Single dad / adult son problems

Dodee612

New Member
So I’ve been reading these post and wow, what a relief to know I am not alone in the world when it comes to having problems, difficulties, hurt and pain. I am the single father of a twenty year old young man who turns twenty-one in four months. I have read a lot of post where people (mainly moms) give back stories on their children to help paint a picture, so here is mine (I apologize in advance for the length, just had a lot to great off of my chest):
My son was born surprisingly premature to his mother and I. I was very excited to learn he was going to be ok. After a few weeks he was sick and diagnosed with spinal meningitis and almost didn’t make it. I prayed so hard to God to spare his life. And he did. Growing up he always had difficulty just fitting in Or making real connections with kids. So many therapist or Dr.s diagnosed him with so many this or that! He was prescribed multiple pills. His whole life up until 14 I was on active duty in the Navy and I did have to spend multiple deployments of long periods away from him. When I would return after those deployments I tended to spoil him, plus I felt I had to make it up to him because he had three older half siblings who got to visit their dad while I was away.

After I retired from the Navy he started his eighth grade year and that’s where I first learned he was trying simple things with a friend like NyQuil or cigarettes. Later I was called into the principles office and was told he started skipping school and there was suspension of smoking weed but no hard proof. His grades were falling and they were recommending he repeat the eighth grade. My wife and I agreed with the recommendations and the following year he slipped further behind but barely made it to high school. During that same year my wife and I’s suspicion turned to affirmation when we found out he was in fact smoking pot. He grew up with a half brother who was consistently getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol and we couldn’t understand why he would want to start down the same path. My wife and I did what we thought was the right thing by providing a great house in a great community but darkness still found it’s way into my son. At one point he cried “suicide,” so we got him into a behavioral hospital and he was supposed to stay two weeks but was asked to leave for not following the rules because he was caught with a girl in a closet. A couple of years went by and he kept falling further and further behind in school. He turned 16 and I was trying to motivate him to find a job and get a license, but he had no desire. He would just say “why?, everything I need is in bike distance.” He did get a job, but quit after his second day. Said it was to hard to bag groceries and get carts from the grocery store. He was eventually kicked out of his high school for skipping and failing, so we had him enrolled into a home school program. My wife and I thought since he was doing schooling from home and my step-daughter moved out on her own, we could move a little closer to where we worked so we sold our house and bought another place.

Little did we know that was the beginning of the end. Just two months after moving I began to notice my sons behavior to take a drastic turn. He was always sneaking out of the house and was always messy. His room was always a mess but now there was opened food containers and bottles and cans filled with urine. I would of course make him clean it up but he would still continue the same habits and there were multiple fights! One night at two in the morning I got a knock on the door telling me my son was down the street at 7-11 and had been assaulted over a meth transaction gone wrong. METH!? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I went to pick him up and he was bloody and in bad shape. He was takin to hospital and I was given advise to get him into rehab. My wife and I discussed it with him and he was promising he was going to clean up his act and not do any drugs. These new actions from him began to take there toll on our 19 year marriage and we fought a lot on how to treat his addiction. I always wanted to have a good relationship with my son. Something I never got to have. Looking back now I know I could of done more, but hind-site now. My wife and her daughter have birthdays that are one day apart and that year (2018) my wife’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day and she wanted to celebrate by going to Yosemite. My son didn't want to go so we decided to let him stay home and the three of us took off. I was unable to get any cell phone reception where we were so the next day I went outside the park to call him to see if he was ok. Instead I had a V/M from the hospital telling me my son had been brought in for an overdose of meth. So, for my wife’s mother’s day gift I had to tell her I was heading back down south to get him home and she and her daughter should stay and try to enjoy the rest of the weekend. I rented a car and drove to pick him up. Once home he was apologetic and once again swearing he wouldn’t do it again. My wife and I agreed he needed treatment and found a month long program for him. During his stay we fought so hard. All the stress and pain over the last couple of years and the fact her daughter, his half sister who was three years older and the step-daughter who I helped raise for nearly twenty years wanted nothing to do with him and refused to come over put a huge strain on our marriage.

So, we split up. There has been multiple separations during our marriage, besides deployments. We would fight, one of us would move out of the house and then we would make up. Now was different. We gave up. I’m sure the fighting and the arguments growing up had an impact on him but i didn’t want it any longer. He was able to finish that treatment due to failure to comply to the rules And was subsequently kicked out early. He first went to live with his mom but she soon felt like she couldn’t control him and asked me to take him in. I agreed and he moved in with me with the understanding he would finish school and get a job. Well, I began to notice the same habits, sneezing out of the house, dirty house while I was away, school callIng me. He always had an excuse! His mom seemed to have “checked out.” She would rarely call to check on him or come and see him. I found evidence of weed and I admit I let it slip. I guess I found it easier to let that slip than fight. Still no job and now he was 18 he was talking about dropping out and getting a GED. I was heartbroken and wanted to toss him out of the house but I loved him and once again wanted a relationship with the only person I had left on the planet.

I eventually met a woman from another town on her visit to the town I was living in at the time. I started visiting her on weekends two hours away and made the decision to move for a fresh start. I was hoping my ex would take him, but she gave an excuse about her apartment was to small. I brought him with me thinking it could be a fresh start for him too. I figured he wouldn’t know anyone and maybe his drug use would be a thing of the past.

After moving he did find a job (finally). He had that job for about a month, but was fired for calling in sick and missing shifts. I found weed and again let it slide but pushed him to find work and finish his GED. He always had an excuse. I finally convinced him to get his license and after a few attempts he achieved his license and that was one of the few proud moments I had with him. He failed to find work and eventually cried “suicide“ again. He was checked into the local behavioral health for some treatment. After getting out I thought it would be a good idea to sell him my car so he could have some transportation to find work. He did try but did more doordash and delivery type work and was making some money. He inquired about finishing his GED and I was hopeful. I was however at the same time noticing scuttle clues that something was off. He would be out all night and sleep all day. I would come home after work to a dirty house, dishes in the sink and we fought constantly. One day I had it and told him to get the *F* out! He started to pack and i noticed his speech was slurring and I told him to wait until later because I was convinced he was on something. He refused and left. The next day I got a call from the police saying I needed to pick him up for DUI injury crash and my car was impounded. I did it. I went and picked him up and found out he had now graduated to Herroin. I dropped him off at a treatment center and told him to get some help. I then had his/my wrecked car towed to my house.

He got out of treatment and then once again swore to do better. He was of course enrolled into aftercare and since now he was 19 I wasn’t allowed information. He got a job and it lasted a few months but due to the pandemic he was laid off. I tried like hell to get him to try to get unemployment and find a job but he just did the usual and dragged his feet. I even applied for jobs for him to try to increase his odds and it paid off. I got him an interview with Home Depot and he got the job! Well, that lasted 3 weeks and somehow he was let go. A couple of nights later he was out way late and I decided to go into his room to just snoop around and found needles And other indicators he was using again. I took a drive around town and found him and confronted him about what I found. He was apologetic and I once again told him to get out. But, he convinced me to give him another shot. I can’t stand the thought of my son being homeless and living on the streets especially in 100+ weather. The next day I went to talk with him and he promised he would go into treatment and he was clean and said I could check his room. I did, and found some little baggies and he let me know that he moved up to herroin and Fentanyol. He immediately began to make excuses about how he was going to get severely dope sick and I just threw away the very thing that would help him taper off until he could get help. I found a detox center and drove him there and checked him in. While there I found a residential treatment place for him and after detox, he checked into rehab.

Before checking into rehab he received all the stimulous money and recieved a unsecured loan for $4K because I put him as an alternate user on one of my credit cards to help build his credit without his knowledge. Now he is going into treatment with loan and fine payments from the previous DUI. While in treatment I forced him to send me enough money to get his car fixed from the accident from the DUI and maybe after he got out he could get his license and start driving again. A couple of weeks later he called me and told me he only spent two days in treatment and walked out and was now living in a shelter and wanted to try another center. He bounced back and forth from one shelter to another and I couldn’t stand the thought of it. I got his car fixed and he promised to get his :censored2: together if I gave him one more chance. He came home and found out his license was never suspended because it was reduced to a “wet and wreck less.” He got his license, registered the car in his own name and got it insured with the little money he had left. Once again, same ol same ol. He constantly had excuses for not finding work. I once again applied for jobs for him and got him an Interview with Walmart. I was away on a little vacation when he called me and told me last week he got the Job. I was so happy for him. I tried calling/texting him for a couple days but couldn’t get ahold of him. He finally texted and chewed me out saying he was fine and his phone was dead. I knew he was lying. A day later I checked my mail app and saw a letter from the police station saying something on the front about car impound. I called him and asked if his car was impounded and he started to cry and told me he got into another accident and was DUI. Heart broken to say the least. He then said he was leaving the house to go get treatment and he would be gone by the time I got home and he was.

It’s been three days now and I feel that nautious feeling in my stomach all the time. I’m constantly thinking about him and his situation he has created for himself. I don’t know what to do? He has caused me so much pain over the years and I just can’t go on. My girlfriend who I’ve been dating now for two years never wants to come to my house because my son gives me so much stress and the house is just filled with negative energy. We can’t move our relationship any further because of him. Now, he is getting between another relationship due to the added stress.

I’m just lost. He texted me today from wherever he is for treatment asking for $60 to pay for his cellphone bill and I agreed to send it through our mutual bank just so I can maintain some communication with him. His mother hasn’t seen him in almost two years now and rarely talks to him. She has just completely moved on with her own life while I’m stuck paying for all his food, medical and other crap! I guess I’m just asking if it’s ok to let him go? He has chosen this path and no matter how much I have tried to push him to be better he just falls back to his old ways. Thank you if you finished reading this. I have now been researching some Al-Anon meetings to attend. Just hard with my work schedule to go to any And I hate Zoom meetings.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Hi. Boy, did I feel your pain! I am so sorry.

Although my daughter isn't on such strong drugs as your son is (as far as we know), she is NOT ever sober or working and gave her son up to her sister, my other daughter, to raise. Plus she is just a hot mess and it makes me dizzy just thinking about her. She has pulled all the oxygen out of our worlds ..our entire family. Started at 12 with pot. Yes, 12.

She is in her 30s now and took off with her loser husband in an old motorhome and they are, we think, in Arizona way on the other side of the country. She doesn't talk to to us or her siblings. And it took us ten years to move on. Heavens, don't wait that long!

Our story is like yours only Kay refused rehabs. But she was our first child, adopted, beautiful and adored. But she got into trouble early although she had constant attention.

We threw her out at 20, but had enough money to house her even if she would not work. We bought her a home near us and when that failed we bought her a mobile home on a nice lot. Drugs and fighting with her husband in front of people had the landlords telling them to move their home They just left it . We agreed that it was best. Obviously home ownership was not for them.

After that we paid rent for them and bought cars that got crashed up and she fought in the streets with her husband getting tossed out of apartments too. We started to insist they pay some things. Lee the husband had a pizza delivery job. Of course they never ever kept up with any bills and Kay refused to work. So we forked over more and more money but we were all starting to fight. Not like me. Kay wasn't even nice to us most of the time.

I was getting physically sick. My husband already had diabetes and high blood pressure and was warned to keep the stress down. My other kids felt neglected. My husband and very I nearly divorced. Our business stopped doing so well. I felt sometimes like I could not keep going on. So I felt I had to get help, which I had resisted so far.

My husband and I started Nar Anon and hub and I did private therapy too. We had no time either. Trust me. We were at the business constantly.

But we made time even when we had none and both of those therapies together saved my life and the family. Literally. We had to make time. So did my husband. It was not an option to skip Nar Anon meetings. Our son often helped us by working in our place ( my son works with us). We needed to learn a better way to live, even if Kay would not. This was mandatory.

Nar Anon and therapy taught us that we can not cure our kids. Even though we often feel guilty about their choices, the facts are we didn't cause the addiction, we can not CONTROL the illness...and we can't cure our beloved kids. There is only one person we can control at all and that one person is us. We can only control how we decide to live our own lives. We can't do one thing to help our addict. The addict will quit when/if he he decides to, no matter how WE try to "help " Helping sometimes stops them from motivation. It never does the trick. It can't be us who changes them. We have 0 control over another persons motivation and desire to do anything at all.

Two homes, three cars, rent money, college money ready for Kay to use, a job we gave her at our company (that she wouldn't do) and so much attention....all that did not help Kay one little bit.

But it almost destroyed our marriage, destroyed our relationships with our hard working nice kids, pushed us from other family and friends and I almost had a nervous breakdown. We have to take care of us. Put us first. Yes, it sounded horrifying and selfish the first time I heard it. Put ME first? No way....but we must. Putting us first helps us and even our loved ones who see how somebody is taking care of himself in a kind, loving way. It works!

in my opinion if you love this woman, she may come first before your son so that two wonderful people can be happy. Move your son out of the house. It is his decision to stay unhappy but you don't have to put your life on hold while he figures things out. Or if he stays in the dark.

in my opinion do not destroy your life to try to clean up your son's messes. You can't. He needs to learn to fix his messes. AND pay sometimes serious consequences or he will not learn. He still may not. But it's his best shot.

You can not make him well. But you can decide YOU will get help and be good to yourself.

Basically both Al Anon and Nar Anon and any good therapist will help you with great tools (I call it my tool chest) for many many coping skills to live well with a troubled child in the back ground. You can get your life back and feel the guilt melting. It may stay a little but I am pretty sure you will one day feel happy again.

My daughter being gone has brought peace to our family. Kay seems to be coping while homeless. Her husband works part time. Several years ago we cut off the Bank of Dad and Mom. Half of our retirement had been spent on Kay and she was no better off. So we completely cut off the money and they both got on Disability (what disability....who knows how they talked the government into their being disabled) and with that they get Medicare/Medicaid and food share. And we became semi retired during COVID and our son took over the business. My daughter helps at times too. She is the one raising Kay's son and has her own kids too. Kay's son is autistic but now he is doing much better.

We are a family again, this time without Kay because Kay is furious that we won't give her money and also because Kay refuses to behave around the family and will scream that she hates us all at the Thanksgiving table. She has also been violent. But the rest of us are still doing well. We hope one day she gets help.

I know this is long. I felt your pain and tried to explain what we did and it takes time for us. If you belong to church or if a higher power is in your life, trust your son to Him. That helps us as well.

Much love to you and keep us posted.
 
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Fairy dust

New Member
Such sad stories on this site. I agree fully that we need to look after ourselves first and foremost. We cannot allow ourselves to be caught in the centre of crazy storms. Your son will figure out his life if and when he wants to, please don’t let him take away yours! Hugs.
 

Dodee612

New Member
Thank you for your story and for your kind words. I did attend the Al-Anon meeting last night and although the ratio was 80% women (and the other 2 gentlemen there were way older than me) it still felt good to know I wasn't alone in this horrible crisis I feel caught up in. I find myself getting sick to my stomach (nauseous) at times when I think about if today he will call me and ask to come home and promise to change his ways. After reading so many stories here and with the meeting last night I know this can't happen on his own, and he will need to prove to me he has completed an intense rehab and made steps forward in his life before he can sleep under my roof again. Thank you again and God bless!
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
My heart goes out to you. Keep taking steps in the right direction for you. The group may fluctuate in Al-Anon and/or you may find a different meeting with a few more men. Also, getting into therapy would be helpful. Find some good books like "Boundaries from Cloud & Townsend or some Melody Beattie books. Read, journal, pray if you believe in God. Detaching with love (which is the hardest thing to do) is likely the thing that will help you get your own life back while possibly your son whirls around in this horrible addiction or has the courage and strength to get help for real. For many addicts it takes multiple rehabs and multiple attempts before they may get better and/or a lifetime.

This is a journey and right now and you need to be the change. As much as you want to change your son, he's the only one who can do it. Remember you didn't cause his addiction, you can't cure it and you can't control it. We've all tried until we couldn't try anymore and we were depleted.

Keep posting and reading here on this forum. It's one of the pieces that will help you to heal.

Sending prayers.
 

Dodee612

New Member
New development tonight. I got home and noticed my kitchen light was on and immediately knew something wasn’t the way I left it this morning. I saw the guest bathroom door (that my son uses) was shut and his bedroom door was opened. I went into the bathroom and noticed water in the shower. I checked his room and nothing was disturbed. I knew then he had been in my house. I noticed his bike was gone to from the garage. I tried to text him and call but he wouldn’t answer. Finally he picked up and admitted he was there to just shower and grab some clothes. He used the garage code I have to get in the house. He said he walked out of the behavioral health yesterday because it was boring but he is going to live on the streets until the local half way house can take him in for assessment and then to the residential treatment. SMH. I told him to stay out of my house, especially if I’m not there! He agreed but I’m still nervous he might try and then we’ll definitely be in a new level! Just crazy my little boy is like this! Anyway, just venting.
 

Carri

Active Member
So many of us have the same stories. Nar-anon has helped me a lot over the years and 2 books in particular; Stay Close and The Joey Song. I've learned how to continue to love my son and stay close without being enmeshed in the chaos and mess. It’s all I can do for my 37 year old son, love him and let him know I’m here for him if he wants to get healthy. The path he is on is a result of his choices and if it’s bad enough, he knows what he needs to do. He’s currently serving 3 years for transporting and selling heroin and I sleep better knowing where he is. Maybe, just maybe this will be a turning point. Fear to faith… miracles do happen.
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
I cannot imagine why some would choose living on the street over a behavioral health facility where he can have shelter, showers, food.
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Sadly, they choose it because they are not "mentally or emotionally" well and/or combined with addiction make those choices or the choices of their life make the decision for them.
 

Nandina

Member
I know in my son’s case, he can’t stand to follow the rules of the shelter, especially curfew. Here, they have to be in the shelter for dinner at about 5:45 and they can’t leave for the rest of the night. That’s pretty restrictive to a 20-year-old party boy.

Then, they are made to leave during the day, either to work or possibly to search for jobs, but sadly, many just congregate under bridges and on the streets.
 

Dodee612

New Member
I know in my son’s case, he can’t stand to follow the rules of the shelter, especially curfew. Here, they have to be in the shelter for dinner at about 5:45 and they can’t leave for the rest of the night. That’s pretty restrictive to a 20-year-old party boy.

Then, they are made to leave during the day, either to work or possibly to search for jobs, but sadly, many just congregate under bridges and on the streets.
Is your son 20 as well and living on the streets? It just blows my mind why he would want that lifestyle right now? Where we are in Cali it’s 100+ everyday. I told him I’d pay for a bus ticket down to the coast area where his mother is but he said she doesn’t want anything to do other him.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
My daughter truly hates rules or the rat race as she puts it. She is not unhappy living in an older camper and getting food and money without having to follow rules and get a job. A warm bed never excited her if the price to pay for it was to follow society's "dumb" rules. She calls herself a free spirit.

Can I relate? NO! But I am not her.

I practice Radical Acceptance which is a great book written by Tara Bach. Maybe read it!
 

Nandina

Member
Is your son 20 as well and living on the streets? It just blows my mind why he would want that lifestyle right now?
Hi Dodee and welcome. Yes, my son is 20 and had been living on the streets off and on until recently being court ordered into a year-long treatment program due to trouble with the law and to avoid a prison sentence. He can no longer live in our home for violating rules, disrespect, and the usual issues most drug users have. We do have a decent relationship in spite of that.

He chose the lifestyle because he’d rather be homeless than follow rules he doesn’t agree with, particularly when it comes to smoking weed. It’s dumbfounding. After his being kicked out of multiple living arrangements for violating the smoking weed rule, I’ve come to the realization that my son would rather cut off his right arm than try and live without it! Now, he has no choice. But how much easier it would have been just to forego it, at least on the premises of those providing shelter to him so he would have a place to live that’s not being mandated.

Apparently, his “freedom” was more important to him.

Keep posting here and stay strong. As hard as it is, your son needs those boundaries.
 

Helpless29

Active Member
I found this this site when my son turned 15 teen. He is now 18 teen. I feel your pain . My son has been in & out of rehabs/ behavioral centers & like your son has either gotten kicked out or ran away. He’s been in & out of juvenile detention centers & promised to do better & every time I gave him a chance he went right back to drugs & street life . He was homeless for awhile , I felt like I lost him, I was emotionally & mentally exhausted,I was grieving. My husband & I went though many fights & stress in our marriage. Right now , he has a good job & has a friend helping him . Is he alcohol & drug free ? I doubt it from things I heard but I don’t know. He hasn’t called me for weeks ,last time I heard from him he had gotten beaten up by s gang & thank god he got away. The only thing that gives me peace of mind is that he has a roof over his head , a job & people looking out for him . I occasionally go on his FB to see pictures of him he posts or videos he posts of him working .This site has helped me through my darkest moments , you are not alone & will get great advice. Please keep us updated . I still struggle with a lot but I am learning that I deserve happiness & so do you . Look through my posts, I gotten great advice & I’m sure it can help you .Are sons are close in age & I feel like are stories are similar. I miss my son , but I don’t miss the chaos . I will will pray for you & hope you find peace .
 
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Dodee612

New Member
My daughter truly hates rules or the rat race as she puts it. She is not unhappy living in an older camper and getting food and money without having to follow rules and get a job. A warm bed never excited her if the price to pay for it was to follow society's "dumb" rules. She calls herself a free spirit.

Can I relate? NO! But I am not her.

I practice Radical Acceptance which is a great book written by Tara Bach. Maybe read it!
Thank you for your response and for sharing.
 

Dodee612

New Member
Hi Dodee and welcome. Yes, my son is 20 and had been living on the streets off and on until recently being court ordered into a year-long treatment program due to trouble with the law and to avoid a prison sentence. He can no longer live in our home for violating rules, disrespect, and the usual issues most drug users have. We do have a decent relationship in spite of that.

He chose the lifestyle because he’d rather be homeless than follow rules he doesn’t agree with, particularly when it comes to smoking weed. It’s dumbfounding. After his being kicked out of multiple living arrangements for violating the smoking weed rule, I’ve come to the realization that my son would rather cut off his right arm than try and live without it! Now, he has no choice. But how much easier it would have been just to forego it, at least on the premises of those providing shelter to him so he would have a place to live that’s not being mandated.

Apparently, his “freedom” was more important to him.

Keep posting here and stay strong. As hard as it is, your son needs those boundaries.
Thank you for sharing your story. Reading everyone’s stories helps me know I am not alone in this world of craziness.
 

Dodee612

New Member
I found this this site when my son turned 15 teen. He is now 18 teen. I feel your pain . My son has been in & out of rehabs/ behavioral centers & like your son has either gotten kicked out or ran away. He’s been in & out of juvenile detention centers & promised to do better & every time I gave him a chance he went right back to drugs & street life . He was homeless for awhile , I felt like I lost him, I was emotionally & mentally exhausted,I was grieving. My husband & I went though many fights & stress in our marriage. Right now , he has a good job & has a friend helping him . Is he alcohol & drug free ? I doubt it from things I heard but I don’t know. He hasn’t called me for weeks ,last time I heard from him he had gotten beaten up by s gang & thank god he got away. The only thing that gives me peace of mind is that he has a roof over his head , a job & people looking out for him . I occasionally go on his FB to see pictures of him he posts or videos he posts of him working .This site has helped me through my darkest moments , you are not alone & will get great advice. Please keep us updated . I still struggle with a lot but I am learning that I deserve happiness & so do you . Look through my posts, I gotten great advice & I’m sure it can help you .Are sons are close in age & I feel like are stories are similar. I miss my son , but I don’t miss the chaos . I will will pray for you & hope you find peace .
Thank you for your prayers and sentiments. I look forward to a time where I can find peace with the situation I am in. I understand what you mean though, “I don’t miss the chaos“ he has caused inside the house for sure!
 
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