Detachment - I am getting better at it.....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Ok so I think part of what detachment really means is not letting their crazy manipulations get to you..... so my difficult child had drug court today. The good news is he is going to a residential program on Tuesday. He is going to be taken from jail to court and then he will be released to me to take him to the program. I have agreed to do that and am fine with it.

    BUT after this last relapse I originally decided I would not put money in the canteen and I am done buying cigarettes for him, even if he is in a program. So I caved on the canteen..... but really I am done with the cigarettes. They are expensive, I have never felt good about it and he has now been in jail for a month where he has not been able to smoke. I just feel he has to take responsibility for all of it, and I am done trying to make recovery easier for him. Maybe it has to be tough.... I really dont know but I am done trying to make it bearable. He has to want it and he has to do it, and if he really wants to smoke then he needs to get a job (which is a big part of the program he is going to).

    So the plan is for me to drive him on Tuesday and I did not want to be the whole trip him trying to argue and manipulate me into getting him cigarettes. You all know that is what would happen right? So before we left court I said to him I am not getting cigarettes and you need to know that. He acted like sure I get that, makes sense.

    Ha - well he just called me!!! And the manipulation and arguments started. He gets it (yeah right) but thinks my timing is awful. And why did I have to bring it up in front of his treatment team? Well because I want you to know so I dont get this all they there on Tuesday. Then he went into how I have just hurt the relationship we were starting to build.... my response well that is your choice. If our relationship is based on what I will give you then so be it. He tried to imply that it is my parenting that got him where he is today. I totally didnt buy that..... and when I asked what exactly it was about how controlling I was, upset by who his friends were, that he smoked a joint... ha ha a lot of what good parenting is all about!!! Anyway I expect I will get some more phone calls before Tuesday.... but that is ok because he needs to get this out of his system and I will let him on the phone but Tuesday I dont want to discuss it.

    He made some comment about it is better to smoke cigarettes than shoot dope (he implied that he has done that but I did not react) and I just said well that is your choice. He tried to tell me I always tried to control his drug use and I said well I never was able to control it, and your choice about that is on you, not me. I was very clear. I am just not buying it anymore.

    And although it was a hard conversation in some ways, his implied threat of not having a relationship with me no long phases me.... again that is his choice.


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  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are in for to a of fun! lol

    Try hard not to let him get to you.

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  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And the escalation begins TL. Stay strong.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    ALANON take me away........
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    LOL thanks! Well at least he did not swear at me this time!!! And the thing about jail calls is they cut you off after 15 minutes so the call just ends which in this case was nice.

    Now my worry is if he doesnt call me again I will be faced with dealing with it on Tuesday.... I would rather have the garbage over the phone than while I am with him in person.

    I told my husband that I really need to stand my ground this time. I felt ok about giving him a little money for canteen and getting him the sweat pants and radio while he was in jail. But I have never felt good about getting him cigarettes and even today at first a part of me wanted to cave..... but then the manipulation started in full force and that just made me stronger.

    So send me strong vibes, especially on Tuesday!!!


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  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Think of it this way, as hard as it is.

    Right now, you do not have any relationship with your clearheaded son. You have a relationship with the dope. My guess is that if he gets his act together, he will be back and his old self. If not, well, it is pretty hard to have any relationship with somebody whose personality is altered by drug affects. Drugs make nice people selfish, mean, conniving, thieves, liars, jail inmates and more, but it is not your real son. Often, drug using kids only talk to us when they want money. It isn't a regular give-and-take conversation about the two of us. My daughter was an alien to me when she used drugs. She was not my daughter. Our relationship was mom to stranger. She stole. She lied. She was on parole twice a nd I truly believe only her very dainty prettiness kept her from juvy hall. She participated in a robbery, although she was only in the car. She hung around with criminals.

    My daughter is clean now. I can't even imagine that person who took over her body (the drugs) when she was using.

    So your son is not really threatening you because right now he is not your son, in body or brain. But hopefully one day he will come back to you clean and sober and the man he COULD be. At this point, reasoning with him is pointless.

    I'm glad you are learning to detach. Never give up hope that your boy will someday return, but go on with your life until then.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Actually since he has been in jail I do feel we have slowly been buildling more of a relationship. He calls us more and sometimes just to talk without asking us for anything. He has shared more about what is going on for him and that has been positive. So no it is not the kind of relationship I have or would have with anyone else but I cant say it is no relationship because it is something.

    However what he doesnt realize is that I am way past the point where I care about threats of not having a relationship with me or future grandchildren (he has used that on me in the past). If he chooses to cut off all contact then so be it. That is his choice.

    I am a bit worried about Tuesday. I really do not want to drive him if it is going to be him badgering me all the way to buy him cigarettes. So this morning I sat down and wrote him a letter telling him that.

    I really dont know if I will ever have what I consider a good close healthy mutual relationship with my son... which is what I think you are calling a relationship. I dont know if it is possible really given what I think are his personality issues. However maybe it is if he is truly clean and sober and leading a responsible life.

    In the meantime I will continue to love him but keep some emotional detachment going. I really have come a long way and it is somewhat amusing to watch him try to use his old methods of manipulation. They just dont work anymore.


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  8. Childofmine

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

    TL, sit down and write out what you will say if he starts badgering you for cigarettes (or anything else).

    Write down your responses. Read them over and over again. Then put a copy in your purse. Read it over again right before you pick him up.

    That way, you will have a plan. Now, he will likely throw some other curve ball at you---that you haven't thought of---but having a plan for what you can think of will help you today and that day.

    Some possible responses:

    1. We have talked about this already. The answer is No. (repeat)

    2. I don't want to continue this conversation. (repeat)

    3. The answer is No. (repeat)

    4. I'm sorry you feel that way. (repeat)

    5. I am sure it is hard. (repeat)

    6. I love you. (repeat)

    Don't get engaged in a circular, roundabout dialogue about any of it. Well, gollee Mom, this is a fine time to take a stand. Here I am getting better, and trying to change and you aren't supporting me at all (as you are driving him there, !!!???). Everybody knows you can't stop everything at once. How about just one pack? That's all, just for the trip. Because, Mom, wow, it's going to be so awful there, and this would make me feel so much better. See I'm so anxious and nervous. See, my hands are shaking. And I'm scared Mom. A cigarette would really help me calm down. Don't you want me to be calm, Mom? Gosh, mom you never support me. You just don't get it. You never HAVE supported me or understood how hard I try, and just how hard my life really is....Blah, blah, blah.

    That is what it is. Don't buy it. Don't fall for it. Don't engage in it. Don't waste your time and energy. Just repeat what you have decided to say.

    If he ramps up, repeat. If he gets out of control, stop the car and call the police.

    Take care of YOU during this time.

    Last year, when my son went to rehab, I went out and bought him two cartons of cigarettes. I hated every minute of the transaction and I felt sick inside. But I had been advised not to fight that battle too, since he was trying to change.


    I will never do that again. I am never, never, never buying him cigarettes again. Period, for any reason. I don't care if he is in complete nicotine withdrawal, it isn't happening---at least from me.

    Hang in there. You can do this. When you look back, you will see that you took a step forward here.
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  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    COM thank you! Your dialog example sounded exactly like him! Fact is he has already been through nicotine withdrawal in jail so he cant use that one on me! I wrote him this letter this morning. If he calls I may discuss it over the phone but I am going to tell him I won't discuss it on Tuesday. He has to get over it because it's not happening. I have bought him cigarettes in the past and always hated it and I am done doing it. Having cigarettes never kept him sober so there is no reason for me to do it, and that whole argument wont work anymore.


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  10. Childofmine

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

    TL, the reason I nailed the dialogue is's the same dialogue I've heard time and again from my son.

    There is no unique story here.

    Addiction has a path, a defined path. It's almost like the brain cells are the very same in each of them.

    More support for US, realizing there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to addiction.

    You can do it, TL!
  11. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    You are doing a fantastic job of not reacting and seeing right through the manipulation.

    Stay strong,
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As trite as this sounds and as much as many people have told me, "I'd rather my kid smoke cigarettes than take drugs"...smoking is a certain red flag for drug abuse. Few non-smokers use drugs. It's like a baby step toward trying other things. My daughter used to say, "Well, you drink coffee and that's a drug!!!!" That is true. I have never read studies saying coffee leads to hard drugs. I could be wrong.

    In my opinion only, there is no reason to spend six bucks for an adult child to smoke cigarettes. It always puzzles me when people do. That's kind of off topic, but I am really very puzzled that so many parents seem to think smoking is better than drugs, although they really effect one's health and do not stop drug use.

    COM, I love your way of talking to difficult children. I have used that on 36. "This conversation is over." He was shocked, almost speechless. It is the best way to shut down a difficult child lawyer-type flawed rant about how evil we are and how we never do anything for them. It gives them no ammo and it is a final, strong statement. I am so glad you are part of our community. You have so much to give and you do.

    Sig, hang in there. I know how you feel. It's horrible when your child cuts you out (as Scott did), but, believe it or not, you do get used to it. And in your son's case he is pretty young and he could still change. Hang in there. All of us are holding your hand.
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I remember going to a drug talk when my difficult child was in 8th grade and the guy said pot is not the gateway drug, cigarettes are! My heart sank at that moment because I knew (and had flipped out) that my son was smoking cigarettes.

    I think often when people are in treatment the thought is that they are dealing with their serious addiction to drugs, and cigarettes are minor in comparison, the lesser evil, and dont make it even harder for them to battle the nicotine addiction right now. I get that logic, bought into it and bought cigarettes even though i never liked doing it.

    But at this point my son has been through so much treatment my feeling is we have to back off further.... fact is giving him cigarettes never kept him in a program, never made him not screw up, did not prevent relapse. Maybe it kept him from doing it sooner, who konws, but in the end it didnt help. And I think my son needs to get the message that this is his fight, not ours and we need to stop trying to make it easier on him. Maybe it needs to be hard I dont know but I do know I dont feel good about giving them to him, and that is reason enough.

    I havent heard from him since that phone call on Wed. That worries me because it means I am going to get an earful on our drive on Tuesday. I now wish I hadnt agreed to drive him. I am tempted to call them and say I can't..... but I was asked by the drug court person and so I feel I am backing out on them (who have worked hard to help my son), and bottom line I dont want to screw this up for him. So I am preparing myself to just tell him I am not discussing it anymore, the answer is no. And if we go the whole way in silence so be it.

    Maybe I need to tell him this before we get in the car!!!


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  14. Childofmine

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

    TL can you get a friend to ride with you to take him? That will take any "bad winds" out of his sails.

    Even if you go alone you can do this. Just get prepared. Don't engage. Drive there in silence if you have to. How far is it?

  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Its about 45 minutes..... a hassly drive. I asked a friend yesterday sort of indirectly, she laughed and said no way was she getting in the middle of that. Which makes sense actually.

    I think I am going to take him aside before we leave the courthouse and ask him if we are all set with the cigarette convo because I do not want to discuss it any more. That way if he gets really upset or angry he will be at the court and I can refuse to take him!!! Hopefully he will get my letter and know that I am clear in my decision and its not worth arguing with me. He does tend to give it up if he knows there is no hope so I need to be really clear.

    And thank you I can do this..... but I am nervous about it!


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  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Now really...MWM, I smoke like a chimney and I dont do drugs. I wouldnt smoke pot if it was laid out before me on a golden tray. Now I know you will probably say well you take pain medications but I would gladly give them up in a new york minute if I wasnt in pain. I try everything possible to take the lowest dose possible. I am constantly looking for alternatives and because I know my body, I know I wont have any problems when the time comes, please please please, that I can stop taking them. I will never do rehab. I wont need to. I know myself well. I have had times where I have not been able to get my medications filled for a few days and except for pain, I have had no ill effects.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    OK so difficult child called tonight. We hadnt heard from him since that last convo and so I was dreading tuesday because I thought he would keep bugging me to buy him those damn cigarettes.

    So I am really glad he called. I asked him if he had gotten my letter and he has not. He called because he could not get a hold of the property guys at jail and it would be nice if we can get his wallet and phone etc. before he leaves. So I will call tomorrow to check on that. He also asked me to stop at this used book store and pick up a couple of books for him... the program e is going to has him on restriction the first couple of weeks and so he wants something to read. I am happy to do that for him because I am just glad he is reading books!!!

    So I asked him if we were clear on the cigarettes and he said yeah and didnt say another word about it.... so lets hope we are!!!!

    Anyway I feel better about things.... now I wish I hadnt sent the letter because it might bring everything up again..... oh well it is what it is.


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  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet, not everyone who smokes cigarettes does drugs. But let's just say a twelve year old who is smoking, or even a fifteen year old, is at higher risk to do drugs. The most wholesome kids these days find smoking gross. It's not a definite, but it's a sign that your child is willing to do something that is risky to his overall health and not mainstream. There are many studies on smoking and drug abuse. Ever meet an alcoholic who didn't smoke? I haven't.

    I think cigarette smoking, because of the extreme risk to one's health, is as bad as using certain recreational drugs and it is sooooooooooooo hard to quit. Took my husband FIVE times! I never have paid a dime to help my kids develop smoker's cough (which husband had terribly), get winded faster than me, and cause all sorts of problems if around little kids too. My daughter and her SO, who just had a baby, won't allow the baby in his mother's apartment or car because it reeks of smoke. Nor can she smoke anywhere around the baby. Pretty big turnaround for a used-to-be drug user. But they are both very anti-smoking. His mother is not offended. She knows. She agrees.

    It seems like almost all our drug using kids also smoke cigarettes. My daughter did when she used drugs. She quit only after the drug parade stopped. There is no up side to ciggies so why pay so much for your kid to smoke and add to the health problems that drug use causes?

    Just my own rambling thoughts :) No offense meant, Janet. I think you're terrific :)
  19. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Waiting to hear how it went - crossing fingers for you.
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks Sig for asking..... I am sick and feel terrible so that is not helping! Darn it I was sick and drove him anyways and he was a complete jerk. But I got him there, did not buy cigarettes or give him money.... of course he made that easy by being such a jerk.

    Honestly I have forgiven so much bad behavior in him and yet he is totally intolerant of my doing anything he doesnt like!!!

    So when I went to court I ran into his lawyer. She made some commet to me about how she told him he better not f this up!!! I said to her yes and I am not buying him any more cigs. She said good and cited an interesting statistic that people who continue to smoke after giving up other substances are 17 time more likely to relapse. I have no idea if that is true but it is an interesting statistic!

    So I went into the court troom adn she went and talked to Gabe. I thought uh oh she said something to him about what I said! Yep she did. So he was released and went out to the car and I asked him what was going on.

    He said so now you are using my lawyer as a messenger? Wjhy do you have to invovled other people in our family business? I said well you have involved a lot of people... he said no I havent, I have just invovled people in my criminal business! Ha and he has no idea how many people I run into at court that I know from my job and how embarrassing that is!!!
    I said I had a conversation with her and told her I would not buy him cigarettes. He said we already had that worked out. He has a point and I wish she hadnt said anything but still I think this is pretty small stuff.

    I made some comment about how I was sick and didnt have to drive him. I almost got out of the car and went in and told probation I couldnt drive him... he said he didnt care! It was tempting but I did not do that.... and it is true he is probably on edge as he is going to a new place etc.

    So we drove the rest of the way in silence! So at least we didnt talk about cigs and he didnt ask about money!!! That is one way to do it!

    When we got there he told me he did not want me going in.... I had his medications but he did not want me going in at all and told me if I did he would leave. At one point he told me this has nothing to do with me! I said true.
    I said that would be on him!!! I told him to tell someone to come out and get them then. I waited and was just about to call the place, and he came out and said he could take them and give them scott and I could call him. So I said fine, gave him his medications and called Scott..... who hopefully is a person who works there.

    The medications were prozac and wellbutrin which are not things generally abused so I think that was ok.

    So I refuse to feel guilty.... it might have been better for me to keep my mouth shut but really I dont think I did anything really terrible. I think the next time he asks me to intervene in some way I am going to say you said this has nothing to do with this.... so its either or. Yuo cant have m eintervene on your behalf and then get mad if I talk to people.

    I suspect it will be awhile before I hear from him and that is ok.

    So I am about to go to bed and try to feel better!


    But honestly the whole thing annoyed me and I feel crummy to begin with.

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