This is the follow up to my post about the frustrations encountered with my son’s treatment and moving to a step down facility. Now I am going to write about the positive changes I have experienced in my son since his move. Reflecting back, the positives do outweigh the negatives. Sometimes I can get hyper focused on the negative and want everything to be perfect, then it is time for me to reflect on all the good that has come.
Because this time of year is so busy with time crunches between the holidays, writing consistently in my blog and also having to work I am going to bullet point my thoughts.
- Clean and Sober - He remains clean and sober, therefore we are able to have real constructive conversations. Smoking cigarettes may lead to drugs, but at this point I have no reason to believe he is using.
- Rage - When issues arise and we have had to confront him, he has not gone into a rage and started swearing at us. We have been able to discuss the experience and get honest information from him.
- Villains - He is not treating us as if we are the villain and it is our fault. He is starting to accept responsibility.
- No AWOL – He has not bolted or run away, or expressed the desire. We have actually talked and tried to reach a compromise.
- Accepting - He may get upset but somewhat accepts the consequences.
These may sound small to some and “expected” results but they are huge improvements from where we were before he went to treatment. Our conversations nightly on the phone he tells us that he misses us, I know in his own way he is trying. The treatment process is long and arduous and there are very few people that really understand what families are coping with when they have a teen in treatment.
During a discussion with our son’s therapist she made this great analogy; I hope to quote her correctly:
“When you sent your son to treatment it is not like trading your car in for a new model. Your son went to treatment and he came out the same person but with modifications.”
This is another saying that I would chuckle at during the parent meetings at Heritage, they would comment:
“We can help treat your teen but we cannot take the teenager out of them”
Like many of us, I need to get used to my teenager, not take things so personally and we all need to learn how to live together, again. Until another day. . .