Calling the counseling office again tomorrow (a place recommended by Wellstone) and hoping their therapists are back from vacation and ready to see clients. Yesterday demonstrated yet again that I need to talk to a professional who can help me sort out how to feel about and respond to difficult situations.
Chloe was in town, and Will came over to do laundry. We hadn’t seen him since last weekend, when I reached my point of emotional detachment. He was around all afternoon, eating and napping and watching TV. Looked … like he looks when he’s been using: gaunt and with a blotchy face. We continued with our normal plans for the day and interacted with him in a normal way, and I felt sad but detached and in control.
Then, when Chloe and I were out, he asked Doug for grocery money. Doug told him that in order for us to give him money, we want to see evidence that he’s taking care of himself by going to meetings, etc. Will told him that he’s been going to meetings and IOP (don’t know about the first, but the second was a lie, because I went and checked all three mornings last week). He was angry and almost left at that point, but remembered that he needed to stay for his laundry. Doug told me about this when we were eating dinner, and it hit me hard. It’s easy to say that you won’t give your manipulative child any more money — but it’s a damned sight harder when it’s actually time to say “no” and you have a vision of your hungry, homeless son in your head. We decided to give him some money, but told him that it won’t happen again unless he brings us signed evidence of meeting / IOP attendance.
I wanted to tell him that we know he’s lying about IOP. Doug says that would only be confrontational, and that we need to try to maintain the relationship. He feels that Will probably knows we know he’s lying. Doug and Chloe both see Will as being in a tremendous amount of denial, which does seem to be true.
Then, a little later, Will sent Doug and me a text unlike any he has ever sent, saying that we don’t believe in him, that we think he’s going to fail, that he can’t recover successfully in that kind of environment, and that’s why he hasn’t been home this week. I was floored. We have never done anything but support his efforts to recover — never been angry, never been negative. But apparently this was his response to us finally asking for proof that he’s making a real effort. Him saying those things hit me just like it hit me last week when I finally admitted to myself that he’s lying to us. I don’t want to believe that my son will lie to me and that he’ll say hurtful things that are manifestly not true. Doug says that he’ll say whatever he thinks/believes at that moment, and that I have to remember he isn’t in a stable frame of mind. Doug and Chloe both said he is being manipulative and is angry / hurt that we are finally setting boundaries and making reasonable requests rather than being an open bank account.
The combined effect was that despite still feeling detached, I was also brought back to a point of intense grief and personal hurt. Ended my day crying a long time, ready to run away and hide somewhere and let the other, emotionally competent people in the family handle this endless crisis. Doug is doing what he does so well, which is to research recovery approaches for us to follow. I hate that sort of thing, which Chloe says will make it hard for me to learn to cope and to succeed in therapy and my own recovery. They both say it will be a long and difficult process. But I am TIRED — emotionally and psychologically worn out. I want the impossible — for the situation to be better and resolved and for me to not have to ride the roller coaster any longer. When my son is in the house, I feel like I don’t belong here; I’m not comfortable because I can’t be open and honest with him, and he isn’t open and honest with us, so it’s like one huge charade. I love him and want him to be healthy and happy, but he isn’t working toward that and we can’t make him. I can only grieve and wish I could hide while someone waved a wand and made it all better. I am so. very. tired.
In other words, I need therapy, and I need it now.