He wants to try again...


I'm sorry your visit didn't turn out as you had hoped. You visited like you said you would. You tried, now, when he's ready, he will try.
I wished at times our son would run out of his money so he would get help quicker, one way or another. The more he had, the longer his problems just went on and on. It was so hard for us to finally tell him that we were done until he was getting help but it had to be done. He has now been forced into getting help because of his actions.
It's so incredibly hard to sit back and thing whether he's OK, I get it. I hope your son sees the light soon.


Well-Known Member
I want to tell you that I know how much this hurts, and why you are driven to help, and how lost and desperate you feel. You feel this way because of your great love for your son and wanting to do whatever it is that will make him treasure himself, protect his life and health and live productively in the way you know will give him dignity and well being. We would do anything to get them to see, that they can change their behaviors, and thereby their lives.

The horror for us is that not one thing works that we do. Because we have not any control. The depth of our love, our unceasing efforts, do not one thing to help them. Because it is their own efforts, their own motivation, their own thinking that will get them out of their ruts. And sometimes they do not ever change. And that is the most terrifying thing of all.

And if you are like me, you will not dwell in this place. Because it is to accept that ones own life is over. It is really like a death. Of self. Because if you are a mother like I am, my son was a dream fulfilled.

Only, when he became an adult he was unable to fulfill any longer my fantasies and needs. He had to live from his own.

And his own were not the same as mine. His were demons.

And so it felt as if my life became inhabited by demons. Too.

So. What do we do?

We grieve.

And we change.

And sometimes for a long time, we both grieve and change. And we recognize that this is okay.

That is what this site is for. For all of us to grieve and change together.

I think I might have said already on this thread that for the first few years here I thought it was about doing things right and better, so that my son would change and get better. Well. That did not work out so good.

I did everything in my power to get him to change, to help him change, to motivate him to change. And guess what? He got worse.

And what's worse, I got worse.

Now. Some people here will say that I am exaggerating and being hard on myself, but I will tell you how it is true.

I got worse because the longer I allowed his self-destructive, self-centered, self-indulgent behavior to determine what my life would be, my life was colored by this very negative cycle. If it was the beginning of the month when he had money, he would behave arrogantly and be dominant. He was boss. If it was the end of the month and he did not have money for a time he acted humble, in order to extract what favor he could get.

I should be embarrassed to tell you how long we endured this. And how many times we would begin again each cycle believing that the power and the responsibility to make this work, was our own. And I should be embarrassed to tell you how many months I allowed myself to believe he was getting better, only because I wanted to believe it, and I overlooked every sign of reality, to continue with my fantasy.

In your case, you are one step ahead of me. A big step. Because you are clear about your son. There is no illusion about his life.

But like I was, you still believe against hope, it seems, that there is a role for you. As if even your pain, and suffering, and angst, could protect him. I would have taken on, and did, anything, that my son get better. It did not work. I had to accept that it never would.

It is not that they cannot change. It is that we cannot change them or get them to change. We can only change us. And they may change themselves.

I am very despairing about my own son. But if I look at it one way. There has never been more hope. Because I have stepped out of the way.
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Well-Known Member
Remember that words are verbal vomit, addicts like to make us feel sorry for them so we throw them money to be able to afford their substance of choice .in his case alcohol.

Actions show intent, not words.

If he wants so badly tu quit why on earth leave rehab??? That makes NO sense and contradicts his words. As does finding an apartment above a bar and by a bunch of bars. Words mean nothing. They use them to get sympathy and our money. What action has your son taken to show he desperately wants to quit?

The suicide threat is powerful. If i hear it I call 911. Usually it never ever happens. Just often used to scare us into sending more money and other stuff. Did it criss your mind that maybe he is taking other drugs too? My daughter was a skeleten on meth. She never ate either. I thought she would die too and I wasnt going to help her die by offering money for drugs or a comfortable roof over her head so that she had no incentive to stop.

Smart people can become addicts. Addiction is rampant in the medical field. My dads partner at his store, a pharmacy, died of a drug overdose. I worked at a doctors answering service before texting and we had to call them and we knew who the achooholics were. One was a surgeon. Yes, scary. There is no immunoty to substance abuse. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. You maybe can afford good help, but you have to want it or nothing will work.

Your son is so far a sad story. He can change but he needs to go through a total attitude adjustment to change. But he can.

Before we married, my husband had an alcoholic friend who got DTs if he tried to stop, which was not often. His wife left. A decade later my hub found him on FB looking healthy and saying he is clean. It can happen but HE has to decide to do it. All your research is a waste of time. He knows where to go .And its not an apartment above a bar. His actions speak loud. His words are just noise. Having a talk with an addict is talking to a liar and manipulator. It is part of the disease.

I know. You love him and will worry but what worked best here was to back off and let her know we will never give her money for drugs. Any money you may send will be used for alcohol until he is clean and sober. Dont get sucked in. That wont help. Dont visit. It hurts you.

Do take that poor cat and rehome it in a good family yourself. Dont trust a shelter. The cat will die. Its not the cats fault.

Love and light!
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Well-Known Member
Trying... I am so glad you checked in as I was wondering how you were doing. I have so been where you are with your son. It is so sad and heartbreaking to see our sons hurting so much, have so much self loathing and to do these self destructive behaviors. And the suicide threat is scary. We have dealt with that as well. When my son has been suicidal I have taken him to the hospital and he has been admitted. That has happened a couple of times. We have been going through this for years with our son.

Like Copa early on I was consumed by what was going on with my son and could not imagine being happy when he was so unhappy and such a mess. What helped me more than anything was finding a parents alanon group. (This site helped too). Finding other live people dealing with the same issues with their kids did wonders for me. So I really urge you to find an alanon group, preferably one for parents. If you dont like one meeting try another. Alanon is really about how to continue to live your life.

So at some point I realized I was not going to let my son ruin my life that I was going to continue living no matter what he did. I started doing things for me, doing things I liked, things that make me happy. And you know what I am happy. I have a lot of good things in my life. When things are bad with my son, and at times they have been really bad with him, I do feel sad and worried for him but I am no longer consumed by that fear and worry.

What I have learned is that I cannot make him better, or make him want to get better. We have taken the stand we will help him when he is helping himself. There have been many iterations of this.......with times of homelessness, and jail imbetween. One thing I have learned is he does know how to survive,,,, in situations I have no clue about.

And slowly he is progressing to really understanding his own addiction and to wanting help for it. Whether he will ever truly get and stay in recovery I dont know. What I do know is that I will continue to enjoy and live my life.


Well-Known Member
I'm glad you checked in, Trying. I have been wondering how it went for you. I'm sorry it went the way it did.

It's heartbreaking to watch our precious children do this to themselves. We all understand that, and we've all made the choice to get involved when we swore we wouldn't, when we were at the point of walking away.

For what it's worth, I think it's obvious that your son isn't ready. If he continues the way he is going, very soon he will have to decide how important drinking really is to him, because it will be all he has left.

Please don't take what I am saying as advice or judgment, because that is not my intent. But if your son is at the point where his drinking is threatening his employment, his lodging, his finances, his relationships, and his health, then you are unfortunately also in an uncomfortable position. You must decide if assisting him is helping move him toward recovery or helping him continue to drink.

There are no right answers here, for any of us. I once was done with my son and completely at peace with my decision. Then he showed up on my doorstep sick and desperate, and I took him back in again. I wish I could say he turned it around that time, but he did not. We had many more cycles of drinking, lying, stealing, etc. before he finally decided to turn it around. But I believe if I had not taken him in that night, he likely would have died on the streets. There is no certainty, unfortunately. We can only do what we believe is best for all concerned and what we can live with.

The other thing I would add is a question for you. How do YOU feel?

In your last post, you spoke at great length about your son...but spoke very little, if at all, about how YOU feel...

How about your husband's feelings? Or your daughter's?

You matter too, as do your husband and your daughter. But it seems all of the focus is on your son.

Our addicted children are a vortex. We have to make special efforts to maintain a healthy emotional distance lest we get sucked into the vortex too. Even if we choose to continue physical or financial involvement with our addicted children, we can still shift our EMOTIONAL focus and recover our balance and perspective.


Active Member
Wanted to update about today.. we went over to load up and move him and he was asleep... I knew he had been up just a little bit prior because I could smell his cigarette smoke. I am not dumb... I figure he got up and threw all of his bottles/booze away and then went back to bed. So he finally got up and helped us load. He seemed fine. We moved him to the new place. I told him how he could get a 2nd job to help with his credit card bills since he can walk to how many places near the new place. Of course he got angry and asked me if I ever worked 2 jobs and how I don't know what that is like... Well, I do work about 50 hours a week and when they were little I did that as well plus took them to their practices, etc. He is a smart ass. So with that I said "Well, I am not co-signing another lease so you will have to figure something out. That lit him up. I told him to get a roommate then to split the costs. He then mumbled about having no money so I asked him how much he spent at the weed store the other day?? No answer.

Later in the day I asked him about an addiction psychiatrist and if he ever thought about seeing one. He said he would like to because he feels there is definitely something wrong with his brain. He said his thoughts are terrible.
I did check his phone records and yesterday (the day he went back to his apartment because he said he wasn't doing well in his head) and then we went for some things he needed... I seen he called the gun store. It scares me. I don't let on that I check his phone records. My counselor said I should not let him know. However, I would like to ask him about it.
I figured after we left him tonight at his new place he went for some booze. he wasn't complaining of withdrawals so I know I am correct.
We are here for one more day- he works tomorrow so we won't see him until later. As much as I don't like being here, it is always extremely hard to leave because I fear he will take his life. I fear something will happen to him. I can't live like this anymore. I need to move on. I cry when I think of him alone at the upcoming holidays and pray he finds someone to share them with.
My husband is tired of this as well. My daughter gets upset that we seem to come out to him and he doesn't appreciate us.
Thank you for all of your advice. It is appreciated.


Well-Known Member
I would be scared too about the gun store.

But the thing is, you looked.

When we intrude on their privacy and lives we do not like what we see.

The thing is. There is a basic learning here that each of us has to come to. The separation into two distinct lives. Theirs and ours. Almost all of us have fuzzy boundaries because we come here afraid and desperate.

But the thing is you are the one who will have to decide no more cosigning. And follow thru. Of course he will not like it.

But he was right to be peeved about the 2nd job. it is his life. He is not responsible because you decided to cosign. You are. You and I get no control, no vote, in theirs. They are adults. The learning is to stay in our own lane. And to let them deal with theirs.

Oh. It is so so hard. But in time we accept the reality there is no other way.

You sound so much better. I am so glad you checked in. We really care about you here. You are doing great. I hope you keep posting.

Take care.

PS. I am glad you are going home.
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Well-Known Member
I learned late in life but better late than never, not to look at what other peiple text or put on FB or put anywhere. I am sorry. Your therapist in my opinion should have told you not to look. Mine did and I havent. You will never know the result of him wanting a gun because addicts lie if their lips are moving and words are just b.s.

If you want to know how your son is doing all you can do is go by what you know about his actions. A good clue is that he spent a lot of money at a weed store, asked you for money (a big sign of addiction), that he still expects you to pay for who knows what instead of getting another job and lives above a bar. The degree of his alcoholism.is severe if he gets the DTs. Not all addicts are there yet.

The scary fact is thay we cant stop our adultfs from harming themselves. Giving them money in of itself actually helps them die. I figured this one out with my daughter. To her no matter what she claimed the money was for, it went to help her buy her drugs of choice. We house them and they have extra money for drugs. Or booze. Or both. At any time our money can be used to help them OD and maybe die. Our best bet in my opinion is not to help them pay for trouble. And talking to them wont stop them from doing what they want to do. Your son is not going to tell you the truth about the gun, if he even really means to get one. But dont give him an extra dime. Dont help him buy one. Dont read his cell phone ever.

I probably would find another therapist. The therapist is supposed to help YOU live a better life, not talk to you about spying on your son or what to do for him. She doesnt know. But this is jmo.

I hope you feel better once you go home and stay home. In his addiction, you cant help him. It will only hurt you and your hub and dear daughter and not help him.

Listen to your daughter. Count your blessings. You have a great husband and daughter. And you are terrific. You deserve to be happy.

Love and light!
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New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Trying, this is really, really tough stuff. All of it. The knowing, the not knowing. The whole ball of wax. We want so desperately for our adult kids to make better decisions, to lead normal lives, to take care of themselves. It is heart wrenching to be in the thick of it, yet hard to pull up and out of it for fear that "something" may happen. Our lives become so completely entangled with what our beloveds are doing, or not doing. The problem is, it becomes a cycle, one addiction knows well, and knows how to play us to keep us in the game.
I watched in horror as my two derailed and tried with all of my might to stop them. It didn't work. They gave their troubles over to me twofold, expected me to house and feed them, while they continued off the tracks. Blamed me for their choices, due to parenting mistakes. Boy, did I make plenty and that sat deep within me for awhile until I realized that I had reams of photo albums full of happy times, did the best job I could and the rest was up to them. They kept making terrible choices, friends, boyfriends, would display sullen depressed moods while I was around, then go out on benders. I realized that what I was seeing, was them coming down from their high, and jonesing for more.
There was absolutely nothing I could do to stop the madness.
So, I had to make a decision, because it was killing me inside.
I gave them over to my higher power and rely heavily on prayer to help me cope with having two wayward's, this site has helped me tremendously pull up and out of the entanglement. I try hard to stay off the edge of the rabbit hole and live my life.
When I came up for air, long enough to realize how completely I was intertwined with their choices and consequences, I realized how degraded my life had become. I was anxious and sad. Consumed with what ifs. Short of breath. It was akin to the grieving I faced when hubs passed, but it was ongoing. Each time I tried to right myself from the capsizing despair, a new issue would come up.
The timing is impeccable.
I realized how I had concentrated so heavily on trying to save my two, and missed out on my well children's lives. They were waiting in the wings at every desperate attempt to fix something that I could not fix.
It is hard not to be drawn in to their dilemma. It is our love that keeps us there, we think. That is what they would have us think. If you loved me you would do XYZ. The problem with this, is they are switching responsibility for their actions over to us. We take up the challenge, thinking that surely, if we did XYZ, they would change. There within lies the issue, it does nothing to help them, because they are not fully owning their addiction. They have transferred their responsibility over to us. They go headfirst down the rabbit hole and we rush to the edge with our ladder, to try and pull them out, or soften the fall.
When we provide cushions and respite for the consequences of their choices, they don't learn. They don't feel the full effect. They will always count on Mom and Dad, to come to the rescue.
I know it is hard. The "what ifs" looming over, like a repetitive nightmare. What if I don't help? They will be homeless, starve, die.
When I helped, it made it easier for them to use.
Their using drugs, became a game of using us. The more we fell for it, the more they used, the more our despair.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
I started to channel my Dad's stoicism. It is what it is. I would think about what he would do, if I went down the wrong path repeatedly. He would do nothing. It was not that he didn't love us, he was old fashioned and had enough self respect not to let himself get overly involved in our adult lives turmoil. "I want you to be self sufficient" is what he would say. "You can do anything you want to do, as long as you work for it." Oh sure, he helped us here and there, but we all knew that once we turned 18, we were considered adults and our lives depended on our own choices. End of story.
I don't have a happy ending for my two, yet. What I do have, is a little more strength, when I am faced with each new situation in their lives.
It was hard to tell my daughter right after hubs died that she could not come live with us. She never got better at home, dove deeper into partying, left her kids under our care. I could not let that repeat itself.
So, I swallowed the lump in my throat and said no "Go to a shelter, there, you will have counseling for yourself and your kids."
I said no, for the sanctity of my home, for my son, and for myself.
I knew I would not survive one more round, intact.
With that, I started to take my life back, and realized that I have absolutely no control over what my adult children decide. The feeling guilty, fearful and obligated, started to lessen. I switched focus from wanting things to change for them, over to how I could change my reactions and response, especially my emotional reaction, because each and every episode was figuratively and literally eating me up inside, consuming ALL of my thoughts and time.
And yes, my two could die. Either by their own hand, their drugging lifestyles, living on the streets. Now, Tornado is in jail. Suddenly, she wants a family connection, after no contact (her choice) for one year. She is trying to draw me in to her troubles, using the same tactics, poking at my heart and mom instinct to rush to her side. I have to use everything I have, not to.
It is not easy, but how else will she learn that you cannot continue to hurt the people who love you, play the family card when it suits you?
So, I will sit and wait, and measure my reaction to see if I am falling into old patterns. I will do this according to my timeframe. I will not drop everything to go and visit her, will not be her agent for supervised release, will not soften this blow for her.
We all have to do, and have done what we can, so that we are able to look ourselves in the mirror. All we wish for our children, is that they learn to really take good care of themselves. In this, we can start to model what that looks like. So many times, I dropped everything to accommodate my two. Put their lives and needs above and beyond my own. Each time I did, they got bolder and bolder with their expectations. They held on to contempt for me when I did "help" them, even more so when I stopped. I realized that I taught them to expect from me, that they thought nothing of what their chaos and drama was inflicting on their parents. NOTHING.
I started to retrain my brain and heart, to understand that self care is not selfish, that saying no, is love for them, and self respect for me.
Also, saying no, is respect for them, a way to say "YOU can do this."
It will be a lifelong work in progress, this new way of thinking and reacting. I am not getting any younger. My two will have to learn how to make better choices, I won't be around forever to rescue them. I sure wouldn't make it that long, if I continued to be completely entangled in their choices and consequences.
I matter, you matter.
So do our kids, but they have got to see that for themselves.
Hang in there Trying, we are circling the wagons and standing with you.
I hope your day brings you peace.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Just catching up.

I had to accept that my son could die from his addiction. I mean really accept it. I had to do this for myself. I had to FACE the absolute worse case scenario. Once I truly did that, I was able to take a step back emotionally. I know that may sound crazy but I did do this.

We were able to force our son into a faith based program because we left him with no options. We told him that if he wanted to be in our good graces again, he HAD TO complete this 13 month program. That is what they told us to do. THIS is the door back to your family and only this door.

What I now see as I look back is that my son's thinking (and that of all addicts) is SO SKEWED and we hang on every word. It's so counter productive. Their words really do not mean anything as SWOT says. It's not their direct fault though, it's the addiction talking. The brain is very very damaged.

I'm so glad you are seeing a therapist. It is not humanly possible to understand addiction and why they are out to destroy themselves. My son is on the other side now (sober 11 months) and we don't talk about it much. I don't think he is comfortable doing so and I don't push. Will he ever really give me the answer that I so desperately need? Is there an answer? I really don't know.

I do hope that you stay strong and lean on those that give you support. This is so awfully hard for all of us. I find that my faith helped me through it and also strengthened it. I never gave that up thankfully.


Well-Known Member
Oh Trying..... I so understand your fear that something will happen to him. I think all of us with children who are addicts live with that fear.... whether it is an overdose, or suicide, or some other crazy thing from being an addict. It is a huge risk with addiction. That fear is the reality we all live with. Like RN to some extent I have had to accept the reality of that fear. It is there but it cannnot rule my life. Giving him money and helping him wont necessarily make him safe. Finding ways to go on with your life no matter what is really the only thing you can do for you, for your husband and for your daughter.

One thing I have learned from my adult daughter, who is a very together young woman is that she doesnt want me to give her advice unless she asks for it. It is easy for me to respect that as I trust her and I know she has a good head on her shoulders and I trust her. But the thing is the same thing is true of my son. He doesnt want my advice unless he asks for it. I have had to learn to keep my mouth shut, even though sometimes it means biting my tongue bloody. I suspect the same thing is true of your son. He doesnt want advice... he doesnt want to be told what to do and so he reacts negatively and lashes out when you give him advice. And really if he is using he cant really hear you anyways.

I think at this point all you can do is to try and keep the relationship intact as possible, which is very difficult with an active addict. Their primary relationship is with their drug or alcholol not you. That substance is more important to them than you right now. There is nothing you can do about that. So I would do what you can to keep your cool, not give advice, let them know you love him and keep your boundaries. Dont give him money. If he needs something you are willing to give, then pay for it directly, do not give him cash. It would make sense to me if you let him know that when he is ready for treatment you will help him get it but dont try to push him to get it. It will be more effective when he asks for it.

Keep letting us know how it is going.