Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
Choices with an Addict
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WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION: LIVING WITH AN ADDICT COMMUNITY. This patient support community is for family members and loved ones of people who are substance abuse addicts. Discussions cover how to help your loved one, enabling, coping with the emotional impact of addiction, intervention, and when to seek medical help. If you are not a family member of a substance abuse addict and instead need help with your addiction, please visit our Addiction: Substance Abuse Community to get the support you need.

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Choices with an Addict

I have been reading all over then internet of how people have been trying to move on from their relationship with their addict spouse.  I know everyone thinks this but my situation is different.  I knew her from growing up but had no idea what she was going through.  As a child she was abused for years and her parents never got her the help she needed.  She developed some mental problems that seemed to be abated with medication until she became dependent.   I am the second spouse and my fear is that her daughter will have to go back to her biological father's life if I leave.  My spouse lost her children when they came home to her dying body.  CPS had them removed and they went to their father's house.  

That is the beginning of their story, here is the beginning of mine.  I was a year out of a previous relationship and looking for some company.  I started on dating sites but had too many weirdos IMO so I went to who I called friends.  I was par-oozing my friends on Facebook were we re-met.  It seemed like we were off to the races as friends and shortly their after we formed a relationship.  We have been together now for a few years and I am getting tired.  When she moved in, I knew she had children that I grew to love very quickly.  They lived with their father at that time.  I took them home a few times and was disgusted as to the environment they were living in.  They always had lice and couldn't bathe if they wanted to due to no utilities at their house.  CPS was called but running water and electricity are not necessities so they would do nothing.  So we took him to court and got custody.  All the while I was living the life I can now call the 'enabling'.  I did not even know what that was but... it was me.  The enabler is usually the individual emotionally closest to the addict. They watch over, protect and hide things to “help” the addict.  Boy was I confused.  

Anyway, we won custody and they moved in.  Two boys and one girl.  The oldest was the 'hero'.  He was often perceived as being helpful within the family. Getting attention early in their life gave him a partial sense of worth and he continuously tried to achieve approval and recognition. He was the beacon of the family but after living with his father he too became a drug user, smoker and habitual liar. He has spoken about his guilt from his inability to fix the addict.  

The younger boy was the 'scapegoat'.Since much of the family attention was directed to his older brother, he gained attention by acting out and getting in trouble. Negative attention is better than receiving no attention at all to him.  Living with his father has reinforced his acting out and he actually gets disability because of it.  That of course is another story.  

Finally there is the girl.  She has lived in a fantasy world most of her life, and has become very introverted.  Again after living with her father she had no idea that there was better then what she had come to know.  All of the children were informed that I was showing off with all of my electricity, nice mobile home and stuff.  Again, another story.  

Move forward a year and the oldest has dropped out of school and moved out because his girlfriend got pregnant and he wants to be there.  Boy I wish kids would listen while they are still kids but.. anyway.  The younger boy successfully convinced his mother that he was going to kill himself if he did not go back to live with his father.  He could not tolerate living in a house of bedtimes and curfews.  Since moving back to his dad's he has dropped out of school also.  He is 15.  .... Another story.  

The girl seems to be adjusting well.  She is now making friends and wants nothing to do with going to her dad's.  She is okay with visiting with him but does not like to be cold when it is cold outside and can't stand living with cockroaches and lice.  Moving to today.  The girl is becoming rebellious.  Still does not want to move in with her dad but not growing as she should.  She is blaming others for every thing wrong in her life and had started to develop a disdain for being around her mother when she is out of it.  

Her mother is out of it at least once a month because that is when her medications are refilled.  She has since almost killed herself again and due to the side effects of ambien, she has no memory of anything she has done.  Her cocktail is Vicodin, Soma, Xanax and ambien.  

I have read up on the internet and tried to use the suggestions of others but have not gotten anywhere as far as I can see.  I want out when she is lying or out of it but seem to stay anyway.  I love her and don't want the daughter to be subjected to either of her parents.  Help me please.  I don't know what to do or even what my options are.

I know I cannot change her but any advice would be appreciated.  I am so confused.
2 Comments Post a Comment
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Hi, I just want to mention that you have a life also and we should live it to its fullest. Our time on this earth is limited and there are things we need  to accomplish in order to obtain wisdom. If your in a situation that is just going in circles then break it open to form a straight line where your life has meaning also.
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Welcome to the forum!  I would like to encourage you to find an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting in your area and go as soon as you can.  Those rooms are FULL of people dealing with the same dysfunction and sickness of addiction.  The family members become as sick or sicker than the addict because they don't have any tools.  You will learn the difference between enabling and equipping.  Learn what to let go of...how to detach w/love.
You will learn that the very first step is admitting you are powerless over your girlfriend.  And getting her daughter to some Al-Ateen meetings and/or some counseling would help, too.
You will learn that you cannot CONTROL her or her children....that you didn't CAUSE this....and you cannot CURE it.  Your life is consumed with dysfunction.  It's time to learn to set some new boundaries....take some new action....and realize you deserve some peace and happiness.

It would be great if your girlfriend would post in our Substance Abuse Forum....of course, that's only if she wants off all the drugs she's abusing and needs some help.  MedHelp is an amazing place to get support, encouragement, love and suggestions.  We're here for you.....hope you'll make some new choices....and let us know how you are doing~
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