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Unread 10-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
MiddleMom
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Default Help the Innocent Children - What to Tell?

I am very moved reading these posts. I am the mother of a meth addict. I have custody of her children (hence MiddleMom), beautiful girls 12 and 16. We have come a long way over the 8 years I have had them. The 16 year old has transitioned from an angry, loud, fear-filled child to a charming, loving and often still fear-filled young lady. The 12 year old was much younger and probably doesn’t remember as much as the older sister. The 16 year old learned the truth of her mother’s addiction about a year ago (it was time to be more truthful in order for her to make safe decisions regarding her mother). I had always told them the court felt they needed to be in a safe environment with us because their parents made bad choices and since they were unable to make healthy choices for themselves they were unable to care for them safely. I left the drug part out.
Their mother is still addicted; proven by recent arrest for possession, living with a professed addict, stating inappropriate, fearful comments to the children on the phone. These comments cause fears of being alone anywhere, anytime, sleeping on the floor next to my bed, or climbing in bed with her sister. They often won’t even go upstairs to their room alone without the dog or every light on in the house.
Other than maybe 2 stray phone calls, Mom has been completely absent for almost 10 months. Mom recently showed up at one of the 12 year olds scheduled activities, thankfully, God in his wisdom had caused a stomach ache prohibiting her attendance.
We have allowed Mom to visit, here at our house only. Until Mom proves to be clean, she cannot take them anywhere. We have learned it is best to let Mom make contact with us, vs. us making contact with her. My most recent concern is the 12 year old’s desire to make contact. ‘Can she come have lunch with me at school? Can she pick me up and take me to soccer?’ It is difficult to convey how heart wrenching it is to watch these kids suffer through this. I know how much I have struggled, denied, cried, justified, prayed, supported, enabled and tough-loved and still struggle when face to face. How do I teach them? There is not an AlaTeen within 60 miles of us. How do I help her understand that it is best to wait for their mother and not reach out? Most of the help groups I have found are for adults, not kids. I also don’t want her in a group environment where kids feed off of other kids misery. I want her to know her mother’s love and know its limits. I want her to understand that although this is horrible and unfair and unwanted, it is real and has to be dealt with.
It is evident through the 16 year old that truth is much easier to deal with even though it hurts. How much truth do you give a 12 year old little girl?
Heart broken and wanting to heal a little girl and her sadness - missing a mommy!
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Unread 10-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
NancyB
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Hi MiddleMom, your granddaughters are very lucky to have such a caring person in you.

I don't really know how to answer the question what to tell your granddaughter. The first thing that came to my mind is maybe if she understands that her mother is not well, and until she gets help to get better, it's best to not contact her or something to that effect?

I found some links that might have some helpful things:
http://alcoholism.about.com/od/children/a/talk_kids.htm
http://www.ehow.com/how_5127477_expl...-children.html

This is the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) site for teens that might be useful in educating the girls about what addiction is, if they want more specific information.
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

I'll keep looking to see if I can find anything else that might be helpful. Please let us know how you and the girls are doing.

Nancy
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Unread 10-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
CarlyO
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Dear MiddleMom,
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing. Look into the info Nancy gave you.
You ask an important question, how much do you tell a 12 year old? Often they know more than we think but could choose to deny it, yet it could manifest itself other behaviors. The phone calls, if mom is going to be inappropriate and scare them- Could you stipulate that they be monitored?
Do you have a worker? They should be able to help you with this. Even though the girls are safe and relatively happy with you, it sounds like they need and want more. I think counseling is worth a try as it is a safe environment and maybe Al Anon or another group for you as members may know of resources for you and the children. You never know who you may meet and they could have some suggestions for you. I wish there were more services and groups for grandparents and family members who are caregivers. If you have worked with system, you basically need to be your own advocate and the advocate for the girls. (imo)
I think getting help for them now can is wise, they are both at important developmental stages. My heart goes out to you and the family. Keep us posted and as always this is a safe place to Vent. Take care, Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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