Never ever do this

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Never ever do this

Post by Rhonda » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:15 pm

I did something horrible. Something I can only admit to here. I read 20yo AD step study journal. It was wrong and I wish I'd not done it. Even though I know how true it is to be careful of what you ask as you may not want to hear the answer. The few times in rehab we sorta talked about what was going on, she's been adamant that I don't want to know. Well, she's right. It's so much worse than I could even imagine. The hell this child has gone through. Any one event is a major trauma and there's so many of them. And where was I when these things were happening? The guilt.

Now what do I do with this info? I'm sick, angry, stressed and can't tell anyone why. I look at her and want to hold her and just cry. How do I even begin to help her find help with all the damage and pain this is doing to her? The physical and emotional. Not even just drug use. No wonder she wants to hide from the world and the pain.

Why did I do it? That driving need to know what's really wrong so I can fix it. Even though I know better. What's she not telling me that surely I can help with. Nope, not a good idea. Stupid. I can rationalize it was done in love. While that is true, it's also not true. I didn't go looking for it. It was just laying out in the open. Maybe she wanted me to see it?

Yes, I'm going to have to tell her. Someday, sometime, somehow.

Just don't do it. It's their business, not ours. I'm here to help when asked and as I'm able.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by endoftheroad » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:32 pm

Ah yes, that overwhelming need to know. It almost killed me years ago too. I read my son's journal when he was about 17 after he had been in a therapeutic wilderness camp. It was horrid. The counselors at this "camp" said that parents might know less than 1/2 of what happened.

I had no program then, but it completely cured me of snooping in his stuff ever again. He has, in the past, tried to share some of his addict drama with me, and I have been insistent that he not tell me. I am not a program buddy. I have no capacity for his history.

I can't tell you what to do, but I will share that you are not alone. The crux of the situation is what we do with this information. For me, doing nothing is doing something.

At times like these, I call a program buddie and go to a meeting too. Glad you could share here. That was brave. Keep coming back!
This is the easier softer way.....

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by DeanW » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:37 pm

Oh my dear - I know the pain. I've done it too - and oh God, I wish I had not. That nasty, nasty need to know almost killed me. I made a promise to myself some time ago that I would never snoop again. Nothing good ever happened from it. But, the knowledge almost killed me. Like in your case, much was left out - book open...I thought perhaps for me to see.
Decades later, I still don't know for sure but it didn't matter. I didn't know what to do with that information back then (wasn't addiction then) and wouldn't today, either. Forgive yourself, let it go - let it go far away. Hugs.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by Hopeful731 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:16 pm

Thank you for sharing. In my experience, the need to know is probably still the hardest "need", probably because it justifies itself so well, or at least tries to and I believe it.

My response is more from the side of the recovering addict/alcoholic. There was a lot of information throughout my addiction that my parents weren't privy to. But I can tell you 100% that if they had known, they couldn't take the pain away, they couldn't make it better. It was between me and my HP (and the rooms/therapist/sponsor/network). The pain that I went through brought me to where I am today, closer with my HP because of it.

I just wanted you to know that just because you know, doesn't mean you can take that pain away, no matter how hard you try. But you can pray for her. And be there if she wants to confide in you.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by hopefulNE » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:03 am

Oh, that awful need to know. Be careful what you wish for, right?
Once I realized I didn't really want to know the answers, I stopped asking or trying to find out. But it still gets to me sometimes. It's natural to care about our loved ones and want to know what's going on with them. It may be misguided, but it really does originate from love.
I bet there's hardly anyone here who hasn't done something similar at some point. Please be kind to yourself.
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by flash » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:20 am

I'm sure there are more here that have snooped and found things that didn't want to know than those that didn't.
I did it.
Read the step journal.
Like you said - things I never wanted to know.
Cured me too.
Stopped my snooping in it's tracks.
Never again.
That stinkin need to know is powerful.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by Suejan » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:41 am

My AS is a prolific writer when he's high. He would write novels to me by text- those were usually crazy fantasy things but could hurt.
HOWEVER, nothing was worse than the private notes and journaling I would come across every time I would pack up his room (for the supposed last time!) or eventually his apartment when he finally left for treatment.
I convinced myself I needed to know whether every piece of paper was trash or valuable enough to pack away. I was crazy. I read things that the addict wrote that made me sick to my stomach. I spent hours crying as I sorted papers and notebooks and trash. My AS had a penchant of commiting to print every bad, illegal and immoral act he did, or planned to do!! He basically wrote out his confessions!
Ultimately, I chose to throw it all away. I was no longer storing his garbage at our expense. Everything of value was gone, and he lives very frugaly at his treatment center- there was nothing there to keep.
I will never read that garbage again- i didnt need to know- it didnt help me- or him- or anyone. It was just a self indulgent pity party:(

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by belkar1 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:34 am

Welcome to the human race......

When my son came home from the 3 or 4 rehab, we stored his stuff again. Then our life changed and we moved, while cleaning out the basement I came across a box. I opened it, and a lot of his writings were there. Along with a bible he got when he was in jail.

I flipped through the books and papers, what I read did not give me peace. He was in jail again, and I had to clear so many things. I threw them out. I no longer hoard the memories of my family. I do not allow any new stuff to come in, I still have to sort through the garage. Its been two years since our major move, and I will tackle the garage in the spring.

Really what is special to me I will keep, other things I will donate. My goal for 2018 ;)

While reading through I saw just how sick my sons thinking was. How I remembered things differently. Some things I just cried, did it serve me well ? NOPE

When I knew better I did better, the crazy train left the tracks that day for me. The heart pounding, sick shaking feeling did not serve me well, what I read was my sons realty not mine. I could not internalize it and make it mine, to live in his life would only destroy both of us. I could not FIX my son.

This is a process, the more I live my program the better it gets for me. Is it perfect NO, it was never meant to be. No one has a perfect life, my job is to allow Joy into my world no matter what happens. What did I do with the information, I let it was not mine, also things change over time. What my son said in rehab 1 was not what he said in later rehabs. What was the truth what was the fantasy ?

Guess what, it was not mine to figure out, I did not own it, I put it down. Would I do it again NO


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Re: Never ever do this

Post by Rhonda » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:54 pm

Thank you all. I wish this was in the literature as a warning. Maybe it is and I just haven't seen it yet. Maybe this post will stop others. I definitely learned something from it.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by whitedove » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:29 pm

I have always been tempted to read my son's journal. Thank you for posting this....I have now lost all desire to snoop.

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by grateful » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:50 pm

Although I haven't read anybody's journals, there have been times that I've asked invasive questions that were basically sneaky ways to find out what I wanted to know when there was nothing I could do about it anyway. I learned the magic in giving heed to "What I need to know will come to me without any effort on my part." Of course, until I was ready to hear that and heed it, I spent various times adding anxiety & guilt to what I already felt. It helped me to work a 4th Step to find out what motivated me to snoop and to cause myself more anxiety & guilt with my sponsor or a fellowship friend. Progress not perfection could be applied to my sneaky questions, too. I had been affected by a horrible disease and healing for me would be as slow and gentle as my HP saw fit. You're not alone. Glad you shared.
Seek beauty

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Re: Never ever do this

Post by lbogie » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:09 pm

I am my own worst enemy............I've learned along this journey that I really do not need to know or want to know details.
I used to.................Not so much anymore; however, I have a Husband who is in a "trickle down program" and asks waaaay too many questions, in my "humble' opinion. But that's his thing.

I do not need to bring any more anxiety or strife into my life by my own choosing. Keep coming back for YOU.
Go easy on yourself. We all "want" to fix our ALOs, we've just come to learn (at our own pace) there is much I have no control over.

When we know better, we do better. I know how hard it is but try to bring the focus back to YOU.
We're here and you're not alone.
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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