Feels so wrong


Active Member
Struggling today. Son makes no contact with us. I sent him text 2 weeks ago about an insurance question. Gave me an answer and that was it.
I mentioned before that my husband called him about 3 Sundays in a row and left messages. He never returned any calls.
I have not heard his voice since April 8th or so. The last text was 2 weeks ago. He had been texting after he was finished with his PHP in the middle of April but then he went pretty silent. Called one time about 9 weeks ago.
I was looking on the cell phone text and phone logs to see if there was use so I knew he was still alive. The one contact I have where he works told me he was working steadily and not missing time- that was about 3 weeks ago.
I am getting a bad feeling the last few days. I checked the phone logs and didn't like what I seen. Kind of nervous but haven't looked since.
I guess I feel like I should reach out to him and see how he is but then again I fear the answer, I fear hearing from him.
On one hand, I want to know he is okay and then on the other hand I don't want to hear his voice or get a text from him. I get so upset seeing his name come up.
It is heart wrenching not knowing. Heart wrenching not knowing if I am doing the right thing. I had sent him a card a few weeks ago and wrote in it that we loved him. Never heard anything back.
I know "Let go and let God". When I start thinking negative thoughts, I try to pray and ask for strength. In Gods time it will work out. I have to be patient.
It just feels so wrong but if the only time he can reach out to us is when he wants us to pay for something, then that isn't right.
Thanks for listening.


Well-Known Member
It just feels so wrong but if the only time he can reach out to us is when he wants us to pay for something, then that isn't right.
Hi Trying. It is wrong. What he is doing.

But what can you do? Plenty. You can do as you are doing and shift the focus of your life to you, and to you and your husband, and away from him.

Your son has been rude and manipulative. He has shown no caring respect for the two of you in the time you have posted on this forum. He has shown no sense of responsibility for his family.

I am not speaking here of the cessation of love. I am speaking about turning away from somebody who does not appreciate you as people or as parents, or cannot show that appreciation. To keep reaching out to him is like touching a hot stove over and over again and expecting a different result.

Of course there is pain. Of course there is longing. Of course there is anger. Each of these is human. You're entitled. But there is a reality here. He is really toxic for you at this stage of his life.

Will he change? Who knows? This may be the kind of person that he will choose to be. However many of our kids do wise up. But the thing is something you already know. You have no control.

I think you are doing everything right. Each time you feel yourself weakening you post. Smart. Why not consider posting on other threads? There are other mothers here who are dealing with almost exactly the same thing. For me, posting on other threads helps. I can pretend I am strong, and then abracadabra, I become strong.

Take care.
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Well-Known Member
I totally get where you are coming from. I would listen to your feelings and do what feels right. Think about what would feel right to you without it being about him behaving a certain way as you have no control over that.

This week I had similar deelings around my son and his situation. What was really getting to me was not knowing if he was all right. I finally texted him sre uou safe? Im worried. Then I decided if I didnt hear from him by the next day I would go there. Coming up with a plan helped ease my anxiety...and of course before putting my plan into action he responded to my text.


Active Member
I had posted on another site that dealt with alcohol and families. Some of the replies were nasty. I understand my constant posts are draining and others are tired of hearing about my feelings. I literally have no one to talk to. I have alanon once a week in my area. For me to drive over an hour to another meeting after I get up at 4:30am for work everyday doesn't work for me because by 6pm I am drained and driving would not be a good idea. If you can message me other sites for parents to post, please let me know what they are.

I have few friends because of working and they have children who are successful so it is quite embarrassing to face anyone. My parents are elderly and not in good health. This with my son "kills" them inside. He is their only grandson and they only have 2 grandchildren. Haven't heard from my son in months after all they have done for him.

Sorry for being a broken record.
Thank you for reminding me of how disrespectful my son treats us. I needed to hear that. It makes me more grounded and I realize I am doing the right thing by not making contact.


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Hi Trying,

We aren’t tired of you, nor do we mind your posts.

This site isn’t as busy as it once was, so sometimes responses are slim, but we do care.

This is what this site is meant for.

I have to leave, but I will check in later.



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,Tome there is nothing more cruel or disrespectful than our beloved adult children ignoring us as if we were lepers. Or trying to take away our role as their loving parents by telling us we are not and calling us by our first names. The latter is my pet peeve. Its so heartnreaking to me at.least.

I know Kay is mentally ill, but in our business we meet all sorts of people and some become people who confide in us about loved ones. I hear about bipolar and schizophrenic relatives who are respectful and loving, although some can not be. As rhey are psychotic.

Kay is not psychotic. I fear, she is just not kind. She can control herself when she wants something from us or.others. She is not incapable of kind behavior. So I dont blame her mental illness. It is who she is now. The moody but loving little girl...so beautiful is gone. And she will never seek a psychiatrist to fix her demons. Pot is her therapist


Active Member
We've all been in similar situations and understand how difficult it is. Your son is an adult and can do as he chooses. Since he only contacts you when he needs something I think it is good for you to use this time to focus on yourself and your husband. Do things you enjoy. Be kind to yourself, as you would a friend in this situation. Try not to check on his phone as that just tends to reinforce the unhealthy aspects of your relationship. If you are paying for his phone I strongly encourage you to stop. He is a grown up who can pay his own bills. Learn about enabling and detachment and try to keep your focus on you. In my experience some time of no contact with my daughter was a good thing. It gave me a break and also allowed more objectivity when I was away from the situation. I know it's difficult no to worry about him, but the busier you stay and the more you focus on yourself the easier it will become. Sending peace to you.


Active Member
I echo Elizabrary's sound advice. My stepsons only contact their mother when they need or want something from us, usually something involving money. The legal adult, DS, is in closer communication with us now because he has burned the bridges with his dad and brother down to ashes at this point. Time will tell if we will ultimately be forced to wash our hands of him as well.

We cannot control our children once they become too big to put in a time out particularly in today's world where parents have far less influence than they did when I was a child.

Honor your pain and do your best to live life. It seems that your job keeps you very busy and I hope it is a positive environment.

Life is too short and we all must live it to the fullest as much as possible.

Your self-esteem does not depend on anything that anyone else does or says - including your son.


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

We are not tired of hearing from you so please keep posting. Many others lurk but do not post and I guarantee many are in your shoes.

Agree that you need to take care of yourself and my advice is to keep praying for your son. That is what I do.


Active Member
Update:... Received a text late last night with him asking if we could please pay his wifi bill, that he doesn't even have enough money for a haircut and will have to take another loan from his 401k to pay his rent...
I didn't reply then he resent it this morning. My husband said he doesn't mind if we help with this one bill but nothing else. I asked my son to call us tonight so we will see.
I did reach out to someone he works with and they told me he hasn't missed any time. Did hear from the sponsor he had that he told him he has been on and off the wagon but doing okay..
Not sure what will happen next.
I know he needs to feel the financial crunch. I hope he sees it. It happened before when it got out of hand. He was doing fine for 2 months paying his bills and now he is struggling.
Just wanted to update.


Well-Known Member
This is a process that involves a lot of fits and starts. I write this post not to judge but to support you, so that you don't suffer unduly.
will have to take another loan from his 401k to pay his rent
These are magic words. What I mean by that is he knows the words that will trigger you, and he uses them. Depleting his 401k is a magic word. If he chooses to do this, to deplete his 401k to pay a trivial bill, what does it have to do with you?

Trying. I think you continue to put him in the center of your life and psyche. To orient your choices about what is right for you based upon how you perceive his well-being, not your own.

He will not perish without wifi. However, this continual dynamic with him is highly damaging to you, and to him too. I believe. This is not about one bill. It is about this destructive dynamic.
he hasn't missed any time.
Why does this have anything to do with it? He is a working, independent adult who has removed himself 100 percent from his family who he sees only to be used and abused. His work life is his business.

Do you see paying this bill as a reward to him for going to work? Do you see paying this bill as a means to have some control that he continue to go to work? There is no connection between his working (or doing any other thing) and your paying this bill. Do you see paying the bill as the toll you pay, in order that he communicate with you? In other words, do you buy contact with him by paying his bills? Is that what you want?

I think by buying in and paying this bill, and engaging with him based upon his continuing efforts to control you based upon playacting neediness only when he wants something you are choosing to continue this hurtful and destructive pattern. You suffer so much with this Trying. Let alone the cost to son, that he continue behaving this way.
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Well-Known Member
I also think it has to stop cold. We used to pay. A lot. Paying one bill leads to twenty bills. He probably spent money on substances. Too bad if he pulls out of his 401k. You cared more than him. You don't even know if it's true.

Until we pulled out completely, we couldnt do it at all. We are in a better place now and realize we should have let Kay take care of her own affairs long ago. I feel we made her more childish by feeling sorry for her even as she hit age 30.

I would stop calling his friends to check up on him. That is not your business. He is too old for you to check up on him. His adult friend isnt going to tell you if your son uses drugs too much and, like me, we can't control these things anyway.It is hard for me to see Kay as an adult, but she is one and I can not tell her what to do. The more I know, the more I worry. I stopped checking her social media about a month ago and that is a relief. I still worry about my grandson, but again I have no control over him either.

I hope things improve for all of you. Be well. God bless.
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Staff member
Many of us used to post all of the time when we were in crisis. It is why this site exists. Please don't feel bad about posting.

Think about the pattern here. He keeps you worrying about him by not responding to your (or your husband's texts). There is no reason for him not to respond. He is doing it out of spite and malice.

Then . . . he needs something. Bam! He reaches out and plays the pity card and you rush to his rescue. And then there is silence and the cycle repeats.

Stop the cycle now. He is working. He is an adult. He needs to have a budget so he can pay his bills. It is not your problem. Repeat . . . it is not your problem.

So what if he takes the money from his 401K? Why should you spend your hard earned money to pay his bill because he was reckless with the money he makes at this job. How many of us expect people to swoop in and pay our bills?

Now this is hard to hear because I have heard it myself. You are enabling him if you pay that bill. He will not change if you rescue him. He needs to suffer the consequences of spending recklessly.

As far as paying for his phone . . . that is a difficult topic that many of us have argued about over the years. I am in the camp that adults are responsible for their bills and that includes a phone. Others maintain that it is a lifeline to their children and gives them the peace of mind that their loved one is alive.

I get that. I really do. However, do you really have peace of mind when you are checking his phone and checking up on him at work? Or does it cause more anxiety wondering why he won't respond to you when you know he can? I guess that is something that you have to decide.

I hope you don't think I am being too harsh. I remember over the years being hurt by some responses calling out my behavior of enabling. I thought at the time that they just didn't get it. That they didn't understand that I was really trying to help my daughter. But in retrospect, they were right. I was still in the mindset that I could control my daughter's actions or that I could fix her. It turned out that I couldn't do either. All I could do was control my own actions and reactions to what she was doing.

I like the other posters' suggestions to focus on yourself and your husband. It is a shame that there are so few Al-Anon groups close to you. Have you tried an online Al-Anon group?
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Active Member
I will have to look into an online ALanon group. The one close to me is on a Wednesday night. Plus I was going to a parents group 2x a month as well.
He did call us tonight and was miserable. I asked how he was doing and he said terrible... He has applied for other jobs to hopefully get paid more money. He has his credit cards racked up so high that he has minimum payments totaling $500 a month. I just listened and didn't respond. Said he shouldn't have to work 20 hours of overtime to have money left after bills.
He mentioned he has an interview tomorrow with the company he works for that would be a different position.
He also put applications elsewhere..... I know it is all on him..I hope he realizes he has to keep it together if he leaves this company he is at because there is no FMLA until he would be employed one full year. Again, it is on him just so hard to watch and sit back.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I agree with everyone.

I do remember feeling exactly what you describe Kathy. That I thought people were being harsh and didn't understand.

The fact is that we all DO understand. We understand too well and we see ourselves in others' behaviors and it brings back hard memories - to me anyway. Not knowing if you're coming or going and so enmeshed in their lives and bad decisions. Ugh.

In hindsight, I needed them to be harsh because it helped me become stronger and realize that I loved my son and all of us loved our kids and it had NOTHING whatsoever to do with our love for them.


Well-Known Member
Hi Trying,

I think many young people have unrealistic expectations of how things “should be” in their newly emancipated adult lives.

Too many, especially ones with what are considered “good” jobs or careers, think that they will start out making plenty of money to live in a nice place, have nice things like furniture, clothing and “toys”, and have plenty of extra money for travel, restaurants, bars, dates, and whatever strikes their fancy.

This isn’t realistic for the vast majority of people anywhere.

He is going to need to learn how to budget and live within his means, like everyone has to do.

Considering his situation, asking you to pay some of his bills is going to be a regular occurrence if you allow it.

I am really glad that he has, and is able to maintain, a good job, and has a 401k to borrow from. He has that going for him. He can do this!
And, he has managed to do for himself without your help when required. This makes him stronger.

It’s hard not to worry and jump in with help, though.

I’m glad you are continuing to post!

Hang in there!
Hi Trying, like you, I cannot get to the f2f Alanon meetings, so I do Alanon phone meetings via conference call. They are free of course.
There are several each and every day of the week. in my opinion, they are the second best thing to going in person. Here's the website....(you may have to copy and paste)

Al-Anon Phone Meetings

In my case, my enabling my adult son turned into a viscious cycle that lasted for well over 10 long years. He is almost 30. I always thought I was doing it all out of Love for my son. The harsh reality for me was that I was really doing it out of my own unrecognized dysfunctional beliefs, fear and anxiety. I desperately wanted to have relief so I would promptly fix whatever problem he was having. Poof! Instant relief. I had to own that I participated in crippling him in many ways. I had to face those things in me so I could free myself, therefore, freeing my son. This helps me to stay focused: "Rescuing someone who continues to make poor choices is not called love. It's called enabling. Stop enabling and refuse to be a safety net, so they can grow up."


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Staff member
Hello again. I have been rereading this thread and I have a question for you.

Did hear from the sponsor he had that he told him he has been on and off the wagon but doing okay..
Did your son give you permission to talk to his sponsor about him? This seems to violate the AA confidentiality rules.


Active Member
It was his past sponsor. Hasn't met with my son for months. I have his number only because he is the one who took him to rehab the one time and he called me with what was going on. Yes, my son did give him permission to let me know basic things not anything else. So when I asked him if he had any contact with my son lately and replied no not for a while. He reached out to him see how he was doing and to let him know that he was there if he ever needed him. My son replied that he was on and off but doing ok. That is all I got back. No details.


Well-Known Member
On the job front, and how hard it is to watch them and to listen to them complain, yes, it is. It has only become better for me when I stopped knowing. Kay doesn't and won't work. She is, if you ask her, taking care of her son full time. Does she really go out of her way to take good care of him? I don't know. I do know she is stoned all the time. She doesn't keep that a secret. She brags about her healthy plant. That is hard to hear as is listening to her complain about her husband Lee's horrible paying jobs that he quits at random.
Mostly he works in pizza places and in other restaurants. Trust me, money is tight for them and now that we don't contribute, Lee's parents are the ones getting hit with requests. They are becoming broke and tired, like we did. They may stop pitching in soon which will scare me as they are helping Lee and Kay pay for their apartment. But we wont go back to helping. Little is left.

I am starting to radically accept my daughter's situation, giving her to God, and am starting to tell myself "ignorance is bliss." I don't want to know her situation. No longer do we talk or do I check her social media. Her life is not our responsibility anymore. We took responsibility for far too long. Jaden, my grandson, has young relatives on both sides of the family who will care for him if Kay and Lee become homeless, but nobody will take them in. They burned all their bridges and it is out of the question for my husband and me to house them.

Perhaps if you didn't listen to your son's possibly exaggerated tales of whoa and never looked at his social media or called around about him, you would find more peace. He is one person supporting one person. He has no wife and kids. Its not hard to support one person if you live a frugal life and don't spend extra money on yourself, especially not cigarettes, booze or drugs. If you do, that is your own fault.

I hope you are brave enough to do "ignorance is bliss." We don't hurt them by not keeping up with their news. I don't think my daughter tells the truth anyway. She exaggerates her sad stories to scare us.Your son may do this too. If you think he may do this, why even listen? My daughter also talks about her hardship on Facebook and sometimes somebody will ask if she needs help, meaning money. I think she exaggerates on Facebook too.

Detaching with love and accepting that my daughter is who she is without judging or excusing her has made a huge difference for us. We may actually retire happily and not spend all our time thinking about her. None of our worry, money or even love and emotional support has helped her, and she is very unkind to us. We are better off now.

Do go to Al Anon. We don't have many meetings here, but we go to those we can. It helps to feel we are not alone.