Fighting the urge to rescue just so I feel better

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Lost in sadness, Nov 14, 2017 at 2:52 AM.

  1. So, he has lost his job. They have given him a weeks notice for being late in the mornings and for the incident that took place outside of work which he goes to court for tomorrow. We have tried to help him by writing to the company about their general treatment of staff including our son and they are taking this further and the decision to let him go may be overturned. We told him that in the meantime he must continue to go to work on time and be professional. Yesterday he never went. Today, I suspect the same.

    On Saturday I took him back to the shop to return his playstation so that he could pay his rent as he has no money left. They only gave him £200 for it rather than the £350 he paid as it was in a used condition. I suggested he gave me the £70 cash for rent and I will pay the landlord online which he did. He was staying at ours that evening to spend time with my daughter as we were going out. When we got home my husband tried to talk to him about setting up a direct debit for his rent as he does not agree that my son gives us the cash and we pay it. He feels my son should take full responsibility for it. My son lost his temper and said he didn't want to talk about it. He also demanded the £70 back and went out to the pub slamming the door. I told him on the way out that we were not having this behaviour in our home and he could not stay. We went out and left his bags round the side gate. We got calls at 1am and 2am - probably wanting to come back, we ignored.

    I got into an argument yesterday on the phone about him not going in to work and he says he was applying for jobs. I see no signs of this. In fact I have applied for about 6 jobs on his behalf. He told me he had paid his rent. I have also seen a message last night from his landlord asking for the rent. I can also see on his emails he has been increasing a bank overdraft but will still not have enough to pay it. So it seems he spent the whole £200 on Saturday night and now has a £450 debt on his bank account. I can see he bought weed on Saturday night.

    So, today I sit here tired with worry, teary and in despair. He now has no job, no money and has not paid to keep a roof over this head. My husband sent him a long message last night telling him we were back ing off again until he sorted his life out. He has told me I should take all his washing back and his suit (which I clean every week) and put £5 in his pocket for him to get himself to court tomorrow and sort out his own life out as I am not to help him.

    My question is this: Should I take him to court tomorrow as I originally promised or is it time to let him sort himself out again. I want to because that way I ensure he goes. I am so worried that he will be back where he started and he seemed to be doing so well. I want to stop this slippery slope before it gets unmanageable but my instinct says I must not. It feels like loving him is conditional, like we are sending the message to him that we will be in his life and love him if he does what we want, and that doesn't feel fair. Shouldn't be love him and be here for him whatever he is? Are we not damaging him emotionally by continually withdrawing our support every time he messes up? It all feels so confusing. Thank you xx
     
  2. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I really relate to your doubts. My son is the same age and we have withdrawn supports, one by one, as he has broken through boundaries and failed to meet expectations.

    It’s a terrible role we have to assume in our difficult adult children’s lives. It seems like most of them are delayed in taking on age appropriate responsibilities and goals.

    Their peers might be motivated by grades, money, earning potential, legal consequences, employers, landlords, etc

    But without all that real life happening for our kids, we parents are often left to step in and mimic life’s consequences.

    I’ve even said to my son, when holding firm, things like: “the natural consequence of an adult not having a job is being broke.” “The natural consequence of violating the landlords rules is eviction.” “The natural consequence of crime, is jail.”

    I’ve had to learn that appropriate support for a kid off track is different than one on track. When my other kids don’t study, they bomb a test. They can keep in mind that grades are important for their longer term goals, learn from their mistake and adjust. Sometimes they even listen to our advice and don’t even need to learn the hard way.

    Difficult kids may wish for good adult lives, but they have a harder time protecting the outcomes now, for whatever reason. Then they seem to resort to avoidance, self-sabotage, or rationalizing away their mistakes and hopes. And further take themselves out of the game.

    It hurts me too, to watch my son wounded, even if it is self-inflicted. Unfortunately, still, the only cure for immaturity is growing up — getting help for self limiting issues, taking on responsibility and handling and learning from setbacks.

    Why would he ever if the consequences are magicked away? A wise family therapist once told us that a lot of DCs need to fall apart before they want to start picking up pieces.

    Loving these guys seems to mean a lot of tough loving until they want a healthier life. It’s still love.

    But yeah, while they are stuck, it sucks for parent and child. Parents want to ease pain and burden and bring joy. But at the end of the day, they need to be able to self soothe and self realize, which will mean they need problem solving and life skills. We know there is joy and satisfaction on the adult side.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 4:18 AM
  3. StillStanding

    StillStanding Member

    Lost,

    If he were my son, would take him to court if I said I would.

    My observation is that you know a lot about what he's done or hasn't done. It made my life a little (little!) easier when I stopped keeping track of his money, his rent, when he went to work, etc.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. I have decided to go with him. You are right, everyone tells me to stop monitoring his life and allow him to live it even if he fails. Its become an addiction and I cannot seem to stop 'checking'. Its almost as if, if I keep him on the straight and narrow at least I can sleep at night. Its a pointless, thankless task.xx
     
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  5. Thank you so much for you time in writing your insights, I know you speak wise words. I would say them myself. Emotional pain seems to strip us from any resilience to cope with things and do the right thing but its a journey we are all on of no choosing. I see friends with lovely families and I wonder where it went wrong. Its almost as if I am wishing my life away just so that he is older and I will not feel so guilty by just walking away. Thank you xx
     
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  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

  7. StillStanding

    StillStanding Member

    Trust me when I tell you we all understand this addiction to "check". If only you could keep track of his money then... If only he would let you manage his money... If only you knew if he was at work... Sadly, none of these things make any difference. My list of "if only" would shock any reasonable person.

    You're not alone.
     
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  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would probably take him to court and this is all.

    The problem is that it is not in your power to stop him from sliding down the slippery slope. He is the only one that can do that.

    ~Kathy
     
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  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My therapist kept telling me that there was nothing I could do to change my daughter's behavior. She was going to do what she wanted to do. When I finally realized that she was right, it changed me. I stopped spending my time trying to change her, fix her, or rescue her from the consequences of her behavior.

    Ironically, when I finally stopped, she got sober on her own.

    ~Kathy
     
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  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    There should be a shocked emoticon!! Unreal.
     
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Someone shared this with me at a NAMI meeting. It has stuck with me to this day:

    “I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost... I am helpless.
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can't believe I am in the same place.
    But, it isn't my fault.
    It still takes me a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in. It's a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault. I get out immediately.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.”

    Author: Portia Nelson

    The sad part is that they have to keep falling down the hole until they figure out how to avoid it. Your falling down the hole with them or constantly pulling them out doesn't help them.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017 at 3:10 PM
  12. Thank you Kathy for this poem. I have read it before, I am not sure where I got it from. I also sent it to my son back then, he never replied. Probably too high to understand the meaning. xxx
     
  13. Thank you all. I thought he hit 'rock bottom' when he was in the homeless hostel. Well, he worked hard to get a job etc so he could get out. It is almost as if they forget the mess they were in when things are going well and then end up back where they started. If you met my son you would be surprised. He is good looking, articulate and genuinely has a heart of gold, BUT.... something in him can change in an instant. When I really look at his life, he has no real friends anymore, seems to struggle in relationships with girls, always arguing and will pick a fight in an instant but yet manages to make you feel bad about it. He does not seem to register the truth. He was recently 'diagnosed' with Borderline (BPD) (in 22 minutes) but yet sent away with no help. I suspect he does have this but my husband thinks he has more control than what he demonstrates as he doesn't speak to everyone like a piece of sh*t on his shoe. I think knowing he has this makes things harder as I try to imagine what it must be like in your head with this and I would never want him to feel he has been abandoned which is a Borderline (BPD) fear! I know he feels this. He tells me he was pushed out of the family but yet cannot see this was because of HIS behavior. His vision of it is, he turned like he is BECAUSE of being pushed out. Its a constant battle or arguments as this comes up every time! x