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Post Info TOPIC: New territory


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 71
Date:
New territory


Hi MIP - looking for ESH for those who have parented with a separated spouse without any recovery path. My XAH as some of you might remember sent me a photo with drugs in the background and it has changed our access plan. I now have control about my daughter seeing AH - how and when. She is about to turn 4 and has expressed some interest in seeing him or talking about him the last little while. Nothing major but its new and out of the blue. She hasnt seen him in months (his choice not mine) - I have no idea what the right move is - she said she wants to call him now - he has said he wants to see her at some point separately - who knows if he would actually show up - but thats another story. I dont want to expose her to an unstable parent - but if I am there and I can make sure its safe is that ok? I have a hard time knowing what the right decision is - if I am being controlling or not being diligent. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and my therapist said my danger button is kind of broken in these situations and I agree. Any experiences you can share? Its such a heavy decision.

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Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 277
Date:

 

 

Aloha Vicki and good reach out for help.  Its important that you use this to gain recovery experience for yourself.  Your daughter is young and may not like the decisions and as a former Alateen sponsor and adolescent therapist for youth from alcohol and drug families I can tell you that at times the outcomes are dicey however if you make it about you taking care of your peace of mind and serenity and you are willing at times to say "Okay I am still growing up, what do you suggest?" it will keep the others involved in solutions.  If you have therapists you work with keep them involved and of course we have sponsors too.   Good luck keep holding your HP's sleeve.   (((hugs))) aww



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Jerry F


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 9179
Date:

(((VickiR))) - I have no direct experience with this scenario. I do have 2 cousins, both females, who lost custody of their child/ren because of this disease. Both scenarios presented the addict/alcoholic with an opportunity to make changes and regain visitation and custodial rights. One was successful and one was not.

In both scenarios, we (family) tried as best we could to manage the situation and the addict without success. As painful and stressful as it was to have the state(s) involved, I can look back now and see it as truly best for the child/ren. We were all well-meaning in our efforts, yet the disease was far more powerful than our family collectively.

I agree with Jerry in engaging any/all resources available to you. This program helps us stay centered and accept that which we are not capable of changing (other people, places and things). Sending you tons of positive thoughts and prayers - for your little one also!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1024
Date:

Hi Vicki. I have some experience with seperated parenting. From my looking your daughter is 4. I understand wanting to supervise but think that is worth examining your motives over. Plenty of kids grow up without both parents and I take the view that the one raising them is the one who influences their world view mot significantly. My parents were seperated and I have major grumps with my mother but to her credit, one thing she did exceptionally was to give me the freedom to come to my own decisions when I was capable of doing so. I didn't see my father alone until I was 13 years old and that was also helped by my mother and stepmother being good enough to get along as mothers who both knew exactly what my father was like. From the ages of 3 to 13 I never saw him at all. I never felt I was missing out because I wasn't made to feel deficient. Does your daughter need this adult in her life right now? It doesn't sound like it. That doesn't mean you pretend he's dead or anything, just explain it to her on her level. If you want to go down the supervision route there are some pros and cons. Personally I feel that if an adult isn't capable of looking after a kid independently, then they aren't ready to parent. I would maybe still invite him to family gatherings or perhaps there is a weekend gym or sport or dance class daughter can attend where you drop her off, leave her and then pick her up. Start mall and see how it goes, or accept that he isn't capable now, might not ever be, and move on. Take good care!

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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3218
Date:

Hugs Vicky,

I will share with my kids it was a phase for lack of a better term .. at first they wanted to be involved with their dad and then little by little they decided that wasn't for them because of all of the disappointment that was there .. it would take so little effort on his part for them to open back up .. it's unfortunate that now he blames me for his lack of relationship with the kids. He refuses to make an effort and expects them to do all of the work .. that's not how relationships work.

Looking back I wish I had allowed my kids a little more reality when it came to their dad .. I was so busy trying to protect them and mine were older so yours is a different situation .. children have no choice and no voice at young ages. They are not stupid by any means and I have had to learn to trust my kids judgment even when I don't agree with it. Meaning .. sometimes they need to feel the disappointment to understand that one parent has some serious issues and there is a reason for the response being what it is .. my oldest has fully grasp that recently. I have really stayed out of his relationship with his dad.

With your daughter's age .. I really don't think that it's wrong to allow phone calls and so on .. I believe that addicts say things in the moment with every intension of following through and I wish for myself I had allowed him to fall down a little more .. in the long run I wouldn't have appeared so unreasonable. The hurt that would have been caused would have been painful to watch however .. sometimes reality is necessary as much as I want to wrap my kids in bubble wrap and send them into the real world .. lol and sigh .. that's not how life works.

The primary word is safety .. what the others have suggested is the action I would take .. plus DOCUMENT .. keep a timeline of visitation and phone calls this can benefit you and your X even. HP willing he gets help and straightens out. It is better for children to have both parents involved especially when that's their norm.

Big hugs .. you got this. :)

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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 71
Date:

Hi everyone, thank you so much for your responses. He never calls her ever so their communication has been zero for months, and she hasn't mentioned it again. I do document everything like his lack of visitation for my lawyer in case it comes up. He has never been super involved, even when we were together he was a pretty lazy parent and it just dwindled since our separation last summer. So part of me thinks what's the harm in a visit/phone call - it will probably be a long time before this comes up again, but then there are other concerns.

I agree it might be a phase, she is probably more aware of dads having started JK this year.

I don't know what he could possibly bring into her life that would be good right now, and I also worry that he might be a frightening shadow of who she saw even a few months ago. I think either way I have to see him myself before I expose her to him.

I did email two rehab facilities just out of curiosity to see if a professional can give me some advice/guidance too, I figure what's the harm - may as well get some information from people who deal with addiction and family systems all the time. It's just a big decision to make and I want to make the right one. I guess neither one will be 100% perfect and a lot will depend on his path - if he finds recovery or not.

Thank you again, this board is amazing.

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