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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > My 23 Year Old Son Is In Recovery, I Think

Posted by: Fran33 December 12, 2016, 3:15 PM
My 23 year old son recently completed a 90 day residential treatment program. Prior to that, he was taking anything and everything with alcohol daily. And prior to that, I was his supporter....I paid for his rent, I paid for his groceries, I pay for everything. Our relationship was horrible because he was verbally abusive. During treatment, he was my son again and I was so excited for the future. Since he got out in early October, he is using marijuana and has had (1) confirmed relapse from alcohol. He is not working and is very angry with me right now because I won't give him the help and support he wants and expects...TO LIVE WITH ME. this makes him angry and not want to talk to me. while I want him to live a sober life, I also want him to learn independence and to work and to live on his own. I make more than effort to reach him daily (call and text) just to make sure he's doing ok. He told me this morning that my help is not helpful to him and that I should just leave him alone. It makes me sad. I'm afraid that if I don't make daily effort, I'm not being a good parent and that I'm losing out on time with my son. Please, any advice is appreciated.

Posted by: Shell2639 December 13, 2016, 10:26 AM
You've offered your support to your son. If he doesn't want it, then you should respect his wishes. It's still his battle, not yours. I'm guessing the anger from him comes from his relapsing. It's guilt. If he doesn't have to talk to you then he doesn't have to feel accountable. He has to figure this out on his own.
My son is 30 and is currently in a 90 day program. I worry about when he comes out but it's not in his best interest or mine to make his life easier. Our addicts have to find their own way to staying sober.
Best of luck,

Posted by: Fran33 December 13, 2016, 10:43 AM
Thank you so much for you response and for your support. Some days are easier than others and other days, I just NEED acknowledgement and assurance that I'm doing the right thing.
Sending positive thoughts to you and your son as well.

Posted by: duchesschama December 13, 2016, 2:17 PM

You are absolutely doing the right thing! I thought the same for 20 yrs. and now in my retirement I have a 45 y/o addicted son that is on the same path and doing the same things. We stopped enabling him almost 6 months ago now and he doesn't contact us much anymore, unless he wants to complain and ask for money. We keep telling him "no" and praying he will figure it out.

So very difficult to do, but unless you want to be doing this same scenario until your dying day--NOW is the time to stop enabling! I wish I could go back to when my Chris was 23 and know what I know now, because I know things would be different for him and for us.

Come to this site often because it has helped me so much! The people on here have many years of experience and have "walked the walk". They will give you advice, support ,and comfort from various perspectives.

Alanon and Narcanon are helpful meetings as well. Praying for you and your son---


Posted by: BugginMe December 13, 2016, 2:30 PM
My son has been verbally abusive and I helped him with bills for many years so I know what you have gone through. It sounds like your son is mad at you because you aren’t giving him what he wants…money or a place to live? I intentionally stopped calling / texting my son every day. Now I don’t even talk to him every week. He freaked out because I wasn’t constantly worrying about him anymore but it wasn’t healthy for either of us to be that connected. He needed to have a life separate from mine even though I was worried about him. I needed to find something else to think about besides him and his problems. After awhile, it has became easier to be detached and it has improved my mental health. It has also helped me to see things more objectively.

Posted by: NyToFlorida December 13, 2016, 8:15 PM
Fran, go to naranon meetings. you will feel like you are doing something.
Your son does need independent time away from all of the triggers of home.
even though we are doing the right things for them, we are also part of the problem.
They need to learn to be independent without us.

two examples = when my son was in sober living, the admin of the program told my husband to stop sending my son job postings. my son had to look for and go to job postings on his own. also the postings my husband emailed, might not be within walking distance, so that would be upsetting conversations of --- Why didnt you send an email to that job, because it was too far away.... and then argument about all of that. and anger and disapointment on both sides.

also my son needs to find a job that HE likes, not that his DAD likes.

he is again looking for job. my husband again was sending job postings. my son said to him - in a very nice email - complete with capitals and punctuation - "Thank you for sending the job postings, but I am more than capable of doing this on my own.... "
My husband didnt know if his son's response was a good thing or bad thing.
I replied that it is a good thing.. 1. son was able to speak up for himself 2. son has to do this on his own 3. dad creates something uncomfortable when he does these things for son. 4. keeps the son feeling like a child when dad keeps doing stuff that he needs to do. 5. son can not feel independent in his own shoes when dad keeps stepping in

hope this helps!

Posted by: Fran33 December 14, 2016, 11:14 AM
Thank you ALL for your responses. I came to this site for this very reason, other mothers / family members having gone through what I'm going through right now. Other mothers / family members who have recommendations of what to do, or what they wish they had done. I know I'm doing the right thing but my heart strings are pulled daily with the thought of "what if" I could help him. I want to have a good relationship with him and honestly, it truly hurts me when he tells me that I'm not being a good mother because I'm not helping him with what he needs help with...a place to live and money. Even though I've offered to pay for him to move into sober living. He refused the offer because he knows he's not clean. So heartbreaking. I've never thought I'd be in this situation, I'm sure none of us did. I pray daily for us mothers who are struggling daily with worrying for our children.
Again, thank you for your responses.