Addiction Recovery in the Family
This "community" of grandparents might help me sort out a dilemma I live with...
(I posted this also in the "daycare" topic).
I'm 52, married for 30 years, and I watch my 3 yr old grandson 5 days a week. He lives at our house (with his mom, our daughter, age 24). She is a recovering heroin addict and has been clean for one year. She had many mood/behavior problems since the age of 13 and seems to be finally straightening out her life after 10 years of struggle. (And in case you think we caused her addiction or contributed somehow to it, she says we had nothing to do with it. Her unhappiness over the years has been a source of endless speculation, and therapy, at our end...)
ANYWAY, she was arrested and went to rehab last year, so we stepped up to be his full time caregivers (my husband works full-time). She has cleared all her court ordered requirements and finished 2 consecutive rehab programs while working full time and cleaning up her life. We are proud of her for this, but we remain wary of another relapse, as all families do with all addicts. We've been through it all.
This little boy is so beloved and when we were needed, we were there for him. He is thriving -- happy and confident. But now that this arrangement is one year old, we are starting to wonder about the timeline of all this.
The financial setup is that she pays for her gas, food, cell phone, clothes, entertainment, medications and doctor appointments. She buys an occasional grocery run and her son's expenses, including preschool and doctor costs. We cover rent (she lives here), food, babysitting. She is grateful on a daily basis for what we do, but occasionally lapses into 'teenage attitude' but it's all working out for the most part.
We walk a fine line. We want her to be well and independent. We cherish our little grandson. I'm not confident she could run a home and care for him adequately so I'm not in a rush to shove her into an apartment (in a crappy area, since she makes low wages).
We know that every addict stands a better chance at full recovery if family supports him/her, but enabling is NOT something we want to do. We are watchful about that, but it's getting murky now. We're not sure if we should require her to pay us (either for daycare or for rent, or both) and encourage more financial independence.
I think it is humane to see each addict as a person who deserves some time to rebuild her life. Meanwhile, I am suffering with lack of privacy, strain on my marriage, lack of social life, my reduced working hours, etc.
ANyone out there have any experience in this arena? We are flying blind and want to do the right thing. Interestingly, "the right thing" to us is no longer to help HER but to help our little grandson. He deserves so much.
Thanks for any feedback.