BM in Rehab

amyjadeNovember 25, 2009

Hello all and Happy Turkey Day,

I have been with DH for 4 years and SS is 8. I have a DD 6. Great Kids! HOWEVER

BM is barely in the picture and we live 4 hours from her, but the in laws live near her. So, sometimes we take SS to visit BM's mom. Well, they ran with that because every time there is a holiday they want to see him. We take him over and back him up next day no biggy.

Well, BM is in Rehab for the second time SS has never visited but, BM's mom wants to have him visit. Is that appropriate or not? Will it screw him up or help him?

She is a mess will most likely cry and get him upset. but, i jsut don't know what the right thing to do is.

And we want to do what is best for him.

To have DH take him to visit BM or not...? or a possibly BM's mom and sister pick SS up and visit her....

This would happen this Black Friday.


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If BM hasn't requested a visit from her son, Grandma should mind her own business, however; she probably thinks her daughter would benefit in her rehab if she could visit with her son. In my opinion, I wouldn't bring an 8 yr old to a rehab center regardless, especially when BM is not in the picture.

Speaking from a grandmother's point of view, I think it's great that you and your husband allow visitation. It would just break my heart if my little grandson was ripped out of my life because of a divorce. Hopefully, grandma won't breach your trust and sneak the boy over to visit his mother should you decide a trip to rehab wouldn't be healthy.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 10:32AM
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BM didn't request a visit. It would be a surprise. As a matter a fact she hasn't called SS in months. She has been in rehab for 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 10:54AM
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No, no, no, no......not appropriate IN THE LEAST to take an 8 year old to a rehab center to visit his mother who, BTW, chose addiction over him. Even if BM had asked I would say no.

Does he know she's in there? Does he know what rehab is? Maybe he could write a letter or send a picture, but DH should put his foot down.

My DS is almost 11 and is very mature for his age. There are a lot of things I think he can handle, but I wouldn't let him go visit X in rehab, if he was there. No way. Maybe if he was like 15 or 16. Even then I don't think so.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 11:05AM
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If it was a pre-arranged visit and both BM and SS were okay with it, I would take him. You don't say the severity of her addiction, but chances are SS might not see her very much after she gets out.

I also think it is better to be upfront with kids when they have a parent with addictions. Have frank talks (not Mom bashing) about addiction etc. IMO, its better for SS to know that Mom is away because of this, not him. AND he is pre-disposed of developing an addiction himself. Knowledge is power, imo.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 11:13AM
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Yes, he was told by DH that she has a drug problem. He is smart and had a few questions that we all have if this were to happen. Like why did she start doing them... I am leaning towards a NO in this situation. It seems grandma wants this for her daughter. not thinking of the effects it will have on him. When she had asked about this last night on the phone to me. She mentioned she is doing very well "in there".

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 11:19AM
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Grandma might want this for daughter, but it could be for son as well. Depending on the severity, again this might be one of the last times Son sees her or sees her sober. You have a controlled environment and sobriety, you probably can't ask for a better situation with a drug addict.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 12:44PM
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Alright, so 2 No's and 2 Yes's. Now I am really torn! I see both sides. When he grows up is he going to thank us for taking him. or Say, why in the world did you take an 8 year old to a drug rehab to visit my mom!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 1:19PM
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My parents took me to visit a beloved aunt in a mental hospital when I was about 3;
since I was so young, it all went over my head, & I was delighted to see her.

Had I been old enough to know more...I don't think it would have been good at all.

Mom is a grown-up, son is a child, better safe than sorry; my "vote" is No.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 1:26PM
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Does SS express much interest at seeing his mom? Is he upset by her lack of contact?

IMO, if mom had been in contact and kept a relationship with her child then it would be good for both to allow the visit. But if mom has avoided contact and son has learned to make a life without her, why rock that? True, he may see mom in one of her few sober times, but then if she goes back to her old ways he has 'clean mom' to miss and a new wound to heal. At this point his wounds are likely scabbed over and not so fresh, so to speak. Why rip them open? If mom cleans up and stays clean I think THAT is the time to reestablish a connection. Mom needs to earn the right to have a relationship with her son. She is the one who threw it away.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 1:30PM
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Hey amyjade, don't put me down for a yes lol. My answer is contingent on what SS says. Did you ask him?

I agree with JNM a lot, especially the part where Mom has to earn the right to a relationship with him. However, there is a chance she won't be sober for a while again...SS doesn't have to earn the right to see Mom sober, that is his right.

I really wouldn't be looking at this for what is best for Mom or has Mom earned it, I would look at it like what is best for SS. If he is showing an interest in seeing Mom, this may be the only opportunity he has.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 5:55PM
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"I also think it is better to be upfront with kids when they have a parent with addictions. Have frank talks (not Mom bashing) about addiction etc. IMO, its better for SS to know that Mom is away because of this, not him. AND he is pre-disposed of developing an addiction himself. Knowledge is power, imo."

Well said!

As the adult child of an alcoholic mother (who has 7+ yrs sober now) I vote MAYBE.

It depends on what SS's relationship has been with his mom up to this point. Does he miss her? Does he show upset that she is not around?

I know it's hard with alcoholics/drug addicts because you just don't trust that this time, their recovery is "for real." And the thing is---neither can THEY. All an addict can do is say "I won't drink/use TODAY." They cannot promise anything about tomorrow.

What does the REHAB CENTER think? I'd be tempted to have BM sign a medical release allowing your DH to speak to her counselors/therapists about the pros and cons of SS visiting his mother. I wouldn't just trust grandma's opinion that this is a good idea. Quite frankly, I don't think it should be a surprise visit for BM, either. She needs to know and be okay with seeing her son---if she's not ready, then it could do a lot of damage to her treatment.

I would encourage DH to somehow get in touch with the professionals at the facility and see what they think.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 6:46PM
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The BM has not requested a visit. Until she calls, let sleeping dogs lay.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I wouldn't bring SS, do you even know if BM is comfortable with having him come to visit her? As LoveHadley said, what about her counsellors, therapists, etc...Do they know that SS is to come and visit? They should be consulted as well because this visit could be detrimental to BM's rehab program.

On a personal note, when I was about 7-8 years old, my parents used to take me to a mental institute and have me sit in the car while they dropped off clothes for the residents. I used to just sit in the car, with the doors locked and wait for Mum and Dad to return. THey thought it was safe for me to sit there and that it was better than having to come into the hospital with them,that I might be frightened by the residents. On numerous occasions, I was approached by residents who were walking around the grounds, they would knock on the windows of the car, asking for change or cigarettes!! It freaked me OUT!! I still remember it to this day!! My parents didn't know how afraid I was but it was awful, so please think carefully before you take SS to see BM in rehab. I realize that rehab is alot different than a mental institution, but please ask the counsellors what they think first and tread carefully for SS's sake...:)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Put me down for a big fat NO. She has not had contact with her son in MONTHS......she is absent and sending him to a rehab center for a visit she didn't ask for is not doing SS ANY favors...
I can 100% tell you that if we got a call tomorrow that our absent BM was in rehab an someone wanted to take SD to visit her we would absolutely say no!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 9:45PM
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I have 3 stepkids who range in age from 7-15 and they have a bm who is not a drug addict, but goes months without calling or seeing them. I honestly think her inconsistant pop-ups stir up a lot of emotions because the kids lives are interrupted and they start thinking about a lot of sad things.

That said I vote no for allowing ss to go see his bm in rehab. Let her get out of there and show some stability before you open those feelings up for him. If he goes to see her in rehab and thinks that his mom is getting better he will only be more hurt if she gets out and doesn't stay off drugs.

Plus I don't really think rehab is a place for kids. And in my experiences people in rehab blame all their actions on the drugs and cry and it is very emotional....too emotional for a child IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 10:23PM
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