>Getting Ready for Family Week

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In two and a half weeks, my husband and I head for Arkansas to attend family week at our son’s treatment center. Family week consists of 40 fabulous, fun-filled, frolicking hours of family therapy!! We’re all (Wolfie included) actually looking forward to it with much anticipation.

Every week my husband and I have a one hour phone consultation with our son’s counselor to discuss the issues at hand. Those phone conferences are also going very well and I think are quite fruitful.

One of the things we looked for in a treatment center was a strong focus on family counseling and family dynamics since we believe those have played a huge factor in where we are today. There are programs where you send your child off for however long and then they return them, I guess presumably all fixed. I think of those programs sort of like how a person might send their dog off to a trainer. The dog comes back trained, but the owner is still an idiot. Having trained several dogs, and having been part of several dog training classes in my life, I feel I can confidently say that usually the problem with an out-of-control dog isn’t the dog.

Our son wasn’t raised in a vacuum. He’s a loved and cherished member of our family, and his problems are our problems. My husband and I have as much, or more, to learn than our son, so that we can help him avoid this gaping hole to nowhere that wants to devour him. Why he’s choosing these things, what our part is in it, and how to help him make wiser choices are important parts of family treatment.

I can also say that our marriage has never been tested to this degree before. This is just a difficult situation. But in the last week it has gotten a million times better. I’m having some better control over my anxiety, meaning that I’m not nearly as incapacitated as I was, but I’m having a lot of headaches that I think are from the stress and anxiety.

I do want to mention that Wolfie hasn’t missed one phone call since that first time he declined his phone call. He knows that I need that phone call twice a week and I appreciate that he’s making the call. Each call we receive we can hear the difference in his voice. It is very comforting to hear his love for us restored in his voice. I’d like to think that his hearing how much his dad and I love him and are there for him means a lot to him, too. Those phone calls are very important for all of us, I think.

Last week, Wolfie asked to have his youth pastor added to his call list, which we agreed to, and yesterday he spent most of his 10 minute phone call speaking with his pastor. I got 2 minutes, but I was thrilled that he’s reaching out to others who do care a lot about him and are going to be here to stand with us and support our son when he does come home. I pray that God will bring more support for our son because he’s going to need it if he’s going to resist the temptations that are waiting here to re-engulf him.

My mother-in-law is also really reaching out to me. We’ve certainly had our rough times and there is a lot of bad water under the bridge, but she does understand what it feels like to literally be scared to death you’re going to lose your son and so I can definitely appreciate that about her. She wants to be there for us and she does love her grandson, so this is a good thing.

Having been on an actual roller-coaster or two in my time, I think this is the part of the ride where the first big drop is over and now the car is ambling through the scenery and lulling the rider into a sense of safety and complacency. But the ride isn’t over by a long shot.

We continue to fight with our insurance company, but that’s just a game anyway. We’re committed financially regardless. It is upsetting to take on such grand debt in this time of economic uncertainty, but I’m just trying to keep my eyes focused forward and taking this one day at a time.

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7 thoughts on “>Getting Ready for Family Week

  1. >Hey, Chloe–I had no idea this was going on until tonight. The situation with taking Wolfie to the treatment center apparently went down when Masha was in the hospital, and my computer has been in the shop twice since we got back, so I have barely been online. I didn’t know what was compelling me to stay up this late to read the internet until I started getting caught up on your blog. I totally “get” many o fthe things you have written– from being a control freak to separating yourself from your child’s decisions. And I have often wondered if our common anxiety issues stemmed from our similiar religious backgrounds.Anyway, I still KNOW you are wise and that you are inded a better mother than you give yourself credit for!! Please know that I love you and am praying for you, the Tick, and Wolfie.

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