Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How do you play a winning hand when you're not the one holding the cards?

... Here's guest blogger Morgan... telling it like it is in a "blended" home...

Maintaining control is something many people struggle with. Especially when it comes to your children. It’s one thing when your child becomes out of control, defies your rules and your authority, but what do you do when there is a third, or even a fourth, person in the picture? That’s our situation and to say that it’s hard would be the understatement of the year.

We have finally managed to get my stepson into a treatment facility. It’s not the one or the length we wanted, but we figured that any treatment was better than no treatment. We feel he needs a long term, residential treatment. His psychologist thinks he needs long term, residential treatment. The insurance company doesn’t. They think he needs a 3-week detox program, despite the fact that he’s most likely been clean for over a month. And since we are at the mercy of what the insurance company is willing to approve (we don’t have a money tree growing in our backyard), they are calling the shots. They are holding the cards on this one.

So now we are playing the waiting game, crossing our fingers that this child wakes up and this program, despite its brief length, has some effect on whatever it is that he is going through. We are hopeful that the doctors there too, will agree, that long term, residential care is what’s in this child’s best interest and we can simply transfer him there at the end of 21 days.

But what if that doesn’t happen? What if the insurance company still decides they know what’s best for this boy and send him home? If that’s the case, his father and I, we are still not the ones holding the cards. Mom is.

Just to refresh you, we have a blended family. My husband, myself, my stepson, and his mother and stepfather, whom with he currently lives. My husband and I are the evil disciplinarians, his mother is Glenda the good witch, queen of Disneyland.

So again, we are left feeling like the odd man out, powerless to have influence and help create change. It’s heart wrenching to see your children suffer and appear so lost, especially within themselves. But it’s even worse if you’re watching that from the sidelines, witnessing someone else essentially give them permission to take those wrong turns that ultimately lead to those bad decisions that have gotten him where he is today.

I know the “What if?” questions are futile and crazy-making, but its hard not to have them. What if mom thinks that going away, for however long, is going to “fix” him and when he returns home, he’ll be “normal”? How do you treat a “normal” kid? You give them freedom and the ability to make their own choices and decisions - ALL of the things that have aided in this child being where he is now - a drug treatment program.

I am very aware that we all play a part, that everyone has their role. What I need to continually remind myself of, however, is that’s all we can control - our own role, our own part. What all this really boils down to is fear. Uncertainty is scary, especially for those who like to be in control.  Currently, we wait, not knowing what will happen, unable to control the outcome. And when you’re talking about someone’s life, a child’s life - that is beyond scary. 

As Val has said previously, ...worrying, questioning, and relentless searching for answers has taken me nowhere good. It has hijacked my mind and shaken my resolve. AND - it’s exhausting! So I’m stopping. I cannot control the situation and therefore will accept the cards I am dealt. I will trust that in the end, whatever is meant to be, will be. I am responsible for me, and only me, and in this case, being out of control is a good thing.

Morgan: a gentle reminder from one control freak to another (Lol)... letting go of control is something we have to remind ourselves of constantly. Sometimes every hour on the hour, or even every 30 seconds... at least that's how it works for me. Hugs, girlfriend...

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