Trying to manage and enjoy my life how I want to again

Freedomsun

New Member
I have never posted here, but have read countless hours late at night during my times with my difficult child as you all call them. It has truly helped me through some of the most difficult and sad times of my life. I had hoped that I would never have to come back to this site again but here I am....I have so many blessings and good things in my life I really can't believe I am here alone crying on a beautiful Friday evening. There's so much history... how to write it all down, I don't have the energy for it. I guess I will try because I really need to figure out what is right, what isn't. I have 2 kids, firstborn son is 22 soon to be 23. 2nd child is 21 year old girl. Divorced their dad in 2006, he was a raging alcoholic who started on pain medications about 2 years before I finally filed for divorce. Has lost everything since then, including his relationship with his 2 kids which is really heartbreaking. Dad moved 4 hours away to his hometown within a year of divorcing so kids would have to go and see him, at that time they were about 8&9. Their dad remarried, kids visited, turned out they endured spousal abuse, major alcohol use etc during their summer/Christmas visits. Grandparents live in same town and knew what was occurring and did not keep them from him, and didn't call me to let me know how bad it was. They didn't want to tell me because they didn't want me to not let them see him anymore, and he was also telling them whatever terrible thing he could about me. My kids decided at about age of 14-15 to stop talking/going to visit, so that is about the end of their relationship with him. He is still drinking and does not provide the normal support a parent should, so it has been really hard on them. I underestimated how hard. I just wanted them to live a normal life, so I sent them to school and activities, had vacations etc. like a "normal" family. At this point I had remarried in 2010 so they had a stepfather who was in the picture along with a stepbrother who was 2 grades above my son in school. At first when dating all was fine, but once we got married and moved in things changed. Stepfather was an old school type dominating personality-I didn't put my foot down on that, has never had a good relationship with my son. They are completely different personalities. His son was - looking back- not happy that we moved into "his" house, so when we weren't around he wasn't that nice to my kids. Moving along, daughter has strived to be perfect and is now in college, close to graduating with 2 majors and a 4.0, so she is doing well-refuses to have anything to do with alcohol, but does have major anxiety etc.so she does have her struggles but an addiction is not one of them. Son has had major depression and was drinking and using marijuana since about 14, so it has been a major battle with him. I just figured he would figure it out like we all do. I guess I thought that was normal because I had to figure everything out for myself and eventually did. Once he turned 18 I felt so much relief, like I had made it to this point, it is his turn now, I am not responsible anymore! Well, that is not how it works!! He was using quite extensively, hard to keep jobs, destroyed some of our property, we had to kick him out a couple of times, he lived in his car, has nothing, and because of depression threatened suicide many times because he just has no hope, that was really hard to go through. I am so thankful I was finally able to get him to a treatment facility last year. He is sober since June 2019. He was living in a sober house, I would come and bring him food etc. The neighborhood was mixed-I never felt comfortable there and it was a sketchy neighborhood, and a few blocks away million dollar homes so you just figure he'll hopefully be ok? For the time being at least he wasn't at our house, we could have some peace. He had just started a new job and I would drive down to get him to his training sessions since they were in a different town and he didn't have a car. The actual job was a couple miles away, so who knows how that would have worked during winter but that we could figure out as time passed. I had spoken to him on the phone the night before, they had a group meeting and he went to do some time with a charity that evening. Anyways, I slept terrible that night-although the last 5 years with him I was used to that- I woke up tired and my heart was racing, I just didn't know why I couldn't calm down. I went to work and received a phone call that my son had been stabbed multiple times and was in the hospital, he was recovering from surgery, he was lucky to be alive really. While my son was just starting to doze off, he couldn't sleep that night because his roommate was pacing around that evening. His roommate was upset about one of their meetings they have at the sober house. Anyways, my son woke up to his roommate stabbing him in the back-at the time he thought his roommate was punching him-he turned around on his back and was able to kick him off and ran upstairs screaming for help. The other roommates woke up and called the police. My son was stabbed twice in the back, collapsing both of his lungs, and a major slice in his chest on the left side by his heart and another major cut through his thigh knee area, and other "minor" cuts. He had multiple staples etc., I am sobbing as I am typing this, I have hardly told anyone about his, how to even tell this, I am lucky he is still here. This happened last September. He came back to live with me and stepfather, we went to some family counseling in the winter. My son is making progress but has PTSD, depression etc, and it has been a tough road for him. I want to be supportive but how much is enabling vs support after someone has gone through something such as this? He finally got a job in March as covid ramped up, and has been working full time, but his AA meetings have been nothing due to covid. At least he is seeing a therapist which has been helpful but no miracle. He just quit his job a week ago because he says it has been really difficult on him and he needs to focus on his sobriety or he is just going to give up on life. My husband is livid that he has been "laying" around the house doing nothing while we work 40-60 hours and then come home to nothing being done around the house. I had "talked" to my son earlier and said he needed to help out around the house since he isn't working, so he wasn't happy about that because I was coming at him in a "mad" state-"you are in one of your moods and I don't want to talk about this right now Mom because you are not calm". So no, he did nothing that I asked of him and left within an hour after taking a shower, went to a meeting and probably anything to get out of here. I think it would be different if he had a plan and we had a general idea that in 2 years he would be self-sufficient and would be able to move out on his own. Not to mention-since my son was was 16 we had been through alot before the stabbing happened-it was not fun to live here. So for today, husband is extremely mad and left house, is saying maybe he should move out. He hasn't contacted me all afternoon, and now evening. My daughter has had a bit of an attitude so that hasn't helped and she left for the evening as well. Husband is just sick and tired of doing all the chores and never getting any help or thank you. I totally understand that, I feel the same in a lot of ways-I don't enjoy having adults in my house that have no responsibility for the household without me demanding help, it's just that I don't get this mad over it because they are my kids. How much do you sacrifice for your kids before just saying I need to live my own life. Finally I have the house to myself tonight, nice circumstances! Everyone left because they are upset and here are me and the dog! I don't want to live like this either!
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Welcome Freedomsun.

What a story! I am so very sorry all of this has happened.

This is what I think. I think you would benefit from Al Anon. I think everything that you want is reasonable, and everything you feel is warranted.

It sounds like you feel torn in pieces. Of course how your husband feels makes sense. You feel the same. Nobody signs up for this kind of heartbreak and burden.

If it were me I would try to get on the same page with husband about a plan.. This might mean going to couples therapy..

Your son is dealing with a great deal, but this is his life to resolve. A parent can provide support, but we can't do it for them. My son had two traumatic brain injuries and he has a chronic illness that can be fatal if he is not treatment compliant. I tried and tried to support him to help himself Eventually, they have to do it for themselves.

There are sober living homes that are no cost, if people don't have funds. Your son given his combination of physical and mental health issues, might want to apply for SSI. There are also vocational rehab services through the State. He is young enough to go to Job Corps which is a federal free, residential, supervised job training program in cities all over the country that works with kids with issues.. That is, if you live in the USA. He is a victim of a crime. In the US there is a program through the District Attorney's office called "victim witness." He can get free ongoing psychotherapy for as long as he needs it to deal with the PTSD and depression related to the crime.

What I am trying to say is that you don't have to carry this alone. Your son needs to find a way to deal with his own life too. Given all that he has has to handle, he seems to be taking positive steps. Most of us find that eventually they have to become independent of us, and find support in addition to us.

What is your responsibility is to know what your needs are and to do what is necessary to meet them. This means time to yourself, a harmonious home life, support, etc. You factor into this too. Not just your kids, stepson, husband. You matter.

I think I would prioritize working with your husband. He's got to be on board. Or not. And if he's not, that has to be faced too.

I want to tell you how sorry I feel that all of this happened. What happened to your son is so, so sad and wrong. To me it seems there may be liability by this facility. How did the other resident get the knife? Were they adequately supervised? Was his potential for violence addressed? Was his violence potential evaluated and met? Maybe your son needs an attorney to look at this.

I am glad you posted. Others will be along soon. Please keep posting. It helps. You will find support here. And posting will help you clarify your needs.
 
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BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Hi. I happened to be up late. I am so sorry what all of you are going through.

Because of COVID there are no in person Al Anon meetings here and I wouldn't go to one if there were. I don't think indoor groups are safe. But there are Zoom groups. I go to one. I found my meeting by putting my state and Al Anon Zoom Meetings into my search engine. It's very helpful to me. Your son can do online AA too.

Therapy is virtual here as well. A lot of things are shut down. If you value your marriage it may be good to call a psychologist or therapist and do virtual counseling with your husband. Sadly sometimes we do need to choose between loved ones. You may need to get a therapist just for you in order to sort out what is best for you. It is hard to do it alone. I never could have.

I send prayers and love. Keep posting. We are always here and we care
 

Overwhelmed1

Well-Known Member
Freedomsun so sorry about what you and your family are going through.
I know how your kids feel not having their own father in the picture and how that void can cause so many issues for everyone.
I will include your family in my prayers.
It has not been so long ago that I was lifted up by the people here. They are a loving group of people and are here for you through the toughest of days.
Take care of yourself so you are strong enough to follow through with decisions you make to strengthen your family.
So many of us struggle through the ups and downs of our issues, but there are people here that can give you good sound advice.

Peace and Love
 

Beta

Well-Known Member
Freedomsun, I'm sorry too for what you're going through. I agree with the advice Copa gave you above. At some point, we have to step back. That point is different for each person and it is hard to do but it sounds like you are at a point where you need to form a plan, preferably with your husband; the two of you working together. Keep posting. It really helps a lot.
 

JMom

Well-Known Member
Freedomsun,

That is quite a lot that you have on your plate. It seems like your kiddos have had a tough road, losing their dad to his chaos and substance abuse/anxiety problems. I think the fact that your son was stabbed adds a layer of difficulty to the situation. Had he not been stabbed, how would you handle the situation of his not working and contributing to the housework? Does your college daughter live in the home?

We are so in-tuned with our kids. I can't imagine the terror that your son went through and how hard it was to watch him go through surgery. I don't have any suggestions, other than keep posting here. It does help, it takes away a layer of loneliness and isolation. I too, thought the drug use was a phase for my son. It is disappointing that for some teens is it and others don't fare as well.

I was picturing your situation with lots of slamming doors and storm-outs. I am sorry that you are left with the aftermath. Breathe in and out sister, we are here for you.

Hugs,
JMOM
 
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