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Combination Jail / Counseling

Discussion in 'Share Your Rehab Experience' started by OhioTom76, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I think where my problem comes in at is that I try to help people that tend to only be out for themselves. Case in point, I have a friend who is addicted to a certain thing, and I certainly don't preach to her about it, but I speak up every now and then about how she could and should make much better choices. She doesn't want to hear it. She just wants me to give her rides here and there, and hang out with her unless she is otherwise engaged.

    In the meantime, I'm letting my own stuff fall by the wayside. I'm out driving her around when I could be at home organizing my garage, something that needs to be done lest my landlord gets on my back about it.

    Or I'll hang out with her, and we'll just do nothing basically all day. She's homeless. My housing is hanging on by prayers, so... since I work from home, I should be at home working, and doing other things to ensure that I keep my housing. Instead, I might stay outside all day with her, trying to help her, at the expense of myself.

    I have recently (it's been about a month now since I hung out with her) stopped this behavior, but I detect this pattern in myself, as this has been going on with me for years in one way or another.

    You sound like you're a good, healthy helper, Jen S. I seem to sometimes help people out of a ditch all the while helping myself in. Boundaries!!
  2. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That's the key to solving our problems, finding a way to keep ourselves occupied doing some useful or at least doing something that it's not bad (meaning that we are not consuming).
  3. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Sometimes! Do you feel like you have a hard time saying no to people in general?
    stariie likes this.
  4. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Umm, do I feel like I have a hard time saying no to people in general? That's a good question. I guess in many instances I do.
    I think that sometimes I just don't think before I help, like how some people don't think before they speak.

    Like, I really need to stop and take a moment, or realistically stop and take a few moments and ask myself, "Is this the type of person I want to become involved with?"

    I grew up in relative affluence (and ironically became homeless after blowing through my 6 figure trust fund).
    My parents took in disadvantaged, high risk foster kids when I was a little girl, so I think I learned at an early age to gravitate towards a certain type.

    My parents took the kids in, but as their peer in age, it was "my job" to interact with these kids and socialize with them on a daily and nightly basis. I did that, loved it and thought nothing of it.

    But...
    when one gets to adulthood and continues to gravitate towards these "same" foster-kid high-risk type individuals ie the wounded teen boy (who is now a man), the abandoned girl (who is now a woman), the overly sexual young girl (who is also now a woman), and tries to "help" them, one can get used.

    For example, there was a young woman at one of the shelters I lived in, she had a reputation of being promiscuous (a-hem).
    All of the other women steered clear of her, some talked about her like a dog, but who befriended her? Me. Who wanted to help her? You guessed it.
    Things went okay with our friendship for awhile, but in the long run is this someone who should be around the men in your life? NO.

    I've befriended and helped this same type of young woman as a friend since I was a little girl (and I gravitated towards that type over and over in the shelters), so now, as a grown woman, it's seems like I don't stop and think, "Do you really want to help her out? And if you do, what does that mean for you?"
  5. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I catch myself doing this all the time (something I still work on daily). It's usually in response to being asked for help directly - like a knee-jerk "YES! OF COURSE! SURE! OKAY!" followed by the "Wait...why did I do that?" thought a few minutes later. This is actually an improvement from what I used to do (offering help after hearing about someone's problems - without giving it enough thought).

    I can relate to being the "rich kid" who wound up in the gutter. It happens! LOL :)

    Oh wow. This is interesting. On one hand, I think it's wonderful your parents were willing to do something like this. Those types of foster parents are few and far between, often with questionable motives. It sounds like they wanted to do much more than write a check for people in need. I love that. On the other hand, it sounds like it wound up affecting you in ways no one could have ever predicted. Although I obviously can't relate personally, I think it's great you're connecting the dots and acknowledging what has contributed to your unhealthy adult behaviors. Trust me - sometimes this is more than half of the work! So good for you.
    stariie likes this.
  6. stariie

    stariie Community Champion


    I totally do the knee-jerk thing!!:eek::eek:o_O:D I simply hate when I do thato_O.
    It's like, "Did I just agree to babysit all 5 of her kids for the entire 3 day weekend??":eek:o_O:rolleyes::mad:

    Rich kid who wound up in the gutter, yes girlfriend, it does happen:oops:o_O, and in
    my particular case (and maybe yours too), "rich kid" who knew almost nothing about money.

    My parents weren't perfect (but who is:rolleyes:??) but I think they were awesome foster parents.
    Nice home, always clean; delicious home-cooked meals daily, nice vacations.

    They took in kids that stayed with us for awhile (one stayed with us for 3 years, another for 2), and they took in emergency kids, ones where the state would call and say "We're bringing a child over right now" and the kids were placed in our home immediately.

    Many were the days that I would go to school in the morning and come home in the afternoon to find that I had a new brother or sister; newborn babies to 17 year old boys or girls.
    Getting attached sometimes hurt, because sometimes I would go to school, come home, and they'd be gone, after staying with us a month, or 5 months, or a year:(.

    I think this kind of abrupt separation affected me as well, sometimes being beneficial, because as a grown woman, if I feel like I want to get out of a friendship or relationship with someone, I am able to cut off contact quickly, like an incision, and never look back:cool:.

    On the flip side, there are some 'friends' who are 'bad' for me, and I keep on hanging on when it's clear that I should let go.

    Yeah, I kind of connected the dots I think initially years ago when I read (and re-read to this day) a book called "Women who love too much" by Robin Norwood. Fantastic read.

    I felt like, Eureka, that's me, I'm a woman who loves too much.

    Her premise is that in a variety of ways we recreate the environment that we had as children because it is familiar to us, no matter how dysfunctional it may have been.

    She says something like, if we had a parent who didn't love us or support us, we will find other "parents" in our adult life, people who don't support us and we set about trying to please them because we couldn't please our parent.

    That "parent" can come in the form of a close friend who isn't supportive, or a mate who is critical of our every move, or always trying to please a demanding boss.

    Or, if we were daddy's girls, and daddy happened to be an alcoholic, and our mother didn't put up with it, fought with him all the time, we felt sorry for daddy.
    As little girls we felt powerless to help him, as in "If only mom would give daddy a break. She shouldn't be so mean to him, then maybe he wouldn't drink." (Exacerbated by the fact that daddy might tell us things like, "If only your mother was more understanding.")

    Then (us women who love too much) we grow up as women, we still want to help "daddy".
    As opposed to running to the hills away from an alcoholic man, we'll gravitate towards men with a substance abuse problem and seek to offer them support, understanding and comfort, things that we wish we would have been able to give to daddy but were too little to offer.

    In my particular case, my dad drank way too much, but loved to drive, regardless of the fact that he was in no condition to walk, let alone drive a car.
    My mom would put me in the car, "Go with him." I was chosen to keep him safe.
    (Keep others safe even if it means sacrificing yourself, even if you don't want to. You don't have a choice. Play with the foster kids. Get along, share your space. Give up your personal time.)

    Also in the "Women who love too much" book some guy in the book said something like he can tell how things are going to go with a woman in just a few minutes after he lets her know that he's been to jail (or prison, I don't recall his story exactly).

    He said that when he initially tells a woman about his jail time, there are two types of women. The women who are automatically turned off, and make their excuses and get away from him OR the women who stay and listen to his jail tales, and want to help him, don't want to judge him, almost like they want to prove what good people they are by letting him know that they accept him. The women in the second group are the women that he can manipulate.

    Been there, done that. Many times.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    Jen S. likes this.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I have read it! Agree. GREAT read. :)
    stariie likes this.
  8. Determined2014

    Determined2014 Senior Contributor

    The programm sounds owesome, compared to just sitting in jail , serving your time and getting out there back to the same thing, but the employees of that facility seem to be ruining everything with their attitudes,I wish they would change the employees, might end up being a great place for change.
  9. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    I hope that you were able to take something away from the experience -- but do try to remember that not all programs are bad. Definitely keep your head up and do your best to find a program that does work for you so that you are not forced to deal with this sort of forced experience again. I wish you the best of luck!!
  10. MissLisa

    MissLisa Member

    I am a Public Administrator, and I wanted to actually work in places like the ones you mentioned, but after seeing what I was up against, I decided to look into other ways of contributing to my community.
  11. joshua minaya

    joshua minaya Active Contributor

    i certainly agree with you on this because i have also had a similar experience.
  12. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    To those who responded with "at least you didn't have to go to a real jail", I think you kind of missed my point. The issue was the counseling aspect of the whole experience was entirely ineffective. There is clearly no oversight of the impact and effectiveness of what they are doing there. I was no better off than having sat in a plain jail the whole time to be honest - I've done that too. I don't know what percentage of taxpayer dollars subsidize these counseling programs and "treatment" in addition to what the offender has to pay to go through them but if they are not effective neither of us should be paying for them, and more importantly, they are doing nothing to solve the very issue you are sending addicts into them in the first place. If you think people are walking out of these programs "changed" and "fixed" you are wrong. Why would you want an ineffective process to continue? Wouldn't you rather see people coming out of these programs with a higher success rate of recovery?
  13. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird Member

    OhioTom did they send people to this rehab that were serious hard core drug users that had to go through withdrawal? It almost sounds to me from reading your story that you got caught and in the grand spectrum of addiction you were not as bad drug wise as some people can get. You definitely do not sound like you were anywhere near rock bottom.

    I agree resources probably should not be used on processes that do not work, for rehab to work the person has to want it to work. It is hard to want it if you are not to a point where it is seriously compromising your life. I would think that to be in position would mean you might be so whacked out mentally from drug use that you might not even be aware of how bad off you are. You certainly get the picture when you finally get clean, but prior to that it is hard to see.