Back Again....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I need some of the wisdom I always find in the posts here.
    Between healing from my broken arm and teaching, I've just barely been keeping up.

    My 33 year old son was released from 5 months prison into a month rehab. The good part is that I think he's trying. The bad is that even though I helped him with $5,000 this year, he's asking for help to go into sober living. Even his counselor seems to have pushed him to ask.

    My son is very unrealistic with lofty goals that quickly fall apart. No humility. He feels abandoned because I will not let him live at our home. He has never apologized for assaulting his stepdad and for destroying property. He believes he can call the shots about how to behave, and is intimidating. I also had to say no to my daughter because of her choices. They both have substance abuse issues, mental health issues, and make poor, short-sighted choices.

    I had a visit with him on Christmas today at rehab, and it all fell apart. He has a young counselor, who kept asking me to not bring up the past. I said all my decisions about why I can't give him a place are based on past behavior - it's all I have to go on. My son said no one in the family cares about him, when in truth they are disappointed, frustrated, afraid, and just plain done.

    He can't see his part. Said he will probably end up selling drugs again, and that his pride will not let him go to a homeless shelter. This has been going on for almost 20 years, as I had to kick him out when he was 17.

    The visit ruined the rest of Christmas, it ruins my life. How do I let go? How do I give up the guilt? My therapist says I need to cut contact. Even the my son's counselor says I should take that advice. How do I do this? I keep failing at it. No matter what happens, I never say, "Enough!"
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  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry...I don't have answers. My Difficult Child is still 18 and I've had 4 years of hell. I am doing my best not to enable. She only got things she needed and that would be hard to sell or trade for drugs or alcohol. A care box with shampoo, razors, hair bands, lotions, socks, toothbrush, tooth paste.

    Aren't they able to get jobs at many sober livings facilities and be able to pay the monthly fees themselves? Can he check out places like teen challenge (for adults) that don't charge a fee?

    I am so sorry you had to deal with this on the holidays. Ksm
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I struggle with the same issues. I don't know what the answer is. My husband tells me everything i do for him allows him to use money for things he shouldn't. I get so angry at myself for giving in but he is so good at manipulating me. I have held firm on rent or vehicles and any big amount . it is the little things that add up. I know no contact would be best for me but i cant seem to do it. I know this wasn't helpful but i would also like to know how people do it.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would never give him a dime. Not only do I agree with husband but my daughter who quit told me the same thing....every dime you give a drug addict goes to drugs. If you want to send something buy it yourself and mail it with tags removed. No recepit.

    My second suggestion is that if he actually assaulted your husband I would never allow him in my house for safety reasons. Ever. He can meet up with you at a crowded restairant for your safety. He got violent once (maybe more than once) and can really hurt someone again. Dont tempt fate.

    What good is an apology? They are words. Nonbinding. His actions matter not his words. If he really hurts someone an apology is useless.

    Other than.rhat I send you light, love and prayers if you pray. Please listen to your hub. Your son is a grown man heading into middle age and still a drug addict.

    You cant help him

    How many times have you already paid for rehabs and sober living? Any retirement left? Will your son help you if you become old and broke?

    I think you have to think maybe three days on every decision before you do for son. Dont act rash or be impulsive. Your son isnt a little boy. You can only change your life, not his.

    Be well!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thank you for the responses. I need to hear them - both from those struggling as I and also for those who speak the hard truth. I always feel bad for my children's suffering, mostly brought about by their choices. Somewhere, you are right about them not considering my suffering. I am trying, I fall, but I will get back up. I deserve better.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You know, sometimes I feel I am being too tough, which is easier for me because my bad times are over and things arle peaceful. In fact my volatile early life, filled with abuse amd sadness tirned out wonderful. This can be the case for all of us.

    But I have a heart for the parents here and of how hard it is to turn away even loved ones who have seriously hurt us. We always want to believe they are sorry, they feel bad, they love us, they will change.

    I am older than most here and have been here longer and also have battled mental health issues of my own.and have been in many grouups (I find comfort in support groups) for those with mood disorders/anxiety, those with adopted children and those whose children have autism and also in Al Anon. You hear views of hundreds of people this way!

    Right now I mentor/volunteer with other older people young people with mental illness. I have seen a lot and am cynical and not a glass half full OR empty person. I see logic first. The glass is half full AND half empty to me. You fill the glass in either direction. Things can go either way to me. I have seen thingsget muchbetter. I have heard about some suicides and drug overdoses. I have seen my autistic son become sunny, smaet and self sustaining. And I know of an innocent four year old boy, grandson of a long long term friend, who got neuroblasioma at before age two. Why????

    I digress.

    If somebody repeats a pattern, I believe it is likely that it will repeat over and over unless there is a lot of help and maybe even more importantly humility. "i was wrong. I truly was. Nobody caused this but me." And "I sure wish _____' had happened but it didnt so I have to accept it and do what is best for me. And I have to take this unwanted path with grace."

    Easier said than done but we have all had to swallow life's problems sometimes. They need to learn to deal with disappointment and hardship too. And own up to their parts of the bad stuff.

    This has been a large part of my life. I have said things I wish I could take back but I cant. I own them. They change things if you say certain words." Been there.

    I have done things I have to own too. Fortunately minor things. No violence or stealing or evil. I believe there in evil...not all do. Either way I still have to own my stuff. And try not to repeat. And to be humble and remember.

    We all have this need.

    Our off the rails kids are different in that they say worse things than some of us ever thought about anyone. And they say it often! Out loud. Over and over. Right to us. To hurt us. They know how much we love them...the words are meant to kill our hearts.

    Yet they not only dont see their words as horrid, they demand apologies and instant forgiveness. And the one horrible rant leads to more. They have no shame. This is not always just about drugs although they can co exist. Its about decency.

    Or they are a fit 25 year old man who punches a 60 year old parent or stepparent and expects to be trusted, even to be allowed back at home. And dont you DARE call the police. After all, "I am your kid! If I beat you up, you better let me get away with it or you are a BAD parent!" I read this often.

    Something is missing in them. Are they unintelligent? I dont think so. Are they lacking a shred of empathy? I do believe this is a part of it with some. Without empathy you are a dangerous machine waiting to explode if somebody triggers you. And you will walk away feeling like you were the one who was wronged. I've read about too much of no remorse.

    Like I said, Ihave been here so long. I have read so much. I have read about parent abuse by mostly grown men all the time. And such sad mothers :(

    I want parents to be safe
    WE are the elders.

    How many here ever hit anyone? I never did.

    Why can they be violent and still act as if we shouldnt be afraid of them? That nothing has changed?

    Sorry but anxiety and depression dont make one violent.

    Drug use can and sometimes they were always violent.

    All of us need our money too. The people who bring us here normally wont help us out.

    So maybe being protective of parents makes me sound harsh. sorry if this is so.

    Love and light to all.
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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  7. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Learn about boundaries and enabling. It took me a long time to understand and enforce boundaries with my daughter, but once I got it my life changed for the better. I keep in mind that enabling is doing something for an adult that they are capable of doing for themselves. Notice the important word- CAPABLE. They may have to struggled to do it or they may not want to do it themselves, but if they are capable, they should be doing it themselves. The adult children we are all dealing with on here are adults who act like children. When they don't have to face the repercussions of their actions they are never forced to mature and learn how to be healthy, happy adults. We also stay sick when we focus on our adult kids, rather than ourselves. We can love our troubled children without enabling them. We can love them while we watch them struggle and sometimes fail. As I tell my daughter- I will do nothing that helps keep you sick and I will do anything that helps you get healthy.

    I would also mention that when you begin enforcing boundaries with your son (and sticking to them) he will likely up the ante. These kids have been able to manipulate and push us around to get their way for years. It is unbelievable to them when we create and enforce boundaries. And boy do they ever react. When I stopped allowing my daughter to disrespect me in any way she lost her sh*t. Any time she became disrespectful on the phone I would hang up and not answer again for however long I needed to be away from her- usually a day or two. At first she would lose it and call repeatedly, leaving screaming messages. She would call like 20 times until I just turned off the phone. It took several months for her to really get it. Now she rarely does it and if I hang up if she does, she just lets it go. She knows I won't engage when she's rude or mean to me. Hang in there, I know how hard this is.
  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    In my city sober living houses aren't paid for by the government, but if someone is court ordered into a halfway house, it's covered. Sometimes, the parole board or judge will tell the person he or she has to be in a sober living environment which isn't covered , but not a sober living house.

    I really hope your son finds a good solution that works for both of you.
  9. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    SWOT, I really like the three day rule, for good things and bad. I have found myself to quick to judge and get emotional very quickly. I am thinking about getting a small tattoo on the inside of my wrist saying "breathe." It would be my first, but I think I it could help me through harder times. (I'm almost 57 and it would be my first and only.)
  10. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Because my son was released to rehab, the state is not responsible for providing a half way house. I think it's the easy way out for them in some ways.

    My son is very grandiose/narcissistic. He is smart but he mistakes that for insight. He has no real humility, which is what he needs most and says he is too proud to go into a shelter and that it is horrible for family not to take other family in.

    I have been in therapy and 12 step for years. I can set boundaries, but the problem is that I torment myself emotionally, worrying and believing that I am being unkind. I am just as sick as he is in my own way.

    I want to believe that he is capable of changing, but his behavior shows me otherwise.
    I will keep working on myself.
  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    You are not to blame for what got your son in trouble. You should not have to bear the consequences of his actions. Your home is your sanctuary you should not have to have someone there who stresses you out. I have the same feelings of guilt but know my life would be miserable if i let him come here. Mine always hits me with so i am just a piece of :censored2: that nobody cares about. I have almost reached a point at times where i felt like responding whatever. I restrain myself though.
    You said
    "My son said no one in the family cares about him, when in truth they are disappointed, frustrated, afraid, and just plaindone."

    Our sons must read from the same script!! We feel the same.
  12. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I’ve been through this dance too many times. The very definition of FOG (fear, obligation, guilt). I still struggle sometimes, thinking ‘what kind of monster won’t let her homeless, desperate child come stay for a while?’ But I know where it would end - me throwing them out, probably with police intervention. They would be back in the exact same situation they are in now and the only thing accomplished would be the destruction of my peace and probably my relationship with my partner.

    We all deserve a peaceful sanctuary. Most of us have already given up too many years of our lives. We can’t be martyrs to their poor choices forever. At some point these adults need to take responsibility for themselves.

    It’s never easy to hold those boundaries, though.
  13. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My son has yet to apologize for his actions from a few weeks ago. I don't need an apology though, because he is showing me in many ways that he really is trying to do things the right way. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he's making a sincere effort, especially when he falls short, so that I can avoid being hypercritical or stressed out by the small stuff. For Christmas I ended up getting him a 31-day bus pass (something he can use for transportation that doesn't have a huge secondary market resale value) and a stocking with a toothbrush, socks, razors, couple of candy bars, and a thermal coffee mug. And he seemed happy to get that.
  14. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    If you take your son in he will never grow up. He is 33 years old. He has to be let to fend for himself and quit looking to mommy to fix it all.

    You have to stand firm and put yourself first. You must.
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  15. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    You're right RN, I must, and that's why I come to this site, so that when I don't feel strong, I get the support of others.

    I will try to recognize the positive steps my son takes, but I will also not do what might jeopardize my marriage, my health, or my finances.

    No word since the other day. Kind of mad that the counselor was part of the request process - felt like a set up . My son gets out next week....
  16. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I can honestly side with the others here. Allthough my son is only 19 he knows this is his last rodeo. We will support him as long as he supports his future in a positive way. We will not bail him out, pay his debt, or enable bad decisions in any way. We will support him through a relapse as long as he put his relapse plan in place.

    He got himself into a little hot water with speeding tickets see my new post. We will not bear the brunt of this cost he has to. They have to grow up sometime or they will never stop asking for money.
  17. Misssy2

    Misssy2 New Member

    You said that we are "disappointed, frustrated, afraid and just plain done....Did you tell him these things? Did you tell him that he has never apologized? Because he may really not know these things....The brains arrest when they start using drugs..if he started using have to treat him like he is the age he was when he started using..Not "treat' him but raise him up from that point.

    I have 2 an addict
    1 is not an addict but has never grown up...I is living with me...I'm going to post my struggle with him...but I have been working hard at raising him past 16 (he is 29) cause his Dad left when he was 16 and this impacted this child more than the other...and he literally didn't know some of the things were offending me or scaring me...and when I bring up the things he needs to hear...he of course balks at me....

    But then I notice at time goes on he "improves" and grows.

    Your son is in a good place...he doesn't "need" you right now because you both have a toxic relationship right now...Maybe write him a letter while he is there and give it to his counselor or him.....about why you are dissappionted, frustrated sad....and also put YOUR part in you think you could have done better...And maybe a timeline for him as to if, he does xyz...that you will be more willing to help in any way you can.....