put that rent into a savings, like I did. Your son must pay rent or move out. Period. He is 22. It is selfish of your son to buy toys or anything else.

When my son moved out, I took his rent savings and paid his apartment complex directly. It never touched my son's hands.

Addicts lie, I'm afraid. All they think about it wanting to use. They love you, but my son says they get a case of the "f--k it's) and don't think about consequences.

I am a codependent, too. But, I am learning that loving my son means I cannot enable his addiction. It's going to get rough, but once you learn to save "I love you, but "no" it gets easier. That was my first step-- "I love you, but no!" Practice that.


Mom of Opiate Addict October 22, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

I am sorry you also are having to experience this painful journey with so many of us bloggers. Your story is very similar to mine with some tweaks. The recovery process takes time, but the awareness of the co-dependent behavior and attending meetings are all very positive steps. Addicts lie, my son lies when the truth would work better. I don't question it anymore. I don't question what caused my son's addiction anymore, it is a disease. Just say no, to the addict, not easy as you will see from other's posts including mine, but necessary. You are not alone.

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