The Psychic Counselor

Do you have questions about life changes? Emotional concerns? Relationship issues? Spiritual matters? Send your questions to The Psychic Counselor, Lynda Hilburn, and check back here for your answers. Or you can read through the previous posts (check the Archives) to find answers you didn't even have questions for! [*LyndaSoul isn't my name -- it's the combo of my first name with the first word in the name of my hypnotherapy training school.]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Heartbreaking Situation

Dear Lynda:
My daughter is using alcohol and drugs and her life has spun out of control. She's currently in jail and will be evicted from her apartment. She can't hold a job and is living on borrowed money from friends -- friends willing to help her continue to drink and do drugs. My husband and I had a rocky relationship with her when she was a teenager. But things improved when she went to college, met a boy, and landed a good job. But our relationship soured again when she got involved with another guy who was a psychological mess and it's been touch and go for the last couple of years. My attempts to reach her, help her, bring her home to get her life under control and get the help she needs have been rejected and resented. Last summer I did get her home for three days, but after handing her some money, she refused counseling to help her cope with her boyfriend's death, and ran back to her friends and the drugs when I wouldn't give her more money. She insists she doesn't want to be around my husband, her stepfather, and my offers to go for family counseling to work things out, are rejected. I'm wracked with guilt over this and feel like a failure as her mother.

A friend of hers -- who I'm not sure is a good or bad influence -- called to ask for rent money for her. But though I've helped her in the past, I refused this time because she's only getting worse in this bad environment. I said she's welcome here, at my mom's and my son's homes if she loses her apartment. I don't know if she'll leave her friends and drug connections to come here or try to move in with her friends there.

My instinct at this point is to wait and let her come to me for help but I don't even know if she'll ever reach out to me again and I'm scared she'll get out of jail and start drinking and doing drugs again. Someone suggested I should try to see my daughter and try to get through to her again -- a three hour drive that could once again prove fruitless and hurtful like a visit a few weeks ago when I tried to convince her to choose rehab rather than jail.

I realize I'm dealing with the addict, not my daughter, but it still hurts. I feel like I don't even know who she is anymore. She's so hardened, so filled with pain and anger, I don't know how to get through to her or help her. What do you see happening in our future? Will I ever get my daughter back?
Heartbroken mother

Dear Heartbroken Mother:
You're in one of the roughest places a parent can be. Your heart aches because you know your child is in pain. But you also know she must make the decision to be healthy. I'm going to give you several bits of information, some from the tarot spread I put out about your daughter, some from my professional experience as a psychotherapist, and some from my personal experience. Intuitive first. Your daughter is on a dark, negative, slippery slope. Her level of self-destruction must have been building for years. I'd wager she showed signs of depression and self-hatred early on. As of right now, she has a hard path ahead of her, and if she doesn't decide she can find the courage to face her inner demons (one of which is a difficult past experience with a trusted person), she'll hit a very rough bottom. There is little you can do about that. If she's old enough to have been in college, she's an adult. At least legally, if not emotionally/mentally. She's standing at a crucial crossroads, and only she can know what she'll choose. I see as many indications of one choice as another. But she is capable of choosing life rather than it's opposite. Not as helpful as you'd like, I imagine. As a therapist, (and looking at what the cards said) I see signs of hope. But a positive outcome can only arrive after bold actions on your part. You can't rescue her yourself, because until she chooses to be clean and sober, nobody else has a prayer of making a difference. When things reach the low point, you might consider an intervention. An active one. You'll receive indications shortly that she's slipped further down the slope, and then it will be time to act. There are people/organizations who help with these kinds of things and you can find out about them through the various drug and alcohol resources in your area. Tough love is great, but it's horrible for the parents. I'll just say that in my own experience, I had to let go of what my child was choosing. I had to face the fact that he might not survive his self-destructive tendencies. I had to stop staying awake all night, waiting for the phone to ring with terrifying news. I had to unplug that phone and let him fall. He fell hard. For a long time. I think the fall woke up some part of him that had been asleep -- medicated by not only the substances, but his depression. He began to slowly emerge from his anger. Long story short, he's still struggling, but he's on his way. My heart goes out to you.