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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Update

Posted by: NyToFlorida January 12, 2019, 1:14 AM
looking at son's phone calls for today - he did call the recovery center and a mental health center and local hotline and another local health center. Dad kicked him out again - he was in our bdroom. I drove him to someone's house. he wont be there long. by sunday night he will be back. just in time for me to drive him to work on Monday! idk what will happen. We both agree he can not drive our cars - we are done with that. I can not take the chance that he wrecks my car and I cant get to work. and it is safer for all if he is not on the road. we are both tired of waiting and watching. I just dont know how he can rebuild with no resources. if he is not living here, I can not bring him to work. if he doesn't go to work, wont have $. no $ means I am still paying for things. and driving him - to dr apments if he starts making appointments again..... he needs to be living where he can get to work without a car. --- which he had in florida two years ago..... guess I am venting to the masses..... you have all been there, done that.... thanks for listening!

Posted by: Sombra January 12, 2019, 2:09 AM
If you want advice, disengage. let go. let him figure it out. I heard from one of my former 4h kids the other day. They have been in rehab, jail, homeless shelter, and now has a job. I asked how they are getting back and forth, and they have figured out public transportation. You can't make yourself responsible for getting your adult child to and from work. Nor can you get them clean, or make them stay clean. It is tough, but we have to let them go, and let them figure it out.

If you don't want advice, ignore all that and ((Hugs)) to you. Hang in there.

Posted by: BugginMe January 12, 2019, 10:23 AM
I’m sorry NY. It does seem to become a vicious never ending circle. Just when you think maybe he is finally getting it together the rug is jerked out from under you. How can we stop when they need us so much? There lies the problem ... the more we help, the less they need to do for themselves. I think the reality is some of our kids will never be able to get it totally together. We have to give their lives back to them. But in order to do that we have to reach our limit and admit to ourselves we have done all we can. Some parents are able to do that quickly but some are never able to let go. It is very hard to turn things over to them to sink or swim. It feels more comfortable for us to be doing something even if it hurts us. There really is no good solution. The question you need to answer is at what point do I say ‘I will do no more’. It is an individual decision and one we all struggle with.

I always thought working was better than not working. But at what cost to you. I bought my son so many cars I am not sure I remember them all. He couldn’t even pay for gas most of the time. One would break down and he would pester me for another or I would get tired of driving him around. None of that made him a more responsible person or helped him be more independent. It only made it easier for him to buy dope and meet shady people.

Posted by: Sallyanna January 12, 2019, 10:29 AM
So sorry NTF. As a wise therapist said to me once "Why do you keep putting your hand in the toaster?"

Posted by: NyToFlorida January 12, 2019, 11:41 AM
Thank you all for responding. We have reached our limit but the logistics of keeping him out is overwhelming, out of reach? I think I am in between cutting him off but giving him a plan of action that he can work with, except I will be doing most of the 'paper work, leg work'. I don't want that. I have enough to do and I have goals of my own. I know others (addicts) have done it. I don't know how they have done it. I wonder if it is possible for him to learn to be independent when he has spent so many years avoiding it.. (ie paying bills) I want to say 'ok, here's the plan' and see him grasp it and do it... sadly, that may not happen.

sallyanna - yes If you walk down the street every day and someone steps out and punches you in the face, how many times do you keep walking on that street...

Sombra - the advice is helpful. even if it is all redundant - the reinforcement helps.

Bugginme - thank for your post. it helps to see the same situation has played out for others. Thank we are not unique in this horrible experience. Ahh, the pestering... yup same as my son. ie cars, no gas. does not maintain it. granted, we have given him a few really old clunkers but some TLC would have gotten him thru until he "saved" (haha) enough to buy his own..... yes if I look back to 2017 - he came home, I gave him my car with 250K miles. A year went by - did not register in his own name did not get his own insurance. drove it with a blindfold on until it was toast. (he was living w gf - easier for us to ignore it - out of sight out of mind) Hard to believe 2018 has flown by.... seems like yesterday.

Comfort Zone... easier for us to stay in our home than to pack it all up. I get stuck on what to throw away and what to try and keep. 50% is easy to toss, 25% is a tough decision, 25% will go with us. easier to give the kid bandaids and hope he follows thru. easier for him to drive himself then for me to deal with it. dad refuses at this point. Reality - I would rather drive him to work than have him in our house all day. Reality - even if we refuse to let him we deal with the fear of him breaking in - it is winter weather here - and then police, etc. I am not ready to deal w that and make things worse. I totally don't want him here, I just want him to leave peacefully.... I know... I know....

I wish there was a place like a detainment camp they could live in until they are functionally independent. that's what the government should do with the homeless. set up camps. it would become too unruly...

Posted by: Walkedon January 12, 2019, 1:30 PM
I feel for you .I am afraid that I too will be going back backwards.
I'll try to detach from my addict. It's up to her. I hope you can find the courage to do the same. Keep trying.

Posted by: Sallyanna January 12, 2019, 2:39 PM
NTF it's interesting he takes care of his car the same way he takes care of his life....he doesnt. The only way he can learn is if he has to function without others doing things for him. I understand kicking him out for good may be too much right now. Let him come back only if he comes back with the plan for his own life. He has to think about it, he has to write it out, share it with you and your husband, and then he has to execute it. Its important to let him do the work.

Posted by: Parenting2 January 13, 2019, 5:45 AM
So sorry to hear about the situation. I can relate.

It is tough because (for me) my son never 'learns'. I remember going to a counselor with him when he was in middle school. The guy was sort of shaming me for being too lenient (not the first or last time I was ever unfairly judged in this situation). When I explained that the kid literally had nothing-all was taken away-and he continued his behavior...the man just stared at me sort of dumbfounded. I have always been shocked the lengths my son will go to avoid responsibility (or get his way?). Defiance on steroids.

And, I think this is the real stickler for parents kicking them out and letting go. If they would go peacefully and learn from life, we would have kicked them out LONG ago. But, 1. they wine, complain, beg, wear us down, manipulate in untold ways and they are good at manipulation. And, that ever so subtle shifting of responsibility they try to do. They make if very hard on us to do what we know we need to do (and they get a huge benefit from this). and 2. We know in our hearts they probably aren't going to learn. When my son was about 16, he had zero. I mean, he should have been embarrassed-no phone, no car (was riding a bike around in winter in the middle of the night), no new clothes, no money. And, still he was NOT going to 'give in' to me (how he perceived following basic rules of respect).

So, the whole situation is set up as a very difficult path for us. I can relate NY to your thoughts about the break in and calling the police. I shared this sentiment for awhile. But, we need to always do a manipulation check. The reality is that if our kids break into our home, then the police need to be called, because that behavior is not safe or appropriate. And, it is not our job to keep them home to avoid the scenario. In a very real way, they hold us hostage with this scenario. Believe me, I know how hard this is and that it is not something to be taken lightly-those emotions. Fortunately for me, when I stood my ground, he did not break in but I expected him to. He did get in an altercation later (not related to me) that caused legal issues for him. He blamed the stress "I caused him".

The point I am at in this journey is that we just ended a legal obligation (related to a probation ruling) to have him in our home. He is 19. I find myself in a position where it is now or never in a way. If I never stop, it will never stop. I have stopped giving him any money. I stopped going to court dates. I stopped setting up doctor appointments. I stopped looking for him and checking on him. For the most part, I have stopped asking him questions about his life and his path. It has been very HARD. He has accused me of all types of things. Yelled, wined, almost cried. It has slowed down though as I don't give in. I keep saying, "I'm sorry, that sounds stressful" and "You are an adult now, so that really is no longer my problem or my responsibility" and things like that. Even though things are getting easier for me, it does not seem to have a big effect on his decisions.

I try to help in healthy ways. For example, he asked about counseling for his outbursts and I am happy to pay the co-pay for that. I would do that for any of my kids. I will listen and let him know I always love him and I always will be here for him emotionally when he needs to talk. I try to tell him I am glad he is my son and point out positive things.

But, all of this hard and I am still not out of the woods totally, as he is wanting to "go to college"-which I think is just "I don't want to work full time". So, I am trying to navigate what is fair there, because we help the other kids.

I did turn the tables on him and it made him think (briefly). He talks a lot about how work is too stressful, that he cannot handle working like other people. He was applying for new jobs and thought he had a lead at a local store. I told him, "Good! Because once you get a job, I am thinking about quitting mine for a year or two. The stress of all this has been getting to me and I just need a break.Since I have been carrying the load for awhile, I thought you could take over since I am getting too old". ha ha . You should have seen his face.

So, thanks for 'listening', this is so hard. I try to step back and look at things objectively to see what is appropriate and respectful relationships. WE MATTER. It is not selfish or being a bad parent to take care of ourselves and not tolerate inappropriate behavior.

Posted by: Parenting2 January 13, 2019, 5:52 AM
Sorry, can't sleep. : )

I do wish there was more government help for these types of situations. We closed all the mental health facilities but never replaced them with community services. It is too bad there are not more community resources or group homes or work programs or something for these kids who struggle with serious mental health issues and substance abuse.

Posted by: Sallyanna January 13, 2019, 8:40 AM
Don't kid yourself they can 'learn'. They learned how to do drugs, they learned how to get them, they learned how to manipulate, they learned how to read, drive a car, even learned how to break in a house....

Posted by: NyToFlorida January 13, 2019, 9:42 AM
thank you, parenting. it helps to hear I am not alone. I can stop my part the tough part is son not stopping his part.

Posted by: Sallyanna January 13, 2019, 10:59 AM
NTF if you don't mind me asking, what is your part you are going to stop?

Posted by: YellowBirds January 13, 2019, 2:12 PM
Sallyanna - Good point about them being able to learn what is important to them. Since my son was in elementary school he was known for losing everything: gloves, jackets, school bags, bus passes, etc. If it wasn’t tied to him, he lost it. Strangely, he has never lost his phone. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Parenting2 January 13, 2019, 3:20 PM
Yes, I know he can learn. I just meant that he is willing to endure really horrible situations rather than making a choice to change. So, maybe it would be better to say that I am aware he may never choose to change. That even if we cut them off totally, it does not mean a better way for them. Just to be aware of that and not have it be a reason for us to change. But, to change our behaviors because it is the right thing to do.

NY, I can feel your pain. Loving an addict is very painful. I wish you strength and peace as you navigate this situation of detaching. It is excruciating, no doubt.