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Old 09-17-2012, 10:41 AM   #21
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

My mom is an alcoholic drug addict, she also has a gambling addiction....I see her about once every 4 months or so at my home or out to a restaurant, and she knows she has to be clean to see the kids. When my youngest was almost 4, she had asked to watch him for the afternoon (she'd never been alone with him before as my own childhood memories are pretty vivid, but we had been communicating well almost everyday for months). I had to go in her room for something and there were lines of Meth out on the dresser. She explained that she was sober, but those were my Step Dads... I left and didn't speak to her for 6 months, and made it completely clear that if she wanted to have a relationship with him, she had to be clean, and we would only visit at my home from now on.
I love my mom. She's smart, dynamic, funny, loving and giving. But she's an addict. I love her, but I can't trust her with my children, they're just too precious for her to mess up.
I hope you find what works for your family Mama, and don't be afraid to go with your gut. You didn't choose their path, they did. Please don't allow them to take any of your peace away.

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:53 AM   #22
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

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My mom is an alcoholic drug addict, she also has a gambling addiction....I see her about once every 4 months or so at my home or out to a restaurant, and she knows she has to be clean to see the kids. When my youngest was almost 4, she had asked to watch him for the afternoon (she'd never been alone with him before as my own childhood memories are pretty vivid, but we had been communicating well almost everyday for months). I had to go in her room for something and there were lines of Meth out on the dresser. She explained that she was sober, but those were my Step Dads... I left and didn't speak to her for 6 months, and made it completely clear that if she wanted to have a relationship with him, she had to be clean, and we would only visit at my home from now on.
I love my mom. She's smart, dynamic, funny, loving and giving. But she's an addict. I love her, but I can't trust her with my children, they're just too precious for her to mess up.
I hope you find what works for your family Mama, and don't be afraid to go with your gut. You didn't choose their path, they did. Please don't allow them to take any of your peace away.
100% agree with the bolded. It is a difficult spot to be in sometimes but my number 1 priority is my children. If their grandma chooses her lifestyle over them that is on her. My children have people in their lives that love them so they are not missing anything by not having her around.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #23
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I have a family member who is a drug addict as well as having multiple mental health issues. He is able to be around my children as long as he's not on drugs and/or is not a danger to them (getting violent or trying to verbally fight with other family members). Our kids are never alone with him (he's homeless so it's not like my kids can go to his home, and he has no way of getting to our house nor would he be responsible enough to babysit) and we only see him during family functions (holidays and what not). I will not shelter my kids from him, nor will I lie about his situations, but I will not allow said family member to danger my kids in any way with his habits and issues.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:46 PM   #24
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I haven't limited exposure to the addicts in my family, but I have limited actions. For example, my children are not allowed in a vehicle if my step-mom is driving. Back before we knew that she had a problem with alcohol, she drove my kids somewhere in DH's truck. When she got back, she had issues parking it. It is big, so I didn't assume anything was wrong. Then when DH went to move it, he found an empty solo cup that smelled of wine in the cup holder. After that I had a long talk with my dad (as I saw it as a HUGE red flag) and let him know that under no circumstances were my kids ever to be in a vehicle with her again.

I would probably limit exposure if the addict's behavior was violent or harmful to the children or anyone else around them.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #25
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I have family cut off, but not for substance addiction. For the family members that do have addictions (alcohol, possibly something stronger, but no proof) they only see the kids with us here. I don't trust them not to drink and drive, and several times when one person was supposed to watch my kids (baby and toddler) for a couple hours, he/she pretty much ignored them.

They typically don't have more than a beer at my house (they'll bring their own if we don't have any), and they aren't passing out or responsible for my kids. Best I can do right now. I'm not to the point of cutting them off.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #26
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I wouldn't allow anyone actively using anything in my house or visit with them. Someone who is passed out is in a life or death emergency and 911 needs to be called.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #27
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #28
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ooh, off topic, but congrats on Benjamin! He's soooo cute!
Thanks! I love the newbie squishy face phase, hehe.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #29
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For us dh's mom doesn't ever ask to see the kids. She probably asks her brother how they are because he visits to see them occasionally. She did text my dh telling him her brother has recently started "getting on to her" for not seeing her grandkids. She told them it is just hard for her to make time. She sells weed, meth and ecstasy last I heard. She kept dh supplied in pot beginning when he was 13 and had him selling it at school. He was eventually was on meth, cocaine and drank everyday. He's been clean for 10 years this November . If I felt they were safe around her I wouldn't have a problem with them seeing what drugs etc. do to a person but she is not a safe one for them to be around. She told me I needed to smoke when I was pregnant with ds1 so that he would have a lower birth weight....
I grew up knowing my uncle and aunt were alcoholics. I went to the hospital every time my uncle totaled a car and ended up in a coma. I feel like it was a big part of me promising myself to never let myself become an alcoholic. I partied as a teen and whatnot, but I had my limitations and rules.

I don't intend on pretending the issues with ex and other family members don't exist, but I also wouldn't put my son in a position to see anyone high or drunk if I had the ability to prevent it. I never had to see my aunt and uncle drunk to see the consequences. And having been around others as an adult that have those issues, it's not a risk I would take. You never know what can make someone snap or what their mental state is, kwim?

Once DS1 is old enough for those discussions, he'll be told age appropriate explanations for why he only sees x person every so often. But I don't feel comfortable exposing him to those situations, as it's not safe IMO and the lesson can be taught otherwise. I refuse to protect the abuser and act as if they're honky dory awesome and fine. But I also refuse to expose DS1 to it, rather than educate him about it without that exposure. If that makes sense.

Wtf @ smoke for a lower birth weight?! Sounds like a winner there

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #30
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

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You never know what can make someone snap or what their mental state is, kwim?
This a thousands times over you have to keep in mind that isn't just Aunt Jane/Uncle John. That might be Aunt Jane/Uncle John's body but they are in an altered state of mind and who knows how much of the person they were is still present and how much is altered. Drugs sent my cousin over the edge to his death. Drugs turned my ex into a violent, manipulative liar that even his mother won't trust in her own house. Before drugs both of these men were just like any other man. They grew up in middle class families with loving parents. Once drugs alter the mind there is no telling what is going to happen or who they are going to hurt. I was fortunate that when my ex finally snapped it was me he snapped on and not ds who is very vulnerable due to his disabilities. The statistics say that 1 in every 13 kids with a drug addicted parent suffers from physical abuse. Thankfully, I got my son away before he became a statistic.
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