Unsolicited Advice
Posted: December 1, 2017, 2:28 PM

Posts: 3
Joined: October 15, 2017

So our niece ask how our son was doing. I told her were hadn't talk to him since the first week of September. She ask if he was working and I told her he wasn't able. She ask if he'd gained weight. What does his size have to do with anything? I told her that I was trying to work up the courage to go to Al Anon. She said, "Well good maybe they can give you some advice on how to help him." I informed her that we were doing exactly as they advise. Her answer was, "Well I could never just give up on one of mine." The next time she asks, I am just going to say, I can't talk to you about this."

This post has been edited by gogo on December 1, 2017, 2:29 PM
Posted: December 1, 2017, 4:24 PM

Posts: 639
Joined: April 4, 2016

Gogo . . . fortunately those who have never dealt with addiction do not understand the roller coaster that our addicts put us on . . . no less the concepts of detaching with love or not enabling. Truth be told, before my daughter was an addict the idea of not meeting her basic needs was something I would have never dreamt of.

My dad said something similar to this. He berated me for not quitting my job and taking care of my only child. He called me all kinds of bad mothers because I wasn't totally entangled in my daughter's drama and trauma. He just didn't understand why I wasn't battling addiction for my baby. He felt that I wasn't doing enough. He was/is ignorant . . . and misinformed. As far as my dad is concerned overcoming addiction is a matter of willpower and self-control. He always points to the fact that he quit a pack a day cig habit cold turkey 40 years ago.

I know it is hard to tune out these folks who mean well . . . who we love & respect . . . but are clueless. God bless the novices and innocents. Try not to take offense . . . or question that what you are doing is right. Take this as a teachable moment. Find literature about addiction in general and info re loving an addict. Have it at the ready. (Lord knows, I email my dad.) Maybe send them a copy of Ways Family Members Can Help, or Things Not to Do, both of which are on this board. Or invite whoever to Alanon or Naranon.

Hang in there! Sending love & hugs . . .


This post has been edited by hurtingmom on December 1, 2017, 4:26 PM


I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.

In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
Posted: December 2, 2017, 3:07 PM

Posts: 1755
Joined: June 27, 2016

Hi - I have been on this roller coaster for 5 years. wow, time flies. my son has had full time jobs, lived away from home about 3.5 out of the 5 years, yet today when I asked him to pay his $25 credit card bill bc I don't want to pay it anymore, he snapped that I am on his back every day and this is why he is under so much stress, it is our fault. he cant eat or sleep because of us.... really? he has had many years without us around. all he has to do is pay he own bills and we will be happy to leave him alone.....

he worked this year for 8 months, got laid off, found another part time job. as long as he is working I ask him to pay $25 -- and that is too much for him to do.

over the past 5 years he has been to two rehabs, sober living, living w relative. all went well, yet he relapses as soon as he leaves. this year march to October - he was working, we let him use our car, he lived at a friends house, we were off his back. but he was still using something and spending on something. Its a mystery. dysfunctional.

recently, he is back home, working part time. I am taking this opportunity to nudge him back into recovery counseling. Now, "I'm on his back everyday".....
unfortunately, my husband tries to bully him into remission. I take the loving approach. so the three of us clash like a perfect storm.

I just recently found a recovery center in our community that treats family members and has many programs for family and addicts. I started going. I need someone to talk to and to sort out what is going on with my son. maybe I can get dad and son into family counseling. I brought papers home for him, and text him every other day to call the center and make appointments. and I have asked for 'rent' from each paycheck. therefore, "I am on his back" and he is avoiding me. but - that is good, I would rather him stay away than continue making it easy for him at home.

Conclusion: Whether we are on his back or off his back, for the past 5 years he has had many opportunities to get his life together. and we have been EASY on him. let him use our very old car, etc. HE has not changed anything. Even though he is depressed and miserable and hates his life, HE can not see that drugs are a part of it. He will not admit that drugs are a part of it. I think he denys himself from believing it. he started seeing a psy dr two months ago, no change, idk if he is taking the meds or sold them, they are not in the house or car. only thing I know is that his paycheck is always gone.

Next time your niece talks to you, tell her you it is a difficult topic and you do not want to talk about it. Then, ask her to take him in. maybe she can do better.

I just had a talk with my youngest daughter who is in her 20's. she tells me there is nothing we can do about it. she hates seeing me sad. she hates the holidays and having relatives come to celebrate. hates talking to people who might ask questions.... so, yeah, it makes the whole household sad and angry.

Our next step is to tell him, get into recovery and pay us rent. or get out, dead line being Jan 1st.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on December 2, 2017, 3:10 PM
Posted: December 2, 2017, 9:04 PM

Posts: 521
Joined: August 28, 2016

I am glad you are finally coming to the conclusion that he must make this journey on his own. He has had more then ample time and opportunity to change his life for the better. He has chosen drugs!

You should have a life as well and you haven't because you have been trying so very hard to "help" your son and redirect his path. Only he can do that! Your "enabling " him no matter how you look at it and now he once again is punishing you for "being on his back everyday" as he calls it.

You and your husband (no matter what your parenting styles are) are only going to wear yourselves out and alienate you 20 year old who is bearing the results of your trying to "save" your son! He isn't ready to go to rehab and all the wanting him in the world to go won't make a difference.

With the Christmas season so close do yourself a favor and stick to your last statement posted. Time for that ultimatum and no better time than January 1st!

Hang in there NY and maybe 2018 will be a more peaceful year for you and your family!

Wishing you the best and praying for your strength through all this! Believe me I know how tough it is!!!

(((Big Hugs)))--Lori
Posted: December 3, 2017, 12:42 AM

Posts: 1755
Joined: June 27, 2016

Hi Dutchess - Thank you for the gentle thoughts, and for not slamming me for 'enabling'! It is so hard. I feel like my son is 80% OK, he always works. he just does not take care of himself. his gf or friends come first? I feel like he's brainwashed. yes, again, I have come to terms with the truth of the issue. It is just so sad for him, yet he does not see it. sees it as our fault for always "being on his back about something"

I know you have been through this so many times, and I do know my son could be in the same shape 10-20 years from now. and I know he could die of his own causing. I am such an optimist, always seeing the better side. It is hard to give up.

gogo - fyi - Alanon is for YOU to find help, not for you to fix your son. Go there. Find support.
Although, if your son is not in your daily life, then maybe you are not feeling the crisis and don't need to talk to others.... you could try it, see if it helps.
Posted: December 3, 2017, 6:24 AM

Posts: 639
Joined: April 4, 2016

NY . . . I hear the sadness and frustration . . . the despair . . . the love . . . the strength . . . and the hope in your post. Sending hugs, Momma. Loving an addict child is so so hard . . . and heart wrenching. Everyone has "good" advice for us . . . but don't have a clue as to what we endure. (PS Love the advice of sending our addicts to all the Dr Phil's in our lives!!! Forgot that I asked Dad if he wanted my daughter to live with him since I was doing such a horrid job . . . and forgot how quickly he came up with a gazillion excuses why he couldn't/why it wasn't a good idea. Smile)

Enabling? Don't worry about whether or not you are doing it. I'm not even thinking about it. Look at how much progress you have made and are making. Lord knows if I could, Jill would be living with us, too. Home would be her sober living. I'd rejoice with 80% clean and working, like you are. But Dutchess' advice is spot on!!! As much as we want to help . . . we shouldn't sacrifice us . . . our partners . . . or other kids in the process. You've done so much, NY, for and with your son. Rest assured that you are a fantastic mom! If January 1st feels right, I'm 1000% behind you. Do you! Love yourself as much as you love him. Find your peace/piece of mind.

My only suggestion . . . for what it is worth . . . is that you let him know ASAP re the "new" rules. He probably needs at least 4 weeks to restructure and reorder his life/priorities/money so HE creates the environment in which he may be able to succeed. He may need to adjust a few things/pay off a few people before. Shoot, maybe he will even make a budget. (Fingers crossed!!!)

Stay strong NY! Sending love & hugs to you, gogo & D!!! Saying prayers for some of the most loving, giving, forgiving, thick skinned, baddest women I know . . . all of us bad a$$ princess warrior moms of addicts . . . (You dads, grandparents, partners, siblings are pretty awesome, too!!!)

Smooches . . . Lynn

This post has been edited by hurtingmom on December 3, 2017, 6:29 AM


I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.

In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
Posted: December 3, 2017, 7:41 AM

Posts: 1755
Joined: June 27, 2016

Good Morning, Lynn,
My eyes opened up at 4am - couldn't get back to sleep! Geezsh!

my son lost his full time job at the middle of October. moved back home. (was living at gf family home until he had no income?) he had about 4 weeks of no paycheck. I actually saw glimmers of hope - almost normal except for sleep issues and sleeping all day. said he'd pay me back for the weeks he borrowed for cigs and gas and sneakers. when he got paycheck, I saw nothing. not even a blink. out to the gf. typical addiction behavior. the lies hurt. He has also got a few checks from unemployment in the past 2-3 weeks, initially he said he did not get any unemp checks, and lies about how much the checks were. I thought for sure that he would be honest and pay us something. As soon as I realized he started having paychecks come in I told him I wanted $200 per week - so I can pay his bills (400) and pay myself back, after that I would save the amount not needed for the bills. I thought that was a good deal. nope, no response. Today when I texted him to pay his $25 cred card, I was met with - we "stress him out, that why he has problems. that's why he needs anxiety meds." and he acts like he really believes it.

UGH - I thought it would be different this time. I am determined once again... recovery or out of here. I wish it was recovery AND out of here. I don't even want him around the house.
If he chooses recovery - not optimistic - he will have to stay living here at home. we are not paying for rehab and he wont go there again. then I become the addict sitter and rule maker.
my husband will just blow up every week or two and then go to work. Oh, and just in time for holidays! JOY! I cant wait for Jan 2nd!

sad again

Posted: December 3, 2017, 12:50 PM

Posts: 521
Joined: August 28, 2016

My heart hurts for you! I know how sad you feel cause even though my son isn't in my life right now, I feel sadness especially during the Christmas season. I am flooded with all the sweet memories of time past where he was part of our Christmas celebrations and part of this family.

He chose not to be a part of all that when he chose drugs. I can't fix that! Yes ,it hurts, but I have a husband and disabled 16 y/o old that need me to be there for them. I can't if I am not taking care of myself or dwelling on my addicted son Chris.

You deserve to have a life--one free of all his drama! Never feel guilty for that! You have more than tried with him! You have kept getting back in the ring and fighting over and over to help him and regain your son back. You have sacrificed so much! But enough is enough and it is time for you NY! If his life is meant to be better, it will happen , but all your "help" in the world isn't going to make him change. Only he can do that!

What you have been doing hasn't changed him and maybe even delayed the process of him getting clean on his own. If nothing changes--nothing changes! At least you tried as us mamas do. Time for that change and it appears he isn't ready, but you are! So set your boundaries and guidelines for January !st, if that is your plan. Then stick too it!!!! You definitely know where to come to get hugs and support!

Thinking of you and sending cyber hugs--Lori
Posted: December 4, 2017, 8:00 PM

Posts: 97
Joined: January 21, 2017

gogo, uncaring and uninformed comments from family members are the worst. The very folks you think will have your back....you may want to read the book It's Not about you, Except when it is. Written by Barbara Victoria. Very powerful, practical advice.... the one that resonated most with me is the response "you have no idea". And I sometimes follow that up with, "and I pray you never do" because for the most part, only those that have lived the hell of addiction completely understand. Keep posting, and reaching out in places where you feel safe and supported. Libby
Posted: December 5, 2017, 11:08 PM

Posts: 368
Joined: November 16, 2017

Tough stuff. One of my worst was a principal who mentioned that if I did not work outside the home, my son would be in school. (As I sat in his office, asking for help with my son).

It is AWFUL to deal with this misinformed, hurtful stuff from others. People do NOT understand. Only those who have walked our roads really understand. That is why I come here!!

Hugs, all.
Posted: January 7, 2018, 6:23 AM

Posts: 48
Joined: December 25, 2017

Unless your niece has direct experience of this (and judging by her comments she obviously doesnt) then she will have no understanding whatsoever.

If she is well meaning but ignorant then maybe education is all she needs (if she wants it) but if she is one of those 'navel gazing' types with 'push button' children then dont hold your breath that she will ever have a clue about what you are going through.

If i had a £ for every time someone has said to me ' did you tell/ warn/ explain to your son' i would be very rich.

I had one family member believe they had cured my son after just ONE 10 minute conversation having previously not been involved at all and another who suggested he lived with them for a couple of weeks and they would 'sort him out'

Probably well meaning but it was actually very insulting, thoughtless and reveals an incredible lack of understanding.

Parents of addicts are forced to gain skills way outside of the normal parenting envelope that most parents need to operate in which actually makes us MORE experienced than them not less.

This post has been edited by Jet0912 on January 7, 2018, 7:02 AM
Posted: January 7, 2018, 12:35 PM

Posts: 1755
Joined: June 27, 2016

Jet - your last statement is SO True! and I would be just as ignorant if I was not living w this issue day in and day out for last 4 years!

reminds me of a conversation w grandma who knows he has problems, but not day to day details. I said if he was serious about quitting what hes doing and saving $ on gas, he would stay at grandmas a few nights a week, as her house is much closer to his work. this was 6 months ago when his commute to work was an hour. She said 'he wont stay with grandma because I wont put up with his bullsh**...". I was speechless - is she implying we 'put up with his BS!" 4 years in the trenches w him, rehabs, constantly trying a new approach...." and she thinks its THAT simple!
She does not comprehend the obvious - which I told her - he wont stay at Grandma's bc his friends and doc are not there. Grandma - who only sees the kids on holiday, never gives them a phone call!! Yea, she would have some influence (sarcasm) and then she slathers sympathy - 'you poor thing, call me, you can talk to me..." No Thanks, thats the last thing I will be doing.....

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on January 7, 2018, 10:30 PM
  top of page  Top