hanging on to serenity

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Stands~

    It seems to me that you did try and find a placement for him and HE REFUSED to consider it.

    You know the old addage about 'leading a horse to water but can't make it drink'. You offered you son solutions. He just was too stubborn or rebellious or addicted to take the help.

    Honey ... it really is time to step back and let your adult child figure things out. If this were a first time thing ... or if he were younger then maybe you could still advocate for him. This has become his lifestyle. These are the natural consequences. PLEASE try this new and novel approach to dealing with your son.

    If you rescue this time and he re-offends he could be looking at big time in the big house. Perhaps a jail sentance will be the reality check he needs.

    Concentrate on your easy child and your newly married daughter. Give them what they have been missing - all the energy that you gave to difficult child. They deserve it.
     
  2. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand that I cannot keep enabling him. I am not doing anything right now to enable him. I will not rescue him - someone told me that he probably needs to be on the show Intervention! How can that ever happen if he is always is jail? Also Suz says that maybe I may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - probably so and probably so about my difficult child also. I am not focusing on him just thinking every now and then. My easy child and I have been hanging out together today. I will probably start obsessing about him before long. I obsess about him not getting enough exercise, eating right, etc. Maybe I am Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). :rolleyes:
     
  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Goldenguru - I think I am Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - how am I rescuing him now? What doyou mean? I have no intention of bailing him out. Is trying to talk to the PD or the prosecutor rescuing him? I just wonder if they know the whole story. I hope people realize that sometimes criminal behavior stems from mental problems too. I hate for him to go "down the road" when he needs mental help. I am going to just forget about it. I am tired of talking about it right now. You guys have a lot of patience with me. I know I am crazy. :crazy2:
     
  4. KFld

    KFld New Member

    If he really wants to go to rehab when he gets out of jail, then he will figure out how to make that work. Let him figure this out for himself. It will mean so much more to him that he took the steps he needed to get the help he says he needs.

    Sit back and let it happen. He can do it if he wants to.
     
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Susan, I am not a diagnostician or a professional, but you see a therapist who is. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder and there is a wide spectrum of how anxiety can manifest itself. I urge you to talk to your therapist and see what he/she thinks since I am only going by your words on this forum, not real life.

    I noticed that you gave Hope good advice on her thread.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">he is 24 also - he has to make the choices - not me. </div></div>

    The trick now is to live the advice you gave. :thumbsup:

    Suz
     
  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Ok I will. I guess I never thought I could be that but in a way it makes sense. I will check it out. Thanks!
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Stands...

    It is not uncommon for us parents to have some problems right along with our kids. Take a gander at my profile and you will see Im just as big a difficult child as most of the kids here...lol.

    I also tend to hyperfocus on my kids and their needs. I dont do it as much with the one who is living away from home unless he is in a pickle. Now let me find out something horrible is going on with him or around him and my mommy heart strings go to tugging. Like recently a Deputy on his force was killed in the line of duty. The guy was only 24. A year older than my son and he left behind a wife and baby. Oh my heart fell into my tummy and I just got all upset thinking there but for the grace of god go I one day. Now I could panic and and show him my panic but that would just cause him to get all upset and not tell me things which I dont think is good so I just bury my worry and ask him how everyone is doing and handling things. He tells me, lets me know how the community is banding together, and he doesnt say much else. We all know he is in a dangerous profession so wringing our hands isnt going to help matters any.

    I show my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) over things like this by sending cards, calling, looking on ebay for things they need. I made scrapbooks of pictures that were important to them.

    You can do all that too. Make a scrapbook about your son when he was smaller. It will do you a world of good. Do one for all your kids. Make a wedding scrap book. Do one for your younger son about something he is into. Do one about his senior year. It will really take your time up and it will mean so much to them. Start thinking about future grand kids.
     
  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Ok thanks for helping not obsess. I was thinking about pictures today. I would probably just sit there and cry a while! Sometimes i just cant believe all this has happened to our once "normal" family.
     
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Before you post anything, try separating your sentences that contain "him" from the sentences that contain "I" or "me". Then read it. Then live it.

    ie:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have contacted the PO several times and I wonder if I should contact the prosecutor to let them know he needs drug help or mental help or something. I - like you - have done over and above everything we could do - we offered him opportunities, have a stable home, everything - he is 24 also - he has to make the choices - not me.</div></div>

    Try this:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">he is 24 also - he has to make the choices - not me.</div></div>

    Should you contact the prosecutor or the PO about him? Do you need drug help or mental health or something, and if so, what does that have to do with your son and his PO or the DA?
     
  10. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I am going to Alanon tonight. I have been thinking about things over and over again. I know I shouldnt. I will listen to good advice.
     
  11. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Golden Guru?

    I don't remember what I meant, exactly! We have been crazy busy around here, and I haven't had a chance to post. What I think I meant is that old thing about how we interpret a thing making that interpretation the reality ~ whatever is really happening, we believe we have a handle on the thing once we stop questioning what it was we saw.

    I see Stand's changing understanding of her child's situation.

    That is how it was with me, too.

    I literally could not stop thinking of my son as an infant or a very young, innocent child in danger. I believe it was my sense of guilt at having failed to protect him that solidified that perception of reality for me.

    It was very, very real. The feelings of compulsive, almost overwhelming panic felt very real, too. I would do anything, try anything, read anything, talk to anyone (you guys have NO idea the places I went trying to find answers!).

    I don't know where I would be today without having found this site. Other parents who have been through it, the similarities in the behavior patterns between their addicted children and my own ~ eventually, that began to sink in, and I could consider that perhaps, just maybe perhaps almost...what had happened to my son was neither my fault nor even, my responsibility in any way.

    Once I had that first, faint glimmering of another reality, a different perception of the same set of facts, I could see that I HAD raised my son well.

    I understood this true thing: My son was raised better than to do what he was doing.

    All at once, the world shifted.

    None of us wants to be trapped in that horrible place where we search desperately for the answer to how we can save our children.

    My healing, my recovery, began when I first began entertaining a different perception of reality than the one in which I was the mother and therefore, responsible for what was happening to my child.

    It was a small step from that first shift in perception to realizing that not only was I not almost criminally deficient as a parent (based on what was happening to my child) but that my child had defied me, had destroyed everything I taught him, to do what he was doing.

    Now?

    I love my son with all my heart. I miss him every single day.

    But I am also angry with him for destroying the boy I devoted my life to raising.

    It's a strange place to be, but I am getting stronger and stronger, every day.

    I am grieving, but I am no longer paying penance for some horrible something, some awful lack or whatever it was that resulted in my son following the self-destructive path he has chosen.

    Same situation, but I see myself and my potential to effect change differently.

    So, maybe that is what I meant?

    :rofl:

    Barbara
     
  12. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Barbara - I understand what you are saying. I am trying to get to that point. I always want to fix everything. I second guess myself constantly about is there anything I can do or should be doing tohelp him? Do I just stand here doing nothing and watch his life go down the tubes? Do I fight for a private lawyer knowing I dont have the funds for it? Do I try to find a long-term treatment center and who should I ask about it? All these questions should be coming from him. Sometimes I think of him as so young that he doesnt know what to do or who to ask and that is my mistake. I give him the impression that he is not capable of it. He has a PD. I guess I will leave it at that. Barbara - you have much wisdom. I can only wish to have half as much.
     
  13. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I too used to second guess. no more. I want my son to want a better life so much that he uses his own brain to dig his way up. I will not help anymore, if I were dead he would have to be on his own. he will have to live like that now. all my input and help and suggestions never helped him
     
  14. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand that fully. I got a letter today from difficult child. He said they pulled his tooth - no pain medications - he said he told them he didnt want any - he wants Drug Court - we will see - sometimes I believe him and sometimes not - he is having to talk to the lawyer, etc. - he seems sorry for everything that has happened - even told me I was right! Duh! Anyway, i love himi with all my heart - I just cannot do this anymore - like you said nothing I ever did or tried to do helped him. He is still in jail - maybe there for 6 months waiting on a court date.
     
  15. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    It has been our experience (with brother in law) that he is truly repentant in jail/prison. His letters were full of remorse, apologies and his plan to do better once he got out. I honestly believe he is remorseful. Nobody wants to kick his habit worse than he does.

    However - It is easy to be sorry when you're incarcerated. The true challenge and test comes when the addict gets out.

    It is good that you still love him with all of your heart. But, it is also good that you are recognizing that you can't do this anymore either.

    As hard as the long jail sentence must be ... let us pray that your son will use the time to consider where his life was/is ... and use that toward a better life when he is released.

    We are all pulling for you and for him.
     
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> sometimes I believe him and sometimes not</div></div>

    I think that it helps when you believe actions and results instead of promises.
     
  17. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    That is the horror of addiction. Just like Golden Guru said has happened to her brother in law so many times, when our addicted loved ones are without drugs long enough to see what they have been up to, they are as appalled, and as sincerely filled with regret at how they have hurt, not only us, but themselves, as we have been, all slong.

    But whatever we understand, we cannot help them, because helping only helps them to use.

    We have to step back.

    There is no cure for addiction.

    There is no medicine that will help.

    Even if my son were to turn himself around this instant, what he has lost ~ the family events he was not there for, the education he did not receive, the wife he did not marry and the children he did not have ~ all those things and more, are gone forever.

    No attorney Stands, unless you will not be able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror in the morning without hiring one.

    We spent so much money trying to help our son. Nothing helped, of course ~ but now, after everything is said and done, we have the small comfort of KNOWING we did everything we knew to do.

    I think that is when we change, Stands. When we have been down that same path with our children so many times that we CAN turn away without hating ourselves for it.

    That is the line we walk, I think.

    Not whether the child needs our help ~ of course they need money and cars and a place to live and legal assistance and food. Addicted people very seldom provide these things for themselves.

    The question for us, I think, is when we can stop helping without detesting ourselves for it.

    Then, we are free in a way we have not been since the person we love became addicted.

    We are free to say no with a clear conscience.

    It took me a really long time to get there, too.

    But boy, once you do get there?

    It's simple.

    So simple.

    What you will find happens next is that your child will get his needs met elsewhere.

    Usually with people you never really believed existed anywhere but on television.

    So, we have to learn to be very strong, every day, Stands.

    We have to learn not to despise ourselves for not helping.

    And we have to learn not to despise our children for not being able to help themselves.

    And that's really tough.

    There were times (and there still are some) when I hated my son for what he did, for who he became.

    But I love him, after all.

    It's very sad.

    But it's so much better than it was when I was defenseless.

    Barbara
     
  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Barbara - Do youmean we should not hire an attorney? It would cost more money than we have. I am under the impression that my son kinda knows he will do time. I keep going back to that child, young boy I raised. I know deep down in his heart he is not a bad person. Instead of getting help, he is getting punished. Maybe because he didnt want help. I dont know but I mmiss him. I have to stop focusing on it. I dont focus on it all day or anything it is just the helplessness of it all. I know how is was or is maybe - always truthful, always naive', always protecting the underdog, always doing things before he thought about the consequences - never evil or mean - just addicted I guess. I thought the Drug Court thing would pan out - I guess I am just looking for a solution that wont hurt so bad but then I have to pray to be able to stand the hurt. Thanks Barbara - I know you understand.
     
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yes. She means don't hire an attorney. Your son is 24 years old.
     
  20. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Chaos and drama can be addictive too, Stands.

    When you are ready, you will be able to see how your son is hooking you into his drama.

    When you do see that?

    You will begin resenting the way your son has twisted the love of his family into something awful.

    It isn't supposed to hurt this much to have children.

    For me, and for most of us here on the site, it isn't about whether the child needs this or that anymore.

    It gets to be abuut whether we are strong enough to allow the child to suffer the consequences of his choices without being destroyed, ourselves.

    What is happening to your son is a horrible thing.

    It's awful, and I am so sorry this is all happening again.

    What I am saying is that if this were my son, I am strong enough now to be able to say "No more inappropriate anything with, from, or for this child."

    And to say it without hating myself for it.

    What it comes down to is that you have your own life to celebrate, and to be responsible for. You have told your son not to do the things he did to get where he is.

    THAT was your responsibility.

    He did them, anyway.

    If you had a zillion dollars, you could pay for someone to get him out of this ~ and what a sad comment on our system of justice that truth is.

    But even if you had a zillion dollars, you might not do it.

    Because you told your son not to do the things that got him where he is.

    Again.

    He must have wanted to be where he is.

    You need to decide whether you want to be right back here in this chaotic place again and again with him.

    No matter what you tell him, he does what he wants to do.

    If you do not get to choose, why does he feel you should help pay the consequences of HIS choices ~ especially when you TOLD him not to do that?

    Here is an amazing thing that I learned: Most parents do not have children who do these things to them, who shame their families as our children have done. Most parents, however badly or well they parented, have children who try to live their own best lives. What we need to learn is that it is not our doing that our children are going a wrong way. You taught your son NOT to do the things that got him involved with the legal system this way.

    So, no.

    I think you should not pay for an attorney.

    I think you should concentrate on healing yourself DESPITE what your son has brought into your life again.

    Take your daughter and her new husband to a wonderful dinner, or pay for a romantic little getaway for them with that money your son expects you to throw into the maw of the justice system.

    Again.

    Learning to refuse to be a victim is important too, Stands.

    When it is one of our children who is victimizing us, that is an even more important lesson to learn.

    Celebrate the good things, and pray that the awful things will resolve successfully.

    Love your son, hold faith with him Stands, but refuse to be his victim ever again.

    When he is ready to be the son you raised, when he merits your trust again (if he ever does) then welcome him back into your lives with open arms.

    But until that happens?

    Until he changes his ways?

    You need to learn, like we all have had to learn Stands, to hear the heart truths in the lessons Ant's Mom teaches and teaches us all, about establishing appropriate boundaries and refusing to be victims.

    Learning how to refuse to be a victim is the most important thing we could help one another to understand.

    It's a hard lesson though, and it takes time.

    You will get there, Stands.

    Barbara

    P.S. Here is an interesting thing, guys. I did not capitalize "boundaries" in the initial posting. When I read through and realized "boundaries" had been capitalized, I went into the editing screen to change it. In that screen, "boundaries" is not capitalized, either.

    But on this screen, it is.

    Hmmmm....

    **************

    Ack!

    And now, it is capitalized in my edit!

    :rofl: