EP79 From Grandparents to Parents, Navigating the Complexities of Relative Caregivers With Guest Catherine Becker

Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
Living With Your Child's Addiction Podcast
EP79 From Grandparents to Parents, Navigating the Complexities of Relative Caregivers With Guest Catherine Becker
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In this episode, Heather speaks with Catherine Becker, founder of the nonprofit group Joys and Challenges of Relative Caregivers, along with her daughter Katie, who shares her perspective as someone in recovery from substance use disorder and a mother whose children were adopted by her parents.

Catherine shares her experience of becoming a full-time parent to her grandchildren. She explains how she started her nonprofit group to provide
support and connection for relative caregivers, and how it has grown to provide financial assistance, programs for families, and a 24/7 online
interactive forum.

Katie shares her emotional experience of losing her children when her parents adopted them, how her mother’s love and support helped her get into recovery, and how her recent recovery has brought her back into co-parenting with her mother. Catherine and Katie also discuss how this situation affects relationships with other family members and offer advice for other relative caregivers.

Website: Joys and Challenges of Relative Caregivers

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Transcript

This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

0:01

I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.

Our relationship and didn’t help my daughter.

I finally found an effective evidence-based approach.

0:16

That repair my relationship with her helped me.

Create my own peace of mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

I teach you a loving and compassionate approach to help you encourage change.

And create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.

0:35

Family recovery is the answer.

Today’s guest is Katherine Becker along, with her daughter, Katie Katherine is the founder of the nonprofit group Joys and challenges of relative caregivers originally.

0:53

It was just supposed to be me and Katherine doing this interview and recently things have changed in her life and I got to talk to and meet Katie to get a little bit better understanding.

1:10

And background or their story and experience, it really touched my heart to hear this family’s story and what they’re going through.

And I also really admire that there was this need and Catherine’s life and she knew that other people needed it.

1:31

So she created that for herself and the other families that needed it.

She started the group in November of 20:21 because as I said, she needed support, she was adjusting to this major life change of raising her grandchildren and she came to the realization that her daughter.

1:53

Had a reoccurrence of use when her grandson was born with meth amphetamines in his system.

She tried many Facebook groups for grandparents that were raising kids.

But there were just so many members, thousands of them and the group.

2:10

So, It’s really hard to form personal close relationships with the other members, so that’s why she started her own community.

And as her group grew, they started providing more than friendship and connection.

2:26

They started raising money to help members that were struggling financially.

And then in November of last year, the group officially became a nonprofit organization.

They have application.

Based programs for families, including a diaper fund financial assistance, clothing fund school supply fund, and emergency child move in fun.

2:51

They sponsored 68 children for Christmas and provided 17 families with gift certificates for Christmas dinner, which I think is just amazing that this idea of hers grew so fast and they were too able to help so many people.

3:10

It goes to show how much one person can do in addition to offering speakers and a live chat.

The group also recently, added a 24/7 online interactive Forum, they understand that a crisis can occur at any time day or night, and they want to be there for their members.

3:30

There’s always somebody on call the chat, play a game help, pass the time, or form a friendship, everybody pitches in.

There’s no cliques.

And the spirit of the Group is to let members know that they are not alone, which is something that we all need.

3:46

When I heard about Katherine and what she was doing last year, I knew that I wanted to share it with the podcast audience because I’ve seen friends and clients faced with taking care of their grandkids and it’s so complex.

4:02

It just adds so much more to an already difficult situation with their kids.

Trying to Navigate the grandkids now and how that affects their relationship with their kids on top of everything else, that’s already happening.

4:20

So Catherine’s daughter, Katie is joining us to share her perspective of what it felt like to lose her kids, when her parents adopted them, and I think it’s very touching that she shares this so openly in vulnerably because We don’t always understand what somebody is going through in a situation like that.

4:47

And I appreciate her being willing to share that with us because I think Katie’s voice is really important in this conversation and not only brings hope with her recent recovery.

But she’s helping us understand things that our kids are going through that are hard for us to understand without somebody telling us there Experience and a few months ago, Catherine could not have imagined that Katie would be and Recovery sharing parenting with her and being a part of holidays again, so always remember that.

5:26

No matter how hopeless, the situation feels, there is always hope your child can tell you 100 times that they will never go to treatment and then suddenly they’re ready to go.

And next thing, you know, you know, you could be doing just those normal everyday things with your child again.

5:47

So, I just want to put that hope out there and now that things really can change at any time.

So, I hope you enjoy today’s episode.

I Catherine and Katie, thank you for being here to help raise awareness about the complexity of what families experience when parents become relative caregivers to their grandchildren.

6:15

I want to start with a question for Katherine.

Let’s start by going back to when you realized that you were going to be taking care of your grandkids full-time.

Can you give us a little background about how that started I can?

Baby was pregnant with Elijah and after she had him, he was born meth-addicted and the social worker that was involved.

6:41

Told us that if we didn’t make Katie leave that she would take the kids.

So we had to put Katie’s clothes and everything out into the garage and she put them in her car and drove away.

It was, it was awful.

But then we knew that day that we would be, we would be taking him forever.

6:58

We actually took custody of Allah.

Elijah before he came home from the hospital, he was in there for eight days.

So that’s how that came about.

And then for a while, this had a big change, I know, effect on your life.

Of course you went from having grown kids to know, you’re taking care of grandkids as well.

7:18

What did you and your husband have to change so that you could be full-time.

Parent figures again, my husband started working from home and I had to start working part time, I was actually working job.

I really love, but it was second shift.

And so I had to quit that job to stay home with him until he got a big enough to fit into daycare.

7:38

Basically everything about our lives changed, we used to go out.

My husband is in a corporate position, and so I used to travel with him and so, you know, after the kids were here, there was no more of that.

There was a huge change with everything our relationship.

7:56

I wouldn’t say that it suffered, but it certainly is different.

Even Today than it was four years ago.

Yeah, that’s a huge change from to go from being an empty nesters to rubbing back up to take care of young kids.

Again, that’s a lot of a lot of extra energy output.

8:15

Yes and I’m 62 years old so it was a lot of extra energy output.

So the hardest part of this situation was how it affected your relationship with Katie.

Like, you were in this really difficult.

8:30

Situation of having to put the needs of your grandkids above.

Helping her, which I mean, my heart just goes out to you for having to even be in that situation or any other parent that has to be in that situation because your daughter’s your baby that’s your priority until suddenly you have to have this other priority.

8:52

So how did you work through that?

It was really difficult.

I was so sad like I said, the day that she pulled away in her car with everything Thing in her car, I didn’t know where she was going to go.

What she was going to do.

I was sad and then I got mad.

9:08

I went through different phases of it because I was resentful that I was in that position.

I had 100 different feelings going through my brain.

I was I stayed worried about her all the time that went on for until she came home, actually, but I started my support group right after that, so that I could have the support from other grandparents.

9:29

Yeah and Katie.

So this was really emotional and complex for you as well, and I’m guessing that I’m one hand.

You were grateful for your mom stepping in.

And then on the other hand, it was painful, but that happened as well.

9:46

So, can you help us understand?

Mike because there’s a lot of people listening to this, that are going to go through the situation, like, what were you experiencing when this happened.

I was just completely Lee devastated, my heart, I mean, I had a son who was born on meth and and my addiction affected him and I just relapsed and I just thought it was the end of the world and it was the end of the world for me.

10:13

I lost.

Not only my kids who were my entire life.

I’ve been with them since the day they were born.

Well day.

Every single minute to having to leave my mom, leave my kids.

Leave my newborn son.

Not even him not even know my face and moving forward.

10:30

The next few years I ended up going hard on my drug use.

I went to rehab for a little while.

I got out, I was clean for a month and then I relapsed back on the streets again, back in motels again, back stealing again.

Doing what I was doing through our drug use, I quit talking to my mom and I quit talking completely because every time we did speak it was a humongous fight.

10:50

Of course, said I was so angry with her for the most part.

My heart was just complete.

How could you do this to me?

How could you take my kids from me?

How could you deprive them of Of that.

When I was a good mom, I just was on drugs and they never registered to me that I couldn’t be a good mom on drugs, but I felt like I was living two different lives of using and still trying to be a mom and still trying to be a daughter.

11:13

And but my drug use showed and then after a couple of years of back and forth with her, I would come for a birthday and I would come for Christmas and then I leave and I’d go use.

And recently the biggest thing that and Mom and I haven’t talked and soul.

11:31

And every time we did again, it was fighting, but I knew I couldn’t come here.

I had nowhere to go.

I was in an abusive relationship.

I was on fitting all and meth I lost, almost 70 pounds.

I was Skin and Bones.

I was completely strung out.

My mom calls me up one day and she said, she said, do you need anything?

11:50

And I’m like, oh, this is set up, you know, this is a complete set up and she left two things of Narcan on my front door and drove away and gradually, I started talking Talking to her.

And over the years, the day that she took me to court for the adoption.

I knew she wasn’t going to get it.

12:07

I’m just like there’s no way that they’ll take those kids for me forever.

There’s no way.

And he told me in the courtroom that day he said can you pass a drug test and I said no and he said it granted to your mother and I mean I hit the floor and they had to drag me out of that courthouse and when they did it was like my whole life was taken from me.

12:26

Every reason to live and every day was hell, I To find a reason to wake up every day and I think that cause my drug used to be worse and to I just I couldn’t find a reason to go on.

Sorry.

This is really hard.

12:42

Yeah, that’s okay.

I was so angry with her.

I just couldn’t understand why she would take them from me.

And I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get better.

Why I couldn’t stop using for the sake of my kids.

12:59

I have these beautiful babies that need me and I still couldn’t quit using.

And now I’ve learned since that I think God that she took the kids and I couldn’t take care of them.

I could take care of myself.

I was in and out of jail.

I couldn’t, I couldn’t function myself much less raised, three, beautiful children, who need a healthy stable life and she gives that to them and I I thank God for them now.

13:22

But it took me over this period of few years to realize that and to know how happy they are and how safe they are and how grateful I am that.

They have this wonderful life.

Now that she’s been able to provide that I couldn’t Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing that I know that that’s got to be really hard for you to talk about, but I think it’s something that’s really important to share in for people to hear.

13:48

Because said, not everybody understands like what the thought process is that’s going on how hard this is for.

Everybody was a struggle for myself and for her and and I can’t imagine what she was going through because I was just so, Covered with anger and just resentfulness.

14:08

And just, I couldn’t get past my own issues of well, this happened because you’re using, but yet you still won’t stop using Yeah, that’s got to be incredibly hard.

So you you recently went to treatment and got into recovery and you mentioned that there was pivotal moments between you and your mom where she made it.

14:33

Clear that she was there for, you definitely was the nor can the day, she just randomly called me up.

And again I was in an abusive relationship and I was living in a motel and she just randomly up and called me.

And she said, I’m here for you and I’m like, again, this is set up a time.

Sure you are you know?

14:49

Okay we’ve been through this before and she said, come see the kids and I was strung out strung out strong.

I’ve been up for four days I’m completely just cannot see my kids.

So I missed the visitation and I told her I said, I can’t see them.

They can’t see me like this.

15:05

And she said, I understand.

It’s okay.

I’m here for you again.

And I’m like, well, she’s not freaking out on me, she’s not going off on me.

And then the next day she sent a text said.

If you want to go to treatment I’m here I’ll take you to Treatment right now, you have somewhere to go that took another week of me calling her and we went back and forth on some phone call.

15:25

Then she just she cried, she said, these kids need you.

I’m here.

And it took me that week to real.

I’m just, I got homesick, I called her from a motel room.

We’ve got an argument as to take me to treatment right now.

Take me to treatment and she showed up within five minutes, and she put me in the car.

15:40

And she hugged me and she told me, she loved me.

She bought me a pack of cigarettes and there we went and I never looked back.

It just makes me feel emotional because we get so many mixed messages about what we should and shouldn’t do and when it comes to helping our kids.

15:59

And I’m a firm believer in always showing up with love and compassion and kindness and that we should do anything to remove the barriers to treatment and I shouldn’t say anything.

16:16

We shouldn’t kid ourselves.

Debra and Janet Leigh over it, but we should do whatever we can to remove the barriers to treatment for our kids.

Make it as easy as possible for them without hurting ourselves in the process.

And so I just want to point out how what you were just saying about how helpful it was to you, to have that feeling of love, and that different support from your mom during that time, that he was there.

16:43

That’s all I needed to know and that she knew I was high.

She was Isn’t shaming me.

She wasn’t putting me down.

She wasn’t.

There was no argument.

There was just Katie, I’m here.

She said, do you need anything?

And I was like, well, I mean I have no clothes because I lost all the weight.

I said have no clothes and she said, Okay.

16:59

And she dropped me off a little bag of clothes at the front door and drove off.

Like, she didn’t want to, I didn’t her see me that way.

But and she said are you ready to go treat me?

As I said not yet and she said, well, I’m here when you are and she dropped an Arcane off and she said, just I don’t want you to die.

She said, I’m scared every day a waking up, not know where you are.

17:17

And knowing that I get a phone call.

Any moment that you’re not here and she said and that it broke my heart.

I’m like, oh my God, but I knew at that point that I finally had something and somebody that was there for me that she would that my mom was back in there for me and no, I wasn’t ready for treatment yet.

17:36

No, but I knew that in any moment that I called her that.

Are you ready for treatment?

Not yet.

She’s like, anytime you’re ready.

I’m here.

And that’s all I needed to know that she was there and she was That she loved me.

That’s all I needed to hear whether it is instead of arguing and fighting and no matter what I said to hurt just know I’m here.

17:53

Katie and that’s I say that to every parent out there just to let them know that you’re there and that you love them.

That was the main thing.

Yeah, that’s powerful.

Thank you.

So what helped you Catherine to change your approach to show up for Katie differently during that time?

18:17

There was a little bit of history with that.

She had gotten out of jail in November and we had made the plan the whole time that I was giving her that morning.

And I was going to drive her to Moultrie Georgia to a rehab and when I called, to let them know that I was on my way, they told me she had already left and she went back with into that abusive relationships and she told me she wanted to use and I was just I went over there the next day and I told her I said, Said either you come with me today?

18:49

Or I’m going to have to walk away.

I can’t sit and watch you die.

And so she came with me and we went to a, she had to go and take some tests.

And then she went back to stay with him again because she had nowhere to go and then she changed her mind about rehab for two days.

19:07

I guess.

And then we finally she decided to go.

So she they actually had a plane for her because they didn’t want her to withdraw.

So the Rehab that she went to they provided a plane ticket for my husband, took her to the airport and she stayed there for three weeks and she left, and I was angry with her.

19:29

I needed her to get.

Well, I was just, I was so tired of being sad and scared and mad.

Because, every time I would talk to her, she would be to be defensive and paranoid, and it’s just part of the drug use and I would get so angry with her.

But when she called me that day, Day, which I had talked with her two weeks before that, and she had gone into the hospital because her blood pressure was really low.

19:54

Is that right my heart rate or know my?

Yeah, my heartbeat was no oxygen.

The oxygen level was down to 87.

So I started really realizing how close she was to dying because of the fentanyl in the Matthews.

And so I started seeing a counselor to help me.

20:12

If something were to happen to her to be able to deal with.

It was horrible, I started On two different medications, a heavy dose of Seroquel.

I wasn’t sleeping.

I was eating, I was just I was a mess and so when she called me that day and asked me to come and get her, I was on the road in two minutes.

20:30

I couldn’t imagine not having my child on this Earth.

I just couldn’t imagine it.

And so, that’s what I realized that I had to help her.

I had to be there, and I couldn’t wear my feelings, on my sleeve, and so when I saw her, it was awful and we went to the emergency room and Hector in there.

20:47

And I stayed with her until about 4:00 that morning.

They finally made me leave and then she went and detox and we decided that her being here was better for her than to be in rehab or to halfway house with the family, supporting the kids, which I appreciate you sharing that decision that you guys made as well, because it just goes to show that everybody has a different path to recovery and everybody, it’s just It doesn’t look the same for everybody and I think that sometimes we think it should only look one way.

21:22

It’s just every one size fits all type thinking but everybody has their own path and that Katie feels strongest with you at home.

I started Suboxone in rehab or in the detox.

They started me on that for a withdrawals because they were so bad and, and it helped and I’ve been on Suboxone prior and it was wonderful treatment for me.

21:43

But for well, when I started on it coming off, I was trying to find a tree.

Treatment that would take my insurance and that was the biggest thing that we ran into is nowhere will take Georgia.

Medicaid.

So we called all these nonprofits and called and called and called I mean we called four days and it was just one thing after another.

21:59

Nobody, I mean it’s so hard getting into a rehab if you don’t have insurance.

That’s another thing.

Is that her parents?

It’s just, we set here for how many days looking for rehabs and I couldn’t go back to Moultrie Georgia because I wasn’t currently using.

So nowhere would take me to go to a rehab.

22:16

One side are indeed So so now that I’m home, I’m 47 days clean and this has been the best way more than rehab ever did.

For me.

It’s being here with them and I go to the clinic every morning when I get up, but I do my daily dose of the boxing and I come home and I go to work and in life is normal and calm, you know, and it I 100% believe that this is better for me than ever been in any rehab.

22:41

And I’ve just had to learn how to start life over and relive again.

I had to find myself and I’m still finding my Self and and like today, I would got my very first paycheck and I went and got a phone.

My very first phone for myself.

That may not seem like much, but for me it is and so it’s just baby steps that we’re taking together and I do outpatient on my tablet every day, and I do a class online and it it just it’s helped so much and just knowing that I have them there for me is just we’re just taking it day by day and but it’s been wonderful.

23:12

We took a trip to Knoxville together back a few weeks ago with the kids.

We had the best time, and I realized that I had my buddy back because Katie, and I were always very, very close and I had missed that so much.

I’ve always called her Katie bug.

And when she was using us, I’ve lost my Katie bug and now, I’ve got her back.

23:32

She got in my purse, the other day.

I thought her to get something on my person.

She’s like, are you sure?

I’m like, go ahead.

She said, do you know how long it’s been since you’ve let me near your purse without going crazy.

You’re being paranoid.

I’m like, yeah, you can go through my purse now.

But trust is beautiful.

23:48

Yeah so it sounds like you’re rebuilding trust.

How else are you working through co-parenting?

Now with both of you there how are you navigating that it’s interesting?

Because my daughter’s called the started calling my mother mom and they called my stepdad dad and of course Elijah’s been with my mom since you that since he was born, I seen him, a handful of times, maybe five or five times to Max since he was born up until now, you know, and Only for maybe a couple hours at a time.

24:19

So of course he didn’t know who I was, which was extremely hard for me.

But with Elijah of course, he calls her mommy and cause Paul Daddy, and that’s all he knows and that’s all he will ever know.

But the girls, they call my mom mom.

And well, now that I’m home their life mommy on the couch, mommy in the kitchen.

24:36

Mommy, you know, and so by the way, they say it we know who they’re talking to and so and though randomly same ammo or they’ll random but they call Paul dad.

That’s that’s there.

Dad that their dad passed away in it was three years ago in November from a drug overdose as well and Fentanyl.

24:54

And so there, that’s the dad, they’ve only ever known.

So, of course, that’s their daddy.

And so, we both know who’s Mommy and Elijah, my youngest, he’s three, he calls me.

Katie, and so the other day, he’s not understanding why the girls are calling me Mommy and so he runs up.

He’s like Mommy.

I’m like, I’m Katie I’m getting in time.

25:11

He’ll know and in time things will but for now I’m Katie and that’s just that’s how it works.

I mean I Desire to be called Mom because I didn’t raise him, you know?

I’m not, I’m his biological mother, but I didn’t raise him.

And now I’m just thankful that I have that opportunity to raise him and to be a part of his life and to meet him and see what he enjoys and find that relationship with him.

25:33

That I never have been able to have a my girls I absolutely.

We just we have a blast there so glad I’m home and every day this morning my daughter wakes up she said I’ll see you at 5:00 Standard Time right, Mom.

I’m like yeah Tom o’clock.

I’ll be here.

She’s like 5:00, you better be at that door.

I was like, yes, ma’am.

So that is adorable.

25:50

I love hearing this.

We’re navigating the best way we can we, I mean, I don’t step over boundaries that she’s already set.

I mean, when it comes to punishment and things like that, they know the rules, they know how things work and, and they respect me and for the most part, they’re six and seven.

26:06

So, and they’re both girls.

So they have their own little whatever.

They want to respect and their little diva stuff.

But yeah, it just it works.

It’s working.

And they’re just glad to have me home and my mom’s got having.

I’m Glad to be home.

And to have them near me was the we just have a schedule and like just his normal again.

26:24

We’re actually looking bigger house, she’s in the bedroom with the girls and I want them to have their space back.

She’s like you’re pushing off the bed.

Now Bob I would like to find a house with an apartment so that maybe with two bedrooms so that the girls can sleep with with her some so I mean it really works and it’s amazingly works.

26:46

The kids are very they’re happy and it’s not like it’s messed with them with her being home and we just talk positive.

Everything’s going to be great.

Is that today’s day 43, right?

Mom.

Today is day four in.

She doesn’t really understand but she knows.

I’ve been gone into the hardest thing that I ever had to do was call them from jail on a video.

27:06

Visit it was Mother’s Day and and I’m like, I’m looking at them from a screen in jail and I’d serve six months.

And I’m like, Mom will be home soon.

And Mommy, I’m so alone and then I’m out.

And drugs Mafia arm so next time.

And so they knew at that point, they would see me.

27:21

Maybe here and there.

Okay, I’m all these promises, whatever on their birthday.

I would leave them roses in the back of the truck and drive off.

You know.

So they wouldn’t see me the way I was.

So now they’re like, Mom, you’re going to be at this birthday, right?

I’m like, of course, I’m going to be there.

You’re gonna be home at 5:00, right?

Course, I’m going to be I’m home at 5:00 every day.

27:38

I’m coming home and so now, they know I’m actually coming home and I’m coming back and I can be be there and they can trust me again because I didn’t before.

Nor should they They I’d say I’d be there and I wouldn’t ever, I can just see and feel the love and healing happening in your family.

27:56

I think it’s really beautiful and I appreciate that you that you’re sharing this or other family.

Because there are a lot of families experiencing this right now that are trying to navigate it and I think I like being able to offer both sides of this so Catherine, there’s the other layer.

28:17

Of this.

That’s also complex with your relationship with your other kids and the time and attention.

Now, you have to give to your grandkids and there’s some strain there, how are you managing that part of this?

I have not had a relationship with my son in three years.

28:37

It after we took the kids, he felt like that.

I was enabling her by taking the kids and what he said to me was if you would put them in foster care than she would have to get claims.

She would have to go get him.

I’m like, that’s not how that works.

28:53

Unfortunately, you know, we can’t do it like that and so he just broke off his relationship with me.

And so I have not actually even heard his voice in three years.

He is 30-piece 38, he is two of my grandchildren, I haven’t talked with them either, my oldest daughter, she’s a little better, she kind of goes in and out with it.

29:14

She has six kids of her own.

A great and a grandbaby who’s my first grandbaby and I don’t get to see them a lot.

But some of it too, is that she works all week and on the weekends, we have things going on.

We just can’t seem to get together.

29:29

So I never really know where her head is with it.

But their father died recently and the all three of my kids got together at his funeral and talked and I think worked it out to to, we did, we did I haven’t seen, of course, I haven’t seen my brother sister and years and all They know is the crap that I’ve been through going to tell you some drugs, get.

29:50

So we got to spend some time together and us, all three being together for the first time.

And I can’t tell you how many years I mean.

Probably six years of course age.

Bow, just started crying when they seen me and and I was still recently newly clean and my brother at the funeral.

30:05

He said, dad, all dad, ever wanted, was you to be healthy.

He worried about you called and I mean, it just, it broke my heart.

But I think from that moment on as far as my sister, she she’s always Has been really jealous amount of Mom’s relationship.

Begin with, so we’re both girls and we’ve always been fighting over her attention.

30:23

I guess that’s how that works but she’s getting better with it.

I try and texture every other day I’m like I heard want to talk to you or you feeling better, you know, things like that.

So we’re trying.

She’s just a brat.

So that’s kind of where that goes.

I call her right.

Yeah.

And Matt’s family Dynamics right there.

30:43

Every it’s hard enough.

Right with With just everyday life with kids and those Dynamics.

But then you add all this complexity on top of it.

And I know that there’s other relative caregivers listening to this podcast.

31:00

So, what would you suggest for other families going through this Catherine?

What would you want them to know or what would help them the most?

What I would say is basically what Katie said just love them.

Let them know that you’re there.

31:16

It’s hard.

Sometimes it’s hard to be there and you have to have those boundaries but if they come to you and they want that help, don’t walk away because that’s something that you’re going to regret way down the road, just just be there when they’re ready, they’re not going to do anything until they’re ready to do it.

31:32

So you just got to wait and you’ve got to love them and you have to be ready to be there for them.

Yeah.

And what about the challenge of like them?

Just taking on their grandkids now and their life changing like That what do you use?

31:47

How do you suggest they work through that?

The best I can.

All of the kids that are with my grandparents and grandparents group, you know, they’re all different.

We have some and a lot of the families who have a lot of health issues because of the drug use of the parents.

32:04

And so, what they’re going through, I can’t even relate to, it’s terrible.

But again, what I would say is just love those babies.

Let them know that their parents do.

Love them that it’s not there.

Alt and that the mom just can’t help it.

32:20

But everybody needs to be there.

Everybody needs to be on board with that, and you need to be able to talk to those kids on age appropriate basis about what’s going on, but you certainly don’t want to turn them against their parent ever.

Yeah, I agree.

And what do you think Katie for?

32:37

Like, what would you like parents to know?

Maybe you can help them understand or work through like knowing that their child is is feeling resentful that they have their kids.

What would you offer for them?

Just know you’re going to make it through it that you’re doing.

32:54

The very best thing that you can do.

As a parent for those babies are As a caretaker for those children.

It’s not about the mother or the father.

It’s about those babies and you’re doing your very best to do, what’s right?

Even if you don’t feel that way and you cannot help other people’s actions, you can’t and you it’s so shitty that you’re putting this situation but Going to make it through it.

33:17

And again, we keep saying, you know, just love them and love them.

And I know that’s going to be the hardest thing you can possibly do, because I understand how angry you are, but it’s not them, it’s, they’re not in their right mind frame.

It’s that’s not your child.

That’s not your niece that’s not the person you know and love and you have to understand that they’re they’re not in the right mind frame and they won’t be until they get held.

33:41

No, our hearts go out to you and it’s going to get better.

Just take it day by day.

Let them know you’re there and that you can help them with treatment and if these parents don’t know how to turn for treatment, if their kids don’t have insurance call us, reach out to us and we will help them find a treatment facility.

33:57

If we need to, we will do whatever we have to do to help on that end if we need to.

And just you’re going to make it through it.

And just know that those babies will will, thank you later and you’re doing the very best thing you can do.

Yeah, I keep hearing you guys saying to prioritize the grandkids And just love your child through it.

34:20

And that’s I think the most simple solution and this really complex situation.

So Katherine anybody any grandparents who are listening to this, you want to tell them about your organization, how they how it works, how they can join?

34:39

Yes.

The easiest way to join my group if you’d like to do that, is to find my website.

Right.

And it’s ja cor c.org.

That’s Joys and challenges of relative caregivers, the link to my Facebook pages.

34:56

They’re the link to a lot of information is on there.

It is still under construction.

My husband is a network engineer and it’s like having a roofer, you have a bucket in the middle, so I can’t get him to finish it.

But there’s enough on there to where you can get into the group, we have 143 members Nationwide and Canada.

35:16

Some of the People that you could ever meet in your entire life, we have a chat line that there’s always somebody on there to talk to, we play games.

I’m actually getting ready to leave for a retreat with some of my grandparents on Tuesday.

We’ve rented a cabin and gal, we’re really excited.

35:32

This is our second year that we’ve done that, but it’s a private group, you just asked to join and we will put you on there.

And you can just come on and just bent and say what you need to say and you’re going to make lifelong friends.

Sure, I can promise you that they’re wonderful people, every single one of them and I’ll put the link to that in the show notes as well.

35:53

And you guys also help with some Necessities as well, right?

Yes, ma’am.

I have got a charity that I give away free clothes, shoes, toys.

I’ve got some days.

I have so many donations.

It takes me three days to go through and people are so wonderful about donating baby clothes and other things like that.

36:14

There’s, sometimes I have 100 Shoes, kids shoes.

So anybody who needs clothes?

Now, if you are not in my area, which is in Georgia, I can ship things to you.

We can get a good shipping price on those.

36:29

Or what we can do is to find you somewhere where you live and I can call and see if they can donate those to these people.

I’m really good about being able to go on and find people who will do that.

That’s wonderful.

I just want to thank both of you for your time today.

36:46

Today and sharing this story.

I know that it’s got to be difficult to talk about, but I think there’s a lot of people listening to this experiencing similar things that will really resonate with what you shared and it will help them know that they aren’t alone in this and especially being able to find the organization that you created to support grandparents.

37:10

So, thank you both so much for doing this podcast today.

You’re welcome, we really look forward.

Add to it.

Thank you for listening to this episode.

If you want to learn more about my work, go to Heather.

Ross coaching.com if you want to help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways.

37:32

First, you can share the podcast with them directly or you can share it on your social media second.

You can leave a review, talk to you next week.