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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:07 am 
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I have a serious family situation that I haven't shared with any of you until now. I have a 34 year old step-daughter with a 42 year old boyfriend of over 8 years. I've been married to her father for over 10 years so I love her like she's my own - or as much as is possible for someone with no kids.

Let's just say "J" has had many problems throughout her life. She dropped out of high school and has never really held a job or been or done anything stable for any amount of time. My husband and I live in Michigan and J and her BF have lived in Miami for the last couple of years.

They have had problems with addiction in the past, on and off. We've been trying to help them because they are currently homeless, living out of their truck. As her parents, it's hard to watch that, as I'm sure you can imagine. We listen to her telling us how hungry they are, etc etc. So, yes, we've sent them money sometimes.

We've been dealing with the co-dependency/enabling in our marriage counseling lately and have been working on that. Just recently we've been working on saying no to them. Yesterday they found a church-based place to stay that included meals for a small weekly fee. They couldn't take a payment directly from me over the phone so I took the risk and wired just enough for a week's stay there directly to J. I asked the church to contact me when they had received the money.

Well, the pastor called me several hours later to tell me that they never returned. She also offered her opinion that they appeared to be on heroin. As I said, they've had problems with addiction in the past and heroin was one of those problems.

We haven't spoken to J since the money was sent (BIG SURPRISE!). I have no problem having lost that money. In fact, I'm GLAD it happened, because now we have PROOF that they are lying to us and using again. All they had allegedly wanted was a place to stay and eat and shower. HA - all they wanted was their heroin.

I'm not posting this to discuss their addiction. You all know I know plenty about addiction. I'm writing this to discuss my helplessness at having a daughter who is living on the streets of Miami AND hooked on heroin. We can all guess what the life expectancy is of a person living like that and it's not very long! My husband and I are petrified and wondering when we'll get that phone call from a hospital or a cop telling us they are in jail or dead, maybe having bought heroin in a bad part of town and having gotten shot. Or they robbed someone to get a fix and picked the wrong person. Or any number of similar scenarios that could get them killed or thrown in prison.

Have any of you ever had a family member living on the streets before, hooked on heroin? This has my husband and I completely fucked up and scared to death. We deal with it and talk about it in marriage counseling, but otherwise, we have to compartmentalize our feelings because if we didn't we couldn't even get through the day, much less sleep at night.

This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. And that's coming from me as the step-mom, so it's got to be a hundred times worse for my husband. I'm just looking for some help in dealing with this. It is literally making us sick.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Whoa, sounds like a rollercoaster of a lifestyle they are living. I watch the show intervention from time to time and what you described is pretty much what a episodes are like, except they get the addict into treatment and by showing the addict the consequences if they chose not to go to treatment. Personally, I could never live that way for 8 years not having a place to sleep or eat from living on the street homeless. Although I do have a friend who is much young who is technically homeless in active addiction that stays with friend to friend for short periods of time, but not living on the street. This is the tradeoff that the addict has to make for them to get high. It is scary that the drug is just THAT powerful. I am not sure what resources you have, but the only thing I can think of would be to go down to Miami, find her and have an intervention for her. It just seems like they would have hit their rock bottom by now, so I hope the best happens for you and your daughter.

Maybe try watching some episodes of the show intervention if you haven't already. It may help you get some ideas or something. By the way the channel the show comes on is A&E, but if you have Netflix you have access to liker a 150 episodes or something. Good luck Hatmaker!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:29 pm 
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hi hatmaker, sorry to hear of this issue. my mom had a similar situation with my dad. she divorced him due to alcohol, he was the best guy otherwise. we live in michigan also, he moved to wisconsin for a job opportunity. although they were divorced, he would call her and say he had no money or food, knowing what a compassionate person she was. she would lie in bed every night and cry for him. come to find out, he was living in a nice home off a woman that provided him alcohol{lost his job} and he just needed booze money. so you see, things arent as bad as they tell you, and when they truly bottom out, there are options. she is not ready for help. putting you in that position is not fair.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:23 pm 
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so sorry, i meant the other woman provided food and shelter


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Shit Mel, I don't have any advice for you. All I can do is extend my sympathy and say keep up with the counseling, maybe reach out to others who are going through or have gone through similar situations.

I think there really isn't much else you can do.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:49 am 
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Thanks for all the support. This whole situation is making us literally sick. Going down to Miami to have an intervention simply won't work, but I so appreciate the input. For our situation, we've already lost over a thousand dollars trying to help them. If we were to go down there it would just be throwing more good money after bad. To be frank, we just don't have it to even go down there. Every penny we lost trying to help them went on the credit card that was supposed to be for emergencies only. Now WE are the ones in debt.

We have to stop enabling them. And the harder we work and the less they work, the more we are doing the enabling. That will not happen any longer. As much as we've tried in the past, this was the last straw...the last lie...and the line gets drawn here.

If there isn't a warrant out for her arrest yet, there will be soon, from previous charges (that she lied to us about and I'm sure she committed the crime after re-thinking it). That is our ONLY last hope that if she does eventually go to prison (I believe these were federal charges) that perhaps that could be the one thing to make her get clean. I know there are always drugs in prison, too, but one can hope. It's all we have left to grasp on to.

Watching my husband go through this is breaking my heart. And here today is, Father's Day. I don't know if he remembered that about today or not. I don't want to say anything to him if he forgot. I'd hate to remind him only to have him hurting from my reminder. His other child (son) doesn't speak to him either (longer story, but no drugs involved, just an asshole kid). And my husband is the sweetest, gentlest, kindest man I've ever known. I just wish I could find a way to relieve his pain.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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 Post subject: A NOTE FROM SLIPPER....
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:26 am 
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Dear Hat,



I have a first cousin in the same situation. My sister=in-law and brother have done all the things you and your husband have done. They finally realized, like you that everything she told them was a lie.

So..they have changed their ways. They do not believe anything she says anymore. When she calls for money for food,shelter, anything...they say no. They always do tell her, however, that she is always welcome to come home at any
time...and they will provide for her there. So, I guess that does give her an option from starving or whatever.

They too, like you and your husband are worried sick about her, but are practicing the "tough love" to try and make her
come around.

Good luck with your situation...
Slipper

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:34 pm 
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I know how hard this must be for you and your husband. Both of my husbands kids put us through the ringer here and there, but luckily, they've never had addiction issues.

The thing is, you are doing the right thing by sticking to your guns and ceasing to enable them. My cousin was addicted to meth and used my aunt and uncle in horrible ways, lying and stealing, etc. They had to make the same decision you're facing, and it was just as heart-wrenching for them. They didn't know if he would live or die on the streets. Fortunately, my cousin got himself clean, relapsed, and got clean again. He has now been sober for over 7 years. The good thing for my cousin was that he got involved with a woman who inspired him to straighten up.

I wish your step-daughter would get rid of her loser boyfriend! It's much less likely that she'll reach out for help if she's with him and he is "taking care" of her.

I empathize with you, Hat. You're in an untenable situation. Keep talking to us. We support you!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:37 am 
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there time will come to good our bad'. don't send them any money, your just adding fuel to the fire. give them tough love.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:03 pm 
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I feel for ya mel :roll:

All I can do is remind you that I used my grandmother much the same way your stepdaughter is using you and your husband. I did it, becuase I knew how to push her buttons and get money.

when she finnally put her foot down, and told me no, no matter what it was, the answer was no (i tried everything)
THATS when I caved, and got help. well, not immediately but pretty damn fast.

so, as a person from kinda the other side, I can honestly say I think she/they WILL come around. Just keep telling them (if you can) that you are there for them WHEN theyre ready for help.
Thats all grandma told me.
then, when I was desperate enough, I knew I had to do it. but I was absolutely RELIEVED to know, she'd now be there for me, cuz I was ready to surrender.

Not an easy thing to do, no.

But I hope your situation goes the same way. theyve probly just about burnt every other bridge as well. I know I did.

or maybe she will go to jail, and that'l be a good start, you know she'll most likely call from jail, so at least you can rest a lil better knowing she'll have to detox.

well, I dont know if I helped, but my heart goes out to you.

oh, and as the 'kid' who wouldnt talk to their dad as well, if theres any way he (your husband) can keep trying and just simply say Im sorry, I love you (even if he did nothing wrong) the kid will EVENTUALLY come around. If he has any heart at all.
Kids are 'hard wired' to love there parents NO MATTER WHAT.

thats what worked for me anyway. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am 
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Thanks, Amber, for reminding me that people DO come through this. I just don't know if they will be able to.

We got a call this week from a bail bondsman in Miami. Yup, you got it, there's a warrant for her arrest for some old charges for which she failed to appear in court. The charges are writing bad checks and forging prescriptions. These are FELONY charges and right now she won't turn herself in, so the bail bondsman told me that a felony fugitive warrant will likely be issued which will just make things worse. With just the warrant, he said she probably wouldn't do any jail time, but if she ends up with a fugitive warrant, she just might. So that's the way things are going.

My husband tried to suggest getting her a lawyer or speaking to our lawyer, but I just said, "NO". And that's stopped things right there.

So, this is doing nothing but adding stress to my already over-loaded life right now. But still, there's nothing we can do and they won't return our calls or texts.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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