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Unread 06-03-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
Dopeless Hope Fiend
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Lightbulb Reuniting with your kids...how did you do it?

Reuniting with your kids...how did you do it?

Hey anybody who's reading this...I'm looking for advice, experiences, anything that anybody wants to share about reuniting with kids.

Doesn't matter if you're the addict parent separated from your kid, clean parent with kid, a kid (or adult) of an addict parent you are (or were) separated from, friend or relative of an addict who successfully (or not) reunited with their child after any length of separation due to any addiction problem...anything that you know about reunification, please share.

Gratefully,

-DHF
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Unread 06-06-2010, 05:59 AM   #2
NancyB
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bump - moved from another forum to see if anyone here has any input.
Thanks!
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Unread 06-06-2010, 09:25 AM   #3
OhioMike
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DHF .......... The situation or type of situation your asking about can have so many variables that I think it might be hard to simply generalize, well for me it is anyway. But what I have always suggested is this, that we need to always remember, this disease is a family disease. As one person might actually have the disease, all others in the family suffer from it as well. So as the person with the disease enters recovery and sets out to heal themselves, 9 times out of 10 so do the other family members, they need to heal from it as well.

As past wrongs and troubles need to be addressed, I think one thing which needs to be focused on is that healing is also as much about moving forward. The person suffering from the disease cannot go back and erase the past, nor can the loved one, the family member expect for the past troubles to be magically made up for. The person suffering from the disease needs to realize that we fix the past, by living a good future and the loved one needs to understand that as well.

In regard to understanding the disease it's self, we need to share the facts, the true medical education on the disease. Everyone involved needs to understand the nuts and bolts of the problem, of the disease before they can begin to understand how it plays out in the mental and emotional areas.

Finally and this is maybe the toughest one, everyone needs to understand that most often it is the disease creating the damage, not so much the person. In other words the person is one way when being controlled by the disease and another way when not. It's not always as personal as the disease makes it all play out when one is living in active addiction!

I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but, it is what comes to mind when I read your post.

Mike
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Unread 06-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
hairgirl
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DHF-
OK, I'll bite. My daughter's birth father abandoned his responsibilities when I told him I was pregnant, we were friends and we partied together- so we all know what can happen in that scenario. I told him I was pregnant, he started sleeping with my roommate/best friend, and disappeared with her. Upon my daughter's birth, his parents came to investigate, to ensure the child was his- they called him and told him to come see his daughter. He showed up, would not pick her up or anything- very detached. He remained that way for many years, popping in and out of her life, reigniting our affair, then leaving.
I never wanted to be the one to keep my child away from her father. I went through that and it aided in shaping my addictive persona. My kid had ADHD, inherited from her Dad, his parents did very little to help, and my family is very detached- so it was me and my daughter against the world. It was very difficult and I was very angry about the hand we'd been dealt. She deserved better, but I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions that I would never be able to give her the life she deserved- I began a steady decline into hell, all the while pretending I had it together when I was in fact slowly killing myself. In a moment of clarity- I realized I needed to change, and I started the road to self improvement.
My daughter was now 13 years old, and I had to go to court for child support. I did not expect to see her father- but he showed up with his pregnant wife. He went to jail and I spoke to his wife about repairing the bridge between my child and her father. He and his wife had a baby girl, I took my daughter to the hospital to meet her sister, I worked to help rebuild the relationship between them- but one fact remained constant through this- her father is an alcoholic, has psychological issues, and is very self destructive at times. I did not expect much from him- but it was worth it to me to help my daughter.
I was now engaged to a great guy who took on the stepfather role with pride. He was in many ways everything my child's father was not. His family loved us as if we had always been with them, and my daughter began to heal and feel loved. Everything seemed to be working out for the best. Her dad was doing well- working a steady job, maintaining a family and a relationship with my daughter. She was happy and that is all I ever wanted.
Now she is fifteen (current time). A few months ago, my daughter came to me and said she wished to not go visit her Dad anymore. He marriage fell apart a couple years ago and I guess his erratic alcoholic behavior was upsetting my daughter to the point she was growing tired of being exposed to it. Broken promises, isolation, lying- she had enough. I had to tell him that she was done with dealing with it- of course, he played the victim. We tried to talk with her, as parents. I think she is tired of his attitude, his behavior, and there is allot of pain and resentment.
I explained to my daughter that her father has an illness and while she sees him choose to drink and not recover- she also sees her mother repair the damage done and move on to better things. In her eyes, her father has repeatedly failed her, abandoned her, and relies on her for moral support when it should be the other way around. She has a good life with me and my husband and when you weigh the situation in a child's eyes- they see the truth. I have been more than supportive, helping her father with his recovery, driving back and forth for visits, never ensuing legal actions for child support- all to give him a break. Well, that is who I am. I am not vindictive or cruel- I only know how to be "ME". Most mothers would have hung his ass out to dry long ago, but I just can't do that. What would it accomplish?
After much consideration, I realize that my first obligation is to my daughter. She and I have a very close relationship and I try to help her heal from what has happened to her. Her father recently lost his job, his apartment and is 38 and living with his parents. I try to convince my daughter to stay in touch with her Dad, and she does it reluctantly. I want her to try- that is all. She has a 3 year old sister and I told my daughter that her sister is also an innocent victim in this and she needs to be there
for her in any way she can. I don't want my daughter to regret her choices later in life. If I can keep her trying, at least she will know she did everything she could have.
It will be interesting to see how this works out. I suspect her Dad will move out of state- that is his signature when he destroys his life here. He is already talking about moving to Florida. I don't think he will ever "get it", but I remain hopeful. Sometimes people change, sometimes they never change. Some people don't realize what they have until its gone and some never realize it and blame everyone and everything for their situation when they should look in the mirror. All I can tell you is that I love my child more than anything and I will always do what I can to make her see that there is good in the world.
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Unread 06-06-2010, 02:59 PM   #5
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DHF, so much depends on the age of the children, specific circumstances, time apart, etc. But I will basically say that once separated from the children returning must be gradual and not pushy. Slowly re-enter their lives by participating in things with them and just showing them that you are ready to be a part of their lives again. Unfortunately I believe it will have to be on their terms. Their lives have continued on without you and they cannot abuptly just add you back into their lives as if nothing had happened. The same goes for the parent who was taking care of the children while the other parent was off "doing their thing"-there will be resentment and questioning if this time back is for real, or will you disappear again. Somebody was responsible for the children while you were gone, that needs to be addressed and you need to let it be known that you realize the harm that has been done. Just take it slowly and allow the re-entry to be gradual and positive. Lost time can never be made up but you can show that you are ready to make a commitment to stay this time. No anger, no demands on your part-gentle and reassuring. Children are precious beings and deserve to have stability as they grow. Just my thoughts....

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Unread 06-07-2010, 06:38 AM   #6
Bqb247
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i am kinda having a problem like this..wile i was in active addiction, my daughter stayed with my grandparents....we lived there together for years but i was hardly ever there, i was out partying,,,, got back together with the man i love, and we got an apratment together, but we were partying also...we have been clean for almost a year, and i really want to spend more time with my daughter, but she chooses to be at the grandparents...s.hestays the night with me sometimes, but always has to have a friend with her...now she is at that age where friends ar everything, and i get that, but she also has a terrible attitude sometimes that i can't stand...she can get very nasty towards her grandma and me if she doesn't get her way all the time, and i try to step in and handle it, she is very unappreciative, and she really does get most of everything she wants, and i threaten to not do this or that for her, or take away this or that...it seems we have this conversation every couple weeks....i know i have done damage to our relationship with my addiction, so that coupled with her preteen attitude makes it very hard for us....sometimes i feel the damage is done and this is the way its gonna be, i asked her if i got a bigger place (only a 1 bdrm now) would she come stay with me at least a few days a week, and she said no....really hurt my feelings...so im also interested in any suggestions on how to get back in a normal relationship ith my daughter
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Unread 06-07-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Bqb247, If you and your daughter are willing and able, Family Therapy would be the optimal choice for rebuilding your relationship. I would recommend Family Therapy for anyone who is having problems with thier family due to addiction. Steve
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Unread 10-12-2016, 06:23 AM   #8
ESST0rnad0
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I am losing my mind not being with my kids. It's been 7 years not living with them, a boy 11 and a girl 10. They've now stopped talking to me completely in the last month or two. I'm angry at the mother. I've been sober off crack 4 years, alcohol and pot for two years and I'm only addicted now to Dextramathorphan strange as that is. But it doesn't mess me up. Not that I would do it the days I would visit them anyway, but it's unnoticeable and I sincerely use it now for my asthma allergies. I feel like I've lost them forever. He ex didn't participate in hardly any rehab work. She claimed she had no time because the kids took up her time, yet now with the new husband she is able to take care of his two kids about the same ages as mine. I know forgiveness is the key. I had forgiven her. But I'm really mad.

Last edited by ESST0rnad0; 10-12-2016 at 06:28 AM.. Reason: Added lines and corrected a word
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