Crazy Idea

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I am waiting for husband to get home so I can get more details about his convo with difficult child today.... only problem is he never remembers details about conversations. LOL. Anyway he forwarded me a text he got from difficult child about getting a backpack... it was kind of unclear so difficult child called him.

    Apparently difficult child has this idea of walking across the country... he did wilderness, he knows how to survive but he would like a backpack to carry his stuff. OK he had a good backpack from when he was in wilderness, not sure he still has that though..... my husband has an old one. So maybe we will send one to my Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) and they can get it to him.

    Apparently he heard from other people that the homeless shelter has bugs and mold and he is better off sleeping on the beach! Ok so that is his choice.

    I know him walking across the country is an absolutely crazy idea and probably will not happen.... but at least it is some kind of goal! How he will eat I have no idea! We are not giving him money for this crazy venture. My husband does want to ask him if we can put tracking on his phone just so we know where he is.... thats a good excuse I guess.

    If he did manage to walk a good part of the country, even if it is just across one state, it would be an accomplishment, lots of exercise and hopefully some good adventure.

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you're "hiking through" up here (Canada), most decent-sized cities (100,000 plus) have "day-work" offices. You show up, state the kind of stuff you can do, and they will assign you as tickets come in... anything from unloading trucks, to moving furniture around for a little old lady, to raking and yard clean-up, to day-work on a construction site if you have experience... minimum 2 hours, often 6 or 8, and the pay is cash. Hikers on the "Trans-Canada trail" (it does not yet go from coast to coast, but some sections are a pretty good length) are known to do this.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Oh for Pete's sake!These difficult children and their ideas!!!

    I swear the first image I got in my head was Forrest Gump running across the country for no particular reason...

    I think the movies, television shows, and commercials make the cross-country hike look like an easy, almost romantic thing to do. Strolling the country roads, meeting interesting people, having great adventures...

    The reality is - that's what homeless people do. They walk around all day. And when they find a place that has food and shelter, they wander around that place...

    If your husband has an old backpack that he isn't using - maybe he could pack a few things in it for difficult child. Extra socks, bug repellant, sun block, a first aid kit - you know, things that are useful but not very valuable...
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Good idea and we could throw in some trail mix, some beef jerky, a water bottle.

    Still if he does a lot of walking that would be exercise and maybe that wouldl clear his head of all the cobwebs that are in there due to drug use!!!

  5. keista

    keista New Member

    I think it's a fantastic idea! Firstly, it is a plan, secondly all that fresh air and exercise should do a body good. Beside he may meet some interesting ppl along the way and learn a few things. (I'm only thinking good positive type stuff) Much better than being homeless in one place.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    The more I think about it the crazier it seems... just a way to prolong really getting help. I also think he wants us to help him put together what he needs to do this and that feels an awful lot like enabling to me. I think I am going to kind of stay out of it and let my husband handle what he wants to send him. If I get invovled I will want to know more about the plan, and discuss what it all really means, and how is this going to help etc. etc. I don't think that conversation will really help..... so I need to step back from this.

    My husband on the other hand will be practical and concrete and all I told my husband is don't plan to get anything you send him back!!!! And we are not buying him anything.... only sending him stuff we already have that we probably will never use... a way to start cleaning out the basement ya know!

  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I barely know what to think of that! LOL. Well, will be VERY interested to see how this all comes out. I think the gps idea is a wonderful thing...just in case.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would stay out of it too TL. It sounds like another way for him to suck you into sending him funds or supplies. I wonder if this is his way of getting to his girlfriend's place since he knows you won't send him a ticket.

  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Definitely not sending him money. My husband might send him difficult children back pack and an old sleeping bag... not sure yet. I wondered if that is his way to get back up here... but even if it is if he is seriously walking it will take him weeks and weeks. I really doubt this is very well thought out....but in the past walking for hours gets him thinking so maybe he would come to some epiphany. I can hope can't I? I don't know if I ever told you about the time we were taking him to the TBS and we woke up in the morning in a strange town and he was gone... left us a lovely note. I was hysterical, he was 15 years old. He walked all night, obout 10 miles and finally called us after he realized he would be better off going to the TBS. LOL. So some serious walking might be really good for him....but I suspect this plan won't last long.

    However I do need to leave this to my husband. I think he wants us both to talk to difficult child.... but I really think I should just stay out of it and let husband handle it... however he decides to. I don't really care at this point as long as we don't send him money or buy him a bunch of stuff.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I do NOT think this is such a wonderful idea. he is NOT going to walk that far. How much does he like work? It is hard work to walk that far, and your difficult child didn't even want to walk a mile or two to a job, did he? He is NOT saying he will BIKE across the country, is he? Why not? Probably because he will hitchhike instead of walk. I know you can't stop him, but that is a very dangerous thing to do. It also is not easy, and he will be totally at the mercy of anyone who wants to do something to him, and he will probably be picked up by the cops a few times as hitchhiking is illegal and if he has anything illegal than he will be in some strange area calling you for help because who wants to be stuck in a jail in some small town in the middle of nowhere?

    Right now he knows you will not help him. You know where he is, that it is warm enough that he is not in danger if he is out in the elements because the weather isn't that cold. He knows where the shelter is, where treatment for his drug problem is, and where the dangerous areas are. He will get a ride to somewhere, and then he will be stranded, will call you with some illness or injury or no food and want you to rescue him by sending cash or paying for a hotel room over the phone or internet. Or he will call from jail because he got picked up and they are suspecting him of stealing because he was wandering around and someone got robbed at that time and since he has no ties to the area, he is going to have to sit in jail and he will tell you a horror story which you cannot verify. I am not saying he would be the thief or not, just that he would get blamed and have NO way to prove it wasn't him. I don't care about innocent until proven guilty, if you are a bum you still have to prove you didn't do it in a lot of places and situations. It is just that ugly thing called reality. If he gets charges in an area, he won't stay the weeks until a court date, so he would likely later end up with a handful of tickets/charges in various areas that he would want/need your help and cash to help fix.

    This is a way to get you to bring him home and to get you to send him stuff. If he is living on a beach with no address, how would you send him stuff? do think this is a way to not get treatment, and there is no way he is going to endure withdrawals in the middle of a walk across a long distance, so he would have to find suppliers for the drugs and the $ to buy the alcohol as he walks. This will be HARD and he will end up stealing at least the alcohol from a gas station somewhere.

    You can't stop him, but I would not support this. You have told him you won't support anything except treatment, and I think you should stick to that. This means NOT sending him a backpack, sleeping bag or ANYTHING else to make his life easier or this trek possible. It is NOT a good idea and he is in NO WAY in shape to take on such a trek. I know people who have walked across large parts of the country or other countries. They didn't do it with an addiction - several of them worked hard to kick their addcition because they KNEW it would leave them in no physical shape to make the trip and it would put them in HUGE amounts of danger as they tried to get their "fix". They also did NOT go penniless or close to it. They saved up until they had enough money to afford the trip and they looked up places to work and to stay cheaply along the way so that they could stay in a hostel or shelter or cheap hotel every so often.

    How experienced an outdoorsman is your difficult child? Does he have more than the wilderness program experience? THe people I knwo who were successful at this had WAY more experience and had spent a LONG time making preparations. The people who just decided to do it and tried to leave? Ended up stranded, in trouble, sick, and in need of a LOT of help and cold, hard cash to rescue them from their stupidity. And yes, two of the people I know hwo got stranded DID have wilderness program experience but it is WAY different than navigating your way across the country.

    I am sorry to be such a Grinch about this, but this is not a good idea. PLEASE do not support ANYTHING other than treatment for your son. I know t is hard, and you want to believe that he could do this. He will be a HUGE target out there and the addiction makes him SO vulnerable. If he was high/drunk out on a highway walking, what would keep him from wandering into traffic or let him protect himself from soemone who wants to hurt him? he would be so out of it he couldn't even fght back much.
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with susie's take on this. Please know we love and care about you but the reality is that he couldn't even stay away from drugs/alcohol for a week in a sober house and he sure isn't going to stay away from it walking across America. Which means he will do all sorts of dangerous things to himself and others to get his fix. I am a bit surprised that your husband is entertaining this adventure and willing to send him supplies. He continues to reel you in TL, if he can't get you to fund his living arrangement he wil come up with some other scheme. The other day he wanted a deposit to pay for the homeless shelter and today he says it is moldy. If you had sent that money he wouldn't be there, he would be buying drugs/alcohol.

    He is being incredibly manipulative with you. If he wants to live the life of a hippie then he should do it without involving you. What does he need a backpack for? What possessions does he have that he needs to carry around? And why doesn't he ask his girlfriend to send him one?

    TL it's not fair that he keeps dragging you into his wild schemes. I am afraid that you will be getting calls from him to get him out of legal jams along the way and he knows you won't be able to turn your back.

  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Oh wow. I read your first post and was optimistic and like yourself - I became jaded as I thought it through...I think Susie has some really wise words and I think your gut is telling you the truth. I think letting your h handle it is wise. {{{hugs}}} It's sounds more like a scheme than a realistic plan tbh...
  13. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I am sending lots of good wishes and HUGS to you TL. It is never easy to be the parent of a difficult child, even when they are all the way across the country.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    Thanks for your post...i just read it to husband to give him a reality check because of course you are right. The good news is when husband called difficult child tonight and told him we found his back pack...difficult child said that plan is on hold because he is talking to one of the previous sober houses about getting a scholorship, whatever that means.

    husband asked if the sober house waived the initial fee would we be willing to pay the monthly fee? This is my husband thinking ahead not my difficult child asking. See my husband is a softer touch than i am!! Anyway i said no he has to figure it out...and in fact he does seem to be trying to figure something out which is good.

    At this point we are not even saying we will pay for treatment. I am not willing to do that unless i have some kind of evidence that he is serious about treatment which at this point i dont think he is.

    Thank you for all of your honest thoughts on this and everything else.

  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am so sorry this is so rough. I almost didn't write anything, but i do know people who have done tried what your difficult child wants to do. it can be very dangerous and i was scared for you and him.
  16. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Susie, you make a lot of sense.

    I think we so desperately want our difficult children to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING other than abusing substances, that we can almost convince ourselves it's a good idea for them to undertake a long-distance trek.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    The more I thought about it the crazier it seemed...especially with the lack of planning on his part it was doomed to fail...but it helped to have something someone else wrote to read to my husband!!!!
  18. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    It is maybe a crazy idea. But maybe there is something behind the idea worth thinking about. Maybe deep down he is expressing a wish for some transformative physical type of activity --like wilderness or something like that that will get him out of his milieu and just challenge himself everyday.

    I just finished reading WILD by Cheryl Strayed, which I quite liked. She really started going downhill after her mother died and decided to walk the Pacific Coast Trail. It turned her life around.

    So yes, it may make no sense, but perhaps there is a healthy impulse underneath it all. Not that you should indulge it, but maybe it isn't so crazy.
  19. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

    My two cents about traveling.
    I used to travel a lot when I felt well, when my life was more in order than it is now. I traveled alone in Italy and Greece. Oh, by the way, in those days (seems like ages, when I was in High School), I already spoke Italian and Modern Greek enough to manage alone without French or English. I have friends in these two countries, which whom I speak only in Italian or in Greek.
    As soon as my life is more in order than it is now, I travel again in these two countries I miss a lot. The languages miss me, the landscapes miss me, my friends miss me a lot and I feel how their absence is sometimes awful. I need them now, but traveling is, at the moment, out of question (too many administrative stuff for the Concerta : my driving license problem already drives me nuts, having those kind of administrative stuff for traveling with Concerta driving me nuts is out of question).
    I met some of them in Paris, and some of them in their country where I traveled or with my mom and sister, or alone.

    It would be a good idea if there were some planning behind. Like knowing where to sleep, how to eat, planning the budget.... Planning the medicines, etc etc... It doesn't seem, but traveling with a backpack needs a great deal of planning. Even in countries where you speak the language like it was my case, you need a lot of planning.
    Especially when you travel abroad. Especially in countries where you don't speak the language (true in any case, but even more so in countries you don't speak the language).

    Otherwise, stay away from this idea. Traveling on a shoestring without the slightest planning is the best solution to go into troubles.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All I could think about when I read this was about when Marcie Mac's son Danny ran from CA trying to get to SC and got stranded in TN. LOL. I think he ended up staying in some sort of commune for a bit until Marcie could arrange to get him home.

    Thinking back I cant remember if that was before or after he tried to change is name to Cheech!