advice needed from forum, I posted several months back. My 33 yr old son is in a short term rehab,

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by shiela, May 19, 2014.

  1. shiela

    shiela Member

    his girlfriend is too. She is in a mommy and me program and our grand baby will go with her next week. My son had baby at our home for several months. His girlfriend moved in. Their behavior was not good. My husband and I are retired with many health problems. We sold our home short sale over a yr ago and live in a very small 2 bd unit. We had our son, girlfriend and grandbaby here, but, landlord said we could not have five occupants. My son feels we let him down, as now he cant have his family together. We supported him for over ten yrs, with rehabs, oxford homes, bedding, money. Nothing worked. We cant do this again. His girlfriend is 21, they have a baby. We cannot raise her. They are herion addicts. I have helped him all through these past yrs, now, I cant, finanacially or mentally. I am now very depressed and not happy in my life. Don't know how to go forwaed, don't want to support him any longer. He asked if we could pay for oxford home near his girlfriend. We have given so much to him, and my daughter that does well, hasn't had our help. I don't have health insurance since husband retired, it is too expensive and I am not yet 65. I am so distraught.
  2. Stress Bunny

    Stress Bunny Active Member


    I am so sorry you are going through this and have been for some time.

    You know what you can and cannot do for your adult son, but your mother's heart is wanting to "help". That you would even consider paying for a place for your son to live while going without health insurance yourself, shows the level of self sacrifice going through your mind. Remember that you have already provided money, food, shelter, emotional support, and all the rest, but these have not positively affected your son's behaviors and choices. That's the bad news. But the good news is that it's never too late to stop enabling. When you stop enabling, the consequences of your son's choices will become his, not yours.

    Do you see how he is blaming others (you, in this case) for HIS circumstances, which are the direct result of HIS decisions?

    As you stop enabling him, you can have peace and joy in your own life and he will have a better opportunity to make positive choices in his life. It's a win-win. BUT . . . and this is a big BUT, despite your decision to stop helping him continue in his current lifestyle and choices, he may continue to make poor choices. He may never find his way to good. Your son needs to recover from his Heroin addiction before he has a chance at a healthy, happy life. You can encourage him to seek treatment, but know that he may not or if he does, he may not be successful.

    Letting go is hard. Acceptance is hard. When you read the posts here, you will find that many others are on the same path, and there is SO much helpful information and emotional support to be found here. It's time to put yourself and your husband as a top priority in your life.

    Clearly, this has taken its toll on you, emotionally, physically, and financially, and if you don't take care of yourself and your husband, no one will. If you aren't already in counseling, I think you would find it extremely helpful. Others will be along with words of wisdom as well.

    Again, my heart goes out to you, and I will keep you in my prayers.
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  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Sheila, you have done all that you could do, and then some, at great personal sacrifice to yourself and everyone in your family and it has not helped your son. You did not let him down, he let himself down. You can't fix this for him. No one can except him.

    I too think counseling is a great idea. It seems like an impossible scenario, to be happy again when our children are destroying themselves right in front of us, but there are ways to find it, to find peace.
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I think that by age 33 adult children should be living on their own or at least taking care of themselves, even if they are drug addicts and need rehabs and homeless shelters to help them out. He wants the family together? His family is now girlfriend and his child. His (cough) disappointment with family not being together probably is not about spending quality time with you and your husband. It is more likely that he wants a free place to live, hot meals, you doing his laundry, you handing him money, use of your car, etc. Adults his age do not want to live at home with Dad and Mom. Well, not most of them!!!!

    You deserve a long-awaited and hard-in-coming joyous retirement and in my opinion should detach from the drama of your beloved child. You can not help him. There is nothing you can do to change him. You gave birth to him, but he is a seperate human being from you and just because he is choosing drug addiction doesn't mean you have to keep on caring for him like he were still ten years old. He can try to get on welfare, social security, apply for SNAP and survive that way. in my opinion it is better for adult children, and yours is already in his 30's, to learn to handle their own problems without our constant "support" (which usually costs us a ton in both our money and our health).

    You may want to start going to your own therapist to help you detach or to go to a Nar-Anon meeting...I really enjoy and have learned from twelve step meetings plus got lots and lots of support. Have you read the article on detachment at the top of this page? I would do that. You may also want to grab a copy of "Codependent No More" by Melody beatty from your library or even buy it off Amazon. Great book that helps us to start seeing that we can't fix anyone else, not even beloved grown children and that we need to love and be good to ourselves...and learn to let go of other people's problems, no matter who they are. You have 0% control over what your son does with his life. You have 100% control over yourself. We can only control one! I'm sure you've tried it all with your almost middle age son...talking to him, rewards, punishments, heartfelt pleas, tears, begging, perhaps you've needed to call the police on him, I know he's been in rehab perhaps on your dime, you've taken his abuse and given love to him like the champion mother that you are.

    It's your time to enjoy your life and let your son sort out his own. This is my favorite prayer. You don't have to believe in God to take wisdom from the words. in my opinion it is helpful to all.

    "God great me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    The COURAGE to change the things I can,
    And the WISDOM to know the difference."

    I start my day out with this prayer and at one time had a necklace that had the entire prayer on it. It reminded me that I need to know what I can control, what I can't and to live my life with that wise knowledge.

    Also, even if your son likes to give you guilt trips about how his issues are your fault (this is a very common difficult child ploy) it isn't. It is, at his age, his decision to continue using drugs with druggie girlfriend. It is sad for the baby, but unless you feel capable of trying to custody and raising the little guy or girl, you can't control that either. Once in school, they will catch on and likely call CPS. Or you can call CPS yourself to try to get your little grandchild into a stable foster home. I would deplore calling CPS on my child, but I would do it if I saw a grandchild in peril.

    Hugs to you for your hurting mommy heart.
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  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry Sheila, I understand how much this hurts your heart. However, it's time to let go, its' time to recognize that you are NOT responsible for your grown son and his family, it is time for you and your husband to have your own lives without your son holding you hostage with his bad behavior.

    It is sad to be our age and have our difficult child's still clinging to us, but you have the power here and here it is in one word........NO. NO. NO. NO. Keep saying no. If he gives you a hard time like with his guilt trip about holding his family together, hang up, don't engage, get out from under this heavy load of guilt you're carrying, it is not your burden, it is his. Don't allow him to shift it onto your plate. Our kids are master manipulators, learn to respond differently. You may require help to do that, I did, and many of us do, so if it feels right, seek counseling for yourself, or some sort of support group where you will learn the tools you need to detach and find your joy once again.

    Two and a half years ago I was in your shoes. I was determined to get out of those shoes and I did, so can you. It takes a commitment on your part to change this very old and very tired, unhealthy dynamic you have going with your grown son. He is an addict. You are an enabler, Seek support to change that in yourself. The first step is saying NO. The second is taking the focus you've had on your son and putting it on YOU. Like me, your parenting years are behind you. We did the best we could and now that time is passed. Your son needs to MAN UP for his family. If he doesn't then that is HIS fate, not yours.

    When you were 33 years old, did you expect your parents to support you? Think about that.

    Get some help to assist you in making it over this first hump of despair. Once you traverse that, you will find some peace and some strength and you'll be on your way. Keep posting it helps. We're here if you need us. Sending you good thoughts, for comfort, for peace, for laughter.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Recovering Enabler, you did it again. Between you and COM and Scent and Echo and JKF and the entire wisdom of the board, I laugh and cry and still learn because it is of course still painful to have a son who is 36 and so different, in a bad way, from other successful middle age young willing to use and abuse. Put in the context of looking back to that age myself, I shudder. I was so far from living with either parent or depending on them and would never have wanted to live with them...even if they had been nice. I mean, our adult kids seem to shun adult independence that my easy child kids have started fighting for in their teens.

    I want to thank my board therapists once again for all their collective wisdom. If I forgot to name you, trust me, I still value what you share. It helps keep me strong...I remember that if I give 36 an inch, he will take a mile or ten miles. You are all so incredibly smart and strong.
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  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Where are the girl's parents, Shiela?

    I'm sorry this did not work, Shiela. But you did everything, every single thing, you could do.

    It still did not work.

    I am glad. Your son has no business living with you.

    Shiela, your son has let YOU down. You raised him better than to do what he is doing. You raised him better than to bring a child into the world with a mother addicted to heroin. You raised him better than to treat you poorly, than to talk to you like he does.

    Grown men are supposed to help and protect their parents Shiela.

    You raised him better.

    One of my children was addicted, Shiela. And one of them is mentally ill.

    When I first scraped up the courage (thanks to everyone here on this site, Shiela) to say "NO" was really a hard thing to do. Until I did it. Until I said it. The more I said "NO" the better I felt about myself and my life. That word Shiela, "NO" is your key out of this situation. It seems impossible that you could say it?

    But you can, Shiela.

    Post about it before you do it, and post about it afterword.

    We are right here, Shiela. We have all, every single one of us, been right where you are, today.

    And we got out.

    You can, too.

    You are here with us now, Shiela. We're all pretty scared most of the time. I like to pretend I am good with everything that happens to my daughter or to my son? But really, I am so hurt, so scared most of the time for my grandchildren I can hardly stand it. I am angry so much, Shiela. And though there is so much I don't know, what I do know, what I have learned over all these terrible years, is that the only person who can reclaim my life is me.

    You can do it, Shiela. We were never meant to suffer like this over things we cannot control. When our children are addicted or mentally ill, that is not anything we can fix. No matter what we try, nothing works. It is like throwing money down a bottomless hole to try to help them.

    Well, that's the end of my raving.


    Welcome to the site, Shiela.

    This is a good, safe place, and I am happy you found all of us.


    Shiela, what you will find here on the site are parents who have been right where you are. We have spent the desperate nights, stumbled to the phone in the dark with our hearts in our mouths, blamed ourselves and taken our own lives into some dark, hopeless place we believed we deserved because one of our children was destroying himself and we could not help him or her.

    The other thing you will find Shiela, if you stay with us here, is that each of us is learning to survive what has happened to us and to our children. We are learning to choose survival, Shiela.

    As you stay with us, as you post and respond to us on those days when our own hearts are broken and our faith in ourselves and in this process is shaken, you will learn that it is possible for you to learn to choose survival, too, Shiela. You can choose that for yourself, for your husband, for your marriage.

    You can reclaim the right to celebrate your life Shiela, whatever is happening with your boy.
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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Shiela, addiction is a mental illness---it is in that category. It is a brain disease. Our adult children can't help that they have it, but they can help that they CHOOSE not to get help for it. That is where my son and I part ways.

    If he ever did show that he was seriously working a program of change---most likely a concerted, continuous 12-step effort---there would be many people in our family who would come alongside him to provide assistance.

    Like I told him some weeks ago---when we were standing in front of the day homeless shelter---after he texted me, my exhusband (his dad) and his brother that he guessed he would just kill himself---I drove there and was there within 10 minutes to tell him----AGAIN-----that every single time he threatens suicide I will call 911.

    And then I told him this: If you turn your life around and we can all see that---not talk, but action----over a consistent period of time and WE decide how much time----there will be help and support for you. Until then, you're on your own.

    Shiela, if we keep on enabling our adult addicted children, we are literally putting a loaded gun in their hands. We are doing for them what THEY should do for themselves.

    Is addiction hard to recover from? You betcha it is. It will be the hardest fight of my son's life, and your son's life. It will be a daily fight. They will have to work a program for the rest of their lives. They will have to get honest. They will have to go back before they can go forward. They will have to live in a crummy place. They will have to work two jobs. They will have to find a way to go to 12-step meetings every day for 90 days to start, and then they will still have to get to work, get home and deal with life. This is life. Life is not easy, on its best day.

    This is what adults do who face problems. Our adult addicted children have allowed their addiction to take over their lives. They have allowed it by not hitting their bottom. You would think----surely----that being homeless on the street for 45 days would be somebody's bottom. Sleeping in abandoned houses. Walking around town. You would think that being homeless for 30 days in a strange city, sleeping and living at a McDonald's restaurant, would be somebody's bottom. No shower for 30 days. You would think that living in a strange city from Dec. 22 through January 8 in one of the coldest winters on record---through Christmas---would be somebody's bottom. Wouldn't you Shiela?

    But it wasn't for my son. He has yet to hit his bottom, and it is unfathomable to me. Why? Because it's addiction I'm looking at, not my real son. Addiction has completely taken him over. And HE continues to prefer that life---jail, homelessness, walking the streets, shoplifting---that life, instead of doing the hard work----the very hard work---of change.

    There is so much help out there in the world for people who really want it.

    Shiela, I see myself, the old enabling self of me, as similiar to my son. I didn't change---I didn't stop---I couldn't even think of stopping, until I was completely and utterly sick to my soul with it all. I was a wreck. I was anxious. I was depressed. I was terrified. I was living life moment to moment. I thought I was my son. I couldn't see any separation between me and him.
    How could this be happening? It was awful and it was surreal and it is not a place I ever want to go back to again.

    It sounds harsh to say we are separate people. It feels harsh to say it and to write it. He is my precious son, but Shiela, we are two separate people and he is 25 years old and it's way, way, way past time for him to stand on his own, whether that's in a rehab facility, in a jail, on the street, in a crummy apartment as he works to rebuild his life---wherever and whatever his life looks like, it is HIS to have and to make.

    I know that sounds harsh. But that is reality, Shiela. That is where I have gotten to, inch by inch, minute by minute, working hard to get there. Working on myself every single day. Shiela, I am happy. I feel a lot of joy in my life. I am not depressed. I am not anxious. I am grateful. I am contented.

    Of course I have my moments (sometimes hours, sometimes a day or two or a few days or even a week) but Shiela, I have many, many more good moments today than bad moments. Like RE said, once you get over the first hump and the second and the third, the momentum of feeling better, feeling happier, will start to take over and you will want more and more of it, so you will be happy to do the work.

    Please trust us here. We have been there and done that. We are all alike. We have been very good parents---not perfect---but very good ones, who would stand in front of a train for our kids.

    But we have had to fight this fight to reclaim our lives, Shiela. Otherwise what is there for us?
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  9. shiela

    shiela Member

    Thank you all for your words, my husband and I are overwhelmed by the wonderful support you have given us. So many of you have shared what we have been experiencing and given us hope. I have read and reread your posts. I will have all of your comments with me tomorrow. Just found out today, my son will be released from rehab tomorrow after three weeks. It is state run. I expect he will come here, and want gas money, etc. He will want to go be with his baby at his girlfriend's mothers home, as the baby will be joining her mom at the mommy and me program next week for the next five months. It is a scary time, we have practiced saying NO in our minds. Now, we need to say it to him, without guilt. Your comments have made that possible.. Thank you again, bless you all. Will keep everyone of you in my prayers and will also keep close to this site.
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  10. shiela

    shiela Member

    So many emotions and tears today. It is one thing to feel like I can do this, say No, feel good about that. But, I don't feel good. My son completed rehab, came here. We hugged, and both had tears. He is my first born, he looked scared, yet, didn't flinch when he was told he could not stay here. Tonight, he is out there on the streets. After rehab, should I not have helped? But, I did that, many, many times. My thoughts tonight are, he doesn't have a chance, being alone with his thoughts.. I cant get to see a therapist for several weeks. When I held my son in my arms today, I didn't want to let go. I don't want him to die from this disease. We have helped him after rehab so many times. They just let him go.. This disease must be addressed, but how.
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Are there shelters in your town? He can get into a shelter and sometimes they help with jobs. Is he on food stamps? There are places he can go, shelters, food banks, many of the kids here find their way through the system and set themselves up. Where I live, Mental Health Services has social workers who specifically work with homeless people trying to get them housing, jobs, hooked up with food stamps, etc.

    This is so hard Sheila, I know. When you helped him before it didn't change anything, the only one who can change anything is your son, not you.

    The disease should be addressed, but it needs to be addressed by your son. That is the crux of the problem. If you continue saving him, he will not learn how to negotiate his own life and find his own way.

    In the meantime, until your therapy appointment, attend 12 step groups, narc anon, al anon, coda, families anonymous, whichever one works for you, you can go every day and get some support. You will need support, this is, in my opinion, the hardest thing any of us will ever do. It is devastating and yet we've already tried everything, so then we land where you presently find yourself. It's hard. It's necessary.

    That's our scariest thought. I had to go through that in my mind and realize I couldn't prevent that, no matter what I did. It may indeed happen. We can't control that or keep it from happening when our kids lead lives which put them in harms way. We're the ones who have to get used to choices we have no part in, choices which make our hair stand on end..........that's why we need so much support as we learn to accept what we cannot change or control.

    I am saying a prayer for you Sheila. Be very, very kind to yourself. Get as much support as you can. Hugs.
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  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Shiela, is there a Salvation Army location in your town or in one nearby. One of my good friends---she and her husband---are the directors of the unit here. My son has stayed in their shelter multiple times.

    She recently told me that they will work with their shelter residents and others to develop a life plan, with goals, support and referrals. She also continues to reaffirm me as I work hard to let go of my son. She says there is so much help out there for people who want it.

    We have a day shelter in town here who also has a social worker and a "navigator" who helps clients get a resume, find a job, etc. They have a washer and dryer so people can wash clothes and a place to take a shower.

    There IS help I have learned. At one point recently my son had two meals a day at the day shelter, evening meals at the Salvation Army---on weekdays----two meals a day on the weekend plus food stamps.

    Also, does your son have health insurance? Can he get into an intensive outpatient program to support what he has begun in rehab? What about living in a halfway house?

    I live in a suburban area of about 110,000 people close to a large urban area about 25 miles away. In the large city, there are even more services.

    I know this is so hard. I know because I have done exactly what you are doing. It is the hardest thing in the world to do, and it does not feel good at all.

    But Shiela, have the other approaches you have tried worked? We must let them find their way.

    Your son has to do the hard, hard work himself. Just like you do. We both---parents and difficult children---have gone down unhealthy paths together. We both have to change, and nobody else can do it for us.

    Focus on you, Shiela. YOU. Write down what you would like to have happen with your son---how your interactions will look, how often for visits, phone calls, text messages, emails. What you will say. What you will do and not do.

    Writing it down helps. Big hugs for you today. Hang in there. Keep moving forward.

    God is in charge, not any of us.
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  13. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    try to see that clearly. You did that, many many times. And still he is as he is. Its true he might fail again..maybe even tonight, maybe even because he is out alone on the streets with his thoughts. But it is still a new beginning...maybe failing on his own will speak to him about his own accountability, while failing while under your close watch and support can always be blamed on you.

    All we can know is that what you have done before many many times didn't change things, and it has hurt you. Time for something different.

    Ohhh....we know how hard that is.

    Hugs for you today,

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  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Oh Sheila, this is such a hard place to be. We have all been where you are now, that tearful hug, their frightened but gracious acceptance when we tell them no more. For you to let him stay with you again, after the many, many times you have done so, is telling him that nothing has changed, and if nothing has changed, nothing WILL change. He NEEDS to be alone with his thoughts. He NEEDS to take this first step on a different path.
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  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Shiela, we are living our lives at the heart of one of the most devastating things that can happen to a family. There was a thread here once about whether it would be worse to lose a child than to watch them self destruct year after year after year.

    The conclusion was that if your child is still living, there is hope.

    And I think that is true.

    But we need to learn Shiela, how to survive the Hell of this thing that has happened, to us, and to our kids.

    It is a learned skill.

    It will take you and your husband time to understand and to begin responding differently to your child.

    It will never feel good, Shiela.

    But it helps me so much to remember that it is the situation that is bad. Not us. Not our troubled kids.

    I know it feels really bad, Shiela. But you have taken the first step. Your child will test you, now. Prepare yourselves. Post here. As MWM always tells us, we are on call 24/7. Someone will post back. No judgment here, Shiela.

    We have been where you are.

    We suffer, too.

  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    In addition to the information you have already been given Shiela, try this: United Way has a number: 211 Local counties may have taken over in your area. Look in your phone book, in the blue, government pages section. There, you will find either the 211 number listed, or the number your county uses, instead. That number will connect you to someone who will be able to give you the numbers of shelters, programs, other things available in your area. If none of those numbers are there, then look under Social Services in the blue pages. Call the main number. Explain your situation. They will ask for your name. You can decline, and they will still help you with information. If none of those things work, look for a crisis hotline number. They will be able to give you a number you can call for further information. If you are in a rural area, call your local hospital and ask to speak to, or to have a social worker there, call you back.

    What you are looking for Shiela, is information.

    I had to do all those things Shiela, over and over again, until I was able to learn enough here to be able to say "no". And sometimes, to this day, I do not say "no". But I have learned that I have time.

    You have time, Shiela.

    That place you are in now, Recovering calls the FOG. It is a crisis mindset. We feel responsible. We feel we need to do something NOW. We cannot think of anything else. When you recognize those feelings Shiela, know that there is a name for what is happening. FOG. Take three deep breaths. Slow, deep breaths. Maybe, take a short walk. Or a shower. Anything to get you from crisis point to thinking clearly.

    One thing we can say for sure is that what we have done in the past has not helped our kids. For each of us, that time comes when we acknowledge that and are desperate enough to try something altogether different.

    There is no right answer to any of this, Shiela. It is bad, what is happening to all of us. We can help you learn little tools to get through it, minute by minute.

    This helped me: When I did not know where my child was, whether he or she would survive, I would light a white candle. I would pray for my child, envisioning that white candle burning in a window, showing him or her the way out, the way home.

    That helped me.

    I think I saw that MWM sent you the Serenity Prayer. If she didn't, I will post that for you, now. I was told to read and reread it Shiela, until I got it. That helped me. Reading it, over and over and over, until I could feel it working, until I could feel it helping me recenter.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    the Courage to change the things I can,
    and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    I say that to this day, when I wake up in the night, defenseless in the face of our situation.

    Welcome, welcome, welcome, Shiela. As you become stronger, you will do the same things we are doing for you now, for the next parent as he or she comes in.

    This is a good, good place.


    I am so sorry this is happening Shiela, to you and to your son.


    One more important piece: We have found that no one who has not tried to help a child determined to go a wrong way can understand what this is like. It is our consensus here that friends, neighbors, and family members see us differently because of what has happened to us, and to our kids. This is not their fault, Shiela. They do not know how their judgments hurt and cause us to question ourselves. The best we can hope for for them is that they never do get it, that they never, ever, find themselves in our positions.

    These kinds of judgments hurt us, cause us to isolate, cause us to retreat into our pain. Forgive them Shiela. Let go of that. There is no way under Heaven for anyone who has not been through this to understand how vulnerable, how angry, how desperate, we are when our children are in this kind of trouble.

    You and husband did nothing wrong, Shiela. We are a group of people ranging from uneducated to highly educated, from strict, religious parents to way out there hippie types. Those committed enough to helping their children eventually find this site.

    You and your husband are those kinds of parents Shiela, or you would never have found us.

    You love your son. You raised him well. He is a good man.

    Addiction is a terrible thing.
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  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow such great responses to this thread.

    I dont think there is anything harder on earth than being the parent of a kid like ours. This limbo is awful. In the dark of night our fears come and it scares us to death just what could happen. I think that fear is probably worse than knowing. I cant say for sure because I havent had a child die.

    I do know that I have somewhat the same internal chronic fear running through my life, body, mind for my difficult child that I did for my middle son when he was in the Marines. With him I always knew there was the big risk. I lived with the fear of having a big black car pulling up in my driveway for 4 years. Now I fear cop cars. Oddly they could bring bad news for both of those sons is a cop and the other is, well, difficult child. Back then I had nightmares of battle, now I have nightmares of other things.

    Life is funny isnt it?

    I dont talk a whole bunch to my son even though he is living in a home I own. I dont live with him. If he calls me we may talk superficially for a few minutes but I dont think I have stayed on the phone with him for more than 5 minutes in months. I just cant think of what to say and he seems to have a hard time too. And he was so close to me before.

    I dont know what will happen in the future. I hope for better but I am guarded. I dont think I can take being hurt much more.
  18. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Shiela, I hope that things look a little brighter this morning and that you wake up feeling just a little stronger than you did the day before. If not, please go back and read some of posts from the big-hearted people on this site. They have stood in your shoes and know exactly what you're going through.

    My daughter has a mental illness, not an addiction, but both can have catastrophic results that threaten to destroy the child, their family, and all those around them. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was to tell my daughter, NO -you can never live here again --but I knew it was right to do and in doing so, I felt that I was finally standing up for myself and trying to effect a change in both of our lives.

    Stay strong. All of us are here for you.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You said it yourself, Sheila. You've done it so many times before and it hasn't worked. I once heard that the definition of insanity is to keep repeating things that don't work.

    He is not as scared as he looked. If he was, he'd be clean. He has had enough chances to do so. I worked in a homeless shelter as a volunteer and they offer many services to get the homeless back on track. We had social workers who came in, housing, Welfare, SNAP caseworkers...and most of the people who came to our shelter (which only operated during the sleeping hours) did not follow through on anything that we set up for them. We even got them job interviews that most of them blew off. Why?

    Drugs. Getting services is hard when you do drugs. Shelters will not let you stay unless you are clean. You can't do drugs or get drunk in them. Nobody can help a person who is choosing drug addiction. I heard them talking in the lounge sometimes and heard many comments about not stayinig here or there because, dang it, they are going to get high if they want to and nobody can stop them...they'd rather live in a park. So be it. A shelter that helps people has a right to set rules.

    Our shelter gave a very warm welcome with respectful treatment as well as a home cooked meal by the church ladies. Most of us don't eat that well every night, but they did. It was in a church basement. Every night of the week a different church had a sleeping and dinner shelter and the residents were given train vouchers to get from place to place by train. Everyone else had to pay for the train. Do you get what I mean? People DO want to help them, even strangers, but they have to do 90%of it themselves. Heck 100%.

    Until our difficult children decide to join what is considered normal society, they will live by the seat of their pants and the drugs that they take or with the mental illness they refuse to treat. We can't stop them. I'm convinced some would rather NOT have a warm home...they just want to be able to do whatever they want to do and there is always a band of homeless people who help one another out. It is an underground, but close society.

    Heck, all they want from us, in Drug Addict and Untreated Mental Illness World, is money. They do not care about living with us or about us at all...they are too far gone. Only they can make it back. We can't force it. And if we enable them by feeling sorry for them and doling out money we no longer have, we are making their self-destruction easy for them to do. After all, the money usually goes to drugs, not for anything useful or for what they claim it is for.

    Sheila, your son is in his 30's and he alone has to decide to change. Taking care of him will not encourage him to change. And what will he do once you're gone? We can't live forever.

    I think you are doing the right thing. It's time for him to have to stand on his own two feet.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
    Last edited: May 26, 2014