19 Year Old Moves Out - Now What
Posted: October 4, 2019, 8:06 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



I have spent hours reading this site. My son is 19 and an addict. Says he does not have a problem. He smokes dagga daily and tested positive for MET, 2 weeks ago. Long story short, he barely passed matric. Got a good job down the road. Applied to work in another country and got that job as well. He was due to leave next week. THEN in an instant....resigned from his job, gave up the foreign country opportunity (he took his own drug test and failed, so never went to the final Dr's appointment to approve his leaving)..he is back working as a waiter and then he dropped the bombshell that he was moving out and into a home with a 50 year old man who rents rooms to boys in his house and allows dope to be smoked. My son has changed into the addict and has taken to screaming and swearing at me and other family members. I see glimmers of him on occasion but the rage is scary. Just yesterday he asked me to take some items that he left in my home to him. I used the opportunity to take EVERYTHING he had left ie clothes, toiletries, books etc. He went crazy at me and told me in front of my 11 year old and my husband (not his dad) to F off and that I was a piece of *&^% - I ignored him and placed everything out of the car for him to take into his new home. He was screaming "f off, f off" as I drove away. My question is - do I keep messaging him and saying that he is loved (I have often done this and he gets furious on occasion and says I am a toxic B$%tch etc. Other times he will say "thanks Mom") OR do I leave it now and leave him to contact me? Unfortunately my ex husband runs around him and has asked me to support my son financially as he will have only a little income now. I said NO - I will not give him a cent. At the back of my mind is the fear that he then sells drugs to make money BUT I cant enable him and accept that only tough love will provide a chance for him to turn himself around and get clean. Thank you for reading my vent....today I am angry and it is better than the depression that comes over me.
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Posted: October 4, 2019, 9:57 AM


Posts: 192
Joined: July 6, 2018



I know the anger was better for me, allowed me to see how I was being used by my daughter.
You told him you love. I think that's enough. He has chosen his look path for now.
My child is 31 and is still using but is better than she was.
I told her I would not help kill herself. She continues to make horrible choices.
Hopefully you soon will realize soon how hard life is doing things this way.
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Posted: October 4, 2019, 11:26 AM


Posts: 182
Joined: December 21, 2018



Wow mrsj. Condolonces. The good news your son is young enough there is still a chance. But the longer he lives that life the harder it will be for him to change or sober up.

That being said there is a lot going on there. Absolutely the 50 year old guy renting to young boys along with allowing drug use is creepy to say the least. Here the alkie in his mid 50s is hanging out with people half his age-part of that is addicts & alkies want their behavior validated so hopefully that's the only thing going there an old guy who never grew up.

Here the alkie alienated same age friends because he won't leave the party literally and physically-they moved on. In your case this guy could be a lifetime addict/alkie himself. But that tolerated/accepted drug use probably means there's some drug dealing going on there as well even if among the tenants.

Also be aware pot and other drugs are not as calming as many would have you believe. Especially mixed with other drugs. I've seen it first hand-state of agitation, short temper, aggressive vindictive bitter behavior. And by the way drugs don't necessarily manufacture behavior they facilitate existing thoughts, emotions by lowering inhibition. Your son probably has some grudges and contorted or poor views of people seeing his age.

Let the tantrums playout-don't engage between intoxicated and emotional state you'll never win. Don't let a conversation turn into a debate. Stay safe yourself.

Good Luck
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Posted: October 5, 2019, 7:18 AM


Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018



Welcome and sorry to hear about your son's addiction. I think your approach is smart and it lets him know by actions (not just words) if you want to move out and do drugs here is ALL your stuff. Its good he got mad because he got the message loud and clear. He didn't like it because they want their cake and eat it too. However, bad behaviors have consequences.

I personally would wait for him to call me. Usually means they want to make contact and are more civil to talk to. I hope he realizes his new lifestyle is not the way to go in life. I would let him know in a kind way, when he is ready to get off drugs and get back to a healthy life, you are there for him.
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Posted: October 5, 2019, 9:46 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



Thank you everyone for your input. I am trying to learn as much as I can. I am going to wait for him to call me as I don't want to put myself in the firing line again. He is such a lovely young man and so many people tell me that, but I see another side and when that verbally abusive, aggressive addict comes out it is terrible. I feel guilty saying that when he is here I was on eggshells as to when he would explode on me. It is however so hard to walk passed his bedroom and smell him there, too remember the good times, to think about him. Makes me very sad. My youngest wants to move into his room but at the moment it feels like he is being replaced. I keep second guessing myself.....what if....what if he is not on drugs anymore, what if I am the problem, what if he is right in that this generation is different and more stressed than mine growing up...BUT then my head says NO - remember all the hate, anger, horrible cursing.
I am looking for a meeting to attend in my area to help me as I know that I do enable bad behaviour.
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Posted: October 5, 2019, 10:28 AM


Posts: 325
Joined: November 16, 2017



Our sons could be twins. I agree the anger is so much better to than the sadness.

No matter what we do, as mothers, for some reason, they feel it is okay to call names and curse. I am sure your son is like mine, in that-he never saw or heard this type of behavior growing up. I don't know where they "learn" this, but it is so common.

You are doing the right thing. You are doing what is best for your son and for yourself and your family.

Until he sees it, all efforts are useless. I would encourage you not to contact him. For one thing, he will probably just be abusive. But, also, it takes the sting of all his belongings taken to him. And, you don't want to take away that sting. It may (and that is a big may) help him see where he is headed. Even if it doesn't, you have to take care of yourself.

I know exactly what you are going through. I am really sorry that this is happening to your family. Keep sharing!
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 9:01 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



Gosh today I am so down. Have not heard a word from him at all. It is the longest we have ever gone without talking or texting. I see his photographs and get sad...I then try to keep in mind the verbal and written abuse. Calling me every name under the sun, he was not bought up to swear like he does.
It bothers me that he insists that the reason that he did not go overseas is because "God told him to stay", he always said his prayers and attends church on occasion.
I feel stupid as the more I read about Meth, the more the signs were there. I knew about weed but not meth until he tested. He used to have empty pens, straws and then recently I found a rolled up note. Imagine - I thought he might has used a pen to smoke weed! I am so naïve. Also the little squares of cut up plastic shopping bags, oh and all my teaspoons - GONE! I noticed them going missing and thought that my kids were leaving them at work or school.
It bothers me that he was always so honest - too honest and now appears to lie to my face insisting to all family that he DOES NOT DO DRUGS and that he does not know why he tested for Meth.
Am reading here that I need to love me - I have not done that for years - so am working on that now.
Knowledge sure is power and I realise that the weight loss is not his going "running" and his just growing up. He used to eat well - then that stopped but he took to lots of water and juice as well as milky chocolate drinks.
Damn - today is HARD.
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 9:17 AM


Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018



Sorry today is especially hard for you. The sadness comes and goes and along with other emotions that weave in and out. I personally never take my daughter's rants personally...I know it's the drugs and her own frustrations. I'm not saying it's acceptable, Im just saying I don't take it personally.

In my opinion and experience, having a child with an addiction creates another dimension to life I really never wanted to experience. Its a dimension only we know and it's hard to describe to others who are not in this situation. Its an endless grief. Some days I cope better than others and yesterday was really bad for me. I didn't cope well.

Yes it's so important to take good care of yourself because it's easy to become as lost as they are. My faith, pray, work, and friends help me keep living my life. Its just always there and it's very sad.

This post has been edited by Sallyanna on October 6, 2019, 9:26 AM
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 9:33 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



Thanks Sallyanna. My faith alone is keeping me sane....I have to let go and let God work in this situation. Just so damn hard.
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 10:53 AM


Posts: 182
Joined: December 21, 2018



mrsj hang in there. You should not have to walk on egg shells or worry when the next outburst will come. I've seen it in other alcoholics and addicts.

I wouldn't worry about contacting him especially if he is not responding. Sometimes no contact is good. Hopefully he doesn't have a build up of grievances next time there is contact. Never engage an impaired individual in the middle of a tirade/tantrum. Let them wear themselves out hopefully without working themselves into physical violence.

I'd say right now he wants to be around people of a similar mindset to not only validate his drug use but his attitude, opinions etc. To him it's just as important to have people agree with him. These new 'friends' can become a real stumbling block down the road because even though he might to quit drugs he will have become attached to them for other reasons. And just like the habit of doing drugs their daily routine and contact with 'friends' becomes hard to break. That group eventually becomes it's own culture/way of life.

That being said until he really wants to change himself there's not much you can do for now.

Also one day he might contact you with an 'emergency' which I've also seen. For some they really think they have an emergency. But others use it as ploy trying to exploit emotion and not give the person time to think about do them what ever favor they want. You can judge better than anyone since you know your son.

Keep on educating yourself, attend meetings, come here and worry about your and families health and safety.

This post has been edited by samegame on October 6, 2019, 10:54 AM
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 1:46 PM


Posts: 1570
Joined: June 27, 2016



my biggest turning point was realizing that my enabling - even though it seemed small - kept my son in active addiction. we know enabling is bad but it takes a long time to really come to terms that the smallest amount of our participation in his addiction, keeps him in addiction. We kept thinking he would see that Drug use was making his life difficult, not us. we thought he would stop on his own. after all he had clean time and would surely see that being sober is better than addiction. Unfortunately, as Bradon Novak stated - "addiction is a disease that tells me I don't have a disease." It is a disease of Denial and Manipulation. watch Brandon Novak's story on youtube.

idk how long you have been going thru this with your son. Our has been about 7 years, 4 rehabs where he would have 3-6 months clean times, we would get him 'back on his feet', and then relapse for a year. since our son is older I was OK with leaving and not answering his phone calls. I could clearly see I was being used, taken advantage of.

At this time we have told him he can not come back home. he turned 30 yrs old a few weeks ago. It took us many years to realize that we can not help him. I'm sure all we have done as far as rehab has helped - what did not help was us giving him cars and getting him on his feet with out his effort. Now I know he is capable. He just did not want to take care of himself. he wanted to buy drugs instead of food. and so on. this hit home over the winter when I said to him, I don't understand why you can't - pay bills - go to super market -- he replied, I can do that, I choose not to.... (he must have been high, lol) that was the start of my change - if he chooses not to, then I can choose not to help him...

it takes time to move through the process. to stop doing and thinking along the same lines that got you to this point.

A few weeks ago, he has moved from jail to rehab. I am pretty confident he will not be back home. 100% we can not live that way again. I will leave my home if that happens. the old fear does come up when I let myself think about it. I am hoping the program he is in, which we are not paying for, transitions him to living on his own, and getting a job. coming home would lead to the same mess as before.

the spoons - we noticed a bunch of ours missing last Christmas after my husband and I went on vacation for a week. I think we only have 2 table spoons left. It still took until March to get him out of our house. and then it took him until mid May to be arrested - and a stop to the active addiction. we did not bail him out. everyone advised not to. we did not participate in any legal stuff. It is better for him if he does it. one less thing for us to blame him for.

OK ---- Now about you:
Security First! This is just the beginning of the nightmare. Secure the house and valuables. get a security system or inexpensive cameras that you can see with an app on your phone or computer. Some have alarm in them. and you can sound an alarm thru the app. Remove or lock up any valuables. Everything is worth selling, nothing is safe. Secure your other children's valuables - computers, phones, video games -players.

Do not help him as you EX has asked... Tell your ex to help his son... Typical.... you don't want to enable your son's addiction, but others put you in the middle and make it feel like you have to... geesh…

You did the right thing by dropping off his stuff. No reason for him to come back home. You made a statement like Anauj did when she took her son's car that she owns 50% of.

This may be a long and painful journey. It may get very ugly. It is not your fault. This is your son's choices.

Focus on things you need to do for you for the next few months. try not to sit around dwelling on it... I have been doing that and really don't like that part of myself... I have gotten lazy and unmotivated. The side effects of active addiction in the family seeps into all of us...




This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on October 6, 2019, 1:52 PM
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 2:32 PM


Posts: 1570
Joined: June 27, 2016



samegame reminded me of some things. while our son was out of the house he said things like - I don't want to do this but I have no one to live with except these homeless criminals because you kicked me to the curb... he said to me 'your treating me like an animal' .. he tried to get more help from us... clothes are dirty, no shower, he stinks.... how do you expect me to " fill in the blank " when I'm living like this.. blamed us bc we kicked him out.
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Posted: October 6, 2019, 8:48 PM


Posts: 325
Joined: November 16, 2017



For better or worse, the depression seems to get better the longer things go on. I guess I got kind of numb or angry or something.

Don't beat yourself. Denial protects us in the beginning, it is a normal first reaction to something so severe as addiction. I look back and I was in denial about many things in the beginning as well.

I feel like SallyAnna hit the nail on the head when she said it is like entering a different dimension that NO ONE can possibly understand unless they have been through it. When my son first started on this, I felt like other people really were in another normal dimension that I couldn't access. Like, I was stuck in this insane world that was so over-the-top I felt like it was a nightmare. I remember when my son was on spice (I did not know that then), I took him to get a haircut or something. He started acting like an animal in the car. Really crazy. I felt like I was trapped in another world. All the normal people moving about seemed to be SO distant and unreachable.

He is doing better and I am SO thankful he realized the spice was making him crazy. Still have issues but spice (like meth) is really scary stuff.

Anyway, keep sharing. It helps. Share the good times and write out the painful times. We all know what it is like and are here for you.
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Posted: October 7, 2019, 7:58 AM


Posts: 1570
Joined: June 27, 2016



Parenting, it is like that. Normal world is distant. Similar for the person addicted. Can see the normal people, but can not be part of it.

Mrsj’s son sounds similar to your son’s situation. Young, and went to move out with his new friends and then found himself taking care of them. ( I think that is what I remember)


This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on October 7, 2019, 6:26 PM
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Posted: October 8, 2019, 7:44 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



Am feeling overwhelmed and so grateful for all the responses. I have read each and every one at least 3 times and am reading so much on this site. Am trying to strike a balance and put my son's addiction to one side as I also have been so focused on it.
He asked his sister to bring his toothbrush and his skateboard over to him. Clearly he is not speaking to me at all - which, thanks to you all here, is actually ok - well I am at peace (for now).
I think he is trying to "communicate" with me via his facebook as he put up something where he quoted Eminem "I think one of my greatest inspirations was people not believing in me. I just wanted to prove everybody wrong. I wanted to make it, and I was going to make it regardless of what anybody said". He has said during rants that I don't support his dreams, I don't believe in him etc etc. What he does not appreciate is that he was a straight A student who barely passed his final school exams and all he focuses on is running a "weed smoking bar" in our area where people can come and smoke safely together - picture my eyes rolling here. I fully supported him getting a job out of school and lifted him there most days as he has never bothered to get his drivers licence. I definitely supported his going overseas to work but he threw it away. Gosh - why do I feel I have to defend myself to a quote he has put up.
Anyway - the ex is taking him away this weekend. A big party with that side of the family. It is evident that the enablers (and I was one) are flocking to help him.
Have also been reading up on this Spice drug and feel that actually might be what he is one and causes the rages against me. I have found a certain freedom telling people the truth when they ask why he has left home but it still seems I am indeed living in a different dimension.
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Posted: October 8, 2019, 2:24 PM


Posts: 325
Joined: November 16, 2017



Mrs. J,

Hang in there. It makes me angry reading how he is manipulating your feelings because my son used to (and still tries) to do that to me. I used to really cry and freak out when this all first began. Especially when I did not know drugs were involved, he could cut me like a knife. He's been doing it so long over so many things, so over-the-top that it does not even phase me anymore.

We did nothing to cause this. They have to shift the blame, or they might have to DO something about their addiction. As long as the blame is on us, it's our fault. They are free to go use and bail on responsibilities. I don't mean to sound harsh. I love my son. But, I have to call BS firmly when he starts into that blame stuff. When I first started doing it, he really reacted-a couple times I was afraid of him.

We just went through this a couple of days ago although on a less emotional scale. In about an hour conversation, he blamed me for doing too much for him, blamed me for not doing enough, blamed me for being too mean to him, then too soft, blamed me for pushing him into treatment (which caused him to lose himself), then turned around and blamed me for not stopping him sooner.

I'm sure mental health issues play into this. I have learned how to better manage these conversations to better both of us. I generally just let him rant and feel nothing (thankfully). Once he exhausts himself with his ranting and lashing out, he is able to listen a little. This last time, I told him that everyone blames their parents for something-that you have to get over it at some point and that is a sign of maturity. I also told him that people have been through horrible abusive parents and turned out fine. So, that is not an excuse. I refuse to accept responsibility for this. I have done everything I can. Since he is not currently using spice, we are able to talk.

I could not have done that when he was using and it was all about staying safe. I shared this because really we truly and honestly are not to blame. They have to grow up and take responsibility for their lives. No parent is perfect. Blaming helps them manage their guilt over using and shifting responsibility so they can keep using.

On a funny side note (well, kind of funny, I can't really laugh yet). When my son was about 15, he went on a rant about how Justin Beiber's mom believed in him and that is why he was successful. He basically told me that I had ruined his life by not supporting him to be someone famous. Believe it or not, back then it actually bothered me a lot. I started comparing myself to Justin Beiber's Mom! ha ha They are master manipulators. I did not know that someone in the neighborhood had been giving him drugs even then. I had no idea-didn't think I had to worry about that for years.

So, ladies, we all can't be as perfect as Justin Beiber's Mom! : )
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Posted: October 8, 2019, 5:11 PM


Posts: 201
Joined: December 23, 2018



Awwww MrsJ - so sorry that you are dealing with son & his addiction. It sounds to me that you are doing the right thing, I would wait until he contacts you & even then field his messages or calls. Addicts know the right things to say to get others to think they are seeking help when truly all they are doing is manipulating our emotions.

Let him know he is not welcome home UNTIL he completes rehab & sober living. That way you are putting the responsibility of sobriety on his shoulders. You cannot give him one penny of "help" because that one penny gives him one penny more to spend on drugs.
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Posted: October 8, 2019, 5:21 PM


Posts: 201
Joined: December 23, 2018



Sorry - accidentally pressed enter: Don't run yourself ragged trying to find help for him because he is the only one who can choose the help he needs & a voluntary commitment into a rehab facility/detox does not stop him from walking away & then you are out money.

My son had a couple of different rehabs call me & ask if I wanted to contribute to his sobriety. Both times were almost immediately after he had cursed us out, screaming at us over the phone, calling us every filthy foul name you can think of. We also blocked his number for a while. he would change numbers every few days, so the barrage of insults would start over & we'd block him again. He got arrested 4 times in 2 months. We unfortunately spent a ton of money helping him start over & not one single cent helped anything at all. We are just out a ton of money (I mean a lot). He is now working, in an apprenticeship program & I think is doing well. But he didn't go to rehab this time (he's been a few times before), he was homeless for a bit so we agreed to pay for sober living for a few months. After he got employed, we stopped.

I love my son, but I'm still extremely angry at him & I do not trust a word that comes out of his mouth. He has not apologized to any family member for the horrible way he treated us. My husband is the one with the Rose Colored Glasses & will not say no, when our son calls he says "just give it to him...." I'm going to stop telling him when son calls..... The sad thing is, your son has to experience all of this & hopefully he'll get tired of the mess. It's actually better he has moved out - FOR YOU.
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Posted: October 8, 2019, 8:19 PM


Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018



I think it's important to be upfront in a kind way. It sets your boundaries and puts you in control of your life. What you will and won't accept or allow. I think this helps to keep things clear with defined boundaries.

For example you could say "I understand you have dreams and I really do want you to pursue them and be successful. I want you to be happy in life. What I don't support is illegal drug use and everything that goes along with it. If you have an addiction, I will support you in getting help to get off whatever it is you are on. Addiction ruins people's lives and it will, in time, ruin yours".

" I love you always and I'm here for you. I hope you know you can call me anytime. I ask for us to be mutually respectful of each other in our speech and actions. I can not talk to anyone who is being disrespectful and I hope our conversations will be positive. "

Of course, this was a hypothetical example. Its just helped me to be upfront with my daughter 3 years ago letting her know she couldn't ever live with me again because of her drug use and my PTSD. I keep in open communication with her and I tell her her best option is to go get help (again). I also tell her to walk her dog on a leash for his own protection. She does neither....I still love her and I'm always available to talk. I let her own the consequences of her choices and it's really hard to watch but I don't get in her way.

This post has been edited by Sallyanna on October 8, 2019, 8:40 PM
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Posted: October 9, 2019, 5:02 AM


Posts: 14
Joined: October 4, 2019



Parenting2 - thanks for your response. Sad that so many of us are treated like this by our loved ones. You are correct, they are master manipulators and I am starting to see more and more of it now. Yesterday I happened to see him with his father. His father had clearly collected him from the place he works at as a waiter and was taking him to the home that he now lives in - about 1 km away. He saw me but did not wave so I also just drove by them. He will now manipulate his father, who I believe is now giving him a "living allowance" and painting me as the bad one. At least I can rest knowing that I am no longer feeding into his addiction by enabling him and it is only a matter of time before he blows up that side unless he gets clean.
It is amazing how tired I am all the time. I sleep well at night but wake exhausted. This addiction thing certainly eats into the family as a unit.
As for being Mrs Beiber - lol - I was also told that other people have better, more supportive moms and that I am toxic....blah blah blah. It is hard not to take on guilt as a mother but I am learning to not focus on all that he has said.
You are spot on that it is their guilt that keeps them blaming us. Sadly a few years ago his psychologist went down that road with him and was all about it being the fact that he comes from a divorce and that I have made mistakes as a mother etc etc. I come from a divorced family and there is NO WAY I would be typing this now if I had spoken to my mom or dad like he has. I do however admit I have been enabling him and as I have stopped there has been more and more wrath.

This post has been edited by mrsj on October 9, 2019, 5:19 AM
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