When You’re the ONLY Visitor at Rehab on Family Visitation Night

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Last Tuesday, I took my girls and we visited Eli. Tuesdays include a 30-minute session of family education before the hour of visiting. There were about six other families visiting that evening. This week, I was the only person. Not just the only visiting Eli, but the only one visiting ANYONE!

The family education portion was on the topic of re-establishing trust. This seemed like a perfect topic for us, because I have been wondering about how to do this with Eli. There have been many times when I have been willing to start fresh and trust again, but I think I have always dived into trust too deep and too soon. Trusting an addict who is in active addiction is just a recipe for being manipulated and lied to, that’s for sure. Oftentimes, I’ve have a sense of what might be going on, but not direct knowledge and have been willing to keep my head in the sand. Totes do not like sand in my ears and eyes. But it has been easier than what I imagined a confrontation might be like.

What seems of major importance in this process is to be willing to confront when I sense the truth is not present. I believe I worry way too much about making sure no one ever has hurt feelings. If you do that, or you know someone who does, you can probably understand what can go wrong when the highest priority is making sure no one ever has hurt feelings. I think I probably get manipulative in my own way as I strive to make sure everyone feels good about their interactions with me. Geez, maybe that’s why I stay home all the time — gets exhausting to think I’m responsible for everyone else’s feelings. (Co-dependents Anonymous, I’m coming for you tonight.)

During the family education portion, we each had to write some answers to some questions and I found it most interesting to see how much we are on the same page. I appreciated hearing that his answers closely matched mine, which have pretty much been the same for a long time. His are evolving.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit him for two hours each week. It’s actually helpful to have the limits, because it gives me time to think about our discussions and the dynamics of our family relationships. Our next visit will be Saturday afternoon and I am looking forward to it. The rubber will meet the road once he finishes in-patient and his life isn’t nearly as regimented by an outside authority.

The supervisor for the visitation left for a few minutes near the end of the hour. I was very surprised that he left us alone. And curious about it as well. Did he know he could leave us alone because we wouldn’t try to break any rules? Did he leave because he didn’t really care whether we did? The only rule I would have thought to break was I might hold Eli’s hand if there wasn’t a rule against any touching. But there is, and the LAST thing I would want to do is cause him to get a reprimand. Reprimands aren’t always given out evenly and fairly in life, as we all know. So, I try to just do the right thing whenever I can and trust that that will be enough.

He’s been there for 30 days already and it’s exciting to see the things he is learning. I value the opportunity to respect the confidentiality requirement, while still being able to share my own experience and reactions to things. Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “When You’re the ONLY Visitor at Rehab on Family Visitation Night

  1. “gets exhausting to think I’m responsible for everyone else’s feelings” — whew, I hear you on that one, sistah. Moving into seeing everyone as capable of managing their own feelings, no matter what they are, is a serious slice of freedom, and then a lifetime, moment by moment practice since it’s so deeply ingrained in us. 🙂 But it IS possible and feels SO much lighter than carrying our own load plus everyone else’s. Keep up the stellar work!!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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