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Topic : 03/20 Policing the Parents

Number of Replies: 195
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Created on : Friday, October 19, 2007, 01:48:30 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/25/07) Should teens have to police a parent who is drug-addicted or just overall irresponsible? Robert, a father of two, has been in rehab six times in the past four years for an alcohol addiction. He says he drinks so often that his 14-year-old daughter, Keryn, pours out his beer daily, cleans up his bloody wounds after drunken falls and walks him home to prevent the police from arresting him! Robert's wife, Eileen, says she feels torn between protecting her children and loyalty to her husband. Will she stop enabling Robert's addiction, and will Robert get the wake-up call he desperately needs? Keryn has been her father's overseer for so long, is it too late to reverse their roles? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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March 21, 2008, 1:46 pm CDT

I hear your pain

Quote From: westy235

I watched the show because I have the opposite problem.  My son is nearly 31 years old and has been drinking since his early teens.  He has never had a steady job for more than a few months, he has rarely had a permanent roof over his head, he has only had sporadic contact w/ his 9 yr old daughter.  His mother and I are now divorced and I believe that is likely due to struggling w/ our son's addiction for so many years.  My son has been in and out of jail, he has spent most of his time homeless and living on the street, and yes, he has been in some rehab facilities a couple of times.  We arranged rehab for him more times than that, but he would leave w/i 24 hours.  We did not realize the level of our son's problem until he was legally and adult. 

My most recent experience w/ my son was a call from him this morning saying he'd been robbed and beaten and he was in the hospital.  he wanted me to come help him, which I refused to do.  This is something that has happened on many, many occasions.  I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on him, i've taken him into my home time and time again and I'm thru doing it.   He does not even know wehre I live now and I will not tell him. 

But does me making the decision I can't help make it any easier to turn him away? No.  And the thing that frustrates me about any of these television shows that deal with addiction, the ultimate answer is, "we'll pay to send you to the best facility in the country for as long as it takes."  Well, I would say 99% of Americans don't have that option.  I've already spent the money and I don't have it to spend again.  So, if a tv show is not willing to right a blank check to try to save my son do I just wait until he dies?  Is that the answer?  It's very frustrating wanting to help, but not knowing how.  I won't even talk to my son when he calls now because I have nothing to offer him.  It's easy to say he can make changes if he wants to, but I have to wonder what I could accomplish with no money, no home and with no one to turn to for help.  He has alienated every person he's close to.  Is it his own fault?  Certainly.  Does it make it any easier for me to see that no one will reach out and help, including me?  Never.

Our kids make choices that we often disagree with but when they make this type of a choice the pain feels insurmountable at times.  Watching anyone self destruct is difficult , a million times harder when it is our own.


I believe that consequences are life's best teachers.  When they get tired of living this way they will change.  But what about when their perception is altered are they as likely or even able to imagine that life can get better?  I hear you.  If they do what to change how do they find help?  Without an altered perception I had trouble finding my son help.


I find comfort and assurance in the Bible from the story of the Prodical son.  I just love the Father.  The son asks for his inheritance which at that time in history was the equilivant of saying I wish you were dead.  He goes to a far off land and squanders it.   For a Jewish boy to be in a position where he is not fed but  is working feeding pigs and their food is looking appealling, given how the Jewish feel about pork,  I am thinking he probably sunk to his lowest of lows.  Amazingly enough he realizes that the hired hands for Dad are treated better than he is and plans to return to home and ask to be a hired hand, but he is humbled.  By tradition he would have been dead to the family because of his request for his inheritance I am thinking he either know his Dad wouldn;t do this, is willing to take a chance or delusional.  The father not only welcomes him home  but runs to him, undignified for the day.  Let's him return as a son, however the son has learned the lesson.  So, I am thinking that he knows he can return and on what grounds.


So for my own Son who at 16 is heading in this direction I have let him know that his is always welcome home when he wants to get his life on track. He has signed a contract of conditions of living at home - you have to live by the rules of the street to survive ,so you have to live by the rules of the house to survive here too.   He isn't going to live anywhere in this world for free!   It has been hard to let him go for the times he has choosen to leave because I was strangled by the fear that the police would show up with word that he was killed.  However, AADAC pointed out that that could happen with him living at home without required changes in his behavior. I was enabling this behavior - NOT HAPPENING HERE! 


I don't know where you are righting from but may be you can access help from AADAC.  I did want to let you know that I know the feelings of helplessness that follow when they make choice that can hurt themselves and like you I will not be party to it.   However,  it works for me to let my son know that when, like the prodical son he comes to his senses he can return home.  Knowing what will be expected from him and if not he will be choosing to leave and I have enforced the leaving option - how else will he get it and I want him to get it.  I am thinking that little by little he can figure out that he can't Couch Surf - sleep on friends couches without paying rent - for long.  I hope that he compares life on the street without a bed, computer, food, to life at home and that will lead him to the right choice. 


 I only know of your situation what you have written however, I like you wonder how they find help and like the prodicals Father have decided he can return home once he "gets it"  I don't know if it is the "right" way to handle it by the professionals I am just where you are in that I leave in a world where most of the people will kick you to the curb rather than give you the time of day, so I want my son to know that there is someone there when he does get it.   Professionally, is it the right way, don't know just know that it  works for me.


I will pray for you and your son!





March 21, 2008, 2:49 pm CDT

I Have lived this Hell....

Quote From: mskamish

Without seeing this show, I could offer a million examples if anyone is at a loss for words...I lived this lifestyle from age 9 to 21, married someone just like Dad, and 20 years after that divorce, my daughter is still "expected" by her Father to take the parental High-Road. with her absent Father with his telephone calls twice yearly ( She will NOT)

It is devastating to say the least, how assuming the role of responsibility for an actively addicted parent  affects a child.  My father was a mess, and my mother gave up.  Someone had to keep the house running.  I have assumed the role of caretaker since.  Waiting and Watching for an addictive parent to "need you" is a horrendous rollercoaster.  Living on EggShells, Knowing to expect the worst, "just in case" Trying to prepare for an adult problem at 10?  Failure to prevent the parent from messing up again, only leaves the child ( or spouses) with a sense of failure and the understanding that "they should have done something different or assume of course the RESPONSIBILITY for the actions of the parent. ( Of course, that opens an entirely new show possibilit)y.  Anticipation for what is needed of you, removed your abiliy to anticipate your OWN needs.  Should I go on to school after being up all night?  Should I go, or should I wait to see if he wakes up? Should I go away to college and let everything fall apart?  College, who had time to think about  college; I could balance a check book, pay utilities, contact work places write business letters and telephone contacts and  language, but college is impossible for someone so CONSUMED with the needs of others, and in a constant state of recovery from the latest sleepless night or financial embarrassment or well known disaster. It is though you can't stop to address all of the demands of YOUR life, studying, projects, A FUTURE! Who can think of the future when they are trying to SURVIVE today?  Terribly unfair.... It took ten years of therapy for me to realize that I had every right to forge my own life. But Children, and Adult Children of Substance Abusers are often "trapped" in the cycle of "needing" to take care of everyone but themselves, it becomes their defining "source of pride".  It is very sad, but it made me a very strong woman, a survivor and most capable of limiting the lasting affects of such demands for my own children.  It took my own divorce and a lot of counseling to "catch-Up" to my counterparts that were fortunate enough to have parents that  had put the needs of their children above their own! 

This program was like looking at my own life.....  I was the young girl who said nothing to anyone about my mother's alcohol problem.   Too ashamed..   I knew my family was "different".   Couldn't have friends over.   Walked on eggshells my whole life around her.   I am 47 years old now...  I see so clearly how my mother's alcoholism affected me in all areas of my life.    Parents divorced when I was 6, and my world was never the same.     With the divorce, then the alcohol - I resorted my own comfort - food.    Was the only thing I felt comforted by.   

Today, I have just ended an 11 year on and off again relationship with an alcoholic.   Just like this man here, my partner would binge on beer..... not eat for days.... and then the recover period..     Never knowing what I was coming home to.... so much I could share here.... but ...... will just say  that in 10-07 I made him leave our home... he had spent entire paychecks one too many times...... My ARM went up also this same month, taking my mortgage from $1442 to $2390.   Could not pay this mortgage on my own.    Put the house up for sale.  To date, no offers.  Am facing foreclosure now. 

I have a six year old son by my ex partner.... he hasn't paid a penny of support.  I am struggling financially... but - I have PEACE in my house.    No longer do my son and I pack our bags and go to a hotel when he's come home drunk.   No more do I wake up in the middle of the night hearing things being knocked down, breaking glasses... NO MORE.     He's been to 3 or 4 treatments.... the last one, I drove him to was Schick Shadel - the 10 day program.    Did it work?   No.  He still drinks. 

What I would say to anyone who is with an alcoholic partner.......RUN, don't walk - get out as fast as you can.  I am not kidding.... it is a vicious hell to live.     My son knows the smell of alcohol.   He can tell just by looking at his dad and be able to tell if he's been drinking.     I made the decision last night after watching the show... and also after our last incident..... he is not going to see his son unsupervised.  That's final.

I will go to KC Family Court Services - and let them map out a plan.  I am done.

I am now trying to live for myself and kids... I have 2 older daughters from a previous relationship, ages 28 and 20.      I have spent my entire life on unavailable men ..... alcohol addicted, porn addicted, drug addicted, married, ...... ... It's time for me to focus on me.... and treat myself loveingly and kindly. 

I have spent so much time and energy on men that don't have their @#%@ together.  I refuse to ever in my life do it again.       The way I feel today - I would rather live alone with my son.... forget about a relationship - it's been way too much work.


I tell my daughters- don't date anyone who drinks, or has any family that is an alcoholic.   do research, know all the facts.... don't get caught up in their cons.... . because they are all big cons and liars.



March 25, 2008, 4:07 pm CDT

Court Documents

Quote From: hampster

 I have read your message and I do agree with you that Mr. David Hasselhoff has an alcohol addiction, however to make a statement that David Hasselhoff is a bad parent is unjustified. His ex-wife Pamela Bach has been reportedly abusing prescription drugs and illegal drugs. so now with that stated, what  opinion do you have?

The tabloids print anything and everything to get a copy sold, I do not believe everything I read.

Mr Hasselhoff does require help, but he must be the one to seek it. Ms Bach also needs to seek help for herself. Once the parents have a grip on reality then perhaps they can co-parent the daughters they have. Until that time perhaps neither are fit parents.

My point is simple, get all the facts and perhaps actually know the person or persons you speak of, as what I have stated above about David Hasselhoff and/or Pamela Bach is strictly second hand information as is yours, we have never met either one.
How might you have become privileged to view court documents that the rest of the world  doesn't have access too?

When a tabloid story or story on the net starts with SOURCES SAY, ask yourself who is this source?

Yes, David does speak three languages which are English, German and Foul, however we all  speak the third one every now and again. Why are you so upset over the Herself family?

Just to  let you know that I do know what those kids are going through as I am a  daughter of a man that was and will forever be referenced as an alcoholic. Tho he stepped up to the plate and admitted his addiction later in life, I'm still his daughter and proud of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please stop being bitter about your personal issues, co-parent your child/children, if you feel so strongly that your ex is a jerk then do something about it.
March 25, 2008, 4:25 pm CDT


My last message is intended for neena in response to her quote regarding David Hasselhoff.
March 27, 2008, 11:49 pm CDT

Robert has help... not me

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