update

amazeofgrace

A maze of Grace - that about sums it up
So he made it 10 days sober and relapsed. Is living alone 1700 miles away. Asked to come home and we told him that was fine but he needed to get help by going to counseling, he was not allowed to drive our cars and was not allowed to have girls over in his room...
He refused.
So we got a call just now. He was ugly. Said he had so much resentment towards us due to everything. Is coming home to stay with an ex girlfriend who has a house and new boyfriend....
He refuses to get help. Said he went 6 times and it doesn't work.
Wants to kill himself. Needs to stay with her for awhile and get himself together again.
I am speechless.
She lives about 1 hour from us. This life is hell. Wonder how long he will last there.
I feel your pain - and see how when his manipulation attempts failed he went to anger and button pushing to try and instill guilt and sympathy - I am so sorry - and deal with this type of behavior daily with my difficult child 2 (Hugs) Hang in there
 

RN0441

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

Copa's post was worth 2 stars and if it would let me I would have given it TWO!

Your son needs to get uncomfortable, real uncomfortable!! That and only that, will drive HIM to change. It is truly nothing you can say and nothing you can do.

This is all on him. He is capable of making the change. He is capable of more than you think, trust me on this.

My son did not start to change until I turned my back on him. I was so, so very tired of the games. He now says that I disowned him. My husband/his dad was already done. I too, was hanging on. I know that you don't know me at all. But if you did you would know that I have many, many friends. I bring people together. I am a fun loving, fun living person. I find joy in so many things. I am a very positive minded person.

I am not the type of person that anyone would think would EVER disown their own child. The one that I love more than life. But I did.

I had literally tried everything else before I was able to do that. I think that you have tried everything else too. I do hope that you are ready to get really tough. Until you do this will not end unfortunately. I can guarantee that. The next time he calls you, you need to tell him to "figure it out".
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
He went to the other treatment facility. He called tonight and seems like it is going okay.

What do you all think about visiting him on one of the Sundays? Two years ago when he was in we didn't go visit on a Sunday because we literally live 1700 miles away.
He asked us if we would visit him on one of the Sundays...
I feel like we should show support. I know it seems dumb to fly out to visit but my husband and I could do something the day we arrive and then visit with him that Sunday. It would be a short trip for sure.
Anyone else visit their child while in rehab during the Sunday visit times?
 

Nandina

Member
Hi Trying, I‘m so glad to hear your son made this choice and I pray he is successful. My son has been in rehab about a month, and although we haven’t visited yet, we do plan to. We’ve decided to wait a few months, though, to let him get adjusted and used to the rules and structure of the program. We are about 6 hours away from him in the same state. It’s a 13-month, faith based program.

I think this would be a good time for you to put some conditions down for visiting him. If I were you I would definitely wait a while, although not knowing how long the program is, not sure if that’s possible. But with his record of leaving rehabs, you certainly don’t want to spend the money right away for a flight only to have him leave again. So I would tell him that yes, you will come see him, but only after he’s been there “x” weeks or months and is working the program and taking it seriously.

Do not allow him to call you and complain or whine about how much he hates being there. A good part of his success will be based on his attitude and a more positive outlook will benefit all of you. I think he needs to get through the difficult beginnings on his own and not rely on you to make it easier for him by being at his beck and call. This will result in growth for him—something he really needs.

Show lots of support, write him letters if you can, talk to him if he has the right attitude when he calls. But don't let him make you miserable just because he may be. No more rabbit holes!

Best wishes to all of you. Stay strong.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Trying

I would be very cautious about visiting. I would be cautious so as to not be hurt yourself, and so as to not hurt your son. Your son has left more than one treatment facility. He has been quite manipulative. He has shown a propensity to blame you and to externalize responsibility. He puts you under a great deal of pressure, to do things for him, that hurt him and you. He flip flops.

The thing he needs most now is to find his inner guidance. To get in touch with who he is, and become accountable to himself and to others. Anything or anyone that comes into his zone aside from the people in treatment and the program staff, can distract him and destabilize him from his one and only important goal now, which is sobriety and recovery.

He knows you support him. You have stood by him every step of the way. I would ask you to think about what you already know about how he has handled treatment. I would ask you to think about how you have felt all of the other times when he has acted out. I would ask you to think about what could be gained by visiting. And what is it stake. What could be at risk.

I think he would need a whole lot of time under his belt before I thought about a visit. I think 6 months. This would be a vote of confidence in him. That he can man up and that he will. He is not a baby. He is a grown man. Let him handle this like an adult.
 
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RN0441

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

The program my son was at did NOT allow us to visit for many months. Then after that he had to EARN his calls and visits.

I strongly suggest that you let him be on his own for now. He leans on you too much and it is making him worse - just my opinion, please don't take offense.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you, he called today and told my husband he was going to leave treatment. My husband told him to call his sponsor and then he called back. I got on the phone and could not stay calm. I told him that he knows exactly what is going to happen if he leaves. He was using the excuse that his FMLA paperwork wasn't done on time and there are 5 more days to get it in. I honestly don't even know what I said anymore but ended it with I love you and I can't do this.

He told my husband that no matter what happens to know that he loves us.... He was told if he didn't go to treatment or complete it that we were done and would not accept calls anymore. Not sure if that is what he meant or if was planning on doing something.

I wish I knew how to be an encouraging calm talking mom. Obviously I have failed at that.

My parents have helped him 2x's now with his credit card debt. I have told them NO more. I sure hope they listen. So I am sure if he doesn't stay and he goes back to the same routine he will have them to the max shortly- spends over $1000 on booze a month.. Won't be able to hold his job much longer with all the time he misses. Its only a matter of time.
I have done all I can.
 

BloodiedButUnbowed

Well-Known Member
So he made it 10 days sober and relapsed. Is living alone 1700 miles away. Asked to come home and we told him that was fine but he needed to get help by going to counseling, he was not allowed to drive our cars and was not allowed to have girls over in his room...
He refused.
So we got a call just now. He was ugly. Said he had so much resentment towards us due to everything. Is coming home to stay with an ex girlfriend who has a house and new boyfriend....
He refuses to get help. Said he went 6 times and it doesn't work.
Wants to kill himself. Needs to stay with her for awhile and get himself together again.
I am speechless.
She lives about 1 hour from us. This life is hell. Wonder how long he will last there.
I just want to send you virtual hugs. We are at the very beginning of this journey with our 20 year old son. I think he is going down the same road that you describe. Our son just relapsed and left our home rather than comply with our requirements for him to stay with us, including going to rehab. It's so important for us to stay strong and remember that enabling them is not in anyone's best interest, theirs or ours. I will pray for us all.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Dear Trying, I am so sorry this has happened. I can't really add anything to what others have suggested. Hold your boundaries if you can. This is his fight, not yours and you have gone above and beyond to help him.

I truly understand how hard it is to detach, but if you can I think this would be the best course of action at this time. He knows you are there if he wants to make a go of recovery, but until he can really show you that he is prepared to properly try, I think you need to protect yourself.

I am trying my best to do the same. You are not alone.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Trying

I am sorry this happened yet again. Your son has all of the power and capacity in the world to solve this for himself. What he needs is the motivation and the tools. The motivation can come in an instant. The tools take time and work. Let him now see what he can do. If you have spoken to your parents, asking them to cease enabling, it's their choice whether to continue, and it's your son's choice whether to accept. These are all grown adults. You have no control here and no more responsibility.

Right now it's time for you to recover and to focus upon yourself and your life, with your husband. Others (and me too) have suggested Al Anon, online meetings. This program will give you the support and the tools to change yourself, to center yourself in you, rather than in your son and his drama.

This is time to rest, too. I sure do hope you continue posting. Now, more than ever. While you've been on this board, your focus has been what should I do about him. How shall I help him The questions all of us come to if we stay here are What should I do for me. How can I help myself?

There will be feelings that come up. Your son will try to rope you in. There may be talk of suicide. He may up the ante with his words and deeds. Or for a while he may turn to your parents, and drop you. You will have feelings about that. And he may come back, once their support has ended. I don't know the scenario that will be. But what I do now is that this phase is not so simple. Lots of feelings come up for us. It's a time we need a lot of support. What worked for me is I posted on many, many threads, not my own. This centered me in my strength. I could have a strong voice in terms of other people's lives. In time I became stronger myself.

Keep posting. It helps.
 
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tryingtobestrong

Active Member
There will be feelings that come up. Your son will try to rope you in. There may be talk of suicide. He may up the ante with his words and deeds. Or for a while he may turn to your parents, and drop you. You will have feelings about that. And he may come back, once their support has ended. I don't know the scenario that will be. But what I do now is that this phase is not so simple.
He called about an hour ago. Sounded just awful. I could tell he was crying. Soon started saying how he hated his life, how he wants to die as soon as he opens his eyes. How worthless, how he is scum, hopeless, etc. He said he will meet with his counselor tomorrow and then decide if he is going to leave. He talked about how he made a huge mistake not taking his life in Nov. of 2018 when he bought the pistol. I know if he leaves there what he most likely will do. It is out of my hands. We told him he won't get better in 4 days when he has been doing weed and drinking so heavily for years. It will take hard work.

So Copabanana- you sure did hit the nail on the head with what you said.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
He called about an hour ago. Sounded just awful.
Dear Trying:

I know how hard it is. You must be exhausted. You need a time out! You matter!!

He is trying to get his feelings out of himself and into you. I don't think you serve yourself (or him) to engage in this with him. I would try to take control of this. You do have control here. Where is it written that you have to be his punching bag? That's what he is doing, Trying. He's whipping you. Don't accept this.

There is nothing you can say or do to make this work. He is the one who must do the work.

Your suffering will not help him stop drinking. It won't take away his pain, to beat you verbally. That's what he is doing, Trying.

Additionally, I don't think you help yourself by future thinking. You may fear what he might do, but you don't know. He has free choice. Most of us have had to deal with suicidal statements of our kids. It's horrible. What I learned to do is to call the police every single time, my son made a threat in front of me. I did not evaluate seriousness of the threat. I called whenever he said anything vaguely suggesting self-harm. He stopped this almost 99.9 percent.

The longer you keep engaged with him with all of this self-pity, the more incentive he has to keep it up, rather than search in himself and develop strength, motivation, and intention. The more you engage with him, the more he will act like a blob. A blob won't stop drinking. He needs to man-up. Your job is to help him by dis-engaging from self-pitying behavior. That is what I think.

I would tell him you love him, and that you believe in him. I would set a time each week where you will be available to speak to him. If he won't do it; you take responsibility. Tell him these calls are not good for either one of you. That is what is true. It doesn't hurt to tell the truth. Tell him you trust he will do the best thing for himself. And follow through. Other than the defined limited time, do not call, or accept calls.

There is nothing you can say or do that will help. The power he needs is within himself.

If you have a hard time doing this, go to Al Anon. 'Right now both of you are rolling around in weakness and regret. We all have this, but we don't have to stay there. Refuse to roll around here with him. He is very astute about resources and seeking support. He has done it over and over again. You need to set a limit, Trying. You matter here too.

Of course I could be wrong. But I don't think I am.
 
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BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Omg! Please don't go! He needs to do this himself. You can't fix him anymore. You will only go broke, like we almost did, and feel devestated, like we also did. He is very selfish to move so far away then demand you visit every week. in my opinion he needs to finally be an adult.I know it's hard but in my opinion it's best. I am experience talking. You still believe you can make him feel so good about himself that all will be well. Or that he will at least not feel abandoned. But he is a total adult, he chose to move, and he knows you have not abandoned him. You are thinking of him as a little boy. Please at least order and read Nar-anon literature. You can order stuff from Amazon.

Love and prayers.
 
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tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Latest news.. he called 2 nights ago and was talking about how he regrets not taking his life 2 years ago when he had the means right in front of him. He said how he hates his life, etc. Wants to die. 2 hours later called back and seemed to be in a better state of mind.
Then last night I went to Alanon - honestly to miss his calls because my husband was at work.... Came home to 2 missed calls on the landline, 2 on my cell and my daughter said she had 2 missed calls but she didn't recognize the number so never answered.
He called then and was horrible. Told us he is giving us fair warning that he is in the darkest place ever in his mind and this won't end well. He said the guilt and shame is just too much. I did reach out to his counselor and left her know his mental state is not good.
She told me he is a flight risk and they keep trying to talk him into staying. We know if he leaves that we are 99% sure he will take his own life.
My heart aches for the pain he is in. I wonder if the years of alcohol/marijuana abuse and constant hitting of his head did something to his brain that the mental illness is now greater than the addiction - if that makes sense? To be this tormented is excrutiating. My mom says she understands if he takes his life just to escape this pain he is in. In my heart, I feel it will happen.

We tell him it will get better- one day at a time. Work the steps and pray-- He said he tried praying and nothing happens. I told him that I pray for him all the time and his reply was "Yeh, and see where it got me? I am still dealing with this so prayers don't work." Hard to have a response to that.

I hope he can rise from this and start feeling better about himself and his future.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
We know if he leaves that we aBre 99% sure he will take his own life.
trying. You don't help yourself or him by thinking and talking this way.

He goes to this suicidal talk as a way to put into words his pain, helplessness, and desperation. This is also a pity party. To get you to hold the feelings. And to justify drinking. While people do in fact kill themselves, he has been killling himself slowly through his addictions. In this sense, to speak of killing hmself, is a reality. It is a truth. He is telling the truth. But that does not mean he will commit suicide by an overt and deliberate act.

I guess I don't understand why you are submitting to this reality of suicide that does not exist. I don't understand how this helps him or you. I think you need to take control of this so that you are not controlled by his hopelessness and cruelty. If you are carried there, how is your son helped?

There is so much hope, but not in the place his addictions are carrying this, pushing this. I don't agree with you about the mental illness. While I don't know him and have not ever met or spoken to him, obviously, I have met many, many people like him. The natural consequence of imbibing these quantities of toxics is a toxic brain. This is not the same as mental illness. While he may receive diagnoses of mental illness, which may have been "caused" by substance abuse and dependence, these can be reversed, by abstinence and recovery. Your recovery, and his, rest on that. Again, you are not helped by the focus on his death that might come by his own hand. It's already at hand. By his drinking.

Abstinence and recovery are hope. They are your hope and they are his hope. Your abstinnce and recovery come from disengaging from your addiciton on this drama with him. The longer you stay engaged with him in addiction, the more that you will feel helpless and hopeless, too. By buying into this inevitability of suicide you are buying into the problem, to the addiction.
 
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tryingtobestrong

Active Member
He sent me an email asking me to send him razors, shaving cream, neosporin.
He has borderline personality disorder which most all they symptoms fit him as well as the addiction. Self harm is one of the symptoms and he has been doing that on and off for years. The fact that he asked me to send razors is an indication to me. When he lived at home he would take the razors apart and use each individual blade to slice himself. One time it was that bad he needed to go to the er for stitches.
This disorder comes to a head in early 20's and the suicide rate is 10% for those suffering with this. Most turn to drugs and alcohol to help them feel better which then leads to addiction.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
to send him razors, shaving cream, neosporin.
10 percent is not 98 percent or 100 percent. It's 10 percent. You don't help him or yourself staying rooted in fear and dread. That said, I would not send the razors.

Despite your son's addictions and diagnoses he has demonstrated a very high level of functioning in his job. And he seems able to find friends who are supportive. And girlfriends. I recognize these women leave soon when they see how he lives.

My profession involved a great deal of diagnosing of people with substance abuse issues. I understand Borderline. I understand cutting. I understand manipulation. These things change nothing. He needs to stop drinking and using drugs. Period. Always I kept in mind that substance abuse and dependence nearly always came to look like mental illness, of one sort or another. And even if mental illness predated substance use, nothing changes. He needs to recover. I don't see how mental health professionals can diagnose when people have been drunk for years and years, without taking into account they've pickled their brains. The brain needs time to cleanse. The personality needs time to be in this world and with the body/mind, without toxic sustances. The individual needs time to acclimate and adjust and mature, without substances. Only then will a diagnosis make sense. That is how I believe.

You don't help him or yourself by staying rooted in the worst possible outcome. He needs you to be strong, positive, and to believe in him and the power of change, of hope. But most of all, he needs you to have boundaries. And you need them too. I believe you would benefit from your own recovery process. I believe time apart, with limited phone callling would benefit him and benefit you. I sound like a broken record, because I am. I am sorry to go on and on, with this. I will not say it anymore.

I recognize that it's very hard to be this hopeful person when we've been beaten down by these unreleenting and horrible ccircumstances. But sometimes, trying I feel you prefer to stand in fear and negativity. I don't know if this makes you feel safer, or what. That if you expect the worse, you won't have as far to fall. I don't believe that.one bit. I wish you would get some distance from him, and let him work on his problems by himself.
 
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MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Trying, most of us here have kids with similar diagnoses. My own son has depression, anxiety and Borderline or Bipolar 2 depending on who you listen to. (Symptoms are similar but treatment is different.) I recognise much of the behaviour of your son as it is very similar to my own son’s. My son has a problem with marijuana, though, not alcohol.

My point is, many (if not most) of us have kids just like your son. We understand. We’ve been there or we are still there. And that’s why you are hearing the same message over and over again. You cannot fix him. Only he can fix his life. You can support him of course, but right now what he needs is for you to get out of the way.

In my opinion, based on my own experience with my son, this suicidal posturing is just another way that he can avoid taking responsibility for his life. The more you engage with this; the more you assist him in this avoidance.

You can’t fix him, but you can work on yourself. My advice? Set boundaries. Stick to them. Stop letting yourself be sucked into your adult son’s drama. I say this with full understanding of how hard this is for mothers. I still struggle with it myself. But right now you seem to be in a holding pattern. I don’t see how things will change for you if you keep doing the same thing over and over.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Trying, do you read what we say? I ask this because you never address what we say. If you just want to vent that is fine. But so many people have reached out and given you great feedback and it seems you don't take anything we say into consideration. You just post updates, not anything about what you think about our feedback or what you may change in your interaction with your son. This is okay. But if you don't at least entertain our thoughtful answers, then I personally would prefer to just read your venting and not put so much into my responses.

Please share your thoughts.

Love and prayers.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
I do read what everyone is saying. I feel alone. My marriage is not well. I have zero friends that understand what addiction is about.
I have distanced myself. I did not speak to him on Saturday when he called. It felt great. He sent me an email on Saturday asking that I send him razors, neosporin, and shaving cream.... I did not acknowledge it.
Sunday he called. I thought I would be on the phone with my husband. He only was on a minute and said he had to leave. I do feel it is because I spoke just 2 words. I will listen to you all and not be in on the conversation tonight. My husband does work and when he calls I will have to let it go to the machine.
 
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