Saturday, February 13, 2016

A few words from my husband: the day i took my wife to rehab

My husband recently told me that he would like to share some things from his point of view.  I was thrilled, because I knew it would give me a clearer picture of the feelings he had while going through the hardest season of our lives.  Here is his story.  I am happy to share it with you.

I just wanted to reach over and hold her hand.  I fought that feeling the entire hour and twenty minute ride. My throat felt like it had a basketball in it; tears tried their best to escape from my eyes. My heart was ripping from my chest. I wanted to tell her everything was going to be ok, that I loved her and was proud of her.  I couldn’t do it this time.  This was the not the first trip we had made down State Route 23 to Louisa, Kentucky.  This time had to be different, I had to keep my game face on and not lose hold of the tough love I planned to dish out.


Accompanied by a friend, I made a trip to the detox center/ psych ward that had kept Misty for several days preparing her to enter a residential treatment program.  We sat anxiously awaiting her to be released to our custody to transfer her to the treatment center. Not a transfer quite like transporting Hannibal Lector, but we did have to make sure she didn’t back out.  We left the hospital and headed to get a quick bite to eat, then to pick up some last minute items she “needed” to take with her.  The day before, her friends took her to shop for several other things she “needed”.  If she was going to take the step and go to treatment, I felt I should at least meet her “needs”.  I think in total we shelled out three to four hundred bucks! All for “needs”.  
After a little resistance in the Wal-Mart parking lot, we finally got back in the van and headed on to the intake center.  When we arrived, we were met by the sweetest lady who made us feel very comfortable and welcome.  She made us feel like this wasn’t your typical run of the mill rehab.  It was a majority “private pay” facility so there’s a “better group of girls” here.  I made the statement later that only Misty can go to rehab and end up in a mansion up on the hill.  She has always had a very classy nature and was maybe a little spoiled.  Well, a lot spoiled! We agreed to the time of treatment she would receive, I agreed to be responsible to pay, wrote a check for our insurance deductible, and we headed to our next stop.

Upon arrival to the center, I think the welcome wagon was a little more excited than me.  We toured the house, I guess to make us comfortable leaving her there.  The bedrooms looked as if they were bunk rooms from a fancy summer camp.  Bunk beds for 10 lined perfectly along the wall, each bed with matching bedding that you could bounce a quarter off of, a small area for the girls to keep their belongings (from the size of the area, I think Misty Probably had too much stuff with her). I am a little particular (OCD as some say), so the quarter off the bed was a for real thought.  As we toured, the lady made small talk with us and found out that Misty could sing. Again, she was very excited. I was still having a hard time getting excited.  I couldn’t keep my mind off the fact that I was getting ready to leave my wife for three months.  I couldn’t even think of how I would keep my kids from worrying. How was I going to dress my 8 year old daughter and fix her hair!?  She always looked like a million bucks and I had never put together a single outfit to put on her!  My mind was on overload, so to be honest, I couldn't care less about the tour we had obliged to. Our friend and I finished our tour and we were reunited with Misty to say our goodbyes.   I had in my mind that I was going to be the good Christian husband and have a heartfelt prayer with her as we departed.  I can’t say for sure, but I may have gotten out the words, “oh God please” as the tears began to run like a raging river.  We hugged as we both cried.  I know that God knew both of our needs that day.  I may not have pulled off the good prayer that a ministry leader of a Celebrate Recovery should have, but I did feel God close to us at that very moment. I had never felt that I loved her quite like I did that day.  I kept telling her (and myself) "a few months apart for the rest of our lives together!"  This was by far the hardest thing I had ever faced in my life. 

We left soaking wet from tears and began a long, nearly silent ride home.  Our friend was very consoling and supportive as we made that journey down that long winding road.  Well, she was as consoling as she could be for she was a mess as well! This ride home was me embarking on a completely new journey in life, one that led to a lot of roads I never thought I would travel...alone.


I had been attending a Loved Ones group for family members of folks who struggle with addiction.  I had recently been taught not to make idle threats and to never back down.  I had told Misty before entering treatment the first time that I would stand by her and love her through it, but this was it.  I would not allow our family to be destroyed by her addiction.  She had to get it together or else she would be on her own.  These statements came back to me as I sat in that group that night.  That was on a Monday night, and the very next day, Misty came clean that she had relapsed again.  I felt with all my heart that if I didn’t follow through with making her leave, I wouldn’t help her at all.  I told her I felt she was six months away from being a “crack whore”.  I know that is very harsh and I mean no disrespect to anyone, but I needed to get her attention.  I followed through with my word and told her she had to get out of our family home.  I hid all of her jewelry and anything else of value I felt she could sell.   I also told her she was not to disrupt our home for the kids’ sake and she was to take NOTHING out of the house. I was keeping my word and completely playing the tough love trump card.  I felt that if she would reach her bottom, maybe she would really get help. The next day I called home from work to remind Misty she needed to be making preparations to be out of our house and assure her that I was not pulling a I had MANY times in the past.  She told me that she had been in contact with someone, and that she was going back to treatment.  Over the next few days she prepared to leave and prepared to tell the kids what was happening.  We spent some time in great conversations and really had some healing moments that I think made her success real this time.  I maintained my position; I loved her but in a very tough way.  Monday came.  After telling the kids what was going on, a family member was waiting to pick them up and we left for the treatment center.  This time without a friend, no special lunch, and for sure no shopping trip.

I just wanted to reach over and hold her hand.  I fought that feeling the entire hour and twenty minute ride. My throat felt like it had a basketball in it; tears tried their best to escape from my eyes. My heart was ripping from my chest. I wanted to tell her everything was going to be ok, that I loved her, and was proud of her.   I knew that from the hard approach I had taken, she probably didn’t feel very loved at the moment.  When we arrived at the intake center, I cannot tell you how we were greeted. I sat in the car refusing to accept any responsibility, pay any fees or deductibles, or hear anything encouraging about this time around.  Misty returned to the car and we proceeded out the long country road to the treatment center.  We arrived and I can remember the rain pouring down in the cold air.  I unpacked the trunk and sat her bags on the porch.  This time we didn’t encounter the welcome wagon. I refused to buy into any of the festivities.  I was leaving and would not return until she completed her stay, and only then to give her a ride her new place of residence.  I informed her I would not be visiting, sending money, or allowing the kids to visit this time.   I sat her bags down, extended one arm to embrace Misty briefly, wished her good luck, and off the hill I went.  I refused to let her see me cry, as hurt and broken as I was, feeling like I was about to explode. As soon as my butt hit the seat in my car and I was turned away from the house, the pent up emotions inside of me exploded.  I must have cried for an hour. At one point, I stopped my car just to compose myself. I couldn’t believe we were going down this road...again.

A year later, I can now look back and see that God had a plan in all of this.  I believe these moments I have shared with you were the most critical moments in leading Misty to sobriety.  It was recently shared with me in a loved one’s group that “hurt brings healing”.  I know that, at times, my tough love caused Misty deep pain.  However, I still feel that I took the correct steps and I believe she agrees with me.  If you have a family member struggling with addiction, I cannot stress enough that you need to seek help as much as they do.  Connecting with a support group to help me learn how I was helping my wife and how I was hurting her recovery, saved my wife’s life, saved my marriage, and saved my kids' mommy.  As hard as it was, I would do it all over again.  And, I believe, so would she.

To read about the day my husband kicked me out, click here.

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