Sad but God's plan

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by tryingtobestrong, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. My sons birthday was this past week. I have not seen him for almost a year. He has not been home for almost 2 years. So many feelings going through me. Sadness that my parents haven't seen him and that he hasn't been home to see them. They are aging fast and one never knows how much longer they will be here.
    Tonight scrolling through facebook and see pics of moms and their sons- happy and normal... Asked myself why me and then told myself this is Gods plan for my life and for my sons life. I don't understand why some moms don't have to go through this and all is just rosy and merry and then some have to go through living hell. I will never understand why our family is living this nightmare. I just have to trust that good will come out of it in God's time.
    He mentioned coming home in a few months and wanted us to split the airline ticket... He would fly first class due to his size... The last time he was home he hated it and it was a horrible 3 days. After 12 hours he wanted to take an early flight and leave. We didnt' know he was back to drinking heavily again after his probation was up. Once we found that out, it all made sense why he was so irritable and had felt sick. He was having withdrawals. It was a terrible visit and to be honest we don't want to have that again. I am leery of saying we will split the airline ticket because of how it was the last time.
    Still have not broke the news to him about our dog passing away. Don't feel it is right to do it through a text and well... he only calls when he has an accident due to being intoxicated. Otherwise never answers the phone or returns calls.
    Sorry for rambling. Been very depressed lately over this and our jobs and marriage. Just not a good time.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi trying. From all I have read about your son he has a good job and is a good earner. He is an independent adult. He can pay his airfare, and all of the other expenses he wants you to absorb.

    I am in a similar situation. My son wants to be dependent and is indifferent to how this affects me. At the same time, like with your son, he wants complete autonomy, privacy and independence of movement.

    This puts the decisions and responsibility in us. Do we enable able-bodied men, who want to expose us to their problems but who do not give us caring or voice, even with respect to the way that their lifestyles impact us? Or do we establish thoughtful and appropriate boundaries, to protect ourselves, our interests and ultimately, them?

    We are between rocks and hard places because if we enable them, ultimately we help them hurt themselves and their lives. If we set appropriate boundaries, we are left holding the bag. It becomes our fault (either they say it or we feel it, or both) that they may meet some harm or miss some opportunity.

    In either case they say, and we may feel that we may not be doing enough to help them change and get better.

    I identify totally with how you feel. I have been here for years, vacillating between one of these poles and the other, as do most of the parents here.

    I have come to believe that this is cyclical. We have better days and worse days. We keep trying to make decisions that hit the mark.

    I try and try and I miss. Not so much because I am the failure, I have come to see, but because I have no control at all. Still, like you, I try to do the right thing.
    trying. You know that people put on facebook an ideal. These pictures are not the full story. I have done the same thing. Comparing myself to others, and feeling afflicted, lacking, and less than. What a mistake.

    Each of us has a unique life story, like you say. We cannot judge ourselves nor permit that judgements of others about us, based upon our sons' distress, determine our sense of ourselves and our lives. I am trying very hard to not fall into this pit. I hope you stop this self-punishment.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I am sorry for you and will send prayers.

    If your marriage is in trouble, as ours once was, maybe see if your husband is willing to go to marriage counseling. This saved our marriage, which had gone south largely because we had been fighting over Kay. If your job is stressing you out, maybe a therapist just for you. You don't need to.stay depressed. I know your son is not helping.

    You and your husband can decide if it is advantageous to bring him home. You don't have to say yes....or no. But it is always good for a marriage if both partners are on the same page. I know these kids can rip us apart, but it doesn't have to happen. They can affect every aspect of our lives. It is our decision how to handle this.

    When Kay started interfering in everything I did, I joined Al Anon and got therapy and luckily for me my husband followed. I know that some men don't like to get help. Maybe yours will if you do. I recommend trying.

    It is obviously sad when we don't see our kids for years.I haven't reached years yet, but it will happen. I tell myself that as long as Kay is high on drugs this is not the real Kay anyway so maybe it doesn't matter. Perhaps this is not your real son either. Years of drug use, pot included according to my therapist who sees addicts as patients, changes the brain. So who are they? They are often strangers to us.

    My daughter brings only chaos to the table, so we are going to do the holidays without reaching out to her. She would not come anyway and when she used to, she acted up each holiday at least once in front of the entire embarrassed family. Not fun. Stressful.

    I hope you come to some peace and make good joint decisions that benefit all of you. It may not be best even for your son to come home only to create havoc. That is not healthy behavior for him. That is not the grandson that your parents want to see. Maybe it would cause them bad stress.

    None of this is easy. Talk to God. Let him have this. My heart hurts for you. May the sun shine soon.
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  4. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Dear Trying,
    Your sadness is palpable through your post. I know it is tempting to spiral down into negative thinking when we feel sad. I do this to myself all the time when the actual feelings seem too much to bear. However, feeling them in this moment is something we can all handle . We just can't handle the idea that we will always feel this way. Once the feelings are acknowleged and felt, they wash over us, and they stop . They come in waves but all waves wash over us.

    Spiraling into your parents sadness and their ages and health is a negative spiral .

    While you miss your son terribly, you also speak of how badly the last visit went. Our brains tell us stories, sometimes. I think I would feel better if I could see my son, and then when I do see him, I realize that I don't even feel well in his presence. It is the idea of him that I miss, the memories of how things used to be, the dreams I had created for him and for myself through him that did not come to fruition that I miss .It's very deep grief. It is mourning the idea, the vision of someone we have loved for so long, in order to accept and reconcile the truth about them today.

    I like to take things one day at a time. Because I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

    I would not pay for any part of the plane ticket. I would fly out to see my son in his area before I did that. And I would also learn from the last visit what I need for myself. Maybe suggesting he live in a hotel while visiting so everyone has space to retreat to.

    When you take the focus on him and put it on you, you can work on your own life - putting work into your marriage and job situation. Tending to yourself - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Attending Al-Anon meetings. Growing as a person . All of these things also help your son because you become a power of example . I would pray for my son to find recovery and stay out of God's way to get him there.

    Much love to you!
    • Winner Winner x 5
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    You're going through a miserable time and the job situation isn't helping. Some people, even those who share my same religious views, consider me to have very backward religious, old fashioned views. It's not God's plan. The devil wants to kill and destroy. Buy the workbook The Armour of God by Priscilla Shirer and you'll see these things are not God's plan. It is a great study about how the devil just torments people and ruins lives and how we can arm ourselves and stand firm against the devil's attacks.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member


    I am in a moderate to conservative church but don't buy everything I am told because men wrote the Bible after Jesus was gone. And Jesus to me is pure love.

    I just want to say that I am much more positive. God to me is stronger than the Devil and He triumphs...and I believe my life is in His hands. I feel God's strength every day and I know it's God. I know for myself that just staying close to God keeps the Devil away from me.

    I hope we can stay positive as a group. No offense meant at all, but I don't know if this is the right place to say that the Devil controls our lives. Not only do most of us probably not think so, but any sort of deep religious discussion in my opinion is not appropriate here, recommending religious books and stuff.

    There are many different religious views represented here, not all including a Devil anyway.

    Blessings to all.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We try to stay away from religion and politics on the CD forum.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Trying. I want to tell you how sorry I am that you are so sad. When we're sad everything about our lives feels intolerable, our jobs and relationships, and just everything. I want to encourage you to try to find little things that give you pleasure and peace. For me it's my animals. And I try to walk. Long walks.

    And crazily, I like to go to Costco and drink a soda, half lemonade and half diet coke. Then I wander through the aisles. I know this sounds loony. But it helps me relax. It gives me pleasure that people know me there. I am not sure why.

    Maybe it reminds me of the neighborhood where I grew up. It was the kind of neighborhood with small corner stores and a pharmacy and cleaners. Everybody knew me there. The barber, Paul, would watch for the streetcar for me to descend after school and he'd look out his window and wave. The deli man would cut me a piece of American Cheese. The wonderful couple from El Salvador that owned the cleaners would let me sit with them, and give me cookies. All in the block to my house. I was a latchkey kid. Nobody would be at home.

    I never put it together that this is what makes me feel at home at Costco. Thanks for that. I would never have put it together except for your thread.

    Sometimes in life what gets us through are moments. Kind moments. Not flashy ones. And we can find them, if we look.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  9. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I'm sorry for all you're going through.

    I recently read something that resonated with me. When I pray, I'm looking for quick results to appease my own pain and suffering along with my adults children suffering from their bad choices. The book calls it "surface results". But I have to remember God is at work doing deeper than surface fixes. He's manifesting himself in our loved ones and sometimes these results (because He will not force himself on us and gives us free will) takes a lot longer than we want. There's so much to our adults children's lives (and our own) that needs changing and for these changes to be sustainable a lot has to take place.

    Time will have the answers.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I don’t agree with this sentence.

    There seems to be quite a bit of religion in this thread and others.

    Even the title invokes religion.

    I’m not sure that it is fair to single out one post that has a minority viewpoint, yet allow all the others.
  11. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Our posts are about our kids first and God, in a broad sense, often comes up. No details on who God has to be. Crayola, as far as I can tell, has no kids. She never talks about any if she does have one. Her post was 100 percent religious. It named a book about her religious beliefs, not our kids.

    Saying " God bless" and " if God in your life give your kid to God" is not specific to a particular belief. Nor is anyone else recommending a certain book about their personal beliefs.

    So I respectfully disagree. At any rate, as they say in Ala Non.......I pass.
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that it is a double standard.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have mentioned on this forum a book that is quasi religious by Victor Frankl a psychologist who was a holocaust survivor called "Man's Quest for Meaning." Although to be fair this book does not as far as I know mention G-d, the basis of the book is this. And there is a book that is commonly mentioned here by Townson and Cloud, about boundaries, which comes form a Christian point of view. And since many of the people who post here are in recovery through 12 step groups, in particular, there are many books mentioned here about faith. So. I agree, in part with Apple:
    But only in part. What do we have here if we don't have boundaries and voice? To stay here on this forum I need to have a voice about what makes me uncomfortable here. It's not just to write what is heartfelt and wholehearted. It is to give my voice to protecting hearts here. My own and others'.

    I do believe we are strong enough here to have this conversation. I think that all viewpoints here are worthy. While I am one who does not share this viewpoint, I did watch a youtube video of Priscilla Shirer to acquaint myself with this point of view. And I looked at the book on Amazon. I also alerted a moderator to this thread so that an administrator would be overseeing this conversation so as to protect the interests of the forum, which I see as trying to protect all sides: ensuring a safe and open forum for suffering and healing parents.

    If we look at it this way, all of us are on the same page, which is the well-being of this website that we love and need and want to maintain.
  14. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I agree that religion is a part (often a big part) of recovery and acceptance.

    I have no problem with religion or the discussion thereof.

    I just think that we can’t say that we can’t discuss religion, but we do discuss religion and it’s ok, but yet some viewpoints can’t be discussed while others can.

    There should be guidelines, and I think they need to be spelled out so that everyone is on the same page.

    So, we can talk about God but not the Devil?

    We can recommend certain books but not others?

    Let’s be clear and transparent. That is all that I am saying.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I don't know how this would be done. How to be specific about something that for some people that would be "everything." But on the other hand how to depend upon group monitoring and not become a mob? I think we do a pretty good job now finding common ground. Even with rules there will be people who do not adhere to them.

    However, this is an important question to me. Many times I have been at the verge of leaving this forum, and it has always been about safety versus the rigidity of group think. I am wondering if this is an intrinsic part of being in a group. This polarity.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  16. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    One way would be to tolerate views that (collective you/we) don’t share and allow all voices to be heard, like we do on other subjects.

    see, I don’t think anyone should be leaving the forum over this or anything else.

    Let’s just accept that we won’t like everything posted and ignore those things.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My biggest (and recurring) problem here is a rigid party line, the sense there's a specific, right way to think or to be, or one voice that has all the knowledge and moral correctness. Bullying. This is what has brought me to the point of leaving many times. And it will be that that will ultimately get me to leave here, nothing else.

    I will think hard on what you say, Apple. About ignoring. Because I agree, there is a cost to "policing." Do you trust that "ignoring" would work? I am thinking of historical events where things were ignored until they became hugely destructive.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I definitely would not want to ignore something that would be highly destructive.
    I only mean to ignore a well-meaning post that we don’t agree with. I just want to extend grace to someone with no ill intent.
  19. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member


    I am sorry you are having a tough time. I hope you find a good alanon meeting,especially one for parents. The focus of alanon is on you not your son....and I think trying to figure out how you can enjoy your life and your hopefully your marriage in spite of your son will help a lot.

    As to the happy facebook other family stuff. I had a funny experience when my daughter was in hs. She was going to the prom with a group of friends including a boy she was friends with. This boy had been at our house several times. My son was not living with us and my daughter didnt talk about him much to her friends. I got a call from the boys mom about the prom stuff and she said J loves your family, and went on about what a great relationship we had with our daugther etc. I finally laughed and said I have to tell you we do not have the perfect family, we have some major issues with my son which my daughter doesnt talk about and he is not living with us at the moment. The mom thanked me because she was going through a divorce and was having a hard time. It really reminded me that things are often not what they seem.... here this mom thought we were the perfect family and I had a son who a drug addict and pretty much in huge trouble!!