My Hopes Were Smashed!!
Posted: January 20, 2018, 1:16 PM

Posts: 519
Joined: August 28, 2016

Well, it has been 6 months since talking to my 47 y/o addicted son. I took a much needed break 6 months ago and told him I couldn't deal with his drama and verbal abuse. I said if he was drug free and had his life in order, I would talk to him this month. Well, I got a phone call this morning and it is all the same old sh---t!

He sold the car we bought him 2 yrs ago and has been buying and restoring used RV'S and selling them. Said he has been making $2000 a week and doing really well! Said he bought a used RV 3 hrs from his place sight unseen and paid for it from a little old lady who ripped him off. Said the RV is in a storage lot and the lady said it only had 20,000 miles and ran great and was in great shape. When he got there (said he paid a Uber driver $100 to drive him there) it wouldn't start and needed a distributor (cost $100 in a junk yard). She refused to refund him. He hitched a ride back 3 hrs to the city he was living in. Said he has no one to contact and no friends there to help.

Said he needed to borrow a $100. Hah! When I asked how he would get back down to p/u the RV--he said he didn't have a way. Could I drive him there? Then proceeded to say he hadn't showered in 10 days and had no food and had the flu. Said he is at rock bottom and has no one. Pleaded for me to help and said if he had $2000 he would be back in business??? The more I just listened and offered no help--the more severe his situation got.

Said I am his last resort. Could I wire him money? I could hear him lighting a cigarette though, so must have money for those. I told him no --I would not give him money and i would not come and get him or drive him 3 hrs to the RV.

I was waiting for the barrage of cussing and name calling,but surprisingly he didn't! He said he was getting his phone shut off soon because they didn't credit him correctly when he paid the bill and was wasting his time with me.

I said "I love you and I pray you will find a solution to all this." He hung up!

All this tears out my heart and even though I know I did the right thing--it still crushes me! I had such hopes that just maybe he would turn things around ,but I now know at his age of 47 I will probably go to my grave with my son either getting worse, sicker, or dead.

For those out there, struggling (as I did) with whether or not to stop enabling or stop coming to their sons or daughters rescue --let me say this. Yes-- there is always hope that they might change, but if YOU don't change things and take control--NOTHING WILL CHANGE! I can attest to the damage years of enabling or what we thought was "helping" has done.

The best thing you can do is LET GO! Even a little help just prolongs the outcome and delays them from getting free of this horrible disease--ADDICTION!

Posted: January 20, 2018, 1:23 PM

Posts: 1279
Joined: June 27, 2016

So sorry to hear. my heart cries for you and the rest of us. I had been wondering how you were doing..... it is so sad and disappointing. hope you, your husband and younger son are doing well, in spite of the same old, same old going on.....

yes, you are right about the enabling. it is so hard to cut off completely, we keep trying to narrow the playing field.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on January 20, 2018, 1:25 PM
Posted: January 20, 2018, 6:03 PM

Posts: 77
Joined: April 11, 2017

Thanks for giving us an update. I've been thinking about you and have been wondering how things are going. Sorry to hear things are the same. I'm sure it strengthens your resolve to take care of yourself. I think most of us on this board have learned the hard way, through days and nights of crying and worrying, that we cannot love our addicts to health. They have to choose to get help. Wishing you strength and peace.
Posted: January 21, 2018, 8:47 AM

Posts: 16
Joined: January 15, 2018

Oh Lori, I’m so sorry. My heart aches for you. You did the right thing though and you know it. You are such a strong woman for sticking your ground. Hopefully your son will realize that he needs to seek professional help sooner rather than later to combat his lifestyle. I admire how you hassled this situation. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and pray that things will turn around. Until they do know that you are doing the right thing and that your son knows it too, he is just too caught up in his lifestyle to care.

Hang in there!!!!
Posted: January 22, 2018, 1:04 PM

Posts: 519
Joined: August 28, 2016

ok-- so he called back last night and I did not answer as it was late. Then he called this morning early and I answered. He said he got a ride and was 3 hrs. away trying to pick up the RV he bought that didn't run. He was at an auto parts store and tried all different fixes, but still wouldn't run and he was broke and stuck there.

He said he has a full beard, no shower in 10 days, and no food. Still has 2 chihuahuas with him. Said he needed to move the RV from the auto parts lot or they would tow it. Said had no money left after trying to fix RV and auto parts store won't take electronic parts back once you buy them???

Wanted me to look up mobile RV repair places near where he was and said he was trying to sell the generator out of the RV so he can get money???

I gave him 5 numbers near him and he said he couldn't call them cause his phone won't call long distance??? I refused to call them for him and said I have no mechanical knowledge and wouldn't even know what to say.

He sounded clear and not impaired but who knows???

I ended the conversation because I had a meeting to go into. Told him I hoped he could figure it out.

So tough to do when you hear you the pleading in his voice and you know the truthful part is he is living a bum-like life!

I hate this so much!!!!


ps--could really use advice from loolleedee right now!!!
Posted: January 23, 2018, 2:03 AM

Posts: 237
Joined: August 18, 2016

Hi, Lori! I'm sorry that things didn't work out as you hoped they would, but I really see some interesting signs of growth on your son's part. (and you have grown too, you amazing lady!! Virtual hug being sent your way!)

Here is what I see. First and most important...You are doing great!!! High five for not falling for the sob story (btw...laughed like crazy at the progression of his story. Boy, when we are desperate we can surely put on Academy award winning performances!)

I know you had high hopes that this 6 month break would bring around the change in your son you have been longing to see. You mentioned that you doubt your son will get better considering his age. I myself started the recovery process at 40 (I just turned 45 on the 16th) so don't lose hope. It might be harder for those who have been in the mire of addiction longer, just because longer habits are more entrenched in the fabric of our daily lives, but even older addicts can don't lose hope!

The first major change that I see is that even though your son called and was feeding you the same ol' B.S., he didn't call you a barrage of nasty names, which has been his m.o. up until this point. That is actually a big step forward fo him! He obviously has figured out in the past 6 months that if he wanted you in his life (even if at this point it is because he wants you there for selfish addict reasons!) he had better talk to you with the respect you deserve! That is a huge step forward. It shows that he can change is behavior when push comes to shove! Baby steps forward! Your firm stand is having a positive effect!

Even though your son struggles, he has managed to keep himself alive for the last 6 months. He obviously has managed to feed himself (and the dogs!), he has managed to find shelter, buy cigarettes and pay his phone bill. When push came to shove and he realized he was on his own for at least the next 6 months, he managed to do everything on his own.

He managed to not only get to the place where the RV was (in the story he told you, that same RV was in an impound lot and he needed $2000.00 and it didn't run!) but he managed to get it out of impound (though I have a feeling that was an embellishment to the story!). He somehow had enough money to buy the parts he needed(the one's he said you can't return...I find that suspect too! In this day and age you can return anything with a receipt and if you do not have the receipt they will usually give you store credit!). He also managed to get a ride without you having to go get him! Because you stopped enabling him, he not only has started to curb his mouth and attitude when speaking to you, he has also been able to solve his own problems. Without help, he managed to get a ride, get the RV, pay his phone bill etc.! In my mind, I see that as a very hopeful sign. It proves to you that he can take care of himself(even if his idea of "taking care" of himself is different than yours) when he has to. It was baby steps like these that helped me into early recovery. Even though at the time I was livid that no one would play the "Helpless Addict" game with me anymore, I slowly (and I mean super glacially slow!) started to see that I didn't need to run to my parents, husband etc. for every little thing. I started to see that I could solve my own problems and I slowly gained confidence in my ability to make good choices and to fix the consequences of my own bad decisions.

I am so proud of you for not caving in! I know as a mom it does NOT feel this way, but you are doing what is best for him(even though he can't quite see it yet!). I loved the way you handled the second phone call. You gave him some phone numbers and then told him you had plans and had to go and that you hoped he could figure things out and then you went!! That is what the people in my life did when they stopped enabling. My mom especially was great at sending a positive message while saying no! At first, I got angry when she (and others) would no longer do as I directed. I remember feeling puzzled...actually down right confused one day when a begging session of 20 minutes resulted in my mom saying she loved me and knew I could figure it out and then said a quick goodbye because she and her friend were going to the movies! How dare she go enjoy herself when I was all alone and broke!!! Looking back now with a clear head, I realized how much of a gift detaching with love is. It lit a fire under my butt. I no longer was going to be able to bullsh*t my way through life with others picking up the tab! Very slowly I started to see that it was up to me to navigate the world and manage my illness. Hopefully, these instances will spur your son on to making better choices too! I also wanted to mention again that it took OVER a year of my family holding their bottom line for me to even begin to want something better for myself. Recovery is a slow process. We have to wade through the mess of our lives, deal with past hurt and trauma, rebuild relationships etc. These things take time and it is often a "one step forward, two steps back" journey!

I know these little improvements are barely noticeable and that you were hoping for a more profound change. Just remember that we must crawl before we walk and walk before we run! These small positive changes (such as your son not cussing you out!) build upon each other until one day you turn around and see recovery staring back at you!!

I'm sorry this post is scattered and long winded! I am using voice typing app and am on my phone so it is making it difficult to edit my thoughts! I just wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a wonderful job! It can't be easy to watch the train derail in front of you, but you are getting off at your own stop!

This post has been edited by lolleedee on January 23, 2018, 4:02 AM
Posted: January 24, 2018, 11:00 AM

Posts: 519
Joined: August 28, 2016


Thanks so much for responding! Your posts always help me so much! Your advice is spot on and you have such great incite in how to manage addicted adults like my Chris.

He hasn't text or called now for two days probably because when he last texted he said he was physically and emotionally drained from not eating for days. I didn't respond and he is three hours away. I think he wanted us to drive there and bring him food or get him a motel there so he could order a pizza and shower. In the past we would have, but not anymore.

I pray he will turn around even at this late age and figure out solutions for himself. I know he can do that !!

(((BIG HUGS))) Lori
Posted: January 24, 2018, 12:53 PM

Posts: 16
Joined: January 15, 2018

duchesschama - Good job at holding strong and not giving in! I'm proud of you for taking care of yourself first and helping your son by saying no/not swooping in to rescue him! I love hearing updates from you and you give me strength to stand firm too. I pray our loved ones will come around and seek the help they need to get better. Until then, keep doing you :)
Posted: January 30, 2018, 7:13 AM

Posts: 2237
Joined: March 23, 2006

I so admire you parents standing firm the way you do. i have to deal with this now in my work situation and I have to steel myself not to be suckered in, must be so hard when it is your child.

But its so important to look at the truth.

I had an ex-client on the phone yesterday begging me to do something about his money because he is homeless, on the street and hasn't eaten, has no food no money etc.
Truth is he self-discharged from the rehab knowing full well that's the situation he would be in. He could have chosen to stick it out at rehab for a few days where he would have been fed, showered and have a warm bed. But no he chose to leave.

Truth, he was provided with a $10 transport card which is more than enough to get to the nearest regional centre less than 1 hour drive away. in that city there are so many places that feed the homeless that no-one ever need be hungry.

I think trying to dissect the truth of all these convoluted stories you are told is truly a waste of time. The minute you start hearing a convoluted story it just smacks of manipulation. And regardless of whether someone is an addict or not, at 47 (I am 48 BTW) we should all be standing on our own 2 feet and not waiting for someone else to rescue us.
I agree with the earlier poster the fact that you were not subject to a torrent of abuse is a step forward. Hold the line - its the only way. Rejoice in the small victories.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27

May the Force be with you.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should just get used to the idea....Robert Heinlein.

You can spend the next 24 hours reaching your true potential or sliding down into your own particular hell. the choice is always yours.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 8:36 AM

Posts: 200
Joined: November 16, 2017

Yes, I agree. The moment the story starts, it's best to stop. One of the counselor used the phrase, "I'm getting off this merry-go-round. I will ride for only so long". What I got out of this quote was that once the story starts being manipulative or non-productive, I have better use of my mental energy.

Not sure why this helped me so much, but I am using it. The instant I sense the same, old crap, I cut it off. We all kind of know-we can tell when we are being suckered into an endless conversation that sucks us further and further into some "needed" action. Better to jump off the ride altogether. My mind is so much happier. I can see how much energy I wasted trying to follow these conversations and decipher the truth.

Keep fighting the good fight. Agree with all the above who see some small positives.
Posted: February 4, 2018, 9:43 AM

Posts: 354
Joined: January 10, 2016

I haven't been on in a while. But girl you are doing so good. I feel like a proud momma that you are able to listen and not react anymore. You just let him ramble on and then say' ok good luck' How is your family?..
J is in a sober house he is ok today, this hour. It's a minute to minute thing. He has been in one rehab and two sober houses. He is going to be a daddy in May which is a shocked. I am not happy about it, but it's god's will for some reason to let him become a daddy at 37.. He is finally doing the steps, he has a sponsor that has been sober for 10 years and the guy is 50 so he doesn't play with J. It's an old g/f a opps night. So she is holding him accountable. All he ever wanted was to be a daddy. Right now at this moment in time he is working hard really hard at staying sober. Two days, three meetings a day and church. Busy mind keeps him out of trouble. Chris doesn't want it bad enough yet, he has learned to play the game to long. But he might have that wake up call one day :)..Keep the faith Lori, your amazing!! xxx
Posted: February 9, 2018, 3:48 PM

Posts: 9
Joined: February 8, 2018

Thank you all for these posts. It has given me the courage to take a 6 month break from my 40 year old addicted daughter.

Granny Doss
Posted: February 10, 2018, 6:53 PM

Posts: 200
Joined: November 16, 2017

Glad to hear that, Granny. We have to take care of ourselves. And, it is an illusion to keep in contact (that we are helping or preventing bad consequences). Hugs to all
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