Don’t want to be an enabler but....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Broken-Hearted Mom, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Broken-Hearted Mom

    Broken-Hearted Mom New Member

    Our 21 year old son is in jail for stealing at a local store but we expect him to get out soon. He is a drug addict (weed and meth as far as we know). We have been supporting him off and on but are trying to do better and stay firm. We have not bailed him out even though bail is only $100. I am sure he is pretty mad about this. We don’t know what to do when he gets out. He has no place to stay, no job, no money, can’t afford insurance on his truck. If he were to find a job, he would need his truck to get from and to work but would probably get arrested again if they catch him driving without insurance. We live in a rural area and public transportation is not available. We don’t want him back at our house since he has a habit of lying to and steeling from us, too. We just can’t live with this constant roller coaster. It seems to be an endless cycle we can’t seem to get out of. We don’t want to enable him but don’t want to push him even further into this dark hole he is in. We believe that deep down he is still the son we raised and love and don’t want to make any mistakes that could be detrimental for him. Any thoughts or suggestions?
  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi Broken-Hearted, and welcome. I am sorry you had to find us but glad you did.

    If a few minor details were changed, I could have written your post.

    After 10+ years of going through it, I finally reached the conclusion that theft, lies, and roller coasters are not anything we need to tolerate, and certainly not under our own roofs.

    I think your decision to not bail your son out is very wise, and I think your son being mad about it is a very good first step. Let him be mad that you will no longer help him destroy himself. Then he will have no one else to blame for his destruction.

    The truth of it is, he will have no job, no place to stay, no insurance, and more arrests as long as he keeps using meth. The less you do to shield him from the natural consequences of using, the sooner he will realize this.

    My son was arrested for meth possession. His bail was $200, but we did not bail him out. He was in jail for over a month while his public defender negotiated a plea deal. My son then entered a sober living program with a very low tolerance for BS. He is now 7 months into the year-long program and is doing very well, but the truth is it took a month in jail and another 3 or 4 months of forced sobriety before he even started to think clearly.

    I do understand your concerns about your son being able to work without transportation, but maybe he should focus on getting off meth first. Until this changes, nothing changes.

    Will the jail help him find a residential sober living program? My son's requires him to work so he can pay his own way, but they also helped him find a job close to the center.

    More parents will be along soon. We all understand the roller coaster. Keep posting. It helps.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi BHM, so sorry for your troubles and your need to be here.
    Meth. It is a terrible drug. Makes our loved ones unrecognizable. I am sorry.
    My two daughters are on meth.
    It doesn’t matter if your son is upset that you didn’t bail him out. His choice to steal, his consequence. That sounds harsh, but it is true.
    The more we try to cushion addicted loved ones from consequences of their lifestyle, the more we enable them to continue as is.
    You did not cause this, can't control it, or cure it. He is in a dark hole and he will have to recognize that and want to get out of it for himself. What you may fear as far as pushing him even further, has everything to do with you taking on his consequences for his choices. That is what addicts want us to believe, that we made them go deeper by not enabling. My daughter has asked a few times to "come home" and I won't let her. It is because she does nothing to change her lifestyle, drags us through her drama and chaos, steals and lies and uses us. I am over that. These are her choices. Just as whatever your son chooses, his choice, his consequences.
    Addicts are very cunning and manipulative. Nothing matters more than the next high, NOTHING.
    I have a niece who is in recovery after years and years of meth use. Her parents tried everything to get her to stop, including housing her and taking care of her children. She said that the best thing they ever did, was kick her out and have nothing to do with her. That made her think hard about her choice to use.
    I am surrounded by meth in my neighborhood. Neighbors husband has been on it for years, he has no inclination to quit. What for? She works and pays all the bills. My nephew admits to being a "casual" user. There is nothing casual about meth. Even if one is able to hold down a job, that stuff just eats away at the brain.
    I understand your concern about making mistakes that may be detrimental to him, but my dear, you are taking on way too much responsibility for the choice your son makes to use meth. I feel the same way about my two, deep down inside they are there. Many times I said to myself, "This is not the real them." It isn't, but, it is, on meth. On meth, they are totally different people. The drug drives the bus.
    I am so sorry for the pain of this, I know how hard it is. By sending them off to live their consequences, did I drive them deeper into use? I ask myself this. Then, I remind myself they were using when they were in my home. Nice and comfy. Uh Uh, not going to happen. Done.With.That.
    I noticed in your signature that you have a teenaged daughter. You are correct when you write that you need to focus on her. That is what helped me switch my focus off of my two. My son. He grew up watching the nightmare-go-round of their partying and drug use. We tried and tried to help them, with no change. They just got worse. He suffered long enough. I raised them to do right. They were adults. They were literally stealing away his time. Not alone that, I was not myself, dealing with all the crazy they brought in to our home. It was not fair to my son that he had a broken down mom, who was focusing so much on helping stubborn addicted adult children. One thing he said that struck me, "Mom, why do we have people living with us that we cannot trust?" He was so over all the drama and chaos. It is my job to provide a good home for him, a place he can relax in.
    I had to learn to detach and let my two learn from their choices.
    I have linked below a very good read on detachment.
    Detachment doesn't mean we coldly cut off our adult kids........... we love them, but not the choices they make. The hard part of all of this, is how we get so deeply entangled with their choices, their consequences, it is as if we take on the load for them. Recognizing this and learning to switch focus to getting our own lives back in order is not an easy task, it is a process.
    That is why CD is an amazing place to come and find comfort and support. The folks here have been through just about everything. It is definitely not a topic we can bring up casually in the break room.
    Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. If you need, find a counselor to help you through this. There are support groups, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon that can help guide you to a healthier place.
    It is a heart wrenching ordeal when our kids choose this lifestyle. Please be very kind to yourself and learn as much as you can, as we say here, "fill your toolbox". It takes a lot to stand firm, to switch focus to what we can control, that is our own reaction, our choices. We cannot control what our adult d cs do. But, we can learn to rise above and live well. It may sound selfish, but self care is what we wish for these d cs. We, as parents can be role models in that. Standing firm, changing direction and saying no.
    If you have faith in a higher power, that helps tremendously. I keep my two daily in prayer. That gives me strength to get through the day. I have not given up hope for my two, just given up the notion that I am the one to help them. Meth addiction is far bigger than I am, I am not a drug counselor. My two do not care one bit the affect their addiction has had on my home, their brother and sisters.
    Many hugs to you, BHM, so very sorry for your broken heart.
    I know how hurtful this can be.
    You can find ways through this.
    Take one day at a time.
  4. Broken-Hearted Mom

    Broken-Hearted Mom New Member

    New Leaf and Albatross,thank you so much for your encouragement. My husband and I are taking one day at a time and have already learned so much about things we never thought we need to know about. It is unbelievable that there are so many of us. Thanks again.
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  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Welcome BHM

    I have been in the ugly balance of the struggle for some time now.

    The decisions we have to May are cruel and difficult. I am crying a lot these past few days.

    I just have my son the ultimatum of me pulling his bail and going to jail or going to a detox. He has 7 days before he enters into a long term in patient rehab program. He can leave and if he does leave he will not be welcome home. I will pull his bail bond and I will let him go to jail.

    I have struggled with the thoughts of enabling vs helping. Our son had lied and stolen from us and been dismissive of us and our support.

    He had a soft bed and a safe place to be. He ramped up his drug use and bad behaviour. I simply could not tolerate any more. It even 7 days more.

    When I found him with pot and cocaine yesterday I have him a choice detox and then rehab or jail. It was a hell of a day. I don’t know if I will ever r cover fully from this hell.

    One thing is absolutely certain. After bailing my son out and organizing this opportunity for him to go to rehab and the continued drug use and who know what else (he had no job and no money sochow was he getting the drugs??); I will have no more of this madness under my roof. The more we helped the more crafty he got abut drug use and excuses for it.

    I am not a rehab I could not police him my goal was to keep him until his admittance into rehab. I turned a blind eye to a lot of bad behaviour. Lazy unwilling to lift a finger to help dicanythig. Playing video games to all hours of the night and sleeping all day. Not doing a singe chore when asked.

    His girlfriend sending me hate texts and he screaming at me and disowning me as his mother. Because I called the police when he refused to go to Detox.

    I find the more we tried to help him the worse he got. I told him this was his last shot. I felt we owed it to ourselves and him to do his as he is just 18.

    Heed this information. My son was in jail for 10 days and he begged and pleaded to come home. He got progressively nasty over the past 90 days while we waited for a rehab bed to open up. This was enough to let me know we will not offer this kind of help again.

    Heed this quote. I didn’t, I couldn’t at the time. I felt too guilty.

    I am never taking on more responsibility than my son is willing to take on for his drug use and its consequences. I could not survive theirs madness again.

    I have been known to shove $10 at him in the past to get him to just leave me alone. I grew strength to stop giving him money. Detachment and learning to stop enabling is a continuum. We all do what our hearts and nerves can bear and some days we progress Bette then others.

    I have no answer for you as to what you should do. I know I sold my sons car and I will never gift him another. I know I bailed my son out of jail and I know I will never do it again. I know I let my son live here while he waited for rehab, while he continued to use drugs, and he will never do that again. I won’t allow it.

    I have done a lot for him and as long as he is using drugs it will never be enough. He will have to figure out his life from here. After rehab he will not be allowed to live in my home any more.

    Do what your heart can bear to do. Continue learning how to detach and stop enabling as much as you possibly can.
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  6. RN0441

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


    You have heard from the experts here. We are all loving mothers and please learn from the experience here. You cannot get this experience/advice from ANY of the professionals we have seen with our son and we have seen MANY.

    I am so profoundly proud to be a part of this group!!

    The wealth of knowledge and kindness here is extraordinary and as I read it, it also gives me strength for our long struggle ahead.