A step backwards for him and me

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi all

    So I got a message from my son last night. I have been so hopeful because he has had this job for 3 weeks liked it was doing well, the hours were great for him.

    They started training him to drive the forklift and he crashed into something. Sounds like he overcorrected but they let him go.

    His message was very sorry and apologetic. He liked earning money, he had some saved, he would get another job, he knew I would be upset and he was very sorry. His message was appropriate so that is good.

    But damn I feel bad for him and I am disappointed and I need to not take this on. We are leaving thursday for a 3 week vacation out of the country and I need to go and not be worrying about him!

    So frustrating!
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  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It is hard. The timing sucks. My son lost a job because he did the same exact thing. We would feel bad if it happened to one of our friends. Why would we not feel bad for our children.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    And basically I have fallen back today to focusing and obsessing about him so I need reminders on how not to do that.
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    One step forward....two steps back. Or is it? The bad-son was let go. The good- he let you know, was sorry and apologetic so he was concerned about how you felt, what you thought about him.
    From where I stand with my two and their circumstances, things are looking up for your son, TL. Mine would be raging, blaming and throwing up their hands. Okay, realistically? They wouldn’t have a job, or even see the need to.
    I am not trying to downplay the discouragement you feel. Just trying to show this from another side.
    It is hard, but there are positives. I hope your son is able to find another job and continues on an upward track. It seems that he is at least willing to try, and wants you to think well of him. That is a good thing.
    Feel what you need to feel. Let the frustration out.
    Out of country for three weeks! How exciting! Focus on what you need to do to be ready for your trip.
    Listen to some music that calms you and lifts you up. It’s going to be okay, TL.
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  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Enjoy your trip. The good son would want you to. He can get another job.

    Leaving the country isnt being as far away as it used to be. There are ways to be right beside your loved ones if necessary even if you are across the ocean. More than that, you need to go you earned it and deserve it and what would change in your sons life if you didnt go? We only have so much power over them. They navigate their own ships. We can cheer and encourage, but you can send encouraging messages even on vacation. Send love. That is our best. If they do well we can be their cheerleaders. Thats about it.

    I truly am jealous of this amazing vacation youre going on (in a good way) and hope you have a fantastic time. Where will you be visiting?
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I’m so sorry toughlovin. It’s so hard to see them struggle when they’re trying, isn’t it? As Leafy says, at least he’s not raging or blaming. Hopefully he’ll find something new quickly and keep taking steps forward. This doesn’t have to be more than a little bump in the road, if he’s really committed to his path.
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  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I guess my biggest fear is that this will really set him back to feeling really bad about himself and head him into another relapse.... if he can pick himself up and get through this intact then there will be some good lessons learned.... but only time will tell.

    We are going on a great trip. We are going on safari in Tanzania for 3 weeks. The first 10 days will be with some other friends and then we will be going off on our own. The first part of the trip we probably will not have any internet access so they will only be able to reach us through the travel agency in a true emergency. In a way that may be really good for me because I will really have to let go of my worry for that time period. We do have a family member as an ermergency contact here in the US and he is still involved in this outpatient program that has been great so he is not totally alone without any support.

    Thanks for all your comments.... yes his attitude about it was good of course I havent talked to him it was only through text message that he told me. I am hoping he is telling me the whole story and there is not some other piece he is leaving out.

    The other crazy thing that happened this week is he got a bill from a utility company for the cost of the telephone pole he hit in january to the tune of $80,000. His mail has still been coming to our address so I opened it. Thank goodness the car was in his name so we are not responsible for that because no way could or would we pay that!!! It made me realize though that I need to forward his mail.... because really why am I getting that stuff and worrying about it for him. I dont need that. That is a consequence of his own actions and something he has to deal with, the insurance etc.

    I guess what gets to me is wondering how with all of these things hanging over him (due to his own actions) how does he ever get out from under it all..... I guess it all comes down to truly choosing recovery and doing it. I sure hope he is on his way to that.

  8. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    I'm so sorry and really understand your sadness at this recent outcome. I agree with the others your son's words mean a lot as he sounds like any other person whom just lost his job. What I mean is his mindset if that of anyone who loses their job and not a drug addicted person who plays the blame game. There is a lot to be said about that.

    I also recently posted under the title "Really" where I feared due to circumstances my recovering son may lose his job. I KNOW I can't take on his problems and yet I spent a sleepless night worried about it as I know for a person in recovery a job is helping that part of the process. Yet, the ability to handle life's problems is also part of real life and am encouraged by your son's response. Perhaps this will ease your mind a little bit.

    Again, one step forward, two steps back but who is to say in the grand scheme of things if this will only eventually lead to a better job that he might not otherwise get if he was still at his current job? The thing is we don't know and please try to enjoy your vacation as your mind and body needs this much needed break. You deserve it.
  9. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    We were both typing at the same time and I just only now read about your vacation plans. It sounds so amazing and will be exactly what you need. Relax,have fun and put your mind at ease. With strength and renewed energy you will be able to view things with more clarity. Learn to smile again.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thank you all,

    What worries me of course is now the lack of response from him. I finally this morning sent him another message just asking him to let me know how he was doing. I understood he was upset but life throws you curve balls and it depends on what you do with them.... and it sounded like he was planning on getting back out there which is great and that we were not upset at him but with symathy..... just trying to send him a loving supportive message.

    And as I think about it this is me, trying to get in there and prevent a relapse!! Which of course I cant do!!!

    I think I have responded with love which is all I can do... but damn I hate this sort of in limbo feeling about how is he doing. He may be just fine and it may be me just worrying. Who knows. These are the times when I get antsy and have a hard time..... I hate the fact that I dont have a lot of faith that he will bounce back from this and be fine.

    I really appreciate the support from all of you.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh No. This is a number that gets one's attention. Let it go.
    Just like the rest of us. I am finding that there is always another channel to pick. There can be no solutions on channels x and y. But we can switch to channel z. I do not know why this has taken me a lifetime to learn that there was a channel z.
    These are my thoughts exactly.

    Oh. Wow. What learning, is this, if he can maintain it. :censored2: happens. What do I do next? He seems to be focused on the next step. Good job. This is another lesson I have struggled a lifetime to learn. That he can learn it at a young age, how great could that be?

    He sounds like he is doing good. Despite this bump in the road. But there are bumps in the road.

    I have wanted to go to Africa for 50 years. Have a great trip TL.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Bankruptcy is one option a consequence many people take when they cant get out. There are always options. Some options may make us uncomfortable, such as Disability and bankruptcy...things sime of us feel are horrid, even shameful. And some of us have experienced times that were tough and we had to do things that are not considered "thriving." Things we wish we didnt have to do.

    Many of our troubled adults probably have special needs that fell between the cracks and were just not diagnosed. People with special needs still need to live within their means and responsibly. Many do. Some seek outside services. All of our kids can do this.

    Our adult kids can get out from under. Nothing is hopeless.

    Love and light!
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I just wish he would respond to me. I can see that he saw my message and the fact that he is choosing not to respond just really bugs me.... its either because he is thoughtless and busy and a 26 year old male who isn’t thinking about his mother or it means he is relapsing. I want to text him again with ??? to get him to respond. My hubby told me not to, to leave it alone. He is probably right.....this is where I am getting obsessed. Most of the time I am not like this but every once in a while I relapse into this obsessive worry and need to know what is going on.

    My hope for the $80K is that the the insurance will pay some of it.... but it is up to him to work with the insurance co. And if not yes at some point he may have to declare bankruptcy. Although that is not great, in the grand scheme of consequences, given what he did, he is still very lucky he didnt kill someone. You can live with killing a telephone pole and the debt, a person is a different story.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    TL. What makes you worry about a relapse? History or was there something that might have triggered him in your last text?

    I write this because of my own history. I assume too much power.

    You have no control. He could be having a good time. He could be sleeping or watching tv. He could be relapsing. Is there some content in either your's or his texts that specifically give you fear?

    If there is not, I think it is your (my) past trauma from his past relapses, and if you could locate this feeling in yourself, you could move on. If you define it about you, you can overcome it. He is stronger than he was.

    This is the downside for me of connection. It is like watching them when they have a high fever.
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Great question Copa! I think it is his history along with his lack of communication. And actually the lack of communication doesnt mean anything. He often doesn’t communicate.... so sometimes no communication is good news and sometimes it means he is hiding stuff. So actually the fact that he is not really communicating doesnt mean anything... and last I heard he had a girl friend visiting him for a while so if she is there is probably not going to really communicate.

    So then it is my fear that he will feel bad about himself for losing the job and will feel like a screw up and feel like he cant get it together and that will make him want to use. And it may very well. I have to hope he is smart enough if that is the case to get support around it. And to hope if he does have this friend visiting that she will be a positive influence and distraction. I dont know her so I have no idea about that.

    So I guess I have to hold on to the fact that in fact he had saved some money from his working so was planning on using that to help support himself for the next month and was planning on going out right away to get another job and just hope that he is able to do that. The other positive is that he enjoyed working and earning money, that made him feel good about himself.... and although he acknowledges his mistake, he also acknowledge that he was really trying so unless he was lying to me it sounds like it was a mistake anyone could have made (rather than something like getting high or stealing).

    So instead of assuming the worst which is what I am kind of doing maybe I need to assume the best.... which is hard for me to do. His history makes it hard for me to do.... but going into it this time he was in a much better place than in the past.

    Thanks for the question... you made me think it through some more.
  16. You seem just like me. I guess in a way we are all the same. It is so hard not to obsess on our adult children. I am doing the same again. Mine gets discharged tomorrow and is going right back to the same environment. He did agree to go to IOP so that is a positive.
    Still, every bump in the road, I will stress over.
    Enjoy your vacation!
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    That is great. Oh. How I wish (I think) my son had a girlfriend.
    OK, TL. You know this already. But I will drum it in: With these thoughts you have jumped out of yourself and into him. These are your fears: that he will want to use relapse. It is a very real fear. Of course it is.

    But the thing is this: your agonizing about this possible event in know way gives you any control over what he does or do not do. It just makes you feel awful. That is the only result. Agony. This is a changing the channel moment. You know that.
    I disagree here. I think neutral might be better, but it is very hard for me.

    I think there is a reasonable chance that he could relapse. That is statistically so. That he will or will not, is up to him, not you.

    If we get out of their lives (inside our heads) we can let this go.
    You know I am dealing with the same sort of thing.

    I seem to have only two speeds: on and off. I had been doing very well with "off". For me. Putting him out of my head and going about my life. This was very empowering to me. You can all see the effect the past few days of "on." A few of us had been talking about loving them from a "neutral" space. Without conditions. Without wanting.

    What is happening to you, although way more moderate than I was feeling, is on the spectrum. It is very hard to be loving and neutral without expectation, without wanting desperately something that is waaaay beyond both our control and our prediction.

    On my thread smithmom, Kalahou (just today) and others, have given me excellent support on how (and whether) to engage with my son, while keeping myself under wraps. It is very hard for me. This is really my problem.

    I am going to hold back with my son, and let him contact me next. I wrote a series of texts, all supportive and hopeful about our connection, and an idea or two, which really, is the only thing which I can contribute.

    I think we have to wait and see. What next. And meanwhile distract ourselves with good things: our lives.
  18. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    You are so me....yup I obsess too. Copa is such a wise person and gave you fantastic advice as she did for me as well. Sometimes we need people who are not involved in our children to give us their perspective on the situation.
  19. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I think what hit me was the dash of hope.... and we are back to where we were.. looking at his fb posts he is probably relapsing or close to it. But you are right I have no control over it at all. Nothing I can do. Time to get back to living my own life. The one thing kind of hanging me up is I really dont want him ruining our upcoming wonderful trip.... so I am thinking in what circumstances would we come back? If he died there would be no point to coming back early. If he was in jail he could wait to see us. Maybe if he was hospitalized. Othewise no....... ok so answered that question for myself. Now time to let it go. Hopefully I will talk to him before we leave.

    But today we have some nice plans, going to a play and then meeting my daughter for dinner. I have to say Copa..... I feel for you because having another child who has it together really helps me a lot. It reminds me that my sons issues are not all due to me. I can’t take all the credit for my daughters success but I also cant take all the blame for my sons problems. She really helps me keep perspective and reminds me that yes I am a good mother!!

    So changing the channel, back to living my life. What will be will be.
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  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    TL, I know its hard not to taje blame but this is not your fault at all. Please enjoy your awesome trup.