How to deal with controlling parents

Discussion in 'Family & friends' started by ~lostgurl~, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    SWIM's mom has pretty much given SWIM an ultimatum, she can have a relationship with her mom or a relationship with drugs. Not both.

    Now I am a grown woman, she owns a house and a car, pays her mortgage and bills (though sometimes struggles to) and loves to get high on meth or ghb as often as she can afford too.

    SWIM's mom would like her to go to rehab. I do not want to go to rehab because as much as she hates being an addict, she loves getting high and does not see any joy in a future without drugs. Also I do not believe in the NA/AA cult, which is pretty much what all rehab centres use to base their program on.

    I feel that her mom is being unfair to make her choose between her and drugs, and that she should be able to make her own choices in life, even if they are the wrong one. I know her mom loves her very much and just wants to help her, and SWIM hates hurting her mom, letting her down, because she doesnt deserve it, she has been a great mother.

    I am lost and doesnt know what to do. She loves her mother and doesnt want to lose her, but she loves her drugs and doesnt want to live without them. And whats the point in going to rehab if I dont even want to quit? That would just be a waste of everybodys time and money.

    Any sggestions much appreciated...................
     
  2. shuanna

    shuanna Newbie

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    I have had to contend with parents wanting control in a range of areas of her life. She found that when they were unable to get that control, parents would withdraw from communication or interaction with her.

    SWIM's parents operate a thriving manufacturing and construction supply business in another state to where she lives [australia]. I understand issues of control, she's experienced them intensely as she is a transexual, and has live as female for over a decade. The biggest area of contention is that I have been unable to secure sustainable and ongoing employment appropriate to her skill and ability, or even other work.

    SWIM suggests that You try to stress to her family that she loves them, would like them to love her, preferably unconditionally. If she don't live with them, SWIM suggests that she is halfway through the battle to being free of their control, especially if she has a good income and are able to have a good life, alongside using, that is.

    Being faced with such an ultimatum is saddening. Some parents will have taken up a practice called "tough love" whereby they feel the only way to go, and get someone to change, is by taking a hard line, even if that means cutting off communication or whatever. If that is the likely scenario, it can be very hard to beat as You parent/s may be getting supported or encouraged by others with the same kind of views. I feel in her own experience this might have been the case, ironically it was all happening before she used. I will return another time. SWIM invites You to talk about things via PM, and as she lives in Australia, You is assured of nearly absolute privacy.
     
  3. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus Platinum Member & Advisor

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    "and loves to get high on meth or ghb as often as she can afford too."
    "she loves getting high and does not see any joy in a future without drugs."

    These are pretty sure signs of addiction. Could You tell us how often does she take those substances (esp. meth)? If it's physical meth addiction, I would suggest to quit, even if not in rehab. Not seeing any joy in a future without drugs, forget that idea. If drugs were the only joy left to mankind, our race would be extinct by now.

    As far as I understood from your post, yous mother seems to be kind of close-minded. The psychological war on drugs did its job. yous mother is indeed unfair to make such an ultimatum. You should try to cut back on her use for a while, or abstain from drugs for two weeks or so, and try to talk to her mother. It will be difficult, but if You wants to get to some kind of compromise, she should try to make her mother understand yous lifestyle, and live her life, without having a ruined relationship with her. If yous mother drinks or smokes, this would be a good starting point. There's no difference between persons who drink/smoke/drink coffee and illicit drug users, from this point of view (except the latter ones are breaking the law).

    A long conversation would loosen some tensions, and would do something. Unless yous mother is an ultra-conservative religious fanatic - my mother is :( .

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  4. Hlucn8

    Hlucn8 Gold Member

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    Wow. That is a difficult problem. How did swiys mom find out in the first place? My personal opinion is that altering ones mind is sort of like sexual orientation. It really isn't anybody else's business, unless it gets out of control and starts to affect those around the individual. I see no reason to parade either issue down the street. Being heterosexual, perhaps I am a little culturally insensitive to homosexuality issues, (so please don't flame me), but if swim wanted to sleep with a guy, I wouldn't feel the need to make my actions known to anybody. In the same respect, swim using mind altering chems is a very private thing. How did swiys mom find out? I wouldn't want to encourage lying about everything, but I would definitely not disclose any info about such private issues if asked point blank. Perhaps a little mis-direction is called for? (again, let swiys conciouns dictate swiyrs action in this regard.)
    On the other hand, if swiys use is posing a problem, perhaps paracelsus advice is in order. Maybe some sobriety is a good thing for swiy. You is the main one qualified to make that decision, though. Tell You to take a good personal inventory. NA/AA CAN be a good thing. perhaps it is alittle goofy and cultic, but two people with the same problem seems to be the best, (if not only), way for humans to help one another out of these sorts of problems.
    At any rate, You has to decide whether to be honest and risk loosing her mom, to lie and have to live with that, or to just decide to go it without the stuff and change her outlook on life, keep her mom, and save some money in the process. Let us know how it all works out. My heart goes out to swiy.
     
  5. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    This is a tough quandary, rendered tougher by the fact that many people have a dichotomous view of drugs, e.g. either use drugs, OR be a decent human being. Their social programming does not allow for the third option of use drugs AND be a decent human being, so they tend to buy into the media and government fueled hysteria when they find out a loved one is using drugs. Perhaps You should remind her mother of how things were before You used drugs. If the relationship was the same, and her mother did not suspect anything or find other reasons to chastise swiy, then that would be a piece of evidence that You is able to mantain a relationship with both her mother and drugs.

    I do not like to point fingers and say "addict", so regardless of where You thinks she stands on the scale of addiction, why not take a break? It could be explained that people can only quit for themselves, never for others, but that You could be willing to take a break for a month or so. The benefits of this would be many, as paracelsus and halucn8 stated above, and you's mother would be placated, at least for a time. If You continues to want to use drugs, perhaps make it a bit less salient, or moderate use more.

    This is a really difficult question that I want to give some more thought to, so he'll reply more later.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2006
  6. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    One thing You forgot to add is why you's mom has given You this ultimatum. Please elaborate on this...
     
  7. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    I know she is an addict, has spent the last ten years addicted to a range of substances, the last 5 addicted to meth. Due to finances this is rarely a daily habit, although the days I do not have meth she has little or no energy for anything other than sleep. GHB is not something I feel addicted too, more something she enjoys whenever she gets the chance.

    my mother does not drink or smoke or take drugs or drink coffee or break the law in any way, shape or form, though to her there is still a big difference between legally drinking alcohol and illegally taking drugs.

    SWIM's sister told mother about drug habit and in my mothers words:

    "I have done some thinking and have come to the conclusion, for mental and physical reasons that I can't cope with the lifestyle you are leading. It is too upsetting and my stomach is churning, and I know at this stage of my life that it is not good for me. "

    I have had a very close relationship with her mother over the past 2 years while her mom has thought SWIM to be clean and sober.
     
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  8. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    What other events have lead to this? You seems to mention in another topic that when You is in withdrawal from Meth, you's family has a hard time with you's behaviour? That's why I am asking.
     
  9. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    SWIM's mother has noted too many occasions over the past few months where I have no energy for even the simplest tasks, which she only now realizes is drug related.
     
  10. bewilderment

    bewilderment Drug Geek Extraordinaire Platinum Member & Advisor

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    How would swiy's mother know if You continued using anyway? Also, are these habits affecting swiy's health in any way?
     
  11. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    my mother wants her in rehab, couselling and is talking about hair tests to prove she is not using. Also I would have to find a better way to cope with the days she is not using so her mother wouldnt become suspicious. I feel like a teenager again even writing this! She is not sure if she is more annoyed or sad at this point.

    No this is not affecting SWIM's physical health, though most definately affects her mental health.
     
  12. SPWIM

    SPWIM Newbie

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    you's mother can't come to terms with the fact You uses drugs; she's living a lie. You needs to tell her that her daughter has changed and still loves her mum very much but won't allow her to control her life.
     
  13. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    That is precisely what SWIM told her mother and from that her mother decided that she cant be a part of my life unless I am ready to accept help in dealing with her addiction (help will come in full dose too, this is not a best of both worlds decision)

    I am fairly sure that her mother has gotten advice from some anti drug group promoting the tough love response, and I could have played along, to keep the peace and keep her mom happy, but this control with ultimatums has been going on My whole life and I am sick of feeling guilty for all her choices that her mom does not agree with and approve of, even if they should have no bearing on her mothers life anyway.

    I am swinging hard and fast between guilt and anger. She wants her mom to be happy, and proud of her daughter, but she doesn't know if shes willing to do whatever to make this happen. SWIM really wishes she could just curl up in a ball and sleep forever.
     
  14. SPWIM

    SPWIM Newbie

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    Perhaps is You is prepared to call her mother's bluff then her mum may come to terms with the situation rather than making true her threats.
     
  15. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Calling her bluff? This is not a game. This is about loosing one of the most important people in life.
    Why not try to have an open conversation about the things that you's mother misses in you? To create some understanding and insight into why you's mother is going this far. Why not try to get this information without countering it. Just to let it sink in and think about where she comes from. Try to evaluate what causes you's mother to be worried. All You has to loose in that is a bit of time. Which is better than a hardline yes or no approach IMO.
     
  16. SPWIM

    SPWIM Newbie

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    Well obviously SWIlostgurl knows her own mother and knows which approaches will be safe or not. Just sharing the idea.
     
  17. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Made me think. My mother is exactly the same. She claims to have abstained from anything mind-altering all her life. Would You mind if I'd ask her if her mother is an ultraconservative religious fanatic?
     
  18. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    It is because SWIM's mother is one of the most important people in her life that she is having such a hard time with this. If I didn't care she would just tell her mom to go f**k herself. But I do care, and she loves her mother very much. SWIM's mom has tried to understand her daughter, really tried. She has listened to her, read books and researched addiction, and I have tried to explain how she feels many times in conversation and in writing, but SWIM's mom just has no comprehension of the word addiction. It just doesn't exist in her world, she just cannot fathom it. my mother has done a lot for SWIM: Support, encouragement, time, money, energy.... so much more than I would ever expect of any mother, of anyone.... and SWIM wishes she could just be all that her mom wants her to be, but she is not that person. And I feel guilty that she is not that person, and shes been feeling guilty long before drugs ever came along.

    SWIM's mother is not religious, but she is a perfectionist, has very high standards and morals, and expects others to have the same. ultraconservative yes, religious no.
     
  19. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    ultimately, You can live only for youself, and not her mother. this means that You must be the person SHE wants herself to be, not what her mother wants to be. however, try to take a step back and assess the situation from an objective viewpoint. this may be difficult in the middle of a conflict, but perhaps make a list of the arguments swiy's mother has made, and what could be valid and invalid about each. perhaps You will find that who she wants to be is, to a large degree, overlapping with what her mother wants. Is what you's mother wants out of You valid and worthwhile goals? they could be, too. also take a look and see if drug use would prohibit You from reaching these goals, and to what extent drugs may be harming the relationship. these things could all help You come to a decision as to what to do. you's mother may not be able to fully understand swiy, but she still may have some valid points to make.

    The thing is, drugs will come and go, but a mother is irreplacable. however, some of the mom's suggestions (hair tests, e.g.) seem a bit extreme to request of an adult in order to mantain a familial relationship. but relationships are give and take: perhaps a frank discussion about use and an honest attempt to avoid addiction at least, if not take a break for some time could lead to a concession on the mother's part to accept some of you's decisions and not make their contact contingent upon drug testing. accepting You does not have to mean condoning you's actions, and the mother must understand that.

    perhaps an outside mediator or family counselor wouldn't be a bad idea? some kind of third party might be able to facilitate communication and understanding between You and you's mother, and the advantage would be that they would have no emotional investment or preconceptions in either person or the situation, so they would be much better able to arbitrate a solution than You might be able to do on her own.

    this is certainly a sticky issue, and there is no easy answer. I am not in a position to say that You should or shouldnt stop using drugs, but he can say that a break could be useful as a bartering chip to get her and her mother to sit down, maybe with a counsellor, and discuss these issues before You loses her mother entirely, which would be tragic. whether or not her mother's viewpoint on drugs may be irrational, it is clear that she is doing this out of love, and You posted this out of love, so a solution could probably be found, but not without much work. best of luck, and keep us posted.
     
  20. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    I have been reading and thinking and trying to take all the suggestions in, playing out scenarios in her head of her mom's responses... and she just realized what damn good advice you have given Alfa. SWIM's mom has given her reasons on how she thinks drugs negatively impact SWIM's life, but has never touched on who I was before she became an addict, (like 10 years ago, not just a random 2 month break) and how both SWIM and her mom felt about SWIM then and now and how their relationship has developed during this time. Well its worth a shot anyway, I will at least feel better to understand her mom's view more clearly.