For my husband and I it all began so innocently

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by NumbAndLost, May 4, 2019.

  1. NumbAndLost

    NumbAndLost New Member

    My heart breaks for you @Exhaustedat22 . I, understand much of your story as my own. For my husband and I it all began so innocently. Our little boy (37 now) was diagnosed with learning disabilities early on in elementary school. Services were less than adequate. He was introverted from a young age, was harshly bullied, developed social anxiety disorder and home became his safe haven. We fought tooth and nail to get him accepted into a special needs school. It took til high school to win our case. By then, although his academics improved, he was forever emotionally scared. He refused therapy, he refused medication, he refused to believe in his own self worth. Many natural talents like music and art were nurtured by us and family throughout these hard years but we were slowly losing the battle. Angry and bitter at the world, feeling like a misfit, alcohol became his best and only friend. Everyone and everything else became the enemy. Alcohol has lost him an art scholarship, multiple jobs, roofs over his head, cars, credit card debt, his health. He's detoxed several times, been in rehab over & over, accepted a variety of help from us, family members who love him dearly, and acquaintances only to ultimately loose it all again and again. His response - "oh well, life sucks then you die." Dad used tough love, I was the niave enabler, little sister became his crutch. Finally 3 years ago an epiphany - we were 60, not 30; he was 33, not 13. We'd become seniors with health issues emerging and our son had somehow remained the adolescent, still dependent on someone else/anyone else to make his problems disappear. How did we not see this happening right before our eyes! He took no responsibility for anything, he was a compulsive liar, a manipulator, lazy, defiant, disrespectful. For us, it was clear - no more. We insisted he had to get a full time job within a month and a half or he'd have to leave. We reminded him every week, he ignored us every week, until six weeks later, on Mother's Day 2016, he was told, by me, that he had to leave. He refused, saying we couldn't make him leave because he had no where to go. I told him that wasn't our problem, we let him take his car (our last financial assistance) and leave. He said " if you make me leave now, you will never see me again". I replied "if leaving saves your life, the sacrifice will be worth it". He left, not because "tough-love" dad kicked him out but because "enabler" mom did. It broke my heart in pieces but I knew it had to be done. One month later he showed up at my office, talking ragtime, refusing to leave, threatening that if I didn't help him I'd be sorry. Shaking like a leaf, witnessing my son as a stranger with bad I tensions, I called the police who felt a restraining order was necessary. I was so petrified at the behaviour I had witnessed in my son, I agreed. It killed me emotionally. Another month after that, he cracked up and abandoned his car at the scene of an accident. And since all that, he's been in and kicked out of two homeless shelters, and spent 3 winters homeless. Thoughts of him trying to survive have been unbearable for us. My husband has tried to keep in touch and offers help. He gets no replies. My daughter gets infrequent calls, only to hear that all the blame is on us for his problems. My personal feelings of guilt are debilitating but, for our family, I do know this step was necessary. Exhausted 22 there are no-one-size fits-all right or wrong paths or answers. Your gut, heart and soul must be your guide. Trust what feels right for you. Also know that your postings help you gain strength and are the support we all need to stay strong. Wishing you comfort.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • List
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Numb. Our stories are very, very similar. Why not have RunawayBunny, the site administrator, post this post in your own separate thread? *You can contact her through the inbox in a private message. I will send her a note, too.

    I hope you get your own separate thread where you will get replies just to you, and we will know your story.

    Welcome. I am very sad for us.
     
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have begun to attend 12 step groups like Al Anon which is for family members of alcoholics and I go to Alcoholics Anonymous, too, which I prefer.

    Your son's story is very common, actually. People like him turn things around all of the time, by participting in AA. I see them. I hear them. The spark can happen in one or a few meetings, when, in a flash everything turns around.

    The work itself takes a long time. The work of changing onself and one's life. But we work together, that is the thing.

    I am trying to focus upon my own recovery and to try to leave my son to deal with himself. To see and to own that the broken person is me, and the only one to fix, is myself.

    Welcome. I am glad you are here.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    My son is also 37. We try so hard to fix their lives time after time. Until they want it for themselves it won't work. They are going to rebel that their safety net is gone. Right now i have cut off all communication because it is always 1 more favor to the tune of alot money. It had to stop for both our sakes. I somtimes sit and write a vent letter to him that i dont send. It helps
     
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Yes, we seem to share this heartbreak in common - trying so hard to save our adult children who won't save themselves. Yes, substance abuse and mental illness often play a role, but each of us must face out shortcomings and find ways to overcome and heal.

    Numb and Lost I have a similar story with my 33 year old difficult son. I have tried for years to offer support, I have spent thousands. Now I am 66 and retiring, and I am still recovering from a bad fall last year, and my husband (son's stepdad) will retire soon. I can't do it anymore. My son professes he cares about me as long as I am enabling him with rides, money, whatever. He has been through two rehabs this year and two sober houses. He got kicked out of both sober houses. He is always the wronged party, always has big plans, but he ends up homeless and without anything.

    Sometimes I fall into such a funk, but I am more and more determined not to fall victim to the FOG. Damn, as an empath, it so easy to pull me in, and for me to latch onto that one glimmer of hope.
    More and more I believe I must detach and love myself enough to have a life free of abuse and obligation.
    Take care of yourself; you deserve it.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  6. NumbAndLost

    NumbAndLost New Member

    My heart is full with everyone's support, words of wisdom and encouragement Truly everyone here is family. It's a safe place for sure. My son has chosen to disown us and punish us with his silence, but I realize that is probably best for us all right now. The drama hasn't been helpful to any of us. Everyday he is free to choose his path without being hounded or criticized. God willing, he will be lead to what he is meant to be and we will find learn to let go and let be one day at a time. Parenthood is forever but the job description is ever changing. Today, with all your help, has been a good day. Thank you all.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  7. RN0441

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

    Let go and let God.

    I also saw a therapist that specialized in addiction to help teach me how to parent this child of ours. He was very young at the time. Little did I know it would go on for many years.

    Enjoy your Golden Years. We all deserve that. Your son must find his own way. He can never do that in your home.