Ripped off

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Littleboylost, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    well I suppose I should be greatful that I know where my son is, that he is not being arrested and not out of his mind on hard drugs, and that he is safe and warm. Well ok I am, but I am also feeling really angry and completely ripped off.

    We have been home for 9 days and we saw son for all of 30 hours. He has made himself nice and cosy at Cop Moms house. His girlfriend is gone away and he is still staying there. Hanging with her 20 year old brother who is 100% dependent on his Cop mom. He is playing in a semi rep hockey league ( read between the lines, she is paying to have him play hockey with a deluded dream of making the NHL at 20 years of age). He is playing on a league in Maine and is home for the holidays. And a 20 year old has nothing better to do than to lay about with my 18 year old son! The way they are enabling my son is driving me insane.

    A part of me knows son is doing this to get under our skin. He is clearly not happy that we hold him accountable and have him in a position of rehab or jail. Well too bad so sad. This is not about him it is about me.

    I feel so ripped off as a parent. I invested so much of the past 20 years expecting a totally different outcome. It is really pissing me off. I am struggling with detaching with love vs just walking away completely.

    I know I won’t do that but I am very tempted. I will maintain status quo and when we have a therapy session In rehab I will address this. I will address this with my therapist as well.

    Parenthood what a rip off. Not worth the investment. I had better steer clear of any planned parenting clinics.

    I am staring to build my life without son being a central part of this life at all. The challenge there is that we have no other children to focus on. It is what causes such overwhelming sadness.

    They don’t care about us, how they hurt us or what that does to us. Probably they never will.
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  2. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    LBL, oh how I feel your pain. There are days where I let myself go there too and its brutal. To allow myself to be brutally honest with how mad I am of the path son is on. Normally I force my thoughts to tell me how much better things are today than 3 years ago. How it could be worse. But yeah, all the same I feel ripped off. Big hugs, I understand.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh LBL, I'm sorry you're feeling any of that....however, I know how you feel.

    And, I think not taking any action on your feelings right now shows great restraint and wisdom.

    There are so many emotional tsunami's that we parents go thru on this path, it's treacherous to try to navigate thru these kinds of tumultuous waters all the time.....nothing is as it should be, it is always chaos, anger, fear, sorrow.....none of it typical, none of it what we expected.

    I've done my share of feeling that way too. It sucks. It seems you are having to deal with the possible end of your parental dreams for your son....I hope it doesn't get to that, and that your son turns it around, he's still quite young so there is much hope....but the feelings you express are real.....we do have dreams for their lives, we have expectations, hopes......and if it continues down the same road, accepting that road and letting our dreams go is definitely a part of this process. I've had to do it and it is hard. I hope you don't. Your anger is a natural response to how our kids behave and what we have to let go of.

    I so understand this statement. I only have one child too. And, my relationship with her is NOTHING like I expected. I have had to learn to build my life in a very different way. And, LBL, it is very sad. I'm so sorry.

    As I said, your son is still young so it very well may change for you. I sure hope it does.

    I'm not sure I believe that although I do feel similarly at times. I believe they are heavily influenced by mental illness or drugs, which alters everything.....but their actions at times certainly suggest that they just don't care. It still hurts though.

    This too shall pass.....and you'll move onto another level of acceptance......these feelings are all a part of that process of ain't easy, but you know what LBL? It's doable. There is life after all of it. A different life for sure....but one with peace and joy in it regardless of what our kids are doing or not doing. You're moving in that direction. Unfortunately, this is what it looks like right now, but this will change too.

    Hang in there. It hurts, I know. Do kind and nourishing things for yourself.....take care of YOU now.
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  4. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Oh boy, I have been right there with you lately. I felt like all the work I put in to raise him as difficult as he was and now should be the time that I’m reaping the benefits of all of my hard work. I do have have another child to focus on but he is so easy and self sufficient that it’s hard to figure out how or what I should do. My husband was “a real piece of work” as stated by his mom, he was using drugs and drinking with his buddies which resulted in him getting a couple dui’s and being brought home by the police. He is a wonderful man, father and husband now and they have a great relationship. So there is hope.
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  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thank you so very much RE. It helps so much to know that there are people who understand even my darkest days through this journey.
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am I. The best company possible here. Thank you for your kind words.
  7. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I do want to hope beyond the pain. Most days it is doable just not today. Thank you for your kind words.
  8. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    When they are babies our world revolves around them, it has to but what I don’t understand is how anyone knows when that is supposed to stop. Or how are we to know that the little boy that once thought we could do no wrong could suddenly look at at us like we are idiots. I married my husband when my oldest was 4 and on my wedding day I found him crying in his room. When I asked him what was wrong he said “I wanted to marry you mom.” He went on a hunger strike while I was in the hospital having his brother because nobody could scramble and egg or cook a frozen fish stick like me. Time to reinvent myself I know, but oh to feel that special again. What I wouldn’t give for just one more day of that.
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  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I second that. I remember my son scrambling in early every morning and jumping in bed for a snuggle to start the day. He did that until he was 8 years old. And then the odd time wound do it just for fun. We would call it the E Sandwich and both cuddle him up before the start of the day. When he was a toddler we would hear the rustle of that diaper and he pat pat pat of those chubby little feet.

    I remember when he was 4 he pouted away and shouted “hey why am I the only one who has to sleep by myself.” So cute we had to bury our faces in our pillows so he would not hear the giggle.
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  10. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I get it..... I really do.

    It feels so unfair. I used to (ok, honestly I still so this) look at friends of mine whose sons are doing well and think “ but I stayed home, I did eveything I was supposed to, I’m a good person” and feel like I somehow was ripped off. Friends who didn’t stay home, who had their careers, who let their kids drink young, friends who didn’t volunteer at soup kitchens with their teens.... and their sons are graduating university, getting married ... working. I felt like such a failure, and some days I still do!

    I felt bitter, angry that I somehow was being punished. I am doing better of course, especially since Son seems to be trying to turn it around. However..... your son is VERY young still.... mine is 23.

    I had started on my own detaching from these feelings of failure and bitterness. I couldn’t keep it up. It takes a huge toll on you.

    I pray he stays this course but if he doesn’t I will not get bitter. I can’t. I want joy in my life with or without him in it. I’m glad for today he is in my life but I know if he chooses drugs again I can’t be sucked into his abyss.

    Maybe he needed me to step back and see I could live..... I needed to see I could live, and find joy in my career, my marriage, my family.

    I so understand your feelings ..... I too felt so shortchanged. I felt I deserved a successful son.... I felt I had invested the time and money... with so little return! Children do not give us a guarantee even with all the best intentions and good, loving parenting. It is a little luck, some genetics for sure and sometimes it’s one wrong move and then they seem to be in a direction we can’t have even imagined.

    Sigh..... hugs and hang in there..... this too shall pass.....
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  11. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    LBl, I hear and feel your pain. Someone on here a while back told me to stop seeing my son as the little boy as he was now a man. It’s so hard and so painful. I too feel robbed of how I imagined my life to be. I grew up in a close knit family where I hung out with my brother and we are still great friends to this day. I feel let down, embarrassed, ashamed and mainly just pure sadness that my own children do not have the same. He chooses this by his actions. He ruins it. My daughter, only tonight (when I was ranting about him) asked us if we hated him. Of course not, I just don’t always like him. Then she said that she knows the other side of him, the kind, gentle side - that he is not always this way. Then the doubts and questions start all over again, that there MUST be something we can do to turn this around....
    Maybe one day they will have their own chubby legged 4 year old ‘sandwiching’ with them and they will remember us....
    Hugs xx
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  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that you are hurting so badly. For some reason this made me think of that "Welcome to Holland" essay someone sent me when we found out my son had Aspergers. The one about how you meant to go to Paris but wound up somewhere else but it has great things about it too. I think the essay for what parents dealing with what you are coping with should be called "Welcome to Poletown East" (that is one of the worst areas of Detroit). There just isn't much to recommend what you are going through.

    I am truly sorry that you have to experience it. My mother saw my brother go through it. She saw him shuffle into court chained up with a bunch of other men in jumpsuits. She shopped at Walmart for shoes with no laces because our jail does not provide them. She even bought a bunch of books for the jail library when she learned what types of books they were allowed to have. Books are big in our family. Two and a half years after he got sober, she had a complete breakdown. She got to where she couldn't go to work. She couldn't answer the phone. She could barely come out of her room.

    Please don't try to do all of this yourself. My mother didn't insist that my dad handle any of this. I am not sure that he was capable of it, and I was out of town, but she did not ask for help. She didn't seek out therapy or go to AlAnon meetings. She buried herself in work and reading fiction. She simply didn't address any of the stress until it literally shut all of her systems down. PLEASE don't let this happen to you.

    If you miss being with kids of a certain age, go and volunteer. Read to kids at Headstart or the elementary school. Call the Boy or Girl Scouts and volunteer with a troop. If you are active with a church, volunteer with Sunday School. There are lots of ways to be active with kids and you don't have to have one. When Wiz was in 5th grade he was in a wonderful special education class. It was taught at his level in all subject and there were 2-4 other kids throughout the year. One little girl wanted to learn to sew very badly. My mom heard her mention it at a party (I did cakes for every holiday and birthday for the class). While the girl was in the class, Mom would take her sewing machine up and teach the girl to sew once a week for an hour or so. My mother loved it and so did the little girl. My mom always wanted to teach one of her kids or grandkids to have her love of sewing. She didn't get it with us. She has taught other people, and she loves to work with kids when she can.

    Find something like this that you enjoy. If you don't like to work with kids, or it is too raw, find another thing you enjoy and throw yourself into it. It really does help. If you need other ideas for how to work something you enjoy into a volunteer opportunity, send me a PM. I used to do this for a fairly large group of people. Why volunteer? It feeds your heart in a way getting paid to do something just never does.
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  13. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thanks so much CB. I have been sick since Christmas Day and my immunity to deal with my son and my emotions has gone down with the ship.

    I agree this too shall pass. It is a process and it is life. Our journey not a destination. As we know the destination is the same no matter what.

    Went with hubs for pedicures and the. Out to see Star Wars. I felt like curling up in bed. I am glad I got out. It always lifts the spirits.

    Son of course is still not home. I have not sent him any text messages. He will reach when he feels like it and I will answer if I feel like it.
  14. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I have an ache in my heart and I know I need something to fill this void. I have been self employed for the past 10 years and it has had its ups and downs. Ultimately I love what I do and I am very good at it. It just hasn’t been very nourishing for my soul. I made a decision to do something more meaningful. I accepted a nursing Supervisor position for outpatient infusion clinics for chemotherapy and rare diseases. I start January 8th. I will do my aesthetics on a casual basis and still teach once a month. I am looking forward to this Change.

    After this shift is under my belt I fully intent to do something for me. Weather I take a class or volunteer I will be doing something.

    Like your mother I fell apart earlier this year. My husband and I separated as well this was a short time before I found this forum. It was a dark time and as I look back I almost feel like I am looking at someone else’s story. My
    husband did. It want to own any of the trauma and heart ache and we were not unified in any way regarding our son. It was best that we be apart when we were it made a tremendous amount of difference and strengthened who we are and what we have today.

    My husband is different than I am. He can emerge hijaqlf in projects and activities and distance himself from the chaos very easily. Sometimes too easily.

    I am like the moth to the flame who has gotten singed and stuck to the mesh screen of the trap. Neither fully alive or dead but stuck. Seeing the bliss of freeing my mind from the chaos like my husband can do. And seeing the impending disaster in front of me, this will be my demise if I obsess over my son.

    I lilike the the idea of volunteering. I do volunteer annually for a weekend long Cancer dubs raiser. It keeps me busy from spring until the end of June. As a matter of fact I took my son 2 yers ago so he could accumulate his volunteer credits for school and To try to get him interested in cycling.

    I like the idea of volunteering with children. That is something I never thought of. Once I have my bearings from the new job start and getting son through rehab or getting on with his life. I may reach out to you for some ideas.
    Thanks for your kind words.

    I have had a very hard time with anxiety over the past few days. Usually I can control it but these episodes lasted a long time and I found them very frightening. I was angry that my son had created this chaos. I still am. I am hoping for better days ahead.
  15. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member


    If you would like to volunteer in a school setting they are always looking for people to read with kids or run a club! We have volunteers who come in once a week and read, and the kids love it, it’s usually a one on one thing and you really get to know your student. Lots of cuddles and love from little ones.

    I know for me my job has been my salvation these last five years. The love I get from my students has been a healing balm to my broken heart. I honestly credit my students with saving me. I want to be well to help them and be the person they see in me. Some days I would cry all the way to work (this is when I commuted almost an hour) and my time at school helped me mentally face each day, sometimes crying again on the way home too. I don’t know how I found the strength to keep working some days.... but my students were my saving grace.

    Sometimes I think my journey has made me so much more empathetic to my parents I work with also. I am so much less judgemental than I used to be. I think I am better at helping my teachers see most parents do their best and sometimes the child still struggles. It isn’t always the parents fault as sometimes teachers can assume. I know in some meetings I have had parents just break down sobbing when I have told them not to beat themselves up... and that I have had struggles myself with my children. I know they feel so judged and as if they have caused all the issues by something they did or didn’t do. I’m so glad I can have an impact on helping them feel supported and accepted. I absolutely feel a calling to my work with those children and parents who are our most vulnerable. I feel this has saved my sanity.

    I’m so glad you are trying a new job... this may be just what you need to start healing and finding your own peace.

    Hugs dear friend....
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  16. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thank you for you kind words. I do appreciate it so very much. I also cry an awful lot and wonder how I carry one each day.

    I will be so glad to see the back of these holidays and carry on with things that willl occupy my mind.

    I have finally started feeling human again after having a terrible cold since Christmas Day or perhaps it was the flu. What ever it was I am happy to see the end of it. Sadly husband has picked up a big now. It does not appear to have hit him as hard as it did me. He has to travel for work on the 2nd.

    I will be limited in my hours to volunteer to evenings and weekends. I love the idea of reading to the kids. Our school had this program with older students reading to the younger students. My son participated and enjoyed that very much.

    I am looking to investing in work that has more meaning to me. I have skills training coming up and will immerse myself in this new job. I know it will b good fo me. Change always causes a degree of anxiety but we need to carry on with our lives.

    Trying my best to let son live the way he chooses and stay out of his way.

    I am praying your son continues on his healthy path. Some day I hope my son will do the same.
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  17. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Thanks LBL

    I hope he can keep up his progress too. We are in Virginia now visiting my sister, and he has been great, really interacting with his cousins and even wanted to go to church this morning. I was wondering if maybe he might catch on fire when he walked in the door

    He seems focused on the future and finishing art school .... this college has been a game changer for him. It’s something he loves and doesn’t want to lose to drugs. I am seeing the boy I knew before all this mess started. He has changed for sure.... but his sweet nature is back. He is no longer angry. That is the biggest change we see.

    I do think your new job will be good for you. I need my job to keep me sane and can’t imagine dealing with life if I didn’t have it. I know not everyone has that so I am very fortunate.

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  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    This is exactly what I felt many times over the years. My kid was not supposed to be like this. He was supposed to be like me! I didn't even talk back to my parents (much). I liked school. I had friends. I made good grades. I never even considered not going to college. I didn't do drugs. I drank - what kid's don't in small towns? But I didn't lie (much) didn't steal and had summer jobs. I was a GOOD KID! I loved my parents to pieces and let them know it!

    Mine didn't have to be "conventional" or "excel". He didn't have to become a doctor or lawyer. He didn't have to be an eagle scout. He didn't have to play sports. He just had to have a job, not lie, not steal. Was that too much to ask?

    I found myself spending WAY too much time thinking of my son as the sweet little boy with the big brown eyes and caramel colored hair who loved me and snuggled me and wanted to play with me and give me kisses. I still struggle with that.

    I've had the same job since before he was born, so my office was like a timeline of his life, photos from baby thru senior year. I finally took almost every single photo I have of him under the age of 18 and hid them. (I left one about age 11 when we took a trip to Chicago to see the King Tut exhibit - because I look fabulous in that picture!) But the other's - all the photo's of that sweet little boy - and all the pictures he drew and cute little cards he made me in school - gone.

    It helped. It helped a LOT to not have visual reminders of the "before time". Before he became the person he is now. Before the times when he made my life Hell. Before he broke my heart.

    Now - things are better. Now - when he's out living is own life, I'm able to look at him as he is and not think of that little boy. In fact, I've saved and cropped a couple photos of him lately, where he looks happy and healthy - if still bedraggled and sloppy - and I can look at them and smile. But I see HIM - the man he is. These days that man is doing pretty good - on his own terms.

    I hope some day the man you see makes you smile, but until that day, seeing the man clearly hurts less than mourning the child.
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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Hi Lil;

    Oh my it helps so much to know I am not alone in this struggle.

    This is what haunts me the most as well.

    I too took many visual reminders and put them away. I have replaced them with visual reminders of our life and the good things in it.

    The biggest struggle for me is that he is so very young and knowing what is right to do us so very hard. I also must remind myself to stay in the present and take things one day at a time.

    Didn’t see him on NYE or Day and girlfriend is now back from her trip so I don’t hold much faith that we will see much of him at all before he enters rehab. This does feel like a betrayal and it does hurt my heart. I allow myself that hurt. I will get over it.

    Coming to terms with who son will be is exactly what we need to do. You have shown me that this is possible. Hope is always a good thing for them as well as ourselves.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Your son is VERY young still LBL. There is hope. It's hard to see. When ours was 19 we put him out of the house and basically told him he could never live with us again. In truth, we've let him come back once - short term - but only because he was homeless thru no fault of his own (a fire). But things have improved since then quite a lot. At 22, we are finally seeing things we didn't think we ever would at 18. My fingers remain firmly crossed - for you and me both. :hugs:
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