View Full Version : My family is falling apart

06-21-15, 03:22 AM
For the past few years, my younger brother who is diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, has been struggling with drug abuse. He was suspended and then expelled from school for dealing, and was in a rehab program for the past few months.

This year was my first year of college so I've been kind of removed from what was happening at home. Now I've been back home for just over a month. Last week my brother "graduated" from rehab and immediately went on a bender, and showed up to his job high only to quit and collect his pay. He refused to go on antidepressants because he wanted to keep taking psychedelics. He got in a huge fight with my parents after they found shrooms in his room and threw them out and it escalated him to smashing glasses on the floor of our kitchen and yelling threats at my mother.

His birthday was earlier this week and he was out with his friends getting high all day and while he was out my mom told me she had been looking into other options for him besides the therapy he was currently in. She said she'd been considering an intensive wilderness therapy/rehabilitation program.

She ended up going through with it. Last night at 4 am, three large men showed up at my house to pretty much kidnap my brother - they recommend a professional transport service for these programs because there have been instances where kids have attempted to kill themselves when they realize they're being sent away - and my brother had indeed threatened to run away and/or commit suicide should something like this happen to him. He had to be ambushed to minimize his ability to do anything like that.

I can't even imagine how traumatic it must have been for him last night to be woken up by several strange men, escorted by van to the airport, and taken in for a medical evaluation before being sent out into the wilderness. All in less than a day.

My heart just aches for my family right now. I've been fairly estranged from my brother for a while now, but my parents are agonizing over this. My youngest brother is out of the country on a school trip and he has no idea this happened. He's going to come home at the end of this week to find that his older brother is gone and that his parents are heartbroken. And when I go back to school in the fall I'll be leaving him as the only child left in the house, much earlier than he was expected to be.

I just never thought this would happen. My family has always been dysfunctional in a quirky kind of way, but it seems we went from a smattering of social issues and learning disabilities to full on juvenile delinquent status in a matter of a few years. My brother had his first driving lesson this week. He was supposed to be a counselor at a summer camp next week. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

This is just something I really needed to get off of my chest. I haven't told any of my friends since it's some really heavy s*** and I hate burdening people, especially when all my friends from school are far away and enjoying their summers at home. Guess I'm just looking for some comfort and I've always been able to find that here.

06-21-15, 05:27 AM

Pooka, I'm so so sorry to hear you're going through this.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

It makes me sad to hear how much your brother is struggling.

I know this is deeply painful for you all.

Know that all of us on ADDF are here for you and care about you, and we're here to listen when you need to talk.

Much love.

06-21-15, 06:07 AM
Talk as much as you can/need to pooks, it by no means a burden to us, it is an honour and duty. :grouphug:

06-21-15, 07:15 AM
Oh Pooka! My heart aches for you. That is so much chaos to be in, and you must feel so much emptiness. I hope the program works, I personally have always been scared of those places but I can understand how your parents are so desperate in trying to save the life of their son that they may try anything. Just be prepared. It may not work. It seems like it should and you may have all the hope in the world but alot of times with addicts, they have to do the changing. I was told that when the pain gets great enough, then you will change. For me, towards the end of my drinking it wasnt fun anymore. I was maintainence drinking because I would have DT's if I didnt and feared a seizure. I would drink from the moment I got up (around 4) until I went to bed. All day, everyday, three big bottles of wine a day. I remember I could feel my liver ache. One morning I began weeping and knew that I just couldnt bear to feel this way anymore. I decided that I either had to commit suicide or quite-it was truly that bad. No one in my family could do it for me, they were forced to watch me unravel before their eyes. When it hurt to much to bear anymore I quit and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. Blessings to you and your family and I hope it works out.
In the meantime, take care of you. Dont let your brothers problem become your problem. Dont take on the responsibility of making the family whole again on yourself.

06-21-15, 07:45 AM

I thought drug addicts were sent to a nice rehab institute.

These big wilderness guys sound more traumatizing than helpful :(

06-21-15, 08:16 AM
Oh no pooka (((precious pooka))) :grouphug: :( we're all here for you and I for one will do whatever I can across the pond to help, my inbox is always open for you :grouphug:

06-21-15, 12:46 PM
Thanks so much all. Your support means the world :grouphug:

06-21-15, 02:35 PM
Pooka I'm sorry to hear all that's been going on. It must be horrible for all of you. :grouphug:

I won't sugar-coat it - the wilderness thing has a much too strong chance of being the worst decision your parents will ever make in their lives. I hope and pray that it doesn't turn out that way. Far too many kids come back (a) traumatized and (b) long-term unstable and less able to bounce back from difficult times.

06-21-15, 03:01 PM

My heart weeps for your brother for being even more deeply traumatized. I cringe at the thought of that experience in any way being thought of as therapeutic. Not ever being in that position, I find it hard to imagine how I would deal with feeling that desperate as a parent, as well. Holding you all in my thoughts and hoping for some loving relief.

06-21-15, 07:15 PM
I don't think my parents would have done this if they didn't believe that it was truly their only option. My brother has been in therapy for years and several rehab programs with absolutely no change. He's told me before that he thinks it's funny to go to therapy and mess with them by saying how remorseful he is, how he's just depressed but he really means well and blah blah blah and then going and taking a hit of god knows what immediately afterwards. He's made suicide threats on multiple occasions. He's 17 now so there's only one more year left that my parents are able to force him into rehab. This is their last ditch effort to help him.

I gave up on my brother years ago because I couldn't stand the constant pain of having a relationship with him. But my mom, through all the ups and downs, has never wavered in her support of him. Always believing that he was a good kid making questionable choices. So in spite of how terrible this is and how traumatic for everyone in the family, I'm kind of glad my mother has finally come to grips with the fact that she cannot solve my brother's problems on her own. She's tried for so long, and it's caused her so much stress and heartbreak. My brother took up all of her time and energy. I just hope now while my brother is getting help, she can focus on herself and on my youngest brother.

06-21-15, 07:18 PM
Fair enough.

I really hope this helps.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

06-21-15, 07:41 PM
I am certain that having this load off your mother's shoulders has to be a good thing.

The method may turn out to make your brother worse in the end. But I do see that your parents were really stuck.

06-21-15, 11:20 PM
:grouphug: pooka

06-22-15, 06:02 AM
:grouphug: we're all rooting for you and your family precious pooka :grouphug: (((pooka)))

06-22-15, 06:53 AM
I'm so sorry pooka , I feel for your family and for your brother and of course for you too :(

This must be very disconcerting for all concerned but the positive thing is he is getting help I will be thinking of you and I hope so much for all of you that this will be s turning point for your brother

All my love, flory

06-22-15, 11:29 AM
OMG I thought this type of stuff was long discredited.

Thank goodness this type of "intervention" is illegal in Europe.... because it is in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child... selecting just one relevant article.....

Article 37

States Parties shall ensure that:

(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;

(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.

There is a direct line from the dubious techniques of Synanon right through to these guys, usually involving a lot of money and marketing.

In the 60''s/70's there was this idea of "reparenting" espoused by people like Jacqui Schiff but when one looks closely one often finds the Milgram experiment writ large, where people with the power abuse it and damage the vulnerable young people in their "care"

This is seriously heavy s**t.

I am so so sorry.