Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Running Interference

            “The first thing Monday morning I’m calling the Arizona Attorney General about the illegal stuff you’re doing.”  It was an angry father on the phone, running interference for his daughter, who’d been with us for a few months.  She didn’t like our rule that she bring her uncashed paycheck to the office to pay her service fees.

New clients sign an agreement to bring their uncashed paychecks to the office until they’re caught up on their service fees. When we cash the check, we take out the weekly fee of $110. If there’s money left we apply some to their back balance. However we never take all their money. We make sure they have enough for bus fare and incidentals until their next payday.

    "I don't think that's legal," he said, after I explained our policy. This, in spite of the fact his daughter had signed our agreement and was $1,000 behind on her service fees.

 He rambled on, saying I didn't know what was going on in our program, that we didn’t do what we advertised and so forth. When he kept raising his voice and his threats I pressed the end call button.  
This parent is an example of why some addicts can't get sober. As soon as his daughter complained about paying he began to run interference. He didn't care if she was being irresponsible. He was okay with her manipulative behavior and dishonesty.

He is not unusual. We often have angry parents who try to micromanage what their children do at TLC. And the reality is that she doesn't have to do what she agreed to do. She can live elsewhere – maybe back home with her father.

We wish them well.