No contact...Until ???


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It looks like both my son and I have reached a juncture where, for our own very different reasons, we want no contact with each other. I know I have read posts over the years from members who have established "no contact" rules with their kids. Was it a permanent thing or were there conditions to reestablishing contact on some level? Or was it a "play it by ear and see where it goes" type of thing? Are you still maintaining the no contact boundary or has time allowed contact, like minimal at first and then gradually growing?

What about drawbacks to no contact, especially where there is literally no way of getting in touch (you've changed your number, your child has changed theirs, etc)? What happens if you or your child end up in the hospital for major surgery or overdose...or worst case scenario happens? This is my biggest concern over the 100% no contact and the one thing keeping me from shutting and bolting the door on any communication with my son.

Please share your experiences and stories and how it's working for you.
I have my son's email address and though the last time we sent him a message he answered with a legal-sounding 'cease and desist' request, I think I would send him a message if something momentous happened. For instance his Grandad isn't too well, and if he were to pass I would want to let him know, though how do you send bad news -cold- when you don't know what's going on in the the headspace and life of the recipient?
The last time he cut us off, he gradually got back in contact and he eventually returned home as an alternative to being put in some kind of lockdown accommodation but as it just went belly-up again I feel he knows it's better for both of us to be independent of one another's emotions. I trust him to go out there and learn to be a human being, and to come back to us when he is capable of functioning independently and rationally - if he can't, I cannot do anything to help him (though am prepared to help financially up to a point ) and he can only hurt me more, so I am basically planning to be, what's the word, unresponsive? until I see some real change. He's still young, and I still have hope. If he ever makes contact I will let you all know! Sorry this isn't much help as it's only been 6 months, but I would definitely try to leave a neutral channel of communication open if you can. Hugs!


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it's only been 6 months, but I would definitely try to leave a neutral channel of communication open if you can. Hugs!
It sounds like you are doing everything right. My son changes email addresses frequently because of some stalking issues with his ex. But that might be the best way to reach out if I needed to...although like you I would be concerned about how bad news would affect his current (unknown) mental state. I know in some cases, bad news has been withheld from someone because it could be detrimental to treatment or what have you.

I haven't specifically told my son "Call me when you make progress that lasts for more than a month or two" or any other kind of timeline, although I am thinking at least six months to a year if not more. And I won't write that in stone, because of course if he is in the hospital recovering from overdose or something, I would want to know and then act according to whatever was appropriate at that time. So the door is closed, apparently on both our ends, but mine at least is not locked and bolted.

And what do you know...he's calling me right now!. I didn't answer. He left a voicemail apologizing for yesterday and wanting to talk. I'm not ready to talk to him. I need to determine what my boundaries are as far as "no contact" until X conditions are met. I also don't trust that he won't go back into blaming and reprimanding mode and I will not let him put me on the defensive.


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

I think sometimes they pull back contact to punish us for not doing what they want? Addicts can be very manipulative.

How are things?


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How are things?
Pretty good, considering. I had a shallow but pleasant conversation with my son a couple of days ago, not too productive but we did clear the air on a couple of things and set mutual boundaries on them. Today we spoke briefly but it wasn't so great. At one point I said I wished there was something I could do to help him. He took that as his cue to ask me to do something that he had asked me to do a year ago that I had said no to. I said no again this time. He said "Why do you say you wish you could do something and when I tell you something you can do, you tell me no?" That's his MO...any time I tell him no his attitude is basically that I never do anything for him. Which only pushes me closer to the point of literally never doing anything for him lol. He hung up on me, and my MO when he does that is to ignore his calls for the next few days. But I'm fine...the more he treats me like I'm a commodity and my sole purpose in life is to cater to him or else face his displeasure, the more distant and closer to apathy I get.

Oh...and this may not surprise you...On Sunday he said he had $6000 from unemployment back pay (I'm skeptical that that was the source of the deposit, but that's neither here nor there). Yesterday he told me he's down to $2100. He said he paid for a couple of weeks at an AirB&B but other than that? I do not even want to know...


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I have had no contact. When I did it was a matter of life or death for me. I couldn't tolerate more.

That said there were times I was intensely fearful because I didn't know how he was or where he was.

We are in contact now. Actually, he's back at a house I own. The thing is, even with contact, if something happened to him or me, there is no guarantee there would be the ability to communicate. For all of January, he lost his phone, I didn't know where he was. Nor would his friend respond to my calls or texts. I have no assurance that I would be able to find him, or that we would know if something happened to either one of us.

I think no contact is about survival. At least that's what it is for me.


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That's my biggest fear is the not knowing how he is or him not knowing how we are. Currently I have the safety net of his sponsor. My son gave me the sponsor's number and gave the sponsor mine. Other than this past week I would not reach out to the sponsor except in dire situations. And of course the sponsor could himself reach a breaking point and end the relationship. But at least for now I have that connection if worst comes to worst. I didn't the first time my son was in Chicago and I tossed and turned many a night trying to drive worst case thoughts out of my head because I just did not know.


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LauraH, I have gone no contact when my daughter was 28, like Copa, I had to do it as a matter of life or death for me. I could not put up with her not one more second. I went for three months and then a hurricane was coming, one of the biggest and strongest ones on record, she lived in an apartment and I had to call her and ask her to come to my house where it was safe. I did not want to do it but at the time it was the right thing to do. We started to talk again.
I was out of town on business Sept. 2008 in Los Angeles when another hurricane was getting ready to hit my city, my husband called our daughter over to stay with him until the storm passed. I could not take any flights home (air ports closed) so I decided to take a train. I had talked to my daughter on the cell phone earlier to tell her I was going to take the train out of Los Angeles, at the last minute I decided not to take the train and wait a few days in Los Angeles until they opened the airports in my city. I had turned my cell off, meanwhile in Los Angeles the train my daughter thought I took out wrecked killing 25 people. When I turned on my cell there were many missed calls from my daughter, she had been watching the news and thought I was on the train and since I did not answer she thought I had died. I called her back and she was sobbing so hard I could hardly hear her.
When I got home she was happy to see me. I told her that life is too short and too unpredictable to treat me or anyone else for that matter so ugly, she agreed and things went better for a while.
I had to recently cut contact with her last July... I could not take it. I did not just cut her off I told her I was taking a break from her on going nonsense but she could still text me. I did this for a couple of months. It is very hard to do but it is better than the constant drama.
It takes a lot of strength. One of the reason it took me so long to cut contact because I was afraid she was going to die. But I told myself, our relationship was like a living death anyway.. Without contact I do not have to listen to the constant up and down roller coaster drama lifestyle and me being afraid to lose her is just what she is banking on to keep me stuck as her slave. I was the worst enabler.
I am going to tell you that I cried at least 3-4 times a day breaking down at work, sobbing while driving home from work to the point I could not see straight but I regained my self respect and dignity.. It was worth it and it will be worth it for you too.


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Without contact I do not have to listen to the constant up and down roller coaster drama lifestyle and me being afraid to lose her is just what she is banking on to keep me stuck as her slave.
This describes pretty much how my life is like right now. He wears me down to extract every last thing he can. If he could extract everything from my dead body, sometimes it feels to me, that he would not care. He doesn't notice or care about my humanity. I live to serve and to give, to him.

Newstart said it best. There are moments that our fear for their lives so overwhelms us, we feel no choice but to protect them. But it is not a two-way street. There is no reciprocity. No ability or motivation to care how we are affected by what they do. So very little understanding of the costs to us.

Oh, how I know what it feels like. I know the drill. I know what to do. But there is a pandemic. I can't bear that my son is homeless with nowhere to go. For now. And this is my decision knowing that I can't expect anything in return. Nothing. Just drama. Pressure. Manipulation. Criticisms. Verbal aggression. I don't know where my sweet and loving boy went.
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