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My daughter, Jenn, age 23, has had a drug problem since she was in her teens. Jenn has been in and out of jail and rehab “programs” more times than I can count. This last jail term, however, they put her in a work-jail program where she lived in a supervised facility while working for approximately six months. Jenn really “seems” like she has had a true reformation and has been working steady, is being responsible and will be done with the program in one month. She asked to come back home temporarily “to get on her feet”. My husband (her stepdad, Mark) is against this as he feels like we will be “enabling” her again. What should we do? I don’t want to throw her on the street.
Signed – Caught in the Middle in Minnesota
Dear Caught in the Middle:
That’s a tough one to walk through, and I have one or two close friends who have been in similar situations. Ask yourself, “Am I enabling her?” Is there any way financially you can help her out by putting her up for 3 – 6 months in a small apartment? If you have the means, maybe help get her set up in her own place and offer some financial support.
If that is not possible for you and your husband, ask your husband if he would agree to a 6 month period for her to temporarily move back in and help her get on her feet financially. But for your own marriage, I would make sure both you and your husband are in agreement before you discuss this with Jenn or try this method. And before even letting Jenn back in, be very clear with her what your rules and restrictions will be (i.e. she must “stay clean”, be gainfully employed, be saving her money for her own apartment, help with the dishes and housework, etc.).
If your husband is not in agreement, you have to consider not letting your daughter come back into your home at this point in time. You might research other sources of help for her such as half-way homes or group homes for people who are working to get back on their feet after serving time.
And please, be sure to get the help YOU need, too. Are you involved with some support groups like Al-anon, Nar-Anon? You could really use the support of these groups, and I hope you will consider getting involved in them if possible.
Wishing you the best.
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